Tag Archives: MLB

Got Mob: Episode 8

After a hiatus lasting several weeks, The Got Mob has returned. On the latest episode, Elliot Zharnitsky returns to the show. Andrew and EZ discuss optimism among MLB fans, the New York Mets’ off-season turmoil, the Yankees as an underdog and America Idol.

Andrew also discusses the irresponsible nature of journalists in reporting the Matt Painter “is he staying at Purdue or going to Mizzou” saga.

It’s all on the Got Mob!

CLICK LINK TO LISTEN: Got Mob 8

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Got Mob: Episode 5

On the latest episode of The Got Mob, Alex Howard joins Andrew to discuss All Star games in pro sports. The two give their favorite and least favorite things about the events and try to find new ideas to spruce up the stale formats of the talent showcases. Some of the ideas are very intriguing. If you’d like a hint, the Pro Bowl suggestion involves the hoodie vs. the footie.

It’s all on the GOT MOB!

CLICK LINK TO LISTEN: Got Mob Ep 5

Are the Mets like the Orioles of the late ’90s?

empty citi field

My buddy Whitehead pointed out a very interesting column written by Joel Sherman of the NY Post comparing the current state of the New York Mets to the collapse of the Orioles in the late ’90s.

You can read Sherman’s column here.

While I don’t think the situation of the two teams is completely analogous, there is probably more in common between the two than not. What should bother Met fans the most is the terrible shape of the farm system and the seemingly troubled financial state of ownership.

If the Mets can no longer buy themselves into contention, and don’t have the depth to bring prospects up that can fill holes, they have nowhere left to go but down. I spent the summer watching a lot of Mets baseball, so I can state firsthand that many of these prospects the Mets have brought up are more than a year away from being Major-League ready, or are complete junk.

I do feel for Met fans. I wouldn’t wish the Orioles’ last decade on any franchise (although if it happened to the Yankees or Red Sox, I wouldn’t be all that upset [would rather it happen to the Sox first, and then the Yankees]). Having an ownership group that gets way too involved in personnel moves is one of the most frustrating things with which a sports fan has to deal. Without any accountability, owners can freely run their organizations into the ground without repercussion.

Met fans should hope that Bud Selig gets involved, like Sherman mentions in his column. It doesn’t seem like the Wilpon family is going to make the changes on their own.

I don’t think Mets fans will wait a decade for the team to be competitive again. They might burn Citi Field to the ground long before then.

Additional Link of the Day: Joe Posnanski’s column on Northwestern grad and Kansas City Royal relief pitcher Chris “Disco” Hayes.

Confession: Why I No Longer Hate the Yankees

yankee stadium

This is a post that probably won’t be popular with those back in Baltimore or in Boston, but I need to get something off my chest.

I’ve spent the summer in New York City, and have spent time interning in the sports department of a local television station. During that time, I have watched my fair share of Yankees baseball, which, at the beginning of the summer, would have sounded like torture. But two months later, I am no longer a Yankee-hater.

By no means am I a Yankee fan. I grew up hating the Yankees. Remember Jeffrey Maier? I cried during that game. Remember Luis Gonzalez’s World Series winning single in Game 7? I cheered just like any Diamondback fan may have.

But over the last couple of years, I have slowly softened on the Yanks. I can’t say I’m happy about it, but I like to think that I have solid reasoning behind it. My allegiances still lie with the Orioles, but I now want the Yankees to finish in 4th place in the AL East every year, rather than dead last.

So here it is: How I learned to stop worrying and start (not hating) the Yankees.

– The seeds were planted several years ago, when some of my closest friends at school happened to be Yankee fans, including my roomate, Between the Headset’s very own critic, Abfus. They would regularly tell me that it was only a matter of time before I started to root for the Yankees. And while their prophesy has been fortunately unfulfilled, the amount of time I spend listening and watching Yankee stuff, all discussed in such a positive manner (except discussion of A-Rod) laid the groundwork for my current change in feelings.

– Spending two summers on Cape Cod caused me to absolutely despise the Yankees’ biggest rival, the Boston Red Sox. Their fans are obnoxious and many jumped on the bandwagon after the 2004 World Series. My biggest problem with Sox fans is related to the Yankees. Whenever the P.A. announcer would relay MLB scores between innings, the fans would always cheer louder if the Yankees were losing than if their Red Sox were winning. This kind of fandom drives me crazy, and gave me a firsthand look into the perpetual inferiority complex to which Red Sox fans cling. It came off as pretty pathetic, in my opinion, and put the Yankees above the Sox in my book.

