Baseball Ratings ‘Mysteriously’ Down:WSJ

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Baseball ratings are down across the board, as compared to this time last year. The article says:

Seven months after recording the lowest-rated World Series in history, Major League Baseball’s national broadcast business is still waiting for a recovery.

Lousy weather, delayed games and a lackluster matchup hurt World Series ratings last October, but household ratings for Fox Saturday Baseball, the sport’s so-called Game of the Week, are off 9% to date from last season, and 23% from 2000. With attendance down about 4%, one might assume that television ratings would be up. Renewed interest in the NBA and NHL playoffs might have postponed the general sports fans’ usual springtime turn of attention to baseball. Additional revelations of steroid use certainly haven’t helped.

A few things here. First, Television is a slowly dying medium. TV ratings have been declining for most of the past decade. That’s not to say people aren’t watching/following the games.… Click here to read the rest

Minors Recap, 5/26

Scranton’s game against Syracuse was postponed

Trenton batters New Britain, 11-0

  • Zach McAllister put together another strong start, giving up just 4 hits and 2 walks in 7 shutout innings, while striking out 5.  This type of outing has been Zach’s MO over the past 2 years: not striking out tons of batters while limiting extra-base hits and walks.  So far it’s worked for him, with a 1.91 ERA on the season.
  • Kevin Whelan allowed a hit and struck out 1 in 2 scoreless.
  • Eduardo Nunez was 4 for 4 with his 3rd homer of the year, raising his average to .302.
  • Colin Curtis was 5 for 5 with a walk.
  • Jorge Vazquez was 2 for 5.
  • Kyle Anson was 2 for 3 with 2 walks.

Tampa defeats Fort Myers, 3-1 (7 innings)

  • Lance Pendleton pitched well, giving up an unearned run on 3 hits and 2 walks in 6 1/3 innings, while striking out 5.
  • Jesus Montero, catching, was 2 for 4 to raise his average to .329. 
Click here to read the rest

Previous Yankee Drafts

For someone who keeps track of the minors as much as I do, the draft represents one of the most interesting events to watch.  It is probably the most important way for major league teams to restock their farm systems.  For those who don’t think the draft is important to a big-market team like the Yankees, consider how many current Yankees were drafted and signed by the Yankees.  This list includes Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, with future contributors such as Austin Jackson, Zach McAllister, Ian Kennedy, and Mark Melancon also arriving via the draft.  Even a team with deep pockets like the Yankees needs to draft well, because by having cheap cost-controlled players, they can fill holes internally and have the money to shell out for big-ticket free agents such as Mark Teixeira, AJ Burnett, and CC Sabathia.

Before looking ahead to 2009, I am going to list a few of the important picks from previous drafts that the Yankees have made in the last 5 years, since the organization has become more committed to the draft. … Click here to read the rest

Brian Bruney And Playing Through Pain

As we reported yesterday, Brian Bruney is headed back to the DL, as his pain never subsided from his original injury and he neglected to inform the club. As this quote from the Post shows, the manager was not pleased:

“The biggest thing is that you have to let us know how you feel,” Girardi said of his eighth-inning reliever who was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday after a morning session of catch resulted in elbow pain. “You have to be smart about it. You have to be more forthright. We need him healthy and back here.”

Love Comes to the Executioner movie download

Quite frankly, I do not blame Bruney here. There is a culture in sports that requires players to try and play through pain. Injuries are not rested, they are treated with cortisone and ice. While it would often help the team more if the player sat himself down, players are reluctant to do so, afraid that they will be dubbed malingerers or Carl Pavano.… Click here to read the rest

Causality or Coincidence?

Though I think the new defensive statistics are very cool to play with, the skeptic in me can’t help being… well… skeptical about how accurate they really are.  How important is defense, really?  Fangraphs’ UZR/150’s have a guy like Jason Bay consistently costing his team between 11 and 18 runs every year.  That’s a LOT of runs, especially for a guy who’s pretty athletic and moves really well.  Is defense really THAT important?

Two items I recently noticed brought this conflict into my crosshairs:

  1. As Pete Abe said in his blog the other day, the Yanks have not made an error in twelve straight games and are an impressive 23-6 in games where they are errorless.  Wow!  That’s pretty stark.  Is it a coincidence that the Yanks began their winning streak at the same time they began their errorless streak?  Is it possible that A-Rod’s stabilization of the atrocious 3b defense has been the TRUE key to the Yanks going on their run?
Click here to read the rest