Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Joe Maddon's '56 Chevy Malibu Bel Air

"Tampa Bay Rays pitching coordinator Dick Bosman looks under the 1956 Chevrolet Malibu Bel Air belonging to manager Joe Maddon" after morning workouts outside clubhouse in Port Charlotte, Fla., Wed. 2/29/12, ap

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AJ Burnett hit in face with bunted ball

2/29/12, AJ Burnett after hit near an eye with a bunted ball Wednesday morning in Bradenton, tended by Pirates assistant trainer. "Ball hits Burnett in face; he's flying north to see Bucs' doctors," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, photo C. Horner, PTR

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Banuelos, Pineda, Hughes throw at Yankee camp Feb. 28 and 29

  • Above, Pineda, Larry Rothschild, Joe Girardi, Tampa. Wed. 2/29/12, nyyfans

  • Above Phil Hughes Yankee spring training, Tues. 2/28/12, nyyfans

Above Arod and Andy Pettitte, NYY spring training, Tues., 2/28/12, nyyfans

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Please 'move forward' from Ryan Braun situation, Bud Selig is quite sensitive to criticism

"He’s (Bud Selig) also quite sensitive to the criticism that comes with the job and somewhat defensive for a position that would otherwise require thicker skin....To publicly prolong the Braun situation would not be in its (MLB's) best interests."...
  • ------------------------------


"Saturday was “move forward” day for staff and players, who are trying to put the Braun saga behind them....

Once the workout proceeded to batting practice, Braun seemed to take out three months of frustration on each baseball tossed to him. He launched one missile after another out of sight, eliciting “oohs” and “aahs” from spectators watching the show.

Then, trying to sum up a day that finally made him feel like a coveted baseball player again, Braun added, “It was a lot of fun; I had a lot of fun today. Just being around my teammates and being on the baseball field and get to play baseball was nice.”"...

  • ----------------------

"Claiming the high ground in a nationally televised news conference Friday, Braun lamented how his appeal of a positive test for performance enhancing drugs had “become a PR battle” with officials from Major League Baseball....

The higher a person’s profile, the higher the standard Team Selig holds for him. It’s clear from MLB’s response that Braun and his staff of defenders rubbed someone wrong while successfully attacking collection and chain of custody issues with a urine sample taken on Oct. 1, before Game 1 of the division series against the Diamondbacks."...

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7 groups advancing to buy Dodgers, auction to be completed by April 1

2/27/12, AP, "Several people familiar with the selection process, all speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the advancing groups are:

— Alan Casden, chief executive officer of the Beverly Hills real estate company Casden Properties;

Steven Cohen, founder of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors and one of the entities negotiating to purchase a minority stake in the New York Mets, and baseball and basketball agent Arn Tellem;

— Former Los Angeles Lakers star Johnson, former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten and Mark Walter, chief executive officer of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners;

Leo Hindery, managing partner of the private equity firm InterMedia Partners and former chief executive officer of the YES Network, and Marc Utay, managing partner of the private equity firm Clarion Capital Partners;

— Kroenke, whose family properties own the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, and who is majority shareholder of Arsenal in the English Premier League;

— Jared Kushner, publisher of The New York Observer and son-in-law of real estate developer Donald Trump;

— Stanley Gold, chief executive officer of Shamrock Holdings, the investment company of the family of the late Roy Disney.

McCourt’s agreement with MLB says the auction is to be completed by April 1 and the sale is to be closed by April 30—which coincides with the day McCourt is to make a $131 million divorce settlement payment to former wife Jamie."

