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.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says thatClayton Kershaw is unlikely to need back surgery for the herniated disk that sidelined him for more than two months during the season.
Friedman says that Kershaw feels good and that he doesn’t anticipate surgery. It was unclear if that would be the case because, even as Kershaw came back in September and pitched deep into the playoffs, often on short rest, everyone was fairly tight-lipped about how Kershaw was feeling.
For what it’s worth, Kershaw looked sound mechanically, even if was up and down at times in October.
Ticket prices for the World Series are always ridiculous, but this year things are heading to a whole new ridiculous level.
Now, to be clear, some of the figures you hear are not what will be paid for tickets. The Associated Press has the de rigueur story of ticket holders asking, like, a million dollars for their tickets and ticket seekers willing to give all kinds of in-kind goods and services for a chance to see the Cubs play in Wrigley. A lot of that noise will never amount to any real transaction and, in some cases, will likely end up with someone getting arrested. It’s crazy time, you know.
But even if those million dollar and sex-for-tickets stories end up being more smoke than fire, people will end up paying astronomical prices to get in. Some already are. ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that someone paid $32,000 on StubHub for 4 seats in the front row by the Cubs visitors dugout for Game 2 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The prices in Wrigley Field for Games 3, 4 and, if necessary, 5 will likely go higher. There’s a ton of pent-up demand on the part of both Cubs and Indians fans, after all.
Still: trying to imagine how an in-stadium experience, no matter how long someone has been waiting for it, is worth that kind of scratch. Guess it all depends on whether that kind of money constitutes that kind of scratch for a given person.