03.31.14

Costello : The Former Grandyman Is Jason Bay II

Posted in Baseball at 11:24 pm by

Alright, that’s not exactly what the New York Post’s Brian Costello had to say about newly acquired Mets OF Curtis Granderson going 0-5 in Monday’s 9-7, 10 inning home opener loss to the Nationals.  Rather than say, question Bobby Parnell’s fitness (as SNY’s Ron Darling did within seconds of the Mets’ closer’s insertion into the game), Costello considers Granderson’s underwhelming Citi Field debut ample cause to raise the spectre of JASON BAY (above), warning, “it’s never too early to panic in Queens”.

Curtis Granderson did his best Jason Bay impersonation in his first game with the Mets. Granderson went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts — a very Bay-like performance.

Granderson did not offer much self-analysis after the 9-7, 10-inning loss to the Nationals, instead turning the focus to the team.

“Not good,” Granderson said when asked to assess his day. “You’ve got to go ahead and find a way to get the victory. Today we weren’t able to get that done, but that’s part of it. We still have a lot of baseball left to play. We definitely aren’t going to hang our heads by any means. We rebound back, rest up and be ready to go and even the series on Wednesday.”

Strikeouts have always been a problem with Granderson. He had the second-most in the American League with 195 in 2012, setting a Yankees record.

The memory of Bay lingers around Citi Field. He signed a similar deal to Granderson before the 2010 season, coming in at four years and $66 million. The contract was a terrible mistake, as Bay batted .234 over three seasons.

Kuiper : There’s No Accounting For Hunter Pence

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 2:56 pm by

It’s been a year since the Astros’ radio duo of Steve Sparks and Robert Ford were actively encouraged to pepper their broadcasts with references to what we’ll call advanced statistics, something the SF Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins denounces as “an effort to steer folks away from the fact that their team is awful, losing a combined 324 games over the past three seasons.” “They are lurching earnestly into the unconventional,” sneers Jenkins, and while there’s mostly agreement from a succession of Bay Area baseball broadcasters, none are nearly as dismissive as the Giants’ Duane Kuiper :

“I don’t want to disregard it, or sound like some old guy that’s not willing to change, but if you get bombarded by enough of this stuff, you feel like taking a nap, for crying out loud. I’ve never received a letter saying Mike and I should do more of it, and it’s really tough if you don’t really believe in it.

“I especially resent the discounting of traditional numbers. Stuff like RBI, ERA, wins or losses, those things tell you something. They’re part of the fabric our fans were raised with. They are part of the players’ language. And there are certain things numbers can’t really describe, like Hunter Pence (laughter).

“Just because agents and general managers use analytics, that doesn’t mean I have to. If Vin Scully starts to use it, then I’ll have to think twice. (Pause.) What team did you say is putting this stuff on the air? Houston? Well, I don’t think you have to say any more, do you?”

Finally, Glamour Has Returned To The Sporting Calendar

Posted in Baseball at 11:48 am by

Happy Opening Day to all of CSTB’s (12) readers. Especially those who are fully capable of beating off to Don Mossi pics without my assistance.

03.30.14

CSTB’s First MLS Related Post Of 2014 Sadly Doubles As An Oderus Urungus Tribute

Posted in Football at 6:33 pm by

I’ve not followed the ins and outs of Major League Soccer clearly enough the last several years to say with any authority whether the Saturday’s banner — paying tribute to the late Dave Brockie of GWAR — is a (classy) aberration on the part of DC United supporters or it’s the sort of thing they display on a regular basis. Either, extra points for the impalement of a San Jose player.

WaPo Columnist To Hungry Student-Athletes : Think Of The Free Tube Socks

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 4:24 pm by

Taking a rather dim view of the National Labor Relations Board ruling deeming Northwestern University football players employees with the right to unionize, the Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins sneers, “If Kain Colter is an exploited laborer, then is a female tennis player at Stanford an exploited laborer, too? Is a lacrosse player at Virginia an exploited laborer? Is a rower at Harvard?” Fascinating question — how much in TV rights fees and corporate sponsorship money has been generated by the NCAA Rowing Final Four?

Colter and his peers aren’t laborers due compensation; they are highly privileged scholarship winners who get a lot of valuable stuff for free. This includes first-rate training in the habits of high achievement, cool gear, unlimited academic tutoring for gratis and world-class medical care that no one else has access to. All of which was put into perspective by Michigan State basketball Coach Tom Izzo when he was asked about the ruling at the NCAA tournament East Region semifinals in New York.

“I think sometimes we take rights to a whole new level,” Izzo (above) said. “ .?.?. I think there’s a process in rights. And you earn that. We always try to speed the process up. I said to my guys, ‘There’s a reason you have to be 35 to be president.’ That’s the way I look at it.”

Izzo got at something that no one other commentator has: College athletes enroll at their institutions to mature. Whatever their end goals, pro aspirations or workloads, they are no different from any other students in that respect. They are there to develop emotionally, intellectually and physically, and that’s all a school owes them, no matter how much revenue is generated by Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M.

Correction, that’s all a school used to owe them. Izzo isn’t earning $3.4 million annually (far more than his university president or any MSU professor) because he’s a wonderful educator, it’s because college basketball is a massive money-spinner, one that cannot exist without players (in this case, a woefully under-compensated workforce).

03.29.14

If Miguel Cabrera Hasn’t Supplanted Kid Rock As The Most Overpaid Man In Michigan, Wait A Few Years

Posted in Baseball at 8:29 pm by

In stark contrast to most reactions to the 6-year, $144.5 million extension just signed by Angels OF Mike Trout, 23, Baseball Musings’ David Pinto says of 1B Miguel Cabrera’s 10-year, $300 million pact with Detroit, “given that Miguel is at the age where decline usually sets in, they probably won’t get their money’s worth.” Even more skeptical is Fangraph’s Dave Cameron who opines, “if the Tigers really wanted to throw this kind of money around, they simply could have done better than signing up for Cabrera’s entire decline phase.”


The Tigers already controlled Cabrera’s rights for the next two seasons, and were completely within their rights to tell him that they were going to hold off on talking about a new deal until next winter. This isn’t a young player with breakout potential whose cost could dramatically increase as he gets closer to free agency. In reality, Cabrera’s value can only really go down, given that even he likely can’t put up another 192 wRC+ season. The Tigers already paid for the rights to his 2014 and 2015 seasons, and while Cabrera might have wanted a long term commitment, they didn’t have to give him one now.

As good as Miguel Cabrera is now, the history of big heavy guys in their mid-to-late 30s is almost universally awful. Guys the size of Miguel Cabrera just don’t age well, as their bodies begin to betray them and they spend significant periods of time on the disabled list. We may already be seeing the beginnings of Cabrera’s physical decline, and his September performance was a reminder of how human a superstar can be at less than 100%.

I understand why the Tigers wanted to keep Miguel Cabrera around for the rest of his career. He’s going to go into the Hall of Fame as a Tiger, and he’ll be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever wear the Detroit uniform. It’s hard to let those guys leave. The Cardinals are pretty happy they let Albert Pujols go, though, and in a few years, the Tigers will wish they had let Cabrera go too.

03.28.14

“We Have Plenty Of Exposure Already, And Most Of It’s Pretty Negative”

Posted in History's Not Happening, Rock Und Roll at 7:05 pm by

In Which the Late Bard Of Hooksett NH Contends With The Vagaries Of The DIY Booking Circuit