Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday 04/13 A.M. Quickie:
What Would Jackie Do?

If you haven't read (or contributed) to the "Best Sports Event You've Ever Attended Live" Comment string, it's a must-read, 100-plus and counting. Click here.

I've been fascinated by the MLB "42" tribute to Jackie Robinson this weekend. What began as a Ken Griffey tribute turned into 150 players -- even entire teams -- wearing No. 42. (Here's a full list.)

Does more equal better? Does it cheapen the tribute? Does every player have a right to show respect in the way they want? (Garret Anderson has already declined, saying he wasn't worthy. Fair enough.)

I'm curious how you feel about it, and what you would do if you were an MLB player on Sunday. Personally, I would wear the "42" because it represents a unique moment -- if no longer a unique way -- to honor Robinson, who deserves every honor that MLB and fans ever give him.

Robinson's entry into Major League Baseball continues to rank as the most significant event in the history of American sports.

For Florida fans (and Duke fans) only, I presume. But I know many some of you are. (Simply put: Best. T-Shirt. Ever. Probably getting its own post later this a.m., and not just because I co-produced them. Well, OK: Yes, just because I co-produced them.)

NFL Draft: Thanks to everyone who chipped in with their GM-style opinions about who I/we should take with the first overall pick in the Sports Blogger NFL Mock Draft. I'm not supposed to give away the answer until the draft is revealed on Monday, but suffice to say I went with the Best Player Available. And you all know who that is.

(Via ProFootballTalk and the NFL Net, it's not like I'm crazy with the pick. The Raiders are apparently totally torn between QB Russell and WR Johnson. If they go with Russell, the rumor is that the Lions will pick Johnson with the intention of trading him. But given the other rumors that Brett Favre is talking about the certainty that Randy Moss will be in Green Bay, how can the Raiders NOT take the best WR prospect of the decade?)

Must-Read of the Day: ESPN ombudswoman Leanne Schreiber on the shouting-head culture of ESPN, probably the most reasonable and credible analysis -- of anything -- that has been on the site in a while. And perhaps the best piece of sports-media criticism of the year.

NFL Moves: WR David Patten signs with Saints. Who wants to bet that, in that system, with those players around him, he has a rebound year? Smart move for both sides.

NBA: Who would have guessed that it was Dwyane Wade's knee, not his shoulder, that would be cause for concern right now?

NBA Draft/Lottery Watch: With the Celtics ready to clinch the second-worst record with a loss to the Bucks tonight, isn't it quaint that Doc Rivers continues to insist his team isn't tanking. Please, Doc: Keep winning just enough to slip out of that No. 2 spot. See how that works out for you...

NBA Playoffs Watch: Gutsy win by the Clippers over the Lakers, despite Kobe's 50 (Maggette picked a nice night for his career-high 39). The only intriguing thing about the final four games of the NBA season is this scrum between the Clips, the Lakers and the Warriors for 7th and 8th place in the West. While it would be amusing to see the Lakers drop out and into the Lottery, the NBA playoffs NEED Kobe.

I salute you, Oklahoma City: In your final night as "home team" to the relocated Hornets, it's worth a second to mention what truly awesome fans the OKC folks were. They adopted the Hornets, and I'm convinced that the "home" crowd was a major reason the team has developed over the past two seasons. (Don't worry, OKC fans: The upside of this experience is that you've proven your bonafides as an NBA city. That'll make the Sonics' move from Seattle so much smoother...)

MLB: Nats win! Nats win! (And they blank the Braves in doing it, too.) Meanwhile, Mark Prior has "shoulder discomfort?" OK, who had "April 12" in the pool... Speaking of office pools, who had "April 12" for Gil Meche's inevitable injury?

College Football: Turn back the clock. After a brutal one-year experiment that drew criticism from -- well -- everyone, the NCAA changed the clock rules back to the 2005 way of doing things. The ends of many games just got a lot more exciting.

Olympics: Should the USOC pick L.A. or Chicago to be the bid for the 2016 Games (knowing that the city picked has a REALLY good shot of being the Olympic host)? I am absolutely, 100 percent partial to Chicago -- it would be an incredible host. Screw L.A. Didn't they host the Olympics already in 1984? Give someone else a chance. (Lion in Oil has the competing debates: Here's L.A. And here's Chicago.)

