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MjwW

  • joined Nov 08, 2011
  • last login Jul 28, 2014
  • posts 103
  • comments 51132
User Blog
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53

BBB Community Overall Prospect #23 - Matt Dean vs. Roberto Osuna

Jacob Anderson takes poll #22 in a landslide, to even up the pitcher/position player balance at 11 each on the list. Matt Dean edged out Chris Hawkins for the #12 position player, and is the...

Fangraphs: Brad Woodrum on JPA

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Compares his interesting combination of power and low OBP historically and with other catchers. Don't quite agree with his conclusion that JPA is ikely average defensively. Also, interesting related note: Fangraphs has just implemented passed pitches into their catcher defence, and JPA last year was worth -6 runs, which is one of the worst performances for the 2008-2011 time period it can be measured. THat moved his defensive runs from -5 to -11, and his overall WAR from 1.5 to 0.9.

FanPost
16

BBB Community Overall Prospect #22 - Jacob Anderson vs. Roberto Osuna

Michael Crouse goes up as #21 on the Big Board, which means that all players from the individual Top 10 lists are on. But in the interests of a nice round number, we'll continue onto 25 as planned,...

FanPost
37

Free Agent & Extension Contracts for Position Players and Pitchers: A Final Look

Over the last couple months, I've been looking at the value teams receive when they give out large contracts to free agent players, and comparing that to the value received when teams give out...

FanPost
12

BBB Community Overall Prospect #21 - Michael Crouse vs. Roberto Osuna

Roberto Osuna faces against Michael Crouse. As usual, use Rec's to vote. Crouse is the #19 position player, so we'll conceivably need another position player, so please also vote on the poll at the...

Toronto Star on the Blue Jays, Payroll and TV Rights: Getting it Right

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On the heels of the Bruce Dowbiggin's back-to-back epic failures to understand basic business sense in relation to Blue Jays payroll and TV rights, Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star has a piece in today's newspaper touching on the same subject. Except he actually bothered to do some research, contact an expert (a professor, Thomas Hubbard of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management). You know, all those basic things one should expect of a journalist. And as a result, Campbell absolutely nails it. There's also some good sense on when adding big free agents make sense in terms of making the playoff push. The money quotes: - It’s about how much that player adds to my revenues relative to how much they cost, and that’s true whether you’re paying $10 million or $100 million," says Hubbard. A basic understanding of Economics 101! Bam! - "The Jays are in a good situation because if they have a good team and ratings increase 10 per cent, it goes right into (Rogers) pocket," Hubbard says. "The fact that it goes in the left pocket is just as meaningful as if it goes in the right. Same pair of trousers." Understanding that paper dollars don't mean anything! - Published reports estimate Sportsnet pays the Jays $36 million a year for broadcast rights...sports business veterans point out that the only thing more profitable than selling broadcast rights to the highest bidder is owning – or sharing an owner with – the network that broadcasts your team’s games. Understanding business synergies through vertical integration - bonus! A triple play! Quality journalism based on factual research and talking to experts who understand - it's almost enough to bring tears to me eyes.

My Pre-2012 Farm System Rankings

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Some shameless self-promotion... Over at SB Nation sister site minorleagueball.com, I've posted my Farm System Rankings. Spoiler Alert: The Blue Jays are 5th

FanPost
9

My Pre-2012 Farm System Rankings

I'm a little late to the party with this, but the way I think about farm system rankings requires having top 100 lists, most of which don't come out until this time of year. With John's list out...

John Sickels Posts his Top 120 Prospects

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Not surprisingly (based on grades), 8 Blue Jays, all in the top 80. 26) Travis d'Arnaud 48) Jake Marisnick 51) Anthony Gose 67) Noah Syndergaard 68) Justin Nicolino 70) Daniel Norris 73) Drew Hutchison 80) Deck McGuire

FanPost
30

What is Jorge Soler Worth?

Summary (for the tl;dr crowd) By comparing Soler with a group of similar players of similar talent level (high school outfielders picked in the top 10 overall), I estimate that objectively Soler...

FanPost
14

BBB Community Overall Prospect #20 - Roberto Osuna vs. Moises Sierra

Kevin Comer goes on the board at #19 in a landslide, and so the winner of the #12 pitching runoff Roberto Osuna will face against Moises Sierra, most recently of the 2011 Eastern League champion...

