köpa Danazol i italien kan man köpa Fluoxetine i kroatien beställa Depakote lagligt är det olagligt att köpa Stromectol på nätet beställa Coumadin utan recept pris Topamax turkiet köpa Erexor utan recept Celadrin migrän dosering köpa Biaxin i helsingborg Elavil 100 billig beställa Xeloda från thailand Tegretol dosering vuxna lagligt beställa Zetia Femara flytande dosering är det olagligt att köpa Zetia på nätet köpa Provera danmark våga köpa Differin på nätet Zyprexa första dos beställa Tadapox olagligt köpa Cialis i indien köpa Reglan tallinn kan man köpa Lioresal på nätet skaffa recept Anafranil pris på Isoptin på apoteket köpa Detrol bangkok billig Voveran snabb leverans lägre pris på Lasix köpa Altace flashback 2015 Dulcolax på recept köpa Diovan snabbt köpa Sumycin i italien köpa Biaxin online billigt Nizagara jelly snabb leverans dosering Cozaar k Oxytrol duo leverans vart kan man köpa Bactrim var köpa Prilosec flashback hyra container Rocaltrol pris köpa Bonnispaz säkert på nätet köpa Lasix i filippinerna köpa Keftab göteborg köpa Seroquel estland var kan man köpa Tadalis köpa Lotensin online 2013 köpa Nolvadex i vietnam köpa Charboleps forum köpa Precose på nätet olagligt snabb leverans Glucovance generisk Neurontin snabb leverans köpa Suhagra på ica Lasix op recept lägre pris på Serevent var kan man köpa Ophthacare säkert Azulfidine på apoteket pris köpa Chloroquine i estland köpa Tricor i ryssland köpa billigaste Plendil säkert ställe att köpa Rizact vill du köpa Sildalis köpa Tinidazole på kanarieöarna köpa Prinivil i apoteket bästa sidan att köpa Vasotec Vantin med snabb leverans köpa Xeloda 400 mg bra ställe o köpa Trileptal köpa Plavix i norge kan man köpa Prednisone i turkiet Gasex gel recept köpa Noroxin butik hur köpa V-gel köpa Eurax original köpa Antabuse göteborg flytande Tricor dosering beställa Cephalexin lagligt köpa Amaryl lagligt att beställa Erexin-V kan man köpa Alesse i danmark olagligt att köpa Luvox Furosemide dosering urinvägsinfektion är det olagligt att köpa Shallaki köpa Plendil butik köpa Motilium spanien behövs recept för Panmycin i spanien var köpa Propranolol flashback hur kan jag köpa Carafate köpa Anafranil amsterdam köpa Lexapro från turkiet köpa Septilin online köpa generic Imuran köpa Innopran egypten var beställa Pariet Colchicine snabb leverans köpa Viramune på apotek dosering Evista till hund vilka länder kan man köpa Compazine receptfritt Tadapox utan recept spanien köpa billigt Femcare köpa Plavix malmö beställa Plavix på nätet lagligt köpa Zoloft i bulgarien är det farligt att köpa Anacin på nätet köpa Danazol i indien säkert ställe att köpa Stromectol Lipotrexate receptfritt pris köpa Aciphex online flashback beställa Aspirin på nätet säkra sidor att köpa Lamictal vad kostar Altace på recept köpa Liv 52 tallinn köpa Aciphex bangkok vad kostar Ranitidine på recept Naprosyn snabb leverans sverige måste man ha recept för att köpa Clarinex Risperdal pfizer köpa vart kan man köpa Innopran online pris för Tenormin behövs recept för Cafergot i spanien köpa Ampicillin i tallinn försäljning av Terramycin Bactrim nervositet dos är det olagligt att beställa Acivir köpa Lasuna på cypern köpa Zantac utomlands kan man köpa Diltiazem i spanien hur beställa Myambutol Avana pris i sverige pris Clarinex apotek hjärtat köpa Paxil i vietnam recept för Levitra köpa Rocaltrol kina lägre pris på Betapace kan man köpa Imdur på mallorca Synthroid jelly köpa köpa Dutas 20mg Glycomet uttag pris köpa Penegra för kvinnor lagligt att beställa Estrace på nätet Sinequan pulver köpa Vermox oral jelly billig var kan man köpa Aceon säkert Proventil pris på apoteket köpa Florinef online lagligt olagligt att beställa Actoplus snabb leverans av Dipyridamole köpa Actonel forum var kan man köpa Penegra säkert var köpa Flonase flashback Buspar rapid recept billig Cholestoplex på nätet kan man köpa Zestril i grekland köpa Dipyridamole i apoteket Nasonex dosering rampfeber Zyloprim på apoteket pris köpa Biaxin från sverige köpa Hydrochlorothiazide sverige flashback i vilka länder kan man köpa Kamagra receptfritt hur stor dos Elimite ska man ta dödlig dos Tadacip Actonel på nätet utan recept beställa Skelaxin på nätet 2014 köpa Fosamax i göteborg köpa Arimidex för män köpa Glycomet i england köpa Etodolac budapest köpa Himcocid usa beställa container Lariam Keftab dos migrän köp Topamax utan recept Etodolac liniment pris vad är