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Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Preseason MLB games and channels on XM radio beginning March 2

Friday, March 2 (scroll down)
  • 2:50 PM ET, Seattle Mariners at Oakland, XM 176
Saturday, March 3
  • 12:45 PM ET, Washington Nationals at Astros, XM 185
  • 12:55 PM ET, New York Yankees at Phillies, XM 183
  • 1:00 PM ET, Tampa Bay Rays at Twins, XM 176
  • -----------------------

Weekly sked on XM MLB Radio: http://www.siriusxm.com/servlet/Satellite?c=SXM_Channel_C&childpagename=SXM%2FSXM_Channel_C%2FChannelProgramList&cid=1282009836466&pagename=SXM%2FWrapper

  • via XMFan.com

Labels: ,

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Andy Pettitte visits Yankee spring training

Andy Pettitte signs for fans as a guest instructor at Yankee spring training, 2/27/12, ny times, silverman

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tom Boswell says Nats are big story in DC that media isn't onto, media may have 'learning curve' about baseball, former XM MLB host Kushner reacts

Former XM MLB radio hosts Holden Kushner and Chris Russell now talking sports elsewhere in DC are mentioned in this article. "After Thomas Boswell took a mild shot at D.C.’s television and radio sports persons for their lack of Nats coverage in his chat this week, many of them chirped back at Boz in various forums. One of them, Holden Kushner, went sort of hard at Boz, and then invited him onto his show on 106.7 The Fan to discuss.

At which point, while talking to Mike Wise, Boswell said this was all part of the plan. ...

Mike this is exactly the reaction that I was hoping for,” Boz said. “Just some talk about it. And if there’s a little fuss about it, that’s fine. Now, everybody don’t ask me about auto racing. We all have different things that we know more about. Nobody knows everything about everything.

“But yes, I was delighted to stir things up a little bit, because the Nats are really going to be a fascinating story. Whether they work out wonderfully or whether they are a disappointment over the next five years, they’re gonna be a big story, just like the Caps have been a big story the last five years.”

Kushner argued that just because broadcasters in this market don’t talk about the Nats doesn’t mean they don’t know baseball.

“I don’t know how much is known, but I know how much is talked about, and it’s very little,” Boswell said. “Now, that happened with the Caps up until five or six years ago. There wasn’t a whole lot of discussion about the Capitals on TV and talk radio, and they played a lot better, and they were worth talking about a lot more....

All I’m saying is that it’s been a Redskins-obsessed town for many, many years, ever since baseball left, and that’s good. You write about what you have. But I think the time is coming when people are going to have to spend more time talking about the Nationals, and learning more about them.

Anybody who’s going to tell me that the sports media in this town is as savvy about baseball as they are about the Redskins is simply not accurate. And one of the reasons is, for the last 30 years, people who select where they’re going to work, they pick a town, they look at that market, they say what does this market have, why would I want to go there? And if you love football, if you love basketball, you’re going to go to Washington. You’re going to say hey, they’ve got those good teams, but they don’t have baseball, and I don’t really care much about baseball. That’s a good fit for me.

“And I think you’ve seen that evolution for decades. And I think there’s just gonna have to be a little more education of the public and a little more education of some of the people in the local media. I’m out at Nationals Park all the time. I never see anybody.”

He continued to compare the Nats to the Caps, saying D.C. media members didn’t have to learn the rules of hockey until the ‘80s, and didn’t have to get more sophisticated than that until the ‘90s, and baseball fans might require similar patience.

And it may take longer than the baseball people would like,” he said. ”It’s a sophisticated sport like hockey, there’s a lot of detail, and people have a big learning curve.”

Incidentally, when I listed a few radio folks who are passionate about the sport earlier in the week, I neglected ESPN 980’s Chris Russell — who used to work at XM’s MLB Home Plate — and WTOP’s Craig Heist — who always travels to Spring Training and basically lives in baseball press boxes every spring and summer."...

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MLB told sports medicine doctor to shut up about McGwire and Andro

Ed Randall interviewed a sports medicine physician about Ryan Braun this morning on his Talking Baseball radio show on WFAN. The doctor is a past president of the College of Sports Medicine (it sounded like an association for those in the sports medicine field) and Randall has interviewed him previously. I can't find his exact name but it sounded like Louis Mahern or Maharem. Perhaps it will be listed on WFAN's site later. What was interesting is the doctor had a run-in with MLB in 1998 about Mark McGwire and his use of Androstenedione. The doctor had been quite vocal about his view that Andro was a performance enhancer. Soon he heard from MLB which told him to "shut up" about the topic. They wanted no discussion of the matter. Apparently at some point after that, MLB agreed to at least look into the properties of Andro but the path they took meant there would be a 3 year delay in an official MLB position on it.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Arod in the dugout in Tampa

