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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We'll Never Forget

Thank-you and Godspeed to another Yankee relief pitcher who gave too much:
  • SCOTT PROCTOR
  • RON VILLONE (even though you're not yet gone for good)
  • TANYON STURTZE
  • PAUL QUANTRILL
  • STEVE KARSAY
Honorable Mention: Mike Stanton, Ramiro Mendoza, Jeff Nelson

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Are YES Network advertisers jumping ship yet?

A long, laborious drone by Al Leiter in the 2nd inning about a long ago experience scouting a player not a Yankee. YES tops it off by removing the playing field from your screen so you can't see or hear about the game. I had Yankee radio on luckily, so I heard John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman tell about 1 or 2 extended coaching communications Larry Bowa had with Melky Cabrera during his at bat. That was interesting to me since the Yankees rarely have anything going on. But the YES Network has non-Yankee concerns. Perhaps its advertisers will share their distaste for the Yankees and jump off as well.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Phineas T. Bluster Olney gets imprimatur of Public Broadcasting

Phineas T. Bluster Olney is almost King of All Media (next to Howard Stern). Olney has appeared on NPR radio and I found a transcript of an appearance on the Jim Lehrer News Hour on PBS on April 5, 2004. He was invited on to discuss steroids, and he said this:
  • "A lot of pitchers are using this stuff. I presumably looking at the bodies and from talking with the players. It's because they can in taking steroids they can bounce back from pitching in a game much more quickly if they use the steroids."
and
  • "just yesterday Cecil Fielder, who became the first player in about 50 years did 50 homeruns, he basically suggested, he mentioned by name players who he thought were taking steroids."
I've read Olney has chastised Allan H. "Bud" Selig a lot for the steroid problem. Olney has been given the huge gift of being a NY Times reporter, during which time he received special access to baseball clubhouses. As a result of this privilege, he wrote a book revealing secrets he learned in clubhouses. The access he received was because of the name of the media outlet he worked for, but fine, he turned it into publicity for himself. How can Olney criticize anyone for not dealing or reporting the seriousness of the steroid problem when he used it to get publicity and media attention for himself at serious places like PBS at least as far back as 2004? P.S. He knew pitchers? Cecil Fielder named names? This behavior by Olney shows a lack of character, yet he continues to be treated like royalty by baseball media.

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Johnny Damon now averaging .242, 2 GIDP tonight

I noticed Damon has the lowest batting average in the Yankee lineup. No one on the Orioles lineup has a batting average that low. It's nice he has a cheerful personality, but understandable that the Yankees would like to move him. He had 2 GDPs tonight, the 2nd was the rally killer in the 9th inning. No more Scott Boras clients. No more Damon as lead off hitter.

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3 strike outs in first inning

All that's certain is the league has parity, except no one talks about who paid the tab--the Yankee fan. Allowing themselves to be reviled constantly in the media, never defending themselves, the Yankees are now losers and broke. Since winning isn't an option, it probably doesn't matter that Suzyn Waldman just said the rumored Ty Wigginton deal hasn't happened yet.

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Internet's 'sock puppets' are threatened species

More about commenters posting under a pseudonym or anonymously, more lawsuits being filed. Turns out the CEO of Whole Foods posted under a different name for several years on a financial website for the purpose of defaming a competitor. Publisher Conrad Black is alleged to have posted under a different name for the purpose of defamation. This article says Yahoo is testing a new method where posters would need to identify themselves accurately.
  • "It was alleged that Lord Black himself signed onto a Yahoo Finance message board under the handle "nspector" and did battle, trashing speculators shorting shares of Hollinger International.

Whole Foods chief executive John Mackey was also recently outed as a virtual ventriloquist. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission revealed two weeks ago that for eight years, the green giant of grocers would sign on a Yahoo board with the variation of his wife, Deborah's name ("Rahodeb") and churn out black propaganda about his takeover target, Wild Oats. While hoping to drive down his rival's stock value.

  • For years, everyone from CEOs to everyday Joes thought they could sign on to these low-tech sites with an invented name or just be anonymous to diss their nemeses, never for a moment worrying they might be nabbed for libel or corporate skullduggery....
Because of the world-wide reach of message boards, Mr. Sells predicts that the awards for damages could be greater than those offline because of their wider viewership.

On behalf of their clients, lawyers can ask a judge for a warrant that will compel an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or host site to turn over a user's Internet Protocol Address, which is series of digits not unlike a phone number."

  • (Referring to moves toward greater transparency in general on message boards):

"It's the most invidious and corrosive medium on the Net," says Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing our Culture. "We have to collectively address the issue of anonymity."

  • Mr. Keen, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., sees anonymity and sock puppetry as part of the same problem: "In a way, sock puppeting is worse because it gives it a more intimate voice than anonymous.""

From The National Post, "Internet's Sock Puppets are Threatened Species," by Craig Offman, 7/27/07

  • As small a blog as mine has experienced this very effective practice. Another blog was told the entire credibility of his site would be threatened if he did so much as repeat a small example of what I had monitored on television and posted on my own blog. The site merely mentioned what I'd noticed on tv. Then he published a comment by a user who went by a first name, eg. Joe, Sally, etc.--could be anybody. The mystery commenter said I had a 'conspiracy website' (I hadn't heard of such a thing before), that was 'silly' and it threatened the legitimacy of his site to note anything I said whatsoever. The proprietor of the site replied that I was quite accurate on the issue I'd monitored and reported on, but then just hoped my anonymous defamer would continue to visit his site. Which let stand the overall condemnation of my site as a whole in perpetuity and condoned his/her continued defamations. I might add the person gave no examples of anything I'd said that was incorrect. There are other examples, but that was one of the better ones. (sm).

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Request for Grimsley names rejected--AP

PHOENIX -- "A federal magistrate Friday rejected a request by The Associated Press to reveal the names of players allegedly implicated in drug use by former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley. "Disclosure at this time may compromise the ongoing investigation in several ways," U.S. Magistrate Edward C. Voss wrote."

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On news of Cliff Lee being sent down, revisit the wisdom of Sheldon Ocker

Guardians of Baseball, the "conscience" and keeper of "morals" of baseball-- The NY Times included "keeper" Sheldon Ocker's comments on Cliff Lee and Mariano Rivera re: the Cy Young awards in 2005 and I posted them at that time. Ocker says he didn't vote for Mariano Rivera because he's been too successful. (Note: THE NY TIMES DOES NOT ALLOW ITS EMPLOYEES TO VOTE ON BASEBALL AWARDS): "In the NY Times today (11/9/05), (Tyler) Kepner reports there were 6 "writers" that didn't even mention Rivera on their ballot,
  • including Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal
and Corey Brock of The Tacoma News Tribune.
  • Ocker voted as follows: 1. Colon, 2. CLIFF LEE, 3. Buehrle.
  • Ocker is quoted saying that
Rivera's success probably hurt him:
  • "he's had so many good seasons, that, well, it's just another good season for Rivera.""
From my post, 11/9/05
  • If someone shows a lack of character or a lack of morals, I stop associating with them. But Ocker, amongst others, continues to be treated like a normal person and with deference throughout the baseball media. (sm)

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TV Decision: Give Mets fans something other than baseball--NY Daily News, Raissman

"The decision makers believe the audience is tuning in for something other than the game. Many baseball telecasts have become a blending of a gratuitous use of technology, commercial promotion and a desire to make the announcers bigger than the game.

  • This was on display Wednesday night during SportsNet New York's Pirates-Mets telecast. Throughout the season, SNY has escalated its use of a camera in the broadcast booth. The SNY crew must believe viewers cannot live without actually seeing the mugs of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling (he had Wednesday off)."

(Has ESPN and Fox mentality taken over SNY?) sm

  • "This happened Wednesday night. Cohen and Hernandez were into a very Pavlovian kind of thing. When the camera was on them their reaction was to talk about themselves. They sounded like two frustrated comedians trying to out-shtick each other.

Hernandez, on camera of course, basically said this in the third inning. "We'll get back to the ballgame, but it's 6-0," he said. Hernandez was more concerned about presenting his views on the 1980 movie "Caddyshack." Hernandez, displaying his cinematic knowledge while simultaneously putting viewers to sleep, even got into a riff about his favorite lines from the movie.

  • This is what happens when voices start believing people have tuned in to see them. Cohen and Hernandez should keep their eyes - and thoughts - on the field."

Items from NY DailyNews column by Bob Raissman, "Mets Voices Off Base & On Babble," 7/27/07

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Rudeness and the death of Western Civilization---Peggy Noonan

""Hi! Let me help you find what you're looking for!" She is a saleswoman, cracking gum with intensity, about 25 years old, and she has made a beeline to her mark. That would be me.

