Bonanza of broadcast bucks, Broussard benefits bench

DMZ · March 22, 2007 at 1:44 am · Filed Under Mariners 

The PI reports that the M’s and Fox Sports Net nearing a 10-year (!) $300m (!!) deal. Also, Broussard looks like he’s wrapped up that bench job.

Geoff Baker, on the team’s intangibles and other stuff… well, let’s cut to it:

The numbers here can lead to silly debates among those reading the box scores thousands of miles away.

Where some Mariners fans are concerned, the debate is whether Ben Broussard, or even Tony Torcato, should replace Richie Sexson at first base. Or whether sizzling spring star Willie Bloomquist should be handed Ichiro’s leadoff spot in the order. There have been calls for homer-plagued Jeff Weaver to be dumped from the rotation in favor of Ryan Feierabend.

What? Who?

Did Steve get to you?


42 Responses to “Bonanza of broadcast bucks, Broussard benefits bench”

  1. matthew on March 22nd, 2007 2:02 am

    I wouldn’t put it past the Ms leadership to do any or all of these things.

  2. Replacement level poster on March 22nd, 2007 2:07 am

    If Hargrove were to buy strictly into numbers, he would have already cut about 80 percent of last year’s bullpen — including closer J.J. Putz — and started over. He would replace starting catcher Kenji Johjima with .368-hitting journeyman Jamie Burke. Weaver and his 8.31 earned-run average would be headed to Class AAA, along with the .135-hitting Sexson, while the .408-hitting Bloomquist could bounce anyone he wanted out of the first four spots in the order.

    Well yeah, if he didn’t understand what a small sample is. Articles like this are my biggest pet peave. Its lazy strawman b.s.

  3. Replacement level poster on March 22nd, 2007 2:11 am

    Well biggest journalism pet peave.

  4. _David_ on March 22nd, 2007 2:23 am

    Although the article is obviously referring to Spring numbers, it could do a better job of reminding the reader, as Hargrove’s nonsensical and hilarious assault on numbers in general , with nothing relating it to spring training specifically, only further confuses. By the way, The more one thinks about Hargrove’s quote and tries to relate it logically to baseball, the more one’s brain is scrambled.

    The point of this article is obviously that spring training stats are meaningless, and it demonstrates this fairly well, but it takes the Steve Kelley approach of assuming fans are stupid enough to adopt a stupid idea, and then deriding them for it.

    I have to wonder, with USSM recently trumpeting the merits of Baker, whether this article shows the problem of small sample size, is simply an outlier, or a natural regression. Maybe being spring training such analysis is mute.

  5. _David_ on March 22nd, 2007 2:38 am

    But more importantly, isn’t it awesome that the Mariners will now up their payroll by 300 million over the next ten years?!?!?!

  6. NBarnes on March 22nd, 2007 3:24 am

    Is that 300 million dollars for broadcast rights over 10 years? That’d only be 30 mil a year. That barely covers A-Rod alone. I thought that broadcast rights were huge money?

  7. NBarnes on March 22nd, 2007 3:25 am

    Dur, I follow link, read, then invent wheel and fire. Dur. Ogg smart.

  8. argh on March 22nd, 2007 3:59 am

    And speaking of FSN and the Mariners, this year all home games and 6 road games (starting with the home opener against Oakland on April 2) will be broadcast in HDTV on Comcast channel 664. So if you like your disappointing seasons to be crystal clear, 2007 is going to be a great year.

  9. teacherrefpoet on March 22nd, 2007 6:28 am

    I don’t read Baker’s article the same way you do. I think the article is about the perils of small-sample-size theater. It doesn’t indicate that anyone, straw man or otherwise, actually feels that Willie should bat first (and etc.). Instead, it takes some hypothetical extreme positions to demonstrate how we can’t take spring stats seriously, and even Hargrove sees that.

    In other words, I’m not giving up on Baker here. He makes an obvious point, sure, but some people need the obvious.

  10. gk91 on March 22nd, 2007 6:35 am

    Plus there was a ‘grit’ shout out.

  11. argh on March 22nd, 2007 6:47 am

    Quick, how wide is the river?

    “I’ve never been a real big numbers guy,” Hargrove said….”I probably should be. But I never have been. It’s like the guy who drowned in the river with an average depth of six inches. The whole river is really two inches deep, but he stepped off in a 20-foot hole.”

    But on the other hand, he has other key management tools he can rely on:

    “There are other things you can gauge on days like today,” Hargrove said. “Like how tough a guy is mentally.”

  12. em on March 22nd, 2007 7:29 am

    If you listen to the typical radio talk show caller, you can forgive Baker’s cynical impression of the typical idiot fan. Irrational Wee Willie love is reason enough to post a reminder that spring training is all smoke and mirrors.

