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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Race car driver Jackie Stewart attends wedding of Queen Elizabeth granddaughter

Jackie Stewart and his wife arrive at wedding of Zara Phillips and rugby player Mike Tindall in Edinburgh, July 30, 2011. photo UK Daily Mail. via Lucianne.com

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Japanese front pages remember Hideki Irabu

"Front pages newspapers reporting on the death of Hideki Irabu in Tokyo on July 30, 2011. Japanese baseball fans, players and sports writers mourned the death of the retired pitcher who pioneered the move across the Pacific into American Major League Baseball. Irabu, 42, died in an apparent suicide after several years out of the sport"...getty image. Irabu did not pitch in the 1998 and 1999 World Series as stated by Getty: "but is remembered fondly at home for his heyday with the Yankees, when he helped the New York club win the World Series in 1998 and 1999." Per Baseball-Reference, his only post-season appearance was one game in the 1999 ALCS.

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Tribute to Rick "The Peanut Man" at Mariners game

"Peanut vendors hold up bags of nuts in tribute to a long time vendor Rick "The Peanut Man" Kaminski, who died earlier in the week" before Mariners game v Rays in Seattle, 7/29/11, ap

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Fisherman athlete Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera pulling in fishing net on boat, date unknown, picture from an SI.com vault

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yankee Stadium hosts children who lost parents in September 11 Islamic terror attacks as part of Hope Week

"Mariano Rivera chats with children from Tuesday's Children, children who lost parents in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks," Tuesday, 7/26/11 at Yankee Stadium before the game vs Seattle Mariners. "From left are Cary Jones, Joe McHugh, Amish Sattaluri and Patrick Hannaford." ap photo. Hope Week.
  • Below photos of where kids' parents were murdered.

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Cheetah from San Diego Zoo at Padres pre-game show

"Majani, a cheetah from the San Diego Zoo, walks past the Arizona Diamondbacks dugout before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park" 7/26/11, getty

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fans still take risks trying to catch balls at games

Carl Crawford catches a ball in game at Fenway Park v Kansas City as fan leans over wall. 7/26/11. getty

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Monday, July 25, 2011

NY Times says blame for Norway killings must be on American bloggers and right wing activists because killer read their blogs

7/24/11, NY Times, "The man accused of the killing spree in Norway was deeply influenced by a small group of American bloggers and writers who have warned for years about the threat from Islam, lacing his 1,500-page manifesto with quotations from them,
  • as well as copying multiple passages from the tract of the Unabomber.
In the document he posted online, Anders Behring Breivik, who is accused of bombing government buildings and killing scores of young people at a Labor Party camp, showed that he had closely followed the acrimonious American debate over Islam.

His manifesto, which denounced Norwegian politicians as failing to defend the country from Islamic influence, quoted Robert Spencer, who operates the Jihad Watch Web site, 64 times, and cited other Western writers who shared his view that Muslim immigrants pose a grave danger to Western culture.

More broadly, the mass killings in Norway, with their echo of the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by an antigovernment militant, have focused new attention around the world on the subculture of anti-Muslim bloggers and right-wing activists and

  • renewed a debate over the focus of counterterrorism efforts....
The revelations about Mr. Breivik’s American influences exploded on the blogs over the weekend, putting Mr. Spencer and other self-described “counterjihad” activists on the defensive, as their critics suggested that their portrayal of Islam as a threat to the West indirectly fostered the crimes in Norway. The Times makes clear in the article its view that the Norway killings could easily happen here, and the government should be suspicious of white Americans who are right of center. The killer was keenly focused on Europe's Islamist enablers, but the Times doesn't dwell on that. Anyhow, I must be to blame too because on June 29, 2011, I did a blog post on the high incidence of Norwegian girls being raped by Islamists. P.S. Sorry to inform the NY Times, but 80% of Americans polled say they're dissatisfied or angry with Washington DC, per a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Not exactly a small fringe group of bloggers. 7/24/11, "Voters’ renewed anger at Washington spurs formation of third-party advocate groups," Washington Post, Chris Cillizza Update #2, One of the American bloggers named by the NY Times as deeply influential to the killer, Pamela Geller, was mentioned exactly once in the 1500 page document (paragraph 8 in following link): ------------------------------------- "The New York Times today has a wretched editorial masquerading as a news story on Robert Spencer and his alleged complicity in the Oslo massacres because his ideas are cited by the lunatic responsible. Joseph McCarthy could not have done it better. The Times next will blame Noam Chomsky for the crimes of Osama bin Laden and Al Gore for the crimes of the Unabomber since the ideas of both were cited by the lunatics. Chomsky is not only cited by the Islamic terrorists, he openly supports them — yet the Times would be the first to express shock and outrage at the mere suggestion of Chomsky’s complicity in the crimes of al-Qaeda, Hizbollah and Hamas."...
  • via Lucianne.com, James Delingpole, and Atlas Shrugs (all 'right wing blogs')

