Friday, July 31, 2009

Line of the day

From my brother, Robert:
Other than the C on Varitek's chest, you know what the difference between him and Posada is? The Yankees aren't scrambling to get a replacement for Posada at the trade deadline.
This was, of course, in reference to the absurd equivalenceies the media draw between one of the best catchers of this generation and a guy who had a couple good years.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Revisiting the American League DH advantage question

You will recall, Dear Reader, that I addressed not long ago the question of whether or not the American League should have an inherent structural advantage over the National League due to the existence of the DH. I concluded that it should not and speculated that one of the reasons that the AL is dominating the NL in interleague play could be simply that the AL has more resources at its disposal.

This appears to be the case, as Tom Tango notes here:
The effect is that the average NL payroll for those five years is 74MM per team, and the average AL payroll is 84MM. Each AL team has 10MM more dollars of talent than the NL teams.
Does this explain all of the effect? I don't know, but it certainly goes a long, long way.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A pithy observation on the salaries of professional athletes

Allen Barra in a short article at the Wall Street Joural outlines exactly why we as consumers should not get upset about the high price of tickets.
It isn't some vague indefinable "they" who pays the players. It really isn't even the owners. It's you, or rather, it's us. If we put our money where our mouths are and support cancer, AIDS or Down syndrome research and then buy our tickets with what's left over, athletes and rock stars will actually be paid what we pretend they should be paid.
He also includes this brilliant quote from Bill James:
One of the unwritten laws of economics is that it is impossible, truly impossible, to prevent the values of society from manifesting themselves in dollars and cents. This is, ultimately, the reason why athletes are paid so much money.
That really is James at his best: pithy, clear, and enormously insightful.