"Mmmm, actually--"

"We have summer sweaters on sale. What size are you?!" Her style is aggressive friendliness.

In another shop, as soon as I walk in the door, "How are you today? How can I help you?" Those dread words.

"Oh, I'm sort of just looking."

"I like your bag!"

"Um, thanks." What they are forcing you to do is engage. If you engage--"Um, thanks"--you have a relationship. If you have a relationship, it's easier for them to turn you upside down and shake the coins from your pockets.

It is like this in all the shops I go in now, except for the big stores (Macy's, Duane Reade drugstore), where they ignore you.

  • There are strategies. You can do the full Garbo: "Leave me alone." But they'll think you're a shoplifter and watch you. Or the strong lady with boundaries: "Thank you, if I need help I'll ask." But your reverie is broken. Or the acquiescent person: "Take me under your leadership, oh aggressively friendly salesperson." But this is bowing to the pushiness of the Gilded Age.
Cellphones are wonderful, but they empower the obnoxious and amplify the ignorant. Once they kept their thoughts to themselves. They had no choice. Now they have cellphones, into which they bark, "I'm on line at Duane Reade. Yeah. Ex-Lax." Oh, thank you for sharing. How much less my life would be if I didn't know.

It is possible that we are on the cellphone because we are lonely and hunger for connection, even of the shallowest kind; that we BlackBerry because we hope for a sense of control in a chaotic world; that we are frightened of stillness and must interrupt conversations; that we are desperate to make the sale in the highly competitive environment of the Banana Republic on 86th Street and must aggressively pursue customers.

  • It's also possible we have grown more boorish. I think it's that one. Many things thrive in the age of everything, including bad manners."

Peggy Noonan, Opinion Journal, 7/27/07, "Rich Man, Boor Man." (Wall St. Journal Opinion Journal)

P.S. This is one of the main reasons I go to fewer events like baseball games. Someone has decided to allow the culture to go in a certain direction. I'll take the other road, thanks very much. (sm)

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Chris Russell finally back on XM MLB Channel 175

Just checked and he's on the air right now. Thank God for a few minutes of peace. Fascinating theory of mediocrity someone dreamed up at the channel---"Content over personality." I actually heard it said on 175--that's their philosophy. I worked in radio for many years, never heard that one, but it certainly provides the reason I'm unable to listen to most of the "hosts" they have except Jeff Erickson and Grant Paulsen. Chris Russell provides a bit of life--"personality", but gosh, the guy crams more "content" in than all the others there (except Jeff and Grant). As far as his fandom, I believe I heard him say he was a Mets fan a few years ago on Sporting News Radio. If it makes anyone happy, I heard him say a few weeks ago that he doesn't think Phil Rizzuto beongs in the Hall of Fame. Anyhow, he's the best they've got right now.
  • P.S. I read Hugh Panero's stock options were worth more than $20 million. It's amazing how these guys make their name propping up the downtrodden but in short order are fabulously wealthy. Of course if he's going to hand all the money back in person to downtrodden XM listeners, that's a different story. So far, I haven't read that's happening.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

A-rod gets his collectibles for free--Neil Best, Newsday

In his Watchdog blog, Best notes Keith Hernandez' comments on the Mets-Pittsburgh game on SNY Wednesday Night:
  • "It turns out Alex Rodriguez - currently having a fairly good season in the Bronx - asked for and received one of Hernandez' game-used baseball gloves. Apparently A-Rod collects mitts from Gold Glove winners or something.

Hernandez said during the telecast that he gave Rodriguez the last glove he used - with the Indians in 1990. He didn't charge A-Rod for it.

  • Off the air, Hernandez said all this happened only a month or so ago. He said A-Rod had been asking him for years for a glove, sometimes when he has seen Hernandez during inter-league games."
(It takes a certain mentality to ask a legendary player to part with something this substantial. Personally, I can't imagine doing so, but if this is the same mentality it takes to win baseball games, then it's slightly understandable). sm

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JJ Putz Credits Mike Hargrove with Team Chemistry that Built Results

"Asked the secrets to Seattle's surprising A.L.-best record since mid-May, he (Putz) pointed to an improved rotation, an offense that's producing in key situations
  • and a happier clubhouse.
Of course, improved clubhouse chemistry has been a byproduct of winning, but
  • Putz says the vibe has been different from Day 1."Mike Hargrove deserves credit for that," Putz says. "During spring training, he made a point of making sure guys who didn't talk to each other much got together. From then on, you could really see a change."
  • The Mariners haven't missed a beat since John McLaren replaced Hargrove, who resigned abruptly July 1. If anything, the club is even better. Two scouts who have seen the Mariners in July insist they'll stay in the postseason race. "Their lineup can hit, from top to bottom," says one. "And with that closer, they have one of the best bullpens in the league.""

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Aaron Cook, Col. Rockies--74 pitches, complete game W

Pretty good, 16 ground-outs. Complete game Win, only 74 pitches. It must be Mel Stottlemyre who somehow made him this bad.

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Patrick Teale, PinstripesPlus.com on WFAN with Mike Francesa

Patrick Teale was just on WFAN for a few minutes with Mike Francesa, who mentioned Teale's website PinstripesPlus.com several times. I've never heard Francesa promote a website at all before, so that alone surprised me (he's claimed up until now to not be a computer guy). Patrick is quite involved and knowledgeable about minor league players, especially those of the Yankees, spends a lot of time seeing them in person, goes to the Dominican twice a year, is given access to players by the Yankee organization. Mike asked if income from his website enables him to earn enough to keep traveling around and he said yes.
  • On Joba Chamberlain, Teale said he's had a big league fastball/slider for quite awhile, and is better than Edwar Ramirez (his opinion). Francesa mentions he doesn't walk many so is hoping he can be the illusive 8th inning guy.
I checked out the website and of course it's big, bustling, and prosperous-looking. Francesa sounded very enthusiastic about Teale, his website and what he does. I missed the intro to his interview so I don't know how he found out about it.
  • Mike Francesa and Chris Russo's show on WFAN is simulcast on the YES Network, and from 3-6P on 1010AM the Beast in Tampa, and WROW in Albany (not sure of the exact times there). The interview is currently listed for download at WFAN.com.

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Bob Lorenz' heart belongs to Papelbon

Tonight Bob almost choked invoking Papelbon's name when YES did its usual grand cut-in about the Red Sox game. He's transported doing his voice over of YES' homage. Poor Bob may not know 2 other AL closers outperformed his guy today (Tues., 7/24/07):
  • Eric Gagne had two saves today.
  • Bobby Jenks had two saves today.
Great job by Gagne and Jenks! P.S. I must be biased AGAINST east coast teams.
  • I didn't create a post announcing Gagne's giving up a 3 run homer Monday night but I'm posting the POSITIVE news he had today.
The AP must have the same bias--they reported the good news today, but not the bad news yesterday(that I could find). Since they've seen fit to do that, I'll mention what they left out when noting the first 2-save day in Gagne and Jenks' career:
  • Mariano Rivera has recorded 2 saves in 1 day 5 times. The most recent was May 3 of this year v the Rangers. (per Elias, half way through the AP article).

Labels:

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NBA continues God-like status, secrecy for refs--NY Times

Why Stern's apparent fog that this crime has surfaced? No one was judging the judges in a verifiable way:

  • "What’s not to fathom, though? Stern’s league has been rendered vulnerable by its longtime system of ref protectionism and false empowerment.

This goes beyond the unconditional defenses Stern has offered on behalf of referees who muss Pat Riley’s hair gel or rattle Phil Jackson’s Zen with a dubious call.

  • This is about ethical compromises the league has made over the years that have cultivated the God complexes of referees and provided a petri dish perfect to develop a rogue official.

Donaghy isn’t known to be among the nearly 20 N.B.A. referees in the late ’90s who caught the attention of I.R.S. investigators by exchanging first-class tickets for coach and pocketing a tax-free difference.

  • He was a witness to Stern’s response, though. In a sign of how deficient the N.B.A. officiating pool is, the league reinstated about a half-dozen of the tax cheats.

Why wouldn’t referees feel above the law if the league offered them loopholes in integrity?

  • Stern has never conceded a human element in officiating. To him, the referees are always above reproach and suspicion....

The league’s officiating monitors are numbers freaks — how many calls are made, rate of technical fouls, etc. — but they do not measure each referee’s conscience."

