Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

by mike (in boston) [hatemailaccount -at- gmail dot\com]


Jeff Blair leaves the Globe


Jeff Blair tweeted out that he will no longer be at the Globe after March. I assume this is part of the recent spate of layoffs in print, but I have not seen that confirmed anywhere. So Blair joins Grange and Brunt in the obscure wonderland that is Sportsnet. I don’t mean that as an insult. It’s just a fact that when journalists go to Sportsnet then we lose them as journalists. And that is sad. Nobody ever links to something Grange or Brunt writes on this blog or any of the others I frequent. So, if they are still doing great journalistic work, it’s not making a mark. I suspect the same will be true of Blair going forward.

I am somewhat conflicted about this departure. On the one hand, I enjoyed Blair a great deal when he covered baseball. On the other, I never read anything he wrote once he was promoted to being a generalist. The same thing happened with Grange – he went from basketball to being a generalist, which if we are being honest, means covering hockey in this country.  I found Brunt credible, but that’s because I never saw him as a one-sport guy. The same is true for Arthur; I enjoy reading him on most subjects.

I’m curious how others feel about this transition: do you find guys credible when they make the leap from one sport to all sports?

What does the Globe do now? If I’m the sports editor over there then I seriously look at what the Globe can do well. It’s not game recaps, it’s not box scores, it’s not detailed statistical analysis. The one thing the Globe can do is provide journalistic credibility. This is where they have an edge on both blogs, and on the other papers. So, they need to find ways to capitalize on that asset. Look for good young people and give them the resources of the Globe. It seems like they have done this with Mirtle. That should be the blue-print going forward.


Jack Morris leaves Sportsnet


This was rumoured but now it is official. This means that Sportsnet have lost Ashby, Hayhurst and Morris in the space of 2 years. That’s not good news. We discussed this last time: is it time to blow up the Jays broadcasts and start over? Tom and Jerry defined the Jays on radio for a generation. Perhaps it’s time to close that book entirely.


Is “Thug” the new “N-word”?


I’m sure everyone has seen Sherman’s meltdown and the ensuing response. He came out and (rather eloquently) made the point that there is a racial undertone to the use of the word thug. Aaron Hernandez (ex-Patriot on trial for murder) was called a thug. He’s not black. I’m sure there are some people who are using “thug” in a racist fashion, but I don’t think everyone is. Let’s face it – both the NFL and NBA profit from taking poor kids out of rough life situations, sticking them in college for a year, and then running them out on the field. The supposition that this will scrub the thug out of them is silly. Sometimes thug is an apt description of our sports heroes.




Garza and Tanaka were both signed this week, further reducing the pitching talent pool available in free agency. AA still has a chance to keep pace with the other teams in the division by signing a top 3 pitcher, but that window is closing. As things stand he has for 2 years tragically overvalued his bullpen as a trade asset. He has stockpiled talent there but none of it has led to significant improvements in areas of need. That’s a major misstep in my view.

The current strategy for winning in 2014 seems to be a hybrid of 1) addition by subtraction (JP, Josh Johnson), 2) hope that people who sucked in 2013 return to career averages or better (Izturis, Melky) and 3) hope that people will take the next step (Rasmus, Lawrie, Morrow) and have complete good seasons. That’s a lot to hope for, and I am currently tapped out.


until next time …

thanks for reading and commenting

mike (in boston)

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