Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Winter Meetings - Day One Wrap Up

Carpenter gets a nice fat extension. Expect to see a lot more of this over the next few months. Why on Earth would any GM let a talented, young player reach the FA market. MN is the cheapest franchise on Earth (with a Billionaire owner, nonetheless) – how they handle Johan will be fascinating. They would be absolutely crazy to not do something this spring.

Padilla gets over $11MM per year.

Pujols now wants to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

No firm news on Manny.

If I am a dodger fan and I wake up and read that my team did not get one of the most feared sluggers on the planet because Ned Colleti did not want to part with Jonathan Broxton, I would be pretty upset about it. Jonathan Broxton? There is as good a chance we reach the ASB next year and his ERA is 4.00 or above as there is he repeats his performance this year. Hopefully all six dodger fans don’t read the paper this morning.

Jon Lester is apparently getting better.


  1. Wow. We all have taken some shots at Murray Chass in the past, but today, his article is a whopper. Particulartly, his three "ideas" about how to increase the WS TV ratings. My 12 year old cousin could come up with better ideas than these:

    Instead of assigning the game two years ahead, base home-field advantage for the All-Star Game on the outcome of the previous year’s World Series. If the All-Star Game, an exhibition game, is important enough to determine a critical component of the subsequent World Series, a championship event, home-field advantage for the All-Star Game should be important enough to be based on a legitimate event.

    With baseball having increasing interest in opening the season in foreign countries, make the loser of the World Series open the next season in Japan. Baseball likes the idea of playing games in Japan, but the players who have to play them don’t like traveling that distance. As much as players want to win World Series rings, they may be even more passionate about wanting to stay home the next March, and that passion would be reflected in their play. Fans would notice and become more interested in World Series games.

    Have fans predict the outcome of the World Series via the Internet, and give fans who pick the winning team two tickets to a game of their choice the following season. Fans would watch the games as if they had placed a bet on them. Ratings would rise.

    Okay, we all agree the WS home field advantage on the ASG is a bit silly. There has been tons of debate and the easiest/best answer would probably be the interleague results from that year. But Chass’ example does not even make sense. A viewer should be enticed to watch the WS because the result will influence where the ASG will be played next year. Stunningly stupid. This year the markets with the best WS ratings were (obviously) Det and STL, who already have a vested interest in watching the WS. So we think that a game a month away will cause even more fans in Detroit to watch the WS? Never mind the implications on small market clubs or how baseball has used awarding of All Star games as political tool for influence (new stadiums, etc) – I’m sure the commish would gladly give up that clout for such an obvious ratings boost.

    As for making the loser of the WS have to open the next season in Japan, I can possibly see why this would be an incentive of the players to win the WS. Marginally. If a players team has made it to the WS, does he think they just lay down and say “hey, we made it this far, now I’ll take it easy.” Well perhaps the Tigers pitchers did that this year judging by how they fielded their positions. But again, how does this affect ratings? Additional Tiger fans will now tune into the WS because damn it, if the tigers lose their first three games next year will now be on at 5:00 in the morning. I bet tune in and cheer. Like the first idea, I have no idea how this idea would make a casual fan in Phoenix want to tune in more?

    Two tickets to a game the next year for a fan that predicts the outcome. Is he saying a lottery among those that predict or every fan that is correct gets a free pair of tickets. Well, lets say every fan that attended a game in a given year – (2006 attendance was about 70 Million) had an entry – so you are either giving a fan a one in 35 million chance to win tickets or you plan on giving away millions of tickets. Either way, couldn’t the fan just say, read the paper the next morning. I don’t watch the games in my football pool each week unless I am really interested in the outcome.

    So, these are the three best ideas he could come up with. How about:

    Announcers that don’t suck
    Games that don’t get over past midnight
    Not cutting away to fans after every pitch
    Scantily clad woman prancing around the IF holding up cards noting what inning it is
    Fewer closeups of Joe Torre picking his nose (if the Yankees get to the WS)
    Cheerleaders on the dugouts
    Put a mic on any player with a volatile past (Milton Bradley, hell mike the umps)
    If you want to go the gimmick route, how about giving clues throughout the game to something or have a post game quiz for the entry, you know, something that would actually make the viewer watch the game

    Taken one by one:

  2. X are you suggesting more use of Sparky or what ever that stupid animated balls name is?!

    hehe I wrote "animated balls"...