Thursday Halolinks: Getting hooked on baseball, and 10 billionaires

USA TODAY Sports

When did baseball hook you?

Halolinks.  Read 'em while they're hot:

  • I think Rob Neyer is at his best when he's writing from the perspective of a baseball fan rather than a baseball analyst.  In this post:The Perfect Game - Baseball Nation.  "Sometimes we need a child to remind us that baseball, at its essence, is the perfect game." He's found an article on Slate that sums up why baseball is so great: Kids and baseball: You may think it’s slow and boring, but my 8-year-old son knows it’s perfect... "Baseball is to sports as ketchup is to condiments: something that doesn’t change much, not because of stuffy conservatism, but because almost any change would make it worse. It’s amazing, how effective the lure of baseball still is, how fast it grabs you."  I became hooked when my brother took me to an Angels-Orioles game in 1970.  I was nine, and from then on, a day hasn't gone by that I haven't spent at least part of my day thinking about baseball.  That's approximately 15,000 days (wow, that's sort of depressing) that had some part of it pondering "what time is the game on?",  "I can probably play third base better than Brooks Robinson", and "I wonder if Willie McGee is a ugly in person as he is on his baseball card?".  If I die tomorrow, I know none of that time was wasted.
  • So then, I'm feeling all warm in by baseball blanket of love, when I come across this post from Bloomberg that pisses on my tingles: Geezers Love the World Series and Threaten Baseball - Bloomberg.  "So here’s a shocking statistic: The median age of the 2012 World Series television viewer was 53.4, the highest in more than 20 years, and probably of all time, according to Brad Adgate of Horizon Media. In case you’re wondering, the median viewer of 2013 NBA championships was just 41. And the NFL? Everybody watches the Super Bowl, so it doesn’t provide much in the way of meaningful data. But so far this season, the median age of prime-time professional football viewers is under 45."  But ten I figure, "So what?  I'm old, but I haven't wasted 15,000 days thinking about the NBA."
  • And finally, some other guy at Bloomberg writes this: Yankees Among 10 MLB Teams Valued at More Than $1 Billion - Bloomberg. Apparently all of us old guys are driving up the value of MLB franchises, making billboard salesmen billionaires: MLB Team Valuations - Bloomberg
  • MLBTradeRumors has finally gotten around to the Angels: Offseason Outlook: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com.  "The Angels came into this season with extremely high hopes but they stumbled badly out of the gate - dropping 27 of their first 42 games - and never recovered.  This season, owner Arte Moreno wants to get his money's worth."  And it ain't pretty ($18,500,000 for Vernon Wells!)
  • Interesting post: John Lackey: Back from the dead - Beyond the Box Score.  "The story is amazing, without a doubt, but you may have noticed that I've done very little to answer initial question: how did John Lackey become a reliable starter again?"  And then he explains.
  • I kind of touched on this yesterday, but apparently Tim Lincecum's numbers are better than we thought: Tim Lincecum and the Slow Death of ERA - FanGraphs Baseball.  "The first deal of the 2013 off-season continues that trend. By ERA, this contract for Tim Lincecum looks crazy. But, more and more, it looks like we are entering an age where teams will bid significant dollars for pitchers who are expected to be better than their recent ERAs suggest. And, of course, Lincecum fits perfectly into that group. You don’t need a further rehash of Lincecum’s last few years, as everyone by now knows his xFIPs have been pretty good and his ERAs pretty awful. The numbers that are better at projecting future performance think Tim Lincecum is still pretty good. Over the last two years, Lincecum’s 96 xFIP- ties him with Mat Latos and Derek Holland. It puts him almost dead even with Jon Lester, and ahead of Jake Peavy. 2/35 for any of those four pitchers would be hailed as a huge bargain, because their ERAs match up with their xFIPs, and so the public perception is that they are good pitchers. The public is still evaluating pitchers almost entirely by ERA; Major League teams, increasingly, are not."
  • On Tuesday we had Mark Cuban.  Today, we get this guy: College football's Ridiculously Photogenic Guy - SBNation.com.  "Cam McDaniel, Ridiculously Photogenic Running Back."
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  • Oh yeah, the World Series.  Boston won game 1.  St. Louis Cardinals vs. Boston Red Sox - Recap - October 23, 2013 - ESPN.  "Mike Napoli hit a three-run double right after a game-changing decision in the first inning, Jon Lester made the early lead stand up and the Red Sox romped past the sloppy St. Louis Cardinals 8-1 on Wednesday night for their ninth straight win in a World Series game."
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