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Friday, November 06, 2009
ESPN plagiarised -- and then un-plagiarised and apologized for plagiarising -- a story on my NBC colleague Mike Florio's Pro Football Talk blog. Best part of it is the first comment on ESPN's article after the correction was made:
Jesus... at least plagiarize a legitimate site... you're now poaching off of a failed lawyer's sports blog
That works for me on so many levels.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:24pm
Monday, November 09, 2009
Twenty years ago today the Berlin Wall fell. I'm obviously not equipped to do the event historical justice in this space, so I'll share my own shallow personal remembrance: I was in the 11th grade, taking an advanced placement government and politics class. The teacher was way more interested in international relations stuff, however, so the syllabus and text for the class was premised almost exclusively on Cold War politics. With the fall of the wall, the entire lesson plan for the class was essentially mooted. It was at that moment that I realized "hey, maybe they're not teaching us everything we need to know in school."
Secondary remembrance: the fall of the Wall led directly to the Scorpions' late-career hit "Winds of Change." Who would have thunk that a band who once put out an album called "Virgin Killer" with a cover depicting a nude pre-teen girl covered in broken glass would one day tell us everything we needed to know about the thawing of NATO-Warsaw Pact relations? Anyway:
One definition of happiness: receiving a case schedule from a court and realizing that you'll be long gone before any of the hard stuff has to be done.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:38am
Remember Dave Chalk's retirement from Bugs & Cranks last week? Well, he's takin' a mulligan.
You'll recall my bewilderment re: Dave's stated dissatisfaction over steroids and money and stuff ruining baseball, and wondering why that all of a sudden became a problem for him when it was nothing really new. He responds, with the upshot being that 2008-2009 were particularly bad in those departments, thus fueling his dissatisfaction. The substance is too long to blockquote, so click on through to read his explanation.
I like to see more baseball bloggers, not less, so good for Dave for taking a week and rethinking it all.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:10pm
You probably have to be in your mid-30s and had to have lived in Michigan in the mid-80s in order to care about this.
Anybody know what John Wockenfuss is up to?
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:49pm
The working conditions are terrible. None of his colleagues do their job. The whole damn operation is a waste of time. I'm just waiting for the "I don't believe in nothin' no more, I'm goin' to law school!" post.
Not that I don't see where Pearlman is coming from. Press boxes are bad places to watch games. Reporters do ask inane questions. Athletes do give vapid answers. That whole scene is rather silly.
But rather than mope about it, Jeff, do something about it. Tell SI that you're done with the conventional beat and you want to cover stories differently. Tell them you want to eschew the box, dispense with the postgame interviews and ask the questions you're presumably not allowed to ask. You wonder why no one asks if Jay Cutler is overrated? Ask it yourself! You want to rain on the Bears' playoff pretensions? Do it!
But for God's sake, drop the pity party. Everyone has a job they hate from time to time. None of us like being away from our kids for work. All of us, however, sack the hell up and get on with it.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:13pm
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The Seattle Times' Larry Stone thinks that the Mariners should bring Ken Griffey Jr. back. There are many words, but it essentially boils down to this:
I believe Griffey still has something to offer. He can tickle Ichiro, bring laughter to the clubhouse, hit an occasional bomb and take one more crack at October.
With the exception of the occasional bomb, he can do those things as a bench coach. And those occasional bombs are more than outweighed by his other liabilities. Just say no, Seattle.
Retire his number on opening day. Enshrine him in any Hall of Fame at your disposal. Offer him any job in the organization he wants this side of GM. But don't give the man a roster spot.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 10:20am
Before we get to the posts, take a look at some amazing pictures of that Utah salt flat NASA tried to sucker us into believing was the moon forty years ago.
I wish the photo at the link would have focused more on the West Crater so we could see the Monolith. Wait -- It's buried 40 feet below the lunar surface near the crater Tycho. Forget I said anything.
UPDATE: The 2001 reference got me surfing, and I made it over to the "memorable quotes" section of the IMDB page for the sequel, "2010." This passage stood out:
Heywood Floyd: I'd love a hot dog.