  13. em on March 22nd, 2007 7:33 am

    That said, Ryan should still replace Jeff 🙂

  14. DanO on March 22nd, 2007 7:36 am

    Do you take requests?

    The alliteration is starting to get a tad stale; any chance you could try rhyming, just for a change of pace? I’d love to see what you can do with Johjima.

  15. argh on March 22nd, 2007 7:42 am


    Jojima, Jojima, Bo Bojima
    Bonana, Fanna, Fo Fojima
    Fee, Fy, Mo Mojima

    Although it really works better with Kenji.

  16. msb on March 22nd, 2007 8:18 am

    #12– heck, if you read Baker’s blog you get the same comments– I think that is a where a lot of what he is responding to comes from…

  17. msb on March 22nd, 2007 8:19 am

    woaah. deja vu all over again.

    One reason Meche is excited is because right away this spring, the Royals suggested that instead of landing on his heel on his follow-through, he tweak his mechanics so that he lands more on the ball of his foot. The result has been better balance. He finishes his motion toward the plate instead of falling off to the side, his arm slot is better and he’s been happy with the results.

  18. msb on March 22nd, 2007 8:23 am

    there was also a good report on Putz’ throwing session and a Larue profile of him

  19. PositivePaul on March 22nd, 2007 9:10 am

    Ho. Ly. Cow…

    So much for using the “But the TV contract is running out — the M’s need to become more relevant so they don’t lose the big bucks from that side of the financial equation…” argument.

    Howard Lincoln isn’t going anywhere. The ownership could give a flying fart about how well this team does in the standings. It’s a huge money maker for them, and if they’re able to rake in that kind of cash when the team sucks, why should they pour energy into making this team good?

    I’m stunned, really…

  20. billT on March 22nd, 2007 9:16 am

    From the Larue article:

    “I remember we were watching the Little League World Series in the clubhouse and Ichiro wasn’t watching. I asked him about it and he said “I don’t watch bad baseball.”

    Think about how good Ichiro would be if he didn’t play his games with the Mariners with his eyes closed.

  21. waldo rojas on March 22nd, 2007 9:17 am

    Ichiro watches bad baseball. Liar.

  22. dw on March 22nd, 2007 9:24 am

    The M’s get 10/300, while MLB gives the middle finger to cable’s last attempt to dissuade them from the DirecTV deal.

    Honestly, these guys could give a rip about what the fans think. The only way they’d care is if cable and satellite stopped giving them money.

    OTOH, at least the M’s have frozen season ticket prices the last three years. I’m not looking forward to 2008, though.

  23. Nick on March 22nd, 2007 9:47 am

    Why is this proposed 10-year, $300 million broadcast deal worthy of three exclamation points? Isn’t it actually a sign of the M’s decline. After all the last deal was 10/$288 and 10/$300 is just a 4% increase. That’s not even keeping up with inflation.

    I think it’s safe to say that stinking up the AL West for the last three years has cost them at least $100 million in this deal.

  24. DMZ on March 22nd, 2007 9:50 am

    I’m writing a longer post about what I think is interesting in the TV deal.

  25. Grizz on March 22nd, 2007 9:55 am

    Is one of the interesting things that the M’s signed the deal while Dave Niehaus was still calling games?

  26. shortbus on March 22nd, 2007 10:07 am

    I write an email to MLB every year basically saying: “Let me watch every MLB game ESPECIALLY THOSE INVOLVING THE TEAM IN MY MARKET. I will pay you for the privilege of doing so.” Until they can do that for me they haven’t entered the late 20th century. I cancelled my MLB audio subscription this year partly in protest of the DirectTV decision, partly because I wasn’t using it much. Hopefully Bud will soon retire so somone not alive during the Eisenhower administration can move their media scheme forward.

    The HDTV thing is good news, though.

  27. DMZ on March 22nd, 2007 10:08 am

    Oh man, do I have a rant about that.

    Baseball’s broadcast system is, and I don’t know any other way to put it, ridiculously fucked up and it hurts fans badly.

  28. rick m on March 22nd, 2007 10:28 am

    How come Mariner fans don’t get credit for pointing out that trading Snelling for Vidro is a waste of good money, that Carl Everett was a terrible decision, that there was no reason for trading Carlos Guillen for nothing, that Soriano is young cheap and very good and should not be traded for mediocrity, and so on.

    If I had to choose between the Mariners being run by:

    A.Current management
    B.Group of fans, drawn from a hat
    C.Local major media

    I would not hesitate to choose B and take my chances.

    Geoff Baker is writing for 10 year olds. I don’t even hear this kind of talk on KJR, and last time I listened, they were calling the Sexson deal a bargain over there.

