Midwest Snowstorm

HBT Weekend Wrapup

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Stuff you missed while contemplating a move to the desert southwest:

  • I previewed the upcoming BBWAA Awards. Even made a few predictions: For ROY I like Jeter. AL MVP: Jeter. I also like Jeter for NL MVP, CY Youngs in both leagues and AL Manager of the Year. For NL Manager of the Year, I like Ditka.
  • Sandy Alderson’s father was killed. Served in WWII and Korea and lived 87 years on this terrible Earth, only to be cut down by a 21 year-old driver. Man, I don’t understand the cosmos sometimes.
  • Terry Collins had a DUI in 2002. I love how this was put out by pro-Backman people. They desperately want to believe that people don’t prefer Backman for the job due to his personal issues from ten years ago. At some point I hope they realize that the biggest problem is that “an old video started circulating last summer of you throwing bats around and acting like an ass at a low-A ballgame” is not a key qualification for a major league manager’s job.
  • The Indians are cutting payroll for 2011. I enjoyed the couple of visits I made to the Tribe Social Deck last season. I mean, it was great being invited by the team to sit and watch the team for free and be encouraged to blog about it. But I’m probably going to decline if invited next year. Not because it’s not cool, but because I’ll likely be able to get better seats even cheaper by just hanging around the ballpark before games.
  • Finally, I get that it’s a crime to have drugs sent to you in the mail, but I always wondered about how merely signing for the package is enough to get you busted. I get random stuff sent to me fairly often. Books people want me to promote, t-shirts, various pieces of gear I wasn’t expecting from NBC for my little basement studio. I’m not suggesting anyone do this, but if someone were to just ship me a kilo of coke without my knowledge and I were to sign for it, would I be in deep doo-doo? Isn’t the crime complete in such instances when the order is placed? And if the cops know the order is placed — like they did with Jose Guillen’s wife — why can’t they just make the arrest before the shipment arrives?

As for today, I know you couldn’t freakin’ wait, but the Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time resumes at 11 AM, picking up with the AL Central. There will be Chief Wahoo rage at around 3PM or so. Just thought I’d warn you ahead of time.

Ichiro was happy to see Pete Rose get defensive about his hits record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins warms-up during batting practice before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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You’ll recall the little controversy last month when Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose’s hit total. Specifically, when Ichiro’s Japanese and American hit total reached Rose’s American total of 4,256 and a lot of people talked about Ichiro being the new “Hit King.” You’ll also recall that Rose himself got snippy about it, wondering if people would now think of him as “the Hit Queen,” which he took to be disrespect.

There’s a profile of Ichiro over at ESPN the Magazine and reporter Marly Rivera asked Ichiro about that. Ichiro’s comments were interesting and quite insightful about how ego and public perception work in the United States:

I was actually happy to see the Hit King get defensive. I kind of felt I was accepted. I heard that about five years ago Pete Rose did an interview, and he said that he wished that I could break that record. Obviously, this time around it was a different vibe. In the 16 years that I have been here, what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive. I kind of felt that this time.

There’s a hell of a lot of truth to that. Whatever professional environment you’re in, you’ll see this play out. If you want to know how you’re doing, look at who your enemies and critics are. If they’re senior to you or better-established in your field, you’re probably doing something right. And they’re probably pretty insecure and maybe even a little afraid of you.

The rest of the article is well worth your time. Ichiro seems like a fascinating, insightful and intelligent dude.

There will be no criminal charges arising out of Curt Schilling’s video game debacle

Curt Schilling
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In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.

The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.

As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:

An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.

Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.