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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kilgore: The Nationals look like Prince Fielder favorites

Prince busters…going one step beyond?

And if the Rangers aren’t going to sign Fielder, the Nationals have to be considered the frontrunner now. Who else is there? Any team planning to make a stealth run at him probably would not have risked waiting until late January to make its move. The Brewers and Mariners have been on the periphery, but not as involved as the Nationals. You never know, but it looks like the Fielder sweepstakes is the Nationals’ to lose.

The process has been fascinating, and it looks for now as if the Nationals have played it perfectly. They held firm at their price for Fielder, and with the apparent (and stunning) relative lack of interest in one of baseball’s great sluggers, the market has come to them. They let agent Scott Boras dictate the terms of the Jayson Werth negotiations last winter. The Lerners struck back this time. Or at least that’s the appearance right now.

In the background of their discussions with Fielder lies the Nationals’ under-construction television deal with MASN. Like the Rangers, the Nationals could soon be expecting more cash from their rights fees. The details are few, but the stakes are explained in the story from today’s paper, with help from Chuck Greenberg, an architect of the Rangers’ massive TV deal.

The Nationals, experts say, can expect enough new revenue from their renegotiated rights fees to pay for Fielder’s potential contract – and then some. Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor and sports business expert, said signing Fielder could enhance the Nationals’ argument for higher rights fees from MASN.

“I think it would,” Zimbalist said. “Somebody like Fielder offers the possibility of not only the team being more competitive, but generating excitement in his own right.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:50 PM | 87 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, media, nationals

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4040402)
andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor and sports business expert, said signing Fielder could enhance the Nationals’ argument for higher rights fees from MASN.


Even more than Jayson Werth did?
   2. BrianBrianson Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4040415)
Who else is there?


The Blue Jays have the motive, means, and opportunity. They'd best be on it.
   3. Guapo Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4040417)
   4. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4040441)
Advanced stats people were leaders in poo-pooing the notion a star player adds to the bottom line. It was all about winning they said. I'm sure they have backed down from that position just recently.
   5. phredbird Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4040446)
come on, dodgers, do something!
   6. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4040449)
Now I know why the Nationals' ticket office keeps calling me. They need the money!
   7. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4040469)
When's the last time a major free agent remained unsigned this late into the winter?
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4040479)
I don't really get the notion that since the Rangers got Darvish, they can't get Fielder. They just inked a huge deal with Fox Sports and they really don't have a ton of big contracts on their roster - just Darvish, Michael Young, Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton will make eight figures on the club. Cot's has their salary obligations in 2012 to be about $87 mill with Darvish. There's no reason the Rangers shouldn't be well over $100 mill.
   9. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4040481)
If McCourt would quit dragging his heels and sell the team in a timely manner, Fielder would be a Dodger.
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4040482)
Walks

The latest that springs to mind is Tex who I thought didn't sign until 1/13 on his last big contract.

Of course, there is Andre Dawson who had to go begging because of collusion. Again, from memory so maybe he signed earlier.
   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4040485)
Walks:

A-rod signed on 1/26 back in 2001.

Just found that
   12. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4040487)
Andre signed March 9, 1987
   13. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4040489)
The Blue Jays have the motive, means, and opportunity. They'd best be on it.

It took me seven seasons after the Nordiques left Quebec City to start cheering for the Montreal Canadiens.

This winter, I caught myself being extremely happy when the Blue Jays were mentionned in rumors about Darvish and Fielder. I start to feel like I care about that team, somehow. How is that even possible?

Well, for one thing, the Expos left Montreal seven seasons ago...



   14. bookbook Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4040493)
Tim Raines didn't get to sign until May under collusion, so he wins that one.
   15. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4040495)
Cot's has their salary obligations in 2012 to be about $87 mill with Darvish. There's no reason the Rangers shouldn't be well over $100 mill.


