On the World Series and Apple Pay

Chris Welch, writing for The Verge:

MasterCard and MLB Advanced Media have announced that contactless payments are now supported at Kauffman Stadium and AT&T Park. They’re the first professional sports venues to roll out support for Apple Pay, which became widely available to consumers with yesterday’s launch of iOS 8.1.

[...]

Come next season, MasterCard says fans will be able to buy tickets for individual games with Apple Pay when ordering through Tickets.com. MLB is promising Apple Pay support for its own At the Ballpark app, too.

I noticed FOX ran a lot of ads for MasterCard-Pay during last night’s Game 1.

Read more...

Library of Congress Restores Footage of 1924 World Series

Dan Steinberg, writing for The Washington Post:

When eight cans of nitrate film arrived at the Library of Congress in August, a staffer began a routine inspection to see what sort of physical condition the film was in. Without even watching the footage, she quickly noticed a headline screaming out from one of the newsreels: “SENATORS WIN WORLD SERIES,” it said. “40,000 frantic fans see American Leaguers take 12-inning deciding game, 4 to 3.”

Read more...

‘Of Course Jeter Would Be the Last of Them to Go’

John Gruber, “Now Batting for the Yankees, Number 2″:

“This is what it used to be like,” I told my son, “every single year. Something crazy always happened. And then someone for the Yankees always stepped up. Jeter was always in the middle of it. Every year. This is what it was like.”

Such a terrific eulogy of Jeter’s career, and an even better reminder that sports and legacies aren’t just about stats.

On Bill Simmons Criticizing Roger Goodell

Jason Snell’s take is spot-on (emphasis mine):

What’s really clear is that ESPN’s not concerned with “journalistic standards” of any kind. Let this dispell any remaining doubt that what ESPN does should not be called journalism. ESPN is a house organ for its sports-league partners, and its business would be at serious risk if the NFL were to decide that ESPN was a poor partner and take its business elsewhere.

Read more...

On Roger Goodell’s Job Security and the Ray Rice Investigation

Mark Maske, reporting for The Washington Post:

An official with another NFL team who had been briefed on the views of the owner of his franchise said of that owner: “He supports the commissioner.” Asked what it would take for that owner’s support of Goodell to be withdrawn, the official said: “If the investigation concludes that the commissioner saw more and knew more than he has said, and he was not truthful about that to the clubs, things would change.”

A top executive with a third franchise who had spoken to his team’s owner expressed similar sentiments, saying Goodell’s job would be at risk only if it is found that he personally orchestrated a cover-up.

Read more...

Derek Jeter’s Goodbye

Roger Angell for The New Yorker, “S’Long, Jeet”:

Jeter has just about wound up his Mariano Tour—the all-points ceremonies around home plate in every away park on the Yankees’ schedule, where he accepts gifts, and perhaps a farewell check for his Turn 2 charity, and lifts his cap to the cheering, phone-flashing multitudes. He does this with style and grace—no one is better at it—and without the weepiness of some predecessors. His ease, his daily joy in his work, has lightened the sadness of this farewell, and the cheering everywhere has been sustained and genuine. Just the other day, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon groused about the rare sounds of cheering offered up to Derek by his customarily sleepy attendees.

Read more...

‘This is Cowardice Writ Large’

Dave Zirin for The Nation, “Michael Sam: Out of the Closet, Out of the NFL?”:

The very language that Michael Sam is a “distraction” – which Freeman is one of the few to have the courage to call out – is a way to project and justify one’s own bigotry. Michael Sam is not a distraction. A “distraction” is when a team invites HBO Hard Knocks into their locker room. A “distraction” is when an owner proudly and loudly defends a racial slur on national television. A “distraction” is when a player commits a crime like spousal abuse and is then aggressively defended by his organization like all he did was chew gum in class. To equate being open about one’s sexuality and then just playing football (no Oprah reality shows, no special interviews) with being this kind of “distraction” is to traffic in rank prejudice. Once again, to say otherwise, is to practice public relations.

NFL Wants Super Bowl Acts to Pay to Perform

Sam Richmond, writing for FanSided:

The league is now asking potential acts for the 2015 halftime show if they would be willing to pay to perform, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal also reports that the NFL is down to three possible performers: Katy Perry, Rihanna and Coldplay.

Good luck with that.

On the Jets, iPads, and Their Last Super Bowl Win

Brian Costello, reporting for the New York Post:

Like many teams, the Jets have switched to digital playbooks on their iPads. Players must enter a passcode to gain access.

The passcode? 1-9-6-9. As in 1969, the last time the Jets won it all.

“It’s just something to remember — 1969 is the last time this team was perfect,” defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said. “That’s a long time ago.”

However motivational, 1-9-6-9 isn’t a very secure passcode. They should switch to a longer one.

‘Bad Call’

Fritz Huber for The Paris Review, on TV sports commentators in the US:

After a prolonged TV spectacle like college football’s Bowl Week (whose contests last year included the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and the Taxslayer.com Bowl, the latter being only a slight improvement on the all-time most absurd Galleryfurniture.com Bowl), watching English Premiership matches or Six Nations rugby on BBC feels like a cultural upgrade. There’s less advertising. There’s less analysis of bullshit statistics (“Headed into this matchup, the Kentucky Wildcats are 11-3 in games played within four days of their coach’s annual colonoscopy”). And, on British television, the commentators’ linguistic repertoires don’t feel as inhibited; there’s more room for an occasional flourish. Why can’t we have a color analyst like Ray Hudson, who, in his exuberance, will announce that we’ve just witnessed “a Bernini sculpture of a goal,” or claim that watching Lionel Messi “softens the hard corners of our lives”?

Read more...