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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Cubs’

Two Gretzky’s, One Jeter

MLBlogLogoAs if being the son of Wayne Gretzky wasn’t enough of a media burden, Trevor Gretzky also had to deal with some “unecessary attention” while attending high school in Los Angeles alongside the sons of Joe Montana and actor Will Smith.

That’s just one of the interesting answers the Cubs baseball prospect gives MLBlog editor Danny Wild. Gretzky says Derek Jeter was a big inspiration growing up; dad, while with the New York Rangers, took him to Yankees games. The Great One’s Son also confirms the logic of his jersey numbers progression:

MiLB.com: You’ve worn No. 9, 19 and 29 so far. I’m guessing the nine is a nod to dad, but let’s say you reach the Majors, what number are you going with on the back of your Cubs jersey?

Gretzky: It’s always been a dream to wear No. 99. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to wear it one day. That’s irrelevant right now – I’ve got to focus on getting my career where I want it to be.

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Misleading Headline Helped Cement Babe Ruth ‘Called Shot’

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to filtering Babe Ruth‘s infamous “called shot” second home run in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series through the prism of 21st century digital journalism.

BabeRuthBookCoverPer an interview with author Ed Sherman in the New York Post, the good news is that if this had all happened today, the conversation Ruth had at the beginning of the following season with WMAQ Chicago broadcaster Hal Totten – during which he explained that he was noting one more strike left, not where he was going to hit the ball – would have quickly gone viral and put an end to some foul fall-classic spin.

The bad news is that like today, “click bait” headlines were something editors relied on to try and get the attention of readers:

The phrase “called shot” was supposedly invented by New York World-Telegram reporter Joe Williams, who wrote, in that day’s nighttime edition, “…On the occasion of his second round-tripper [Ruth] even went so far as to call his shot.” His editor took the phrase a step further, headlining the piece, “Ruth Calls Shot As He Puts Homer No. 2 In Side Pocket.”

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Ten Years Later, Dan Patrick Talks to Captain Janks

On Monday, outlets across the sports spectrum were marking the 10th anniversary of the infamous “Steve Bartman game” at Wrigley Field. This morning, it was time for another related 10th anniversary – radio host Dan Patrick revisiting the prank call to ESPN Sports Center that he fielded on this date in 2003 from Howard Stern foot-in-mouth soldier Captain Janks (a.k.a. Tom Cipriano).

Patrick replayed the ESPN Janks-as-Bartman call twice on his show this morning, before “retiring” the clip. In between, he learned that the perpetrator failed first in the direction of CNN, spoke beforehand to Bartman for research purposes (!) and benefited from being able to tell ESPN he was returning a producer’s call:

“What you consider to be one of the worst moments of your career I consider to be one of the best moments of my prank phone calling career,” Janks said.

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Cuban May Be Going The Way Of Martha Stewart

markcuban.jpgMark Cuban, the internet billionaire who owns the Dallas Mavericks and numerous film and TV entities, is facing insider trading charges with one of his internet search engines Mamma.com, according to AOL’s news.

Cuban apparently either bought or sold 600,000 shares of Mamma.com, which piqued the Securities and Exchange Commission’s never-ending interest.

The last celebrity gazillionaire to face such charges was Martha Stewart, who had to do a small stint in the hoosgow before settling back into an unwatched good housekeeping TV show.

Cuban had been rumored to be considering buying the Chicago Cubs. Maybe the Cubs first-round playoff destruction at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers made him run home to Mamma.

Zell’s Little Hell

zellcash.jpgSam Zell has a few hurdles to clear before he can buy the Tribune Co., even though shareholders are set to vote on his $8.2 billion proposal in late August.

According to the LAT:

Washington regulators must agree to transfer the licenses of Tribune’s 23 TV stations and one radio station to the new company, led by real estate mogul Sam Zell, and to issue waivers allowing it to hold on to TV stations in Los Angeles and four other cities where Tribune also owns newspapers, including The Times.

In addition, borrowing terms have grown more onerous since Zell made the proposal in April, making it costlier to finance the transaction. The company is expected to be saddled with about $10 billion in debt even after an expected sale of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

Wall Street has signaled its skittishness, sending Tribune shares down to $29.25 late last month after they had hit a high in late May of $33.20. The Zell deal is worth $34 a share if it is completed.

Meanwhile, conventional wisdom around the LAT newsroom (with the people we’ve spoken to, anyway) is that once Zell does get his hands on Trib, he’s likely to sell off the L.A. paper to David Geffen. We’ll see if that scuttlebutt turns out to be anything close to true.

LAT in 90 Seconds

lipsflaming.jpgPeople Having More Fun Than You: If your New Year’s Eve was spent wrapped in a blanket and sniffling into a bowl of chicken soup, don’t read about how the Flaming Lips New Year’s Eve show was the best party on Earth or how the Killers killed.

latpredicts.jpgAnd Cars Will Fly, And Robots Will Do Our Homework: We don’t like to make media predictions, but we’ll make an exception here. Our prediction for 2007 is that the LAT predictions for 2007 look silly by 2008.

To wit:

Tribune Co. is bought by the Los Angeles newspaper dynasty (the Chandlers) that is its largest shareholder, which is intent on avoiding a huge tax bill had the company — owner of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Cubs, KTLA-TV Channel 5 and many other properties — been sold off piecemeal.

dirtpic.jpgMaybe ‘Dirt’ Should Hire Her: Leave it to Robin Abcarian to make even the least interesting-sounding TV show in the lineup sound like something worth watching. Well, some of us think so, anyway.