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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sen. McCain at Rockies-Diamondbacks game

Senator John McLame at Rockies-Diamondbacks game in Phoenix, Aug. 31, 2011

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Mo Vaughn #42 former Red Sox 1B greets fans before Yankee-Red Sox game

Mo Vaughn, #42, August 31, 2011, getty

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Photos from Boston, Sabathia, Ortiz, Granderson, Girardi, Rothschild

  • Above, Granderson greeted at dugout after scoring in the 4th v Boston, 8/30/11, getty
  • Above Joe Girardi defends Larry Rothschild after the latter was ejected in the 7th inning in Boston, 8/30/11, getty

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Chazz Palminteri throws first pitch in Baltimore v Yankees

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George Bush and Nolan Ryan watch game v Angels

Former Pres. Bush with Texas Rangers President Nolan Ryan watch game v Angels, Sun., 8/28/11, getty

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Pat Gillick first Hall of Famer who is also an Eagle Scout

"Pat Gillick, Blue Jays and Phillies GM recently inducted at Cooperstown, is the first Hall of Famer to have been a member of what fraternal organization?... Answer: Gillick's the first Hall of Famer to have been 8/28/11, NY Post column by Phil Mushnick, "Longtime Jets fans punished by preseason" (Gillick item near end)

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

NJ Gov. Chris Christie, Friday, 4pm, I see people are still sitting on the beach in Asbury Park. Get the hell off the beach. Your tan is maxed out.

  • No southbound traffic to the Jersey Shore.

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Joe Christensen said no to Jeter for 2006 MVP because he's on 'team of rich guys getting it done,' later says is demeaning to suggest he'd be biased

Tues., Sept. 19, 2006, Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner on XM 175, Charley talks with Minneapolis Star-Tribune writer, Joe Christensen about the upcoming AL MVP Awards.

  • Two members of the Twins are in the running and some have mentioned Derek Jeter as a possibility.

Along the conversation, Charley says to him, "Well, I offer you Derek Jeter," and gives a few reasons why.

  • But, Christensen says,

Christensen offers a 2nd reason not to vote for Jeter:
  • He says to Charley,
"Well, they have Mariano Rivera like you said."
  • Christensen a minute ago was ready to put Rivera on a back burner, turns around and uses the guy's presence on the team
  • as a reason not to vote for Jeter.
  • ---------------------------
9 weeks later Christensen claims he's a completely unbiased baseball awards voter and for you to suggest otherwise is "demeaning" to him and a "fallacy." 2006 AL MVP votes have been tallied and Derek Jeter came in #2, Morneau #1. "Is the MVP vote proof of a backlash to what they dismiss as New York hype? In general, baseball writers deserve more credit than that."...
  • Mr. Harper selects Joe Christensen as an example of an awards voter who deserves credit for being honest, free of bias, and in this case, one whose vote would not be influenced by the perception that Jeter mainly gets attention because of the high profile team he plays on. Harper says Christensen finds it "demeaning" and a "fallacy" for anyone to suggest baseball writers would be biased:

"Joe Christensen, who covers the Twins for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and voted for winner Justin Morneau over Jeter, offers a more reasonable take on the subject. He admits that talk of Jeter being overrated is practically a fact of life in the Midwest,

"I'd be lying to say there's not an anti-Jeter sentiment in the Midwest," Christenson said yesterday. "It's there.

  • that type of feeling

among fans get in the way of their voting for the MVP.""

  • -----------------

Later in the same article Harper seems to back track, says in fact Jeter may have been hurt because he played in a 'star studded lineup' (which Christensen did say 9 weeks earlier is the reason he wouldn't vote for Jeter, but now says it's "demeaning" to suggest he would allow prejudice against a big market team to affect his vote). Harper mentions Jeter picked up the slack when "Matsui, Sheffield and Cano were out with injuries" and Arod was without a big hit for an extended period.

  • Christensen acknowledges the injuries but says there was still 'a ton of talent on that team.'

