Thursday, February 27, 2014

WADA says will look into Russian athletes reportedly inhaling Xenon gas which isn't banned by WADA but encourages production of performance enhancing hormone EPO

2/26/14, "Russia sees ‘nothing wrong’ in athletes inhaling xenon," AFP via Raw Story

"The use of the gas xenon to improve the performance of athletes is not banned and there would be “nothing wrong” if Russian athletes were using it, a top Russian medical official said Wednesday.

Germany’s WDR television this week and other reports this month claimed that top Russian athletes have been using xenon to improve their performance at Olympic Games from Athens 2004 right up to the just completed Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

Inhaling the gas encourages the production in the body of the hormone Erythropoietin (EPO) which encourages the formation of red blood cells in the body to improve performance.

Externally injecting EPO is regarded as flagrant doping and its illegal use became notorious in particular among cyclists in the Tour de France.

The use of another method to stimulate the natural production of EPO inside the body is not outlawed and regarded by many experts as a grey area.

The head of Russia’s Federal Biomedical Agency (FMBA), in the first reaction by a Russian official to the reports, said it was possible the gas was being used by Russian athletes, without confirming further.

Xenon is not an illegal gas,” said FMBA chief Vladimir Uiba, quoted by Russian news agencies.
“We have a principle not to use what is forbidden by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).”

“It is possible that our sportsmen have been using xenon inhalators but there is nothing wrong with that.

“We use what is not illegal, is not destructive and does not have side effects,” he added.

Russia’s athletes enjoyed a hugely successful Winter Games in Sochi, winning 13 gold medals and topping the final medals table.

The country until recent years had a dire reputation for the doping of athletes dating back to the Soviet system. However Russia has now take steps to clean up its act including the creation of its own anti-doping agency RUSADA.

According to a report in The Economist in early February, a document formulated by the research institute of the Russian defence ministry in 2010 set out guidelines for the administration of xenon gas to athletes."


2/27/14, "Sochi 2014: Russia Winter Olympics 'gas' claims investigated," BBC

"The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has promised to take action over claims Russian athletes inhaled performance-enhancing gas at the Winter Olympics. 

German broadcaster WDR reports athletes used the noble gas xenon, which academic studies say causes an increase of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO). It is forbidden to artificially increase the amount of EPO in the body.

Wada president Craig Reedie said: "Our commission which monitors the banned substance list will take on the issue."

WDR alleges that xenon has been used by the Russia for years and that the country's ministries of sport and defence recommended its use "with the aim of improving the performance of the athletes" and because the gas "is not monitored by Wada". 

Using pharmaceutical methods to increase oxygen intake, thus improving performance, is banned by Wada. But using another method to stimulate the natural production of EPO is not outlawed and regarded as a grey area by some.

Hosts Russia enjoyed a successful Winter Olympics in Sochi, winning 13 gold medals to top the medal table."

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WOR radio in NYC looking for 'superstar to host nightly sports talk show'



Clear Channel Communications- New York City, NY

Sports, news/talk and general radio programming principles. Candidate ... submit your resume to Sports Talk Show Host for WOR 710AM. Clear...
2 days ago from Job.com." 
2/26/14, "WOR SPORTS TALK HOST," job.com

Job Description


Tracking Code
Job Description

Clear Channel Communications, Inc. is the world s largest radio and outdoor advertising company with leading market positions in each of its two business segments; Media & Entertainment and Outdoor. Clear Channel is also one of the most innovative media players in the market a leader in the converging media space, having developed best-in-class integrated media offers (e. g Radio/Web) and having built significant positions in the HD arena.

We are on the hunt for a superstar to host a nightly sports talk show. The successful candidate will have the proven ability to host a sports talk show along with an understanding of sports, news/talk and general radio programming principles. Candidate should have a strong knowledge of baseball particularly. Need to embrace the top sports news, pop culture, and topics of the day and make it fun with big personality.

Required Skills

Ideal candidate must possess

Be social media savvy

Have the ability to think clearly and quickly under pressure situations

Be creative with callers and work well with your producer

Demonstrate solid news judgment

Exercise self-discipline and time-management skills

Ability to work well and in a professional under pressure and tight deadlines

Must enjoy being promotionally active with listeners and clients

Required Experience

MUST HAVE - Minimum of 3 years on-air experience and have a deep knowledge of all FCC rules and regulations.

To apply, go directly onto our website, www. clearchannel. comand submit your resume to Sports Talk Show Host for WOR 710AM.

Clear Channel is an equal opportunity employer and will not tolerate discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, ethnicity, national origin, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected classification or status.

Job Location
NEW YORK, New York, United States
Position Type
Full-Time/Regular" via NY Radio Message Board. Bruce Jacobs suggested. And of course Sid Rosenberg.


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Frank Robinson among 11 Cincinnati Reds team members on What's My Line, June 24, 1956 a day the Reds beat Brooklyn Dodgers in both games of doubleheader

On June 24, 1956, 11 Cincinnati Reds were "mystery guests" on What's My Line game show. Among the 11 team members was Frank Robinson in his first year in the majors. The team spokesman was 1B Ted Kluszewski. At 3:47 Bennett Cerf guesses they're a baseball team. At 4:00 Arlene Francis guesses "you won today." At 5:40 Arlene guesses it's the Reds. Frank Robinson is seen in a few wide shots beginning at 5:56. At 6:40 Ted introduces team members by name. Ed Bailey hit 3 home runs in the first game v the Dodgers as pointed out by Bennett Cerf. First game final 10-6 Reds. Second game Reds over Dodgers 2-1, Joe Nuxall winning pitcher. In game 1, Robinson scored 3 runs. In game 2, 2-1 Reds, Frank Robinson got 3 hits and one of the two rbi's. 1956 Cincinnati Redlegs team members.


