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    Sabermetrics, TV, And Not Using Too Much Of A New Color In Your Painting

    17th August 2016

    math-equations-blackboard

    Sabermetrics is good. Thinking that programming fully centered on them as something that will reach the masses on television is not so good.

    More than once on radio or television, I’ve been asked about sabermetrics, the advanced statistical analysis in sports, most commonly associated with baseball. I’d also say I’m a firm believer in information. That you can’t have enough of it, and that the value of it in sports should never be discounted.

    This would make sense, coming from me. I was approached early on to write about the business side of baseball from internet outlets that were steeped in reaching out to those that saw not only value in the numbers game in baseball, but for some that were repeat visitors to the sites, sabermetrics verged somewhere on par with religion. Whether that was The Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, or to a lesser extent Baseball America, looking at new statistics to better understand baseball was, unlike the mainstream sports media, not frowned upon.

    While I was part of this culture and never looked down my nose at it, my interests and what I covered were not known for being big sabermetrics hot beds. There absolutely were economists that centered on sports, but they were mostly in academia. You knew of Roger Noll, or Rodney Fort, but it was really only Andrew Zimbalist that seemed to move the needle in the baseball fan culture.

    That changed some with the late, great Doug Pappas. Doug most well-known metric creation was Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins to show efficiency and effectivity of how clubs were spending on player talent. Still, myself or Neil deMause would touch on this in later years, with Neil doing adjustments to Doug’s formulas, but the honest to goodness truth was—and still is—business of baseball writers exploring advanced metrics have always been the musical version of the backing band to the rock stars that delved into looking at the players themselves. After all, people don’t go to the ballpark to watch how payrolls are constructed. They go to see the players and the teams they support.

    But that didn’t mean that those that look at the business of sports don’t have some value in this discussion. And it’s here that my spending far too much time looking at how the workings of MLB front offices, and the networks that air games, has led me to want to get to the heart of this article.

    Today, I ran a piece for Forbes called MLB Network’s ‘MLB Now’ Call Of Pirates At Giants Game Shows The Sabermetrics Battle Has Been Won. In it I described how the unique call of the game done by host Brian Kenny, my former BP colleague and now CBS Sports media member Jonah Keri, MLB.com’s Mike Petriello, and Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz would be using the Giants’ local feed of the game with Kenny providing his own play-by-play of the game while incorporating the multiple perspectives on the desk and live info provided by MLB.com’s powerful Statcast technology.

    Social media (as social media is wont to do), had some things to say about this idea. That because there was one game being shown with some sabermetric guys on a panel, did not mean that we’d be seeing something akin to PHD level physics dressed up as a baseball broadcast anytime soon. Maybe the best comments came from FOX Sports’ CJ Nitkowski:

    What CJ is alluding to is something more about how television has approached sabermetrics. Producers have seen that there’s this community of people that dig the numbers side of baseball, and have thrown programming weighted almost entirely around this. “If you dig numbers in baseball, we’re going to talk advance metrics like you’ve never seen before!” or something to that effect.

    The problem here is, while you’ll get some interested, for the most part CJ is right: it’s just not going to ever reach the masses, and in television, masses are what count.

    I don’t hang this on sabermetrics. I hang it on well-meaning producers trying to paint with one color.

    The analogy is this: there’s this new color that few have seen, but there’s a group of people out there that think it should be used more often as the establishment has largely ignored it. So, someone says, “Hey, we have a market for this new color, so let’s use lots of it. Let’s use it pretty much exclusively and we’ll reach this new audience.” Well, you know how that turns out. You get too much of one color. Yes, you’re reaching an audience, but the audience wouldn’t be nearly as large as using that new color evenly along with all the other colors in your palette to paint your picture.

    So, what CJ is saying is correct, but what I truly believe is that you don’t need to overwhelm programming with sabermetrics. It only has value within context of everything else that is out there. So, maybe you start by putting a player’s WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in the graphics for players when they step in the box or take the mound alongside the more traditional stats. Maybe you make the whiz-bang aspects of Statcast something highlighted often around replays of dazzling catches or routes around the base paths (in reality, this is already being done incrementally).

    And maybe that’s the biggest thing to focus on. That as more fans—especially younger ones—are exposed to advanced analytics, the audience grows incrementally. That what is declared “advanced analytics” now simply grows into ‘baseball stats” in the future like we look at batting average, or earned run average now. The new stats simply grow into commonplace due to exposure.

