Monday, June 30, 2008

Fans, media may not know--Yankees no longer need to win--Newsday

Ken Davidoff again notes the Yankees are likely taking this year, ie not striving for the playoffs (or World Series), which he says is the right thing to do and that Girardi is a better person for this job (losing) than Torre was. I again ask,
  • Why shouldn't sponsors and advertisers "take a breather" and cancel their millions of dollars in support of what they thought was a team going for the championship?
  • Why shouldn't fans do likewise? It's one thing to lose and another to lose at these prices. It's called BAIT AND SWITCH.
(Newsday, Mr. Davidoff): "Girardi is secure, playoffs or no playoffs. He's the guy for the long term.
  • Torre didn't possess that luxury. For four of his final five years on the job (2004 serving as the exception), Torre managed under the perceived mandate of "playoffs or bust." Rarely could he sacrifice a game",...
(Concluding, Newsday): "It could be this whole season...(is) a chance for the organization to take a deep breath and reload, even if the final results (missing the playoffs, in other words) aren't ideal.
  • It's a sound plan. And with every day that passes, it appears increasingly likely that Girardi is the right man to see it through."
Right. Great plan. Losing. After being told it was all about winning the World Series, now we're told it's just an expensive diversion.
  • And that Girardi is a glorified babysitter IN A BAIT AND SWITCH SCAM. (sm)
P.S. Mr. Davidoff references Girardi's personnel moves as "self-preservation." By that does Girardi mean ownership gave him no choice?

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"Tickets: $27, Gas: $40, Team: Priceless"

Sign held by Rays fan shown on TV at Red Sox-Rays game.

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Consumers taking fewer trips to ballparks--Kelley Blue Book Survey

  • "Going to sporting events"
From LA Times: "Sorry, Juan Pierre. Kelley Blue Book reports that 27% of car shoppers say they have stopped attending sporting events altogether, while

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Jose Reyes becoming big problem for Mets--Delcos

WFAN host Mark Malusis cites Journal News Mets reporter John Delcos who says,
  • Willie Randolph wanted to bench Jose Reyes a number of times for his behavior, but was prevented from doing so by Omar Minaya and upper management.
(This following another tantrum Reyes had on the field today).
  • Endless weeks and millions of dollars in air time were devoted to bashing moves of Willie Randolph on WFAN. It's long been documented that not only
was Randolph not allowed to make many managerial decisions, ownership made it known to players he had no authority. Why did WFAN allow and encourage debate about Randolph's managerial moves when the subject should have been closed?
  • Willie himself can't speak on the matter or he won't get the salary he is owed (per Kevin Kennedy last week on XM).

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Homeruns, 6/29/08, after all games

  • 1. Marlins 116
  • 2. Phillies 110
  • 3. White Sox 106
  • 4. Brewers 104
  • 5. Rangers 102
  • 6. Red Sox 99
  • 7. Cubs 92
  • 8. Reds 89
  • 9. Orioles 88
  • 10. Rays 88
  • 11. Tigers 86
  • 12. Astros 86
  • 13. Cardinals 84
  • 14. D'backs 83
  • 15. Pirates 82
  • 16. Yankees 82
  • 17. Braves 80
  • 18. Indians 74
  • 19. Mets 74
  • 20. Padres 71
From MLB.com

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Those seeking Carlos Beltran will likely find Greta Garbo--via Neil Best

Neil Best's Watchdog blog relates Ron Darling comment re Beltran heard on TBS game (not aired in NY market):
  • (Quote from Ron Darling on TBS via Neil Best, Watchdog): "On Carlos Beltran being a New York type of player:

“I don’t know if there are New York kind of players anymore because this is a tough town and you’re going to catch a lot of criticism. Also, people don’t begrudge the

  • they want that player to be a ‘get dirty’ kind of guy,
  • a leader kind of guy,
  • a vocal kind of person, and

He’s an excellent player, great athlete, but

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Artistic rendering of Andy Pettitte in NYC media

For those seeking the sneering, darkly bearded version. NY Daily News back cover, 6/29/08. The owner of the newspaper is entitled to do what he wants. That's why he has the newspaper. He's also a rabid fan of Fidel Castro. The question is, what are you going to do with that information?

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Dodgers beat Angels without getting a hit.

Final score, 1-0, Dodgers.

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Democrat Convention will use cars powered by Coors beer

Driving around Denver at their convention will be cars powered by ethanol in part derived from Coors beer. Breitbart, MSNBC video.
  • (P.S. What will be the carbon debt of all private planes flying in there? How many people will starve as a result of crops diverted from food production? What if people and businesses actually had to change their habits rather than buying third party offsets?) sm

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Delgado insults SNY, Mets TV--will he get fired, too?

Ken Davidoff, Newsday notes after Game 1 of the doubleheader: "You should know that after this amazing game -- in which Delgado established not only the Mets' one-game mark but a personal best -- Is it because SNY's game broadcasters have been critical of Delgado? Perhaps. He has gotten hammered pretty much everywhere, but he spoke to the rest of us after Game 1.".... (Please save adjectives like "enigma" for people who are just enigmatic. Delgado is a demonstrably rude, divisive lout whose presence on any MLB team shows it isn't wallowing in success after all). sm

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Hank sez: Willie will always be a Yankee

(NY Post): ""If he (Willie Randolph) had left to take over the Red Sox maybe I would have had a problem with that," Steinbrenner said. "He's a Yankee. He'll always be a Yankee.

