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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SF 49'ers team shrink vetoes #1 college quarterback

(NBCBayArea.com, Joe Kukura, 3/27/09): "Matt Stafford is the concensus best quarterback available in the draft. But despite his throwing for 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns last year, the conspicuously quarterback-deficient San Francisco 49ers have declared him unworthy of their first-round pick.

The incident came to light in a live radio interview Singletary did last week with Ralph Barbieri on KNBR (radio in San Francisco).

  • The interview is still online, and it's vintage Singletary. And I mean "vintage Singletary" in a David Letterman sketch kind of way. Coach is in full-scale, volcanic angry preacher mode by the four-minute mark, and the interview continues another full sixteen minutes in that same vein.

"If you're going to look at drafting a guy in the first round," Singletary says in the interview, "and you're going to pay him millions of dollars, and asking him about a divorce about his parents, if that's going to be an issue, then you know what, maybe he doesn't belong here."

  • Stafford's account is that he answered the question, explained the psychological adjustments he made as a teenager to cope with the situation, and the Niners' team shrink pursued that Stafford might have
  • "unfinished business" in coping with the matter.

Stafford joked to Sports Illustrated, "I felt like, I wonder how much I'm being charged per hour for this?"

If coach Singletary wants players who play "physical with an F", he's better off with guys who are more comfortable knocking into another guy's sternum than telling some two-bit Dr. Freud about his mommy issues. And if the 49ers are employing a team psychologist, that particular shrink might want to schedule a little more time evaluating the head coach."... via Free Republic

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Monday, March 30, 2009

'It really has been a peaceful spring since Alex Rodriguez left for hip surgery.' NY Times

3/30/09: "The Yankees beat the Blue Jays in a tidy 2 hours 27 minutes Monday, and Andy Pettitte looked sharp. He worked six and two thirds innings, allowing a run and five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. Pettitte threw 92 pitches and will work again in Saturday’s exhibition at Yankee Stadium....
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  • It really has been a peaceful spring since Alex Rodriguez left for hip surgery....

The Yankees break camp after two more games...

  • Sabathia will...start the Yankee Stadium opener on April 16 against Cleveland, but the way the Indians rotation lines up, it seems unlikely that a certain well-known ex-Yankee — Carl Pavano — will draw that game for the visitors."...NY Times Bats Blog by Tyler Kepner. reuters photo

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Al Gore manor failed to observe lights out

The manorial street number to Al Gore's Tennessee estate last night. photo via DCExaminer. Story from Hot Air via RedState.

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AOL Fanhouse hires former newspaper reporters

Editor & Publisher: "FanHouse, a sports blog under AOL's MediaGlow unit, is apparently beefing up its newspaper-trained staffers, hiring five former daily print scribes and a senior editor as it tries fill some holes created by the ongoing staff cuts. ...
  • The new hires, according to (PaidContent.org's David) Kaplan, include Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Greg Couch, former Star-Ledger baseball reporter Dan Graziano and Jeff Fletcher, who previously worked for the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat and the Los Angeles Times. "...PaidContent.org report

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Selig's true feelings slip out in 'selfish and provincial' scolding

(Newsday, Davidoff): "The World Baseball Classic is truly a fun, exciting event. It's a keeper, with room for growth.
  • "selfish, provincial interests" over the WBC.
The major-league regular season is "provincial"?!
  • Attention, 78,588,804 fans who attended regular-season games last year! No offense, but your interests are provincial!
Ay yi yi. There's no need for such misguided finger-pointing. The MLB regular season is a pretty big deal. You can't blame team officials who are interested in delivering their fan bases a title. Nor can you fault the players who choose, as is very much their right, not to participate in the WBC."...from article, "New Padres Closer Bell no fan of Mets' Peterson," last item in column.
  • It was crude of Selig to say, but the point is this is how he thinks and what motivates his actions. The typical globalist honestly believes, "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine," while selling himself as a saintly do-gooder and making $18.5 million in 2009. And gets away with it because no one has the nerve to question him. (sm)

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First fans see Mets' Citifield

Back cover Newsday, 3/30/09

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Freezing conditions down Kansas radio tower

The broadcast tower for KYQQ-FM fell on Saturday at a site near Winfield
  • (Anyone connected with the UN will tell you it's due to global warming).
(AP): "A 1,250-foot radio tower north of Winfield has collapsed, possibly due to heavy ice.
  • The broadcast tower for KYQQ-FM fell on Saturday at a site near Winfield, which is south of Wichita. No injuries or damage to surrounding structures was reported.

An initial examination by Journal Broadcast Group's engineers showed heavy icing from Saturday's storm as a possibly cause of the collapse. They are investigating whether other factors contributed."...

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Dontrelle Willis placed on DL with anxiety disorder

Detroit Free Press, Jon Paul Morosi's blog: LAKELAND, Fla. -- "The saga of Dontrelle Willis’ tenure with the Tigers assumed an entirely different hue today, as the left-hander was placed on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder.

Willis said the diagnosis was made through a blood test. The condition, though, is psychiatric in nature. According to the Web site of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the disorders “develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events.”

