Thursday, November 11, 2010

MLBAM shuts down Cubscast after 6 seasons

WOO! Cubs! WOO! Cast!

Streaking through the halls of the twitterverse and the channels of Cubs fandom this morning (and beyond that, MLB fans in general) is the announcement last night that our beloved Cubscast has acted upon a cease and desist from MLB Advanced Media and subsequently have shut down their domain, forum, and fantastic podcast series thru CSN.

You can read Lou’s letter here and listen to the final podcast for all of the details but ultimately, this is the result of a similar move by MLBAM to shut down another podcast on the same "network," namely Twinscast, reportedly based upon a complaint by the Minnesota Twins organization.

Money had nothing to do with it, and even the Cubs organization didn’t seem to be opposed to Cubscast and their work (in fact, it’s well known that the Cubs lithely supported the podcast and even participated at times). For 6 seasons, Lou and Sheps and many others brought us a cohesive point of view over the events of the Cubs and in a manner that never divided fans or incited grotesque controversy. Cubs fans know we like to moan and wail at the same time we hope and dream…our agony is wrapped precariously around our expectations, that’s what makes us fans. Cubscast was an unreasonably well-tooled representation of our collective psyche in a new medium that tends to isolate fans and listeners randomly (but usually not in a mean-spirited fashion) in an informative, responsive, and (oh gosh, oh gee) in an entertaining way.

This seems to be primarily a ‘fair is fair’ move, only complicated by the fact that Twinscast and Cubscast shared a common "network," ergo…”if we can’t do it, why can they do it?” There ya go.

For the record, Twinscast was never the same high-class exercise that Cubscast was. That’s my opinion. Even folks who weren’t “#1 Cubs Fans” enjoyed Cubscast beyond its localized grip. As a lifelong admirer of the Twins, I found it difficult to enjoy Twinscast when I attempted to do so. Maybe I just dropped by at the wrong time and this perception is based upon that…Cubscast was really the best of its class and I’m glad I was able to enjoy it while it lasted. Having said that, it’s unfair for me to compare the two. The bottom line is, #1: it’s a shame for BOTH ventures, regardless, and #2: what’s next?

My immediate concern is how this will impact similar endeavors by enterprising fans in the same or similar media. As I’m writing this, I’m even hesitant to bring up any currently operating exemplary podcasts, fan forums, blogs, or other initiatives on the “internets” that use an MLB team’s name and/or likeness in their design. How soon before 'the man' comes knocking on some of their doors?

Over the years, most of us have ‘lived through’ our favorite sites being shut down for reasons such as this. I’m definitely no stranger to being an intangible part of something that was built by ‘fans’ to serve ‘fans’ outside of corporate media guidance. For years, everything I’ve ever done, said, written, or posted on the internet has always been executed with the same reservation when I hear those words “this copyrighted telecast is the licensed property of Major League Baseball and cannot be reproduced or disseminated without the express written consent of Major League Baseball.”

This blog doesn’t have any MLB trademarks…or does it? There’s a picture of me with a Cubs jersey on…am I breaking the MLBAM law? I post scoresheets of MLB games and comment on their outcome…is that illegal dissemination?

We usually ‘operate’ under the assumption that the corporate media Bene Gesserit sisterhood will only go after those who violate the above statement who are “cashing in” on these efforts. Again, Cubscast wasn’t a money window of any kind (and neither was Twinscast). So, that isn’t the case here.

Well, you can’t fight city hall…I suppose. MLB and MLBAM, they are bigger than all of us. Yesterday, clubs will indirectly appreciate this media for the support (and fan dollars) they bring in. Today, if you smack Joe Mauer around, they will send you a cease and desist letter. Tomorrow, by wearing an Orioles cap you are now an offically licensed product of MLBAM and will be hunted down for posting photos of yourself at an Orioles game with your hat on without the consent of the commissioner.

Thanks to Cubscast hosts Lou and Sheps (and Sneetch as well) for all their work, laughs, tears, and shared dedication over the years. That’s really all I wanted to say. In the true spirit of Cubscast, then let me ask…Lou, what is the answer?
The answer is: “This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

11/1/10 San Francisco Giants 3, Texas Rangers 1

World Series Game 5
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX
(San Francisco wins the World Series 4-1)

SF 3 7 0
TEX 1 3 1

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

9/6/10 Indianapolis Indians 3, Louisville Bats 6

Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY

The Bats entered the final regular season game 1/2 game behind the Columbus Clippers in the division; this was a MUST-WIN for the Bats to claim the division title and to enter the IL playoffs as division champs, not as a Wild Card entry. Their recent skid ensured that a win today wasn't a 'sure thing,' but in front of a Labor Day crowd of over 8K, they pulled off the exciting win and their 3rd consecutive division title.

