Time for a Stretch

Pete Abe apparently doesn’t think much of Curt Schilling’s personal integrity.

84 comments… add one
  • Peter Abraham hates schilling and the red sox only a little less. He doesn’t like boston fans or fenway. So none of this is surprising.

    james November 10, 2007, 10:42 pm
  • i dont think he is really questioning schillings integrity per se. I think he raises a valid point as far as these types of incentives are concerned.

    sam-YF November 10, 2007, 11:11 pm
  • It’s not Schilling’s integrity he is questioning…it is the financially troubled/unethical journalist he uses in his example.

    Vic SF November 10, 2007, 11:14 pm
  • if we want to talk about absurd articles written about a rival city’s team check out this beauty in the Globe today:
    Thanks for the pity, we all appreciate humbleness from the winner.
    HT to RAB.

    sam-YF November 10, 2007, 11:28 pm
  • I actually agree – while I think it’s fine for contracts to include awards clauses, they should not be made public until after the voting is done. I don’t think Schilling would stoop to paying off a writer for a vote, but it does introduce some unnecessarily sticky ethics.

    Jackie (SF) November 11, 2007, 12:13 am
  • My point was not Schilling’s integrity. It was the ethical problem with incentive clauses being tied to how reporters vote on awards.

    Pete Abraham November 11, 2007, 12:38 am
  • Daisuke has salary escalators for such things, doesn’t he? Did anyone cry “foul” then? It wasn’t like they ended up being hidden from the general public. And IIRC, they’re for more significant dollar amounts.
    I realize that Pete is saying he’s not calling Schilling out specifically, but this issue isn’t anything remotely new, and I think some people are latching onto it because it is Curt Schilling.
    Here’s one for people who hate Schilling anyway: Do you really think he’d need a monetary incentive if he decided he wanted to buy Cy Young votes? He’s as cognizant of any player in recent memory of “his place in baseball history”.

    QuoSF November 11, 2007, 12:56 am
  • I think the larger point is worth discussing. I raised my eyebrows at the single-vote clause, as well, because it does indeed put $1 million of the ream’s money in one writer’s hands (as opposed to the more common clauses based on winning or placing in the top 2 or 3, which would require some vast conspiracy that would be impossible to pull off).
    And I also understand the importance of creating the hypothetical example to drive the point. But you can’t create such an example involving the collusion of a player and a reporter and then say the example only focused on the integrity of the reporter.
    The post itself says:
    “What’s keeping Schilling from agreeing to the deal? He’s gets $500,000 he wasn’t counting on.”
    One would think the answer would be his personal integrity.

    Paul SF November 11, 2007, 1:24 am
  • Also the headline for the post in question is: “Did Schilling create an ethical dilemma?”
    So the focus is clearly on Schilling to some extent, notwithstanding that the clause in fact was inserted by the team, not Schilling.

    Paul SF November 11, 2007, 1:25 am
  • That article is unusually paranoid and far-fetched, even by Abraham’s standards.
    It mainly calls into question P.Abe’s own ethics, if you ask me. I mean, who’s the one sitting around thinking of unlikely ways for Schilling to game the system? His own imagination is the problem here.

    Hudson November 11, 2007, 3:05 am
  • I SORTA see Abe’s point. That for other people it could be an ethical issue (I think he thinks Schilling is trouble, while I disagree on that particular point)
    However, its really not fai rNOT to be able to use Cy Young voting as an incentive. Its pretty much considered THE pitchign award and considered the sign of the most dominate pitcher (although the methodolgy is flawed, liek the Gold Glove). I dont see how you can ban such clauses.
    Sox probably should have made it more than one vote, but they were probably thinkign solely of Schilling who is A) unliek to pitch that well and B) isnt corrupt enough to bribe anyone.
    Best idea was Jackie’s suggetion to keep those things secret, though I doubt that would work in practice anyway.

    Dionysus November 11, 2007, 3:14 am
  • Does anyone think Pete Abraham and CHB have soem sort of Secret “We Hate Curt Schilling” club? I wonder what that would be like. I picture soemthign like G.R.O.S.S. from Calvin and Hobbes.

    Dionysus November 11, 2007, 3:21 am
  • Yeah, they sit in a treehouse and make up songs about how much they hate Curt Schilling, and then when Curt walks by they throw water balloons.
    Pete is being ridiculous. If someone close to Schilling made a vote like that, and such a large sum of money changed hands, it would be impossible to hide. That would be Pete Rose level scandalry and it would destroy the reputations of everybody involved. Schilling is many things, but he is not an idiot.

