07.31.10

Atlanta’s Glavine Tribute – What’s The Opposite Of “Devastated”?

Posted in Baseball at 9:56 pm by

Of Tom Glavine’s tenure in Flushing, Tim Marchman once wrote, “the sight of Glavine in a Mets uniform is only slightly less bizarre than the sight of Reggie Miller in a Knicks uniform.” Presumably, the Braves organization would concur, and despite some harsh words prior to Glavine’s retirement, the Massachusetts native will have his number retired at Turned Field next Friday night. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Steve Hummer provides some of the historical perspective :

A loyal union man during the baseball strike of 1994, Glavine played an out-front role in that season-killing ordeal. In 2003, he signed with the division rival New York Mets. The combination proved too much for those fans who booed him heartily whenever he returned to Atlanta with the Mets.

œI™m sure I haven™t won everybody back. But for the most part, people, the greater majority of people in Atlanta, either like me or appreciate what I did as an Atlanta Brave. That™s the best you can hope for, that a majority of people appreciate who you are and what you do, Glavine said.

There were raw feelings between player and management as well. Glavine and the Braves went through two difficult divorces: the signing with New York; then, after a comeback season with the Braves was cut short in 2008 by shoulder surgery, Glavine suddenly was axed by the team early in 2009.

As recently as June 2009, after a rehab outing in Rome had failed to convince the Braves to keep him, Glavine was informing Atlanta radio listeners that he had been œmisled and mistreated by the team. The Braves had instead opted to go with rookie Tommy Hanson, a move few argued against.

By the end of the season, Glavine said many of the wounds had scabbed over.

He figured his career œwould be over by then anyway and it was kind of useless to carry this baggage around, harbor these feelings that I had. At that point, John (Shuerholz) and I were able to talk and we were able to hash some things out.

July 31 In Tweets : Standing Pat In Flushing

Posted in twitter twatter at 8:12 pm by

(not newly acquired Red Sox C Jarrod Saltalamacchia)

  • RT @StevePopper: Omar : Mets were close on some, could still come w/ waivers. Also said finances not an issue (which entire league disputes) #
  • @95Sports Hench &the Sports Putz being buds isn’t the point. WWL “douchey”? uh, yeah. But Fox has been ethically inconsistent at best in reply to 95Sports #
  • @95Sports Fox can’t slam ESPN as kowtowing to LBJ when the former employed a football analyst who was paid by the very athletes he covered. in reply to 95Sports #
  • Fox Sports scribe on ESPN- beholden-to-LeBron. Yet paying Jay Glazer to report & bodybuild w/ NFL players is A-OK http://bit.ly/cH1RWW #
  • guy on right says, “yeah, sometimes I wanna abandon MY family, too” RT @NYBD: doc and Jeff #TwitPict http://twitpic.com/2agsjx #
  • @Baseballisms re : Salty/Sasser http://bit.ly/d2dIGC not exactly an obscure story in reply to Baseballisms #
  • seriously folks, there’s things called search engines. By all means, don’t use ‘em Just keep asking ME stupid questions. #
  • @Baseballisms re: Salty, “does he have trouble throwing the ball back to the pitcher?” well, yes. wtf did you think I was refering to? in reply to Baseballisms #
  • Red Sox acquire the modern answer to Mackey Sasser, Jarrod Saltalamacchia http://bit.ly/azEkxy #
  • @JimBowdenXMFOX describes the Mets as deadline “losers”. If Phillips concurs, I might end up defending Minaya, just out of reflex #
  • Cerrone : Phillies weren’t positioned for Oswalt, Lee or Halladay trades w.out stockpiling hot prospects 1st http://bit.ly/9jPzB8 #
  • on the bright side, Dodgers kept their russian space healer RT @ArgyledPlaschke: I’m on my way to kill Ned Colletti. Who’s with me? #
  • MLB Network reports Ankiel & Farnsworth to ATL ; Mets expected to give Francoeur lifetime deal, retire his number, etc. #
  • RT @brianmctaggart: Astros close to multi-year deal with Brett Myers #
  • Giants acquire LHP Javier Lopez from Pittsburgh in exhcange for RHP Joe Martinez #
  • Huggy Harold on Yanks’ coveting Wood : “I can’t see putting the game on the line in a fly ball park in the 8th”. Kerry 2010 > Joba? #
  • agree w/ this assessment of Mets non-moves. But offensive woes, ‘pen depth, should’ve been addressed far earlier RE http://bit.ly/9C6n1e #
  • 40 mins to the deadline and i have a brainstorm : Perez/Castillo for Eddy Curry. #
  • enough about the Mets’ Hall of Fame ceremonies — in SF, they really know how to narrow down the selections http://exm.nr/dD8jW1 #
  • hey, my team IS bankrupt! #madoffed RT @gigadig: Bankrupt #Rangers add Cliff Lee, Molina, Cantu, and Guzman..wish my team was bankrupt. #
  • Pearlman : Fat Elvis “not buiilt for NY” http://bit.ly/db695B #
  • will Yanks cover salary? RT @StevePopper: Probably a step up even now RT @kranepool: how about both Darryl and Doc in the lineup tomorrow #
  • well done, Cubs – while Zambrano will be tough to move, there’s a shred of a chance you could get more in the future http://bit.ly/bZ05Aw #
  • it’s stories like the Mark Sanchez/Jamie-Lynn Sigler split that highlight the need for a Sports By Brooks east coast office # Read the rest of this entry »