  • The Tigers sought, and received, clearance from the commissioner’s office to move Willis to the DL for that reason. A spokesman for Major League Baseball confirmed that players have been placed on the disabled list because of anxiety disorders in the past. Zack Greinke, currently a standout right-hander for the Kansas City Royals, missed much of the 2006 season for a similar reason.

Willis said he is not depressed now and has not been depressed in the past."...via Lucianne.com

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Phillies Appreciation Society became original Rotisserie League

(NY Daily News): "It has been almost 29 years since the phenomenon now known as fantasy baseball first came into being on E. 52nd St. at a restaurant called

There, a group of New Yorkers calling themselves the "Phillies Appreciation Society" conceived a game that has spawned an entire industry.

At the end of the inaugural season, participants in

for a party to "reward" the co-owners of the winning team - Peter Gethers and Glen Waggoner - by dousing the two men in a shower of the chocolaty drink Yoo-Hoo.

  • Someone apparently thought it was appropriate to pour a bottle of Yogi Berra's favorite ballpark beverage over the heads of those who shrewdly selected a make-believe team composed of the real-life major leaguers with the best collective season.

Then again, someone apparently thought it was appropriate to select make-believe baseball teams....

Fantasy baseball exploded in concert with the popularization of the abstracts compiled by stats guru Bill James and, especially, the rise of the Internet. Now, of course, Web sites such as Yahoo!, ESPN and CBS Sportsline and others offer league management and statistical analysis, tips and realtime scoring (some information and services are free, some come with modest fees) and fantasy leagues exist for all kinds of sports"...'How Fantasy Became Reality, Rotisserie's Rise' Vinton

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Another 'Green' idea does more harm than good

The Green shake-down cartel got dishwashing detergent banned in Washington state where the program is being phased in starting with Spokane County. You must understand--
  • filth is not bad to the Al Gore group. Death isn't even that bad.
The point is to be diverted from the real problems of the world and hand over your life's work and that of your parents, shut up and get out of the way. In an increasingly passive culture, many are willing to do that. Hence, the shake-down continues.

(AP): "Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes

The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.

As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds.

  • "Yes, I am a smuggler," she said. "I'm taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with."

(In truth, the ban applies to the sale of phosphate detergent — not its use or possession — so Marcotte is not in any legal trouble.)

  • Marcotte said she tried every green brand in her dishwasher and found none would remove grease and pieces of food. Everybody she knows buys dishwasher detergent in Idaho, she said."...AP story, "Spokane Residents Smuggle Suds Over Green Brands," via Lucianne.com
(Similar to the ethanol racket, this Green idea did more harm than good).

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John Brattain compared to Doug Pappas

Neil deMause on John Brattain: "In many ways, he was the worthy successor to the late Doug Pappas, as both a writer and an analyst; now he's gone at 43, just one year older than Doug was when he left us five years ago."
  • I noted this as I believe Doug Pappas was the only human being who could put a dent in the Bud Selig crime family and the moat around it called the BBWAA. No one else has the guts or the independence. I only knew a little about John Brattain but hearing him compared to Doug Pappas and knowing what died with him makes Mr. Brattain's loss more pointed.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nevada radio station promotes Tea Party protest

Reno Gazette-Journal: "Local radio station, 99.1 FM Talk KKFT, will make thousands of tea bags available to listeners, while encouraging them to mail them to their representatives in Washington, D.C., in a Tea Party protest."
  • KKFT 99.1fm talk "is airing messages twice an hour telling listeners how and where to get the tea bags.

“Republicans are disappointing, Democrats are dangerous” is a part of the message, the station said in a press release Friday.

  • The tea bags will be handed out Saturday, March 28, in front of the legislative building in Carson City.
The station also plans a larger tea party to coincide with the Carson City Tax Day Tea Party on April 15." via Radio Daily News

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Harmonious duo in Texas Rangers radio booth

(Dallas Morning News): "The honeymoon continues in the Rangers radio booth. Seven exhibition games into their marriage, Eric Nadel and Dave Barnett are still madly in like.
  • Then again, who would have expected otherwise?

I can't remember two giddier broadcasters than Nadel and Barnett when their pairing was first announced back in January.

  • Maybe Michaels and Madden were when Monday Night Football was still an ABC thing. But that's about it.

In the parlance of sports talk radio, Nadel and Barnett are

  • long-time admirers, first-time partners.

"It's been really, really easy," said Nadel, about to embark on his 31st season in a Rangers broadcast booth. ..."We know each other's styles so well."
  • Barnett has worked baseball for ESPN. More and more of his recent baseball work has been on radio....

"The nice thing is I feel completely at ease with my knowledge of the team because I have followed the Rangers all along," Barnett said. "I am as prepared as I could possibly be to step in. I've got my rhythm going with Eric."...

  • for cable's fledgling MLB Network."...via Radio Daily News

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FCC enlists government workers to tackle urgent problem of switching home tvs from analog

MultiChannel News, "FCC Launches Americorp DTV Effort-49 Markets Deemed to be AT-RISK" (horrors): The FCC and NTIA have identified 49 DTV at-risk markets that data suggest are the
  • least prepared for the switch from analog, including the FCC's own hometown of Washington, D.C. (number 49 on the list).

said Friday that it had signed an interagency agreement that will send AmeriCorps volunteers (ages 18 to 24) into the homes of target populations -- minorities, elderly, the disabled -- to help them connect antennas and converter boxes,

(The 'volunteers' are supported in part by US taxpayers. A bill just passed to expand AmeriCorps at a cost to taxpayers of $5.7 billion over 5 years).

