Friday, February 27, 2009

Bad News For Out Of Market Mets Fans: Newsday to begin charging for online content

It's ironic that this news should break today. I was just telling my co-workers that ever since I moved from Long Island four years ago, I've continued to get my news from Newsday online, primarily because of their Mets baseball coverage, but also as a one-stop-shop for all other news topics. This has had the tangential effect of meaning I never know what's going on in my local area (Greensboro and now central Jersey), but I've continued to be updated on things like transit strikes in NYC or Trump's negotaitions to put a restaurant/catering hall/megaplex at Jones Beach.

"When we purchased Newsday, we were aware of the long-term issues facing the traditional newspaper industry," Rutledge told analysts Thursday. "We plan to end the distribution of free Web content and make our newsgathering capabilities a service to our customers."

If you're an out of market Mets fan, other than, checking has been a great way to stay connected to the Mets news of the day. We can debate all day long whether this is a good business decision for Newsday, risking their 67 million monthly page views, but it's undeniable that this is bad news for us fans. Newsday's Mets coverage is damn good. But there is not a chance in the world that I would pay to read the newspaper online. With the proliferation of blogs, and numerous other sources, the news is just far too accessible for me to feel the need to pay for Newsday.

You might ask why it's OK to pay for a physical newspaper but silly to pay for online content. Well, historically the business model for newspapers has been simple. Charge for the paper to cover the large expense of printing and distributing a daily newspaper, but all of the profits come from advertising. The overhead on a website is much, much, less. Newsday shoudl be able to figure out how to make money on advertising. At this point they shoudl have a very, very good idea of the demographics of the people who are reading their online content, even more so than their newspaper audience. They should have no trouble selling this to advertisers. Some "expert" over at Cablevision (owner of Newsday) must think they can make more money charging a subscription fee for their content, but I think their doomed for failure here. Unlike with cable model, where they until recently had a monopoly on paid television service, as I said earlier there is just too much news content widely available for this to work.

So, out of market Mets fans, enjoy Anthony Rieber's and Ken Davidoff's and Neil Best's, and even Wallace Matthews' columns while you can. Newsday is going to try and see how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.

Transplanted ex-Mets Update: Dougie Eye Chart heading to L.A.

Former Mets 1B Doug Mientkiewicz and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a minor league contract yesterday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Transplanted Ex-Mets Update: Mike Piazza to coach Italy World Baseball Classic team

Head on over to to read about Mike Piazza's new role as batting coach for the Italian team in the WBC.  Mike says he knows his playing days are over and he's happy to be home with his kid.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

41 Days Until Opening Day - All The Mets News That's Fit To Blog

Matt Cerrone spent another day in Mets camp, live blogging an intrasquad game, and I spent another day at the office. But don't worry; I won't bore you with the details of my day, I'll just give you the highlights of the Mets news of the day, OK? As for the game: John Maine pitched well, while JJ Putz did not. Wright and Beltran both homered. So there you go. Check out the Daily News for some neat pics.

Fernando Tatis is nursing a sore hand after one of Jerry Manuel's hitting drills.

Jose Valentin has a slightly better chance to make the big league club than I do.

When you show up at the Mets new Field this season, driving through Willets Point will feel a little different. Namely, it won't feel like you're driving on the moon!

Tom Verducci the Junkees lover makes a case for non-junkee Carlos Delgado for the Hall Of Fame.

Transplated ex-Mets Update:

  • The New York Post has an update on Endy Chavez, who thinks about "the catch" every day.
  • Luis Ayala is competing for the eighth-inning setup role in Minneapolis, while Chan Ho Park is competing for the 5th spot in the Philies rotation.

And that's... about it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

42 Days Until Opening Day

Jerry Manuel is either a madman or a genuis, and I am not sure which.  He has the media eating out of his hand - every whim he mentions this spring makes headlines.  First it was his idea to bat Castillo in the leadoff spot, and now the suggestion that Daniel Murphy could be the every day left fielder for the Mets in 2009 makes the back cover of Newsday.  Wow, is it a slow news day or what?  Three days into Spiring Training, I sure hope Daniel has a shot at the job!
Expect the pressure to intensify on the Mets to reconsider the naming rights of their new stadium, as reports state that the bank whose name is currently adorned on the side of the building is currently negotiating with the United States Government for Uncle Sam to have a 40% ownership in the bank.  This report was good news for Wall Street, but for Roosevelt Avenue I'm not so sure.
There will be fierce competition for the 5th spot in the rotation this Spring.  Freddie Garcia pretty much has said he'll be the 5th starter or he's outta here, but that didn't stop the Mets brass from declaring Tim Redding the  frontrunner.  Redding may not be ready however, as he's still recovering from some offseason surgery.  Jon Niese is still in the mix, as is Livan Hernandez, while Pedro Martinez is still unsigned but gearing up for the World Baseball Classic.
I am all for the World Baseball Classic, but wouldn't it make more sense to have it held in November rather than March?  This way, players would have much longer to recuperate from any injuries that may occur, and it wouldn't disrupt Spring Training.
Finally, here's a transplanted ex-Mets Update for you:  Anna Benson's husband Kris Benson has signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

43 Days From Opening Day

I am a bit of a baseball snob, and rue the commercialization of the game, so I can't wholly explain what it is I really dig about the sign that designates the Pepsi Porch at City Field. But it really does resemble the Long Island City sign, which any Long Islander who has taken the cheap route into NYC via the Queensboro Bridge will recognize. If you have to put advertising up in your ballpark, it's really a good idea to put some thought into it. Of course I miss when Shea Stadium was RC Cola territory...

Some people like the taste of Coke. Some people prefer Pepsi. But there will always be some people who prefer the refreshing taste of RC Cola...

By the way, if you're a cola purist, you may be interested to know that Pepsi is set to launch Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, sodas sweetened with real sugar (as opposed to High fructose corn syrup). There are those who swear by sugar's superior taste, but even if you doubt anyone could tell the difference in a blind taste test, reports of suppressed mercury contamination studies should shy anyone away from HFCS!