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

Saturday, April 7, 2007

From the basement April 07

After all the chatter on boards and in columns and all the political sabre rattling, MLB's out of market EI package will remain available on Cable. Ultimately this was all about MLB forcing Cable into carrying their upcoming MLB channel on their basic tiers, and it worked. The new channel will debut in 09. From AP "At 40 million homes, it would be one of the largest launches in cable history." This is the same dispute that the NFL is having with Cable over carriage of the NFL Network. I think MLB played this very skillfully, they got ripped everywhere in the baseball press, got ripped by Kerry and Specter on Capitol Hill and in the end got precisely what they wanted.

Jesus ( it is Easter ), another MLB event trumpeting the racial integtration of their game. I've been on about this for awhile. I don't understand why Jimmie Lee Solomon and his team at MLB have been assigned this task. The opening of the baseball academy in Compton, the 2 day Civil Rights & Baseball media event in Memphis last month and now "Frank Robinson will receive the first Jackie Robinson Society Community Recognition Award next week as part of a George Washington University..." April 15 Robinson's # 42 will be unretired...and on it goes. Is MLB really serious about growing the game in the African American community or is this to appeal to the caucasian, middle class, middle aged, baseball chattering classes ( which practically all the baseball media are, ok the high profile baseball media are more prosperous than middle class ) who want to feel good about themselves and be nostalgic for an era that they are too young to remember? I suspect the latter, baseball revenues have grown exponentially the past 10 years with no end in sight, while the game has never been less popular with African Americans.

Could the Cubs ( including Wrigley Field ) fetch a billion dollars? This will be revealing. Always the most important indicator of the health of a franchise or sports league is the value of the franchises. Balance sheet profits / losses are worthless figures.

Lot's of chatter on the Net about K Rod cheating. I won't read it. Is he cheating? Probably, a lot of us are cheaters. Practically anyone I've ever played golf with cheats, I've played cards with cheaters. I prefer "gamesmanship' to "cheating".

The Phillies picked up Francisco Rosario from the Jays. As has been widely reported, he is a power arm, I think the Jays will regret this. Pitchers often mature late and he has missed some significant development time to injury. The Phillies bullpen is taking too much of blame for the season opening sweep at the hands of the Braves. The Phillies scored 3 runs in losing in 10 opening day and scored 2 runs in 11 innings in the following days loss. In this era, especially in a great hitters park ( Citizens Bank ) you won't win many with that sort of run production.

If Phillies Mgr Charlie Manuel gets canned ( watch attendance, always the key to firings ) will Lynx Mgr John Russell get the job?

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