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Friday, October 17, 2014

Brisbee: The 5 worst commercials of the MLB postseason

Whose father this year is the district attorney? Is this our country?

If you take this pill, there is a gorgeous woman on a beach in front of a sailboat and three random flags (quidditch? idk) just begging to have sex with you. She can wait. She can wait all year. She doesn’t even know how to sail, so she’s hanging out indefinitely. Just get ... that ... taken care of.

 

Greg Franklin Posted: October 17, 2014 at 01:34 PM | 173 comment(s)
  Beats: commercials, media, postseason, television, viagra

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sports Bog: Fans Switch From Skins to Nats

Dan Steinberg’s Sports Bog takes an off-beat look at sports and whatever else strikes his fancy at any given moment.

#FTTR Fail To The Redskins

boteman Posted: September 14, 2014 at 12:13 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: funny, media, nationals, radio

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

WaPo: Drew Storen got to meet Vin Scully

Tuesday afternoon, before batting practice, Drew Storen felt nervous as he ascended an escalator inside Dodger Stadium, headed toward a place he rarely visits. Storen hopped off and walked into the press box, where one of his favorite people in baseball awaited. Storen was going to meet Vin Scully.


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Newsweek: Can Baseball Get More Interesting to Watch With Big Data?

I love stats. I think the broadcasting of baseball games could be much better and more interesting than it currently is. This nonetheless doesn’t describe anything I have the slightest desire to see. But, you tell me.

h/t Sean Lahman, known to data some data in his day

The top task for Major League Baseball’s incoming commissioner, Rob Manfred, is to try to make a lullaby-paced sport that takes three hours per game relevant to the Snapchat generation. This season the league began installing a phalanx of gadgets and systems that will collect and analyze data about every sliver of action in every game, clearly betting that data will add a Twilight Zone-like dimension to baseball that no one can yet see. Claudio Silva, the scientist MLB hired to help make sense of the data, is authoring an academic paper titled “Baseball 4D.” Claudio Silva, the scientist MLB hired to help make sense of the data, is authoring an academic paper titled “Baseball 4D.”...

The goal, Silva says, is to have so much information, a game could be re-created completely by using data.

Baseball would come to exist in an entirely digital form, which could be manipulated by fans to perhaps create new games. You might be able to tap into a previously played baseball game and create a new game by taking charge of calling the pitches: curve, strike, changeup. Then watch as a real-time, realistic version of the game unfolds as you play. Or maybe you could do that through Google Glass while at a live game: Call a different pitch and see what might have happened in the live at-bat you just witnessed…

This could be baseball’s comeback… Or perhaps data will uplift a new sport, the way TV ushered in the NFL… Expect intense data to create a new kind of sports excitement—less visceral, more analytical—that translates a non-TV event into a perfect smartphone event. This could turn the Tour de France into a global obsession, and make bike racing as addictive as Candy Crush.

All this is still a great unknown. What is clear is that we’ve reached a new dividing line in sports. Newspapers, radio, TV, data. We are now in a new era that is waiting for some sport to claim it. MLB is stepping up to the plate. Let’s see whether it whiffs or hits one out of the park.

The District Attorney Posted: September 02, 2014 at 01:54 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics, television

Thursday, August 21, 2014

10 episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ every sports fan needs to watch

1. “Homer at Bat,” Friday, Aug. 22, 11:30 a.m. ET

Why it’s great: Everything. “Homer at Bat” is perfection rolled into 20-some minutes. This episode aired early in the series life, but is one of the most memorable for how many baseball players and references are made in a single episode. From Mr. Burns’ crusade against sideburns, to “Wonderbat” this episode has it all. If you’ve somehow managed to miss this then it’s an absolute must-watch.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: media, television, the simpsons

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gawker: Time Inc. Rates Writers on How “Beneficial” They Are to Advertisers

Here you see an internal Time Inc. spreadsheet that was used to rank and evaluate “writer-editors” at SI.com… Most interesting is this ranking criteria: “Produces content that [is] beneficial to advertiser relationship.” These editorial employees were all ranked in this way, with their scores ranging from 2 to 10.