IND 3 6 1
LOU 6 8 3

As always this time of year, with several key players in the squad already called up to Cincinnati (and this year, for a good reason), pulling together a division championship is no easy task for Rick Sweet. Todd Frazier had a big night, 2 for 3, with 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 HR and a SB. New guy Sean Henry, just called up from the AA Carolina Mudcats a couple of days ago, also did well (2 for 4, 1 run and 2 RBI from his smashing 1st inning bases-clearing double). Dave Sappelt (another recent call-up) did his part of the heavy-lifting batting 2 for 4 with a 2-out HR in the 2nd inning. Ben Jukich...WOW! He had a no-hitter going into the 6th inning. Nice work!!

Brad Lincoln didn't deliver the goods for the Indians, lifted after 2.1 innings - Akinori Iwamura started at 3B for the Indians but was lifted after the 5th, either as part of his rehab assignment strategy or as part of his bobbling a Wilkin Castillo grounder to 3rd that brought in 2 runs.

Speaking of errors, the Bats nearly cost themselves the game with a few doozies, 2 committed by Castillo and one by Zack Cozart.

NOTABLE GAME EVENT: Buddy Bat, our beloved purple mascot was EJECTED in the mid 4th by 1B Umpire for heckling a 'poor call' at 1B.

Akinori Iwamura on deck for the Indians

Akinori Iwamura at bat

Ben Jukich delivers to Aki...struck him out!!

Brad Lincoln fires to Todd Frazier

Micah Owings

Congratulations, to the playoffs! A bittersweet heralding of the end of local baseball for me...the last regular season game. I hear fall calling off in the distance...I can't believe the summer is over, and soon, baseball season.

Official Scorecard and BatChat

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Next Cubs Manager: My Corny Scenario

Now that Fredi Gonzalez' name seems to have finally jumped out of the caverns of speculation and into the news feeds, it's time for me to crawl out of my cave and bring this up.

I think many of us knew when Piniella announced his exit (then took it early) that sooner or later, Fredi Gonzalez would emerge in the discussion...and why not? We all love the way he put Shagley Ramirez in his place for what he did, and we all felt a slight sting of pain when he ended up getting the shaft for it.

Interviewing for a Manager's job...that act alone has to carry some weight. The fact that the next manager will be Jim Hendry's 3rd managerial hire is alarming...failure to 'pick the right guy' will have him out on his ear quicker than whoever gets the job.

Numbers aside, the only thing Sandberg has on Gonzalez is buckets of "Cub Love," the only guy on the planet who can run this franchise into the ground and not get run out of town on a rail. Chicago LOVES Sandberg, just like the Germans LOVE David Hasselhoff. We want him, but we don't want him to fail. We love him, but we don't want to go through this...again.

However, we want him to 'help' without getting trampled by the rest of the teams in the National League; we want him to have the opportunity to 'do his thing' but it would be nice if he didn't have to take the heat for least not right away. We are impatient in our patience, it's the glue that keeps us together and that keeps (most of) us coming to games, regardless of what else is going on.

But this isn't a post about how we roll...others do that better than I do.

I discussed Fredi and Ryno with a co-worker a month or so ago, and I thought I would share my wacky scenario with you, as I did with him previously.

It's not an idea, my idea doesn't count. If I were a GM I would be fired by now, any team, any time. Most of you might find the humor in this, others will perhaps rub their Spock beards introspectively and develop their own tangents.

I picture Jim Hendry, who does NOT want to lose his job next year, bringing Fredi and Ryno both into his office.

"Ryno, we want you to manage but we don't want your reputation to be soured by the fact that you are more or less doomed to potentia failure for at least a year or which time I will already be dismissed and maybe you too.

"Fredi, we like your spunk and whatnot, and your repuation doesn't float the Cubs boat like Ryno's. We want some winning, but we don't want to take chances anymore...or rather I don't. That would suck.

"Ryno knows these kids we've called up like his own...we need him to continue to work with them so that SOMEDAY he can reap the rewards of the empire he is slowly building...putting him in the skipper chair now may jeopardize our hopes of any championships for years to come, but we need him around.

"My proposal is this...Fredi will manage the team for 3 years, World Series or not. Ryno will be your bench coach and will assume the helm after your 3 years, World Series or not. This way when Fredi fails, you are still with the organization and ready to jump in. You will have endeared the fans even more with the determination you have shown by 'working under' Fredi and they will never know about our secret deal. If Fredi does better than expected, the fans will assign your participation as part of his success and will love you even more...not to mention embrace you emphatically (none of this 'wishy-washy blog analyst' crap you are hearing now) as Fredi's replacement.

