Miguel Cabrera Newsbeat
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
When welterweight Floyd Mayweather was No. 1 on Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50 last year—knocking out Tiger Woods, who had been No. 1 every year since SI started producing the list in 2004—it looked like a fluke, the result of the $85 million he received for his fights with Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto. Now Mayweather is proving that he belongs at the top. From just two bouts this year, one earlier this month and the other scheduled for September, he will earn at least $90 million, and that’s conservative; he could make as much as $128 million.
There are other notable shifts this year. LeBron James (No. 2) passed Kobe Bryant (No. 4). Tiger Woods (No. 5) is back above Phil Mickelson (No. 6)—thanks to $4 million more in tour winnings. Drew Brees wasn’t on last year’s list but he burst into the top five thanks to a $37 million signing bonus from his new contract.
The findings consist solely of salary, winnings, bonuses and endorsements. SI consulted players’ associations, tour records, online databases, agents and media reports. The endorsement estimates come from a stable of marketing executives, agents and other experts, including Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing.
Candidates for the Fortunate 50 must be U.S. citizens or play in a U.S.—based league.
1. Floyd Mayweather (boxing)
2. LeBron James (NBA)
3. Drew Brees (NFL)
4. Kobe Bryant (NBA)
5. Tiger Woods (golf)
9. Alex Rodriguez
Posted: May 15, 2013 at 11:52 AM | 40 comment(s)
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
WAR tells a new story about baseball. Better, WAR shows that new story, because it embeds every part of the game within its formula. Consider shortstop David Eckstein. The mainstream story about Eckstein—he’s small and not technically very good, but boy does he have grit—was told through adjectives, not facts. At the media-criticism site Fire Joe Morgan, there was a David Eckstein category comprising 20 separate posts on Eckstein hagiographies. That’s nearly 12,000 (hysterical) words mocking the reporters who celebrated the plucky Eckstein despite his weak arm, punchless bat and general failure to be athletic.
Now, here’s the twist: David Eckstein was actually very valuable, and it had nothing to do with the adjectives. In 2002 Eckstein (WAR of 4.4, according to analytics-based website FanGraphs) was almost as good as Miguel Tejada (WAR of 4.7), who won the AL MVP award that year. Tejada hit 34 home runs and drove in 131. But Eckstein was nearly his equal while driving in 63 and taking a running start every time he threw to first. How? WAR, and the components that it comprises, tells us:
1. Eckstein let himself get hit by 27 pitches, giving him a better OBP than Tejada and blunting Tejada’s power advantage.
2 . Eckstein hit into a third as many double plays.
3. Eckstein was actually a good defensive shortstop with more range than Tejada and more success turning double plays.
A writer who wanted to praise Eckstein, then, could have made some assumptions about Eckstein based on his height, weight and skin color (white), collected some flattering athlete-cliche quotes from Eckstein’s teammates and flipped through his thesaurus looking for new words—thaumaturgical! leptosome!—to describe the little guy. Or he could have started with WAR and explained how David Eckstein, ballplayer, was good at playing ball.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Yes, I like WAR as a statistical measure.
My issue is this: I don’t like the increasing over-use of (and over-reliance on) WAR as THE definitive evaluation of a player’s worth.
Such as, “Mike Trout had a 10.7 WAR and Miguel Cabrera had a 6.9 WAR, so anyone who thinks Cabrera deserved to be the American League MVP should be strip-searched, tied to an anthill and forced to rely on dial-up for his Internet connection for the remainder of his pathetic life.”
Look all stats have their limitations.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Clubhouse Confidential looks at the AL MVP results and discusses the BBWAA’s responsibility to the top candidates.
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