generisk Himplasia köpa Renagel i göteborg eljo Acivir bästa pris beställa Triamcinolone på nätet köpa Cyklokapron på rhodos snabb leverans av Carbozyne köpa Rogaine 5 i sverige köpa Trileptal i usa är det farligt att köpa Naprosyn på nätet köpa Luvox på gran canaria Torsemide oral lösning pris Differin i sverige utan recept köpa Vantin i kroatien kan man köpa Cardizem i sverige köpa Duetact på nätet lagligt köpa Bactroban jelly köpa Casodex från sverige var kan man köpa Zetia duo att köpa Pletal i sverigehur får man Ophthacare på recept lägre pris på Toprol köpa Bystolic i bulgarien köpa Paxil tallinn beställa Indocin från sverige köpa Voltaren 10mg behöver man recept för Zaditor Keftab migrän dos köpa Diflucan 10 mg var köpa äkta Glucophage var kan man köpa Liv 52 receptfritt köpa Tegretol patong lagligt att köpa Crestor Florinef bästa pris Penegra snabb leverans sverige köpa Maxalt i frankrike Keflex vet dosering köpa Aceon receptfritt köpa Zestoretic 2013 köpa Carbozyne i turkiet kan man köpa Micardis spanien lagligt köpa Famvir Benicar att köpa köpa Flonase i england Serevent oral lösning pris köpa Lexapro på teneriffa Sildalis på nätet utan recept pris hyra container Atarax köpa Skelaxin i ryssland bra ställe att köpa Pilex dosering Endep till hund köpa Betapace på nätet pris på Lamisil på apoteket apoteket Casodex pris beställa Actoplus lagligt köpa Nicotinell online sverige beställa Cardizem sverige beställa Arimidex utomlands Cefadroxil online utan recept Methotrexate hög dos köpa kvinnlig Zyrtec Lotrisone dosering migrän köpa Mycelex-g kina Zebeta till katt dosering köpa Atorlip-20 i tyskland köpa Moduretic budapest eljo Ditropan dimmer pris köpa Rosuvastatin säkert på nätet bästa sidan att köpa Cabgolin beställa Eurax inrikes köpa FML Forte oral jelly Altace dosering till katt Sinequan dosering vuxen köpa Serpina på internet köpa Amaryl kina billig Isoptin på nätet är det farligt att köpa Beconase AQ på nätet kan man köpa Mestinon receptfritt Lioresal första dos Plendil nervositet dos köpa Cialis i malmö köpa kvinnlig Diovan dosering Toprol k köpa Dostinex i stockholm köpa Decadron prag köpa Cystone gran canaria skillnad mellan generisk Anacin köpa Vasodilan i sverige flashback köpa Vytorin seriöst eljo Duphalac bästa pris beställa Cabgolin online viagra Imuran köpa kan man köpa Epivir-HBV på apotek pasteta od Norvasc recept köpa Singulair i malmö köpa Zofran på postförskott var kan man beställa Plendil pris Geriforte turkiet Topamax online snabb leverans våga köpa Triamterene på nätet var kan man beställa Ampicillin Alesse plåster pris Precose pris apoteket fungerar generisk Zoloft Bonnispaz pulver köpa Estrace duo leverans köpa Tadalis på nätet billigt Atrovent dosering ångest är det recept på Phenergan köpa Shatavari i london köpa Vytorin i spanien pris på Trial Erection packs sverige köpa billiga Florinef köpa Tretinoin danmark vad kostar Strattera på recept köpa Chloromycetin i sverige köpa Synthroid 400 mg Evista bästa pris köpa Celebrex online lagligt Zithromax pris gatan köpa Tulasi i vietnam kan man köpa Lexapro receptfritt i spanien var kan man köpa äkta Artane köpa Acivir inrikes Beconase AQ online snabb leverans köpa Effexor på faktura funkar generisk Allegra var köper man Clarinex utan recept köpa Atorlip-20 sverige 2012 hur beställa Micronase köpa Albenza i ungern köpa Lamisil i apoteket försäljning Propranolol kan man köpa Malegra i england köpa Protonix alanya Ranitidine i sverige utan recept Keftab jelly snabb leverans köpa Sildalis rhodos beställa Periactin utan recept var köpa äkta Lasix kan man köpa Stromectol på apoteket i vilka länder kan man köpa Inderal receptfritt köpa laglig Motrin lägsta pris på Caverta apoteket Arcoxia gel pris köpa jord Cleocin bra ställe o köpa Zovirax beställa Voltaren flashback kan man köpa Meclizine receptfritt på apoteket billig Diakof sverige köpa Penegra i bangkok försäljning av Keppra Lipothin dosering lunginflammation köpa Calcium Carbonate i eu beställa Zyloprim olagligt köpa Synthroid i bangkok köpa riktig Lasuna generisk Himplasia snabb leverans köpa Luvox bangkok säkert ställe att köpa Ventolin vad kostar Indocin på recept Paxil dosering till katt köpa Urispas i amsterdam vad kostar Propecia på recept köpa Elimite på gran canaria köpa Dulcolax amsterdam köpa Trandate på apoteket köpa Serevent oral jelly hur stor dos Doxazosin ska man ta köpa Carbozyne online sverige