Monday, June 30, 2014

Houston Astros trade talks with 22 other teams over 6 month period ending in March 2014 were hacked and posted on a data sharing website

6/30/14, "Astros orange-faced after hacking reveals trade talks," USA Today, Bob Nightengale

"It wasn't exactly Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane spilling his secrets in Moneyball, but unauthorized information hacked from the Houston Astros' computer database sure created a titillating look at how they conduct business during baseball's trade activities.

The Astros were furious Monday when details of trade discussions involving 22 teams during a six-month period ending in March were leaked to Anonbin, a data sharing website.

"It reflects the age we live in,'' Luhnow said before the Astros' game Monday against the Seattle Mariners. "People are trying to steal information, get information, whether it's legally or illegally. In this case, it was illegally obtained and it's unfortunate.

"It's a very unfortunate circumstance when somebody illegally on the outside breaks into the propriety database that we have. Not all the information that was published was accurate. Some it was not. I really can't get into what's accurate and what wasn't. But we're going to pursue it and try to find out who did it and prosecute them.

"The FBI's involved and we've got MLB security involved and we're going to prosecute the party that illegally obtained information.''

The juiciest tidbit was a phone call Nov. 15, 2013, between Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and Miami Marlins GM Dan Jennings, involving All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

In the conversation, according to the transcript, Jennings told Luhnow that he had no interest in discussing Stanton, but if the Astros were willing to trade prized prospects George Springer and Carlos Correa, he'd listen. Luhnow, according to the notes published on the website, declined, and instead offered a deal centered around pitcher Jarred Cosart and prospect Delino DeShields, Jr.

Yet, when reached Monday, Jennings vehemently denied that he discussed Stanton with Luhnow, or any GM, since being promoted to the Marlins' GM position last September.

"That never happened,'' Jennings told USA TODAY Sports. "It's completely fabricated. It's laughable, what it is.''

Luhnow spent much of the day apologizing to officials from other major league clubs that were named in the report, which was reported by Deadspin. He did not divulge the specific reaction from every executive, saying largely they were supportive, but certainly, there was anger. Luhnow also spoke with several of the Astros whose name surfaced in the report.

"When you have a conversation with a team,'' Luhnow says, "it's a conversation between the two individual or two clubs. It's not meant to be shared with the world. I feel bad about that. I talked to other teams and expressed my apology and that's about all I can do at that point.

"It's unfortunate it's out there and it's unfortunate that other teams are affected and individual players.''

Springer, when asked how it felt to hear his name surface in alleged talks for Stanton, said: "I'm just here to play baseball. That's it.''

Most of the trade talks, which were entered in the team's database called Ground Control, focused on proposals for pitcher Bud Norris, who eventually was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for outfielder L.J. Hoes and pitching prospect Josh Hader.
In other tidbits:
  • The Yankees offered in March to trade veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to Houston while willing to eat $4.5 million of his $6.5 million salary.
  • The Chicago White Sox were interested in catcher Jason Castro, but told the Astros that ace Chris Sale, first baseman Jose Abreu, pitcher Jose Quintana and outfielder Avisail Garcia were the club's lone untouchables.
Luhnow said that the Astros were informed a month ago about the leak, and beefed up their security in hopes to prevent further hacks into their system.

"We're doing everything we can to upgrade our security to make sure it doesn't happen again,'' Luhnow said. "We've been working on that since we discovered this.

"It's better now, and hopefully that's good enough,'' Luhnow says. "I don't think anybody can say for sure any system is 100% secure. We're working on it, we've done a security review and will continue to do more.

"This is information is important in our industry as it is in any other industry and we'll do whatever we can to protect the information.''

Yes, even if it meant going back to using a No. 2 pencil and notebook paper, which he did Monday, Luhnow said, in his talks Monday with teams involved in the report.

"It's the double-edged sword of technology,'' Luhnow said. "It makes things easier. When things like this are capable of happening, it's definitely a risk every team should probably think about now in light of what's happened to us. If it happened to us, could it have happened to other clubs? I don't know.

