Adderall Use Increases in MLB.

The effort to gain an advantage through the therapeutic use exemption is increasing in MLB. This shows that that use of drugs to enhance performance is an ongoing problem that must be corrected.
Check out @BizballMaury’s Tweet:

George Will’s “Pardon these Turkeys.” Great Commentary

George Will has written the following article pointing our several of the more bizarre occurrences that have recently been in the news. Of particular note, is the comment that an asteroid that passed close to the earth “was the product of global warming.”  You can’t make this stuff up. Then there is the effort to re-write history by referring to Democratic Alabama governor as a Republican. Of course, the most absurd such claim is that Republican Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat, which would upset Stephen Douglas, of course. This article is well worth reading. 



Pardon these turkeys


We are tomorrow’s past, so this Thanksgiving give thanks for 2013, a year the future might study more for amusement than for edification. performed the public service of defeating Barack Obama’s ascription of every disagreeable effect to one of two causes — George W. Bush or global warming.

Concerning the latter, a CNN anchor wondered if an asteroid that passed by Earth on Feb. 15 was “an effect of, perhaps, global warming.” The Los Angeles Times announced that it had stopped publishing letters questioning global warming caused by human activity.

Which makes sense, if you agree with the New Yorker’s resident expert, who called the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on warming “the last word on climate change.” It evidently is the first science to reach the end of its subject, all questions answered. Therefore it is puzzling that dramatic predictions of an unusually high number of 2013 hurricanes were dramatically wrong.

Paleoanthropology has not reached its last word. The story of human evolution may have been simplified by conclusions reached this year about a 1.8 million-year-old skull found in the Caucasus in 2005. The earliest human remain found outside of Africa indicates that our ancestors emerged from Africa as a single species, not several species. Its brain was about one-third the size of today’s human brains.

Some of today’s brains. A Tennessee judge’s ruling was reversed: She had ordered a family to change their child’s name, Messiah, because that “title” has “only been earned by one person.” At the school where a Maryland kindergartner is supposed to learn reasonableness, school officials interrogated him for more than two hours before notifying his mother that he possessed a cap gun. Fortunately, it contained no caps; otherwise it would have been deemed an explosive. Michigan educators forced the removal of the little plastic soldiers a mother had put on cupcakes she brought to school on her son’s birthday.

On Sept. 17, Constitution Day, a student atModesto Junior College was told to stop distributing copies of the Constitution until he had filled out the requisite forms for permission to use the college’s designated “free speech area.”

The Bank of England is putting Jane Austen on a new 10-poundnote because without a woman on some notes, British currency would “not command respect and legitimacy.” Queen Elizabeth II is on all notes. When Britain’s education secretary said children should learn to add and subtract, and memorize some of the nation’s kings and queens, a teachers’ union objected. The union had hitherto said: “For the state to suggest that some knowledge should be privileged over other knowledge is a bit totalitarian in a 21st-century environment.” American University in D.C. scheduled a course on “The 50 Shades Trilogy.”

The infantilization of adults continued with the marketing of $600 High Rollers, which are Big Wheels for (biological, not actual) grown-ups. MSNBC, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Gov.

George Wallace’s attempt to prevent the integration of the University of Alabama, identified Wallace as a Republican.

Human remains found beneath a Leicester parking lot were confirmed to be those ofRichard III, missing for most of the 528 years since he lost the Battle of Bosworth. He remains buried beneath the bad reputation acquired at the hands of the Tudors’ talented PR specialist, William Shakespeare.

In Washington, even local government is demented: Its transit authority Metro threatened Henry Docter with “arrest, fines and imprisonment” for the crime of unregulated gardening. Docter had filled 176 empty planters at the Dupont Circle subway stop. Metro was briefly deterred by the public outcry against its threat to punish Docter for his uncompensated act of beautification. But then it had the 1,000 morning glories and other plants ripped out.

Those vigilant about our welfare never sleep; Canadian relief supplies for Oklahoma tornado victims were stopped at the U.S. border until every item could be itemized in alphabetical order and its country of origin noted. You can’t be too careful.

As the National Park Service and NASA understand. They are among the federal They are among the federal agencies that have their own SWAT teams. The Agriculture Department, however, stresses sensitivity. A video of its “cultural sensitivity training” shows employees being instructed to call the Pilgrims who created Thanksgiving “illegal aliens.” Of course there were no immigration laws to make any one of the first Thanksgivings illegal — for which fact, give thanks. Someday, if there is no Agriculture Department, more thanks to be given.