kan man köpa Sumycin i prag Fucidin pulver köpa Mentat oral lösning pris köpa Adalat i norge billig Famvir på nätet köpa Suprax jelly Alavert flytande dosering pris Endep apotek hjärtat är det lagligt att köpa Menosan köpa Septilin i kroatien köpa Skelaxin på gatan Keflex beställa container köpa Rosuvastatin i barcelona köpa Zovirax online beställa Emsam för kvinnor köpa Suprax online 2013 hur ska man köpa Viramune köpa Hoodia kräm funkar generisk Shatavari Bestina första dos Metoclopramide dos migrän köpa Vermox apotek köpa Remeron i filippinerna dödlig dos av Erexin-V var beställa Tulasi Elavil och träning dosering köpa Keflex i tallinn Gyne-lotrimin hur stor dos köpa billiga Amitriptyline generisk Prandin snabb leverans Top Avana kräm köpa köpa laglig Zyvox Floxin plåster pris köpa Proventil på teneriffa köpa Rosuvastatin i norge köpa Danazol sverige flashback eljo Calcium Carbonate pris beställa Nizagara från sverige vart beställa Plendil hur kan jag köpa Trental Lopid pulver köpa köpa Dostinex barcelona köpa Vermox på internet Ginseng online snabb leverans köpa Isoniazid i ungern Lariam lägre pris snabb leverans av Cytotec lägre pris på Temovate billig Remeron snabb leverans hyra container Uroxatral pris köpa Compazine kroatien är det olagligt att köpa Lasuna på nätet billig Prilosec på nätet Olanzapine med snabb leverans lägsta pris Protonix köpa Colchicine lagligt var köpa Phenergan på nätet köpa billiga Imdur köpa Etodolac för tjejer Emsam pris gatan köpa Tinidazole på faktura kan man köpa Plavix på apoteket i spanien eljo Citalopram uttag pris köpa Neurontin olagligt kan man beställa Cymbalta hur får man Carafate på recept är det farligt att köpa Renagel på nätet apotekets pris på Hoodia olagligt att beställa Requip på nätet Zestoretic dosering sömn köpa Terramycin i apoteket köpa Clonidine bangkok Bystolic receptfritt pris bästa stället att köpa Avana på generisk Nasonex sverige vart kan jag köpa Arava köpa Lipitor alanya Triamterene dosering första gången Amitriptyline dosering till hund köpa Requip grekland Ashwagandha 100 billig köpa Yasmin butik Venlor dosering urinvägsinfektion Speman första dos köpa Femara kräm kan man köpa Neurontin i spanien för hög dos Zenegra hur köpa Brahmi köpa Actonel i estland köpa Ciplox i malmö Citalopram köpa jord köpa jord Lipotrexate köpa Gasex online billigt köpa Levlen seriöst köpa billigt Fosamax lagligt att köpa Augmentin köpa Augmentin apoteket Entocort tabletter pris sverige bästa pris Paxil Rocaltrol köpa var kan man köpa Nizoral på nätet var köper man billig Temovate köpa Exelon för tjejer Pamelor dos första gången bra ställe att köpa Glycomet köpa Atorlip-5 seriöst köpa Geriforte online sverige lägsta pris på Aleve Erexin-V snabb leverans sverige köpa eljo Bystolic köpa Grifulvin V duo skaffa recept till Shuddha köpa Chloroquine på gran canaria köpa Actos i sverige forum lagligt att beställa Allegra på nätet är det lagligt att köpa Buspar lagligt att köpa Celexa kan man köpa Grifulvin V på nätet apoteket hjärtat Carafate pris Lotrisone pris på gatan köpa Renagel tjeckien vilka länder kan man köpa Coumadin receptfritt köpa Metformin i göteborg kan man köpa Atarax i spanien köpa Celadrin snabb leverans Olanzapine pris gatan kan man köpa Micronase i sverige köp generisk Ashwagandha pris på Micardis på apoteket pris Isoptin på apoteket Lotrisone dosering vuxen köpa Amoxil köpenhamn kan man köpa Decadron thailand beställa blå Crestor generisk Acticin snabb leverans Clindamycin dosering vuxna köpa laglig Abilify köpa äkta Benemid på nätet kan man köpa Saw Palmetto på apoteket utan recept bra sida att köpa Cymbalta köpa Alavert duo köpa Protonix på nätet billigt hur få recept på Lipitor kan man köpa Altace på apotek köpa Lasuna i göteborg köpa Silvitra lagligt i sverige billig Inderal på nätet pris på Epivir-HBV apoteket köpa Paxil oslo beställa Kemadrin på nätet flashback kan man köpa Cystone thailand Liponexol dosering till katt köpa Top Avana i ryssland kan man köpa Nolvadex i prag vart ska man köpa Silvitra Shatavari dosering vuxna kan man köpa Aldactone på nätet är det recept på V-gel Lipotrexate till katt dosering köpa Combivent från england Gasex dos migrän beställa Topamax på nätet köpa Levothroid i prag
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Interview - Jayson Stark - ESPN PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 04 February 2007 16:00
Jayson Stark

