Major League Baseball 2012

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Deacon
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by Deacon » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:24 pm

Uh, yes. I was seconding and summarizing your point, which tends to be true across all modern team sports. Pitching is part of the defense.
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by The Cid » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:02 pm

Just got a bit confused because "defense" often is the word substituted for "fielding" in baseball these days.
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Major League Baseball 2012

Post by Deacon » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:31 am

So...how long has Miami been a fly by night baseball organization?
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by The Cid » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:41 pm

Let's see:
1997: Florida signs a couple of big name free agents to complement their existing roster (mostly original franchise draftee Jeff Conine), goes on a playoff run, and manages to win the World Series in seven games and extra innings.
1998: Florida lets Kevin Brown (best pitcher on that team) go to San Diego, which he immediately leads to the World Series.

2003: The Marlins, with a combination of inexpensive veterans and talented young ballplayers such as Josh Beckett, sneak up and get past the Cubs to qualify for the World Series, which they win in six games over the Yankees.
2004: The Marlins start to jettison every expensive member of that World Series team within three seasons. (But hey, thanks for Beckett and Mike Lowell!)

2012: To open a new ballpark and rename themselves the Miami Marlins, the fish go out and sign a bunch of big name players such as Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle (colossally underrated lefthander), Heath Bell, and others.
2012: Before the end of the season, some of the expensive Marlins have already been traded away. Last night, the phrase tossed around was "every Marlin making money is going to Toronto."

There's an underbelly of the Major Leagues where owners make business decisions that somehow make them richer while screwing with the competitiveness of the game and taking an absolute dump on their fans. The Marlins do it, the Pirates do it, the Royals do it, and then they all blame the rich teams when they do it. It's awful, and it's a shame to Miami--a town that produces more than its fair share of ballplayers.

Also, way to go, Toronto: you've traded for the core of a last place team in the inferior league. At insane expense. Good luck with that.
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by The Cid » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:55 pm

Follow-up: I know some people who are into politics will see the name at the top of this blog and dismiss it on sight. But Keith Olbermann does know baseball rather well, and I think his column about what last night means for the teams in the state of Florida is worth reading.
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by Deacon » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:05 pm

The Cid wrote:Let's see:
So...for a while, then, yes?
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by The Cid » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:30 pm

Essentially their entire history. They give out a bunch of big contracts for one season at a time, and then immediately sell them off. This is now the third time that's happened. (For reference: no other team does this on a regular basis. Or, really, ever.)

Brace yourself for a busy offseason. This is the first of what I feel like will be a few shocking trades that weren't on anybody's radar before they just manage to happen. Some offseasons are really busy, and this will be one of them, with a lot of teams holding a ton of free resources and under pressure to do something big. The Rays have players they don't need, the Red Sox have all the money they'll ever need, the Cubs are at a crossroads, Philadelphia has to decide to fish or cut bait with an old team, the Giants are going to want more offense, and more teams have more money than in previous years.
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by ampersand » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:05 pm

Wait...Keith Olbermann has been doing baseball blogs? I suppose that mean his gig at Current is no more.

I can not see the Marlins move to Portland. Too close to Seattle I can see it going to Vancouver, but I don't think Montreal would be a good fit to move the Marlins. But I do think moving the Marlins would be more likely than, say, moving the Jacksonville Jaguars to LA.

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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by The Cid » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:40 pm

Remember? Olbermann used to be a SportsCenter anchor and, after that, an analyst for Fox's MLB coverage. (Yeah. Fox. Olbermann. Really happened. I'll give you a moment to pick your brains off the floor.) He once wrote a chapter in a SportsCenter-related book I received years ago as a gift, about the Hall of Fame and some borderline HoF cases. The guy really does know his seams, which is why it's such a shame that he wastes his time as a leftist Howard Beale. He could be part of a really good MLB coverage team. (Ideally, he'd be in the studio with Doug Glanville--a really smart former ballplayer--and a Joe Torre or another above-average former manager, while Bob Costas and Dennis Eckersley would be in the booth calling the game and a Tom Verducci or Buster Olney type in the dugouts getting insider info. That's my All-Star broadcast team.)
ampersand wrote:I do think moving the Marlins would be more likely than, say, moving the Jacksonville Jaguars to LA.
It's not so simple. The Marlins can't move anytime soon because they're in a new stadium Miami helped them build. The Rays, however, are now in a position where they may have to move. It seems unlikely, in the wake of what just went by, that they would be able to drum up public support for a stadium nobody wanted to build before.

Complicating matters, baseball gives every team a "territory," and those territories essentially include every part of the country that doesn't already have a team. So to move to Portland or Vancouver, you'd need the Mariners' permission. (Portland, maybe, but no way the Mariners willingly give up Vancouver. Even if it is a pain in the ass to get from Vancouver to Seattle.) Making things even worse, it might be hard for any market that doesn't currently have a team to support 81 home games per year in a stadium of 40,000 or more seats. Look at how many existing MLB cities struggle with that.