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Monday, February 24, 2014

10 Yankee pre-season games on WFAN with John and Suzyn begin Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 at 12:55pm

Feb. 14, 2014, 10 Yankee spring training games on WFAN 660 AM, 101.9FM

"John Sterling And Suzyn Waldman Return As Radio Voice Of The Famed Team Marking 10th Year Calling Games Together"

"WFAN’s New York Yankees pre-season schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Feb. 27 (1:05PM) vs. Pirates
Saturday, March 8 (1:05PM) at Astros
Sunday, March 9 (1:05PM) vs. Rays
Saturday, March 15 (1:05PM) at Orioles
Sunday, March 16 (1:05PM) vs. Braves
Tuesday, March 18 (1:05PM) vs. Red Sox
Saturday, March 22 (1:05PM) at Twins
Sunday, March 23 (1:05PM) vs. Blue Jays
Tuesday, March 25 (7:05PM) vs. Phillies
Saturday, March 29 (1:05PM) vs. Marlins

(A five-minute pre-game show will precede each broadcast)"


Comment: I heard a promo on WFAN yesterday saying Thursday's broadcast starts at 12:55 pm.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

NY State taxpayers give NBC 30% tax credit worth $20+ million a year for its Fallon late night show in NY City

2/22/14, "Tax break helps NYC lure 'The Tonight Show' home," AP, J. Lemire

A "30 percent tax credit aimed at luring "Tonight" away from California after four decades is reportedly saving NBC more than $20 million a year....The language of the 30 percent annual tax credit was remarkably specific: It would only benefit a show that had filmed at least five years in another state before moving to New York (check), spends at least $30 million in production costs (check) and films in front of a studio audience of at least 200 people (check). In other words: "The Tonight Show.""...


3/21/13, "Exclusive: Tentative state budget includes ‘Jimmy Fallon’ tax credit to lure ‘The Tonight Show’ back to New York," NY Daily News, Kenneth Lovett

"Budget documents state that ‘a talk or variety program’ that gets the credit ‘must be filmed before a studio audience’ of at least 200, have a production budget of at least $30 million or run at least $10 million in capital expenses — and has to have been shot outside New York for at least 5 seasons prior to relocation."

"Call it the Jimmy Fallon tax credit.

Quietly tucked into tentative state budget is a provision that would help NBC move “The Tonight Show” back to New York, the Daily News has learned.

The provision would make state tax credits available for the producers of “a talk or variety program that filmed at least five seasons outside the state prior to its first relocated season in New York,” budget documents show.

The state's tax credit for movies filmed in New York is to include for the first time certain television shows. And not just any shows, but “a talk or variety program that filmed at least five seasons outside the state prior to its first relocated season in New York,” according to budget documents.

In addition, the episodes “must be filmed before a studio audience” of at least 200 people. And the program must have an annual production budget of at least $30 million or incur at least $10 million a year in capital expenses.

In other words, a program exactly like “The Tonight Show.”

The iconic program is not identified by name in the documents, but reports are circulating that NBC is preparing to replace host Jay Leno with Fallon and move the granddaddy of late-night TV shows back to New York, which it left in 1972.

Said one Cuomo aide, “This is simply part of our ongoing effort to attract more entertainment to the state and more economic activity.”

NBC is building Fallon a new studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza — but it has not announced that it will relocate “The Tonight Show” from California.

New York already gives companies producing movies or television series in the state a tax credit equal to 30% of production costs. It costs the state $420 million in revenue a year.

But under current law, only shows that start up in New York are eligible for the credit — not shows that relocate to the state.
NBC confirmed Wednesday, March 20, that it's creating a new studio for Fallon in New York, where he hosts "Late Night." 
Details of the budget provision were first reported on nydailynews.com.

Aides to Gov. Cuomo denied Thursday that the new provision was written specifically with "Tonight" in mind.

“It’s meant to attract shows to New York that are currently in other states that can generate economic revenue and tourism,” said one Cuomo aide.

The aide said NBC has not even confirmed it is moving the show back to New York.

This is simply part of our ongoing effort to attract more entertainment to the state and more economic activity,” he insisted.

NBC declined to comment.

Under the tentative budget, which was hammered out by legislative leaders and Gov. Cuomo this week, the entire film and television tax credit program would be extended through 2019."...

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Throwing strikes and worrying about your family back in Venezuela during media blackout

2/18/14, "Throwing strikes and worrying about your family back in Venezuela," Silvio Canto, Jr., American Thinker

"Spring training will have a new meaning for many Venezuelan ballplayers, who must get in shape and keep an eye on the news back home....

Every major league team these days has its share of Venezuelan players. The Texas Rangers have a couple of good ones, young lefty Martin Perez and All Star shortstop Elvis Andrus.  They are torn between events back home and getting ready for the baseball season, according to The Dallas Morning News:

"Just as spring training camps were about to open last week, the country was rocked by a wave of student protests and police retaliation. In the days since, it has only ramped up. On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, under fire for rising inflation, food shortages and sharp increases in crime, ejected three U.S. diplomats for allegedly helping to fuel the protests, which have turned deadly in some of the country's biggest cities.   

It is against this backdrop that Perez and six other Venezuelan-born players on the Rangers' spring roster prepare for the season. With the exception of Elvis Andrus, who is arriving from Dallas on Tuesday, all the players made it to camp safely. Before Monday's first workout, the Venezuelan contingent, all close, congregated near Robinson Chirinos to talk baseball, but the state of their homeland also came up."..." 

2/17/14, "Rangers' Venezuelan players concerned about safety of family and friends as political unrest uproots home country," Dallas Morning News, Evan Grant, Surprise, Ariz. Twitter @ scantojr.


