Pairing ads with players to provide sponsors with the best bang for their buck.
As Business Insider noted earlier this week, Sportsnet’s Blue Jays broadcasts have begun to feature a few more digitally inserted advertisements. The concept isn’t new—we’re used to seeing ads like these projected on the backstop behind home plate—but Sportsnet has taken things a bit further, superimposing images on the field in foul territory
A look at the ten most likely places for a new MLB club
It seems that nearly every week, articles surrounding the potential relocation of the A’s and Rays surface. A panel looking into a potential San Jose relocation for the A’s has been gridlocked since 2009 (and remember, the A’s have been looking to move to San Jose for a heck of a lot longer than that). The Rays haven’t been far behind in their efforts to get out of Tropicana Field. Whether it’s the commute for fans to get to the domed stadium, the aesthetics, or the need to be closer to an urban core, it seems that Tampa Bay has been seeking a new ballpark for just as long. Relocation for these two clubs is crucial.
Another thing that comes up less frequently but has extra meaning going into 2013 is expansion. With the Astros moving into the AL West, the American League and National League will now be balanced at 15 clubs a piece. The problem is that 15 is an odd number, and as a result, interleague will become a daily affair. It’s unlikely that’s something that the league wanted, so getting to 32 clubs would take care of that matter. That would mean revenues spread thinner with two extra mouths to feed. Additionally, it’s no given that one or both wouldn’t be revenue-sharing takers, and trying to get ballparks built is no easy feat in this economy. So, 30 is a number that seems to suit the “Big Four” sports leagues in North America. The NBA has it. Ditto for the NHL. Currently, only the NFL—which has the advantage of being highly centralized (revenues are shared more evenly across the franchises) and exceptionally popular—is the exception at 32 clubs.
Forward-thinking baseball analysis has moved out of the periphery and into the mainstream--and Cubs TV broadcasts.
Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Len Kasper, a Midwest native, just completed his eighth season doing play-by-play for Chicago Cubs TV broadcasts after doing Florida Marlins play-by-play for three years for Fox Sports Net. Prior to joining the Marlins, he did play-by-play for select Milwaukee Brewers games from 1999-2001. Kasper's broadcast career also included a stint as the morning sports anchor at WTMJ in Milwaukee. In nearly eight years working for WTMJ, he hosted pregame and halftime shows for the Green Bay Packers radio network and co-hosted a hot stove league show on the Brewers radio network. Kasper graduated summa cum laude from Marquette University in 1993 with a degree in public relations. He and his wife, Pam, have one son: Leo. You can follow Len on Twitter @lenkasper or Len and his broadcast partner, Bob Brenly, at @lenandbob, or read their blog for WGN Sports.
Milo Hamilton's impending retirement reminds us to savor early-generation broadcasters.
The upcoming season will mark the 50th year of Major League Baseball in Houston. For more than half of those seasons, Astros fans have heard a familiar voice in the broadcast booth—the voice of Milo Hamilton, who announced on Wednesday that the 2012 campaign would be his last in the booth.
Hamilton came to Houston in 1986, and took over for Gene Elston as the team’s lead radio announcer in 1987. Since then, he has become as synonymous with Astros baseball as Craig Biggio, bringing to life moments like Mike Scott’s no-hitter to clinch the NL West division in 1986 and Biggio’s 3000th career hit in 2007.
The voice of the Blue Jays discusses getting into broadcasting and baseball in Toronto.
If you’re a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, Jerry Howarth needs no introduction. The 64-year-old has been the radio voice of the Blue Jays for three decades—24 of those years paired with the late Tom Cheek—and few broadcasters in the game are more popular, or as respected. A graduate of the University of Santa Clara, Howarth grew up in San Francisco and is now a Canadian citizen and a resident of Toronto.
The Mariners' radio duo discuss their time in baseball, breaking into the business, and their most memorable moments.
Dave Niehaus and Rick Rizzs are more than just the radio voices of the Seattle Mariners, they are baseball icons in the Pacific Northwest. Niehaus, who received the Ford C. Frick award in 2008, has been in the booth since the franchise’s inaugural season, in 1977. Rizzs’ tenure is nearly as long, as he has been Niehaus’ broadcast partner since 1983, save for three tumultuous seasons spent with the Detroit Tigers. Niehaus and Rizzs talked about their storied careers, the art of broadcasting, and Mariners baseball during an August visit to Fenway Park.