Steinbrenner said he didn't want to comment on the manner in which Randolph was fired because he's

From NY Post article by Mike Puma, 6/25/08, "Hank Steinbrenner Would Welcome Willie Randolph Back"

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Pettitte outpitches Santana

at Shea Stadium, 6/28/08, photo by Newsday

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Mike Francesa seen in stands at Shea Stadium--Neil Best

Mr. Best notes Mets TV Channel, SNY, showed a shot of Mike Francesa sitting in Shea last night for game 2 of the Yankees-Mets doubleheader while Mets voices mentioned Best's story on possible split of Mike and the Mad Dog: Mr. Best provides a transcript of the Mets-casters comments on the issue.

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This afternoon's crowd observed

(NY Times): "It was hard to tell in muggy Yankee Stadium, Maybe fans were still stuck in traffic." (or unable to afford gas and parking). sm

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Friday, June 27, 2008

NY Times also thinks game turned on Jeter's bunt

Earlier today I posted: "Jeter choosing to bunt with the score 4-3 spelled impending doom." (NY Times):"Before the Yankees and the Mets played the second game at Shea Stadium, Jeter was third on the Yankees’ career list with 2,439 hits. He has 70 career sacrifices, but he will not be remembered for those bunts. The Yankees could have damaged Pelfrey when Jeter decided to bunt in the fourth, but they wasted the opportunity.
  • It was one bunt, one forgotten play in a game that seemed like it would never end, especially to the Yankees. But, in a subtle way, it was one of the plays that wounded the Yankees and revived the Mets. The Mets used some erratic Yankee relievers as their version of smelling salts, pelting them the way Jeter usually hits the Mets."
P.S. If Mike Francesa were talking about this game, he'd probably talk about this bunt of Jeter's. Over the years Jeter has chosen to bunt in some unfortunate situations and Mike has noticed it. (sm)

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There is a reason you hear no dissent.

"The Pirates recently disclosed that they are scheduled to receive $35 million in RS (Revenue Sharing) in 2008. I think it’s reasonable to assume the Marlins would receive at least that much." (Such ideas are easily marginalized by ridicule). The other reason is that Doug Pappas is no longer living.

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If a team's hope is Eric Bedard, baseball is not the success it's painted to be

Hearing more chat today about how Eric Bedard has a history of "not wanting to go deep into games," forcing the team to bring in a reliever--if they have one considering relievers are also in short supply--it is obvious baseball is not nearly as successful as its #1 sales guy tells you. A major problem like Bedard should not be considered to have present value. He doesn't. Baltimore never would've traded him unless he were a problem. Yet 2 guys on XM were saying maybe the Yankees should get him. The Yankees may be desperate, but why would they give up good players they already have to take on someone who can't pitch? Unless you want them to trade Carl Pavano (who probably has a no-trade clause) for Bedard with the Mariners paying them $50 million on top of that, that might be OK. Why not discuss MLB's political moves, such as putting a first round World Baseball Classic in Mexico where brutal kidnappings and murders are allowed by the government?

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Mariano warming in the bullpen, Yanks currently losing by 10 runs

Bottom 8th inning, John and Suzyn note. The teams still have to finish this game, get through Friday traffic out to Queens, and play the 2nd game at Shea Stadium. They can't play the 2nd game unless this game ends.
  • Jeter choosing to bunt with the score 4-3 spelled impending doom.

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Francesa's comments today on Mike and the Mad Dog's future via Neil Best

Neil Best provides transcript of Mike Francesa's comments today on WFAN.
  • Some at Mr. Best's site thought Russo sounded more upbeat than Mike.
Imus told an anecdote about the 2 several years ago for whatever it's worth. On a recent Christmas, Francesa had bought an expensive gift for Russo. Russo gave Mike nothing.

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Mike Francesa paints grim picture of show's future

Francesa in today solo for Yankee Stadium/Shea Stadium games. Leading into game 1, he confirmed much of what Neil Best reported, that he and Russo had big problems this spring and acknowledged his own poor behavior (I didn't notice anything unusual). Mike said they've patched up their on-air problems, but not their off-air relationship, haven't spoken this week, for example.
  • Won't discuss his contract publicly, but to be fair to the audience, he says show is at a crossroads, will play out this summer, should be an interesting summer.


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Players Union backs Shawn Chacon

Players Union response about Shawn Chacon: ""Based on the information we have to date, we believe the Astros' response violates the basic agreement," union general counsel Michael Weiner said."

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MLB rewards brutal Mexico with a first round World Baseball Classic

"A federal police commander has been shot dead in Mexico City, the latest in a long line of law enforcement personnel murdered in recent weeks...
  • Eyewitnesses say two people got out of a car, went into the restaurant and opened fire on him and his escorts.

Around 400 law enforcement officers have now been killed in Mexico so far this year"...BBC News

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Either fudged or not polled by SI.com

(Todd Jones): "We all wish we could be Derek Jeter
  • or Mariano Rivera, Chipper Jones or Greg Maddux. But the truth is, we are reminded every day of what we can't do. We can't run fast enough, throw hard enough, hit enough homers or do this or that. We get it. We have limitations, but we want to improve....
From Jones' article on SportingNews.com, 6/26/08, "The Write Stuff Can Sometimes be All Wrong," (in response to a sportswriter's comment about a team mate).

