Dumb Stuff And Dumber Stuff

One of the silliest things I’ve ever read about televised baseball has been authored by a guy whose readers have had to develop a virtual immunity to silliness and missing details over the years. Bob Raissman writes in The New York Daily News about the misdirected charges of prejudice against this team or that, especially in the post-season. It’s a mostly insightful piece about Ron Darling – one of the best analysts in the business – until he veers off into a theoretical that seems to leave out a vital historical reality:

Can you imagine if the Yankees and Cardinals meet in the World Series on Fox? First, stink bombs – and charges of bias – will be flying in the direction of Tim McCarver, the former Cardinals player, andJoe Buck, the former Cardinals broadcaster.

To paraphrase Timmy, well that’s a fine piece of amnesia. The supposedly anti-Yankees McCarver broadcast Yankees’ games for the local Fox station from 1999 through 2001.
First time I’ve included a non-baseball story in here, I think. You saw the David Letterman extortion/blackmail attempt? Without defending Letterman’s forced-to-confess-transgressions, I went slack-jawed went suspect Robert J. Halderman was arrested. He has been a Producer for CBS News 48 Hours, but what you haven’t read is that when I made my television debut as the New York correspondent for CNN Sports in 1981, Robert J. “Joe” Halderman was the chief assignment editor in the CNN New York bureau. You know when somebody gets arrested for some horrific or moronic crime (like taking a personal check for two million dollars as a blackmail payment), you hear somebody say “that’s not the guy I knew”? Not this time. This is exactly the guy we knew at CNN in 1981.


  1. christenhittie@yahoo.com

    You are up late tonight! I am watching the Countdown segment on the Halderman story. So, WOW! And I find myself speechless-

  2. unpaka27@yahoo.com

    Though Dave put himself in this difficult position, the way he fought off this blackmailer is great: “The truth shall set you free”. Even though he’s going to face a lot of fallout from this, he ultimately would have, anyway, so it’s smart to take the other guy down in the process.

    ANYONE who finds him/herself in a position of being blackmailed for money or anything else should follow Letterman’s lead. That would shut these low-lifes down, and make them examples for anybody thinking of trying such a dirty stunt.

    Thanks for adding your inside story about Halderman. It sounds as if he’s getting what he deserves, for things he’s done to a lot of people over the years. It’s not every day one gets to see a jerk from one’s own past trip himself up so publicly and stupidly.

    Incidentally, you have one hell of a way with a punch line!

    Best wishes to you and your dad, as always. 🙂

  3. 1948braves

    I got quite a kick out of this article. I’ve been listening to complaints for years from Red Sox fans whenever the NYY and Boston face each other in October. Some fans “can’t stand” McCarver and Buck, because of their seemingly bias attitude towards the Yankees. I have never seen it. To me, one of the reasons I love the World Series is because I love listening to Joe and Tim. I think they’re not only straight down the middle in their analysis, but more importantly, I find them very interesting to listen to. They make a terrific team in the booth. I can remember a few years ago Buck and McCarver were telling a story about the previous October. I believe they were referring to 2003. They were saying how they love to do the Yanks/Red Sox games, EXCEPT when they walk downstairs and get an earful from the Sox fans because of their “love” of the NYY. And then they said, when they go to Yankee Stadium, they hear the same exact complaints from the NY fans and how they are rooting for the Red Sox. And they said NO ONE across the country accuses either of them of being bias towards either team. It’s only in NY and Boston that they hear the complaints. lol.

    I think as fans, we’re fortunate to have the national broadcasters that we have. Buck and McCarver. Al Michaels probably the best. Bob Costas – no words can describe how much I love listening to him when he speaks about the game of baseball. And now we have Chris Collinsworth. I used to watch the Fox football games when he began his career in the booth, just so I could listen to him. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s fair. And I think he’s going to end up as one of the best.

    Playoff time. Not a great baseball season insofar as any players or team really standing out this season, except perhaps the Yankees. It was a rather so-so year, at least up here. Hope you all enjoy October!

    “If Satch (Paige) and I were pitching on the same team, we would clinch the pennant by July fourth and go fishing until World Series time.” Dizzy Dean

  4. historymike

    Keith, our thoughts are with you and your family.

    The bias issue is older than the hills and unavoidable. I don’t fault Raissman because McCarver’s association with the Cardinals and the National League goes a long way back. I do fault Fox for using as its broadcasters a play-by-play man who sounds bored with what he is watching and desperate to make every pop culture reference he can, and an analyst who is very knowledgeable and determined to let you know it after every pitch until he becomes virtually unlistenable.

