Category Archives: MLB

ARE THE YANKEES LIKE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY?

The Yankees have spent a ridiculous amount of money over the past few days. For those scoring at home, it would be 161 million on Sabathia and 82+ million on Burnett. That’s upwards of 243 million on two pitchers.

Now, my minimal understanding of the current financial crisis is that is started when banks bought up mortgage-backed securities, which worked because of the perception that housing values would always rise. When the value of houses stopped rising, the mortgage backed securities fell apart and lost a lot of value(someone please correct me if I am wrong.)

It seems to me the Yankees are investing in players under the perception that the revenue of baseball will continue to increase.

This is not an unreasonable assumption considering this article. Baseball’s revenue has risen by 50% since 2004, and doubled since 2000. It was over 6 billion in 2008. In the early 90’s they only took in about 1.2 billion. That is about a remarkable 9-10% rise in revenue per year.

I remember reading one of the big problems in the collapse of the housing market was everyone assumed this could keep going, based on past results. What if baseball, like many aspects of the American economy was riding a bubble of revenue increase because Americans had more disposable income as a result of the booming economy?

What happens if people have less disposable income to spend on baseball?

Well it seems the Yankees would have assets(players) that are valued under a faulty assumption and fall apart. Forbes magazine said the Yankees pulled in $301 million of revenue.

Who says this will always rise? Consider this:
that is the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the past 5 years.

The Dow reached a high of 13,563 according to E-trade. It has since fallen to 8630. That’s about 40% loss of value.

What happens to the Yankees if their revenue shrinks by 40% as well? Then they are stuck with a bunch of over-paid players. Or as congress calls, it TARP.

I don’t know if the Yankees will go bankrupt, but I could see a situation where it might happen.

Baseball is the true American sport in that it operates under a free market system. The market should reward the players that are most valuable with a bigger contract. However, a fair contract in a free market system takes into account the value of one player over the rest of the free agent class AND how much money is available to spend. CC’s value is based on his skill against the skill of others AND the available free agent money for teams to spend.

EX: Lets Johan and CC are both worth 5% of the free agent class. Last year Johan made 22 million per year. That means there was $440 million to spend across baseball in the free agent class. If revenue increased by 9.5% then $481 million would be available to spend this year. Then, CC would be worth about 24 million this year, to be equal in terms of the market.

The Yankees effectively increased Johan’s contract last year by 4% in terms of dollars. Is that a smart move? Well if revenue rises by 9%, yes. But if it falls this year they have grossly over paid him.

There is the possibility that the Yankees have paid far above market value on something that is declining in terms of dollar value. Ask AIG and Citi how that works out.

If the Yankees keep spending like they are, they might need a bailout from Congress too.

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Filed under cc sabathia, MLB, sports business, Yankees

Ray Sox Preview

Take him down Navarro. Time to be honest, it’s no secret that I am a Yankee fan, and being so naturally, I hate the Red Sox. But i will do my best to be as unbiased as possible with this preview. Alright here we go:

Catchers:

Navarro calls a solid game, is batting just under .300 and has been a huge part of the Rays turnaround. Varitek on the other hand, sucks. I’ll give him credit he calls a great game, is a solid defensive catcher but the man just cannot hit anymore.

Advantage: Rays

First Base:

Carlos Pena vs. Kevin Youkilis. Well, it may be a secret to the blog, but it is no secret to anyone who knows me that i absolutely despise Kevin Youkilis (sp? i dont care) That being said, the man is a very solid baseball player. Great hitter, excellent fielder, he’s just a good baseball player. Carlos Pena on the other hand is also one of the better first basemen in the league. He hits for a lot of power and is solid in the field, however, Youkilis is just too good therefore,

Advantage: Red Sox

Second Base:

Iwamura vs. Pedroia. Not much really needs to be said here, Iwamura is a good player, but Pedroia is excellent. he does it all and he’s tiny, just incredible.

Advantage: Red Sox

Short Stop:

Bartlett vs. Lowry. These guys are pretty comparable, they both play solid in the field and have slightly above mediocre averages. Plus i dont really know much about either of them…therefore;

Advantage: EVEN

Third Base:

Evan Longoria vs. Mike Lowell. Lowell is one of the greatest fielding third basemen in the game today, however, going 0/8 in the division series is nothing short of awful. Evan Longoria on the other hand has been an animal all year and he hasn’t slowed down in the postseason, posting a .353 avg. in the DS. I gotta go with youth and current performance on this one and go with

Advantage: Rays

Righ Field:

Gross vs. JD Drew. I’ll be honest, i’m not even sure if Gross has been the Rays starting outfielder for the playoffs. And i dont really care, deal with it. I’m giving this one to JD Drew no matter who’s out there, not because he’s that good, but because he’s better than whoever else is out there.