    None of this is to say that what is going on prior with Jabocast, or Clubhouse Confidential, or currently with MLB Now is bad. What those programs are are highly targeted to the sabermetrics community.

    So, when I say that “the sabermetrics battle has been won” it’s a reflection that it’s now embraced by the league and front offices, and that it’s now part of a larger culture. Is it going to overwhelm what we see as part of television and mainstream media? No. Is it going to slowly but surely become more common in both? Absolutely. It’s a new color that the average fan deserves to see.

    Posted in Baseball Insight, Broadcasting, Social Networking | Comments Off on Sabermetrics, TV, And Not Using Too Much Of A New Color In Your Painting

    The Long, Strange Trip

    31st December 2015

    Writer
    Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. – Ferris Bueller

    I don’t really know how I got to this point. I mean, I know I was always a sports fan. And as a product of the 1970s and a family that seemed to thrive on debates around politics and the world around us, I’ve always (for better or worse) had an opinion. I also know I’ve been one OCD SOB. I’ve never been satisfied without digging deeply into details.

    So somewhere between my first San Francisco Giants game at Candlestick Park as a young kid, working on bringing Major League Baseball to Portland, starting The Biz of Baseball, writing for The Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America, FanGraphs, some freelance gigs and eventually Forbes, I’m here. What “here” is will be different than what “here” is in the future, but then I guess that’s been my journalism career trajectory: just do what you do. Never stop writing and wherever it goes, well, at least you’re not sitting around waiting for something to happen.

    Maybe unshockingly for those that read my work on a regular basis, I did not graduate college with a journalism degree. That said, as young as I can remember, I spent at least every Sunday, and many times in-between, using that ever-present OCD I had to analyze the great scribes that provided insight into the world through the newspapers. I was transfixed by Watergate, Bill Bradley, Woodward and Bernstein, and therefore a fan of investigative journalism. As I began to write, I shifted to looking at The AP stories and their formats before I knew what “AP style” was.

    I’m unsure if any of that translated into a particular writing style noticeable to readers. It does speak to my profound appreciation of those that cover the news at the highest levels. For sports, Peter Gammons, Eric Fisher, Jerry Crasnick, Liz Mullen, Rob Neyer, Jayson Stark, Ken Rosenthal, Buster Olney, Ronald Blum, and in his day at The New York Times, Murray Chass, became the writers I watched with a keen eye. They may not have always said what I wanted to hear, but it’s how they said it that mattered. It’s not just important to write; it’s important to see how the pros’ pro goes about it day after day. As my friend Will Carroll said, “There is no such thing as writer’s block. You just push through if you want to do this thing for any period of time.”

    At a certain phase what really distinguishes a professional journalist that wishes to not only write, but report news and expand understanding of the topics they cover, is accessibility to the people making news. This isn’t to say that there aren’t exceptional writers providing indispensable analysis around the news of the day. It’s to say; to get to the heart of whatever it is you are covering you need to understand those within it. That leads to wanting to talk to those at the highest levels and ask questions others aren’t asking.

    I have been an outsider with inside access my entire career covering Major League Baseball. I have no idea why where others have butted up against a wall I was able to get past it. I’d like to think it was because I was pumping out quality work, but in reality there just had to be some seriously good luck that came along for the ride. I’ve never been denied access. If I applied for credentials to MLB games, I have been granted them. Ditto jewel events such as the All-Star Game, Postseason (including the World Series), and the Baseball Winter Meetings.

    With all that as the backdrop, beginning in 2016 I’m about to see a change.

    The long, strange trip took another turn yesterday when I was accepted into the Seattle Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). I had tried gaining access some years ago, but the landscape was different. I remember coming out of the interview process the first time feeling a bit dazed, and having then BBWAA president Ken Davidoff tell me, “Don’t be discouraged. Keep doing what you’re doing. It will eventually happen.”

    What “happened” was a shift. No longer would writers be accepted or denied at the national level, but instead be looked at by their local chapter. I made my case to current chapter president Ryan Divish and said basically that wishing inclusion wasn’t about gaining access, it was about the protections of retaining it. In other words, only through the good graces of the clubs and Commissioner’s Office had I been given access to allow me to report. There was nothing that said that it couldn’t be taken away for whatever reason. As Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan said so perfectly to me in an email, “Scrap the awards. Take away HOF voting. Just don’t [screw] with our access.” This explains while I was flattered that the IBWAA told me I was welcome, I was uninterested. It’s not about the award voting (although I will be taking it exceptionally serious with the BBWAA), it was about something the IBWAA couldn’t offer that affects my ability to work.

