Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday 06/12 A.M. Quickie:
Bonds' 747, Plus a Rant Against the NCAA

Bonds: 747, just as we get word that the BALCO investigation could be winding down soon...

I'm really ticked about this NCAA baseball/Louisville blogger thing, so I'm going to go off for a minute. If you aren't interested, feel free to scroll down past this...

NCAA vs. Bloggers: I cannot stress this enough – the NCAA couldn't have been MORE wrong for ejecting a reporter from a college newspaper who was blogging about a baseball super-regional from the press box.

There are lots of angles, but tis is the part I am going to focus on: It showed a complete tone-deafness to the realities of sports-media production and consumption.

To not realize that live-blogging has become THE most effective and most efficient form of reporting and analysis of sports events exposes the NCAA's ignorance.

I love the fact that the reporter could have been at home, live-blogging the game on TV, without incident. But because he chose to – y'know, actually get off his ass and report from the game, too – he gets punished for it.

The reality of the newspaper sports reporter is this: You better be able to file your game coverage for the actual newspaper edition... AND the newspaper's online edition... AND live-blog, when necessary.

Particularly during the day, when fans are at work and looking for the freshest content, live-blogging is a great way to build an audience and credibility. And it's a huge value to the consumers, too.

Meanwhile, for the NCAA, why would you try to tamp down on something that is promoting your product? So: It's OK for reporters to cover the game in the newspaper the next day, but not OK for the game to be covered online in real time? Apparently.

What twisted logic, particularly for a sport (college baseball) that can use all the media traction it can get. It's not like it's March Madness. Do they really think that fans reading this reporter's live-blog are going to NOT tune in to the game because of it?

If anything, the reporter is appealing to fans who are already inclined to enjoy and follow college baseball. This type of coverage enhances their interest... ultimately, that's GREAT for the NCAA, not a threat.

(The real threat is having the universe of sports bloggers rally around this cause, ripping the NBA in the process. Hmm: I wonder if the mainstream media would have picked this up as their cause, too, if it has been an indie sports-blogger and not a traditional newspaper reporter who happened to be blogging.)

The NCAA needs to do a 180 on this policy now, if only because it makes the most sense for their business.

Eric McErlain has a must-read on this topic.

John Daly saga takes wild turn: His wife Sherrie claims that he assaulted HER, then scratched HIMSELF to try to cover it up, claiming that she attacked him with a steak knife. Yes, it just got weirder...

NBA Finals: Game 3 tonight, the first-ever NBA Finals game for the city of Cleveland. I hope they can enjoy it, given the situation that their team is getting humiliated.

The Finals were over before they even began. And, while a win tonight would only put the Spurs up 3-0 (and not clinch the series outright), it would effectively end the Finals.

Here's the question: Without the Sopranos finale to use as an excuse, will the NBA get anyone (outside of Cleveland) to watch tonight?

MLB Stud: Raul Ibanez, who had 2 2-run HR, and the Mariners won their fourth game in a row (8/9).

MLB: Harold Reynolds is reinventing himself as an online presence, with a new deal to blog and do online-video for MLB.com. I get the sense he would rather be on TV, but if it helps, Harold, I think you're making the right move by going online-only. Tons more upside.

NFL: McNabb practices, ahead of schedule. That just means that the fans' impatience with him will be a few weeks ahead of schedule, too.

More NBA: Kudos the Magic for offering a refund to any fan who bought season tickets off the Billy Donovan signing... Kobe Bryant has the No. 1-selling jersey in the NBA. Really?... the Pistons won't fire Flip Saunders. Why?...

This J.R. Smith story just got a lot worse: The passenger riding with Smith died. This could get much more complicated for him.

WNBA: Remember when Chamique Holdsclaw was going to be the WNBA's Michael Jordan? Never happened. She retired, MJ-like potential left unfulfilled.

Hot Blogger Bracket, Round 2! Don't forget to vote. I'm in a tight battle with Signal to Noise. (Meanwhile, check out the drama in the NL West Region, where top-seeded Will Leitch of Deadspin is being hammered by Matt Jones of KentuckySportsBlog.)