Training begins next week in advance of a mid-April transition for some stations there, including two major network affiliates, according to the FCC.

The others are Sacramento, Calif.; Perry Point, Md.; Vicksburg, Miss.; and Vinton, Iowa.

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Bank of America renews with Yankees for one year

MLB.com: "The Yankees and Bank of America have agreed on a one-year extension of their current sponsorship deal after talks about a long-term deal were halted in February, The Associated Press reported Friday.
  • Bank of America spokesman Joe Goode told The AP that "while we couldn't proceed with a long-term partnership, we have extended our current sponsorship agreement with the Yankees for one more year."

The Yankees...have yet to make public comment on the extension. Bank of America and the Yankees having a relationship going back to 1994.

  • Before breaking off long-term talks in February, the sides had discussed a new 20-year agreement that would have covered signage at the new Yankee Stadium, special events and tickets"...

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Randy Levine's resume includes a job with Bud Selig

NY Times, Richard Sandomir: "the 1996 (MLB) labor agreement ...was negotiated by (Randy) Levine for the owners while he Levine was hired by Selig and baseball owners to work out a new agreement with the players union. He was described as the voice of Bud Selig at a point in his 1996 'between jobs' event,
  • although owners were divided on his plan to the point where one faction tried to remove him from the job:

(NY Times, 11/3/96, by Murray Chass): "In the attack on (Randy) Levine, in a Chicago paper, unnamed owners called for his dismissal, saying the only reason he would not be fired was

From NY Times by Murray Chass, 11/3/96, "Labor Deal in Jeopardy as Selig Stays Silent." unnamed Chicago-area sportswriter for helping Reinsdorf plant what Chass called an "attack on [Randy] Levine" in one of the Chicago newspapers.

"Reinsdorf's hand appeared to be so evident in that attack," Chass continued, "that during a conference call of Major League Baseball's executive council [on Oct. 30], other owners criticized Reinsdorf, a council member, for it." ("A Silent Selig Speaks Volumes About His Take on the Talks," Nov. 3.)

Pretty good smear. In his effort to help Reinsdorf smear Levine, Holtzman went so far as to charge Levine with assisting Donald Fehr in Fehr's effort to smear the owners by "putting a monkey on the owners' back: clearly, they are the ogres," said Holtzman, mocking Fehr and Levine. ("Owners doubt that Levine is the real deal," Chicago Tribune, Oct. 30.)"

P.S. From David Peterson's piece linked above, a slice of life in April 1997:
  • "The verdict is in, sports fans. Throw out Holtzman's defensive nonsense about the "New York press" having sided with the Players Association

Just as the New York Times and Donald Fehr have fingered Jerry Reinsdorf the self-seeking, manipulative, power-crazy man that he is, so the Times's Murray Chass fingered Jerome Holtzman what he is. A stenographer to power."

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Derek Jeter, Leading Man

Back cover, Newsday, Friday, 3/27/09
  • I guess the Yankees still consider him an everyday player.

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Yankee bullpen may bring rude awakening--Caron, NESN

"The bullpen, as always, hinges on the middle relievers' ability to bridge the gap to Mariano Rivera. I'll take Justin Masterson/Ramon Ramirez/Manny Delcarmen/Takashi Saito or Grant Balfour/J.P. Howell/Dan Wheeler as a set-up core over Brian Bruney/Edwar Ramirez/Jose Veras/Damaso Marte any day." from NESN.com, Tom Caron, "Yankees Could be in for Rude Awakening"

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Talk Radio, Limbaugh ratings surge coincide with White House attacks

"A combination of several powerful forces has resulted in explosive talk radio ratings growth, with indications of much more to come in the months ahead. Primary factor driving the upward move? You guessed it: Rush Limbaugh....

With Limbaugh at the top of his game, with a more deeply loyal audience than ever, the numbers were already expected to be strong. The beginning of the Obamist Era, combined with a direct White House campaign targeting the talk titan, however, provided rocket fuel for El Rushbo's ratings."

Specific city/metro ratings via Radio Equalizer: show Limbaugh #1 in New York, #1 in Los Angeles, #1 in Chicago, #4 in Dallas/Ft. Worth, #1 in Houston, #2 in Washington, DC:
  • Newsbusters from Radio Equalizer: "In New York City, WABC has experienced huge gains during Rush's noon- 3pm timeslot: from 4.6 to 6.7 overall (12 and older) share, good for first place overall in the nation's largest market. Rush's Big Apple listenership is now estimated at 693,000.
  • In the second-largest market, Los Angeles, KFI-AM has surged into the number one position (all listeners 12 and older) from 9am to noon, with 618,000 listeners, a 4.6 to 6.0 audience share increase over three months and an even bigger males 35-64 (4.6 to 6.3) move, to take first place there as well.
  • In Dallas - Fort Worth, 4.8 to 6.4 men 35-64 and fourth overall (12+), 3.5 to 4.5. Cumulative audience: 250,000.
  • Houston's results were truly blockbuster: 6.0 to 9.8 overall, ranking number one with a bullet and audience of 382,300. Men 35-64: number one again, from 8.6 to 12.2 over three months. Adults 25-54: first place, 4.6 to 8.7. Women 25-54: 3.7 to 8.3 again good for a top ranking.
Radio Equalizer notes most of these stations (additionally including Atlanta and Detroit) experienced increases across all dayparts.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mets: Letting Oliver Perez pitch in WBC was mistake--Newsday