Well that $51 million lump sum for the Darvish posting has to hurt their ability to offer big contracts in the short term. Just because it doesn't count against the official payroll doesn't mean it didn't count against their resources.
   16. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4040496)
I don't really get the notion that since the Rangers got Darvish, they can't get Fielder.


Agree with your sentiment. With our ultra fast media cycle today, I feel that most reporting is regurgitating or recycling other's original stories. If people took 5 min and sat down and looked at the facts (like you did) they would see Texas can easily fit Prince in their payroll, even if it is questionable he will fit on the team bus in 2016.
   17. zack Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4040498)
C - Ramos
1B - Fielder?
2B - Espinosa
3B - Zimmerman
SS - Desmond
LF - Morse
CF - Bernadina
RF - Werth

C - Flores
1B? - LaRoche
UT - DeRosa
OF - Cameron
OF - Micheals?

With that roster, they'd need to cut LaRoche for a middle infielder at minimum. Fortunately he's sucked pretty bad lately, unfortunately he's due $8mil. I think I'd rather have Morse at 1B and someone who can field in LF until Harper is ready.
   18. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4040499)
Manny Ramirez signed on March 4, 2009.
   19. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4040500)
#13 So you are a Johnny change slowly fan?
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4040505)
Did Manny count as a big free agent in 2009?
   21. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4040506)
When's the last time a major free agent remained unsigned this late into the winter?


There's a bunch, actually. Harveys has entionned Dawson and Raines, but, as he mentions, their cases are special because of collusion. Kirk Gibson was in a similar situation twice, when he re-signed with Detroit on January 8th in 1986 and when he signed with LA on Jan. 29 in 1988.

Under more normal circumstances, Vlad also signed with California of Anaheim in Los Angeles on January 14th (and with Baltimore on Feb. 18, although he was hardly a major free agen at that time).

Question: Why Expos superstars can't seem to find teams to sign with until late?
   22. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4040509)
This winter, I caught myself being extremely happy when the Blue Jays were mentionned in rumors about Darvish and Fielder. I start to feel like I care about that team, somehow. How is that even possible?

It's weird. Being a Jays fan my emotions as a fan have been kind of dulled these past 15 years. It's hard to experience highs or lows when you're not expecting anything to happen. Not getting Darvish when it seemed like maybe they would actually let me down in a way that the Jays haven't been in a position to do since...I don't know, losing to the Twins in he 91 ALCS?

I think the experience has clued me in to the fact that I may finally "believe" in the Jays again. I look forward to visceral heartbreak in the near future!
   23. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4040514)
Question: why Expos superstars can't seem to find teams to sign with?

I assume it's because they are loath to leave such a great city and persist far too long in trying to work out a deal with the 'Spos even though they don't have the money.
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4040518)

Well that $51 million lump sum for the Darvish posting has to hurt their ability to offer big contracts in the short term. Just because it doesn't count against the official payroll doesn't mean it didn't count against their resources.


I did forget about that. Is it one lump sum?

   25. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4040521)
I assume it's because they are loath to leave such a great city and persist far too long in trying to work out a deal with the 'Spos even though they don't have the money.

Well, that's nice, but no.

Dawson chose to play for much less than what he was offered by the Expos. That said, he did not want to play on turf any longer, was mad at the contract offer he had received from the Expos because it was lower than what he was paid the previous five seasons, and he wanted to play for the Cubs (go figure...).

It was reported Vlad signed for less with Anaheim than what he was offered by the Expos, then owned by MLB...
   26. Ron J Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4040522)
#4 Oversimplification. More than a few claims about a specific player's extra value to the bottom line have been debunked. Hell, Zimbalist himself debunked a few of them. (Basically all of the work done by statheads on revenue can be traced back to Baseball and Billions)

But there is clear evidence that a handful of players added more to the bottom line than their overall contribution to team wins and losses. Nobody disputed that McGwire (in his St. Louis years at any rate) for instance brought out extra fans aplenty. Or old Nolan Ryan (young Ryan really didn't add much to attendance).Is Fielder one of those guys? I'd be skeptical, but Zimbalist is essentially arguing that this is a special case -- pitching him to the broadcaster who will then be able to use him as a centerpiece to a marketing campaign.