2/19/14, Bloodshed in Venezuela, Altamira, Caracas shooting 2/19/2014, You Tube

If you think the Canadian embassy in Kyiv is close to the violence, take a look at what happened last night in Caracas.

This is in Plaza Altamira . The Canadian Embassy in Venezuela is across from where this was shot

Having a hard time seeing a peaceful solution to the current situation." comment at You Tube


2/19/14, "Tupamaros en el marqués!"

 "Published on Feb 19, 2014 [civilian murdered at 1:52 per blog below]

Se meten en los edificios, roban, matan y la oposición son los asesinos y fascistas! Dictadura en Venezuela SOS"


via 2/20/14, "Venezuela: Shooting in the streets," faustasblog.com

"Caracas Chronicles has harrowing videos of last night’s events:

TODAY’s MUST-READ: 19F – The Night Venezuela Finally Imploded
It gets worse. In this video [2nd video above], you can see the National Guard murdering a civilian in La Candelaria (at 1:52)"

"From the Caracas Chronicles comments:

Venezuela’s president has shout douwn TV news.
Internet is the only hope for Venezuelans.

We are the media now. PLEASE SHARE. We can do something by sharing this with the world!!
Twitter: JGpunto

News media:

Prosecutors want up to 10 years in prison for Leopoldo López

The Venezuelan opposition leader was charged with the crimes of arson and damages, solicitation to crime and conspiracy. The latter is the most serious one and it is designated in the Organic Law against Organized Crime and Funding of Terrorism, punished by imprisonment for 10 years

The US and Canada bring up Venezuela at the OAS: EEUU y Canadá llevan a OEA caso de Venezuela

Fourth Venezuela Opposition Protester Dies as Demonstrations Continue

At Least Five People, Including a Government Supporter, Have Died Since Demonstrations Turned Violent Last Week

Álvaro Uribe accuses Maduro’s government of “fueling violence”

Uribe called upon the democratic world to require the release “at the earliest possible” of opposition leader Leopoldo López who turned himself into Venezuelan authorities during a demonstration in Caracas


Exclusive: Read the Speech Venezuelan Opposition Leader Leopoldo López Made Before He Was Jailed"


via, 2/21/14, "Venezuela is a lot more than the birth place of great shortstops," American Thinker, Silvio Canto, Jr.

Comment: I appreciate Mr. Canto's efforts but the people running the US now are like Ruling Classes everywhere. They need the masses to be preoccupied with chaos, misery, and death. Susan

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jeter retirement announcement, Newsday back page

Newsday back page Thurs. Feb. 20, 2014

2/19/14, "Derek Jeter, right, acknowledged Yankees fans before his news conference on Wednesday. Barton Silverman/The New York Times"

"Jeter did not spend much time reflecting on his career. He conceded that he had largely hidden his feelings and personal life because “that’s just how I felt I’d be able to make it this long in New York.”...

“Being a Yankee,” he said, “is good enough for me.”"
2/19/14, "Preparing to Retire, Jeter Prefers to Discuss Work," NY Times, David Waldstein


2/19/14, Team mates watch Yankee Captain Derek Jeter's retirement announcement, Sipkin, NY Daily News

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Plenty of California water for export, desert land growing hay for export to China gets water while prime Calif. farmland, cattle die, water going to China could supply million families a year-BBC

2/18/14, “California drought: Why some farmers are ‘exporting water’ to China,” BBC, Alastair Leithead

  Image above:The drought-stricken Central Valley (left) contrasts with the lush Imperial Valley, which gets water through a canal from the Colorado river.” image BBC 

While historic winter storms have battered much of the US, California is suffering its worst drought on record. So why is America’s most valuable farming state using billions of gallons of water to grow hay – specifically alfalfa – which is then shipped to China?
“This should be like Eden right now,” farmer John Dofflemyer says, looking out over a brutally dry, brown valley as his remaining cows feed on the hay he’s had to buy in to keep them healthy.

In the dried-up fields of California’s Central Valley, farmers like Dofflemyer are selling their cattle. Others have to choose which crops get the scarce irrigation water and which will wither.

“These dry times, this drought, has a far-reaching impact well beyond California,” he said as the cattle fell in line behind his small tractor following the single hay bail on the back. “We have never seen anything like this before – it’s new ground for everybody.”

California is the biggest agricultural state in the US – half the nation’s fruit and vegetables are grown here.

Farmers are calling for urgent help, people in cities are being told to conserve water and the governor is warning of record drought.

But at the other end of the state the water is flowing as the sprinklers are making it rain in at least one part of southern California.

The farmers are making hay while the year-round sun shines, and they are exporting cattle-feed to China.

The southern Imperial Valley, which borders Mexico, draws its water from the Colorado river along the blue liquid lifeline of the All American Canal.

It brings the desert alive with hundreds of hectares of lush green fields – much of it alfalfa hay, a water-hungry but nutritious animal feed which once propped up the dairy industry here, and is now doing a similar job in China.

“A hundred billion gallons of water per year is being exported in the form of alfalfa from California,” argues Professor Robert Glennon from Arizona College of Law.

“It’s a huge amount. It’s enough for a year’s supply for a million families - it’s a lot of water, particularly when you’re looking at the dreadful drought throughout the south-west.”

Manuel Ramirez from K&M Press is an exporter in the Imperial Valley, and his barns are full of hay to be compressed, plastic-wrapped, packed directly into containers and driven straight to port where they are shipped to Asia and the Middle East.

“The last few years there has been an increase in exports to China. We started five years back and the demand for alfalfa hay has increased,” he says.

“It’s cost effective. We have abundance of water here which allows us to grow hay for the foreign market.”

Cheap water rights and America’s trade imbalance with China make this not just viable, but profitable.

“We have more imports than exports so a lot of the steamship lines are looking to take something back,” Glennon says. “And hay is one of the products which they take back.”

