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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Markusen: Seinfeld, Sabermetrics and Ken Phelps

Bruce, Bill James made me love Phelps also, but c’mon, they already had Don Mattingly and Jack Clark, it was never gonna work.

this year marks the 25th anniversary of the debut of Seinfeld, arguably the most successful sitcom in the history of American television. This month (August) also marks the 60th birthday of Ken Phelps, one of the poster children for Bill James’ Sabermetric movement of the 1980s…

Phelps had had drawn the Yankees’ interest since 1985, when Billy Martin had instructed the front office to do whatever it took to get him. Three years later, Phelps finally arrived, too late for Martin but just in time for new manager Lou Piniella. Here was the plan. Phelps would DH against right-handers, allowing the Yankees to alternate days off for Jack Clark, who was 32 years old, and Dave Winfield, who was 36. To make the trade even more favorable for New York, scouts had their doubts about Buhner, the primary ingredient the Yankees sent to the Mariners. Buhner, a onetime prospect with the Pirates, had several holes in his uppercut swing, struck out at an alarming rate, and appeared ill-suited for Death Valley at the old Yankee Stadium.

So on all fronts, trading Buhner for Phelps made me happy. Unfortunately, Piniella, who was early in his career as a field boss, couldn’t figure out how to get Phelps into the lineup more regularly. (In fairness to Piniella, the injury-prone Clark complained about having to move back to the outfield to make room for Phelps, making life more difficult for Sweet Lou.) ...

Although Phelps’ Yankee career will never amount to a Yankeeography, he is far from forgotten. Quite the contrary, he has become a popular culture icon, thanks to the efforts of Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, and the mythical George Steinbrenner (voiced by the brilliant Larry David)... Much like Larry David did in voicing the role of George Steinbrenner, I found myself saying “Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps” a lot in 1988, to the point that his name became an obsession with me. I thought he would become the next big thing in New York. It never happened. But I understood where George Steinbrenner was coming from. And if you were a Mariners fan in the mid-1980s, you probably did, too.

The District Attorney Posted: August 28, 2014 at 02:36 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, ken phelps, mariners, sabermetrics, television, yankees

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

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

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

MLB Telecasts On Regional Sports Networks Dominate Prime Time Television

Major League Baseball is king during prime time at the regional level thus far this season for regional sports networks (RSNs) winning the key prime time slot in the US markets that Nielsen Media Company tracks.

The data bolsters the position that baseball continues to be a solid programming choice for networks in the summer when the major networks are in reruns.

cardsfanboy Posted: August 06, 2014 at 04:14 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: business, television

Fresno Grizzlies ‘TMNT Night’ featured a cosplay wedding proposal

I’ve heard of the Splendid Splinter, but this is ridiculous!

The Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball team flooded the Internet in the past couple weeks leading up to their “TMNT Night,” which by all accounts was a rousing success. There were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed jerseys and hats, the Turtles even showed up in person, free pizza was given away, the team mascot dressed up like Splinter. Good times were had by all.

In fact, it was even a life-changing night, as two TMNT superfans GOT ENGAGED ON THE FIELD.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Dark Side of Booming Local TV Deals

But who wants to watch Astros games anyway?

It turns out that big local TV contracts aren’t always good news for teams either. That has turned Selig’s mood quite sour.

When a regional sports network agrees to pay millions of dollars to an MLB team, that RSN has two principal ways to recoup that investment: (1) sell ads during the game broadcasts; (2) charge a carriage fee to the cable and satellite operators in the region who want to carry the RSN. But what happens when the cable and satellite companies balk at the carriage fees?...

Comcast SportsNet Houston launched in October 2012 and, since then, has been seen only by Comcast cable customers. The new RSN – a joint venture among the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets and Comcast Sports Group — couldn’t come to agreement on carriage fees with any other cable or satellite company in the region. With the RSN bleeding cash, Comcast forced the venture into bankruptcy court last September, where the parties have been fighting ever since. Astros owner Jim Crane also sued Comcast and former team owner Drayton McLane for fraud in the sale of the team. That did not make Bud Selig happy at all.

That brings us to the Los Angeles Dodgers. As I explained before the season started:

SportsNet LA launched in February with around-the-clock Dodgers programming, but only customers with TWC or Bright House can view the network in their homes.Every other cable and satellite operator in the Los Angeles market has balked at the network’s carriage fee demand. And TWC hardly counts as an arms-length agreement, as it is the Dodgers’ broadcast partner in SportsNet LA. Indeed, TWC will essentially pay itself the carriage fee for SportsNet LA, and then pay the Dodgers their monthly rights fee as part of the 25-year, $8.3 billion megadeal.