You Can Take The Tru Warier Out Of Queens…

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Hip Hop at 3:05 pm by

…but good luck taking the Queens out of Rappin’ Ron Artest (video culled from Metsradamus)  Admittedly, that’s slim consolation after a) the Mets’ failure to mount a successful comeback against baseball’s worst bullpen and b) a team with their own share of financial problems picked up Ted Lilly and Octavio Dotel, but as Amazins fans prepare for two months of garbage time, we’ll take levity wherever we can find it.  At least it’s funnier than this.

Jose Canseco : The Greatest Teammate Of All Time?

Posted in Baseball at 1:53 pm by

It’s been said more than once the real mark of a “Most Valuable Player” is the impact said superstar has on his teammates  — hence (some of) the justification for a 1988 NL trophy awarded to LA’s Kirk Gibson despite somewhat less than eye-popping individual stats. Some 3 years ago, Israeli numbers-crunchers Eric Gould and Todd Kaplan attempted to measure the historical impact of admitted PED purveyor Jose Canseco.  As Slate’s Ray Fishman explains, Canseco’s mere presence benefited position players and pitchers alike.

To provide a statistical assessment of Canseco’s alleged influence, Gould and Kaplan compared the performances of every hitter and pitcher who played with Canseco, and analyzed how they changed after exposure to him. Focusing on the power-positions players”catcher, first base, outfield, and designated hitter”who would most benefit from extra heft and bulk, Gould and Kaplan found that contact with Canseco was worth an extra two home runs per year in the seasons that followed.   Canseco’s teammates also saw increases in other power statistics”half a dozen extra runs batted in per season, a one-point boost to slugging percentage, and a handful of additional walks. Meanwhile Canseco did not seem to help teammates in their fielding, base-stealing, and other nonpower areas. (In results not reported in the study, Gould and Kaplan also found that pitchers were able to put in more innings when exposed to Canseco, another indication of The Chemist’s hand in helping his teammates work harder and longer.)

Of course, it’s possible that Canseco’s outsize influence could be benign”maybe he shared with his fellow power hitters a set of batting tips that proved effective. But if this is the case, Canseco’s abilities as a hitting instructor were quite unique”Gould and Kaplan looked at the effect 30 other power hitters of Canseco’s era had on their teammates and found that none of them had a statistically significant influence on the hitting performance of teammates. (Some of these were in fact Canseco’s original disciples, suggesting, perhaps, that not all users become proselytizers.) What’s more, the Canseco effect disappears after 2003, when baseball instituted random drug testing and punishments for those found guilty. If Canseco was merely offering innocent performance-enhancing advice, it stopped working with the advent of drug testing.

