Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Michigan congressman asks Obama to bail out Detroit

"Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) asked President Obama on Friday to help bail out the nearly bankrupt city of Detroit, the Michigan News site MLIVE.com reported on Monday.

After listening to President Obama give a bullish analysis of the nation's once-bankrupt auto industry in a speech at the University of Michigan, Clarke met with the president aboard Air Force One to argue that Detroit might soon need the same sort of federal assistance.

"I went on Air Force One with one purpose: to talk to the president about emergency aid for Detroit," Clarke told MLive.com. "[M]y request is based on the fact that we want to avoid the city running out of cash in the next two months, but we also want to stabilize the situation in a way that will create jobs by making streets safer, better educating and training people for jobs."

Clarke said he is looking for targeted assistance from federal agencies under Obama’s jurisdiction such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The meeting came after Obama and the freshman Democrat shared a unique moment at the State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. Obama hailed the success of his bailouts to the Michigan-based auto industry, saying, “what’s happening in Detroit can happen in other cities,” prompting

  • Clarke to stand and applaud for several seconds, totally alone.

"I know it's a long shot, but I'm going for it," Clarke said of his request to the administration. "And I'm going for it publicly now.

"Bottom line, I'm asking for federal aid to avoid massive layoffs, especially for our public safety officers," he said. "That's what we actually need to attract businesses here who create jobs. We need safe streets and we need good schools." " via Rush Limbaugh

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Russo and Francesa say hello at radio row-Neil Best

Update: Mike and the Mad Dog chat on Monday at Super Bowl week

"Four years ago I covered Super Bowl XLII primarily as a media/business writer. This time around I'm mostly a football writer.

But I figured I should pay a visit to Radio Row for old times' sake. I was there Monday chatting with Mike Francesa just before 1 p.m. when Chris Russo happened by and said hello to me by striking me hard on the tush.

As he started on his way out of the room, he turned to go over and say hello to Mike, saying it was for my benefit so I could start a rumor they are getting back together.

Alas, they are not. But they also don't hate each other, contrary to a widespread assumption.

Their brief hello seemed genuine. Then Francesa went on the air on WFAN, and an hour later Russo followed suit on Sirius XM, about 20 feet away.

So close, and yet so far."...

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Monday, January 30, 2012

On ESPN Radio Michael Kay gets off on non sports tangents too frequently-commenter

Comment by NY Radio Message Board Chairman Allan Sniffen credits ESPN 1050AM with a fair amount of local programming and adds a thought on Michael Kay and recent editions of Mike Lupica's show (previously praised):

  • "You're not giving ESPN enough credit in New York.

The station has a fair amount of local programming at this point. The only major daypart that is not local is morning drive and, surpisingly, this doesn't seem to be a big problem. Mike and Mike actually do well in New York.

I do agree that Kay gets off on non sports tangents too frequently. Recently, so has Lupica. They do need to focus particularly against Francesa.

That said, the station needs an FM signal more than any other single thing, including more local programming."

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CC Sabathia Field dedicated in Vallejo

"Sabathia was drafted into professional baseball straight from high school, where he played on the very field that now bears his name." "When Vallejo High's Principal Clarence Isadore declared Friday "CC Sabathia Day" at his high school, students wanted to make sure he gave the Yankees pitcher one clear message.

Thank you.

But Sabathia threw a curve ball Friday afternoon when he unveiled the newly renovated and renamed CC Sabathia Field at Patterson Park.

"I came here today, and everyone keeps saying 'thank you' to me. ... But I just want to say thanks to the city of Vallejo for all the love shown me," Sabathia said.

Sabathia, a 1998 Vallejo High School graduate and a New York Yankees pitcher, was drafted into professional baseball straight from high school, where he played on the very field that now bears his name.

As his baseball career took him from Cleveland to New York, Sabathia never forgot where he came from, establishing his PitCCh In Foundation in part to give back to the children of Vallejo and inner city youth across the country.

Sabathia Field marks the second Vallejo baseball field to be renovated by the foundation after PitCCh In gave the North Vallejo Little League a new field two years ago....

Friday's dedication was brief but emotional, as Vallejo athletes and coaches young and old returned to pay homage to Sabathia.

Among the more than 100 who came to the dedication was Abe Hobbs, Sabathia's former coach at Vallejo who helped turn open space into a baseball field.

"We talked about putting a field here, and what's taken place is very much more than what we've talked about," Hobbs said as he addressed the crowd, scanning the renovated field.

