December 9, 2013
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Monday, February 02, 2009
Call me crazy, but I don't think the Dallas Morning News understands blogging:
Barack Obama impressed me yesterday by sticking to his gut and picking Pittsburg to win the Super Bowl.
If the author of that is actually on the staff of the Morning News, well, God help them. If he's not and, rather, the Morning News simply allows anyone to post anything under the banner of its "Trail Blazers" blog, well, again, God help them.
For Selig, that is. Despite the fact that his defense is worse than Adam Dunn's.
Not that I'm going to be critical. Selig can be something of a buffoon who tends to bungle the high-profile stuff, but he has also presided over a very bountiful few years for Major League Baseball. It's quick and easy to compare his salary to Derek Jeter or Joe the schoolteacher's and act all outraged, but Bud is in the entertainment business. In light of that it would make much more sense to compare him to Robert Iger or the head of some other entertainment company. My guess is that his salary seems pretty reasonable against that backdrop.
For those of you who don't scroll down much, you may not have seen that I had a rare Sunday post yesterday. Subject: Rick Reilly's story about a guy who crashed the Phillies' World Series celebration. While I devoted most of the post to the notion that, if you look like you belong, you can get into a lot of places you shouldn't, I'll admit that when I first read Reilly's account, I wondered if someone was taking him for a ride. Why? Because we live in a pretty intense security environment these days and no matter how easy it is for me to get into a state office building, surely Major League Baseball paid greater attention to these things, right? It appears I wasn't the only one thinking that, as this comment from Ron Rollins makes clear:
I have to question the fact that this actually happened. I used to work security for the Mariners, and the chances of this happening are slim to none.
My understanding is that ESPN has about 137 layers of editors between the writer and the final product, so I find it hard to believe that anyone could actually pull off a hoax the sort Ron is alleging, even if someone was trying to sucker Reilly. That said, Ron makes a good point, and in light of it, I would like to have seen Reilly try to get a comment from the Phillies explaining the apparent security breakdown.
Chris Jaffe had the 50 best closer songs last week. This week: Geoff Young has the 71 worst.
One quibble: Geoff includes "If you Leave" by OMD. I'll grant him that it's not exactly intimidating, but a San Diego guy like Young should know that OMD singer Andy McCluskey married himself a Coronado girl and owns a house on the island. I know this because my brother is squatting there. For real! His girlfriend is childhood friends with McCluskey's wife, so whenever the OMD family is in the U.K., my brother and his chick play Kato to their O.J. Best part: I was on the phone with my brother once, making fun of his benefactor for being a one hit wonder ("Hey Curt! You realize I can't play a note, but I'm still only one hit away from matching your buddy's track record!") when Curt put Andy on the phone. And get this: he actually used the "we're very big in Europe" line. I almost got a hernia I was laughing so hard. Imagine my embarrassment when I looked it up later and found out he was telling the truth. God, I hate the 80s.
Well, I sorta lost my train of thought. All I'm saying is that it's gonna be really hard for the Padres to draw this year, so they should do a promotion called "Synth-pop Saturday" and have local boy McCluskey throw out the first pitch. I have it on pretty good authority that he's not too busy.
Longtime ShysterBall readers know that I take hot dogs very seriously. I'm not a snob about them -- I'm cool with whatever is popular in whatever region I happen to be in -- but I am certainly someone who expects others to honor and respect hot dog culture for the wonderful thing that it is.
The City of New York is not doing that when it comes to the new tourist-oriented banners its putting up all over the city:
What got me started on this rant was a banner that I keep seeing, featuring a hot dog. I suppose it's intended to attract foodie tourists to the website. But where did that hot dog come from? It's clearly not the slender, natural-skin weenie for which New York is famous, from its cart-vended "dirty water dogs," to the esteemed products of Nathan's and Katz's.
The author himself has violated some code of professional hot dog ethics by making broad generalizations about the kind of hot dogs eaten in "the rest of the country," but his primary point stands.