"The Mets admitted yesterday that letting Oliver Perez pitch for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic was a mistake. The costly blunder became painfully evident after the $36-million lefthander failed to make it out of the fourth inning in the Mets' 10-6 loss to the Tigers at Tradition Field.
  • Rather than serve up the usual list of excuses -- still time before Opening Day, work in progress, ... manager Jerry Manuel and pitching coach Dan Warthen made it sound as if they have their finger on the panic button with Perez.
The Mets already knew that Perez needs constant supervision. But sending him away to spend nearly three weeks beyond the team's reach turned out to be more damaging than anyone imagined. Perez allowed five hits and six runs yesterday in 32/3 innings -- with six walks. ...the Mets have precious little time to get Perez up to speed before his scheduled turn April 9 in Cincinnati.... In his second start on March 15, Perez gave up three home runs and threw 85 pitches in 42/3 innings. His arm was out of shape when he returned. Warthen said that
  • but never heard back....
Manuel, who had been a big proponent of the WBC,
  • was concerned enough about Perez that even he questioned the decision to send him. The manager never envisioned Perez coming back in such a sorry state that he couldn't recover in time for his first regular-season assignment.
"That never entered my thoughts," Manuel said. "Maybe it should have. But it didn't. I always thought the competition was the best thing for baseball. To be involved in that I thought was a good thing."... Perez didn't offer much in the way of an explanation, other than to say if he keeps working, "everything will be OK." That's wishful thinking. Warthen suggested that 'Globalism' is nothing more than jargon for international crooks aiming to make money off other peoples' efforts in a toxic brew: the efforts are stolen, the perpetrators make themselves out to be saints, and they accuse any who hold a logical opposing view as 'selfish' and 'provincial.' It doesn't work in reality. Never has, never will. sm

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Detroit Tigers minor league team offers 4800 calorie burger

AP: "Well, at least the salsa is low-cal. The West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor-league baseball team, will be offering up major league cholesterol, carbohydrates and calories in an enormous hamburger being added to the menu this year at the Fifth Third Ballpark.
  • five beef patties, five slices of cheese, nearly a cup of chili and liberal doses of salsa and corn chips,
  • all on an 20-centimetre sesame-seed bun....

The Grand Rapids Press reports that anyone who eats the entire 4,800-calorie behemoth in one sitting will receive a special T-shirt. Saner fans can divide it up with a pizza cutter and share.

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'Radio Men Paint Pictures for Fans'

"They're the radio voices of Lee County's two Major League Baseball teams, men whose combined service will hit 50 seasons this year. Each has witnessed his team win two World Series. Each resides in a gated community near Daniels Parkway. Each joined his team in the 1980s.Castiglione is about to begin his 27th season with the Boston Red Sox. Gordon will soon begin his 23rd season with the Minnesota Twins....

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MLB Network announces first 8 Thursday night games

Per Neil Best Watchdog:
  • April 16 1:00 p.m. Indians @ Yankees Bob Costas, Harold Reynolds & Jim Kaat
  • April 16 8:00 p.m. Blue Jays @ Twins Victor Rojas & Dan Plesac
  • April 23 8:00 p.m. Dodgers @ Astros Matt Vasgersian & Joe Magrane
  • April 30 7:00 p.m. Red Sox @ Rays Victor Rojas & Joe Magrane
  • May 7 7:00 p.m. Phillies @ Mets Bob Costas & Al Leiter
  • May 14 8:00 p.m. Orioles @ Royals TBD

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Climate change scam massive payday for lawyers and 2300+ lobbyists--follow the money

  • The livelihoods of thousands of lawyers and lobbyists are invested in advancement of the global warming scam. Hence the daily flood of hysterical articles from complicit media.
NY Times: "Climate lobbyists are flooding Capitol Hill...
  • Offset opportunities gain a growing following

Supporters of carbon offsets, or projects that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through things such as

  • methane digesters at dairy farms," (for animal emissions)

(NY Times): "are watching action in the House Agriculture Committee closely, according to one lobbyist. Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) announced this month that he was soliciting the opinions of more than 400 agricultural, environmental, scientific and educational groups on "the different options being considered in Congress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

  • The carbon capture sector also has a growing set of actors looking outside big energy bills for a little help. Clean Energy Systems, a seller of power-plant turbine systems, is pressing for grants for small companies after the stimulus bill emphasized large projects.