Arod at first day of spring workouts, 2/25/12, ap

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Twins fans line practice field as Joe Mauer leaves clubhouse

Twins fans line practice field as Joe Mauer exits clubhouse, 2/24/12, ap

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Andres Galarraga at Gary Carter memorial

Above Andres Galarraga at Gary Carter memorial service, 2/24/12, ap

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Jeter wears "The Greatest" t-shirt at state of the Yankees chat

Derek Jeter at his yearly state of the Yankees chat with media from spring training. He wore a Muhammed Ali t-shirt that said "The Greatest." photo nyyfans

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

George M. Steinbrenner Field

Relief pitcher Cesar Cabral tosses at The Boss this past weekend, US Presswire. 2/22/12, "Yankees' Joe Girardi disagrees with Brian Cashman's comments about 2010," The Star-Ledger, Marc Carig

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another 1996 Rivera has not yet appeared despite what may be inferred from NY Times description of the 2011 David Robertson

Mr. Waldstein in the NY Times correctly notes Dave Robertson solidified the 8th inning role in 2011. He goes on to say this was "just as Rivera had done in 1996." This characterization invites readers to believe Rivera's 1996 is comparable to Robertson's 2011. As great an asset as Robertson is, this is not accurate. Additionally, when the 1996 Rivera comparison was suggested to Robertson himself, he said he prefers one-inning outings.2/21/12, NY Times: "As of the second day of spring training, Robertson was the leading candidate to assume Rivera’s role. Last year, Robertson solidified the eighth-inning role, just as Rivera had in 1996 in front of John Wetteland.

Robertson compiled a 1.08 earned run average with 100 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings, with 34 holds. In 19 bases-loaded situations, he allowed one hit and struck out 14."...

  • In September 2011, Robertson said he prefers one inning:

9/8/11, "However, Robertson has been used mostly as a one-inning guy, and when asked about it Wednesday, he admitted it would be an adjustment.

"I probably could," he said. "But I just feel it's easier to go one inning at a time. I use up a lot of energy in that one inning."

Of course, Robertson said he'd be more than willing in October, saying that "when the postseason comes, you do anything you can to win games.""...

2/21/12, "Disbelief and Denial Mix in the Yankees’ Bullpen," NY Times, David Waldstein

  • If someone does come along to equal the 1996 Rivera he will also have to pitch 14.1 innings over 3 levels of post season play and win the World Series.

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'Say it ain't so, Mo,' NY Daily News front page

NY Daily News front page, Tues., Feb. 21, 2012

Goose Gossage:"It's an insult to me to even be compared to Mariano Rivera, it really is."

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Florida family lost everything in house fire including large collection of Tampa Bay Rays bobbleheads, will at least be going to Rays games this year

2/19/12, Topkin, "Relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers have already pitched in to help Patti Hager after a recent fire gutted her family's Seminole home, killing their four cats and destroying most of their possessions, including an extensive collection of Tampa Bay Rays bobblehead dolls and figurines. Saturday, the team lent a hand.

After learning of the Feb. 9 incident from one of Hager's co-workers in the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court's office, the Rays invited Hager and her family to Tropicana Field for Saturday's FanFest. The team arranged for the family to meet players and gave them eight-game ticket packages and gift certificates for team merchandise. And replacements were found for some of her son's collectibles.

"We lost it all, so the Rays were just wonderful in replacing some of it and letting us come here and try to have a fun day in all this," said Hager, a manager of civil court records. "It was good to get away for a day, we needed this. Everyone has been wonderful.""...

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Cashman chats with media on pitchers and catchers report day

2/19/12, "Cashman Speaks: Scandal, Mo, Sabathia, More," River Ave. Blues, by Mike Axisa

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Rafael Soriano, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova at pitchers and catchers report day

Rafael Soriano plays catch at Yankee camp, 2/19/12, reuters

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Roy Halladay in roadster after practice at Phillies camp

Roy Halladay motoring after day's practice at Phillies camp in Clearwater, 2/18/12, ap

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Last home run off Tim Wakefield was by Jorge Posada-Pete Abe

"The last HR allowed by (Tim) Wakefield was by Jorge Posada. It also was the last HR Posada hit. Now they're retired."

