Archive - May 2013
- Column: Jay-Z Rocks Agent NationMay 26, 2013
Roc Nation Sports (RNS), the nascent full-service sports management company founded by rapper Jay-Z, is poised to make an impact on the field of athlete representation. Despite its initial success, some agents appear to be dismissive of RNS. High-powered baseball agent Scott Boras told USA Today, “To suggest that somebody is going to walk off the street and say, ‘I am a fan, I enjoy sports, so I can do this,’ is no different than somebody watching the Discovery channel and saying, ‘I’m a fan of medicine, I like surgery, so I’ll start operating on people.” Boras’ comments are reminiscent of the hilarious Holiday Inn Express ads - “I’m not a surgeon…but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night,” – except competition from Jay-Z’s agency should be no laughing matter to the sports agent fraternity.
- Column: Dan Shaughnessy Doesn't Get ItMay 19, 2013
Dan Shaughnessy’s credits as a baseball journalist should be the envy of any writer. For over 30 years Shaughnessy has covered the Red Sox for the Boston Globe and along the way he has authored nine books on baseball. But with one column he wrote on David Ortiz earlier this month, Shaughnessy suggests he knows little about baseball and even less about journalistic ethics. Last year, Ortiz, Boston’s 37-year-old designated hitter, suffered an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to miss the final two months of the season. Rest and rehab over the winter healed the tendon, but persistent pain in his heel prevented Ortiz from participating in spring training. He finally entered the lineup on April 20. In his first 14 games, Ortiz hit .426 with four home runs and 17 RBIs, prompting Shaughnessy to pen a column that began with the following paragraph: Hitting is not easy. Athletes do not get better as they mature into their late 30’s. Baseball has been peppered with performance-enhancing drugs for the last 20 years. The cheaters are always ahead of the testers. A number of players form the Dominican Republic have tested positive for steroids. Injuries to the Achilles’ tendon are consistent with steroid use. It is not natural for a guy to hit .426 out of the gate without the benefit of any spring training.
- Column: MLB Umpires are EmbarrassedMay 12, 2013
MLB umpires have been making headlines lately, which is never good news for the league or the men in blue. First, Tom Hallion was fined an undisclosed amount after initiating a verbal spat with Tampa Rays pitcher David Price. Hallion rebuked Price for his reaction to a pitch call during a game on April 28. Price told reporters that as he walked off the mound at the end of the inning, Hallion yelled at him “throw the (bleeping) ball over the plate.” Two other pitchers in the Rays dugout also claim to have heard the umpire use a profanity. Back and forth comments in the media and on Twitter included a charge by Hallion that Price was “a liar.” Price countered by accusing Hallion of being a coward. MLB fined all three pitchers $1,000 for violating the league’s social media policy. In addition, they took the unusual action of announcing that Hallion was also fined an undisclosed amount.
- Column: Jason Collins Comes OutMay 5, 2013
Jason Collins has been labeled “courageous” and a “hero” for being the first active player in one of the four Major League team sports to announce that he is gay. To label him “courageous” and a “hero” for publicly disclosing his sexual orientation speaks volumes about where we are – or aren’t - as a society in 2013. The spectators who, disregarding their own safety, ran toward the bombings during the Boston Marathon for the purpose of helping others, are courageous. The first responders who provided comfort and medical attention to the dying and carried the injured to safety are true heroes. Collins was merely being honest about an issue that is nobody else’s business. With all the progress we have made in accepting people for who they are, not who they love, the sheer dimension of media coverage following Collins’ admission proves we still have a long way to go in the area of human rights. Collins’ announcement should never have been considered “news.”