It’s now cheaper to send alfalfa from LA to Beijing than it is to send it from the Imperial Valley to the Central Valley....

Alfalfa farmer Ronnie Langrueber believes he’s doing his bit to help the American economy out of recession.

“In my opinion it’s part of the global economy,”
he says, adding that only a fraction of the hay goes to China.

“We have to do something to balance that trade imbalance, and alfalfa is a small part we can do in the Imperial Valley to help that.”

He believes the whole “exporting water” argument is nonsense – that all agricultural exports contain water – and that there are few better uses for it.

“Is it more efficient to use water for a golf course for the movie stars?” Langrueber said. “Or is it more efficient for farmers to use it to grow a crop and export it and create this mass economic engine that drives the country?”

Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates all buy Californian hay. The price is now so high that many local dairy farmers and cattle ranchers can’t afford the cost when the rains fail and their usual supplies are insufficient. But they have to buy what they can.

Cattle rancher John Dofflemyer certainly sees it as exporting water abroad he resents the fact hay is sent overseas.

Hay trucks are a common sight heading north up the road from the Imperial Valley – despite the high prices, the cattle farmers have to buy what they can.

Even with recent rains in northern California there’s still a critical shortage of water. Drought is often an excuse for politicians to build dams or reduce environmental controls, but it’s no long-term fix.

In those places awash with water – where global trade distorts the local market -
decisions need to be made by those without something to gain.

That’s where it gets even more complicated.” images from BBC

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Positive results for UC Riverside baseball hitters after brain exercises, study published in Current Biology-LA Times

2/17/14, "Better baseball batting through brain science," LA Times, Geoffrey Mohan

"The brain specialists on the UC Riverside campus might have proved Yogi Berra right: 90% of baseball really is mental, regardless of Yogi’s calculations about “the other half.”

The Highlanders baseball team can thank the neuroscience department for about 42 more runs and five wins last season, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Current Biology. Nineteen of the players took part in an experiment aimed at sharpening the way their visual cortex processes stimuli, improving their visual acuity by an average of 31%, according to the study.

On the field, the players laid off bad pitches and saw the good ones much better, getting fewer strikeouts and scoring or batting in more runs, according to the study.

Researchers compared the output of the Riverside players to that of a control group of 78 similar league players, and found the Highlanders’ improvements exceeded what would be expected from simply maturing and playing additional games.

The experiment may have been a boost to the baseball program, which nonetheless had a losing 22-32 last season, but the science aims more at improving the sight of more than 100 million people worldwide with serious vision impairment, said the study's lead investigator Aaron R. Seitz, a cognitive neuroscientist at the university who specializes in perceptual learning.

“What we think we’re doing is improving the brain’s ability to read out information from the eyes,” Seitz said.

The 19 players came to the lab for 30 sessions of looking at patterns for 25 minutes, and their results were compared with those of 18 pitchers who didn’t undergo the training. The patterns, known as Gabor patches, have been shown to stimulate neurons in the early visual cortex, Seitz said.

All of the players were pretty sharp-sighted to begin with, with few significant differences among them. But the eye chart results for those who underwent the training were at times astonishing – Seitz had to move some of the players 40 feet away from a standard eye chart, and they read right down to the bottom line.

Seven of the players scored 20/7.5, meaning they could read from 20 feet what mere mortals would be able to read from 7.5 feet or closer.

Still, such training is notoriously difficult to translate to the real world and, after all, baseball is played on a field, not on paper, and not in a lab.

“When we first spoke with the coach, what he said was if you can make a 1% difference in their playing it would be huge,” Seitz said. “Baseball at a collegiate level is highly competitive, so anything that gives them any edge has a big impact in determining if they’re going to win or lose a game.”

Seitz and his colleagues became Highlander fans, compiling and analyzing the team’s results through the 2013 season, and comparing them with control groups and previous seasons. Post-doctoral student Jenni Deveau and psychology professor Daniel J. Ozer applied the statistical methods made famous by Bill James, whose “Pythagorean theorem of baseball” revolutionized the analysis of the sport, depicted in the book and movie “Moneyball.”

“I must admit that I’m now becoming a baseball fan,” Seitz said. “Whenever the UCR team was playing, I would just be checking the scores every five minutes on my phone.”

Baseball coach Doug Smith told researchers that his players' judgment of the strike zone improved, leading them to get on base more often and drive in or score more runs.

The researchers will continue to work with the baseball team and are expanding the experiment to the women’s softball team and the basketball program.

That will give Seitz and his team a much bigger sample than the 19 players, only 11 of whom played in two seasons. Researchers also will use brain scanning and other techniques to figure out what aspect of visual processing is changing.

“This really is an early stage of the research,” Seitz said. “We’ve been able to demonstrate that there’s something interesting going on. But there’s a lot more to be understood.”"


2/17/14, "Improved vision and on-field performance in baseball through perceptual learning," cell.com, Jenni Deveau, Daniel J. Ozer and Aaron R. Seitz. Dept. of Psychology, University of California Riverside

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Ticket price for last Jeter home game doubled after his retirement announcement

2/15/14, ""Ticket prices to Derek Jeter's Yankee Stadium finale could triple Mariano Rivera's," Star-Ledger, Brendan Kuty

"If you spent hundreds to see Mariano Rivera's last game at Yankee Stadium, expect to pay more to see Derek Jeter's.

Ticket prices for Jeter's regular-season finale in The Bronx look to well outpace those of Rivera's last year, according to a spokesman for TiqIQ, a secondary market ticket aggregate.

The average price for the Yankees' Sept. 25 game against Baltimore is around $619 — up more than 104 percent from the approximately $304 it would have cost before Jeter announced he'd retire after the 2014 season via Facebook Wednesday, according to TiqIQ.

