This guy's ready, pic via (@timmyquigs)

This guy’s ready, pic via (@timmyquigs)

Generally, a press release is nothing more than promotion for a company or product that contains something which might be of interest or use to human beings. The best ones announce new products or actual news… the worst are just lame advertisements designed to fool lazy writers into giving FREE publicity. This one, which I received today from someone representing Majestic and the Phillies, falls into the latter. To the Press Release Takedown, a PRT!

Majestic Athletic Partners with Philadelphia Phillies to Announce Phillies Jersey Day Presented by Majestic Athletic’ on Friday, May 2nd

Jersey Giant & Philadelphia Phillies Pair Up To Launch Team Pride Celebration in Philadelphia

Interesting. We’re all prideful Phillies fans despite their struggles. Tell me more. Is there a new jersey unveiling? A giveaway? Free tickets? WHAT IS IT, SCOOB?!

Philadelphia – Majestic Athletic, the official on-field uniform supplier of Major League Baseball, in partnership with the Philadelphia Phillies and Major League Baseball, is announcing a special day for local baseball fans to celebrate by inviting them to don their official Phillies team jerseys in a show of baseball fan pride for the Phillies home game on May 2.

Not Philadelphia. The release came from a PR rep with a Boston, MA signature. But I like celebrating, and the Phillies, what ya got?!

“Phillies Jersey Day presented by Majestic Athletic” encourages fans to proudly wear their Phillies jersey on Friday, May 2 to work, school or the home game that evening to celebrate their love for the sport and the hometown nine. Similar local celebrations are scheduled for the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, and New York Yankees– teams that are kicking off this year’s inaugural hometown events. The New York Mets will host their own jersey day celebration at a home game on May 25.

I’m not quite sure I understand. You… want me to wear my Phillies jersey on May 2, and if I don’t have one, buy one? It’s a celebration… of buying your products? Where’s the hook?

“The baseball jersey is the world’s most iconic sports jersey,” said Chuck Strom, General Manager/VP MLB Business at Majestic. “Many of the most important and memorable moments in sports happened in a baseball jersey. So we thought it was time it had its own day.”

There is no hook. Got it.

Majestic Phillies jerseys are available at Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park, Modell’s Sporting Goods, and on MLB.com for advance purchase in preparation for jersey day. To keep up with Phillies Jersey Day via social media, follow and tweet us at [@Phillies] [#PhilliesJerseyDay]

This is dumb. You can’t just create a day for people to buy your products and call it a celebration. [OK, Hallmark did it with Valentine's Day. But no more!] That’s not a press release, it’s an ad.  Anyone could do that. I could do that! Here’s my press release:

LOCAL BLOGGER ANNOUNCES CELEBRATION OF OWN APPAREL

A HOME OFFICE IN HORSHAM — Kyle Scott, editor of CrossingBroad.com, has declared Friday, April 25 Crossing Broad Store Day! In honor of the Flyers’ Game 4 against the Rangers, he’s encouraging you to wear your or Wolf shirt, and if you don’t have one, he wants you to buy one. Because after all, it’s Crossing Broad Store Day. On this day, you should wear a product… from the Crossing Broad Store.

“Crossing Broad Store apparel is a must for every sports fan,” said Scott. “I want every fan in the city to buy my products.”

Crossing Broad Store products are available by visiting CrossingBroad.com and clicking on the store link or by going to CrossingBroadStore.com.

I should send this out. Philly.com will probably pick it up.

I thought maybe I was being unfair, so I emailed the PR rep back to see if I was missing something. That exchange:

From: [PR rep]

To: Me

Subject: Buy Our Shit Majestic Apparel and Phillies proclaim May 2 2014 Jersey Day

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing you to alert that Majestic and the Phillies are calling May 2 Phillies Jersey day in Philadelphia . Both Majestic and the Phillies are encouraging fans to show their team pride by donning their Majestic Phillies Jersey and take part in Jersey Day.

Attached and below, you will find a copy of the release on Phillies Jersey day. Any coverage would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me at any time.

From: Me

To: [PR rep]

Subject: re: Majestic Apparel and Phillies proclaim May 2 2014 Jersey Day

Thanks. Are all teams doing this? Or just the Phillies?

[I can't read.]

From: [PR rep]

To: Me

Subject: re: Majestic Apparel and Phillies proclaim May 2 2014 Jersey Day

There are 6 teams doing this Red Sox, Yankees, Astros, Rockies, Braves and Phillies.

