You can learn a lot about a baseballer by the people he follows.
It can be hard to learn a lot from a ballplayer’s tweets, which are mostly 140-character treatises on what you want to hear. Luckily, there is a column right next to his tweets that can reveal a little bit more. People tweet what they’re supposed to tweet, but for the most part, they follow whom they want to follow. Their follows are a window to their interests, their reading lists, their playlists and their senses of humor.
For instance, if you were to look at a certain Baseball Prospectus writer’s list of follows, you’d find that he’s inappropriately attached to two cities where he no longer lives, he’s the only 27-year-old on the planet who gets instantaneous thoroughbred racing news, and the only parody account he finds funny is this one.
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The public face of the Dodgers now rests with Stan Kasten as their president and co-owner. On Monday we caught up with him at the Winter Meetings and asked him about his new position in LA; how the ownership group was assembled; what Magic Johnson brings to the table, and; how that massive TV deal factors into what the Dodgers do, not only now, but years to come.
Few recent club sales have altered the landscape in Major League Baseball as quickly as that of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whether it was the unprecedented purchase price of $2.15 billion, the flurry of trades that including taking on over $163 million in contract dollars as part of the blockbuster trade with the Red Sox that included Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford, or the media rights deal that the club is on the cusp of completing that is reported to be between $6-$7 billion, the Dodgers have become a juggernaut. The public face of the Dodgers now rests with Stan Kasten as their president and co-owner. On Monday we caught up with him at the Winter Meetings and asked him about his new position in LA; how the ownership group was assembled; what Magic Johnson brings to the table, and; how that massive TV deal factors into what the Dodgers do, not only now, but years to come.
It took a day longer than expected, but shortly after 10 AM PT on May 1, the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC (“GBM”) for $2 billion took place. The Dodgers’ new ownership includes Mark Walter as control person, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Stan Kasten as CEO of the organization.
The Los Angeles Dodgers stated, “The Dodgers emerge from the Chapter 11 reorganization process having achieved its objective of maximizing the value of the Dodgers through a successful Plan of Reorganization, under which all claims will be paid. The Dodgers move forward with confidence - in a strong financial position; as a premier Major League Baseball franchise; and as an integral part of and representative of the Los Angeles community.”
Bryce Harper's presence and early contributions gives the Nationals a happy glimpse into the future.
The Weekend Takeaway
During a weekend series highlighted by Matt Kemp’s 10th-inning walk-off homer in Saturday’s 4-3 Dodgers victory, the Nationals got a glimpse into their future—a future that likely will not include many more sweeps at the hands of the Dodgers.
Top prospect Bryce Harper arrived with a bang on Saturday, and while Kemp ultimately stole the show, the 19-year-old phenom immediately displayed the tools that will soon make him a superstar. Harper rocketed a high Chad Billingsley fastball over Kemp’s head to straightaway center for a double, fired an 80-grade bullet home from left field, and drove in the go-ahead run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly that would have won the game if not for a Henry Rodriguez meltdown in the bottom half of the frame.
The Frank McCourt era blissfully comes to an end in Los Angeles, as a group led by Magic Johnson agrees to purchase the Dodgers for a whopping $2.15 billion.
It wasn’t the most cash in the deal that won the day, but rather a whopping total, and maybe—just maybe—some goodwill for Frank McCourt.
Late Tuesday night, the Dodgers and Frank McCourt announced they had reached an agreement under which Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC (“GBM”) will acquire the Dodgers for $2 billion upon completion of the closing process. The purchasing group includes Mark R. Walter, who is the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, a privately held global financial services firm with more than $125 billion in assets under management , as its controlling partner. However, it’s former Los Angeles Laker great Earvin “Magic” Johnson who will likely be the face of the Dodgers. The group also includes Peter Guber (the Golden State Warriors co-owner who is also the chairman and chief executive of Mandalay Entertainment, which is invested in the successful Dayton Dragons minor-league team); Stan Kasten (former Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves president), Bobby Patton (oil and gas investor), and Todd Boehly (president of Guggenheim Partners ) as other key investors.
A look at the final contenders in the mix to buy the Dodgers and the chances of each succeeding
That which does not kill us makes us stronger. – Friedrich Nietzsche
Who knows how many fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers prescribe to Nietzsche’s well-worn quote, but it’s a fervent prayer for baseball and certainly for many who are watching the bankruptcy sale of the club. The Dodgers are more than just some random club; they are a cornerstone of the league’s history.
Examining past MVP and Cy Young winners and the differences between their winning seasons and non-winning seasons.
With the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards announced in the last two weeks, we saw a first-time MVP in each league, a first-time American League Cy Young winner and a National League Cy Young winner who had won the American League Cy Young Award seven years prior. Winning consecutive MVP or Cy Young awards is a rarity, though we have seen recent repeats by Albert Pujols and Tim Lincecum. In the last 18 years (1993-2010, which encompasses the last two rounds of expansion), we have seen just six of 36 MVP awards go to the previous year’s winner, and just nine Cy Young Awards to the previous recipient. But the best hitter or best pitcher in the league is usually not a different person every year.
The steroid scandal bears an eerie resemblance to an earlier scandal. Steven explains.
Last weekend Chris Kahrl, Cliff Corcoran, Neil deMause and I spent a pleasant evening answering questions at Coliseum Books in Manhattan. Actually, we didn't answer questions, we answered question, because all anyone wanted to talk about was Performance-Enhancing Apple Jack, Barry Bonds, and Baseball Between the Numbers' take on the latter. As we do radio spots around the galaxy talking about our vast array of spring products (Two books! Branded Horse Blankets! Will Carroll's All-Ages Slumber Party!) all anyone wants to do is engage us in judging players and handing out asterisks. We're the stats guys, after all--we must know Where They Should Go.
The second most frequent question I get after "What the [bleep] is wrong with Nick Johnson?" is "How do you do what you do?" My friend Robert Herzog called me on my radio show last year and really grilled me. He's a friend now, but it was really an annoying question. At the time, my answer was "lots of phone calls and a lot of perseverance." True, yes, but not really the key to it.
Becoming a baseball injury analyst was something of a wonderful accident of luck and timing. Under The Knife started as my answer to another injury analyst who gave incorrect information and answered a question with, "What do you expect for a hundred bucks?" I'd had just enough coffee in me that day to think that I could do better.
It took four years of working as a student athletic trainer on all sports, including baseball. It took medical training. It took the creativity to diagnose something from afar. It's at times like a giant puzzle; I get enough pieces to put things together, but I don't have the box cover to go off of and there are always pieces missing.
Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' predictions for 1999. We'll go division by
division and each of our staff members will tell you what they think about the
races. Remember, there's a reason we don't print this stuff in the book; there
is no good way we know of to predict what a team will do before the season
begins. Consider these teamwide WFGs, take them with a grain of salt, and