Funding tends to go for big demonstration projects that aim to grab a half-million tons of C02, squeezing out promising players that might hold a breakthrough if they could get support for small tests, said

  • Jason Larrabbee, a company lobbyist....
Even for those focused on cap-and-trade legislation, the types of advocates get more diverse by the day. A recent report from the Center for Public Integrity found that the number of

Waiting for the 'litigation stage'

Big corporations like Shell Oil Co. have mentioned global warming on Senate documents in the past few months, but much of the surge came from

There also has been a jump in lobbying from companies touting products with a claimed climate benefit.

Then there are the immigrants from the other side of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Australian National University, for example, lists

BlueNext, a French company active in the European carbon market, just hired Washington, D.C.-based

With Congress revving up to consider a mandate for utilities to produce renewable electricity, there's going to be a fight about how much companies
  • said one tax expert.
Similarly, many are predicting a jockeying match over the role of offsets in a cap-and-trade system, with The real lobbying squabble on global warming may come after any cap-and-trade bill gets passed, though, according to Kyle Simpson, a policy director at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. "Climate Lobbyists Look Beyond Cap and Trade," by Christa Marshall, NY Times, 3/24/09 via Free Republic

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Welcome back, Derek

Derek Jeter running with Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira before spring training game v Boston, 3/24/09. ap photo
  • I'm amazed Jeter didn't arrive in a wheelchair, helped onto the bench where some say he should permanently remain. Since the Captain is, according to media reports, enfeebled, broken down and a liability, perhaps he should allow Bud Selig to extract his pounds of flesh elsewhere in future. sm

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Eric Collins to Dodgers tv

"Eric Collins will handle play-by-play of more than 30 Dodgers road telecasts for the coming season. These will be the telecasts that Vin Scully does not call, which are when the Dodgers play east of Colorado.
  • Collins has worked for ESPN, including some College World Series telecasts, along with NBC Olympic Baseball, among other assignments.... Collins will be joined by Steve Lyons as analyst.
The position opened because of the decision for Charley Steiner
  • when Scully is not with the team."...Dave Kohl's Radio Recordings via Radio Daily News

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Local ESPN radio outlet now accessible via cellphone

ESPN radio's Washington DC affiliate WTEM "put their signal on cell phone"... via a company called AudioNow. "When WTEM VP/Operations Dennis Glasgow “wanted more ways to access our programming at a low cost on any device” he contacted the Reston, Virginia company and got a service that is free with no smart phones or data plans required.
  • Listeners can now hear WTEM on their cell phone.…

Mel Phillips visited their website…"Here’s their pitch: “You broadcast and we’ll connect your stream to the caller. You don’t have to manage the technology, carrier relationships or customer service. Simply let your listeners know your station is now available on AudioNow and post the link to our site on your home page.”

  • AudioNow charges “qualified broadcasters on a performance indexed price system based on your most recent Arbitron rating. Other factors include your format and whether your listeners will access your broadcasts through a local or toll free exchange."...
AudioNow only works “with recognized and well funded (established) radio stations that have ownership of their content and have qualified to be part of the Audionow network."... via Radio Daily News

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Jerry Manuel's boss Tony Bernazard big fan of WBC; Brad Lidge cites its harm to him--Bill Madden

  • The WBC is a bunch of advertising slogans whose reality is banned by Selig's Banana Republic 'gag rule:'
(Bill Madden): "It is Selig's contention...the WBC is a vehicle to "grow the game globally." But since when did baseball need to grow in popularity in Latin America or Japan? No, like everything else baseball does, this is all about money. Merchandizing money. So how many caps and T-shirts does baseball have to sell in China, Italy and the Netherlands to make this mission worth its while?
  • At the same time, Selig is turning a blind eye to the fact that the WBC is compromising the integrity of the real season. When Jerry Manuel opened spring training camp, the Mets' manager talked about putting an emphasis on instilling in his players all the elements and intricacies of playing baseball the right way - elements he obviously felt have been absent with this group the past couple of years. But what was the point with most of his regulars gone all spring?
Then Manuel watched with consternation as his new closer, Francisco Rodriguez,
  • was brought in twice in a row with two outs in the eighth to get a save in the WBC.

"I never knew he could do that," Manuel said with more than a hint of sarcasm.

  • I'm sure Manuel would like to say a whole lot more, especially after learning that Wright, his best player, thought he had broken a toe fouling a ball off it but played in severe pain anyway for the full nine innings Wednesday in a meaningless U.S. loss to Venezuela.

But Manuel knows his bosses, particularly VP of player development

are those supporting it the most....

  • Phillies closer Brad Lidge, one of a great majority of elite major leaguers who chose to put their teams and the real season over participating in the WBC,

Citing the shoulder injury suffered by Lindstrom, Lidge, who pitched for the U.S. team in the 2006 WBC, said:

Lidge added that to compensate for a lack of arm strength in the 2006 WBC,

On the other hand, you have Orioles manager Dave Trembley watching helplessly as his ace starter Jeremy Guthrie is going stagnant in the WBC because of a lack of work. Guthrie has pitched only nine innings all spring, 32/3 of them in WBC competition in which he was raked for 14 hits and 10 runs.
  • "We want him pitching for us in a regular rotation," Trembley pleaded, "but I don't know how."...
Selig and the rest of the MLB poobahs have tried to sell this WBC as a "true" World Series, even though so many of the game's best players aren't in it and these international rules make a mockery of the real season that has been forced to take a backseat....
  • as I'm sure Manuel, Francona, Leyland and Trembley among other managers would all attest -

it has served to undermine the season that really matters." from NY Daily News column, "World Baseball Classic Turning into a Real Pain for some Major League Teams" 3/22/09

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Washington Post corrections procedures lax, Ombud

Metro pages have worst record.