    Kazz November 11, 2007, 6:22 am
  • Absolutely valid post by Pete. The fact that it was about Curt Schilling? Well, he probably should have kept names out of it.
    What no one in this thread has mentioned? The fact that Schilling himself posted it in his own blog. Now, I am not saying say Schilling has cried foul because he was taken to task, but you can’t take Abraham to task (or anyone else for that matter) for going after him.
    Schilling should have kept his mouth closed (insert snarky comment about Schilling not being able to talk about himself here)

    rz-yf November 11, 2007, 8:55 am
  • Edit
    “Schilling should have kept his mouth closed (insert snarky comment about Schilling not being able to talk about himself here)”
    Should have read : “Schilling should have kept his mouth closed (insert snarky comment about Schilling not being able to not talk about himself here)
    There. That extra “not” makes it much more snarky. :)

    rz-yf November 11, 2007, 8:59 am
  • This is seriously making something from nothing. There is such a knee jerk reaction to parse and criticize what Pete says by SFs, its amazing to me. You’d think he is running for president or something. Abe in no way says he thinks that Schilling would take such an offer from a reporter. He is simply stating a hypothetical. His overall message is that there are issues about inserting such an incentive in his contract.
    Comparing this to other contracts in which a player receives a bonus for winning the MVP or Cy is also incorrect since that is dependent on multiple voters.

    sam-YF November 11, 2007, 9:25 am
  • I think the post title here, frankly, is needlessly combative. (Pot-Kettle-Black). It seems farfetched to me that Curt Schilling might try to bribe a reporter for a vote (so I agree with Paul on this), but it seems to me that Pete’s argument that it creates an uncomfortable relationship between reporter and player is 100 % reasonable, and this is something he can comment on with authority. The reporters should not have any financial tie to the salaries of the men they cover. It’s an ethical quagmire, and he union/mlb should reject the contract.

    YF November 11, 2007, 9:58 am
  • The fact that the Sox inserted the clause, and not Schilling, completely decimates Abe’s point.
    And the fact that Schilling mentioned it on his blog further emphasizes that he’s not trying to pull a fast one. If he were fiendishly plotting with some writer, he’d keep it secret.
    Amazing the straws that YFs, lacking a 21st Century ring, are grasping at. (Note: The 21st Century started in 2001, technically.)

    Hudson November 11, 2007, 11:49 am
  • Pete Abraham isn’t saying Curt, the Sox, or any specific writer have been unethical. He described an easily imagined hypothetical situation using Curt’s very real contract as an example (stick anybody else’s names in for Pete/Curt/TheSox if it makes you feel better/helps keep the argument in frame). Abraham is right “on the money” in the summation of his warning in the last paragraph. Arguing against that point is naive, regardless if one does not agree with the author’s choice of examples made, and regardless if his article’s title is premature or misdirected.

    attackgerbil November 11, 2007, 12:15 pm
  • The funniest part of all this is that Petey is actually a Red Sox fan.
    And yes, his point is 100% valid.

    Mike A. November 11, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • Hudson: Whether Schilling or the Sox inserted the clause makes no difference.
    But here’s an interesting sidenote: The NYT is so concerned with this type of ethical issue that the paper’s writers are not allowed to vote on these kinds of awards. And with a stake in the Sox, they’re actually now responsible for creating this ethical problem for other papers, albeit at a remove. But it just illustrates how dubious the clause is.
    MLB should strike it, absolutely.

    YF November 11, 2007, 12:37 pm
  • the only straws being grasped at around here are those who think that this is a personal attack against Schilling. Not a single YF here has questioned if Schilling would actually do this and Abraham didnt do so either. Its a hypothetical and the player involved really isnt of great import. We know about this clause bc the player here decided to put the terms of his contract into the public domain on his own personal blog. This makes it open for conversation and commentary.
    If you really want to see what it looks like to grasp at straws take a look at the article I linked to above.

    sam-YF November 11, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • Raise your hand if you don’t understand US tax code!
    Everyone raise their (virtual) hand, please. Curt would’t be able to “pay off” a writer for more than 12K without both parties having to full disclose everything to the IRS, as that is the “gift” limit. So if Curt wants to “give” a writer 500K and keep it hush-hush, he’s committing a felony tax violation. I wish people would actually try to understand these things before cooking up ridiculous scenarios that satisfy their own dreams.
    Pete raises a decent issue here over conflict-of-interest which is sabotaged by his own ignorance, and too many people here are quick to defend his simplistic fiction without understanding the real world issues he raises.

    SF November 11, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • SF: What planet are you on? Yeah, the “gift” would be declared to the IRS, but how would anyone know? IRS returns are not public, and the act isn’t necessarily criminal behavior. I’m not sure why we have to call PA “ignorant.” You may not agree or like him, but ignorant is not a term i’d use. But it’s typical of the way SFs treat him on this site, and I find it really unfortunate, because it makes US look bad—as if we’re the hotheaded, irrational fans.
    The serious thrust of Abraham’s point is that a contract like the one in question needlessly compromises the (already difficuly) relationship between reporter and player. As a reporter working in a clubhouse, this is certainly a point he can legitimately raise, and the fact that the NYT bans its writers from BBWAA voting indicates that it is, in fact, a serious issue. So instead of throwing additional grenades, maybe a smart site (like this one, I hope) should tone down the rhetoric and zero in on important matters.
    I’m finding this increasingly frustrating.

    YF November 11, 2007, 2:30 pm
  • YF:
    Like I said, it’s a decent point by Pete wrapped up in an extreme and ill-informed scenario. I don’t think his ignorance is nasty or personal. But his post lacks important information. I think he treats this situation far too reductively.
    I agree that this clause is of borderline integrity, probably ok by the letter but not necessarily a smell-tesr passer though.

