Jeter & ARod still most marketable

An interesting article about who in the MLB is “most marketable. No major surprises here, but what was surprising was the relative small amounts these “most marketable” earn annually. I thought it was low; I expected higher, especially given ARod and Jeter work and live in NYC.

The list, with a highlight or two:

  1. Derek Jeter: “…his $7 million annually in endorsements is a pittance in sports. The smooth shortstop plays for the historic Yankees franchise, is well-known nationally for his World Series appearances, yet he earns the same amount as Denver bad-boy guard Allan Iverson.
  2. Alex Rodriguez: “Yet he and teammate Jeter split the big New York market, hurting both in the endorsement world. The best is yet to come: His expected run at Barry Bonds’ home run mark around the 2013 season will launch him into the marketing stratosphere.
  3. Ryan Howard: “Likable and only 28, the one-time National League Rookie of the Year is on the road to a top-notch endorsement career.
  4. Ichiro Suzuki: “…he’s the top-ranked baseball player on Sports Illustrated’s International 20, bringing in an estimated $24 million in salary and endorsements last year.” (Note: Not sure what “salary” they are referring to since ARod, for example, has an annual salary higher than that alone…)
  5. David Ortiz: “…the 32-year-old has a few more years to capitalize on his engaging personality.
  6. David Wright: “Topps Cards and VitaminWater (where he made a stock killing when the company was taken over last year) are among his endorsement pacts. Though his fielding may be suspect (64 errors in three years), the 25-year-old’s marketing future is not.
  7. Albert Pujols: “Sports Illustrated estimated $3.5 million in endorsements for the 28-year-old last season…
  8. Kosuke Fukudome: “Entering his first major league season, the superstar from Japan is already featured in Chicago Cubs ad campaigns, though he’s never set foot in Wrigley Field for a game.

Not surprised about much here, though seeing rookie Fukudome here was the lone surprise. I know he’ll be in line to mine the Japanese market like Ichiro before him, but I would have guessed that the more established Hideki Matsui would have been on this list prior to Fukudome. Then again, the bloom is gone from that flower and Fukudome’s the new kid in town so maybe that’s the reason.

Continue reading Jeter & ARod still most marketable

Happily lousy

[With all apologies, I’ve been unable to post as often due to work warming up. I’ve got busy season creeping up on me but I’ll do my best to get stuff up here as often as possible.]


Now, we all know the Bonds-less San Francisco Giants will be bad this year, possible historically bad. We also have heard the numerous stories coming out of their Spring Training about how much happier, loose, relaxed, etc., the lockerroom is without His Barry-tude casting a shadow.

Except this team is really, REALLY bad. To wit: Zito, Giants beaten by Triple-A Fresno

One of the squads appeared set for Opening Day, and it wasn’t the Giants, who lost to Fresno 4-3.

In his final appearance before he starts the opener against the Dodgers, Barry Zito allowed four runs (three earned) over 6-2/3 innings against a Grizzlies lineup in which Nate Schierholtz was the Big Man On Campus, with 112 big-league at-bats. For the spring, Zito gave up 24 earned runs in 25 innings.

The Giants started their regulars and had them all get 3 AB’s and yet they still couldn’t muster more than 3 runs against a Triple AAA team.

Fantasy note: Downgrade Cain & Lincecum

This is gonna get ugly, folks. Continue reading Happily lousy

Feeling a draft

Disclaimer: If you’re not into fantasy baseball, please scroll down (or up, whatever) for other baseball stuff.

Tonite is my baseball draft. I’m basically down to just one league. I used to be in quite a few but as I’ve gotten busier at work, plus kids, I just don’t have the time or desire to handle much more than this one great league. It’s 12 teams, reasonably competitive. Most of the guys know what they are doing and the ones that don’t, well, they fake it well.

Our keeper rules are very well thought out:

  1. Only players drafted may be kept (no undrafted players, even if waived)
  2. Max of 7 total
  3. Each player can be kept a max of 3 years
  4. Each year, the player’s draft round is +3 rounds higher than the previous year. In other words, no player drafted/slotted in the first three rounds can be kept. This keeps the top 30 players available, in most cases. It also forces owners to make keeper decisions based upon players’ “value” relative to their draft spot if they weren’t protected.

