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Seeing the downvoted comments, I'm really amazed at how rapidly BPro has become an echo chamber.
Maury -- some time ago, there was a discussion about the Dodgers shielding all but the first $84M of RSN (and presumably, local terrestrial) TV revenue from revenue sharing. Is that a different pile of money, or do the Dodgers have a unique, blanket exemption from revenue sharing that will keep them in the stratosphere of league spenders?
This is really a reminder of sic transit gloria mundi; a lot of those career numbers are about just how rapidly the award winners fell to earth, and/or were injured.
Which is just a different way, as Albert Pujols can tell you, of spelling r-e-s-p-e-c-t.
One other note. It seems to me as though these valuations are all predicated on the new generation of TV deals coming through. Yet there is almost no questioning whether those were themselves fairly valued, and indeed seem to predominantly rest on the idea that sports teams can indirectly extract monopoly rents from cable TV companies, even in a time when cable TV subscribership is significantly eroding. The situation in San Diego, where the local Time Warner affiliate refuses to carry the Padres, is merely a warmup for a larger battle brewing over the sports televising rights valuation bubble. It's all too easy to project a downward spiral of disappearing viewers, followed by increases in per-user rights fee, which in turn chases off even more subscribers.
What that tells us is that there are a lot of guys making major league minimum or close to it. The question I would like to see answered is whether the standard deviation is changing and how salary growth is occurring at the right side of the scale -- i.e., are Albert Pujols-style deals keeping pace with revenues? Also, is salary in aggregate keeping pace?
No, but doggone it, I'ma gonna try.
That's a scary list, Sam, but I confess I'm not seeing the part about this slump going back to last year's All-Star break. The ASB last year came rather later than usual, and so the year was unevenly broken up. If you look at Pujols slash lines for the first (.280/.357/.500) and second (.319/.375/.584) halves, Pujols actually had a higher OBP in the second half. Granted, it wasn't by much, and probably influenced by more than twice as many IBB's (4 vs. 11) over a noticeably smaller number of plate appearances (342 vs. 309). Doing the math, Pujols BB/PA ratio (subtracting intentional walks) is .0906 in the first half, and .0485 in the second half. If that's what you're talking about, then I can get behind that comment; but it wasn't clear from your piece.
"According to sources, the deal does not leverage future television rights for the Dodgers, which could garner anywhere between $4-$5 billion."
That's funny. Funny because it relies on a huge elision, that of the idea that the ownership group won't seek to use the TV rights money to pay themselves back (i.e., pay down equity) rather than feed the team. The truth is, we really don't know WHAT the new ownership group will do, but I have little doubt that they'll fail to operate it as a business. And that means they will want to see returns on their investment.
My thoughts on the matter are here:
The short version is that this seems to me to be a new bubble, a bubble in cable TV viewership. Cable subscribers are disappearing at the same time sports networks are making huge bets on their ability to pay. I think the Internet will win this round, with Fox and the Dodgers as losers.
Yup. I have to wonder just how long it will last, either de jure (enough teams get annoyed with it to jettison it) or de facto (by defection from teams willing to pay the penalties).
I hope you're right. That would be awesome, especially if all the other large market teams (and maybe a handful of the smaller ones) go that route -- say NYM, NYY, LAA, LAD, CHC, and maybe some of the worse-off mid-market teams.
You really think so? Let's work through this a sec. If a team realistically thinks it has no chance of signing the best player on the board for a slot bonus (i.e. a promising HS or two-way player who has an option to go elsewhere if the team doesn't meet his demands), they get penalized for doing so. The rational thing to do, then, is to get the most *signable* player on the board at that point. So the draft no longer reflects the best baseball talent, only those where MLB's arbitrary bonus restrictions matches the amateur player's idea of what his bonus should be.
Good wishes to all concerned, and congratulations to Joe.
"Fired"? Francona stressed it was his decision: http://atmlb.com/tfTqas
"La Russa" or "LaRussa"? I see it both ways; the St. Louis media favors the former spelling, but his B-Ref page uses the latter.
Is Colletti expecting a playoff share from the Red Sox? A future job with the Mariners? Is this being written off as a charitable donation? Is it a cry for help from a man about to jump out the window? Is there somebody out there who will post bail if I fly to Los Angeles myself and extract a few teeth in search of the real truth?
My favorite theory is that McCourt knows this is his last few months as owner, and he's doing his REAL favorite team, the Red Sox, one last solid on the way out the door. (Cribbed in the comments from the MSTI thread on this.)
Sweet. Allus good to see Ken's writing, wherever it may appear.
Wonderful article, Jay. Here's hoping that time has softened both Selig and Cuban.
Re section 5: what is the Pearson's r for "Phillies score 2 runs or less that day" vs. Mathis CERA?
It seems to me that at a more fundamental level, what we are dealing with here is a kind of advanced sort of scofflawry. The fielder is not allowed to block the plate, per rule 7.06(b). More here (and the original Bill James discussion that sparked this):
A-Rod must certainly be pleased by the volume of Posada scrutiny, because it prematurely foreclosed on his Bill Buckner imitation yesterday. Because of the Fox and ESPN games, the Yanksox series was impossible to avoid this weekend (even as we were not allowed to watch the Cubbies), and so we were treated to endless hand-wringing about the fate of a .165 hitter. While I normally take endless pleasure in watching certain Yankees fail (A-Rod is one of them, and especially Gary Sheffield when he was with the team), Posada has been a class act as far as I have ever been able to discern. The Yankees' core is aging and in twilight, a bitter blow to any professional athlete. Joe Girardi managed a delicate situation tactfully in what may be the biggest PR challenge of his career.
"Power Rankings of all 30 MLB teams". Something is missing from this article. Could it be, the American League?