Vallejo High alumnus and professional mixed martial artist Mark Muñoz also came to the ceremony and praised Sabathia for his continued service to the city....

Sabathia also will hold a baseball clinic at 5 p.m. today at CC Sabathia Field at Patterson Park, 840 Nebraska St. Cost is $5, though children 10 and younger can get in for free."

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Robin Ventura new Chicago White Sox manager at Fan Fest

New Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura greets fans at Fan Fest, Fri. Jan. 27, 2012, ap

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Valentine speaks at UConn baseball team preseason dinner

"Lee Mazilli's son LJ is a junior infielder for the Huskies."... "While Boston Red Sox fans may hope otherwise, there may not be a scene where Bobby Valentine is more at ease than in a crowded room full of baseball fans and Connecticut baseball fans as well. Valentine, hired as the Red Sox manager in November, came to UConn to speak at the UConn baseball team’s preseason dinner because “he was asked.” Make no mistake, Valentine did his share of talking, listening and displayed a wit and charm that may have won over even
  • the New York Yankees fans inside the Rome Ballroom.
Valentine was handed countless items of baseball paraphernalia as he engaged in a give and take with fans who plucked down nearly $100 per person for the fundraising dinner. Whether it was listening to tales of the exploits of his father in law Ralph Branca or the time as a baseball prodigy in Stamford when a mammoth homer resulted in a broken window, Valentine was in his element. Before making his way to the public appearance, he spoke to the UConn baseball team and kept
  • the crowd entertained wherever he went on Friday evening.
While Valentine knows that most people would like to talk to him about the prospects of the Red Sox, he didn’t lose sight of where he was.
  • “This is one of the great sports programs in the world,” Valentine said.
“When you start hosting (baseball) regionals and continue to get national attention going to football bowl games, Final Fours in basketball it makes it among the top dogs in the world. I am proud of them, I’m from Connecticut.” Valentine appears ready to enter the boiling pot that goes with being the manager of the Red Sox. He knows that he will be under scrutiny on a daily basis and knows that the expectations of winning the World Series comes with the territory. However, he is more focused on the short term.
  • “It is what everybody’s (goal) is,” Valentine said. “I don’t like to be like everyone. I am thinking of the first day of spring training, that is what excites me.”
Among those in attendance was Lee Mazzilli, who was Valentine’s teammate with the New York Mets in 1977 and 1978. It was more than just friendship that brought Mazzilli to the event as his son LJ is a junior infielder for the Huskies."...

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Bleacher Report to hire twenty writers to lead amateur crew

"Bleacher Report is also syndicating its content to national and regional partners like USA Today and Philly.com." "Bleacher Report is using part of the $22 million cash infusion it received last summer to hire twenty bona fide writers. The move will likely improve the quality of the popular site which now relies almost exclusively on rabid fans to churn out buckets of barstool-style sports chatter.

Since its launch in 2008, Bleacher Report has been a disruptive presence in sports reporting. Its army of amateurs has led it to acquire over 20 million unique visitors a month and placed it in the top ranks of sports sites behind gorillas like ESPN (NYSE: DIS) and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Sports.

Bleacher Report’s new hires, who will cover specific fields like baseball and soccer, will join the five existing “Lead Writers” who were brought on last year to provide football-centered coverage.

The lead writers are in part responsible for guiding the thousands of volunteer contributors who produce a slew of often-absurdly specific content along the lines of ‘5 reasons Albert Pujols will like the french fries in Anaheim better than St. Louis.’

“We see this growth as another big step in creating a purer meritocracy for sports content creation on the Web,” wrote Dave Finocchio, Co-Founder and Vice President of Content and Product at Bleacher Report.

While the site is often derided by other news outlets, it’s hard to gainsay its business model which relies on sports team devotees to produce free content lapped up by insatiable fans. A spokesman described a typical Bleacher Report writer as “a guy who works by day and is a 49ers fan by night.”

The move to add more professionals may in part be to persuade advertisers that it’s a quality brand. In October, Ad Age reported that sponsors find Bleacher Reports hyper-specific demographics appealing but that at least one advertiser chose not to renew its contract because of the questionable content.

