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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Frank McCourt sees day to day activities

Frank McCourt at Dodgers Stadium as left fielder Jerry Sands warms up during ninth inning v Padres. Fri., Apr. 29, 2011, final 3-2 Dodgers. ap.

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Fed. Chief Bernanke at Washington Nationals game v SF Giants in Nats hat

Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke in DC for SF Giants v Nats, 4/30/11, AP. 2-1, Giants.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Duaner Sanchez signs with Long Island Ducks, debuts in Bridgeport

8/3/10, Duaner Sanchez calls WFAN overnight host Tony Paige to defend Jerry Manuel, 8/19/10, Duaner Sanchez in studio with Tony Paige on WFAN "Duaner Sanchez pitched for the Mets, sometimes brilliantly, for parts of two seasons. The former standout reliever, however, is best known for the taxicab accident that ended his 2006 season and kept him out for all of 2007.

Out of the big leagues since a 2009 stint with the Padres, he signed on earlier this month with the Ducks, who open their Atlantic League season Friday night in Bridgeport.

As for the accident, he is aware that it will forever be a major part of his New York legacy . . . and a question he always will be asked.

  • "Here it comes," Sanchez said with a smile at Thursday's media day.

During the 2006 season, Sanchez emerged as the primary setup man to closer Billy Wagner, going 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA in 49 games.

Shortly after checking into a hotel in Miami for a series with the Marlins, Sanchez was riding in a cab that was blindsided by a drunken driver.

He separated his shoulder and underwent season-ending surgery. Less than 24 hours later, the Mets acquired reliever Roberto Hernandez (and Oliver Perez) in a trade deadline deal from the Pirates for outfielder Xavier Nady.

"It didn't end up how I or any Mets fan wanted it to," Sanchez said of the '06 season. "There is nothing you can do about it when something like that happens. It was an accident."

Controversy arose when it was reported that the accident occurred well after midnight.

"Everybody says it was [after midnight], but it was 7:30 at night," Sanchez said. "They put it in the papers that it was 2:30 in the morning."

Almost five years later, the once-upon-a-time fireballer who has yet to recapture his '06 form will showcase his right arm in the hopes of attracting attention from a major-league organization.

As for the Ducks, they were convinced by his solid 2010 season, split between the Sussex Skyhawks of the Can-Am League and Diablos Rojos del México of the Mexican League (combined record 4-4, 3.69 ERA).

"We were looking for some help at the back end of the bullpen," Ducks general manager Michael Pfaff said. "He had a combined 20 saves between Mexico and the Pan-Am league. All the reports we got on him were good. He seemed to be the type of player that we wanted to have on the team."

Sanchez is appreciative of the opportunity, knowing that success on Long Island could lead to a major-league encore. While he talked fondly of a potential return to the Mets, any big-league opportunity would suffice. And time, he says, is on his side.

"Look at the major-league players who are 35, 36, 37 years old," Sanchez said. "I'm 31. Do I have time? Yes, I have time. Do I want to be in the big leagues? Yes."" (Newsday is subscription).

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Obama with President of Panama says send the next Rivera to the White Sox

4:26 pm, ET, 4/28/11, "Remarks by President Obama and President Martinelli of Panama After Bilateral Meeting"

"PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I want to welcome President Martinelli to the Oval Office, to the White House. As I think all of you know, the relationship between the United States and Panama is a historical relationship, and a strong friendship that isn’t just at the government level, but it is the person-to-person level.

Obviously, there are a lot of Panamanian Americans who live here. At the same time, President Martinelli was just informing me that 7 percent of the Panamanian population is from the United States. And so that constant contact between people I think is part of what has made us such strong friends and allies for generations.

Also, obviously, we share an interest in baseball. And if, Mr. President, you have somebody who is the next Mariano Rivera, make sure they go to the Chicago White Sox.

PRESIDENT MARTINELLI: The White Sox, not the Yankees. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Not the Yankees. They’ve had enough. In building on that friendship, we discussed a wide range of issues in our meeting today. Obviously, one of the most important ones is how do we grow the economies of both countries. And in that regard, we are very pleased by the progress that we’ve made in moving forward a U.S.-Panamanian free trade agreement."...

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Jose Reyes thought he had a triple, Mets won anyway

4/27/11, "New York Mets third base coach Chip Hale restrains Mets' Jose Reyes as he argues a call by third base umpire Marvin Hudson, left, during 8th inning of game against the Washington Nationals." AP photo via Newsday Final 6-3 Mets (they only gave Reyes a double)

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ozzie Guillen has last word as he exits game v Yankees in first inning

Ozzie Guillen v home plate umpire Todd Tichenor as he exits in the first inning, 4/27/11, at Yankee Stadium. Final 3-1. reuters.

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Della Femina Restaurant in East Hampton is sold, Mr. Della Femina has worked too hard to have fruits of his labor re-distributed by 'hustler' Obama

Jerry Della Femina is of course also the legendary advertising man. "In the beginning it was a dream.