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Scioscia reveals: 'opportunities' necessary for 'total save stat'

Cites Scot Shields for giving K-rod so many 'opportunities.' A departure from others who say pitcher with 'most saves' (without noting 'opportunities' or any other stats) is necessarily 'the best' as I heard on XM yesterday.
  • Shields' string of 13 consecutive appearances and 14 innings without yielding a run ended
when the Nationals rallied with a run in the bottom of the ninth Wednesday night at Nationals Park to snap the Angels' five-game winning streak"...(MLB.com, 6/26/08)

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On dopey test results, WADA dude punts to human investigators

With ongoing lack of credibility in WADA drug testing, why should MLB entertain criticism from them? Dr. Gary Wadler won't be pinned down, even demurs to reliability of human investigators (such as those involved in BALCO). On a NY Times Olympics blog, he answers questions. Other WADA/MLB related posts on this blog:

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Vaunted Olympic Drug Test flunks

"The study, to be published Thursday in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, was conducted last summer and fall by a renowned lab in Denmark, the Copenhagen Muscle Research Center. The investigators gave eight young men EPO and collected urine samples on multiple occasions before, during and after the men were doping. The men's urine samples were then sent to two labs accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and EPO tests were requested.

The second lab never deemed any urine sample positive for EPO and found only a few to be suspicious. The two labs did not agree on which samples were suspicious."....

WADA flummoxed. But will probably continue to try and get MLB money. (sm)

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Approaching anniversary of setting fire, Scott Proctor headed for quiet time on DL

July 1, 2007, NY Post: "(Scott Proctor) lit a fire just outside the Yankees dugout after his teammates went home. He said “everything I had” was a part of the bonfire, presumably meaning his glove, cap, spikes and who knows what else. The smell wafted up to the press box, and it reeked as bad as Proctor’s outing.... Now a year later, with the Dodgers, Proctor has been hiding an elbow injury and is headed to the DL.
  • Get well soon, Scott. You're on the list of Yankee relievers who probably gave too much. (sm)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Substance added to Jackie Robinson plaque in Cooperstown--Dave Anderson

(NY Times, Mr. Anderson): "But over his 10 seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson was more than numbers. Much more. To baseball and to America. And on Wednesday, a new plaque with new words was unveiled by his widow, Rachel Robinson, and their daughter Sharon at a ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y.

the words on the new plaque begin before reciting several of the same statistics. They then conclude, thankfully, with,

  • “Displayed Tremendous Courage and Poise in 1947 When He Integrated the Modern Major Leagues in the Face of
  • Intense Adversity.”"...
From NY Times column by Dave Anderson, "A Fine Piece of Editing in Cooperstown," 6/26/08

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Mets 'touch base' with MLB re umpire incident v Beltran

"(Jerry) Manuel, who thought Runge baited and later pushed Beltran, said, "I haven't heard anything. I'm not hoping that he does get disciplined. I think, for me, MLB.com by Marty Noble, 6/25/08

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Immortality conferred on BBWAA members

"The official scorers for the (2008) All-Star Game are and Bill Shannon, a veteran Major League Baseball scorer." "The Official Scorer," Baseball Analysts by David Vincent, 8/18/05

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Clueless Carter

Gary Carter fresh off insulting Willie Randolph, now does the same to Joe Girardi:

"[The] pictures Joe Girardi must have on Steinbrenner," said Carter, who is managing in a California independent league.

When those words were relayed to Girardi following last night's 12-3 defeat to the Pirates at PNC Park, Girardi listened without comment."...

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AP, others use new software to track users-Business Week

"The AP, a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by thousands of subscriber newspapers, has been using a system from Redwood City (Calif.)-based startup Attributor. Like other content recognition systems, Attributor's software extracts a small digital fingerprint—a string of bits unique to a given article, song, or video—and collects them in a database. Then it continually crawls billions of Web sites and blogs, much as Google does when a user launches a search"...

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Dibs on umpire Brian Runge incident v Beltran

Dibs says it looked like umpire Runge overdid it, tried to show up Beltran who's not normally outspoken. Predicts MLB will give it lip service, nothing will happen, and the situation will continue as it has for years. That being umpires behaving as if they're as important as players. Kevin saw tape and doesn't think Beltran was out of line, says there is a chance Runge could be disciplined.

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While waiting for other teams to lose

If my team is a lost cause, I go to Plan B, which is a list of other teams I hope will lose. After that, my next group of laughs is big media story lines that bite the dust, #1 of course being how much better Jerry Manuel already is. I hope the team does well, but saying the guy was better after 1,2, or 3 games with headlines about "intellect" and "playfulness" were out on a limb.
  • Tonight, I notice "Hannah and Her Sisters" is on tv (1986, Woody Allen). I've seen it several times but didn't know until tonight that Mia Farrow's mother in the film, Maureen O'Sullivan
  • Was Mia Farrow's mother in real life.
  • Was the character 'Dorothy' in "The Thin Man"(1934) with William Powell and Myrna Loy.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Carbon neutral" Florida Marlins game and Hollywood glitter

MLB can't resist the social glitter of 'carbon offsets' attached to tonight featuring Rob Reiner at the Rays-Marlins game. MLB likes those Hollywood connections...
  • "We are proud to participate in this first ever Carbon Neutral game in the Southeast," said Marlins president, David Samson. "Under the leadership of Governor Crist, and our local politicians, including Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Mayor Manny Diaz, Florida has become, and will always remain, a global leader in these important environmental issues.""...
MLB.com/Marlins press release, 6/24/08, "Marlins Host Rays in Carbon Neutral Game."