  • (The last 2 statements could also be said about the self-deified, Selig protected voters of the Baseball Writers Assn. of America. Especially its secret selection of voters for multi-million dollar league awards, no accountability, all done in secret). sm
  • "But here, in his worst hour as commissioner yesterday, with his face pale from stress, Stern was still extolling the virtues of his officials with few qualifiers...."
  • (Exactly as Selig and all so-called officers of the BBWAA would do about the integrity of its multi million dollar judgments). sm

“Sometimes they perhaps carry themselves in a way that is not as modest as we would prefer, but they do their darnedest to get the result right,” Stern said. “And frankly, I’m more concerned, rather than chastising them, with reassuring them that I am committed to protecting them while at the same time making sure that we keep our covenant with our fans.”

  • (YOU HAVE A LOST CAUSE HERE WITH THE COMMISSIONER). sm

"The promise of purity was clouded long ago, when the league put referees above the law, when Stern continued to deify them without regard to their human faults, when Donaghy was cutting his teeth.

  • Protectionism isn’t what referees need. Protectionism is how the league got into this fix)."
From NY Times article by Selena Roberts, "NBA Put Referees Above the Law." 7/25/07. Times Select

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No discussion about Teixeira, and there shouldn't be

"(Joba) Chamberlain’s potential move to the bullpen was not the focus of Tuesday’s organizational meeting in Tampa, Fla. But all of the top Yankees’ executives were there, including George Steinbrenner, the principal owner, and his sons, Hank and Hal; Randy Levine, the team president; Lonn Trost, the chief operating officer; Cashman; Mark Newman, the senior vice president for player development; Damon Oppenheimer, the vice president for amateur scouting; the special adviser Gene Michael; and the senior vice president Felix Lopez.

  • The group met for several hours to discuss alternatives before the trading deadline, with no deals imminent and with the acquisition of Teixeira looking doubtful, despite reports that the Rangers were actively shopping him.

After giving away such talent as Chris Young, Adrian Gonzalez and Francisco Cordero in failed trades in recent years, the Rangers are under more pressure than ever to make a good deal. They may also decide to keep Teixeira, who is signed through 2008."

If everyone wants and needs pitching, why give your 2 best prospects away?

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Groundball Bias--AL Closers

GO/AO ratio ranking top AL closers:
  • M. Rivera 1.83
  • A. Otsuka 1.67
  • B Jenks 1.50
  • J. Putz 1.46
  • O. Dotel 1.38
  • T. Jones 1.23
  • C. Janssen 1.18
  • F. Rodriguez 1.16
  • J. Accardo 1.13
In the NL, the ranking 'saves' leaders don't become groundball pitchers (over 1.00 GO/AO ratio) til the 9th ranked in SVs (J. Isringhausen)
  • Stats as of 9PM, Tues. 7/24/07, MLB.com. Your groundballs have less chance of going over the wall.

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George Brett's hitting tip--Joe Girardi asks

"Try to hit the ball hard, not far."----Joe Girardi at the Yankee-Kansas City game, asks George Brett, "If you had 1 piece of advice for your young hitters, what would it be?"

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Tell-Tale Tap on the waist by Donaghy?---NY Times

"The Bulls-Warriors game of Feb. 9, played at Golden State and broadcast on ESPN, was tied, 112-112, with 23 seconds remaining. While a Bulls guard dribbled between midcourt and the 3-point shot line — clearly working the clock down for an attempt at a final shot — Warriors center Andris Biedrens stood in the lane without guarding anyone for about seven seconds, which is grounds for a defensive three-seconds violation.

  • Donaghy, stationed behind Biedrens on the baseline, clearly stepped forward and tapped Biedrens on the waist with 16 seconds left. Biedrens, by then at the edge of the lane, then immediately moved clear of the paint, and play continued.

The penalty for defensive three seconds is the assessment of a technical foul and retention of the ball. Golden State could have faced a 3- or 4-point deficit before getting the ball back.

  • Instead, the Bulls had a shot blocked with six seconds left, and Golden State missed a half-court heave to leave the score tied as regulation time ran out. The Warriors won in overtime, 123-121. According to several gambling Web sites, the odds opened with the Warriors favored by a point and a half."

From NY Times article by Alan Schwarz, "In Analyzing Donaghy, Tap onthe Waist Could be Filled with Meaning," 7/24/07

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From Joy of Sox on 2005 AL Cy Young

Following from Joy of Sox 11/8/05
BBWAA votes in
2005 AL Cy Young:

     1st 2nd 3rd  Pts  ERA+

Colon   17  11      118  120
Rivera   8   7   7   68  323
Santana  3   8  12   51  153
Lee          2   2    8  108
Buehrle          5    5  143
Garland          1    1  127
Millwood         1    1  143

(Rivera's ERA+ is not a typo;
he posted a 1.38 ERA and the AL average
was 4.45.)

However, it isn't just the BBWAA who are morons.
Colon was also named the top pitcher in all of MLB
by The Sporting News and was chosen as the AL's
outstanding pitcher in the Players Choice Awards.
*: ERA+ is the ratio of the league's ERA (adjusted to the pitcher's ballpark) to that of the pitcher (lgERA / ERA). 100 is league average. 8 comments"

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Only 4 Top Closers have No WP's and No IBB's

AL, No WP's and No IBB's:
  • J. Papelbon
  • M. Rivera
NL, No WP's and No IBB's:
  • B. Fuentes
  • T. Saito
As of 4:30PM, 7/24/07, MLB.com

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Evidence of East Coast Bias in Baseball

I looked around last night after the games and in this morning's news to see if the dramatic 3 run home run off Eric Gagne in Texas would make headlines. I've seen no headlines, nor a reference in a story line about the game v Seattle. The sources I checked were MLB.com, ESPN/MLB.com, and The Sporting News. Gagne's picture wasn't on MLB.com's front page. The baseball media has failed to 'cover' this big event, even though many on the east coast were still "awake" when the game ended, and other later stories were reported. Bias is clear--a big story wasn't reported. Where is the outrage over this lack of 'coverage?'
  • On another pitching propaganda subject, I looked into the "blown save" stat and found it's not an official MLB stat. The "loss" stat IS an MLB stat. In all the continuing publicity about Gagne's Cy Young award, the main items mentioned are:
  • the 'total save' stat, and
  • the no 'blown save' stat
And typically NOT mentioned are
  • 'Losses' incurred during that stretch.
Someone decided to frame the pitcher's performance in this manner, which neglects the quality of the 'saves' and the fact that 'losses' were incurred.
  • There's a rush every year to steer the Cy Young voting in a certain way, and this year is no different. Some articles promote Putz, heralding his "total save stat." Not that Putz isn't a worthy candidate, but the publicity wants you to look only at the 'total save stat,' never at the many other details that go into late inning relief or closer performance. Promoters are aware of the distinctions involved--it's not a mystery. Knowing the weakness of the 'total save' stat, they continue to sell it to awards voters and to the public very successfully because it works.
Blown-Save stat not official, Baseball-Reference

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ESPN's Mike & Mike take nosedive in New York Metro ratings--NY Times

"With Don Imus fired after the first week of the spring ratings period that ended June 27, WFAN Radio showed a slight increase in local listeners among men 25 to 54 from 6 to 10 a.m., with a 3.0 Arbitron share, up from a 2.9 in the winter.
  • The showing put WFAN back ahead of ESPN 1050’s “Mike and Mike,” which fell to a 2.1 share from a 3.4."
From NY Times article by Richard Sandomir, "TV's Faith in NBA Unshaken by Inquiry," 7/24/07; this is last item in column. Arbitron has 4 major ratings periods per year.
  • P.S. This doesn't mean Mike and Mike won't do better in the future. It just recalls to me the recent NY Times article presenting them in a prematurely favorable light. It's a reminder to those who think they have all the answers--especially culturally, and especially about anything in New York--that they don't. (sm)
Congratulations to the rag-tag group who filled in mornings on WFAN and still came out on top!

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Bonds' Former Companion to Pose for Playboy--NY Times

"Barry Bonds’s former longtime girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, will appear nude in the November issue of Playboy, a spokeswoman for the magazine said yesterday in a telephone interview. The issue is expected to reach newsstands Oct. 1, right as baseball’s postseason is beginning.
  • Bell’s agent, David Hans Schmidt, said that in addition to the photographs would be an article detailing her “personal and sexual relationship” with Bonds.

Bonds is under investigation for charges he perjured himself in 2003 when he said he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. The federal government is also looking into tax evasion charges.

  • Bell, who said she dated Bonds from 1994 to 2003, is one of at least two key witnesses to testify in front of an earlier grand jury about Bonds."