It’s hard not to like Jayson Stark. Any conflicting views aside, you have to admire him for his level of professionalism, approachability, knowledge, and perserverance. One story is told of Stark staying after the 14-inning World Series game in Houston—writing a story all night—and then doing Mike and Mike the next morning. A more infamous story is of Stark working the labor negotiations in 2002, where he stayed awake for 42 consecutive hours out on the streets in Manhattan, went live every half-hour all night long on ESPN. And when he finally got finished doing television, went back to his hotel and wrote a column. As Stark likes to say, "It's a labor of love—and it's a good thing, because there's a lot of labor!"

Stark's first book—The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History—will be published by Triumph Books and should appear in bookstores around Memorial Day.

The following interview topics include how he approached writing his new book; his take on the proposed deal to make MLB Extra Innings only available on DirecTV; how he goes about doing his Useless Information Department columns; his voting for Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame, and how the voting process has been impacted in the steroid era; Barry Bonds’ contract language; his opinion of the worst free-agent signing this off-season; where outlets such as Baseball Prospectus fit in with other forms of media, and much, much more.

Before he joined ESPN.com and ESPN as a senior baseball writer in 2000, he spent 20 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he covered the Phillies, served as a national baseball columnist and wrote the widely syndicated Week in Review column which appeared in many papers all over the country. He has also been a columnist for Baseball America for two decades, and has written for a number of other big sports publications. 

His regular contributions to ESPN.com include the newsy Rumblings and Grumblings column and his tilted look inside baseball's numbers and quirks, the Useless Information Department.

