Thursday, November 30, 2006

I think the economics of baseball have changed a little. Which is to say that they've changed a lot. Salaries are going to go waaaaaay up with the new TV deal.

Exhibit A: Jim Edmonds. I like him. He plays hard, plays hurt. He's been good for the Cards. But until this year there's no way you pay a guy on the downside of his career $19 million for two more years. Maybe last year was an anomoly. But it sure looked like he peaked in 2004. He's had two years of significant decreases in batting average, slugging, and games played. Not encouraging.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Sox are trying to sign a Japanese pitcher named Daisuke Matsuzaka. They bid $51.1 m-m-m-million just for the right to negotiate. Does the money make sense? I have no idea.

It sort of sounds like when Real Madrid signed David Beckham. Real Madrid paid $41 million to Beckham's old club, plus his salary. I read, though, that they made that money back in jersey sales immediately. Apparently Beckham is so popular in Asia that enough people bought his jersey that Real Madrid made money on the deal before he ever walked on the field.

Maybe it's the same with Matsuzaka. Maybe the Sox figure that they'll make so much more money on jersey sales in Japan that the actual cost to them is much lower. Or maybe not. Maybe he's just a really good pitcher. Beats me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Well, that's over. Time to resume.

Hall of Fame ballots went out. We're going to have some controversy. First, the easiest. Cal Ripken is in on the first ballot. Duh.

Tony Gwynn is also in on the first ballot. 3141 hits, .388 lifetime average, 20 seasons with the same team, .324 in his last season (!!). In.

Then it gets interesting. Mark McGwire. And, for that matter, Jose Canseco. Actually that's easy too. Regardless of stats, which are pretty impressive, no one in baseball likes Canseco. Not gonna happen.

McGwire is a tough call. Plenty of writers won't ever vote for him, but they're *especially* not going to want him to share the stage with Good Guys Ripken and Gwynn (Gwynn, ahem, obviously didn't use steroids). How good a player was McGwire? He had nine really good years (87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 96, 97, 98, 99). He was hurt in between. Mediocre fielder, no speed. Obviously a year for the ages in 1998. On the other hand, yes, RBI's are a little bit goofy, but he still had fewer than Rusty Staub (and just seven more than Canseco). If he hadn't been hurt in the middle of his career, his numbers would look a lot better. Which is sort of the question. Why was he hurt so much? I don't know, but it looks pretty suspicious.

My guess is that he doesn't make it in. Certainly not this year, I don't think ever. Which won't bode well for Barry Lamar Bonds in a few more years.....