Entries Tagged as 'Media'

Slo-mo baseball

Someone has a pretty slick YouTube channel called Baseball in Slow-Motion.  Appropriately enough, it’s populated with high quality slow motion videos of Major League baseball players in action. 

Here’s an example showing Buster Posey’s hitting mechanics:


ESPN announces broadcast lineup for 2011

ESPN announced their broadcast teams for the 2011 season today.

They are:

Wednesday Night Baseball

Dave O’Brien (PBP) and Nomar Garciaparra

Monday Night Baseball

Sean McDonough (PBP), Aaron Boone and Rick Sutcliffe

Sunday Night Baseball

Dan Schulman (PBP), Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine (Jon Sciambi (PBP) Chris Singleton on ESPN Radio)

Cubs outsourcing their publications and graphics dept

After taking care of their publishing needs in-house for over 100 years, the Cubs will now be outsourcing these needs to a Cincinnati firm, EMI Network.

So says Bleed Cubbie Blue:

Now, the Cubs are outsourcing their publications to EMI Network, a Cincinnati-based company that does publications for a number of other pro sports teams and various clients including Elmhurst College, Eastern Illinois University, PNC Bank, various large law firms and US News & World Report.

Under this new arrangement, EMI Network will operate and manage all aspects of the Cubs’ Publications & Creative Services Department, including publication of Vine Line magazine as well as photography, video and graphic services.

For a cynical guy, I can be pretty idealistic too.  So for some reason this really bothers.  I guess I need to let it roll over me.  But maybe I can’t let go of the fact that the Cubs Vineline or the programs that us Cubs fans will buy at the Wrigley Field will be designed and published in the same city whose team has a former Cub manager. 

Trend toward visual baseball data

This postseason, the baseball blogosphere (guh, I wince when I use that word but it fits here) has had a fascination with presenting data in a visual fashion.  It seems to be a trend to almost move away from traditional numbers tables and go to more eye-pleasing visual presentations.  The Hardball Times has a whole series of them during the 2010 postseason (a good example is their Paintomatic series).

But THT isn’t the only ones to incorporate this new brand of “visual baseball data”.  You can find examples of this at The Biz of Baseball and even Baseball Reference’s blog.

Spalding’s Base Ball Guide online at the Library of Congress


Baseball history buffs should check out the Library of Congress’ archives of Spalding Base Ball Guides.  These archives range from 1889 to 1939 and contain a wealth of historical information on National and American League base ball when the game we loved was spelled with two words) as well as some minor league info too. 

Be forewarned, the pages of Spalding’s are scanned images and therefore not searchable or indexed.  If you want to find something you’ll have look for it,  But I guarantee if you’re a fan of old time base ball, the search itself will be worth it. You’ll run across some neat news tidbits and photos along the way.

Thanks to Cluke for passing this along!  He wrote:

I was just geeky enough as a 14 year old and then later to spend many hours looking up old microfilm of newspapers and getting into the sports section (and other stuff) for hours at a time.If it’s old baseball stats- I never tire of it. The digital age is great for browsing from home but there’s nothing like the old micro film of the Trib and the times to follow along with past seasons of the Sox.
Funny, I remember using microfilm back in the days before the Internet, too.  I was replaying the 1970 National League using the APBA Baseball Game while in college and the University of Illinois library archives allowed me to look up the box scores of that year.  Not unlike browsing the Spalding Guides, in the process of searching for the box scores, I ran across some gems of articles. 

Weekend roundup


-There is some baseball happening in the south that doesn’t involve the Rangers.  The Arizona Fall League season has started.


-Speaking of the Rangers, there’s no doubt they got the most bang for their buck in 2010.


-I guess we aren’t ready to forget the Cubs’ collapse in the 2003 postseason… but our remembrance might be delayed.  Steve Bartman:  Catching Hell, the documentary on the unfortunate affair, will be postponed till next year.  Could they possibly wait till after the Cubs win a World Series (that way, we might not see it)?


-No surprise here:  The columnists at the Sun-Times and Tribune respectively have differing opinions on Mike Quade’s hiring.  Post-Trib (owned by ST) column headline:  “Sandberg got Sandbagged”.  The Trib column claims that Quade is a “good fit”. 

Old habits die hard.


-Finally, some Chicago tattoo artists apparently aren’t Sox fans.

Chicks may dig the long ball but I bet they’re into Ichiro too

On the same day, Jose Bautista hit his 50th homer of the season and Ichiro Suzuki got his 200th hit of the season for the tenth consecutive season. 

I’ll give you one guess which story got the most news coverage.  Yeah, Bautista. 

Ichiro’s milestone is a significant one.  No other player has accomplished such a feat.  Not Cobb, not Hornsby nor Lajoie.  Pete Rose is the only to have ten (non-consecutive) seasons with 200 hits.

