Last weekend, Scott Ostler has this short comment in his column in the SF Chronicle:
“Milton Bradley, who woulda thought he’d already be suspended for bad behavior, and injured?”
Looking at the 2009 baseball season still in its infancy, Bradley has already been suspended for two games after he bumped an umpire; he went 1-23 at bat to start off the season, he has been injured and missed time due to a groin injury; he failed to run out a ground ball so the fans at Wrigley Field got on his case; and he has been refusing to speak to the media in Chicago. There hasn’t been a meltdown yet, but can we agree that the temperature in the core reactor is rising?
Bradley speaks only to “Cubs.com” – which as the name indicates is hardly a forum where he will be grilled regarding his less than sterling contributions to the team so far this year. It isn’t likely that a “reporter” from “Cubs.com” might ask Bradley how his performance to date combined with his behavior to date equates to the $30M contract that the Cubs gave him. To give you an idea of the kind of hard-hitting news that “Cubs.com” thinks is germinal to this matter, consider these two comments from Bradley that they passed along:
“I’m just not into negativity. I can see already that I’m going to be that guy, since nothing else is going on in here. ‘We’re going to harp on Bradley all year and see if we can get him to snap.’ I’m not going to go for it. You can’t get a good story if I don’t talk. So just go ahead and make something up and leave me out of it.”
“I’m a positive person, an upbeat person. I’m trying to focus on what I’m trying to do here. My teammates are behind me, and the more reporters get in my face, the more I talk, the more things get written the way I don’t say them or they’re taken out of context, and that’s when you lose teammates and you lose fans. The best strategy for me has always been to not say anything.”
Wow. Good thing he’s not into negativity. If he were, imagine how he might interact with the reporters in Chicago…
There is conflicting baseball news related to New York. The Yankees and Mets have been unable to sell out their new stadiums; first, Bud Selig “reviewed” the Yankees ticket pricing structure and pronounced it “reasonable”; later, he announced that both the Yankees and Mets were looking at ticket prices with an eye toward possibly reducing them to fill seats. Then the Yankees said that they were thinking of increasing the price of their premium seats by 4% next season.
Let me get this straight. Seats that individually cost up to $2625 per game are not selling. So, the best way to resolve that problem is to raise the price to $2730 next year? And those $900 tix will fly off the shelves when priced at $936?
The US Congress would love to be able to repeal some Laws that get in the way of the Congress doing some of the silly things that it thinks it ought to do – - trivial matters such as the First Law of Thermodynamics and the Law of Supply and Demand. The only way the Yankees putative ticket-pricing strategy for next year works out for the best is if that pesky Law of Supply and Demand goes by the wayside. Even Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank working together cannot pull that one off…
When Curt Schilling retired, there was a feeding frenzy on sports radio and on SportsCenter about whether or not he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame – - as if that is something that needed to be pondered any time in the next five years. That feeding frenzy ran its course, but every time Curt Schilling posts something remotely noteworthy on his blog – - such as when he made his predictions for the AL East this year – - a sports radio host will use that opportunity to discuss Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame credentials to fill up another 10-12 minute segment of the show.
Memo to Sports Radio Hosts:
1. I have heard all the arguments pro and con by now and need not hear them again.
2. For those hosts hung up on the fact that Schilling has so many fewer wins than other “outsiders” such as Bert Blyleven, have you also considered that he has 51 more wins than Sandy Koufax? Does anyone believe that Koufax (only 165 wins) does not belong in the Hall of Fame?
I believe that Schilling’s “eccentricities” will hurt his Hall of Fame candidacy as much as his career stat line might. Not every baseball reporter who has a vote for the Hall of Fame loves Curt-Schilling-the-person for his off the field behaviors toward them. In case you think that never happens because Steve Carleton was a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee, consider the case of Dennis Rodman in basketball.
Rodman was part of five NBA championship teams; Rodman was the defensive player of the year twice; Rodman led the NBA in rebounding seven times. Nonetheless, you can count on one hand the number of times there has been a serious discussion of Dennis Rodman as a Hall of Fame player – - and you’d have at least four fingers left over. I don’t know if Dennis Rodman needs to be in the Hall of Fame nor do I care even a little bit if he is inducted, but I am convinced that the reason he is never even discussed in that context is that the people who vote for the basketball Hall of Fame are disenchanted with Dennis Rodman for his off the court antics and his “eccentricities”.
Finally, here is a comment from Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel – - prior to his retirement of course:
“With cars and banks getting out of the sports advertising biz, booze is back. The Phoenix Coyotes hockey club had an offer where you buy a bottle of Smirnoff vodka and get a ticket to a game. Such a deal – be smashed before you get there. It’s not just hockey. At Wrigley Field, they just opened the Captain Morgan Club.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…