Anthony Napoli, a union representative with the Newspaper Guild, tells us: “Time Inc. actually laid off Sports Illustrated writers based on the criteria listed on that chart. Writers who may have high assessments for their writing ability, which is their job, were in fact terminated based on the fact the company believed their stories did not ‘produce content that is beneficial to advertiser relationships.’”

I can see why Posnanski wouldn’t want to stick around there, although "bailing on" Sports on Earth remains more mysterious…

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:42 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sports illustrated

Thursday, August 14, 2014

King of Blackouts: Why one candidate for MLB commissioner keeps fans from watching games

When the lords of baseball take to a Baltimore boardroom today to vote on a new commissioner, the least-heralded candidate will carry into the election a most unbecoming title: King of the Blackouts. Much of Tim Brosnan’s candidacy, in fact, rests on his turning baseball into a $9 billion-a-year monolith as executive VP of business on the back of fat television contracts that leave fans all over the country unable to watch the very sport he’s in charge of selling to the public.

The fact that baseball owners revere this – that a sport hemorrhaging young fans actively chooses to black out local television games across the country in order to protect the supposed sanctity of the local TV deals that go into the billions – speaks to a certain tone-deafness. Consider the hilarity of the rogue candidate for commissioner, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, selling himself as the person who will spread the game best. The impetus behind Werner’s candidacy is the Red Sox want to tilt the revenue sharing of their huge TV deal even more in their favor….

Surely, of course, baseball could find a way to package all of its games to all of its fans in the sort of fashion that eventually brings back whatever business it might lose in the short-term. The league’s gravy train chugs along too well for MLB to actively derail it.

So it’s going to take some fans and a judge who believes the current rules are anticompetitive and that “clubs in each League have entered an express agreement to limit competition between the clubs – and their broadcaster affiliates – based on geographic territories. There is also evidence of a negative impact on the output, price, and perhaps even quality of sports programming.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 10:59 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner, media, television, tim brosnan

Friday, August 08, 2014

Did The Enquirer Take Down a Castellini Arrest Story?

Robert S. Castellini, the 46-year-old son of Reds owner Bob Castellini, and his wife Deanna were arrested and charged with domestic violence for fighting in front of their children.

Crime reporter Kimball Perry was all over the story, as he has a long history of detailing the crayist of the cray in Hamilton County courtrooms, reporting on Monday that both Robert and Deanna went in front of a judge that morning and how court documents described “visible scratch marks around the neck of Ms. Castellini” and Robert having “visible scratches around his neck and shoulder.

Despite such drama and intrigue — three Castellinis work in the Reds front office and Robert’s lawyer is Hamilton County GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou — The Enquirer appears to have pulled the story from its website as of Tuesday afternoon.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jim Bowden Caught Stealing From Fake Twitter Account, Deletes Everything

Bowdense strikes again!

Jim Bowden, former MLB executive, has fashioned himself a second career as a baseball pundit for ESPN and SiriusXM radio. Today, baseball’s biggest day for movement, trade deadline day, Bowden appears to have gotten caught stealing a scoop without attribution. We know because he unwittingly stole it from a fake account.

At 1:48, someone impersonating the New York Post’s Joel Sherman tweeted that the Yankees have acquired Marlon Byrd from the Phillies. It is a fake account—the “L” is actually an “I.”

...Two minutes later Bowden tweeted Byrd-to-Yankees. He did not credit who he thought was Sherman. (This was, no question, Bowden’s Twitter account. It had 92,000 followers and is the one linked and endorsed on his ESPN.com page.)

... Jim Bowden panicked.