Compare that to the average price of about $237 for a ticket to Rivera's last game at the stadium. That price was actually much lower than the $467 peak it reached when the closer announced his retirement on March 9, 2013." Yankees 2014 season schedule

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sochi, Russia is a subtropical climate, one of warmest places in Russia in winter. For $1 billion/day global warming industry it's perfect place to stage Winter Olympics. With world watching they can say warm temps are due to global warming and US taxpayers must pay billions-NY Times

In 2012 alone $1 billion a day was "invested" in the notion of "global warming.

2/7/14, "The End of Snow?" NY Times, Porter Fox, op-ed. "Of the 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics, as few as 10 might be cold enough by midcentury to host them again."...


3/6/2010, "Tarnishing Hockey’s Golden Moment," NY Times, Dave Anderson

Subtropical Sochi, NY Times
"Questions about the Sochi site add to the situation. The Winter Games there would be an “economic and ecological catastrophe,” Boris Y. Nemtsov, a former Russian deputy prime minister, told Foreign Policy magazine last week.

“He,” Nemtsov said, referring to Putin, “has found one of the only places in Russia where there is no snow in the winter. He has decided to build these ice rinks in the warmest part of the warmest region. Sochi is subtropical. There is no tradition of snow or hockey there. In Sochi, we prefer football, volleyball and swimming. Other parts of Russia need ice palaces. We don’t. Sometimes, it seems like God doesn’t even want the Olympics in Sochi.” 

Nemtsov said the “bigger concerns are organized crime, which is very active there, and government corruption.”

He added that “roughly 5,000 people were forced out” of their homes to create room for Olympic facilities but that “thanks to the corruption and incompetence of authorities,” those people have not been “adequately compensated for their property or been given equivalent housing elsewhere, as they were promised.”"...photo caption, "A subtropical climate is one of the issues Sochi, Russia, is facing as the host of the 2014 Games," photo NY Times


2/11/14, "Don't sweat it: Sochi's warm weather explained," CNN, Brandon Miller, Meteorologist 
"Most people think of Russia in winter and picture the snow-covered cathedrals of Moscow, where average temperatures in February range between minus 10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) and minus 4 C (24.8 F) and all but require the wearing of those iconic fur hats.

Sochi, however, is one of the southernmost cities in Russia.

It's located over 1,000 km south of Moscow and has a completely different climate. Indeed, on most winter days, Sochi (and the nearby town of Adler, where many of the events are being held) are the warmest locations in the country."...

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Tanaka in the bullpen in Tampa, Feb. 13, 2014

2/14/14, "New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, of Japan, throws a bullpen session during practice at the Yankees' minor league facility Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Tampa, Fla.," AP 

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/02/14/3935275/alex-rodriguez-locker-kept-open.html#storylink=cpy

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Parachute work at Mets camp

2/12/14, "Eric Young Jr does extra work, running with the resistance of a parachute, Wednesday in Port St. Lucie," Adam Rubin, ESPN. 2/13/14, "Morning Briefing: Gift basket for Jeter?"

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Fan sign, 'Mystique & Aura appearing nightly,' World Series game 5, 11/2/2001, Tim Sullivan column, 11/2/2001, 'Mystique, aura, and timely hits'

11/2/2001, "Mystique, aura and timely hits," Tim Sullivan, Cincinnati Enquirer
11/2/01, Yankee Stadium
"They are the living dead. They are the zombies you can't completely kill, the creatures who have populated our horror films since Dracula was in diapers.

They are the New York Yankees. They are living/undead proof that the game is never over until the last out is made and the vampire has a stake through his heart the size of a Lousiville Slugger.

Thursday night, for the second World Series game in succession, the three-time defending world champions came off the mat one out from defeat and rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 in 12 innings.

On this night, the last-gasp hero was Scott Brosius, whose two-out two-run home run brought the Yankees even in the bottom of the ninth. The night before, it had been Tino Martinez.
On this night, it was Alfonso Soriano's single that delivered the winning run. The night before it had been a home run by Derek Jeter.

“You see it time and time again — our team doesn't give up,” Jeter said. “Until we make our final out, we feel we can win.”

“The heart of this team is signified with what we're doing,” outfielder Paul O'Neill said.

The World Series returns to Arizona with the Yankees holding a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven event. The Diamondbacks will have Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling pitching in Phoenix. The Yankees will counter with Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens and karma.

Illogical legacy

Schilling had joked that “aura” and "mystique,” two qualities forever associated with the Yankees, were just the names of two dancers in a nightclub.

Maybe so. But when Brosius struck his game-tying blow, Fox cameras found a sign at Yankee Stadium that read: “Mystique & aura appearing nightly.” 

There is no sensible way to explain it. There is no logical reason why the Yankees, so inoffensive at the plate throughout the series, should find their hitting shoes with one foot in the grave. Yet there is no denying the team's resilience, its ability to grind it out at the end of the game and the disparity between closers Mariano Rivera and Byung-Hyun Kim.

It was Kim, for the second straight night, who allowed the game-tying home run one out from victory. It was Rivera who pitched out of bases-loaded peril with one out in the top of the 11th to keep the score tied.

Missed opportunities
Arizona's Miguel Batista had shut out the Yankees for 7 2/3 innings. He had made Bob Brenly's decision to pitch Schilling on short rest seem a waste of worry. The Yankees had five singles off Batista and twice moved O"Neill to third base, but the only scoring before Brosius' homer were solo homers by Steve Finley and Rod Barajas in the fifth inning.

As the innings passed, and their futility continued, the Yankees would persistently squander their base runners. They twice hit into double plays, and had Alfonso Soriano caught stealing after a leadoff single in the third inning.

