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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Update: NBC admits edit error on Zimmerman tape....NBC TV maliciously edits video to make Trayvon Martin shooter look racist, MSNBC error on website

UPDATE #2: 4/5/12, "CNN Enhances Zimmerman 911 Call Again — And Reporter Now Doubts Racial Slur Used," "The audio expert agreed it sounded like “cold,” [not 'coon] and said the new method gets rid of a lot more background noise but doesn’t change the voice or words."...The maliciously edited version has had over a week to go viral and incite hatred, bounties, and violence. Even if a correction is announced, experience suggests only the first version will be remembered. "NBC told this blog today that it would investigate its handling of a piece on the “Today” show that ham-handedly abridged the conversation between George Zimmerman and a dispatcher in the moments before the death of Trayvon Martin. A statement from NBC:
“We have launched an internal investigation into the editorial process surrounding this particular story.”

Great news right there. As exposed by Fox News and media watchdog site NewsBusters, the “Today” segment took this approach to a key part of the dispatcher call:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

Here’s how the actual conversation went down:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
The difference between what “Today” put on its air and the actual tape? Complete: In the “Today” version, Zimmerman volunteered that this person “looks black,” a sequence of events that would more readily paint Zimmerman as a racial profiler. In reality’s version, Zimmerman simply answered a question about the race of the person whom he was reporting to the police. Nothing prejudicial at all in responding to such an inquiry.

In an appearance on Fox News’s “Hannity,” Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, called this elision on the part of ”Today” an “all-out falsehood” — not just a distortion or misrepresentation.

And it’s a falsehood with repercussions. Much of the public discussion over the past week has settled on how conflicting facts and interpretations call into question whether Zimmerman acted justifiably or criminally. That’s a process that’ll continue. But one set of facts is ironclad, and that’s the back-and-forth between Zimmerman and the dispatcher. To portray that exchange in a way that wrongs Zimmerman is high editorial malpractice well worthy of the investigation that NBC is now mounting."
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"Following in line with their broadcast television colleagues who deliberately edited the audio of a 9-1-1 call of George Zimmerman, the Florida community watch volunteer who shot teenager Trayvon Martin, to falsely impute racist motives to him, MSNBC.com, in an unbylined piece did the exact same thing in text form, stripping out vital information which made Zimmerman appear to be racially motivated against Martin, who is black.

After being criticized, MSNBC.com restored the proper context but never posted a retraction, correction notice, or an apology for doing so. Originally, the story quoted from Zimmerman's call to 9-1-1 and edited the text to say the following: "'This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black,' Zimmerman told a police dispatcher from his car."

But here is what MSNBC/NBC News left out thanks to “a convenient ellipses” (as first noted by Breitbart.com blogger Dan Riehl):

ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good, [begin ellipsis] or he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's just walking around, looking about.

911 DISPATCHER: Okay, is this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic? [end ellipsis]

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

With this in mind, Riehl stated:

Not only did Zimmerman not equate Martin's skin color with his looking suspicious; he didn't even initiate the comment. It was simply a response to the police dispatcher.

Instead, the community watch leader was speculating based upon what he could determine at night in the rain to answer the police dispatcher.

Since then, the news channel has changed that paragraph of the story on its website so it reads as follows:

This guy looks like he’s up to no good,” Zimmerman said in a 911 call. Asked by a dispatcher if he was white, Hispanic or black, he replied, "He looks black." (Italics supplied)

However, no one from MSNBC or NBC News has issued an apology regarding the error."... via Weasel Zippers

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4/2/12, More examples of how it's better not to trust media exuberance in cases of this nature

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Pineda makes back pages in New York for bad shoulder

Ed. note, Many media members were 'concerned' the Yankees would have too much pitching. Perhaps this will ease their worries for a bit.

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Two best stadiums for suppressing home runs by lefties are Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres

3/30/12, "According to The Bill James Handbook, Kauffman Stadium has suppressed home runs by left-handed batters more than any park other than Petco over the past three seasons."

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Texas Rangers line up for National Anthem in Scottsdale

"Texas Rangers line up for the national anthem before a spring training game against the Colorado Rockies, Friday, March 30, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz." ap

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Dewayne Wise gets first John Sterling home run call, Updated, 7/3/12

Update, July 3, 2012, John Sterling's home run tag for Dewayne Wise v Rays, top of 3rd:
  • "Now there's a Wise man."

The home run call was slightly delayed because the ball hit one of the cat walks at the Trop and ricocheted around. Yankees lost 7-4. This was Wise's third HR as a Yankee.

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Yankee rookie outfielder Dewayne Wise hit his first Yankee home run tonight in the 7th ining of the Phillies-Yankees spring training game and accordingly got his first John Sterling home run tag which was:

As it turned out Wise hit another home run in the 8th inning. He didn't get a repeat of "word to the Wise," but notation that he hit homers in "back to back innings." Despite Wise's big night both Suzyn and John thought it wasn't likely Wise would make the final roster.

