Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Dodgers Still "Very Concerned" Their Team Will Still Be Off The Air
"I'm very concerned," Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter said Thursday, at the conclusion of baseball's owners' meetings.
The Federal Communications Commission has until March 30 — six days before the Dodgers' season opener — to approve or reject a merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The FCC has delayed the proceedings twice and could do so again.The other side of the table has some blunt words for the Dodgers' TV arm:
"Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers' front office owe fans the simple freedom to see Dodger games on TV without obligating every TV customer to bail out Time Warner for its reckless overspending," DirecTV said in a statement. Kasten declined to comment."Reckless overspending" is an understatement. We could be into 2016 before this goes away; the Dodgers have deep pockets. I still maintain a chain reaction bankruptcy is not impossible.
Saturday, January 03, 2015
Starting 2015 With A "New" Blog And Administrivia
A lot of sidebar links have bit the dust over the last month, though I still have hope that Matt Welch's old Warblog will one day be resurrected; still, with each passing day, I concede the likelihood of that diminishes.
Happy New Year, everyone.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Treating Advanced Stats In Conventional Sportswriting: On Not Explaining Burritos
Maybe there was a need for this in the late 60s and early 70s when burritos were still sort of exotic to a lot American fast food eaters, but they stopped doing that at some point. Why? Because Taco Bell realized that we can handle a burrito. Yes, we ate nothing but cheeseburgers for years and we probably still understand cheeseburgers better, but by some time in the 1970s we were totally are capable of processing what a burrito was as long as it was presented properly (i.e. fast, cheap and available at, like, midnight).
Mainstream baseball writing (i.e. newspaper baseball writing) still hasn’t figured that out for the most part. It probably was necessary in 2002 to explain advanced metrics, such as they were then, in greater detail. Batting average and RBI were our cheeseburgers, and we were being asked to process something new. But we’ve been eating our SABRburritos for a good while now, so it’s not necessary for them to be over-explained to us. It’s actually sort of distracting and creates unnecessary controversy when they are. WAR debates and “geeks vs. jocks” cultural garbage. I’m rather tired of that. Aren’t you rather tired of that?It's a war that's all but won, save for holdouts like Murray Chass. That we're having this discussion is proof.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Transparency In The Hall: An Appreciation Of Repoz's Gizmo
Look, I get it: Nobody gets 100 percent of the votes. It’s supposed to have something to do with “tradition,” and something to do with the inconvenient truth that the original Hall of Fame class of 1936 — Ty Cobb! Honus Wagner! Babe Ruth! Christy Mathewson! Walter Johnson! — had no unanimous selections.
But it’s wrong, and it needs to stop. And so for housekeeping purposes, I’ll repeat what I wrote in December of 2012: “Fans should know our selections.” And I’ll also repeat what I wrote in January of 2008: “. . . this absolutely should not be limited to active members of the BBWAA. Retired writers should also be asked to name the names on their ballots.”
And if there’s a retired baseball writer out there whose best case for not voting for Martinez is: “I never saw him pitch,” then said baseball writer shouldn’t be voting. Fair, right?
There's a bunch more there, including why we need to shame the anti-steroids voters, and especially the "they all did it" tar-and-featherers. It's one reason why I'm especially pleased to see Buster Olney's surprisingly principled protest empty ballot, even if I think the act is misguided in some wise. There's just no excuse for keeping Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens out of the Hall, and something needs to be done about it, sooner rather than later. Thank you, Darren, for helping to get this out in the open.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Angels Deal Jepsen To The Rays
What's puzzling about this deal is why the Halos would do it when they possess both C.J. Cron and Cole Calhoun. Calhoun, especially, looks superficially like a younger version of Joyce, who still has three years of team control ahead of him and is putting up similar numbers. I expect this means Calhoun may be trade bait, or Cron will find himself optioned back to Salt Lake, whence he will return if Hamilton or Calhoun find themselves on the DL. Depth in the outfield is nice to have, but dropping pitching that has been a mainstay of the bullpen seems like a poor choice.
Monday, December 15, 2014
A New Blog
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Miscellany After The Most Exhausting Day In Recent Offseason Dodger History
- Yesterday was so intense — all of it — that I can only say I believe it was the craziest 24 hours of any offseason in my memory. Jonah Keri's piece at Grantland mostly encapsulates my at-the-moment take on the deals as well:
- Matt Kemp:
L.A. may well have sold Kemp at exactly the right time. Friedman and GM Farhan Zaidi aren’t slaves to the recency effect, recognizing that Kemp’s strong finish in 2014 didn’t really change any of the other factors that had led to the longtime trade rumors, including the outfield logjam and his hefty contract. Instead of viewing Kemp’s elite .311/.372/.561 performance over the final 99 games of the season as a sign of rebirth, they viewed it as a boost in trade value that would allow them to more easily move a guy still owed $21 million–plus a year for five seasons.
- Dee Gordon:
Gordon is a fun guy to watch, but comparing his projections to, say, Emilio Bonifacio’s should help assure Dodgers fans that they might not be giving up all that much.
- Howie Kendrick:
Kendrick is one of the best second basemen in baseball, and he’ll make the Dodgers significantly better in 2015. ... To get Kendrick, of course, the Dodgers had to give up Heaney, whom they possessed for a nanosecond before flipping him to the Angels. Though Kendrick should be a big gain, Heaney could prove to be an even bigger loss, as he has a chance to be good … really good.Here, I'm relying on Keri's prospect smarts, but it's a rare case of getting a quality prospect for an established veteran with only limited control. It's important to note this kind of deal rarely happens anymore.
- Jimmy Rollins:
Like Kendrick, Rollins offers the Dodgers only one year of guaranteed team control. But in this case, the lone year is a feature rather than a bug, since L.A. has 20-year-old top shortstop prospect Corey Seager not far from the Show.
- Brandon McCarthy:
McCarthy is the riskiest of all the moves, considering the length of his contract and his past health concerns.
- Matt Kemp:
- No comment on the Angels moves as of yet, but I generally find myself in agreement. My comments on Kemp? Apply equally to Howie.
- I cleaned out a mess of stale sidebar links; if your blog hasn't been updated in two years, or if you aren't named Tommy Lasorda, you don't get special consideration. I practically don't update this one, but I'm the king of this here domain. Angels blogs especially took a lot of hits; it seems generally that blogs are an affectation of the 2000's, to vanish in this decade. My heart haz a sad.