"Ryno you WILL get the job, and Fredi you WILL be done ater 3 recommendation to you is to get us to the championship so that you can get your resume built up and land a high-profile job with the Yankees...or even the White Sox.

"No word of this to the press, the team, or the fans. Don't worry about the check for dinner, I'll pick this up."

There is about 2 minutes of silence, Ryno looks at Gonzalez, who shrugs his shoulders...then Ryno speaks:

"Sounds good to us, Jim, but we need one thing from you..."

"What's that?"

"You need to know that if you ever try to pull off another Milton Bradley trade, we will personally stick your head in the visitor's clubhouse toilet so deep it will take 3 postseasons to flush your shoes all the way to that stupid "Curse" tavern down the street."

Then Fredi smiles:

"And if I ever catch you not hustling again, you will need to find a much better place to hide than Des Moines..."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BIL Tour 2010: End of Tour Stats


Games: 6
Cities: 6
Parks: 6
Teams: 12

Runs: 53
Hits: 110
Errors: 13
Left on Base: 90
Innings played: 54-1/3
At-Bats: 411

Home Runs: 8
Doubles: 16
Triples: 1
Total Xtra Base Hits: 25
Fielder’s Choice plays: 15
Reached 1B on Error: 6
RBIs: 47
Walks: 40
Intentional Walks: 1 (Kosuke Fukudome, CHC)
Stolen Bases: 12
Hit Batters: 6
Sacrifice Hits: 2
Sacrifice Flys: 8
Put-outs: 326
Flyouts: 81
Groundouts: 115
Strikeouts: 93
Force Outs: 37
Caught Stealing: 6
Double Plays: 11 (all GIDP)
BLS (Broken Bats): 10
BBS (Broken Bat Singles): 3

Best AVG in game, 4 PA min: 3 for 3 (Ramon Hernandez, CIN)
Most RBI in game, 4 PA min: 3 (Trayvon Robinson, CHA)
Most Strikeouts in game, 4 PA min: 4 – the GOLDEN SOMBRERO! (Josh Phegley, BIR)
Most BB in game, 4 PA min: 3 (Christian Marrero, BIR)

Total Pitchers Faced: 40
Total Batters Faced: 471
Earned Runs: 44
Wild Pitches: 6
Balks: 2
Passed Balls: 0

Total Pitches: 1689
Total Strikes: 1059
Total Balls: 630

Most pitches in one 9 inning game: 313 (Mobile Bay Bears @ Chattanooga Lookouts)
Fewest pitches in one 9 inning game: 249 (New Orleans Zephyrs @ Nashville Sounds)

Worst pitch/strike ratio, 5 innings min: 1.74 (Wes Whisler, NEW (7 IP, 92-53))
Best pitch/strike ratio, 5 innings min: 1.42 (Charlie Furbush, TOL (8 IP, 98-69))

Worst pitch/strike ratio, less than 5 innings: 2.63 (Billy Wagner, ATL (1 IP, 21-8))
Best pitch/strike ratio, less than 5 innings: 1.29 (Greg Infante, BIR (1 IP, 9-7))

Most Strikeouts, 5 innings min: 9 (Chris Archer, TNS)
Most Walks, 5 innings min: 4 (Rubby DeLaRosa, CHA)
Highest ERA, 5 innings min: 12.6 (Tommy Hanson, ATL (5IP, 7ER))
Lowest ERA, 5 innings min: 1.13 (Chris Volstad, FLA (8IP, ER))

Game balls: 5 (Mark 3 (CHA, TNS, ATL); Stevo 2 (CHA, TNS))
Hot dogs from hot dog cannon caught: 0
(nobody had a hot dog cannon in use)
Autographs: 4 (Mark 1 (Carlos Subero on game ball); Stevo 3 (Carlos Subero on game ball, Ty’relle Harris and Brett Jackson on scoresheet)

Walk-off Wild Pitch: 1 (Jeff Sues, BIR)
Left-handed First Basemen: 1 (Blake Lalli, TNS)
Brothers on opposing teams: Todd Frazier (LOU) vs. Jeff Frazier (TOL)

Total Attendance: 80,130
Highest: 30,809 (CHC @ CIN)
Lowest: 1,858 (MOB @ CHA)

Total Time of Baseball: 16 hours, 52 minutes
Longest game: 3 hours, 5 minutes (MOB @ CHA, 8.5 innings)
Shortest game: 2 hours, 31 minutes (FLA @ ATL, 9 innings)

Games played in a dome: 0
MLB games: 2
MiLB games: 4
Managers Ejected: 0
Extra-inning Games: 1 (BIR @ TNS, F/11)
Rain delays / rain outs: 0
Games with any rain whatsoever: 1 (FLA @ ATL, light rain starting at T9, finished before the half-inning’s end)
Home team wins / Home team losses: 3-3
(we were hoping for 2-4 if the CUBS could have won)

Miles traveled: 1730
Time needed to recuperate: none, both of us back to work Monday morning

Monday, August 30, 2010

BIL Tour: 8/29/10 Chicago Cubs 5, Cincinnati Reds 7

Great American Ball Park, Cincinnai, OH

Still hard to believe after living in this area for so long that this was my first ever trip to Great American Ball Park. Is there any better way to herald this event than with the final trip of the tour AND with the Cubs in town?