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Jason Giambi becomes first to hit home run off Yu Darvish-Suzyn

Towards the end of the Phillies-Yankee game tonight Suzyn Waldman says among her tweets and texts was news that Jason Giambi became the first one to hit a home run off Rangers Yu Darvish. Giambi 2nd inning home run off Darvish in Scottsdale, 3/30/12, ap

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Gannett and its 23 broadcast markets partner with MLB Advanced Media, will have access to MLB video

"Gannett expects its marketing services division, which offers several digital capabilities, to reach $75 million to $100 million in revenue this year. During its investor relations conference today, the company also announced a digital content partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

The company said it expects its marketing solutions arm to be a "multi-hundred million dollar business" by 2015. In recent years, the firm has enhanced its digital marketing services through acquisitions including social media services company Ripple6, digital circular company ShopLocal, and rich media ad company PointRoll. The idea is to offer local advertisers a one-stop shop for digital ad production, search and social media marketing, and other digital marketing services.

Gannett said it expects its digital marketing services business to bring in "between $275 million and $350 million in annual revenue by 2015," according to a a press release....

Today Gannett discussed a new relationship with MLB Advanced Media in which its USA Today Sports Media Group will produce digital content for mobile devices, tablets, and the web, and MLB will handle product development. Video and text content will be curated from existing USA Today sports content or created specifically for the partnership, said Tom Beusse, president of the Sports Media Group, during a phone call today with ClickZ News.

Beusse said the partners will put out content related to a variety of sports rather than just baseball, and both companies will sell sponsorships. For instance, Gannett's 23 broadcast markets produce lots of local sports video that could feed into the partner products. Gannett will also have access to MLB video. The two firms intend to develop and launch products in the next three or four months, he added.

Both firms will "co-brand and co-market" the content, said Beusse during the conference. "The popularity of major league baseball across the country and the amount of time it takes across the calendar year - it's important for us to be in that space,” he continued.

In January, Gannett acquired independent sports content firm Fantasy Sports Ventures and Big Lead Sports. Big Lead Sports, a sports news, rumors, and commentary site, came in sixth in comScore's list of sports sites in December 2011, as measured by unique visitors. Compared to the 53 million unique visitors to top site, Yahoo Sports, Big Lead drew more than 19 million, and USA Today Sports Media Group attracted more than 15 million....

Gannett also said it plans to relaunch its desktop, mobile and tablet products in the next year to two years, starting with its flagship USA Today product." via btf

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Seattle Mariners broadcasters provide live coverage of team's opener in Japan v Oakland A's from stateside studio

"Television announcers Dave Sims and Mike Blowers called the game from the in-house studio" "After two days of living off energy drinks and virtually no sleep to broadcast Mariners games being played essentially in the middle of the night, TV producer Curtis Wilson was understandably a bit foggy.

"What day is it?" Wilson asked aloud in a studio control room. "It's Thursday, right?"

The senior producer of all Seattle Mariners television broadcasts doesn't typically ask mundane questions of no one in particular.

But nothing was typical about the challenges Wilson and his staff at ROOT Sports — the Mariners television affiliate — undertook in the wee hours of Wednesday and Thursday to provide the only live domestic broadcast of the Mariners and Oakland Athletics' season-opening series from Japan.

Making the broadcast work was a delicate task involving communicating across language barriers while hoping video being transmitted from 5,000 miles away by Japanese rights-holder NTV would come through without problems for die-hards watching the Mariners in the middle of the night. Seattle won the opener 3-1 in 11 innings early Wednesday before the A's came back with a 4-1 victory on Thursday morning.

"We don't normally do baseball at 2 and 3 in the morning so from that standpoint it's good that it's over," ROOT Sports executive producer Jon Bradford said around 4:30 a.m. PDT Thursday. "But these guys are pros. They know what they're doing."

This was the first time in the four opening series played in Japan that all of the broadcast production was done by the local affiliate. In 2000, Fox Sports Net showed both games of the Cubs-Mets series live. In 2004, ESPN jumped in to show the season opener between the Yankees and Tampa Bay, while the second game was shown on local affiliates.

The 2008 series between Boston and Oakland seemed to set the standard as both games were live on ESPN2 with the Red Sox coming off a world title. But with neither the Mariners nor A's expected to contend in the AL West, this year's broadcast was left to the individual teams and local affiliates. The game production done by ROOT Sports

  • on Thursday was picked up and broadcast nationally on MLB Network.

The Seattle crew quickly determined it would be too costly to send announcers and support staff to Japan to broadcast the games in person, with a total cost 2½ times greater than a typical road game broadcast in in the United States, according to Randy Adamack, Mariners vice president of communications.

Mariners broadcast director Mark Engelbrekt traveled to Tokyo and worked alongside the Japanese producers, relaying information on available camera shots to Wilson through a phone line that remained open throughout the games.

