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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

MLB Network can survive without GM ads

(NY Times, Sandomir): "But the (MLB) network can survive without much, if any, advertising. With 50 million subscribers paying an Asked if the network could break even with no advertising at all, Petitti paused and said, “Our subscriber fees can support us.”" (item at end of column)

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In 1990 Yankee succession in crisis: George out, Hank not interested, Hal only 20 years old

Hal Steinbrenner was not yet 21 years old when George Steinbrenner was removed from baseball by Fay Vincent. So all eyes were on Hank, the reluctant heir. This 8/14/90 NY Times article by Claire Smith describes Hank clearly not wanting to take over:
  • the succession process is in disarray.

Many of the partners are convinced that Mr. Steinbrenner's choice as successor, his 33-year-old son Hank,

''It's getting nastier and nastier as each day goes along,'' Edward Rosenthal, a partner, said yesterday. ''I don't think Hank wants to do it, and that's created monumental problems for George. And the timetable, with Aug. 20 approaching, is horrendous.'' As part of the agreement between George Steinbrenner and major league baseball announced July 30, Mr. Steinbrenner agreed to resign as the Yankees' general partner on or before Aug. 20.

  • In another development, it was learned that lawyers for George Steinbrenner were prepared last week to accuse Fay Vincent, the baseball commissioner, of severely damaging Mr. Steinbrenner's reputation and business by misrepresenting the agreement that will end Mr. Steinbrenner's management of the Yankees.

A source close to the Steinbrenner camp pictured him as desperately concerned about repercussions that

The fear that the Yankees will be rudderless by next week led one limited partner to ask major league baseball to consider allowing a temporary caretaker, an overture under consideration by the commissioner's office.

Some partners are also reportedly mulling whether to seek a joint management team, which could include Mr. Goldklang and two other partners, Barry Halper and Daniel M. Crown.

Mr. Goldklang, when reached at his New York office, declined to comment about any possible move by him into the general partner's role. Mr. Halper, owner of a paper-products company and a neighbor of Mr. Goldklang in Livingston, N.J., declined to be interviewed. Also unavailable for comment was

  • Mr. Crown, a Chicago industrialist who, along with his father and brother, owns 10 to 12 percent of the Yankees,

George and Hank Steinbrenner have declined to comment on any aspect of the succession.

Mr. Rosenthal, a Cleveland steel executive and a supporter of George Steinbrenner, also indicated that the partners had not had any direct signals from George Steinbrenner since late last week.

  • Still, the partners do know this: Mr. Vincent is prepared to enforce the July 30 agreement, signed by George Steinbrenner. That agreement effectively removes Mr. Steinbrenner from the day-to-day operations of the team.

The agreement was the result of Mr. Vincent's investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Steinbrenner's payment of $40,000 to Howard Spira, a known gambler. Mr. Vincent ruled that Mr. Steinbrenner's payment, which Mr. Spira said was made in return for detrimental information about the former Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield, was not in the best interests of baseball....

Main Interest Elsewhere

The cause of all the concern is Hank Steinbrenner, who is pictured increasingly as the reluctant heir. After a brief tenure with the Yankees in 1986, Hank made it known that he

''I think Hank wants to be out. I talked to George, and he said if Hank doesn't want it, he isn't going to push it. I don't think he's going to twist the kid's arm.'' Rosenthal said he sympathized with the father. ''I would want my son,'' he said. ''I don't see how he could feel any other way. Leave destiny to an outsider, a stranger? Not me.''

It was already doubtful that any candidate could be approved by the partners and then by baseball by next Monday under any circumstances. Any nominee would have to clear three major hurdles: Approval by the commissioner, approval by the Yankees' limited partners, and approval by the other club owners.

  • Mr. Vincent has said that he would not oppose Hank Steinbrenner as a successor to his father, and Mr. Rosenthal said yesterday that a straw vote of the limited partners indicated that Hank would get 80 percent support. He would only need two-thirds support.

But it was clear from the outset that Hank Steinbrenner was in for rigorous inquiry from the other owners....

(end of article)...