An Analysis of the Iran Agreement

Scott Johnson at has posted an excellent analysis of the recently concluded agreement among western nations and Iran dealing with that country’ nuclear arms initiative. Find it here. In essence, Johnson is saying that “the Obama administration accepts Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.” The question of why Iran wants such weapons is abundantly clear when references to its desire to eliminate Israel, a nation it describes as a “one bomb country,” are examined.

This raises the prospect of Israeli action against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Apparently, Israel has sought and received permission from the Saudis to stage strikes against Iran from Saudi airbases. These position Israeli aircraft close enough to Iran to make the attack without the need to overfly other countries or refuel en-rout. The distance from Saudi Arabia to Iran is short. I served in the Persian Gulf and can attest to that. Remember that a US ship shot down an Iranian airliner that just happened to be taking off in the wrong direction. The only ships with that ability in the Gulf now include the carrier USS H.S. Truman (CVN-75). What would it do as Israeli jets flew over the Gulf to attack Iran? Clearly, its advance warning systems would have instant knowledge of the attack. What would it do with that information? Call the White House! Also, carriers maintain a number of planes in the air, its Carrier Air Patrol, or CAP, at all times to defend against attack. What could go wrong, as they say?

The world now, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu, said after the Iranian deal was signed, is a more dangerous place. He is dead on with that statement and Israel is facing an existential moment.

“The Only Real Game,” Baseball in Manipur

I just ran into a mention of a movie on baseball in Manipur, a city in Northeastern India. The good folks of Manipur have embraced baseball as their passionate past time as the game was introduced there during World War II and has become central to their way of life

This is a wonderful story and I encourage you to watch the trailer and attend the Hampton’s Film Festival if you can.

The information on the film is  here

Yankees Sign Brian McCann

The Yankees make huge signing by getting catcher Brian McCann to 5-year, $85 million deal, outbidding #Rangers —
Let’s this mark the beginning of the post season team building  competition that I think is as interesting as the season itself.

Please note this player is beyond his peak. See full career record Here.

This points out the flaw in the baseball reserve system where teams spend huge amounts for players who will have declining performance. Experts are already speculating as to what McCann will play when he gets older. He will be 30 this year.

Abraham Lincoln Trumps Barack Obama at Gettysburg

Yesterday was the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. We all know the story. The Union and Confederate armies fought over the fields and hills of Gettysburg on July 1-3, 1863. The Union army was victorious and the Confederates retreated to Virginia, never to invade the north again. For a review of the battle look here. This was the bloodiest day of that war that continued until April, 1865.

Following the battle, a National Cemetery was established and Abraham Lincoln was invited to participate, not as the main speaker, but to add a few comments after the two hour oration by Edward Everett, the leading orator of the time. As Everett said to Lincoln, “you said in two minutes what I tried to say in two hours.”

What concerns me is why Barack Obama, who has tried to link himself to Lincoln numerous times, refused to appear at Gettysburg, a short, sixty-five mile,helicopter ride from the South Lawn of the White House. Where Obama has mentioned that he is, like Lincoln, from Illinois, sees himself as the same sort of leader, and was sworn in on the Lincoln Bible, he did not appear at Gettysburg because whatever he said there would be compared to the Gettysburg Address, one of the most important of our national treasures. The comparison to Lincoln would fail as no one has been able to match Lincoln’s perfect message. Then again it may be that Obama disagrees with that message. He was quoted as saying, “these truths may be self evident.” for example.

Nevertheless, after Wilson, FDR, LBJ as vice-president, and Clinton had appeared at Gettysburg, it is very strange, indeed, that the man who has traveled on Lincoln’s coat tails, not appear on that “battle field of that war,” that means so much to America. His excuse was that he had a scheduling problem, although it appears that his schedule was not set until just before the anniversary. We may never know the real reason, but the comparison to Lincoln is the one I think was most telling.

Update: I just read that Obama omitted the words “under God,” as in “one nation, under God,” from his recitation of the Gettysburg Address for a Ken Burns documentary. The plot thickens, as they say.

The New Jim Crow: Updated with Keon Mangun’s Sentence

UPDATE: As you read this, know that the court has now sentenced Keon Mangun to 134 months in prison. The people who killed Miranda got one year. It is the New Jim Crow!