In addition to selling ads, Bleacher Report is also syndicating its content to national and regional partners like USA Today and Philly.com. Last week, it launched a tablet version of the site."...via Poynter.org

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rally for Egypt Revolution in Times Square on Jan. 21 for those who missed

1/26/12, "Jan 21-Times Sq: Global Day in support of Egyptian Revolution ( vid and pics)," TheSilentMajority.wordpress.com, AmericanValues via Atlas Shrugs

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jorge Posada on NY Daily News front page

NY Daily News front page, Wed., Jan. 25, 2012, the day after Posada's retirement was announced at Yankee Stadium

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Kim Jones to leave YES Network after 7 years-Neil Best

"YES had offered Jones a new contract, and the parting was amicable.""Kimberly Jones, YES' lead pregame and postgame reporter for the past seven years, will not return to the network for the 2012 season.

"It was a terrific seven years, especially when I didn't know if I'd make it through the first one, and neither did anyone else,'' she said, laughing. "It was filled with highlights and moments that only the Yankees can provide. I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity at YES."

YES had offered Jones a new contract, and the parting was amicable. "We would love to have her on the YES team this season, but certainly understand her decision," YES spokesman Eric Handler said. "She was a valued member of our Yankees broadcast team, and we wish her nothing but the best."

Handler said YES is "looking at a number of options" to fill Jones' job. Jack Curry will remain in his current role as a studio analyst at the network.

As for Jones, she said there is "nothing at the moment that I can tell you" about her next job, but the NFL Network is believed to have interest in her.

Jones has been a popular semi-regular at WFAN and has worked extensively with afternoon host Mike Francesa. But a full-time move to the station appears unlikely because there is no apparent fit in the current schedule."

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thank you Jorge Posada

1/9/12, "And he was constantly underrated."

  • Above, Mariano and Posada, World Series game 3, 10/31/09, ap. 5 pitches for Mo, Matt Stairs, Jimmy Rollins, no save.

  • Letterman hosts Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, and Hideki Matsui, 11/05/09, after World Series win. photo from nyyfans.com

11/2/2001, "Mystique, Aura, and Timely Hits," Tim Sullivan
  • -----------------------

Posada at retirement announcement 1/24/12, getty

"He sat in the visitors' clubhouse at Comerica Park one year ago, after another Yankee postseason had ended in the first round. To the end, Jorge Posada stayed in there. He kept swinging. There was a two-out single in the seventh inning, when it was already 8-1 for the Tigers. Then came a two-run homer in the ninth, Posada making the last game of the season, 8-3.
  • To the end, he was a great Yankee.

It was quiet in front of his locker 30 minutes later. It is usually quiet there, unless Posada has something to say. Then he lets you have it.

"It's the thing people don't always see from Jorge," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said yesterday. "How emotional he can be. It's mostly because he's always wanted to win as much as anybody we have."

That day in Comerica Park, some Yankees already were out of the shower and dressed and thinking about the bus to the airport. The first moments of next season are always the same when you lose the last game, whether you are home or on the road. They are looking to go, especially when it ends 8-3 and one of the only ones fighting is the catcher. The catcher wasn't going anywhere. He was still in uniform, sitting there in front of the locker. He had at least made that one last swing. He had not made the last out of the season. A year later, against Joe Borowski of the Indians, he just missed hitting a ninth-inning home run that would have brought the Yankees to within a run and scared the Indians half to death. At Comerica, in October of '06, one of the writers came by and told him that this might not be the time to say it, but he was going to say it anyway,
  • what a great Yankee Posada was.

Posada thanked the guy, shook his hand.

"You never think it will end this soon," he said. "Not after what we used to do."

He gets paid now by the Yankees for all of it, what he used to be and what the Yankees used to be, for being
  • one of the last members of the Class of '96 - class in all ways - who is still here."...
  • -----------------------------
"On Saturday, news surfaced that Jorge Posada intends to retire after 17 years in baseball. In that time, he combined two things that rarely go together. He was a longtime New York Yankee, and he was constantly underrated. Players for the game’s marquee franchise usually get at least their share of attention yet, somehow, Posada slipped through the cracks."...