9/25/11, "Posada takes a curtain call after hitting a two-run home run during third inning of first game of a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium," ap

Above, 4/4/10, opening night at Fenway Park, Posada's hit clears foul pole for a home run, getty

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Average raise for 2012 MLB arbitration cases lowest since 2007

"Players averaged an 89 percent increase...down from an average jump of 123 percent last year." "With Gio Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw and Pablo Sandoval getting the steepest increases, the overall rise of salaries for players in arbitration slowed to its lowest level since 2007.

The 142 players who filed for arbitration last month averaged an 89 percent increase, according to a study of agreements by The Associated Press. That was down from an average jump of 123 percent last year and was the lowest increase since a 73 percent rise in 1996.

Gonzalez, acquired by Washington in a trade with the Oakland Athletics, received a 20-fold increase from $420,000 to an average of $8.4 million in a $42 million, five-year contract with the Nationals.

Kershaw, the NL Cy Young Award winner, got a 19-fold increase from $500,000 to an average of $9.5 million as part of a $19 million, two-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sandoval received the highest percentage raise among position players. After earning $500,000 last year for the San Francisco Giants, the third baseman agreed to a $17.15 million, three-year contract that averages $5.7 million, an 11-fold hike.

Pitcher Andrew Bailey, traded from Oakland to the Boston Red Sox, received the highest percentage raise among players agreeing to one-year contracts, an eight-fold increase from $465,000 to $3.9 million.

Just 11 players received multiyear contracts, down from 14 last year and the fewest since nine in 2004.

The only players whose salaries went down were Milwaukee reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who went from an average of $12.7 million in a three-year contract to $8 million; and Chicago Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart, who dropped $50,000 to $2,237,500....

The total of players in arbitration this year were the most since 150 in 1992.

For multiyear contracts, figures include average annual values. For 2011, earned bonuses were included.

About a half-dozen more players will become eligible for arbitration next year, when eligibility increases slightly for players with two to three years of major league service, from the top 17 percent by service time to the top 22 percent. They join unsigned players with at least three, but less than six years of service.

Pittsburgh defeated Garrett Jones in the final decision Thursday, and the outfielder will receive the team's offer of $2.25 million rather than his request for $2.5 million.

Teams finished with a 5-2 advantage in arbitration decisions this year, their 14th winning record in 16 years. The seven hearings were more than double the total last year, when players won two of three cases.

Both players who won this year were on the Miami Marlins: pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio.

In addition to Jones, four pitchers lost in arbitration: Washington's John Lannan, Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann, Milwaukee's Jose Veras and Baltimore's Brad Bergesen.

Overall, owners lead 291-214 since arbitration began in 1974.

Pirates third baseman Casey McGehee, who had been the last player scheduled for a hearing, agreed to a one-year deal for $2,537,500 - the midpoint between his request for $2,725,000 and the team's $2.35 million offer."

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Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda at Yankee camp

Above close up of Michael Pineda at Yankee camp, 2/17/12, reuters

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Joba, Cory Wade, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova sprint at Yankee camp, Jeter, Ramiro Pena laugh

  • Above Phil Hughes at Yankee spring training, Feb. 13, 2012, photo Blanco

  • Above, Ramiro Pena and Derek Jeter at Yankee spring training, Feb. 13, 2012, Blanco
Above Jeter and Ramiro Pena, Yankee camp, Feb. 16, 2012, ap

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Milo Hamilton at press conference with Houston Astros execs announcing this will be his last year in the radio booth