Further, there is pretty strong evidence of a feedback loop between payroll and revenue. Most slash and burns have been revenue disasters, and there's pretty clear evidence that the casual fans use payroll as a proxy for team quality (and casual fans are critical to marginal revenue)


   27. Swedish Chef Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4040525)
I did forget about that. Is it one lump sum?

Payable before next Wednesday.
   28. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4040528)
Coming back to Fielder and to my previous post (#13). I may have been happier about him signing with the Nats seven years ago, when I still felt something for the club. But now? I wish he'd sign in Toronto. A team I use to hate! Strange how the world works, sometimes.
   29. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4040531)
Well, that's nice, but no.

I figured I'd take a stab at diplomacy. As a native of Toronto I'm legally required to hate Montreal but it never hurts to be nice. (Though so long as you keep it between you, me, and this internet thing, the Habs are my 2nd favourite NHL team)

Though as a Nordiques fan I'm guessing you're not from Montreal? This time being sincere: I like Quebec City better anyway. It's easier to feel the history there.
   30. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4040534)
Link showing Texas has 5 business days to pay full posting fee. Also, it seems the posting fee does hit the payroll, but can be spread over 6 years. Somebody suggested elsewhere on BTF the posting fee was not counted against payroll for lux tax purposes. This link disagrees.

Prince is still very much in play for Texas. Darvish signing didn't turn Prince into an impossibility, claims Texas was off the list is just poor journalism. Does Darvish signing increase the odds Texas gets Prince? No, it decreases them. But this is much different than saying Texas can't sign Prince.
   31. KronicFatigue Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4040537)
Bernie Williams STILL hasn't signed!
   32. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4040545)
#4 Oversimplification.


Or a summary. I've seen many of the studies that have been done. Frankly I'm not impressed with most of that work. The research types haven't discovered a clear link yet, I can live with that fact. That won't change my position that there is indeed a link.

I am very skeptical of casual fans awareness of team payroll. Some casual fans probably know it, but I'd bet most do not. And most probably don't even know what direction it is trending. Unless we have different definitions of "casual" which we probably do.

*I do strongly agree that slash and burn model is a disaster for building up a loyal base of fans.
   33. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4040549)
Bernie Williams STILL hasn't signed!


Primey!
   34. JPWF1313 Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4040558)
and there's pretty clear evidence that the casual fans use payroll as a proxy for team quality


no, your casual fan has very little clue about payroll other than that the Pirates are cheap and the Yankees spend gazillions. Your casual fan uses W-L record as their primary proxy for value, and player name recognition as their secondary- player name recognition is correlated to pay and hence payroll of course
   35. TerpNats Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4040561)
Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor and sports business expert, said signing Fielder could enhance the Nationals’ argument for higher rights fees from MASN.

Even more than Jayson Werth did?
Jayson Werth is a complementary star, not a lead one. In movies, he would be Ralph Bellamy or Una Merkel, not Cary Grant or Carole Lombard.

Second -- and more importantly -- Fielder would be the first genuine top-tier black star a Washington MLB team has ever had, and the first in town since the glory days of the Homestead Grays. As the D.C. metro area has a large (and affluent) black population, this would be a major marketing boon to the Nationals, as the Redskins are spinning their wheels and the Wizards are a joke. (The Capitals don't fit in this equation because there are relatively few black hockey players and thus relatively few black fans, though I know plenty of black folks who enjoy hockey.)
   36. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4040567)
Though as a Nordiques fan I'm guessing you're not from Montreal? This time being sincere: I like Quebec City better anyway. It's easier to feel the history there.

I'm from Quebec City ans still live there. I don't like Montreal all that much myself, to be honest.
   37. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4040568)
Who else is there?