At ESPN, he has appeared regularly on Baseball Tonight, SportsCenter, Cold Pizza, Outside the Lines, the Hot List and numerous other ESPN shows. He is also a regular on Mike and Mike every Wednesday morning, on radio and ESPN2.

Maury Brown for The Biz of Baseball: Let’s start with your book coming out in May, The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History. When I last contacted you, you were putting the finishing touches on it. Since this was your first book, what do you know now about the topic and the book writing process that you didn’t know before starting it?

Jayson Stark: I’ve been saying my whole life that I wanted to write a book. I’m really glad I did. It’s an incredible experience. One thing I learned is that it’s sure a long journey from chapter one to the last line of the appendix. I’ve never entered a triathlon, but I imagine this is a writer’s version of triathlonning. There are times where the finish line seems so far away, it’s tough to keep plowing forward. But when you get to the end and you look back, it’s really exhilarating. I was blown away by how much I learned about dozens of players, including quite a few active players. And it was fun reflecting on all the factors that lead us to underrate and overrate players in the first place—for reasons that are often borderline irrational.

Stark quoteBizBall: How did you make the determination as to who was under or overrated?

Stark: That might seem like a pretty basic concept. But it has more layers to it than you might think. It basically turned into a myth-versus-reality book. When I said a player was underrated, it didn’t mean he was better than Babe Ruth. And when I said a player was overrated, it didn’t mean he would have been better off selling silverware door-to-door. You could be a Hall of Famer, and be underrated. You could also be a Hall of Famer and be overrated. It all came down, really, to the same question: How does the perception of this player match what he actually was (or is)? And the great thing was, even as I was coming to my carefully thought-out conclusions, I knew there would be fans and readers disagreeing with me, by the gazillion, on some of these players—and I didn’t even mind. That, to be honest, was the whole idea. There are many things we love about baseball. But one of them is that it’s the greatest topic in the world to debate for days, weeks and centuries at a time. So once this book comes out, I expect the debates to begin—and not stop until the year 2096.

BizBall: Doing a book like this and covering players that are still active must have been interesting. Are there any concerns that you may offend some of the “overrated” players and make doing your job more difficult?

Stark: Sure. But let me make two points on that. 1) For the most part, I thought I was generally respectful of almost all the players I decided were overrated. In many cases, I laid out all the things they were good or great at – before giving the other side of the story. And 2) I’ve spent a lot of years covering baseball. There are always going to be times, in the normal course of doing your job, when you write or say things that create issues with people you cover. Totally goes with the territory. But I’ve never, ever claimed to be a guy who thinks I’m right about everything, and everybody else is wrong. So if people want to differ with me, rip me or yell at me, I know the deal. That’s what we’re here for. I’m ALWAYS willing to listen to the other side. So this book is no different. I knew going in that lots and lots of people were going to disagree vehemently with many of my choices. No problem. I look forward to hearing from just about all of them.

Stark quoteBizBall: Let’s shift gears… You, like many others, are starting to cover MLB’s proposed plan to make Extra Innings only available on DirecTV. For those that don’t have espn Insider access and your comments recently, what are your thoughts on the proposed deal?

Stark: I just think it’s incredibly short-sighted. I know the people at MLB think they’re not doing anything different than what the NFL does—but they’re wrong. The NFL never offered Sunday Ticket to cable customers at any point, so it never got into a mess like this, where it literally was taking programming away from people who had gotten accustomed (maybe even addicted) to it. The NFL also never forces its fans to choose between watching their home team and watching the rest of the sport. But that’s what MLB is doing to people in places like Philadelphia, where I live. No local pro sports are available on DirecTV here because Comcast offers its Sportsnet only to cable. So is ANYBODY going to order both? Not unless they’re from somewhere else and don’t care about those home teams in the first place. I find myself directly affected by that issue, but it’s the bigger picture where baseball really gets hurt. These fans they’re ticking off aren’t just any fans. They’re baseball’s BEST fans—folks who are willing to do something we once thought people would never do: PAY to watch baseball games on television. Why mess with those people? And here’s where this is especially short-sighted: If you limit your audience, you’ll never know how many fans you would have made or could have made if you’d exposed your product to the maximum possible audience. It only takes one night of watching baseball to turn someone into a passionate fan. So why limit the opportunities for people to have that experience? Fan-building should always rank above bottom-line-building. Shouldn’t it?

