Results tagged ‘ Ken Rosenthal ’

Ken Rosenthal, Are you Nuts?

In the past, I have made it a personal point to try and stay neutral and not get too upset over the wishy-washy personal opinions and print bravado hoisted to the heavens like gospel by the media mongrels who act as our “internal” eyes into the soul of baseball. I  have begun to feel very strongly that these mongrels seem to forget sometimes that their social network followers their words and thoughts as written epiphanies of solemn truth than as  muses of personal opinion or outlandish tongue-in-cheek comments .

And these same followers may see these daily postings from the media centerpieces mesh into their own personal opinions because the mongrels have been anointed by so many as the guardians of baseball. And being considered a sentry to sensibility can be a pretty important and lofty job description with a nest of surreal complications and phonetic pitfalls all over the place. I can tell you it is not a position I would ever interview to include on my resume’.

But a recent post by a Fox Sports guru has gotten a bit underneath my skin, and if I do not itch/comment now, it will surely fester into something severe and intense. My symbolic camel finally received it’s broken vertabrate courtesy of the muses of Ken Rosenthal  during his December 22nd post. And sure, I maybe taking this a little too to the extreme with his literal post comments, but I truly feel like this is the kind of out of reality postings that can not be written at this  juncture in the off season and have a realistic ounce of credibility beyond  personal speculation.

I mean, not even one of the posters following the New York Yankee or Boston Red Sox would feel superiorly autonomous enough this early in the off season to proclaim in a posting the a headline like “The Rest of the A L East should just give up now”.  I would have more respect and affirmation for such a headline if it was September 2010, or at least at a point centered somewhere within the 2010 season, not 3 days before Christmas with not a single baseball game played yet in 2010 season.

Sure I  would expect bravado and numerous chest thumping episodes from their recent signing from both teams, but this headline illustrates that the trio of the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays should just take their gloves and bats and go home now and not even show up in April 2010. I surely hope it was a tongue-in-cheek comment because I can assure you all three teams are gunning for you right now Mr. Rosenthal.

Steve Nesius / AP

How could you post a headline like that Rosenthal. I had more respect for you in the 2008 playoffs when you honestly remembered where the Rays played, unlike the guys in the Press Box who thought it was 20 miles to the east. So what if the 2009 World Series Champion Yankees will counter with a rotation of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettite and Javier Vasquez against the Rays, Jays and O’s. Let’s take a little gander at all three Yankee pitcher’s records against all three teams,with the exception of Vasquez since he was in the National League last season.

The Pinstripe pitcher’s went a combined 17-7 against the trio in 2009, and the most effective pitcher was newly acquired Burnett who went 4-0 against the Rays and posted an overall 7-2 record against the trio. Sabathia had a bag of mixed results, going 0-2 in 4 starts against the Rays, but went 4-1 against the Orioles. Take away Burnett’s 7 victories and you get the Yankees starters winning only 1 out of every 3 against the trio.  The trio of pitchers actually went to the mound 32 times against all three squads in 2009.

So let’s  now turn our attentions to the Boston brood’s 4 pitchers consisting of Josh Beckett,Jon Lester,Clay Buchholz and newcomer John Lackey and see if an identical pattern emerges in games against the trio. The 2010 Red Sox staff went a combined 17-4 against the three teams. In the 2009 series,Lester actually came out on top with a 9-2 record during 12 starts against the trio. Lester only lost to the Rays among the three teams isolated in this scenario. But the foursome did make a total of 36 starts against all three teams in 2009.

With a combined record by Boston and New York of 34-11  in 68 starts against Baltimore, Toronto and Tampa Bay, you can see that all three had some levels of success against the teams mentioned by Rosenthal. Those do not look like superior, dominanting numbers, but you also got to remember that each teams get to know each other pretty indepth personally after playing 17 games against each other during the season.

I hate to  have to remind Mr. Rosenthal that he did pick one of that mentioned trio to win it all in 2009, and is now throwing them under the bus. Yes, Mr. Rosenthal, you did pick my own Rays to win it all in 2009, and we vanquished our own playoff aspirations with abysmal September campaign especially  in divisional seriesagainst New York and Boston. But the reality of this division is that the rich will get richer especially in signed talent, and the trio who lurk in the small market concept will just have to squeeze every ounce of potential and talent from their rosters to match-up nightly.

And that is a real pity. All three of listed trio have begun to stockpile talented players who will not cost them millions of dollars. None of the three can go out and be super aggressive and affectively offer multi-years and millions to possible Fee Agents, but can get some great established players through trades (Soriano/Drabek/Atkins) and adequately patch up their teams holes before the 2010 season begins.

