Comment of the day

One of the best parts of doing this is getting to hear/read others thoughts and opinions, even as they may vary from mine. Sometimes you guys are glib, othertimes angry and serious. Then, there are moments of beautiful clarity, like this amazing comment from loyal reader ditmars1929:

Stupid, f*cking, greedy bastards.

I have a degree in business. I can sum up what I learned thusly:

Consumer Behavior: Understand who your target audience is, what their expectations are, and expand upon that to understand your core consumer.

Marketing: Don’t piss off your target audience. If it weren’t for them, you would not be in business. It’s not all about you, it’s a two-way street.

Finance/Accounting: Always make a profit, but make a wise profit. Don’t over-reach and screw yourself long term or alienate said target audience that is your bread and butter just to line your own fat wallet.

Management: Make sure you don’t hire idiots who don’t understand the above to run your business. Hello, Randy Levine.

But even better advice comes from my sister, Marian, who is a real estate agent, which is this: “If the house isn’t f*cked up to begin with, then don’t move for a perceived upgrade.”

That was awesome.

Continue reading Comment of the day

Joba's Fastball Issues

Courtesy of ESPN: Chamberlain has been effective with two strikes; he has gotten hitters to chase his sharp slider out of the zone 53 percent of the time. Opponents are 2-for-21 with 11 strikeouts on two-strike counts. But getting to two strikes has been a problem, as Chamberlain has allowed a .424 batting average against and .667 slugging percentage on early counts. A big reason is his fastball. Chamberlain can still air it out — he has hit 98 mph this season — but he doesn’t throw at max effort all the time as a starter. His average fastball velocity Continue reading Joba's Fastball Issues

The Ivory Tower heard our calls!

Lo and behold, those perched in the Yanks Ivory Tower has heard our cries… well, not MY cries since I’m not spending half of too much anyways, but they have at least offered the olive branch to the rich folk and those too embarrassed to use their already paid-for tickets:

This from Hal Steinbrenner via the Yankees:

A few weeks ago I indicated that in light of the economy we would review the pricing of a small number of our premium locations at Yankee Stadium; specifically, our Suite Seats. I mentioned a small number of locations because in excess of 3.4 million seats, including 37,000 full season equivalents as well as approximately 85% of all our premium locations have already been sold. Yet, there are a few hundred Suite Seats in our premium locations that have not been sold on a full season basis. As a result, and for many of our fans who have already purchased full season Suite Seats in such premium locations, the Yankees are announcing today a program that adjusts certain prices and benefits affecting such Suite Seats.”

There’s a lot of info at the link above, but what seems most evident is that in lieu of refunds, they are offering additional seats. The main exception being those who bought the infamous ridiculously priced $2500 seats and those right behind them in the $1000 seats.

From a business perspective, this is an interesting (and smart) approach. The team doesn’t have to give back much money and it almost ensures that more and more seats will be filled. The Stadium will look more crowded, concessions and parking will perk up, and there should be a limited negative cash flow impact due to the limited refunds being offered.

For the ticketholders, I’m not sure how they should feel. I’m guessing that the extra seat for a family purchase might not be something they want or need, but the discount would be better felt/appreciated in their wallet. Some, however, who use these tickets for business entertainment purposes, might embrace the idea of an extra ticket to lavish upon customers/clients.

The refund option for the priciest seats might be a nice “face saving” choice for the corporates and Wall Streeters.

No matter what, it’s wonderful that the team heard the cries and actually did something. I am guessing they had to have Randy Levine chained to a boiler with a bandana around his mouth until this hit the press. I could see him treating his office much like Paulie O’Neill used to treat a water cooler after a pop-up to first base. Continue reading The Ivory Tower heard our calls!

MLB Notebook: The Life and Times of a Baseball Blogger

A good FOTB Zach Sanders of MLB Notebook had a good idea: Interview a bunch of bloggers to give you an idea what it’s like and what’s required to be an active blogger. Zach was kind enough to ask me my thoughts on a few topics, so I will put my quotes below, but I’d strongly recommend a visit to his site for the whole read.

on Breaking News
“I wouldn’t call it pressure, but I think being timely is important. Otherwise, you get lost in the crush. Not to mention, if you have a good quick summary before others, there’s some measure of making your claim first that appeals to me,” says Jason Rosenberg of It Is About The Money, Stupid, a blog devoted to all things baseball. “I don’t want to post something that someone might read and think that I merely repackaged someone else’s opinion.”

on Attracting Readers
“I’m not a self-promoter by nature, so I have to try to fight against that nature. I started by being active in the comments of blogs that I frequented, testing my arguments, logic, etc,” said Rosenberg. “I also tried to befriend bloggers, gaining a level of dialogue “off site”. Whenever I create something that I know is better than a regular, derivative posting, I will send it to fellow bloggers for their review. If they like it, they can link to it, but I don’t ever like to ask someone to link to something I write.”

There are some very interesting takes from some talented bloggers and I was honored to be included.

Thanks, Zach! Continue reading MLB Notebook: The Life and Times of a Baseball Blogger

Kevin Goldstein on Montero

Kevin Goldstein, the minor league expert for Baseball Prospectus, has been a big fan of Jesus Montero for a while, claiming that he has a special bat. However, even Goldstein has believed that Montero has no future as a catcher in the big leagues due to his defensive issues, but his bat will still make him a great player. In a recent posting on Baseball Prospectus (subscriber content), Goldstein has an update on Montero’s defense: The other good news is that reports on his defense are better, which unfortunately upgrades him from completely unacceptable to well below average. Goldstein has Continue reading Kevin Goldstein on Montero

Phil Hughes, lookin' sharp

I don’t do daily game recaps; you can get them everywhere else. Not to mention, I don’t get to watch every inning of every game.

But, I did watch much of the game last night and wow did Phil Hughes look sharp. I’ll try to temper my enthusiasm as I’d be beyond excited to see one of our own emerge again. It was a long time between Pettitte to Wang and Joba and the expectations have hounded Hughes for years. It’s hard to remember that Hughes is just 23 years old.

Phil Hughes wasn’t just good tonight, he was great. Six scoreless innings, two hits, two walks, six strikeouts. He threw 59 of 99 pitches for strikes and never cracked in a scoreless duel with Edwin Jackson.

If you were watching closely, Hughes had to fight to get command of his curveball. It was all over the place in the first few innings, even when he threw it for strikes. When he struck out Placido Polanco in the first inning, it was on a curve that wasn’t where he wanted it.

I saw that curve and Polanco’s knees buckled. I thought that pitch was perfect, but what do I know?

Here’s to hoping Hughes develops into everything we want him to be. Of course, that will only mean that the cries to “move Joba back to the pen” will get louder. Continue reading Phil Hughes, lookin' sharp

The Word On Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes pitched a great game last night against the Tigers, going 6 shutout innings while allowing just 2 hits. This performance has moved him off of the bust pile, as writers in NY rush to fawn over a guy they left for dead a few months ago. I thought it would be interesting to see the thoughts on Hughes from 3 guys who have, for the most part, actually remained in Phil’s corner all along. From Pete Abe: If you were watching closely, Hughes had to fight to get command of his curveball. It was all over the place Continue reading The Word On Phil Hughes

What I Learned from Tonight’s Game

Whew! I almost nailed the line on Phil, but I actually underestimated him a bit. I put him down for 6 innings (spot on), 100 pitches (he threw 99), 3 hits (he allowed 2), 3 bb (2 again), and 2 runs (Phranchise pitched shutout ball). Enough with the pleasantries, though, here are a few things I learned, what about you guys?  Anything to add? Jose Molina is not as bad a hitter as he showed last year. Despite the big talk about Swisher and Cano having bounceback years, Molina has some bounceback in him as well.   A miserable .216, .263, Continue reading What I Learned from Tonight’s Game