M’s play two today, one disappears, other stuff

DMZ · April 8, 2007 at 12:57 am · Filed Under Mariners 

It looks like the new schedule, weather permitting, is to play game one at 10:05 PDT (on FSN!) with the second one twenty minutes after (also on FSN!). Geoff Baker writes about the games and associated craziness.

Some Mariners were seeing snow for the first time ever. Lopez grew up in Venezuela and was one of several Latin American players on the field making snowballs and taking photographs before the game.

But afterward — having tried to hit with snow flakes blowing in his eyes — he sang a different tune.

“I don’t like it,” he said.

Larry Stone on the K-Rod incident.

Also, Blaine Newham files a story from retirement about how Safeco is still nice. I’m not kidding, that’s the story.

Random side note: it’s now been 140 days since USSM Labs mentioned we’d really like to get our hands on a Wii, and still nothing, despite spending those 140 days promoting a team owned by Nintendo of America. How can that even be possible? Even stranger – despite accounting for about 5% of *total* USSM traffic (and I’m not counting search engines) Microsoft still hasn’t kicked us a 360. What kind of world is it where local bloggers don’t get swag by whinging?


38 Responses to “M’s play two today, one disappears, other stuff”

  1. David J. Corcoran I on April 8th, 2007 1:13 am

    Larry Stone is pretty cool.

  2. Goose on April 8th, 2007 1:14 am

    Maybe the best part of this whole K-Rod is watching the Angels blogosphere get completely bent out of shape.

    Yet another reason why I think Angels fans are right on the same level with Yankee/Red Sox fans.

  3. DMZ on April 8th, 2007 1:38 am

    Having at various times been the object of Yankee fan scorn, Red Sox fan anger, and Angel fan hatred, I’d choose either of the first two over and over again.

  4. David J. Corcoran I on April 8th, 2007 1:39 am

    Yeah. Red Sox fans and Yankee fans tend to at least know what sport they’re watching.

  5. David* on April 8th, 2007 1:41 am

    I should have counted the number of times I lolled during Stone’s article. I’d guess around 12 times.

    I don’t think K-Rod would have been this upset if you insulted his momma.

  6. David J. Corcoran I on April 8th, 2007 1:54 am

    If I were Derek, I’d be scared. He’s dealing with rich people now. Rich people have the ability to hire hitmen and do crazy things like that.

  7. PhilKenSebben on April 8th, 2007 2:02 am

    Sunday May 20th, i get to go to my second ever major league game!

    Oakland vs. San Francisco

    I never thought I would see the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum before Safeco.

    My last game: June, 18, 1996 M’s vs Rangers (WP Rafy Carmona) 2 joey Cora triples.

    how much body armor do I wear? Do i dare wear a felix jersey?

  8. Goose on April 8th, 2007 2:04 am

    Well at least he didn’t say DMZ was doing this from his mom’s basement.

  9. David* on April 8th, 2007 2:05 am

    how much body armor do I wear?

    I’d wear the same amount that Barry Bonds goes to bat with.

  10. Graham on April 8th, 2007 3:36 am

    I’ve always been curious – where does the word ‘swag’ come from? I’ve only started hearing it recently.

  11. matthew on April 8th, 2007 3:44 am

    Whoa… how did I miss the K-Rod incident? And here I thought I was caught up on all USSM posts…

  12. DKCecil on April 8th, 2007 3:50 am

    9. Swag is basically slang for promotional items given away by companies or something of the sort. “Stuff We All Get”

    The more I read of Stone, the more I like him. He seems like the kind of writer I’d like to end up like one day. Too bad I hate the rest of the Times, or I might think about switching subscriptions.

    Does anyone know if I should even bother waking up for that 10:05 start, or is the weather still not going to cooperate?

  13. mark s. on April 8th, 2007 4:36 am

    [long link]

  14. argh on April 8th, 2007 4:58 am

    Personally I’m delighted that the two games were cancelled and particularly happy that Felix won’t have to pitich in those inhuman conditions (fingers crossed for Boston). Forecast for Cleveland today is that the temperature won’t even get above freezing for the game. It’s a receipe for injury, IMO.

    And ‘swag’ (as in ill-gotten gain as opposed to ‘scientific wild ass guess’) is a very old usage. I’ve heard it all my life (50 plus years) and the dictionaries say it’s U.K. slang originating in 16th century north German or Scandanavian. Cf. ‘Waltzing Matilda’ lyrics (“Once a jolly swagman….”)

  15. phil333 on April 8th, 2007 5:40 am

    Today’s games could easily get cancelled again.

  16. louder on April 8th, 2007 5:59 am

    Weather is atrocious for baseball, I love the “Feels Like” category in the link above. Too bad they don’t have “Freezing My A** Off” sign. And what kind of idiot would schedule a night game in Cleveland in early April. Baseball in run by morons.

  17. kenshin on April 8th, 2007 7:02 am

    Wow… I have a whole new respect for Larry Stone. This is the first story that I have read from a memebet of the traditional media(admittedly I have hardly scoured the interwebs) to refer to DMZ by name rather than as “the blog ‘The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball'”

  18. Goose on April 8th, 2007 7:07 am

    Today’s games have been canceled.

    We’re never going to play again at this rate.

  19. DanO on April 8th, 2007 7:18 am

    Really good article by Stone. I particularly enjoyed the reference to “King Gil” Meche in the sidebar.

  20. louder on April 8th, 2007 7:38 am

    Just a quick glance at the schedule for possible make-up dates. The most likely dates would be either in June or September. Two Mondays are open in June where the M’s are flying out. One free day in September where they’re flying to Detroit, which might make the most sense. It would put the Mariners in trouble to have to use one of those open days for a double header in Cleveland though — Icky poo.

  21. Paul B on April 8th, 2007 7:40 am

    Yup, no games again today. Doubleheader tomorrow, on a getaway day, maybe if it stops snowing. So there will be at least 2 games to try to make up later, maybe 4 if they can’t play on Monday.

    There’s a lake effect snow warning for Cleveland, with 1 to 3 inches accumulating by tonight (as per Weather channel)

    For Monday, the forecast is a high of 37 degrees, and morning snow showers. So if they can get the field playable, they should be able to play starting Monday afternoon.

    I wonder if they would even consider making the games up in Seattle. I would guess not, anyone know if that has ever been done? Otherwise, Seattle might have to make a trip into Cleveland on an off day for a game or two.

  22. terry on April 8th, 2007 8:10 am

    This whole K-Rod incident and the cheater’s guide in general is just good stuff…

    I adore baseball and these kinds of things are what gives baseball its flavor…

  23. Jonathan on April 8th, 2007 8:57 am

    Isn’t it fascinating that a “blogger” got the tip-off on K-Rod, broke the story and garnered national attention. “Mainstream” baseball media could not have been less interested. The parallels between baseball coverage and the rest of the newsworld are quickly becoming inescapable. Mainstream media is a bloated ineffectual dinosaur, more interested in selling product than reporting the news. The same appears to hold true for baseball. There’s more substance in one USSM article than in a month of ESPN/MLB articles. Here’s to the future. Way to be out in front, Derek et al (no offense to the et al. Its Derek’s moment, but you’re all on the cutting edge).

  24. yellowmoth on April 8th, 2007 9:06 am

    DMZ—gotta love all the free pub, right? Talk about a controversy happening at exactly the right time. Wonder how many folks saw the story on sportscenter and then walked across their room and bought it on Amazon. (We, of course, pre-ordered ours months ago…)

  25. DMZ on April 8th, 2007 9:17 am

    Probably zero. ESPN, despite spending a good chunk of time on the story on-air, only ever referred to (with a slight incredulous tone) “literally, an internet site”. Never mentioned my name, never mentioned the book, never mentioned the site. If I sound annoyed, it’s because I am.

  26. joser on April 8th, 2007 10:33 am

    Swag is basically slang for promotional items given away by companies or something of the sort. “Stuff We All Get”

    That’s a lovely backronym, but as argh says in 13, it’s actually a very old word. I don’t know when it started getting applied to trinkets being given out by companies, but that usage is well over a quarter century old — I first encountered it at COMEDEX in the 80s. (I wouldn’t be surprised if this usage goes back to the 20s, when modern marketing got its start alongside mass electronic media, or even earlier).

    I wonder if they would even consider making the games up in Seattle. I would guess not, anyone know if that has ever been done?

    What did the M’s do when the tiles came down inside the Kingdome and the home field was “unsafe” and unavailable? (That’s kind of a rhetorical question.) And didn’t the Yankees miss like a week at the start of the season in 1982 or so? I’m sure there have been similar situations in the past.

  27. Joe on April 8th, 2007 10:58 am

    Mainstream media is a bloated ineffectual dinosaur, more interested in selling product than reporting the news.

    That’s of course true, but I think there are other factors at work here. There’s a strong “old-boys” network in baseball, and it’s just as strong among the mainstream journalists who cover it — and one infects the other. The writers who cover the team and actually talk to the players don’t want to jeopardize their access — particularly for something as minor as a little suspected cheating that “everybody does” now and then. Even when it’s another team, or when they’re national writers without a “home” team, the old boys’ network still applies: start pissing people off, and you’ll get frozen out there and everywhere else.

    The Balco scandal is another example of this: the journalists who broke that story were “mainstream” journalists but — significantly — they weren’t sports reporters, they were business reporters. The sports reporters had the story — everybody had the story, it was as obvious as Barry’s big head — but there was no way they were ever going to break it because that would piss off the team (and a lot of readers) and take all the fun out of their jobs. Plus it would be a lot of work (research and other things they aren’t good at) when they could just write another story about the smell of the grass and the grace of a catch.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se. The sports section can contain some of the finest, most evocative writing in a newspaper; it’s often as close as it gets to literature. But that’s writing, not reporting. Nobody goes into sports reporting because they’re dreaming of Pulitzers. It’s either a coveted kind of early on-the-job retirement for writers from other fields, or it’s the reward for a lot of dues-paying while working your way up in the trenches. Either way, it’s not the destination for people who rock the boat. The mainstream sports reporters are going to stick to what they do well: a day at the stadium, a play on the field, and human-interest writing about the players they regularly interview inside the old-boys’ bubble. The non-mainstream media, outside with their noses pressed against the glass, naturally have nothing to lose by reporting the feet of clay the mainstream ignores. And of course, as long as they do that, they won’t be welcome inside.

  28. S-Mac on April 8th, 2007 11:39 am

    Derek, when you finally do get a Wii, I hereby challenge you to a Mariners Mii Making Contest.

  29. joser on April 8th, 2007 11:47 am

    You know, if the M’s owners did reach into their corporate stockpile of consoles (which presumably includes both Wii and XBoxes, given the owners), wouldn’t that be the first step towards bringing USSM inside the bubble and neutering its independent voice? Derek should turn such a gift down on principle. (Of course, if some random Nintendo or Microsoft minion finds a way to ship one off and account for it as marketing swag, that’s a different thing entirely)

  30. joser on April 8th, 2007 11:53 am

    You know, the funniest thing to me about the whole K-Rod thing is this quote from the man himself: “I don’t even know who he is.”

    That’s hilarious. Does he expect to know random bloggers for other teams? Of course he doesn’t know who Derek is. What does he even mean by that — only people who know him should point out when he’s cheating?

  31. Goob on April 8th, 2007 12:05 pm

    I’ve got a seemingly random question about the Stone article. Why is it that on-line articles like his will provide direct links to certain sites in their story, like he does with MVN.com, but won’t link to USSM or even The Cheater’s Guide Blog, which is the center of the whole story? Is it just because they’re blogs and not “real” sites? That’s always bugged me about on-line articles.

    It’s nice to see what F-Rod had to say about DMZ, though. It’s almost as kind as what Bouton had to say!

  32. darrylzero on April 8th, 2007 12:45 pm

    #26, just a minor point here, but Barry Bonds’ head actually never was particularly big. At least, I read an article recently that make that case convincingly (I suppose I can’t say for sure). I wanted to link to it here, but I can’t find it. I think it was at the Hardball Times but I can’t find it.

    I’m not trying to derail this any further or anything, and I think your comment is spot on (and I think the story about Bonds is pretty clear at this point, obviously). But assuming this phantom piece (that I hopefully didn’t dream reading about) is correct, it’s really interesting how often we’ve been comfortable using his increased head size as evidence, considering it doesn’t appear to be accurate (even if the point it was backing up is). Apologies if this is too OT, but it seemed worth pointing out.

  33. Tuomas on April 8th, 2007 1:22 pm

    I’m most fascinated by the reactions of people who clearly haven’t looked at any of the video, especially the people who claimed that K-Rod was adjusting his cap.

    Angels fans are much worse than the average Yankee fan (full disclosure; the Yankees are actually my favorite team. Sorry.).

    The reactions of the mainstream media are to be expected, I think. When the major outlets miss a story (or choose to ignore it), only to have it surface elsewhere, they almost instinctively move to brush it under the rug, in order to keep their credibility. As ludicrous as it seems to us, the average fan, I think, doesn’t really care about the K-Rod thing because of the way ESPN and others reported on Derek’s observations.

  34. LB on April 8th, 2007 2:15 pm

    In the 1980’s, swag referred to products such as oregano that were sold in public parks to people foolish enough to believe they were buying illegal drugs. (At least that’s what it meant back East.)

    The profit margin on oregano sold in this manner is quite high, and the risk of jail time for selling it is quite low.

  35. davepaisley on April 8th, 2007 3:39 pm

    #26 et al…

    Swag is an old British term for: “Money or items, as taken by a thief or burglar, ill-gotten gains”. For instance, in cartoons, burglars would usually be depicted carrying a bag of loot with the word “swag” on it.

    The later connection to giveaways, corporate or otherwise, is derivative.

  36. joser on April 8th, 2007 4:27 pm

    35 — yeah, we got that back in argh’s answer in #14. It’s actually the modern, “derivative” usage that’s under discussion here, not the original meaning. There’s quite a difference between stuff you take by stealing/swindling someone else (an oregano-for-pot scam is still this original meaning), and stuff you are given as some kind of marketing ploy — there still may be a scam, and you still end up with the goods, but the role of “sleezeball” and “innocent” trade places.

    All of which certainly enriches “swagger” too.

    Man, the things we get up to when there’s no baseball to distract us….

  37. Joe on April 8th, 2007 5:44 pm

    Speaking of the old line media, it would seem to be progress when SI is doing features on players rated according to PECOTA projections (albeit on their website, not yet in print AFAIK).

  38. imissbluewave on April 8th, 2007 8:09 pm

    25 – FWIW, the Toronto Star had an AP bit about the K-Rod cheating incident in today’s sports section. It named you as the one who broke the story and also mentioned your book.

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