It’s a shared opinion among many of my baseball friends that if he chose to, Ichiro could hit 30 homers a season.  Maybe more.  He just chooses to play his brand of baseball.  The one that earns him a .331 career batting average, best among active players.

Lift the hype on Strasburg

I have to admit, I’m impressed that Mr Strasburg has been able to live up to the hype after two starts.  Sooner or later, he has to come down to earth, I would think. 

Our freshman outfielder at the University of Illinois hit three homeruns in his first college game against the #1 team in the nation last year.  A lot was made of it nationally obviously and his name was put on the map.  But one thing I remember was what our color guy (and former Illini player) said.  “That’s the worst thing that could happen to him”. 

Now our outfielder has been doing great since his first day but our color guy’s point is well taken.  There’s a lot to be said for our sports media setting expectations and then having a player live up to them.  There are Stephen Strasburg player trackers out there and every game he pitches is being live-blogged by practically everyone.  What would the baseball community do if he pitched one game like a regular human being?

Despite all the hype, he’s still a 21 year old rookie with two Major League starts to his name.  He’ll have some developing and growing to do even at this level.  Let’s let Strasburg develop naturally and preferably with as little pressure as possible (considering he was sleeping two hours before his second start, he seems to be doing a good job of not letting it get to him). 

Strasburg could turn into another Bob Feller but let’s not set the expectations so high that we turn him into a Mark Prior.

What kind of #1 pick will Strasburg be?

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has a rather interesting article regarding Stephen Strasburg and former MLB first round picks.  His point is simple… we’ve gotten some real goodies with the #1 pick (Griffey, Arod, Chipper, Mauer) but at the same time, there have been some duds, too. 

Crasnick trots out some examples to make his point.  Players like Brien Taylor (who never even made to the majors), Matt Anderson, Paul Wilson to name just a few.  When I take a cursory look at Baseball Reference’s list of first round picks, I come away with the opinion that position players seem to have better luck than pitchers.  Hence the concern about Strasburg.

Don’t get me wrong… this isn’t an indictment by me on Stephen Strasburg’s talent or the possibility he may develop into a first-rate pitcher.  Rather it’s a concern that the media, baseball pundits and fans may expect too much too soon from someone who has yet to pitch in a regular season baseball game. 

This pre-season, the media and other baseball are falling over themselves trying to cover this guy.  I get the feeling they’re also falling in love with him too (sometimes in the weirdest way).  The day of his first start in spring training, everyone was all abuzz (and a-twitter) about it.  I pretty much got an over-excited pitch-by-pitch account of his appearance.  If he scratched his nose, I heard about it. 

Now that it’s been decided that Strasburg will make his debut later this year (some have said “delay”), I’m sure the media will no doubt keep an eye on his minor league development. 

I really would like to see this guy succeed.  So let’s give the guy some room and maybe not so much pressure.  I’d hate to have another Mark Prior on our hands. 

Fox Sports, DirecTV practice with 3D in anticipation of All-Star Game

On Wednesday, Fox Sports and DirecTV in cooperation with Major League Baseball did a dress rehearsal of sorts of shooting a baseball game in 3D.  It took place in Angels Stadium and they used college players to help in their effort to create a baseball game atmosphere. 

The reason for the practice run?  Fox Sports plans to use this 3D technology at this year’s All-Star Game. 

Let’s get this out of the way.  Only DirecTV subscribers will be able to view the Game in 3D.  Should every work as planned though, it will be a coup for DirecTV since many might subscribe just to see the 3D experience.

With all the disclaimers, it still is quite a feat,

As part of July’s coverage, Fox will deploy two sets of announcers, one for the conventional 2D broadcast that most viewers will see and one for DirecTV’s 3D coverage. I asked Goren if the announcers doing 3D will require special training in the new technology. "It’s an interesting question," he says. During game action the announcers focus is on the field of play. But during replays, "do the announcers put on 3D glasses to look at the 3D monitors? Right now we don’t have an answer for that."

During the Consumer Electronics Show back in January, the big buzzword was “3D”.  Every provider, manufacturer, and supplier that could conceivably get away with it, would incorporate “3D” into their selling points.  It’s clear the 3D is the up and coming technology. 

Yet, I’m still trying to get a handle on it.  Not intellectually so much but is viewing a baseball in 3D something that really appeals to me.  Now these words will most likely come back to bite me in the future.  In a couple years, everything we view will be in three dimensions (“dude, you still watch that flat thing?”).  But right now, the baseball traditionalist wants to watch a game like I always have (especially without Tim McCarver). 

But as someone who is in the technology field, I admit I am curious.  Will it be gimmicky like Fox Sports’ Diamond Cam or provide a genuinely pleasurable viewing experience?  I guess we’ll see.