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Sabathia's $2 million incentive for baseball reporters' votes appears to have sunsetted

Sabathia was seen to be a trooper to pitch so many innings in the 2007 regular season, but his post season record didn't expand on that promise. He had 2 million reasons to empty the tank in the regular season. His 2007 contract with the Indians included a Checking his new Yankee contract on Cots, I see no mention of BBWAA award incentives. Not even 10 cents. His new contract does not cheat him out of money, it just takes focus and power away from unaccountable employees of far-flung newspapers across the country (or web reporters designated by MLB's Jack O'Connell) and puts them on player contribution to the team (and his employer). Which includes the post season when it matters most.
  • 7 years/$161M (2009-15)
    • signed by NY Yankees as a free agent 12/11/08
    • $9M signing bonus (paid in 3 installments: 12/31/08, 3/1/09, 7/31/09
    • 09:$14M, 10-15:$23M annually
    • salaries to be paid semimonthly over all 12 months of year, rather than semimonthly during season
    • Sabathia may opt of of deal after 2011 season
    • no-trade protection
    • perks: suite on road trips ********
  • 2 years/$17.5M (2007-08)
    • signed extension with Cleveland 4/05, with Indians also exercising 2006 option as part of deal
    • 07:$8.75M, 08:$9M***
    • may earn $7.75M in award & performance bonuses:
      • up to $2M in 2006, $3M in 2007, $2.75M in 2008
      • award bonuses for top 5 finish in MVP vote or top 2 finish in Cy Young vote ($0.25M for 2007 Cy Young)
      • 2007 Cy Young increases 2008 salary to $11M***
      • $0.1M award bonus for All Star selection
The Yankees traditionally do not give award incentives. NY Times,Chass, 11/24/07

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'Bernie will be considered' for WBC--Puerto Rico GM

(El Nuevo Dia, San Juan, 12/31/08): "Though injured and unlikely to play again in the remainder of the winter season, Bernie Williams is still not ruled out as a candidate to be part of the team from Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic next year.

  • So let him know yesterday the general manager of the Puerto Rican ninth, Lou Melendez, emphasizing that a talent as special as it was Williams can not be ruled out because of injury time. "If we do that we would be forced to discard any other player in the training process needs some rest to heal some discomfort," said Melendez.

At the same time, Melendez said that the seven Williams took turns at bat in winter ball before injury a 'hamstring' is not enough time to judge whether or not to be considered for the team.

  • "The consideration for inclusion in the list of 45 players who must submit the January 16 will be decided after talking with the leader of the team, Cheíto Oquendo. After that conversation we will see where we stand in relation to it. And of course we will see what Bernie thinks too.

Now, let me be clear, Bernie will be considered," said the former outfielder Meléndez central New York Yankees were leading two years of Major League Baseball a few weeks ago and who played his first game in the winter league in 12 years with Giants Carolina." Noel Pineiro Planas, google translation from Spanish. file photo El Nuevo Dia by Jose Rodriguez

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Strib sports columnist Reusse 7 days on KSTP radio

"Patrick Reusse today will be named host of AM-1500 KSTP radio's morning show. His duties begin on Jan. 12. The program will run from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. each weekday. Reusse succeeds Willie Clark, who was fired in Mid-December along with producer Jeremy Kienitz.

Reusse will have as his right-hand man Jay Kolls, who had been teamed with Clark. ...

  • Reusse, who has been with the station for 25 years, will continue his Saturday morning sports show with KSTP weekday afternoon host Joe Soucheray. Reusse also does a Sunday morning sports show with Brad Lane and fellow Star Tribune columnist Brad Lane.

Reusse, who joined the Star Tribune in 1988, will continue his column each Thursday and Sunday in the sports section and on startribune.com." via Radio Daily News

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In a shocking development, Selig slithers away from Waxman unscathed again

  • Waxman says he believes Bud, figuring a $20 million xerox of an IRS bust couldn't have made a typo about Bud canceling drug testing in 2004:
"Selig and Fehr responded to Congress in June and said that their testimony was accurate The Mitchell report had based the length of the moratorium on information provided by Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president for labor relations. the moratorium had lasted for more than half the season."

