Stop me if you've heard this before: baseball is a team game. Every once in awhile, the big high-priced free agent (or pitcher who forces another team to trade him because he's going to be a free agent) will make the difference between success and failure, but not that often.
Last night, the pitcher who spurned flyover country -- Johan Santana -- pitched another great game for the New York Mets (7 innings pitched, 1 earned run allowed) and lost... again. He's 0-3 this month, and has pitched better than just about any pitcher in baseball.
This makes him the best pitcher in baseball who isn't worth what the Mets paid him. Granted, it's not his fault that he hasn't put the Mets over the top, but he hasn't put the Mets over the top and it's a bottom-line sport.
With last night's loss, the Mets slipped one game below .500 (37-38).
The Twins, meanwhile, are 40-36, and just 1 1/2 games out of first in their division.
It's a funny game, but Johan likely isn't laughing.(5 Comments)
Posted at 3:42 PM on June 24, 2008
by Bob Collins
How's your day going?
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It was an odd day in American journalism today. A story about the war in Iraq made the front page. "Report rips post-surge planning for Iraq," said the Pioneer Press. "Progress in Iraq, but it's tenuous, U.S. audits find," said the Star Tribune. Of course, both stories about Iraq did not come from Iraq.
What's going on in Iraq? Good luck finding out.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism found that "In the first three months of 2008, coverage of the campaign outstripped coverage of the war by a margin of nearly 11-to-one (43% of the newshole compared to 4%). In an environment in which newsroom cutbacks and decreasing resources may make it more difficult for news outlets to stay atop two ongoing mega-stories, the media, for now, have made their priorities clear."
On this morning's Midmorning, MPR's Kerri Miller tried -- mightily -- to find out why this is.
"The campaign has taken up the news hole," one guest said. But how's this for circular reasoning? According to the tens of thousands -- 669,916 as of this morning -- of people who have taken MPR's Select A Candidate, it is ranked as the most important issue of the campaign. So how can the most important issue of the campaign not be covered because journalists are too busy covering the campaign?
David Folkenflik, National Public Radio media correspondent, responded to Kerri asking why she's not hearing Anne Garrels on the air much anymore (side note: Has it really been five years since she did her media tour through the Twin Cities?) by saying it's too dangerous for reporters to go out, something that doesn't seem to be stopping Leila Fadel, the Baghdad bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.
The excuses continued to the frustration, I'm guessing, of most listeners. One suggested that because Americans haven't been asked to sacrifice, they're not interested in the war. But don't 99.4% (that's an actual statistic!) of the people who rated it on Select A Candidate as important or very important tell us that's not it, either?
Finally, Sean Aday, a professor of media and public affairs and international affairs at George Washington University, offered this: Once the surge started working (At least in terms of reduced violence, many of the goals of the surge have not been met), Democrats stopped talking about it.
And reporters stopped asking.
Stick a fork in it. The Pregnant Teen Pact story is over.
Lindsey Oliver, one of the pregnant teenagers in Gloucester, Mass., says there was no pact among the teens to get pregnant. She told Good Morning America today that the 18 pregnancies in the high school are a coincidence. She said she was using birth control when she got pregnant.
She also disputed claims that movies like "Juno" are glamorizing pregnancy. She said the claim doesn't make sense because the character couldn't care for her own baby and had to give the child away.
Not that anyone has let the facts get in the way of this story.(13 Comments)
A defense attorney in an obscenity case in Florida is trying to use Google search statistics to prove that the "community standards" are all about porn down there. If everyone is searching for it, the attorney is suggesting, it must be acceptable.
The chart measures the words people are entering in the Google search box in Florida. The defense attorney picked three: surfing, orgy, and apple pie.
The chart shows that the people of Florida search for "orgy" (the red line) more often than they search for a recipe for "apple pie." (the orange line) Surfing (the blue line)? Apparently it's more fun that I thought. (Disclaimer: This would also include searching "Internet surfing," which conjures up all sorts of questions on its own.)
