Money. Is that what all of this is about? What's that worth? Who makes the most? How much can I get? Dollar signs are everywhere. You can't read an article or watch a broadcast without money being part of the story. As fans, should we even care how much a team is worth? Does the value of a team or the mega-dollar contract a player is signed to make a difference on how we feel about the game or player? Would it make a difference to you if the Angels were the highest valued franchise in baseball, or would you feel better rooting for one of the lower, underdog type of teams?
(I went back and re-read my commentary...wow, am I in a weird mood this morning!) Halolinks for the poor:
- The rich get richer: MLB Worth $36 Billion As Team Values Hit Record $1.2 Billion Average - Forbes, "If Major League Baseball traded on a stock exchange it would be worth $36 billion. The average baseball team is now worth $1.2 billion, 48% more than a year ago, the biggest year-over-year increase since we began tracking team values in 1998. A record 15 MLB teams are now worth at least $1 billion, up from five in 2014." Forbes magazine seems to think the 8th-ranked Angels are heading out of Anaheim: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - In Photos: MLB Team Values 2015 - Forbes, "8. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Team value: $1.3 bil. Revenue: $304 mil. Operating income: $16.7 mil. Unable to come to terms with the city of Anaheim about renovating Angel Stadium and nearby real estate, the Angels are trying to work out a deal for a new ballpark in Tustin (eight miles southeast of Anaheim) or the city of Riverside, which is located 60 miles east of Los Angeles and 35 miles east of Anaheim. By the year 2020, chances are that the Angels, for the first time in over 50 years, will not be playing ball in Anaheim."
- The club continues to roll in spring. The 12-8 Angels have the second-best Spring Training record of all AL teams (Oakland is 14-9), and the third-highest winning percentage in all of baseball (the Dodgers are 12-6). Last spring, the Halos went 19-11 on their way to baseball's best 98-win season. Robertson, Cron lead seventh-inning rally to down Tribe - angels.com, "Tropeano struggles in fourth: Tropeano -- starting his first Cactus League game while aiming to win the fifth spot of the Angels' rotation -- retired nine of the first 10 batters, but ran into trouble in the fourth. The 24-year-old right-hander put the first three batters on -- on an infield single, an error and a walk -- then issued a bases-loaded walk, a sacrifice fly and an RBI single. Tropeano finished giving up three runs (one earned) on two hits and three walks in four innings." Tropeano had the same problem Andrew Heaney had the day before, he seemed to run out of gas.
- Josh Hamilton? Hmmm, Josh Hamilton. Sorry, doesn't ring a bell. Jump for Joyce: New face helping Angels fill void - MLB.com, ""This team, not only are they extremely talented, but they're a really good group of guys," said the 30-year-old Joyce, who last year hit .254 with nine home runs for Tampa Bay. "Since Day 1, they've been welcoming. I've really enjoyed myself so far." Joyce returned to left field in Wednesday's 4-3 victory over the Indians and quickly showed why he's expected to be Mike Scioscia's cleanup hitter when the Angels face Felix Hernandez on Opening Day at Safeco Field."
- All that discussion about who's going to win the 5th starter spot in the rotation is probably going to me moot. Especially if Garrett Richards is ready to take the hill the second week of the season: Angels may start season without a fifth starter - MLB.com, "Asked whether he believes the fifth spot is still wide open, Scioscia said: "There's a lot of things that can go into consideration. But you look at all the guys who have been throwing the ball well, we can look at a lot of different things as we start the season. We don't need a starter [until] the 14th, so there will be some things that we'll look at." Scioscia confirmed the obvious, while basically asserting that Drew Butera will be the backup catcher. Butera is out of options, and Scioscia said he "has the experience and confidence to go back there and work with the staff."
- There are players who standout for a reason, and then there are those who don't for some unknown reason. Erick Aybar is the later as he quietly goes about his business...and no one notices: 2015 Positional Power Rankings: Shortstop | FanGraphs Baseball - Erick Aybar #6, "There’s probably some way to define it objectively, but Erick Aybar almost certainly produced among the most boring four-win seasons in the majors last year. He’s a defensively competent, maybe above-average, shortstop who makes enough contact to post a league-average batting line. His park suppresses offense, though, and he doesn’t steal a ton of bases, so he doesn’t appear on any leaderboards. On paper, it’s unimpressive. On the field, it’s quite helpful."
- I've written it many, many, many, MANY times before that I love stats. I love reading, discussing, analyzing, learning about all the old and new baseball statistics, but now it seems we've crossed into some over-done dimension of numbers. How long until we learn that a player hits better after eating chicken as opposed to beef (Wade Boggs)? Or, players with size 10 shoes throw 2.7% faster than those who wear size 9? Pitcher Respect: A Strange but Effective Way to Project Hitter Performance – The Hardball Times, "There are certainly better variables to measure a hitter. Strikeout percentage, walk percentage, and isolated power, for example, are each are superior ways to measure a hitter’s abilities. If you used those, plus other hitter-controlled variables and add some aging variables, they would definitely come out significant and the r-squared of the model would be about 0.7 or 0.8. That is what projection systems such as Steamer and ZiPS do, and why those systems are the best publicly-available tools we have for predicting hitter performance. The question put forth in this article is "Can looking at pitcher approach tell us something new about that hitter?" Not better. New."
- You gotta give 'em credit: Dodgers sell 3 million tickets in record time - MLB.com, "The Dodgers have reached 3 million tickets sold for the 2015 season, the earliest date in franchise history they have reached that mark. The milestone was reached one week earlier than a year ago, which was the previous franchise record."
- They must not have "assumed risk" in Japan: Japan's Nippon Ham Fighters must pay $350K for foul ball to face - ESPN, "The incident occurred in August 2010, and the woman, who is in her 30s, lost sight in her right eye after being hit by the ball." This GIF is so amazing, and I never pass on the opportunity to post it. Whose fault would it be if this blabbering guy took one in the face?