Friday, August 31, 2007
Things heard on the radio in the past 2 days
- Continuing south, I get to WBAL 1090 and a little Orioles talk. (Whoever they have on there is very good). They said Miguel Tejada's defense is a big problem, and he should move to third base or else the team should trade him. I heard part of a discussion of a MASN, something about ownership impeding candor of on-air personnel.
- For the next few hours, I listen to XM baseball games. The Seattle-Cleveland makeup game was a nail-biter.
- I finally arrive in Tampa, and 1010AM which says it carries the Yankees is, of course, not carrying them tonight. Football. I now listen to XM baseball.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
One night in August
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Yes Network highlights Coco Crisp's Doo-Rag but ignores Mariano Rivera
- ONE-TWO THREE-FOUR!!! The 1-2-3 stat is created to exclude more difficult so-called "saves."
- PLUS, MO WAS WORKING ON HIS SECOND CONSECUTIVE DAY--NO SPECIAL RULES FOR HIM--TORRE IS FREE TO RUN HIM INTO THE GROUND IF HE WISHES. THIS SHOULD PUT NY BBWAA PRESIDENT DAN GRAZIANO'S MIND AT EASE.
- Trivia: The last time Clemens faced Boston as a Yankee was Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. per the AP Report on tonight's game published in the NY Times. "Rocket Shuts Down Old Team, Pitches Yankees to 4-3 Victory Over Boston" (The headline writer must be a Red Sox fan--Yankee fans never think of the Clemens Red Sox thing, but those guys think of nothing else).
Scott Proctor Gets Another Win for the Dodgers, 3IP in extras
Origin of NY Daily News interviews on Yankee radio
Mariners radio Dave Niehaus is one of my favorites
- "The Mariners were created as a direct result of a lawsuit. In 1970, in the aftermath of the Pilots' purchase and relocation to Milwaukee by future Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig, the City of Seattle, King County, and the State of Washington (led by attorney general and future U.S. Senator Slade Gorton) sued the American League for breach of contract. Confident that, somehow, major league baseball would return to Seattle within a few years, Seattle built the Kingdome, which would hold the NFL's expansion Seattle Seahawks in 1976 regardless, as a multi-purpose stadium.
The lawsuit continued until 1976. At trial, the American League offered to give Seattle an expansion baseball franchise in return for dropping the suit. The details were ironed out over the next year. To keep the league with an even number of teams, a formal expansion proceeding was held, with a second team, the Toronto Blue Jays, being awarded.
- The Mariners played their first game on April 6,1977 to a sold-out crowd of 57,762 at the Kingdome..."
- "By the start of the 1970 season, the Pilots were in bankruptcy. A local group of businessmen had offered to purchase the franchise, but commissioner Bowie Kuhn would not approve the sale, stating that the prospective ownership was spread too thin. He insisted that one owner control at least 51% of the club, but no one was willing to step forward and take that risk.
Meanwhile, Bud Selig, a Milwaukee auto dealer, had been trying to get major league baseball back to his town since the Braves had left. The Comissioner forced a sale to Selig and his group, with the final papers being signed one week before Opening Day. The team literally tore the Seattle emblems off the jerseys and sewed on Milwaukee emblems while the team was enroute from Arizona (having finished spring training) to Milwaukee.
- Plans for the new stadium were put on hold. Seattle was understandably upset that the American League would just up and let their Pilots move after only one season. The state's Attorney General filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league. The league finally settled out of court in 1975, promising to award Seattle an A.L. franchise in the next expansion."
Sports Radio pundit discusses White Sox radio broadcasters Farmer & Singleton
- Ed Farmer, now the lead play-by-play man on White Sox radio, was solid as the "number 2" but six innings of PBP the past (almost) 2 seasons seems too much for him. Chris Singleton, completing his 2nd year as "number 2" continues to struggle with 3 innings of play-by-play, compounded by Farmer stepping in over him at least once per inning. Word is that the White Sox will make a determination within the next month about renewing or not renewing Singleton. They should admit that putting a former player with little to no broadcasting experience into a big market play-by-play role was not the direction to take. At this point, the use of only former players and lack of a true PBP man in both their TV and radio booths has really hurt this year, since the team's performance is not going to carry a broadcast and telecast on its own. It is for Chicago. It shouldn't be this difficult to find a national level play-by-play announcer to fill the radio void, let alone the TV situation."
Mariners/Fox TV's Dave Sims on WFAN with Chris Russo
Pettitte stat v Red Sox
- Reported in NY Times by Tyler Kepner, "Yankees, New and Old, Slow the Red Sox," 8/29/07 (end of column)
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
STAT-CREEP---THE 'ONE-TWO-THREE' STAT attached to the hijacked 'SAVE' stat
- This 1-2-3 stat again allows Supreme Court justices at ESPN/MLB to focus the "save" stat on the one inning, usually the 9th, allowing STAT COMPILERS TO OBFUSCATE.
- IF THE 'SAVE' IS COMPILED WITH A 3 RUN LEAD AND NO MEN ON BASE, IT'S EASIER TO GET A 1-2-3. Obviously.