"Houston Astros radio announcer Milo Hamilton, center, joins owner Jim Crane, left, and team president George Postolos, right, announcing his retirement from broadcasting at the end of the upcoming baseball season during a news conference, Wed., Feb. 15, 2012, in Houston. Hamilton, 84, has been a broadcaster for 66 years, including 27 with the Astros." ap Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton chats with Astros infielder Koby Clemens at Astros spring training in Kissimmee, Florida, 2/26/11. photo Houston Chronicle 2/10/2006, Milo Hamilton on XM MLB radio discussed his new book, "Making Airwaves, 60 Years Behind the Microphone," by Milo Hamilton with Dan Schlossberg & Bob Ibach, by Sports Publishing, LLC. Milo mentions Harry Caray had a mean side and tried to get him fired from several jobs.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pineda, Hughes at Yankee spring training 2012

Above Phil Hughes at Yankee camp, Mon. Feb. 13, 2012, photo Newsday, Blanco

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lakeland, Florida sees record cold temp. of 31 on Sunday but they say it will heat up soon

Tigers spring training home "will heat up soon." Above map still shows Dodgers in Fla. but otherwise is a likable map. A clearer map is at end of this post. "The cold weather Sunday morning set a record but temperatures are expected to begin warming up.

The low temperature of 31 degrees recorded in Lakeland early Sunday broke the record of 32 degrees set in 1955, according to the National Weather Service.

Even chillier temperatures were forecast for early today.

But it will heat up soon. Today the high temperature is expected to be in the low to mid-60s and on Tuesday, temperatures will reach into the 70s. The low Tuesday is expected to be in the mid-40s.

On Sunday night, the American Red Cross opened two emergency shelters in Winter Haven and Lake Wales because of the cold weather.

Erin Pavano of the American Red Cross said that as of about 9 p.m. Sunday, no one had registered to stay at the shelters.

In Lakeland, the Talbot House said all of its beds were full in the women's and men's sections. The shelter also opened the dining room to allow people to sleep on the floor."

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Monday, February 13, 2012

4 year old watches Seattle Mariners spring training in Arizona

"Lucas Allgood, age 4, from Peoria, Ariz., watches a workout by Seattle Mariners players during spring training baseball practice," Sun. Feb. 12, 2012, ap

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jeter already at camp in Tampa

"The youngest Yankees are spread over the four fields at the team’s minor league complex for pre-spring training workouts. Derek Jeter, the Yankees’ oldest position player, is here, too, just like every other early February for the past 20 years.

It’s the Old Man and the Sea of Prospects.

When Jeter first started coming to spring training early in 1993, there wasn’t even a roof over the batting tunnels. The facility has changed, players have changed, the House of Steinbrenner has changed. But Jeter’s work ethic hasn’t, and that’s what makes him so special. He will turn 38 in June, but once again he is the first player in camp.

Position players officially report Feb. 25, but Jeter doesn’t have time to waste. His baseball clock has started.

“You see all these kids out here now,’’ Jeter told the Post as he looked out over the perfectly manicured fields, where prospects such as outfielders Dante Bichette (19) and Mason Williams (20) were working. “When I first came down here, it was just me. They didn’t do this when I started. I came on my own and I dragged my roommate down with me, R.D. Long. The only people down here were rehabbers. Then they started bringing people down and now they have this.’’...photo, "Derek Jeter shows a young boy how to field a ground ball Friday in Tampa. Jeter, as always, was the first to arrive at Yankees camp." B. Martinez, NY Post

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30% of Baseball Hall of Fame profits are distributed to inductees

7/23/2009, "The Hall of Fame credential means steady income for life.... In recent years the money pot has grown as the Hall of Fame, which produces and markets its own line of merchandise, has been forced to give 30% of the profits to its inductees. According to Marvin Miller, very likely the world’s greatest expert on baseball economics, this helps explain why the Veterans Committee, composed of Hall of Famers, consistently refuses to exercise its mandate to elect previously overlooked old-timers. “Nobody wants to dilute the value of his stock,” Mr. Miller told me."...

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hedge fund expert determined in 2003 Madoff feeder Ezra Merkin's numbers weren't legit, told Wilpon partner Katz of this but he says doesn't recall

2/10/12, "‘Blind’ ambition," NY Post, Mark Decambre

Picard’s laundry list of uses Wilpon and Katz employed for the Madoff cash is an attempt to show why they would need to turn a blind eye....

