Today in Stupid Bullshit

Three things, apparently unrelated except for the fact that when I reactivated the blog, I explicitly promised you cursing and beer as well as baseball:

• Publisher wants to ban cursing in the newsroom

At the York (PA) Daily Record, somebody is out of her fucking mind, namely publisher Sara Glines, who on Monday sent a memo reminding all employees “that cursing is not appropriate in the work environment.” Do go on, crazy lady:

I know that newspapers have had a salty history and culture. And I know that we all will slip from time to time. Still, I believe we can express ourselves adequately without the use of profanity.

Yeah, about that history and culture… as ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. put it via Twitter, “Banning cursing in a newsroom is as foolish as banning wagering at a racetrack. You can’t have one without the other.”

And about the specific paper in question, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal — one of baseball’s top reporters on the Internet and the airwaves — is an alumnus who got his start there. Said he, “Forgive me for cursing non-stop during my days working for the York Daily Record newsroom. And yes, I would do it again!”

As somebody who’s obviously got an affinity for profanity, I can only laugh at this while noting that if Glines’ efforts to clean up what doesn’t need cleaning up don’t lower morale in the newsroom, her removal of Mountain Dew and Snickers from the vending machines (as noted in a subsequent memo) will. I shit you not.

• Lagunitas sues Sierra Nevada over “trademark infringement”

Two of the top craft brewers in the country in terms of sales volume — and two who consistently deliver quality offerings that find their way into the Jaffe-Span residence — are fighting. Lagunitas Brewing Co., which ranked fifth in volume in 2013 according to the Brewers Association, is suing Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., which ranked second, because they believe that Sierra’s use of the acronym IPA on their new Hop Hunter packaging has crossed the line:

Mind you, Lagunitas didn’t invent India Pale Ale, nor are they the only ones who produce it — so many breweries do so that it’s both the most popular and the fastest-growing variety of craft beer. Sierra is clearly using a different font and different design than Lagunitas, despite the suit’s claim to the contrary: “The unique ‘IPA’ lettering used in the Lagunitas ‘IPA’ Family of Trademarks has a distinctive serif font, distinctive kerning (or letter spacing), between the ‘P’ and the ‘A,’ slightly aged or weathered look, with uneven areas on each of the letters, and the eliminatio of any periods between the letters.”

As a former graphic designer, I can tell you — if your eye isn’t keen enough to see for yourself, or if you’ve simply been blinded by this idiocy — that Sierra clearly used a different font than Lagunitas, one that doesn’t look like a stencil or have any aging/weathering. And while my law degree may have come from a box of Cracker Jacks and a repository of Lionel Hutz quotations, I’m pretty sure that you can’t copyright kerning, the removal of periods or the color black. I’m also pretty sure that Lagunitas doesn’t have enough money to go after all of the breweries selling IPAs and labeling them as such.

So good luck with that frivolous lawsuit, guys, and know that for the next 30 days, I’m not buying a single damn one of your beers. Maybe you should call your next one A Little Sumpin’ Stupid.

• Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart Proud of Being Behind the Times

Former ace and new D-Backs GM Dave Stewart has every reason to be interested in James Shields given the state of his team’s rotation, but given that he’s in the market for a contract upwards of $100 million, affording him could be a stretch. But Stewart must have rocks in his head if he thinks he’s found the right selling point. Via the Arizona Republic‘s Nick Piecoro:

“I think James is a throwback guy by the way he goes about his business and the innings he pitches,” Stewart said. “I think the fact that Tony (La Russa) is here and that we have more baseball people – he probably sees us as a true baseball team vs. some of the other teams out here that are geared more toward analytics and those type of things.

You hear that? In increasing numbers, teams have followed in the footsteps of the Moneyball-era A’s to incorporate analytics into their front-office decision making. The Red Sox have won three World Series since hiring Bill James, the A’s and Rays have made repeated playoff appearances despite their shoestring budgets, the Pirates ended a 20-year losing skid by putting their faith in big data with regards to infield shifts and pitch framing (the subject of a forthcoming book from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review‘s beat writer, Travis Sawchick, Big Data), and now virtually every front office has some kind of input on that front, even the AL champion Royals. Hell, La Russa’s old team, the Cardinals, have become the game’s model organization through their combination of scouting and stats, and D-backs general managing partner Ken Kendrick expressed his dissatisfaction with Stewart’s predecessor, Kevin Towers, over his lack of analytical efforts.

So it’s a bit rich to see a first-time GM for a team coming off a 98-loss season telling others what works and what doesn’t, and trying to pretend that Shields — who did spend most of his career with the Rays and was prized by them before being dealt to the Royals — is somehow out of favor among analysts.

But here’s a question for Stewart: do true baseball teams have swimming pools in centerfield?

• Speaking of stupid bullshit, pardon the “new look”

I unwittingly pressed “Update WordPress” and in doing so overwrote all of the customized design for the blog, some of which was ready to be junked anyway. Gonna have to figure out how to change the scheme’s default colors, at least…

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