IAN KENNEDY TO START IN PLACE OF MIKE MUSSINA
- David Justice opines this means the bullpen for Mussina. I still remember Mussina's performance in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS v Boston, when he came in out of the bullpen with men on 1st and 3rd and got out of it without a run.
Detroit Pitchers' Park Actually Helped Mussina Monday night--just missing Grand Slam in 1st IP--NY Times
"Mussina had not allowed a grand slam in more than 12 years before Carlos Guillén connected on Aug. 16 at Yankee Stadium. And Guillén nearly did it again in the first inning Monday.
- With one out, he jumped on a fastball and crushed it to deep center, where the wall is 420 feet from home plate. In most parks, it would have been a grand slam. Here, (Melky) Cabrera turned it into a sacrifice fly with a running, twisting one-handed stab above his head.
That was the only run the Tigers scored in the first, but they scored twice on three hits in the second....
So it went. With two outs, Ryan Raburn read Mussina’s curveball and bounced it up the middle to score Rodríguez. Inge’s double followed, and while Inge did not hit it well,
- Mussina left the pitch high when catcher Jorge Posada called for it low."
- Hey, so Mussina was "lucky" in the first inning.....
Monday, August 27, 2007
Yahoo, Google cooperate with China Human Rights abuse
"A human rights group in the US is suing Yahoo for alleged complicity in rights abuses and acts of torture in China."
- APPARENTLY ACTS OF TORTURE AND ABUSE DON'T BOTHER MLB, INC. OR THE MLB PLAYERS ASSN. Of course after they choked on rancid air and food, maybe they were in a hurry to cut deals. (sm)
"One journalist cited in the case was tracked down and jailed for 10 years for subversion after Yahoo passed on his email and IP address to officials.
- Yahoo insists it must comply with local laws in areas where it operates.
But it acknowledges that providing Chinese officials with information has enabled them to make arrests.
Strict laws exist in China to regulate the internet. (A) journalist... was jailed for posting comments critical of government corruption on the web.
- Yahoo is not the only internet company accused of collaborating with Chinese authorities. Rival Google freely admits to blocking politically sensitive items on their China website.
Whole websites - including media sources - are eliminated from Yahoo and Google in China.
De-listed sites are skipped over when the search engine trawls the web for results.
- The internet firms argue it is better to offer Chinese users some information than none at all." (Right) sm
Rudy Giuliani on Yankee radio in Detroit
Fans, media fail to face reality: There is no "Guardian of the Game."
- Baseball sure could use a Commissioner. What's that? It has one?
But what kind of Commissioner would allow a four-hour rain delay? What kind of Guardian of The Game would allow a game to begin after 11 p.m. and end at 3:32 a.m.? Whose best interests could he represent?
On Ch. 9, Michael Kay, just before the first pitch, called the entire episode "disgraceful." Al Leiter agreed. How could anyone disagree?
And then, minutes later, Kay and Leiter were talking about how much they love baseball's wild card.
- Could they not make the connection? The wild card was created for the same reason this game began after 11 p.m. - to serve the financial interests of team owners, Bud Selig's enablers. A house full of sold tickets, no doubleheaders, national TV deals to consider. Game on.
- And Friday's 11:06 p.m. start and 3:32 a.m. end is why "variable ticket pricing" - predetermined values of games resulting in jacked up face values based on the date and opponent - must end. Friday, whatever those tickets cost a fan, they were, by game time, worthless.
Baseball sure could use a Commissioner."
- From NY Post column by Phil Mushnick, 8/27/07, "Delay of Game."
Sunday, August 26, 2007
NY Daily News comments about Andy Pettitte 8/26/07 don't check out
Extremely powerful columnist Bob Raissman's item is titled, "Doubletalk."
- "What Andy Pettitte said: "I love him (Joe Torre) to death. He is like a dad to me. He is a great manager and great to play for."
- What Andy Pettitte meant to say: "I love him to death. But remember, that didn't stop me from leaving him to go to Houston for more cash.""
- "Pettitte took $7.5 million less to sign with the Astros -- the Yankees' last offer was for $39 million over three years."
- Widely reported including by Jack Curry, NY Times, 2/25/07, (posted on this blog 2/24/07)***
- ***UPDATE 3/28/08: The reference to Andy Pettitte's offer from the Red Sox has been deleted in the Jack Curry NY Times article of 2/25/07. I noted this on a 3/19/08 update of a 2/19/08 post referencing this erroneous characterization by the NY Daily News. The Red Sox offer to Pettitte is referenced in 3 other sources including here on ESPN.com on 12/12/03.***
- The Yankees left Pettitte no choice when they failed to make a simple phone call to the pitcher in the exlusive window allowed them after the 2003 post season. Andy had spent his entire career in the Yankee organization, had pitched very well for them especially in the post season just passed, didn't get in bar fights or pitch drunk. He was rumored to have an elbow problem, but the Yankees could have addressed the issue in a phone call if that had been their concern. Their were open rumors that Steinbrenner wasn't big on Andy and had tried to trade him over a long period of time, at one point to the Phillies. Andy had no reason to think the Yankees wanted him so of course looked at an offer from his home town.
