RAISE A GLASS TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR Let us toast JC Bradbury as he departs from blogging
And as an added bonus, let us toast Jonah Keri at the end of his eleven and a half year run at IBD.
Thanks to both for many great reads over the years and may their work continue to enjoy a prominent place in baseball and economic circles.no comments
THE FUTURE DOMAIN OF HOBBYISTS TJIC is absolutely right. Eventually photog snobs will sniff that Kodachrome was always preferable to digital for clarity of images, much like music snobs sniffed about vinyl in the nineties. Nothing sells like nostalgia, the familiar feel of what once ours when once we were young. It's why the Wii gets plenty of Super Mario Brothers downloads, and why you can still get a Sega Genesis on Amazon.no comments
MORE HALL OF FAME COMMENTARY The Baseball Think Factory has CHB and Bob Ryan discussing the ballot. The comments section is priceless.
Related: Dingers slaps around Jeff Pearlman. Key point is number one, which restates the idea upon which our judicial presumption of innocence, that the accused cannot logically prove a negative, such as I did not take steroids. Pearlman's cheap insinuations of guilt are up to him to prove, not Jeff Bagwell to disprove.no comments
WHY RESTAURANT WEBSITES ARE TERRIBLE Serious Eats points out what all restaurant visitors already know. The websites promoting the eateries suck. And why not? Restauranteurs should worry about food, not selling the food, right? Wrong. Here's why they suck: Reason the first: most chain restaurants are corporate subsidiaries and corporate committees make horrible marketing decisions. Reason the second: to most web designers flash and other widgets are cooler than functional text. Reason the third, corporate committees want to appear hip and eschew function in favor of style. Reason the fourth, small chains are afraid of appearing different and less appealing than their big time competition. Reason the fifth: all sites sink to the lowest common denominator. All of these sites would be better if they appreciated that most people accessing their sites in a hurry and want information quickly and easily. If they were to get it, those customers will alter their plans and visit that establishment instead of their frustrating competition. It's not that hard to make the changes, but it requires a marketing director who is eager to emphasize function over style and thus appeal to their customers.
If you are a restaurant owner and you want to make a difference, drop me a line. I can help.no comments
THE BEAUTY OF COMPLIMENTARY ARGUMENTS So I've already railed on the Hall of Fame voters a little, but here's a little more. First we have Jonah Keri's excellent observation of often overlooked facts.
Dave Cameron follows Keri's piece with the reminder that you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. A novel idea that seberists have been touting for decades now, that objective measures beat the crap out of subjective recollections.
Go and do likewise, gents.
Oh, and my ballot, were I to have one. Alomar, Bagwell, Blyleven, Larkin, Martinez (Edgar division), McGriff, McGwire, Raines, Trammell, Walker. I kept it to ten and could go either way on McGriff and Lee Smith, who missed the cut because I kept it to ten.no comments
ANNOYING HEADLINE DEPARTMENT "Harmon Killebrew Says He Has Cancer" The lead notes he has been diagnosed. No one would make up a story like this. So why not just drop the "Says He" from the headline.
Best wishes to Killebrew and his family and friends as he battles esophageal cancer.no comments
FUROR What kind of inane non-apology is this?
"I made a horrible mistake and I'm deeply sorry. I did not live up to my high standards or ESPN's," Selva said in the statement. "I sincerely apologize for my sloppiness, especially to Kevin Ding, viewers and colleagues. In my 15 years in broadcast journalism, nothing like this has ever happened and I will make every effort to ensure it won't happen again."
That was Will Selva owning (sarcasm off) his "mistake" of plagiarizing from Orange County Register reporter Kevin Ding. First, it's not a mistake. Mistake of judgment, sure, but a mistake is typically unintentional. Will Selva intentionally read Ding's preview, fell in love with the prose and stole it. That's an overt, intentional act. Calling it a mistake is a way of assuaging what's left of your conscience. "Nothing like this has happened"? How weaselly. How about acknowledging the conscious choice to use work you did not do without attribution? And of course every effort, begins and ends with saying I won't do it again, not making every effort to not do it again. Like Yoda said, "Do or do not, there is no try."