  He first deleted his twitter photo so @JimBowdenESPNxm had an egg avatar and looked fake.
  He then transferred his account to @JimBowdiv, perhaps thinking no one would find him? (His Marlon Byrd tweet is was still there.)
  His original, @JimBowdenESPNxm account was nuked, but it is now back—with 25 followers at press time. Someone is cybersquatting the account, is using Bowden’s old avatar, and is following fake Joel Sherman and no one else.
  And just now, since I’ve been typing, @JimBowdiv has disappeared. We don’t know where Jim Bowden went, and he’s probably not going to receive the DMs we sent him. (Update: @JimBowdiv is back. For now. Here’s a screengrab of his page, because he’s a slippery Bowdiv. There’s an updating thread in the comments below.)

Repoz Posted: July 31, 2014 at 04:13 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Vin Scully To Return

The Los Angeles Dodgers are proud to announce that Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will be returning for his 66th season.

http://m.mlb.com/lad/video/topic/8010468/v34916389/?c_id=la


In debate over MASN rights, MLB rules for Washington Nationals, but fight continues

Move the Orioles to Montreal!

Major League Baseball’s arbitration panel ruled in favor of the Washington Nationals in their longstanding, contentious dispute with the Baltimore Orioles over television rights fees from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, a person familiar with the situation confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

The person would not reveal the terms of the June 30 ruling that might only begin a new, litigious chapter in the acrimonious, years-long squabble over profits from MASN. Last week in New York’s Supreme Court, the Nationals filed a motion against MASN, which is majority-owned by the Orioles; that case has been sealed. MLB, the Orioles and MASN acknowledged the dispute remains unsettled in official statements issued Tuesday….

The Orioles believe MLB stands to gain financially by the ruling in the Nationals’ favor. Rights fees and profits from television networks are viewed separately by MLB. Money earned from rights fees is subject to MLB’s revenue sharing agreement. Profit earned by a team-owned television network is not. If the Nationals received a larger rights fee, then, some of it would trickle back to MLB.

“The way things are now, MLB is the judge of a deal it created and has a vested interest in,” a person familiar with the Orioles’ thinking said. “As far as we’re concerned, this should be an independent, objective review of the facts.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: masn, media, nationals, orioles, television market

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MLB: Astros telecasts catching on to advanced metrics

Meanwhile back in the media capital of the world…derisive “analyst” Paul O’Neill says: “Frank Thomas was a one dimensional player.”

The idea was bandied about last year by CSN Houston senior producer Carl Patterson, who discussed with his staff how to realistically work some of this into the telecasts. Because the Astros’ front office relies so much on advanced metrics, introducing some of it, independently, into the telecasts seemed like a logical next step. The question was, how to do it?

“Normally, the standard thing is RBIs, batting average, home runs,” Patterson said. “Last year, we talked about doing a whole game where we just talked about sabermetrics stuff. But we kind of realized that none of us understood it well enough to talk about it intelligently. So I spent the offseason just thinking about how to do it.”

...This is something Astros TV analyst Alan Ashby—who admittedly is not a huge sabermetrics fan—feels comfortable with, and often expounds on it when a WAR stat pops up on screen.

“One of the reasons that I bring it up is some part of it is subjective on the defensive side,” Ashby said. “You’ve got Mike Trout from a couple of years ago that has so much WAR positive created on his defensive side. That’s the kind of stuff that makes it intriguing to me.”

Patterson limits the metrics-speak to five main concepts: WAR, BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), wRC (Weighted Runs Created), FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and Z-Contact% (Inside-the-zone contact percentage).

“I feel like five is enough,” Patterson said. “Pick five that make sense to our guys, then talk about it fluently and passionately.”

Repoz Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:15 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, media, sabermetrics

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Neyer: Jeff Garlin, we hardly knew ye.

Just a bit outside the rules of professional conduct. #FJeff

In that same essay, I trumpeted the participation of Jeff Garlin. This gave me a great deal of pleasure, because I’m a huge fan and thought he would bring certain qualities to this page that might otherwise go missing.