Television announcers Dave Sims and Mike Blowers called the game from the in-house studio by watching the action on a pair of large flat-screen TVs on each side of the studio cameras.

Blowers, an 11-year veteran of the majors who also played professionally in Japan, and Sims missed the ability to get a full feel of the game, like being able to tell when a runner might have a slightly larger lead or the outfield is shaded in a certain direction.

"When you can't hear it, smell it, feel it, taste it, it's totally different," Sims said. "Calling a game off a monitor ... you keep it simple. You call what you see. But it's just different."

ROOT also had no control over camera angles or what replays NTV would show.

Japanese star Ichiro Suzuki was often the sole focus of NTV's broadcast. When Dustin Ackley homered in Wednesday's opener, NTV didn't show replays because Suzuki was the next batter.

To try to make the game their own, Wilson's crew added graphics whenever possible to go along with pre-packaged segments shot by reporter Jen Mueller, who traveled with the team to Japan.

"We were all very confident we were going to get the feed here," Wilson said. "The wild card in it was that Japanese TV televises games the way Japanese TV wants."

With the large timer clicking in the corner of the control room, Seattle's Justin Smoak made the final out of Thursday's loss just as the clock hit 4:28 a.m. PDT.

Two minutes later, Blowers and Sims signed off with a fist bump and each headed toward a pillow, while Wilson and some of the other production staff readied notes for the daytime crew tasked with cleaning up and repackaging the game for a prime-time broadcast Thursday.

But it will be a short break. The entire crew will be back in Arizona this weekend to broadcast the conclusion of spring play.

"I think these guys get back in their comfort zone when we go back to spring training and get back in a (production) truck and do it," Bradford said."

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Jose Canseco has a global warming thread at his twitter account

"Today I learned via Twitter from baseball great Jose Canseco that Al Gore is dead [joke]....

Jose...adds that if we don’t keep fight global warming by wearing flannel pajamas and recycling, and stopping our mass consumption, the polar bears are toast and we are all going to fry....

Here’s Jose’s twitter feed capture:
  • Predictably, the reaction on Jose’s Twitter Feed is as colorful as many on field arguments in baseball we’ve come to know.

Update: this juxtaposition from earlier in his Twitter Feed is priceless:

  • Yes, let’s stop all that “mass consumption”."

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  • commenter says

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I hope this is the result of his account getting hacked, because if those are his actual thoughts then I’m concerned for his safety."

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Ed. note: I clicked on the Jose Canseco twitter link above and it only had a few of the tweets Anthony listed. So I don't know if you have to subscribe to get all of them or if they were removed.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Occupy Wall St. chained subway gates open at 20 NYC stations as prelude to general strike in April

3/29/12, "Members of Occupy Wall Street chained open the subway gates at some 20 stations yesterday, in an apparent attempt to give straphangers a free ride and draw attention to their plans for a general workers’ strike next month.

The protesters claimed they had help executing their scheme from “rank- and-file” subway workers in the Transport Workers Union and Amalgamated Transit Union

Both of those unions represent MTA employees.

A spokesman for the TWU — which is locked in contract talks with the MTA — said the union would never sanction that type of action because workers caught could lose their job."

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Remembering Earl Scruggs

"Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Earl Scruggs and the festival banjo players at Camp Springs Bluegrass Festival in 1971."

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baseball father and son acts appearing at 2012 spring training-Toronto Star

"The tradition continues this spring season across Florida and Arizona, where the progeny of former big-leaguers are filling major- and minor-league camps, trying to live up to the unfair expectations of their family names — or just make the team. The L.A. Dodgers alone have seven players in camp with major-league pedigrees; the Blue Jays aren’t far behind with four.
  • Here’s a look at a handful of the most notable hopefuls:

KOBY CLEMENS, 1B/3B, Blue Jays...KYLE DRABEK, P, Blue Jays...TONY GWYNN JR., OF, L.A. Dodgers...SHAWON DUNSTON JR., CF, Chicago Cubs...MATT WALLACH, C, L.A. Dodgers...TREVOR GRETZKY, 1B, Chicago Cubs..."

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Former Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler dating Nats Cutter Dykstra, were introduced by Nick Swisher and his wife Joanna Garcia

3/27/12, NY Post, Page Six, "“Sopranos” beauty Jamie-Lynn Sigler is dating Washington Nationals infielder Cutter Dykstra, son of former Mets star Lenny Dykstra, Page Six can reveal. Sources tell us the actress has been dating Dykstra “for a few months, and things are going really well,” a source said, adding, “I haven’t seen her this happy in a long time.” Sigler, who is living in LA, was introduced to Dykstra through mutual friends, Yankees star Nick Swisher and his actress wife, Joanna Garcia. Sigler was previously linked to New York Jet Mark Sanchez and her “Entourage” co-star Jerry Ferrara. Lenny Dykstra was sentenced to three years in state prison earlier this month after a judge rejected his bid to change his no-contest plea to grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement. But despite this, Cutter seems very happy with Sigler, who has a role in the Jimmy Fallon pilot “Guys With Kids,” previously referred to as “DILFs.” After a break together in Florida, he tweeted at her, “Had an amazing time with you, i miss you so much. The last week flew by.”"

