All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More on the future of the media

I've written before about the current struggles of the media, as well as its uncertain future. Now, President Obama is considering a newspaper bailout. While this guy at Newsweek argues that newspapers need to die and get out of the way.

In the end, newspapers probably will die. But I can understand why people are unnerved by this. A free press is a fundamental part of our democracy. And as Clay Shirky has pointed out, we are not going to smoothly transition to whatever comes after newspapers. Based on history, this is likely to be a chaotic time for the media, where old institutions are destroyed faster than new ones can replace them. And no can can predict which ideas will be the ones that catch on.

This New York Times article is one possible future.

CBS News plans to announce Monday that it has formed a partnership with GlobalPost, a foreign news Web site, that will provide CBS with reporting from its approximately 70 affiliated correspondents in 50 countries.

As many print and broadcast news outlets are struggling to find ways to cover foreign news, the alliance may suggest a blueprint.

GlobalPost doesn't pay its correspondents much. Most of them are part-timers, working locally. The video segments are often shot, narrated, and edited by one person. It's a bit like a paid version of CNN's iReport, or blogging/YouTube on steroids.

Obviously, CBS benefits from the lower costs. It's not so great for the journalists, however.

Meanwhile, there are changes afoot in Yankees blogdom. Peter Abraham is leaving the Journal-News for the Boston Globe. Taking his place will be Chad Jennings, the SWB Yankees blogger.

No word on who is taking Chad's place. I hope someone does. The SWB Yankees blog is great. I wish all minor league teams had blog coverage from their local papers.

And I really enjoy Chad's style. More so that Pete Abe's, if truth be told. I know bloggers are supposed to be "edgy," but Pete was often a little too edgy, IMHO. He likes to rile people up, which gets old after awhile.


posted by BubbaFan, 9:42 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Andy Phillips, baseball instructor

According to the Tuscaloosa News, Andy Phillips will be an instructor in a father-son baseball camp during the off-season.

Baseball Country will host its annual Father/Son Camp on Oct. 30-31. Featured instructors are Andy Phillips, Lee Evans and Brett Taft. Baseball, wiffle ball and bonfires are among the activities. Cost is $100 per person. Register at or contact Kenny Burns at 205-454-3641 or 205-333-8393.

Guess Andy plans to spend the off-season back home on Alabama. Or is at least coming back to visit.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:27 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, September 21, 2009

So, how's our favorite Foreign Player Studmuffin doing?

How's Andy Phillips doing in the Land of the Rising Sun? Not bad, not bad at all. He's hitting a very respectable .287 / .359 / .543, with 14 home runs.

Those are more than decent numbers; I'm sure they'll offer him another contract if he wants to stay.

And speaking of Andy...I found this comment, at the Yankees blog interesting. They were discussing why Shelley Duncan was called up, when he's not likely to remain in the Yankees system after this season.

Whether they felt they owed it to him as a last gesture, or to show him off to someone looking for a bat off the bench is anyone's guess. I was going to say that the probability was on the 'show and tell' side, but it may actually be the first option considering it can't hurt us and we're out in front by enough to start feeling a little comfortable; not complacent, but comfortable.

Another possible point on the guilt trip side of it is most fans' general perception of they way they screwed over Andy Phillips, holding on to him until his career was basically over. Both were well liked by the fans, for their abilities as well as their demeanor in the dugout and clubhouse.

No, they really didn't do all that well by Andy Phillips.

I would say the same is true of Bubba Crosby. The 2006 Baseball Prospectus says this about Bubba:

He might have been the fabled "late bloomer," but two years of indecision have killed off that opportunity.

And about Andy:

In May, Phillips was given a chance to earn at least a part-time job. Perhaps you heart Torre sing his praises, however briefly; Phillips didn't get even a week's worth of starts. On May 2 at Tampa Bay, Phillips went 0-5 with five strikeouts. Against Scott Kazmir. In a game the Yankees won. Back to Columbus, you pathetic failure! Phillips yo-yo'd up and down after that, but he was dead to Torre. Even in September, when Ruben Sierra was going 0-for-every lefty this side of Tim Robbins, Phillips rode the pine. The Yankees are saying that Phillips will have a significant role this year. Don't believe them.

Sigh. As someone said about the Yankees...they're easy to root for, but sometimes hard to like.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:58 PM | link | 3 comments |

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Once again, Rookie Hazing Day

From left: radar gun operator Brett Weber as the Joker, video coordinator Anthony Flynn as Robin, Joe Girardi, Mark Melancon as Batman, Ramiro Pena as Catwoman, Michael Dunn as The Riddler, and massage therapist Lew Potter as the Penguin.

As is traditional before the last road trip of the season, the Yankees rookies found their clothes missing and some colorful costumes in their lockers. This year's theme was Batman.

(Yes, they have to go through security dressed like that!)

Not as good as the Wizard of Oz costumes, IMO.

Bubba lucked out with the Elvis theme, I think.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:24 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Arrrgh, mateys

Well, it's September 19 - Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Which means it's also the anniversary of the only walkoff homer Bubba Crosby ever hit. (Was it really four years ago?)