I first met Garlin a couple of months ago, over pancakes (him) and French toast (me) before one of his shows at the legendary Largo. He was funny and engaging and down-to-earth, with occasional hints of sincere self-deprecation. When some tourists asked if he’d been on a certain sitcom way back when, he could not have been nicer to them. I said I like his movies (true); he said he likes my books (and loves Joe Posnanski, of course). He was everything you could hope for, when meeting a Hollywood celebrity whom you’d long admired from afar.

...Monday, I received an e-mail from Garlin’s lawyer, listing a few seemingly minor concerns about our deal memo (which I’d dispatched some weeks earlier).

Tuesday, I published the essay about JABO’s impending birth, with Garlin figuring prominently. Wednesday afternoon, we launched JABO with Garlin, head shot and all, listed among our contributors. The site looked great, and I was thrilled with our Opening Day lineup. I gotta tell you, it made for a really nice few hours there.

Wednesday evening, just as I thought it was safe to bask in my continuing good fortune, I received a terse e-mail from Garlin.

He said he couldn’t do it. When I responded in confusion and dismay, he explained that he really wanted to do it, but just couldn’t because of professional considerations. Does Garlin do impressions? I don’t think he does. But I’ve been imagining another meeting over pancakes, and this time he does his best Michael Corleone: It’s not personal, Robby. It’s strictly business.

One of these days, maybe I’ll grow up enough where I don’t take it personally. Right now, it really hurts and I wonder when I’ll be able to enjoy Garlin’s work again. It’s okay, though. I know that in the big picture, I’m barely a mite on the flea on the pimple on the ass of Jeff Garlin’s career. But this mite just spent five tremendously happy days in the Twin Cities, marred just briefly by one painful e-mail exchange. This mite will find another flea on another pimple on another ass. There’s always another ass.

Not that Jeff Garlin’s an ass! I can’t see into his heart or his mind, but I suspect he’s a decent sort. And he said he likes my books! I hope he’s healthy and happy and gets great ratings in his new time slot.

Repoz Posted: July 19, 2014 at 06:05 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Thursday, July 17, 2014

MLB Network: Christopher Russo Tongue Twisters

I dislike E.W. Scripps. I dislike Scripps. I dislike Scripps a lot.

Repoz Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:08 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Neyer: Get ready for Just A Bit Outside ... FOXSports.com’s new baseball destination

The future in sports journalism here - flannel-based reporting!

Welcome to Just a Bit Outside, coming to FOXSports.com on Wednesday. I’ve been doing this “work” for a long time now, and over the last 70-some years I’ve developed some pretty strong opinions when it comes to covering baseball on the Ultranet. You know, I was there at the beginning, covering such luminaries as Gus “No Shoulders” Wagner and Dale “Murderer” Sisler for the website of the Baltimore Picayune-Democrat, and I’ve seen it all. Having strong opinions is both a blessing (confidence!) and a curse (intolerance!). But it’s difficult to edit a website if you don’t know what you like….

What will you see here? You’ll see some familiar names and faces. Mine, of course. More than you would like, maybe (can’t complain about the price, though). But also two of the game’s top reporters, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi. And two of our smartest former players, Gabe Kapler and C.J. Nitkowski. We’ll be featuring, nearly every day, the best work of our partners at FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus. And we’ll have some surprises, too. You’ll notice that our masthead includes Jeff Garlin, a brilliantly talented actor, comedian, and filmmaker ... who also happens to love baseball as much as anyone you’ll meet. Jeff’s going to be contributing regularly to this page, and I just can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

I’ve grown tired of the term long-form ... isn’t that just the hipster’s way of saying good, well-developed story? But I’ll tell you right now, Just a Bit Outside is going to feature some really terrific stories in the next few months. I mean, I know it’s best to under-promise and over-deliver ... but damn if I’m not really excited about some of the stuff you’re going to see.

 


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Holmes: Tigers’ radio team makes it difficult to tune in

Go, Jim & Dan
Go, Jim & Dan
Go, Jim & Dan…Please!

I am this close…(imagine thumb and forefinger about an inch apart)…from taking a baseball bat to my car radio.