BizBall: You churn out an unbelievable amount of interesting tidbits in your "Useless Information Department" segments, which are really far from “useless”. Without giving away the goods, how do you research for them?

Stark: I’ll let you in on a secret. There’s really no such thing as useless information. It’s the most tongue-in-cheek column title in the history of column titles. And the proof is the response to this stuff. I can’t believe how people gobble up these nuggets. I’m 4,000 emails behind in my Useless Info mailbox, if that gives you any indication. I start by keeping a notebook every day of the season of things that go on that interest me, or have Useless Info potential. Plus, I get fantastic ideas from readers. Once you get the idea, the rest is just good detective work. I research these notes in all kinds of ways. Whatever I can research myself, I tackle through all the great online tools we have now, or through stats I keep myself or with Lee Sinins’ awesome Complete Baseball Encyclopedia. With other projects, I need help. The Elias Sports Bureau has been tremendous about plunging into this stuff. Plus, I’m lucky to have friends and readers – David (the Sultan of Swat Stats) Vincent, Dave Smith of Retrosheet, Trent McCotter of SABR, etc.—who are always coming up with amazing tidbits. I even have readers who will look up, say, the most letters in the names of any double-play combination in history. And yes, Graffanino to Grudzielanek to Mientkiewicz IS the correct answer.

BizBall: Can you recall one Useless Info entry that stood out more than others?

Stark: The factoid that I think got the most oohs and aahs on ever was one I came up with in 2004 on Barry Bonds. Barry walked so much that year that even if he’d gotten ZERO hits all season, he still would have had a higher on-base percentage than the guy who LED THE LEAGUE IN HITS (Juan Pierre). I still can’t believe that happened myself. Now THAT’S the epitome of useless information.

BizBall: You voted for Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame. In writing on the decision, you said:Mark McGwire

"It isn't my intent to belittle anybody or give some big spiel about why I'm right and why they're wrong. This is a tough, complicated decision, dumped in our laps by a sport that left it up to us to deal with its mess.

"So there's no right and no wrong choice here. We probably can't do the right thing no matter what we do about Mark McGwire. But here's why I voted the way I did:

"The fact is, people have oversimplified this issue, to the point that, if you listen to the way most folks talk about it, you'd think there were only 10 players taking any kind of performance-enhancing drugs in the '90s."

This brings up an interesting and difficult quandary for the voters, and for you… Will it be a case that only players caught using will be those you won’t vote for, and how does Barry Bonds fit into this equation when the time arrives?

Stark: I’m like many of my fellow voters. I’m still sorting this question out as I go along. So I can’t tell you yet precisely what I’m going to do about Barry or anybody else. But here’s what makes this so difficult: We really have no idea which players did what during the ‘90s. Even with players we all think, assume, or are even dead sure were clean, how can we be so certain? HUNDREDS of players used these substances, or at least experimented with them, because that was the culture in a sport with no tests or penalties. So are all those voters who want to make a statement just going to withhold votes from players who hit home runs, or got subpoenaed, or showed up in Jose Canseco’s book? If you really want to be fair and consistent, you would have to vote for NO players of that generation, unless evidence emerges that tells us who did and who didn’t. That doesn’t seem like a real good solution. And when I looked back at this historically, I learned it’s clearly not how past handled cheating (in all its forms), drug use or just about any other controversial issue in baseball’s history. Players were judged on their careers, period. Ask Gaylord Perry. So I understand why voters want to make a statement against steroid use. I’m just saying it’s only going to get trickier to do that as we go along, and more and more players from that era show up on the ballot.

BizBall: Now that Barry Bonds is signedor not signed, we're still hanging—what’s your take on the unique contract?

Stark: When you hear there is a clause that allows the Giants to wriggle out of the deal if Barry gets indicted, it sounds like the Giants hold a humongous hammer. But look a little closer. The conditions that would allow them to enforce that clause are extremely unlikely. There is almost no chance Barry would miss a significant chunk of games because of indictment-related court dates. And it’s hard to believe Bud Selig would try to suspend the guy based on an indictment, because it would never fly. It would provoke legal chaos. Ask yourself this: Why would Barry or his agent ever agree to a clause like that? Because they think it’s a violation of the Basic Agreement, if not the Constitution. And as much as Bud Selig and about 25 million other Americans wish Barry would just go away, they probably would have been better off rooting for him to fall of a ski lift on that “skiing vacation” than believing they can use this clause to get him out of their hair.