    I made mention of being granted BBWAA status to current ESPN and former Baseball Prospectus writer, Christina Kahrl.  No one editor pushed me harder than Christina when I was at BP, and I’ve never forgotten the valuable lessons she taught me during that time. She said something I hadn’t considered which is with BBWAA status, you could make a case that I’m now part of the “establishment”. Maybe it’s cool to be antiestablishment, but I write for “Forbes” covering “sports as it intersects with business” so I was likely kicked off the cool kids table long ago. Still, her commentary is important and got me to thinking.

    Over the past 15 years, I’ve always thought readers gave my work a critical eye, and with me now being a member of the BBWAA, I expect that will increase. There is absolutely nothing bad in any of that. I know that there are a lot of people that see consumers of news and respond to it online as “trolls”. “Never read the comments” is going to make a great tattoo in the journalism community at some point, but it seems essential for writers to be held accountable, especially in an age of less editorial oversight, and the hyper-completive nature of the industry. I want readers to challenge me, even knowing that there’s never been one writer out there worth their salt that didn’t get it right at some point. As Carroll said, you push on.

    Finally, I thought it was important to talk about this all for others in the journalism community, both established and otherwise. There are bound to be some that question what my intentions are with wanting BBWAA status, and I’ve laid that out. Outsiders will wonder how the inclusion process all works, and to that I can only say, I really don’t know. Short of making a living at being a baseball writer, if you go about it professionally day in and day out, it can happen or not happen. Every writer is a unique decision for the BBWAA.

    Maybe the best way to put it all is this way. The long, strange trip is different for everyone… including me.

    Maury Brown writes about the business of sports for Forbes SportsMoney and USA Today’s The Fields of Green. He can be found on Twitter @BizballMaury

    Posted in Baseball Insight, Maury's World | 2 Comments »

    “Bizball” Coming to Forbes, Weekly Column for FanGraphs

    29th July 2010

    Well, it’s been a while since I’ve said much here, which, when you think about it isn’t very bright of me since doing a Google search points you to here. Makes sense, right? After all, Sports Bash has the URL of MauryBrown.com.

    But, there’s been more than a lot going on, and it’s about time I updated you all on it.

    For one, the All-Star Game was a great success for me, and out of it, a chance meeting on the media bus back from the game with Dave Cameron has translated into a weekly column for FanGraphs. With the Texas Rangers bankruptcy case having so many twists and turns leading up to the auction on Aug 4, it seemed perfect to start with a look at Mark Cuban as a potential owner, even if he’s not yet committed to pursuing the club at auction. You can check my article archive on FanGraphs, going forward.

    The other bit of news as that starting shortly I will have a dedicated blog on Forbes.com. I have been writing for them for a while as part of SportsMoney, but now, I will have “Bizball” as a place on Forbes to call my own. No, it is not a full-time paying gig (which if you are reading out there, and are looking I certainly could use), but it’s worth doing because, well… it’s Forbes. Putting that name on your resume certainly builds credibility.

    That’s it, for now. With MLB’s postseason fast approaching I hope to be reporting from some of the games there. World Series? We’ll see. Also, look for me at this year’s Winter Meetings in Florida.

    LATEST ON THE BIZ OF BASEBALL


    Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

    Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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    Posted in Baseball Insight, Maury's World | Comments Off on “Bizball” Coming to Forbes, Weekly Column for FanGraphs

    MLB All-Star Game, Forbes, and an Update on Bloomberg TV Sports Business Pilot

    6th June 2010

    All things considered, media has been good for me these days. Yes, I’m still looking for a full-time writing gig. Yes, I’d take a consulting or full-time position with a club or agency, but in the meantime, it’s nice to be wanted.

    In mid-May I accepted an invitation to write for Forbes’ SportsMoney (see my article archive). Being a contributor gets me in some extremely fine company. Besides  Forbes senior writers and editors Michael Ozanian , Kurt Badenhausen, Tom Van Riper, and Paul Maidment, there’s sports economist and author Andy Zimbalist; Lee Igel an assistant professor at New York University; Andrew Brandt, the former player agent and president of the Green Bay Packers who is now president of the National Football Post; Wayne McDonnell who is Clinical Associate Professor of Sports Management at New York University, and one who has offered frequent content to BizofBaseball.com, and; Kristi Dosh, an attorney, baseball blogger, and one working on a book on collective bargaining in MLB.  Like I said, good company.

