May 24, 2013
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
With big evil bloggers threatening their very existence, the newspapers have finally called upon the Judean People's Front crack suicide squad!
The Newport (R.I.) Daily News will now charge $145 annually to a newspaper subscriber, $245 if a subscriber wants the paper and access to the paper’s web site—and, here’s the key figure, $345 if the subscriber only wants the web site. Yes, you’re reading correctly; this means someone has to pay an extra $100 not to get the newspaper.
Let me know how that works for you.
Ryne Sandberg thinks Sammy Sosa won't make the Hall of Fame and believes that he shouldn't make the Hall of Fame. I agree with the first part and, while my mind isn't 100% made up about it yet, I'm inclined to disagree with the second part. Either way, neither Sandberg's position on that or mine is terribly interesting. I do find this kind of interesting, though:
Sandberg and Sosa were Cubs teammates from 1992 to '94 and from '96 to '97.
I'd like to know if there's any evidence upon which Sandberg bases his "Sammy didn't use until 1998" position, because it seems awful convenient for him to say that nothing untoward was happening until the very moment those two stopped sharing a clubhouse. Sosa was on a 50+ homer pace in 1996 before an injury ended his season. Was it not possible that he was using then too? If he wasn't, isn't it the case that the progression to 66 homers a couple of years later isn't quite as unnatural as it seemed?
My point here isn't to try and pinpoint when Sammy started taking PEDs -- I don't know that and neither do you and neither does Ryne Sandberg. The point is that comments such as Sandberg's represent an attempt at drawing lines, however subtly, between heroes and villains that does not reflect what actually occurred in the game over the past couple of decades. There were almost certainly people in the Cubs' clubhouse using steroids before Ryne Sandberg retired at the end of the 1997 season, and there were definitely people in the league using steroids before then too. I suspect that Sandberg and other putative non-users knew that on some level, and for them to say they didn't today strikes me as implausible and rather self-serving.
Jose Canseco did not invent steroids in 1988 and hand them to McGwire and Sosa at a secret summit meeting in the winter of 1997. They were all over and around the game, and if you believe the massive amounts of reporting that has been done on the subject, they were openly discussed by users and non-users, players, ownership and media. If people wish to be serious when it comes to steroids in baseball, it would be helpful if they'd acknowledge that fact rather than scapegoat the big targets and feign ignorance.
A blogger interviews an online columnist's regular podcast guest. If anyone would have tweeted during the interview I'm pretty sure that time would have folded in upon itself.
Anyway, from Chop-N-Change's Alex Remington, here's the famous JackO on the Yankees:
I think Girardi is very lucky that George Steinbrenner is no longer at the helm. I was thinking this week that losing 2 out of 3 to the Nationals would have triggered a legendary Steinbrenner explosion. I could envision post-game tirades and savage quotes in headlines in the New york tabloids. That performance coupled with their record against the Sox might have lead to Joe looking for work. In his heyday, George certainly fired people for less.
Today is odd link day, apparently. Here's another one, which I like an awful lot. It's called "1924 and You Are There!!" Upshot: a guy is playing the 1924 season with Strat-o-Matic cards and then writing up news stories about each game in the lingo of the time:
But Johnson's sweeping arm was a half speed off today, for he was inviting runners onto the sacks at an appalling rate. Les Burke singled off him to begin the Tiger 6th, was bunted to second by Wells, and scored on a Lu Blue double to close the score to 6-5. Two walks and two bloop singles the next inning then re-tied the game, and both starters fought their way out of subsequent pickles until Burke got his third straight single to open the bottom of the 9th. The Train retired the next two men but them Manush lined his fourth hit, a single between McNeely and RIce, to send Burke to third.
I thought of doing something like that with my old Lance Hafner simulation about four years ago, but figured no one would want to read my daily recaps. Live and learn.
Following last week's flooding at Miller Park, a lot of us said "man, that was a bunch of rain." Vinnie at Yellow Chair Sports, however, said it in far more erudite terms than you ever could.