In the eighth, O'Neill drew a two-out walk, and Bernie Williams followed with a bloop single. This brought Martinez to the plate for a possible reprise of his Game 4 heroics.

Brenly responded with left-handed reliever Greg Swindell, who retired the Yankees slugger on a fly ball to left field.

 The eighth inning, evidently, is too early for these Yankees. Not enough suspense."

11/2/2001, "Now batting for the Yankees, Destiny," AP photo via Cincinnati Enquirer

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Two-time Mr. November Derek Jeter played and hit a home run in first ever MLB game played in November, now he says 2014 will be his last as a baseball player

9/12/2001, "No baseball games through Thursday," AP, Ronald Blum

"Baseball may play its first World Series games in November...as result of the terrorist attacks that disrupted the major league schedule....That would lead to the possibility of the October Classic producing its first Mr. November."...

11/1/2001, Minutes after midnight "on November 1, 2001, Jeter hit a walkoff  home run in 10th inning of Game 4 of the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks." A fan held up his sign, "Mr. November," USA Today, Bieser

 2/12/14, "Brian Cashman, Mariano Rivera and others pay tribute to Derek Jeter," Newsday, Erik Boland, Tampa

Pettitte, Posada, Jeter, Rivera, 11/4/2009
"It didn't take long for the tributes to flow after Derek Jeter's announcement Wednesday afternoon. And they didn't let up as day turned into night.

"It has been an incredible honor having a front-row seat for one of the great players of all time," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "Derek has been a winner every step of the way."

Jeter, who turns 40 in June, kept his plan of making this season his last a secret to almost all. There were no leaks, no hints, only a call Wednesday morning to managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner that he planned to break the news on his Facebook page early in the afternoon.

"I was surprised, yes," Mariano Rivera said on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio. Rivera thought Jeter would play through this season and "see how it goes."

Rivera and Jeter were teammates in 1993 with Class-A Greensboro and the shortstop struggled during a 56-error campaign. Still...

"All along since I saw him for the first time, I knew that Derek was special," Rivera said. "You knew you had something special with him."...

Jeter, Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte comprised the famed Core Four of the late 90s dynasty. Posada retired after the 2011 season and Pettitte and Rivera retired after last year."...image getty


"Shortly after midnight, the November Baseball happened for the first time in a non-exhibition game. It was the 10th inning and the game was tied. Jeter blasted the first ever November hit for a walk-off home run, beating the Diamondbacks....A camera showed the fan with the sign and the name stuck ever since."...

"The World Series entered a month it had never seen before during a magical Game Four in the Bronx.

As the clock struck midnight during an extra inning game, it had officially become November 1, 2001.

Jeter then deposited an offering from Diamondbacks closer Byung-Hyun Kim over the right field wall for a walk-off homer.

Forever earning the nickname “Mr. November”, Jeter then tied the series at 2-2 and temporarily kept the team’s dreams alive."...image via heartbeatofthebronx. Derek Jeter, Baseball Reference. Jeter played in November 2001 and November 2009.

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WLS Radio fined by FCC for allowing paid content from Workers Independent News to be perceived as news

2/10/14, "WLS-AM Fined $44,000 By FCC," chicagoradioandmedia.com
"Two years ago this month, the FCC proposed a fine against WLS-AM for $44,000 for broadcasting 11 paid advertisements that appeared to the listener to be news stories. The spots were not identified as sponsored programming. The fine was for $4,000 per infraction. That proposed fine has now been escalated to a forfeiture order, giving WLS-AM's parent company [Cumulus] only two weeks to pay.

The incident in question first took place on March 19, 2009 at 2:29pm, according to the FCC documents. WLS-AM ran a 90-second promotional spot for a company called Workers Independent News (WIN). This WIN segment sounded like a legitimate news piece, with what seemed to be a news anchor interviewing a local politician, and did not properly label itself as a paid promotional ad. This happened an additional ten times between March and May of 2009.

WIN had purchased airtime from WLS-AM in early 2009, airing one one-hour brokered program, two two-hour brokered programs, 45 90-second ads, and 27 15-second ads. It was 11 of the 90-second ads that sounded like legitimate news stories that the FCC felt broke federal regulations.

WLS-AM's stance is that the "news" announcer in those ads identified himself as being with WIN and that these spots ran inside commercial breaks, making it obvious to the listener that these were paid advertisements. The FCC disagrees with that stance and says the correct rules regarding these type of ads were not followed.

After receiving the proposed fine in February 2012, WLS-AM then asked that the fine be reduced to only $4,000, claiming the 11 times the spot aired should be treated as one single violation, not 11 separate violations. WLS-AM also blamed the mistakes on "inadvertent employee error."

The FCC rejected WLS-AM's request to have the fine lowered. In its ruling, the FCC report states: "The Commission has long held that a downward adjustment is not justified where violators claim their actions or omissions were due to inadvertent employee errors. We find no reason to depart from this precedent here. Consequently, there is no basis to conclude that Radio License has demonstrated that it is entitled to mitigation of the forfeiture amount based on a lack of culpability."

While $44,000 is a lot of money for a fine, it could have been far worse. $4,000 is the base penalty for incidents such as these. The FCC could have fined the station as much as $37,500 per violation, up to a maximum fine of $375,000. In comparison, the $44,000 fine seems extremely reasonable.

Cumulus Media's Radio License Holding XI, LLC, the legal name of the entity that owns WLS-AM, has until February 25th to pay this fine.

