A conversation about MLB, on the field, off the field.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

From the Basement Feb 07 07

Caribbean Series, tuned in top of the 8th, Venezuala vs Puerto Rico. The "dancers" on top of the dugouts between innings are HOT!

MLB.com in promoting MLB.TV, is claiming that this season the video quality will be twice as good as previous. Well, let's hope so, because if it wasn't-20 Celsius / -4 Farenheit outside I sure as hell wouldn't be watching this. ( The dancers aren't THAT hot ).

There are great players and there are stars. Stars transcend what they do on the field. The Yankees more so than any other team in MLB understand the importance of stars. A Rod is a star. It's early February and he is everywhere in the New York papers, on TV, over nothing more than his new childrens book. Did he write it or is it a "as told to" type deal?

The Reds locked up Aaron Harang for 4 years. In my estimation he has been the most underrated pitcher in MLB the past 3 years.

Buster has a link to a Boston Herald interview with Scott Boras.

Boras mentions that in negotiating contracts for top picks, teams are often in competition with other pro leagues. Not in this Q & A, but elsewhere, I have read his concern that changes to the Rule 4 draft will leave MLB in a less competitive position when competing for talent. I think MLB has made it less harmful for teams to walk away from top picks by giving them near identical picks in the following years draft if they don't come to an agreement.

Boras, and his staff, are probably as astute as any of the teams in evaluating talent at major, college & high school levels. Will the trend continue of agents crossing over? Jeff Moorad is part owner of the Diamonbacks. In hockey, Pierre Lacroix crossed over. I always thought it made sense, agents understand the market, the industry and talent evaluation.

Boras on the much ridiculed A Rod contract: "I get asked about the A-Rod contract all the time. (Rangers owner) Tom Hicks is now building an emporium around his stadium, with shops, the whole thing, the value of that property went through the roof. The football arena is being built right near there, he got a $ 100 million Ameriquest signage contract. His TV contract once he signed A-Rod went from $4 million to $ 35million a year there, the property value’s increasing, the franchise value increased, and then literally he paid for that contract in a short period of time, the 160 acres of land went through the roof, the value of the TV contract, the whole thing."

Boras foresees a Pacific Rim Division in MLB in 15 to 20 years. It makes sense to me, a lot of baseball industry observers noted that the Dice K signing is as much about developing the Red Sox brand in Japan as it is about baseball. The Yankees recently sent some suits to China, they aren't stupid. The downside? If MLB goes to Japan, because of the time zone, there could be MLB games on round the clock. I am in danger of becoming Boo Radley.

Boras thinks the Japanese baseball pros are going to revolt over the posting system. The system is poor, the Japanese clubs get way too much money. Andrew Zimbalist, post Dice K, wrote a good column in SBJ about the posting system, he thinks it poor as well. Will there be a Japanese Curt Flood?

Canuck Ryan Dempster has reportedly lost 20 lbs this offseason. Not sure what impact that will have on his performance, one thing I like about baseball is the overweight can excel.

Read that the Rockies are doing away with the humidor. I don't get it, I thought it had precisely the desired effect, namely making baseball at Coors Field baseball.

Oh shit, is Halladay hurt? Jeff Blair quotes Baseball Prospectus has reporting such, don't know how I missed that. As well Mr. Blair writes a column about something that's been puzzling me recently. Why have Tom Hicks and George Gillett purchased the Liverpool soccer team?

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