In her book “The New Jim Crow,” Michele Alexander argues that the War on Drugs has created a new racial undercaste comprised predominately of black and Latino men. Harsh mandatory drug sentences and legal discrimination against felons are the tools, according to Ms. Alexander, for the perpetuation of racial control. Finding a black urban drug dealer guilty of third degree murder where others, equally accountable for the fatal overdose of a rural drug abuser, receive lesser sentences, is an example of what Ms. Alexander is taking about, as pointed out in a recent Minnesota case.

A Morrison County jury recently found Keon Mangun guilty of third-degree murder. Mangun, a North Minneapolis drug peddler, allegedly sold heroin to a guy who sold it to another person who gave it to a woman who overdosed and died. The woman was Miranda Gosiak, a 19 year old living in Little Falls, MN. When she died, she was 100 miles from Mangun who never visited Little Falls or anywhere else in Morrison County, and never sold drugs to Gosiak. Nevertheless, the jury found Mangun was the proximate cause of Gosiak’s untimely death. He faces 11 years in prison.

According to a report of this tragedy by Paul Walsh, Mangun sold heroin to Christian Dahl, who along with Brandon Bedford had traveled to North Minneapolis to buy drugs. Dahl and Bedford then trafficked the drugs to Little Falls where they and Tanya Ashley “partied” with Gosiak for two days before she died..

According to Walsh, Dahl was the chief witness against Mangun. In exchange for his testimony, Dahl was allowed to plead to possession and received a sentence of one year in jail plus 20 years of probation. Bedford was charged with third-degree murder, but is currently a fugitive. Ashley was allowed to plead to possession and is already free. So far the only person facing significant jail time is Mangun, the man least connected to Gosiak.

So how does this fit into the New Jim Crow? It fits when you take into consideration that the prosecution saved the harshest treatment for the only black individual involved. It fits when you take into account that Mangun was tried and convicted by a jury from a county that is 97.7% white; a county that he never visited and had no connection with. If Mangun is guilty of third degree murder then surely so are Dahl, Ashley, and Bedford. Yet the Morrison County prosecutor thought it just to go after Mangun for murder, while showing leniency to people far more proximate to Miranda Gosiak’s tragic death.

Heroin use leads to tragedies, and all efforts to end its abuse are laudable. Yet the perpetuation of old Jim Crow by putting new gloss on Minnesota’s third-degree murder statute is not a legitimate way to fight rural drug abuse. Minnesota must develop a response to its heroin epidemic, but it must be equitable and just for all Minnesotans.The Minnesota Court of Appeals will hear this case. Hopefully the court will read Ms. Alexander’s book beforehand.
David Martin and Clark Griffith provide assistance to black men who have felonies on their records to complete probation and find employment.

Prime Time Sports, Second Day.

The first panel Dave Andrews, Commissioner of the American Hockey League, Steve Angel, NBA official, George Daniel of the Lacrosse League, Brian McKenna of the ECHL, and ToOm Wright of Mixed Martial Arts.
Each discsussed their leagues. Of note is Angel saying that officials do make mistakes, and that rule are vague and subject to interpretation. They follow trends and examine each play. (Hard to do, I would think.) Blown calls that impact outcome of the game, are tweeted! Says people on fan panels are very poor at picking block/charge fouls. 80% think their team is right.

Tom Wright now talks about league transparency and officiating.

everyone concerend about in park attendance and fan experience. This is the big issue for these guys as most fans are not hockey fans, says, McKenna. The enhanced fan experience is the big issue.

Brian Burke, Never give away tickets and discounts must not be at a level that offends regular customers. Also, “teams should not market their individual players, they should market the team as a whole; leagues can market stars.” There is wisdom here. Burke is one of my favorite executuves, smart, decisive.

All agree ticket prices are issue, but people pay. Try to get people into seats by puck drop. try to get fans engaged to make noise. (I hate the artificial “Make Noise” notice on the big board.) But also need to give fans VIP access to media in the arena.

Need to keep in park attendance relevant and we will discuss this in the next panel.

Burke and Pistore pick up trash in arenas. Smart move. By the way, I always picked up bottle caps to keep fans from slipping on them!!!

Social Media Panel, Joe Ross says that people are addicted to phones. Expect to have information immediately. Player trade, for example. Dr. Petouhoff says that need to monetize in-park social media and improve in park experience. MORE Need wireless in stadium because people want to use phnes in the park. Won’t go to game if phone doesn’t work.