Courtesy of Joesph P. at River Ave. Blues is everything you ever wanted to know about the cratering of corporate sponsorships but were afraid to ask:
The risk for the sports industry and those who follow it is that a collapse in sports sponsorships could cause a downward spiral similar to the housing and credit bubbles. For example, television broadcasters who rely heavily on advertising may be forced to stop bidding so aggressively for the rights to broadcast sporting events. These broadcast fees, together with sponsorships, make up a significant source of revenue for sports teams and leagues, so a substantial decline in these amounts would adversely affect the industry. Team owners are also feeling the squeeze personally, as the financial crisis has put a dent in their portfolios, and in the case of the owner of the New York Mets, Fred Wilpon, who invested a large portion of his wealth with his childhood friend, Bernard Madoff, such investments have been lost. In addition, media groups such as the Tribune Company, owner of the Chicago Cubs, have recently filed for bankruptcy. Teams that are unable to offer the highest salaries will be unable to attract the best players and without the best players, teams will have difficulty winning. Losing teams will have a more difficult time attracting sponsors. It is a vicious cycle that is bound to have a lasting effect on how the sports industry has been operating during this sports bubble, which could be the next bubble to burst.
The kicker to all of this -- and the thing that pro sports and big media should really worry about -- is that an economic rebound is no guarantee of a sponsorship rebound. Why? Well, I'm no expert, but I have always suspected that such sponsorships weren't worth the money spent on them. I feel this way about most advertising, really, and suspect that if the numbers were really scrutinized, it would become apparent to most would-be advertisers. Such scrutiny hasn't come, however, because business has been more or less good and well, such sponsorships have been around so long that they are part of the corporate culture with executives just assuming that they are valuable.
It appears that Red Sox owner John Henry is adding a third trophy to the case:
Red Sox owner John Henry is engaged to girlfriend Linda Pizzuti . . .
According to my inside sources, Red Sox' advisor Bill James is furious that Henry would enter into a long term contract with someone over 30.
(link via Pinto)
Dierkes rounds up all of the chatter about Adam Dunn. Upshot: no one is all that hot for him. Someone, however, is eventually going to sign this guy and get the biggest bargain of the offseason. Sure, his defense is reason for every NL to give pause, but that's the reason not to pay him, say, $13 million over years. For a one year deal south of $10 million, however? Sign me up, baby, because those 35-40 homers and all of those walks will cover a lot of ills with the leather. If Atlanta signed him right now I would be the happiest little Braves fan north of the Mason-Dixon line.
Another fun day in Pirates land:
The Pittsburgh Pirates made a candid and surprising admission: Not only are they perennially in last place in the NL Central, they've dropped into last in their own city.
Obviously change the "are seeking" to "won."
I don't know that this is as shameful as the tone of the article suggests. I mean really, I like to make fun of hockey as much as the next guy, but it is a major sport, the Penguins are good, and Sidney Crosby is a megastar. Sure, maybe they still wouldn't be eclipsing baseball if the Pirates have had even a semblance of a clue for the past decade+ -- the Penguins had Lemieux and a couple of Stanley Cups in the early 90s, and I don't think they were more popular than the Bonds-Bonilla Pirates -- but it's not a mortal insult to be less popular than a hot team with the game's hottest star on it.
Only two comments about the Stupid Bowl:
1. The counter-programming award has to go to The Learning Channel, which ran the following shows during the game: "Forbidden Love: Polygamy"; "My Husband's Three Wives"; "Anatomy of Sex;" and "Mother Knows Sex." Yeah, they probably got trounced by both the game and the Puppy Bowl, but it's not for lack of trying.
2. I've never been that fond of the use of the word "speedball," but for as clunky as it is, I don't think I can ever forgive Springsteen for putting football lyrics in the first verse of "Glory Days" during the halftime show.
But that was last night. Today at THT:
It has been a long, ugly football season (as they all are). But remember: if we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. The football season is finally over. Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks. The world will make sense again soon.