Advantage: Red Sox

Center Field:

Ohhhhh Upton vs. Ellsbury. This is a good matchup. Lets see, Upton is batting .278, slugging .889 and is so fast on the base paths and in the field. Ellsbury, also fuckin fast. Unbelievable speed. Batting .333 in the playoffs. Hmmmm…I want to pick you upton, i do…so I will.

Advantage: Rays

Left Field:

Crawford vs. Bay. Crawford, hitting only .214 in the playoffs, OBP under .320, the mans got speed, but gotta get on base to use it. Jason Bay on the other hand seems to enjoy being on a real baseball team and actually having some protection. He’s hitting a smoking hot .412 and slugging over .800. How can i not say,

Advantage: Red Sox

DH:

Lets see, Clifford the Big Red Dog is only batting .200 in the playoffs, Ortiz .235. Pretty similar. Neither has much speed. If this were 3 years ago i’d give the advantage to Ortiz. If it were 10 it’d be Floyd. But its 0, so thats what i’m picking.

Advantage: EVEN

Starting Pitching:

Since the projected starters arent out yet and i’m not really trying to determine the matchups i’m just going to give them each grades.

RED SOX

Lester: A+
Dice-K: B+ (did i mention im not going to explain my reasoning either? No? K, well I’m not)
Beckett: A- (If I didnt think he was still not 100% it would be higher but I’m liking the Rays chances when they face him…hmmmm that kind of seems like an explanation, maybe i lied)
Wakefield/Byrd: B- (Not really sure who their 4th pitcher is, but either way its mediocre)

OVERALL: A-/B+

RAYS

Shields: A
Kazmir: A
Garza: B+
Sonanstine: B

OVERALL: A-/B+

Advantage: EVEN

Bullpen:

Masterson, Okajima, Delcarmen. They are shaky. Almost blew game 4. Howell, Wheeler, other people. They’ve been good all season, and it’s been the same in the playoffs.

Advantage: Rays

Closer:

Papelbon vs. Percival (Wheeler?)..Either way the advantage is clear.

Advantage: Red Sox

That makes it 5-4 Red Sox. Congratulations, you’re still going to lose the series. Rays in seven. Hopefully we’ll see a brawl.


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Filed under ALCS, Evan Longoria, MLB, MLB Playoffs, pedroia, RED SOX, Tampa bay rays

Playoff Raysball

The Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays. Maybe the Devil was bad luck? Doesn’t bode well for my New Jersey Devils, but thats still a week away, so lets discuss some October baseball.

The Rays, 61-101 just a year ago, now 97-65. I’ll be honest, as a Yankee fan I am used to playing the Rays, I’ve seen them a lot, and I knew they were getting better. But i never expected them to go from worst to first. I don’t feel like looking it up, but last year the Rays always played the Yankees well. I was used to writing off any came against Tampa Bay but last year is when i started to notice some talent. I won’t say I expected them to win the division this year, i wont even say that i expected them to make the playoffs, but i did expect them to finish in front of the Orioles and Blue Jays. Just not the Yankees and Red Sox as well.

Lets take a quick look at this team:

Starting Pitchers:

  • James Shields
  • Scott Kazmir
  • Matt Garza
  • Andy Sonnanstine
  • Edwin Jackson (not part of ALDS rotation, but huge part of getting there)

The four ALDS starters combined this year for a 50-34 record. James Shields will be starting game 1, who is 14-8 with a 3.56. Scott Kazmir has been the best part of the Rays organization for a number of years now, he finally has some support. Matt Garza and Andy Sonnanstine are pretty much guaranteed to give you a solid outing every time out there. But even when the pitching isn’t there, this team has the hitting to back it up.

Lineup:

Catcher: Dioner Navaro
–> Solid numbers for a catcher, .295 average, solid defensive work.

First Base: Carlos Pena
–> Great power numbers, ok defensive first basemen. Only hit .231 this year, but went yard 31 times. 100+ Rbi’s.