I would own a restaurant in East Hampton.

It would be a warm, beautiful place with great food and wonderful service.

It would become one of the most popular restaurants in the Hamptons.

It would be a place my entire family— my kids, their spouses, my grandkids and our friends—would enjoy scrumptious feasts where we would all sit and just revel in our love for good food and each other.

Like I said, it was a dream.

But then, it happened.

In 1993 I was part of a group that bought a building at 99 North Main Street.

North Main Street at the time was viewed as being on “the other side of the tracks” compared to the rest of East Hampton.

The building at one time used to house a terrible Chinese restaurant where, at the dingy bar, more drugs were sold than egg rolls.

I decided to build a restaurant on that site.

It was an impetuous snap decision.

That’s the way it is with dreams.

What did I know about running a restaurant? Exactly what I know today, 18 years later: nothing.

But not knowing something is never bad—you can always learn, but thinking you know it all can be fatal.

I sought out and got help from a great restaurateur, Drew Nieporent. Without his help in the early days, we would never have made it.

I worked with a wonderful architect, Frank Greenwald, and together we designed a beautiful restaurant.

A talented artist, the late Kathe Tanous, made caricatures of our guests. Martha Stewart, Howard Stern, Billy Joel and fifty other Hamptons notables and customers went up on our walls.

With the help of Jane Lapin, a magician with flowers, we built a handsome planter outside the restaurant, filled it with fresh flowers, and suddenly North Main Street took on a nifty new look.

So why am I selling one of the most successful restaurants in East Hampton?

In 2008 I watched Barack Obama run over Hillary Clinton to become our President.

From the very first “Yes We Can” and “Change You Can Believe In,” I decided that this country was falling in love with an attractive, great-speechmaking hustler/socialist who, if he got into office, was going to pursue his agenda to destroy the best health care in the world and re-distribute wealth. Yours and mine.

I told my friends that from that moment on everything I owned—my houses, my advertising business, my newspaper and my restaurant—

  • was for sale.

A lot of people have come around to my way of thinking, but there is no way in the world that Barack Obama won’t be reelected in 2012.

If you think that Obama’s plan for over-taxing everyone but the 46 percent who don’t pay any income tax (including his friend Jeffery Immelt and General Electric)

  • will stop after he’s re-elected in 2012, you are naïve.

Why does this so go against my grain?

Maybe it’s because of where I’ve come from to get to where I am.

I’ve been broke, so broke with a wife and kids and no job that I had to borrow money from my parents, who didn’t have it for themselves but always managed to come up with it for me.

I got lucky and worked day and night and built a great advertising agency.

I have employed thousands of people in my lifetime. I’ve been good to them and they have been good to me.

I’m just not ready to have my wealth redistributed. I’m not ready to pay more tax money than the next guy because I provide jobs and because I work a 60-hour week and I earn more than $250,000 a year.

So why am I dropping out? Read a brilliant book by Ayn Rand called Atlas Shrugged, and you’ll know."...

via Atlas Shrugs

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ian Kennedy beats Cliff Lee, pitches shut out v Phillies

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_nMLR3Feb9RM/S7VG2RukKOI/AAAAAAAAEXk/42wVE34Wq90/s1600/IPKdebutAnaheim923098thinnreutersUSSportBB.jpg Ian Kennedy pitching for the Yankees v Angels, 9/23/2009, 8th inning of a 3-2 game. He did a great job getting out of a bases loaded situation (hit batsman and 2 walks).

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35th Anniversary of Rick Monday saving the American flag at Dodger Stadium

  • April 25, 1976, 'The Greatest Play in Baseball'
via WZ

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Why the reluctance to accept that gas prices and the economy affect baseball attendance?

A depression era economy with worse ahead isn't 'spin' or a 'convenient excuse' to explain low baseball attendance. Americans have cut out billions of discretionary driving miles like driving to baseball games. Baseball owners apparently don't want to hear these things as they aren't examined in this article about lack of attendance. The economy is mentioned but dismissed, moving on to football's popularity, or baseball fans getting tired of new stadiums, or the 'moneyed' class preferring football. Even if one can afford discretionary driving, MLB itself promotes global warming theory which believes American motorized activities like driving cause sinking islands in the Indian Ocean, African Civil Wars, etc. In promoting global warming (which includes 'sustainables' and 'renewables') MLB encourages its own demise. the suits are trying to figure out what is happening to their disappearing fan. It goes beyond the spin of bad weather and economic strife and whatever other convenient excuses sound good....Barring a bountiful summer, MLB is going to bleed fans for the
  • Chart: Unemployed for over 26 weeks
  • -------------------------------------
  • Change in US employment following 10 post war recessions, (bottom red line is current), Fed. Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Both above charts via Real-World Economics Review blog
  • -----------------------------------------------
"MLB is unsure whether to regard the dip as a blip or something signaling a greater concern – the reckoning of baseball’s gradual ceding of national pastime status to football, and a now-moneyed generation that grew up with baseball playing second fiddle ignoring the sport. In 2009, when ticket sales dropped 6.65 percent, MLB blamed the economy, an argument that might’ve held more water had the NFL’s ticket sales not dropped just 1.08 percent....