A conversation with the voice of the Rangers about baseball in Texas, using stats in broadcasting, and answering the question, WWVSD?
Eric Nadel is a baseball-broadcasting legend in Texas. The radio voice of the Rangers is now in his 32nd year calling games in Arlington, making him the longest-tenured announcer in franchise history. A five-time winner of the state’s Broadcaster of the Year award, the 59-year-old Nadel is a member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.
Sitting down to talk to Pete Macheska, lead producer of Fox Sports' MLB coverage.
For many baseball fans, especially those like me who don't reside in a major league city, broadcast television is the most common way to enjoy a game. Don't weep for us-watching a game at home in high definition, with player close-ups and Super Slo-Mo shots of Tim Wakefield's knuckleball to enrapture us, is in many ways better than attending the game in person. But as I've written before in this space, the statistics displayed and discussed during a baseball broadcast haven't evolved along with the technology used to display them-even straightforward measures like OBP and SLG have not yet found their way into standard use. To me, this seems like a waste of an immense opportunity to improve the casual baseball fan's understanding of the game, which in turn would create more devoted fans and better ratings.
Providing a helping hand to your nationally broadcast ballgame.
Several weeks ago, as part of the Prospectus Idol competition, I penned an Unfiltered post regarding the use of statistics in baseball telecasts. In that missive, I noted that while technological advances have made the experience of watching a baseball game on television more visually satisfying than ever-in some ways better than attending the game in person-innovation in the use and display of meaningful statistics during a broadcast has lagged well behind. Not only does this make the broadcast less interesting than it could be to the more enlightened baseball fan, it misses the opportunity to introduce even a few simple sabermetric principles to a wider baseball audience-which in turn creates more devoted fans, higher ratings, and increased revenue.
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The legacy of the Dodgers move west, and setting the record straight on Brooklyn's support of the Bums.
Another problem with evaluating O'Malley's legacy is that many revisionists, consciously or unconsciously, make a big deal out of the Dodgers' Brooklyn attendance, then and now. Disparage the Dodgers' support in the 1950s as a way of rationalizing O'Malley's gambit, they write phrases like "the Dodgers barely drew a million fans" in Brooklyn in the 1950s, as if that were some kind of crime. The fact is that both major leagues in the 1950s were in deep trouble, with overall attendance declining for a multitude of reasons. It is neither fair nor instructive to compare today's attendance, when the US population is double what it was in 1950, with five decades ago unless one also puts those numbers in context. Furthermore, the Los Angeles market of the twenty-first century is more than four times the size of Brooklyn's market in 1950.
The myth of weak attendance in Brooklyn undergirds the popular understanding of O'Malley's inspiration to go west. Despite the misconceptions that have obscured the facts since the move, the Dodgers had drawn better than the NL average (excluding Brooklyn) in every season from 1938 through 1956. Only in 1957, the Dodgers' last year in Brooklyn-and a season throughout which rumors swirled that the team was headed west-did O'Malley's team fall a few thousand fans short of the league mean in attendance.
Maury chats with Vince Gennaro, a former consultant to MLB clubs and author of Diamond Dollars.
When Michael Lewis wrote Moneyball, a larger audience became aware of Doug Pappas and his groundbreaking metric, Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins, published here at Baseball Prospectus. The metric placed an economic value on how much a club was spending to earn wins, and how much a club was spending in the overall in terms of marginal payroll. It placed the value of a win into perspective, and was seen as a way for clubs to better valuate how they spent, not how much they spent.
Derek views the series' conclusion from all the remaining angles.
Now that I'm telling you how lucky and blessed I am, I guess it's as good a time as any to tell you that I didn't cover the Caribbean Series in person in Carolina on Wednesday, but rather from San Juan. The reasons are too boring to share, but on the theory that if given lemons, make lemonade, I took the opportunity to take in some of the televised options for watching the Caribbean Series.
First, briefly, there was the afternoon game, which I wasn't able to catch in its entirety. I tuned into this one using MLB.tv, which had been the topic of a lot of reader e-mail after I asked how the English language broadcasters were doing on Unfiltered. The consensus seemed to be that the father/son team of Victor and Cookie Rojas were all right, and the other team of Felix DeJesus and Eddy Perez were...um, not. Perhaps the most emphatic email I got about the DeJesus/Perez pairing came from reader S.T.: