OK we will keep this going for through the weekend, but only with actual news or major reports, not all the commentary that goes with. Leggo! Continue Reading
John Gonzalez is leaving CSN to be with his wife, Colleen Wolfe, who’s now with NFL Network in LA.
Gonzo, who used to write for the Inquirer, Boston Magazine, Village Voice and other publications, says he’ll do some freelance stuff to start and then explore other opportunities.
He’s leaving a big market just as his most-covered team, the Sixers, seem poised to become relevant again. But, it’s hard to argue with love. Follow the heart, Gonzo.
Allow me to anger the Process-ers.
I firmly believe Sam Hinkie did a very good job in not only tanking – that’s easy – but also in allowing the Sixers to stockpile draft picks and assets that have turned into Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons… and Lakers and Kings first round picks. And cap space.
The Bryan Colangelo salad-tossing stooges who write articles – many of which came before Colangelo did anything here – lauding the current Sixers GM’s abilities are just a bunch of butthurt normals not able to embrace the sort of radical, against-the-grain thinking Sam Hinkie was man enough to put into practice.
HOOOOOOOOOWEVER, Hinkie may have been the Sixers’ fall guy for good reason. Continue Reading
Hello and welcome back to the world in which Comcast inexplicably hates you.
Reader (@rybo213) alerted me to news today about a new package from Sling TV, which, unlike PlayStation’s decent Vue service, did not previously carry CSN, the regional sports network whose exclusion from streaming options has prevented a lot of would-be cord cutters from, you know, cutting the cord. Well, GOOD NEWS, NBC products have joined Sling’s new Blue Package, and that includes NBC 10, NBC Sports Network, CNBC and
CSN. Oh I’m sorry– I misstated that. CSN will be available on Sling TV in most major markets where Comcast operates regional sports networks… except Philly:
Sling Blue (multi-stream) is available to new customers for $25 per month and includes local NBC (for select markets), USA, Bravo, NBCSN and Syfy.
Sling Blue customers will have access to live, local NBC broadcast stations in the following 10 markets: Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Hartford, Conn., Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego and Washington D.C. Access to on-demand programming will be available in a later update.
Regional Sports Networks for select markets (Comcast SportsNet: California, Bay Area, Chicago and Mid-Atlantic) coming soon.
Sling TV expects to add local content from NBC affiliates in the future on a market-by-market basis.
An NBC Universal rep confirmed that CSN Philly will not be available on Sling TV.
That is… maddening.
Sling, of course, is downed by Dish Network, which has had its own unique issues with CSN Philly. WIKIPEDIA MEH !!
On January 20, 2010, the FCC Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to close the “terrestrial exception” loophole. Lawyers for DirecTV and Dish Network had attempted to show that Comcast, the dominant cable provider in the Philadelphia market, acted in restraint of trade by not uplinking Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia to satellite. Comcast did not appeal the decision, allowing DirecTV and Dish to immediately enter into carriage negotiations to add the network. Both providers formally asked permission from Comcast to carry CSN Philadelphia on June 25, 2010. One month later on July 28, it was reported that Comcast had entered into discussions with DirecTV and Dish Network for carriage of CSN Philadelphia. Two days later, after accusing Comcast of refusing to negotiate in good faith, Dish Network stated it would file a complaint with the FCC. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the FCC’s original ruling on June 10, 2011. Despite this ruling, Comcast has yet to offer CSN Philadelphia on competing satellite providers.
The only current method of receiving CSN Philadelphia within the United States (as of April 2014) is via C-band satellite using a Cisco PowerVu receiver with authorization aimed toward the Galaxy 17 satellite at 91.0°W (transponder 11 at 3920 H).
Gah. Mesahthinks that has something to do with CSN Philly’s exclusion from Sling TV. CSN is available through Dish in other cities, including the Bay Area and Chicago.
It looks like PlayStation Vue will remain the sole streaming service that carries CSN Philly. As I’ve written, it’s a reasonable alternative, but the fact that it doesn’t currently broadcast in 1080 – only in 720 – was a non-starter for me.