Duke LAX, cont'd: I'm not surprised the players didn't accept the apology of overzealous DA Mike Nifong. They have no obligation to. But they could go a long way in beginning to repair their tarnished reps by doing it, whether he truly deserves it or not. At this point, it's not about absolving Nifong but elevating themselves.

Imus, Cont'd: Fired by CBS, too. I continue to be amazed at how NBC is handling this -- they recognize that in this era of media scrutiny and consumer power, being transparent(-ish) and fairly reactive(-ish) is better than the traditional tactics of obfuscation and delay, which is basically how Imus had kept his job through the years. (My question: How do all those media and political "elites" he brought on as guests justify their affiliation with him? Answer: They can't.)

Meanwhile, Stuart Scott has clarified his "it's good to be a 'ho" remarks from earlier this week. I appreciate the added nuance (absent before), but he still seems to be approving of the word's use. (Not sure why he simply wouldn't say, "You know what? I was totally wrong. It's NEVER okay to use that word.")

Yahoo buying for $100 million? Bold move for Yahoo for, as one sports-business insider told me, a "glorified message board." But I don't think he meant that derisively. It IS, by far, the best sports message board system found anywhere. Perhaps because of the subscription hurdle, but the users who participate seem to care a lot more than your standard message-board fan. And the info/rumors feeding those boards is amazing. Any college sports reporter who isn't a subscriber should be axed for incompetence.

Happy birthday, Mom.

-- D.S.


Mikepcfl said...

I'd like to see what happens to Doc RIvers if the Celtics go on a mini win streak and lose the #2 worst record.

I'm glad college football is going back to the old rules. If they want to shorten the game, why dont they keep the clock running after first downs? That would shorten the game without ruining the ending.

CMFost said...

Not that Imus is fired hopefully this story can be fired and just disappear. Who else is completly sick of this story. Oh and Congrats to the WWL not only did the help get Imus fired they created so much noice that they slipped the whole cowherd/big lead story under the rug.

If the Celtics somehow slip out of the #2 spot, Doc should be gone.

CMFost said...

Oh and Happy Birthday Dan's Mom

Patriots64 said...

Good work CBS and MSNBC, Imus should have been fired long ago for years of racist, sexist and bigoted comments!!! Check the 60 minutes transcripts folks!

Sabres win, good for my hockey pool!!!

TJ said...

Could you go more into what NBC is doing to "amaze" you. From what I've read, they botched the thing by dumping him as soon as advertisers jumped ship and not even giving him the extra 3 days to get his fundraiser finished first. At least couldn't they have said: "we're getting rid of you, but if you want, we'll keep you on the air until this telethon is over."?

TJ said...

Also, have you seen the ESPN ombudsman's take on all the yelling at ESPN? It's a great take on the issue and in a perfect world would usher in some much needed change in programming at the WWL.

Andy said...

I absolutely think that over 150 players wearing 42 cheapens the tribute. I can understand the entire Dodgers team wearing it because, well, it's the Dodgers. It's Jackie's team. And I can understand allowing 1 player from each team wear it. But 150?? That's too much.

College football realized that one of the things that draws fans in is the late game comebacks. And one of the things lost last year int he timing changes was late game comebacks. They are catering to the fans, which is perfectly fine. The previous clock rules were fine. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If all of us want the Imus thing dropped, can we just not talk about it here? Maybe that'll help the issue die.

1999 Officers said...

Happy Birthday Momma raised a good blogger. Anyway, Dan, the Imus and Duke stories can easily be tied together in a kinda, sorta, not-so-round-about way. I'd write more here, but thoughts are long-winded so I hastily threw it all together and blogged it. Yes, I actually blogged. Click my name and read if you want.

Unknown said...

I think the '42' tribute is cheapened because it is now forced. Griffey came up with the idea because he WANTED to honor Robinson. Now guys are being forced to wear the number, many of them likely would never have thought twice about Robinson. It's a herd mentality now.

Imus was fired because he began costing the companies money. That's the bottomline on that.

My birthday is on Monday!

Patriots64 said...

Barry Bonds is wearing #42, that is all that matters!!!!!!!!!!

CMFost said...

