In addition to our past endorsements (Larry Stone, Official Seattle Print Baseball Writer, Ivardog, Official Safeco Field Concession Item, so forth), this off-season we’d like to start throwing out some 2003 Season Endorsements. This is the first batch — to paraphrase the PA at Safeco, “Coming up: Official Endorsements of Out-of-Country Readers, and much, much more”.
Official Mariner of the U.S.S. Mariner: Edgar Martinez
Most Frequent Emailer: Jeffrey Wood
Most Frequent Emailer with a Weird Name: tede
Coolest Emailer Name: Aditya Sood
Worst Use of Punctuation in an Extended Series of Emails: James Biesterfeld
Official Reader Who Thinks We’re Stupid But Continues to Read and Email Us: James Biesterfeld
Official Teamster of the U.S.S. Mariner: Ivan Weiss
Official Female Reader of the U.S.S. Mariner: Jen Van Dijk (who, and we mean this in the nicest way, we think is almost definitely smoking hot by virtue of her baseball fandom)
Best Reader Submission: Paul Covert
All in good fun. Next batch tomorrow.
Good stuff on one of the candidates on the GM scorecard: Ned Colletti part one and part two. Part two is for subscribers, but if you’re hanging around here, you’re hard core enough you’ve got a subscription anyway.
“If ownership here was profit oriented, we’d have taken profits out. We haven’t.”
This is absolutely not true: ownership is taking huge sums of money out to repay the paper losses they claim on owning the team in the past. It’s hidden profit-taking, but it’s profit-taking any way you slice it.
From that Tribune article:
Q: How does it feel to have a team payroll of $94 million and be called cheap?
A: It’s a different experience. We finished over budget this season – we started at about $92 million and finished at just under $95 million. It’s the maximum we can afford to pay and still run the business at a break-even level. Compared to the rest of major league baseball, we come out pretty well. We’re fifth or sixth in the game in terms of payroll. I don’t see a reduction for ’04. Will there be an increase? That’s premature.
I have a couple of questions:
1) How do you figure the payroll is $92m or $95m?
2) Didn’t the Sanchez for Kelly swap and Nelson for Benitez trade both come out about even?
3) Then how do you figure the payroll ended $3m higher than it started?
4) The team made, conservatively, $40m last year. How can that be close to break-even level?
5) Why does everyone in the local press parrot a $92-$94m payroll figure?
There was a good article in the Tacoma News Tribune this morning about the M’s hunt for a GM. Some encouraging comments made by Lincoln, including that he he’s looking for a GM that will be a mix of both the old school approach that Gillick brought and the new school approach that Billy Beane would bring. For those who didn’t read my review of Moneyball over at strikethree.com, I’m not 100 % sold on the Oakland A’s way being the best way for teams with actual major league payrolls. The A’s do some things out of necessity that I don’t believe the Mariners should implement, and it is one of the reasons I’m not pushing for DePodesta as the M’s next GM. There is a lot of truth in the A’s way, but it isn’t perfect, and I’d rather see someone who can glean the truth from both sides.
Also, we’re going to be publishing a FAQ to help answer some of the inside jokes we use and give our new readers a better sense of who we are and what we do. So, if there’s anything you’d like to know, email us, and we’ll get it in the FAQ.
Next version of the GM Scorecard is up. I continue to refine this based on email feedback (we’ve gone through 4-5 versions so far — can anyone guess I’m an IT guy into prototyping and McConnell?), so if you see something you like (or don’t like, or want changed, or changed back), drop us a line and I’ll see what I can’t do. And expect to see a new version every couple of hours, as I’m on vacation and tinkering with this thing today.
Or I might write my application essay to the Mariners. Either way.