Certainly the prospect of drawing more than 70 million people this year in the face of the greatest economic downturn in 80 years is nothing to spit at."...

  • Passan acknowledges the great economic downturn but does not pursue it. Moving on:

(continuing, Yahoo Sports): "Still, the relative change in baseball economics is crippling some franchises financially."...

  • Then Passan says fans tired of wonderful new stadiums:

"Baseball’s stadium boom led to attendance jumping from just over 43 million in 1980 to more than 71 million in 2000. ...Fans flocked at first, then the luster wore off, and now so many of the new stadiums look barren on a nightly basis, barely able to fill to 50 percent capacity."...

  • Then the author essentially says the heck with this whole topic:

"The great thing about teams with history: All it takes is a playoff run to reinvigorate the base …"...

============================

"About six in 10 respondents said they had cut back on driving because of rising fuel prices, and seven in 10 said that high pump prices are causing financial hardship....

Evidence of motorists’ hardships are littering the roads. The Automobile Association of America says the number of motorists running out of gas has been surging. John Townsend, a AAA spokesman, said that cash-strapped members “are pushing the envelope” and that emergency gas deliveries to stranded members jumped nationwide, including by 40 percent in the District."...

  • (Mini-bus enterprises and car pooling can help but in a nation of 300 million people some will be left out).
  • ================================

4/21/2008, "Shea, Meadowlands among facilities helping spread green message," NY Daily News, Filip Bondy

"It was at a 2003 meeting of the NRDC board meeting at Sundance that actor and conservationist Robert Redford first devised this new strategy.

  • -------------------------------------

We all want clean air and water and to preserve our environment. We don't need the new political system being advanced by NRDC trustee Robert Redford. The stated goal of NRDC is social justice. It's one enjoyed greatly by corporate interests.

================================ ================================ ================================= ================================= ================================ 2/23/11, "New Study by NRDC’s Smarter Cities Project Identifies Top 15 U.S. Metro Regions Leading in Transportation Innovation," Sustainable Communities

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brett Gardner gets first John Sterling home run call of the season, and others

4/26/13, John Sterling said: "Brett Gardner puts a muscle in that"..."Gardner plants one in the right center field seats. Gardie goes yardie and the Yankees take a 6-4 lead."

==============================

4/14/13, Brett Gardner hit a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 5th v Baltimore at the Stadium. John Sterling's call included past form:

"Gardie goes Yardie! He plants one off the foul pole in deep right"...final 3-0 Yankees.

==============================

"Brett plants one." Top of the 9th inning v Baltimore, 4/23/11. (Gardner, plants). This may have been Gardner's tag from Mr. Sterling in past years, but I'd have to listen again to be sure. ed.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

NY Times all choked up, happy that Bud Selig 'finally finds peace'

Perhaps the NY Times thinks Bud Selig has been brave pulling down Headlines on Times sport page website tonight 4/21 leading into Friday, 4/22/11 include: Under the headline is a picture of Selig lecturing in a classroom with the caption,
  • "Baseball's commissioner, Bud Selig, at Marquette University Law School, where he has lectured on numerous topics since 2009."
One of 2 headlines on NY Times Bats blog:
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2/25/09, "Bud Selig paid more than $18 million in 2007," ESPN (Selig changed MLB's tax status so his salary is now officially secret, but increases were said to be planned
  • beyond the $18+ million):
"MLB Commissioner Bud Selig earned $18.35 million for the league’s fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2007, an amount up 22 percent from the prior year and one that again places him among the highest-paid individuals in all of sports.

Selig’s pay is outlined in MLB’s most recently filed tax documents for the Office of the Commissioner. The amount covers the last full year of work for the longtime commissioner before he agreed to a three-year contract extension in January 2008 that will keep him in the post through 2012. That deal, at the time of its signing, was believed to call for further salary increases....

Selig’s earning power has surpassed that of other league commissioners for at least several years, and his 2007 compensation is more than most MLB players, too.... Entering 2009, only seven MLB players will earn more this year than Selig’s $18.35 million of two years ago....

The return will likely be the final one available to the public anyway, as the Office of the Commissioner has since gone through a change in filing status to become a for-profit limited liability corporation. MLB executives have said the move is tax-neutral for the league, but they have not articulated how that was achieved or, if that is indeed the case, why it was not pursued previously. DuPuy said in August that the switch, while motivated in part by a desire to avoid further public disclosures, would “better reflect the nature and structure of our business.”

The change relieves MLB of IRS disclosure rules that went into effect last year for 2008 and beyond mandating the listing of up to 20 employees of nonprofit entities who earn more than $150,000 and carry significant functional responsibilities.