The Orioles are laying in the weeds.
   38. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4040576)
(The Capitals don't fit in this equation because there are relatively few black hockey players and thus relatively few black fans, though I know plenty of black folks who enjoy hockey.)

Interstingly enough the two most prominent black players that pop into my head (Mike Grier and Anson Carter) both played in Washington (Carter twice!) Though on all two (three) occasions very briefly.
   39. BrianBrianson Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4040580)
native of Toronto ... the Habs are my 2nd favourite NHL team)


Statements like that are liable to get one jerseyed.

Not sure how to do that over TCP/IP yet.

After the Nordiques moved, I stopped like particular hockey teams. I may start following the Jets, but the Nordiques are still my favourite NHL team, and a pox on anyone who naysays that.
   40. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4040582)
A lot of good points on #35. I went to a Nats game last year and thought there were more black people at that baseball game than any other MLB stadium I have ever been to. I've been to all major markets ballparks excepting Atlanta.
   41. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4040583)
Could Prince really take it on the screws this year? What if there really isn't that much interest out there and the respective GMs of the few teams still rumored to be kicking the tires (Texas, Washington, Toronto?) decide they aren't willing to bid against themselves. What does Prince do if the best solid offer he has is 4 years, $75 million? How about $65 million?
   42. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4040587)
I have soft plans to visit Montreal this year. I was there once when I was small. I checked out some info on Quebec, do you recommend a night in Quebec is worth it as well? Okay, you will. I get the euro feel and all, but what do you do or recommend for a day?
   43. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4040589)
What does Prince do if the best solid offer he has is 4 years, $75 million? How about $65 million?


The Brewers will scoop him up. They offered him 6/120. And if that is off the table, which it probably is, they could probably still crush the 4/75 you posted. In fact, I bet the Yankees could too.
   44. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4040591)
but the Nordiques are still my favourite NHL team, and a pox on anyone who naysays that.

The Habs USED to be my #4 team behind the Nords and Whalers.

I actually have a Whalers Rick Ley jersey (I wanted Kevin Dineen, Geoff Sanderson or Randy Cunneyworth, but the Malaysian warehouse I was ordering from had Ley for $10 so I had no choice) and I've been on the market for a Nords one for a while. I was thinking either Mike Hough or Mike Ricci.

On the subject of black NHL players, I wonder if Georges Laraque could have pulled in any fans in Washington. He certainly was one of the easiest guys to root for in the history of sport.

Laraque
   45. TerpNats Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4040594)
The second player the Capitals ever drafted was black, Mike Marson. He wasn't much of a player (the same could be said for virtually any player on the roster before the Rod Langway trade in 1982), and didn't last long in the league. Nor did he draw black fans to a game very few of them had any familiarity with, unless they had attended minor-league Washington Lions games in the old Uline Arena.
   46. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4040595)
The Brewers will scoop him up. They offered him 6/120. And if that is off the table, which it probably is, they could probably still crush the 4/75 you posted. In fact, I bet the Yankees could too.

And if several teams get interested him in at 4/75 or more we get a bidding war and he is back up to 6 years 120 million.
   47. Randy Jones Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4040597)
Could Prince really take it on the screws this year? What if there really isn't that much interest out there and the respective GMs of the few teams still rumored to be kicking the tires (Texas, Washington, Toronto?) decide they aren't willing to bid against themselves. What does Prince do if the best solid offer he has is 4 years, $75 million? How about $65 million?


Then he signs with the Yankees or someone else for 1/$20 or 1/$25 or something like that. Then next year signs with the Dodgers after they have been sold.
   48. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4040598)
What does Prince do if the best solid offer he has is 4 years, $75 million? How about $65 million?