And I do not think for one moment that the Red Sox did not protect themselves when they included a provision in the contract to pitcher John Lackey because of his injury history. There is supposibly a “injury” provision in that contract where if Lackey suffers an injury, and misses considerable time during his contract, he will play for the MLB league minimum in 2015. Injuries are a part of baseball, and for Mr. Rosenthal to strut his feathers like a peacock at this point of the off season is totally absurd to me.

Chris O’Meara/ AP

Let’s play at least 100 games before we start to parade words like “dynamo” or “dynasty” in general blog posts. It is not like you will not see people post and fantasize abo
ut a Yankee repeat again in 2010. For the sake of argument, Boston has been more consistent in the last 5 playoff seasons, but has hoisted the World Series trophy as many times as New York. In the last three seasons, three different teams have hoisted the American League Championship trophy, and all three came from this American League East division. 

You can say that this division has an air of dominance, but you can not say any of the five teams in this division are every out of it even before we play one single game. Remember the last few seasons when the bottom guys were established securely on top of the division while Tampa Bay, Boston and New York tried to right their ships and sailed towards the top of the standings. In this division it is never over until it is over…….point blank. 

So Mr. Rosenthal, I can be secure in the proposterious  notion that I can say with the upmost confidence that there will be  a boatload of surprises in the 2010 season, and that I want to be the one to serve you a nicely grilled breast of blackened crow with a nice port wine reduction when your boast goes south in 2010. Oh, and I would recommend a fine Robert Mondavi Carneros 2007 to wash all that crow humbly down.

Blogging Outcry….My Response


When I first heard the story about Jared Morris, who posted a blog on recently that brought up the “speculation” of the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez may be indulging in some specially energized vitamin compound outside the rules of the game, I had a eerie recollection of a blog I wrote a few months back about the bloggers being the “Rodney Dangerfields of Journalism”. 

In that blog I was wondering if we did not get the respect for what we did as an underlying check and balance system within the Internet community. I gained a lot more valuable insight on both sides of the issue after posting that article from both websites and media members. Both these entities will be here from now on, the collective joining of the two segments might be the key to everyone seeing and following the same guidelines and beliefs in the new media format.

We (bloggers) have been deemed the  new storytellers of our generation. The way our grandparents used to take us aside and tell us wild tales of the Great Depression. We got a sense of the times that they lived through based on their stories.  Today our recollections and thoughts that are typed onto the Information Highway can be taken with a grain of salt, or taken full bore as the truth or a lie depending on your own personal beliefs and opinions.

I always had the notion that a blogger being basically a buzzing horsefly bothering the cows (media) in the pasture. The cow swats us away at times, but knows we also serve some sort of purpose in the whole scheme of things and basically tolerates us because of it.

I also have to contend with the fact I acknowledge and view the blogging community format a bit different after reading the response blog posting and comments on recently. I see where both side can get a bit animated on the issue posted in the blog. But the fact is the guy was not outright accusing him in any of the chosen words or phases, but the idea of some type of improper conduct seemed to condemn the blog before you even read it. But that is the essence of life in this era that sometimes fast information and recognition along with the lead into a blog posting can be the only thing read nowadays before opinions are based in our minds.

I have come upon the belief that sometimes your true words and thoughts do not fully seem to gel and mesh with your thoughts on paper/net until you hit that “Post” button, then it is too late to edit it.  Once you click on it, the entry is out there for any level of interpretation or dissection it merits. I am not one of those people who posts a blog then re-write it 20 minutes later after second thoughts. The before mentioned blog did cause a bit of a hassle for me for  about one day, then like most online entries, it was yesterday’s news. Since that time, not one comment or even a glance has been made towards that blog. It was now out of sight, out of mind.

I made sure I read the so-called “offending blog” today again before viewing the video about the incident from a recent ” Outside the Lines” show, I can see the views of both sides a bit clearer on the issue at hand. I really do believe as Ken Rosenthal of ESPN and John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer hinted that 5 years ago, this type of “speculation” blog article would have fallen by the wayside and not gotten more than a quick read or even a glance from anyone on the Internet. 

It is the new found responsibility and unwritten status now from all of us to maybe rethink  some of our own boundary lines when we write  accusation or speculation blog entries. In the last few years, most of the countries newspapers, and even blog sites like have made their feature blogs and articles a reading mainstay of their reporting outside of the televised or printed editions of the news. Newspapers are going digital every day. It is for this reason that even a blogger can now be held more responsible, as a kind of “uncarded media member” for their thoughts and comments. Which has its own set of pitfalls and future problems.