At this point, streaming packages are beginning to resemble the cable bundles that most people hate. They are a bit more lean and cost-effective, but not by much. So the benefits are often negligible. Still, the fact that CSN Philly remains so damn difficult to stream, even with cable credentials, is annoying. Comcast claims to be on the cutting edge of everything – such innovators, they are – and yet your options for streaming sports in its home market – WHERE IT OWNS ONE OF THE TEAMS – continue to be extremely limited.
A follow up question to the NBC rep inquiring whether they had any plans to bring CSN Philly to Sling TV in the future was not immediately responded to.
Bill Baer infuriates me. He’s everything that’s wrong with stat heads slash saber nerds slash nerds slash breathing computotons incapable of perceiving any semblance of human emotion.
The former Crashburn Alley blogger turned NBC Sports Talk baseball blogger weighed in on Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage’s decision to again – he did so earlier this month – bench Phillies prospect Nick Williams for a lack of hustle, described as “slow to get out of the batter’s box and slow getting back to the dugout, where he tossed his helmet down the tunnel towards the clubhouse“:
For what it’s worth, Williams’ offense seems rather minor here. He was a few seconds late to the dugout compared to the average player. It was 75 degrees and the IronPigs haven’t had a day off since June 13. That includes a double-header on the 18th. They won’t get a day off until July 11. Williams was probably dragging a bit from a rough night, the humid weather, and the grind of the regular season schedule. Williams also tossed his helmet down the tunnel after returning to the dugout, likely frustrated from an 0-for-4 night when he felt like he was putting good swings on the ball.
Baseball traditionalists have for years jumped on stats people for not considering players as human beings, but rather as data points. Here, the traditionalists — who tend to be overwhelmingly in favor of teaching young players these kinds of lessons — never consider factors like players being worn down by the weather or the schedule. They expect them to be at 100 percent functionality day in, day out like robots. Players are allowed to be tired. They’re allowed to be frustrated.
If I’m Phillies GM Matt Klentak, I’m sending a message to Brundage that the life lessons he’s trying to teach Williams aren’t worth souring the kid’s motivation or his attitude, nor is it worth cutting into his playing time when he’s on the cusp of being a major leaguer.
I hated having to excerpt that much Baer. Too much Baer is baed for you. Baut, it was necessary to show just how ridiculous and stubborn those who exist on the far-left off the nerd spectrum can be. Baer will tell you – and he did – that they grasp that players are humans and not walking, talking and pooping data points, and in the next sentence will literally discard the very essence of what it means to exist in an environment filled with humans. Do old-timey managers go too far with regard to the eye-test, grind-it-out, “rub some dirt on it, pussjob” mentality. Absolutely. Progress is good. Advanced statistics are good. Analytics have impacted the game in countless ways. And though they’re gaining traction not just in front offices, but also with the masses – now seeing inclusion in broadcast graphics and everyday sports convo – it’s people like Baer who give them a bad name by so blindly railing on anything resembling old-fashioned teaching.
In the case of Williams, who earlier in the month didn’t run out a routine fly ball which was dropped and resulted in Williams only taking first, the manager was clearly trying to nip a bad habit in the bud before it became a trait for Williams. Baer’s excuse about players being tired is laughable. Sure, they are humans and not perfect robots constructed to placate our sporting desires, but baseball players specifically have to put forth the least physical effort of any other major athlete besides golfers and e-gamers. Asking a professional athlete to perform a short sprint 4-5 times per game is hardly an unreasonable request. 95% of the time running hard to first on an obvious ground out or fly out will be a fruitless task. But the other 5% of the time it will force a fielder to rush and commit an error or mental mistake, or will simply beat out the throw, or, in Williams’ previous gaffe, cost a player an extra base. What’s more, a young player, who plays on a team of humans, can have bad habits creep into his game, which can have a negative influence on those around him. While the ol’ “trying hard” thing is overblown, look no further than Chase Utley as the perfect example of how a max effort can yield positive results and contribute to the intangible qualities present in a “winning atmosphere.” Anyone who has ever played a team sport, at any level, understands that effort and hustle rarely yield negative results, with the exception of perhaps dangerous, foolhardy decisions in more violent sports like football and hockey.
