Pete Rose, Lance Armstrong and an obligatory mention of Manti Te’o

25 Comments

I’m sure you wanted to know what Pete Rose thinks of the Lance Armstrong situation. Thankfully, he was on Today Show this morning and was asked about it:

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

No word on his views of Manti Te’o.

Speaking of Armstrong, Rose and Te’o, it’s probably a good time to think hard about why our sports media keeps getting duped by lying athletes.  To that end, here is a great article from Poynter about how these things keep happening and how the media can most effectively address it.  As for how we ended up here in the first place. It’s not just lax fact-checking. It’s that baloney has is, in reality, a feature of sports coverage, not a bug:

But this relaxed approach to sports coverage — which certainly isn’t universal — is only part of the problem. More problematic these days is the fact that sports writers and producers are always on the hunt for a narrative, something that can elevate games above boring statistics and leaderboard shuffling.

All journalists love telling a good story, but sports coverage and presentation have become reliant on it. A game can’t just be a series of pre-prepared tactics and random interventions of chance. These days, it needs to be a clash of iconic personalities, the heroes of our modern mythology playing out their epic storylines one installment at a time.

We’ve been railing against that kind of thing in baseball for years. When we do, we’re often told that we don’t truly understand what’s going on if we don’t know the personalities and the drama involved.  Personally, I’m cool with staying away from that kind of drama.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
Getty Images
1 Comment

The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.