    Back to bias. Vin Scully did Dodger games for NBC. I don’t know whether anyone complained of bias, but that would have been laughable. The one I could never understand was how a team announcer who rooted for his local team could then turn that off and do a network broadcast.

  5. mryan@keene.edu

    I worked with Joe Halderman also.
    That was back in 1980-81 but always came across as a guy who would step on his Mother?s throat.
    Just for fun.

  6. silent037bob@yahoo.com

    About Tim McCarver… As a fan of the San Francisco Giants, I definitely remember the one season that he spent calling some of the team’s games. While he wasn’t the most painful color commentator that I’ve ever heard, it did feel like he really didn’t want to be calling the Giants’ games. He would constantly promote the other team’s players over the Giants and it was even worse when they would be playing someone that he had worked for before. The silliest games were the Cardinals games that he called. From the way that he talked during the game, McCarver made it sound like the Giants didn’t deserve to be on the same field as the Cardinals players. He might be a well respected commentator by most of the world but, to me, he will always have major demerits on his record.

  7. BigDad_1

    Thanks, Keith – I can’t tell you how much I hate those talking-heads-without-real-jobs, like Nancy Grace and her ilk, that are looking to make their bones on David Letterman’s personal (now public) problems. That certainly didn’t work so well for Sarah P., now did it? Good to know that Halderman is nailed ‘real good!’.

    As for bias in the post-season, have you seen the ones claiming the afternoon game times for the Rockies – Phillies games are a slap in the face of the Phillies? As near as I can tell, the Phillies (and I’m a lifelong fan, married right after the ’80 series on 10-25-80) have the FIFTH best record of the playoff teams. Game times aren’t decided based on past championships – end of story!

  8. lostarmada8@gmail.com

    Keith…hate to break it to you, but over at GrateDebates.com we’re conducting a survey on who would win in a hypothetical debate between yourself and El Rushbo and at last check…Rush was winning 63%-37%.

    Certainly NOT reflective of a real-life result…

    You may also be pleased to know that of the 7 topic options, the leading vote getter is…Health care: government option. 🙂


  9. patti

    How can you do an hour special comment tomorrow?? Aren’t you aware of the amount of baseball that is to be played?

  10. saphin@saphin.com

    Mr. Olberman Please read.



    Moon Shot (10.8.9)

    We gazed at the sky
    In the morning after light
    It was day and it was night
    On Earth
    And we saw a giant plume
    Was it beauty or was it doom
    6 miles high
    The Lunar dirt
    And it began to rain
    My God how we have changed

    You don’t know what you’re doing
    Don’t say that you do.
    You’re Lunatics because you’re
    Shooting at the Moon.
    One small step and we could fall,
    One giant leap could kill us all…

    And Louis Armstrong’s Song
    The Lyrics right but something’s wrong
    Hummed and whistled, sang along
    It’s true
    And Neil Armstrong’s Step
    That nobody could forget
    On the Moon or on a set
    Still moved.
    Both reminded us we’re One
    Zarathustra spake all tongues

    You don’t know what you’re doing
    Don’t say that you do.
    You’re Lunatics because you’re
    Shooting at the Moon.
    One small step and we could fall,
    One giant leap could kill us all…

    And if catastrophe
    Should the outcome be
    And the Moon should spit
    How would you fix it?

    And all this time still rain
    Couldn’t see the Sun for days
    And the drops were very strange
    So grey.
    And when the storm had cleared
    it left a dusty atmosphere
    It settled and the sun appeared
    through haze
    The rain came from the dust
    That the Moon had sent to us
    And an E.T. Mother-ship
    Sent a bot to take the hit
    Just go watch “The Time Machine”
    And you’ll see what could’ve been…

    You don’t know what you’re doing
    Don’t say that you do.
    You’re Lunatics because you’re
    Shooting at the Moon.
    One small step and we could fall,
    One giant leap could kill us all…

    ©2009 saphin/Global Union Music


  11. imgreenhornet@hotmail.com


    Not a big baseball fan but a frequent viewer of your program. Keep up the good work.

    I wanted to let you know what led me to this blog. I am a daily reader of http://www.reddit.com and today I had the luck of discovering your blog link on this site. It is a great source of news information and I wanted to share it with you.

    Good luck with your family, our thoughts are with you.

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