From NY Times article by Michael S. Schmidt, "Bonds' Former Companion Will Pose for Playboy," 7/24/07. Req. cookies.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Reggie Jackson did not comment on "Bronx is Burning"--heard on WFAN

On Joe Benigno's WFAN show today the topic of Reggie Jackson and a supposed reaction to Bronx is Burning was raised. Someone in his studio made the following point:
  • Among statements made by the Reggie Jackson character, one has been refuted by Jackson, but not recently and not in response to the mini-series. Some media reports may not have reflected that. It's been recently clarified that Jackson's reaction to a long-ago reported comment was made in a Sports Century show a few years ago. He made no statement about any material in the current series The Bronx is Burning.
  • After hearing this, I looked into it and found this report on Fanhouse which may have unintentionally left that impression:
"The actual contents of that interview are disputed to this day ...
  • in fact, they were disputed on ESPN immediately after the conclusion of the show. Reggie Jackson maintains that he never said he was "the straw the stirs the drink," while the writer claims that he did ...
which makes you wonder exactly how much truth we're going to get out of this 8-week miniseries."
  • So what was attributed to Jackson after the show wasn't in fact said in response to the show, but in an unrelated Sports Century piece a few years ago. The fanhouse writer does a nice job explaining the whole show, but if this were the only characterization you saw of Jackson's reaction to his historical comments, one might assume he responded to the Bronx is Burning, which the WFAN studio staff person said he didn't. This may all have been cleared up elsewhere, but I'm just noting it for the record.
Item from AOL Fanhouse, 7/10/07, "The Debriefing: The Bronx Will Burn Just as Soon as ESPN Finds Time."

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Top K/BB closers in MLB, 7/22/07

Following is top in each league in K/BB ratio:
  • Mariano Rivera, #1 in AL, 8.20 K/BB--40.2 IP
  • Takashi Saito, #1 in NL, 9.40 K/BB--39.2 IP
Stat from MLB.com, 5:30PM, 7/22/07

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View of Yankee radio & tv booths at Friday night's game

I was in the 7th row, 2 seats to the left of the net on the 3rd base side.

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Bob Lorenz on YES is pumped about his Red Sox

YES Network cuts to video of Manny's homerun in the Red Sox game going on now. YES loves to show Manny with his long braids swaying in the breeze. Noting Ortiz isn't playing today, YES' Bob Lorenz approvingly says his Manny is "taking care of business" there today. (NESN and ESPN would agree).

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Baseball Thought Police push new one for "single stat compilers"

To further disguise a better relief pitcher from recognition, they're now selling the 'HOLD' stat:
  • "It appears as if MLB adopted the "hold" stat just to prevent the "save" stat from remaining the stupidest stat in sports. Baseball box scores now provide the funniest stuff regularly printed in newspapers.

In one day, Monday, last week:

  • Giants reliever Kevin Correia was credited with his seventh hold. He pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing two hits and two earned runs. Way to hold 'em, Kevin! Correia also got credit for the loss. Yep, in his two-thirds of an inning he got an H and an L. Seriously.

White Sox pitcher Dewon Day threw one pitch. He got a hold.

  • Rockies' pitcher Tom Martin also got a hold for getting one out, but he faced three batters; one got a hit and one walked.

In that game, Martin's teammate, LaTroy Hawkins, got a hold and a win.

  • And Washington's Jon Rauch got his 18th hold, holding the Astros to only two hits and an earned run in his one inning pitched.

Better stupid stats than no stats at all!"

(Same thing with "total save" stat hyped by some teams for million dollar awards and publicity while hiding the cheapest performances). sm

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Michael Savage gets credit in NY Times for supporting troops

  • It would be better if no Americans went into the current military meat grinder, but radio's Michael Savage has done something about their mistreatment by the US government--raised measurable money for their defense. At the end of the NY Times article, they acknowledge his efforts for Colonel Chessani:

"One difference, it seems, is Michael Savage, a popular conservative talk-radio host who has discussed Colonel Chessani’s case on his syndicated program.

  • Mr. Rooney’s law center received $50,000 in contributions in just three days this month, after Mr. Rooney’s latest interview with Mr. Savage.

“He’s all over this case,” Mr. Rooney said of Mr. Savage. “He really is a big supporter of us and the Marines.”"

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Jose Molina for Jeff Kennard--announced on Yankee radio

Jeff Kennard a Yankee minor league righty pitcher at Trenton, Jose Molina, Angels catcher playing behind Mathis and Napoli. Napoli has just come back to the lineup today for the Angels leaving Jose Molina of the catching Molinas in search of more playing time.

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Giambi takes first swings--AP

"New York DH Jason Giambi took batting practice for the first time since hurting his left foot, hopes to rejoin the Yankees by early next month. He took 20 swings in a batting cage at the team's spring training complex in Tampa, Fla., and could start hitting on the field in the next few days."

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Prices spike on Vitamin C--China controls 80% of market. (Shelley Duncan hits homerun).

(I noticed this just before Dave Duncan's son Shelley hit his first major league homerun at Yankee Stadium).
  • Baseball players need supplements (as do ordinary people)--I didn't realize China controls 80% of the Vitamin C market, that they're decreasing production, raising prices, and providing a product that could be poisonous anyway.
"A sharp rise in the international price of vitamin C is focusing fresh attention on the risks of the world's growing dependence on China for essential food supplies and additives.
  • China, which exports more than 80 percent of the world's ascorbic acid — also known as vitamin C and a key food preservative — appears to have cut production over the past several months, pushing prices up by more than 200 percent to a four-year high.
Customers have scrambled for supplies of the additive, found in thousands of processed foods from fruit drinks to organic hamburger rolls, from applesauce to granola.
  • The production cutback follows a Chinese government drive to enforce pollution limits on chemical and pharmaceutical companies, sources in the vitamin industry say. The four biggest Chinese vitamin C producers are also facing a price-fixing suit in a New York court. Since January, prices have risen from $3.40 a kilo to $11 a kilo, according to industry sources." (Nice).
From The Christian Science Monitor article, "China's Grip on Vitamin C, Prices, Spike for Key Food Additive," 7/20/07. Via Lucianne.com.
  • No one should go to China, and certainly not our baseball players.

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Mike and Mad Dog added to Tampa radio 3-6P

Mike Francesa announced this week that their WFAN show (also on YES) has been added to Tampa radio station 1010 AM ('The Beast'). On 1010 WQYK's website, it says the show will be M-F 3P-6P, keeping a ladies' talk show on from 12N-3P. The station is CBS owned and a sometime affiliate of Sporting News Radio. I check it out when I visit Tampa as it sometimes carries Yankees games. Caveats are a very weak signal, NASCAR events pre-empt Yankees (in my experience), they don't carry the Yankee game at all if the games are in Tampa (the Tampa Bay feed is available on another station), 1010 often doesn't broadcast the Yankee game if it's a day-game, and sometimes it fails to broadcast the game for no apparent reason. I have also heard a fishing show pre-empt Yankee games on 1010. Nevertheless, Mike and Chris talk about baseball more than other national sports radio shows which can only be positive for the Tampa area. Baseball almost doesn't exist in the mind of the average person there though the local guys have started talking about the Devil Rays more this year.
  • P.S. Many incorrectly assume Mike and Chris are Yankee fans and their show gives "unfair" coverage to the Yankees. Mike is a Yankee fan but Chris Russo is a Giants fan. Their station, WFAN, actually carries the Mets and most hosts on WFAN are Mets fans. Additionally, Mike and Chris are not employees of the YES Network or Yankees.***
***UPDATE: NOW IT SEEMS MIKE AND CHRIS ARE PAID IN PART BY THE YES NETWORK, ACCORDING TO A NY TIMES ARTICLE, 10/23/07. FRANCESA HAD STATED IN THE PAST THAT THEY DON'T WORK FOR YES, BUT SINCE THEN THEY MUST'VE SIGNED UP. THEY HAVE 1 YEAR LEFT ON A 3-YEAR DEAL. (sm) 10/23/07

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Globe & Mail, "It's Not the Blogs I Hate, It's Thier Fans"

"Have you ever proved your point by

  • arguing that people with differing views - the non-it-getters - suffer from mental illness?
  • Is every post you write followed by dozens or hundreds of comments from fellow it-getters wishing to burnish their credentials?"
(The author doesn't single out baseball or sports, but refers to all topics).
  • "Put it like this: If a reasonable third party were to read your blog, would they come away feeling better about being human, or worse? You might disagree with me here, but as a rule of thumb, blogs that make me despair for the species are not good blogs.
  • All right, you say, so some blogs are unlikable. Why not just ignore the irritating ones and move on?

Because - and this is where our PR problem kicks in - it's the irritating parts of the blogosphere that insist on being the standard-bearers for the movement. The people who advocate loudest for blogging are the ones who will turn the most readers off."

From Globe and Mail by Ivan Tossell, 7/20/07, "It's Not the Blogs I Hate, It's Their Fans."

