Tag: MLB

STATurday: Smart Spending

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Glove with money
Money Ball?

Last week, Businessweek published a fun tool for calculating what they call an “efficiency index.” This is what there using to figure out how much a team spends per win and how that compares to the league average. They are taking into account playoff and championship wins as a multiplier value compared to regular season wins. That multiplier is what you can adjust. You can set it to only show a single league, say MLB, and start increasing the value of post-season wins. Watch as the Marlins plummet from the top as the Yankees begin their climb.

Check it out: Smartest Spenders in Sports 2014

[Business Day One] A Week Into Fantasy Baseball And…


… I’ve already had to use my cell phone to make a last minute roster change.

… I’ve already had a baseball-related bad dream.

… I’ve already lamented (only half-jokingly) that my season is over.

… I’ve already begun to think about this year’s keepers.

… I’ve already said out loud “thank god baseball’s back.”

[Business Day One] Opening Day, Same As It Ever Was

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Good morning, everyone. You’re waking up to baseball today.

I love Opening Day more than any other day in sports for one very simple reason – ridiculous full-season projections. For me, there is no greater joy in sports fandom than extrapolating an entire season’s worth of events based only on one game. It is the height of comedy, and let no one tell you otherwise.

For instance, as of right now, the Red Sox are on pace for 162 consecutive rain-outs. Amazing, right? And Derek Lowe, after his impressive performance last night, is right on track for a stunning 33-0 season with a 0.00 ERA. Give that man an award! See how fun it is? And it’s not even noon!

I downloaded an old game for the PC last night called Escape Velocity. You play a pilot that travels the galaxy running cargo and passengers between various ports of call. You upgrade your ship from time to time, or save up and buy a new one. Mostly, the game is a long slog that consists of resource and energy management, maximizing profits on good trade routes, and enjoying the vastness of space. There are more exciting PC games out there to be sure, but for me, I love the comfort of knowing there’s a nice, comfortable game that you can casually play for a couple hours on a quiet weeknight. I feel the same way about baseball. Welcome back.

[Business Day One] Roid Rage

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I’m still upset about this A-Rod thing.  The past few days haven’t done anything to ease the frustration of having Bud Selig, who watched the biceps of his best players swell along with average attendance, declare that Rodriguez ‘shamed the game.’  Is the act of putting performance enhancers in your body to compete with the hundreds of other players that put performance enhancers in their bodies any more shameful than turning a blind eye to it until memories of the baseball strike faded?  Is that act more shameful than faking outrage once he realized that the fans were back?  The men that returned the crowds to baseball were coursing with banned substances.  People knew.  Staffers knew.  The commissioner’s office knew.  They must have known.  They’re not stupid – far from it.  They’re smarter than all of us.  Think of it this way: we’re all disgusted, but we’re talking about it.  I’m talking about it right now.  Heck, I just set my keepers in my fantasy baseball league.  We’re complaining about this steroid issue the same way we complain about U.S. foreign policy.  We’re disappointed, but we’re not going anywhere.

When will it end?  When will the stories about baseball be about baseball again?  I wish I had an answer for that.  I think this season is shot.  The hundred plus names on that report that mentioned A-Rod is coming out this year, no doubt about it.  There will be a lot of outrage and the season will essentially be a washout.  Right now, we’ve got a whole spring training, regular season, and postseason that will be absolutely, totally dominated by talk of steroids first and play on the field second, and that’s why the use of other supplements, such as lgd4033 (ligandrol) is a better option than steroids.

We’re really got two options for this upcoming season.  We can view it with a bit of distance and skepticism, or we can ignore it totally.  I don’t know of any real fans that are doing the second.  So in that respect we’re as much to blame as Selig or BALCO or anyone else.  We’re not going to boycott.  We’re going to pay $100 for tickets like always and then, if we have time, make up a clever sign with a syringe on it that might get up on television.  We’re part of the monster, so we better feel bad as we keep tuning in to SportsCenter to track allegations.  As a sports fan, you owe it to the Gods to feel bad.

So we’re angry and we’re guilty.  Let’s just make sure that’s taken care of before we even think about talking about the season.  Maybe next week is when I start hoping that the Yankees pitching staff is healthy.  Maybe the week after is when I think about my fantasy draft.  I’m not ready for any of that yet.  I hope I will be soon.  I hope you all will be too.

[Business Day One] The Baseball Rule of Thumb

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I’m going to use as few words as possible so that the ones I use will carry a bit more weight.

When it comes to baseball, assume that every record broken in the last dozen years is tainted. Assume that the greats of yesteryear are still the best and that no one born after 1970 can hold a candle. Assume that the best and purest days of baseball are behind us and will never come back.

If you want to go to the ballpark after you think through all of that, then go.

[Business Day One] On The Firing Of Coaches

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Let me just cut to the meat of it today. When a team’s ownership fires a head coach, particularly midseason, the ownership does not expect the firing to suddenly make the team better. A firing is meant to do a lot of things, but improve play on the field is not one of them. A firing, like, say, Scott Linehan’s, will have the following effects:
1) It shows the fanbase that the ownership is “serious” about getting the best possible product on the field (despite the fact that the coach wasn’t the one failing to stop opposing defensive ends from murdering the quarterback).
2) It shows the media that the ownership recognizes the team is underachieving and is, in some way, responding to the criticism.
3) It reminds people that the ownership can not fire itself for the poor operational decisions it has made over the years.

Remember when Willie Randolph got the axe in June? Did that improve the team? If so, why will they be spending the playoffs the same way I am (as a spectator)? Does Wretched Living Skeleton Al Davis think letting Lane Kiffen go will suddenly cause all of Oakland’s problems to go away? Not at all.

I cannot make this clear enough. Coaches aren’t fired to make a team better. That’s not how it works. Anything owners say about “new directions” or “opposing viewpoints” is garbage. Know that they’re lying to you and know also that if your team gets its head cut off halfway through the season, the problems that caused it aren’t any closer to being solved.

[Business Day One] Wrecking Ball

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I didn’t make it to Yankee Stadium this year, and I didn’t feel too terrible about it. I’m not going to miss the Stadium for the same reason I don’t miss houses I once lived in. When you pack up your things and drive it somewhere else, you are saying goodbye to where you once were. Home is where the heart (or your team) is, not where it once was.

The new Yankee Stadium, for all of its behind-the-scenes illegality (whoops!), is going to be a heck of a place to watch a ballgame. Hopefully, it won’t smell like a urinal and have a limited selection of disgusting food like the old Yankee Stadium. Yes, the old one has countless amazing, culturally significant moments spread over decades and viewed by millions. But, well, the building’s being demolished. And a new one is almost done next door, and it’ll be fantastic. It will be a place of mystique and wonder, that will breed countless Yankee fans for the next 50 years.

I think it’d be a greater tribute to my favorite team to go to that stadium and buy a $15 seat than scramble into the old stadium for one last $12 seat.