07.30.10

July 30 In Tweets : Celebrating Michael Kay’s Ability To Call 290 Foot HR’s

Posted in twitter twatter at 8:12 pm by

  • ‘Full House Head’ – all kinds of amazing RT @chunklet There’s not a weekend night that can’t be improved by Endless Boogie. #
  • Wright, 3-run HR to left, ties the game at 3. More importantly RECLAIMING A SHARE OF THE CITI FIELD ALL-TIME HR LEAD at er, 10. #
  • Joe West would like point out that Pelf’s on pace for a 4 1/2 hour CG #
  • D-Backs, 3, Mets 0, top of the first. Mex : “this is like a repeat of Santana” #
  • forget about Oswalt and Berkman ; Astros should trade tomorrow’s Jars Of Clay concert for a Really Red reunion #
  • still can’t adjust to hearing Kirk Gibson called “Gibby”. http://youtu.be/6rsyypvMi54 #
  • apparently, there are scarier things than being called out by Bobby Ojeda http://bit.ly/aOY81T #
  • great news for flag football fans RT @BloggingBombers: The Yankees are on the verge of landing slugger Lance Berkman http://bit.ly/aNcBjF #
  • cancel my satellite subscription RT @RealSkipBayless: My challenge stands: I will debate Ocho AND Owens on live TV. #
  • place has slipped BIG TIME RT @BobsBlitz: Gallagher’s Steak House W 52nd cited for roaches. http://is.gd/dTI78 #
  • D-Backs look that good? RT @lenno212: Francoeur fired up, bat in hand, just headed to BP saying, “It’s going to be a laser show tonight.” #
  • Huggins’ serious injury is being blamed on taking medication w/ an empty stomach. Sergio Kindle shakes head, says “whatever” #
  • RT @Haudricourt: Just saw where Farm Aid is coming to Miller Park. Is that to help develop more pitching prospects in their system? #
  • Brett Wallace’s 1B job at Las Vegas to be filled by Mike Jacobs. No offense to Buffalo, but that’s called landing on your feet. #
  • @neelc13 re : who’ll play Soft Body Brown in “moneyball”. no idea, but he looks like Kellerman here http://bit.ly/aMUDlO in reply to neelc13 #
  • Sports Putz says the 2010 Red Sox are duller than death. What, Bill didn’t dig Francona’s wig commercial? http://es.pn/cg3fB5 #
  • phew! RT @TouchByAM: For those asking, the tank top Alyssa is wearing will be available in the Spring 2011 Line http://post.ly/pSGt. #
  • nice. old stories about Straw & Gooden’s (baseball) exploits http://es.pn/a4AbUQ #
  • Henry will be 34 during Euro 2012, 36 for the next World Cup. This is a non-story http://es.pn/9H37ic # Read the rest of this entry »

After All These Years, Ron Borges Still Wants The Hooded Casanova’s Lunch Money

Posted in Gridiron at 7:20 pm by

Though it took charges of plagiarism and ethical lapses to force Ron Borges to leave the Boston Globe, the veteran football/boxing scribe’s intense devotion to baiting Bill Belichick never resulted in punitive measures from his former employer.  Now ensconced at the Boston Herald, Borges is in midseason form, saying of the Patriots’ preseason training facility, “the huge images of Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour], Ty Law, Adam Vinatieri, Deion Branch, Asante Samuel [stats] and so many others of the past have been taken down…they have been expunged in the same way deposed Russian leaders used to disappear from the history books of Moscow™s children.”

They did the same thing in Green Bay after the passing of Lombardi™s Packers. They took down the pictures after the stars left and said, œCreate your own identity, but the weight of the past was too much. The Pack didn™t win another Super Bowl for 29 years.

Today, the grass looks great, the locker room smells great, the players are great and the kiddie corps of assistant coaches Bill Belichick has surrounded himself with are budding geniuses, not the underpaid lab assistants many of them appear to be.

Belichick has seized the motivational moment for his young players by expunging as much of the Patriots™ history from the walls as he can to tell his players this team has done nothing. Those teams were champions, but what are you?

It™s a good point, but not a totally encouraging one because one could ask the same of the highest-paid coach in pro football. Bill Belichick was a genius once, when the players in the photos were still active.

Truth be told the Patriots not only haven™t won the Super Bowl in six years they haven™t won it since Law left . . or Charlie Weis . . . or Romeo Crennel, for that matter. When we last saw Belichick on the sideline, nobody looked too smart as the Baltimore Ravens were trampling his team on its home field in the playoffs, a loss owner Robert Kraft has called œembarrassing so many times it™s, well, embarrassing.

Lawsuit : Fred Wilpon Vaporized$16 Million Retirement Fund

Posted in Baseball, The Law, The Marketplace at 5:57 pm by

And you thought there’d be no big Mets news at the trading deadline! “While defendant Fred Wilpon has been quoted as claiming that he and his business family are ‘fine,’ his loyal employees (many of whom had previously been laid off) have lost their retirement savings.” So reads part of a complaint filed earlier today in Manhattan federal court claiming Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon’s investment firm, Sterling Equities of gross negligence. From Reuters’ Jonathan Stempfel :

The complaint said Sterling invested $16.2 million, or 92 percent, of the 401(k) plan’s $17.6 million of assets with Bernie Madoff.