- Item from NY Daily News by Bob Raissman, end of column, 8/26/07, "Tiki's Rip of Eli Creates Rush of Coverage"
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Bob Lorenz v David Justice on YES Network
- Not that there's anything wrong with that. If your lead studio guy on Yankee games has no interest or feeling whatever for the team. I can watch ESPN/MLB platforms for that.
Chien Ming Wang gives best of both worlds
Pitches-strikes: Wang 107-66, Bruney 10-5, Bonderman 105-62, Byrdak 4-3, Grilli 50-30.
Ground outs-fly outs: Wang 12-6, Bruney 0-3, Bonderman 5-12, Byrdak 0-1, Grilli 4-5.
DP: 2 (Cano-Jeter-Betemit, Wang-Jeter-Betemit).
"He was thrilled afterward.
“This is like last year,” he said. “I feel much better. More confident.”
Remember that pitch that Posada missed in the fifth inning? It was a split-finger fastball. I didn’t even know Wang had that pitch.
“I threw it in the minors,” Wang said with a smile. “I still throw it sometimes.”
Said Posada: “That thing moved like a knuckeball. It wasn’t a bad pitch, I just didn’t catch it.""
Suzyn Waldman: Ichiro and Mike Hargrove did NOT get along.
Choking on bad air, food, China acts on 'gender imbalance'
- (MAYBE THIS IS WHY MLB, Inc. thought it would be easy to peel off some young baseball players). sm
"The practice is already banned, but new rules are expected to set out specific punishments for parents and doctors.
- China's Family Planning Association (CFPC) has revealed the extent of the imbalance - in one city there are eight young boys for every five girls.
Experts fear the phenomenon could have unpredictable social consequences.
- Some believe that with millions of men unable to find a wife, there could be risks of increasing anti-social and violent behaviour."
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Bob Davidson, immortal umpire reversed call in World Baseball Classic gets more headlines--what about background check?
- Remember the reversed call that changed the outcome of a World Baseball Classic game? It was Bob Davidson's:
- "That was a great, great ballgame," said Team USA manager Buck Martinez, who came out of the dugout immediately after left fielder Randy Winn's throw was too late to nab Nishioka at the plate and was able to get Davidson to review the call. "It was such a close game you have to check everything out."
The game turned on that contested call in the Japanese half of the eighth inning.
- With the bases loaded, one out and Joe Nathan pitching, Akinori Iwamura skied a fly to Winn in medium left. The throw was to the third-base side way off the plate as Nishioka scored. Catcher Brian Schneider tossed the ball down to Derek Jeter covering third, and second base umpire Brian Knight, who had rotated over on the play, pointed to his chest that it was his call and signaled safe.
Martinez immediately hopped out of the dugout to appeal the play.
"I asked Bob, 'Why did he make that call? You were going to call him out. Let's get this right,'" Martinez explained. "'He said, 'Well, just give us a chance.' It was obvious to me. And everybody in our dugout yelled, 'Hey, he left early.'"
- Davidson, who was one of 14 umpires who resigned in a union dispute nearly five years ago and is back on a list to call Major League games again full-time, conferred with Knight and then reversed the call, ending the inning with the double play.
"It's a tag-up situation," Davidson said in statement. "In a bases-loaded situation our mechanics is that the plate man lines up the tag. Brian Knight hustled over to third where he's supposed to be, but he doesn't have the tag-up call. It's the plate umpire's call. I had it lined up. The wrong umpire made the initial call. It's the plate umpire, which is me, and I had him leaving early and called him out."
- "Buck (Martinez) is the player of the game today," Rodriguez said. "I was very surprised the call got overruled because you don't see that often."
- Plenty more about Bob Davidson, including his old title, "Balkin' Bob," and another controversial call he made when apparently needing to rush to catch a flight, umpires leaving the Baltimore stadium with police escort:
- "Still, Davidson called the balk with the score tied in the eighth inning and the game dragging on to the point where it apparently was questionable whether he would make his flight to Tampa for the series between the Devil Rays and the Chicago White Sox. The Baltimore Police Department and other sources confirmed that the umpires asked for an escort out of the ballpark because of the tight travel schedule. They got a motorcycle escort through the stadium traffic, which is not unusual following an afternoon getaway game. That, in itself, is not improper, and World Umpires Association president John Hirschbeck said yesterday that major league umpires would not let a travel schedule affect their performance. "I know I would never do that, nor do I believe that any umpire would do that," Hirschbeck said."
- Pointed out by Peter Schmuck ever so gently so as not to ruffle feathers (article posted 5/10/05). on Baseball-Fever.com, "Was it a Balk or Not?
- On last night's 11PM start after a 4 hour rain delay:
- Reported by Tyler Kepner in his NY Times article, 8/26/07, "In the Dead of Night, the Yankees Fall Short"
Friday, August 24, 2007
In 1996 Bob Wickman tried to exert his influence in the Yankee bullpen
- It was just a matter of time, Wickman told the veterans in the pen, before the league deduced the parlor trick and began walloping one-pitch Mariano Rivera. Plus, if the one-pitch inventory did not eventually nullify Rivera, then he was certain to be undone by his size--or lack of it."