No deal’s been reached. A vast majority of Dodgers fans in LA missed Josh Beckett’s no-hitter, Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter and every Yasiel Puig bat flip — unless they watched with a friend or at a bar with TWC. Even Vin Scully is without Dodgers’ broadcasts when he’s at home during the team’s long road trips.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 31, 2014 at 07:50 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dodgers, nationals, orioles, padres, television, tv contracts

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

MLB Network Just Finished Most Watched Quarter Ever

It’s funny – despite all of our lamenting about MLB’s decline in casual fan viewership, the diehards are still tuning in at levels we haven’t seen before. Maybe that’s the best course of action for the major networks – don’t worry about appealing to the casual fan. Just try to make the diehard fans happy, and the rest will eventually start to come. Isn’t that what NBC did with the Premier League? Isn’t that what ESPN is doing with the World Cup? There aren’t any stupid gimmicks or inane talking points, and that strategy is working just fine for those two networks.

Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 08, 2014 at 03:03 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is dying, television

Monday, June 30, 2014

Awful Announcing - RETHINKING BASEBALL ON NATIONAL TELEVISION

There’s a stigma attached to writing about baseball’s predicament on television. Mostly, the idea that if you write about it, you’re proclaiming the death of the sport. It’s fair that the people who love it (which includes me) defend it, because as we’ve seen with soccer, sometimes it’s worth defending the thing that you like more than almost anything.

Fact is, however, that Major League Baseball has a national television problem. Sunday Night Baseball is doing fine, but ESPN still has to program MLB action twice a week, and those matches are hardly noticeable, and rarely very highly-rated. A Mets-Cardinals game that followed the USA-Ghana match drew 1.5 million viewers, a huge number for their Monday Night Baseball franchise. After a World Cup match, another Monday night tussle — one of three that week — between a bad Mets team and one of the worst Cardinal teams in a while just doesn’t inspire much feeling.

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: June 30, 2014 at 03:05 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, espn, fox, mlb_network, tbs, television

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gleeman: Mets minor league team is hosting “Seinfeld night”

Commenter: “I hear the Mets are going to have a related promotion at Citi Field where they score about nothing.”

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Seinfeld” starting on NBC the Mets’ Single-A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League, are hosting a “Seinfeld Night” at the ballpark on July 5.

Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports that the first 2,500 fans will get a Keith Hernandez bobblehead depicting him from the “Magic Loogie” episode of the show. Some other details of the festivities, via Rovell:

During the game, the team will become Vandelay Industries Park, named for the latex company George Costanza tells the unemployment office he might work for. The Cyclones say that anyone who can present a legitimate business card that shows they are a latex salesman will get in for free.

Thanks to Newman, mailmen in uniform will throw out the first pitch. Fans will have a chance to take part in an eating contest featuring cereal, Jerry’s favorite food, and there will be a dancing contest where fans will try to dance just like Elaine. To commemorate one of Jerry’s most awkward moments, the Cyclones will wear puffy shirts during batting practice.

The District Attorney Posted: April 16, 2014 at 02:16 PM | 167 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, minor leagues, television

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Biz of Baseball: As 2012 MLB Season Approaches, Blackout Policy Likely to Remain

Adds Maury…“Pass the popcorn. The static’s on (again)”

File this one in the “broken record” department: prepare for yet another season of MLB’s blackout policy remaining in place.

The reason for the broken record? This story has been written repeatedly for years. A source at MLB said that for all practical purposes, the matter will likely not be addressed for the upcoming season.

For the uninitiated, the question is, “Why should I be concerned?” That depends on whether you are, or planning to, purchase MLB Extra Innings or subscribe to MLB.TV.

In a nutshell, there are two ways you can be hit with the “blackout blues”. National broadcast partners FOX and ESPN have exclusivity agreements in which no matter where you live, games are blacked out on MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV.

...And about the national blackout policy, any chance that happens soon? In speaking with sources close to the matter, when asked if the possibility it won’t be considered until contracts are renewed with ESPN and FOX, the reply was, “Probably.”

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 07:11 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, television

Friday, January 13, 2012

NYT: F.C.C. May Move to End N.F.L. Blackouts

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission took a step that may lead to the elimination of all sports blackouts, of which the N.F.L.’s are the most notable. The commission said it was seeking public comment on eliminating its own rules that have effectively backstopped league policies by prohibiting cable and satellite operators from carrying a game already blacked out by local broadcast stations.