Navel-Gazing: I have always wondered what it would be like to be interviewed by James Lipton. Courtesy of Flyers Fieldhouse, I had the experience... and enjoyed it just as I thought I would! (Commenters might recognize the name of the person who authored the post.)

-- D.S.


Jon said...

Hey Dan - just an FYI. The Louisville C-J is the city's major newspaper, not a college paper. Just for accuracy's sake, you know. Great site. Read it every day.

Geoff said...

Billy Donovan should offer to pay for those fans tickets for the season and let them keep them.

The Pistons won't fire Flip Saunders because Bill Davidson is tired of paying coaches to go away. He paid Rick Carlisle to go away, he paid Larry Brown to go away... he doesn't want to do that again.

Mikepcfl said...

The Louisville blogger thing is hilarious. Dan hit it on the head when he said the guy could have been sitting at home in his jammies, watching the game on ESPN and probably writing the exact same thing in his blog.

The NCAA doesnt realize that blogging adds to tv coverage. Does anyone not watch the NBA finals because Bill Simmons blogs the game? Ok, the NBA finals was a bad example. But any watched event is added to by reading a blog during the telecast.

Unknown said...

So..I'm assuming you meant that bloggers would unite to rip the NCAA...as uniting to rip the NBA about the CWS is kinda..weird.

Kevin Erb said...

Another MLB Stud nominee: Carlos Zambrano. Big Z threw eight shutout innings and hit an opposite-field donger that ended up being the winning run. Plus, he didn't punch his catcher in the face.

Michael said...

Kobe Bryant the top selling NBA jersey... Doesn't this make sense. Wouldn't the leagues best (at least top two or three if not best) player in the premeire market in the league (can't count New York right now, just can't) have the highest selling jersey?

TBender said...

"Let's limit our audience for the highest profile non-revenue sport!"
One day the NCAA is going to wake up and realize it's not 1960.

Ftrain said...

"THE most effective and most efficient form of reporting"

Also apparently according to Jon, it's not the most accurate

Brian said...

I think the Kobe jersey thing has alot to do with the fact that he changed his number. People who already owned no. 8 jerseys were buying no. 24 jerseys which I think would have to skew the numbers.

Ken Dynamo said...

this hot blogger thing is probably one of the lamer things ive seen on the sports blogosphere. please never write about again. actually this whole post was a great big jagov to the internet. please just write about sports. i come here for sports, i go to slashdot to hear about nerdom.

thanks dan.

Michael said...

Are there some rules or something involving press box blogging that we don't know about it? Has the NCAA issued some sort of justification. There has to be a reason right?

Joey said...

I think people in San Antonio will be watching the Finals as well...

Unknown said...

In showbiz there is not such thing as bad publicity. The NCAA is very shortsighted by cutting off someone who might draw in fans. The first thing about sports is that you have to care - about the team, the players, something.

Zambrano didn't punch his catcher but Barret didn't catch him last night. However he did high 5 him.

Is Parker or Duncan the MVP so far? Probably Duncan but since he won 3 already - do we give it to Parker?

ToddTheJackass said...

MLB Studs and Duds from Yesterday:

1. Carlos Zambrano - W, 8.0IP, 0ER, 3H, 8K, (1/2, HR, RBI hitting)
2. Raul Ibanez - 4/5, 2HR, 2B, 3B, 5RBI
3. Adam Eaton - W, 7.0IP, 0ER, 4H, 3BB, 5Ks
4. Matt Morris - W, 9.0IP, 3ER, 7H, BB, 4Ks
5. Takashi Saito - SV, 1.0IP, 2K

1. Paul Byrd - L, 4IP, 7ER, 11H, 3HR
2. Ryan Garko - 0/5, 2K, 8LOB
3. Jermaine Dye - 0/4, K, 4LOB
4. Cha Seung Baek - 5.1IP, 5ER, 10H, B
5. Trot Nixon - 0/5, K, E

kway34 said...

WNBA: Remember when Chamique Holdsclaw was going to be the WNBA's Michael Jordan?


Andy said...