Harper: "What also hurts Jeter may not be a New York backlash as much as

"You know he's valuable," Christensen said of Jeter, "but even with the injuries the Yankees had,

So not "demeaning" or a "fallacy" after all. Baseball award voters are "ethically grounded." ------------------------- "Curtis Granderson is having a great season for the Yankees, but he's surrounded by talent."...(near end of article). article via BTF

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ESPN social media policy selectively enforced, can't make bland joke about Obama but OK to threaten to crash into car of Palin supporter

8/27/11, "ESPN's double standard on political commentary from employees," American Thinker, Rick Moran "It's pretty obvious why ESPN - the giant sports broadcasting cable network owned by Disney, Inc. - would chastize one of their on air golf commentators for his criticism of Obama. But less obvious is that when the target is a Republican or conservative, it's a whole different ballgame. Former golfer, now analyst Paul Azinger tweeted a gentle and humorous barb about Obama - and his bosses came down on him like a ton of bricks:

ESPN is coming down on Paul Azinger for mocking President Obama on Twitter. The golf analyst tweeted Thursday the commander in chief plays more golf than he does - and that Azinger has created more jobs this month than Obama has.

On Friday ESPN 'reminded" Azinger his venture into political punditry violates the company's updated social network policy for on-air talent and reporters.

"Paul's tweet was not consistent with our social media policy, and he has been reminded that political commentary is best left to those in that field," spokesman Andy Hall told Game On! in a statement.

ESPN's Hall would not comment on whether Azinger, who won the 1993 PGA Championship, will be fired, suspended or punished in some way. "We handle that internally," he said.

After being publicly chastised, Azinger declined an interview request. Hall said he just wants to "move on."

But, as Dana Loesch points out at Big Journalism, when the target is the right, Disney turns the other way.

Kenny Mayne, an anchor for "Sportscenter," their signature news program, actually delved into hate speech against Sarah Palin when he tweeted:"....Followed by Mayne tweets about congress, debt negotiations and the lingo of "revenues:"

("Revenue" is the new word for 'taxes.' ed.)

"These Tweets from yet another ESPN staffer that apparently went unchecked" criticizing debt negotiations in congress. Following that a tweet on how impressive Obama is:

And more!

"So Disney bankrolls Obama’s campaign, also owns ESPN, allows glowing commentary of Obama from its contributors and on-air talent and censures Obama dissent from their talent. No, no bias here at all."

"Disney execs and employees contributed nearly $250,000 to Obama's campaign ijn 2008. So asking them to apply a policy against political commentary in a consistent manner is probably futile."

------------------------------

  • Commenter to American Thinker:
So let me get this straight STATING something about Obama's golf game is off limits but
  • These people are INSANE!!!!!"
-----------------------

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Phillies fans celibrate Wilson Valdez home run

In third inning v Marlins, 8/26/11 in Phillie, getty. Marlins won 6-5 but Phillies are still going to the playoffs.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Mike Flanagan remembered at Camden Yards

Orioles LF Matt Angle warming up as "Baltimore Orioles honor former player, coach, and executive Mike Flanagan with Flanagan's No. 46 on the right field scoreboard before" game between Yankees and Orioles in Baltimore, Friday, Aug. 26, ap. Orioles won 12-5.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Curtis Granderson hits a "Grander-slam," per John Sterling

Update, Fri., July 27, 2012, Curtis Granderson hits a grand slam in the 8th v Red Sox. John Sterling again said, "It's a Grander-slam!" After a bit more description John added, "Curtis, you're something sort of Grandish! The Grandyman Can....oh, the..." (voice trails off). Final score, 10-3 Yankees.
  • ---------------------------------------------
Curtis Granderson hit a grand slam in the 8th inning of today's Oakland-Yankee game. John Sterling has a set tag line for Granderson home runs ("Curtis you're something sort of Grandish, The Grandyman Can") but for today Sterling started with, "Or in this case, a Granderslam." The "Granderslam" came before "the Grandyman" part in this case.

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Blogs such as Daily Kos hire people from its comment section-CJR

8/24/11, "From Commenter to Contributor," Alysia Santo, Columbia Journalism Review, The News Frontier
  • "On some blogs, taking the comment section seriously can mean hiring people from it."

"When a site takes its comment section seriously, treating it as an integral part of the site rather than a nuisance, a site can stand to gain a lot—and not just in traffic numbers. Some sites regularly find contributors from the comment section, hiring them and even promoting them. A well written and informative comment can serve as proof of a person’s interest in a site and its content—a sort of audition, allowing a person to try out their ideas on other people. And for employers, particularly ones in a blog setting, mining the comments for possible hires is a way to find someone