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mets Einhorn deal on hold due to JPMorgan Chase objection

7/24/11, NY Post, Kosman, "The Mets' pending deal to sell a minority stake in the team to David Einhorn is dragging on well beyond its expected closing date because lender JPMorgan Chase is not letting the team structure the deal as a loan, making it harder to complete, The Post has learned.

"The Wilpons are having a tough time with the banks," a source close to the talks said.

Fred Wilpon's Sterling Equities, which owns the Mets, last week extended its exclusive negotiations with Einhorn after failing to reach a deal by the June 30 deadline.

Einhorn's $200 million purchase of a 33 percent stake in the money-losing Mets franchise is structured as a loan -- with the hedge-fund investor getting paid back in three years and having his stake reduced to about 16 percent.

JPMorgan Chase, which is owed about $500 million by the team, won't approve such a deal unless its loans get serviced --

  • repaid or restructured -- prior to Einhorn.

In addition to objecting to the Einhorn deal, in the last few months the bank wrote a "tough" letter to Sterling telling it that the Mets had breached their loan in 13 different ways, said the source, who has seen the letter.

The bank did not put the team in default, but the letter puts it on notice so the bank could more easily pursue that course in the future, the source said.

The 43-year-old Einhorn, if he is not repaid in three years, has the option of acquiring a controlling stake in the Mets at a predetermined price.

The JPMorgan Chase-led lending group has said that the Mets cannot simply pay Einhorn back to keep its majority stake, at least if they intend to do so before June 30, 2014, when their loan matures, the source with direct knowledge said.

And Einhorn wants to be paid back by that time.

The bank group, which has the right to approve all loans to the team, wants a complete restructuring of the $500 million-plus in debt as part of any plan to pay Einhorn back.

"I'm very confident this can't be a loan," the source said. "It needs to be complete recap."

With the Mets on track to lose $60 million this year,

  • the banks will likely want more of their loan paid down.

The Mets, to execute a full recap and pay back Einhorn, will likely need a new equity investor to get a deal done at that time, the source said.

Sterling, which also owns a majority stake in the profitable SportsNet New York (SNY) regional cable sport network, was planning to use free cash from that business to pay Einhorn, the source said.

"Einhorn will have to wait until later, or be part of a larger package," the source said.

Sterling likely does have enough money to fund the Mets for some time, the source said, but Major League Baseball and the lending group have put pressure on Sterling to sell a minority stake in the team after it took an

  • emergency loan in November from MLB.

Lenders are becoming tougher about their troubled loans to sports teams because of losses taken last year in the Texas Rangers bankruptcy case, and that might be coming now in the Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy, sources said.

  • "JPMorgan has been very difficult on several sports loans," another source said. "They are being supremely cautious."

"We have a very good relationship with all of our lenders and are working closely with JPMorgan, as agent for the lending syndicate, in connection with the current minority sale process," said a Mets spokesperson last night."

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6th annual Commie Night at Chicago White Sox game

From PeoplesWorld.org: "July 25, 2011...Time for our 6th annual People's World /Mundo Popular fun fundraiser: tailgate BBQ and White Sox game!

Join the staff, volunteers and family of the Unity Center and the People's World editorial office as the Chicago White Sox battle their division rivals the Detroit Tigers at US Cellular Field."...

"Other sites in the People Before Profit network:

"Please make check or money order payable to Illinois Friends of People's World. For more information call Pepe Lozano at".... via American Thinker

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Friday, July 22, 2011

'7 second delay' discussion expands to HD radio delay listening to Yankee baseball

A discussion about delays from NY Radio Message Board mentions listening to a Yankee game on HD radio:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Seven-second Delay? posted by Rich McClear on July 21, 2011 at 14:34:35:

There is a big-time delay on HD radio. I tried listening to a Yankee game on WCBS HD-3 while watching on TV simultaneously. I didn't actually time it, but the HD radio broadcast was far behind the TV broadcast...at least 30 seconds or more."