“We’re asking the government to get out of the business of propping up sports blackouts,” said Brian Frederick, executive director of the Sports Fans Coalition, which filed a petition in November to end the F.C.C.’s blackout rule with four other interest groups. “The F.C.C. has had the rule since the 1970s and has never taken a comprehensive look at it.”

This would be awesome, especially for all those poor baseball fans in Nevada.

The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 13, 2012 at 04:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: television

Monday, December 26, 2011

Neyer: What’s To Be Done With Bill Conlin?

One old sparky chair comes to mind! Picks up torch and pitchfork (sees Bon Iver won year-ender…throws away in disgust)...

But what if we discover that one of the players in the actual Hall of Fame did something far more abhorrent than using steroids or testosterone? Say, murder. Would the Hall of Fame seriously consider removing that player? I honestly don’t know.

Of course, time plays a role here. Conlin just won the Spink Award. In the display in the Museum, he’s featured. If Conlin were dead, or if he’d won the award 10 years ago, this whole sordid affair might be a three-day story. But now? With Conlin still around? With an extra-big photo of him in the Museum? With Jerry Sandusky still running free?

Right now, everything is so raw. If given a chance, I suppose I would split the difference. I would not rescind Conlin’s Spink Award, but I would hasten to make him less visible in Cooperstown. We’ve got a new winner: Bob Elliott. Maybe it’s as easy as making him the center piece of the exhibit a few months earlier than scheduled.

Or maybe Conlin should simply be defrocked. I don’t have the answer yet. I do anticipate a spirited discussion. Which will be more than welcome.

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2011 at 01:30 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, hall of fame, history, media, television

Thursday, December 15, 2011

MLB Network unveils brand new social media layer to studio

Krajewski’s Pig Farm goes high tech!

Even though it’s the off-season for the MLB, the MLB Network is hard at work leveraging social media by curating off-season chatter through their programming — and now they’ve rolled out a brand new social media area inside of their state-of-the-art Studio 3 in New Jersey.

The social area of the studio serves up 108-inch touchscreens for MLB Network talent to interact with fans through Facebook polls, Twitter and email. MLB Network has over 98,000 followers on Twitter and over 350,000 likes on Facebook.

...LR: How will social media be incorporated into the studio? On air?

MB: Fans can be part of the discussion and chime in on all the latest Major League Baseball news and rumors leading up to the 2012 regular season. As it has done throughout 2011, MLB Network will continue to interact with viewers and post questions and display select responses on-air in each studio show – including “Hot Stove,” “Clubhouse Confidential” and “Intentional Talk” this offseason – either on the in-studio touchscreen monitor or on-screen in our social media “ticker.”

We also want to bring fans the best and newest info shared by players and media via social media, so MLB Network on-air personalities will discuss tweets on-air, whether it’s a breaking news story or a photo that a player posted from a recent vacation. During the various Jewel Events on the MLB calendar, like Spring Training, Opening Day, the All-Star Game, Trade Deadline, Postseason and Winter Meetings, we monitor hashtags to stay on top of the most talked about storylines and display tweets and stories reported on Twitter from baseball beat writers.

Repoz Posted: December 15, 2011 at 07:04 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, television

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lou Piniella set to return to Bombers as YES Network television analyst

Tip: Buy a comb.

Lou Piniella, a fan favorite as both player and manager, is deep in negotiations and close to signing a deal to return to the Bombers as an analyst for the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network. He also will likely serve as a spring training instructor.

According to industry sources, Piniella will do a limited number of appearances for YES in the broadcast booth and studio.

Piniella would join YES’ cast of analysts that includes Ken Singleton, John Flaherty, Paul O’Neill, David Cone, Al Leiter and play-by-play man Michael Kay.

...Now, sources said, Piniella wants to stay to baseball. It looks like the Yankees are providing that opportunity. This likely means Yankees fans will see Piniella in the YES booth when the Bombers play the Rays in 2012. The Yankees open the season April 6 in Tampa. Piniella should have a role in that telecast.

After leaving Tampa in 2006, Piniella spent a season working for Fox Sports on its major league baseball package.

Repoz Posted: December 14, 2011 at 11:45 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, television, yankees

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hannibal Courier Post: Tim McCarver is not a Hall of Famer

Lifting from Mountaintop Motel Massacre’s sweet Evelyn here…“Please do not piss off Cardinal fans. They already are.”