    SF November 11, 2007, 2:37 pm
  • All Pete had to do was to include a blurb goign soemthign like this:
    “Now, I don’t really suspect Curt Schilling of this kind of foul play. His contract is just an excellent example of a wider problem that could affect less ethical players.”
    He did not do that. Hell, he didn’t do anythign remotely liek that. There is not one iota of indication that he’s not goign for Schill in his entire post.
    Now, don’t get me wrong. As a player, I lvoe Curt Schilling.. as a person, I DO think he talks a tad much and I vehemently disagree with his politics. However, that doesn’t excuse these kind of attacks. I’ve never seen any reason to think Curt would do something liek that and if Pete has reason I demand that he post it immediatly or shut the frak up.

    Dionysus November 11, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • Since when are we the Curt Schilling police? He has his own blog. And who are you to make demands? Who cares about your demands? Again, the key issue isn’t whether Schilling tries to buy off a writer (farfetched), but the fact that his contract compromises the journalist-subject relationship, which is bad for everyone involved. (And you wonder why steroids didn’t get covered?)
    If you thought the post should have had some disclaimer, than write that it should have had some disclaimer. But why do we need to call someone who is patently NOT ignorant, ignorant.
    Seriously. It’s degrading. The response to a hothead or a bully—not that I’m calling Abraham one—is not to respond in kind.

    YF November 11, 2007, 2:53 pm
  • Excuse me. I have SF mixed up with Dionysus here. But the point stands.

    YF November 11, 2007, 2:55 pm
  • YF:
    You are overreacting.
    Personally I have no beef with the questions Pete raises. But he treats it reductively, somewhat sensationally. And yes, there is a degree of “ignorance” in it, I don’t see why that offends you so much. It doesn’t make Pete an ignoramus, hardly.
    Unlike others, I do NOT see a vendetta against Curt here, just a good point made weaker from a lack of information.

    SF November 11, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • A few comments on this:
    – Peter has a valid point in that it’s really dangerous to have this much money riding on one third-party person’s actions.
    – Personalizing it to Schilling (and hypothesizing that he’d pay off a reporter $500,000) was, on the LoHud blog, like chumming for sharks, and was probably an irresistible pander. Just mentioning Schill in a LoHud post is good for about 50 hater reactions.
    – I have the most bile for BBWAA, which doesn’t exactly have a sterling voting process reputation. Which makes Schill’s contract provision even the more troubling. BBWAA acts like a medieval trade guild. Their continued exclusion of electronic media participants (who don’t otherwise have an old-media beat) is a farce, and the importance to the Baseball Writers of clubhouse access makes all of its voting motivations suspect. Sorry, I’m not buying that “virtue of the Fourth Estate” nonsense.
    BBWAA needs to give up ALL the awards voting, immediately, and find other excuses to get drunk at banquets.

    CT ball fan -SF November 11, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • I may have.. been goign overboard with the demand and the shut the frak up stuff. I apologise. I DO think Pete has a good overall point and in fact, totally agree with it. However, not only is the poorly veiled jabs at Schill wrong but they weaken his overallarguement which is an important one.
    Pete is a professional writer. I expect better from him. I expect, while not perfection, somethign alot closer. I can make inflamatory comments liek the one I just did because I’m jsut a guy posting to a blog who just started his own blog. Pete works for a newspaper. He has press credentials. He needs to be better. He should have known how to write that article to make his point and not dilute it with the Schilling attack.

    Dionysus November 11, 2007, 3:15 pm
  • Schilling is fair game as a subject to raise this issue. As I stated above, it was Curt himself who put the information into the public domain about the specifics of his contract. Had he not done this nobody would have been talking about it. So when Abraham brings up this understandable and reasonable issue (which is a point which is widely agreed upon here) its only logical that Schilling is the example he uses. If anyone else released the same specific information about his contract it would be fair game too. This post and many of the comments on it stinks of picking on Abraham for the sake of doing so.

    sam-YF November 11, 2007, 3:27 pm
  • I’m over-reacting? I think your response is textbook overreaction. And now your going back and parsing your statement like you’re running for president:
    “And yes, there is a degree of “ignorance” in it, I don’t see why that offends you so much. ”
    So now it’s not Pete that is ignorant, but his argument, although this is ABSOLUTELY not the implication of your sentence:
    “Pete raises a decent issue here over conflict-of-interest which is sabotaged by his own ignorance,”
    Why does this offend me? For many reasons:
    -I have respect for Pete, even if I find him occassionally inflamatory.
    -The inflammatory response cheapens our site, and it’s not a reasonable way to respond to an unreasonable argument, in any case.
    -To the extent that I’m identified with YFSF, it demeans me.
    -It encourages more flamethrowing on our site, instead of reasoned discussion.

    YF November 11, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • Let me add that I’m glad we’re having this “discussion” in a public forum, and not behind “closed doors” on email, to the extent that it demonstrates to everyone in the yfsf community how seriously we take what goes on here…..anyway….

    YF November 11, 2007, 4:27 pm
  • sorry, his “ignorance on the issue”. Bad writing on my part
    calm down, seriously. This “demeans you”? This is the thread that has set you off? Really? This is the thread that makes you feel dirty? That’s so bloody arrogant – there have been many threads far more debasing and potentially damaging to our blog than this one, and now you act like your own dignity has been compromised, sitting idly while other debates spiral downwards and some of us other authors are left trying to moderate, salvage things on our own?
    This is really, really lame, YF.