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

'Tabloids do not deserve the First Amendment,' LA Times Op-Ed

"Something can be criminal when it involves expression."... "The FBI opened an inquiry late last week into Rupert Murdoch's media empire amid allegations that British reporters tried to access cellphone messages and records of Sept. 11 victims.... Although these kinds of tactics may come as a shock to the public, I witnessed many of the same tactics while working as a cub reporter for the Globe tabloid in the late 1990s. Some American tabloids do not operate much differently from British ones. Many of the editors who reign over American tabloid newsrooms hail from Britain where tabloid "journalists" have justified their tactics by deluding themselves that they are avengers for the working class, exposing the decadence of the rich and famous as well as the royal family. I observed tabloid reporters and editors prey on the families of murder victims and witnesses by hiring investigators to access their credit card and phone records. My editors sometimes tried to bribe or blackmail government officials for information. The problem isn't Rupert Murdoch. The problem is that the culture of tabloid journalism in both Britain and the United States is deeply tied to criminal acts. Without illegal conduct, tabloids could not preempt the mainstream press, and they would not survive.... Although the law provides us with the tools we need to punish crimes related to free speech, the judicial system is too quick to bow before the 1st Amendment, and as a result we end up shielding criminals who
  • misrepresent themselves as journalists and activists.
If Congress truly wants to resolve this issue, it should take a cue from the British Parliament and hold hearings to investigate this systemic problem. This is not just a matter of ineffective prosecution and judicial weakness. The root of the problem is our reluctance as a nation to accept that
  • something can be criminal when it involves expression.
Crime is crime. Tabloid journalism uses illegal tactics, and it does not deserve absolute protection from the 1st Amendment."
  • via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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Hideki Matsui hits 500th pro home run, also has 10 post season home runs in US

Hideki Matsui is greeted at home-plate by teammate Conor Jackson after hitting a 6th inning home-run vs Detroit Tigers, his 500th, 7/20/11, final 7-5 Oakland. reuters
  • Matsui has 168 regular season and 10 post season home runs in the US.

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NY City's worst outdoor food carts found via Freedom of Information Act

7/17/11, "Mobile food vendors racked up a stomach-turning 2,517 violations this year -- ranging from poor personal hygiene, to serving up mystery meat, to live rodents -- but the city Health Department doesn't grade them or let the public know just how filthy they are.

In just four months, sidewalk slinger Bulent Isci earned 16 violations, making him the city's vilest vendor, according to records obtained by The Post through a Freedom of Information Law request.

Isci manhandled food on the southeast corner of West 41st Street and Seventh Avenue, instead of using a utensil, and failed to wash his hands "after visiting the toilet, coughing, sneezing, smoking [or] preparing raw foods," records show. After his first inspection in January, he failed to clean up and was cited during three more inspections in March and April.

Mubarak Ahmed broke the health code 14 times in a two-month span at his stand on West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue, according to records. His offenses included inadequate personal cleanliness and the absence of a required sink for hand-washing.

When a Post reporter stopped by Ahmed's stand Friday, he was scarfing down lunch -- a rice-and-meat dish from a neighboring vendor -- and tore an orange open with dirt-caked fingernails before serving a customer.

He told The Post that he was not aware of any violations. He pulled baby wipes out of a plastic bag as proof that he cleans his hands.

"I got every f--king thing," he yelled.

Nur Ahammed, who usually vends in front of 56-17 56th Drive in Maspeth, Queens, was slapped this year with 14 violations for using dirty washcloths, re-serving unprotected food and serving patrons "food from unapproved or unknown source, spoiled, adulterated or home-canned."

If vendors were treated the same way as the city's restaurants are in the Health Department's grading system, Ahammed's 10 violations during a single March inspection would have earned him 33 to 53 inspection points and a C grade, the lowest possible.

And the seven city vendors who were found to have live vermin or animals scurrying in their food-preparation or storage areas -- four in Queens, two in The Bronx and one in Manhattan -- could have failed.

But the agency has no immediate plans to stick "scarlet letters" on food carts.