Selig is doing this to cover the Wilpons' asses. The Wilpons may not be able to avoid a huge judgement for their witless involvement in the Madoff scam, but they can avoid utter ruin if the valuation of the Mets franchise stays up. It is exactly this which would align three-quarters of the other owners against Frank: they cannot afford a signature franchise to sell at a fire sale price.
How in holy Hell did this piece not manage a mention of Jeff Mathis?
Since when has Beltre been a four-win player on a reliable basis? B-Ref shows him as four or more WAR three times in his career, once in his 2004 walk year with the Dodgers, again in 2006 with Seattle, and last year with Boston:
Texas WAY overpaid for him. He's iron pyrite for the most part, mitigated by the fact that he's been pretty good about staying on the field for the most part. That's likely to change now that the odometer has ticked past age 31.
(Wait, I'm only here for the day? Perfect, drop that bit of hand-holding into the “somebody else's problem” file.)
What would the example be?
Certainly getting swept out of the playoffs isn't ideal
s/Sooner or later, the laws of averages have to kick in./Sooner or later, the Twins will fire Ron Gardenhire./
Seriously, the Twins stand as an object lesson in two things:
1) Keeping on doing the same thing when it's not working is the definition of futility.
2) Every now and then, a manager needs to be fired to set an example for everyone else.
Dunn? In the outfield? Or were you also thinking the Padres should join the AL West?
And sadly, Jay, tonight's game will be the ONLY one that Vinny will call. Saturday is a Fox game and Sunday is ESPN's Sunday Night Game of the Week. And anyone listening to the radio broadcast will only get the first three innings with Vinny doing the calls. Sigh.
M-o-n-a-s-t-e-r-i-o-s. Like Cheerios, only with more monster.
Hey, Christina, what WERE those transactions for the Angels? I gathered it's Trevor Bell and Bobby Cassevah getting reassigned to minor league camp.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
F-Lop ... OMG I think I need to take myself to the shop with a hernia. Thank you for making my Tuesday appropriately hi-larious!
Agree. I think the problem for me is that in general I read
* Will Carroll (injuries)
* Christina Kahrl (transaction analysis)
* Steven Goldman (minors)
* Jay Jaffe (Hot List, most of the time)
and that's really it.
One problem I have with the newsletter is that it's become swamped with stuff I could care less about, including ads.
Windows ... never a good sign.
In Time-Warner LA, MLB Network already is effectively a premium channel; we're paying $5/mo for the privilege.
In fact, the silly, legalistic name is a perfect example of why Arte\'s a great owner. Ridiculous? Of course, but the point was to meet a legal requirement (the name Anaheim had to fit into the team\'s name somewhere) while impressing on potential advertisers that the team played in the Los Angeles market, the second biggest TV market in the country. That focus -- extracting money from advertisers rather than directly with ticket prices -- helps to keep Angels tickets one of the best values in the majors if not all of sports. Not only is Arte a good owner, he\'s a shrewd one, too.
And at this exact moment -- why, I\'m grateful to be an Angels fan. Thank you, Arte, for never being a jerk.
(prior post was supposed to have content)
There is a story a friend of mine tells about Larry Niven, who has been active in LA-area science fiction fandom for some time. A number of years ago, they were part of a large group going to a Boston Market to get dinner; once they got to the counter, they immediately started to negotiate over whether it would be better to order items individually or just pick up large quantities of particular dinner items, and if so, how much of each. The haggling rapidly got out of hand, so much so that Larry apologized to the cashier, saying, \"We\'re smarter individually.\"
The expression perfectly fits a lot of bureaucratic situations -- people are perfectly willing to make stupid decisions if they can evade or diffuse culpability. My friend started using this as a .sig online, and not long after she did, she was accosted by a Niven fan. This guy was one of those pestiferous jerks who claimed to have read everything that Larry had ever written (even scribblings on cocktail napkins, I suppose), and *he* wasn\'t able to find those words, and therefore *she was lying*. Rather than explain that, yes, she was friends with Larry, and yes, she had heard him say those words first-hand, she yanked her .sig, and that was that. I\'ve used it myself a few times (a Google search will catch some of my usages), yet it has not caught on. Wisdom of crowds? Well, maybe.
Yeah, good thing Will isn\'t in charge of running the servers:
In this division, the \"blue screen of death\" is extra symbolic...
Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Owner: Arturo \"Arte\" Moreno
School: University of Arizona, Tucson (B.S. Marketing)
Why: Took experience from running a family printing business (and the \"El Tucsonense\" newspaper until it stopped publication in 1966) and transferred it to billboard sales for Eller Outdoor. Eventually started his own competing firm, Outdoor Systems, that became the largest space advertising company in the country; sold to Infinity/CBS in 1999 for $960M. After long experience as an owner of minor league teams (he purchased a share of the Salt Lake Trappers in 1986), he became a founding partner in the Diamondbacks. He left that team in 2002 after the team proposed an equity dilution to bring in new money, and purchased the Angels outright the next year.
Jay -- no way would I sign Sheets after the Yanks just unloaded Carl Pavano. I understand the reasoning behind the move, but it would create a public relations nightmare, plus it means you really, really need to have a good sixth starter in the wings -- and maybe two.
Speaking of accountability, that would be John K-l-i-m-a of the Daily News.
Joe -- I really enjoy most of your work, but speaking as an Angels fan, I have to point out that you missed the boat on K-Rod. His 2008 walk rate problems you point out have been thoroughly dissected on Angels fan boards, and really amount to April and May, when he was recovering from an ankle injury. His K/BB rates outside those months have been in line with his career numbers. (There is a case for letting him walk based entirely on his AB/HR rate, but it\'s not one you made...) Failing to note this makes me wonder how closely you researched this piece.