For the most part, the best players are available, though the smart/lucky owner will have a few of the best players protected at significant below-market round “slottings”. Having sold off my underperforming team last year mid-season, I am one of those lucky owners with a few major values that I am keeping. Going into the draft, my keepers are:

  • Justin Morneau, 8th rd (last year of contract)
  • Chein-Ming Wang, 13th rd (2 yrs left)
  • Jon Papelbon, 17th rd (last year, drafted by me 2 years ago!)
  • Hanley Ramirez, 18th rd (last year, the pride of my mid-year purge)
  • Phil Hughes, 19th rd (2 yrs left)
  • BJ Upton, 20th rd (last year, the other pride of my mid-year purge)
  • Matt Kemp, 21st rd (2 yrs left)

There are some other cheap keepers being protected by others, the best of which is a 22nd round Ryan Braun.

We also use OBP instead of BA, an idea I pushed for since it’s a better barometer of a player’s ability to get on base than simple batting average. Why should guys who rack up walks be penalized rather than rewarded? Made no sense so we use OBP now, boosting guys like Adam Dunn.

I draft in the 6th slot, a mid-draft position that I hate. I rather bat last or first. The middle sucks. No flow. No way to start a run by double-dipping on closers, for example. I hate it. That said, there are guys I’d be happy with anywhere from 4-10, so the 6th slot gets me one of those guys. Here’s how I see the first 5 picks going:

  1. ARod
  2. Pujols (the owner is a diehard Cardinals fan)
  3. Johan (Mets fan; he told me he’s taking Johan if available)
  4. Reyes (Mets fan; told me he’s taking Reyes if Johan isn’t there)
  5. Wright (the owner was set on taking Howard for the power but told me today that if Wright slips, he might have to take him over Howard. I am bummed if this plays out like this)

So, in the event the team with the #5 slot does indeed take Wright, I will likely be looking at Ryan Howard or Miguel Cabrera. I am starry eyed about Howard’s power but I have a 1B already rostered, so maybe taking Cabrera to fill my 3B slot is a smarter idea. Will give me a fewer HR (-10 or so) but with the guys already on my team, that’s probably OK. I think I can draft power in the 2nd and 3rd rounds reasonably well and get those missing HR back. Or, that’s my hope. I am tempted by Utley and Rollins, but also having a top 2B and the top SS makes filling the MI slot with my first pick seem silly. Of course, if I drafted Howard, I’d fill my CI slot with my first pick, but 50 HR power doesn’t come often.

So what should I do? Lend me your thoughts, quickly!!!!

I’ll recap the draft, possibly, if anyone wants. If not, I still might do it anyways. Continue reading Feeling a draft

Advertising?!? Ack, my eyes

Got a chance to watch part of the “Opening Series” game (or at least have it on, not really “watching”) at work this morning. Besides confirming how much I hate baseball in a dome, any dome, we got to see the proliferation of on-the-uniform advertising that’s prevalent in Japan but anathama to the US.

Now, the title of the posting is mostly tongue-in-cheek. I don’t get as caught up in this as the Religious Right (Joe Buck, Lupica, etc.) or the UniWatchBlog fans, but I don’t particularly care for it either.

Part of this little baseball-in-Japan is to promote the game; the rest of it is a big fat cash grab. It is about the money, stupid. I still don’t see those on-the-uniform advertising taking off in the US anytime soon. Otherwise, I’d really start screaming like the rest of the Religious Right at anything that they deemed “new school”.

Here are some pictures of the offending logos:

Continue reading Advertising?!? Ack, my eyes

Regrets? I've had a few

Seems that ARod is opening up a bit more about some of his past regrets, namely forgoing the Mets in 2000 to chase the $252million in Texas. Hard to argue this one, even if it’s ARod. Texas was not a winner and the Mets were on the way to becomming a consistent threat in the NL East. Just imagine what the Mets would look like now, with ARod on their team? Makes you wonder where David Wright or Jose Reyes would be, either on the Mets or somewhere else.

