A few things
First up is a non baseball item, the blockbuster trade between NBC and ESPN. ESPN is trading Al Michaels to NBC for partial Ryder Cup coverage, Olympic highlights, Notre Dame highlights, and the rights to Oswald, a cartoon created by Walt Disney in 1927 as a precursor to Mickey Mouse. There are rumors that the two sides originally talked about an expanded deal that would also have included La Bamba from Conan O'Brien, six episodes of Scrubs, and the rights to the Peacock going from NBC to ESPN, with ESPN sending Chris Berman's repertoire of nicknames, every third Bill Simmons column, and a year’s subscription of the Mag to NBC. That part of the deal stalled, however, when the sides couldn't agree on whether NBC would get all of Berman's nicknames or just all football names, as well as when ESPN demanded that the expanded version include NBC taking Woody Page off their hands. Therefore, the sides kept it simple and traded a broadcaster for golf coverage and a cartoon rabbit. Yeah. You couldn’t cook this up if you were on LSD.
Speaking of Disney, the city of Anaheim lost in court today in its battle to keep the Angels known as the Anaheim Angels. I’m not giving into this Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim thing, though. It’s just too stupid and I’m sure it will give way to something else. It’s like when Pamela Anderson married Tommy Lee and wanted to be called Pamela Lee. I refused to do it. Eventually, I said, they were getting a divorce and she’d be back to Pamela Anderson, so why adjust to “Pamela Lee.” And I was right. So who’s crazy now, hmmm?
Continuing the segue game, speaking of the Angels, did you see Bengie Molina’s remarks today? He’s upset at how the Angels handled the negotiations with him. He also had this to say about the Blue Jays: "I took a lot less money to come over here for a reason, and that's to win.” Strange. Can we check on that quote? Is it possible ESPN misquoted Molina, and he in fact said, "I took a lot less money to come over here for a reason, and that's because my agent and I totally miscalculated the market and blew chances to get better contracts, thereby leaving me with no leverage.” Because that seems like a more accurate quote.
Still speaking of the Angels, it’s Vlad’s birthday today. I don’t have much to say about that, but it’s yet another segue, to some other b-days. Happy b-day to two men involved in two of the all time greatest Mets moments. First, happy birthday to Todd Pratt, who’s 39. Pratt, as any Mets fan remembers well, hit the walk off homer that passed just beyond Steve Finley’s reach to win Game 4 of the 1999 NLDS, sending the Mets to a 3-1 series win and on to the NLCS against the Braves. Our other happy b-day goes to Mookie Wilson, who turns 50. If you need me to tell you what Mookie Wilson did, then you’re in the wrong place (or you’re my father/mother/fiancé and I appreciate that you’re reading this – but I still won’t tell you what Mookie did, because you should know too.) Interesting stat nugget about Mookie: he hit exactly .276 in 1983, 1984, and 1985. And while that’s the most striking, his numbers during that part of his career were amazingly consistent - 25 doubles in ’82 and ’83, 90 runs scored in ’82, 91 scored in ’83, etc. Take a look for yourselves. But finish reading this first, because I don’t want you to get sidetracked and never return, which is what I’d do.
Happy b-day also to Bill Veeck, who would be 92. I used something he said as my high school yearbook quote: “It’s not the stars that are expensive; it’s the high cost of mediocrity.” What a shitty yearbook quote, what was I thinking? But I think it’s true. Anyway, Veeck was quite the wacky owner, responsible for publicity stunts like having the midget Eddie Gaedel bat for the Browns and organizing Disco Demolition Night for the White Sox. Veeck was also, I’ve now learned, the last owner to buy a team without having an independent fortune (i.e. – he purchased the team with some procedure I should understand better considering I just took corporations, and owning the team was his actual business, not his side hobby.)
Since I've segued so nicely tonight, speaking of side hobbies, if you'll excuse me...I have to see what's on Cinemax. (Ooooh, he's terrible, just terrible.)