Just a quick note: Vinnie uses the term "recurrence interval" in his post. For that reason I was going to slap it with a NSFW tag, but then I realized that he wasn't talking about what I thought he was talking about.
Don't look at me like that. It's a post about rain, for crying out loud. My mind wanders.
This has been all over the Internets since Friday or so -- and it's so brilliant that I'd be shocked if it wasn't picked up elsewhere before then -- but I somehow didn't see it until this morning. I wish I had this one handy the last time I threw a Wahoo bomb. This would be a good one to mix up and use as a quiz for hardcore fans. This one is simply inspired.
Say goodbye to your afternoon.
(thanks to Adam Feit for the heads up -- Adam, in turn, got it from RAB, so thanks to those guys as well).
A butterfly flaps its wings in South America; a beer truck overturns, losing its precious cargo; Ed McMahon dies. Some may call it chaos. I think that these are directly-related phenomena . . .
Braves 2, Cubs 0: Javier Vazquez somehow managed to allow no runs despite giving up nine hits and two walks in six and two-thirds. Behold! In these Cubs we have found a team more feeble when it matters most than the Braves!
Rockies 11, Angels 1: Aaron Cook now has the most wins in Rockies' franchise history at 59, which is pretty neat, actually. Colorado has now won 17 of 18.
Athletics 5, Giants 1: I thought Jonathan Sanchez was supposed to be, like, good. He's 2-9, has lost four in a row and has an ERA of five and a half. Meanwhile, Trevor Cahill hasn't allowed more than three runs in an outing in over a month.
Mets 6, Cardinals 4: I know it's great sport to make fun of announcers, and it's even more fun to try to out-funny one another when we do it. But when I say this, please understand that there is no snark intended. There is no joke to follow. I do not offer this as a means of piling on. Really, I am being very, very serious, and I hope this is taken seriously by someone in a position to do something about it: Rick Sutcliffe and Steve Phillips -- who were together on the same ESPN broadcast team for some reason -- are truly wretched and should not be allowed in a broadcast booth.
I am among the biggest baseball fans on the planet. I have devoted thousands of hours over the past few years writing about it and thousands more over the course of my life watching it. I am among those who will watch baseball under almost any circumstances. Scandal. National emergency. Family emergency. You name it, and I'm still wondering when the game starts. Yet after only an inning or two of listening to these men do their best to distract me from the game with their pointless, showy commentary, I changed the channel. I watched a nine year-old "Family Guy" rerun because I could not bear to listen to these disgraces argue about how they'd pitch to Albert Pujols in such a way as to actually interfere in an Albert Pujols at bat. I could not bear to listen to them talk about the legacy of Donald Fehr with an incoherence that was surprising, even for them. I could not stand the cascading cliches, the super-hyped, super-throaty wannabe radio announcer voices, and the seeming unwillingness to let a moment pass without their voices drowning out the sounds of the ballpark and even, on occasion, the play-by-play itself. And before you say "well, I guess we won't pair them up again," know that they do it on their own respective broadcasts too. If these men were next to you at the ballpark or sitting on the next bar stool over going on like they do, you'd yell at them to shut up, and if they didn't, you'd ask them to be shown the door.
ESPN, for all of your faults, you remain the premier venue of broadcast sports. How, then, you allow Major League Baseball, one of your most valuable properties, to be massacred so thoroughly by the likes of Sutcliffe and Phillips I will never know. You are actively driving fans away, ESPN. You are turning off an entire generation to a product that should, by all rights, be bulletproof. Having Sutcliffe and Phillips broadcasting baseball is the equivalent of giving away water in the desert via infomercial. Why bother? People are begging for your product, yet you seem to almost revel in assaulting them in order to get it. The only possible explanation is sadism.
I know many people who work for ESPN. Every single one of them is bright, amiable, and above all else, passionate about sports. How, then, you allow guys like Sutcliffe and Phillips to sully their efforts with their terrible, terrible work is beyond me.
ESPN: dare to give your sport, your viewers, and your employees the respect they deserve. Remove Sutcliffe and Phillips from the booth. Replace them with someone who understands that the game, and not their own mindless prattle, is the product people tune in to see and hear.