And ESPN wonders why we in the blogosphere gun for them and mock them. Their lack of standards infuriates us, who do not have layers of fact-checkers and editors to prevent us from stealing others work.no comments
THE EVER SHRINKING BLU-RAY WINDOW Christian Toto speculates that Blu-Ray sales will soar in 2011, no doubt, with many players available for less than $100 players are jumping off shelves. But Toto is right to question how long this surge in the media will last. Using the anecdote of myself as a guide, my biggest interest in buying movies came in my late teens. And at that time, movies were released on VHS in two categories, priced for sale (between $19.95 and $29.95) and priced for rental (often times north of $90 at retail). Such were the advantages of holding a monopoly of distribution.
If the market of eager and enthusiastic movie buyers are in a similar age demographic as I was when last I was an eager and enthusiastic movie buyer, late teens, early to mid twenties, when the magic of cinematic storytelling becomes interesting to study and comprehend, then the window is ever shorter. The older demographics are more hesitant to adopt new technologies, and those that do upgrade are unlikely to buy new versions of films already in their collections. The young folks already carry around thousands of songs on their phones. Are they keen to clutter their space with media when it can be streamed and downloaded? I'm not a young folk, but I don't want to. And my guess is neither will they. First quarter of 2011 and maybe even until summer they'll sell well. After that, fughedaboudit.no comments
THIS IS A FREAKIN' MUSEUM Craig Calcaterra calls it a new McCarthyism in baseball and Joe Posnanski compares it to a witch hunt. In a sense they are both wrong, because this is worse. The actions to which they compare the voting are government accusation of private citizens.The BBWAA is by no means the official government of baseball, nor the Hall of Fame. They are the appointed electors and use the character clause to apply a standard many of them could not live up to. These voters say I think he's guilty, therefore I won't vote for him, as is their right. But allow me to wonder idly, how many of these writers voted for Bill Clinton (admitted not inhaling marijuana) or George Bush (an acknowledged alcoholic) or Barack Obama (admitted using cocaine as well as pot) for President, or perhaps all three. Those weren't votes for a museum, they were votes to lead the nation. Canadian BBWAA voters of course get a pass on that claim.
The use and abuse of the character clause and the shameless and unfounded whispers of alleged use to justify a no vote is equally disturbing. The Common Man illustrates the absurdity of baseless accusations by baselessly accusing a baseless accuser.
What stokes me most is that the writers who now sit in judgment once sat in locker rooms with these guys they now accuse. And they saw things with limitless access that we fans would never see. They missed the story of the now called steroid era, a time in baseball Bill James rightly says will seem very quaint to our descendants. I've long felt the media's hue and cry over the juice has been to assuage their own consciences about their complicity. Applying an old standard of logic, as they were present and did not report, they either were incompetent and failed to uncover a story that was an open secret in the game, or they too were in on the fix, their silence bought by access to players and teams. Either way, their nonsensical moral preening disgusts.
Read 'em all, and ask yourself what's the big deal over a freakin' museum.no comments
NEW YORK UNDER SNOW Day three
And yes, the natives are getting restless over the inept handling from "Mayor Moneybags"no comments
A CASE OF COLLUSION? The simplest explanations are generally truest. Thanks to Larry Granillo we know have the simplest explanation for why sports writers regard Jack Morris as such an essential winner.
Morris’ reputation as a winning pitcher - “the winningest pitcher” - was really set in that 1987 season, not four or five years later. That’s four more years than anyone realized contemporary writers had to watch Morris and write about (and, more importantly, internalize) his “winning nature.” Ignore that his 1988 and 1989 seasons were forgettable; all that’s important is that he finished the decade with the title that he held for five years. Winning 18 and 21 games, respectively, in 1991 and 1992 were just icing on the cake.
