May 22, 2013
Who is Shyster?
Or you can search by:
Most Recent Comments
Sam Zell’s Nightmare Continues (11)
William S. Stevens: 1948-2008 (22)
Teixeira’s Options (18)
Cole Hamels Meets Talk Radio (23)
Appropos of nothing (4)
Shyster's Daily Circuit
Joe Posnanski Blog
Cot's Baseball Contracts
It IS About the Money
Baseball Think Factory
MLB Trade Rumors
Way Back and Gone
Bats -- NYT Baseball Blog
The Biz of Baseball
The Daily Fungo
The Common Man
Jorge Says No!
Baseball Over Here
Baseball. Blogging. Whenever.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
As the Yankees ponder lowering some ticket prices, the Giants actually do it:
The Giants announced deeply discounted tickets for the coming April 27-29 series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In a lot of places too. I haven't seen any official numbers yet, but it seems like every game I've watched -- not just the Yankees' games -- feature much smaller crowds than we've come to expect in recent years.
As with anything else, I'm prepared to admit that I'm a victim of confirmation bias here. I've been talking baseball economics doom and gloom for several months now, so maybe I'm just forgetting that seats tend to be emptier before school lets out and weather becomes less volatile. And to be sure, not everyone is suffering through poor attendance (or at least ticket sales).
But it does at least seem emptier out there.
UPDATE: Squawking Baseball is dubious that anything apocalyptic is happening. Read the first comment to the linked article for some actual numbers.
I felt that the $500 fine levied on Elijah Dukes for being a couple of minutes late to Saturday's game against the Marlins as a result of signing autographs for Little Leaguers was pretty lame. Sure, Dukes technically broke a rule, and sure he's a guy you want to give a shorter leash than many, but he was giving back to the community and all of that, right? Well, kinda:
Dukes, who was paid $500 for his appearance, signed autographs, watched the parade of teams and spoke to the players for about a minute. He then sprinted to his car and headed to the ballpark, the Post reported.
Dukes charged the Little Leaguers $500?! Is this normal? Even if it is, doesn't this change our sympathy calculus a bit? What if he was at a baseball card show? Sure, the money would have been different, but he's still essentially out there making a buck as opposed to feeding the homeless or something. In fact, now that I think about it more, I think that Dukes should definitely be paying his $500 fine in the interests of balance. Indeed, he should pay it to the Little Leaguers!
But he won't pay the fine himself. The Great Falls Little League, where he was speaking prior to the game, says it will pay it for him after a fundraising effort, according to The Washington Post.
If Dukes accepts this money, in effect doubling his dubious appearance fee, there will be no words that can sufficiently describe the sheer fail on his part.
(Thanks to MooseinOhio, who not only sent me the link, but who made the above point too. Get me, I'm a bigger ripoff artist than Dukes).
Wallace Mattews pens a nasty-gram to Jason Giambi with the headline "Giambi took a lot more than he ever gave." I guess that makes him the anti-Mandy:
Technically, the signing of Mike Mussina to a six-year, $88.5-million deal after the 2000 Series may have been the first shot, but with the Giambi signing, The Boss - drunk on four shots of championship Kool-Aid - was off and running.
The presence of Derek Jeter too. And Wallace Matthews in the press box, now that I think about it. What's your point?
Lots of stuff goes on in the world about which most of us are unaware. Stuff like this:
Nearly a decade ago, embarrassed about reports of widespread fraud in the $1-billion-per-year sports memorabilia industry — dominated by baseball and filled mostly with fakes and forgeries, according to an F.B.I. investigation — Major League Baseball did something about it.
Yes, the reason given for this is to combat forgery, but the reason there are forgeries is because people have come to develop a fetish for totems and relics which I simply fail to understand. Famous home run ball: sure, that's pretty cool. Player autographs? I'm on record not understanding the purpose of those things, but yeah, I get why there's a market.
By the time we get down to midge spray and carpet squares, however, society has totally lost me.
When you blog, you do it from your mother's basement. When you blog for NBC, you do it from Meredith Vieira's basement.
