Musings of a Sports Writer

I'm a writer by trade. As such, I've tended to write only when someone has paid me. To break that habit, this blog serves as my personal dart board. When I'm sitting around thinking sports, now and then I turn to the computer and toss a dart — just to get a thought out without trying to find someone who will buy it.

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Location: Connecticut

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ads Within Ads

I no longer watch video on

Why? Because of the advertising.

As a consumer, I resent being sold to twice. I'm already a customer of Major League Baseball. Their websites are:
  1. 1. a service to me, to keep me apprised of goings-on with their product (baseball), and
  2. 2. an opportunity to further sell their product to me.
In other words, their sites are already commercial.

Being hit with further advertising is redundant, and perhaps a touch rude. It's essentially having to watch an ad within an ad.

And I'm disinclined to do that. Especially when plenty of other online venues allow me to watch essentially the same videos — in better quality, no less — with no commercials.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Scott Boras says that Alex Rodriguez opted out of the final three years of his contract yesterday because the Yankees’ roster is too unsettled.


If that were the real reason, A-Rod could wait ten days to see how negotiations with the other big three – Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte – work out.

Rather, I see a few other more likely explanations:

  • A-Rod is just that selfish, and just that money-hungry. For his sake, I hope this is false. For seven years already, he’s had a tough, tough time playing under the weight of his last contract, which is still the heaviest in baseball.
  • A-Rod stole some signs from those three other free agents; he knows what they're planning, and he just decided to be the first to go.
  • He saw how the Yankees treated Joe Torre this fall, and Bernie Williams this spring, and he doesn’t want to be treated with similar lack of respect and dignity in the future.
Either way, A-Rod owed the Yankees more than this. The team stuck with him for three years of erratic play (before he finally relaxed in 2007), when no one in baseball (including their fans) would have blamed the team for trading away the best player in the game.

Now after just one season of positive predictability, A-Rod simply packs and leaves without even listening to a negotiation? He just fouled out of the hearts of Yankees fans.

Cubs … Giants … Angels … even the Red Sox: You can have him.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Roster Redux

OK, let's take another swing at a Yankee post-season roster prediction. (The 2007 version.)

Position Players
Jorge Posada
Jose Molina
Doug Mientkiewicz
Jason Giambi
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Wilson Betemit
Hideki Matsui
Johnny Damon
Melky Cabrera
Bobby Abreu
Shelly Duncan
Bronson Sardinha

Sardinha, a rookie, a late-season call-up rookie, on the post-season roster of the winningest team in sports? Yes. Because the Yankees hardly ever pinch-hit (why would they with this lineup?), but they do need a fast pinch runner.

Ching Ming-Wang
Andy Pettitte
Roger Clemens
Mike Mussina
Phil Hughes
Mariano Rivera
Joba Chamberlain
Kyle Farnsworth
Edwar Ramirez
Ron Villone
Luis Vizcaino

Notice how there are more younger pitchers than usual? That's a good thing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Over A-Rated

A-Rod this, and A-Rod that. He hits a few home runs in a few early games, and everyone's singing A-praises.

Not me.

I'm still mad at him for Opening Day, when he hit that home run in the eighth inning, thereby blowing Mariano's save opportunity. The f-cker.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Their Cheatin' Hearts

In regards to the nearly undeniable evidence that Kenny Rogers cheated in several important games, including Game 2 of the World Series, you'd think that other players (especially Yanks and A's) would publicly decry being swindled away from an opportunity to win a championship.

However, they're mostly silent on the matter. And so is Major League Baseball. The whole issue is — officially, anyway — being swept under the AstroTurf.

One must wonder whether the relative silence of MLB and its players indicates that cheating is much deeper and more prevalent than one big pitcher in one big game. Why else would so many seem to collectively care so little? Perhaps players with glass arms don't throw stones.

Does cheating in our nation's pastime involve more than just steroids? Are the rules of the game bent and broken so often that no player is innocent enough to cry foul?