I’m all for calling out legacy methods as being complete wastes of time and understanding, when called for. But people like Baer, who do so blindly just to fit their own narrative (an old-school journalistic practice they claim to hate so much), do more harm than good for the analytics movement, often just by being big-time binary buttholes. Hashtag baersaballoonknot.
Joe Staszak and update anchor Damian Muziani got the hook from 97.5 as a result of Greater Media cutbacks (layoffs). I’m hearing WMMR was hit the hardest, but the company’s cuts also impacted the sports station.
What’s more, 97.5 will now only be live and local from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on weekends. Previously, they were live beginning at 8 a.m. and running through 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. There will also no longer be midday updates during the week, an apparent cost-cutting move that, according to my calculations, saves roughly $7 per month.
In unrelated news, Barrett Brooks is also leaving the station. He’s busy enough with Breakfast on Broad. Whether or not he turns up on WIP is unknown, but, I suspect, a possibility…
Minor machinations, but notable nonetheless. MY SYMPHONY SIRS:
Stern: Dude that’s the ultimate move. You get chicks to pay you?
Dykstra: Well, not chicks though dude we’re talking about grandma, you’re talking about a f*cking grey bush, bro.
Stern: No shit? Have you seen these broads naked? Will you f*ck them?
Dykstra: Can’t f*ck them, their bones are brittle.
Stern: I see. You got women paying you for companionship? Dude… How many women you got?
Dykstra: There are three, but one of them’s killin me, because she aways wants to f*cking stick her tongue down my throat.
Stern: And you’re not into it?
Dykstra: She’s like f*cking 80 dude, or something.
Stern: You’re a male gigolo.
Dykstra: I’m not gonna do that no more.
Stern: Yes you are. Lenny, you’re a male gigolo.
Dykstra: I kinda… I lived a lotta lives.
Stern: So these chicks take you around with them and introduce you to everyone in the room.
Dykstra: No it’s just about companionship.
Stern: Do you just go to their houses and you don’t go out?
Dykstra: Yeah well they wanna go to dinner sometimes.
Stern: Do they wanna introduce you to their friends and shit?
Dykstra: No, no, no.
Stern: What’s the oldest woman you ever f*cked?
Stern: Like, would you ever f*ck an 80 year old? If you had to?
Dykstra: I mean, it’s my duty, you know? But it’s not like a get in there and f*cking pound me, you know? It’s more of a gentle…
Stern: Are you afraid they’ll die when they’re in bed with you?
Dykstra: Well their bones are brittle.
I downloaded the book and skimmed the relevant parts. The part about the 93 Phils’ run was mundane bullshit, plainly recapping the playoff run with digs at Mitch Williams thrown in. But thankfully(?), 1993 was the year Lenny hit his stride with steroids and painkillers. Here’s how Dykstra – or the sane individual who transcribed his musings to readable prose – described it: Continue Reading
You want to know what sports talk has devolved to at this time of year? Here’s Marcus Hayes explaining the Ben Simmons will totally get Philly sports fans* because his father played in the cauldron that is Australian professional basketball:
“He’s a legacy guy. You know, his dad was a very, very good player for 13 years in Australia. He wasn’t Dell Curry, and he wasn’t Mychal Thompson. But he was a very big-name in Australia. Sport in Australia is very similar animal to sport in Philly. It’s incredibly important. He understands that.”
The first three times I watched this I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not. But no, Marcus Hayes would like you to know that if you can make it in Melbourne, you can make it anywhere.
Side note: I was looking up footage of Ben Simmons’ father, Dave, playing for the Melbourne Tigers, mostly to compare crowd sizes and prove Marcus wrong, but I never got past the fact that they were actually sponsored by Fosters, Australian for beer:
*I’m not implying he won’t. But I’m fairly certain him growing up as a privileged kid in Australia will have little to do with it.