    SF November 11, 2007, 5:26 pm
  • *offers everyone cake*
    Lets be friends!
    *hopes the cake isn’t a lie*

    Dionysus November 11, 2007, 5:49 pm
  • There’s no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

    Kazz November 11, 2007, 6:23 pm
  • I am not responsible for every thread and how each devolves. this one began on the wrong foot, and it’s gotten worse. i don’t think there’s anything “arrogant” in asking that we keep things civil around here, and tone down the rhetoric about “personal integrity” and “ignorance” and, for that matter, “arrogance.” Why is it impossible to have a conversation without ripping me personally?

    YF November 11, 2007, 6:26 pm
  • I, for one, don’t feel this thread “began on the wrong foot.” It began with what I believe was a fair assessment of Peter’s post — which I expanded on by saying that I, like everyone else apparently, agree with his larger point, but that he left himself open to this kind of critique by using the example he did and titling his post the way he did. Other people didn’t see that the way I did, which is fine, but it does not change the fact that I read it the way i read it — a reading that I believe you agreed with me on, YF.
    The responses have advanced that debate somewhat down the wrong road, but if this is the post that makes you feel demeaned by being a part of YFSF, that would greatly surprise me. We’ve seen discussions here veer wildly off-course and into much worse territory than this one.

    Paul SF November 11, 2007, 6:47 pm
  • Paul:
    I didn’t protest too much in my initial post because i didn’t think it was too big a deal. I’m happy we’re looking at what Pete writes critically, though I think the title suggests that his whole point was a “stretch,” which is certainly a legit opinion, even if i disagree. I will admit that I have an itchy trigger finger on the subject of Abraham, because I think he generally does an interesting job and I think he’s abused here too often, and when he does write things we disagree about, I wish we’d just put the case out there and leave the extra-curriculars out of it. And I sensed those seaping in with your post (based, admittedly, on history), but what upset me was not anything that you wrote, but SF’s “ignorance” accusation, which I found unfair and needlessly vitriolic.

    YF November 11, 2007, 7:16 pm
  • I, for one, absolutely agree it “began on the wrong foot”. The point Pete makes is very simple and the only reason it comes up is because it’s in Schilling contract and he blogged about it. Yet because it’s about Schilling, there are a lot of knee jerk reactions around here directed at Pete.
    Indeed, let’s look at your post, Paul:
    “Pete Abe apparently doesn’t think much of Curt Schilling’s personal integrity.”
    If everyone seems to agree that the larger issue he describes is interesting, why make it seem like a personal attack? And from there the lemmings follow suit.
    Weird if you can’t see the distinction, Paul. You’re the one that makes it personal from the get go, especially since Pete is good enough to phrase it as a question. Here it becomes a statement that’s very different from the intent of his post. Meanwhile, the very interesting issue he raised, from very relevant personal experience, has been lost by the silly, and childish, bickering.

    NH Rob November 11, 2007, 7:22 pm
  • Fair enough, YF, though I disagree that my or SF’s criticism of Pete Abe (I believe we probably make up the bulk of the original posts criticizing him on this blog) has been unfair or antagonistic.
    Speaking for myself, I believe I have been fair if a bit aggressive in pointing out what I feel are unnecessary attacks on the Red Sox and their fans on his blog. I’m not the LoHud police. I generally leave well enough alone, but various things — the “pack of drunks” comment, saying the ChiSox “rolled over” for the Red Sox, criticizing the Strike 3 call of Clay Buchholz’s no-hitter spring to mind — certainly provide fodder for comment. He after all is bridging the two worlds we focus on at this site, as a Yankee beat writer commenting on the Red Sox world.
    It’s that history of what appears to be throwing anti-Sox bait — poorly reasoned, seemingly antagonistic bait — to the Yankee fans who populate his blog that leads to the “seepage” you referenced.

    Paul SF November 11, 2007, 7:46 pm
  • Sorry Paul but your post felt like an attack from the get go. You have never hidden your feelings about his work and when I read this for the first time last night it seemed like more of the same.
    Ive reread Abe’s post about 5 times now and in no way does it seem like a personal attack on Schilling. In fact, I feel that he should be applauded for raising an issue from a perspective we rarely hear which is that of the beat reporter and the issues surrounding him. He uses Schilling as an example because its his contract that has this clause in it. He doesnt say anything like “Ive been covering Schilling for years and I could see him buying off a reporter for a vote” etc. That is what a personal attack would be. He never questions Curt’s personal integtrity in any way, shape, or form. He poses hypotheticals that could easily be applied to any other player. Curt is front and center because he chose to be.
    I understand and relate to YF’s frustration with Pete Abraham being attacked on this blog. He admittedly says some inflamatory things but as a whole adds so much to coverage of the Yankees and in extension the rivalry that he should be permitted some leeway. YFs do not at all get as excited about things written in the boston media that would be objectionable to us as fans of the yankees. I felt that the topic raised here was very worthy of discussion but the way in which it was presented was inflamatory. The resulting thread attests to that.

    sam-YF November 11, 2007, 7:47 pm
  • Yet because it’s about Schilling, there are a lot of knee jerk reactions around here directed at Pete.
    Trust me when I say Schilling has nothing to do with it. I’ve criticized him, too, on this blog. I think the title more than anything put me in a frame of mind to read the post as a swipe at the pitcher, as opposed to the clause.