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Monday, January 23, 2012

Cardinals post season MVP David Freese, Yankee reliever David Robertson at NY Baseball Writers awards dinner

Mariano Rivera and David Robertson with their awards at NY Baseball Writers awards dinner, 1/21/12, photo from David Robertson twitter via Lohud Yankee. MLB.com article

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Beckett tells Valentine his slow pitching was to gain 'competitive edge against the Yankees'-Ken Davidoff

1/20/12, Ken Davidoff, Bobby Valentine addressed the World Baseball Coaches Convention at Mohegan Sun Friday night: "In virtually non-stop travel mode since his hiring in early December, Valentine has either met or spoken with all of Boston's key players. He addressed the concerns of pitcher Josh Beckett, who didn't like being criticized by then-ESPN commentator Valentine during a game against the Yankees. "He told me that he used a slower motion as a competitive edge against the Yankees,'' Valentine said of Beckett.

He described himself as "pleasantly surprised'' by his meeting with Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been publicly portrayed as unhappy despite putting up an excellent season.

"If anything was bothering him last year,'' Valentine said of Ellsbury, "I want to find what it is and bother him again this year.''

Valentine said he thinks leftfielder Carl Crawford, who recently had surgery to repair his injured left wrist, will be ready for the start of the regular season.""

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Media prefer baseball analogies to describe political debates-Stableford

"Gingrich saw the pitch coming...was looking for a fastball and proceeded to knock it out of the park."...Politico"The Republican primary debate in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday night was a slugfest, with Newt Gingrich leading off the ballgame with a home run off CNN starter John King, who tried to slip an "open marriage" fastball by the former House Speaker.

That is, if you were to borrow a baseball analogy--which the media has been all-too-eager to do lately.

"I think Gingrich saw a fastball coming," CNN's David Gergen told Anderson Cooper. "And in front of this audience, he smacked it right out of the park."

Gergen wasn't the only pundit mining the national pastime for quips.

"Newt did knock it out of the park," Ari Fleischer said later on CNN. "Well, I think, putting it in baseball terms, Mitt Romney is a doubles hitter. He hit more doubles tonight, but he's not hitting enough doubles to win South Carolina. Rick Santorum had his best night yet -- he hit a triple."

Fleischer wasn't done.

"Newt swings for the fences, and he connected tonight," he said. "Also, when he swings, he can have some spectacular whiffs. And we don't know from day to day
  • if he's going to hit one or strike out."

Meanwhile, Politico's Maggie Haberman's top takeaway from Thursday's debate sounded a lot like Gergen's:

1) Newt Gingrich saw the pitch coming

Gingrich was looking for a fastball and proceeded to knock it out of the park. Yes, it's a sports cliché, but it's a fitting one here. Gingrich knew full well that CNN moderator John King would ask him about his ex-wife's claims that he had sought an "open marriage" over a decade ago. And CNN made a clear choice to open with it, knowing that would make the network a part of the news story.

John Baldoni of CBS' "Money Watch" thought Newt cleared the fences, too: "Newt Gingrich hit a home run the other evening in South Carolina when he took moderator John King's question about his former wife's allegation of his request for an open marriage and turned it into a media bashing moment."

Boston.com's Garrett Quinn put it another way: "Gingrich has found a way to turn what should be a single into a home run. Tonight, though, was a grand slam for him."

Of course, Thursday's debate was not the first time the media likened Gingrich to a GOP Babe Ruth. Earlier this week, Ed Rollins said Gingrich smacked a home run during Saturday's Fox News-hosted debate, turning around a question about race from Juan Williams. "I think it's put him back in the game," Gingrich said. "He looks strong."

A blogger for Norcalblogs.com took the baseball analogy even deeper:

Gingrich hit home run after home run, but his biggest hit came at the expense of Juan Williams. Juan pitched a race baiting fastball that Newt hit with the sweet spot of his bat. When he finished, the crowd erupted [in] the first ever standing ovation at a debate. Fox News was forced to take a commercial break to calm things down. It wasn't his only big hit, but it was his best.

On Thursday, Fleischer added: "To use the baseball expression we started with here, I think we're into the fourth inning with too many players on the field, maybe three. So people thought maybe the game would be over here after three races, three innings, and Romney would win it. If he wins in South Carolina, that's the likelihood. I don't think that's going to happen."

