Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Night Links

Here's a smattering of items of interest that I hadn't gotten around to posting:
  • We've Got Heart continues her series on "women in baseball."
  • Kristen also delivers an insightful interview with Nationals prospect JR Higley.
  • It's been a week since this story on how badly Jim got schooled by Guzman's agent was posted on, but I can't resist the temptation to say "I told you so."
  • John Manuel and Jim Callis did a chat on the 2009 draft preview and twice refused to dismiss the possibility that the Nationals would pass on Strasburg over money.
  • SullyBaseball is running a really fun series comparing each MLB team's all-time best homegrown players versus their best acquired players. Here's the Expos/Nationals list. The Nationals who make the cut are Ryan Zimmerman, Chad Cordero, Jose Vidro, Alfonso Soriano, Jesus Flores, Brian Schneider, and Cristian Guzman.
  • Fangraphs did a series over the last week or so identifying specific players who personify "replacement level." Five of players on their "all-replacement team" are Nationals--Ryan Langerhans, Jose Castillo, Brad Eldred, and Corey Patterson.
  • Eric Seidman writes about Odalis Perez at Fangraphs and about Daniel Cabrera at Baseball Prospectus.
  • FJB is now the #2 site after his Wikipedia page that comes up on any Google search for "Jim Bowden."
  • Nothing to do with baseball, but I was back on Fox News this week. Check it out if you're interested in having more things to disagree with me about. :-)


Sully said...

Thanks for the Link to Sully Baseball!

I am 100% in favor of Firing Jim Bowden and I'm not even a Nats fan.

When I am done with the 30 Home Grown vs Acquired teams I'm going to do a 31st and 32nd...

1) The All Time New York National League Team Home Grown Vs Acquired Team (with Giants, Dodgers and Mets)


2) The all time Washington Home Grown vs Acquired Team

Focusing on Original Senators (not Twins), Expansion Senators (not Rangers) and Nationals (not Expos) and use ONLY their Washington numbers as criteria
2) The All Time

e poc said...

Holy shit! Finally, I can get an answer to a question I've been waiting to ask for, like, ever: What would make a liberal talking head accept an invitation to appear on Fox News? Even if you don't fancy yourself a liberal, a conservationist is good enough. Or even if you're just a guy who doesn't believe that spending tax dollars on infrastructure amounts to state socialism: what makes you accept an invitation to appear on Fox? A feeling of responsibility about the need to have an opposing voice amid the propaganda? Or is there a ridiculous amount of money involved? And how do you keep from getting insanely upset about how blatant the hosts are foisting an agenda onto the analysis of the issue?

e poc said...

I'll go ahead and lay my cards on the table, here: any time Fox invites a left-leaning talking head to appear on one of their programs, they do so with the express intent of using that person as a punching bag to ram home whatever piece of right-wing propaganda they're focusing on for the segment. This is how it seems to me. The hosts do a ton of prep work to get ready to slam the guy/gal, and they are all trained personally by Rush Limbaugh to aggressively highjack any conversation and hold it hostage to their own terms (this is hyperbole, of course, but the point stands). So there are three possibilities that occur to me: 1) I'm wrong about these things, and though they seem pretty obviously true, people like you who appear on these shows know that it's not this way and you feel like you and the topic at hand are/will be treated fairly; 2) I'm right about these things, but Fox manages to find people who've never seen or heard about Fox News to be the token liberal voices on these shows; or 3) I'm right and you know I'm right, but there's something (e.g. a sense of responsibility about voicing the opposition) that makes you do it anyway.

Really, I want to know all about this.

Steven said...

I assure you there's no money in it for me. And no I don't think the debate is "fair and balanced." More to the point, I don't think it's intelligent or informed. It's show biz masquerading as news, as is TV news in general.

But the rationale for going on is simple: a lot of people watch it and use it as a primary source of news. More than CNN or MSNBC. More than read the NY Times and WaPo combined. TV is important if you care about communicating ideas to the American people. I wish more people read books and newspapers, but they don't. So you have to go to where the people are.

And although one might assume that the Fox audience is exclusively die-hard conservatives, that in fact is not the case, according to research by people like the Pew Center for People and the Press. There's a definite skew in their audience, but still more than half their viewers ID as Independent or Democratic.

So you have this big audience and an opportunity to speak to them. Do you take that chance or not? I think that if you can go on and stick to your message and make sense you can make a positive impression on people, even if the host is disagreeing with you. Whether I'm effective at doing that is up to others to decide I guess.

I will say I don't know if I would go on O'Reilly. Cavuto is obviously very conservative and rude and all that, but O'Reilly's just in a whole other category. Cavuto doesn't personally insult you or question your integrity. That would be a level of abuse I might not be willing to expose myself to. Although I guess I would give it a shot at least once since there's nothing really to lose.

But it's definitely not hard not to get upset. I mean, there's nothing to get upset about really. Cavuto's just doing his job, and I'm doing mine. I don't mind that other people have different views from mine, so that doesn't make me mad. It's disappointing the way he casually tosses out blatantly made-up "facts" (this is a specific criticism of Cavuto, not Fox or conservatives in general--there are lots of conservative commentators who don't to this, and liberals who do) like his claim in this interview that hybrid sales are an eighth of what they were. But whatever. He's not as much of a butcher as Boz. :) On this point I disagree with your assertion that their hosts are all really well prepared. I think they actually prepare very poorly on the substance. They have a couple tricks they use--interrupting; the "some people say you're an idiot what do you say," line of questioning; putting words in your mouth... if you don't take the bait and just repeat what you wanted to say those tricks don't do much. And since they are totally unprepared to engage on the substance, you can say basically whatever you want.

There's one other thing, which is that bookers all watch each other's shows. So if you show up on one show and perform well then that leads to other opportunities. You notice that the same people turn up as pundits again and again. That's not an accident or a conspiracy. It's not easy to go on TV and speak in sound bites. So if you can do it, you get invited back a lot and onto other shows. I've been on a bunch of things, but Fox and, strangely, Al Jazeera (which I was on tonight), are the two channels that have me as a regular guest when they need an environmentalist. Hopefully at some point it'll become also CNN and the networks and maybe someday I'll be everywhere. Then again maybe not, but that's how you do it.

Also, I do think they struggle to find left-leaning voices to go on. Their bookers just beg when they call. Little to they know compared to the chatters in the baseball blogosphere Neil Cavuto is Mr. Congeniality!

Dave Nichols said...

Me Too! re Guzman:

James Bjork said...

Steven a talking head for a LEFT-of-center political advocacy group?!! Shocked! Shocked I am! ;)

In the interest of full disclosure, in on-line political ideology surveys, I come out dead-center, which in Maryland makes me a redneck.

I'd say you were pretty unflappable.

e poc said...

Thank you for the extensive explanation, Steven. You are a better man than I if you can deal with people like Cavuto without getting upset.