Alex Rodriguez & Derek Jeter

I know if you read my little old site here, you subscribe to Jamey Newberg’s newsletter/site/blog/everything else he does… Anyway, I just read his report for today. There was a remark in there that I wanted to draw out into the light in case you missed it.

Alex Rodriguez met with the media in the clubhouse in the sixth inning Tuesday night, having already changed into a suit and tie. His teammate, Derek Jeter, was right there nine innings after he’d been lifted from the game himself, the first (along with Kinsler) to congratulate Young on the field after his 15th-inning game-winner. Sort sums up the difference between Jeter and A-Rod.

Isn’t that the truth.

All Star Game Update

The two final All Stars “were announced”: within the last hour. One of the guys I was voting for got in. That was Rays 3B Evan Longoria. The other was Corey Hart of the Brewers.
I can just see the jokes from Chris Berman on these guys. You’ll have your Desperate Housewives joke, and you’ll have your Sunglasses at Midnight joke, I’m sure.
Anyway, I’m glad to see Longoria get in. I’m not upset about Hart, although I would have preferred Burrell. Looking forward to the game on Tuesday, I’m thinking this one will be a bit more than the usual boring All Star Game.

Gary Matthews Sr likes Alyssa Milano

Well, truth be told, who doesn’t? A Google Image Search for her should take care of that if you don’t know who she is. ;)
Anyway, if you didn’t know, Gary Matthews Sr is one of the TV/radio guys in Philadelphia. The Phillies do their announcing slightly differently than us. The Rangers guys are segregated. It’s always Josh & Tom on TV, and always Vic & Eric on radio. In Philly the teams rotate. For a few innings they’ll be on TV, then on radio for a few and back and forth and all that.
Anyway, Alyssa Milano was in Philly a few days back pushing her line of baseball clothing when Gary Matthews Sr was in the TV booth. It was then when Sarge Sr put his foot in it with Alyssa when they were talking about tattoos. Check it out.

All Star Game

First off, that is who I am voting for in the Final Vote. It’s who I suggest you vote for as well. Evan Longoria because he’s having a heck of a year, and he’s NOT from Boston or New York. Pat Burrell because well, I’m from Philly. :) A bit of a homer reason, but he’s not undeserving.
As for the rest of the All Star team. Of the guys who got elected, here is who I was voting for.
AL C – Joe Mauer
AL 1B – Kevin Youkilis
AL 3B – Alex Rodriguez
AL OF – Josh Hamilton
AL OF – Milton Bradley (OK, he’s technically a reserve, but he’s starting for Ortiz at DH)
AL OF – Ichiro Suzuki
NL C – Geovanny Soto
NL 2B – Chase Utley
NL 3B – Chipper Jones
AL OF – Alfonso Soriano
That’s it for the starters. A higher percentage in the AL over the NL, but I admit, I see more AL games than NL games, so that’s not terribly surprising. Of the reserves, I voted for these guys.
AL 2B – Ian Kinsler
AL SS – Michael Young
NL 1B – Albert Pujols
NL OF – Nate McClouth
I have a feeling the pregame for this will be something special. In my memory the best pregame they had was 1999 in Boston. That ceremony that ended with Ted Williams (sponsored hat notwithstanding), it was perhaps the single best one I can recall. I read somewhere that the one in Yankee Stadium will be even more impressive. They’ve apparently invited every living hall of fame member to be there. If they all show up – holy crap. That will be seriously impressive. Then there is Pete Rose. Makes you wonder if they’ll do anything with him, as he’s been brought out a few times here and there at huge gatherings like this.
The Home Run Derby, which has become boring for me the last few years might hold interest. While the roster hasn’t been finalized, Josh Hamilton will be there, as will Chase Utley, so I’m for those guys. Thing is there’s so much BS that I have to watch the Home Run Derby on TiVo so I can skip the completely USELESS interviews they have with the players immediately after they come away from the plate. I mean, these are TOTALLY POINTLESS. “How did you feel up there?” Well duh – I tried to hit the ball, what do you think, you bimbo interviewer? So thank God for TiVo so you can watch all the good bits in about 45 minutes total.
The one thing I’ve seen getting some press in the last few days is this idea. Mariano Rivera should start the game for the AL. Given who he is to the Yankees, the fact it’s in the last year of Yankee Stadium.. I’m really all for the idea of starting the game with Mariano Rivera. It would be really cool.

Nationals Park

The Washington Nationals open up their new park tomorrow night on ESPN for what is the “real” (if not technically official) opening of the 2008 season. Saw a short video tour of the inside of it. Thought you might like to see it.