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Fans among palm trees at Phillies spring training game

"Spectators stand between palm trees as they watch the New York Yankees play the Philadelphia Phillies in a spring training game at Brighthouse Field in Clearwater, Fla.," 3/23/12, ap

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lady wears Mets earring in Port St. Lucie

Wearing Mets earring, Mets "fan Beverly Clarke watches a spring training baseball game between the Mets and the Houston Astros in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Thursday, March 22, 2012," ap

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Richest MLB teams in 2011 operating income are Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, and Chicago Cubs-Forbes

3/21/12, "Inside the 2012 Forbes MLB Franchise Valuations," Biz of Baseball, Maury Brown
  • Top MLB teams in 2011 operating income

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MLB Network teams up with Fox Sports for Game of the Week pregame shows

"FOX Sports and MLB Network are teaming on an expanded pregame weekly show that will run prior to the "FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week."...The pregame show will run 30 minutes most weeks, with the exception of "FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week's" eight consecutive primetime dates, when the pregame show will run for 15 minutes beginning at 7 p.m. ET."

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Occupy Wall St. members on tape dumping bucket of urine and feces in ATM vestibule and down staircase in lower Manhattan, one had stun gun in car

Update, 3/22/12, "A witness gave police the license plate number of the van used to transport the waste, and police were able to match the plate to its registered owner, a Philadelphia man.

He was arrested on Wall Street Saturday on charges of unlawful possession of noxious matter and aggravated unlicensed operation of motor vehicle. Police also recovered a stun gun from inside his vehicle."...

"Surveillance video captured Occupy Wall Street demonstrators just before 8 p.m. on March 14 dragging large quantities of human urine and feces in containers to an open-air plaza at the corner of Nassau and Cedar Streets in Lower Manhattan, then pouring the waste down the stairs there. In a separate incident the same night, approximately 20 minutes later, one of the suspects entered a Chase ATM vestibule on Water Street and poured the human waste inside the vestibule."

3/22/12, "Occupy Protester Dumped Tub of Feces: Police," nbcnewyork.com

"Police are seeking at least two Occupy Wall Street demonstrators suspected of dumping buckets full of urine and feces outside JP Morgan Chase and inside an ATM vestibule.

Jordan Brooks Amos, 25, of Philadelphia, was charged with criminal mischief on March 16 after he was caught on a surveillance camera dumping what police believe to be the protesters’ own waste, a source said.

In the tape, Amos and at least two accomplices are seen carrying a large bucket full of urine and feces and disposing of it down a staircase near the corner of Nassau and Cedar streets, just outside JP Morgan Chase.

About 20 minutes later, one of the men walks into a Chase bank vestibule at 155 Water St. and dumps the waste right by an ATM machine. Amos was in charge of bringing food for protesters at 60 Wall St. and his white van was caught crossing the Brooklyn Bridge several times, a source said.

Police used surveillance images from the bridge and matched it with footage from the dumpings in the Financial District."

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Andy's first day back

Joe Girardi, Andy Pettitte, Larry Rothschild watch spring game v Pirates at The Boss on Pettitte's first day back, 3/20/12, ap Pettitte's first bullpen on first day back talking with Larry Rothschild, Ivan Nova observes, 3/20/12, reuters Andy Pettitte on his first day back before spring training game v Pirates at The Boss, 3/20/12, reuters Andy throws 3 innings in Tampa Class A, 1 run, 4/9/12, ap

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Record high temperatures in northeast due to jet stream being well into Canada allowing warm southern air to move up-Boston Globe

"Even the possibility some areas will make a run at 90° on Thursday" "All of this warm weather is due to the jet stream. The jet, which controls our weather, has moved far north well into Canada. This pattern allows very warm air to move north from the south has turned our weather to be more conducive to June rather than March. This pattern will continue much of the week with even warmer temperatures slated for Wednesday and Thursday. There is even the possibility some areas will make a run at 90° on Thursday putting all-time March temperatures records in jeopardy."... via Tom Nelson, map Boston Globe

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eduardo Nunez recruited to sign autographs for half an hour with sore hand

3/17/12, Bill Madden, "Poor Eduardo Nunez. The Yankee utility infielder has been sidelined for a week with a badly bruised right hand, but it didn't stop George Steinbrenner's son-in-law run amok, Felix (The Gardner) Lopez, from recruiting him to sign autographs for fans, with that same sore hand, for a half an hour before a workout last week."