  • Via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

West Coast only wants "better" East Coast "coverage" if it's Positive

It turns out it's not "coverage" they want. Coverage can be good or bad. The MLB.com article says west coast players don't get enough coverage, with the main subject being JJ Putz:
  • "Putz had flown under the baseball radar for some time, partly because most of America is asleep by the time he even enters the game on the West Coast." (from the article).
The article discusses Putz' appearance at the All Star game. He wouldn't have been in the All Star game if no one knew about him. He's at the big time, the bright lights Patrick Brown says they don't usually have, so let's have the coverage! But Brown doesn't deliver. He says everyone was impressed with Putz at the All Star game but fails to mention Putz' actual performance in the game which was not good.

When the Detroit coaching staff returned from the Midsummer Classic in San Francisco, bullpen coach Jeff Jones told his pitchers that Putz had the best split-finger he had ever seen, according to Tigers closer Todd Jones....

  • Jones, Detroit's all-time saves leader, was impressed with what he saw out of the Mariners closer, especially considering a hitter's ninth-inning mentality.

"It takes so much for him to give up a run because he's got such great stuff, and any hitter can walk up there and look for a fastball and hit it out," Jones said. "He's been able to prevent that. It just goes to show you what kind of tremendous stuff he's got, and what kind of competitor he is." (from the article).

  • "Hit it out" is just what happened to Putz at the All Star Game. Why use this as your point here, adding Todd Jones saying Putz has been able to "prevent that." Yes, in terms of his regular season performance, but not at the All Star game. I'm not saying Putz isn't a great pitcher or that he might not go on to have a successful 10-15 year career. But the writer says "coverage" is lacking, gets the big stage handed to his subject, then specifically fails to "cover" or report Putz' performance at the event.
  • The internet, MLB.com, ESPN, etc. make all the news available instantly.
  • Many use MLB Extra Innings to watch out of market games, as well as MLB TV.
  • Millions involved in Fantasy Baseball know who JJ Putz is and may have learned about him without ever watching him play.

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Damon 0-17 last 5 games--NY Times

"Johnny Damon and Kevin Long were roommates at Class AA Wichita in 1995. Damon hit .343 and was called up to the Kansas City Royals that summer. He has been in the majors ever since.
  • In that time, Damon said, he has probably endured many hitless streaks. But his average has rarely looked as feeble as it does now, .233, after the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in a mundane matinee at Yankee Stadium yesterday. Damon is 0 for 17 in his last five games....
Damon has not lost his strike zone judgment, and he is still a threat to run. The back, calf and rib cage injuries that bothered him in the first half are gone, he said. Damon is simply slumping, and he says he is not sure why....
  • Although Damon spoke hopefully last weekend of someday playing for Tampa Bay (nearer his home), he still seems comfortable with the Yankees and has mostly maintained his sunny outlook. The team is winning despite his struggles, and, he said, “There are much worse things in life than hitting .235.”"
Items from NY Times article by Tyler Kepner, "Yanks Waiting for Damon to Also Have a Turnaround," 7/20/07

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Don Newcombe returns to Brooklyn on Sunday--George Vecsey, NY Times

"Eighty-one years old and still working for the Dodgers, Newk (Don Newcombe) is worth knowing for fans who never set foot in the funky little bandbox in Flatbush. He was the burly ace who started both games of a doubleheader in 1950 (16 innings total, won the first, no decision in the nightcap), and slugged seven homers in 1955, known to Dodger fans as “next year.”...

This Sunday Newk comes back to Brooklyn, where the Class A Cyclones have been selling out regularly since 2001 in the handsome little stadium built by New York City and the Wilpons.

KeySpan Park is a spiritual retreat where fans of a certain age daydream of Oisk and Campy playing in Brooklyn and Whitey and Monte playing in Harlem — the good old days, when many Dodgers lived in Bay Ridge during the season, but Newcombe took the bridge or the tunnel over from Jersey, depending on the traffic.....

  • In their first seven years, the Cyclones have brought in nearly every living Dodger, including the recent pairing of Danny McDevitt and Joe Pignatano re-enacting the last pitch thrown at Ebbets Field in 1957. Joan Hodges, a Brooklyn girl who married the beloved Gil, is a regular at the ballpark. Newk has not yet been back.....

As he has noted many times, Newcombe often rode home with a different companion — a six-pack. After the Dodgers moved west in 1958, he wound up playing first base in Japan in the early 1960s. A decade later he swore to his family that he would never take another drink and, without going through any alcoholism program, he became sober and productive, leading many players into treatment for addictions."

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

YES Network fascinated by Manny and "Youk"

On the YES Network's supposedly Yankee post game show, they show footage of tonight's Red Sox game, focusing on a few plays by Manny. YES showcased him making some play off the wall they want us to be impressed about. Bob Lorenz is fascinated, saying what's Manny doing now out there, I think I'm going to call him "Moon Beam" from now on. Lorenz finds him endearing. Then Bob tells about some play by "Youk." The Yankees need their own station. It's clearly not the YES Network. Lorenz--thanks a bunch. You belong on NESN.
  • On full display for all to see, the Yankee fan still has no media outlet, facing negativity about the team and its most important elements everywhere either overtly or cutely. There are no checks and balances. It would take character, conscience and management who cared to make a good Yankee network with people who weren't fans of the team. Over several years now, I see absolutely no evidence of these things. The vacuum has been filled, as all vacuums will be.

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Player of the Game (Again): MARIANO RIVERA--4th SAVE in 5 days

4TH SAVE IN 5 DAYS. TODAY FOR 5 OUTS, ENTERS IN 8TH INNING
  • WITH 2 MEN ON BASE AND 1 OUT.
BUT HE'S JUST ON A TEAM OF RICH GUYS GETTING IT DONE.
  • "Player of the Game" announced by John Sterling on Yankee radio.
"RIVERA PLACES CALL TO TORRE & THEN GOES LONG DISTANCE"--NY Daily News
  • "Joe Torre called on Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning last night, but only after the closer had picked up the bullpen phone and told Torre he was available for more than an inning of work.

"I certainly don't want to do that with Mo on a regular basis, but he volunteered," Torre said. "We can't keep having the same people do the job all the time."

  • Rivera, the Yankees' sixth pitcher of the night, was summoned from bullpen to preserve a 4-1 lead with two on and one out in the eighth. He eliminated the threat, getting Reed Johnson to ground into a fielder's choice and striking out Alex Rios. In the ninth, Rivera retired the heart of the Blue Jays' lineup in order to finish off the Yankees' 6-1 victory at the Stadium.

Last night was the seventh time he has pitched more than one inning this season, and the first time since July 7."

From NY Daily News article, "Rivera Places Call to Torre & Then Goes Long Distance," by Matt Gagne, 7/19/07

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Jeff Blair, Toronto Globe and Mail on XM on the Blue Jays

I thought the Blue Jays were a very good team in spite of some bad injuries, but Jeff on XM today sounded extremely sad about them. He gave examples though said he's currently "not with the team." First was John Gibbons not backing up Troy Glaus being thrown out at 2nd recently at Fenway Park. Blair said the replay showed he was clearly safe and that Glaus looked to the dugout for help after the umpire called him out. Blair said no one in the dugout moved a muscle. He said Glaus is going the extra mile to begin with as is playing hurt. I didn't see the play but it sounds disappointing especially if you're Glaus. Blair said a bunch on the team are mailing it in though some are just happy to be there. He says the team absolutely must get rid of AJ Burnett whom he describes as immature at best. His only flash of maturity was when Halladay was recuperating, and that dried up when Halladay returned. Blair thinks Burnett may exaggerate his injuries in his own mind and doesn't have the tough character to be a winner. Jeff was a guest today on XM's Baseball Beat program.

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NFL requires all photographers to wear ad logos. The MLB Channel waits in the wings...

(July 18, 2007) - "The National Football League has passed a new rule for the upcoming season that requires photographers at NFL games to wear

  • red vests with Canon and Reebok logos on them,
  • and the news is not being very well received by some editors and photography directors..."

"David Shribman, executive editor of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in the NFL Steelers' hometown, responded to the news today by saying: "We're not going to become walking billboards. I hope that NPPA will challenge this and they have our support."

"In Seattle and at Super Bowl XL in Detroit, we wore bibs that blended into the background," NPPA president Tony Overman said today. "Making the vests red seems to go against previous practice, now making the vests highly visible (and therefore distracting) to everyone from players, officials, and ticket holders to television viewers.