Zambrano and Barrett actually hugged in the dugout after Z got pulled. They showed it on the broadcast.

I'd also like to add Ryan Dempster as a stud. He came into the game in 1 run game and got the Astros' 2-3-4 hitters out in order. It did take a double play but it got the job done. Well done, especially after giving up 3 runs on Sunday.

chitown italian said...

Not to sound harsh but the guys weren't wearing seat belts. So they deserve what they got. It was their decision, period. The seat belt law is a way for the police to make money. I think it should be a personal choice and people will have to deal with the consequences.

I lost a very good college friend because he chose to drive drunk and not wear a seat belt. He was involved in a one car accident and was tossed through the sunroof and died almost instantly. So I am not without being personally affected by dumb decision making.

verbal97 said...

Did anyone see the USA Today's top 25 sports stories of the past 25 years list? What a dumb list (the actual list, not the premise)?!?!

CMFost said...

Verbal - I disagree with you. The premise is that USA Today is celebrating it's 25th anniversary and looking at the Top 25 moments in various since it has been around.

here is the story

CMFost said...

Looking at the list I personally thing #24 - the Pervasiveness of ESPN, Should be #1

pootietang said...

I am not much for women's sports, but Chamique Holdclaw WAS touted as the Michael Jordan of women's hoops coming out of college and had unbelievable talent. She ended up have some severe depression problems that, apparently, she has not been able to overcome. Hers is a sad story - not one to be mocked. She certainly never touted herself as the next great thing and actually shied away from the media due to her mental illness.

Mikepcfl said...

A couple things I thought Dan should have listed today:

It was mentioned in the comments yesterday, but good news the Genarlow Wilson's sentence was reduced. But the State's Attorney is being a dick and appealing. So he is still stuck in jail.

I thought it was cool that Ditka called out Gene Upshaw and the shoddy treatment that some former players get with their disabilities. Sure, there are alot of millionaires and some who blew their wealth. But some old-timers never made much money and are stuck with huge medical bills from their playing days. It's about time the NFLPA was taken to task for this.

verbal97 said...

No way that the Red Sox winning the World Series is a better story than Cal Ripken, Pete Rose, OJ Simpson, Dale Earnhardt, the '94 Series cancellation among several others.

Two not on the list that I would have put there:

Monica Seles getting stabbed on the court.

Mario Lemieux comes back from cancer and then beats Lafontaine to the scoring title.

Unknown said...

What guys didn't wear their seatbelts?

PatriotsNation said...

Is it me or are there no NFL stories in the top 25 other than the OJ Murder trial??

Unknown said...

Ignore my previous post. I see you were referring to JR Smith's accident. Fuck him. He ran a stop sign, illegally passed someone and hit another car. I am just relieved the driver of the other car wasn't too seriously hurt.

As far as I am concerned, it is criminally negligent homicide. Sounds like he was driving like an idiot. If toxicology comes back positive that would solidify it even more.

pv845 said...

The USA today article is a joke. Yea for Boston and their WS win, but I think the better story would be Boston (Red Sox, Patriots success). Screw Red Sox nation. Their win made them the most unbearable fans ever. And I live in freaking Kansas.

CMFost said...

pv845 - please do not lump all Red Sox fans in with the Pink Hat wearing bandwagon jumping frauds that became fans after they won the World Series. The true Red Sox fans who have lived through years of suffering are not that bad.

ToddTheJackass said...

Good find on the article Verbal.

The Red Sox winning the World Series is probably MY top sports moment, but that's as a Red Sox fan. No way in hell should Magic declaring he had HIV, Cal breaking the record, Dale Earnhardt's death, or even the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding thing be lower than the Red Sox story.

It actually looks to me like the person who wrote it has a definite Boston slant, with the Red Sox #1, Flutie at #11, and Buckner #15.

As today's activity should we all come up with our own top 10 sports stories of the past 25 years?

ToddTheJackass said...

Actually CMFost, I think the WEEI callers/hosts for the most part are more annoying than the Pink Hats. And I hate the Pink Hats.