Tim McCarver, that biased broadcaster, has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

From here on out, he’ll be referred to as a Hall of Famer.

But I’ll just call him Tim McCarver.

Because in my eyes, he is NOT a Hall of Famer. He is a dumbfounded broadcaster who, for whatever reason, has been on the air way too long.

...He is constantly negative toward the Cardinals and does not have any credibility. I can remember when he referred to former pitcher Donovan Osborne as Donovan “Os-burn.” Even during this past postseason, McCarver said the word strike was made up of five letters. Add all that to his sentence structure — that I’m sure makes English teachers squirm — that’s not excellence.

McCarver was a great ballplayer, I respect him for that. In that genre, he’s still not a Hall of Famer (didn’t have the numbers nor did he stand out), but he was certainly an impacting player for the teams he played on.

Losing out on the award this year is Texas Rangers broadcaster Eric Nadel, who is the best descriptive broadcaster there is; McCarver’s former teammate Mike Shannon, who is the most unique broadcaster in the game; and a large number of others who were so much more deserving.

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:02 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, cardinals, hall of fame, history, media, television

Monday, December 12, 2011

Finn: Q&A with MLB Network’s Brian Kenny

I haven’t been this riveted to a TV show since Roy Thinnes got a severe pinky cramp and had to hide it during a whole The Invaders episode!

The resistance from—I guess you could call it the long-established media, since mainstream applies to the internet these days—seems to be fading. Writers such as Keith Law or Dave Cameron at Fangraphs have BBWAA membership, which is a wonderful, progressive development. But there’s still that challenge of making sabermetrics accessible to the those who are skeptical or intimidated. How do you approach that challenge on the show?

Kenny: “That’s always the challenge in knowing where the line is. I want any baseball fan to be able to tune into the show and have a passing knowledge of statistics to be able to watch the show and enjoy it. So I really take my time and take particular care to explain the methodology and to explain what some of these new analytical tools are and how they are used and why they work.

At the same time, I stress this is not math class, a lot of times I try to say, hey, this is wins above replacement. Try not to get caught up in what goes into the number, just look at what the numbers are telling us. We can look at OPS, we can look at weighted on-base average, let’s see what all the evidence is telling us. I don’t get caught up in one number because there is no magic number. A fan is already looking at the numbers. How do you know someone is a good hitter? He hits .300. He drives in 100 runs. Those are metrics. They’re just not the best possible metrics to analyze production and project future performance. There are other numbers for that and we’re going to teach people what they are and how to use them.”

...Before I let you go, I have to ask since he’s one of my favorite players and his Hall of Fame candidacy is cause of sabermetricians: Does Tim Raines belong in the Hall of Fame?

Kenny: “Tim Raines is two Hall of Famers.”

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, baseball geeks, history, media, projections, sabermetrics, television

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hardball Talk: Harrison Ford to play Branch Rickey in Jackie Robinson biopic

According to Spencer Fordin of MLB.com, Legendary Pictures announced yesterday that Harrison Ford will play Hall of Fame Dodgers’ executive Branch Rickey in a biopic about Jackie Robinson.

Many prominent actors have been mentioned for the role of Rickey over the years, including Robert Redford this past April, but Ford was apparently their top choice. His work in “Cowboys and Aliens” probably put him over the top.

As for Robinson, he’ll be played by the relatively unknown Chadwick Boseman. The 27-year-old has appeared in television shows such as “Lincoln Heights” and NBC’s “Persons Unknown.”

The film, which is appropriated titled “42,” is being written and directed by Brian Helgeland of “L.A. Confidential” and “Mystic River” renown.

Shia LaBeouf will play Branch Rickey’s son who takes over the movie for no reason.

Tripon Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:41 PM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, history, media, mets, negro leagues, special topics, television, yankees

Friday, December 09, 2011

LA Times: Angels, Fox to sign 20-year, $3 billion deal

The Angels have agreed to a new deal with Fox Sports worth at least $3 billion and expected to cover 20 years, two parties familiar with the deal said Thursday. The parties declined to be identified because the deal has yet to be officially announced.

Spokesmen for Fox and the Angels declined to comment.

Moreno last year opted out of a 10-year, $500-million contract with Fox, according to sports media consultant and former NBA TV President Ed Desser.

Desser, testifying Thursday in the Dodgers’ bankruptcy case, said the Angels and Fox agreed at the time to a one-year extension while the parties negotiated a new deal.
...