    Paul SF November 11, 2007, 7:56 pm
  • YFs do not at all get as excited about things written in the boston media that would be objectionable to us as fans of the yankees.
    Please, name me one Boston beat writer or even columnist who says inflammatory things about the Yankees that you have been restraining from criticizing.
    Which is part of my whole point. You don’t see — or at least I haven’t seen — Rob Bradford or Gordon Edes take the kinds of swipes we’ve criticized here (aside from this debate) in the blogs they keep. Heck, you don’t see Tyler Kepner doing it either.

    Paul SF November 11, 2007, 8:01 pm
  • I agree with Sam’s assesment. On the whole, I think Pete is pretty fair about the Sox. He’s writing a Yankee blog, and he’s kind of a snarky writer, so naturally the Sox are going to be the butt of some of his writing. But I think what happens is he’ll occassionally write a post that’s 90 percent reasonable and then throw in a little barb for a laugh, and then there’s a massive oppositional response. I’m not going to defend the barbs: they are what they are. I’m more interested in what we do here. But I’ve said my peace now on this topic.

    YF November 11, 2007, 8:01 pm
  • Paul I cant name a Boston writer who makes remarks like that because I dont read blogs about the red sox. They arent the team I root for. I dont usually go searching for instances in which I think my team and its fans are wronged. That said, I did post a link earlier in this thread by a boston writer that was demeaning to both the Yankees and their fans. It assume got zero attention bc it was largely a worthless attack piece. There are tons of other writers outside of NY who write things that you may find objection to about the Red Sox and I dont typically see posts on those. I guess he and his blog rub you the wrong way.
    Pete can be inflamatory at times but this was not at all one of those instances.

    sam-YF November 11, 2007, 8:11 pm
  • Obviously, a Yankee-related blog is going to criticize or comment on the Red Sox. I think there’s a different standard for newspaper-affiliated blogs written by beat writers, which is why Pete’s blog has come up so often.
    Nor do I go around looking for these types of discussions. I ran across this post (you’ll notice it’s now four days old) because it was linked to from Baseball-Reference’s Stat of the Day blog. Occasionally, I visit Pete’s blog for, ironically, the reasons that make me criticize it — he’s a damn good reporter, and provides his readers with an excellent source of information on the Yankees (a team in which I have no problem confessing I still have an inordinate amount of interest).
    Pete can be inflamatory at times but this was not at all one of those instances.
    I’m comfortable with that assessment, and on that note, I think I’ve said all I can say on this, as well.

    Paul SF November 11, 2007, 8:23 pm
  • Pete is a professional writer. I expect better from him
    There’s your problem. Yes, he’s paid to write (as hard as that is to believe). Expect better? Have you ever read anything he’s written? Professional with pete means he’s being paid. Nothing more.

    james November 11, 2007, 9:24 pm
  • Murray Chass Jr. has ZERO cred. NoMaas kills him every week. nuff said

    buffalohead November 12, 2007, 12:06 am
  • I clarified the “ignorance” comment. Enough.
    The tax issue is not a minor one. Not addressing it means incomplete reporting, at least to me. If Pete didn’t know about it, he should have. If he did and didn’t articulate it, that’s another thing, far worse. If someone wants to argue that the tax consequences are irrelevant that’s their opinion, and one I vehemently disagree with.
    The conflict inherent in Curt’s contract is real, but it is really just an extreme version of incentive clauses that have been around forever, where players receive payment for finishing in the top three, five, sometimes even top ten in awards voting. This is an issue that has existed for years.
    My posting will dissipate now, as I am in Italy and the roaming charges are steep!

    SF November 12, 2007, 3:14 am
  • interesting discussion…
    this will come as a surprise to paul, but i didn’t see anything wrong with his questioning pete about how he really feels about schilling, just like i don’t think there was anything wrong with pete bringing up the subject in the first place…people who do and say odd things are going to get looked at differently [and this is schilling’s contract after all, regardless of whether he or the sox inserted the clause, so it’s he, appropriately, that goes under the microscope]…like gerb [i think] said earlier on, you could substitute different names and have the same discussion…fact is, this is curt’s contract, so he’s the topic of discussion…
    we didn’t really need curt’s blog to learn this dirty little secret ;) …the details of his contract are on the cot’s baseball contracts site…
    i have no problem with insinuations from either point of view, in fact it’s not only appropriate in this case, it’s one thing that helps fuel interesting and heated discussion on this site…having said that, insults and condescension have no place here as i’ve said many times, a point that yf valiantly tried to get across…as we all know, incentives are common in baseball contracts, but one would have to admit that this particular clause is very odd, and invites scrutiny…i think that’s all pete was doing…
    the tax implications are really an irrelevant non-issue, which is probably why pete didn’t bother to mention it…assuming 2 parties really wanted to pull off this slimey scam, i’m sure they’ve already figured out a way to complete the transaction under the radar without leaving a paper trail…
    enjoy your trip sf…