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All that matters is an 'appearance' of objectivity

(From a 'World Views Farewell, Part 2, SF Gate, Gomez): "Alas, the recognition of the obligation and fundamental duty of the so-called free press to pursue and present to its audiences the truth about any subject
  • Just sit in on any class at a journalism school in the U.S. in which the tired formula for "seeking objectivity" in reporting is taught.

News flash: There is no such thing as objectivity in American journalism. Instead, in large part as a result of the formulaic practices that are taught in U.S. journalism schools, what most mass-media news organizations pursue is

  • what might be described as merely the presentation of the

Thus, on television, the same talking heads from the so-called left and the so-called right (American media incorrectly use the terms "liberal" and "conservative" all the time, but that's the subject of another discussion) routinely appear, simplistically

  • representing their host programs' dutiful attempts to appear
  • "objective."" via Poynter.org/Romenesko
The only people so-called journalists are fooling are themselves. They are self-appointed to begin with. One of their best cites either deliberately refraining from voting, or voting as a libertarian, for example, as proof they are totally objective human beings in all cases. (sm)

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GMAC's Ezra Merkin, $1.8B Madoff loser, now implicated as conduit in Swiss Bank losses.

Ezra Merkin, right, GMAC chairman, president of Ascot Fund which funneled $1.8 billion to Madoff, is now named by a private Swiss bank, Union Bancaire Privee, as a conduit between themselves and Madoff. The bank, UBP pictured in the inset. Merkin is shown in 2006 photo with Ariel Sharon, left, and Ehud Olmert, center. photo by AP, inset by Reuters. via wsj.com (GMAC just received a multi-billion dollar US taxpayer grant or 'bailout.')
  • People the world over seem compelled to give this man Merkin their last dime. No matter what.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Cuban players from El Duque's team defect--this time successfully

  • Cuban pitcher Yadel Marti (here in 2007) and outfielder Yasser Gomez have left the confines of Communist Cuba, as reported by ESPN. They hope to become MLB players:
On November 21st, the two were caught trying to defect and punished. From Havana Journal, CBS Sports:

The one-sentence announcement on Friday in the Communist Party newspaper Granma offered no details on why Marti, picked to the all-tournament team at the 2006 WBC, and Gomez, a former Olympian, were released from Havana’s Industriales.

  • Two people close to the team said the action came after the pair was caught trying to defect to the United States. The two people spoke on condition of anonymity and did not elaborate,
  • fearing it could lead to problems with the Industriales.

Marti talked publicly about how Cuba would seek revenge during the 2009 WBC

The 29-year-old Marti began his career with the island’s top baseball league in 1999 with the Metropolitanos of Havana, the capital’s second-tier squad.

  • but his excellent control and craftiness on the mound helped him win a spot on the Industriales in 2002.

The 28-year-old Gomez is a left-hander who batted third slot in the Industriales’ lineup and hit .394 in 2007. He began playing in Cuba’s top league as a teenager and was part of the Olympic team at the Sydney Games in 2000, which took the silver medal. He was left off Cuba’s 2006 WBC squad.

  • Both Gomez and Marti failed to secure spots on the Cuban team that finished second at the Olympic Games in Beijing,

Gomez had lived in a Havana apartment building adjacent to the aging stadium where the Industriales play. The building is full of players and their families and painted in the colors of Industriales, blue and white, with a script “I” logo. He moved to a new apartment in the capital’s Vedado district sometime ago, however.

  • Marti has a home in another part of the city, but did not answer his home or cellular phones on Friday. The Industriales refused to comment.

Like many elite Cuban athletes,

  • but have some perks the general population does not, including the use of a state-owned car or the right to purchase their own vehicle.

but the island’s National Baseball League is far-and-away the most-followed in this baseball-mad country.

  • The Industriales are the class of the league. The team has first choice of the top baseball talent born in and around Havana and vies with Santiago, the island’s second-largest city, for the largest and most-devoted fan base.