The problem is that ESPN played the Red Sox winning the World Series to death (looking at you Simmons), and now Fox/ESPN lead all baseball coverage with Red Sox or Yankees, so the overexposure has killed any goodwill that the Sox may have had prior.

Even I was kind of pissed that the White Sox weren't celebrated more by ESPN and the national media more, after what the Red Sox had received the previous year. They may not have had the high-profile meltdowns the Red Sox had, or come so close, but that their winning the World Series didn't get much play at all was pretty lame.

Geoff said...

That list is garbage. It was the #1 moment for Boston fans maybe. But come on, like the rest of the nation really cares that the Red Sox won the series. I really am anxious for the Red Sox and Yankees to both be horrible again.

Ken Dynamo said...

a red sox fan once tried to defend carl everett to me. eventually he came to the conclusion that because i made fun of carl everett, mike piazza was gay.

there are good red sox fans but without question red sox nation is the worst collection of sports fans in the united states. no one else is close. they lap the yankees, and i grew up in nj as a mets fan.

Allen Wedge said...

Not to mention that only a 90 year old man would be old enough to actually remember all 86 years.

I love it when my 24-30 year old friends tell me about how the Sox finally won it... you know cause they had to agonize through it all... I've been following the Saints (who unlike the sox have no history of winning) just as long while my poor dad has been a Saints fan since their inception...

Steve said...

CMFost said...
pv845 - please do not lump all Red Sox fans in with the Pink Hat wearing bandwagon jumping frauds that became fans after they won the World Series. The true Red Sox fans who have lived through years of suffering are not that bad.

Well you're not a pink hat wearer, and I find you annoying, so for me all Red Sox fans are annoying and unbearable. Moreso because of the fucking Patriots than the Red Sox. Just my opinion, as someone who hates Boston teams.

ToddTheJackass said...

Top 10 American Sports Stories (not necessarily events) of the past 25 years:

1. Michael Jordan and Nike - Jordan and Nike forever changed sports marketing, and enabled endorsements to become the multi-billion (trillion?) industry it is now.
2. The Internet surpasses radio as the 2nd biggest sports media - The internet has created a new way for fans to connect to sports. Fantasy football, MLB.tv, ESPN.com, the blogosphere, etc. are an integral part of the sports fans' experience.
3. The rise of NASCAR into the mainstream - No sport has ascended as much in the past 25 years as that of NASCAR. Names like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon are now as well recognized as Albert Pujols,
4. Tiger Woods makes golf popular - Who would've guessed that the real "Air apparent" would've been a golfer? Tiger Woods transcends his sport, and has made golf a mainstream sport.
5. The Worldwide Leader - ESPN no longer reports the stories that are important, it decides on which stories are important. ESPN has risen to dominate the sports news landscape, and as evidenced by the rise of NASCAR and the decline of the NHL, actually drive the national consensus toward popularity.
6. Magic Johnson announces he has HIV - At the time it was a devastating death sentence, and it came to an absolute Superstar. It brought the AIDS crisis into sports, and forced people to recognize the severity of the AIDS epidemic in the US.
7. Ripken breaks Gehrig's record - The feel good moment of the past 25 years, Ripken represented the blue collar work ethic that everyone appreciated, and handled himself with the class and humbleness that commanded respect.
8. The decline of the NHL - As much passion as its fanbase has, after the crippling lockout and the move to the Vs. network, the NHL has lost its status as being one of the four 'major' sports in US culture.
9. The Death of Dale Earnhardt at Daytona - The sport's biggest icon dies at its biggest race. But the irony is in how many lives he arguably saved, as his death caused NASCAR to reevaluate safety measures, and prevent deaths like Earnhardt's from re-occuring.
10. The rise of Latin American players in baseball - Name the best players in baseball right now? Pujols, Big Papi, Johan, Ordonez, Vlad, Reyes, Cabrera, all of them coming from Latin America. Not only is baseball becoming increasingly international, but it's "faces" are as well.

Runners up: The Yankees dynasty, Red Sox winning the World Series, Steroids in baseball, the BCS, the domination of the NFL, Pete Rose gets banned, Mike Tyson and Don King, Lance Armstrong, Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding Soap Opera

pv845 said...