Please, Joe, say it ain't so.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

There is Another

Around this time every year we hear a little anecdote: Derek Jeter, in his eleven seasons in the Major Leagues, has always known October baseball. The yarn is often accompanied by an insuation that Jeter is a Midas, turning more to gold than just his glove — that Jeter imparts some magic that carries his team to autumnal greatness.

But the streak is longer than Jeter's tenure.

The tale we do not hear is about another Yankee with an even longer October run. He's mentioned often, revered without pause, but his magic mark on the team's post-season persistence has seldom, if ever, been cited.

There’s another stalwart, another champion, who has played a critical role in escorting the Yankees to and through Octobers for twelve consecutive years, starting with his rookie season in 1995.

Mariano Rivera.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Playoff Roster Prophecy

Tonight the Yankees secured a spot in the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year. In celebration, I now list (because I know the world awaits) my predictions for the team’s 2006 playoff roster.

With two weeks to prepare (I know it’s really just 10 games, but the “two week” thing will help with an alliteration later, so bear with me), Torre has tough decisions to make. But I've seen him assemble 11 other post-season rosters, so I'm familiar with his preferences. I'd bet I'm wrong about no more than one of these picks.

Position Players

Jorge Posada
Jason Giambi
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Melky Cabrera
Johnny Damon
Bobby Abreau
Miguel Cairo
Craig Wilson
Bernie Williams
Hideki Matsui
Gary Sheffield
Sal Fasano

  • Wilson is not my first choice for a first-base backup (Andy Philips is), but he also plays outfield, and he can serve as the team’s third catcher (which Torre will deem important).
  • If Sheffield is not on the post-season roster, it will be either because he hits dreadfully in his forthcoming on-the-job rehab, or because the Yankees have already decided they’re done with him.
  • Cairo’s experience nudges him ahead of Nick Green as backup infielder. The latter does have two games of post-season experience (with the Braves), but never had an at-bat.
  • There’s no way Williams’ experienced bat and post-season records are left off Torre’s roster. Williams will likely be relegated to pinch-hitting, but he’ll be there.
  • The Yankees will boast their strongest post-season bench since 1997.

Mike Mussina
Randy Johnson
Chien-Ming Wang
Jaret Wright
Mariano Rivera
Scott Proctor
Kyle Farnsworth
Ron Villone
Mike Myers
Brian Bruney
Darrell Rasner

  • Wright’s fortitude and scrappiness have earned him the role of fourth starter.
  • Rasner is 3-0 with a 2.04 ERA in four games with the Yankees. Two more similar September appearances, and the lack of any obvious alternatives, will make him a dependable option for long reliever.

Torre has tended to use players who were in the midst of hot streaks, so a solid final fortnight (there it is!) could get one or two of these players promoted to the post-season:

Nick Green—The fill-in as a fill-in when Cairo was disabled. Since the latter returned from his injury, Green has still been the primary utility infielder; does that mean Torre is hunting a Green October?

Andy Phillips—An excellent choice as a late-inning defensive replacement at first base. Unfortunately for him, Wilson can fill the same role (though not as adeptly).

Jeff Karstens—He’s green. (Not Nick green ... just, you know, rookie green.) But a 4.11 ERA is not shabby for an emergency starter, and he could be a valuable asset as a long reliever. He’ll play in October only if Rasner doesn’t.

Octavio Dotel—As of now, there’s no chance he’ll be playing in any more meaningful games in 2006. But if he suddenly becomes unhittable, Torre may reconsider. (He’s unhittable now, but that’s because he pitches mostly balls.)

Jose Veras—He’s young and inexperienced, but has allowed only two earned runs in nine appearances.

Aaron Guiel—He’s helped the team since being picked up a few months ago, but he’ll see October only if Sheffield’s bat is broken (that’s a euphemism), or if another outfielder gets hurt.