- The AP article reporting Wickman's separation from the Atlanta Braves today illustrates a big problem. It's the "third rail" of baseball--you'll be demonized if you speak of it. INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT WICKMAN'S PITCHING SKILLS, THE ARTICLE FOCUSES ON A SMALL ASPECT OF THOSE---THE TOTAL SAVE STAT. This continues the media frenzy of recent years. The point has been to build this single stat, often quite misleading, into 2 things: a Cy Young award and a Hall of Fame induction.
Mike Myers no LOOGY today---41 pitches
Little League Baseball issues to be discussed by Rick Wolff, Steve Kallas--NY Post
"With big endorsement deals (Easton, for one, a maker of metal bats) and TV deals (ESPN/ABC), Little League baseball has become a big and often not a particularly nurturing business.
Sunday at 8 a.m., Rick Wolff's "Sports Edge" on WFAN will examine some of the physical, financial and moral issues that often go untold within Little League ball, especially Little League's conflicted messages and rules. Wolff will be joined by attorney Steve Kallas, a sports dad driven to investigating Little League's dubious decisions on pitch counts, curve balls and - follow the money - metal bats."
- Item from NY Post column by Phil Mushnick, "Just an Opinion," 8/24/07, end of column
1-man "Pro Football Website keeps tabs on NFL"
- From "NFL Confidential" in Slate, by Robert Weintraub, 8/23/07. "How a One-Man Website Became the Best Source for Pro Football News."
Thursday, August 23, 2007
"LUCK" is now a stat in Baseball-Reference
- "Luck - The difference between the team's actual wins and the team's pythagorean wins."
- I understand certain baseball geniuses have sold this concept to their owners. It's great if it keeps them from being fired.
If it's in SI, it must be true? Not so about Mo.
- "The Yankees bullpen was at its best during their 11 straight playoff seasons with Mariano Rivera not as their closer, but as the setup man to John Wetteland. In 1995 and 1996, if the Yankees' starter could get the game through seven innings with the lead, the game was over."
- August 1, 1995
- Sept. 1, 1995
- Sept. 10, 1995
- Sept. 26, 1995
- # Games Rivera set-up for Wetteland: 0
- # Games Wetteland set-up for Rivera: 1 (Game 2)
- The heavenly scene described by SI did happen often in 1996, but in only 1 game in 1995 (starter getting through 7 followed by Mo and Wetteland) as follows:
- No one can know everything about every team, but the emergence and use of Rivera was detailed in Joel Sherman's book, "Birth of a Dynasty." The main point is Showalter did not recognize what Rivera's value was, didn't really know what to do with him, stuck him in as a last resort in some post season situations, but never as a set-up man for Wetteland. As noted, the organization sent him back to the minors in June but brought him back up fairly quickly, still using him as an occasional starter. (Hence, his hackneyed "failed starter" tag).
Atlanta to consider banning public striptease acts, including sagging pants--AP
The amendment, sponsored by city councilman C.T. Martin, states that sagging pants are an "epidemic" that is becoming a "major concern" around the country.
"Little children see it and want to adopt it, thinking it's the in thing," Martin said Wednesday. "I don't want young people thinking that half-dressing is the way to go. I want them to think about their future."
The proposed ordinance would also bar women from showing the strap of a thong beneath their pants. They would also be prohibited from wearing jogging bras in public or show a bra strap, said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.
"The proposed ordinance states that "the indecent exposure of his or her undergarments" would be unlawful in a public place. It would go in the same portion of the city code that outlaws sex in public and the exposure or fondling of genitals.
The penalty would be a fine in an amount to be determined, Martin said.
But Seagraves said any legislation that creates a dress code would not survive a court challenge. She said the law could not be enforced in a nondiscriminatory way because it targets something that came out of the black youth culture.
"This is a racial profiling bill that promotes and establishes a framework for an additional type of racial profiling," Seagraves said."
- From AP report, "Atlanta Considers Banning Baggy Pants," published in Breitbart.com 8/23/07,via DrudgeReport
New York Post back cover---Andy Pettitte, "The Stopper"
Pinch hitter Casey Kotchman v Mariano Rivera
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
One West Coast team member wilts under lights of "East Coast Coverage"
- Both runners score.
- The NL pitcher still compiles another "save." Lucky they gave him a big cushion.
- The bright lights got to him last night, too.
Suzyn Waldman's pre-game nuggets
- As reported elsewhere, Curt Schilling said on his weekly radio interview that he likes the thought of pitching for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays someday, likes working with and impacting young pitchers. Add this to Johnny Damon's own recent musings about the Devil Rays-- it's starting to look like Tampa Bay's lining up former Red Sox........
Bob Grant, Radio Legend, Returns to WABC M-F's 8-10P
- UPDATE: 11/11/08: I tuned into WABC tonight at 8:10 pm and heard no Bob Grant. Instead got loudmouth Curtis Sliwa. One message board said they heard Bob say he would be out this week, which I hope means he'll be back next week. (sm)
McLaren Anchors Mariners; Putz Anchors Pitching Staff---NY Times
- He told Ibanez he had the "utmost confidence" in him.