It was the team of Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who was the most famous player on Industriales and in Cuba when he defected to the United States, eventually winning a World Series with the New York Yankees in 1998."...photo from AFP via Yahoo

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Perhaps the Red Sox are unique.

(From MLB Trade Rumors, 12/28/08): "(Brad) Penny, 31 in May, dealt with shoulder and forearm pain all year.
  • so it's an interesting match."
Perhaps other teams can use the Red Sox system on their injured pitchers.

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Connors, Purcell not pursuing Boston Globe purchase; Connors no Red Sox

"Both Boston Herald publisher Patrick Purcell and former Boston advertising executive Jack Connors separately flatly ruled out being involved in deals to buy the Boston Globe, which is owned by the New York Times Co.

The Times has put its 17.5 percent stake in the Red Sox up for sale, and recent news accounts have reported that the company has also offered to sell the Globe, too. The Financial Times reported last week that Connors was in talks with Times executives to buy the Globe and the Red Sox position.

  • "There's nothing to it,'' Connors told the Globe. "I'm not buying the Boston Globe. I'm not buying anything that the New York Times owns.''" ...via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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Madoff meet-up Feb. 18th

"Judge Lifland invited Madoff investors to attend a meeting at the US Bankruptcy Court on 18 February....Sources close to the investigation said forensic accountants examining Madoff's books believed he had regularly sent large sums of money to offshore accounts in the Caribbean and Europe.
  • "There are accounts at New York Mellon Bank that we have been looking at that appear to have sent and received money from offshore locations," a senior source said."

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ethanol racket seeks US bailout in spite of promotional assistance by MLB

  • Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell, MLB's Tim Brosnan, Chevy official Ed Peper, 2006 Fan Fest
The ethanol racket seeks US taxpayer bailout on top of existing taxpayer subsidies. Its major companies such as VeraSun are either bankrupt or on the verge Ethanol has already robbed US taxpayers of millions, much of it transferred to 'green' funds, caused global starvation and displacement. Credit also to Hollywood, the US MEDIA, the UN, the Nobel committee, etc.,
  • who bullied this scheme and ridiculed non 'believers.'
Even the nation's children were used as sales aids again at taxpayer expense (forced to view Al Gore's movie). An MLB executive cited proof for the existence of man-made global warming as GM went along, produced some ethanol using cars which MLB promoted (as part of its global warming alarmism). MLB was on the front line of the ethanol bully pulpit. (WSJ.com, 12/24/08): "Don't expect Congress to listen. Ethanol may never be profitable in the real world, but in Washington it's a lucrative business that provides jobs and votes. Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ethanol is a business created by Congress that now has to be bailed out to save Congress from embarrassment." photo from gm.com

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Remains of the Day

(Hartford Courant): "Bernie Williams will play baseball for the Carolina Giants in his native Puerto Rico, which means
  • than the Yankees."...Matt Eagan, the Hartford Courant (item near end of column), 12/13/08
(12/27/08, Chicago Tribune, Phil Rogers): On A-rod and Teixeira: "Will it work? We won't know until next October, and history suggests the odds are against a team built around the superbly talented, minimally impactful (Alex) Rodriguez and Teixeira.
  • Reggie Jackson thrived as "the straw that stirs the drink" in another era. He didn't care if he looked selfish, he wanted to win; and his teams played loose enough to win the big games (11 of 17 postseason series with the A's, Yankees and Angels, including four of five World Series).
Rodriguez (especially) and Teixeira seem to
  • want it both ways.
  • suggest they should be leaders, but
Rodriguez seems to want to be Jeter
  • a regular guy who drives in runs as he helps little old ladies across the street—
Imagine the contract Teixeira would have gotten if he ever had done anything except put up stats. After all, this is a star who in his first six seasons never has been higher than seventh in MVP voting. Between them, Rodriguez and Teixeira have played in 11 postseason series. Their teams are a combined 22-29, advancing to the next round only three times."...