The Rangers agreed with Fox last year on a new contract worth an average of $80 million per year. The Angels’ deal is expected to top that in average annual rights fees — the rejected Dodgers’ deal had an average annual rights fee of about $85 million — and include an ownership stake in FSW.

The timing of this with the Pujols signing is curious.  I wonder if Arte prodded Fox into upping the rights fees once he had Pujols in the fold.  This would be much cooler if Fox was paying for an investment in the team, than Arte taking his windfall and turning around and spending it.

Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: December 09, 2011 at 10:27 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, business, dodgers, rangers, television

Verducci: Winners and losers from a wild week at the Winter Meetings

What are you wearing, Tom from MLB Network?

uhh…khakis.

Winners

Regional sports networks. Twelve months ago Moreno was complaining about Carl Crawford money (seven years, $142 million.) What changed? He lined up a new local TV deal that could pay him almost twice the current annual rate of $50 million—even with the second-worst ratings in baseball. Sports programming is hot. It provides loads of content and, most importantly, content that is DVR-proof. Most sports programming is consumed live, not time-shifted, and that’s increasingly valuable to advertisers who prefer their ads actually be seen and not zapped. There is a reason the Rangers, who were in bankruptcy a year ago, and the Angels, who kept coming up short on free agents, are now superpowers—they lined up state-of-the-art massive TV deals. Once it was new ballparks that created the hierarchy of spending power in baseball. Now RSNs are the new oil wells. Next up at the TV windfall game: the Dodgers.

Sandy Alderson. The Mets GM had the two best lines of the meetings, first, in response to Reyes whining about not being wooed by the Mets, said, “Maybe I should have sent him a box of chocolates,” and then later, noting two of the three biggest contracts in baseball history (Alex Rodriguez and Pujols) were handed out at the same Dallas hotel, said, “There must be a strain of Legionnaire’s disease here.”

Losers

St. Louis fans. They don’t get to watch Pujols chase records and burnish his legacy as a Cardinals icon. But don’t blame the ballclub or even Pujols. Pujols essentially became too good and too expensive for the size of the market—particularly one that hasn’t cashed in yet on the new RSN boom like the Angels and Rangers. St. Louis still has six years left on its local TV deal. They could also start their own RSN, paralleling what the Yankees and Red Sox have done, but St. Louis ranks 24th out of the 30 media markets measured by Neilsen. The Cardinals might not have enough eyeballs for the TV calculus to work.

Hanley Ramirez. He was a problem when he was playing the position he wanted, shortstop. Do the Marlins really believe he will go peacefully to third base? Don’t rule out the possibility of a trade.

Repoz Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:07 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, television

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

BHOF - Tim McCarver Named 2012 Ford C. Frick Award Winner for Broadcasting Excellence

Tim McCarver, who has served as a national analyst on networks for three decades and simultaneously shined as part of broadcast teams with four big league clubs, has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

McCarver becomes the second primary television analyst to win the Frick Award, joining Tony Kubek, who received the honor in 2009. McCarver will be honored as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2012, July 20-23, in Cooperstown, New York.

I thought it was just that he looked better next to Ralph Kiner…

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 04:22 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, television

MLB: Enter to be a Part of MLB Fan Cave 2012

As the lone comment sez…“Baseball Wives isn’t embarrassing enough?

Major League Baseball announced today that the MLB Fan Cave in 2012 will start the season with a group of fan contestants, some of whom will be eliminated throughout the season until one winner is crowned before the end of the World Series. Multiple contestants will begin the season in the MLB Fan Cave and watch every single MLB game each day while chronicling their experiences online through videos, blogs and social media. Along the way, they will compete against one another over the course of the baseball season in a series of challenges, with fans online helping decide who gets to stay in the Fan Cave and play host to the baseball stars and celebrities who will visit throughout the season. Entries – which include a series of essay questions and a video submission – are now being accepted at MLBFanCave.com, with a deadline of Friday, January 13.

The MLB Fan Cave will return to the 15,000 square foot location at 4th Street and Broadway in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village that was formerly the home of Tower Records. After hosting a number of holiday-themed events this month, the MLB Fan Cave will shut its doors in January to be redesigned to feature new technology and interactive elements. The MLB Fan Cave is a unique event space and content factory mixing baseball with music, popular culture, media, interactive technology, and art. It also serves as a digital hub for all baseball fans, with a constant flow of online video and conversation via social media.