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'Romance and Reporting of Baseball' taught by Harvey Araton and Dave Kaplan

Spring 2012, "THE ROMANCE AND REPORTING OF BASEBALL," Montclair State University "course is co-taught by NY Times columnist Harvey Araton and Dave Kaplan"

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

'Much was made through the years about Andy Pettitte's friendship with Roger Clemens, but Rivera is Pettitte's best baseball friend,' Kernan, NY Post

6/28/2009, Kernan, NY Post, "Much was made through the years about Andy Pettitte's friendship with Roger Clemens, but Rivera is Pettitte's best baseball friend. Rivera has saved 59 of the lefty's games,* the all-time win/save combo in baseball history, two ahead of Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley.

Then there is the postseason. Mariano owns 34 postseason saves. That's 19 more than anyone else in major league history. "He's the best," Pettitte has said on more than one occasion, a comment echoed by so many Yankees players and management types.

The next save will be No. 500. Expect Rivera to accomplish the feat in his usual efficient and classy style. And don't be shocked if he makes it to 600 saves some day."

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*As of March 17, 2012, The Pettitte-Rivera win-save combo totals 68 in regular season, 11 in post season, for a total of 79. I give honorable mention for The "Bugs" Game, 2007 ALDS Game 2, NYY @ Cleveland which the Yankees lost in 11, but which Pettitte started and Rivera pitched 2 innings with score tied, 9th and 10th, Oct. 5, 2007.

Above, Joba Chamberlain getting bug spray from Gene Monahan during Bugs game.

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Luis Tiant and fans in Fort Myers wear green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day

"Red Sox pitching great Luis Tiant, center, and fans wear festive hats in celebration of St. Patrick's Day at the team's spring training home in Fort Myers, Fla.," Sat. Mar. 17, 2012, ap

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Andy Pettitte on front and back page of Newsday and NY Post, front page NY Daily News, Sat. March 17, 2012

  • Above Andy Pettitte Newsday front page, Sat., March 17, 2012

  • Above Andy Pettitte Newsday back page, Sat., March 17, 2012

Andy Pettitte, NY Daily News front page, Sat. 3/17/12

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Andy Pettitte returning to Yankees for a year

Pettitte talking with reporters at spring training, 2/27/12, Conrad Williams Jr. "Andy Pettitte is coming out of retirement.

Pettitte, after a year away from the game, has agreed to a one-year, $2.5-million minor-league contract, the team announced Friday.

"It really started this winter and continued into the spring," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday....

Cashman said that Pettitte called him in December to talk about it. Cashman had an offer ready for Pettitte, but wanted to be sure Pettitte was ready to commit. At the time, Pettitte wasn't ready for that, Cashman said, adding that Pettitte wanted six weeks to work out and see if he could do it both physically and mentally. By then, Cashman had already signed Hiroki Kuroda and traded for Michael Pineda.

"I've been waking up every morning and going straight to training," Pettitte said Friday.

He is not expected to be ready to start the season in the rotation." Pettitte throwing bp in Tampa, 2/29/12, photo Conrad Williams Jr., Newsday

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blue Jays becoming bigger threat in AL East-Sherman

"The Blue Jays, methodically, have assembled a talent base at both the major and minor league levels that has them poised to turn the AL East into a Fearsome Foursome. That unsettles no one more than what had been the Terrific Trio of New York, Boston and Tampa. As Yankees GM Brian Cashman said, “It is not good for anyone going up against them.”

In a way, this is about well-kept secrets. For example, do you know that the Blue Jays have averaged 83 wins over the last six years, finishing above .500 in five of them? Doesn’t sound like much, except remember they have amassed those totals playing 18 games annually against each of the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. That is one-third of an entire schedule.

You know how hard it is to even win 81 games like the Jays did last year when three teams in your division win at least 90? Or win 85 when three others win at least 89 as occurred in 2010? It is like a mathematical trick or — more aptly — symbolic of just how good Toronto has become.

Here is another thing you might not know: Toronto’s owner, Rogers Communication, just might be the majors’ richest ownership. Thus the money is there to take the payroll to places the Rays could never dream about; keep the homegrown elites that ultimately flee Tampa. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos used the Cubs, Red Sox and Angels as examples of teams he thought Toronto could be equivalent to in creating “a top third payroll” once the Jays become serial contenders.

“That isn’t a guess, that’s a fact,” Anthopoulos said. “It’s a fact because we have done it before.”

Indeed they have. In the four years from 1992-95, the Jays had a top-three payroll, including leading the majors in 1993 and 1995. Not coincidentally, the Jays became the first team to draw more than four million in home attendance in 1991 and did so again in 1992 and ’93, which were both championship seasons. And Anthopoulos believes if the Jays build it (a title contender) they (the fans) will come again and so will monster TV ratings.

We have a whole country to draw from,” Anthopoulos said. “The fan base is 30 million across Canada.”