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Neil Best on Chris Russo's comments re split rumor

Mr. Best notes possibility of satellite radio for one of the duo. Which would be great except many people who need to hear the show would cease to do so. Russo did confirm Mr. Best's points about problems in his relationship with Mike:
  • (Best): "Russo said that from around Easter (March 23) through May 9, "Mike and I were .having a lot of issues. If you're a listener, I don't have to tell you . . . We were fighting like cats and dogs. The tolerance level of each other, Mike to me, me to Mike, was low."
Russo said operations director Mark Chernoff finally asked him to talk to Francesa."... (P.S. Since a main feature of having Mike and Chris together is for them to disagree on things, I didn't notice anything unusual. In fact, to me they seemed to agree too much on major things recently, such as what has been going on with Met management. As a regular listener, I didn't think any unusual spats were going on). sm

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Carbon Trust cuts out "carbon offsets" as solution for excess users--BBC, UK

(BBC): "The Carbon Trust says its standard will only be issued to UK organisations that show "real reductions year-on-year".

  • Companies that paid a third party to offset emissions on their behalf would not qualify, the Trust added."...(6/24/08)
(Phillies Make Biggest Carbon Offsets Buy in Pro Sports to date, 5/1/08)

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Mel Stottlemyre hit a grand slam in 1965...against Boston

"Interestingly, Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre also hit a grand slam while pitching in the big leagues.
  • He did it on July 20, 1965, an inside-the-park slam at Yankee Stadium
  • against Boston."...
From AP report by Mike Fitzpatrick, "Mariners Pitcher Felix Hernandez Hits Grand Slam," 6/23/08

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Monday, June 23, 2008

The only 'Climate' problem is one of fear

Investors Business Daily Editorial, Re: Putting Global Warming non-believers on trial:
  • "In another example of junk science run amok, NASA scientist James Hansen wants oil executives put on trial for giving "misinformation" about his global warming theory. Is this where society is headed?
If so, we are headed for a dangerous place.

Hansen, who 20 years ago Monday cranked up the global warming scare with his congressional testimony, is a clever promoter.

Out of this has emerged a madness that has divided Westerners into "us," the believers, and "them," the skeptics who are looked down upon as socially irresponsible reprobates.

That's not enough for Hansen, though. He now wants to ratchet his machine up a few notches.

Put the oil men on trial, he says, because it's "a crime" for them to "have been putting out misinformation" that places doubt on his unproved — and unprovable — premise that man's use of fossil fuels is warming Earth.

We wonder: Will it be up to NASA's secret police to make the arrests that will be necessary to drag these men before the tribunal?

  • Al Gore, the most famous face of the global warming-industrial complex, has been saying for years that the debate is over, that science has declared humans are responsible for climate change.

He, of course, is wrong. There are skeptics in the scientific community, literally thousands of them.

Many are on the leash, however, afraid to speak out for fear of being bullied, denied research grants and ostracized for expressing politically incorrect doubt. For them, the debate is indeed over.

Those who refuse to be browbeaten, though, are in danger of seeing their careers ruined or, perhaps someday, sharing a prison cell with the oil executives Hansen wants to try.

  • Criminalize dissent: That's one way to ensure the debate is over.

Hansen's comment is revealing. It's the sort of declaration made by a desperate man trying to hang on to his declining relevance.

Hansen knows the climate of fear he has stoked is receding as more people start to see through his nonsense. He's just trying to stir up some storm clouds."

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New Era Hats

MLB is selling New Era hats for a Stars and Stripes promotion. Wondering if they're made in China, I saw an article from 2001 saying they were still made in the US but were having labor problems. If MLB is selling hats for a Stars and Stripes promotion to support veterans, the hats should of course be made in the country the veterans were theoretically defending.

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Wealth and immortality await a 'total save stat' contest winner

An article suggests a 1 inning pitcher who leads the major leagues in "save opportunities" could win a "save stat" contest by the All Star break. The BBWAA member even gleans a response from the now rarin' to go 1 inning pitcher looking to win a "total save stat" race. The 'regular season total save stat' in today's environment allows a newspaper writer to become the news themselves, initiating contests but retaining the unquestioned power to belittle the stat at other times. (On other occassions, BBWAA voters will say they hate the total save stat). Left out of the article about the "save stat" contest:
  • None of his appearances this year have been for more than 1 inning, allowing his use to be channeled into marketing of the total save stat alone. Perhaps the Los Angeles Angels will use any 'total save stat' results as a marketing vehicle to sell tickets as has been done in San Diego.
A SportingNews.com writer also jumps on board saying this contest would be 'historic.'
  • The result of this media creation could mean millions in future contracts and/or endorsement deals for Francisco Rodriguez as well as the Los Angeles Angels. A 'media creation' because it uses the 'total save stat' to the exclusion of other relevant stats to discern the success of a pitcher. Millions of dollars in publicity have gone into selling this stat--in regular season only--as a vehicle for wealth and immortality. Solution? BBWAA members should be removed from baseball awards of any kind. Just report the game.
Curt Schilling's recent contract included $1 million for a single Cy Young vote. You can have just 1 media guy (a "conscience of the game") generating upwards of a million dollars for you, not that different from the cash register and immortality promised by the "total save stat by the All Star break contest."
  • But you'll be ridiculed if you point this out, as baseball is "awash in money" according to the media and their benefactor, Bud Selig. How is this not like a Banana Republic, as Marvin Miller suggested where rules are made and broken without a peep from anyone?

