Picking Nits…

Yesterday, I received 3 emails from friends alerting me that MLB Network will not renew Ken Rosenthal’s contract there and – in essence – fire him from his position.  Most stories on this matter say that Rosenthal is the MLB equivalent of Adam Schefter in that Rosenthal has real MLB inside sources through which he routinely breaks stories.  According to the NY Post, a major reason for this ”separation” is that Rosenthal wrote several less-than-flattering columns about Commissioner Rob Manfred last year when there was a stalemate about how to conduct the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

The common narrative on sports talk radio seems to be that MLB Network made a big mistake here because of Rosenthal’s stature in the baseball writers’ community.  I am sure that no one here will be surprised to learn that I do not think this is a big deal; here is why:

  • Ken Rosenthal is a serious journalist.  He tries to dig up as many facts as he can about situations and then he reports those facts.  Given his long-time association with baseball, his opinions based on the facts that he uncovers carry weight.
  • MLB Network is not a journalism enterprise; it never was and it never will be.  MLB Network is a 24/7 infomercial seeking to promote and advance MLB.  It is owned by MLB and the owners; it is a house organ; it is promotional in nature not reportorial.

MLB Network can and will carry out its specific “mission” with or without Ken Rosenthal.  They made no mistake there.

Ken Rosenthal will continue to be a senior baseball journalist who breaks stories as he writes columns in The Athletic and appears on various other TV and radio outlets.  His stature has not been diminished in the least; I doubt he will bear a grudge.

I believe this entire matter is full of sound and fury and signifies nothing…  [Hat Tip to Willie Shakespeare for that…]

The baseball story for today that I think is being underreported is the lack of negotiating by the leagues and the MLBPA to get a new CBA.  One report I read said that the two sides had not met for even an hour of negotiating time since the lockdown was put into effect.  I have no expertise in labor law or labor negotiations, but I feel confident in making this statement:

  • There is a low probability of progress if the two sides do not meet and actually negotiate.

Folks, I know that deadlines are the best way to “get deals done” but there are so many “problem areas” identified in this set of negotiations that I wonder if there is time enough to work them out before pitchers and catchers would normally report to Spring Training camps.  I am beginning to worry that Spring Training will be delayed; and if it is delayed significantly, that would delay the start of the regular season.

  • And if that happens, you can add another issue to the pile of ones needed to be resolved – – how long will the season be, and will player salaries be pro-rated?


Another story that has consumed far too much time on sports talk radio in the DC area yesterday was the announcement by the Washington Football Team that they will reveal their new team name and team colors and team logo on February 2nd, 2022.  Immediately upon opening the subject, one of the shows heard from a caller who had concluded that the new name will be the Washington Hogs – seriously.  He said that would be a link back to the “Glory Days” of the franchise which are important to Danny Boy Snyder AND that the team chose that day for the announcement because it is GroundHOG’S Day.  Some folks have far too much time on their hands…

I think there is another part of the team announcement that is more important than whatever they name the team.  After all, the team name will be what it is, and folks will either get used to it or mock it for a long time; that is a situation that will resolve itself.  However, the Washington Football Team demonstrated in its announcement that it cannot wean itself away from publicity stunts.

  • The announcement will be made to the public on The Today Show.

When you think of the intersection of sports, TV and “buzz”, how far down the list of possible intersections would you have to go to get to The Today Show?  All I can say is that the choice of venue by the team is better than The View – – but not by a whole lot.

There is one other item this morning that involves the Washington Football Team.  After the Eagles beat the Football Team at Fed Ex Field last Sunday and as Jalen Hurts was walking from the field to the locker room, a throng of Philly fans leaned over the railing to slap hands with Hurts.  The railing collapsed causing a bunch of fans to fall down to the walkway.  Hurts was not injured; he helped those fans to their feet and took photos with them.

FedEx Field is a dump.  It had all the charm of a cinder-block mausoleum the day it opened in 1997; even that iota of charm is long-gone.  But there is a difference between a lack of comfort/charm and railings that collapse.  And so, for PR purposes, the NFL and the Football Team have announced that there will be a full investigation of the incident with the obvious goal of seeing to it that nothing like this happens again.  However, since this involves the Football Team, it does bring two questions to mind:

  1. Will this investigation be as thorough as the one done regarding allegations of sexual harassment/assault in the Skins’ Front Office?
  2. Will there be a written report this time?

Finally, here is an interesting perspective from author/humorist, Don Marquis:

“Bores bore each other too, but it never seems to teach them anything.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “Picking Nits…”

  1. It is entirely possible that the WTF’s leaked their name as the “Admirals” with a website redirect that was discovered. Someone said this might have been a false lead, but since when has WTF been clever enough to do something like that?

    But that mis-direction option has me set that the new name for the Washington team has been staring us in the face all this time:

    The Washington Red Herrings

    Every year the fans are told how this is “going to be the year” only to have been misled into having another craptastic bunch of galoofs take the field.

    1. Matt:

      The marketing folks for the Football Team have been excellent at tantalizing the fanbase about the new name. There is no news – – and then there is a “hint”. There is no news – – and then a former player has a suggestion out of the blue. That has been a masterful campaign – – except a new name for the team is really not very important.

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