A spokeswoman said there were no immediate plans to post the mobile food vendors' misdeeds online either.

City Councilman Daniel Garodnick (D-Manhattan) has been calling for a letter-grading system for food vendors since last year.

"If restaurants have to bear this burden, why shouldn't vendors selling food right on the street?" he said. "People should know that the food they're eating is safe, free of vermin and bugs, and that the seller is keeping a clean environment."

Street grime: The top offenders

Bulent Isci, 41st St. and Seventh Ave. 16 violations, including keeping foods at the incorrect temperature and leaving grub unprotected from contamination.

Mubarak Ahmed, 23rd St. and Sixth Ave. 14 violations, including bad personal hygiene and hazardous cart conditions.

Mohammed El Hiba, Liberty St. and Broadway 14 violations, including bad personal hygiene and cooking foods below minimum required temperatures.

Nur Ahammed, 56-17 56th Drive, Maspeth, Queens 14 violations, including improperly using pesticides and sleeping with his food cart.

Bulbul Ahmed, 39th St. and Seventh Ave. 12 violations, including keeping cold food above 41 degrees and using improperly maintained equipment."

via Atlas Shrugs

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hank Aaron hit final home run July 20, 1976

Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final home run on July 20, 1976. photo Big Government

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MLB All Star Game TV ratings 1967-2011

"Major League Baseball All-Star Game Ratings 1972-2008" TV by the Numbers, Neilsen ratings

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

McCourt says Selig caused Dodger fan 'unease' and decline in attendance

7/18/11, "Frank McCourt calls proposed MLB loan 'deal with the devil'," LA Times, Bill Shaikin
  • "The filing also claims that Selig's "unfounded criticism" of the Dodgers' stadium security and operations led "directly to fan unease and attendant declines in attendance."" (end of article)
via Hot Air

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Lightening knocks out lights in Tampa, game resumes after 18 minute delay

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In 1991 Yankee payroll ranked 8th among MLB teams-Forbes

"The New York Yankees are baseball’s richest and most storied franchise, but the first half of the 1990s was a very different era for the Yankees and their fans. The team’s payroll of $28 million ranked eighth among MLB teams in 1991.
  • By 1993 the team was still being
Two years later the team drew an average of 23,251 fans to games, filling Yankee Stadium to 40% capacity. The Bronx Bombers failed to make the playoffs
  • for 13 straight years."...
7/7/11, "Derek Jeter: The Yankees $5 Billion Man," Forbes, Kurt Badenhausen

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jeter sign at Rogers Centre, 'Congrats on 3000 hits'

Rogers Centre fan sign at Yankee-Toronto Blue Jays game congratulating Derek Jeter on 3000 hits, 7/16/11, getty. Final, 4-1 Yankees

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Giants' closer Brian Wilson is flammable fireman behind 'regular season total save stat'-Mushnick

7/15/11, "The Giants' Brian Wilson is another closer to carry a "lights-out" rep based on ridiculous save standards that award ineffective pitching. Though second in the majors with 26 saves, Wilson has allowed 39 hits and 22 walks in 43 innings. As firemen go, he's highly flammable."

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Jeter should have given fan big check for 3000th hit-Mushnick

7/15/11, "If right is right and wrong is wrong, here's what Derek Jeter and his image-molders should have done -- had to do -- when Christian Lopez returned that baseball, no charge:

Jeter should have said, "Don't be ridiculous. I'm writing you a personal check for $25,000 [or more], and I insist that you accept it and cash it. I will not take no for an answer. Here's why, Christian: Me, the Yankees and our exclusive stuff-pusher, Brandon Steiner, are selling everything attached to this 3,000-hit thing. Everything. From the on-deck circle mat to handfuls of Yankee Stadium dirt.

"Let's be honest. We're pigging out on this. So how would it look if I jammed all this dough-for-nothing in my pockets -- not that I need the money -- while I accepted the one truly valued item as a gift, accepted it from a ticket-buying fan, no less?

"So take this check, me to you, with my thanks. It's only right."

That's the shame attached to both Jeter's 3,000th hit and his carefully crafted, finely polished and assiduously protected image. He'll sell ya more than he'll tell ya. And Jeter's role in the Christian Lopez story just didn't pass the smell test.

Jeter's a terrific player; being the first to reach 3,000 hits only in a New York uniform is big. Still, while he's extra careful about what he says to guard his image, he'd sell you his pregame-used Q-Tips.