The newspaper's process for handling correction requests has not worked properly. In some instances,

  • reporters were never even notified that readers had requested corrections to their stories.

There is little statistical analysis to spot trends in errors or to detect reporters (or editors) with high correction rates. As the saying goes, what gets measured gets fixed.

  • Reporters and editors can neglect correction requests with little real consequence.

The Post's top editors are aware of the problem. Since being named one of The Post's two managing editors in mid-January, Raju Narisetti has focused on what he acknowledges is a serious problem.

  • "Some of the requests -- whether meriting a correction or not -- have simply fallen through the cracks between reporters and editors and the system we use to track such requests," he says. "And we don't have a system for pushing for closure."

Mistakes are inevitable in daily journalism, and The Post runs plenty of corrections -- roughly

but some parts of the paper -- the obituary and editorial pages, for instance -- carry their own corrections....The system has broken down most frequently with The Post's sprawling Metro desk, which covers Maryland, Virginia, the District and obituaries....

Currently, policies at washingtonpost.com mainly address corrections for print stories that appear on the Web site."...by Andrew Alexander, Ombudsman, "A Corrections Process in Need of Correcting" via Poynter.org/Romenesko

  • What a surprise. sm
Related memo posted on Romenesko

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Seek to label 'climate deniers' mentally disordered

"A London employment tribunal has ruled that Tim Nicholson...was wrongly dismissed as a property firm’s “head of sustainability” because of
  • Mr Nicholson had fallen out with his colleagues over his attempts to reduce the company’s “carbon footprint”.
The tribunal chairman David Neath found the company guilty of discriminating against Mr Nicholson under the 2006 Recalling how “eco-psychologists’’ at the University of the West of England are pressing for one doubts whether the same legal protection would be given to those From UK Telegraph, "The 'Global Warming Three' are on Thin Ice," 3/22/09, by Christopher Booker. via Lucianne.com
  • They say look to Europe to find what's coming next in the US. (sm)

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

BlogTalkRadio explained

"BlogTalkRadio, the site where anyone can set up a podcast or radio talkshow over the web using phone calls, is playing in the enterprise space. The site, which has over 1000 live broadcasts per day, has been launching content partnerships with major publishers and media organizations over the past few months. PBS, Women's Day Magazine and others are using BlogTalkRadio's tools to create podcasts and shows, as well as syndicate content across the web.

For example, PBS's Worldfocus TV newscast is syndicated on the BlogTalkRadio.

The site is also creating branded private networks for major corporations like Wal-Mart, Harper Collins, and Sun Microsystems where the companies can create, syndicate and publish their own shows and podcasts. Even the government is trying to take part in this social media movement; the Pentagon has a web radio show on BlogTalkRadio.

  • And the site has been able to monetize the partnerships by charging companies licensing and sponsorship fees for the branded channels. The companies can put their own ads in their shows, which can include banner, pre-roll audio/video or host spoken ads.

The companies are also charged a fee if that they want live events streamed to their BlogTalkRadio channel or any website. The radio platform is also rolling out a set of premium services for both consumers and businesses so that hosts can use the advanced switch board, and upload other non-BlogTalkRadio produced mp3's....

The site simply allows individuals and companies to use a phone to conduct a live broadcast via the web. Participants dial a phone number, enter the broadcast and then the entire conversation is streamed on air live through the BlogTalkRadio Web site.

  • The site also archives all radio shows as podcasts, so they can easily be uploaded to iTunes and then shared on other blogs, sites etc"....via Radio Daily News from the Washington Post

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

When charity begins with someone else

The Players Association filed a grievance against the Dodgers' charity requirement for all future players. The apparent impetus was Manny Ramirez' recent signing in that he had to fill in an amount to the Dodgers' own foundation.
  • I wondered if Boras and Manny knew about this and why the player can't choose his own charity.
MLB's Rob Manfred from the AP article: ""We're at a loss to understand how the MLBPA could possibly take the position that making a charitable donation does not provide a benefit to the player."" (AP story, 'Union Files Grievance over Dodgers Contribution,' on SportingNews.com
  • Clue to why Frank McCourt thinks charity means you giving to him:
Frank McCourt's recent political contributions from CampaignMoney.com:
Name & LocationEmployer/OccupationDollar AmountDatePrimary/ GeneralContibuted To
McCourt, Frank LOS ANGELES, CA 90067Los Angeles Dodgers/Owner$2,300 10/31/2008 G BECERRA FOR CONGRESS - Democrat
McCourt, Frank BOSTON, MA 02210Los Angeles Dodgers/Chairman of the$5,000 07/15/2008 P OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
MCCOURT, FRANK LOS ANGELES, CA 90067LOS ANGELES DODGERS/OWNER$2,300 04/04/2008 G FRIENDS OF BARBARA BOXER - Democrat
MCCOURT, FRANK LOS ANGELES, CA 90067LOS ANGELES DODGERS/OWNER$2,300 04/04/2008 P FRIENDS OF BARBARA BOXER - Democrat
McCourt, Frank LOS ANGELES, CA 90012Los Angeles Dodgers/Owner$25,000 08/31/2007 P DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE - Democrat
MCCOURT, FRANK H LOS ANGELES, CA 90024LOS ANGELES DODGERS/OWNER$1,150 03/31/2007 P LAUTENBERG FOR SENATE - Democrat
Mccourt, Frank LOS ANGELES, CA 90024 $2,300 03/31/2007 P HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT - Democrat