"I think it's extremely unfortunate that the NFL,

  • after limiting the number of local video photojournalists on the sidelines (last season), is now attempting to turn them into roving billboards," attorney and former photojournalist Mickey H. Osterreicher said today in Buffalo, NY, where for many years he covered the NFL's Buffalo Bills before becoming a lawyer who specializes in First Amendment and press freedom issues. "I would strongly suggest that any news organization whose photographers are required to wear such vests protest the requirement in the strongest of terms." Osterreicher is also NPPA's general legal counsel."
Via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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Whoopie! I'm on TV! But, unlike you, I'm above any commerical influence, and NOT a fan of any 1 team: Baltimore Sun reporters on TV

Paris Hilton and ESPN have competition--The Baltimore Sun:

  • "Expanding its reach into other media platforms, The Sun has struck partnership agreements with WMAR and Maryland Public Television, and is discussing a similar deal with a TV sports programmer.
  • ...(which) should increase the visibility of Sun reporters and columnists.
The partnership with WMAR, Channel 2, Baltimore's ABC affiliate, follows an earlier, less comprehensive alliance between the two media outlets that began in February 2002 and lasted about two years.

Now, Franklin said, The Sun will have a "breaking news relationship" with WMAR and will share content with the station on nonexclusive stories.

"Periodically, I expect that our journalists will appear on WMAR," Franklin said. "Where it makes sense, we'll share information on what we're working on and we'll work collaboratively on stories."

WMAR was launched in 1947 by the A.S. Abell Co., which also founded and owned The Sun. Abell executives sold both properties to the Times Mirror Co. in 1986. Subsequently, each was acquired by other media companies - The Sun and Times Mirror by Tribune Co. and WMAR by E.W. Scripps Co.

  • More recently, The Sun had a working arrangement with NBC affiliate WBAL, Channel 11, and remains allied with WBAL's radio counterpart, at 1090 AM.

(WMAR News Director David Silverstein said), "At times, you'll see Baltimore Sun reporters on our air and on our Web site, and you'll see ABC-2 reporters contributing in some fashion to both baltimoresun.com and to The Sun."

(Sun official) Steve Sullivan said yesterday that the paper has also been talking with an area sports programmer about an on-air, online collaboration between the two entities.

"We're not quite ready to discuss details of the deal," Sullivan said. "We have meetings next week, at which point we hope to finalize that partnership.""

Via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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Players who are "single stat compilers" need not apply to Yankees

Tyler Kepner in the NY Times noticing the Yankees aren't keeping a toteboard countdown for Arod's upcoming homerun milestone, a response from Arod:
  • "“Being in the middle of a pennant race and being in the middle of team goals keeps you away from that,” Rodriguez said."
Kepner mentions this type of thing is common with other teams.
  • (It also gets lots of publicity for the "stat compilers" as the TV cameras promote it). sm
From Tyler Kepner's NY Times article, 7/18/07, "Vizcaino Says He'll Pitch Where Torre Wants Him."

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Player of the Game: Andy Pettitte

Today's Yankee radio Player of the Game announced by John Sterling. He didn't get the Win showing you how ridiculous that stat is. It's a handy political stat as voters are aware. Poor Bob Lorenz must have other responsibilities to dash off to, football's coming up, etc. On the YES Network he comes up with well, didn't you get the feeling Halladay wasn't quite as good as he has been and the Yankees were really figuring him out, etc. The guys in the booth politely deflected his goofy remark. Under no circumstances was Halladay crumbling--he had a picnic against the Yankees after a minor ruffle in the first inning. Lorenz' assessment is the kind you've heard in the past from fans of other teams. A Yankee fan watching this game had no hope whatsoever. Joe Torre said in the post game that if it had gone another inning, Mariano would probably have come out (for his 4th day in a row).

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K/BB Leaders of AL and NL Closers to date

Top K/BB ratio among league Closers as of 7/17/07:
  • AL: Mariano Rivera 7.60
  • NL: T. Saito 9.40
Stat from MLB.com

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David Weathers an underrated Late Inning Reliever/Closer--Fantasy Focus

Jeff Erickson today with Steve Moyer on Fantasy Focus both agree David Weathers has flown under the radar this year in the Late Inning/Game Finishing/Closer spot (he can do all these things).
  • Jeff adds he has "multi-inning saves," and he thinks "that's overlooked sometimes vs guys who just get 3 outs."
Weathers so far has 14 multi-inning appearances, entering 13 times with ROB. Several of his appearances are for 5, 6 and once for 9 outs. If you have a guy who'll never go more than 3 outs, YOU OFTEN NEED AN ENTIRE OTHER PERSON TO GET THE JOB DONE. SO PEOPLE LIKE WEATHERS ARE DOING A JOB THAT WOULD REQUIRE 2 PEOPLE ON ANOTHER TEAM. He has a 1.04 whip and has only given up 2 HR according to Baseball Reference.

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The NY Post knows what the YES Network Doesn't

His name is Mariano.

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YES Network merrily seeks ESPN's approval

Watch the montage of rapid fire clips at the end of the Yankee post game if you need proof the sly guys at the YES Network aren't thinking at all of the Yankee fan, but of copying their buddies at ESPN. Their MTV like BS closing is the kind of crap you get on ESPN who targets 20 year old males of any kind. I've noted this in detail countless times, have written to YES, and of course have been completely ignored.
  • THE LAST PERSON THE YES Network PROGRAMS FOR IS THE YANKEE FAN. THEY PROGRAM TO MEET THE AGENDA OF ESPN. CLOSE DOWN THE YES NETWORK. BOYCOTT ITS ADVERTISERS. MR. STEINBRENNER, PLEASE HELP.
(Unlike most who read baseball blogs, I have no desire to work for ESPN or MLB, so I'm free to monitor and report what I see or hear on the air).

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"Brooklyn Dodgers" on HBO--Jackie Robinson is King

I'm watching some of this great 2 hour documentary which includes a lot about Jackie Robinson. The pandering lot of so-called "journalists" who dare to mention race about the guy a moron hired to play for the Giants these days should hang their heads in shame. And, they should all be fired. The person, the athlete, the baseball player, and the man with black skin that Jackie Robinson was and is are worlds apart from the pipsqueak the "moral superiors" of the sports media whine about. How dare you keep coming up with phony "polls" you contrive about race which you then say are "news?" JACKIE ROBINSON IS KING.

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Seems Giambi will be able to go about his business--Murray Chass, NY Times

"Bonds’s statement and his potent home run production

  • did not trigger an explosion in the flaxseed market. Rather, widespread skepticism prevailed.

Giambi has told no such fairy tales. He testified truthfully before a federal grand jury in December 2003 and without using the word steroids apologized in February 2005 for using them....

When he issues his next statement in the matter, probably this week, the sense is that Selig will commend Giambi for his cooperation and take no action against him."

  • (I don't waste time on persons who trade on their race, such as Sheffield. So-called Journalists are beneath contempt for making it a so-called story--which it's not. Since Joe Torre wasn't more forceful about it, I felt badly, so I'm relating Chass's comment from Bob Gibson):

"“Why do you guys grab a hold of stuff like that and beat it to death?” he asked. “If I had known that about Joe 25 years ago, I would never have been his friend.”

By not reacting to Sheffield’s comments, Gibson said, Torre handled the situation perfectly. “There’s no reason to dignify it,” Gibson said. “I don’t think it needs to be dignified.”

Gibson said he didn’t know Sheffield, so he would have no way of knowing why he said what he did. He called Torre “one of my best friends in the world. Period.”

“That’s as far as I’ll go with that,” Gibson added. “I don’t think I need to expand on it.”"

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mr. Steinbrenner and Torre had lunch Friday--NY Times

"INSIDE PITCH

Before the game, Joe Torre briefly discussed the racial conversation prompted by Gary Sheffield of the Tigers, and recent communication with the Yankees’ principal owner, George Steinbrenner, who lives near here. Kenny Lofton of Texas — like Sheffield, a former Yankee — was quoted as having said that Sheffield “knows what he’s talking about” when Sheffield said Torre treated black players differently. “I don’t feel I need to respond to anything,” Torre said. “I feel comfortable with who I am.”