Gross receipts for the commissioner’s office, generated almost entirely by dues levied on the individual MLB clubs, rose 14 percent during the fiscal year to $141.3 million."

  • =================================
  • 3/8/2009, "Overpaid Selig Should be Held Accountable" Wallace Matthews Newsday,
"Congress had its chance in 2005 and let him off the hook. I had my chance two weeks ago and got nothing but an earful of excuses. Well, I think the commissioner has gotten far too easy a ride.
  • is delivered in 12 inches of column space in a newspaper is tough,
  • he should try being a player someday.
He should be held to the same standards he, and we, demand of them. Everyone, it seems, assumes A-Rod is lying when he says he doesn't know precisely what he was injecting into his body. This despite all evidence to the contrary. Despite Rick Helling standing up at a union meeting in
  • 1998 and saying what no one in baseball wanted to hear:
If Selig truly didn't know, shame on him. If he knew and chose not to act, double shame on him.
  • If he knew but couldn't act because he was powerless in the face of his players association, then it's strike three. You're out, Bud.
The double standard is obvious and infuriating. Teams pay their players a ton of money and expect performance, honesty and accountability in return. In most cases, I believe they get it.
  • The same teams pay $18.5 million a year for a commissioner, more money than is paid to all but a handful of players.
In return, they get Bud Selig. If you think the players are overpaid, what does that make him?"

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sen. Scott Brown throws first pitch at Blue Jays-Red Sox game

Sen. Scott Brown throws first pitch at Blue Jays-Red Sox game, April 18, 2011 in Boston. reuters

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Mike Lupica to host daily one hour show on 1050AM ESPN NY leading into Michael Kay Show

4/19/11, Mike Lupica begins a daily show May 9th on 1050AM ESPN radio (WEPN) in New York from 2 to 3pm. Lupica is a NY Daily News columnist and frequent panelist on The Sports Reporters.

  • "He'll follow "Ruocco and Lundberg" and precede " The Michael Kay Show."

"We are extremely excited to welcome Mike Lupica to the 1050 ESPN New York family, as our new lineup showcases the most recognizable, accomplished and opinionated newsmakers in the New York market," said David Roberts, 1050 ESPN New York's general manager, in a statement....

The station will also feature Jared Max from 5-6 a.m. ET, followed by "Mike and Mike in the Morning" (6-10 a.m. ET) and "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" (10 a.m.-noon ET). Stephen A. Smith (7-9 p.m. ET) and Bill Daughtry (9 p.m.-midnight ET) will remain in their current slots.

Lupica is also a New York Times bestselling author, thanks to a number of popular novels for young adults. He has been part of the New York sports media for more than 30 years."

"Brandon Tierney and Jody McDonald, who had been heard from 1 to 3 p.m. weekdays, will move to weekend slots. "...Neil Best, SportsWatch, Newsday, 4/19/11

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Yankee farm system has catchers but lacks position players -Nalbone

4/17/11, "Yankees farm system is short on position players," Trenton Times, John Nalbone
  • "The contributions of homegrown players Derek Jeter, catcher Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Bernie Williams helped the Yankees win five World Series championships from 1996 to 2009.

This season, with Brett Gardner off to a dreadful (.150) start and Eduardo Nunez on the bench as a utility infielder, All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano is the only

  • everyday position player developed by the Yankees’ farm system.

Years of neglect in the draft and far too many resources directed toward high-priced free agents in the waning years of George Steinbrenner’s stewardship of the franchise were to blame for the dearth of major league-ready talent in the minor-league system.

From 1997 to 2005 the Yankees drafting and player development was among the worst in baseball, with only 10 position players produced and those players combining for less than 900 major league at-bats.

Cano became a full-time player in 2005, but he was an undrafted amateur free agent from San Pedro de Marcoris in the Dominican Republic.

  • In 2006, general manager Brian Cashman began overseeing the player development system and things began to change, albeit slowly.

It is an area that has lagged somewhat,’’ senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman said of the lack of top-tier position players at the higher levels of Yankees system. “But Nunez is there now and Gardner is one of the better young outfielders in the game. The young catchers we have are some of the best in the business, and we’ve got some quality young guys lower in our system right now.’’

The Yankees boast four minor-league catchers they think will one day play at the highest level in Jesus Montero at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Austin Romine with the Thunder and Class-A backstops Gary Sanchez and J.R. Murphy.

Romine is the top-rated and highest-round player (second round, 94th overall in 2007) selected by the Yankees on the Double-A Trenton roster, but with the exception of center fielder Melky Mesa (undrafted/amateur free agent)

NOTES: Yesterday’s Thunder game with Harrisburg at Waterfront Park was postponed by rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader today beginning at 1 p.m.

Craig Heyer and former major leaguer Kevin Millwood will start for the Trenton ... The Thunder scored four runs in the second inning and three more in the fourth to record an 8-1 victory over the Senators Friday night. Addison Maruszak, Romine and Austin Krum each drove in two runs for Trenton (3-5). Graham Stoneburner (1-1) allowed just four hits and one earned run over six innings to get his first Double-A win and lower his ERA to 1.64."