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Jim Leyland wants his players back from the WBC

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- "Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland is ready for the World Baseball Classic to be over -- he needs his starters back....

"It's a no-win situation," Leyland said.

Leyland said he is watching the WBC with great interest but wants his entire squad to have a chance to work together before breaking camp. He would like to see Cabrera, who played third base last year, get some work at first base.

Leyland also wants to see Galarraga at least once in a Tigers uniform before opening day. Galarraga was Detroit's most effective pitcher last season and Leyland said he was a little concerned over Gallaraga's pitch count at the WBC. He threw 71 pitches in his last start for Venezuela.

  • "We are not where we want to be right now," Leyland said. "We just don't have our players."...

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Al Gore continues to bar press from his global warming lectures

  • Al Gore knows his propaganda won't stand up under scrutiny:
Memo to Romenesko: "The official Gore word is here. As PCMag.com’s mobile phone expert, I'm attending the CTIA Wireless mobile phone industry trade show, where Al Gore is giving a keynote speech in front of 4,000 people. He's barred "press coverage" of the speech, which means people with press passes won’t be allowed in -- though it's been unclear how this applies to the many other people at the show who will have blog-capable smart phones. ...
  • CTIA are a generally press-friendly group and say this was all Gore's doing.
From my post 4/14/08: Gore usually does not allow traditional media into lectures he gives on the subject (global warming). There are many trying to make money in the carbon offsets business, Al Gore included. His Altra biofuels is at or near bankruptcy, the

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Jim Kaat joins MLB Network

Neil Best Watchdog notes Jim Kaat will join MLB Network as an analyst for select Thursday games of the week.

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Teixeira not a useful idiot, risks full force of media scorn

NY Times: "As much fun as the United States players have had (in the World Baseball Classic),
  • Teixeira is just fine with his decision (not to leave his new employer and fans who are paying him $180 million and for whom he's irreplaceable, to travel with a WBC team).
  • you’re going to have fun,” he said."...
Teixeira doesn't give in to the "fun" idea of robbing his team of his presence and possibly jeopardizing part of his $180 million salary. But hush, Selig, like other wealthy dictators, has stifled free speech on certain issues, such as the WBC. Which is all painless if one is a useful idiot. Article, NY Times, 3/19/09, "Yankees' Teixeira Likes the View from his Corner 'Office'" (Fortunately, Teixeira isn't the only player with this kind of courage).

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Darling of wealthy Manhattan elites

Castro blames leaders over baseball lossFidel Castro addressing Cuban National team. File photo by AFP

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Gallup: Americans say economy takes precedence over environment, first in 25 years

PRINCETON, NJ -- "For the first time in Gallup's 25-year history of asking Americans about the trade-off between environmental protection and economic growth,

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Gallup.com via Lucianne.com ('Climate' propagandists now grab the digitalis...) sm

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Don't forget Pacifica Radio's 150 outlets, to do so would be unfair