- D'oh! A writer admits a "closer" can actually "anchor" a "pitching staff!" Memo to Dan Graziano, John Delcos, all ESPN/MLB staff, etc.
- From NY Times article by Pat Borzi, "An Old Baseball Hand at the Tiller," 8/22/07
Doggie gives math lesson on Yankee elimination #
- P.S. Russo also said, "I'M SICK OF HEARING ABOUT TREVOR HOFFMAN."
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Baseball Umpires hire same hondler as NBA refs---NY Times
"Asked about (Lamell) McMorris’s work during the Donaghy scandal, the (NBA) referee said, “If we didn’t have strong representation, there’s no telling what kind of constraints we’d be under now.”
- While the World Umpires Association had been considering hiring McMorris and his firm for months, it made its choice soon after the Donaghy news broke in July and it became clear that what happened in the N.B.A. was going to have an impact on Major League Baseball.
“He understands officials,” said Jerry Lane, a veteran umpire who served on his union’s search committee. “He and the Perennial group understand what we go through.""
(I'm so relieved. sm)
- "McMorris’s first meeting with baseball officials about deeper background checks did not go smoothly. When McMorris asked M.L.B. to add a seventh umpire to the crews of postseason games in return for the heightened scrutiny on umpires, Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president for labor relations, ended the meeting angrily, although McMorris and Manfred have since spoken and met in person to discuss the issue.
As he defends his clients’ interests, McMorris will continue to draw upon a Rolodex featuring more preachers and civil rights leaders than athletes.
“I’ve been surrounded by people all my life who understood the duality of theology and public policy,” McMorris said."
- From NY Times article by Alan Schwarz, "Minister is Going to Bat for the Guys Who Call the Games," 8/22/07
Yankee Edwar Ramirez was released 2ce by Angels---NY Times
"For four years, Ramírez tried to earn his way onto the field at Angel Stadium. And for four years, he failed bitterly. The Angels released Ramírez, not once, but twice.
The first time the Angels released him, after the 2003 season, Ramírez understood. The second time they released him, early in the 2005 season, he did not.
“It was bad,” Ramírez said. “It was really bad. I was like, ‘Why? Why?’ ”
- Ramírez, who was in an independent league at this time a year ago, has emerged as an intriguing part of the Yankees’ revitalized bullpen.
“I waited a long time to be here,” he said.
When the Yankees arrived in Anaheim, Ramirez immediately called his best friend, Maximo Soto, in Miami. Like Ramírez, Soto played in the Angels’ minor-league system. Like Ramírez, Soto was released.
- Every day during the summer of 2004, he (Ramirez) went to a field in Miami and taught himself to throw a changeup.
Eventually, Soto joined him at the field and caught for him. The work Ramírez did with Soto that summer, and the changeup he developed, altered his course.
“Now I’m pitching for the best team in the world,” Ramírez said. “So why couldn’t I play with the Anaheim Angels?
- “I don’t even remember Edwar,” said José Molina, a Yankees catcher who used to be with the Angels. “I don’t think he was a guy they had in their plans.”
Early in Ramírez’s minor league career, he had difficulty seeing what pitches were being called, much less throwing them. The catcher would put down two fingers and Ramírez would only see one.
“He would want a slider and I would throw a fastball,” Ramírez said.
- He finally visited an eye doctor and was fitted for prescription goggles."
(But he's also had to deal with being underweight, just doesn't like food that much).
"To this day, Ramírez is a startling sight on the mound — 6 feet 3 inches, 150 pounds, with goggles. Recalled to the majors last week, Ramírez worked two and one-third scoreless innings against Baltimore and two perfect innings against Detroit.
- The field is finally his."
- From NY Times article by Lee Jenkins, "Yankees' Ramirez finally Arrives in Anaheim," 8/22/07
Winter Baseball in Puerto Rico on Verge of Extinction
It would be a mistake to read this and weep. What might be helpful is to read it and get angry.
Billionaires took the money from the WBC. 1% of the value of MLB.com could bring back baseball in Puerto Rico. I understand how badly these guys want to keep every penny for themselves but never show us the books.
- "After 69 years in existence, the Puerto Rico Winter League cancelled its upcoming season because of financial problems.
Fortunately, Major League Baseball may step in and salvage part of Puerto Rico's sports heritage by sponsoring an alternative winter season league.
- "I'm very concerned there is no baseball in Puerto Rico. I'm disappointed, because Puerto Rico has a culture and a history of playing the game. Second, we use the league as a developmental tool, and that will not be available now. We are not happy about it. The fans are not very happy about it. We have to put our heads together, between MLB and Puerto Rico and the Players Association, and keep baseball alive in some shape or form."
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Lou Melendez, MLB VP-International Baseball Operations."From AmericanTaino.blogspot.com 8/21/07
- P.S. I can hear Allen H. "Bud" Selig's voice now: "Be-LIEVE me, Chris, be-LIEVE me......"
John Sterling: "Scott Boras has season tickets to the Angels."