XM Radio & MLB Home Plate

I signed up for XM Radio back in the Spring of 2005. The reason I did it was because of their 24 hour baseball talk channel, dubbed “MLB Home Plate”. They run several things on that channel. Primarily it’s various talk shows. But the biggest bugger has been that it’s not on the XM Radio online service. If you’re an XM subscriber, you can login with your account, and listen online anywhere. This is particularly helpful to me, as my office is a cave. It’s in the middle of the building, I work in, and while it’s a small one story building, it’s still got no windows, and I cannot get reception for my XM Radio. I’ve tried with signal repeaters at various windows in the building – no go. This is an issue for me, because the online version of XM has to date not included the MLB Home Plate channel.
I’ve written to several producers and folks at XM, and they have told me the reason they have not been allowed to put it online is MLBAM themselves. You see, one of the things they do on MLB Home Plate is include “live lookins” when something cool happens in a game. I don’t particularly use that feature on the shows they have, but I could understand (if not agree with) why MLB didn’t want a competing product available online like that. So I’ve missed a lot of programming I’ve wanted to hear because I couldn’t listen online.
Well, that’s finally changed. I saw a story today on Orbitcast (Satellite news) saying that as of Saturday the 29th, XM will FINALLY MAKE HOME PLATE AVAILABLE ON THEIR STREAMING ONLINE SERVICE. This is such good news, I think it warrants an appearance from “w00t guy!” :)

Seriously, this is extremely good news. I’ve wanted this channel online for ages, so I can listen during the day. I love the talk shows here, but I haven’t been able to listen because I’ve been unable to get a signal in my office during the day, and they haven’t had it. w00t indeed! Anyway, here’s some of the shows on the channel (all times below are Central):
Baseball This Morning: This show’s hosts are Mark Patrick & Buck Martinez. Mark Patrick knows baseball, but seems to be less “serious” than some of the other show hosts. One of their producers goes by the nickname of “The Godfather”, and Patrick himself goes by the nickname of “The Big Chair”. While their baseball talk is fine, they seem to be more into the “show” and “character” aspect of being on radio. When it originally launched, there was a third host, that being Larry Bowa. Bowa stayed there until he got a job with the Yankees as a coach, and was replaced by Orestes (“The Latin O”) Destrada, who stayed for awhile until he left last year. They did not replace O, and I think they gave up on the idea of three hosts, which I liked, since it tended to keep the focus more towards baseball with three on this show. Anyway, this show runs from 5AM to 8AM, and then immediately repeats from 8AM to 11AM.
Fantasy Focus: Hosted by Jeff Erickson of, this show runs one hour (from 11AM to noon), and focuses (as you’d guess by the name) on fantasy baseball. There’s less talk about baseball news on this show, and a stricter reliance on discussions specifically relating to fantasy baseball. This is my least favorite show of the lineup. Not that it’s bad, but the fantasy aspects of baseball discussion are of less interest to me.
Baseball Beat: To me, by far the best show on the channel. This is hosted by Dodgers broadcasters Charley Steiner. What I like most about this show over all the other show – and this is a big one for me – NO CALL INS! At least not from the general public. He does take calls, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s from beat writers for specific teams, hence the name of the show. They’ve had Evan Grant on several times, and they talk to other local writers for teams. I absolutely love that, you get to hear from people who actually cover teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Kansas City Royals. I mean, will ESPN do big deals on those? Hell no, they want to suck on the gob of the Yankees and Red Sox. So I love the fact they talk about other teams, and with people who know what they’re talking about. Unlike the usual callers who call in to these shows and ask a litany of stupid questions, which make me want to scream and turn off the radio. I love this show – no public call ins! YAY!
The Show: Hosted by former Ranger manager Kevin Kennedy and Reds pitcher Rob Dibble. This one I get to listen to the least, as it runs from 2PM to 5PM, and I’m usually at work then. From what I heard, this is the more opinionated show on the slate, and that’s likely due to the personality of the hosts. Or at least Rob Dibble. That’s the reason I garner he disappeared from ESPN’s Baseball Tonight – strong opinions. Which is fine. When I listen, I like the show, but I hear this the least based on timing.
XM on Deck: This show runs for an hour between 5 and 6, and will preview the games coming up that evening. During the offseason, it’s just a general talk show.
MLB Live & MLB Live Late Edition: These shows combine to run from 6PM to midnight. They consist mostly of live look ins to games in progress. There’s also a healthy dose of talk too when nothing is going on in terms of things to “look in” on.
Other things that run on the channel are classic games on the offhours, and there’s some other shows that don’t run as regularly. Like Baseball Confidential where they talk to an individual for an hour. There’s also some weekend only shows, like “Minors & Majors” with Grant Paulsen and “Ripken Baseball” with the Ripken brothers. If you like talking baseball, this is the channel for you. Yeah, I realized I turned this post into essentially an ad for XM Radio, but the fact that I will be able to FINALLY listen to Home Plate online while I’m at work is a MAJOR huge deal for me.
And on top of that, they have all the games broadcast during the season too. If you’re a hockey fan, that’s a bonus, as they have a 24/7 NHL channel, too (as well as the NHL games in a similar fashion).
If you don’t have XM, you should consider getting it. They have a trial signup you can get for two weeks via the website to listen to the streaming version – which after Saturday will include Home Plate, the entire reason I bought XM in the first place.
It’s about time, guys.

Hank Steinbrenner goes all Darth Vader

In a quite from Hank Steinbrenner that looks right out of the late 70’s/early 80’s George Steinbrenner playbook, Hank appears to have mouthed off pretty well. This sounds a lot like all the stuff the Daddy George used to say 25-30 years ago.

What do you think of this? Kind of makes me think that the more they mouth off, the bigger the fall there will be.