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Manager does not see role for Bernie Williams in WBC

(El Nuevo Dia, San Juan): "Bernie Williams is participating in the winter baseball because he wants to be part of the Puerto Rican team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
  • And if the local tournament will be the barometer for selecting gardeners Puerto Rican reserves of the ninth,

Before putting on the uniform of the Giants Carolina last weekend, the latest involving Williams had been in baseball in 2006, with the Yankees.

  • With Carlos Beltran and stellar Alexis Rios and planted the alleged availability of David de Jesus, the team's three gardens are covered. That leaves one or two slots available for.. reserves.

"For me it is hard to see the role of Bernie for the Classic. In Puerto Rico there is much active material is very good and some are left out," he told El Nuevo Dia, Edwin Rodriguez, leader of the Triple A affiliate of the Florida Marlins.

  • Rodriguez, who said that all the aforementioned players are superior to Williams, he added that "Bernie everyone appreciates and might include it by sentimentality, but not by its effect (in the winter league). For me as a coach, thinking cold and win matches, you do not see a role in the team. ""...google translation from Spanish, photo from El Neuvo Dia
UPDATE, 12/31/08, El Nuevo Dia: 'Bernie will be considered for WBC,' Puerto Rico manager

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MLB in Communist China not realistic today

"(Jessica) Guo said the three (Olympic) baseball venues were almost certain to be torn down next year, clearing the huge site for development of soccer fields, a running track, perhaps a cinema complex and an unspecified type of "theme park." ....
  • She seemed unimpressed by two exhibition games played 10 months ago by the
  • Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. Both games drew sellouts of about 12,000, as did the Olympic gold medal game between South Korea and Cuba, which the Koreans won 3-2.

"There is almost no baseball played in China and most of the people at the Olympic events were foreigners or from Taiwan," Guo said."...

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Friday, December 26, 2008

NY Times courting potential Red Sox buyers-Connors, Nicholas

"New York Times Co has begun courting former advertising executive Jack Connors as a potential bidder to buy its stake in the Boston Red Sox team and possibly The Boston Globe newspaper, the Financial Times reported on Friday, as the publisher tries to raise cash to support its struggling business.

The Times's 17.5 percent stake in New England Sports Ventures also has attracted the attention of

Connors, a former Boston advertising executive, was part of a group two years ago that was interested in buying the Globe. The group included former General Electric Co Chief Executive Jack Welch. The Times rejected that offer.

  • At the Time, the New York Times Co according to the FT and other news outlets, could have sold the Globe for $550 million to $600 million. But a recent report from Barclays estimated that the Globe could be worth about $20 million....
Potential bidders, which the FT did not name in its report, are considering the idea of merging the Globe with the Ottaway newspaper chain -- small daily papers owned by Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co and now part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. FT report, 12/27

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MLB's rush to global warming investment runs into bad weather

In the cold winter when you need 'renewable' energy, don't count on biodiesel, wind turbines/farms, or solar panels: And perhaps most irritating to the people who own them, the panels become covered with snow, In January 2007, a bus stalled in the middle of the night on Interstate 70 in the Colorado mountains. according to John Jones, the transit director for the bus line, Summit Stage. (Biodiesel is a diesel substitute, typically made from vegetable oil, that is used to displace some fossil fuels.)...
  • the machines can hurl chunks of ice as they rotate."...
Hey, what about solar energy! Oops...
  • (NY Times): "Days are shorter and the sun is lower in the sky during the winter, ensuring less power production.
Even in northern California, with mild winters and little snow, solar panels can generate about half as much as in the summer, depending on how much they are tilted....
  • and workers must brave the elements to fix them.

For homeowners, the upkeep of their power sources can also be a bother....