Picard, in his papers filed in Manhattan federal court, claims longtime hedge-fund expert and former Goldman Sachs exec Noreen Harrington shared her suspicions with Katz that a Madoff feeder fund run by Ezra Merkin didn’t pass the smell test but that they ignored her advice.

At a meeting in 2003 with Manhattan money manager Merkin, who invested all his clients’ cash with Madoff, Harrington determined that “Madoff’s returns did not jibe with legitimate trading activity and were either a fiction or the result of illegal front-running,” court papers allege.

In earlier legal testimony filed by the Met’s defense, Katz has said that he does not recall Harrington expressing worries about Madoff."...

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Hall and Branyan might signal end of Yankee DH search

2/8/12, "Owner Hal Steinbrenner already has expanded his budget once this offseason to allow the signing of Hiroki Kuroda. He has yet to say the Yankees can do so again in order to sign even one additional player, much less two. This is why the Yankees are quietly — but diligently — still working to trade A.J. Burnett."...

2/9/12, "So one has to wonder: is this it for New York? Will they be hoping to find a diamond in the rough in either Hall or Branyan in order to fill the void left by the trade for Pineda?...If Hal wants to stick with the two question marks (Branyan and/or Hall) the Yanks have signed in the past few days and try to get through 2012 with them instead of either Raul Ibanez, Hideki Matsui or Johnny Damon,

  • then he'll do just that."

2/8/12, "MLB Free Agency: New York Yankees Search to Fill DH Role Already Over?" Michael Moraitis, BleacherReport

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Matt Stairs joins NESN as Red Sox studio analyst

1/30/12, "Jenny Dell will join the network as its Red Sox field reporter and Matt Stairs will join as a Red Sox studio analyst. Dell and Stairs will join NESN’s popular and talented Red Sox broadcast team that includes play-by-play voice Don Orsillo, color commentator Jerry Remy, studio host Tom Caron, and the network’s trio of Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley, Jim Rice and Peter Gammons, who all serve as studio analysts."

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Phillies play by play to air on both AM and FM beginning in pre-season

"CBS Radio and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a multi-year partnership that will allow Phillies games to be broadcast on 1210 WPHT and 94 WIP(FM), it was announced Monday.

Phillies play by play will be heard on WPHT and WIP during the pre-season, regular season and post-season. The agreement begins in February during Spring Training. The first game on 94 WIP will be March 3rd, 2012, the Phillies pre-season opener against the New York Yankees....

94 WIP will have a studio housed at Citizens Bank Park, Anthony Gargano announced as well. Phillies President and CEO David Montgomery joined Gargano and Glen Macnow on 94 WIP to make the announcement. Montgomery said “the combination is special. We get to continue the relationship we’ve had for years with WPHT and now we add this FM signal as well. We’re very, very excited about it. We still have the reach of that 50,000 watt station, and now we have the beauty of being on FM as well.

Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will continue to call the games for WPHT and WIP."...

Discussion on Radio-Info

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Josh Lewin to join Mets radio booth

Update: Josh Lewin grew up a Mets fan, NY Times, Bats Blog "Josh Lewin will be introduced soon as the Mets’ new radio announcer on WFAN, replacing Wayne Hagin, who had a four-year run as Howie Rose’s partner. Hagin replaced Tom McCarthy in 2008.

Lewin was a Texas Rangers TV announcer from 2002 to 2010, when his contract was not renewed. He has also called games for the Tigers, the Cubs, the Orioles and Fox Sports. He is a co-host of a sports-talk radio show in Dallas and is the San Diego Chargers’ radio play-by-play announcer." photo Fox

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Oil Can Boyd admits cocaine use, will play Satchel Paige in new movie about Jackie Robinson

"Boyd said he was never asked to take a drug test during his playing days."

"Former Red Sox pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd admitted on Wednesday that two-thirds of the time he was on the mound, he was under the influence of cocaine....

Despite that, Boyd said he has no regrets in his career that spanned from 1982 t0 1991....