– Joe Girardi. The Yankee’s manager is a Northwestern alum, which already gives him major points in my book. But I also have heard him speak, both on television and live during press conferences, and he really seems like a great guy. He is comfortable in front of the media, answers questions that reporters ask honestly and straightforward, and seems to command the respect of his players. Of course, I don’t know what kind of manager he is in the clubhouse, or what the players really think of him, but my impressions of him have been very favorable. Plus, I will always remember watching a teary-eyed Girardi announce the death of Cardinal pitcher Darryl Kile in front of a packed Wrigley Field right before game time.

girardi kile

– EZ Baby brought up a great point the other night- the Yankees have a ton of lovable players on this year’s squad. Even if you don’t like Derek Jeter, which to me is hard to believe, because he doesn’t really have any bad qualities, there are still a bunch of great guys on the team. Mark Teixeira (though I wish he were an Oriole), Mariano Rivera, C.C. Sabathia, Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Johnny Damon and Robbie Cano are generally guys that fans like. Melky Cabrera, A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes are also players who fans are not going to boo on a regular basis. Really, the only hated guy on the Yankees is A-Rod.

-Finally, I have gotten over one of the biggest reasons that baseball fans hate the Yankees: their ridiculously high payroll. The defense that Yankee fans use is valid: the team sells out its games and merchandise flies off the shelves. Instead of that money lining the pockets of ownerships, it goes back into the team (though the Steinbrenners are definitely well off). If you want to be angry about it, tell baseball to impose a salary cap. But don’t hate the Yankees for playing by the rules. I wish the Orioles would throw around that kind of money to attract free agents.

Overall, the Yankees are good for baseball. The Yankees sell out many games on the road (even if New York fans takeover the stadium) and cause a buzz that is non-existent in cities like Kansas City, Baltimore and Oakland in August and September. Plus, every league needs to have a villain; a team that is hated by the majority of fans across the country. The NFL has the Patriots, the NBA has the Lakers or Celtics, the NHL has the Red Wings and baseball has the Yankees. It’s more fun to beat those teams than it is a cellar-dweller.

So forgive me, Baltimore fans, for succumbing to the dark side. I promise I won’t be donning the pinstripes anytime soon, but you also won’t hear me roaming the streets of the Bronx shouting “Yankees suck.”

I’ll at least try to come up with something more clever than that.

Things That Happen When Your Baseball Team is Bad, Part 2

ALCS Indians Fans Baseball

Reader Murray points us to another example of a team whose roster has been raided as a result of losing: the Cleveland Indians.

Here is their lineup in Game 1 of the 2007 ALCS vs. the Boston Red Sox

Here is their lineup last night vs. the L.A. Angels

Also consider the starting rotations for the Indians in ’07 and today, after the Indians traded away Cliff Lee:

2007- C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Paul Byrd, Jeff Westbrook, Cliff Lee

2009:  Carl Pavano, David Huff, Fausto Carmona, Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey

There is also still talk that Victor Martinez may be traded before tomorrow’s deadline. What is so shocking about the demise of the Indians, as opposed to that of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is that two years ago, the Indians looked like a team that could compete for the A.L. Pennant for the next 5-10 years. Now, they look like the Kansas City Royals.

It is pretty remarkable how quickly things changed, so much so that GM Mark Shapiro essentially decided to blow up the team and start over. This must be very disheartening for Cleveland fans, who have to root for the Browns and also watched the Cavs choke in this year’s playoffs.

Things that Happen When Your Baseball Team is Bad

pirates bad

1. They trade away their best players

2. They get shut out in 10 innings after getting 7 scoreless from their starter

3. Fans lose hope…again

4. They trot out a lineup like this, after starting the season with a lineup like this.

(Hat tip to Frank Bauch for pointing this out)

What Omar Minaya Really Meant to Say

Sipkin/News

Sipkin/News

Omar Minaya did a bad thing yesterday. In the process of trying to fire executive Tony Bernazard, he decided to throw Daily News reporter Adam Rubin under the bus. Minaya claimed that Rubin had been inquiring about a job with the Mets, and insinuated that Rubin had written a piece about Bernazard’s bizarre behavior to put himself in line for a job.

Rubin vehemently denied the accusations, and Minaya and Mets management have since apologized. Regardless, it was another bizarre twist in the Mets’ roller coaster season. When my boy EZ baby messaged me yesterday telling me Omar was holding a press conference, I figured Bernazard would get the axe. We both wondered with Omar would actually fire himself. But never could we have anticipated what actually went dwn.