Dowbiggin Part Deux: Doubling Down on Nonsense

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Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe & Mail comes back with a followup to his wekeend article about how the "Jays were dropping the ball" due to the inadequate (and completely insignificant) amount of money they received for their television rights from corporate sibling Sportsnet. Part Deux acknowledges that there's disagreement about the analysis presented. Unfortunately, rather than a mea culpa, the article doubles down on the lack of any basic business/economic sense. This time, he summarizes the objections as a complete straw man, the "Rich Uncle Theory" - that is, Rogers will just benevolently give the cash. To wit: "Rogers, the Blue Jays and like-minded folk contend that with a rich corporate uncle like Rogers, the size of the TV rights and team payroll is not relevant. With Rogers bursting with cash, the team can access it anytime with a snap of GM Alex Anthopoulos’s fingers." And he proceeds to refute his straw man handily. Of course, as with most straw men, it's a ridiculous argument (much like the original proposition), that does nothing but distract from the reality. The Blue Jays' payroll will be set to maximize corporate profits. This means it will be set such that (in management's judgment) the marginal cost (player salaries) = marginal revenue (attendance dollars, merchandise dollars, sponsorship dolars, advertising dollars). Adding player costs means more expected wins, means more expected attendance and TV viewership, means more money. These relationships can be reasonably modelled, and then it's a matter of asking, if we add $10M in payroll, what can we expect to add in revenues? If it's more than $10M, add the payroll, and if not, don't add the payroll. This is not rocket science, Bruce, it's literally Economics 101.

FanPost
8

BBB Community Overall Prospect #19 - Kevin Comer vs. Moises Sierra

With hometowner Marcus Knecht now on the big board, Kevin Comer faces off against Moises Sierra, most recetnly of the 2011 Eastern League champion New Hamshire. As usual, use Rec's to vote. Our...

Jim Callis: Jays 2012 Draft slot total to be $8.83 million

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More precisely, $8,830,800 for 14 picks in the first 10 rounds. And since teams can go 5% over without losing picks (though 75% tax), that means the Jays spend $9,272,340 (not including tax of $331,155) without losing future picks. Full details for each team at BA's site

Richard Griffin Goes International

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Al Yellon of SB Baseball Nation is the latest to join the club of having been bewildered at something Griff wrote, this time the opinion that Selig should have vetoed the AJ Burnett to the Pirates trade because...well, because. (Didn't he used to be the Expos' PR guy?)

FanPost
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BBB Community Overall Prospect #18 - Kevin Comer vs. Marcus Knecht

With Asher Wojciechowski now off the board, 2011 draftee Kevin Comer of Seneca HS in New Jersey faces off against Marcus Knecht. As usual, use Rec's to vote. That also means we another another...

G&M: "How the Blue Jays dropped the ball" (or: How the Globe failed Business Economics 101)

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Last month, the Sun ran less than well-informed column about Rogers by Steve Buffery, and we spent a little time ripping them a new one desconstructing it. In the interest of fairness, I think it's only fair to go after other MSM outlets when they run something less than well-thought out as well. In this case, it's not an opinion column. It's an article written by someone named Bruce Dowginnin whose basic premise is that Rogers (the parent company) reportedly only "pays" the Jays about $36 million a year for the local broadcast rights, compared to the mega-million contracts recently signed by Texas, Anaheim and San Diego. As a result, so claim the authors, the Jays are not able to be competitive in pursuing talent and players (apparently we were pursuing Jose Reyes?), whereas other teams are doing this on the backs of their television rights contracts. Unfortunately, the whole premise is incorrect. Rogers does not pay or negotiate for the television rights at all, they merely allocate a number on paper. Ultimately, if the number is $36 million, it is being paid from one Rogers pocket to another, in the end, the numbers get consolidated anyway. The number is completely irrelevent, because the goal of Rogers is to increase total company value. Let me illustrate my point. Let's say that If the Blue Jays were independently owned, and they auctioned off their local broadcast rights and got $100 million a year. In that case, they would be worth $100 million a year because the entity buying them would be able to sell commercials to generate revenues, and after expenses (including the rights fees), they would be left with some profit (hopefully more than thier cost of capital). The Blue Jays would then take that $100 million, and use it as revenue to fund their expenses, and hopefully have some profit left over. Under Rogers ownership, however, the Blue Jays are vertically consolidated with the broadcaster, meaning that whatever you allocate for broadcast rights is cancelled out. Whether it's $200 million of $20 million, the revenue of one is the expense of another. It's just moving money around. This fallacy is on display in the following excerpt: "Why would Sportsnet pay more to the Jays for television rights? In theory, by helping the team boost payroll to become more competitive, ratings, attendance and merchandise sales would all increase." Ultimately, at a high level (the corporate parent), what matters is the total profit, which is a function of how many people watch (this is what generates more advertising dollars) and how much you pay in expenses - largely player costs. If you add payroll, you will likely win more, and you will likely have more people watching. The question is how much is the added expense, and how much is the added revenue? This is the fundamental consideration that will determine how much the Jays spend on players (how much added revenue they generate), and this is what the Globe's article misses. It has absolutely nothing to do with how much money moves around on paper. To believe otherwise is to assume that Rogers executives are stupid, and that they don't understand ultimately where the revenues come from and where the expenses go. It's possible this is the case, I suppose, but would bet against it. These are some of the smartest people in the country at squeezing dollars from the pockets of customers and putting it into shareholders' pockets. Consider a hypothetical. What if the Jays had been given an extra $20 million for their rights the past year? It just means that Sportsnet would have made $20 million less (or lost $20 million more, same idea) and the Jays would have made $20 million more (or lost $20 million less). To Rogers as a whole, it's the exact same thing in their financial statements. Indeed, the author alludes to this: "A publicly traded company, Rogers may choose a price point to make one branch appear more or less profitable for tax or regulatory purposes." Now, I highly doubt it's for tax purposes, since this is essentially transfer pricing, and that's one the first areas a tax auditor will look at to see if a company is trying to unfairly manipulate to evade taxes. I have no idea about regulatory purposes. But I think they point to a better reason: "Because of revenue-sharing arrangements among MLB teams, MLB employs a firm in Denver, Bortz Media and Sports Group, to conduct assessments of markets to monitor TV rights values." If anything, a lower-range paper valuation on the TV rights could help suppress the paper revenues, and therefore increase the revenue sharing dollars. This would benefit the Jays. Far from the Blue Jays dropping the ball, it's The Globe and Mail that dropped the ball on basic business sense.