  • whose writing voice matches that of the site.
Left-leaning political blog Daily Kos embraces this idea fully, hiring almost exclusively from its comments section. Susan Gardner, the executive editor of the site, had been an editor of a community newspaper in her twenties, but took fifteen years off to raise her children. Once she had some more time, she started reading the site regularly, ultimately signing up to comment. She was soon writing what Daily Kos calls “Diaries,” which is a longer type of blog entry that lines the right hand side of the page, an option available to any commenter after a week. Soon her diary entries were being featured on the front page, and eventually she was chosen for a fellowship. She moved up from there, going from full time contributor to executive editor."...
  • via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fake Hoffman 'record' promoted by NY Times, says Yankee fans should feel joy, Mariano Rivera post game media event exploited for fake Hoffman 'stat'

  • The entire Hoffman campaign consists of ungraciously and pathetically trying to link him to Rivera and the Yankees with whom he has nothing in common.
The NY Times in an 8/11/11 article about the Yankees opened by praising a fake "record" about a retired, non-Yankee player and expressed that Mariano Rivera and Yankee fans should have felt "joy" at equaling a regular season total save stat "record." NY Times, "The Struggles of Rivera Cast a Pall Over a Win." The Times claims Trevor Hoffman had "14 consecutive seasons of at least 30 regular season saves" which is not true. The most consecutive seasons of 30+ saves Hoffman had was eight, 1995-2002. Rivera stats.
  • would leave Yankees fans with feelings of joy and satisfaction....
Rivera did get the final two outs for his 30th save of the year, Reading the Times article it seems media members brought up the 'record' in a post game interview with Rivera and sought his comment on the "joyous" occasion. If this is the case, it means Yankee management did not object to the exploitation of Mariano Rivera's name and time in a formal setting to promote a fake record. His words were sought to raise the profile of a fake stat and that of a retired pitcher who never even achieved the record being discussed.
  • The Times itself listened closely to Rivera's reaction:
Context of this quote from the NY Times: "Rivera did get the final two outs for his 30th save of the year, tying Trevor Hoffman with 14 consecutive seasons of at least 30 saves,
  • but the record and even the save
  • felt hollow to him....
I can’t care less about that stuff,” he said. “As long as I do my job, that’s what I want, and lately I haven’t done it. So, it won’t make me or break me. But games like this get me upset.”"...
  • -------------
Hoffman missed most of 2003 due to surgeries and did not have any 'saves' that year. Going by the Times' thesis, Rivera and Yankee fans must be waiting around for Rivera to measure up to Frankie Rodriguez since he got a record in 2008 for the most 'saves' (62) in a single regular season. Rodriguez also had the most 'opportunities' (69) on record and none of his appearances were more than 1 inning.
  • By framing of the article as the Times did, it encourages readers to believe the 'regular season total save stat' is what defines 'closers,' or is their great equalizer.
Regarding the comparison to Hoffman, from SI.com, 1/12/11, From Howard Bryant, 10/23/09, From Jerry Crasnick, ESPN, 10/29/09, -----------------------------
  • Reference:
1/12/11, "Where Hoffman ranks among baseball's best closers ever," "Trevor Hoffman was no Mariano Rivera but he was a great closer", SI.com, Cliff Corcoran
  • This article analyzes regular season only.
  • --------------------------
9/9/08, "Baseball's Closer-Minded Problem," SI.com, Tom Verducci
  • ---------------------------------
1/4/2009, "Are today's closers Hall-worthy? Rivera, Hoffman two active pitchers who are leading candidates," MLB.com, Bryan Hoch
  • Another article attempting to link 2 pitchers whose only real similarity is that they were contemporaries. Everyone knows Hoffman will get into the Hall, but I guess Bud wants to make sure. Article highlights a quote from Bud Selig: "Trevor Hoffman is a Hall of Famer in my opinion. So is Mariano Rivera....So where in my mind do you think Trevor Hoffman figures? Relief pitchers are critical."
  • -------------------
10/23/09, Howard Bryant, "Moves Making ALCS More Interesting," 10/23/09, ESPN.com
  • there is no greater gap than the best closer of all time
  • to the second-best.
  • He is that good....
The difference-maker, of course, is Rivera. And regardless of what the Yankees do for the remainder of the series,
  • ---------------------------------
"Rivera...a world removed from the 3-outs-and-hit-the-food-spread fraternity" ...
  • --------------------------------
11/3/2008, "A 'Closer' Look," FoxSports.com Community, Tyler Hissey, on Francisco Rodriguez' season of 62 saves in 69 chances, breaking Bobby Thigpen's previous single-season mark of 57. Lost in the media hype, though, he also set the benchmark for save chances, a function of opportunity."...
  • --------------------------------------

Sunday, July 24, 2011. "Mariano Rivera saves Yankees' 7-5 win over Athletics and sets record along the way," The Star-Ledger, Conor Orr

“Well, definitely, it means you gotta be first of all able to pitch for that many seasons,” Rivera said of his milestone streak, taking long pauses between each sentence. “I’m a guy that I play for the team. All I care about is try to do my job … and all those other things will come up.”...