  • Torre said he had lunch with Steinbrenner on Friday and said Steinbrenner urged him to win more games."
From NY Times article by Joe LaPointe, 7/16/07, "Escaping With a Win Proves Yankees' Biggest Highlight."
  • P.S. Lofton? He did nothing but whine and complain and threaten from the day he walked into the Yankees. (sm)

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What I've been working on to take my mind off the YES Network

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On the YES Network, Mariano Rivera still does not exist

I just sat through the whole post game show of the 7-6 win over Tampa Bay to make sure the YES Network still thinks Mo doesn't exist, and it's true. Exhaustive audio by Bob Lorenz, video of the game, mostly on Mussina, a wild game that didn't look good for the Yankees but of course one they deperately needed. Mariano got the 1-run save (he also got the 2-run save last night, today being a day game after a night game--others don't handle that so well). I waited and waited til the bitter end for the video montage, no Mo. They included him in a group for 1 second at the end, which you'd only discern if you were looking closely. I could've lived with even a sentence. but nothing from them.
  • But on the radio side: Player of the Game: MARIANO RIVERA for his performance in a 1 run game they desperately needed and in which numerous others screwed up. (John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman have seen every pitch Rivera has thrown since 1995).
  • I'll bet the YES guys could not tell you the details of Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS, score 1-0, 2 IP for Mo --this was after a full regular season, being on the verge of elimination with this so-called big team of rich guys not getting it done. I bet the YES guys don't know he pitched in ALL 4 GAMES OF THE 2004 ALDS. And he's still doing it today, but they clearly want him to go away. Just like ESPN. Good in the post season, yadda yadda.
I note these things in service to this subject and this blog. I've documented this exhaustively here-- in case someone cares in the future after I'm dead.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Chris Russell on XM MLB right now! Very Good.

I just noticed him on XM 175, have heard him for years on Sporting News Radio. He's a talent, a personality, has no trouble talking, very enjoyable. He's not your cookie cutout guy who talks AT you like some do. I hope they give him a bunch of air time at XM.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Forbes: On Phil Mushnick's July NY Post column re: Mr. Steinbrenner

James Brady in Forbes on Phil Mushnick's July 2 NY Post article in which he revealed the seriousness of Mr. Steinbrenner's condition and chided other reporters for hiding it:
  • "The truth is, according to Mushnick, much of the media knows very well that "there has been little-to-no evidence the last two years to believe Steinbrenner has the capacity to run the Yanks in the same manner he had run the team since the 1970s," when he bought the club from CBS (nyse: CBS - news - people ).

And then Mushnick wallops the reader with this passage:

  • "All reasonable signs indicate that his dementia--he turned 77 on July 4--is now so profound that he is being carefully hidden from public view, appearing in only occasional, circumspect quotes issued by his longtime personal public relations man, Howard Rubenstein."
I've actually met Steinbrenner several times at Elaine's, one of his favorite hangouts, and I've long followed the Yankees as a fan, but to me this was stunning news." Brady later adds:
  • ""It's understandable," wrote Mushnick. "A delicate, respectful and sensitive approach had been taken." Then, in a rap on media covering the sporting scene, he added, “What isn't understandable is the continued and perhaps conditioned take of media members who would have us think that Steinbrenner is laying low as a matter of changed philosophy, yet, pushed too far by this year's team, will muscle up and resurrect his former self, That won't happen, as it can't happen."

(Brady) What Mushnick is really asking is the fundamental question of a reporter's priorities. Does he or she owe a first allegiance to the editor paying his salary, to the reader who buys the paper or watches the evening news, or to the privacy and other personal concerns of the newsmaker or his kin?

  • This is typical of Mushnick, a thoughtful professional who thinks things through. But should he himself have revealed Steinbrenner's condition? There I'm conflicted. I think The Boss' illness and incapacity are news. But I fully understand and in a way empathize with the family's desire to keep the old man's condition guarded."
I suggest the word "respect" be exhumed and used to examine every question.

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Georgie's night on the big stage still underrated

If Posada caught the last 5 innings of the All Star game, that means he caught the following:
  • Sabathia
  • Verlander
  • Santana
  • Papelbon
  • Putz
  • Rodriguez
I was happy Posada got a huge hit in the 9th inning, but as a fan the idea of him on the field with this list of pitchers was awesome. Certain NYC beat writers aren't fans, so I'm left to be amazed at certain things without their help.

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NY Times' George Vecsey's advice for his Mets-Do it without dancing and you'll do it...

George Vecsey is only perfect when he writes about baseball:
  • "Last week the Mets sailed into the dangerous Giambi Straits or Pérez Shoals, where rallies are shipwrecked on the mental rocks. Reyes, a solid citizen who almost always hustles, neglected to run out a dribbler that he assumed was staying foul. To his embarrassment, the third baseman could have walked the fair ball to first base. Manager Willie Randolph then gave Reyes the rest of the game off, to think about it."

But nonchalance needs to be nipped in the bud, the way Gil Hodges did in 1969 when he trudged out to left field to remove Cleon Jones, who had seemed a trifle sluggish chasing a base hit. Jones and his mates did not want the muscular Mr. Hodges mad at them — and they won the World Series two months later.

  • Other Mets teams went down with insouciance, like the boys of the late ’80s, who won exactly one championship. In the 2000 Series, Timo Pérez believed he saw Todd Zeile’s drive go over the left-field fence. By shifting into a joyous slower gear, Pérez was thrown out at home — costing a run and, who knows, maybe the Series.

Jeter, needless to say, does not perform dance steps in public, preferring to pump his fist on occasion, which is totally acceptable. This Yankees team could still go either way. Alex Rodriguez could continue his monster season — and then choose to move on, leaving the Yankees to totally rebuild, from the front office to the dugout to the field.

  • Whatever happens in the Bronx, Jeter should be a role model for the young shortstop across the bridge. Just keep running, or else those dance steps blend into all the foolish homemade videos, in which everybody is a superstar in his own head. Just keep running, right into late October."
Parts from NY Times article by George Vecsey, 7/12/07, "Up and Down Mets Might Have to Face the Music." A Times Select article (monthly fee).
  • (The "Giambi Straits" he later explains is Jeremy Giambi's move in the 2001 ALDS v Jeter).

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Setting the record straight

You'll read a stat a lot this week that's not true, which is:
  • "With his next save, Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees will pass John Franco for third place on the all-time saves list..."
Mariano's "all-time" career includes 34 post season "saves." Franco has 1 post season save. So Rivera already has 458 "all-time" career saves. The quote above is from MLB.com, Inc. but I've seen the same reference from a so-called "New York writer." The thought police flog the idea that New York writers are biased in favor of the Yankees which is funny. Even if a writer were a fan of the team or select players, it wouldn't be in his or her future interest to let that tendency play out--(unless they want to work for the team, which isn't usually the case). The real reasons Rivera's correct "all-time" "career" stats are almost never given won't be admitted by those who are party to them. (There are a few). It's a huge oversight.
  • Many of Rivera's post season appearances were 2 innings; 2 of them were 3 innings (1995 and 2003) although he received the "Win" as opposed to the "Save" in the 3 inning appearances. Naughty, naughty. John Delcos spank.
(Since I have no interest in future employment possibilities with ESPN or MLB, I'm free to make the above statements).

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Political Affiliations of MLB followers--Sports Business Daily

FAVORITE MLB TEAMS FOR DIFFERENT POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS AMONGST U.S. ADULTS WHO FOLLOW MLB
POLITICAL AFFILIATION
FAVORITE TEAM
Republicans
Braves
Democrats
Yankees
Independents
Yankees
Notes: Poll conducted from June 5-11 among 2,372 adults, of whom 874 follow MLB.
(HARRIS INTERACTIVE) From Sports Business Daily, 7/10/07

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West Coast AL closers get big-time coverage BBWAA has long said was all they lacked

AL All-StarsIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Haren 2.02111204.50
Beckett (W, 1-0)2.01000200.00
Sabathia (H, 1)1.01000000.00
Verlander (H, 1)1.02110009.00
Santana (H, 1)1.00000200.00
Papelbon (H, 1)1.01000200.00
Putz (H, 1)0.222211127.00
Rodriguez (S, 1)0.10002000.00
  • Pitches-strikes: Haren 39-25, Beckett 30-18, Sabathia 9-5, Verlander 21-13, Santana 10-9, Papelbon 17-14, Putz 24-14, Rodriguez 14-6, Peavy 16-9, Penny 7-5, Sheets 14-9, Hamels 10-7, Young 15-9, Cordero 15-11, Saito 13-9, Wagner 15-10, Hoffman 22-13.
Ground outs-fly outs: Haren 1-3, Beckett 2-2, Sabathia 2-1, Verlander 1-2, Santana 1-0, Papelbon 0-1, Putz 0-1, Rodriguez 0-1, Peavy 3-0, Penny 2-1, Sheets 1-2, Hamels 2-0, Young 0-3, Cordero 1-2, Saito 1-2, Wagner 1-1, Hoffman 3-0. Batters faced: Haren 9, Beckett 7, Sabathia 4, Verlander 5, Santana 3, Papelbon 4, Putz 5, Rodriguez 3, Peavy 4, Penny 3, Sheets 5, Hamels 4, Young 5, Cordero 4, Saito 3, Wagner 5, Hoffman 4.
  • "Be careful what you wish for..." For those who feel the west coast doesn't get the coverage it deserves, you got it tonight. You didn't say it had to be good coverage, you just wanted coverage, right? Let's see the headlines tomorrow.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Media sells "deep divide" between "haves and have-nots" in baseball

CBS Marketwatch article from SanFrancisco today:

"Steroids, labor disputes, the dilution of talent,

  • a deep divide between the haves and the have-nots:"
HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS? DEEP DIVIDE? STANDARD, CLASS WARFARE/ENVY/HATRED BUZZ WORDS. HOW HAS THE $100 MILLION FROM THE YANKEE FAN BEEN "DIVIDED" by THE DEEP MLB RECIPIENTS THIS YEAR? (Approx. total of revenue sharing and luxury tax donations this year). LIMOS? SUMMER HOUSES? IDIOT SONS? WHY NOT MENTION THAT ALONG WITH THE 'DIVISION' ASSUMPTION?
  • (Continuing) "Major League Baseball, despite all its missteps, has proven to be the nuclear cockroach of pro sports -- it just won't die.