I always thought I was alone in my disdain for the Boston sports teams. I realize there are good fans and bad for all teams, I just have never met one for the Red Sox.

pv845 said...

Great list Todd!

ToddTheJackass said...

Ouch. Has it become so bad that people really hate the Red Sox more than the Yankees? Or will it all shift back if the Yankees win again?

Also, is it too late to apologize on behalf of Red Sox fans for jamming the '04 series down everyone's throats? Or for Bill Simmons?

Unknown said...

I second Todd doing a good job on his list.

My first experience with Boston sports fans. In college, most of us were from the NY area and we lived with one Boston fan. Everything with him turned into a defensive argument. I would say something like the Yanks are on a winning streak and it would follow with, well that is nothing compared to the Red Sox streak.

We weren't even arguing with him. Any mention of sports would result in him spouting some irrelevant statistic showing how a Boston sports team was better. Thanks to Glenn Suddath, I always root against Boston.

Brian Malachowski said...

You are missing the point of throwing the blogger out. It was genius by the NCAA.

As with all things NCAA, this comes down to revenue.

In the next few days you will start seeing the NCAA charging a fee for live blogging. Even for the guy sitting at home. This is going to be a landmark case going forward.

If the NCAA wins the right to charge for blogging (calling it an illegal distribution of the game) then all major sports will do that same.

How can you blame them for trying to create new revenue streams?

Mikepcfl said...

re: Red Sox fans: I think Ben Affleck destroyed whatever goodwill had built up for the Red Sox nation. When he appointed himself as your spokesman (I know none of you asked him) it made all Red Sox fans look bad.

stooncer said...

As for NBA vs. Sopranos, this is a non-issue. On the East coast, the NBA outranked the Sopranos audience by almost 2 to 1 on Sunday. I'm sure the majority DVR'd the Sopranos, but let's not forget that the show is on a paid cable channel while the game was on free network television.

I used to do some sponsorship work with the NFL Alumni Assn. Some of these old guys were mamed by the game and can hardly walk. The NFL should really try to do more to help out the old-timers.

FWIW - I can't stand the Yankees or the Red Sox, but Boston area sports fans have become quite insufferable the last several years. Particularly in this comments section.

ToddTheJackass said...

You know how there's the Midas touch, where everything turns to gold? Can we call the opposite the Ben Affleck touch, where everything he touches turns to shit?

I submit as evidence his movie career after Good Will Hunting and Dogma, Red Sox fandom being cool, and the rapid decline of J-Lo.

CMFost said...

Stooncer not sure where you got the number but the Sopranos had over 8 Million Viewers vs the NBA's 7.7 Million..

see this article

stooncer said...

CMFost - I can't find a link (too much work to get done today), but the TV news reported that the rating for the NBA was a 6.3 and the Sopranos was a 3.8 on the East coast. And no, it wasn't reported by ABC news.

CMFost said...

from the usa today:

A hit is a hit

The final numbers for The Sopranos finale are in, and — whether or not you liked the ending — it was a certified hit. Sunday’s HBO broadcast drew 11.9 million viewers, best since the fifth season premiered March 7, 2004 (that would be the episode where Phil Leotardo and Tony Blundetto got out of jail), and the night’s top show on any network. Against it, the Tony Awards on CBS drew about 7.4 million in preliminary figures. After The Sopranos, the premiere of HBO’s mystical surfing series John from Cincinnati drew 3.4 million.

CMFost said...

NBA Finals: Cleveland-San Antonio
Sunday, 9

6.9 (5.3 million)

The comparison: Down 24% from Dallas-Miami Game 2 last year.
The spin on the spin: There's more to this than head-to-head competition from The Sopranos, in just 30 million HBO households compared with ABC's 113 million households. The NBA, facing record low ratings for the Finals as it's trying to negotiate new TV contracts, now needs LeBron James to become Spider-Man.

CMFost said...

stooncer I think you had your numbers reversed, the article probably said the Sopranos out drew the NBA Finals by 2 to 1

Luke Bell said...