I’ve been in my car a lot recently and it’s given me the opportunity to listen to Detroit Tigers’ games on the radio. As you’ll learn, I mean “opportunity” as in: we have an “opportunity” to get a root canal. It’s like someone’s invading a hole in my head and inflicting pain.

That’s what it’s like to listen to the Detroit radio broadcast team of Dan Dickerson and Jim Price. It’s brutal.

...If I could have a three wishes, I’d use two of them in the typical way (revenge against my enemies and all-encompassing wealth and power), but the third, the third wish, I’d use that to give Dan Dickerson the gift of description. He really has no idea how to describe something in an explicit way, which is really THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF HIS JOB. he’s like pone of those annoying friends who starts conversations in the middle of a story and expects us to understand what the hell he’s talking about.

There’s a drive and he dives and it’s caught out there deep on the warning track. what a play!

WHERE was that drive and WHO hit it? And WHO caught it WHERE? And HOW many guys were on base?!? And what’s the score?

[Driving off the road into a ditch]

Repoz Posted: June 28, 2014 at 07:43 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: media, tigers

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mushnick: Keith Hernandez goes from insightful to bully in one inning

The FB BULLY Project has 642,873 likes, so let’s keep at it!

But in the next half inning, he went from enlightened analyst to schoolyard bully Nelson “Ha-Ha!” Muntz. SNY presented a photo of Padres pitcher Alex Torres from the night before, wearing a cap that bulged at its sides from a protective liner.

Yes, Torres looked odd. Yet, clearly, if he were determined to diminish the chances of a fractured skull or brain injury from a line drive to the side of his head, his head, if not his cap, was on straight.

Well, Hernandez took a macho, style-over-function stance, mocking Torres for looking “absurd.” (The same was heard when batting helmets arrived then grew larger until they included earflaps and would be worn by base coaches.)

He wasn’t done. He suggested Torres and anyone who would wear such a thing are cowards: “If you’re scared, get a dog.”

Ugh! Either Hernandez was unaware of the dozens of annual, all-levels episodes that have pitchers rushed to hospitals — some with permanent neurological damage — or such episodes have not yet left an impression on him.

In Torres’ case, last year with the Rays, he replaced Alex Cobb after Cobb was nailed in the head with a line drive. After Saturday’s game, Torres recalled he still could hear the crack against Cobb’s head — and Torres was in the bullpen. “I’m glad he’s alive.”

Cobb, depending on how one looks at it, was lucky — he was out just two months.
Good Keith, bad Keith. For better and worse, he keeps both in the game.

Repoz Posted: June 27, 2014 at 09:38 AM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: media, mets

Friday, June 20, 2014

MLB, the MLBPA announce the creation of the Puerto Rico Summer League

Players from Puerto Rico are subject to the Major League draft, which, kills the incentive for teams and scouts to go there and develop teenage talent like they do in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela. Since the imposition of the draft in Puerto Rico in 1990, the once rich vein of talent heading from there to the big leagues has all but dried up.

But not to worry, this summer league is sure to turn around 25 years of decline.  Problem meet solution.

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:32 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: media, rangers, wtf

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Chicago Cubs leaving WGN radio

Holy cow!

After 90 years and no World Series victories, the Chicago Cubs and WGN radio are going their separate ways.

The Cubs will announce a new, seven-year deal to broadcast games on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM on Thursday, according to media reports. The deal starts next season.

After 197 losses in two seasons, WGN used an opt-out clause in its contract due to declining ratings and revenue last fall, and couldn’t come to terms with the Cubs on a new deal.

“We’re very proud of our long-time association with the Cubs, but it has to make good business sense and the current arrangement does not,” WGN radio president and general manager Jimmy de Castro said Wednesday morning on 87.7 The Game.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, media, radio, wgn

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ron Darling: Keith Hernandez qualified to be a critic of Mets’ hitting philosophy

Keith got 9 IBB’s in 86…so there’s that!.