Then again, it's anybody's ballgame." via Big Journalism

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Arod with Torrie Wilson at ribbon cutting for new gym in Mexico City

Arod with Torrie Wilson at Miami Heat game v San Antonio Spurs Jan.17, 2012, getty

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yu Darvish day at Texas Rangers ballpark

"Japanese media stand outside Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in anticipation of the Texas Rangers signing Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, in Arlington, Texas." ap photo "From left to right, Texas Rangers CEO and president Nolan Ryan, general manager Jon Daniels, Yu Darvish representatives Arn Tellem and Don Nomura...during a news conference to announce the signing of Japanese pitching sensation Darvish, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The two-time defending AL champions signed a multiyear deal with Darvish before their 30-day negotiating window ended Wednesday at 4 p.m. CST. Texas last month bid a record $51.7 million under the posting system to win the right just to negotiate with the 25-year-old pitcher." ap photo Yu Darvish at press conference in Sapporo, Japan, Jan. 6, 2011, ap

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

White House celebration for World Champ Cardinals takes place without La Russa or Pujols

"President Barack Obama on Tuesday dubbed the St. Louis Cardinals the "greatest comeback team in the history of baseball" thanks to their thrilling late-season charge into the playoffs and death-defying, seven-game triumph in last November's World Series.

The Cardinals were 10 1/2 games back at the end of August, but rallied to win a National League wild card spot on the last day of the regular season. They trailed in each playoff round and were twice within a strike of elimination in Game six of the series with the Texas Rangers before David Freese's walk-off home run in the 11th saved them.

"That has to be one of the best baseball games of all time," Obama said to applause and cheers as he welcomed team members in the East Room.

Leading off at the event was first lady Michelle Obama, celebrating her 48th birthday. And with a swing of the bat, she nearly stole the show.

Mrs. Obama was present at the series opener, and she thanked the Cardinals for all they do for military families. Then team owner Bill de Witt gave both Obamas team jerseys and souvenir bats.

"I'm a little bit worried about giving my wife a bat," the president joked. "If I mess up..."

His wife deadpanned, "I'll take my bat," then hefted and glancing meaningfully in Obama's direction, as Cardinals players, team officials and Missouri lawmakers chuckled.

Two key figures of the championship season were absent. Manager Tony La Russa retired after the series. And star Albert Pujols signed a $240 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason....

He (Obama) noted in late August, Las Vegas oddsmakers had the Cards 500-to-1 underdogs....

"This team essentially played two months of elimination games," Obama said."

getty photo. (Keep laughing Obama. ed.)

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Mike Francesa on WFAN transits out of name 'Mike'd Up' and jingle, new jingle pending-NY Radio Message Bd.

Mike mentioned the pending jingle and name change on his Sunday NFL show, says NYRMB poster. YES Network has always called it 'The Mike Francesa Show.' "Mike Francesa started his show without a jingle today, noting that CBS was unable to come to terms with NBC on renewing the license to use the name "Mike'd Up" for the WFAN radio show. NBC owned the name from Mike's Sunday night TV program - it had been in place while the WFAN show was still Mike & the Mad Dog. After Russo left in 2008, CBS was able to license the use of the name for WFAN. Mike said a new name and jingle package was being worked on, and could be ready
  • as soon as Tuesday Jan 17."

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Cardinals Caravan in Jonesboro, Arkansas, January 16

"Chris Clayton, 12, gets his shirt autographed by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alan Benes on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, in Jonesboro Ark., during Cardinals Caravan" ap

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB owners concerned about Moorad finances-Bill Madden

  • 1/14/12, Bill Madden, "DESERT STORM"

"That was quite a bit of unexpected drama that occurred at the owners’ meetings in Scottsdale last week when they sought to get Bud Selig’s two-year extension on the agenda. Because a 10-day period is required for getting any issues on the agenda, there has to be a unanimous vote of the owners to waive that.

But San Diego Padres owner John Moores was infuriated when the owners put off approving his sale of the team to former agent Jeffrey Moorad and, in protest, cast a dissenting vote. That promoted another vote to put the extension “on notice” for 10 days and once again Moores was the only “nay.” Finally, after the owners elected to vote on the extension right there and then instead of by e-mail within the 10-day period,

  • Moores was again the only one to vote no on Selig.

It remains to be seen if Selig makes Moores pay for his rebellious streak, but MLB sources tell me that, in the wake of the Frank McCourt-Dodgers mess, there is real concern among the owners

  • about Moorad and whether he is sufficiently financed." (p. 2)

1/14/12, "Yankees GM Brian Cashman has best offseason with Michael Pineda trade, Hiroki Kuroda signing," Bill Madden, NY Daily News

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New Red Sox spring home JetBlue Park cost Lee County $78 million to build

1/13/12, "A Lee County official said today the Boston Red Sox’s new spring time home, JetBlue Park, is down to the finishing touches.