I prefer the Red Sox team to the Yankees team, but the Yankees fans to Red Sox fans (at least since 2004). Of course, this may change again if the Yankees start rattling off championships again and I have to deal with Jeffery Maier-esque douchbags on tv.

I don't want to watch those teams play. I don't want to talk about them. I wish we could go back to the days of neither of them in the playoffs. Remember when Kansas City was good and the Yankees sucked? Sigh....

Unknown said...

Dan, in light of recent events - I thought you would appreciate this:
xkdc's take on blogging

Mills said...

"To not realize that live-blogging has become THE most effective and most efficient form of reporting and analysis of sports events exposes the NCAA's ignorance."

I am not so sure that live-bloggins is the most effective and most efficient form of reporting. Because of the time crunch, it can be forced and inaccurate at times. Whereas, with a traditional recap of the game, a write has more time to fine tune the tone of the story and set it up a little nicer.

That being said. The NCAA should NOT have removed the dude from the press box. If you have valid press creditials, you should be able to be in there.

Query (yes, I really just wanted a reason to type "query") - What happens when regular "bloggers" without professional backgrounds start requesting press credentials so that they can "report" or blog on the game? Does the NCAA or any other entity have to grant them access? If it denies them, it creates quite a slippery slope, but if it grants them, then you will have a bunch of commoners with no real business being there taking up space.

alhajir said...

Todd, in your point 2, you mention fantasy sports as a byproduct of the internet passing radio. I agree with that point but I put fantasy sports itself in the top 10 sports stories. No longer are we following sports the same. Some of us even root against our own team if it means sucess in the fantasy world. I would not be surprised if there is a real fantasy football league that holds live drafts on espn or on espn.com. It really is something else.

Natsfan74 said...

The Washington Capitals gave press credentials to a blogger this year -- but it was very limited in scope to who could apply and how many were given. Thus, one Capitals Blogger, with no other credentials, had unlimited access a few times this year. I do not see this becoming a trend.

The Washington Post did an article on the great Nationals Blogger, which drew attention from the team president, Stan Kasten. What that drew, was emails from Kasten to the best Nationals blogger -- wondering why he hadn't renewed his season tickets yet.

Even the Washington Post has a sports blog (see Dan's links on the right). But with this much access, I still DO NOT think that sports blogging is the most influential form of sports. 99% of bloggers still expound on or surmise from news they have gathered in other places -- espn.com or whatever. Until the bloggers have unlimited access, they will not be able to create or control the news, only analyze or explain or what not. And bloggers will not get regular access, as there is no incentive for teams to do so and the logistics of receiving multiple blogger requests for credentials would be impossible to manage. Kind of like when teams are determining which "free lance" photographers receive access to events.

Plus, depending on the stadium/ location/ amenities, etc., I think that band width could become a problem in a hurry if there are a bunch of people trying to transmit large files simultaneously (i.e., live blogging and possibly including pictures) over a single network.

But, I could be wrong about all of this (except the parts that I know).

ToddTheJackass said...

Alhajr, that's a fair point you make.

I guess I just chose the internet as a whole since it really enabled Fantasy Football/Baseball to be accessed by the masses. Fantasy Baseball (I'd imagine football as well) had pre-existed the Internet, but the Internet is what enabled it to go beyond the [even bigger] stat geeks that used to do it via pencil and paper.

But it is completely worthy of its own story depending on how you want to view it. Certainly it's changed the way I follow sports, and for most people here I'd imagine it has for them as well.

I was hoping other people would do their top 10s or 5s, I didn't mean for my list to be an end all, be all...

CMFost said...

Sources: Earnhardt Jr. to drive for Hendrick in '08

Michael said...

If anyone cares Dale Earnhardt Jr. looks like he is headed to Hendricks Motor Sports to race on the same team as Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon. This is very big news in the racing world.

Michael said...

CMFOST beat me to the punch

john (east lansing, mi) said...

I have a nominee for MLB Stud tomorrow.

And the dud would have to be me - I decided on Saturday to buy tickets for a Tigers-Brewers game to see Cecil's kid Prince in Detroit; I wanted Tuesday tickets but settled for Thursday for convenience reasons.