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Teixeira scores on Chavez 8th inning single

ap, Star-Ledger Munson, ap, pointing to Chavez

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

'A's triple play: 3 radio stations in one year,' Ben Fong-Torres

4/15/11, Ben Fong-Torres: "The Oakland A's, who've done(slightly) better on the diamond than with their radio affiliations, have landed on KBWF("The Wolf," at 95.7).
How'd they wind up on an FM country station? It was as if they'd run from home plate to second base, then first, then home. First, they were on KTRB (860 AM), a station that had struggled from the get-go, and suffers from spotty reception, but which negotiated a deal with the A's before going belly-up last year. With the station in receivership, sportscasters Ron Barr and Ken Dito kept its sports format on the air while the A's made moves to purchase the station. But after airing most of their spring training games on KTRB, the A's suddenly disappeared, then resurfaced on, of all places, KFRC, now on 1550AM with a syndicated oldies package.

The ironic thing was that the A's had been on KFRC when it occupied 106.9 FM a couple of years ago, and the Oaktown games didn't help the station with its imaging as a San Francisco classic hits music station. Owner CBS Radio then dropped the oldies and simulcast all-news KCBS (680) on 106.9, while the A's moved on to KTRB.

But after the Bay Bridge Series of exhibition games with the Giants, the A's announced a new affiliation, with "The Wolf." It's a four-year deal, and it kicked off just in time for the season opener.

Ken Pries, the A's VP of broadcasting, said that the team had signed a letter of intent to purchase KTRB, but that the club pulled out after receiving a demand from KTRB's receiver, Comerica Bank, to sign a new broadcasting rights deal (the A's said they already had one in place for this season). Pries then connected with KBWF.

"The A's deserve a terrific radio signal to be on," said Dwight Walker, VP and market manager for Entercom/SF. Weak reception "has diminished their exposure in the past." He said "The Wolf" and baseball broadcasts are a good fit. "Baseball is the national pastime, and there's no better place to put that than with America's original music form, country."

Before the A's finalized their deal with KBWF, they needed a local station to air the Giants series and called on KFRC. "They needed the favor and we were happy to do it," said Doug Harvill, Senior VP/market manager at CBS Radio.

KTRB is carrying on with a barebones staff and, now, without the A's and Dito's "Press Box," which ended Friday. "We're still programming the station," said Barr, whose syndicated Sports Byline stable of talk shows fills many hours each day. "The station's still in play. The A's could still buy it. Maybe Entercom (which also owns KUFX, "KFOX," which carries San Jose Sharks games) buys KTRB and puts the Sharks and the A's on it."

Anything is possible, given the A's radio history, which includes 14 changes of flagship stations since their arrival from Kansas City in 1968. And those 14 don't include their first 16 games in April 1978 on the UC Berkeley station, KALX (90.7). The A's owner, Charlie Finley, wanted to move his club to Denver, and broke ties with KNBR. Until he changed his mind, his games were on a college station. The deal was made by the Cal student who also served as play-by-play announcer and sports director of KALX: a poli sci major, Larry Baer. I believe he's still involved in baseball somewhere.

  • ---------------------------------------

Good sports: The Broadcast Legends' most recent luncheon featured "Sports Legends," and I was drafted to moderate a panel with Jon Miller, Barry Tompkins and Ron Barr. It was a blast....

Miller said that, before sports, "I wanted to be Walter Cronkite, the anchorman for CBS News." Instead, studying radio at the College of San Mateo under radio instructor Dan Odum, he announced classical music before turning to sports. Now, he's in the broadcast wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame....

Miller spoke about his departure from ESPN's Sunday night broadcasts after 21 years. For several years, he said, he'd been resisting the intrusions into baseball telecasts of excessive graphics and prepackaged material. "The people in charge," he said, "would prepare all this stuff, and the telecast was all about getting this stuff in." Miller argued that in a tied game in the eighth inning, with an exciting matchup at the plate, there was no need to go to a story a staffer had produced. "I probably should have retired from it before they showed me the door," he said.

Tompkins nodded in sympathy. "We have producers in our ear constantly, yelling, 'Graphic! Graphic!' and it's usually something that has nothing to do with what's going on. It's graphic and sponsor driven. But radio is the medium where someone like Jon makes the pictures. That's what makes great announcers great announcers."

Said Miller: "The thing I learned from Lon Simmons, early on, was, when the game is great, give them the game. Try not to get in the way."

After the panel, Miller told me one reason he turned down ESPN's offer to have him do its Sunday night radio broadcasts. He would have to go to the same games as, and do the prep work alongside the people who had replaced him in the TV booth. It would've been ... awk-ward! Besides, as he told the Broadcast Legends audience,

  • "I'm haven't seen my wife in 21 years.""