    The Forbes work has been a nice add, and opens some doors, but the best news I’ve gotten in a long time is that I have been approved to cover the 2010 MLB All-Star Game in Anaheim this year. Getting your foot in the door for what is considered a “jewel event” by MLB is not easy for an independent new media writer, such as myself. While I have been freelancing for Yahoo Sports, The New York Post, Baseball America, and shortly, MSNBC, MLB approved BizofBaseball.com through their media affiliation program, a sign that they view the site as a legitimate news organization reporting in an “at large” capacity. Next stop? An attempt to get credentialed for the World Series. After that? Let’s see what happens at the Winter Meetings.

    Finally, I reported last month that I was part of a sports business pilot for Bloomberg Television. Well, that show has been shelved. I need to contact one of the producers, but word is that the content filmed last month might be interspersed throughout regular programming on Bloomberg Television. Hey, just getting in front of the camera is always a great learning experience. Recall doing my first piece for ESPN and I felt like Albert Brooks’ character Aaron Altman in Broadcast News when he had the sweat machine turn on. The Bloomberg filming felt easier, which shows I’m either getting more comfortable doing television, or I realize that Bob Costas and Dan Patrick really have nothing to worry about.


    OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

    (THE BIZ OF BASEBALL)


    Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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    Posted in Baseball Insight, Maury Talkin' Sports, Maury's World | 3 Comments »

    Bloomberg Television, Sports Business, and Me

    24th April 2010

    BloombergFilming

    If there was ever a sign that sports business has moved out from “bookworm” to “family room”, it’s been the expansion of television programming dedicated to sports outside the lines. I big hat tip has to go to Darren Rovell, who, besides being the king of Gatorade history, has become a staple on CNBC for all things sports business. Others have followed Rovell, including Rick Horrow on CNN and FOX Sports.

    Bloomberg News has jumped in with both feet into the world of sports. Whether it has been Bloomberg Sports, or their analytics products for baseball (see Bloomberg Sports Making Push to Be Heavy Weight in Baseball Analytics), the financial giant has seen that sports off the field has dollar signs attached to it.

    I can now proudly say, I will be part of another Bloomberg foray into sports business.

    On Friday I filmed a segment for a Bloomberg Television pilot show on sports business. The show is tentatively set to air in mid-June. This is TV so while I spent 30 minutes answering questions from the producers, if I see 5 mins. of air time, it will be a miracle. Still, 5 or 2 or 10, any face time is good time.

    What did we discuss? MLB revenue-sharing, explaining the Luxury Tax, how Target Field benefits the Twins, whether a Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is good or bad for baseball, and early record low attendance for a few of the clubs… great stuff. I tip my hat to the producers who really did their homework.

    And, to add to the filming, Bloomberg will use data that has been researched for BizofBaseball.com, with proper citation through graphics or voiceover.

    I’ll be updating on this shortly, but it appears that the show will have MLB Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner as one of the guests on the initial show… I’m in fantastic company.

    I really give it to Bloomberg to launching the show (and yes, I would have said this whether I was on the show, or not). It shows that sports business is becoming more and more of interest to the general public.

    Look for more on the show as I get updates from Bloomberg


    OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

    (THE BIZ OF BASEBALL)


    Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

    Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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    Posted in Baseball Insight, Broadcasting, Maury Talkin' Sports | Comments Off on Bloomberg Television, Sports Business, and Me

    A 3-Part Series for Yahoo! Sports

    23rd January 2010

    They often tell you not to become a niche within a niche, but I can’t help it from Nov. to late Feb. That’s because it’s MLB salary arbitration season.

    I have now become known as the “salary arb geek”, which strangely is okay by me. The process which is wholly unique to Major League Baseball so fascinates me due to its incredible weight that it places on how clubs structure payroll throughout the season.

    For example, as of this posting, there are 31 players that have yet to reach agreements, or looking at it another way, 150 contracts that have been reached since mid-Nov. of last year for salary arbitration eligible players. Total salary cost (both single and multi-year agreements)? $543,520,002, or $336,970,002 for 2010. alone (see my updated tally running here)

    To add to my obsessing over salary arbitration, I am doing a 3-part series for Yahoo! Sports, with the first one running this past Tuesday (see Evolution of salary arbitration: an ironic tale), part 2 running on Tuesday the 26th, and the final installment running shortly after the 21st of Feb. when salary arbitration is wrapped up for another year.