All that is missing is the hard part: Climb from a good team to a superb one. Nothing less will thrive within the AL East. If they were in any NL division, for example, the Jays might be the favorites. But they could still be fourth best in the AL East and yet no worse than the eighth- or ninth-best team in the sport.

This is not a long-term project anymore,” Cashman said. “They are knocking on the door. It is undeniable that they are going to win and win for a while. They are reaping the benefits of great scouting, patience and doing things right.”

Or as Alex Rodriguez said, “They aren’t a secret anymore.”

Anthopoulos became GM in October 2009. His mandate was to pursue upper-echelon talent, “because in the AL East you either shoot for the moon or it is a waste of time,” Anthopoulos said. So he hired just about more scouts than any team. He accumulated high draft picks. He was willing to take chances on skilled players with reputation problems elsewhere such as Yunel Escobar, Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus. And, yes, he benefitted from the ascension of Jose Bautista from utilityman to superstar, plus a strong group of youngsters left behind by predecessor, J.P. Ricciardi, now a Mets executive.

Toronto is viewed as having a top-three farm system with one scout calling the Jays’ 2011 Double-A team the best he had ever seen. The Jays have formulated “a lineup without an easy out,” Mark Teixeira said.

However, they still have youth around the diamond and particularly in the rotation. The “volatility” of youth that Anthopoulos depicts is the caution flag to predicting a playoff spot. “But we have decided to go with war with talent, and this is the best I have ever felt about our talent.”"...

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cervelli tries to catch Adam Lind popup in Dunedin

"Catcher Francisco Cervelli (17) reaches to field Adam Lind's pop out in foul territory as Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez runs for cover and Yankees manager Joe Girardi watches during the fourth inning" of Grapefruit game v Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., March 14, 2012, ap

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Gunfire at baseball game in Mexico, no players hurt but bullet holes in team bus-AP

"A gunbattle near a baseball stadium in the Mexican city of Saltillo killed three suspected gunmen and sent players scurrying for cover on Tuesday. The local Saraperos team was playing an exhibition match against a local youth team when the gunshots broke out outside the stadium. Photos from the scene showed players pitched face down for protection on the field.

Local media reported there were no injuries among the players or fans, but photos showed what appeared to be bullet holes in the team’s bus. No one answered phone numbers listed for the Saraperos or the stadium.

Sergio Sisbeles, the security spokesman for Coahuila, the northern border state where Saltillo is located, said the gunbattle broke out after gunmen opened fire on a state police patrol on a street near the stadium.

Police chased the gunmen, killing three and wounding another. They seized three rifles and a vehicle...

Gunfire, or reports of gunfire, have disrupted several concerts and sporting events in recent years in Mexico.

Also Tuesday, the U.S. Consulate in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, to the east, issued an emergency message saying it has “received reports of ongoing gun battles throughout the city of Nuevo Laredo. We advise those in Nuevo Laredo not to leave their homes until the situation is resolved.”

Local media reported heavy gun fire, but city officials were not immediately available for comment."

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bernie Williams at Yankee Spring Training game v Red Sox

"Hitting coach Kevin Long, manager Joe Girardi and former Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams talk during" spring training game v Red Sox at The Boss, 3/13/12, reuters

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Extra man in Yankee dugout also gives speeches

3/10/12, Bill Madden, "We’re betting Joe Girardi didn’t know he was going to have an extra set of eyes and ears on the bench with him this spring. That would account for the look of astonishment on the Yankee manager’s face when, a couple of times in early exhibition games, he looked down the dugout and saw none other than Felix (The Gardner) Lopez sitting there, cheering the boys on. George Steinbrenner’s son-in-law apparently doesn’t know that his job as Steinbrenner Field supervisor does not extend to being in the dugout during games. Still, Felix the Gardner continues to act as if he’s an extension of the late Boss. Before one of the Yankees’ first Grapefruit League games (on a day Hal Steinbrenner was conveniently out of town), Lopez decided to deliver a pregame pep talk to Yankee players. After rambling on incomprehensibly for 10 minutes, invoking something about “playing with heart” numerous times, he left with players shaking their heads in bemusement."

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Yankee 2012 spring training games on WCBS radio, YES Network, or ESPN

2/15/2012, "Yankees post spring training broadcast schedule," Ken McMillan, HudsonValley.com