It accused Wilpon and two other plan trustees of breaching their fiduciary duties to plan participants by mishandling investments with Madoff and his firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

The complaint seeks class-action status on behalf of plan participants, a number it estimates in the hundreds. There were 267 participants at the start of 2008, the complaint said.

The complaint was filed by Elyse Goldweber, a New Yorker who said she had $280,420 invested in her late husband’s individual 401(k) plan. A majority of this sum was invested directly with Madoff and has been “wiped out,” she said.

In October 2009, Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee liquidating Madoff’s investment firm, said Mets LP, a team affiliate, withdrew $47.8 million more from Madoff’s firm than it put in. Picard has been trying to recover money from such former clients, whom he considers “net winners.”

Miami Heat Sales Dept. Resigns En Masse To Spend More Time With Their Families

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 5:19 pm by

Sorry, the above headline was supposed to read, “Miami Thrice Renders Heat Ticket Sellers Surplus To Requirements”. The Miami Herald’s Douglas Hanks explains :

In a statement, the Heat confirmed the dismissals of their entire season ticketing department Friday afternoon, saying that with an “exhausted” inventory of season-tickets “we no longer require a season ticket sales team to sell tickets.”

Stephen Weber, vice president of sales, delivered the news to about 30 ticket sales people Friday morning, according to one of the staffers who asked not to be named because he is seeking another job in sports.

Even when James was merely rumored to be heading for the Heat, the team saw an explosion in season ticket sales. The staffer said he and his colleagues were making cold calls to prospective customers and taking deposits for a waiting list that now has more than 6,000 names on it. The dismissals reflect the new Heat position in basketball: it can sell tickets without really trying.

“They let us go because there was really nothing left to do anymore,” the fired staffer said.

Why stop at the schulbs in the sales department? No one on earth knows more about certain coaches only needing to roll the balls out at practice in order to win a ring than Pat Riley — who’s to say Erik Spoelstra isn’t next?

“Look Around You”‘s Serafinowicz & Popper Present “Markets Of Britain”

Posted in Free Expression, We Aren't The World at 1:05 pm by

I already learned everything I know about music from these gentlemen, now they’ve got a thing or two to teach the rest of us about bargain hunting, the charms of open-air shopping and uh, giant pencils. Video culled from Boing Boing.net.

Gleeman : Twins’ Overly Wowed By Capps’ Cheap Saves

Posted in Baseball at 12:45 pm by

“All-Star closer Matt Capps is coming to the Twin Cities” announced a breathless La Velle E. Neil III yesterday after the reliever was traded by the Nationals to the Twins in exchange for highly touted catching prospect Wilson Ramos and lefty Joe “Jersey Beat” Testa.  Aside from kicking Jon Rauch Rumble to the curb, Hardball Talk’s Aaron Gleeman opines that while Minnesota acquired “a good, solid late-inning reliever”, they’ve allowed themselves to be gouged based on Capps’ “93 saves for bad teams”.

Much like the Twins turning to Jon Rauch with Joe Nathan sidelined, Capps’ reputation as an “experienced closer” comes largely from teams simply giving him a shot to accumulate saves. Rauch has done a perfectly fine job filling in for Nathan, converting 21-of-25 saves with a 3.05 ERA and 27-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 38.1 innings, and if given a longer opportunity may have turned himself into an “established closer” just like Capps did. Seriously.

No one would ever suggest that trading Ramos for a reliever who’s slightly better than Rauch is a sound idea, yet by focusing on the save statistic the Twins have done just that and many fans will instinctively be on board with the move for an “established closer.” Now, don’t get me wrong: Capps is a quality reliever and represents a clear upgrade to the bullpen. What he’s not is an elite reliever or enough of an upgrade to part with Ramos.

Capps makes the Twins better for the final two months of this season and all of next year, but the improvement isn’t nearly as large as the “All-Star closer” label would have you believe and the cost involved is significant in terms of both players and money. Next season the Twins will pay a premium for a quality setup man they perceive as something more because of a reliance on a flawed statistic and they gave up a good catching prospect for the right do that.