    dc November 12, 2007, 8:23 am
  • The tax issues is basically irrelevant in the context of this article and there was no reason for it to be brought up in a simple blog entry. The article wasn’t even suggesting that a payoff to a reporter needed to be done secretly. It could be just as easily done in the open and while immoral not be illegal. I think its asking a bit much for him or anyone else to have “complete reporting” on such an entry. If it were published in his paper than maybe such fully fleshed out information should have been included. This raises the issue of the differences in responsibility between blogging and reporting. If a reporter was required to do such in depth reporting anytime he wrote a blog entry this resource would basically cease to exist.
    There is also a massive difference between having an incentive kick in as a result of one vote vs the cumulative results of 28 votes. I dont think that the reasons for this should be too hard to see. This difference to me is the main objection raised in the original LoHud post and the one I take issue to. Id recommend everyone to reread this post in its entirety.

    sam-YF November 12, 2007, 8:32 am
  • On a happier note, the Twins are willing to trade Johan Santana to the Yankees for a package centered around Robinson Cano.

    Atheose November 12, 2007, 8:36 am
  • I read that offer and basically lauged out loud. Hughes and Cano for a one year rental! Please. I think/hope its just a starting point for talks.

    sam-YF November 12, 2007, 8:46 am
  • Sam, don’t you mean a one-year rental that comes with a contract extention? I’d trade Hughes and Cano in a heartbeat.

    Atheose November 12, 2007, 8:53 am
  • I would be seriously surprised if Hughes/Cano was all it took. Maybe Hughes/Cano/Cabrera.
    Otherwise the Sox could jump in with Buchholz/Ellsbury and arguably have a package just as good as the Yankees’ — and one that better fills the Twins’ needs.

    Paul SF November 12, 2007, 9:36 am
  • Cano is much more valuable that Ellsbury right now. He is proven with multiple years in the bigs at a position that is near impossible to fill with good offensive numbers. He is all but untradable in my book. The yankees need him in a big way, I think you guys underestimate both how good he is and how important he is to our team. He was the best hitting 2b in the AL last season and the yankees have him under controll for the next 4 years over which time period he should just be getting better.

    sam-YF November 12, 2007, 9:41 am
  • Also, I realize we are talking about Johan Santana here but trading away too many great young prospects is not a good idea for the yankees. As cashman said, we didnt develop these players so they could be stars on other teams. As much as I want Johan, we cant give up too much for him. Two future stars that we have under control for a total of 9 years is more valuable than a pitcher we would have to pay $20 mil a year to keep. Keeping the young players allows us to go after free agents like Santana when the are available. Also there is no evidence that Johan would agree to an extension if traded. I sure wouldnt if i was him!

    sam-YF November 12, 2007, 9:52 am
  • Yeah Sam, but the Yankees’ offense wasn’t the problem last year. It was their pitching. You would basically be sacrificing a little bit of offense to trade Santana for Hughes. It’s a no brainer.
    Also, the article I pointed to said the trade would START with Cano and Hughes for Santana. Undoubtedly there will be a few other smaller pieces involved.

    Atheose November 12, 2007, 9:53 am
  • I sure wouldnt if i was him!
    This is a good point, one I’ve been worrying over when thinking about a possible Sox trade for Santana. Were he traded to a big-market team like one of ours, why on earth would he agree to an extension below what he could get on the FA market to begin with, and most definitely below what he could weasel out of the Sox or Yanks after he’s proved his value to them over a full season and induced a bidding war between the two?

    Paul SF November 12, 2007, 9:54 am
  • Considering Santana was extremely unhappy with the Twins for not making an attempt to stay in contention at the trade deadline, I could see him agreeing to an extention if traded to a team like the Yankees or Red Sox.
    It may be somewhat unlikely (the Sox/Yanks getting into a bidding war for him is a great point), but I still believe it’s possible.

    Atheose November 12, 2007, 10:40 am
  • Agree completely, Sam.
    1. Tax issue means nothing: 10k would still be significant to a beat reporter, and no IRS involvement is necessary. It’s an irrelevant point.
    2. This contract is affected by the actions of one reporter. That’s unprecedented. And that was Pete’s point. It’s too bad his question got lost amid the mockery here.

    NH Rob November 12, 2007, 11:06 am
  • another reason cano is ultra-valuable…

    sam-YF November 12, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • The trade I would try to make is Wang/Cabrera for Santana. It’s a fair deal. The Twins get the staff anchor they’re losing, he’s cost controlled, and he’s won 19 games back to back, plus a cheap replacement for Hunter. If they wan’t Cano, that’s a different ballgame, but I can’t see the Yanks also giveing up one of the 3 blue-chip pitching prospectl—that would be foolish I think. If they do trade Cano, D’Angelo Jimenez is out there as an FA.

    YF November 12, 2007, 12:55 pm
  • I’d rather they go Wang/Melky for Miggy C. Then take the first half of next year to evaluate the Ace Trio (Joba, Phil, IPK) and move one in a Santana trade. By next July, Santana will be much cheaper and they’ll know better which pitching they’d rather move.
    Besides, I can’t see the Twins trading Johan unless they get a ridunkulous offer. They could easily contend next year with him.
    Nice link on PMR for 2B’s. Nice to see Cano is easily the best 2B in the AL on both sides of the ball.