March

  • Sun. 4 vs. Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (YES, WCBS);
  • Wed. 7 vs. Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (YES);
  • Fri. 9 vs. Atlanta, 1 p.m. (YES);
  • Sun. 11 vs. Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (YES, WCBS);
  • Tues. 13 vs. Boston, 7 p.m. (YES, WCBS);
  • Fri. 16 vs. Washington, 1 p.m. (YES);
  • Sat. 17 vs. Houston, 1 p.m. (YES, WCBS);
  • Tues. 20 vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (YES);
  • Wed. 21 vs. Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (ESPN);
  • Thur. 22 vs. Boston, 7 p.m. (YES, ESPN);
  • Fri. 23 vs. Minnesota, 1 p.m. (YES);
  • Sun. 25 vs. Detroit, 1 p.m. (YES, WCBS);
  • Tues. 27 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m. (YES, WCBS);
  • Wed. 28 vs. Atlanta, 1 p.m. (ESPN);
  • Thur. 29 vs. Baltimore, 7 p.m. (YES);
  • Fri. 30 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m. (YES, WCBS)
April
  • Sun. 1 vs. Miami, 1 p.m. (YES, WCBS);
  • Tues. 3 vs. Mets, 2 p.m. (YES, WCBS);
  • Wed. 4 vs. Mets, 12 p.m. (YES, WCBS)...*Update 4/3/12, Now they're saying Pettitte will pitch one inning in the Wed. 4/4 Mets game.

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Cosell: 'Gil Hodges the most popular player to ever wear the Brooklyn Dodger uniform'

The Times includes a short radio clip of Howard Cosell introducing the Mets first Grapefruit League game which was also their first game ever, March 19, 1962. Cosell speaks briefly with Gil Hodges at the open. Audio courtesy of Marc Gold.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dodger fan celebrates after catching Matt Kemp home run ball in Cactus game v Rangers

"A fan, top, wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers' jersey celebrates after catching a home run ball hit by Dodgers' Matt Kemp in the third inning of the Dodgers' 9-0 victory over the Texas Rangers during a spring training baseball game on Friday, March 9, 2012, in Surprise, Ariz.

Rainbow over Jet Blue Stadium before start of Pirates-Red Sox game in Ft. Myers, 3/9/12, getty

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Friday, March 09, 2012

Spring training eateries in Tampa Bay area near Yankees, Phillies, Blue Jays, Pirates, and Orioles

"This week, we're thinking baseball. One of the joys of living in Florida is being able to tour the various spring training parks within a drive of the Tampa Bay area, soaking up 80-degree sunshine while chilling with a hotdog and beer. But sometimes we want to extend the day by grabbing a bite at one of the fun eateries near the ballpark. Here are a few of our favorites.

La Teresita, 3248 W. Columbus Drive, (813) 879-9704; (New York Yankees) — A short drive from Legends Field, this West Tampa landmark offers authentic Spanish cuisine in a casual setting (don't let the waiters in white shirts and black bow ties fool you). We're especially big fans of the signature Roast Pork and Chicken and Yellow Rice.

Lenny's, 21220 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater, (727) 799-0402; (Philadelphia Phillies) Phillies fans will appreciate the atmosphere as much as the great breakfasts (Redneck Benedict or Scrapple, anyone?), lunches (deli favorites, piled high) and Jewish favorites (knishes, latkes and bagels). The walls are lined with enough memorabilia to make any Philly native feel right at home, as will the attentive wait staff.

Kelly's For Just About Anything, 319 Main St., Dunedin, (727) 736-5284; (Toronto Blue Jays) — Downtown Dunedin has become a fashionable late-night destination, with its numerous restaurants and bars within walking distance. Kelly's menu ranges from basic (burgers, salads) to more standard dinner fare (Cornish game hens, baby-back ribs), but in an inviting, eclectic setting. Cap off your night next door with a martini at the Chic a Boom Room.

Charisma Café and Art, 1004 Tenth Ave., Bradenton, (941) 748-8203; (Pittsburgh Pirates) Take in a little culture after the game. This quaint 1920s home, at The Village of the Arts, includes a restaurant that highlights healthy options such as smoothies and sandwiches, and salads that feature ingredients such as hummus, taboule and sunflower seeds. Be sure to walk around and take in the bright colors and works of local artists.

Hob Nob Drive In, 1701 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 955-5001; (Baltimore Orioles)Patrons will get a good idea of what they'll experience as soon as they approach the 1950s-style exterior. We're talking drive-in favorites such as hefty burgers, onion rings and milk shakes, served curbside so you don't even have to find a table — just like your parents would have enjoyed it 50 years ago.

Yeah, we know. You think we're clueless because we didn't include your favorite place on our list, right? Tell us about it at TBO.com, search: Short List"

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Yankee David Robertson makes Newsday back page

Yankee set up man David Robertson has foot sprain, Newsday back page, Fri., March 9, 2012. "Yankees fans are used to seeing David Robertson walk onto the mound in the eighth inning. You could make the argument that he is the third most important pitcher on the team behind CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera.

So when he came out of the clubhouse double doors at Steinbrenner Field on crutches with a walking boot on his right foot late yesterday morning, it was a startling sight.

This day was a not-so gentle reminder that nothing is guaranteed in major league baseball. One slip and fall can change everything. And, yes, you can never have too much pitching."...