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'More save opportunities' used to make it 'unfair'--

Certain types have noted in the recent past that if a pitcher has more save "opportunities," it's unfair to give them accolades. (Karl Ravetch said this often a few years ago about 1 particular pitcher before I stopped watching Baseball Tonight). 'Unfair' because they're simply luckier to be on a team doing well enough to give them the "opportunities."
  • The 'total save stat' itself is largely a function of the 'save opportunity,' but in the past year or 2 I've heard and read numerous radio and online accounts, polls, extensive campaigning on national ESPN TV games, etc., extolling the 'total save stat' without mentioning the dependent 'save opportunity' stat, ie. the "this guy is just luckier" stat.
I heard another report tonight saying Frankie Rodriguez leads the major league in "saves," that he just "picked up" another one today, which is great. But the report failed to mention he also leads the majors in "save opportunities." According to past interpretations of the "save" stat, other pitchers just weren't as 'lucky' as Rodriguez- being on a team that could 'give' him these opportunities. Or do they change the interpretation and publicity about stats from year to year?

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MLB funds jet-lag research

Last paragraph of 6/10/08 article in ScienceDaily.com, "Major League Baseball Teams with Greater Circadian Advantage Are More Likely to Succeed:"
  • ""We began looking at the impact of travel and time zone changes on Major League Baseball teams in 2004. In that study, we evaluated the impact of travel on team performance, and showed that it did impact game outcome. We decided to expand the study to a 10-year retrospective period, and
with MLB funding, Another article about the study appeared in Scientific American and included this:
  • ""[The study's] conclusions, at first glance, seem to correlate with what I've learned about the effect of sleep deprivation on cognitive and motor-skill abilities," says Steve Hirdt,
executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau, which specializes in historical sports statistics." I was lead to the Scientific American article by a mention in a sabermetric blog. The sabermatrician (Phil Birnbaum) felt the numbers actually supported an opposite conclusion. And, most importantly, can any research convince them to cancel the World Baseball Classic?

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tonight, Neil Best still thinks Mike and the Mad Dog likely to split

(Neil Best, Newsday): "Why would Francesa or Russo walk away from that, and millions in future salary?
  • For one thing, their relationship clearly has been on the rocks in recent months, an element of the story that others with knowledge of the show confirmed Sunday....
Who knows? I have been told this matter will play itself out relatively quickly, perhaps before the next scheduled joint appearance of Francesa and Russo July 11.
  • If they do last until then without a resolution, you can be sure even more people than usual will tune in. In good times and bad, their listeners always have done that."
From Newsday by Neil Best, Sunday evening 6/22/08, "What Could be Next for Mike and Mad Dog"
  • (I have not noticed a recent change in their relationship and am a regular listener. They could in fact be history for a variety of reasons, but I haven't noticed anything new. Regarding the month of July, Mike recently said the All Star game being staged in New York had messed up his summer vacation plans, as he'd now have to be at work for the occasion. Which may mean nothing, it's just what he said). sm
P.S. In general, broadcasters who talk about baseball say they are "not a fan of any one team, I'm a fan of all teams," which is never true (in my experience listening to them in a variety of venues). It comes across in what they say and what they don't say. Mike and Chris both love baseball, but do not insult listeners by hiding their individual fandom: Mike for the Yankees and Chris for the San Francisco Giants. The other really good broadcaster at WFAN is Joe Benigno, an openly die-hard Met fan. A fan/listener relates better to another fan than to a phony. (sm)

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'Savvy Southpaw' at best in a jam-AP on Pettitte

(AP, Mike Fitzpatrick): "The left-hander also improved to 75-37 after a regular-season Yankees loss, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He is 209-118 overall.

  • Pettitte loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on two walks sandwiched around an infield single.

and Pettitte made big pitches against a pair of dangerous left-handed hitters when he needed them. He struck out Joey Votto, then went to a full count on rookie sensation Jay Bruce before fanning him, too."...

(AP): "The ball was caught by a smiling fan wearing a Reds shirt."

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Mike and the Mad Dog burst the bubble of local newspapers' agenda

No further word on the future of Mike and Chris, but Neil Best defines their tenure: Mike Francesa and Chris Russo often helped set the local sports agenda, influencing even what sports editors at newspapers considered important, to the dismay of their own reporters and columnists. "Sportswatch: A Split Decision?" by Neil Best, Newsday, 6/22/08

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For those interested in living, profiles of would-be murderers in the street.

Profiles of the 4 reckless drivers who crashed into pedestrians on NY city streets in the past 2 days, from WCBS-TV: From "22 recovering after being struck by cars in NYC," wcbstv.com, 6/21/08. via Drudge

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Griffey Jr. has his own place in the world, not obsessed with monuments belonging to a team he never played for

NY Post: June 21, 2008 -- "Ken Griffey Jr. didn't make the walk out to Monument Park yesterday, and has no plans to do so this weekend.

He won't stop to smell the roses, because Griffey figures he will have to hold his nose.