And that just doesn't fit all this Mr. Pinstripe Class propaganda. As reader Peter Pujols put it, why would such an extra image-protective star play the lead in "a memorabilia orgy?"

But in an age of money-ugly -- when probing for the limits of how much money can be sucked from fans' and fools' pockets -- why should Jeter act any differently?"...

"Jeter should have given fan big check for 3,000th hit," NY Post, Phil Mushnick

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Paul McCartney concert warmup at Yankee Stadium

Warmup for Paul McCartney concert at Yankee Stadium, July 15, 2011, Fred Velez

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Selig collusion ally Bill Giles says MLB should 'study' the problem of Jeter not being at All Star game

7/14/11, ""I think it's too bad that Jeter in particular is not here, because of what he accomplished over the weekend," Philadelphia Phillies chairman Bill Giles, the honorary NL president, said at a Monday news conference, "and I think it is a bit of a problem and 7/14/11, "Jeter surprised All-Star no-show caused commotion," AP, Katv "Identified in (Arbitrator) Nicolau`s opinion as co-conspirators is a Who`s Who of baseball`s highest executives: Commissioner Peter Ueberroth; American League President Bobby Brown; Barry Rona, president of the owners` Player Relations Committee; owners Jerry Reinsdorf of the White Sox; Bud Selig, Milwaukee; Carl Pohlad, Minnesota; Bill Giles, Philadelphia; Ted Turner and Bill Bartholomay, Atlanta; John McMullen, Houston; and Haywood Sullivan, Boston.
  • Also named were General Managers Dallas Green (when he was with the Cubs); Stan Kasten, Atlanta; Andy MacPhail, Minnesota; Mike Port, California; Tom Grieve, Texas; Woody Woodward, Yankees; Pat Gillick, Toronto; and Bill Lajoie, Detroit.

That`s obviously an impressive list that includes many of baseball`s movers and shakers. There is no question, no shadow of lingering doubt, that the owners and their representatives have, or had been, acting in concert in refusing to sign free agents. But the dispute will remain unresolved until monetary damages are assessed.

May 25, 2004, "End of the Owners' Error: The Collusion Checks Are In," NY Times, Murray Chass
  • ------------------
People can defame and smear Yankee players all they want. Why not? The Yankee front office loves to bash certain Yankee players, so is probably thrilled to get help. The negativity impacts the entire team and likely causes some would-be fans to think twice about buying tickets. ed.

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Christian Lopez to get own Topps baseball card

"Lopez was an avid collector as a kid. He said he has "probably a couple thousand baseball cards." "The fan who returned Derek Jeter's ball from his 3,000th hit will get a bit of memorabilia to keep - his own baseball card.

Topps says it will produce a trading card featuring Christian Lopez that will be included in sets later this year.

"We thought what he did captures the essence of what baseball and the Topps company is about," said Mark Sapir, Topps vice president for sports.

The recent college graduate with outstanding student loans will get some financial help, too.

Memorabilia dealer Brandon Steiner and sporting goods CEO Mitch Modell said they will make sure Lopez gets at least $50,000 toward his outstanding student loans of $150,000.

Steiner said he got a call on Wednesday from his buddy Modell, and they got the ball rolling. Steiner set up an auction of memorabilia that eventually will include baseballs signed by both Lopez and Jeter and said Modell is pledging five percent from the sale of Yankees-related merchandise at the Modell's chain during what will be called

  • "Christian Lopez Week."

"That itself is a totally awesome situation right now for all parties involved," Lopez said.

What impressed the sports executives - as well as countless fans across the country - was the way a 23-year-old mobile phone salesman passed on the chance to sell the ball.

Instead, Lopez gave the ball to Jeter, saying he deserved to have the keepsake.

"Can you believe how good a mensch this kid was?" Steiner said.

Lopez has been overrun with requests since Saturday.

"It's been overwhelming to be honest with you," he said. "It's been a little crazy. But I'm handling it as best I can. I'm trying to get back to everybody I can."

That includes Topps.

"Yeah, I spoke with them a couple days ago," Lopez said. "All I know, is they kind of want to make a baseball card out of me."

Lopez was an avid collector as a kid. He said he has "probably a couple thousand baseball cards."