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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Judge in potential Mets jury trial is Yankee fan and partial season ticket holder-NY Times

3/7/12, NY Times, Sandomir, "Rakoff, regarded as a brilliant but unpredictable jurist, alone will question the jury pool. He is a Yankees fan and a partial season-ticket holder. So his neutrality is assured and seems unlikely to be affected by his rooting interests. Anyway, the role of the opposing lawyers in shaping the makeup of the jury will be somewhat limited.

Experts suggest that both sides probably already know the sort of jury makeup they want, and that mock trials have likely yielded juror profiles. But neither side will get all it wants.

“The real challenge is to ferret out latent prejudices, so it’s extremely important for lawyers to suggest questions to the judge beyond those the judge would use to elicit obvious biases,” said Mark Zauderer, a partner at Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer in Manhattan. Rakoff need not use their questions.

According to several lawyers and a jury consultant, the trustee will want jurors who resent millionaires."...

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

YES Network is worth much more than the Yankees-Neil Best

3/5/12, Neil Best, "But none can match YES in viewership or value. At an estimated $2 billion to $3 billion, it is worth much more than the team itself. (The Yankees actually own less than half of the network; Goldman Sachs also is a major stakeholder.)

Tracy Dolgin, YES' president since 2004, acknowledged the obvious Monday, which is that the network benefits from the team's commitment to consistently contending. That helps not only with advertising but, more importantly, in securing the subscriber fees that are the bulk of every regional sports network's revenues. YES is believed to command about $3 per household per month.

Beyond that, Dolgin said the channel focuses on quality and reinvestment, just as the team does. "The ethos of the Yankees created the ethos of the YES Network," he said....

Dolgin was unapologetic about the Yankees-centric point of view, saying flatly that YES "is a homer network" like all regional sports networks, team-owned or not.

"I use the word 'homer' proudly, as opposed to a journalist fearing that word," he said. "When you are watching a game, I'm very proud to say we're rooting for the home team on our air."

That does not mean ignoring negative developments, he said, especially in an information age in which "even if you wanted to, you can't hide the facts." But bad news, like good news, is discussed through a Yankees-fan prism.

(In fairness, SNY personalities have been openly critical of the Mets in ways YES never has been about the Yankees.)

Dolgin said the network makes its own decisions but admitted the Yankees seek input, as most teams do with their local rights-holders. Then again, some teams are louder than others. "The Yankees do have very strong opinions of their brand, because frankly, it's the best," Dolgin said.

As rich and powerful as the Yankees have made YES, its winter schedule has been limited by the state of the Nets, whose ratings are by far the NBA's worst.

The hope is that next season's move to Brooklyn will make the franchise more successful and relevant, adding to YES' value to distributors. "They have only one direction to go at this point," Dolgin said of the Nets....

Dolgin said YES' task in the next five years is to not grow complacent and "keep reinventing ourselves."

8/2/2007, "Goldman Sachs would consider YES Network sale for right offer," AP, USA Today

(I find SNY's studio productions easier to watch. ed.)

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Monday, March 05, 2012

Imus calls Rush Limbaugh an "insincere pig"

"Don Imus went into a vicious attack against Rush Limbaugh on his local morning show in New York today. Imus suggested that if he owned a radio station he would pull Rush Limbaugh's program. Limbaugh appears on over 500 radio stations coast-to-coast and has been the most successful radio talk show host in history by any measure. Don Imus... not so much."

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Fire Dept. called to clear out swarm of bees at SF Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks game

Game delayed 41 minutes while Fire Dept. removed bees. "The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants were in the top of the second inning of an exhibition game Sunday afternoon when the bees arrived en masse, entering the field over the right center-field wall, flying directly over the infield and settling in the Giants’ dugout.

Fire officials were summoned, and it took 41 minutes to clear out the bees and get on with the ballgame. The incident took place in the most deluxe spring-training stadium, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The facility opened a year ago and is shared by the Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

The Diamondbacks and Rockies were involved in the last game delayed by bees, before the teams moved to Scottsdale from spring training sites in Tucson, Ariz. In 2005, a game at Tucson Electric Park was delayed 20 minutes. A bee delay also occurred at the same stadium in 2003.

Diamondbacks ace Ian Kennedy was pitching when the bees disrupted play. The Giants had runners on second and third and Freddy Sanchez was at the plate with one out. Rarely has a rally been halted in such a strange fashion.

As the swarm moved slowly over the outfield with most fans unaware of the situation, Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young began making a, er, beeline for the dugout.

“I heard it before I saw it,” Young said. “It’s not the first time it’s happened, so somehow I knew what was going on.”...

Fans above the Giants’ dugout evacuated their seats, and a message on the scoreboard explained the reason for the delay. Officials say it did not appear that anyone was stung or injured.

“When you have how many millions of bees swarming around, it’s not fun,” Diamondbacks shortstop Willie Bloomquist said. “Get out of the way and let the authorities take over.”

The game resumed 41 minutes later and apparently the Diamondbacks were the more shaken of the two teams: The Giants went on to win 11-1."

Clumps of bees on dugout railing, AP

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