Mark Feinsand on XM takes the high road
- P.S. You heard it here first.....
Monday, August 20, 2007
If Dog Fighting is part of your "culture"
"It was inevitable that the federal prosecution of Michael Vick would be twisted into a case about race, that white America doesn't understand that dog fighting is a "cultural" endeavor.
- Dog fighting might be explained as cultural, but it can't be excused as cultural. If savage cruelty of any kind is part of anyone's culture, then right-headed, clear-sighted and foresighted people should spend their time, energy and authority trying to change that culture as opposed to explaining it, excusing it, or in any way defending it."
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Jeff Joyce on XM
YES Network still adores Johan Santana
- P.S. The Minnesota baseball hype-sters try to gin up fans to fear Santana might sign with the Yankees in 2009. This assumes the guy would even want to play for the Yankees--not everyone does. He'll be older and more worn-out by then (all things being equal) and the Yankees have found it doesn't pay to wait around for big time free agents looking to cash in.
Fingerprints Found on Your Wikipedia Edits
There was another, unexplained edit: a paragraph about criticism of SeaWorld’s “lack of respect toward its orcas” disappeared. Both changes, it turns out, originated at a computer at Anheuser-Busch, SeaWorld’s owner.
- Dozens of similar examples of insider editing came to light last week through WikiScanner, a new Web site that traces the source of millions of changes to Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
The site, wikiscanner.virgil.gr, created by a computer science graduate student, cross-references an edited entry on Wikipedia with the owner of the computer network where the change originated, using the Internet protocol address of the editor’s network. The address information was already available on Wikipedia, but the new site makes it much easier to connect those numbers with the names of network owners.....
- In general, changes to a Wikipedia page cannot be traced to an individual, only to the owner of a particular network....."
- A longtime current Yankee player had a gruesome and inaccurate write-up, so I made changes to include some positives with all the negatives (this was some months ago). Within seconds, my edits were removed and the original version restored. I tried a few more times but the same thing happened. Then I was completely blocked from the site. The back-up "sources" for the original version were newspapers from........Boston. (sm)
More on the "Total Saves stat leaders"--NY Post
- In his one full inning pitched, he allowed three hits, a walk and two earned runs. Rodriguez allowed an earned run in his previous save, also a one-inning job, thus his ERA over two consecutive saves was 13.50."
- Item from NY Post column by Phil Mushnick, "ESPN: Little League, Big Mess," 8/19/07
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Dave O'Brien on local Red Sox radio invokes his ESPN cred
- Top of the 8th, Angels v Red Sox, Joe Castiglione marvels at a Coco Crisp catch and Dave booms his approval as well over poor Joe. O'Brien gives a superlative about Coco's great plays in the outfield, says he knows especially well how good he is because of his concurrent work on ESPN.
- But, as you say, there's no connection between the Red Sox and ESPN.
- Yankee radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman is an oasis in the desert of nationally oriented broadcasters foisted on local baseball fans.
Pedro-Don Zimmer, Yankee-Red Sox 2003 ALCS brawl tonight on YES Network
Joel Sherman comments on Mariano
- "THE Yankees lost a game yesterday, (8/16) but really began losing it in June and July. That is when Joe Torre’s trust in Brian Bruney, Kyle Farnsworth and Scott Proctor vanished, and so did any lingering restraint on Mariano Rivera.
It is understandable. The Yankees’ season and Torre’s job were on the line and no way was he going to let both evaporate due to the edgy makeups and straight fastballs of Bruney, Farnsworth and Proctor.
- Ten times from May 30 to last Sunday in Cleveland, Torre called on Rivera to pitch more than an inning after vowing in spring not to do that."
- *(Note to self: Inform Rollie Fingers that Mariano Rivera is not a "1 inning pitcher" as he mistakenly said in his WFAN interview earlier this week. Bruce Sutter knows that's not true, funny that Rollie doesn't). (Very end of interview). Link.
"Should Torre regret that decision? Well, the Yankees went 9-1 in those 10 games and Rivera was 1-0 with eight saves in eight tries. They are not in contention today without that contribution. But now comes the bill.
- The reason the organization demanded Torre restrict Rivera’s outings to one inning was because in August last year - after heavy abuse - the great closer came down with a forearm strain that forced him to miss three weeks.
- From NY Post article by Joel Sherman, "Joe Must Lessen Closer's Workload," 8/16/07
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Getcha papizz heeah...Getcha papizz...
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sports Writers now TV and Radio celebrities--Wash. Post
"We've gone from minor nuisance to cultural menace.
- What was once just "The Sports Reporters" is now a sports Armageddon. We've reached critical mass. Everywhere you look, there are sports journalists blabbing, gabbing, fretting, chatting, arguing, debating and, mostly, shouting.
On ESPN alone, you have "The Sports Reporters," "Pardon The Interruption," "Around The Horn" and "1st And 10," plus several other of its daily shows -- "SportsCenter," "Rome Is Burning" and "Outside The Lines First Report" -- include regular forums of talking heads.