It's not quite 2010, and neither of those stadiums exist anymore. I can't help but think the writers of the flick, back in 1984, thought "well, the Astrodome is totally futuristic, so it'll still be around 25 years from now. And Yankee Stadium is freakin' Yankee Stadium. Let's go with those references.!"
And while I'm rambling, allow me to go on record as absolutely loving "2010." No, 2001 didn't call out for a sequel -- quite the opposite actually -- and it's not as good as 2001, not does it even attempt to be. But it works on its own merits, and has a bunch of nifty performances by actors I really like. Lithgow and Scheider mostly, but the always welcome Bob Balaban as well. I probably watched that flick on HBO 100 times when I was a kid, and if it's ever on now -- usually SciFi or some other low rent channel -- I'll watch it all the way through again.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:20am
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Sorry for the late Exile post, but I had the great fortune of taking a cat to be euthanized! Second one this year! On the bright side: the lone remaining cat has been on his absolute best behavior for the past two hours. Anyway:
R.I.P., Ringo. Watch your ass George.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 1:02pm
I wrote over at NBC this morning that I think Marvin Miller was a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame. Not everyone agrees with that. Not even some pretty damn reasonable people. Here are two perspectives. First Rob Neyer:
I mentioned this morning that I'm still an agnostic regarding Whitey Herzog's Hall of Fame candidacy. I suppose I'm also agnostic about Marvin Miller. Before you tear my head off, let me ask you one question: If you believe that Marvin Miller belongs, would you be comfortable with Scott Boras someday joining Miller? Because Boras, too, has been historically significant and reaped untold millions of dollars for the players.
Point taken, but doesn't the innovation trump mere exploitation? Isn't comparing Miller to Boras this like comparing Henry Ford and Lee Iacocca? Wait, that's not even fair. Iacocca at least developed the Mustang. Isn't that like comparing Ford and the CEO of Toyota? If there's an automobile Hall of Fame Ford's in it. The CEO of Toyota isn't.
Another perspective comes from NBC commenter Simon DelMonte (don't worry; he's one of the reasonable ones over there):
I'm as pro-union as they come in this day and age, the son of a proud member of the teachers union. And I usually agree with Marvin Miller when he gives interviews on the state of affairs in baseball. But I still feel uncomfortable about having him in the Hall. His accomplishments were off the field. Period. And just don't know if they helped the game. Helped the players, yes. The game? I don't think so.
Well, for starters there are a lot of guys in the Hall whose accomplishments were "off the field," so that's a non-starter. I understand the thinking behind the "good for the players and not the game" argument, but I don't buy it. The game is radically different now than it was before free agency, I'll grant that. But I think it's a tall order to say that the game is worse off. More people watch it now. Everyone makes more money. The quality of play remains high. There is competitive imbalance, but is it any worse than what we saw during the alleged Golden Age? Are Royals fans really worse off than St. Louis Browns fans were? Wait, we can't answer that because there are no more St. Louis Browns.
As for Flood: if you're inclined to put him in the Hall of Fame, I can't see how you can argue against Miller. Miller was behind Flood's challenge in the first place. If failed in his case. Miller persisted and ultimately won with other players what could not be won with Flood alone. Ultimately they were after the same thing, and one succeeded where the other failed. Why honor the guy who failed instead of the one who succeeded? Put less harshly, why honor the name out in front of the challenge instead of the mastermind?
Ultimately my argument for Miller comes down to this: there were three times in baseball history where everything frickin' changed: the end of the deadball era, the integration of baseball and the advent of free agency. Marvin Miller was the force behind that third one. How can you not honor that?
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:28pm
Thursday, November 12, 2009
When you have Wednesday off work, Thursday is Monday. Considering that Monday sucks and that I never really got the hang of Thursdays, I'm just really off my game today. Maybe I'd feel better if opposing counsel in one of my cases were to call me and say he was going to "take a meat axe" to me. Damn, that happened this morning too, and it only made me feel happy for a little while. Sigh.
I should totally set up a status conference in the case with the meat axe guy for November 30th.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 1:02pm