I'm guessing even Dan Duquette would beat that offer. I imagine Prince's floor is around 5 year, $110, which he may very well sign for. It's either take that or a 1 year contract with the Brewers.
   49. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4040600)

Second -- and more importantly -- Fielder would be the first genuine top-tier black star a Washington MLB team has ever had, and the first in town since the glory days of the Homestead Grays. As the D.C. metro area has a large (and affluent) black population, this would be a major marketing boon to the Nationals, as the Redskins are spinning their wheels and the Wizards are a joke. (The Capitals don't fit in this equation because there are relatively few black hockey players and thus relatively few black fans, though I know plenty of black folks who enjoy hockey.)


I was in Philly and going to Phillies games back when their campaign was Rollins and Rolen and I sure don't remember a lot of black Phillies fans.
   50. Rally Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4040605)
Did Manny count as a big free agent in 2009?


If he didn't, then nobody counts. He had just hit .396/.489/.743 with the Dodgers and signed a 2 year deal for over 40 million.
   51. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4040606)

I was in Philly and going to Phillies games back when their campaign was Rollins and Rolen and I sure don't remember a lot of black Phillies fans.


Race is a social construct, so how can you be sure?????
   52. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4040610)
The Brewers will scoop him up. They offered him 6/120. And if that is off the table, which it probably is, they could probably still crush the 4/75 you posted.


But would they? If Fielder turned up his nose at 6/120 and went elsewhere looking for more in a market that never materialized, how much does Bob Melvin feel compelled to offer a humbled Fielder after they already moved on to Plan B and signed Aramis Ramirez for 3 years at $12 million per?

In fact, I bet the Yankees could too.


I think the Yankees are more interested in getting their 2014 payroll under $189 million than they are in signing a fat man to a long term, expensive contract just to be their DH.
   53. Ron J Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4040614)
#34. How can I put this? I re-ran Zimbalist's study a while back. Then I started to experiment with other stuff. If you include both the previous year's w/l record and opening day payroll in the regression (as well as checking whether the team made the playoffs or won the World Series)

a) previous year's w/l record becomes insignificant
b) The standard error gets much smaller

In other words, factors that explain overall perception of the team's quality in rough order are:

Did they win the World Series last year?
What's the opening day payroll?
Did they make the playoffs last year?
Did they win the World Series the previous year?

Having said that, it does look like you can slightly improve the model by breaking out the biggest signing of each offseason and treating it separately. It's not a huge deal though.

Now both you and Lion are correct in that the casual fan won't know to the dollar what a team's payroll is, but they'll have a pretty clear notion of where the team ranks if they read the sports pages at all (because payroll always gets mentioned)

Now the standard error in my revenue model was around $10 million the last time I updated it. And best I can tell the biggest problem is tracking the long-term success of the team. IOW there is room for me to be wrong on specific points, but I don't think I'm hugely wrong. Feel free to demonstrate that I am. I'm always interested in this area.





   54. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4040616)
I was in Philly and going to Phillies games back when their campaign was Rollins and Rolen and I sure don't remember a lot of black Phillies fans.

A couple years ago I sat infront of this obnoxious family from Philly (redundant perhaps?) at a game in the SkyDome when Rolen was on the Jays. The son, who couldn't have been more than 14 and so 7 when Rolen left the Phillies, was spewing such apalling hatred for the guy I was actually getting uncomfortable. What precisely did that guy do to the fans of Philadelphia?
   55. TerpNats Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4040621)
The son, who couldn't have been more than 14 and so 7 when Rolen left the Phillies, was spewing such appalling hatred for the guy I was actually getting uncomfortable. What precisely did that guy do to the fans of Philadelphia?
He had the temerity not to be Michael Jack Schmidt, just as Baltimore fans disliked Doug DeCinces for his inability to be Brooks Robinson.
   56. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4040622)
I believe Doug Melvin is serious when he states that the available funds have been allocated.

I don't know whether a 1 year deal could happen.
   57. Ron J Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4040627)
#42 Are you a fan of high tea? Seriously. Most people rate the Chateau Frontenac's high tea pretty highly.