(Billions of are invested in new 'green' ventures like these. MLB teams are invested in some of them. I understand--none of this matters). sm

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Another article from Selig's steno-pool

About the WBC and the thesis 'Americans don't care' completely avoiding the actual problems with this event. Which have nothing to do with not caring or not having 'pride,' etc.
  • First, the major league season would need to be shortened and salaries adjusted. Second, it's a bad idea for many players, especially pitchers (as Jim Kaat even said, link following). This article mentions a bunch of pitchers of course which is unconscionable to begin with:
Players injured or diminished by World Baseball Classic in 2006"
  • 1. Mike Timlin goes on DL, Francona attributes to WBC, 5/06
The media says to ignore injuries and the conditions that led to them:
  • 3. Team Cuba's experience. Team Cuba was surrounded by armed guards so they couldn't escape.*THE ONLY LOGICAL WAY TO CONDUCT THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC:*
  • 1. As it will add or subtract about a month from the regular MLB season with practice, travel, etc.,
  • players involved must take a pay cut from their employers (whose monies are received from the fans).
  • 2. The regular MLB season must be shortened to about 154 games.
*(I heard this idea suggested by someone in March 2006 and posted it at that time).
  • THESE ISSUES SHOULD BE ADDRESSED WELL BEFORE ITEMS LIKE
  • 'CIVIC PRIDE,' etc.
(posted on this blog previously) Ringolsby article via BTF
  • P.S. How about taking half the summer off--MLB closing down baseball in the US in July--to do the WBC? Buck Martinez suggested it, so no reason to assume it hasn't been discussed. MLB considers players nothing but their personal property. Please refer to the 1994 cancellation of World Series and what MLB said and did during that time.

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Some suggest NY Times keep the Red Sox, sell the newspaper

In their Christmas editorial, the NY Times opens by selling their own religion-the business of so-called carbon offsets used to assuage offenders of imaginary man-made global warming. The actual reason for Christmas takes a back seat:
  • You may have replaced the old incandescent Christmas lights and their crazed, fragile bulbs with strands of L.E.D.’s that turn from green to blue. You may have given each other newly planted trees on the edge of the rain forest
or traded the promise of future services with your friends."...
  • From Warner Todd Huston's Redstate post on the Times' editorial:

"And, lastly, it cannot escape notice that, as I hinted above, The New York Times does once mention the person for whom this day was named.

  • The Times does not mention why.

It is, of course, because of the generosity and thankfulness taught us by Jesus Christ whose birthday we celebrate on December 25th.

  • It certainly wasn’t for the holiday that Christmas overtook, Saturnalia. That day was a day of debauchery, mean-spirited pranks, drinking and fist fights. It was not the day of peace and love that is Christ’s birthday celebration.

So, for The New York Times, Christmas is not a day to celebrate the birth of Christ. It is a day

Yeah. Merry Christmas, New York Times. Merry Christmas, indeed."...

  • Photo of Caroline and Pinchy from Gawker, via Redstate

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Josh Hamilton Fort Worth Star-Telegram Sportsman of the Year

(Reeves, Star-Telegram, 12/25): "It was exactly a year ago today, Christmas Day 2007, that I began telling Josh Hamilton’s story to anyone who would listen.

  • The timing was no coincidence, just as the timing of today’s column isn’t.

There is no better time than Christmas Day to introduce the Star-Telegram’s Sportsman of the Year. It is the one day of the year the Texas Rangers’ outfielder cherishes more than any other, so perhaps you’ll understand Josh’s gentle reminder when I told him how special this Christmas must be for him and his family after the wonderful year he’d just experienced.

  • "If you really think about it, Christmas is special anyway, no matter what kind of year you had," Hamilton said by phone from his home in North Carolina "Christmas will be Christmas....
  • "It’s a day for celebration not because I had a great year, but because it’s Jesus’ birthday."

His theme, you see, just doesn’t change. You can call to talk about him, but inevitably he’s going to turn the subject to the No. 1 man in his life. It’s why you see his face now on those

  • "They came to me in spring training and they shared what they were doing," Hamilton said. "Athletes, actors, people of note, letting people know that God is first and I’m after Him....

Would he have reached people as the clean-cut super athlete from North Carolina? Sure, but how many more has he touched because of his

The on-field promise that Hamilton, a five-tool high school star who was the No. 1 pick in the country by the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999, was teased in Cincinnati in 2007 and fully delivered last season with the Rangers when he hit .304 with 32 homers and a league-leading 130 RBI.