I never had a drug test as long as I played baseball,” he said. “I was told that, yeah, if you don’t stop doing this we’re going to put you into rehab, and I told them (expletive) that (expletive). I’m going to do what I have to do, I have to win ball games. We’ll talk about that in the offseason, right now I have to win ball games.”

The retired Red Sox pitcher has been busy as of late. His autobiography, “They Call Me Oil Can,” is scheduled for publication in June. In May, he will be filming his role as pitcher Satchel Paige in a major motion picture about Jackie Robinson, starring Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, Richard Gere and Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, the first African-American to play Major League Baseball." via Drudge

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Frank McCourt becomes Wilpon guardian angel, Dodgers auction prices soar raising value of Mets to possibly $3 billion

2/4/12, Bill Madden, "Ever so gradually, Frank McCourt has gone from the most villified owner in baseball to everyone’s guardian angel; from Bud Selig’s worst nightmare to the commissioner’s fondest dream.

Such is the stunning fallout from McCourt plunging the Los Angeles Dodgers into bankruptcy court and the subsequent forced auction in which seven or eight of the richest men in America are all bidding against each other for the right to own one of baseball’s signature franchises. The first elimination round was completed last week with those advancing all committed to paying a minimum of $1.5 billion for the team. When you consider the previous highest price a baseball team fetched was the $845 million from Tom Ricketts for the Chicago Cubs in 2009, this is staggering, especially when you also consider the substantial wealth of all the remaining bidders will surely drive the ultimate sale price to $2 billion."...

  • (Ed. note: This validates recent news reports that the rich have gotten richer in the past few years.)

(continuing, Bill Madden): "Suddenly, from the unlikeliest of sources, franchise values in baseball are about to take a quantum leap that, as recently as six months ago, nobody in the game could have foreseen. “It’s mind-boggling,” said one industry insider. “If the Dodgers are worth two billion, what are the Yankees worth? Between their brand alone, plus their network, stadium and all their other built-in revenue, you’d have to say almost twice as much.”

To which I countered: Never mind the Yankees. What about the Mets?

The Mets,” the insider said, “are probably the biggest beneficiaries of all in this Dodger sale.

Who’d have thought it? Certainly not Fred Wilpon. But Frank McCourt is about to be his salvation. For if the Dodgers wind up selling for $2 billion or more, the value of the Mets, a signature franchise in their own right, in the country’s largest media market with their own network and new stadium, despite their present hard times, have to be worth close to $3 billion. “What that means,” said the insider, “is that the Wilpons can now go back to their banks, point to the value of the team, and say: ‘Lend us more money.’” Yes, thanks to Frank McCourt’s multi-million dollar divorce, which set in motion this ironic sequence of events, Wilpon is about to have more collateral than he ever dreamed of....

Now, 14 years later, O’Malley is back, aligned with one of the remaining bidding groups, trying to buy the Dodgers back for nearly three times more than what he sold them for.

So what happened?...“You can’t underestimate the value of an expiring TV deal in that market, with both Fox and Time Warner competing against each other. Now, under Selig, baseball has had years of labor peace

  • and franchise values have continued to increase considerably.”"...

2/4/12, "If Frank McCourt's L.A. Dodgers go for $2 billion, Fred Wilpon's NY Mets could be worth more," Bill Madden, NY Daily News

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Toronto Blue Jays considering installing natural grass, say some players won't sign to play on turf no matter what the money

"With a lot of players, at times, some of them don't want to play on turf, no matter what money."

"The biggest benefit of installing natural grass would be to accommodate the players on the field. The Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays are the only two teams in baseball that use artificial turf, which is considered more hazardous for athletes than grass.

Some players opt against signing with the Blue Jays because they think the unforgiving surface will cause health problems down the road. A perfect example of that took place this offseason, when free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran declined the Blue Jays' offer to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals.

"With a lot of players, at times, some of them don't want to play on turf, no matter what money," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said earlier this week, when asked why his team was unable to sign Beltran....