Jack Morris can be on the Hall of Fame ballot all the way through the year 2014. By that time, Hall of Fame voters who covered the game during the 1980s will have had nearly 30 years of the “Jack Morris is a winner” line of thinking. That, more than anything, may be responsible for Morris’ eventual enshrinement in Cooperstown. If only the owners had not colluded in that winter of ‘86
The biggest argument against collusion is that it tampers with the natural focus of the market, in this case, depressing the value of Morris in the short term, while giving writers a story to sink their teeth into. And since half of all journalism (and almost all of this blog) is regurgitation of what someone else has reported with a pinch of your own analysis for flavor, once the meme was established, uprooting the idea was next to impossible.
I'm less concerned with Morris' inevitable place in the Hall. Like David Pinto, I don't fret much if Morris is inducted. His inclusion would hardly be the most egregious example of poor choices by the voters. I wrote about fixing the process earlier this year.no comments
QUI BONO Jenn Sterger's lawyer is hacked off that Brett Favre got off with a wrist slap of a $50,000 fine and no statement by the NFL regarding his guilt or innocence. MJD over at Shut Down Corner says that questions remain unanswered:
I would like more of an explanation from the league. I'd like to know why the investigation took so long, how they determined that Favre did or did not send the pictures, and how exactly he was uncooperative. We've been given no information on what they found, what they didn't find, or how they even went about it.
It seems unlikely that any such explanation is coming, though, which makes it hard not to believe that Favre is being protected by the league.
He's absolutely right. The league doesn't really need to protect Favre, who has become a punchline of the highest order. The simplest answer to the question is qui bono, who benefits. The answer is Favre and the league. It makes a fine path to follow if one were to assume that the league has pointedly told Favre that this wrist slap is contingent on him riding off into the sunset (which was the most likely outcome after this season, anyway) when the Vikings season ends Sunday afternoon. Just keep all of this in mind when next the players don all pink to support Breast Cancer awareness and remind yourself how much the league actually cares about issues impacting women involved with the NFL. Now pardon me while I wrap my head in tin foil.no comments
SOWING TWEETS OF DISCHORD. Mighty fine train-wreck tweeting courtesy of Oney Guillen. Entertaining to boot, as attackgerbil (possibly an alias) at YFSF notes. Since we all love gawking and sharing our brilliance at it all, it's roundup time!
Can't Stop the Bleeding's GC notes the Festivus angle: "Oney Guillen, son to White Sox skipper Ozzie and a self-styled baseball expert, has fully embraced social media, in particular, the ability to air major grievances via Twitter"
'Duk at Big League Stew is direct and to the point: "One wonders how Ozzie hasn't taken a baseball bat to Oney's smartphone yet." Who says he hasn't?
Emma Span Banters in the Bronx and says on behalf of all the writers weary of canned babble from hacks in the PR department, "I’ve gotta say I’m glad somebody is still able to go off the reservation like that."
The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham ventures where the above writers didn't, he actually declares that Bobby Jenks "ripped" Guillen. In fact, Abraham's article insinuates that Jenks is more to blame, highlighting his negative comments about Ozzie Guillen without the layer of context that the other (non-Boston) writers found relevant to the discussion. Sparing us the juiciness of Oney's vitriol makes it look like the newest Red Sox reliever is some hot head, when really it's Oney who's the hot head.
A point made abundantly clear by Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk. Click on through. It'll make you laugh.
UPDATE: Guillen acknowledges he went too far, but let's hand it over to Craig for the summation. Counselor:
Other than that, though, the dude is still oblivious. He doesn’t get that he undermined the old man. He doesn’t get that now every White Sox player has to worry that Ozzie Guillen is sharing private clubhouse stuff with his family, who will then publicize it everywhere. He doesn’t get that he countered Bobby Jenks‘ minor swipe with a 10,000 megaton explosive.no comments