In fact, as a business, these might be baseball's headiest of times.

And Tuesday in San Francisco, the national pastime will revel in its resilience as it celebrates the 78th All-Star Game at AT&T Park, a relatively new venue that captures all that's right with the game and is also home to its darkest cloud.

"Baseball continues to financially hit the cover off the ball," said Maury Brown, a sports business analyst who runs the Business of Sports Network. "Revenues are at an all-time high, as are attendance figures. When coupled with two consecutive labor agreements being reached without a work stoppage, MLB is at its rosiest point ever.""

  • Published on FoxNews.com-Business, article by Shawn Langlois for "CBS Marketwatch" from San Francisco.
You might wonder what's going on if owners and the Players Association agree so easily. I'm always happy to hear good news, good business times, etc. But the stock market being at an all time high didn't mean it would stay there. Johnny Damon's never having been on the DL didn't mean he wasn't about to go there. Just some perspective. (sm)

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This is how baseball media thinks about Arod--

"Worse, they are squandering a most valuable player season from Alex Rodriguez. He came to New York seeking a World Series ring and now has three months left before he decides whether he will leave without it." Murray Chass from his NY Times article, 7/10/07
  • Those who, through no fault of their own, are fans of the team, are aware Arod has squandered big stage opportunities himself. The team got him to the post season to fulfill what you say are his desires but he laid an egg. Also, he came to New York because he decided he didn't want to fulfill his agreement with Texas for $250 million plus. I agree the guy is probably the most talented everyday player in the game, but apparently even that distinction won't keep you from going 1 for 17 or the like in the post season.
Quote from Murray Chass' NY Times article, "Mets are Happy to Play in the Forgiving League," 7/10/07. Arod item is at end of article.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Sac. Bee to require names of commenters

Their Public Editor found some abandoned reading or writing comments due to an excess of bile and negativity. Among comments:
  • ""Hooray!" read the e-mail from Dave and Patty Palmer of Georgetown. "We did post several times regarding a sports article and used our real name (didn't find out how the others got their fake one), but so many of the posts were negative and derogatory name calling, etc., that we stopped. As a matter of fact, (we) stopped reading 'comments' altogether.

"So, we are happy The Bee has taken steps to bring good posting, debate and interesting comments for us readers. Thank you."

"Yes, it is time to end anonymous opinions," wrote Laurel Ames of South Lake Tahoe. "The anonymity encourages irresponsible comment. Anonymity seems to unleash inner anger, and (subject others) to name-calling, blame and wild accusations. Who needs it?""

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Dan Patrick leaving ESPN--Newsday

Neil Best reports in his "Watchdog" column. Everything comes to those who wait.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Another reason for the Yankee fan to avoid all media

"Love is at the core of “The Bronx Is Burning,” (hold on-you're being set up...)
  • "and as in any good drama, so are envy, deception, hatred and humiliation."
Really, NY Times? Hasn't been my experience with dramas --any of it. But count on the Times to get the word "hatred" in there. You simply must avoid all media if you're a Yankee fan. It's always negative. Even when they're being cute and trying not to be obvious about it.
  • "In this eight-part mini-series primarily about the 1977 New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner (Oliver Platt) is the great seducer who skillfully woos Billy Martin (John Turturro) to manage his team and Reggie Jackson (Daniel Sunjata) to be the slugging superstar who will put “the meat in the seats.”"
The opening sales pitch of NY Times' Richard Sandomir describing an ESPN movie involving the Yankees says "ENVY, DECEPTION, HATRED AND HUMILIATION" are involved as a normal course of events in any drama. So ESPN is doing what a "good" drama does, let them create an ugly story about the Yankees anytime and you can't complain because the NY Times just told you everyone does it. You're now mute. You have to accept it.
  • "Any drama" doesn't necessarily have any of these 4 things. These are just words to pile negativity onto the most unique Yankee players (then and now) and all the Yankee fans. The media do it 24/7. It's done all the time on XM radio as well.
From the NY Times article by Richard Sandomir, "Summer in the City: Baseball, Blackout, Son of Sam," 7/9/07.

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How many articles has ESPN run in the past 12 years saying Lee Smith should be in the HOF for being the "regular season saves" leader?

  • I've looked for a couple of hours but can't find any. ESPN on their website, television, ESPN.com articles, personnel on radio interviews, etc. gives coverage worth millions of dollars to raise the image of Trevor Hoffman for HOF, yet I find no evidence of this advocacy for Lee Smith. I mention it because ESPN's main sales point for Hoffman is the "regular season total saves" stat.
  • But Lee Smith had the "regular season total saves" record for many years apparently without a multi-million dollar HOF campaign for him by the single voice of baseball, ESPN. The injustice has been mentioned in passing by Joe Morgan, but he won't make an issue of it. (He likes the checks from ESPN).
  • In researching this laugher, I found Lee Smith still leads in GF with 802. ESPN?

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Friday, July 06, 2007

ESPN had previous success poaching another's property--the YES Network's

If MLB, Inc. follows through denying ESPN a special set-up at the All Star game, I'll be a little impressed. ESPN's alleged transgression was the premature airing of All Star selections--an infringement on the privilege negotiated by TBS. ESPN did a similar thing to the YES Network last October and got away with it without a complaint. According to the NY Post account, noted here Oct. 11,2006,
  • ESPN broadcast the dialogue of a Joe Torre press interview WHICH YES ITSELF HAD NOT EVEN BEGUN TO AIR. ESPN's Vince Doria basically said this is what we do, see you around, and YES and the Yankees said--fine.
From Andrew Marchand's 10/11/06 NY Post article:
  • "Joe Torre's live press conference Tuesday was officially barred from broadcast coverage until its conclusion. But ESPN began running a crawl of its contents 15 minutes into it, with 30 minutes still to go."
"It wasn't intended to be live programming," (then Yankee Media Relations Director Rick) Cerrone said. "It was meant to be Joe's end-of-season wrap, which is normally done in Joe's office."
  • Approximately 15 minutes after the press conference began, ESPN in its eyes honoring Cerrone's request - was showing tape of Torre confirming The Post story. YES waited about an hour before airing Torre on its WFAN simulcast of "Mike and the Mad Dog."

YES felt it didn't get beat on the story, but instead lived up to an agreement by not showing any of the press conference on tape until Torre had finished."

  • (How can you not know you're getting beat--and so easily)? sm

"YES spokesman Eric Handler said ESPN had Torre's comments so much earlier "because we played by the rules and they didn't.""

  • (The transmitter may be on at the YES Network or their studios conveniently located in Connecticut, but they're not tuned to Yankee interests). sm

"Vince Doria, ESPN's managing editor (now Senior VP News), said the network didn't violate any agreements.

  • "As far as I'm concerned, this is revisionist history by Cerrone, and I don't know where [YES programming/production president John] Filipelli comes out on it," Doria said. "They knew that our charge here is to get breaking news on the air as quickly as possible.

"This certainly was breaking news. There never was any agreement that we would hold on to the tape that was hot until the press conference was over.""

From article by Andrew Marchand, NY Post, 10/11/06

My post's title was, "YES Network Shows ESPN is their Daddy," posted 10/11/06

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

This isn't what you fought for, Dad. I'm so sorry your sacrifice has been trashed.

"A family photo made by a cellphone of Mohammed Jamil Asha holding his baby boy Anas, left, with his mother in law Eslah, center, and his wife Marwa Da'na, right, made available in Amman, Jordan on Tuesday. Mohammed Asha and his wife were among those arrested by British anti-terrorism police hunting those behind attempted car bombings, a police source said on Monday. Family photo via Associated Press." Published on SF Gate 7/3/07. via Michael Savage.com

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