"My favorite Yankee Stadium memory?" the Reds slugger said last night. "It's leaving Yankee Stadium."

Griffey is no fan of history, and no fan of the Yankees since Billy Martin, who has been dead for 17 years, yelled at a young Griffey while his dad, Ken Sr., was a member of the Bombers.

Once, Junior said he would never play for the Yankees for that reason alone.

"The Reds haven't been here in 30 years," he said before the Reds' 4-2 victory last night. "For us it's a road trip we have to make, not something to look forward to.""

Article by Jay Greenberg, "Grumpy Griffey Still Dishin' Bronx Cheers"

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Neil Best reports Mike and the Mad Dog on WFAN could be history

Neil Best: "Mike and the Mad Dog," the most successful, influential show in sports talk radio history, could soon be history itself. They may have already done their final show together; their next scheduled broadcast is not until July 11.
  • It is not clear which host would remain on WFAN, only that it would not be both of them. One factor appears to be a fraying of their personal relationship in recent months."...
From Newsday by Neil Best, 9:56PM, 6/21/08, "Mike and the Mad Dog radio show could be history."
  • P.S. I've listened regularly for many years. There is nothing like them anywhere. It will be a disastrous loss, if true. (sm)

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Babe Ruth's daughter finally became a Red Sox fan--AP, Newsday

Babe Ruth's daughter was a Yankee fan most of her life despite living in New Hampshire for more than 50 years. (Yahoo headline below is misleading. Reader is invited to believe she hasn't been a longtime Yankee fan. Not that it's such a big deal, but why write a misleading headline that includes the name of a famous person?):

4/9/2012, "Babe Ruth’s daughter still isn’t a Yankees fan," Yahoo Sports, Big League Stew, David Brown

"The Associated Press [no link] picked it up:
For most of her life, Stevens said, she was a Yankees fan, despite living in New Hampshire for more than 50 years. Her husband was a loyal Red Sox fan until the one season in the mid-'90s when he decided he couldn't take another season without a World Series victory. Stevens started rooting for the Red Sox in his place.
"He just gave up on them. I said, 'You haven't.' He said, 'Yes, I have.' I've been pulling for them all these years and they haven't won,' " she told the Globe. "It was about that time I took up for them."...
Stevens, who was adopted by Ruth after her mother married him, adopted the team that gave him up in 1918."...


Julia Ruth Stevens, now age 91, said she became a Red Sox fan about 10 years ago. Living in New England, it wasn't possible for her to be a Yankee fan:
  • "Stevens explained that she rooted for the Yankees as long as she could while living part of the year in Conway, N.H., but finally gave in to the New England vibe.
"I watch baseball all the time," she said. "In New England, you mostly get the Red Sox. You don't get the Yankees' games. You can't live in New England without being a Red Sox fan. I've lived up there for 60-something years. It's so hard to be a Yankee fan in a country that's all Red Sox. But I held out until about 10 years ago.""

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Jim Edmonds homers twice in same inning

In White Sox v Cubs, Jim Edmonds homers in the 4th against Contreras. Later in the same inning, Edmonds up again and homers v Logan.

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Yankee concrete now subject of investigation--was Ortiz jersey embed tipoff of bad cement?

Construction standards at the new Yankee Stadium are such that a garment from another team was easily mixed with the cement, so how can one know if the structure is sound? I mentioned that on this blog on May 25, now I read that the New York DA is From AP report published on SportingNews.com, 6/20/08, "Official: DA Probing NYC Concrete Testing Firm."

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Overheard on Red Sox radio

Joe Castiglione mentions during the 8th inning of tonight's Cardinals-Red Sox game:
  • The Red Sox this year have given up more runs in the 7th inning than any other inning.
(A commenter contributes that the number is 49 runs in the 7th and 45 on the 4th. Making it not as dramatic a stat, except the 7th inning is more dramatic if one is a fan).

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The facts remain the same, but without Doug Pappas they've become acceptable.

"As the head of the Society for American Baseball Research’s Business of Baseball Committee and a writer for Baseball Prospectus, he may well have known more about baseball’s economy than any other independent expert. What distinguished him, though, was not just the breadth and depth of his knowledge, but his integrity and his generosity, two traits that are unfortunately rare in my field. He wasn’t the first to point out that the owners were liars, but he was the first writer to expose their falsehoods in clinical detail and in real time. Using their own numbers, he showed lies about specific details, like the percentage of the game’s revenue going to players,and about large ideas, like the supposed inability of small-market teams to compete.
  • Pappas detailed the reasons why stadiums are foolish investments for cities, and showed how teams use such tricks as paper tax losses and the sale of their broadcasting rights to parent media companies to systematically understate profits in their attempts to get on the public dole.
Parsing the language of the last collective bargaining agreement,he made clear how its He was effective enough to provoke a phone call from a spluttering Selig, which became the subject of a mordant and hilarious article for Baseball Prospectus called “Friday Afternoon With Bud: The Commish Speaks.”... There are still far too many baseball writers willing to regurgitate whatever lies emanate from MLB’s plush offices on Park Avenue,
  • willing to portray the lords of baseball as patrons of the arts
  • and the players as greedy, ungrateful fiends. But there are many less than there once were,and hints of critical inquiry at times creep into the voices of
Doug Pappas has a lot to do with that.
  • If it were only a matter of having exposed deception or having provided others with the tools to do so themselves, Pappas’s legacy would be impressive enough. But not only did he help others to find and value truth — he expected others to do the same. Lines from “The Numbers” have stuck with me any time I’ve ever written about the business of baseball:
“Apparently in the hermetically sealed world inhabited by the Commissioner and his minions,
  • ‘Good journalism’ means uncritically accepting MLB’s insistence that it has publicly disclosed all relevant information concerning its finances, even though MLB doesn’t act like an industry on the brink of financial ruin […]
Pappas provided a moral context for journalists to follow, and was not shy about holding them to it. What he understood was that if baseball is really the American game, the way in which it is run (Since no one is doing the job Mr. Pappas did, the apathetic national character is in full view). sm
  • via newpartisan.com