    NH Rob November 12, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • Wang/Cabrera would definitely be worth it, though I think/hope the Twins would not do it. Throw Kennedy into the mix and you might have a deal though.
    The Yankees’ rotation is very precarious right now (especially if Pettitte retires), and landing a guy like Santana would go a long way.

    Atheose November 12, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • I wouldn’t be in such a rush to trade pitching for Miguel Cabrera. To the extent that insanity is doing the same thing again and again, and hoping for different results, I’d suggest that the Yanks primary issue over the last 5 years has been the lack of a true shut-down pitcher. Offense can be cobbled together. They can buy offense down the road, or leverage their youth for it as they see what they’ve got, and the market shifts. The Yanks have had some pretty amazing offensive lineups, and they’ve been knocked from the playoffs due to chance/less than stellar pitching. It’d be nice for the team to put together a solid offense and an ass-kicking pitching staff, instead of vice-versa. Or ideally ass-kicking both.

    YF November 12, 2007, 1:53 pm
  • “Pete Abraham isn’t saying Curt, the Sox, or any specific writer have been unethical.”
    Yeah, but of course he does imply that with his choice of title.
    “He described an easily imagined hypothetical situation using Curt’s very real contract as an example.”
    No, he actually doesn’t. Easily imagined by WHO? He insinuates that Curt will cause an uncomfortable situation for Cy Young voting sports writers in the clubhouse, frankly I find THAT laughable. Sports reporters are notoriously thick-skinned in the first place, and secondly, even IF it was an uncomfortable situation for them (something I highly doubt)it’s their job to get the STORIES regardless of comfort level.
    Oh, and $500,000 for Cy Young vote is not EVEN a plausible scenario, sorry.
    Honestly, if there was one solitary Cy vote for Schilling and it wasn’t deserved, the situation would be so obvious as to be actionable on the part of the Red Sox front office.
    “(stick anybody else’s names in for Pete/Curt/TheSox if it makes you feel better/helps keep the argument in frame). Abraham is right “on the money” in the summation of his warning in the last paragraph.”
    Perhaps, but the fact is that Pete didn’t choose to headline the practice of Cy vote incentives, like any GOOD journalist or, for that matter, a good sports reporter, instead he chose to target Curt Schilling, implying not only that that Curt did something, BUT also that it could be viewed as unethical.
    “Arguing against that point is naive,
    regardless if one does not agree with the author’s choice of examples made, and regardless if his article’s title is premature or misdirected.”
    And see, THAT is the POINT, although I wouldn’t have called the title “premature or misdirected.”
    Abraham’s warnings vis-a-vis the ethical conundrum of a Cy Young vote incentive may in fact be prophetic, but his sensationalist viewpoint and the near libelous headline would lead most people to conclude that Peter Abraham is just a hack, discrediting him and his so called hypothetical “story”.
    In consequence, the ethics of Cy Young vote incentives is left for someone of higher moral fiber to tackle in print.

    Brian November 12, 2007, 9:58 pm
  • Brian, like you or anyone else around here knows the first thing about Peter Abraham’s moral fiber. Please.

    sam-YF November 12, 2007, 10:05 pm
  • Please… YOURSELF.
    I know all I NEED to know about the guy and his tendencies toward yellow journalism.
    Sensationalist claptrap is written by people of questionable morals, especially when it comes from someone being paid as a sportswriter.
    Did you even READ what I wrote…did you read what he wrote?
    Please, indeed…

    Brian November 12, 2007, 11:03 pm
  • is that you pete?

    sam-YF November 12, 2007, 11:12 pm
  • Yeah, that’s right, it’s me, Pete.
    You found me out!
    Y’know since you’ve found me out, I gotta tell you I really hate the crap I write on LoHud, it’s just such tripe.
    I’m actually able to tell it like it is on YS/SF.
    Thanks for your support though!

    Brian November 12, 2007, 11:31 pm
  • any more venom to spout?

    sam-YF November 12, 2007, 11:33 pm
  • Well, Brian, that was.. thorough. Thank you for being so generous with your time in agreeing that Pete has a valid point.

    attackgerbil November 12, 2007, 11:35 pm
  • See Gerb actually READ what I wrote!
    although, I gotta believe you missed the nuances Gerb

    Brian November 12, 2007, 11:39 pm
  • Abraham might have had a point if he wasn’t such a hack.
    Instead by going after the sensational he loses the credibility needed to actually make people listen to his F-ing point!