I do not think 150 players wearing 42 cheapens the tribute. Hopefully it will get kids who know nothing about who Jackie Robinson was and what he did to ask questions and learn about how important he was to SPORTS. I actually think they should have every major league player wear 42 for that one day.

verbal97 said...

I have a non-sports related question. Who's worse, "dubya" or this douchebag?

Patriots64 said...

Mike & the Mad Dog rumoured to be taking over Imus's spot on WFAN!

Perks said...

I completely agree with cmfost on the #42 thing. I've been secretly hoping/hearing that everyone is going to come out of their respective dugouts with #42 jerseys.

Forget the "cheapen" comments. C'mon-- CC Sabathia saying this is getting overdone?! Jeeez.

To add further debate, would it be wrong/weird/whatever if a white guy said he was going to wear it, like say, Johnny Damon or something?

Unknown said...

Re: Ombudswoman

She's a good read. And she's right again. Whether ESPN takes notice or not, we'll see. Likely not.

Brian in Oxford said...

So who thinks we'll see a bean brawl with someone wearing the 42? Because, hey, nothing honors Jackie like charging the mound.

The Red Sox rainout yesterday may have cost me the shot to see Dice-K live in 2 weeks. They'd better skip Tavarez Saturday.

Doesn't picking the host the Olympics pretty much state de facto that it's all about the money? I'd rather see Chicago, too, than LA again. They also had 1932 in addition to 1984.

Not sure the playoffs need Kobe. The '86 playoffs didn't NEED Jordan, even though he threw down 49, 63, and 19 in the series they were swept in. The west has all the good teams anyways without him.

And the Rangers hadn't won a playoff game in 10 years before last night.

Matt T said...

Not only did the Nats win, but they did against Smotlz.

I didn't understand why he was pitching through the 8th, with a high pitch count. That's why the bullpen was revamped.

Cordero did try to blow it, he must have been shocked to even have a save opportunity

Unknown said...

I think if the players WANT to wear the number, then its good. It feels forced when an entire team wears it. Again, I would not doubt it if many of them didn't ever think of Robinson.
That's my issue. Some want to do a tribute, others are being told to wear the number.

ToddTheJackass said...

I think the more people that join in, the better. Jackie Robinson's contributions to all professional team sports, not just baseball, go beyond one race. So long as the people wearing 42 are doing it because they genuinely are wanting to pay respects to Jackie, then I'm fine with as many people doing it as truly want to.

Also, I believe Damon is actually half-Thai, so he's not a total White dude. Traitorous bastard, sure... :o)

ToddTheJackass said...

Moreso than the "yelling" comments that the Ombudswoman stated, I think the non-rush to judgment criticisms are more well-founded.

We live in an era of media where too often facts are not allowed to speak for themselves, and we are repeatedly told (or yelled at) what we should think about different things. Too much judgment is handed down with not enough time devoted to the facts.

In her first two articles, I think she's already done way more than her predecessor.

verbal97 said...

I don't quite understand the Johnny Damon/traitor thing. If anything the Red Sox betrayed him by not giving him a good enough offer. He's a pro athlete, of course he's going to look at the $$$ when deciding on a contract. The Red Sox made a business decision when not offering him enough money and the Yankees put a higher value on him. Also, Damon was on the Royals and A's first, so it's not like he spent his entire career in Boston.

verbal97 said...

todd, she might say the right things, but nothing in terms of action is going to come from it, so it doesn't register any importance.

Unknown said...

The NBA playoffs "need" Kobe? It is comments like that that remind me how pathetic the league and some of it's fans are. Playoffs need good, exciting games. If a certain player is "needed", the sport is not good enough.

Unknown said...

It's not up to her to do more. Fans and viewers need to step up as well. ESPN can ignore her, but it can't ignore its viewing audience if it spoke up.

The Feed said...

They should probably just have everyone wear 42 right now. You already have five or six whole teams (Brewers were on NY Times list but not USA Today one Dan linked to) and I totally agree that making sure some kid in every stadium asks why 42 and why Jackie Robinson is for the betterment of everybody.

Do the playoffs need Kobe? If people aren't into watching Dallas or Phoenix against teams that don't have Kobe the ratings will be weak in the rounds that matter.

Here here on Oklahoma City. I've never been but it's pretty cool the way they welcomed and supported a team they knew was going to be a loaner.