- (I woke up in a dead sweat the other night because Skip Bayless was in one of my dreams excoriating Mike Shanahan for a bad third-down play call. Plus, I saw an ear-nose-and-throat specialist last week in a desperate attempt to get Stephen A. Smith's voice out of my head.)
If ESPN got out of the sports business tomorrow, half of America's top sports columnists would have to send their children back to public schools.
- Sportswriters have gone from the locker room to the green room, from "Get me rewrite!" to "Get me wardrobe!" We used to just write, eat and drink; now we just talk, eat and drink. Who has time to write?
(Heck, I've gone into some towns and seen sports editors with their own TV shows. Sports editors! Hey, I love those fellas -- without 'em, I don't get published -- but if you're turning on your Sony and seeing a sports editor, you might have grounds for consumer action against your local cable carrier.)
- Every sports columnist, it seems, is also on talk radio daily -- talking, well, a lot"......
Mike Francesa on Mariano Rivera's outing 8/12/07
- He didn't have it yesterday. How do you know if Mariano doesn't have it? When he misses by FEET. He had nothing when he started in the 8th inning, but Torre brought him out again in the 9th because he is Mariano Rivera. No other reliever with nothing could've gotten out of it like he did. He saved the game 'between his ears.' He gets calm when things around him get stormy. That's why he's the best big game reliever of all time. Mike added he was wrong in his initial assessment of Melky, who's turned out better than he expected.
Mariano and Molina, NY Post Back Cover
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Jon Weiner, PM Drive partner of Dan LeBatard debuts on WFAN
Rivera Gets Out of Jams in both 8th and 9th innings v Indians
"The Yankees led by 5-2 when closer Mariano Rivera took the mound for the bottom of the ninth, after facing two batters in the eighth."
- The drama was just as high in his 8th inning appearance, the score 4-2 (it didn't become 5-2 til the 9th) with 2 runners on base, 2 out, the winning run at the plate. Then he hit Ryan Garko with a pitch, loading the bases. Now the winning run was already on base. He induced a ground-out from the next batter.
- P.S. Ryan Garko HBP 2007 YTD=15. Derek Jeter HBP 2007 YTD=10. I looked it up. Jeter is often mentioned in the media as a good HBP candidate, so I was surprised that Mr. Ryan Garko already has Jeter beaten in this category in 2007 by 50%.
"Jason Michaels and Chris Gomez singled, and Franklin Gutierrez doubled to left to make the score 5-3.
Manager Joe Torre visited the mound — the pitching coach Ron Guidry had been ejected after the seventh — and Rivera recovered, striking out Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore before Casey Blake flied to right to end the game."
- Items in quotes from NY Times article by Tyler Kepner, "Rivera Recovers to Close Out a Sweep for Yankees" 8/12/07.
- For example, the WFAN sports flash at 7:40 PM told about Rivera's 9th but made no mention of the 8th. This interpretation will be accepted by thousands of people.
Bob Nightengale cited by MLB Players' Union for tactics--NY Daily News
- Today's media, fueled by the internet, is new territory and new approaches must be considered.
- "Two recent incidents, in which players' quotes resulted in disciplinary action taken against them, have prompted the Major League Baseball Players Association to condemn the reporting tactics of USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale.
In both cases - Jason Giambi admitting he used steroids, and Gary Sheffield labeling baseball commissioner Bud Selig a liar and grandstander over Barry Bonds and the steroids issue - the stories created an uproar and both players were punished with fines and could be suspended. But were the players really talking on the record?
- Baseball sources said the union, after discussing the circumstances of the interviews with Giambi and Sheffield, concluded the two players were misled by Nightengale.
"The union is not saying Nightengale is violating off-the-record rules," the source said. "However, the union is saying he has a way of discussing matters with players, which leads them to believe the conversations are not for publication."
- In an interview with the Daily News, Nightengale said he did not mislead either player and was entirely comfortable with the way he handled both interviews."....
- Or, as one source pointed out: "It's not unprecedented for the union to recommend players to stay away from a particular reporter, a particular (media) institution or (media) entity.""
- (I'm 100% certain no one at MLB Players Union reads this blog, but that was my solution, too). sm
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Saturday, August 11, 2007
"New York media can beat it."---Chipper Jones
- "New York media can beat it. By the way, if you think you're going to get any more -- out of me, you got another thing coming."
- "After the New York reporters left the room, Jones ripped the local media some more before pointing out that he wants to speak directly with A-Rod to make sure everything is clear.
- From Newsday article by Jim Baumbach, "Chipper Miffed at NY Media on Arod Comment," 8/10/07
Friday, August 10, 2007
Joba Chamberlain's ritual---Kepner, NY Times
- Kepner told Charley Steiner on XM the other day the origins of the name "Joba." It apparently stems from a young relative's inability to pronounce the name "Joshua," coming out with "Joba" instead. I'm not sure who Joshua actually was, Kepner said he wrote about it in his blog.
City of San Francisco backs illegal aliens to silence free speech of Michael Savage
Steinbrenner Didn't Deserve 'Portfolio's' Treatment---Marketwatch, Friedman
- A 5,500-word piece by Franz Lidz, "Baseball After the Boss," smacks of "gotcha" journalism. It purports to offer a high-minded discussion of what will happen to the Yankees' fortunes after Steinbrenner, 77, dies or sells the team or loses his power within the organization. The story is in Portfolio's September issue, which hits newsstands on Aug. 15.