Twitter,Facebook, Myspace, and even do have people who read your blogs daily. You might be doing it as an added entertainment factor for your love of the game, but “Joe Yankee” fan might take offense to your personal rendition and responses to their heroes Mark Teixeira or Alex Rodriguez being used as fodder for your ever growing blog popularity. I have to admit that I take a bit of a relaxed approach at times to blogging more for the fact that this is not sourced journalism where I have access to players,coaches and team personnel to get added information. 

Most of what I find out is on written media sources or face-to-face conversations with players or team officials. Even my simple sidebar postings of the Rays injury updates daily comes from either the local media members, or from personal comment from players or staff about their injury status. I recently talked to two injured Rays players who told me they are starting their throwing programs this Friday. I am not paid,compensated so to find a nice gem of a comment or can make it all worth it at times.

Sometimes the lines get foggy and muted and to cross them can be as simple as that first step. Accountability and accuracy is the keystone of writing in a journalistic format. To check and double-check is a part of the lifeblood you are taught in that first Journalism class. And to think no one is watching or even reading your stuff is a recipe for disaster. But when a person blogs, most of us know usually only a group of 10-20 people who tend to read our stuff, but every once in a while, someone or some site stumbles upon your writing and either takes offense, or sees your point of view and advertises it to the rest of the world too.

The basic premise is a blog is suppose to be the format for personal thoughts, ideas and opinions. The true nature of the beast here is that the bloggers and their readers have grown tremendously in size and importance to be a unwritten focal point of life today. Perez Hilton and other gossip bloggers like him now have a millions of followers because of their outlandish and sometimes erroneous thoughts online. But they still do the basic sweat equity to find out if there is merit to their posting before throwing someone under the bus.

The odd part of all of this is not words or phrases accused Ibanez of wrongdoing, just a questioning of the state of the sport right now after recent finding of some of our heroes abusing the system, and some getting caught red-handed in unfortunate surrounding and actions. I think it is part of the unchained responsibility of blogging to not always trust everything you read and see, but to research and bring your own side of the story too. I know some media sources have agendas that tend to make them more “homers” when they write blogs or articles about our teams and their players.

Should we get the same treatments that mainstream journalists get if they mess up and write something unsourced and ambiguous. I am more and more  insight into this
subject after erroneous posting and comments. But then again, the “He said, She said” mentality of most blogging communities tends to bring to light the honest facts that personal opinions are fine spoken verbally within a small group of people, but voice it online and you can attract more than just a comment. In the blog written by Jared Morris, it doesn’t scream either libel or slander because the intention here was to voice a concern or speculation and not establish fact or circumstances to even thrust Ibanez into the light for further examination by anyone within or outside of the sport.

But I can see where established journalists can come out and condemn and accost him for his efforts. They might  agree with his logic or opinions in their minds, but their journalistic integrity questions the way it was presented to the public via the Internet. But that is the fine line that we cross sometimes without noticing it until we hit that “Post” button.

What looks great to us on the initial posting can turn into a firestorm just as quickly as this blog’s speculation of adverse numbers because of a suspected PED abuse.  His blog actually reads more to me as a true “tongue-in-cheek” action-reaction to Ibanez’s extreme upward trend in his statistics. But it is also being anointed as the key piece of evidence to why there needs to be change in the blogging world in accordance to unsourced or opinion-based blog postings.

I think the comment by Rosenthal near the end of the video puts it all into better prospective here. “It is the power of the written word. That is what we are all taught. You have to be careful, you have to be clear, you have to be responsible,” Rosenthal stated in the OTL segment. In response to the idea that the blog was written without due thought process he added, “I am sorry, as well intended as he (Morris) might have been, you can’t tell me he met these standards in this case.”

People who write online do have to use a bit more consideration and thought before hitting the “Post” button. I am guilty of it myself. But that is also one of the things that sometimes drives us to the Internet. It is like the reason people slow down to watch a traffic accident, or watch video of celebrities becoming moving train wrecks for their actions.  The basic facts is that opposing viewpoints bring about discussion, which can be great for enlightenment and understanding on certain subjects. But they also open you to huge avenues of opinion and commentary either positive or negative towards your own views. 

This controversy  can be food for thought. Either you are going to see merits, or you will go about your business as usual. Me, I am still riding the fence here, but I also know that this will not be the last time we read or hear about an outburst in the blogging world. But hopefully we can all learn a bit from the experience…or not.