FanPost
5

The Linearity of $/WAR: Do High Payroll Teams Buy More Wins, or Pay More per Win?

Preface: This is meant to be fairly accessible, so I've written a lengthy introduction. If you have a working understanding of linear $/WAR assumptions and implications, you may want to skip the...

FanPost
29

BBB Community Overall Prospect #17 - Marcus Knecht vs. Asher Wojciechowski

David Cooper breaks 3 poll losing streak to make it on as Community Prospect #16, so Asher Wojciechowski faces off against fellow 2010 draftee and Toronto native Marcus Knecht. As usual, use Rec's...

FanPost
25

BBB Community Overall Prospect #16 - David Cooper vs. Asher Wojciechowski

As the winner of the #10 pitcher poll, Asher Wojciechowski faces off against David Cooper. As usual, use Rec's to vote. The poll will stay open through sometime Thursday afternoon/evening when the...

FanPost
16

Large Free Agent Position Player Contracts: Updated and Comprehensive

A little over a month ago I presented an article about the value teams receive on large contracts given out to position players, and compared that to how teams fared on similar sized contract...

Baseball Propsectus Top 101 Prospects

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Kevin Goldstein released his Top 101 prospects today. Five Blue Jays on the list, though that's no surprise since he had five 5- and 4-Star prospects on his Jays list. 16. Travis d'Arnaud (5 Stars) 28. Jake Marisnick (5 Stars) 54. Daniel Norris (4 Stars) 68. Anthony Gose (4 Stars) 93. Noah Syndergaard (4 Stars)

FanPost
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BBB Community #15(2) Overall Prospect - David Cooper vs. Chad Jenkins

The last community prospect poll was also #15, but since Nestor Molina was traded, he is removed from the list and everyone is bumped up one spot, so the #15 spot is still open. Use Rec's to vote...

MLBTR - Cubs sign Gerardo Conception

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Apparently the Jays were one of the teams with some interest. Given our depth, I can understand why they weren't willing to shell out the $7-8M the Cubs did for an 18 year old. Let the Soler watch intensify...

Baseball Prospectus - Blue Jays Top 20 List

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Kevin Goldstein over at BP has his Top 11 (and nine more) Blue Jays prospect list up - and even better, it's one of the few team reports not behind the paywall, so all the reports are accessible. Overall, things look about how I would have expected, no real surprises.

Bullpen Banter - Drew Hutchison Scouting Report

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Al Skorupa at Bullpen Banter has a fantastic in-depth scouting report up today of Drew Hutchison, complete with video and breakdown of his mechanics, fastball, slider and change-up. This is the most complete scouting report I've seen on Hutchison and a tremendous read. Bullpen Banter also started its Top 100 countdown today, with 5 prospects and discussion posted each day. These are also very good infomation sources and I would recommend checking them out.

FanPost
23

An In-Depth Look at Blue Jays Payroll, 2008 - 2012

We have a lot of discussions here about the Blue Jays payroll, and there's a lot of strongly held opinions which can sometimes make it difficult to have a fact-based discussion on the subject. But...

FanPost
27

Jays Overly Aggressive with Arb Filing Strategy and Policy?

Since we now have the figures that teams and arbitration eligible players have exchanged, it appears to me that the differences between the Jays and their two players are almost insignificant, and...

FanPost
27

Big Free Agent Pitching Contracts: A Bad Idea

About a week ago, I took a look at how much value teams realized on several large ($70M+) contracts given out free agent position players, as well as compared that to the value realized on...

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