A "W" would have been nice!

CHC 5 14 2
CIN 7 14 0

Ounce for ounce, one of the most exciting games of the trip. The Reds would score, the Cubs would come back. Travis Wood didn't have his 'good stuff' today, we got lucky there.

One of my greatest moments as a Cubs fan was Fukudome's 2-run homer in the 8th to tie the game. I was never as proud as I was when I stood up amongst the Reds fans in our section and cheered voraciously. Even better that I did this at GABP, in the nest of the Reds fans. Boo-YAAA!!

Even still great, despite his subsequent throwing error that didn't lose the game for us (that was Sean Marshall's RBI single to Hernandez) but that certainly seemed to seal the deal just the same.

2 humorous game notes:

While standing in line to buy a scorecard and pencil, the vendor didn't have change to break a 20. I turned around, frustrated, and asked Mark to spot me a buck so I could pick one up, a handful of singles in his hand. He said 'sure,' handed me one; I made my purchase and walked away...only to find Mark standing 20 paces away from the vendor booth, asking me who that guy was that I was changing money with. Turns out a complete stranger spotted me a buck, not Mark, and by the time I turned around he was gone.

A few Reds fans were sitting next to us, I in my Fukudome jersey, Cubs cap, and handy green clipboard with scoresheets, camera, and BB. In the 2nd inning, this guy on my left turns to me and asks, profoundly, as I'm totalling pitches, "Are you a scout for the Cubs?" My response: "No, I'm an evil spy for the Reds!" ...I guess it was the clipboard.

Approaching GABP from the 'mall'

Mark and I in our seats, near the field (that' not a "3" it's a "W")

Grandstand before the game...don't let the Red seats fool you, there are LOTS of Cub fans here today!

Starlin Castro gets on base

Fukudome in RF, we sat right in front of many of his plays

Casey Coleman delivers, Xavier Nady springs to make the play

Fukudome on 1st base

Sam LeCure

Sean Marshall warms up, he is TOO tall at this distance

Adios, Mark! Let's do this again sometime!!!

Official Scorecard

Souvenir Program (with Johnny Gomes poster!!!)

BIL Tour: 8/28/10 Toledo Mud Hens 8, Louisville Bats 3

Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY

A hot, sunny day with $2 craft beers on the Overlook Deck and a nearly packed house resulted in quite a bit of electricity to start the game. Unfortunately, the Bats were primarily silent against the Mud Hens, who started the 9th with a lead and threw in an 'insurance rally' just for yucks. Reineke didn't have his best stuff on the mound, Herrerra bought his worst, and somebody named Charlie Furbush didn't dazzle for the Mud Hens (4 K, 10 flyouts, 11 groundouts) but kept the Bats offense to a whisper, indeed.

TOL 8 13 0
LOU 3 7 0

Todd Frazier did well (2 for 3), Yonder Alonso went 1-for-4 with a 2B, Devon Mesoraco 1-for-4 with a 2-RBI double. Todd's brother Jeff was hitless for the Mud Hens and local Louisville boy Sean Roof had a great night, 3-for-4, RBI Sac Fly plus n RBI single.

We started the day with a visit to one of my favorite places, the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum, just a few blocks away from the ball field. Here, Mark and I are standing next to the "big bat" in front of the case you were wondering this is the popular Babe Ruth model.

Inside the museum, we embraced the opportunity to pose with famous game used bats, here I am holding a bat used by Johnny Bench...

Mark chose Mickey Mantle...

Ted Williams loved his bat, I love my Blackberry

Moving on to the ball field, we are in front of the famous Pee Wee Reese statue (traditional meeting place for most Bats fans)

Stevo demonstrates the "Strait Pinkie" while enjoying a Shock Top in the Jack Daniels club upstairs, "Boyyyyy"

Mark and Stevo at the field

Great attendance tonight, 12,111 announced!

Saturday night was even happening in the usualy-barren bleachers!!

Charlie Furbush (who?) delivers to Devon Mesoraco...I was hoping he'd knock the cover off of the ball (he ended up with a double at this at-bat, was hitless the rest of the evening)

Todd Frazier at bat (2 for 3, R, SB)

Chad Reineke fires

Souvenir Program

Official Scorecard and BatChat

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...