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Posts Tagged ‘ESPN.com’

Joe Morgan Getting New Weekday Radio Show

In a move that will delight those old-school baseball fans who keep their head in the sand about sabermetrics, Hall of Fame second baseman and former ESPN Sunday Night Baseball commentator Joe Morgan is launching The Joe Morgan Show, a new weekday radio show on Sports USA that will premiere August 22.

“While I’m best known for baseball, I’ve always had a love of all sports,” said Morgan, who won the 1975 and 1976 National League Most Valuable Player awards and is widely considered one of the best second basemen of all time. “I’m fortunate that my career has allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people, and I have heard so many remarkable stories. With my new show, I am looking forward to sharing these stories, as well as speaking with today’s sports personalities and newsmakers.”

Larry Kahn, president of President Sports USA. “Joe is a well known and respected broadcaster whose opinions and overall knowledge of sports will captivate sports fans nationwide. This platform will allow him to reach and engage other sports enthusiasts.”

The guest list for the first week will reportedly include Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax and Johnny Bench. It probably won’t include the founders of Fire Joe Morgan, the one-time baseball blog that often made light of Morgan’s antiquated attitude towards the importance of statistics, particularly in the post-Moneyball world.

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McEnroe: Tennis Needs Hard Knocks Treatment

During a teleconference call Thursday to promote his July 14 World Team Tennis Match against longtime rival Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe said tennis could benefit from the type of Hard Knocks treatment that HBO has used to give fans an inside look at the training camps of NFL teams like the New York Jets.

“We need [intense] marketing to boost interest among casual fans,” McEnroe said. “We need a Hard Knocks for tennis. We need people to see inside [the sport]. to really see what players say and do.”

No doubt this template could be extremely popular — if the tennis players being covered were Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic or Caroline Wozniacki. But watching men hit hundreds of balls in practice, or traveling solo around the world with occasional interactions with their coaches and families? Hard to see how that’d be compelling theater. If the subject were McEnroe back his hey day, screaming at umpires and winning titles, it’d be a different story. But no men’s player nowadays holds that kind of personal interest for casual fans. Well, maybe Andy Rodddick, but a Hard Knocks production would probably need to include large doses of supermodel Brooklyn Decker, his wife, to keep people’s attention.

(H/T Big Lead Sports)

LeBron James apologizes for 'The Decision'

No doubt feeling magnanimous following his team’s victory over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, LeBron James of the Heat last night offered an apology of sorts to the city of Cleveland, its fans and his ex-teammates for “The Decision” to take his talents to South Beach in that self-aggrandizing spectacle on ESPN last July.

“I knew I had to go through Boston at some point. I went through a lot signing to be here and the way it panned out. I apologize for the way it happened, but I knew that this opportunity was once in a lifetime.”

I, I, I, I…

LeBron also commented to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, “As much as I loved my teammates back in Cleveland, as much as I loved home, I knew I couldn’t do it by myself against (the Celtics).”

Well, at least he admits he needs help.

(H/T to Waiting for Next Year)

 

Scoops Callahan Sends Phil Jackson Into Retirement

And speaking of stupid questions

The final (possible) question in Phil Jackson‘s illustrious NBA coaching career came from 1920s reporter “Scoops Callahan,” aka local Dallas sports personality Tom Gribble.

Amen indeed.

NFL and ESPN to Start Negotiating for Monday Night Football?

ESPN snagged the Monday Night Football broadcast rights in 2006 for over $1 billion per year, and the network doesn’t want to let the franchise go. According to Pro Football Talk, the Worldwide Leader will begin negotiating with the National Football League this week when the owners meet in Chicago. ESPN will have an exclusive period of one to two months to negotiate, after which other suitors can get involved.

Don’t expect it to get to that point, however. ESPN has the cash, the desire, and the branding. Now that it has the NFL, it’s not giving the sport up.

Ironically, while Fox, CBS, and NBC are killing it in the ratings so far this season, MNF is down 5.7 percent from last year (although up 14 percent from 2008). That will change tonight, however, as the New York Jets-Minnesota Vikings matchup should draw viewers in massive numbers.

Jim Nantz Guest-Hosting B&C HOF

CBS Sports anchor Jim Nantz will serve as a special guest-host during the 2010 Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame ceremony, joining MC Regis Philbin. Nantz and Philbin will be presenting awards to 10 inductees, as well as NBC’s “Today,” which is the TV show being inducted this year. Among the inductees is CBS News & Sports president Sean McManus.

Baseball Payrolls Get New York Times Infographic Treatment

The New York Times is back with another smart, tasteful, and helpful graphic.

On the heels of its stunning women’s tennis video comes “Putting a Price Tag on Winning,” a snapshot plotting the payroll of baseball teams against their expected and real success. It’s a cool way to think about baseball teams, especially in light of Deadspin’s MLB Confidential investigation of teams’ finances.

Unlike the women’s tennis video, however, the price tag graphic ran in Sunday’s sports section as a half-page graphic. As a result, the Internet version lacks the dynamic functionality of a true NYTimes.com feature. They could have done a lot more with the graphic if it were a web-only. The graphic as it stands isn’t bad; it just feels incomplete, a throwback to the days when newspapers simply put their print content online.

Your winners: The Florida Marlins, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the NYT.com tech team, which didn’t have to do much in order to get this thing online.