Thanks to T. Hissey.

Repoz Posted: December 07, 2011 at 11:44 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, fantasy baseball, media, television

MLB issues media dress guidelines

Well…at least they don’t have to worry about banning flannel. Huh, ohh.

Muscle shirts, ripped jeans and flip-flops—fine for the beach, not so fine for big league press boxes starting next season.

Baseball has become the first major pro league in North America to issue dress guidelines for media members, putting them in writing at the winter meetings.

The no-wear list also includes visible undergarments, excessively short skirts or anything with a team logo.

“This is not in response to any single incident,” MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said Tuesday.

...The media should dress “in an appropriate and professional manner” with clothing proper for a “business casual work environment” when in locker rooms, dugouts, press boxes and on the field, the new MLB rules say.

Banned are sheer and see-through clothing, tank tops, one-shouldered or strapless shirts or clothing exposing bare midriffs. Also listed in the guidelines are skirts, dresses or shorts cut more than 3-4 inches above the knee.

...At 81, former Marlins manager Jack McKeon has seen dress codes change a lot during more than a half-century in the game. Especially at warm-weather ballparks during the hottest summer months.

“I remember the old days, when even the people in Triple-A would wear a coat and tie,” he said. “Now, it’s casual. Less than casual, really,” he said.

“Today, it can look pretty sloppy,” he said. “But that’s not just baseball. It’s generational.”

Thanks to C. Treadway.

Repoz Posted: December 07, 2011 at 11:31 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, television

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Japanese astronaut plays baseball in space

They found the ball Pujols hit off Lidge.

cardsfanboy Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:56 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: international, japan, media, television

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Hoops icon Dick Vitale voices some support for Mariano Rivera

LESS LES CASON, LESS YELLING!

When Dick Vitale heard prior to Thanksgiving that Mariano Rivera was headed for vocal cord surgery, he attempted to reach out to baseball’s all-time closer.

Having undergone surgery on his vocal cord in 2007, the college basketball television announcer and Yankees fan wanted to recommend the doctor that operated on him.

“I had Dr. Steven Zeitels in Boston,’’ Vitale told The Post. “He did mine, Steven Tyler, Adele and James Taylor. He is the Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter of his profession.’’

...“Not being a singer, we don’t use our diaphragms when we talk,’’ Vitale said. “They taught me to do exercises and try to learn that you don’t have to scream and yell on the phone. I have learned that the day of the game I have to be low key.

“Of course, I make my living with talking. Mariano makes his living with his arm.”

 

Repoz Posted: December 04, 2011 at 02:29 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, television, yankees

Saturday, December 03, 2011

NYBD: Silva: The Wild Ride of Bobby Valentine and Steve Phillips

Another…Greatest Sports Argument Of All Time!

Steve Phillips and Bobby Valentine were reunited yesterday on the “Evan and Phillips Show” on Mad Dog Radio. It was a reunion of two men that appeared would never mend the fence after a tumultuous six years as the Mets GM/field manager combo. For as much criticism both Phillips and Valentine receive after the fact, they have the second best run in franchise history.

...Many point to Phillips firing Valentine’s coaches in June of 1999 as to when the relationship went sour. It was actually the departure of first baseman John Olerud after that season that rankled Valentine and created the divide the existed for the remainder of their tenure.

In October, I interviewed Bobby Valentine at the Hamptons Film Festival regarding his new movie “Pelotero,” which followed two young Dominican baseball players while they worked to achieve their dream of being signed by a professional club on their 16th birthday. I spent about 20 minutes recording an audio piece for my radio program and chatting with Valentine. He was probably one of the most engaging, honest, and interesting individuals I have met during my time covering baseball. When I mentioned to him that one of my favorite Mets teams was the ’99 squad, we talked a bit about that team. I went on to say that I thought it was a “mistake” to let John Olerud walk and replace him with Todd Zeile, but that from what I understood “Olerud and his family wanted to play in Seattle.” “Who told you that?” Valentine said. When I mentioned it was a fairly popular media talking point he told me the reason that Olerud left was because “some players on the team didn’t like that he brought his wife on road trips.” Valentine went on to add that he tried to intervene and talk to Olerud about the situation and find a way to correct it and ease any concerns, but Phillips wouldn’t allow it. Instead, he elected to sign Todd Zeile, a move that Valentine wasn’t thrilled about. “That’s when things started to go bad with me and Steve. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

Repoz Posted: December 03, 2011 at 04:39 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, mets, red sox, television

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