Media day before big events like the World Series and the All-Star Game is weird. All of the players sit at little tables with name placards and the journalists can go up to whoever they want and get a couple questions in and/or shove a camera in the guy’s face. The full-time baseball writers who are at the ballpark at lot tend to watch this more than participate in it. They’ve talked to these guys before and have better ways to get info. A lot of non-sports reporters and local news types show up, though.
And when they do, this sort of thing can happen:
You’ll recall Romo’s fantastic “I just look illegal” t-shirt from the 2012 World Series parade. Which came after he was detained at an airport under controversial circumstances, possible because he was unruly and maybe under the influence (the police’s story) possibly because people in this country have a way shorter fuse when it comes to people who look like Sergio Romo.
Oh well. As for media day: it’s nowhere near as crazy and gimmicky and full of noobs as the Super Bowl media day is, so we should probably be thankful that this is as bad as it gets.
I saw this at NJ.com, but it comes from Wallace Matthews at ESPN New York. Apparently, the Yankees are concerned about Mark Teixerias’s focus:
A baseball insider I spoke with this week said Teixeira’s “outside interests” — he is financially involved in real estate holdings, a chain of juice bars, and is working to create what he called a “marriage of baseball and social media” — had become a point of concern, with some wondering how badly he still wanted to be a baseball player.
This is the team whose starting shortstop was actively launching a publishing imprint and a website during the past season while having a cameraman follow him around for the upcoming book he plans to put out. But I suppose there’s some nuance there that I’m missing which separates the two of them.
In other news, Teixeira is owed $45 million over the next two season. Given his recent injury history and lack of effectiveness, one would think the Yankees would encourage him to find his bliss among his new hobbies so that he may decide to retire early. Or maybe they could encourage him to take up different hobbies. Like extreme, no-parachute sky diving or working as a powder monkey on a ship of the line.
From the archives: Mark Teixeira on The Dan Patrick Show
Don Denkinger retired as a major league umpire after the 1998 season. Since then, you hear about him for from him whenever there is a huge blown call someplace. He’s the go-to reference for that, naturally, given his blown call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series.
Since the beneficiary of that call, the Kansas City Royals, are once again in the Fall Classic, you’re hearing about him and from him again. He’s got a pretty level head about it:
“Nobody wants to have the call that I did in the World Series. But I did. And now it’s part of history . . . I’m not tired of talking about it. I mean, it happened,” he said. “I just know that if the same thing happened now, they’d get it right on replay and it’d be over with.”
For most people, Denkinger’s career begins and ends with that call in October 1985. Of course, why we don’t hear about him beyond that is because the rest of his career as an ump was quite fine, thank you, and you rarely if ever hear the names of good umps. He worked the plate in the 1987 All-Star Game. He was the crew chief for the 1988 ALCS, 1991 World Series, and 1992 ALCS. But it’s always that he’ll be remembered for, and someone will always ask him about it.
In this way, he’s much like an ump I wrote about last year. And like that ump, Denkinger’s greatest strength seems to be the confidence to be honest and forthright when he makes a mistake and to not let it prevent him from getting on with the job and on with life.
Last week it was reported that Jose Fernandez, the highly-touted 26-year-old, had defected. That has not been confirmed, however. All that is known is that he and his cousin, Lazaro Herrera, also a baseball player, have not played or been seen since October 10. It is suspected that they defected, but no one knows where they are. Ben Badler from Baseball America:
Higinio Velez, the president of the Cuban baseball federation, announced Sunday that Fernandez and Herrera have been released from the Matanzas team due to disciplinary reasons. Velez said he could not say whether they left the country or where the players are currently. While multiple well-connected sources said they believe Fernandez and Herrera did leave Cuba, those stories were inconsistent, and Baseball America could not independently confirm Fernandez’s current location.
You’ll recall the harrowing tale of Yasiel Puig’s defection, told for the first time earlier this year. Here’s hoping Fernandez and Herrera are safe.