Thursday, December 3, 2009

TYU Fought The Law And, Well, You Know...

After dedicating a post to another Yankee blog for all the wrong reasons earlier today, we would like to atone for that by lending a helping hand to the fine folks at The Yankee Universe.

We link to TYU with some frequency and if you have been to the site, you've probably noticed that their name is pretty close to the Yankees' charitable organization that sells T-shirts to benefit the Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center. Well perhaps because their blog shows up higher in Google search results than the charity, or perhaps due to the fact that Randy Levine founded the organization, they received a cease and desist notice from the Yanks today:
Accordingly, demand is hereby made that you immediately cease and desist from using the YANKEE UNIVERSE name and the Logo, any other Yankees Mark and any other MLB Mark in and as the name of your Website, to promote the Website, to seek advertising any other commercial opportunities, in and as the Domain Name, and in any other manner that would cause consumer confusion, dilution of the MLB Marks, or imply any sponsorship or endorsement of your Website or its contents by any MLB Entity.
Since the Yankees are asking in the name of a charity (and since they've had the name since 2006 whereas TYU was created in 2008), the bloggers are going to step aside. Now they have asked the interwebz to help them find a new name for their blog.

There are obviously a ton of Yankee blog names already claimed, and aside from tossing out variants of existing ones like we did on Twitter today, we are trying to think of something else they could use. Here are a few (some from other places), yours in the comments or better yet, at their site.
  • The Pinstripe Post
  • Bronx & Beyond
  • The Yank Think Tank
  • Straight To Twenty Eight
  • The Steinbrenner Doctrine
  • The Yankee University
  • The Bomber's Lounge
  • The Pinstripe Universe
  • Monument Cave
  • The Dead Torre Scrolls
  • The Moshe Pit

Wasn't Reading

Larry from the Yankeeist continued his Yankee blogger interview series yesterday with Steve from Was Watching and I'm again going to link to it. Unlike the other times though, I've got a few comments to make about this one.

As always Larry did an excellent job with his interview. He made attempted to address the things that really separate Was Watching from other Yankees blogs - the persistent pessimism towards the team and the anti-Brian Cashman bias - which many interviewers might have avoided. What I want to comment on are some of the ridiculous generalizations, comical inaccuracies and hypocritical things that the interviewee says.

We live in a microwave society now where people want things short and quick. And, personally, I cannot stand bloggers who prattle on with 1,000 word entries. Hence why is "laconic commentary from a Yankeeland zealot." Further, I'm pretty sure that studies have shown* that people who read things on the internet will not read things that take them more than a few minutes to scan through, etc.
*Studies conducted at the Was Watching Institute of Laconic Zealotry. Sample Size of (n=1).

This post is 900 words. One hundred and twenty six of them were written by Steve Lombardi, the other 674 were copied and pasted from an article by Nick Carfado. Apparently Steve thinks people will read a long post only if you quote a gigantic amount of it from another writer.

And of course the notion that people won't read 1,000 words articles on the internet is ridiculous. This post from Mike at River Ave. Blues is over 1400 words long, features only one short quote (and the rest original material) and has 186 comments on it. And ohbytheway, have you ever heard of a guy named Joe Posnanski?

People, whether they are reading on the internet or anywhere else, like things that are interesting, regardless of their length. There might be diminishing returns after a certain length but the cutoff point certainly isn't 1,000 words.
Back to point, I suspect that someday, maybe soon, we'll look at blogging as some trendy thing that was hot around 2007 and then went the way of the mood ring and the pet rock about eight years later.
Mark it down on your calendars, folks. In 2015, blogs will be like Pogs! Nevermind the fact that the two things he listed came and went because they were devoid of intrinsic value. Fairly quickly, even the dumbest people figured out that a pet rock was just a rock and a mood ring didn't actually indicate their mood. Blogs may evolve into something different eventually, but being able to provide a stream of content on a website which you can update continuously isn't a fad, it's an advance in technology.
At this time, I'm still mulling some changes to the future format of -- and I may elect to have some additional writers added to the blog (to join my voice). But, I'm not certain, at all, that I will go this way. I still find myself going back to the question of: "Did Leonardo da Vinci [sic] have some others help him paint the Sistine Chapel?"
But on the contrary, look at how many people Abraham Lincoln brought in to help him write the Constitution!
Baseball Think Factory is a daily stop -- and a great source of information -- although many of the commenters there, in my opinion, are veiled ivory tower elitists who like to come across as tough guys by taking shots at others.
It's called Baseball Think Factory, it would be a pretty bad site if there were just a bunch of anti-intellectual dummies talking about how much they agreed with every Ken Rosenthal rumor or Wallace Matthews article. And don't worry, aside from what he just said about the people at BBTF, Steve never takes shots at anyone else:
On the whole, Brian Cashman took a team that was a three-peat World Champion and turned them into a team that would finish first and then lose in the LDS…and then into a team that would no longer finish first but would win a Wildcard (and lose in the LDS)…and then into a team that would not make the post-season at all. Notice the trend here?

In addition, there’s a long list of moves made by Brian Cashman that suggest he’s clueless when it comes to evaluating talent...
Listen, Steve's been in this game a lot longer than I have and I respect that, but he's like the grouchiest newspaper columnist on Earth stranded on a blogger's website. I tried reading WW regularly a while back but I frequent enough baseball sites that I don't need another one that's content with linking to stories I've already read and surrounding a 500 word blockquote with a paragraph and a half of "analysis". I'll take the one that "prattles on" for 1000 words at a time and includes some "original thought" and "research", thank you very much.

SI Profiles Chapman

Good morning Fackers. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for the Winter Meetings to start up next week. It's getting to be pretty slim pickings out there for things worth talking about.

Two weeks back, I expressed some concern over the Yankees interest in Aroldis Chapman, based largely on the success - or lack thereof - of previous Cuban players. We followed that the next day with a some more Chapman content, including a scouting report from Baseball-Intellect.

Tuesday, Sports Illustrated ran an in depth profile on Chapman (Joel Sherman was upset about this, as he felt SI should have profiled Noel Arguelles instead). Again, perhaps it's more confirmation bias on my part, but the SI piece has made me more leery of Chapman.

Building on questions of character that arose from Chapman's decision to switch agents two weeks ago, SI talks about Chapman's first, badly botched, attempt at defection and refutes the story that his exclusion from the 2008 Cuban Olympic team was punishment for that. It also touches on his decision to defect just days before his daughter was born.

I'm hesitant to criticize Chapman's decision making process as it relates to his defection decisions. I don't know what it's like to live under a communist regime; I don't know what it's like wrestle with the thought of leaving friends and family behind for a lengthy stretch of time; I don't know what it's like to have the prospect of $50M contract waiting for me on the other side.

I am however concerned about the likelihood of Chapman being a successful Major League pitcher and worthwhile risk for the amount of money he's commanding. On top of the less than glowing scouting report from Baseball Intellect, the SI piece suggests that Chapman's exclusion from Beijing a year ago was performance based and not a punishment. It illuminates Chapman's alarmingly high walk rate in competition that generally features free swingers and generous strike zones. It points to Baseball Prospectus' Clay Davenport's projections of Chapman having a K/9 over 9, but an ERA over 6.50, and compares him closely to pitchers who are struggling to make it out of AAA. It features a quote from Chapman indicating that he isn't too willing to be anything but a starting pitcher.

None of this means that Chapman won't be or can't be successful. But all of it - for me at least - makes it all the more dubious that he will be. And it makes me just about certain that he's not worth the investment it would take to ink him to a deal.

The more I hear about Chapman, the more I'm reminded of the fabled Sidd Finch.