Like Barry Bonds, Baseball Widow hasn't retired; she's just not playing.
Enjoy the archives. . .

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Of Mixed-up Metaphors and Messed-up Ideas

Baseball Widow likes her reality TV in the form of the history channel, and she really isn't fond of the "you vote from home and decide the fate of our contestant" mentality. Perhaps it's an outgrowth of the fact that Baseball Widow was not the prettiest or most popular girl in school--she was the smartest, but you knew that already--and, therefore, she dreads the idea of judgment from the masses, drugged on the opiate of TV. More likely, however, it's Baseball Widow's work ethic that churns her indignation (can indignation be churned?); she does her job, and she doesn't ask anyone to do it for her. Why can't TV execs just come up with interesting programming, rather than shift the burden of TV entertainment to those who pay for it? (Okay, Baseball Widow doesn't have cable, so she doesn't pay directly for her TV programming. Still. . .)

Baseball Widow says the pros should act like pros--in TV and in baseball. So, Baseball Widow is bothered by the decision of the Schaumburg Flyers to turn the management of their baseball team over to the, well, armchair quarterbacks, if you'll forgive a mixed metaphor. Is the manager going to share his salary, if we're going to be doing the work for him? Where's the professionalism in pro baseball? Why don't we just train monkeys to hit baseballs? They'd have to be better than Neifi Perez.

Of course, Baseball Hubby has a different take on this issue. . .

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Baseball Widow: Soothsayer

Anyone notice which game ESPN was showing tonight?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Fatherland

Yesterday, Baseball Widow noticed the Red Sox/Yankees game on ESPN. It seems to Baseball Widow that all ESPN does lately is play Red Sox/Yankees games. Baseball Widow thinks that ESPN shows more Red Sox/Yankees games than TBS shows Braves games. Heck, Baseball Widow thinks that ESPN shows more Red Sox/Yankees games than the Red Sox/Yankees actually play.

What a refreshing change of pace, then, to see tonight's coverage of Roger Clemens's rehab start with the Lexington Legends, the Astro's Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League (in Applebees Stadium, for those of you who keep up with that sort of thing). Only the hardest of hearts could begrudge the slight lingering as third baseman Koby Clemens handed the ball to his dad after 'round the horn.

Of course, how different are these television circumstances, really? In it's typical marquee mentality, ESPN chooses to cut coverage to coincide only with the Clemenses' appearances. Baseball Widow knows that media follow the stars, but media can also craft stars. Instead of using the opportunity to showcase an entire game within a segment of professional sports that is largely ignored (namely, minor league baseball), thus possibly increasing interest in the entire game, the networks chose to focus on the names and faces everyone already knows, thus risking overexposure to certain players and the subsequent decline in interest.

Clemens is one of the greats, and Baseball Widow is happy to see him pitch again. She just wishes she had more of an opportunity to watch the greats to come--be they Class A Legends or Major League Twins.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Coming up Roses?

Pete Rose, Jr., was sentenced in Nashville today to one month in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges stemming from his use and sale of GBL, a "steroid alternative" that purports to do everything from enhance one's sex life to better one's sleep. Taken orally, GBL converts to the "date rape" drug GHB. Evidently the drug was legal until 2000. According to published reports, Rose, Jr. began using and selling the drug in 2001, while he was a member of the Chattanooga Lookouts, a AA affiliate of the Reds.

A Baseball Widow source revealed that Rose, Jr. received a light sentence because he cooperated with the government in an investigation that busted a nation-wide distributor of the drug and implicated several of Rose, Jr.'s teammates on the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

F.Y.Y.I. (For your yummy information)

Today is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's. Well, go on, get out of here. . .

Irony (or, How Baseball Widow Wastes Time with Statcounter)

Baseball Widow considers it her duty to call 'em like she sees 'em. Consequently, Baseball Widow has not been complimentary of "sportscaster" Erin Andrews.

How ironic is it, then, that 13 of the last 20 people to land on Baseball Widow's page from an Internet search have stumbled here after typing the words erin andrews? Oh, loving hate. . . Ms. Andrews is actually driving up Baseball Widow readership!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Something's Fishy

In baseball, success is relative. What is a successful franchise? One that wins the World Series? One that consistently posts winning seasons? One that regularly sells seats?

Baseball is a business, and business is about making money. So, a successful franchise is one that makes money. That answer is incomplete, however, because it doesn't address the nature of the moneymaking. There are different ways to make money. A business can aim for a constant, steady return, or it can shoot for rapid high profits. It can seek to establish itself as an income generator or as a place from which one can rely on not losing money. (The business-entity equivalent to a 5% A.P.Y. CD, I suppose). Baseball Widow isn't an M.B.A.; she doesn't know the optimum way to exploit the fact that one is lucky enough to own a baseball team. What she does know, however, is that the Marlins aren't doing anything right.

After two barely .500 seasons under Jack McKeon, the Marlins restructured--trading away almost all major-league talent and slashing payroll to about a quarter of what it was. (The entire Marlins roster will make less this year than Mike Hampton will make for not playing!)
Baseball Widow is all for fiscal responsibility, but the Marlins have, if you'll pardon the pun, gutted themselves. We're talking about the youngest franchise ever to win a World Series, and the only wild card to do so--and they did it twice! Two World Series Championships in a dozen years, each followed by a winner-sells-all roster dump. This is not greatness--in business or in baseball.

Compare the Marlins to the Chicago Cubs, who despite a century-long drought, will sell-out every home game this season--and this is the third consecutive year that they will do so. That's success. There are no rumors that the Cubs will move, no fears that they will trade away their talent, and, let's face it, no real concern for whether they will win or lose 'cause there's always next year for the Cubbies. . .not so for the Marlins.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Baseball Widow, Brazen Outlaw

Baseball Widow just laughed until she fell out of her chair. Has anyone ever read this language on the bottom of MLB's homepage?

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball
entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball
Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League,
Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National
League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series,
All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color
combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and
entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions.

Ridiculous, and I'm not talking about the lack of continuity regarding the serial comma. Ah, I suppose it's no less ridiculous than trademark law in general. Baseball Widow will try to write more about that later, but for now, she will leave you with a bold, illegal publication:

The Atlanta Braves are my favorite MLB team. I hope they win their Division Series and that they are National League Champs this year. I would love to see them take the World Series, but I suppose I'll just have to content myself with rooting for as many Bravos as possible to make it to the All-Star Game.

Opportunity Wasted

Last Friday, Baseball Widow and Hubby caught the home opener of Milwaukee AAA affiliate Nashville Sounds at the pitiable Greer Stadium. Seriously, Baseball Widow's high school's baseball team had a better stadium, and they played in the school's parking lot.

Baseball Widow was quick to notice the striking minor league umpires who were picketing the front gates. They were hard to miss with their "Minor League Umpires on Strike" signs. Baseball Widow was appalled--at the lack of creativity. How about "One Strike and MiLB is Out" or "No Strikes 'Cause We're Out"? What about "Minor League Umps Call Foul!"?

Ah, Baseball Widow has missed her calling as a Headline Copy Editor. . .

A Pitching Coach By Any Other Name. . .

Baseball Widow knows that people like to wax poetic about Leo Mazzone's departure from the Atlanta Braves, but this is ridiculous.