His favorite? A Yankees card, of course. It depicts Babe Ruth and one of the Yankees' owners at the time he came over from the Red Sox in 1920.

"It's a very dear card to me. I've had it for 15 years now or so," Lopez said.

Now he'll have another Yankees card to keep next to it."

  • Via mention of Suzyn Waldman on Yankee radio. photo Landov

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Joe Buck incorrect about Willie Mays remarks on All Star Game, Mr. Mays never made the remarks

  • A newspaper reporter mused about imaginary responses and someone misread the exercise as reaction from Willie Mays which it wasn't.
7/12/11, "FOX MLB announcer Joe Buck was providing commentary during the All-Star Game about several players skipping the Midsummer Classic. Buck was obviously dissatisfied that so many players elected not to partake in the game, so he cited a quote from Willie Mays that would seem to disparage the absent players.

“You talk about Stan Musial being a 24-time All-Star. He is tied with Willie Mays for the top spot, and Hank Aaron,” Buck prefaced before diving into the story.

Willie Mays had some interesting quotes today in the Wall Street Journal with regard to guys not showing up for this All-Star Game. He said ‘I was rewarded 24 times as an All-Star, and I went 24 times. It’s not jury duty, guys should show up.’”

Those were some pretty powerful words from Mays, and something I hadn’t heard all day. First, I was wondering how I hadn’t heard about this quote earlier in the day. Secondly, I thought to myself “since when does the Wall Street Journal score MLB interviews with Hall of Famers?” And third, I went to find the story so I could write about it here at LBS."...

(continuing, LBS): "Jason Gay, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, was merely making the point that other players could learn from Willie Mays who played in 24 All-Star Games. Here’s what Gay wrote:

But there are some borderline cases. Derek Jeter won’t play because he wants to rest his still-healing right calf—a calf that looked very solid this past weekend as he raced around the bases after hitting a home run for his 3,000th hit. There’s a formidable list of pitchers who won’t toss an All-Star pitch because they threw on Sunday.

Fellas, this is the All-Star Game! It’s not jury duty!

If you want out of the All-Star Game, you have to call Willie Mays and tell him why.

Yes, that Willie Mays. The Willie Mays who made 24 All-Star Games, and went to every one of them. The Willie Mays who once played ten innings of an All-Star game in the St. Louis heat. The Willie Mays who is considered one of the best players who ever wore a uniform, if not the best.

All-Star dropout crisis solved. Because here’s how those conversations would go.

After that, Gay wrote up a few mock conversations of how they “would” go.

That’s like me writing on LBS, “You know what Pete Rose would say to these guys who aren’t taking the All-Star Game seriously? He’d punch them in the face and say ‘There’s never going to be a bigger game in your life’” and then having Joe Buck cite LBS and repeat that line on national TV.

I know there are plenty of staff members who assist the broadcasters during these games, so it’s possible someone else screwed up. If that’s the case, then I really, really feel badly for Buck and that person should be fired. But if it was Buck who skimmed the story and thought that Mays made the quotes, then he deserves all the ridicule he’ll receive for misinterpreting it. Let’s hope for his sake it was someone else who passed along the note to him, but since he said it, he’ll be the one receiving the criticism."

(I heard a reference to the now-disproved Willie Mays remarks presented as fact on a sports radio show, so found this article very helpful. ed.)

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

'Christian Lopez Week' at Modell's, offers of financial support line up for fan who caught Jeter 3K ball

7/13/11, USA Today,"Several savvy marketers — including MillerCoors, Modell's Sporting Goods and Steiner Sports Marketing — are offering wads of cash to Christian Lopez, the good-guy fan with the big heart and large college loan debts, who returned the historic ball to Jeter despite the possibility that he could have collected a king's ransom for it on eBay.

"Derek still has Nike and Gillette," jokes the 23-year-old Lopez, in a phone interview. "He's used to that kind of stuff. I assure you, I'm not trying to get in on that."

But marketers of all types are knocking on Lopez's door. "This is the curse of social media," says public relations guru KD Paine. "Marketers are jumping on whatever today's trending topic is on Twitter." Among them:

Beermaker. Miller High Life, which calls itself a "common sense" beer, offered to pay the estimated $14,000 tax bill for memorabilia and tickets that Lopez got as thanks from Jeter and the Yankees. "Miller High Life believes you should be rewarded for doing the right thing, not punished," says Brendan Noonan, brand manager. The company also offered to throw a beer party for Lopez and "legal drinking age friends." No decision, yet, from Lopez.