- Lidz writes after the meeting: "'I'm shocked,' McEwen tells me. 'George doesn't even seem like the same person. I figured he might be in a bad way, but I never expected this.'"
- Sorry, but I don't buy a word of Portfolio's argument. I'm accustomed to hearing this kind of thing from a self-righteous Fortune 500 company or government official.
- Steinbrenner is a useful target. He's hated for signing lots of coveted free agents, going back to Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter and Goose Gossage in the 1970s. He has built Major League Baseball's biggest payroll, at about $200 million.
- Mostly, though, baseball followers often resent Steinbrenner because he has been so successful. Since he took over the team in 1973, the Yankees have won six championships -- more than any other baseball franchise.
- Of course. Portfolio wouldn't be sending out press releases to trumpet an upcoming exposé on the likes of Howard Rubenstein.
- Portfolio can ill afford any bad publicity these days. It's already coming off a week to forget.
Warren Buffett connects with A-rod---Murray Chass, NY Times
"“A couple years ago, he (A-rod) got in touch with me and wanted to come in and talk,” Buffett said. “We hit it off very well.” In Toronto, Rodriguez explained, “I just always admired him as an American icon more than anything,” he said. Buffett lives in Omaha, the home of his Berkshire Hathaway holding company, the College World Series and the Kansas City Royals’ Pacific Coast League affiliate, of which Buffett has been a quarter owner for 10 years."
- From Murray Chass' NY Times article, 8/10/07, "Buffet is Invested in Rodriguez."
Thursday, August 09, 2007
"Answer to Annual Question: No, Rivera Hasn't Lost His Edge"--NY Times, Kepner
- a 13-year veteran who has pitched the equivalent of another full season and a half in October.***
- “He’s just a freak of nature,” the Toronto Blue Jays’ Frank Thomas said. “He’s mastered a pitch. People say he’s going to lose it. He’s not going to lose it.”
- Rivera has converted his last 18 save opportunities, allowing just two earned runs in 21 and 1/3 innings in those games, with no walks and 22 strikeouts. The Yankees are 57-1 when leading after eight innings, the loss coming in Oakland on April 15....
- His ability extends beyond the mound. Rivera does not have the title of captain, but he fills that role for the pitching staff. He coaxed two strong years from Tom Gordon, in 2004 and 2005, and has now become a mentor to his current setup man, Luis Vizcaino.
“He’s my teacher, my everything,” Vizcaino said. “I’m happy to hang out with that guy, because he gives me a lot of confidence. Every day, I talk with him.”
Rivera has an elevated status among players around the league. He is one of them, but clearly on a higher plane.
- No one wants to think about replacing him, but this week’s promotion of Joba Chamberlain offers a glimpse at a possible successor.
The Yankees view Chamberlain, 21, as a starter for the long term. But with a 100 mile-per-hour fastball and a wicked array of off-speed pitches, he may have the stuff to be a dominant closer. He threw two scoreless innings in his debut on Tuesday.
“You can be anything you want, as long as you work at it,” Rivera said. “Hopefully, he can be the man -- hopefully. It’s a lot of work, and it’s a long time to go...."
“But, definitely, I like the kid and I will do everything I can to do my best for him and be there to help.”"
From NY Times article by Tyler Kepner, "Rivera, Far From Losing It, Takes on Role of Mentor," (original title), and "Answer to Annual Question: No, Rivera Hasn't Lost His Edge" (title for same article in late edition) 8/10/07.
- (Suzyn Waldman on Yankee radio Wednesday night noted Joba Chamberlain talking at length with Mariano, the latter doing most of the talking. She said not all of them take advantage of this resource!).
- P.S. Patience pays off.
- Rivera is the "All-Time Saves" Leader in American League history--not a stat you'll ever hear about.
SCOTT PROCTOR GETS THE WIN FOR DODGERS!
|Proctor (W, 3-5)||2.0||1||0||0||0||2||0||3.48|
|Saito (S, 28)||1.0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1.44|
Melky gets Mention on Jeff Erickson's Fantasy Focus
Latest ESPN Ombudsman Report is interesting, as usual
- "With all genuine and due respect for the SportsCenter producers who try daily to find a balance between sports news and entertainment, I think that SportsCenter's big tent is bursting at the seams from the strain of trying to reconcile irreconcilable audiences and values within one show.
- A prime-time island of clean, clear, straightforward news on which ESPN's journalistic credibility could securely rest. On most nights, such a show is already lurking within the expanded 60- to 90-minute editions of SportsCenter. Many viewers probably use their DVRs to seek and carve out just such a show, but ESPN's producers could do a better job of it than we can, if they would. I know viewers can go to ESPNEWS for updated half-hour news, but ESPN is the parent channel and SportsCenter is the face of the franchise.
- Last part of ESPN Ombudsman report by Le Anne Schreiber, 8/7/07, "Question for ESPN After Who's Now, What's Next?"