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

How to "Get" a Save

"(Mariano) Rivera... struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save in 20 chances. Rivera Last year (2007) at this time, Rivera had only "gotten" The recitation of the "total save stat" alone without any context isn't meaningful.
  • A person can't "get" an official "save" stat without an official "save opportunity." Even if he'd been perfect the first part of last year (which he wasn't as was extensively documented), the most he could have had at this date was 10 Saves.

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Yankees sweep Padres at the Stadium.

photo by Newsday. 6/19/08.
  • Mariano Rivera appeared in all 3 games lost by the Padres in Yankee Stadium, 6/17-6/19.

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Natural nervousness at sight of Farnsworth

"There was some nervousness, naturally, when Kyle Farnsworth started the eighth
  • and gave up a leadoff homer
to Chase Headley." From Newsday article by Erik Boland, 6/18/08, "Yankees Pop Peavy, Win 6th in a Row"

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Bartolo Colon's back trouble is nothing new

11/9/05, AP report by Mike Fitzpatrick: "And despite pitching with back pain all season, Colon issued a career-low 43 walks." published in the Daily Texan.
  • (Chien-Ming Wang's Lisfranc fracture was not related to a chronic condition. Colon has had chronic back problems. If one is going to "blame" interleague play, Wang counts, Colon doesn't in this case. I don't blame interleague play, just think AL pitchers should not be allowed to swing. I'm also not sure how many base-running drills someone like Wang did).

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yankee Steaks to be available year round in new stadium

From Newsday.com-"The Yankees will open a team-owned steakhouse at the new Yankee Stadium with yearlong operations.
  • NYY Steakhouse will be owned by Yankees Global Enterprises, the parent company of the team and operated by Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment Inc., which runs 127 restaurants in 48 countries around the world.
"The parties intend to explore ... the development of NYY Steak nationally and internationally," Lonn Trost, chief operating officer of the Yankees, said at a news conference at the new stadium.

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23 arrested in Boston after Celtics win

BOSTON (Reuters) - "Boston police arrested 23 people early on Wednesday after celebrations of the Boston Celtics' first championship win in 22 years briefly turned violent with some fans smashing windows and assaulting police.

  • Hundreds of supporters spilled into the streets outside Boston's TD Banknorth Garden after the Celtics won their 17th National Basketball Association championship...
In a statement issued on Wednesday, police said most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct. At least two people were charged with assault and battery of police officers, and two were arrested for destroying property after several storefront windows were smashed."...

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Cooper and Gardenhire fined for 'pace of game' violations

MLB.com: "Managers Cecil Cooper of the Houston Astros and Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins have been fined undisclosed amounts for the failures of their Clubs to comply with Major League Baseball's pace of game regulations during play last weekend. Bob Watson, Vice President of On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement." 6/17/08, 6:22PM

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Padres acquire need for more Al Gore 'carbon offsets' with big trip to NYC

"The Padres brought about 150 extra people in their traveling party (to NYC), mostly front-office staff and invited guests, so they could visit Yankee Stadium in the storied ballpark's final season." Alarmed at alleged man-made environmental trauma, Bud Selig hired the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to advise MLB teams on minimizing the stress their travel does to the environment.
  • The trip described here for 150 people did not need to be made. No millions of dollars to Al Gore approved carbon offset scams will make a difference to the environment. China will never participate. (sm)

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rays attendance 31,000 tonight

Overheard on Rays radio postgame show, Rays up to 31,000 attendance tonight, looking for as much or more tomorrow. (Last year's season average was 17,000+).

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The "new" Mets have disastrous 1st inning v Angels

To Steve Somers on WFAN and an enraged Jeff Wilpon, Willie Randolph is gone and this is your first inning without him:
  • 1. Jose Reyes injured, leaves game in 1st inning.
  • 2. David Wright grounds into a double play.
  • 3. The Angels get 3 runs off Johan Santana, 2 earned.
  • 4. The insufferable Carlos Delgado makes an error, scoring an unearned run.
  • 5. Casey Kotchman steals a base v Santana.

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Andy Pettitte passes Ron Guidry with 171 wins, regular season

photo by Newsday 6/17/08
  • With tonight's 171st win, Suzyn Waldman notes Andy Pettitte passes Ron Guidry for 4th place in all time Yankee wins (regular season).

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AP will offer reduced rates to non-profits!

I guess this means non-profit blogs as well..... From Beta News, "AP Sets Up a Toll Booth For Bloggers Citing its Stories" by Tim Conneally, 6/17/08

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Al Gore's home energy use surges 10%

NASHVILLE - "In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.
  • “A man’s commitment to his beliefs is best measured by what he does behind the closed doors of his own home,” said Drew Johnson, President of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. “Al Gore is a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to his commitment to the environment, judging by his home energy consumption.”