"In talking about it with my counterparts with other clubs, I'm recommending that everybody take a look at their own security system and make sure they don't get hacked the way we were.''"

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Jorge Posada in town for Derek Jeter's 40th birthday bash

6/26/14, "Former New York Yankees player Jorge Posada and wife Laura make the scene at Derek Jeter’s 40th birthday blowout at The Brickwood," Stewart, wireimage

6/28/14, "Derek Jeter celebrates 40th birthday surrounded by Hannah Davis and all his friends," NY Daily News, Garvey, Niemietz, Coleman

"The Yankees captain was joined by by Diddy, Jorge Posada, Tino Martinez, Michael Strahan, Timbaland and LL Cool J"

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Fans fill right field stands in San Diego for Tony Gwynn memorial

6/26/14, "Fans fill the right field stands at Petco Park for a memorial service Thursday, June 26, 2014, in San Diego for Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Gwynn, who died June 16 from cancer at the age of 54. Gwynn, who won eight batting titles and had a career .338 batting average, played his entire 20 year career for the San Diego Padres. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)" Tony Gwynn, Baseball-Reference

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Bethpage, Long Island location being considered to house some of tens of thousands of unaccompanied illegal aliens

6/25/14, "Former Grumman facility in Bethpage may be used to house kids arriving in U.S. illegally," Newsday, Tom Brune

"Child" illegal with disease
"The federal government said it is assessing whether a former Grumman Corp. facility in Bethpage could be used to house some of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who are streaming illegally into the United States across its border with Mexico.

Under consideration is Peregrine Business Park at 15 Grumman Rd. West, which is already slated for a major renovation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The General Services Administration, which oversees federal real estate, said no decision has been made and no agreement has been entered into with the building's owner.

"I am demanding a briefing before a final decision is made," said Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), whose district includes the business park.

"It is not a viable solution to simply place unaccompanied children from Central America in temporary shelters," he said.

Brian Nevin, spokesman for County Executive Edward Mangano, said, "The Bethpage site would not be suitable as environmental issues make it hazardous for housing children."

The business park is one of five facilities in New York -- mostly upstate -- that the federal government has checked out as temporary housing for the children who are undocumented, according to an email sent to New York members of Congress by an HHS official.

Two of the sites -- a hotel resort in Grand Island and a warehouse in Rochester -- have been rejected. The Obama administration has been scrambling to find new facilities as the surge of children from Central America coming into the United States shows no sign of letting up.

Since October, the Border Patrol has arrested 52,000 unaccompanied immigrant children -- most of them from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala -- and 39,000 adults with young children for entering the United States illegally.

The influx has overwhelmed the system, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress this week.

By law, unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally must be turned over to the HHS within 72 hours.

But the network of 100 facilities across the country is already over capacity, so the administration opened facilities at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas; Naval Base Ventura County near Oxnard, California; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

GSA spokeswoman Mafara Hobson said in a statement that the GSA and Defense Department are seeking potential locations for temporary shelters and medical facilities for use when HHS takes custody of the unaccompanied children.

She said facilities deemed viable will be announced, but only a few of them will be selected.
Peregrine Business Park is owned by Bethpage-based Steel Equities, which last year said it would undertake a $3 million renovation.

Steel Equities executives did not return calls for comment. In a letter to HHS and GSA, Israel said he's concerned for the children but said the federal government should show them "their dangerous voyage across our border does not pay" by deploying more immigration judges, consular officers and expedited hearings."

Top image: 6/13/14, "Known gang members among thousands of illegal immigrant children storming the U.S. border and officials are now trying to silence officers from talking to the media," UK Daily Mail, by Ashley Collman and Ryan Parry In Nogales, Arizona

Caption with top image: "Disease: A border guard said the resources are so slim that diseased children are separated simply by yellow police evidence tape.


