Monday, April 03, 2006

Fouled-Off Bunts: First Place Again! Edition

Notes on Notes:
--The Nats are finally starting to have pre-series meetings going over scouting reports. Three hours though? I hope for the players' sake that powerpoint isn't involved.
--Soriano still looks like crap
--Astacio's not hurt severely (DAMN!). Just a right flexor strain, but he'll be out through the end of the month.
--Ryan Drese (the official groundball pitcher of Capitol Punishment) starts in his place -- but that's not til the 9th.
--Bowden's going to address the team before they play, undercutting Frank, and ensuring his name gets in the paper again.

More Notes:
--Lots of questions, blah blah.
--Brandon Watson's nickname is "Watty." We can do better than that. At least call him Wattles.

  • BS Projection time:
    --Diamond Mind says we're a 75-87 team, and that there's a 5% chance we make the playoffs.
    --Baseball Analysts' guest analysts says we're fourth or fifth. I don't understand all the love for the Marlins vis the Nats. Yes, their youth has more upside, but it's still youth. What are the odds that ALL of them are ready to contribute?

  • Junior Spivey won't be starting for the Cards on Opening Day. Perhaps Bowden could acquire him for Gary Majewski?

  • Fire Joe Morgan rips the Boswell column I tore apart last week, approaching it from a different angle.

  • The Times answers a question about the Nats' ticket office's incompetence. In short, the print at home option didn't work for about 10K fans, forcing them to stand in line to get their tickets for game that was only attended by 18K. Will they ever get their crap together? I still haven't heard anything about my miniplan tickets. Idiots.

    Interestingly, the Nats switched from Ticketmaster to this season. Not only has the service sucked ass, but the fees seem even higher than TicketMasters. I'm still trying to figure out why they switched. Maybe this was a reason?

  • Our friends at Mets Geek have a scouting report of our pitchers. Pssst! Don't tell them about Patterson's changeup. I can't wait to see Delgado drill himself into the ground on that one!

    Because I'm an idiot, I forgot to include what's probably the most important story. Boz has a source who says that the owner is imminent -- within two weeks.


    • On Boswell's article, am I overdoing it to wonder why there's no mention of the Lerner's in this piece, one of the few that appears to have an actual mlb insider source? Maybe that rumor is just old news so Boswell feels no need to include it here, and maybe I'm just a cold war baby overly quick to Kremlinology. But still.

      And a question on sale price. I understand that the league was going to auction the team off to George Soros, but I'm pretty mystified that the $450 million sales price has stuck. If 8 groups are willing to pay that, surely some must be willing to pay more. And leaving aside the profits on this sale, doesn't the sale price for each mlb franchise significantly impact the value of all the others? After all, there are few comps out there. I'm just surprised the owners don't insist on trying to push that number up.

      By Blogger Sam, at 4/03/2006 10:35 AM  

    • Don't feel bad about not initially posting the Boswell column; I lumped it into the "Jim Williams TV deal" category.

      By Blogger WFY, at 4/03/2006 10:36 AM  

    • I wondered, too, about the Lerners not being included. The 2-week thing is roughly what the guy I talked to said. I suppose that Boz wasn't able to get that guy to go on the record, and if he was to get confirmation about it from someone in the Lerner's camp, they wouldn't want him to use it bc of the sensitivity.

      As far as the sale price, I imagine that part of it is that they don't want to completely hamstring the team.

      Even if the team is making $30 million profit a year, that's still 15 years before the team's paid off. (do your own net value calculations, ok!)

      Plus there's the perception with the profit-making and the stadium. They already got enough grief over the profit on a 450 million price. Imagine what the activists would say if it went higher? not that they matter much at this point, but...

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/03/2006 10:39 AM  

    • I see the points you're making about the sale price, but I still find it surprising because of the potential long term effect on the value of everyone else's team. But I could just be wrong that there is such an effect; each team may be just be valued in isolation, given the widely varying tv, stadium, fanbase circumstances of each.

      (And I'm sure you realized my original comment was a missing a "not" before the referene to selling to Soros.)

      By Blogger Sam, at 4/03/2006 10:44 AM  

    • I can't disagree with what you're saying. I was just trying to come up with some rationalizations for why the 450 price has held.

      I wonder, too, if the price has been kept there to keep Smulyan in the hunt -- even if he seems like he's out of it.

      $450 would definitely be a trend-setter price, though. Go back a few years, and the LA Angels went for 'just' $180 million. They're probably a 'large market' team now. (though the definition of that changes so frequently, who really knows!)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/03/2006 10:48 AM  

    • I think the sale price has held at $450M because the guys who are willing to spend more (Soros/Ledecky, Haney perhaps) are not favored by MLB. Remember, Bud got a lot of criticism (such that it started an investigation in Mass.) for engineering the Red Sox sale to a lower bidder.

      He's artificially creating a level playing field here . . .

      By Blogger Basil, at 4/03/2006 11:10 AM  

    • I know I'm arriving a little late to the party, but if you're still soliciting nicknames for Watson, how about: Da Bwat.

      By Anonymous ck, at 4/03/2006 10:57 PM  

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