With about six weeks left until the stadium’s Feb. 25 grand-opening, workers are touching up the paint, laying carpet and installing electrical fixtures, Lee County Project Manager Bob Taylor said...

1/13/12, "Boston Red Sox's new spring training home, JetBlue Park, receiving finishing touches," News-Press, Ft. Myers

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Fans line up for Minnesota Twins spring training tickets

Above pictures, 1/14/12, "Baseball fans brave the cold for Twins spring training tickets, " News-Press, Tim Ritter, Ft. Myers, Fla. photos by Hirton, News-Press

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back pages for Yankee deals, 'Up in Arms,' Newsday, 'Arms Race,' NY Post, Pineda-Montero, Kuroda

'Up in Arms,' Newsday back page, Sat. Jan. 14, 2012. Kuroda signs with Yanks, Jesus Montero and Noesi lost in exchange for Mariners Michael Pineda.

NY Daily News back page, 'Staff Injection,' Sat. Jan. 14, 2012

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon, Jan. 24, 1980

"Jan. 24, 1980: Doubleday & Co. purchases controlling interest in the Mets from the Charles Payson family for $21.1 million. Minority partner Fred Wilpon’s share is a reported 5 percent." photo David Pokress. "Aug. 13, 2002: Agreement is reached on the sale of Doubleday’s 50-percent interest in the Mets to the Wilpon family for $135 million. The deal is officially completed 10 days later." Newsday

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BBWAA member Dave Krieger gives up Denver Post column for radio job at KOA

12/23/11, "Vinny Castilla is getting at least one Hall of Fame vote," Hardballtalk, Craig Calcaterra "Dave Krieger is one of the truly outstanding newspaper sports columnists at work today -- not only in Denver, but the country as a whole. Yet as of next week, he'll be giving up his role at the Denver Post in favor of a full-time co-hosting position at KOA radio.

Why? Krieger reveals that he'd hoped to find a way to balance the jobs, but the Post wouldn't go for it.

"I've been doing both for a while," says Krieger, who's co-hosted the afternoon-drive staple now known as The Dave Logan Show since the June departure of Lois Melkonian, Logan's former sidekick; she's now doing radio in Houston. "I had been subbing with Lois for Dave throughout the football season in 2010" -- Logan, who also coaches Mullen High School football, has practices in the afternoon -- "and that was sort of what I was anticipating doing again. The Post didn't seem to have a problem with that, since they have a lot of people with other gigs," including longtimer Woody Paige,

  • a regular on ESPN's Around the Horn.

Now, "it's a different situation," Krieger continues. "There's another spot next to Dave, and when Dave is gone, there are two. I was doing the show and doing the column as well, because it was a fill-in gig, and KOA didn't have a problem with me doing both -- and I didn't hear anything from the Post one way or the other. But when Dave's football season ended, KOA had to make a decision about who was going to work with him going forward and asked if I'd like to. And I said, 'Yeah.'"

At that point, KOA wanted to make an announcement about its new hire. "So," Krieger notes, "I asked them to approach the Post to see if they could work out some kind of cooperative cross-platform arrangement that would be good for everybody. And the Post said they weren't interested in that. They made it clear

  • that I either needed to be their full-time columnist or choose."

This stance prompted plenty of reflection, Krieger confirms. His conclusion? "I'm not sure at this point in my career how many more opportunities I'll get to do something new and different, and this is all of those things. So I decided to go with new and different."

The Post scooped KOA on the news, running a recent piece revealing that Krieger's last column will appear on January 19, but leaving out any reference to the machinations that prompted him to take the plunge. Via e-mail, Post editor Greg Moore declines to discuss the details, but writes, "I am grateful for his contributions" -- especially "Spygate II," in which Krieger helped bust the Josh McDaniels-era Broncos for taking surreptitious video of a San Francisco 49ers walk-through -- "and look forward to listening to him when I am out and about during the day." In the meantime, Greg Foster, head of AM programming for Clear Channel Denver, KOA's owner, confirms Krieger's new status and expresses enthusiasm about his decision.

Post readers are likely to be less exuberant. After all, Krieger, who spent more than a quarter-century at the Rocky Mountain News before joining the Post staff in 2009 as one of the all-stars brought over after the Rocky closed, is not just a keen observer of football, basketball and more; he's also adept at looking beyond the world of sports. For prime examples, check out "Crusade," a 2007 Message column about Krieger's insightful and passionate columns about gang life and urban violence in the wake of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams's murder.