Second Base: Akinori Iwamura
–> He’s no Chase Utley, but he’s a solid second basemen. Plays very well in the field. Hit .275 this year, has speed, seems to get timely hits, always a threat.

Short Stop: Jason Bartlett
–> .286 hitter, 20 stolen bases. Nothing flashy but a solid player.

Third Base: Evan Longoria
–> Evan Longoria is amazing. I have no other words. Should easily win rookie of the year. Hit .272, 28 homeruns, .531 slugging percentage, always seems to get the big hit, just a great all around player. Oh, and 7-0 in steal attempts, look out.

Center Field: BJ Upton
–> Watching Upton play last year, you had to know it was only a matter of time before he would be on a playoff team. He has it all speed, power, athleticism, great eye. 44-16 in steal attempts.

Left Field: Carl Crawford/Eric Hinske
–> What one doesn’t have the other does. Carl Crawford has the speed, Eric Hinske has the power. Can’t really go wrong with either of these two. Crawford hit .273 in injury limited action this year, while Hinske hit .247 with 20 HR’s.

Right Field: Gabe Gross/Eric Hinske
–> Nothing special goin’ on with Gabe Gross, look for Hinske to be out there.

Designated Hitter: Cliff Floyd
–> The fact of the matter is the man can still hit the ball, and can hit it well.

Bullpen:
–> I dont care enough about the bullpen to go into depth about them but they are very good. The set up men are all rockin pretty solid ERA’s. Troy Percival when healthy is a very solid closer.

Matchup:
Game one: James Shields vs. Javier Vazquez.
–> Hard to bet against James Shields here. The man is a beast. Javier Vazquez less than mediocre 12-16 record and 4.67 ERA will hardly scare this tough Rays lineup who are hungry to play their first playoff game in franchise history.

Game two: Scott Kazmir vs. TBD (Buerhle?)
–> I’m a firm believer that no matter who the White Sox throw out in game two it won’t matter. Kazmir is going to shut them down. Kazmir has been the back bone of this organization for years and is going to do whatever he can to make sure the Rays advance to the next round.

Game Three: Matt Garza vs. TBD (Danks)
–> Hard to say without a matchup. Matt Garza is pretty hit or miss. Danks pretty much told me to STFU last night, so IDK w/e ttyl.

Prediction:

Rays in 4.

Other Series Predictions:
Phillies in 5 (too bad Milwaukee can’t send CC to the hill every day)
Red Sox in 5 (I hate them, but i think they’re better than the Angels)
Cubs in 4 (The Dodgers will be lucky to win one)

I’m out, enjoy day one.

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Filed under Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, james Shields, MLB, MLB Playoffs, Scott Kazmir, Tampa bay rays, White Sox

White Sox Tigers Preview

The White Sox are in a tough spot. After getting swept by the Twins, then losing a few games to the Indians in the final week, they are looking at a collapse similar to that of the awful Mets. The White Sox once had a lock on the central division. Now they have to win two games in a row just to get to the playoffs.

The White Sox and Tigers are the only teams who’s regular season is not yet over. The White Sox trail the Twins by a half game in the AL Central. They need to win this game just to force a one game playoff.

The Tigers are a team that has underperformed all year. There were such high expectations for this team, but their pitching was not there and their hitting was not strong enough this season to make up for it.

The White Sox are sending Gavin Floyd to the hill, who is 16-8 with a 3.91 ERA. He is however, pitching on short rest. Since Floyd isn’t spelled “S-a-b-a-t-h-i-a” this could potentially spell out trouble. The Tigers are capable at anytime of pounding the ball. We should know early on whether Gavin Floyd has enough to get the job done or not.

The Tigers will be throwing Freddy Garcia who has only pitched 10 innings this year and is 1-1 with an ERA over 4. While this game obviously means nothing for the Tigers, I think Garcia is looking to play the spoiler tonight. After suffering a shoulder injury in 07, and not pitching much/well in ’08, look for Garcia to go out with a sense of purpose.

Prediction:

CHW: 7
DET: 5

I think Gavin Floyd will pitch a solid baseball game. Something along the lines of 5 innings 3 earned, a performance that will keep them in the game. I don’t really think Garcia is going to have much to offer today. Look for him to come out with a lot of intensity and the mind set of being the spoiler, but the Chicago bats are going to be too much for him. I just really want to see a one game playoff, so thats where my head is at.

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Filed under Baseball, Freddy Garcia, Gavin Floyd, MLB, Playoffs, Tigers, White Sox