  • ""Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one." A. J. Liebling
The way the leftists and liberals go on about conservative talk radio, what they call our "megaphones," one would suspect that they had a bad case of megaphone envy. They make it sound that somehow However, the facts presented below suggest otherwise. There is an active progressive radio network broadcasting today, even if a commercial version, Air America, failed to survive financially.
The premier owner of progressive radio stations in the US is the Pacifica Foundation. Founded in 1949 in Berkeley, California with the
  • today the organization holds Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licenses for powerful FM transmitters
  • in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, D.C. and New York City. In addition, they claim almost 150 affiliate stations that re-broadcast their content in other US markets.
Pacifica's programming leans heavily to the political, with titles like Women in Triumph and Struggle, La Raza Chronicles, Spirit in Action, Feminist Magazine, or, a syndicated favorite, "Democracy Now!" produced and hosted by Amy Goodman.
A reasonable analysis of the situation in the five metropolitan market areas with Pacifica transmitters shows that Below is a list of the Pacifica FM stations by market and the corresponding AM stations that carry Rush Limbaugh. Each station's call letters links to a calculated coverage map on http://www.radio-locator.com/. Note that the maps for the AM stations are for daytime coverage - this is Limbaugh's typical time slot. FM coverage is pretty much the same day or night.
Metro Market
Pacifica
Limbaugh
San Francisco
4
Los Angeles
2
Houston
6
Washington, D.C.
9
New York City
1
* A clear channel on AM
An inspection of the two maps in any specific market shows that the Pacifica licenses pretty much cover their metropolitan areas and hence the core population about as well as the Limbaugh stations. The Limbaugh stations do have a bit further reach into the lower population density hinterlands, especially the two powerful clear channel AM stations, known to the industry as "blowtorches." In addition, the FCC designated the lower part of the FM band as "non-commercial educational", giving non-commercial educational organizations (NCEs) like Pacifica preference in FM frequency allocation.
  • So who has the bigger, more powerful megaphone, as granted by the US Federal Communications Commission, at least in these five major metropolitan markets? I'd call it a pretty much a wash but you can judge for yourself by comparing hyperlinked maps.
Of course, there is the little matter of money. The conservative talk radio stations are all owned by profit-seeking, private commercial enterprises. To listen to Limbaugh one must endure his paid commercial discussions of tank-less water heaters, identity theft services, credit card negotiators, and others. That's how the station owners cover the purchase price of the licenses, the electric bill, the studio and tower rents, transmitter maintenance, and Limbaugh's fees.
  • They pay property taxes and employment taxes and inventory taxes, ad nauseum.
When they manage to make a profit, they pay income taxes too. For example, the major radio player,
On the other hand, Pacifica Foundation, as a recognized non-profit, made no profit and paid no income taxes. For the last available IRS form 990 (roughly equivalent to an individual's Form 1040), in 2006, 11.8% of their "cash received" came from "government contributions (grants)." As of this writing, Pacifica Foundation headquarters has not responded to repeated attempts at communication, so the nature or the sources of these funds have not been revealed. Some or all of this might have been project work under contract to a government entity but under what terms and for what services, we don't know.
But that's just the direct payments. As Professor Arthur Brooks, of Syracuse University, reminds us, the While most would agree that having government not tax the income that we share with charitable non-profits is usually a worthy public policy, it remains an indirect subsidy. For most of us this is a trivial personal matter but what about the $300,000 gift by "Annonymous #34" [sic] Pacifica received per their 2006 tax return? Assuming the philanthropist lives in California and is in the highest tax brackets, that's probably over $100,000 the federal government didn't receive and $30,000 the state of California never saw.
Another matter is the value of the licenses that Pacifica Foundation holds as a gift from the federal government. These are valuable pieces of paper, if not fully tangible property in the legal or accounting sense. They are issued and re-issued by the FCC for terms of 6 years.... Barring malfeasance, public challenge, political interference, or gross disregard of FCC regulations,
  • re-issuance is routine.
There is an active market in licenses although transfer requires prior FCC approval. A public firm like Clear Channel Communications has to show the market value of the licenses on their books and "marks to market" the value ("impairment") every year, much like the accounting for goodwill. They estimated the value of their licenses in 2006 as about $6 billion although they have since divested many stations and impaired the value of many more.
In a court dispute over control of Pacifica in 1999, the value of the Berkeley station alone was reported as $60 million. That was probably too low at the time, and would more realistically be almost $150 million today according to professional radio station broker, Dave Garland, based on his knowledge of industry trends and recent market transactions.
So here is a progressive network of five stations, subsidized with taxpayer cash partially covering operating expenses, broadcasting over extremely valuable radio spectra in major US markets
  • as a gift from the US government.
Seems like Pacifica Foundation has little basis for complaint about being stifled. They have the means to get their message out. All citizens have to do is turn their radios on, dial them in, and listen. Do they?
  • Let's compare just how many citizens take the opportunity for progressive content against how many citizens chose the stations with conservative talk programming.
The dominant company in radio ratings is Arbitron, which uses a special device called a "Portable People Monitor" which is carried by randomly selected adults and teens on their persons.... It is still a relatively new technique but it seems more accurate than the hand-written diary methods used previously.
  • ...A relative simple metric called "share" (page 38) tells the story. Of all the time spent listening to radio in a market, what percentage of the total radio listening is to the rated station? The standard parameters for this data are persons 12 and over, between the hours of 6 AM and 12 midnight, over the seven day week. A station with a share of 2% gets twice as much of listening time (in people-hours) as a station with a 1% share. Almost all stations participate.
  • In just the Washington D.C market, 9th size in the nation and the smallest with a Pacifica station, there are
  • 43 competing stations dividing the 100% of the radio listening amongst them....
The one Pacifica station that seems to be a competitive outlier is WPFW in Washington D.C. It is listed as a "jazz" format and has more music compared to the other Pacifica stations with 11 of the 18 weekday hours of the survey devoted to music. Of course, Washington is a company town and conservative talk radio is not exactly big-government friendly -- WMAL is relatively low rated amongst the conservative stations.
In New York City, hardly a bastion of knuckle-dragging rednecks, Of course, Pacifica might not be the only progressive broadcaster in these markets but then there are other conservative talk radio broadcasters who don't carry Rush Limbaugh....
With 50 FM frequencies, over 100 AM frequencies theoretically available to a listener, if only someone would only pay the costs of filling them, over 300 satellite channels, and an untold number of internet radio stations, one can ask, Ultimately, liberals and the left don't envy the size of conservatives' megaphones; More dangerously, they resent radio listeners' freedom to choose." Joseph Somsel, American Thinker, 3/19/09
  • *Mr. Somsel in comments: "I could have added a couple more facts -
  • besides Pacifica's 150+ stations,

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