What a game that was. Possibly my favorite ever. Not least because the division race was so tight that year. It turned out to be the pinnacle of Bubba's career, though I thought at the time that it was only the beginning.

Earlier this month, "Romo" left this message at the Guestbook:

We saw you in 2004 Yankee Spring training - Bradenton, FL vs. Pirates (the best field for fans!). ARod just signed on as a Yankee, but all we heard in the stands were cheers for Bubba! We of course followed your career closely that year - what a great year you had. Hope you are well and come back to baseball! Miss you!

I don't know if I agree about McKechnie Field in Bradenton. It's an older ballpark. The seats are pretty tightly spaced, and they don't flip up. So every time someone wants to go to the bathroom or get a beer, the entire row has to empty to let them out. Spiffy new Bright House Field is a lot more comfortable. Plus, there's no parking at McKechnie.

But I envy Romo's getting to see Bubba during spring training 2004. He was blistering hot that spring. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have found a way to get down there to see him.

Heck, I wish I'd gone to see him during spring training 2007. I thought at the time that there would be plenty of other opportunities - in the regular season, in AAA-ball if not the major leagues. Didn't work out that way. Sigh. You really can't take anything for granted - especially in baseball.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:22 AM | link | 2 comments |

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jeah, Janish

Paul Janish doubles in the winning run

The pride of Rice University, Paul Janish, is finally getting real playing time. He was so buried on the bench for most of the season that "Where's Janish?" was a running joke.

But since Alex Gonzalez was traded, the Reds seem to be giving Janish a legitimate opportunity to show them what he can do. He's never going to be Derek Jeter at the plate, but he's hitting better since he's gotten regular playing time. Last night, he was 3 for 4 with three doubles and the game-winning RBI. (It's uncanny, how many doubles he's hit in his limited playing time.)

He is still not hitting as well as the Reds would like. The Reds desperately need offense, and having possibly the worst-hitting starting position player in MLB next year wouldn't help.

But...the Reds are not the Yankees. They can't just go out and buy a hot-hitting shortstop. (And it's not like there are many available, either.) They also have a lot of other holes to fill, and not much money to do it with.

I think the Reds should make Janish their starting SS, at least for one year. The alternative, knowing the Reds, would be to sign a veteran player who is no better than Janish, and possibly worse, to an expensive contract that's way too long. (See Mike Stanton, Alex Gonzalez, Willy Taveras, etc.) At least Janish is cheap. If he doesn't work out, well, Zack Cozart should be ready by September.

This guy actually crunches the numbers and finds that a case can be made that Janish is the Reds' best option. His bat is not great, but his glove is so excellent it more than makes up for it. (Though as Charlie Scrabbles notes, Janish's value drops considerably when you take his relief pitching performance into account. ;-)

Hal McCoy (who is being honored tonight at Great American Ball Park), really likes Janish.

THERE ARE TIMES when you lose your objectivity, when you pull for somebody’s success. They don’t come much nicer or more polite than Paul Janish. If he could use a bat the way he uses his personality, he’d be a .300 hitter.

Yeah, I know. Nice doesn't count in baseball. But it sure would be great to see a nice guy succeed.


posted by BubbaFan, 5:36 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Yakety Yak

Fans always complain about blabbermouth announcers. But who's the chattiest of them all? The WSJ took a sabermetrical approach, and assembled some statistics.

If it seems like your baseball team's play-by-play man jabbers endlessly at 1,000 words a minute, well, he doesn't. But the St. Louis Cardinals' Dan McLaughlin comes closer than most of his peers, talking at an estimated 109.9 words every 60 seconds.

In a quest to figure out how much play-by-play men actually talk, we listened to the first scoreless inning of every team's home broadcast last Friday—tally counter in hand—and calculated how many words they uttered per minute. The Yankees' Michael Kay and the White Sox's Ken "Hawk" Harrelson may be considered by some to be prolific talkers, but to be scientific about it, they're no worse than Houston's Bill Brown or Seattle's Dave Niehaus.

...Apparently, announcers for bad teams feel an urge to fill dead air. Trailing Mr. McLaughlin was the Nationals' Bob Carpenter at 102.3 words per minute, the Reds' George Grande (102.1) and the Diamondbacks' Daron Sutton (100.4).

I'm not a big fan of Michael Kay, but I have to say that I always appreciate him more after watching a Yankees game broadcast by ESPN or Fox. (Note that those national broadcasters weren't included in this study. Would be interesting to find out if they talk more, or it just seems that way.)

posted by BubbaFan, 10:12 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Welcome back, Boonie

To baseball, that is. Aaron Boone played his first major league game after undergoing open heart surgery.

Boone was always one of my favorites, even before he hit that walkoff homer. He didn't hit much during the regular season, but his glove was pretty solid. And you had to give him credit for admitting he blew out his knee playing basketball. He could have lied and said it something else, but he told the truth, even though it voided his contract and cost him millions.

Best of luck to ya, Boonie.

posted by BubbaFan, 8:44 PM | link | 0 comments |