Fortunately, Krieger won't be limiting himself to verbal communication. "I've been a writer my whole adult life, and I will continue to write in some form or another," he notes. "I know KOA is interested in developing online content, so I may put together some kind of sports blog on the KOA website. And once I'm gone from the Post, I'll be free to accept freelance assignments. I don't know if there will be any of those or not, but one way or another, I'm sure I'll keep writing."...

"To be perfectly honest about it, I was hired by the Post principally to help keep Rocky subscribers from dropping. That's probably true about most of the Rocky people, but I was the only one originally hired in sports, and I think it's fair to say that within the sports department, they didn't really feel they needed me. The normal complement of sports columnists at a metro daily is two, and they had two. I became kind of a third wheel, and I'm not sure I adapted all that well to it. It was different from being part of the foundation at the Rocky."

From this reader's perspective, he was foundational at the Post, too. He definitely made a place for himself there, and he'll be missed. Fortunately, fans know where they can find him from here on out: at 850 on the AM dial." via Poynter.org

"Dave Krieger of the Denver Post has a fine Hall of Fame ballot for the most part: Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Barry Larkin​, Jack Morris​, Tim Raines​ and Alan Trammell​. I wouldn’t vote for Morris, of course, but I’d gladly take his induction if it meant Raines, Trammell and Bagwell got in, so it’s all good.

Well, not all. See, he’s also voting for a certain former Colorado Rockies third baseman:"...

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

MLB swells meet in Arizona, Jan. 2012

Above Mets COO Jeff Wilpon arrives for MLB owners meetings in Phoenix, 1/11/12, ap Above Jeff Moorad, San Diego Padres vice chair and CEO arrives 1/11/12, ap Colorado Rockies Chair and CEO Dick Monfort arrives in Phoenix, 1/11/12, ap Arizona Diamondbacks pres. and ceo Derrick Hall arrives 1/11/12, ap

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If Jack O'Connell feels 'agonized' about future baseball awards voting he should quit

"“It’s going to be agonizing,” BBWAA general secretary Jack O’Connell said after Tuesday’s news conference, repeating the phrase for emphasis."...
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Suggestion to Mr. O'Connell: If it's going to be so agonizing, why don't you quit?

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This 2005 Tim Marchman article may help O'Connell. It mentions steroids and Palmeiro but focuses on the media's "unseemly sense of ownership of the game:"

"There has obviously been no shortage of commentary on baseball's steroid crisis this year, but with last week's revelation that Baltimore's Rafael Palmeiro had tested positive, matters got completely out of hand. This is understandable enough, as Palmeiro is the first star player whose drug use has moved out of the realm of leaked testimony, accusation, and innuendo, into the realm of verifiable fact.

Curiously, in the endless acres of newsprint devoted to the issue, it seems one point hasn't been addressed. It concerns the press, not athletes, and simply put it's this: Isn't it more than a bit presumptuous for sportswriters to talk about the damage players do to the game and to their legacies when they use drugs?

And if so, might a bit more humility be in order?

Baseball has always had a curious relationship with the press, which has, rather than merely covering the game, always intervened in its workings and altered the course of its affairs. This has been more true of baseball than other sports. There exists no football equivalent to the coverage - by the black and socialist press - that helped lay the groundwork for the integration of the game, no basketball equivalent of the activist coverage - by writers like the Times's Murray Chass - that helped make every labor stoppage until the last one a defeat for owners.

This is so largely for the same reasons that statistics are so much more important in baseball than in the other major American team sports. Much more than any other sport, baseball really is conscious of its history and legacy and role as a national institution, which leads to a notion of "the game" as something distinct from the players, managers, coaches, scouts, and executives who comprise it. Basketball is Michael Jordan; hockey is Wayne Gretzky; baseball is, simply, baseball.

In baseball, the press is traditionally seen as the guardians of the game. The longest-tenured journalists outlast generations of players, managers, and executives. It's a fact of baseball that is expressed in areas as basic and important as entrance to the Hall of Fame, which is mostly regulated by longtime baseball writers.

This is not wholly, or even mostly, bad.

Baseball writers have always tended, to feel their loyalty is to the abstract notion of the game and the civic ideals with which it is associated, rather than to the men who play it or profit from it. The tradition of honorable activism in baseball journalism cannot be divorced from this loyalty.