On Imus, the only place we agree is that a lot of guests and Imus cronies will feel a need to apologize for themselves today. NBC made a money decision, nothing more nothing less.

CMFost said...

Brian - The Red Sox Rotation for the next couple of days barring rain outs

Tonight - Wakefield
Saturday - Schilling
Sunday - Beckett
Monday - Taverez
Tuesday - Dice-K

Chicago should get the olympics. LA has had I think 2, time for someone else.

verbal97 said...

Rafael, that's a big if. I think viewers/listeners tend to just shrug their collective shoulders over things too much.

ToddTheJackass said...

Damon said that even if he were a free agent, he wouldn't go to the Yankees. That's the biggest gripe. But yeah, it's water under the bridge (sort of) and wasn't really serious about that anymore. I'm more excited for the Jacoby Ellsbury era to begin in Fenway.

We'll see if something comes out of her articles. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a memo that gets sent around, and maybe people tone it down a little for a week or so... but you're probably right. I'm sure somewhere there's a focus group that responded better to the yelling, and the ratings reflect that, and so that's how it goes. Erg...

MLB Studs and Duds:

1. Justin Morneau
2. Travis Hafner
3. Jason Bergman
4. Jimmy Rollins
5. John Smoltz

1. Scot Shields
2. Brian McCann
3. Orioles/KC offense
4. Tomo Ohka
5. $8 ponchos outside of Fenway

Can anyone do a Hockey Quickie to describe what's going on there?

CMFost said...

Hockey Quickie

Eastern Conference Game #1 Results
Buffalo 4-1 win over Islanders
Devils 5-3 over Tampa
Rangers 4-3 over Atlanta
Sens 6-3 over Pens

Western Conference
Wings 4-1 over Flames
Ducks 2-1 over Wild
Sharks 5-4 over Pred in 2 OT's

And the Game of the Week so far
Vancouver over Dallas 5-4 in 4 OT's

Unknown said...

Sorry, NHL game of the week was Islanders making the playoffs by winning a shootout with NJ after Madden scored 2 3rd period goals to tie the game. The last was with 0.9 seconds left.

In a twist of fate, at an Islander game I attended with my kids earlier this year, the Islanders tied the Devils with just about a second left to send the game to OT. However the Devils won in OT.

CMFost said...

sorry cycledan I disagree a 4 Overtime playoff game will always trump a regular season game in my eyes

Andy said...

Oh who really cares about hockey???


Natsfan74 said...

Verbal -- stick to sports.

TBender said...

Only 1 team should have every member wearing 42, the Dodgers.

I'm not even sure I'd want players from other teams doing it.

jalpert said...

Ugliest. Tshirt. Ever.

ToddTheJackass said...

Yeah, what's with the T-shirt? Are you finally making money from the blog Dan?

Brian in Oxford said...

So far Duke's winning the poll on the website, I think it was 58-42 in percentages....wonder if we can load up Duke votes :)

clevername said...


UK's bench in 1996 was better than Florida's staters this year, kentucky's 1996 roster had nine players in the NBA. There's your best starting 5 and best team ever.

Deathwatch Conundrum said...

Dan it just seems like the GREATEST. SHIRT. EVER. can only truly be the GREATEST. RIPOFF. EVER?

Just a thought?

Anonymous said...

greatest teams ever were in the 80s or 70s because schools then started scouting countrywide but the big schools dominated.

see unc gerogetown ucla so on and so forht

ToddTheJackass said...

I just hope that if it's in LA, they do something to make the Colliseum better, that place is a total craphole.

But for LA (so-Cal), it's already so tourist-friendly with Hollywood, Disneyland, and beaches (overcrowded as they are).

Food's a tough call. Chicago definitely has better steaks, pizza, and other American food, but LA has In n Out, and great Mexican food. Tough call...

The heroin sheik said...

Since I was living in LA for the 84 olympics and my sis was a gymnast at cathy rigby's gym we got to see the gymnastics competition when mary lou retton got the 10 on the vault. Therefore I Hope chicago gets it because I figure Iwill still be living there at that time and would love to see another olympics.

Dex said...

The number 42 was retired across all of baseball for a reason. Nobody who wore 42 would ever be able to even come close to accomplishing what Jackie Robinson accomplished while he wore the number.