  • -----------------------------

To date, Rivera has pitched more than 3 outs in 57 of his 96 post season appearances. Jeff Passan noted the 53 game mark after ALDS game 3 in 2009.

  • Outings 54 through 57 were as follows: 2.1, 2.0, 2.0, 1.2.
-------------------------------
  • A durability stat not often published, 2 saves in one day
As of 5/26/10, Rivera pitched 2 saves in one day 6 times in the regular season. The 5/25/10 game was shortened due to rain. It's final 3 innings were played on 5/26. Rivera pitched in the regular 5/26/10 game as well, both saves in 1-run games. ( 2 saves in one day 5 x was noted in a 5/3/07 AP article by Elias). I mention this because it doesn't usually show up on stat sheets assessing durability.
  • ----------------------------
Joel Sherman finds the Commissioner's office to be the source of anti-Yankee negativity. (Defining player images up or down has been very important to Bud Selig. ed.)
  • From Sherman's 2006 book, "Birth of a Dynasty" about the 1996 Yankees:
"Unfortunately for the legacy of this group, the success of these Yankees (1996 team) coincided with
  • a powerful push by central baseball
  • to convince fans
  • that the disparity between the financial "haves" and "have-nots" was destroying the competitive balance of the sport. The Yankees came to embody the big-market superpowers. They were demonized for buying championships.
  • They were cast as villains by a Commissioner's Office that
  • saw the advantages of
  • portraying them as
  • a prop in a strategy
  • to win salary concessions from the players in collective bargaining,
  • Thus the Yankees of this era do not receive near the amount of credit they deserve for what they accomplished."...
Page 311 from Joel Sherman in his 2006 book, "Birth of a Dynasty," about the 1996 Yankees.
  • ---------------------------------
  • Also from Joel Sherman's book about the 1996 Yankees, a note about Rivera's regular season:
In 1996, "Rivera went 8-3 with a 2.09 ERA (regular season), held opponents to a .193 batting average, Most amazingly, of the record 4,962 homers spanked in 1996, Rivera allowed just one, to Baltimore's Rafael Palmeiro on June 28."
  • page 208 from Joel Sherman's book, "Birth of a Dynasty," published in 2006 by Rodale---------
  • ------------------------
YES Network studio programs have regularly promoted Hoffman's name and the 'regular season total save stat' for years. If one assumes Yankee media is a junior version of ESPN, this makes sense. Rivera of course celebrates actual 'save' milestones as he reaches them along with other important occasions and no doubt will continue to do so. Media outlets will continue doing what they do. The heart and soul of the YES Network belong to Bud Selig and ESPN. So I stopped watching it years ago. It should be re-named, "Bud Selig's YES Network." The "Yankees" continue to promote Hoffman on the back of Mariano Rivera. A "Yankee" network and website runs an article asking fans to VOTE on who is the "better closer, Hoffman or Rivera." Articles and 'votes' like this by an alleged 'Yankee' outlet are demeaning to Rivera but the YES Network is happy to oblige. No one cares about Hoffman except Bud Selig who wants him in the Hall on the first ballot. To help out and create buzz for Hoffman, the YES Network exploits Rivera's name and even has a 'vote' to see if Hoffman is 'better' than Rivera. It is unlikely any Yankee related blogs will complain about this because most of them aspire to make money via MLB, already do so, and/or are affiliated with the YES Network or Yankees.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

World's richest man increases stake in NY Times to 7.3% as Times share price drops 36% in 2011

8/23/11, "Billionaire Carlos Slim Helu has increased his stakes in newspaper company New York Times Co and luxury retailer Saks Inc..

Through the fund Inmobiliaria Carso S A, Slim bought 553,000 Class A shares of New York Times on August 18 at prices ranging from $6.83 to $7.09 per share, according a regulatory filing.

The purchases increased Slim's stake in the company, which publishes its namesake newspaper as well as the Boston Globe, to 7.3 percent from 6.9 percent....

