About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

Does ESPN exploit Little Leaguers?

A rather odd debate has broken out on Twitter about the Little League World Series, prompted by this article over whether or not ESPN exploits the free labor of Little League World Series players. I generally come down hard on the pro-labor side of things, but in this case the proposition seems downright silly to me.

(click “view full post” to continue reading)
Continue reading Does ESPN exploit Little Leaguers?

A word on the Yankees’ draft strategy

Back in June, a lot of people were upset by the selection of Dante Bichette Jr. by the Yankees with their first pick in the draft. I wasn’t exactly happy with it, but I was willing to allow that Bichette was the guy the Yankees wanted, and he wasn’t as bad as some were making him out to be. My concern was more that the Yankees had passed on much more talented players do to signability reasons, namely outfielder Josh Bell who was unanimously regarded as a top 15-20 talent and the best high school hitter in the draft. However, Bell was committed to Texas, and had indicated to teams that he didn’t intend to sign.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading A word on the Yankees’ draft strategy

Heyman: Montero likely a Septmber call up

Interesting tweet from Jon Heyman yesterday:

Jesus Montero will likely be a sept 1 callup. due to injuries, he could still make postseason roster, tho.

It’s been assumed that Montero will be a September call up for awhile now, so this is nothing surprising. Still, I don’t really get the logic of the move, or more specifically why he couldn’t have come up sooner. But good to hear he’ll probably be getting some playing time this year, and even better news if he’s eligible for the playoff roster. Continue reading Heyman: Montero likely a Septmber call up

Excuse me, who needs to “smoke the objective pipe?”

I’ve been a pretty big Brian Cashman defender during my blogging tenure, and even to the extent I’ve become much less enamored with the front office over the past couple of months it’s more because I worry their perspective has gotten distorted by time, and less that I don’t think Cashman is good at his job. But if he honestly believes this garbage, then I’d fire him yesterday if it was my decision, because the only way to respond to that is to note that he’s completely and totally lost touch with reality.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Excuse me, who needs to “smoke the objective pipe?”

Burnett again shows that Hughes is the better pitcher

Once again, A.J. Burnett wasn’t very good tonight in Kansas City. He wasn’t downright awful, but he wasn’t good. The final line says it all: 3 runs and 10 hits allowed with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. A.J. just didn’t have his good stuff at all, and he got knocked around by the Royals. It wasn’t even an issue of command, as Burnett threw 71.5% of his pitches for strikes, he just didn’t have a lot of movement on this night, and the Royals made him pay for it.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Burnett again shows that Hughes is the better pitcher

A (belated) anniversary comment

For some reason it occurred to me today that I joined this blog last August, though I couldn’t remember the day. So I went and looked, and lo and behold, my first post on August 4th, so I actually missed my blogging anniversary by almost two weeks (thankfully I didn’t forget my wedding anniversary, which falls on the same day). So pardon me a bit of navel-gazing for a bit to mark the occasion.

The weird thing about hitting the year mark is that it certainly feels like it’s been longer than that, which I imagine is because a lot of things have changed here over the last 12 months. There are many more contributors to the site now than there were last August, and it’s been an honor and a privilege to write alongside each one of them. There’s been a big change over at Sweetspot we’ve all been involved in as well, and it’s just generally amazing how much you notice things changing when you cover a baseball team like this on a daily basis for a year. This time last year, I could scarcely imagine that Andy Pettitte would be retired, Rafael Soriano would be a Yankee and Cliff Lee a Philly, and Curtis Granderson would be one of the best players in baseball. Yet here we are.

But most of all, there are more of you now. More readers, more commenters, more interaction on Twitter, etc. It’s not something that really registers often, but it’s rather surreal that in a little over a years time I’ve gone from a frequent commenter on a handful of blogs and a loudmouth on Twitter to a blogger who actually has their opinions about my favorite sport read by other people and has written feature pieces for ESPN.com.

So what I’d really like to say today is: Thank you. Thank you to all of you who read this site everyday and send me tweets and emails. Without your readership and your comments, this would be much less fun than it is. Thank you to Dave and the rest of the ESPN crew for the opportunity to write over at Sweetspot, and everything else they’ve done for us. Thank you to each and every one of the IIATMS contributors for the effort they’ve put into the site and the excellent material it’s produced. And thank you to Jason, for asking me to join the site last August and for putting up with me for over a year now. Here’s to many more years as good as the past one, and go Yankees! Continue reading A (belated) anniversary comment

No really, winning the division is meaningless

When you see a column is written by Kevin Kernan, you know it’s not going to be any good. When it starts out this way, you know it’s going to be even worse than usual:

This year is different. This year, the Yankees are promising to go all out down the stretch and not play any wild card games.
It’s about time. But this all comes with a “healthy” catch.

Even though facing Justin Verlander twice in a five-game series may be the prize for winning the AL East, taking the division remains the goal, as it should.

(click “view full post” to continue reading)
Continue reading No really, winning the division is meaningless

Bruce Bochy a wizard no more

Last October, Bruce Bochy looked like the man with the golden touch. Nearly ever lineup change he made in the 2010 postseason turned out marvelously, and the Giants romped their way to the World Series title. It was an impressive, surprising, accomplishment, and many people, a lot of whom should have known better, lined up to herald the job Bochy did.

(click “view full post” to continue reading)
Continue reading Bruce Bochy a wizard no more

Breaking: It’s August, not October

A surprisingly common refrain I’ve seen in defense of keeping A.J. Burnett in the starting rotation at the expense of Phil Hughes, despite the indefensible nature of such an action, is the idea that it doesn’t matter anyway, since neither one of them is going to be in the postseason rotation. To which I respond; who says Phil Hughes won’t be in the postseason rotation?

Now obviously, if the season ended today, Hughes wouldn’t be a part of the playoff rotation. But the season doesn’t end today. Heck, it doesn’t even end this month! It’s only August 15th today, meaning that there’s a month and a half between now and the playoffs, and a lot can happen in that amount of time. Maybe Bartolo Colon succumbs to fatigue. Maybe someone gets injured. Maybe Freddy Garcia‘s luck runs out. Heck, maybe Hughes just gets his feet back under him and becomes the second or third best starter on this team.

Now none of that’s guaranteed, of course, but that’s sort of the point. Mathematically, the Yankees are a near lock to make the postseason again this year. But don’t conflate those odds with believing the playoffs are right around the corner and drawing up the roster for the ALDS just yet. There’s still a good amount of baseball to be played, and a lot that can happen between now and October. Don’t lose sight of that fact just because a postseason berth is a near certainty. Continue reading Breaking: It’s August, not October