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Making the Jump To… Biz of Sports

9th March 2007

Stretch out and wait. Stretch out and wait…The Smiths

Around the time of the Super Bowl, I’ve often joked with friends by saying, “What is this thing, Football?” The smarmy comment came from my connection to baseball, or more correctly the fact that I’ve been researching, writing, and providing analysis on the business of baseball for some time. The thing is, I really love sports business, not just baseball business. Today, I decided that I needed to branch out… stretch… wait… see what comes of reporting on all sports, not just baseball.

What really got me moving was some other sports business news yesterday.

Case in point, the situation now occurring with the NHLPA. Yesterday, in the midst of the announcement regarding the exclusive deal to place Extra Innings on DirecTV, I couldn’t help but get sucked into NHLPA Executive Director Ted Saskin and EmailGate that seems to be sweeping the NHL. Seems there are allegations that he’s been monitoring player e-mails as Saskin is being investigated by the players for management conduct, including negotiation of the collective-bargaining agreement that ended the league’s 2004-05 lockout, as well as attempts to lower the salary cap. Seems Saskin had directed the IT staff to access player email accounts as discussions about his future as the head of the NHLPA have circulated and the Toronto Police are investigates the email situation.

It gets better…

Saskin is now saying he never did any such activity, and it was actually his predecessor, Bob Goodenow. That sent a volley back at Saskin.

“The allegations made by Ted Saskin against me regarding player emails are false,” Goodenow said in a statement through his lawyer Jane Milburn. “To date, I have not made any public comment since leaving the NHLPA, and I won’t now comment on, or get embroiled in current NHLPA issues.

“That said, I will be glad to respond to questions from players on any NHLPA policies or practices while I was the executive director. I am unaware of an instance where the security of a single player’s email or other personal information was compromised.”

Classic.

Now, how can I pass this up? How can I not want to report on this, even though it’s not baseball related? Just too much. Too comical. Too… well, front office to not want to get a piece of it.

Baseball is my first love. But, growing up in the Bay Area, I was an NHL Oakland Seals booster kid, and I admit sheepishly that Fred Biletnikoff was my hero, more than Rick Monday or Reggie Jackson.

No, I will not be giving up on Baseball Prospectus or Biz of Baseball.com… far from it, and yes… there will still be some baseball here, but how about the NFL, NHL, NBA, and Auto Racing?

So… I’m already working with Aaron Schatz of FootballOutsiders.com on a piece for Pro Football Prospectus 2007, and I hope to cover other sports here on the blog formerly known as The Baseball Journals, and now called Maury Brown’s Biz of Sports. Look for a new logo shortly and other changes as I branch out.

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