Slim, with a fortune estimated at about $74 billion, was named the world's richest man by Forbes magazine in March for the second year running....

New York Times repaid a $250 million loan to Slim on August 15, about five months earlier than expected.

Slim still holds warrants to buy 15.9 million Class A common shares of New York Times. The warrants expire on January 15, 2015.

  • Shares of New York Times are down nearly 36 percent this year."...

8/23/11, "Carlos Slim boosts stakes in New York Times and Saks," Reuters

  • from NPR On the Media Transcript with Andres Martinez, former editorial page editor of the NY Times and LA Times, 1/30/09:

"In Latin America the perception will be this is now Mr. Slim’s newspaper."...
  • via poynter.org/romenesko

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Damon's walk-off in St. Pete

Johnny Damon's walk-off home run for Tampa Bay, 8/21/11, final 8-7 v Mariners, getty

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'Dweeb of the Week, Joe Torre,' just another politician-Raissman

Joe Torre is just an overpaid messenger delivering Bud Selig's fatwa that umpires are more important than the game and must be coddled.

"For not holding Dana DeMuth accountable. When the dust settled following the controversy over Billy Butler's home run Wednesday night in K.C. one fact was clear: The ump didn't know the ground rules. That's kind of important, right? Instead of sending a message, Torre sent excuses. He said DeMuth felt bad about the mistake, and this all was about a "misunderstanding" of the rule. Torre did absolutely nothing for fans who lack confidence in the current crop of umpires. Until further notice Torre's decision to not even issue a slap on the wrist means the VP of baseball operations office deals

  • in baseball politics rather than baseball justice."

8/20/11, "David Cone's work on the Yankees' network gives viewers a reason to keep the sound on," NY Daily News, Bob Raissman

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Two shot in 49ers parking lot after Oakland Raiders-49ers game, one with life-threatening injuries

8/21/11, "2 shot in SF parking lot after Raiders-49ers game," AP
  • Another knocked unconscious in men's room during the game. One suspect retrieved from Raiders 'party bus'
"A man wearing a shirt slamming the San Francisco 49ers was seriously wounded as gunfire erupted in the parking lot after the team's NFL preseason game, while another man sustained lesser injuries in an earlier shooting, police said.

The violence occurred after the 49ers' 17-3 victory Saturday night over the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park, police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

A 24-year-old man was treated at San Francisco General Hospital for life-threatening injuries, and a 20-year-old man was hospitalized with less serious wounds, Andraychack told The Associated Press. Their names were not released.

Police Sgt. Frank Harrell that the 24-year-old man, who was wearing a T-shirt referring to the 49ers with an obscenity, was shot two to four times in the stomach, according to reports in the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle. He drove his truck to a gate and stumbled to security, Harrell said.

The other man was shot before that in the parking lot and had superficial face injuries, Harrell said.

"We are treating it as separate shootings, but we believe they are related," Harrell told reporters outside the stadium.

Harrell said police took a man in a Raiders jersey off a party bus before it left the stadium

  • and were calling him a suspect.

The suspect and the two victims had all attended the game, Harrell told the newspapers.

The 49ers issued a statement acknowledging the shootings and the investigation, but offering no further details.

In violence during the game, the Oakland Tribune reported that a 26-year-old San Rafael man was assaulted and knocked unconscious in a men's restroom. Police said he was hospitalized and a suspect was arrested. There was no immediate indication that it was connected to the postgame shootings.

The violence was not the first involving a San Francisco sports team's game this year.

In March, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was severely beaten by two men in Los Angeles Dodgers gear outside Dodger Stadium after the teams' season opener. He remains in San Francisco hospital with in serious condition with brain injuries. Two suspects have been charged in the case."

  • via Free Republic

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Fan on field in Atlanta apprehended in 8th inning v Diamondbacks

Fan on field in Atlanta apprehended, 8th inning, Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves, Aug. 20, 2011, ap

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Friday, August 19, 2011

MLB nixes Nats wearing special game cap for Seal tribute unless all teams are doing so

MLB says it's more open to teams paying tribute by wearing patches. Nats settled on wearing tribute caps to all military in Tuesday afternoon's bp. "Paying tribute to the nation's heroes would seem to be a perfect fit for the nation's pastime. Not so fast, says Major League Baseball.

The Washington Nationals had planned to honor the Navy SEALs who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan by wearing special tribute hats on the field, but that plan

  • didn't pass muster with league officials.