From: Me

To: [PR rep]

Subject: re: Majestic Apparel and Phillies proclaim May 2 2014 Jersey Day

Sorry, I missed that in the release.

Without being too snarky, is there anything to this other than Majestic and the Phillies trying to promote their product? Prizes, giveaways, other special events? A charity component? It just seems weird that there’s a press release which essentially says “this is the day we’re encouraging people to buy and wear our products.”

From: [PR rep]

To: Me

Subject: re: Majestic Apparel and Phillies proclaim May 2 2014 Jersey Day

No worries,

Pretty much just trying to keep the momentum going from Opening day. There always seems to be a lull in baseball around this time so they are trying to just encourage fans to wear their jersey’s that day is all.

From: Me

To: [PR rep]

Subject: re: Majestic Apparel and Phillies proclaim May 2 2014 Jersey Day

Got it.

Shit. I think his tactic worked.

If there was an article that I could just wrap my hands around and hug, it would be the City Paper’s takedown of the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com today:

“Two writers say stuffed Bigfoot is legit” and “I’ve never had sex with my husband” are the sort of headlines on Philly.com that fill Philadelphia Inquirer reporters with dread and despair.

The website, created as the web portal for the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, is at the center of a spectacular ownership meltdown at Interstate General Media (IGM), which owns the three media properties.

Lexie Norcross [editor's note: who is 26], daughter of owner and powerful South Jersey Democratic political boss George Norcross, has become a lightning rod for newsroom criticism in her role as vice president of digital operations and corporate services. The long-troubled website now competes against the two papers that it was created to support — and uses gossipy content to drive traffic.

“Most of the problems on that site … [are] because Lexie has been trying to turn it into a Buzzfeed,” says a former Philly.com staffer who, like others, spoke to City Paper only on the condition of anonymity.

The problem is two-fold:

1) You can’t take the biggest website in the city, which used to be filled with actual news and commentary, and turn it into BuzzFeed overnight. It’s… jarring. It’s not what people are looking for when they type doubaleu doubaleu doubaleu dot philly dot com into their you are el bar. It’d be like going to the New York Times’ website looking for a slideshow of the 10 Hottest FOX Cartoon Characters (Lois Griffin all the way, and quite frankly, it’s not even close). But if you are going to do that, then you need to inject some personality or have talented people give unique and humorous takes, not rely on the gaggle of mostly inexperienced twenty-somethings and non-writers, and syndicated content, like Philly.com does.

2) BuzzFeed uses the low-brow stuff to support the high-brow stuff. Philly.com has quality content – from the Inquirer and Daily News – but it’s impossible to find. End the pissing match and give people – people who are paying attention and who might actually have enough money to support advertisers – the good stuff that they went, and make that stuff easy to find. Or, better yet, create unique and progressive content, like what the NY Times did today with that baseball map, or what ESPN is doing with FiveThirtyEight, or what VOX is doing in general.

You can’t just start serving shit to people when they’re used to eating… um, something more edible than shit. Also, an editor helps.

Fun article.

"If you spend more... you can win less."

“If you spend more… you can win less.”

This you know.

For some reason today seems to be the day that all major news outlets do funky things with data and charts (except for Philly.com, which is running syndicated national content about a local business on its homepage). Bloomberg, of course, threw its hat into the well-measured ring. Using the following formula, they’ve put together a chart of the smartest spenders in sports:

Our ranking of all 122 franchises in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB rates teams based on how much they spent in player payroll for every win during the last five seasons. Each team is compared against the average price per win in its league to produce a score we call the efficiency index. The less a team spends compared with its peers, the lower its score. Playoff victories and championships get extra weight. Payroll data come from the best available published sources.*

Playoff wins count for 10 percent of a season (e.g., 16.2 wins in baseball); Wild Card wins get half credit.

Championships count for 50 percent of a season (81 wins in baseball).

As you might imagine, Philly teams didn’t fare so well. Believe it or not, the highest overall finisher was the Flyers. They came in 39th overall among pro sports teams based on the fact that they spend well above the league average payroll, but also have above average regular season and playoff wins.

Next, the Eagles… at 61. This based on their above average payroll, slightly above average regular season wins… and zero playoff or Super Bowl wins.

The Sixers at 75. And there’s Marla Hooch. What a hitter!