In the meantime, one thing the Blue Jays definitely won't be doing is installing a dirt infield like the one Tampa Bay currently uses at Tropicana Field. The Rays' turf is a permanent fixture because the facility is used for baseball only, and as a result, the playing surface remains in place all year.

The constant uprooting of the turf in Toronto to accommodate other events is one of the main culprits for the sometimes haggard-looking field. That's something that can't be changed, unless the turf is completely removed.

"Our field goes up and down, and naturally, you have to assume there's going to be some wear and tear," Beeston said. "I don't mean to use this as a weak analogy, but it's like taking your clothes to the dry cleaners. If you take it too many times, they don't look the same as something that's fresh."

The fate of natural grass at Rogers Centre could be closely tied to the future of the Argos. The CFL team's lease at Rogers Centre will expire following the 2012 season, and the organization is reportedly exploring the possibility of playing its home games at nearby BMO Field.

The loss of its second-biggest tenant would saddle Rogers Centre with a dip in revenue, but it would also provide more flexibility for the Blue Jays to make drastic changes to the playing surface. The change can't be done right now, but it has yet to be ruled out for 2013 and beyond.

"Right now, we couldn't do it," Beeston said. "We have the Argos in here, we have rock events in here; strangely enough, we might have a couple of soccer games in here. If you have the soccer, then you have to move the seats. If you move the seats, then you move the turf. It almost has to be permanent, especially for the dirt.

"Whether we can actually pull it off will be a question, but the point is it's something we would like to do.""

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Friday, February 03, 2012

Mike and the Mad Dog chat during Super Bowl week

, Jan. 31, 2012, probably recorded Jan. 30. via Was Watching.

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NY Times lost $40 million in 2011

2/2/12, "The New York Times Company Lost Almost $40 Million in 2011," MediaBistro, C. O'Shea "The New York Times Company has reported its fourth quarter earnings today, and as usual, things are bleak. For the quarter, profit dropped 12 percent and for the year the Times Company posted a net loss of $39.7 million.

The drop can be attributed mainly to a decline in print advertising and About.com’s performance:

Across the company, advertising revenue declined 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Print advertising was down 7.8 percent and digital advertising declined 4.9 percent, dragged down by a 25.9 percent revenue drop-off at the company’s About.com property.

The brightest news was that the News Media Group, which includes The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The International Herald Tribune, saw digital advertising jump 5.3 percent. Circulation revenue was also up almost five percent for the quarter."

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Former Twins manager Tom Kelly ranks among all time greats-Bill Madden

1/28/12, Bill Madden, "That was a nice - and appropriate - gesture on the part of the Minnesota Twins, retiring former manager Tom Kelly's No. 10 . If Kelly hand't persevered, managing the Twins through all those losing, rebuilding seasons that left him with an unimposing 1,140-1,244 lifetime record, he'd be a candidate for the Hall of Fame. Make no mistake, though, he was one of the all-time best, managing the Twins to world championships in 1987 and 1991 while compiling the most wins of any Twins manager in history and nurtured the careers of Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Dan Gladden, Gary Gaetti and Tom Brunansky and so many others who came up through the Twins system."

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

More than a million people listened to 2008 Giants-Patriots Super Bowl on WFAN, a lot for radio on a Sunday, says Chernoff

1/30/12, "New York’s two all-sports radio stations will, for all practical purposes, move to Indianapolis this week. And with good reason.

The Giants are playing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl there on Sunday. The last time those teams met in a Super Bowl, in 2008, more than a million New Yorkers listened to the game on WFAN (660 AM).

For a sports radio station on a Sunday,” says WFAN program director Mark Chernoff, “that’s unheard of. And this year we may have even more.”

WFAN is the home station of the Giants and has a wide lead in the local all-sports radio game. But Dave Roberts, program director of rival WEPN (1050 AM, ESPN Radio), says the resources of ESPN “will differentiate our coverage from everyone else’s.”

Roberts notes NBC, the TV network carrying the game, will use 1050’s Michael Kay, who also works for the YES Network, in its feature on the Giants’ Eli Manning.

Michael interviewed Eli back in August in his ‘elite quarterback’ feature, and NBC is using some of that interview,” says Roberts."...

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