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Repoz
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Monday, April 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April 2019)

Guess how many songs in the Top 10 biggest tracks in the U.S. last year were written by a solo songwriter? Zero. The year before that? Zero.

In 2016, just one solo-written song made the year-end Top 10: “Stressed Out,” by 21 Pilots, written by Tyler Joseph. In 2015, there was also just one solo-written track (Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen”), while in 2014 there were two, including “Counting Stars,” by One Republic (written by Ryan Tedder), and the biggest song of that year, “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams.

This is a snapshot of an overwhelming trend in the music industry over the past decade: the near-complete decline of the solo singer-songwriter pop hit, and the near-complete dominance of songs written by committee.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza ([most of] March 2019)

Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are among 50 people charged in a $25 million college entrance exam cheating scheme, according to court documents unsealed in Boston on Tuesday.

The alleged scam focused on getting students admitted to elite universities as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic abilities, and helping potential students cheat on their college exams, according to the indictment.


Friday, February 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (February 2019)

Having sold out at event screenings since December, They Shall Not Grow Old, which opens for a full run this week, is poised to become the only blockbuster this year that was filmed from 1914 to 1918, on location on the Western Front. Commissioned to make a movie for the centennial of the Armistice, using original footage, Peter Jackson has taken a mass of World War I archival clips from Britain’s Imperial War Museum and fashioned it into a brisk, absorbing and moving experience.

How he has done this is simultaneously novel and destined to earn the justifiable quibbling of purists. Although the film is book ended by black-and-white footage of men going off to war and then returning home, the battlefield sequences have been substantially doctored, with the ostensible goal of making them more immersive and appealing to modern audiences.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Contrary to popular conjecture, Baseball Tonight will not be coming back as a daily program

MLB Network killed ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

1. MLB has opted to let ESPN slide on a contractual obligation to have a certain amount of studio shows during each season. MLB gave ground here in part due to some horse trading with ESPN, who agreed to allow Sunday Night Baseball to start an hour earlier and have a consistent start time of 7 PM ET.  While ratings experts internally at ESPN believe this may actually lead to a decline in viewership, the extra hour adds a bit of relief to the already rigorous MLB travel schedule that often has teams flying cross country after the late night game window.

2. Despite the enthusiasm of Pitaro and others in increased MLB coverage, ultimately the ratings projections for baseball-specific programming on ESPN instead of SportsCenter only reaffirmed the original decision that Baseball Tonight or other baseball-specific programming no longer made sense for the network as a daily program. SportsCenter draws more viewers than Baseball Tonight, and siphoning off viewers to change over to ESPN2 after a game wasn’t deemed as a practical option, given that the network would be producing two shows and mostly splitting the same audience.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2019 at 06:25 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: television

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Kirk Gibson new special assistant for Tigers, keeps TV role

In other words, he has about as much confidence about the team coming up as the rest of us do.

QLE Posted: January 29, 2019 at 05:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kirk gibson, special assistant, television, tigers

Friday, January 25, 2019

JCPenney found a family for a holiday video, but had no idea it was Adrian Beltre’s family

At some point during the holiday season, leading up to Christmas, Adrian Beltre showed what retirement is all about.

Spending time with family ... by going to JCPenney during the holiday shopping rush.

There’s video to prove it, an add of some sort, but the people who shot, produced and hosted the video clearly had no idea that a Hall of Fame baseball player was in their midst.

This feels telling, but I’m not sure of what.

 

QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 04:05 AM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian beltre, jcpenney, television

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (January 2019)

The 2018-19 TV season is at the midway point, so here’s our annual list of midseason premiere dates for new and returning series. It covers hundreds of broadcast, cable and streaming programs debuting from January 1 through early May and includes shows that were on hiatus.


Tuesday, December 04, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (December 2018)

The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good.

It’s a difficult leap to make—embracing Darth Vader and the Emperor over the plucky and attractive Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia—but a careful examination of the facts, sorted apart from Lucas’s off-the-shelf moral cues, makes a quite convincing case.


Friday, November 30, 2018

AJC Exclusive: Changes coming to Braves’ broadcast team

The Braves will juggle the lineup in their broadcast booths for next season.

The biggest change is that former Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur will replace veteran broadcaster Joe Simpson as the lead analyst on the Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast telecasts of games.

Simpson, a member of the Braves Hall of Fame, will remain part of the broadcast team for a 28th season, shifting to radio for a large number of games and also working a limited number on TV.

It’s been a while since we’ve had him to kick around…..

 

QLE Posted: November 30, 2018 at 06:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, braves, jeff francoeur, joe simpson, television

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Why MLB buying Fox regional sports networks would make sense

Ever since Disney got provisional approval in June from the U.S. Department of Justice to acquire most of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for $71.3 billion, the fate of 22 regional sports networks has been up in the air.

The DOJ told Disney it could not keep the RSNs, and would have to sell them off within 90 days of the Disney-Fox deal closing. That restriction launched a parlor game for sports media folks: Who will buy the RSNs?

Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and Discovery all looked like potential bidders. There were also reports that Fox could end up buying them back. Then, last week, CNBC reported that Amazon was bidding in the first round, along with less surprising names including Sinclair, Apollo Global Management, Blackstone, and KKR.

A discussion of the competition for control of Fox’s regional sports networks.

QLE Posted: November 29, 2018 at 07:45 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: fox sports, mlb, regional sports networks, television

Friday, November 02, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (November 2018)

Before she arrived on the Vancouver set of Deadpool 2 in mid-August 2017, Joi Harris had never performed a stunt. She’d never been anywhere near a movie or TV set, for that matter. Producers and studio 20th Century Fox wanted an African-American double for Zazie Beetz, who’d been cast in the role of Domino. They hired Harris, 40, who had done some motorcycle racing, and flew her in a couple of days before the shoot. The sequence was pretty straightforward. It called for a rider, sitting astride a powerful Ducati 939 Hyperstrada motorcycle, to coast down a set of planks that had been laid over a few stairs. Harris would be traveling about 5 miles an hour, though onscreen it would be made to look as if she were going much faster.

As the day approached, several experienced stunt performers who had been training Harris all weekend say they told producers and the stunt coordinator they believed Harris wasn’t ready. They warned the production that racing on a track was very different from performing in front of cameras and an audience. Producers stuck to the plan. Canada’s workplace safety agency, WorkSafeBC, hasn’t released its final report on what happened next, but three people familiar with that day’s shoot say they watched in horror as Harris, on the first live take, lost control of the bike. She hung on as it sped across a street at high speed before hitting a planter, which sent her hurtling headfirst through a plate glass window. She wasn’t wearing a helmet. It was 9:30 in the morning, and her very first stunt would also be her last.


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 06:11 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 03:11 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 12:30 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 06:04 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 10:45 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 11:02 AM | 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 09:01 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 08:41 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 09:27 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 06:07 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 03:22 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 10:44 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 10:31 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 04:56 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: international, japan, media, television

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