4/15/11, "A's triple play: 3 radio stations in one year," Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, Radio Waves. via RadioDailyNews

"Ron Barr (left), Barry Tompkins and Jon Miller take part in a "Sports Legends" luncheon last month in Berkeley." photo R. Mohr, from SF Chronicle. A's station switches to all sports via BTF

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Fans chant 'Sell team' after Mets doubleheader loss

photo A. Causi, NY Post ("Mets were looking for a couple of 4 baggers" but not like this)

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Don Imus newsman Charles McCord retiring after 48 years

4/14/11, "Don Imus wingman Charles McCord calling it quits after 48 years behind the mic: Sources," David Hinckley, NY Daily News

Several media sources said Thursday that Charles McCord, whose role on Imus's WABC radio and Fox Business Network morning shows has always gone far beyond his official position as newsman, is retiring after 48 years behind the microphone.

McCord's departure would alter the Imus show, where for over four decades Imus and McCord have developed

  • one of radio's longest lasting partnerships.

Sources indicated McCord could leave within the next two or three weeks.

McCord's replacement would likely come from Fox Business Network, whose staff Imus regularly integrates into his program. Among those who have sat in for McCord has been news anchor Connell McShane.

The rest of the Imus team - including producer Bernard McGuirk, engineer Lou Rufino, sportscaster Warner Wolf and comedians Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell - would remain.

McCord is leaving at a time when Imus' ratings have risen to new highs on radio while dipping on the TV side.

The Fox Business Network's morning numbers are down from last year, according to Nielsen, though Imus has remained in the ballpark with CNBC, which is Fox Business' main rival and is available in twice as many homes.

On WABC, his show was ranked No. 3 in the market in January. Imus' radio contract runs through Dec. 2, 2012.

He moved to WFAA in Dallas, then WWDC and WTOP in Washington before joining NBC in New York, where he did weekend news for "Monitor" and eventually moved to morning news for the crazy new guy on WNBC, "Imus in the Morning."

They developed a bond and McCord returned to Imus after his two major firings, from WNBC in 1977 and from WFAN/MSNBC in 2007. When Imus returned to WNBC in 1979, McCord helped Imus' evolution from comic shock jock to the bemused socio-political and pop culture commentator of today.

  • Imus has often said he and McCord talk almost nightly, exchanging observations and potential material.

On the air, McCord joins in the show's banter. He delivers the news between Imus' frequent interruptions and he is sometimes charged with putting Imus back on the rails.

He is also known to regular listeners for periodic blowups in which he demands Imus terminate some tedious obsession, like Whittaker Chambers."

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Plenty of police in Dodgers parking lot

Top, police on bikes in Dodgers parking lot snap photo for fans, getty. Bottom, police cars lined up outside Dodger Stadium, 4/14/11, ap.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Orioles fan in Yankee Stadium cheers Brian Roberts home run

Baltimore Orioles fan seen in two 7th inning photos from Yankee Stadium as 2 Orioles hit 2 run home runs in the 7th. Brian Roberts in top photo, Matt Wieters in bottom photo. Wed., 4/13/11. Top getty, bottom ap.

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California MLB games and their scoreboards suggested as vehicles for California Teachers Union protests to demand higher taxes

MLB's 5 California teams are suggested sites for California Teachers Union protests in coming weeks, especially May 9-13. They even suggest scoreboard involvement:
  • "*Protest at an MLB game. Everyone wears a matching shirt and sits in one section. Have scoreboard acknowledge their presence (i.e., “pink-slipped teachers seated in section ___”) (p. 3, item #10).
Regional rallies to include San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, page 2 item 7
  • --------------------------
4/11/11, "The California Teachers Association’s plan to occupy the State Capitol on May 9-13 as part of the union’s protests to increase tax revenue for the state’s schools and teachers....

They have a list of “potential activities the CTA State Council suggests as a starting point. Of course MLB made the list! So be ready Padres, Giants, A's, Angels, and Dodgers!:

  • *"Protest at an MLB game. Everyone wears a matching shirt and sits in one section. Have scoreboard acknowledge their presence (i.e., “pink-slipped teachers seated in section ___”)" (p. 3, item #10)

Other "State of Emergency" protest suggestions include:

* For teachers: "Call parents to tell them how their child is doing and then talk about the budget cuts and invite them to attend rallies." (P. 1, item 3)

Reference: "State of Emergency Ideas," California Teachers Assn., pdf, via Hot Air. (Some of the more provocative ideas on the original list have apparently been removed, ed.)

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Derek Jeter GQ cover, April 2011, article by Mnookin

From GQ by Seth Mnookin, "There's probably one thing I should get out of the way before we go any further: I am a season-ticket-holding, team-jersey-wearing, Fenway Park-loving Red Sox fan. I was at Yaz's last game. I have a framed picture of Pedro Martinez on the wall of my o∞ce. I got so excited when the Sox embarrassed the Yankees on their way to winning the 2004 World Series that I spent the next two years of my life writing a book about it.