•Retailer. Modell's Sporting Goods has dubbed this "Christian Lopez Week" at Modell's, and will donate 5% of Yankee merchandise sales to Lopez. Minimum guarantee: $25,000. "We don't want anyone to think it's a publicity stunt," says Mitchell Modell, CEO of the chain known for aiding local causes. "We just want to celebrate this guy who has Yankee blood in his veins."

•Sports marketer. Steiner Sports Marketing, with ties to the Yankees and Jeter, is auctioning sports memorabilia on its site, with profits going to Lopez. Minimum guarantee: $25,000. "This guy's been good," says CEO Brandon Steiner. "I wanted to do something good for him."

•PR firm. JCPR, which specializes in financial public relations, is giving Lopez free PR advice. Owner Jennifer Connelly says a friend of Lopez's mother approached her when the family was overwhelmed with requests. "Who knows where this will take us?" she says. "We're a pay-it-forward kind of firm."

  • No, they haven't heard from Nike-yet."

7/13/11, "Marketers jump on Jeter 3,000 catcher," USA Today, Bruce Horovitz

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Murdered brother of Afghan president was Cubs fan, once had Chicago restaurant frequented by Cubs fans

7/12/11, Chicago Tribune, "Ahmed Wali Karzai found his political footing as he listened to fellow expatriates talk about their home country during the time he ran a restaurant in Lakeview in the 1980s and early 1990s, his attorney said Tuesday.... A batch of confidential documents released by the WikiLeaks organization last year also mention Ahmed Wali Karzai’s talking about how he loved the Lakeview neighborhood. A 2010 diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks says that Ahmed Wali Karzai moved to Chicago in 1983.

During meetings with American officials in September 2009 and February 2010, a "nervous, though eager" Ahmed Wali Karzai, dressed in a traditional loose tunic and trousers, tried to win them over with tales about his years running the restaurant, according to documents released by WikiLeaks. "Further emphasizing his links to the United States, AWK fondly recalled his days in Chicago as a restaurant owner close to Chicago's Wrigley Field," a memo stated, according to WikiLeaks. "His restaurant was a hub for Americans in the Midwest who had worked or lived in Afghanistan prior to the Soviet invasion, he said."

In an interview in the fall of 2001, as he waited in Pakistan to reenter Afghanistan as U.S. forces fought the Taliban, Ahmed Wali Karzai also reminisced with a Tribune reporter about Chicago. He talked about Wrigley Field, Wrigleyville and getting the crowds from the Cubs games at his family's restaurant. And joked about the winters in Chicago.

“He thought that Chicago summers were absolutely a day at the park compared to a Kandahar summer, and he thought that Chicago winters were not as bad as being in the mountains in Pakistan. All in all, he probably is one of the few who found that Chicago’s extremes were more than tolerable,” Posner said.

Ahmed Wali Karzai became a Cubs fan while in Chicago, and claimed to still follow them, along with the Chelsea soccer team, as the only two sports teams outside of his home country that he cared about, Posner said.

After his time in Chicago, Ahmed Wali Karzai went to Pakistan, to work with Hamid Karzai and another brother who were working to influence the future of Afghanistan, and he was among the first exiles to return to the country with the invading U.S. forces, Posner said.

On his return to Afghanistan, Ahmed Wali Karzai became head of Kandahar's provincial council. Critics, including U.S. officials, said he was deeply involved in corruption, some of it stemming from Kandahar's flourishing drug trade. In the secret diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks, American diplomats portrayed Karzai as a Mafia-like figure, entangled in a variety of illegal activities. Ahmed Wali Karzai has consistently denied the allegations, including through Posner, and also hotly disputed reports of his involvement with the CIA.

  • In the same February 2010 meeting with U.S. officials in which he reminisced about Chicago, Ahmed Wali Karzai, "unprompted," denied being involved in narcotics trafficking, and offered to take a polygraph test to prove he was not."

7/12/11, "Attorney: Chicago restaurant sparked Karzai brother's political interest," Chicago Tribune

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fan who caught Jeter 3K ball stunned at news of likely tax bill on Yankee tickets he is to receive

Update, Help is on the way for good guy with $100K in college loan debts, including Miller, Modell's and Steiner: 7/12/11, "“I was actually stunned," Christian Lopez told ESPN. "I wasn’t expecting that … It kind of sucks, to be honest with you.""