Out there idea: Move the Rays to San Antonio. It's not better than St. Pete, but so long as the Rangers sign off on it (that's their territory) it's a place that might appreciate having a new team--especially one in a high-profile AL East. This creates a three-way Texas AL Rivalry (Houston's in the AL West now), interjects a bit of cultural rivalry into the AL East with the northeast now playing with San Antonio. Meanwhile, when the Marlins' stadium deal gets to a point where they're allowed to move, build a park in Boston and put a second team here. You might have your doubts, but that would absolutely work. The NL East would have a Philly-New York-Boston thing going suddenly, you know Boston is a market that goes nuts for this sport, and there's the little matter of a New England interleague rivalry that I'd eat right the Hell up. (Bob Kraft could even own it, and finally take out a bit of his frustration with the baseball team that steals his Patriots' headlines all the time.)
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by Deacon » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:26 pm

The Cid wrote:Out there idea: Move the Rays to San Antonio. It's not better than St. Pete, but so long as the Rangers sign off on it (that's their territory) it's a place that might appreciate having a new team--especially one in a high-profile AL East. This creates a three-way Texas AL Rivalry (Houston's in the AL West now), interjects a bit of cultural rivalry into the AL East with the northeast now playing with San Antonio. Meanwhile, when the Marlins' stadium deal gets to a point where they're allowed to move, build a park in Boston and put a second team here. You might have your doubts, but that would absolutely work. The NL East would have a Philly-New York-Boston thing going suddenly, you know Boston is a market that goes nuts for this sport, and there's the little matter of a New England interleague rivalry that I'd eat right the Hell up. (Bob Kraft could even own it, and finally take out a bit of his frustration with the baseball team that steals his Patriots' headlines all the time.)
Man there's a lot in motion in that idea. However, I doubt it will happen. The Spurs are still a small market team, not the cash cow MLB owners shoot for. San Antonio is mostly a blue collar town, with enough rich people and companies to buy luxury boxes and some season tickets, but I don't know if that's enough for baseball. The AT&T center holds about 18k people at capacity. I don't know if San Antonio could really fill a 40k seat ballpark. Plus, it's not just the Rangers fighting for SA dollars but the Lastros, too...
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by The Cid » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:52 am

Deacon wrote:Plus, it's not just the Rangers fighting for SA dollars but the Lastros, too...
San Antonio is technically within the Rangers' "territory" though. The Astros could object, and that could present a problem, but any move to San Antonio would require the Rangers' consent. Baseball's territory rules are weird like that, but they prevent overnight movement, which is an overall good thing.

Keep in mind that baseball teams make more revenue from local television contracts than they do from ticket sales. Merchandising makes up a pretty solid piece of the pie as well. Most of the teams that spend a lot of money do so because they make a healthy profit off of large TV deals, or because they own television networks. If a team can pull down consistent local TV ratings, they'll have all the money they need.
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Major League Baseball 2012

Post by Deacon » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:31 am

So...why would the Rays move then? You literally JUST got finished saying immediately before the part I quoted: "Making things even worse, it might be hard for any market that doesn't currently have a team to support 81 home games per year in a stadium of 40,000 or more seats. Look at how many existing MLB cities struggle with that."
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by The Cid » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:57 pm

Deacon wrote:So...why would the Rays move then?
They don't fill up their stadium or pull down solid television ratings or sell a lot of team merchandise.

Florida baseball is a flawed proposition from the start. Because of the Grapefruit League, teams have had temporary homes in Florida towns for decades now. If you grew up in Florida anywhere near someone's Spring Training facility, you probably had a favorite team long before the Marlins or Rays showed up on the scene. Not to mention all the transplants and retirees that inhabit the state. Looking long term, it's hard to imagine anything getting better in Miami or in St. Pete, so those teams likely have to move.
Deacon wrote:You literally JUST got finished saying immediately before the part I quoted:
I should have been more clear: You already met the one requirement that a team HAS to have from their home sales.
Deacon wrote:with enough rich people and companies to buy luxury boxes and some season tickets
Empty seats are unattractive, and suggest that a team isn't as entertaining as others, but so long as they fill the luxury boxes and bring in enough home audience to justify high advertising prices for games, a team can make it. This is not the case in Tampa Bay, and may not be possible in San Antonio, but I'll point out that one of the biggest TV contracts in all of baseball belongs to the Texas Rangers.
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by The Cid » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:20 pm

I'm generally pleased with awards season this year. Everybody was a deserving winner. Don't understand how the AL Cy Young didn't go to Justin Verlander though.

Most importantly, I'm glad Miguel Cabrera won the MVP over Mike Trout. I know the sabermetric crowd really preferred Trout, but you can't overlook a triple crown no matter how little stock you take in RBI and Batting Average. It doesn't matter, at that point, that Trout had the best pure rookie season anybody's ever had ("pure" rookie excluding Cuban and Japanese players whose "rookie" seasons come in their physical prime, such as Ichiro Suzuki).

The NL got all their awards right. Posey deserved the MVP--when the best player on a World Champion is their catcher, that's pretty much enough to win my MVP vote in most years if I actually had one--Dickey deserved the Cy Young (first knuckleballer ever to do it), and Bryce Harper was a cut above the other rookies. Usually leagues mess up at least one of their awards.
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Re: Major League Baseball 2012

Post by ampersand » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:15 pm

So you're basing your MVP NL decision based on an event the voters had no idea he would be apart of when the deadline for turning in their ballots was at the end of the regular season. Okay. I will say though I think the voters made the best decisions all around.

I think the one thing we've learned about 2012 in baseball is that as long as you can get in, that's all that matters. I think the way the playoff should be structured next year should be designed so that winning your division takes precedence over just getting in. And I think they're pretty close in getting the postseason pretty much spot on.

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