And yes, I admit, when I first got this assignment, it sounded like a big, juicy fastball down the middle of the plate: a glossy-mag treatment about the end of the road for Captain Intangibles himself.

  • I could practically unravel the myths in my sleep....

But then—and you have no idea how much it pains me to write this—the facts got in the way. I've always known that Jeter was a good hitter, that he was a smart base runner, that he had good instincts—but it wasn't until I really began digging into his numbers that I realized that, along with Honus Wagner and Cal Ripken Jr., he's one of the three most valuable offensive shortstops in history. He's already the Yankees' all-time leader in hits and at-bats, and sometime this year, barring injury, he'll assume first place in games and stolen bases. By the time he retires, he has a good chance of also being the team leader in runs, total bases, doubles, and times on base—and this is the franchise, remember, for which Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle played their entire careers.

But his on-field accomplishments only explain part of what makes Jeter so iconic. Just as important is his ability to project an integrity and underlying decency that in today's world seems downright heroic. Think about how few superstars keep their auras intact....

A few years ago, Joe Posnanski, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, coined Jeterate, a verb defined as "to praise someone for something of which he or she is entirely unworthy of praise." It's the tendency on the part of fans, sportswriters, and broadcasters to Jeterate Jeter that drives baseball aficionados who don't live in the tristate area absolutely batshit insane. Derek Jeter is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He's a cornerstone of a team that has made the playoffs for fourteen of his fifteen full seasons. He's the only player in history to

  • hit 200 home runs and steal 300 bases as a shortstop....

"He's a guy who goes out there every day and plays hard, and he leads, and he's a consummate professional," says Posnanski. "And he really is what people say he is as a player—just not to the extent that they say it." Part of the reason that he's so lionized is that in the cloistered world of professional sports, an athlete whose image matches his actual day-to-day life is almost unthinkable. Think about the two other superstar shortstops Jeter came up with in the late 1990s: By the time Nomar Garciaparra bitched and moaned his way out of Boston, he'd revealed himself to be an obsessive-compulsive misanthrope who found talking to the media more exhausting than actually playing baseball. A-Rod frosted his hair, divorced his wife, dated Madonna, and 'roided up....

But then came last winter's contract negotiations. By most accounts, Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, were looking for a deal in the neighborhood of four-plus years at an average annual salary of more than $20 million. You can understand why Jeter might have thought this was what he deserved—the contract extension that A-Rod signed with the Yankees in 2007 will keep Rodriguez in New York past his forty-second birthday and has an average annual value of $27.5 million—but the Yankees told Jeter to get real. (At one point, "a source close to the negotiations" told ESPN that Jeter needed to "drink the reality potion" if that's what he thought he was worth.) After the Yankees offered Jeter a three-year deal worth $45 million, Brian Cashman told the media that the offer had taken "his contributions to the franchise...into account." It was a shocking moment: For the first time, the Yankees showed they were perfectly willing to smack down their iconic, infallible captain in public.

Throughout it all, Jeter, who'd made it clear that he had no desire to play for a team other than the Yankees, kept his mouth shut. It was only at the press conference announcing the three-year $51 million deal the two sides eventually agreed to that Jeter acknowledged that he'd been pissed off by the team's approach: "To hear the organization tell me to go shop it when I just told you I wasn't going to—if I'm going to be honest with you, I was angry about it."

And that was it. When I asked Jeter about the negotiations, he said he was done discussing what happened. "I always said I wasn't going to talk about it," he says. "I didn't talk about it. I addressed it one time in the press conference, and I won't bring it up again."...

"For almost two decades, Derek Jeter has spent his winters working out at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, Florida. He started these regimens shortly after moving to Florida from his parents' house in Kalamazoo, Michigan, so he could concentrate on his game year-round. Of course, a lot has changed since Jeter was chosen by the Yankees with the sixth overall pick in the 1992 draft: He no longer calls his folks every night in tears, no longer second-guesses his decision to turn pro instead of going to college, no longer wonders whether he's good enough to play with the big boys.

Today, Jeter is one of the most famous athletes the world has ever known. He's received plenty of personal accolades, starting with his unanimous selection as 1996's American League Rookie of the Year and continuing right through his eleventh All-Star appearance last summer, but he'll always be best known as a leader, a champion, a class act in an era when athletes are expected to be cheaters and boors. Come June, he'll have been captain of the Yankees for eight full years—which is longer than Babe Ruth, longer than Lou Gehrig—longer, in fact, than any other player in team history. Two years ago, he was chosen to lead the United States team in the World Baseball Classic—and of course, he's been a cornerstone of five World Series-winning teams. He's Tiger without the car crash, Kobe without the rape trial, Brady without the jilted pregnant girlfriend, A-Rod without the...well, everything....

In September 2009, after Jeter became the Yankees' all-time hit leader, former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling described him as a player who'd "always been above the fray." As Schilling was quick to point out, he should know: "As someone who's 'foot-in-mouthed' it hundreds of times, it's refreshing. He's shown up, played, and turned in a Hall of Fame career in the hardest environment in sports to do any/all of the above."...

