Rob Neyer dishes on ESPN, Elias

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Over at SB Nation, former ESPN writer Rob Neyer talks about why he was suspended by his longtime employer back in 2000.

After writing and before posting a piece on a statistical controversy involving Randy Johnson, Neyer attempted to contact Elias editor Steve Hirdt “for some clarification.”  When there was no prompt response, he ran the piece anyway.

Shortly afterward, my editor called. Or rather, my editor’s boss called. They were yanking my column because I hadn’t called Elias. But I had called Elias. My editor’s boss called me back a few minutes later. Sorry. Steve Hirdt says you didn’t call. Nothing we can do about it. Tough (%$^!).

Neyer, upset about the incident, criticized ESPN on his personal website and was originally suspended for two weeks, without pay, as a result.  The suspension was later reduced to one week.

To this date, Neyer is convinced Hirdt didn’t get back to him for personal reasons.  Neyer is a Bill James disciple, and James and Hirdt have had a long-running feud, which Neyer briefly touches on.

Neyer adds that he was once scheduled to debate a topic with Hirdt on ESPNews, but that Hirdt refused to appear with him, leaving Neyer to apparently debate himself.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.