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Monday, December 22, 2008
Word from New York of yet another suitor pulling out.
One of those writing projects I mentioned in the previous post is a book review I'm doing for the New York Post of Allen St. John's book about the Super Bowl called The Billion Dollar Game. Really good book, by the way, and I'll link the review here when it runs. But something in it is driving me absolutely crazy.
In Chapters 8 and 9, St. John talks to the FOX Sports director and executives in charge of the Super Bowl broadcast. They all make a really good point: despite the Super Bowl being the biggest game in the world, from a broadcast perspective, you simply can't add 50 cameras over and above what you'd have in a regular season game even though everyone expects you to. It's expensive for one thing in that if you add a camera, you have to add a tape machine, and a video editor, etc. etc. It's also technically complicated, in that you still basically have a single director in charge of calling the show, and he can only see so many shots at a time. The better rule, the FOX guys believe, is to keep things relatively simple and go with the approach that got you through the previous 20 weeks or so. All of the extra cameras, bells and whistles "are really the meringue," one of them says. "We need to make sure the pie is right, and the pie is a production of the game where everyone can see what goes on and knows what the hell just happened."
Here's a question: is it possible for these guys to get switched off of FOX's football crew and reassigned to baseball? Because 90% of FOX baseball broadcasts are meringue, and I would really like some freakin' pie next October.
Because I'm a terrible procrastinator, I've come dangerously close to blowing the deadlines for two non-blog writing projects. As such, today will be a bit slower than usual as I scramble to whip rough drafts into publishing shape. I'll be around, though, so if the questionable Manny Ramirez rumor turns out to be true and something actually happens today, I'll be here to register my outrage and whatnot.
In the meantime, you law students out there answer for me this jurisdictional question: why is the character in the Johnny Cash song doing time in a California prison for shooting a man in Reno, Nevada?
I often think I'm a pretty obsessive blogger, but I got nothin' on this guy.
For those of you who haven't seen this elsewhere, The MLB Network is kicking things off on January 1st with a rebroadcast of Don Larsen's perfect game from the 1956 World Series. I was planning on watching that anyway, but this article contains two little details of which I wasn't previously aware which make it must-see TV: (a) the game will run with its original commercials; and (b) the broadcasters will be Mel Allen and Vin Scully.
I knew on an intellectual level that Vin Scully was broadcasting the Dodgers back then, but for some reason having to do with me equating 1956 with ancient, ancient history, I hadn't married that thought up with the fact of this game. I had just figured it would be Mel Allen. How about that.
As for the commercials, I can't wait to find out exactly which cigarettes have that rich tobacco flavor.
It's so cold outside that if the thermometer were any longer we'd all freeze to death. So why don't you stay inside, mix your favorite beverage, and warm yourself with some fresh, hot baseball:
And remember! Only three more shopping days until Rickey Henderson's birthday!
The New York Times' Dan Rosenheck calls for the abolition of the rule that bounces dudes off the Hall of Fame ballot if they don't receive 5% of the vote in their first year. The reason: the writers are starting to (slowly) get smarter about what makes a Hall of Famer, and many of the thinking man's favorites have been (or may be) dropped from the ballots before their value is truly appreciated:
As mainstream baseball reporters have become more familiar with the sophisticated quantitative tools now available to assess players’ value, their collective judgment has evolved. As a result, some players whose skills have been underappreciated would probably benefit from strong campaigns of support today. Unfortunately, many have been dropped from the ballot, and their omissions are no less glaring than the current statistical causes célèbre of Blyleven, Alan Trammell and Tim Raines.
The usual suspects are mentioned: Bobby Grich, Ted Simmons, Lou Whitaker.
I'm all for it, though I'll admit having a high-profile paper like the New York Times stumping for these guys is a bit disconcerting. After all, arguing for guys like Grich, Whitaker and Simmons has always been one of my favorite attention-grabbing affectations. This is the baseball equivalent of that article in the USA Today profiling your favorite indie band. Kind of kills it, you know?
Looks like I'll have to start stumping for some less obvious guys. For example, did you know that Jack Clark walked more times in his career than all but 41 guys, and that the majority of those ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame?
OK, I'll work on it some more.