    Brian November 12, 2007, 11:52 pm
  • That’s the nuance y’see…

    Brian November 12, 2007, 11:55 pm
  • hey, my first post at YF/SF!
    I hope the reasonable people have abandoned this thread by now, since it has devolved a bit from the customary civil discourse.
    I’m a pretty frequent visitor to the LoHud blog, as I like to keep up with the happenings of the yankees- curiousity, well-roundedness, schadenfreude- you name it. I generally like Pete’s stuff and I think he’s a pretty good bogger for a beat reporter.
    The Schilling/Contract story *did* take a few swipes at Curt. Clean, professional, cynical, snarky, defensible swipes at his integrity and character. period. Not libelous swipes, and certainly not actionable ones.
    That said, I’m not sure why it is such a big deal. Most of the media world takes swipes at Curt, that “arrogant” “blowhard” “know-it-all” who’s seemingly not afraid to criticize other ballplayer’s perceived misbehaviors (also, to his great credit, generally not ashamed to admit when he’s found to be wrong).
    Far be it from me to shake my fist at Pete Abraham by picking at Schilling and firing his readers up a bit in the offseason.
    That said, I also don’t have a problem with the contract clause. I do think that Schilling has enough personal integrity not to make it an issue, and I think the whole idea is to make it an easily attainable goal. If Schilling stinks up the joint, fails his weight checkins, only pitches 50 innings, and still gets a vote for the Cy Young- THEN we have a story.
    Right now- no story. You guys remind me of my fantasy football league, which almost came to blows last week over a trade between two 3-5 teams. When did everybody start taking everything published on the internet so seriously?
    cheers- enjoy the hot stove.

    Josh SF November 13, 2007, 2:25 am
  • > although, I gotta believe you missed the nuances Gerb
    Nope. Nuances are subtle. You were not. I welcome your opinion regarding Abraham’s caliber as a journalist, as well as your opinion about my interpretation. though I disagree with several of your inflammatory accusations. No matter, this has been done to death.

    Welcome, Josh SF! There is an author here who goes by the same name, so you may want to pick a variant on your handle, but I’m glad you chimed in.

    attackgerbil November 13, 2007, 7:18 pm
  • Re: the nuances… I was being sarcastic.
    “I hope the reasonable people have abandoned this thread by now, since it has devolved a bit from the customary civil discourse.”
    Yeah, reasonable people fled the thread, it even rhymes!
    The problem as I see it is that Abraham from the start, insinuates that Curt Schilling is creating an unethical dilemma of his own making.
    For me it’s a matter of journalistic integrity because at the very LEAST it is disingenuous.
    “The Schilling/Contract story *did* take a few swipes at Curt. Clean, professional, cynical, snarky, defensible swipes at his integrity and character. period.”
    You CAN’T be serious. Clean, professional swipes at a man’s integrity and character???
    Regardless of what you think of Curt Schilling, OR Pete Abraham, I would call anyone a hack, who on the one hand holds up his viewpoint as worthy of serious consideration and debate, while on the other, INSINUATES unethical behavior, when that is widely acknowledged not to be the case.
    That is how people have their reputations ruined. I can’t believe how blase’ everyone is about that issue.
    No, he didn’t say anything libelous, he was very careful to only insinuate…
    “My point was not Schilling’s integrity. It was the ethical problem with incentive clauses being tied to how reporters vote on awards.” Pete Abraham
    Yeah? Then why the hell didn’t he just write that story?
    No, he chose to couch it inside of
    “Schilling creates unethical dilemma!”
    I’m sorry if it peeves you all that I think that’s just crap.

    Brian November 13, 2007, 9:02 pm
  • > No, he chose to couch it inside of
    >> “Schilling creates unethical dilemma!”
    Brian, you are cheating.

    attackgerbil November 14, 2007, 3:00 am
  • I haven’t read too much of this thread due to its long length, but am I the only Red Sox fan who thinks this creates a moral dilema?
    Sure Pete attacked Schilling’s integrity somewhat, and maybe he shouldn’t have focused on him so much, but the point he raises is still a good one. I highly doubt that Schilling would pay off a reporter for a Cy Young vote, but I’m sure there are hundreds of other pitchers in baseball–like some who aren’t making as much money as Schill–who would do it in a heartbeat.
    As we’ve seen this year, the Cy Young voting is already screwed up (Becks left off 2 ballots, Sabathia left off 1). Setting this precedent might lead to other pitchers’ contract offers having similar incentives.
    And yes I know that Cy Young voting incentives have been in contracts for a while now, but I believe this is the first case where it rests solely on one vote.

    Atheose November 14, 2007, 8:41 am
  • Okay, Atheose just so you don’t have to read the whole thread >grin< ! The problem as I see it is that Abraham from the start, insinuates that Curt Schilling is creating an unethical dilemma of his own making. For me it's a matter of journalistic integrity because at the very LEAST it is disingenuous. Regardless of what you think of Curt Schilling, OR Pete Abraham, I would call anyone a hack, who on the one hand holds up his viewpoint as worthy of serious consideration and debate, while on the other, INSINUATES unethical behavior, when that is widely acknowledged not to be the case. THAT is how people have their reputations ruined. I can't believe how blase' everyone is about that issue. No, he didn't say anything libelous, he was very careful to only insinuate... "My point was not Schilling's integrity. It was the ethical problem with incentive clauses being tied to how reporters vote on awards." Pete Abraham Yeah? Then why the hell didn't he just write that story? The story he CHOSE to write was the (insinuated) "Schilling creates unethical dilemma!" story. (which is just crap) (is that less like cheating Gerb?) I only wish that Abraham had written the Cy Young Votes Tied To Incentive Clauses, An Ethical Dilemma?...story. I'd have been so much happier and probably agreed with him almost entirely.

    Brian November 15, 2007, 12:00 am

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