THT Daily: Odds and endsby Bryan Tsao
February 21, 2008
D-backs extend Byrnes - To me, Josh Byrnes is one of the top young general managers in the game, so locking him up was definitely a good move for the Diamondbacks.
Howard wins arbitration battle - Ryan Howard will get $10 million this season, setting the record for the highest amount awarded to a player winning his case. The fact that they went to arbitration, a rarity these days, makes me wonder how contentious extension negotiations are going to be when the time comes.
Young guns - Marc Hulet surveys the top young players who are poised to make an impact this season in the AL West.
Marlins inch toward new stadium - Meanwhile, many Marlins players seem completely oblivious to two big votes today that could officially approve a new stadium deal.
Crisp won't be happy as reserve - Spring training battles are getting under way. Could Coco Crisp have a new home by April?
Burgos gets bling relief - The Mets reliever left about $270,000 worth of jewelry in a hotel room, but managed to get most of it back after it was stolen.
Balls in play primer - Ever wonder what the heck people are talking about when they mention "BABIP" or talk about a hitter just getting lucky on hits? Beyond the Boxscore breaks it down.
Red Sox, A's sell out - MLB has definitely been wildly successful in promoting itself in Japan, largely due to the famous Japanese players on its teams. It enjoys similar popularity in Taiwan, where Chien-Ming Wang hails from. There definitely seems to be almost a land rush mentality in pro sports these day, with the NBA "winning" in China thanks to Yao Ming and Yi Jianlan (aside: Why do NBA Chinese players go with last name first, no hyphen?) and the NFL someone pointlessly focusing more of its efforts in Europe. Note that this isn't just US pro sports either: Manchester United, the richest soccer club in the world, goes on an Asian preseason tour every year and features South Korean star Park Ji-sung and also has on its books Chinese enigma Dong Fangzhou.
In business, companies often refer to the BRIC economies, which are supposedly poised to dominate the world economy by 2050. Interestingly, basketball seems to be the most popular sport in those countries, based on my completely unscientific viewpoint, though there is obviously still large room for growth. Still, it would be interesting to see if MLB—or any of the other pro sports teams and leagues—have any plans to try to market itself in any of the other places outside of China.
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Bryan Tsao is the editor of The Hardball Times website. He welcomes comments, questions, and suggestions for both himself and the site via email.
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