Naturally, News Cut's first reaction (after "nice try, pal!") is to figure out what the same statistics say about us?
We're not that interested in surfing -- or orgies -- apparently, although when broken down by cities, St. Peter has some explaining to do.
Let's replace "surfing" with "fishing."
No contest. Take that, Florida perverts!
If you want to talk at length to Gov. Tim Pawlenty about Sen. John McCain -- or just about anything else -- it might help if you don't work in Minnesota.
will join joined All Things Considered host Michele Norris in Washington today for some more national exposure (Read and listen). They talked about McCain's energy policy and about Minnesota's role as a potential "swing state."
Recently, Pawlenty has been more available for one-on-one interviews with the national media than the local unwashed hosts. In addition to tonight's All Things Considered broadcast, Pawlenty appeared on CNN's Late Edition last Sunday, was on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer last Tuesday, Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace on June 8, and he was on MSNBC today.
Pawlenty's one-on-one interview schedule, however, rarely includes the Minnesota media. A day before Sen. McCain's town hall forum in St. Paul last week, MPR's All Things Considered producer Sam Choo tried to get some time with Pawlenty for host Tom Crann. "Too busy," was the response.
A couple of weeks before that, MPR's Morning Edition tried to book an interview with Pawlenty to coincide with the appearance in St. Paul of Sen. Barack Obama. An official with the McCain campaign (all political interviews with Pawlenty have to go through McCain's Minnesota office) promised to try to get Pawlenty on the show, but never called back.
MPR's Midmorning tried for Pawlenty after the Northwest merger was announced, but was also told he was too busy. Pawlenty hasn't appeared on the show since May 2007, a show in which Kerri Miller gave the governor a grilling far more intense -- and informed -- than anything he's gotten from any of the national hosts. It's also one of the few venues -- along with Midday -- when people get an opportunity to ask the governor tough questions.
The last long-form interview with Pawlenty on MPR was a half-hour broadcast he did on the hour-long Midday broadcast in May.
He hasn't appeared on TPT's Almanac since April. The show hasn't extended an invitation to him since.
Pawlenty still maintains a healthy public appearance schedule and regularly makes himself available for questions by groups of reporters at his daily appearances. He also has his own radio show, although the most embarrassing moment for the governor came on the show on which he was the host.
Is there angst among the local journalists about this sort of thing? Not that one can tell. Besides, Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said, "the Governor spoke one-on-one with reporters from the AP, MPR, WCCO Radio and other news outlets after his recent visits to view storm damage and flood damage."
A delegation from Korea stopped by the World Headquarters of News Cut this afternoon.
We were told by the State Department interpreter that Minnesota Public Radio is "famous" in Korea. Most everywhere else, that translates in English to "we've heard of Garrison Keillor," but I'm not all that sure A Prairie Home Companion translates well in Korea. And since they didn't ask, "do all Americans sing badly?" I'm presuming the "fame" has other origins.
I was invited by the boss to sit in and explain what I do on News Cut, a task that is difficult enough in English. Their tour of the United States is focusing on grassroots democracy in campaigns and elections. They've been to Washington, New York, and Mississippi so far, and -- so far -- their Minnesota visit has the top spot on their list of favorites.
We (me and, Mike Reszler, the online boss in the photo above) learned that in Korea, the newspapers are tanking, the "kids" are listening to their digital devices and "texting" all the time, and old-timers like radio because they listen to it during the commute. We share the language of media economics.
They were very interested in the concept of Public Radio membership and the differences in the type of news being covered on Public Radio and how it differs with commercial radio. Clearly they are impressed by "people power."
The group above includes Mr. Heyeongkon Kim, the director General of Youth Bureau V365 forum; Mr. Yoon Saeng Lee, the chief of planning in the information office of Sohn Hak Kyu, a candidate for president in 2007; and Mr. Sung Min Park, the president of the Minn Consulting Group.
"I'll bet your blog is very interesting," one of them told me later. Clearly, News Cut is not yet famous itself in Korea.
Perhaps I should start singing.(1 Comments)