We reserve hats for national tributes, where every club is wearing them on the same day,” league spokesman Pat Courtney told the Washington Post. “But we’re happy to work with clubs on alternatives.”

The league is more open to teams paying tribute through uniform patches, the Post reported, or by special attire during batting practice rather than games.

Indeed, the Nationals took batting practice Tuesday afternoon wearing ball caps of the different military branches, and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and their families were also treated to a pregame dinner, MyFoxDC.com reported.

Nats pitchers Ryan Mattheus and Ross Detwiler spent time with the military families.

"Sometimes being back here, you kind of forget that you're in a war," Detwiler told MyFoxDC.com. "You kind of go back to your day-to-day life and then you see something like (the helicopter shot down). It's a terrible reminder that there are people losing their lives for our freedom."

More than 6,000 U.S. servicemen and women have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The helicopter crash on Aug. 6 was the

  • single-deadliest incident for the U.S. military in the ten-year war in Afghanistan." via Hot Air

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A-rod signs for young Twins fans

Arod signs for young Twins fans, Aug. 18, 2011, reuters

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Swisher demonstrating he thought a home run was foul

Nick Swisher showing he thought 1st inning Morneau home run was foul, 8/18/11,reuters

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Glanville: Most explosive and amazing pitch I ever saw was Mariano Rivera's fastball

"Given that I know fastballs, I can safely tell you that the most explosive and amazing pitch I have ever seen was the fastball that came out of Mariano Rivera's hand. I hit against Randy Johnson, Robb Nen, Mark Wohlers, Billy Wagner and Armando Benitez, but Rivera's fastball was on the next level up from theirs.

Granted, I faced him only one time, but that was enough to let you know about it. I remember that I fouled a pitch straight back. Despite Joe Girardi complimenting me on my effort, I couldn't recall how I actually did it. I just kept thinking that at one point, the ball was in place X, and then, unnaturally, it teleported to place Z. What happened to Y?

Well, there is no Y with Rivera. The ball is an optical illusion; it seems to accelerate and "hop" to the plate almost like he has a joystick in his hand while laughing as he hits the turbo button. Eventually I did put one ball in play -- I topped it feebly back to the mound for an easy out.

Up until that point, I couldn't remember an at-bat in which so much doubt entered my mind after one pitch, not to mention a pitch I actually put a decent swing on. It was almost like one pitch from Rivera would decide the result. If you swing and miss, you get three strikes.

Then I played with Rivera for one spring training and I realized hitters walk into the box to face Rivera as if they already have two strikes on them. From the second they dig in, they are battling, fighting for their life. They know that if they mistime their swing, they shatter their bat; if they miss, they will question their eyesight;

  • and if they get a hit, they are immortalized.

And that's even while knowing that he has only one pitch.

Sure, as an analyst, I have studied Rivera from every angle. I know almost all the movement on his fastball happens beyond the point where it is physically possible to "see it and hit it." I know he is nearly machine-like in his ability to repeat his release point. I know that when you look at the heat map of where he locates his pitches in an inhuman way for his precision, he never throws anything in the middle of the plate.

But no matter how you slice it, when you absorb the magnitude of the fact that a pitcher can not only dominate a major league hitter in one at-bat with one pitch, but can dominate the best hitters in the world consistently for decades with that same pitch,

  • that puts him in a class by himself. Period.

Every major league hitter knows what is coming against Rivera; they even know where it is going. And the hardest thing to deal with in a big league batter's box is trying to anticipate the pitcher's plan. What he might throw, where and when. It is circling in our heads constantly. It is supposed to be a relief when you face a pitcher who tells you where it is going, how hard he is throwing it and that it will be repeated. If you told me I was about to face a pitcher who telegraphed what he was going to do, I would fight my way to grab a bat, even now, retired and 40 years old. But with Rivera, it is almost embarrassing that despite the fact that you know what he is going to do, you still feel almost helpless. Keep in mind that when I faced him, I was hitting better than .320.

This past week, Rivera got knocked around a bit. The Red Sox and the Angels put some dents in his armor, but this has happened before. Sure, his cutter was a little flat and his location was a little off. But before we sit back and say Rivera is over the hill, let's remember that part of what makes the major leagues so amazing is that the best in the world are competing and everyone is good. Really good, even the 25th man on the roster who's hitting .185.