Fired Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens used the word “naysayers” when describing the SNY announcers—including Keith Hernandez—who have criticized the team’s batting approach.

SNY announcer Ron Darling had another word Tuesday night to describe Hernandez: Expert.

“If you look at Keith’s career,” Darling told Newsday, “Keith was the poster boy for what they do. He’s already done it. These guys aspire to do it. I think that Keith is probably the best person to talk about how you get on base, but at the same time the aggressiveness with which you can do that. So I don’t know anyone better to speak about it.”

Darling was asked before Tuesday night’s game about comments Hudgens made to Newsday after his Memorial Day firing.

Said Hudgens: “The naysayers, the guys who disapprove of us, the guys who I listen to on TV all the time, those guys that know everything about the game, I’m just amazed at it . . . I just shake my head at the old-school guys that have it all figured out. Go up there and swing the bat. Well, what do you want to swing at? It just confounds me. It’s just hilarious, really. That’s one thing. I’m glad I don’t have to listen to those guys anymore.”

Repoz Posted: May 29, 2014 at 01:09 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: media, mets

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chappell: Rockwell’s Baseball Painting ‘The Rookie’ Sells For $20 Million (NPR)

Norman Rockwell’s “The Rookie” has sold for $20 million at auction Thursday. The 1957 painting of baseball players in a locker room was sold by Christie’s auction house — heady heights for a work that first appeared on a magazine that sold for 15 cents.

A painting I’ve always admired, a popular subject for jigsaw puzzles and the like.  #8 in the painting is catcher Sammy White, not Frank Sullivan as the article suggests.  The focus of the picture is Jackie Jensen looking up in quizzical welcome.  Ted Williams (who as the article explains did not pose for the picture) provides a subtext, giving The Rookie a furtive side glance while said Rookie doesn’t even notice him. 

Thanks to spike, who linked to a linked story in the OTP thread.

BDC Posted: May 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: americana, art, jackie jensen, media, red sox, sammy white, ted williams

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Former Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia still bitter about treatment in Toronto

Despite his historically poor production on both sides of the ball, by Arencibia’s estimation it was the media who ran him out of town.

“I think the media made me out to be a monster — I wasn’t. They changed a lot of things that I said or made up stories. So I thought that that was a big thing that went down. I learned how much media does control things.”

Arencibia did not specify to which reporters or media outlets he was referring. Of the allegations he said were falsely reported, he mentioned only one: that he had complained to team president Paul Beeston about Hayhurst and Zaun, which he said “wasn’t even close to what happened.”

Arencibia himself was actually the source of that report, when he said in an MLB Network radio interview that he spoke to the “team president” about broadcasters “that we employ” and asked, “How do you build a fan base when everything that fans are hearing is negative?”

Though he once again declined to specify about whom or what he was speaking, Arencibia also said he considered taking legal action against some members of the media, whom he vaguely accused of defaming him.

“Of course I was over it at this point of trying to say anything because it made no difference,” he said. “For everything that I did and everything that I try to do in the community and always be a good person first, to see people just turn around and make things up. Obviously you know that there’s bad human beings in this world and I realized we had quite a few of them that I had to deal with.”


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Joe Posnanski: Knowing Arky

Might as well be Parkyakarkus* Vaughan.

Extreme Seinfeld reach

And then, the Royals announcers started to talk about it.

Ryan Lefebvre’s color commentator these days is Rex Hudler. I’ve never met Rex. I’ve been told he’s a wonderful guy, and I have every reason to believe that. But I will not lie: He’s the reason I don’t watch the Royals broadcast regularly anymore. His voice hits me the way Mary Hart’s voice used to hit Kramer on Seinfeld. Well it’s not the voice itself — his voice is fine — it’s the stuff he says about baseball. I’m not going to go any deeper than that; he’s not my thing.

But I was listening here and Rex saw the list and said something to the effect of, “Wow Honus Wagner. He goes all the way back to the ’30s.”