Second image: More illegal "kids:" 6/5/14, "Leaked Images Reveal Children Warehoused in Crowded U.S. Cells, Border Patrol Overwhelmed," Breitbart Texas,  Brandon Darby 

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014 Yankee Old Timers Day, Whitey, Yogi, Damon, Matsui

6/22/14, Johnny Damon waves to crowd at Yankee Old Timers Day, Perlman, Star-Ledger

6/22/14, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui greet at Yankee Old Timers Day, Perlman, Star-Ledger

6/22/14, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra at Yankee Old Timers Day before game v Baltimore Orioles, Perlman, Star-Ledger

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Fan on Wrigley Field during rain delay Pirates at Cubs

6/21/14, During rain delay Pirates at Chicago Cubs, a fan runs on the field chased by Wrigley security staff after he jumped an outfield wall, photo Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune. Final 5-3 Pirates over Cubs.

6/21/14, The Fan is tackled by Wrigley staff. photo Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune. Final 5-3 Pirates over Cubs

6/21/14, Wrigley Field during rain delay, Pirates at Cubs, photo Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune. Final 5-3 Pirates over Cubs.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

'What a Belt!' Carlos Beltran, Newsday back page

6/21/14, Newsday back page, "What a Belt! Carlos' walk-off HR gives Yanks dramatic win over Orioles." Final, 5-3 Yankees, ap. "Beltran belts one," John Sterling observed as Carlos rounded the bases.

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Beltran belts one, Yankees win 5-3

6/20/14, "The New York Yankees await Carlos Beltran (36) as he approaches home plate after hitting a game-winning three-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth inning in New York," Final, 5-3 Yankees, ap. "Beltran belts one," John Sterling observed as Carlos rounded the bases.

6/20/14, "New York Yankees designated hitter Carlos Beltran (36) is greeted by teammates after hitting the game-winning three-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 20, 2014, in New York," Final 5-3 Yankees, ap

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

From the visitor's dugout in St. Louis

6/17/14, "New York Mets manager Terry Collins watches from the dugout during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday in St. Louis," ap. Final 5-2 Cardinals.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

38 minute delay in Oakland v Yankees in the 4th, lights went out-Newsday

6/15/14, "Yankees get three hits in 5-1 loss to A's," Erik Boland, Newsday

6/14/14, Oakland
"The concrete dump currently known as O.co Coliseum has not aged well, with overflowing sewage last year and early this year among the more serious issues.

"It's one of the older ballparks,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, "and sometimes with older ballparks, you're going to have some challenges."

Saturday night brought another reminder that the building's best days were at least two decades ago, as an embankment of lights in leftfield caused a 38-minute delay in the fourth inning. Girardi said the light embankment never came on and that he first noticed it in the second inning. A's manager Bob Melvin spoke to the umpires about it in the fourth.

It was an odd occurrence in an otherwise forgettable night for the Yankees, who had only three hits in a 5-1 loss to the A's in front of a sellout crowd of 36,067 as their winning streak ended at four games.

With his team in a 2-1 hole, Hiroki Kuroda took the mound in the bottom of the fourth and was throwing his warm-up pitches when the game was held up. For much of the 38-minute delay, the umpires and managers stood and stared at the dark embankment, as if doing so would make the lights come on."...

6/14/14, Oakland

6/14/14, "A's, Yankees game resumes after light delay," AP via The Wichita Eagle

"The A's said the circuit breaker turned off

"That's the Coliseum for ya," A's second baseman Eric Sogard said. "That's why we love this place. Never know what you're gonna get."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he first noticed the issue in the second inning but didn't mention it to umpires.

"I was saying something to our guys, you know, 'Are those lights always off?'" Girardi said. "They were never on, which makes me wonder why someone didn't notice who is here every day."