BizBall: With the wild free spending we’ve seen—especially with the Cubs—care to predict how they finish in the NL Central?

Stark: Hey, thanks. I was at least hoping to get a look at everybody in spring training before I tossed those predictions out there. If you could tell me how many games Mark Prior will start, where Roger Clemens will pitch and whether Mark Mulder will make any meaningful contributions to the Cardinals, that would sure help my prognosticating. But for now, I’m going to adopt the philosophy I’ve been using with the NL East the last few years: Pick the champs (in this case the Cardinals) until they’re no longer the champs. Like the Braves of recent seasons, I think the Cardinals have slipped on paper over the last few years. But they always find a way to win. So they’re my pick. But I can see a scenario where everybody but the Pirates contends in that division.

BizBall: Worst free agent deal this off-season?

Stark quoteStark: Boy, there are about a dozen I could pick with no problem. But I’m going to go with the Barry Zito contract. I haven’t found anyoneANYONE—who thinks the Giants will get seven ace-type years from Zito. I’m sure they’ll get some respectable years, and some reasonably healthy years. But seven years, at those dollars? Way too long a deal for a guy who probably has No. 3 starter stuff at this point. Remember, in the postseason, he faced 51 hitters – and struck out ONE of them. That doesn’t sound like a dominator to me. I have a lot of respect for Barry Zito, and for the men who run the Giants. But I have no idea how they can get their money’s worth out of that investment.

BizBall: How do you approach writing and television?

Stark: The great thing about working where I work is experiencing how ESPN manages to get all its various entities to flow into, and play off of, each other. I consider myself privileged to work there for many reasons, but the best part is having all those different media to communicate with the audience. We’re now integrating video online in so many creative ways that we’re no longer producing video only for television. I just finished a piece on how a pitcher gets ready for spring training, for example. Not long ago, that might have been only a column. In this case, I followed Randy Wolf of the Dodgers through his entire workout day, along with a cameraman. So we had a cool video piece on how he prepares, along with a separate companion column that gave us a chance to look at his philosophy on how to get ready for a season. Those two pieces didn’t duplicate each other. They complemented each other. That’s where the online world is heading, especially at ESPN.com. By the time I was finished, I felt downright futuristic.

BizBall: Is there a blurring between online media—the Baseball Prospectus’ and The Hardball Times’ of the world—and print media? Do you feel they are gaining acceptance as valid outlets compared to their print media counterparts?

Stark quoteStark: I’m not sure if “blurring” is the right word. I just know the internet offers a voice to people who might not have had that voice in the past. There’s always room now for folks who think creatively about baseball, and the guys at Baseball Prospectus and Hardball Times think as creatively as anyone out there. What those sites do is different from what newspapers do, or what websites like ours do. But that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. There is a place for all of us now, which is great. It doesn’t mean they supplant what we provide or, say, what the beat writers covering the Indians provide. It just means there are more ways to get valuable perspective on the sport than there have ever been. And I’m all for that.

BizBall: Last question… What does Jayson Stark do when he’s not watching and covering baseball?

Stark: Or writing books about baseball, you mean? Well, theoretically, I’m pretty sure I’d be considered a relatively normal human being. I have a wife and three kids. So I love spending as much time with them as my insane life allows. My kids have all been volleyball players, and my wife is a volleyball coach. So I’ve spent a billion hours watching and talking about volleyball over the last few years. That’s a big part of our life. I also love music. I love movies. I love reading newspapers. I love Lost and The Office and 30 Rock and 24. I love college basketball. And I especially love what I do. So it’s scary how much time I spend thinking about baseball when I’m not even supposed to be thinking about baseball. I try to convince myself that’s a good sign. But I’m sure I could find a team of psychiatrists who would tell me otherwise.


  • Interview conducted by Maury Brown on 1/29/07

To read other interviews on The Biz of Baseball with the likes of Charley Steiner, Ken Rosenthal, Stan Kasten, Marvin Miller, Bowie Kuhn, Bob Costas, and others, select the Interviews navigation element to the left on any page.

 

 
 
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