Minaya’s presser has gotten plenty of airtime in the last 24 hours, but we at Between the Headset are not content to simply take what he said at face value. Instead, we read between the lines to decipher exactly what Omar and Adam meant yesterday:

Omar: Once the reports came out, you know, of course we had to expedite more the investigation.

Translation: We knew about this all along, but once you guys figured it out, we had to act like we actually cared. Seriously, what’s wrong with a guy taking his shirt off and taunting players? It’s not like he whipped out his junk or anything. Didn’t you all see Bruno? I haven’t seen that much nudity since my 23rd birthday in the V.I.P. lounge of Stone Lotus.

Omar:Early in the process, early in the process, when the reports came out, I had to kind of tell myself, “Wow, these things are coming out.”

Translation: I spit out my milk when I found out you guys had uncovered this story. I mean, we even hired that guy Gene Parmesan from Arrested Development to help us cover it up. Seriously guys, what’s with all the muckraking? Haven’t you heard journalism is dead?

gene parmesan

Omar:And I say this because coming from Adam Rubin, okay, and Adam, you gotta understand this, Adam, for the past couple of years, has lobby for a player development position.

Translation: I know you guys aren’t going to believe me, and you’ll probably think I’m just trying to change the subject, but seriously, you gotta understand, the guy came to me and said he actually wanted to work for the Mets. I told him he could have the job. We were all set for the changeover and he backed out. I had my flight booked to Dubai. That little punk made me cancel. Do you know what cancellation fees are like these days? So now I’m gonna have to throw Adam under the bus.

Omar:He has lobby myself, he has lobby Tony.

Translation: Maybe if I speak in broken English, it’ll distract them. Then they won’t hear the bombshell I’m about to drop, because they’ll be too busy trying to add participles and all that good stuff to my quotes.

Omar:So when these things came out I was kind of a little bit, I had to think about it. And I was a little bit, you know, somewhat, kind of, we gotta find out about this. We really have to do a thorough investigation of this.

Translation: Ha! I think it worked. I don’t think one person in the room noticed that I just tried to link Adam’s article to the fact that he was asking about a job in baseball, thus implying that he had an ulterior motive for writing the article in the first place.

Adam Rubin: Is what you’re alleging that I tried to tear Tony down so I could take his job? Is that what you’re saying?

Translation: You mother$#$#%$%! Why does this always happen to me? In 4th grade Jack Toner tattled on me to the teacher because he said I stole his Oreo cookies. But that wasn’t true! I merely asked what I would have to do to get the Oreos from him. I didn’t actually do anything about it.

Omar: No, no, I’m not saying that. All I’m saying was, that I know that when you wrote the reports, but I am saying, that in the past, you have, have lobby for a player, for a for a job…

Translation: Damn, he heard me. Well now I better start backpedaling. This could get ugly. What would George Costanza do in this situation? He would have a good lie ready. I better think of one soon, because I sound like a bumbling idiot right now, and Sportscenter is going to show this clip while Charlie Steiner giggles on top of it. Remember that video of Carl Lewis singing the National Anthem? Francis Scott Off-Key? Funny stuff. Man, is this guy still talking to me?

Adam Rubin: If I were interested in working in player development somewhere in the major leagues at some point in my life, how did that impact this situation at all?

Translator: You really think I’m dumb enough to try to get Tony’s job by writing this article? Come on, man, you should know better than this. I hired that guy from Arrested Development, Gene Parmesan, to get as much blackmail of you as he could. But so far, all he had gotten were some pictures of you walking out of a nightclub with A-Rod and Kate Hudson.

Omar: I said, because, when the reports came out a lot of these things were cross… I said “Who’s writing these reports?” and I said well okay who’s writing the reports and in the back of my mind, Adam, you have told me you have told other people in the front office that you want to work for player development in the front office.

Translation: Words…question to myself…Adam…player development…nonsense…give up.

Adam Rubin: So what you’re alleging is that.. the only conclusion I can draw from that is that you’re trying to allege that I tried to tear everyone down so that I could take their position. Is that what you’re saying?

Translation: Listen Omar, I’ve got an entire room of journalists here that have my back. You’ve got nobody in this stadium that has your back. Sportswriters have each others’ backs, except for Jay Mariotti. So I’m just going to act really mad and turn the tables on you and you are going to have to meekly back away into your shell.

Omar: Adam…

Translation: Of all the bad moves I’ve made here, is this what I’m going to get fired for?

Adam Rubin: It seems pretty despicable to say that.

Translation: You lose. Good day, sir.