The downside of this state of affairs, though, is the unseemly sense of ownership of the game that you find in the writing of many of those who have covered it for a long time. This is no new phenomenon: Spend some time with members of the Sporting News from the 1960s (or the 1920s, for that matter) and you'll read more than you'd ever believe about the ungratefulness and loutish manners of the Young Turk ballplayers of the day.

Read up on baseball's labor history and you'll see that many longtime baseball writers came to identify with management, for the simple reason that they too were fixtures in a game whose players are essentially transient, and that their sense of ownership of the game too often curdled into a sense of bitterness towards players who just wanted their fair share of the money the game was making.

Often, the sense of ownership turns into outright resentment of the players, who after all just play the game but, apparently, don't really understand it.

This is the root of the stock complaint that such-and-such young player doesn't even know who Joe DiMaggio (or whoever) is. It shows up in all sorts of areas, and seems especially to show up in coverage of young black and Hispanic players whose manner of play and self-expression is alien to middle-aged and old white men. Again, this is nothing new - the veteran baseball writers of the 1890s had little good to say about the Irishmen who were increasingly coming to dominate the game - but it is an unpleasant fact that must be dealt with in talking about the way the game is covered.

In this light, the steroid crisis is in a way the perfect baseball scandal. The collective and long-standing sense of the press that the game needs to be protected from the ego, arrogance, and misunderstanding of the men who happen to play it has found its perfect expression, and thus we end up with a variety of stock locutions aimed at players who use, or are thought to have used steroids: They're dishonoring the game, tainting their legacies, bringing shame upon the game, and so forth.

From another angle, though, this isn't really possible. What is the game, after all, if not the sum of the actions of the men who play it? If the more preposterous estimates of steroid use among ballplayers (like the 70% figure bandied about from time to time) are to be believed, isn't there something of a consensus among players that steroids are just an accepted fact of the game,

  • something to which the rest of us have to adjust?

This isn't at all meant as an argument in favor of throwing up one's hands at the drug problem. Writers do have a responsibility to state clearly that drug use is wrong (if for no other reason than that it exerts pressure on clean players to risk their health) and criticize players who break the laws of the land and the sport by using steroids.

Still, the common arguments about how today's players should be ashamed to be compared to the players of yesteryear (many of whom, like Mike Schmidt, freely admit they'd use steroids if they were playing today) might be seen for the self-serving nonsense they are if writers and readers were more consciously aware of the historical bias among writers towards seeing themselves as the guardians of the game. They - we - aren't.

Excepting the occasional Sunday jaunt in Prospect Park with my cronies, I haven't played baseball since I was in grade school. Palmeiro has played over 2,800 major league games, and countless games in grade school, high school, college, the minors, spring training and the Olympics. Before he takes the field he - like all other ballplayers - goes through a pregame stretching routine

  • that would make a fair number of those reading this throw up.

Isn't it at least possible that I and my colleagues, while giving the man all the hell he deserves, should at least leave out the lines of attack that revolve around his love and respect for a game to which he's dedicated in a way

  • no one who doesn't play can really understand?"
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Ed. note: It's to Bud Selig's advantage that the media are overly involved. He sees them as his loyal army. In return they get to feel important and reap perks from Selig's prize locker. So nothing is likely to change.

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In 2006 I sent an email to Mr. O'Connell on the general topic of BBWAA awards:

"Ms. Mullen,
Jack O'Connell"
  • After being turned down by O'Connell, I noted on this blog:
I appreciate his prompt reply to my request, but I need this simple information. I've already asked the HOF & they said they have nothing to do with the Cy Young Award. For an award like this (AL Cy Young) where such a small number of selected voters determines an immortal and often financial outcome, it is important to know the bio and resume of voters, their voting history, and bio and resume of the person who appointed them. The public also needs to know disciplinary history of voters, ie which voters have been admonished or penalized (such as temporary suspension of voting rights) and all details involved. If you claim you are the 'conscience' or 'guardian' of the game, that's nice,
  • but who guards you (other than Bud Selig)?
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I asked then BBWAA president Peter Schmuck for the same information about the 2005 AL Cy Young voters. I posted his email response on this blog on July 24, 2006:

  • "That's not information I have at my fingertips, though it is not kept confidential. Those records are kept up in New York. Is there anything in particular I can answer for you? pete"
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It was interesting that Mr. Schmuck said the information was not kept confidential. O'Connell in effect said it was confidential, only available to BBWAA members.

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