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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Pickoff Moves


A's Top Draft Pick Injured

Folks, it may be the slow part of the offseason -- which is surprising, because now it seems like there's only a couple weeks worth of slow anymore -- but it's never too slow to get into a little schadenfreude. A's top draft pick Landon Powell has torn cartilege in his knee and will require surgery. He will be replaced at spring training by CWS (and CSUF) star C Kurt Suzuki.

LA Press Club Report

At Matt Welch's kind invitation, I attended a fascinating panel discusssion on the changes in 21st century sports journalism. Actually in attendance were Times columnist J. A. Adande, KCAL 9 lead sports anchor Alan Massengale, ESPN Radio 710 "Big Show" Co-host Steve Mason, Dodgers Public Relations Director John Olguin, and of course Jon Weisman. Everyone commented on how sports journalism has changed over the last twenty years; everyone agreed that the Internet has made sports news far more pervasive. Adande noted, for instance, that it's now easy to scan the newswires and a half-dozen major newspapers in a very short period of time, as well as getting statistics on line and being able to send stories in very quickly from virtually anywhere. Previously, that simply wasn't possible. As a result, the "game notebook" suddenly has no value, and nobody does them anymore. Update: Jon writes to let me know I somehow got this exactly backwards, that notebooks now have become mandatory, to the extent that writers have two pieces they have to write, but the same fixed column space as ever. Must... fix ... brain...

One of my favorite moments: asked whether bloggers are necessarily more serious than other media, Jon replied that the other niches are filled, and, looking at Mason, "goofy's taken".

League of Angels' Jeff Howe asked John Olguin whether he thought bloggers would ever get better access. Olguin replied that the problem for the teams is establishing credibility; not all are all alike, and in his position, he has to prioritize his time on the larger outlets, but he allowed as to how in the future there might be some changes toward -- casting an eye on Jon -- those bloggers who have established themselves by other means.

One thing became clear after the proprietor of Boi From Troy introduced himself with, "I'm Steve*, and I'm a blogger" -- and the audience reflexively answered back, "Hello, Steve!" -- and that is there's definitely a sense in many bloggers that they're kind of these nerdy guys watching the hot chick from a distance, but lacking the nerve to ask her out. (Or in Matt's case, to write a song about her. But that's another story.) Obviously, a few bloggers don't suffer from that -- Rich Lederer and Tyler Blezinsky come to mind -- but the self-selecting nature of bloggers doesn't lend itself to the instant credibility that Adande has. He can call a player and say he's from the Times and know he'll get an interview on the strength of that alone. In a world where significant parts of the adult population doesn't even know what a blog is, that's just another roadblock.

Update: One thing -- among many -- I forgot to mention here (if you haven't, you should read Jon's great summary), was how impressive I found Adande as a speaker. Photogenic and a quick thinker, I found myself sizing him up for the Dodgers broadcast booth. Hmm...

Update 2: Jeff Howe has his summary up, as well.

Update 3: Matt Welch too.

*Please forgive me if I got the name wrong -- again, I wasn't taking notes.

Thanks for the rundown, Rob. Very interesting.

BTW, I thought I'd give you a shout-out. Wasn't it you with the Tift Merritt comment about a year ago. Now she's Grammy-Nominee Tift Merritt. She's quite a talented - and hot - young lady!
Thanks for the rundown, Rob. Very interesting.

BTW, I thought I'd give you a shout-out. Wasn't it you with the Tift Merritt comment about a year ago. Now she's Grammy-Nominee Tift Merritt. She's quite a talented - and hot - young lady!

Thanks for the word. I was at Borders the other day and looked up her new album -- wouldn't you just know it, but they were out. Oh, well. Glad to see she's doing well. She deserves it, although I admit I was a little scared when I heard she was heading in a more rockish direction; too many careers flounder on the shoals of aiming at popularity.

It's in the hips, you know...

Her new site, which has been taken over by Warners, I think, breaks both Mozilla and Firefox on Linux. Bastards.
One more thing: yes, you remember right, though it wasn't quite a year ago.
I've been in London for the past 6 months, so I wasn't even aware that Tiff had a new album until reading last week that she was up for a Grammy. I found the album and really like it. All the songs on it are strong. There are perhaps 4 that rock pretty hard. If you liked her live performance, I think you'll like this album. It captures her energy much better than the 1st album and she unleashes her great voice, as well.
IMHO, new Tift Merritt much better than first album, which was too folk-country for my tastes. This one definitely rocks more (and just about any album with Gary Louris gets my vote). You can see three different career routes for her -- Shelby Lynne, Allison Moorer (ironically, given Lynne's presence), and Sheryl Crow. Let's hope she at least learns from Lynne's mistakes.
Classless. That's all I can say in regards to your post where you imply that you are enjoying the fact that Landon Powell suffered a knee injury. Trying to disguise your point of view with a foreign word that I'm sure not every reader knows the definition of ("schadenfreude", which literally translates to "joy from damage") doesn't make things any better.

I generally enjoy your blog, but there's no need to cross the line as you did here.
Well, all right. It's not like I haven't done it before. Nonetheless, with Oakland having won four of the last five AL West division titles, I have a hard time restraining myself.

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