By allowing everybody to wear 42, you've essentially taken the original tribute and spit on it. If you want to wear a number to honor Jackie Robinson, wear the number 60 for 60 years of the color barrier being broken and leave the already great tribute of universal retirement alone.

Brian in Oxford said...

Wearing 60 would just spit on the legacy of Dave Heaverlo, though...

smile, dammit! :)

Unknown said...

My reasons for the Islander game being more exciting is if they lost, their season was over. Even a quadruple overtime playoff game doesn't have the same tension if it is a game 1. A team can still come back and win the series. In effect, if you are 1 point back and it is the last game of the season, it is the same as an elimination playoff game.

I am willing to concede a close second for the quadruple OT though. :)

verbal97 said...

I don't know LA or Chi well at all. All I know is that it's infeasible to have an Olympics in NYC (where would you have an "athlete's village"), plus it would be difficult to get from one venue to another. Boston could NEVER have an Olympics. They had the Democratic Natl Convention at the FleetCenter (as it was known then) and it basically shut down the city, and that isn't even 1/10th as big as an Olympics.

One idea I would like to see gain momentum is to have a split Winter Olympics in Montreal/Lake Placid.

chitown italian said...

It's going to be a long season.

Cubs up 5 nil. Zambrano's pitching. It's now 6-5 Reds.

My thought: Starts with an F, sounds like Duck.

Unknown said...

I just read ESPN's Ombudsman article about the on-air personalities "yelling," in particular the individuals on "Around the Horn" and "PTI," and I have to disagree. I don't believe I would enjoy those shows quite as much if things were toned down. Everyday I record those 2 shows to watch after work. A sedate Michael Wilbon/Tony Kornheiser just wouldn't be the same. And who wants to see Paige and Mariotti be nice to each other? I do enjoy whatever the feud is that they have between each other.

(Tangent: Why does Tony not like Michael Smith?)

It's all reminiscent of my friends and me sitting around, drinking beer, talking sports, and being loud. Good times.

TJ said...


as todd pointed out, it's not just that there's yelling, but the lack of quality analysis and the tendency to just state certainties without any reasoned dialogue. Which is why, if you read the article, she did enjoy PTI--those guys tend to offer well thought out analysis of the day's topics. If only ESPN didn't beat PTI's topics into the ground for 3 hours before PTI starts.

Outlaw Genius said...

Here's a post I wrote back in January about the 2016 Olympics, with this requisite part:

It’s a very simple decision: Tokyo or LA. If the USOC puts up Chicago, then we lose. Period. The politics of the United States and the Olympics is in two parts. The first part is that post-Atlanta, the IOC is very wary of giving the games to any city other than LA or NYC. One IOC member was quoted in 1996 as saying that they only award the Olympics to a city that is its nations’ largest or second-largest; they gave the Centennial Games to Atlanta because they believed that the US was the only nation that could pull off the logistics and costs of having it in a second-tier city. Secondly, the Olympics are now getting into an era in which the classic cities of the 1950s-70s are wanting to host again, while newly developed cities/nations want to get in on the action too. So Philadelphia, Houston, Minneapolis and Chicago are going up against cities like Tokyo, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Rio, Dubai, and Cape Town. Hm, who do you think wins that one?

RT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jmoo said...

Re: Duke LAX/Nifong non-apology

"I'm not surprised the players didn't accept the apology of overzealous DA Mike Nifong. They have no obligation to. But they could go a long way in beginning to repair their tarnished reps by doing it, whether he truly deserves it or not. At this point, it's not about absolving Nifong but elevating themselves."

Gee... did you actually read the "apology"?? "To the extent that I might have .... I apologize."

Defendant nifong's Bar trial is coming up in June. Apologizing is considered a mitigating factor weighing in his favor when it comes to punishment. He's trying - but this apology won't even be considered a mitigating factor.

To the extent that I made a couple of minor mistakes, cost you millions of dollars, held your lives in my hand for a year, etc. -- Gee I'm really sorry.

These young men have shown great restraint and poise -- while folks like you continue to bash.

Dave Evans -- "when I die they'll say, 'one of the 3 accused rape in the Duke lacrosse case died today. He was proven innocent and went on to great things but...."