The Coliseum, which is shared with the NFL's Oakland Raiders and is the only stadium in the country still home to teams from both leagues, has had multiple plumbing problems in the past two years."...final 5-1 Oakland

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/06/14/3508619/as-yankees-game-suspended-after.html#storylink=cpy

First image: "A bank of lights that turned off in left field is seen in the fourth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics Saturday, June 14, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. The light outage caused a delay of the game," ap

Second image: "The New York Yankees wait in the dugout during a delay of the baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in the fourth inning Saturday, June 14, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. A bank of lights in left field went out causing the delay," ap

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/06/14/3508619/as-yankees-game-suspended-after.html#storylink=cpy

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Derek Jeter chats with Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl champ Russell Wilson before Yankee-Mariner game

6/11/14, "The Captain and the Super Bowl Champion
Jeter with Russell Wilson, QB of Seattle Seahawks, via Erik Boland twitter. Final NYY 4 Seattle Mariners 2.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Seattle Mariners ceremony for Derek Jeter on his last trip to Safeco Field

6/10/14, "From left, Jay Buhner, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, Robinson Cano of the Mariners, Edgar Martinez and pitcher Felix Hernandez present an award to Jeter prior to the game between the Mariners and the Yankees at Safeco Field on June 10, 2014 in Seattle. It is the final visit to Seattle by Jeter, who is retiring at the end of this season," Getty, final 3-2 Yankees.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yankees rained out in Kansas City

6/9/14, "Large drops of rain currently in Kansas City. Forecast bad. Very bad ," Erik Boland twitter. Yankees at Kansas City Royals rained out 6/9/14, resked Aug. 25

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Monday, June 09, 2014

Celebrating Don Zimmer, Tampa Bay Rays scoreboard

6/7/14, "Final scene on scoreboard for Zimmer ceremony ," Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times, via Erik Boland twitter

Oct. 11, 2003, Game 3, 2003 ALCS, NYY v Boston, Pedro throws Don Zimmer to the ground. I remember Don apologizing afterwards which I never understood. He didn't do anything wrong. At the time I was glad someone from our side showed up.

6/7/14, "Joe Torre leads Rays' tribute to Don Zimmer," NY Daily News, Bill Madden, St. Petersburg

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Always good to be back at Kauffman Stadium

6/6/14, "Always good to be back in one of my favorite road cities/stadiums,
Erik Boland twitter. Kauffman Stadium


" 10h

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Friday, June 06, 2014

Mike Piazza takes selfie with Tommy Lasorda at 2014 draft

6/5/14, "Former Los Angeles Dodgers' Mike Piazza, left, and Tommy Lasorda take a picture of themselves before the 2014 MLB baseball draft, Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Secaucus, N.J." ap. Piazza also played for a few other teams including the NY Mets.

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Monday, June 02, 2014

California Chrome Jockey Victor Espinoza throws first pitch at Yankee Stadium v Seattle Mariners

6/2/14, "California Chrome jockey Victor Espinoza throws out the ceremonial first pitch as Yankees pitcher David Phelps looks on before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium," photo, Jim McIsaac, Newsday. final 10-2 Seattle Mariners over Yankees. "California Chrome's jockey, assistant trainer throw out first pitches at Yankee Stadium," Newsday, Greg Logan

"While California Chrome relaxed in his stall at Belmont before Saturday's attempt to win the Triple Crown, jockey Victor Espinoza and assistant trainer Alan Sherman enjoyed the perks of celebrity by each throwing out the first pitch Monday night at Yankee Stadium. Sherman fired a strike, while Espinoza was just a little high.

No one would have appreciated the jockey more than the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who had a racing stable. Asked if he ever wore Steinbrenner's colors, Espinoza said, "I'm sure I have, but I rode so many horses, I don't know. I met him one time. It was just to say "Hi" and "Bye." It was in Florida. I don't know what year. Just briefly."

In 2002, Espinoza had another chance to win the Triple Crown, but War Emblem stumbled badly out of the gate and ultimately faded to eighth.

"I think this year, I feel more confident than in 2002," Espinoza said. "War Emblem was a difficult horse to ride. He loved to go up to the front, and that was a big problem for me because you're going a mile and a half.

"In one second, I already know I'm done because I lost my chance out of the gate. California Chrome is different. He's really kind. He's got tremendous balance, and he likes to run anywhere. Whatever I want him to do, he will do it. So that's my big advantage I have.""

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