Hamilton was an American League All-Star, won a Silver Slugger Award and caught America’s full attention with his amazing performance during the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

  • All of the attention, all of the acclaim, gave him the opportunity to tell his story again, and again, and again....

Hamilton’s patience as the year unfolded was an amazing thing to watch. I can remember a day at Yankee Stadium in June when baseball’s drug tester was there for one of Hamilton’s almost daily random tests. Because Hamilton had been drinking so much water and fluids during the day, the results were, shall we say, watered down and the tester couldn’t get what he needed.

Hamilton would simply shrug, give it some time and then patiently provide another sample until the tester had what he needed. Josh never became angry, never showed even a smidgen of impatience. He understood completely that this is part of the price he pays for his past and now, for his future.

Not one time during the entire was he tempted to turn back to crack cocaine, his drug of choice when he was scraping bottom for four years....

  • There were some tough times, especially in the middle of the season, when his body began to wear down from the daily grind that baseball is, but Hamilton fought through it all....

He has spent the off-season resting and getting his body in shape and

  • he will report to the Rangers’ spring training headquarters at Surprise, Ariz., almost a month early, to be sure he’s in the best shape possible.
  • He has announced that he won’t try to play for the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic, preferring to focus on

getting ready for the long regular season....

  • We all remember Josh’s dream before he made it back to baseball, when he was still shivering in his bed, beset by the drug demons, the one in which he sees himself fighting the devil....

Josh is right. Today isn’t about him, or you, or me. Today, and every day, we are all second." (registration required).

  • via Lucianne.com

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

  • Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

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Red Sox thought Texeira was going to the Nationals--Boston Herald

(Silverman, Boston Herald): "When Boras called the Sox to say Teixeira was signing elsewhere, the Sox reportedly assumed that meant the Nationals." 12/25/08 (last sentence).

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

NY TIMES is shopping its Red Sox stake--WSJ (And Caroline & Pinchy are 'friends')

"Seeking to fortify its core assets, New York Times Co. is actively shopping its stake in the holding company of the Boston Red Sox baseball club, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

  • The Times Co., which faces a cash shortage accelerated by steep industrywide revenue declines, has been rumored for months to be open to selling non-core assets. Besides its flagship newspaper, the Times Co. owns the Boston Globe, About.com and a 17.5% stake in New England Sports Ventures, which owns the Red Sox, their fabled ballpark Fenway Park and most of the cable network that airs their games.

The Times Co. pushed discussions beyond the exploration phase early last month at a quarterly meeting of NESV's limited partners at which

  • the Times Co. indicated to the partnership its intention to sell. Since then Times Co. has been pursuing potential buyers, according to people familiar with the discussions. A Times spokeswoman declined to comment.

It is unclear what the Times Co. thinks it can get for its stake. Barclays Capital estimates the Times Co.'s investment is worth about $166 million; analysts and sports bankers recently told Reuters the Times Co. could raise at least $200 million if it sold its stake.

  • The Times Co. acquired its stake in NESV when it joined John Henry in the
  • hedge fund billionaire's $700 million purchase of the Red Sox in 2002.

It is the second largest shareholder behind Mr. Henry."... via Poynter.org/Romenesko

Dear Caroline, We see pictures of you with your father. We still think of your father and wish he were president today. What you have become is a sin, nothing of what your father was. You are like your uncle Teddy, an entirely different person from your father. Top that off with a friendship-no matter how evolved with the vile Pinchy Sulzberger, and I'm afraid for my life. No logical human being could make that choice. (sm)

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Wild Card system encouraged teams to spend more to get to October--Doug Pappas

  • Wild card format let more teams play in the post season, leading many to spend more on payroll for that chance (a brief time out from righteous Selig Bible readers on XM 175):
(By Doug Pappas): "The strike-shortened 1994 season was also the first in the current three-divisions-plus-Wild Card format. As MLB was happy to announce,
  • encouraging contenders to spend all the extra money generated by their increased attendance on players.
  • MLB wasn't talking about that.

Instead MLB was demanding that the players accept a salary cap that would have reduced player salaries by an average of 15%.