The thirties. Yeah. Honus Wagner. who is probably most famous for the T206 baseball card of 1910 (or so) that has sold for about $3 million dollars, who was a childhood hero of Babe Ruth, who may have been the greatest deadball player ever … Rex had him playing in the 1930s. When he was 60. Ugh.*

*I’m told that later in the broadcast, Rex referred to the moon as a planet. I don’t know if this is true or if it was done as a joke. I was watching the Penguins-Rangers.

So, I grimaced there but was ready to move on. Then Ryan — my pal Ryan who I greatly admire and enjoy — started going on about how he had never heard of Arky Vaughan. Never heard of him. Well, more than that, Ryan did something that bugs me: He made it seem like NO ONE has ever heard of Arky Vaughan, like it was incredibly nerdy for his name to even be on this list. I realize Ryan was just trying to get a little comedy out of the moment, but I have to say I really don’t like that. I have a lifelong aversion to people who don’t know things acting like not knowing is the default position. In high school, I once had someone make me feel really dumb because I had read Moby Dick (it was a fluke, I admit; I had not read any other classics as a kid) … and it affected me. It really did. It made me think it was uncool to know things. It made me embarrassed to raise my hand and say something because not knowing was cooler. That sort of downward pressure drives me nuts.

It is bad enough that Ryan has not heard of one of the five greatest shortstops in baseball history (Bill James ranks him second) and the 73rd greatest baseball player ever on my list (Ryan, aren’t you reading me here?). He didn’t need to keep harping on it as if Arky Vaughan was the most obscure player in the history of mankind.

Repoz Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM | 174 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, royals

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Smullens: Don Draper and the New York Mets: 1969, A Year of Miracles

Those Madison Avenue types could Frisella _____ to a _____.

Now here comes the optimistic foreshadowing—the year for Don and his Mad Men (and Women) is 1969, the Mets’ eighth season in the Major Leagues. In the seven preceding seasons the Mets had never finished higher than ninth place in the ten team National League and had never had a winning season. Records show that they lost at least one hundred games in five of the seasons.

Now stay with me, and yes, prepare to hoot and holler! The Mets got their act together when the Chicago Cubs suffered a late season breakdown, finishing the season 100-62, eight games ahead of the Cubs. They then defeated the National League West champs, the Atlanta Braves, three games to none in the League Championship Series. On a roll, they proceeded to defeat the American League champs, the Baltimore Orioles, in five games (I remember this well, as my home town was Baltimore!!), and win the World Series.

By the way, do you recall the first baseman who was named the series most valuable player (on the strength of his .357 batting average, three home runs, and four runs batted in)? His last name is Clendenon; his first, Donn.

And there is more foreshadowed hope symbolized by the formerly rumpled Mets pennant, now neatly attached to its new home, front and center! Casey Stengel, who managed the Mets from their inaugural season to 1965, called his team the “Amazin’ Mets.” Others refer to them as the “Miracle Mets.” Well, you and I know that miracles can happen if you believe they can and will yourself to turn your life and luck around.

Yep, I join those wholeheartedly who are not giving up on our Don. He’s got many a home run in him, and it will be thrilling to see what he does with them.

Repoz Posted: May 11, 2014 at 08:46 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, mets

Monday, April 28, 2014

Awful Announcing:  The MLB Local TV Announcer Rankings

Over the last two weeks, we polled the Awful Announcing readers on their opinions of each local broadcast team around the majors…Each “A” vote received 4 points, 3 points for a “B” vote, down to 0 points for an “F” vote. The total points scored were divided by the total number of votes to calculate what amounts to a GPA for each broadcast booth.

30) Chicago White Sox – 1.37
-Hawk Harrelson (play by play)
-Steve Stone (analyst, play by play – select)
-Aaron Rowand (analyst -select)
-Mike Huff (analyst – select)
-Tom Paciorek (analyst – select)

Most popular grade: F (46% of voters)

puck Posted: April 28, 2014 at 05:52 PM | 123 comment(s)
  Beats: media, mlb

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