I used to go there for the Carnival. Haven't been there in years so it may have changed. Was great fun back when I went.

   58. Randy Jones Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4040628)
He had the temerity not to be Michael Jack Schmidt


Philly fans hated Mike Schmidt because he struck out too much.

Hell, last summer I was talking baseball with my gf's father, who is a huge Phillies fan. He was shocked when I said Schmidt was probably the best 3b ever and starting arguing with me about it.
   59. TerpNats Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4040633)
Schmidt wasn't really appreciated in Philly until 1985, when he was briefly moved to first base and put on a red wig. After that, the fans mysteriously got in his corner and stayed there.

I loved watching Schmidt play when I lived in Philadelphia -- one of the smartest players I've ever seen, with a great baseball sense about him. Unfortunately, his approach to the game was too cerebral for many blue-collar Philly pholk.
   60. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4040640)
Unfortunately, his approach to the game was too cerebral for many blue-collar Philly pholk.

This merely confirms my experience from the aforementioned game, watching every episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia 18 times, and going through a couple Flyers/Leafs playoff series. People from Philadelphia are just ###### up.
   61. Rally Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4040642)
I went to high school in the Philly area. I always enjoyed reading interviews with Mike where he talked about hitting. Part of his greatness was that there was always something he was trying to improve.

The stat record doesn't show that, since he was already great in the mid 70's and continued that greatness to 1987, but when you get to his high level it takes a strong work ethic and desire to improve just to stay on top.
   62. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4040645)
Philly fans hated Mike Schmidt because he struck out too much.

Hell, last summer I was talking baseball with my gf's father, who is a huge Phillies fan. He was shocked when I said Schmidt was probably the best 3b ever and starting arguing with me about it.


Whereas around here, you are going to get into arguments for putting "probably" in there...
   63. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 19, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4040661)
AROM

But I thought he came with suspension baggage. Do I have my dates confused?

Edit:

Close. But he signed and then two months later it was announced he was in violation. So clubs did NOT know of any impending suspension.
   64. Out of Accent Shallow's mouth go burning lamps Posted: January 19, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4040670)
Didn't we have a link to an old Baseball Digest or something awhile back that had Phillies fans in the 50s heckling Robin Roberts, and general statements from ballplayers that "Philly has the heckling-est fans"?
   65. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4040701)
What precisely did that guy do to the fans of Philadelphia?


They were also upset because he said that the Phillies weren't trying to win, back when they weren't trying to win.
   66. Papa Squid Posted: January 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4040713)
I actually have a Whalers Rick Ley jersey (I wanted Kevin Dineen, Geoff Sanderson or Randy Cunneyworth, but the Malaysian warehouse I was ordering from had Ley for $10 so I had no choice) and I've been on the market for a Nords one for a while. I was thinking either Mike Hough or Mike Ricci.


Aren't you a Leafs fan, too? Get a Sundin Nords jersey!

On the subject of black NHL players, I wonder if Georges Laraque could have pulled in any fans in Washington. He certainly was one of the easiest guys to root for in the history of sport.


I'm partial to "Scarborough" Wayne Simmonds, myself.
   67. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4040717)
I'm partial to "Scarborough" Wayne Simmonds, myself.

Well you have to respect a guy who survived the mean streets of Scarborough...I should know, I am one!

I think I'd feel too much overlap wearing a Sundin Nords jersey. In my mind Sundin is too much a Leaf by virtue of all the great years I saw him have in Toronto. I'd want my Nords jersey to be all Nord...so I'll go with Wendel Clark!

EDIT: I always forget Ricci was a Scarborough lad too. I think I'll have to go with him. Sure beats getting a Paul Bernardo jersey.
   68. I Am Not a Number Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4040720)
Check out the recent HBO documentary on the Broadstreet Bullies. That team and that city were a perfect match, which for everyone not from Philadelphia would be seen as an insult.
   69. Greg K Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4040722)
Check out the recent HBO documentary on the Broadstreet Bullies. That team and that city were a perfect match, which for everyone not from Philadelphia would be seen as an insult.