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Tim Russert was on Imus show 150+ times

Imus noted this stat today talking with Barnicle. Said he looked in his computer and found Russert was on his show more than 150 times going back to at least 1995.

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Baseball is such a fascinating business.

NY Times' opening to Ben Shpigel's article on Willie Randolph's departure on their website: From NY times, referencing story by Ben Shpigel with headline, "Cerebral Coach Becomes Mets' New Manager," 6/17/08
  • Jerry Manuel's intellectual interests are what did it. I realize sports writers' work is so complex and ingenious the average person could never understand. They choose to make a living hanging around where young men undress, which has to be very cerebral, too. I'd like to see 3 full time reporters analyzing everything written on MLB.com. Plenty there that could use the attention. (sm)

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Tony Bernazard again, Marty Noble

The most relevant item about the Mets team, clubhouse or lack therein was noted again today by Marty Noble on XM. (Bill Madden reported it last year). A rat-infested culture was imposed on the Mets team and their fans:
  • Noble: Tony Bernazard told many people internally last year that he wanted a new manager and wanted it to be Manny Acta. Word obviously got around to Noble and many others. Since Bernazard has continued his role there, ownership approves.
Why wouldn't any Met player get out of this living cancer as fast as possible? No one, including Willie Randolph could have any positive influence in this environment. The joke is, he did straighten out that team when he got there.

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A disgrace

Photo from Mets House.
  • Being well dressed and pretending to be genteel should never be confused with being a decent human being.

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Jeff Wilpon has only begun. Will fans go along?

  • Little Jeff Wilpon is on the MLB Channel's Board of Directors (neither Steinbrenner son is named):
(From Neil Best Watchdog, 4/23/08): "MLB last month hired executive search firm Spencer Stuart to find a CEO, who will report to the net's board, which consists of five owners, two MLB executives and two network partners:
  • Royals Owner David Glass,
  • White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf,
  • Red Sox Chair Tom Werner,
  • ***Mets co-Owner Jeff Wilpon*** and
  • A's Owner Lewis Wolff,
  • MLB President Bob DuPuy and
  • Exec VP/Business Tim Brosnan, along with
  • DirecTV President Chase Carey and
  • Comcast COO Steve Burke.
The CEO is expected to collaborate on a day-to-day basis with Brosnan. MLB Senior VP/Broadcasting Chris Tully is expected to be tapped as COO, reporting to Petitti." Originally posted on this blog 4/23/08

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Caller prefers Cleveland not trade with Yankees, cites David Justice

If Cleveland wants to trade a pitcher, a caller to Dibs and Kevin on XM said don't trade him to the Yankees, Indians always do that, "look at David Justice, HOW many championships did they win with him" (suggesting it was a lot). Dibs and Kevin agreed with the caller that Cleveland shouldn't trade a pitcher to the Yankees, but didn't take issue on the claim about David Justice (while I was listening). With 30 teams to cover, I don't expect every detail to be known by everyone, so I looked up Justice's Yankee record including 2001: First, he was injured in 2001 and missed a month of the regular season, July 2 to August 2. Some are aware he had a distinctive kick with his foot when he swung the bat. I recall when he returned from his injury much discussion ensued on how he tried to or had to change his swing (eliminating the foot kicking part), Yankee coaches worked with him on it. It never worked out. His batting average and OPS never recovered or responded to the revised swing technique and/or whatever physical problems he may have had. Michael Kay read a stat from Elias Sports Bureau during that game (which I have on tape) that when the Yankees had a 1-0 lead on Oakland, it was the first time in 76 and 1/3 innings in which they had a lead against them. Aside from Posada, the game featured 7 innings from Mike Mussina, 2 innings from Mariano Rivera, and the famous play of Derek Jeter near home plate to tag out Jeremy Giambi, bottom 7th.
  • In 2001, it was Oakland who had the "bombers," not the Yankees:
Oakland's lineup in Game 3, 2001 ALDS:
  • Johnny Damon
  • Miguel Tejada
  • Jason Giambi
  • Jermaine Dye
  • Eric Chavez
  • Jeremy Giambi
  • Terrence Long
  • Ramon Hernandez
  • Olmedo Saenz, PH
  • F.P. Santangelo 2B
  • Frank Menechino
  • Greg Myers, PH-C
The Pitchers:
  • The 2001 ALCS was less suspenseful and lasted only 5 games.
Onto the 2001 World Series. David Justice contributed nothing. The Yankees could not score runs. After the loss, the Boss ordered: 'GET GIAMBI.' In the 7 game series:
  • Game 1: David Justice struck out 3 times. He was replaced by Shane Spencer in his final AB.
  • Game 2: David Justice did not play.
  • Game 3: David Justice was not in the lineup, but came in twice as a PH. He struck out both times.
  • Game 4: David Justice was the DH. He got 1 hit, a single, no RBI, and struck out 3 times.
  • Game 5: David Justice was the DH. In 2 AB's, had 1 BB and 1K. Chuck Knoblauch pinch ran for him in the 7th inning, but never scored.
  • Game 6: David Justice did not play.
  • Game 7: David Justice was not in the lineup. He came in once as PH in the 8th inning and got a single. No scoring ensued.
Runs scored in the 2001 World Series: No bombers and no big-time David Justice. Sorry.

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