    So, if you have your geek on, here’s some data I am tracking:


    MORE NEWS ACROSS THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

    (THE BIZ OF BASEBALL)


    Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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    Posted in Baseball Insight | Comments Off on A 3-Part Series for Yahoo! Sports

    Busy, Busy, Busy: The Baseball Winter Meetings

    26th November 2009

    First of all, a Happy Thanksgiving to you. Many of you will be sitting around stuffing yourself silly today. But, as those from other countries outside the U.S. will tell you, we’re the only ones that set aside a day just to give thanks. Sounds like giving thanks everyday might be a good idea, yes?

    A week from Sunday, I’ll be dragging myself to the airport at around 4:30am and begin heading to Indianapolis for this year’s Baseball Winter Meetings. For those that don’t know what they’re all about, read my primer on them at The Biz of Baseball. When you decide to go to the meetings, you want to make the most of them, and this year, my dance card is getting filled quickly.

    On Monday I will be sitting on a Media & Journalism panel (4:15pm) as part of a Baseball Career Conference being hosted by Sports Management Worldwide in conjunction with Lynn University and Baseball America.  Joining me on the panel will be Ben Hill of MiLB.com, and John Manuel , the Editor in Chief of Baseball America. And, that’s just one panel. Others that will be there include Ned Colletti, general manager of the Dodgers; Jeff Idelson, President of National Baseball Hall of Fame; Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus; Manny Colon, Florida Marlins, Manager of Player Development & International Operations; Chaim Bloom, Tampa Bay Rays Assistant Director of Minor League Operations; Tyrone Brooks, Cleveland Indians Scout, and a list of others too long to list.

    That evening I’ll take my first trip over to the Trade Show, where I’ll be meeting with Populous (formerly HOK Sport) to talk stadium development, meet with Team Marketing Report, and get a general vibe of the Trade Show. Over the course of my time at the meetings, the idea is to get a feel for how the recession has hit the baseball industry and if there is movement out of the dark times.

    Tuesday and Wednesday will be primarily focused on MLB’s side of things, with a parade of press conferences, and catching up with acquaintances in the media.

    Lots of friends I’m looking forward to seeing, including Will Carroll, Brent Gambill of Sirius/XM Radio, Victor Rojas of MLB Network, Jerry Crasnick and Jayson Stark of ESPN, Ari Kaplan of AriBall, Shawn Hoffman of Squawking Baseball and Baseball Prospectus, Matthew Leach of MLB.com, Mark Smith the Minor League Video Coordinator for the A’s, and a bunch of others I’m probably missing.

    In-between all this, I’m working on an essay for a St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training guide by Maple Street Press on Albert Pujols.

    The biggest thing is I’ll be reporting the heck out the meetings; any trades, signings, etc. Look for The Biz of Baseball to be blanketed with winter meetings news Sun-Weds.

    In the mean time, here’s some selected content on The Biz of Baseball that you might be interested in:


    Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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    Posted in Baseball Insight | 2 Comments »

    Because It’s Good For You: Rob Neyer

    15th November 2009

    This is the first installment of a weekly column named, “Because It’s Good For You”. The premise of the column is to highlight a person or resource each week that I see of exceptional value. This week I start with ESPN Senior Baseball Writer, Rob Neyer.

    It’s hard to place a value on what ESPN’s Rob Neyer has brought to fans of baseball’s analytical side. It’s fair to say that there are a legion of burgeoning sabermetricans due to his work. You have to look at Neyer as the gateway drug to Bill James; he’s made the complex digestible for years now on ESPN.com, and now through his companion blog, Sweetspot.

    But, beyond the ESPN work, his “Big Book” series of publications have been entertaining reading on every level. Whether it has been Baseball Legends, or Lineups, or Blunders, which I was honored to have an essay in, they’re a great addition to your bookshelf.

    Beyond the “Big Book” series, there’s The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, with, yes, Bill James. Or, Baseball Dynasties, and if you really want to dig in, click through Rob’s personal website.

    Beyond all of this, Rob’s been as approachable as one can get. He’s been interviewed by many across the blogsphere, and this author as done so not, once, not twice, but several times (here, and here ,as well) .

    So, do yourself a favor, because it’s good for you… Make Sweetspot a daily stop. And pick up one of Rob’s books. Your brain will thank you for it.