The full ruling of the FCC -- which was adopted on Friday, February 7th and released earlier today -- can be downloaded and read HERE. That official FCC Forfeiture Order also contains the full text of the offending 90-second ads and WLS-AM's responses to the violations." via NY Radio Message Board

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

30 teams, 30 spring training questions-Ken Davidoff

2/10/14, "30 teams, 30 spring training questions," NY Post, Ken Davidoff

"Let’s lay out the top spring-training questions for all 30 teams. We’ll start with last year’s best team by record and work our way down:

1. Boston: How will the continuing flirtation with free agent Stephen Drew impact their development plans for young shortstop Xander Bogaerts?
2.  St. Louis: Where will stud rookie outfielder Oscar Taveras start the 2014 season?
3. Oakland: What would be the best day for Michael Lewis to stop by for lunch? (Yeah, the A’s are in pretty good shape.)
4. Atlanta: Can B.J. Upton put together solid Grapefruit League numbers to establish a foundation for moving away from last year’s fiasco?
5. Pittsburgh: Can their first-base options (Gaby Sanchez and Chris McGuiness) convince the Pirates to keep away from the Mets’ Ike Davis in trade discussions?
6. Detroit: Will Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, both coming off recent “core muscle” surgery, be healthy enough by Opening Day?
7. Dodgers: What version of Matt Kemp, recovering from two offseason procedures, will Don Mattingly have by the March 22 opener in Australia?
8.  Cleveland: Will youngster Danny Salazar prove he’s ready to replace the (probably) departed Ubaldo Jimenez as a frontline starting pitcher?
9. Tampa Bay: Can the Rays’ coaching staff figure out how to turn Heath Bell into a useful reliever again?
10. Texas: Is Jurickson Profar ready for the everyday job at second base?
11. Cincinnati: Can rookie manager Bryan Price win over the Reds’ position players just as his fellow former pitching coaches John Farrell (Boston) and Bud Black (San Diego) did?
12. Washington: Can Bryce Harper work on tempering his ferocious approach in order to be available for more games?
13. Kansas City: Will last year’s 86-win showing change the team culture for the better, even with Ervin Santana (likely) departed?
14. Yankees: Can Derek Jeter show anything approaching durability, let alone anything approaching his 2012 skills?
15. Baltimore: Is Tommy Hunter the right guy to succeed the traded Jim Johnson as closer?
16. Arizona: Who will be the closer — J.J. Putz, Addison Reed or someone else?
17. Angels: How does Albert Pujols, professing good health, look?
18. San Diego: Can Josh Johnson stay healthy at least through the Cactus League schedule?
19. San Francisco: Is new arrival Tim Hudson fully recovered from last year’s nasty right ankle fracture?
20. Mets: Who is the starting first baseman, and does the loser of the Davis/Lucas Duda competition stick around?
21. Milwaukee: Will Ryan Braun’s teammates fully welcome him back?
22. Colorado: Can new first baseman Justin Morneau (replacing icon Todd Helton) show glimpses of his old self?
23. Toronto: As negotiations progress with free agents Jimenez and Santana, what will the starting rotation be?
24. Philadelphia: Will a winter’s rest make Ryan Howard any better?
25. Seattle: Can Robinson Cano make it through the Cactus League schedule without thinking to himself, “I’ve made a terrible mistake”?
26. Minnesota: How close to ready for prime time are prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano?
27. Cubs: Will new manager Rick Renteria establish a connection with the many young players that previous skipper Dale Sveum couldn’t?
28. White Sox: What will Cuban rookie first baseman Jose Abreu look like in his first Major League Baseball experience?
29. Miami: How will veteran Rafael Furcal project after missing all of last year due to Tommy John surgery?
30. Houston: Can the Astros start to push past the “Tanking for high draft picks” phase with a productive, esteem-building spring?"

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Monday, February 10, 2014

The Beatles arrive at JFK, Feb. 7, 1964

2/6/14, "It Was 50 Years Ago Today-The Beatles Invade America," Dennis Elsas

"America met the Beatles for the first time on February 7th, 1964, and from that day on, the music world and my life were never quite the same. It Was 50 Years Ago Today – The Beatles Invade America is my personal documentary recounting the events leading up to and following The Beatles' arrival at Kennedy Airport.

Beatlemania erupted that chilly afternoon as they arrived at JFK, and it continued to build momentum as events unfolded over the following week. I was glued to my AM radio following their trip to the Plaza Hotel, their appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, on-the-air with Murray the K, traveling to Washington, DC and Miami, and performing at Carnegie Hall. There was no way for me to imagine then as a teenager the impact their music would have on me personally and professionally.

Within five years I was on-the-air myself, on the FM side, playing their records and sharing news of their evolution from the Fab 4 to their solo careers. To have my 1974 two-hour live on-air conversation with John Lennon become an important part of their historical record remains one of my greatest thrills.

Their arrival was a story I always wanted to revisit in detail, so in 2004 on the 40th anniversary, I did just that with an award-winning documentary complete with rare broadcast moments and exclusive interviews with newsman Walter Cronkite, filmmaker Albert Maysles, concert promoter Sid Bernstein, radio personality Dan Daniel, John Lennon and others. It also explores how New York radio covered The Beatles' arrival and competed to be the source for all things “Beatles.”

Enjoy the 50th anniversary program below or at my website. Highlights from the show are also featured prominently throughout the new exhibit Ladies and Gentleman...The Beatles, curated by the Grammy Museum and on display now at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center." image above, "The Beatles deplaning at JFK, photograph by Harry Benson, from the new LIFE book, "Paul McCartney," via NY Radio Message Board. Dennis Elsas was a dj at WNEW FM for 25+ years. Rolling Stone account

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Sunday, February 09, 2014

SportsNet LA negotiations expected to continue to Dodgers opening day

2/4/14, "Dodgers' TV home debuts with Vin Scully by day, studio show at night," LA Times, Bill Shaikin

"SportsNet LA will air all the Dodgers' spring training games, with the exception of two split-squad games. The spring programming will include a nightly hour-long studio show called "Access SportsNet: Dodgers," with features and highlights from training camp, starting at 7 p.m. Pacific time.