  • The owners didn't back down.

vowing to start the 1995 season with

  • to force the players to accept sub-market wages.

Otherwise, how could small-market clubs

  • ever hope to compete?"...by Doug Pappas, 4/12/04, Baseball Prospectus, Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins, 1994 season

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No one suggests the Tampa Bay Rays will go quietly into the night

  • James Shields addresses Coco Crisp, 6/05/08, in Boston, ap photo

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Curt Schilling on 'sources close to negotiations'

"Mark (Teixeira) never said he wanted Boston,
  • That and a handful of nickels will get you a quarter.

Stop being surprised in these deals when you hear comments from EVERYONE but the players. Until the player speaks I am comfortable telling you

Half of these folks get told things from teams because teams

From Curt Schilling's 38pitches.com

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'Tex Message,' Newsday

Newsday back cover, 12/24/08

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Christmas Eve

from animation backgrounds

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'Tonight's edition of Yankee bashing is brought to you by Radio Shack and Duracell'

Overheard on Fox Sports Radio JT the Brick program tonight. Big money in negativity I guess. I had tuned to XM 175 earlier in the evening because I saw Rob Dibble's name on the screen. I hadn't heard him in a few days (he's on vacation) and didn't think he'd be too thrilled. It turns out Rob was calling in as a guest of Ed Randall.
  • With Randall setting the tone for the evening, it could only be a vale of tears and gut wrenching pain. Bud Selig has a reliable kindred spirit in Ed Randall. (It is Bud Selig's channel after all). I'd say play Ed for the guys at Gitmo and they'll give up all their secrets.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Darren Rovell--why the Yankees can spend more

CNBC's Darren Rovell thinks spending of some baseball owners is restricted due to their other business interests. Following the Teixeira signing he notes: Think about all the other owners who have gotten pounded this year in the sector of the economy that they might still have their money in.
  • The Chicago Cubs are being sold by an entity that is bankrupt.

Go down the list and you can see that there's a lot of people that lost money this year in other businesses....

  • Here's a quote from an owner: "One of the challenges I have is buying into a falling market," he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "When you buy into a rising market, you can't move fast enough. The challenge here is that,
  • look, any investment you made in 2008 on Wall Street, 12 months ago, 12 weeks ago, 12 days ago, even 12 hours ago, you are down. We have to be careful with what is going on here."

That owner was Mark Attanasio. He is the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers.

  • He gave up C.C. Sabathia. And you have to believe that some of that has to do with the fact that

Interesting, though I thought the Steinbrenner family still had shipping interests, horses, and a few other things. But not enough to be considered a primary business. The YES Network (not to mention the new stadium) is almost

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Having felt dwarfed by Red Sox web of power

  • Bill James, Red Sox advisor.
Bottom photo from his August 2008 appearance on 60 Minutes. Normally I wouldn't mention something like this but I had been feeling dwarfed by the Red Sox network television, Hollywood, federal government, and overall media power axis. That won't change, but I heard a radio talker say Bill James was high on Teixeira.
  • UPDATE: Hearing Buck Showalter's views on Teixeira on ESPN 1050AM with Max Kellerman, one is not left with a warm feeling. Showalter predicted Teixeira would deliver well statistically for the Yankees, would not go so far as to say he'd be a good team mate. I get the feeling he'll be a cross between A-rod and Carlos Beltran, not what you want if you need to win in the post season (as well as April). Nevertheless, the team does need him. (sm)

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Players injured or diminished by 2006 World Baseball Classic

  • 1. Mike Timlin goes on DL, Francona attributes to WBC, 5/06
The media says to ignore injuries and the conditions that led to them: The only way to conduct the WBC at all as someone suggested:
  • 1. As it will add or subtract about a month from the regular MLB season with practice, travel, etc.,
  • players involved must take a pay cut from their employers (whose monies are received from the fans).
  • 2. The regular MLB season must be shortened to about 154 games.
*(I heard this idea suggested by someone in March 2006 and posted it at that time).
  • These issues should be addressed well before items like
  • 'CIVIC PRIDE,' etc.

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