McCauley says attendance means dollars from social media. Social media puts people in seats hence more revenue. Live in game hash tags etc. a media show to augment the fan experience.

Maychak says everyone needs to tweet etc. All exec tweet etc and are connected.
Social media allows tracking behavior and then benefitting the appropriate behavior.

Students won’t go to games without being able to facebook!!!! Must be able to track social media to get full benefit.

Monetize social media. ROI, awareness/interest/considerataion/purchase/loyalty/advocacy/referrals–repeated own customer data and behavioral data. Drives sales concessions/merchandise.

Need to have content aggregated in one place! How do you do this, I might ask. The young crowd is texting not Facebookincug etc. Create VIP club on social media, give them points for proper behavior. Send coupon for concessions sales. How about that.
customer data. If 1% of baseball fans participate, $80,000,000 increase in revenue.

Brian Burke, If we don’t curse when we speak, players don’t take it seriously.

Prime Time Sports Conference: Fifth Update

I am at the Prime TIme Sports Law and Marketing Conference in Toronto. I will blog during this two period on high lights of the conference.

First Panel, Doug Boies, Indianapolis Speedway, Tim Leiweke, Brian Burke, Calgary Flames, Chris Lencheski, Comcast, Bruce Popko, Buffalo Bills.

What is consistent here is the need to constantly improve the inpark experience to make attendance relevant in the age of HD tv.

They all speak of media as the driver and that is the way they intend to get to young users.

All speakers are now dealing with the need to deal properly with the media. Essentially, media people need to be tolerated and also need to “remember some papers are only of value to people who own a puppy or a parakeet.”

Last major topic was on marketing and the advice is to market something else than winning, as winning will not happen enough. Focus on fun etc.

Now Gary Bettman is being interviewed. Says league recovered very fast and after lockout.

Teams need deal with real problems and make changes even if that means short term labor pain. Now they have a good system and ten year deal. Nothing works unless you have the right system.

Revenues will grow by $1,000,000,000 òver the next three years.

The program I participated in was on drug use. I said that drug use can be traced to 776BC in Greece where herbs and other stimulants were used along with eating gonads and hearts. I then went through the years with the evolution of doping. From the Greeks to Lance Armstrong

Steve Fehr said baseball player’s association did not catch on to the extent and danger of steroids until late and should have embraced it sooner.

Sara Moore on marketing the Grey Cup/ Says need to go to the grass roots to get people to play football. continuum of interest from non-fans to most rabid fans.

Now we move to advanced analytics moderated by Dr. Dana Sinclair who says data used today is ridiculous:
From the speakers, Kevin Abrams, Kevin Chevaldayoff, Patrick Morris, Dave Nonis, Alex Rucker. Abrams says scouts make most decisions in football. Intelligence counts and they do research into character. Cheveldayoiff Hockey still split on analytics, still in infancy. Says he looks at data and finds new things that help analyze. Looks for unseen factors. This guy may get it!! Says no one variable looks for multipletrends.

Morris says NHL is really into data. Corsi, Fenwick, names? Time on ice. This is an agent, I would think.

Dave Nonis GM Maple Leaf. You stats, not sure they are valid. But thinks something there of value. Gets stuff regularly. Gets poluted stats. Not generated by person who uses standard to determine blocked shot for example. hard stats are time on ice shots etc. Still prefers to see player.

Alex Rucker cameras allows for total analysis of everthing that happens on the court. Analytics only one part of the story. Character, intellect, mental toughness cited as important, if not most important feature. How do you analyze that?

Anton Thun says that analytics is only codification of scouting data. Same thing, he says.

Jack Morris Should be in the Hall Of Fame

Jack Morris was a great, dominate, and very competitive pitcher. He won 254 games and lost 186. He pitched 3,824 innings and struck out 2478. Furthermore, Morris pitched at a time when he expected to pitch the whole game, therefore he had to manage his performance to allow him to do this. If he pitched today, he would only pitch six innings and his WHIP would be better.

Murray Chass has a very good discussion of this issue here that you should read.
I admired Morris for his competitiveness as shown in his ten inning victory in game seven in 1991. It was the best pitched game I have seen and it shows that he was a true Alpha player, who leads teams and beats others when it has to be done. He is deserving of this recognition.