What we learn from Rivera is that you can be plain vanilla ice cream and be great; you can throw the same pitch over and over again and dominate if you locate and have great movement. But we also learn that Rivera has one of the best pitches in the history of the game, because to mow through major league hitters like he has with one pitch, it is the only way that is possible.

We have been lulled by Rivera over the years, in that he has made the game look easy for him, and somehow we believe that someone could be so automatic. We wonder whether these hitters are legit for a split-second even after they took CC Sabathia deep back in the third inning. Then we look at this past week and are reminded that the amazing talent that plays at the major league level will pounce on even the great Mariano when he is just a little off. This tells us how fragile any player's time in the big leagues can be. If you slip by a matter of inches and the competition doesn't just catch up but blows you out of the water, you can end up scrambling to find that release point again.

Rivera will find it again, and when he does, we might just forget once again that even his greatness is always on the brink of mediocrity. It is a testimony to his consistency that he rarely crosses over into the land of average, which is probably his most impressive attribute. Even more than his fastball."

"Doug Glanville, who earned a degree in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, played nine major league seasons with the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers. He serves on the board of Athletes Against Drugs and on the board of the MLB Players Alumni Association. His book, "The Game from Where I Stand," was released in May 2010."

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Harry Kalas statue unveiled Tuesday at Phillies game

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New ruling may cost NY Mets $300 million said to be money they withdrew in excess of what they invested-Bloomberg

A ruling Tuesday could cost the Mets $300 million in what is said to be money they withdrew that didn't technically exist. Another figure of $700 million is yet to be decided, that amount sought as punishment for the fact that 'the Mets should have known.' "The trustee liquidating Bernard L. Madoff’s former firm won an appeals court ruling that affirmed his method of determining which investors can recover money lost in the Ponzi scheme.

The federal appeals court in New York said today that trustee Irving Picard can calculate losses by subtracting the amount withdrawn from an investor’s account from the total placed with Madoff, the so-called net investment method....

Madoff investors who removed more from their accounts than they invested, including the owners of the New York Mets baseball team, stand to lose from today’s ruling. Picard has claimed $300 million in fictitious profits from a group of defendants tied to Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz. He is also seeking $700 million in principal from Wilpon and Katz, claiming

  • they should have known Madoff was running a fraud.

The Mets owners are seeking to have Picard’s suit dismissed.

Karen Wagner, a lawyer for Wilpon and Katz, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment on the ruling....

  • -------------------------

8/16/11, "Madoff Decision Is Significant Setback for Owners of Mets," NY Times, Richard Sandomir and Ken Belson

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Monday, August 15, 2011

42nd Anniversary of Woodstock, album couple still together

Top, Woodstock album cover, photo snapped at event. Rhino Records, Albany Times Union. Bottom, recent photo of same couple, now married. by Bobbi Ercoline, from Albany Times Union, August 2009.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Charlie Sheen at Arizona Diamondbacks game with Diamondbacks executive Luis Gonzalez

Above, Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson welcomes Sean Burroughs back to the dugout vs NY Mets, 4th inning, 8/14/11. Video, Kirk Gibson hits 3 run home run off Goose Gossage in Game 5 of 1984 World Series. Gossage says of Gibson,"I own him."

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Posada, Newsday back cover, 'Back with a bang', also NY Post and NYDN back pages

Above, Jorge Posada Newsday back cover, Sunday, August 14, 2011
  • Above, Posada on NY Daily News back cover, 8/14/11
  • Above, Posada part of NY Daily News front page, Sun. 8/14/11
  • Above, Posada, NY Post back cover, 8/14/11

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Team mates present steel sculpture to Jeter at 3000 hits ceremony

"In a pregame ceremony honoring Jeter's historic accomplishment July 9, the shortstop was presented a Waterford crystal vase by club president Randy Levine and chief operating officer Lonn Trost. Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner presented 14-karat white gold rings to Jeter and his father, Charles, and ring top pendants to his mother, Dot, and sister, Sharlee.

On behalf of the team, Jorge Posada -- before stealing the headlines with a six-RBI day -- and CC Sabathia presented Jeter a stainless steel sculpture with the inscription "To our captain, leader and friend. Congratulations on a great achievement, from your teammates'' emblazoned on the bottom.

"That statue, to get that from your teammates, that really stands out,'' Jeter said.

  • Posada said Jeter asked where he would put the 225-pound structure, to which Posada had an answer at the ready, referencing the sprawling mansion his close friend recently built.''...
8/13/11, "Many gifts for Captain Jeter," Newsday, Eric Boland

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