Who wouldn't be proud of the way Bobby Clarke assaulted Kharlamov in '72. That's a moment we can all cherish.
   70. JPWF1313 Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4040724)
In other words, factors that explain overall perception of the team's quality in rough order are:

Did they win the World Series last year?
What's the opening day payroll?
Did they make the playoffs last year?
Did they win the World Series the previous year?


no, those are factors that CORRELATE with overall perception, not factors that "cause" or "explain"

it very may well be that correlation is EVIDENCE of causation, but it is not proof.

random example- there is (or rather was*) a rough correlation between vaccination rates and autism diagnoses, AND autism is typically fist diagnosed at around the children are in the midst of scheduled vaccinations, that that has lead many people to conclude that vaccination causes autism- however correlation is not causation, autism rates are the same for the vaccinated and the un-vaccinated, autism diagnoses among the un-vaccinated have risen at the same rate as among the vaccinated (*and the growth correlation has broken down in recent years as vaccination rates have actually fallen in many areas, but autism diagnoses have not)

back on subject, casual fans know whether or not their team won last year or in the recent past, they for the most part do not know payroll unless there has been a splashy signing or two, or a noticeable firesale, other than that they go by name recognition- which is going to correlate with payroll
   71. JPWF1313 Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4040727)
Schmidt wasn't really appreciated in Philly until 1985, when he was briefly moved to first base and put on a red wig. After that, the fans mysteriously got in his corner and stayed there.

I loved watching Schmidt play when I lived in Philadelphia -- one of the smartest players I've ever seen, with a great baseball sense about him. Unfortunately, his approach to the game was too cerebral for many blue-collar Philly pholk.


I think there may also be an age divide, older phans had long since decided that he struck out too much and took too many pitches, and simply was not a winner (which is why they always lost in the playoffs to the Reds and the Dodgers), which was proven when the team finally got over the hump after importing WINNERS like Rose and Morgan... To many younger phans Schmidt was the best guy the teams of their youth...

Yankee fans had a similar generational split regarding Mickey Mantle, fans who grew up idolizing DiMagggio thought that Mantle was an inelegant strikeout prone underachiever bum... to the next generation of Yankee fans Mantle was very near;y god incarnate in a baseball uniform... (My older cousins worshipped Mantle, my uncle thought he was an overrated bum- and they literally fought over this)
   72. Srul Itza Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4040731)
Even more than Jayson Werth did?


Jayson Werth is a complementary star, not a lead one.


I think it's time to bring your sarcasm detector in for its 50,000 post tune up.
   73. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4040738)
#57, that's a good tip. If I go I will note this.
   74. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4040741)
I think it is clear Washington and Texas will both bid on Prince and there is almost certainly a third team that wants Prince too. To me that is enough bidding action for Prince/Boras to get a deal that is market value or beyond.
   75. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: January 19, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4040822)
Fielder's record of durability is pretty impressive. 162, 161, and 162 games this past three seasons.
   76. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4040824)
73. LionoftheSenate (is roaring!) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4040738)
#57, that's a good tip. If I go I will note this.

I'm hours late on that one... The Chateau is nice and the old town is also really nice. My personal favourite is the St. Lawrence River seen from the top of the hill. Restaurants are fantastic (although quite pricy - although cheaper when you have lunch). If you come in summer and like music, we have a fantastic festival and the city is full of life 24hrs a day. We also have a nice little ballpark where the most professional of all independant teams plays (a stadium where Andre dawson, Warren Cromartie, Ellis Valentine, and Larry Parrish played before joining the Expos, btw).
   77. Bote Man Posted: January 19, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4040828)
Fielder's record of durability is pretty impressive. 162, 161, and 162 games this past three seasons.

