When sports owners attack

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This isn’t about baseball but it’s fun anyway.  One day I hope to anger a baseball owner this much. Sadly, however, I don’t think there are any baseball owners as crazy, awful and mean as Dan Snyder is:

There’s no question Redskins owner Dan Snyder had a few problems with a cover story about him in Washington’s City Paper in November.

At the moment, in fact, Snyder is fighting mad.

Snyder has objected to the article that detailed some of his controversial actions as team owner and other reports about him in the weekly publication, and has threatened legal action against the newspaper. He also is seeking the dismissal of the article’s author, staff writer Dave McKenna.

Gotta love it when a billionaire goes after the head of an alt-weekly writer. Priorities, you know.

I think the more interesting part of this is that Snyder’s lawyers contacted the Washington Post and asked the Post to save emails between McKenna and the Post’s blogger Dan Steinberg.  Those two are friends, it seems.  The Post describes the move thusly:

The attorneys said they intend to explore whether there was any agreement between McKenna and Steinberg to cross-promote McKenna’s pieces on Snyder. Steinberg routinely links to sports content across the Web.

Um, whatever. I have a lot of friends in the media and greater blogosphere. Here’s how that works: “Hey Craig! If you’re interested I wrote a post about [subject] that you might like.  Hope all is well, Sincerely, Writer.”  It’s nice to get the heads up about such things.  Who knew that emails like that are “agreements to cross-promote” that are subject to pre-litigation discovery hold orders?

Whatever the case, even if McKenna’s piece was defamatory — and a quick reading of it doesn’t reveal anything that sticks out as such —  it strikes me that there are better ways to handle it than to sic your lawyers on newspapers in such a hamfisted way.  How about this: a nice email explaining the problems you have with the article. If nothing is done after that, file suit.  If you don’t have the stones — or the facts — to file suit, let it lie, lest you make yourself out to be a bigger ass than the original article made you out to be in the first place.

Of course, that would be sensible, and this is Dan Snyder we’re talking about here.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.