Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Geekly Restored

Some of you may remember the old days of the Baseball Geekly, some statistically-oriented baseball blabberings I wrote in 2000-2001. Some of you have had paid help to strike them from your mind, but for those who are interested, I have placed some of the old columns on The Brolin Bulletin, which you can access through the archives section on the right.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Jeter Signs with New Team

Shameless sensational headline, I know, but it is Hot Stove season. While I'm as intrigued by the "Who's on Third next season?" question as the next guy (actually the guy in the next office doesn't know much about baseball, so I might have him beat), I'm currently fixated on the "Who's on the radio?" question.

Yesterday's announcement that XM Satellite Radio signed a deal with Derek Jeter has me wondering what's next. The Olsen sisters' restaurant guide? I mean, Jeter's an excellent player (yes, yes, yes) who won a few World Series at the end of the last century, and consistently leads the league in awkward fist pumps, but putting him on the air? Have you heard him talk? Oh, his grammar and diction are fine, but there's no English on his English. He may be the most boring quote in baseball.

This may well be intentional, of course. Playing in the media zoo of New York, there's no good reason to push for the back pages by spewing lunacy (attention Gary Sheffield: leading the league in menacing glares does not constitute leading). There's no reason to come to the media capital of the country and use every available microphone to speak so much nonsense that everyone knows you're a phony (see, Rod, A-, describing his role as a team player after a first round playoff loss this year: "I had a great year, something I'm very proud of." Nice work. Maybe you can take that MVP Award into the field to knock down a few of those stray grounders, Mr. Complete Player).

No, it's safer to play it safe. Why'd we lose? The other team scored more. What do we need to do differently tomorrow? Score more than they do.

The press release announcing the deal had some of those standard quotes which are attributed to a principal player in a deal, but which are really written by a PR guy using his Vanilla machine. Note Jeter's "quote": "To help extend the lead of a winning team like XM is a terrific opportunity, especially since I am a huge XM Satellite Radio fan. I am excited to share my enthusiasm for XM's unmatched Major League Baseball programming and unprecedented choice in news, talk, entertainment and, of course, commercial-free music." Oh yeah, that's vintage Jeter. "I am excited to play the Chicago White Sox and face their unprecedented combination of speed, power, pitching and, of course, defense."

According to the release, "The deal also includes a partnership with the Turn 2 Foundation, the non-profit organization founded by Jeter to promote healthy, drug-free lifestyles and academic achievement for young people. " Maybe he can get XM host Snoop Dogg to co-host a show about healthy, drug-free lifestyles.

Coincidentally, XM also announced a deal with Napster yesterday to provide a service for purchasing and downloading music on XM. Hugh Panero, President and CEO of XM described that deal as follows: "It takes the promotional impact of radio and puts it on steroids." So Jeter's going to be on XM, Major League Baseball has its games exclusively on XM, and now XM's going to be on steroids one week after MLB announced its new drug testing policy? You cannot be Sirius.