Jason has a mega-post on Yankee Stadium, with a very savvy observation about all those empty seats I mentioned on Sunday: even the high rollers who didn't get laid off may have a strong incentive to avoid the high-rent district:
A few weeks back, we went to a friend's house for an afternoon. While watching the Masters with my friend (a Wall Streeter), we were discussing this and he made an interesting point. He said to me: "Jason, even if I had those great seats that cost $2500 a ticket, I can't take a client there. It's not worth the risk." I asked him about what risk he was talking about and his answer surprised me as I hadn't thought of that: "If someone recognizes me sitting behind the dugout and it comes out that I used my Firm's resources for those seats, and we've taken TARP money from the government, I don't want that sort of publicity or getting calls from The Post." He's not a famous guy at all, but there's a fear that someone might see him and he'll get "outted" for using Firm money to attend a game. He also told me that he's not alone with this fear.
Much, much more there, including whispers -- relayed from Pete Abraham -- that the Yankees may ask for a do-over on pricing, refunding some money to those who sprung for the big money seats and resetting the prices in a direction that approaches reality. Hard to say how this will work given that it's the utilization of those seats as opposed to the sale of them that's the problem. By all accounts they've been sold. It's just that the types of people who bought them aren't the kinds of people who tend to you, know, enjoy a good ballgame.
I suppose the calculus is that if the price is reset, the owners would be more willing to put them on the secondary market at lower prices, thereby increasing the chances that schmoes like Jason and me would snap them up on Stubhub. I don't know enough about that market to know if that would be effective, but my gut tells me that the ultra-rich who own those seats aren't the most efficient users of the secondary market. They have several dozen pairs of shoes and a house in the Hamptons that aren't utilized optimally, so why wouldn't they just leave their Yankees' tickets lying around too?
I'm prepared to admit that I'm trafficking in class-based stereotypes, though, so maybe this will work. It anyone has any better ideas on how the Yankees can undo this mess, however, by all means let's talk about it in the comments.
Tim Marchman has a list of them when it comes to baseball, including tall catchers, pinch runners, and managers in uniforms.
(thanks to Pete Toms)
Pirates 8, Marlins 0: "You see? You see?! He's not a machine, he's a man. He's a man!" The Pirates play Rocky to Florida's Ivan Drago after the Nats spent the weekend as Apollo Creed. Translation for those of you under 35: The Pirates throw their third shutout in four games and put a halt to the Marlins' seven game winning streak.
Red Sox 12, Orioles 1: Nothing like the Orioles pitching staff to cure what ails you -- the Sox scored 30 runs in four games against Baltimore. They scored 29 runs in the first eight games of the season. Good: David Ortiz broke out, going 2-4 with a triple (!) and a couple of RBIs. Not too surprising, though, considering that he's a career .522 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in Patriots Day games. More good: Justin Masterson allowed one run on four hits in five and a third innings. But some bad: Jed Lowrie is going to have surgery and will be out two or three months.
Reds 4, Astros 3: Joey Votto comes up with a big hit in the seventh after Cincy had surrendered an early lead, and then the bullpen comes through as it has a surprising number of times for the Reds in recent days, with Arthur Rhodes and Cordero closing things out. That palpable sense of confusion you're picking up is the whole of Reds' fandom trying to remember the last time they actually had a bullpen.
Nationals 3, Braves 2: A very Zimermanny day in Washington, as first the Nats sign Ryan to a five year extension, and then Jordan wins his debut in impression fashion. Bonus: the revamped bullpen held the Braves hitless for three innings. Of course because this is the Nationals even nice night like this was somewhat sullied: because of the bad weather and subsequent delays only about 1,000 folks were around to see it happen.
Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 3: After hitting a buzzsaw of good pitching in San Francisco, Arizona couldn't have been happier to see Jason Marquis, who was slapped around for six runs on nine hits in five innings. Great moments in scheduling: this is Colorado's second trip to Phoenix already against a single three-game homestand overall so far this year.
Yankees-Athletics: Postponed: I hate to see a rainout, but it could be worse. If this game were rained out on Titan, it would be because of methane showers. On Venus it would be sulfuric acid virga. In New York? Just water. Besides, it was a weeknight game against a non-marquee opponent, so it's not like anyone would be at the Stadium watching anyway. The people with tickets have housekeepers to torment and purse dogs to groom and stuff like that.
Phillies-Padres: Postponed: Did you know that Eddie Rabbitt -- the same dude who sang "I love a rainy night," also wrote the Elvis song "Kentucky Rain"? Now you do. You'll thank me later when your mind, after some moderate amount of time spent processing that tidbit, is officially blown.