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Major League Baseball hitting, scoring lowest in 2 decades-AP

"Scoring in the first half of the season dropped to its lowest level in 19 years and the major league batting average shrunk to its smallest midseason figure since 1985, confirmation that the Steroids Era has ended and that a new Age of the Pitcher is taking hold.

There were 8.4 runs per game prior to the All-Star break, according to STATS LLC, down 6 percent from last year's 8.9 at the midpoint

  • and 20 percent from the peak of 10.5 in 2000....

It's not only scoring that's decreased. Many offensive measures dipped during the first three months of the regular season.

The major league batting average of .253 was down from .259 at last year's All-Star break. It hasn't been this low since at midseason in 26 years, since it sunk to .252 in 1985. A dozen years ago, at the height of the Steroids Era, it rose to .273.

Hits per game dropped to 17.2 from 17.6 last year, down from 18.8 in 1999 and 2000. Home runs per game declined to 1.8, down a tenth of a point from last year and an astounding 31 percent below the 2000 average of 2.6 at the break.

The major league ERA of 3.85 is down from 4.15 during the first three months of last season and more than a run below the 4.86 ERA when players broke for the 2000 All-Star game at Atlanta's Turner Field....

Hitters seem to be taking shorter strokes, not going for the fences. Strikeouts averaged 6.3 per game, down from 6.6 last year and a high of 7.7 in 2000....

(Carlos) Quentin has another insight: The way some pitchers are being used has changed.

"There's a lot of guys coming out of the bullpen that are good," he said. "You see a lot of guys that are converted from being starters to relievers, and all of a sudden they're throwing 95 and 96 out of the 'pen for one-plus inning. I feel like I've seen more of those guys of late."...

The AL won 12 straight All-Star games played to a decision before the NL's 3-1 victory last year in Anaheim. It was the first time the NL won since the All-Star game started determining home-field advantage for the World Series in 2003, and the Giants went on to beat the Texas Rangers in five games for the title."... via BTF

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Reference: 6/5/11, "MLB batting averages and runs per game down yearly since 2006, DH OPS in 2011 lowest since 1990-Joel Sherman"

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Home Run Derby winner Cano's father once pitched for Houston Astros

  • Robbie Cano on Newsday back page 7/12/11, after winning Home Run Derby, "Father Throws Best"
Jose Cano, Baseball-Reference

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Radio station WCBS-FM says, hey, we can relate to Derek Jeter's 3000 hits, we play 3000 greatest hits too

7/11/11, "The radio station WCBS-FM in New York, with a format that plays the “greatest hits” of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, ran a commercial during its programming on Sunday in which a disc jockey declared: “Congratulations, Derek Jeter, on 3,000 hits. Hey, we could relate.
  • We have over 3,000 hits of our own.”"
7/11/11, "What Will They Do When He Hits 4,000?" NY Times, Stuart Elliott, via Big Government.com

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fan who caught Jeter 3K is back at the Stadium the next day

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Derek Jeter on NY Post front and back covers after 3000 hits

New York Post front page top, back page bottom, Sunday, July 10, 2011, the day after Derek Jeter reached 3000 regular season hits as a Yankee, going 5 for 5 with a home run

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More pictures of Jeter 3000

  • Derek Jeter waves to fans after 7/9/11 game and his 3000th regular season hit, photo McIsaac, Newsday. subscription
  • The 3000th hit off Tampa Bay's David Price, 3rd inning, 7/09/11, photo McIsaac, Newsday, subscrip.
  • Jorge Posada is first to greet longtime team mate and friend Derek Jeter after 3000, McIsaac, Newsday
  • Jorge Posada is first to greet Jeter after 3000, D. Pokress, Newsday
  • Fans cheer Derek Jeter on his 3000th regular season hit, 7/9/11, photo Newsday
  • Jeter crosses the plate after 3000th hit, team comes out to greet him, 7/9, photo Lawrence Fung, Flickr
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Ryan Braun: ""I think he's (Jeter) underrated. I don't think people appreciate what he's done as a shortstop.""...7/9/11, Brewers.com, Last Call

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Derek Jeter 2999, 3000, 3001, 3002, and 3003

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