Not much eye-opening to the article, but it’s ARod and it will get lotsa press. Some of the more interesting things, to me:

The three-time MVP says that at some point after his opt-out decision in October, he realized he could be headed for a similar scenario, with Boras dictating his next destination.

So to make the right decision just feels really good,” Rodriguez said, “versus being taken down a road where I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, where am I? Oh, $400 million to play in some place I hate? Great, I’ll blow my — head off.’

I really wonder why he mentioned $400 million when it was clear to everyone that the Yanks were again the high bidder with no other team seemingly in contention. I can’t see the Angels or Detroit, or even Boston, going that high for anyone. Frankly, $300 million is already ludicrous, and $400 million for one player is so beyond all rational comprehension, I struggle to find words to capture it. But was Detroit really going to go that far? I really wonder.

Speaking of Detroit, he mentions them, curiously, later in the article, leading me to wonder if Detroit had someone whispering in Boras’ ear very loudly:

I want to believe it’s the same with me. If I had gone to Detroit or someplace and I don’t win, people are going to hammer me, because there’s no loyalty, and by moving again, I don’t represent anything. Instead, I’m planting my roots here and saying I want to win with one team and represent something as a Yankee the rest of my career. I think it’s the right way to do it.”

Certainly seems like they might have been ready to go that deep. Continue reading Regrets? I've had a few

Yankee Stadium info, tidbits, etc.

A few (off the field, non-personnel related) Yanks things of note this evening:

  1. The Yanks’ brass had another chest-pounding moment this evening, posting a press release touting that the team has already sold 3.8million seats for the 2008 season. The team is 400k ahead of last year’s pace, due mostly to the fact that this is the final year of the soon-to-be “old” Yankee Stadium.

    Of course, this means getting tickets are tougher than ever. And forget All-Star Game tickets; you need some major luck/connections to nab those.

  2. Speaking of the All-Star Game, if you are in the area or plan on being in NYC during the All-Star Game this July, you might want to volunteer to help out at the Stadium or in some other capacity. Check here for all the options and details. I volunteered and I want to see if I’m picked and what my assignment would be. Hey, free access and free swag is free access and free swag.
  3. Lastly, I’m taking the family on a Stadium tour 9/6/08, one of the last tours available. I have always wanted to see the dugout, lockerroom, etc. so I’ll have some great picks to come later this Fall. You can check here to see if there are other dates available, if interested.

Continue reading Yankee Stadium info, tidbits, etc.

A closer look at the next Dice-K

A pretty fascinating look at Yu Darvish, widely heralded as the “next Dice-K” Japanese export was published today and it’s definitely worth a read.

Darvish is half-Iranian, half-Japanese but is a product of the Japanese school systems and baseball systems.
“I was born and raised in Japan, so I believe myself 100 percent Japanese,” he says. “My dad is Iranian, but he’s got a lot of Japanese tastes, personality. I was surrounded by Japanese people, so I totally think I’m Japanese.”

People are already frothing over him coming Stateside. After reading this article, I am, too, so long as he doesn’t become Dice-K’s teammate.
Last season, most of which he pitched as a 20 year-old, he went 15-5 with a 1.82 earned-run average and 12 complete games. His fastball hits 97 mph, his slider 91, and he throws a curveball, changeup and sinker. With Darvish, it’s a matter of when he asks the Fighters to post him for auction to the highest major-league bidder.
One American League executive guessed if Darvish posted after this season the fee to negotiate a deal would cost “around $75 million.” Another suggested “it could be even higher.” If the Red Sox paid $51 million for a 26-year-old Matsuzaka, a 22-year-old Darvish could command a 50 percent premium.

Pretty lofty stuff.

As a side-note, maybe it’s time to rethink the Japanese posting system as only the richest teams seem to be able to pay that sort of entry fee for the best of the best. Not that I mind much, personally, since my team spends that sorta loot eagerly. But if I were a fan of one of the 25-26 other teams who’s ownership doesn’t spend that much, I’d be concerned.

Continue reading A closer look at the next Dice-K