It is unlikely that most fans will be able to see the channel on Feb. 25. Aside from Time Warner Cable -- the Dodgers' partner in the new channel -- no cable or satellite provider has agreed to carry SportsNet LA. Those negotiations are expected to extend toward Opening Day."... 


1/29/14, "Weather Or Not For Sports Media," The Broadcast Booth

"LOS ANGELES: The new SportsNet LA will no longer send a separate broadcast crew to the road games which Vin Scully does not broadcast. Instead, Charley Steiner will move over to the TV booth (from the radio side) and to call those games and have Orel Hershiser as analyst. On the radio side, for those road games, Rick Monday will take over as lead play-by-play voice, and will have Nomar Garciparra as his analyst. In recent years, the Dodgers have used Eric Collins and Steve Lyons as the TV crew the majority of their road telecasts only. It still remains to be seen how many will be able to watch these games, however. There are still several cable and satellite carriers not yet signed to air SportsNet L.A."

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Fox Sports 1 a contender to simulcast Mike Francesa WFAN radio show-Neil Best. Update, Source says it will be Fox Sports 1, Neil Best

2/9/14, "Source: Mike Francesa's show to air on Fox Sports 1," Neil Best, Newsday

"Mike Francesa, whose 12-year simulcast run on the YES Network ended on Super Bowl Sunday, soon will bring his WFAN radio show to Fox Sports 1, a radio industry source with knowledge of the agreement said Sunday.

Terms of the contract could not be determined, nor could a starting date. But Francesa said on the air last week that an official announcement could come early this week, and that he could be back on TV in time for the NCAA men's basketball tournament in March.

MSG widely had been considered the most logical candidate for Francesa's show after making a bid for it five years ago that YES matched. But FS1 entered the bidding, presumably in an effort to increase the fledgling cable sports network's visibility. That was one factor behind CBS Sports Network adding WFAN's morning show featuring Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton last month -- even though both FS1 and CBSSN are national television channels and the WFAN shows are New York-oriented.

Joining FS1 will put Francesa in the same TV family as his ESPN Radio counterpart, Michael Kay, whose show now appears on YES, which also is owned by Fox. The channels are side-by-side in Cablevision's channel lineup at 69 and 70."


2/7/14, "Michael Kay fires back at Mike Francesa," Neil Best Watchdog, Newsday

"Fox Sports 1 has emerged as a contender to simulcast Mike Francesa’s WFAN radio show, which if it occurs could make for some very interesting company picnics.

Now that Fox is set to increase its stake in the YES Network to 80 percent, the simulcasts of both Francesa’s show and Michael Kay’s ESPN New York radio show could both be on Fox-owned channels."...

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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Ralph Kiner at the plate for the Pirates in 1947

"Ralph Kiner who hit 369 homers, playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947," ap

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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers reported today as team prepares to open MLB season with 2 game series in Australia March 22-23

2/6/14, "Arizona Diamondbacks officially kick off spring training," AP via Newsday, Scottsdale

Lalli, Goldschmidt
"While much of the nation is buried in snow, glazed by ice or just plain shivering in the cold, it's time to play ball in the desert.

Spring training officially began Thursday when Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers reported, with their first workout set for Friday.

On the other side of suburban Phoenix, in Glendale, Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers report on Saturday.

Full-squad workouts for both teams begin next week.

The Diamondbacks and Dodgers get an early start because they will open the MLB season with a two-game series in Australia on March 22-23.

The rest of the teams begin workouts next week at their spring training haunts in Arizona and Florida.
Arizona's reporting date signals the beginning of preparation for a season that won't end until the World Series eight months from now.

The Diamondbacks are coming off consecutive 81-81 seasons and face the prospect, like the rest of the NL West, of trying to compete with the cash- and pitching-rich Dodgers.

Arizona wanted to add a veteran starter in the offseason and still may.

A person with knowledge of the situation said Thursday that the Diamondbacks were talking with representatives of Bronson Arroyo with the possibility of landing the 36-year-old right-hander. The person asked not to be identified because the talks had not been made public. The Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles also reportedly have interest in Arroyo.

If no changes are made, the Diamondbacks' rotation is expected to include left-handers Patrick Corbin and Wade Miley and right-handers Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy. Young right-hander Randall Delgado and top minor league prospect Archie Bradley could vie for the other rotation spot.

Diamondbacks players went through informal workouts in relatively chilly weather, at least by Arizona standards, on Thursday. Temperatures were in the low 60s but were expected to rise to the high 70s over the weekend.

Kirk Gibson is entering his fourth season as manager and earlier this week got an extension of his contract, which had been set to expire this year. He said the early start to spring training will mean a larger gap between the start of full-squad workouts and the beginning of spring games.

"We'll come in on the 11th and our first game's on the 26th," he said. "It gives us a challenge. We need to get our pitchers ready to be ready to go on March 22."

After the long trip to Australia, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers will come back to Arizona to complete spring training before their stateside regular-season openers.

"The season's going to be a little longer, " Gibson said, "but if you look at the other people that have played abroad early, I think there's 10 teams that went and five of them have went to postseason play."...

The other significant addition to the Diamondbacks pitching staff is Addison Reed, The 25-year-old right-hander had 69 saves the last two seasons with the Chicago White Sox, 40 last year. Arizona acquired him from the White Sox for third baseman Matt Davidson.

Reed hasn't been anointed the Arizona closer yet, though, facing competition from the likes of J.J. Putz, David Hernandez and Brad Zeigler.

"Obviously everybody knows that I want to close. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do," Reed said, "but I'm here and whatever they have me do is what I'll do and I'll be happy to. As long as I'm out there throwing, I'll be a happy guy.""...image by ap

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