His off-season contract negotiations with the only team he's ever wanted to play for provided yet another painful reminder that he's no longer the wonder boy shooting line drives with his inside-out stroke. In the weeks before Jeter and the Yankees came to terms on a three-year deal that will take him through the 2013 season, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters that he had "concerns" about Jeter's age and said if Jeter wasn't satisfied with the Yankees' offer, he was "free to test the market." It was the equivalent of the New York Philharmonic telling Leonard Bernstein he could go audition for the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra....

It's possible that Jeter will come back and have a year like 2009, when he hit .334, smacked eighteen home runs, swiped thirty bases, and was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year. It's possible that all the time he spent this winter reworking his approach in the batter's box will pay off. It's possible, but unlikely."...

Before I left for the airport, I asked Jeter what he had planned for the rest of the day. "I'm probably going to go home and watch a movie," he said, grinning. "I'm going to watch The Roommate. It's a new one. Just came out today. Go check it out." It was a rare acknowledgement of his private life—his girlfriend, Minka Kelly, is one of the movie's stars. We exchanged some more pleasantries, and then, as he was climbing into his car, he shouted over one last time: "Remember: The Roommate. Seriously. Check it out. It's worth it.""

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Two hedge fund managers among 3 Mets finalists

Wilpon could relinquish greater percentage of ownership after 1 year. "For weeks, Steven A. Cohen, the billionaire hedge fund manager, has been a mysterious figure in the drama of the Mets, and their financially and legally beleaguered owners. Several people with knowledge of the situation said the team’s owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, approached Cohen close to a year ago, seeking an infusion of cash and offering a portion of the club. The Mets denied it. Cohen’s representatives gave conflicting accounts. The notion, if ever true, seemed dead....

In rather urgent need of $200 million, and willing to sell a substantial interest in their once off-limits franchise, Wilpon and Katz, after soliciting a range of bids, have narrowed their list of potential partners to three. And according to people with knowledge of the negotiations, Cohen is again in the mix,

  • perhaps even the preferred bidder.

The Mets, this time, will not comment at all. A spokesman for Cohen, asked directly if Cohen was a finalist for a piece of the team, said,

  • “No comment.”

It surprises no one that Cohen, with a net worth valued at $8 billion, might be interested in the Mets. It is of some surprise to people who know him that he might be seriously interested in a minority stake, one that would not give him control over the team’s operations and finances and performance. And it is completely in keeping with his custom to have zero interest in revealing his hand.

Cohen, who was born in Great Neck, N.Y., and Katz have a charitable connection. Katz is a former chairman and current executive committee member of the board of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System — to which Cohen and his wife, Alexandra, donated $50 million last year to fund pediatric care.

Cohen’s inclusion in the group of finalists bidding for the Mets would mean that he was persuaded to alter his insistence on some measure of control — or envisions a future route to control. Katz and Wilpon have told all bidders they will not sell more than 49 percent of the team and no part of their two-thirds stake in the SNY cable network for at least a year. Bidders have coveted a piece of SNY because its profits could offset team losses that rose to

  • about $50 million last season.

Cohen’s competitors include a group formed by Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of Skybridge Capital, a hedge-fund firm, and James McCann, the founder of 1-800-Flowers.com, a Mets sponsor, according to a person briefed on the matter. The two visited Fred Wilpon in spring training

  • last month at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Out of the bidding is an investment group formed by David Heller, a Goldman Sachs executive, and Marc Spilker, president of Apollo Global Management, and another comprised of Leo Hindery, a media investor, and Marc Utay, managing partner of Clarion Capital, a private equity firm. The status of a third syndicate, led by Steven Starker, a co-founder of BTIG, a global trading firm, could not be confirmed.

Cohen runs SAC Capital Advisors, a powerful $12 billion hedge fund headquartered in Stamford, Conn. He has posted some of the best investment performances on Wall Street, generating annualized returns of about

  • 30 percent over nearly two decades....

SAC has been touched by the government’s widespread crackdown into insider trading at hedge funds. Last November, SAC received a subpoena as part of the investigation. In February, federal prosecutors announced insider trading charges against two former SAC portfolio managers. One has pleaded guilty to criminal charges and is cooperating with the government’s investigation. Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for the firm, has said the firm is outraged by the alleged

  • actions of the former employees."...

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Sam Fuld, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder, another smart baseball player

Sam Fuld, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder, currently the lead off hitter for the Rays, Bats and throws left, 296 avg. Hit a home run v Boston tonight. "Son of Kenneth Fuld and Amanda Merrill • A diabetic who enjoys working with other diabetic kids • Favorite sports team is the Boston Red Sox, while Bill Mueller is his favorite athlete • Earliest baseball memory is hitting whiffle balls with his grandmother."
  • Via mention of announcers on ESPN tv.

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