    OTHER BASEBALL ARTICLES ON INTEREST ON THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

    (THE BIZ OF BASEBALL)


    Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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    Posted in Baseball Insight, Because It's Good For You | Comments Off on Because It’s Good For You: Rob Neyer

    Roger Clemens Should Have Listened to Momma

    10th November 2009

    If Twitter has done one thing, it’s taken a few bricks out of the wall between high profile public figures, the media, and their fans or detractors. For members of the media – alternative or mainstream – it’s another tool of the trade.

    It also is a delicate dance.

    How many stories have we read about athletes getting fined or being asked to please step away from the keyboard when it comes to Twitter? When you’re unfiltered, you can do harm, or good.

    So, it was of interest to many when 11-time All-Star and 7-time Cy Young winner, Roger Clemens showed up on Twitter. Clemens, also is embroiled in a legal battle regarding alleged steroid use from his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee. Clemens was mentioned 82 times in the Mitchell Report via McNamee’s testimony (see The Biz of Baseball’s archive on the Mitchell Report).

    Of a more serious nature, The Rocket may have lied before Congress regarding when he said he never used PEDs, especially after Andy Pettitte’s affidavit.

    Reading Clemens on Twitter is a softball affair. But, sometimes Clemens throws something out there that can relate to his current legal dilemma.

    Clemens was asked, “What is the best advice that you ever got?” Here’s the answer:

    Well…a down right to the point one came from my mother- “Never get in a pissin’ contest with a skunk” Mine would be “love and work hard at what you do” and Give time to others. Understand sometimes you will fail, pick yourself up and go at it again! One that always hit home and says it all came from our grandmother…”if your a ditch digger, be the best ditch digger you can be!”

    OK, ignore the misspellings (I now have a better understanding of his use of “misremembered” now)…  thinking of how Clemens might view McNamee, I saw what mother said, and latched onto it.

    “I think you should have listened to mom. Certainly, not listened to Rusty. Get in front of it, like the others.”

    “Getting in front of it” is a reference to the likes of Pettitte and Jason Giambi who realized that if they admitted – even vaguely – to using PEDs, the public (and more importantly, Congress) will get off your back and eventually move on. Look at Pettitte. His hGH use was barely mentioned during the World Series.

    Roger’s reply?

    Trying to decipher Clemenspeak, the reference to “how do you prove a negative” appears to be a reference to McNamee. As for “wallet chaser”… well, I guess we know how he feels about Rusty Hardin these days.


    Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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    Posted in Baseball Insight, PEDs, Social Networking | Comments Off on Roger Clemens Should Have Listened to Momma

    Hank Steinbrenner, Levine, Selig, Others… Quotes on MLB’s Salary Cap

    9th November 2009

    Some of the most popular material that I (here, here, here, and here), or others such as Pete Toms and Matthew Coller at the Business of Sports Network have covered has been on salary caps in sports, namely, MLB’s.

    I’m against it for a number of reasons, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel that some other method of restraining high spenders (namely, the Yankees) can’t be done outside of a hard cap system (see Reasons for Not Having a Salary Cap in MLB are Numerous).

    But, what are others saying? Here’s a handful of quotes:

    “Having the largest payroll doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to win. We’ve seen that time and time again. Thankfully, we had some payroll come off of our books, and we were able to use that money, make some good decisions, and get players who were able to improve our team.” – Hal Steinbrenner

    “If we start getting refunds from the [luxury tax and revenue-sharing] checks we’ve been writing, then we’ll take those kind of complaints seriously.” – Yankees President Randy Levine

    “We’ve have more competitive balance than at any other point in our history,” he said. “I’m not in the least bit concerned [about the need for a salary cap].” – Commissioner Selig

    “At the rate the Yankees are going, I’m not sure anyone can compete with them. Frankly, the sport might need a salary cap.” – Brewers owner, Mark Attanasio

    “It might be convenient to look at the huge increase in overall revenue and say that the game isn’t broke and it doesn’t really need fixing, but the bottom line isn’t the only bottom line in this case. When you have one player making as much as a whole other team, something is seriously out of whack.” – Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun

    “And you know why baseball may never have a salary cap. The union has ceded so much lately with revenue sharing and drug testing that Selig won’t risk labor peace over a cap when the collective bargaining agreement expires in two years. And it’s not like salary caps have been cure-alls, given the background saber-rattling presently occurring in the NFL and NBA.” – Michael Hunt, NewsOK


    Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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