Nahhh, that just means that he is now worn out, yesterday's diapers, and his rotund proportions and hidden health problems will catch up with him quite rapidly.
   78. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4040854)
Fielder's record of durability is pretty impressive. 162, 161, and 162 games this past three seasons.


Ya can't pull fat.
   79. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:42 AM (#4040942)
A couple years ago I sat infront of this obnoxious family from Philly (redundant perhaps?) at a game in the SkyDome when Rolen was on the Jays. The son, who couldn't have been more than 14 and so 7 when Rolen left the Phillies, was spewing such apalling hatred for the guy I was actually getting uncomfortable. What precisely did that guy do to the fans of Philadelphia?

It wasn't him it was Larry Bowa. Scott looked like he could be the next Mike Schmidt but then he got hurt and couldn't get right. Larry comes along and basically calls him a pvssy for not playing 162 games and hitting 40 bombs a year all while signing a team friendly long term deal to a team that wouldn't spend money until they got a new stadium on the taxpayer's dime. So Philly's inferioty complex comes out because quite naturally Scott doesn't want to play there anymore and so they boo him and make him the scapegoat much the same way that Bobby Abreu became the scapegoat after he signed the big contract and didn't turn into some flashy Sammy Sosa like clone.
   80. zack Posted: January 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4041080)

Who wouldn't be proud of the way Bobby Clarke assaulted Kharlamov in '72. That's a moment we can all cherish.


NBC recently had a documentary on the summit series, and it was impressive how they still managed to portray the team that played beautiful, modern hockey as the bad guys* while oh yeah the 'good guys' only won because one of them took a two-handed slash to the other team's best player's knee.

The rest of it consisted of Esposito making himself sound like a drunken ass and Tretiak talking about how totally awesome he finds himself.

*even though they weren't wearing black uniforms, which the mighty ducks taught me all inherently evil hockey teams wear.
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4041177)
NBC recently had a documentary on the summit series, and it was impressive how they still managed to portray the team that played beautiful, modern hockey as the bad guys* while oh yeah the 'good guys' only won because one of them took a two-handed slash to the other team's best player's knee.

Seriously?

The Soviets were the bad guys. International Sports were a propaganda tool for a thoroughly evil regime.
   82. zack Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4041237)
The Soviets were the bad guys. International Sports were a propaganda tool for a thoroughly evil regime.


That may be true, but it has nothing to do with the players on the ice or the games as they were played.

You had one team, who arragantly thought the other was not fit to play on the same ice, but played a game based around violence and physical strength, while the other played a game based on teamwork and speed.

When that first team realized they were too out of shape and played a game too tactically weak to keep up, they responded by gooning it up to slow the game down to their level. They then proceeded to whine in the press about their beer not being delivered, and threatned not to play if their girlfriends were not allowed to accompany them on the trip. When they went down 3 games to 1 and were faced with losing the series, the coach ordered a player to break the ankle of the best player on the opposing team, which he did. In the deciding game, when given a marginal penalty, another player swung his stick back like he was going to hit the referee in the face with it, though he pulled back. Their coach threw a chair on the ice, and the GM (basically) nearly got in a fight in the stands, that was "resolved" by a player going over the boards with his stick.

That may be an unchairitable view of the Canadian team, but if this were a sports movie, which team would be the bad guys?
   83. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4041256)
That may be an unchairitable view of the Canadian team

*drops stick*
*drops gloves*
*takes off helmet*

Let's go!
   84. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4041293)
Well you have to respect a guy who survived the mean streets of Scarborough...I should know, I am one!

I grew up in Scarborough as well, but my area wasn't really the same as the rest of Scarborough.
   85. Walt Davis Posted: January 20, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4041692)
Let's go!

Damn straight! Nothing gets a Canuck riled up more than calling him uncharitable!
   86. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 24, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4044761)
Thanks for the tips Tim.
   87. jingoist Posted: January 24, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4044849)
"Guildwood; 43 - 44 or fight"!
"Our streets aren't mean; our potholes are killers"!

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