And finally, you guessed it, the Phillies bringing up the rear at 84 based on their significantly above average payroll, and slightly above average regular season and playoff wins. Keep in mind, this goes back five years, so presumably 2009, 2010 and 2011, when the Phillies were arguably the best team in baseball, were included, and they still finished 84th! THANKS, RUBE!

You can view the full thing here and play with the numbers as you see fit. Ratchet up the championship wins to be worth 200% of the regular season – the highest it can go – and the Phillies fall to dead last. Fun times.

Voila_Capture 2014-04-24_02-05-08_PM Voila_Capture 2014-04-24_02-05-31_PM

Ukee Washington tweeted this picture this morning. Looks like he was having a real ball. Just hanging out at the track. The unencumbered freedom of youth. Swinging over life’s hurdles.

No but for real I’m pretty sure that’s Ukee’s Washington. I’ve been studying this picture for an hour like a conspiracy theorist studying the underbelly of Flight 175 before it hit the second tower. I don’t think that’s a shadow, Mrs. Robinson.

Voila_Capture 2014-04-24_02-17-57_PM

Indeed.

H/T to reader Clayton

That is all.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve spent the last three nights watching the Phillies on my iPad [article on how to do this coming, I swear] so I could listen to Vin Scully and his soothing tone as opposed to Tom McCarthy and his seeming need to beat you over the head with his awkward dorkiness. It’s been… glorious. Scully is tremendous. He just calls the game the way it should be called. He tells you what’s happening, injects commentary where needed and, yeah, has some old-world baseball views. But he never breathlessly jams his presence down your throat. I haven’t made it through a full game yet, however. I’m so used to being on edge during Phillies broadcasts with McCarthy shouting at me that Scully is like a relaxing serum that has the same effect on me as a warm blanket and brisk belly rub has on a nervous dog. I’m out by the fourth inning, slobbering all over myself.

Anyway, I stayed awake last night long enough to hear Scully’s excellent aside about how Cole and Heidi Hamels met:

He married a cover girl. She was called the “survivor Amazon.” I lose it at that line every time.

GU– geographically unacceptable.

Voila_Capture 2014-04-24_09-48-33_AM

These Facebook data sports fan maps are all the rage lately. There’s already been a baseball one. And a pretty terrible hockey one. But this is the best one.

The New York Times, using data provided by Mark Zuckerberg’s box of your life, put together an interactive Major League Baseball fan map, viewable down to the zip code level. ZIP CODE. You can spend an hour looking at this thing and still feel like there’s more you want to uncover, so I’ll just point you in the direction of the map. But, if you want the quicky and dirty, here’s the Philly-New York dividing line:

Voila_Capture 2014-04-24_09-47-49_AM

Also interesting on this map is that the Northest-Bucks-Montco corridor – the areas north and west of the city – and South Jersey, contain the highest density of Phillies fans. Somewhere, Delco hangs its head.

The New York Times does a lot of this sort of thing, and it’s always pretty outstanding. They convey information in new and unique ways. Meanwhile, Philly.com is still using giant blocks of text so it looks like a newspaper online!

Voila_Capture 2014-04-24_09-01-07_AM Voila_Capture 2014-04-24_09-13-11_AM

I was taken aback the other night when Wil Nieves stepped to the plate. I forgot he was on the Phillies. In fact, I was more surprised to learn that he was a Phillie than I was when I read Zoo With Roy this morning and learned that Nieves is also on Tinder*– the site for casual encounters. Sex.

Twittererererer (and sports commentator?) Elika Sadeghi last night tweeted a screenshot of one of her matches– Wil, 36, who is “just looking for friends and [to] have a good time.”

Now, besides the obvious chuckle that comes from a professional baseball player using a picture of himself and his baby daughter on a site for people who want to, in ZWR’s words, “boink,” there are two other notable takeaways here:

1) Check the timestamp. According to Sadeghi, who is operating on Pacific Time, Nieves was active two hours ago from 1:03 a.m. on Tuesday night-Wednesday morning. Presumably, two hours means somewhere between two-three hours, which means that Nieves was active sometime before 11:03 p.m. PST on Tuesday night. The Phillies game, which started at 7:10 and went for three hours and 36 minutes, ended at approximately 10:46 p.m. Which means that Nieves was likely online dating from the Phillies’ clubhouse at Dodger Stadium, presumably in the company of naked men. I find this delightful.

2) Puerto Rican marriage records aren’t exactly the best, but as of last July, Nieves was married (to a former model).

*Which is totally now in my history and could cause real problems in my life. Thanks, Wil Nieves.