  29. crewm on March 22nd, 2007 10:36 am

    Admit it, guys, you just hate any mention of the word grit when used in conjunction with baseball.

    I thought the article was pretty interesting, a reminder of how hard it can be to make any judgments based on spring training games. And it seems to me that he’s going after the same fans you guys find irritating.

  30. Livengood on March 22nd, 2007 11:19 am

    _David_ said:

    But more importantly, isn’t it awesome that the Mariners will now up their payroll by 300 million over the next ten years?!?!?!

    And NBarnes said:

    Is that 300 million dollars for broadcast rights over 10 years? That’d only be 30 mil a year. That barely covers A-Rod alone. I thought that broadcast rights were huge money?

    I’m probably posting this in the wrong thread, but I read it here so I’m responding here.

    $300M is big bucks, even if the M’s are losing ground on this deal relative to the last. The last one was HUGE, this one is still well into the upper-third, or even top 10% of all such deals in MLB. They still won a big pot, even if it isn’t as big as the last one.

    In terms of payroll increases, even if there were a dollar-for-dollar correlation (and there won’t be), the increase over what’s in their budget now (it was a 10-year/$288M deal they signed in 2000) is on the order of $1.2M more per year over the life of the deal – not enough to write home about.

    Like a lot of decisions the M’s make, this deal is about trying to maintain the status quo rather than to do anything creative or risky.

  31. Livengood on March 22nd, 2007 11:22 am

    And I forgot to mention, as well: this is only the local broadcast rights. The deal MLB just made with Direct TV, plus those they have with ESPN and Turner Broadcasting and Fox – that’s HUGE money, even when it is a 1/30th share. But, relative to other local broadcasting rights deals, the M’s are doing well. It just remains to be seen whether that will be the consensus opinion in 2012 (say), when they’re competitive again and the whole nature of and market for local broadcasting has changed….

  32. B_Con on March 22nd, 2007 11:23 am

    Tree Man will never be a bargain, unless you feel like paying millions for the slowest, worst fielding, least charismatic, worst situational hitting, most prolific wearer of the golden sombrero. (completely unverified title, I have no idea how many times Sexson has k’ed 4 times)

    On the other hand, he sometimes hits the ball REALLY FAR!

  33. JMB on March 22nd, 2007 12:39 pm

    I looked at last year’s game logs — no four-strikeout games for Sexson. He did have nine three-strikeout games, though, and lots of two-strikeout games.

  34. Nintendo Marios on March 22nd, 2007 1:15 pm

    20 –

    Think about how good Ichiro would be if he didn’t play his games with the Mariners with his eyes closed.


  35. _David_ on March 22nd, 2007 1:24 pm

    30: I was being sarcastic, I know the Ms will eat as much of it for profit as possible. I was also being boneheaded, as much of the current payroll comes out of TV as well, and you’re right, this is a decrease when factoring inflation.

  36. B_Con on March 22nd, 2007 1:42 pm

    ESPN’s rumor mill is headlined by the M’s scouting ‘Mando… I really hoped everyone mentioning that was way off base… apparently not. Broussard for ‘Mando? Are we going to completely purge the team of young, cheap talent in favor of broken down vets who were never that good anyways?

    Are we sure Bavasi isn’t still working for the Angels? If he is a double agent and we find out do we get to cut off his hand like they would’ve done back in the good old days?

    That these questions are being asked shows the state of Mariners baseball…

  37. msb on March 22nd, 2007 2:00 pm

    ESPN’s rumor mill is headlined by the M’s scouting ‘Mando… I really hoped everyone mentioning that was way off base… apparently not.

    well, it’s the same day that Jayson Stark says “An official of one club looking for late-inning reinforcements says of him: “We’re not that desperate yet.” And another team rumored to be in on him, Seattle, appears to be a mirage.”

    Geoff Baker is writing for 10 year olds. I don’t even hear this kind of talk on KJR, and last time I listened, they were calling the Sexson deal a bargain over there.

    oh, yeah? well, there I keep hearing he’s a bust. Like Adrian. FWIW, Baker is hearing all of those quotes from fans writing to the Times and talking to him in Phoenix.

  38. Karen on March 22nd, 2007 2:06 pm

    RE: #17… Speaking of deja vu all over again, there’s a report from Red Sox Nation that Jonathan Papelbon has been returned to the closer role for the Red Sox.

    He replaces the committee try-out that was being conducted between Joel Pineiro (who’s been described recently as “a work in progress” — hee, hee), Julian Tavarez, and Mike Timlin (who’s going to start the season on the DL). Apparently Julian Tavarez will take Papelbon’s place in the rotation.

    Until the Red Sox can sign Roger Clemens?

    I’ve seen nothing so far about the fate of Pineiro, but it looks like he’s been relegated to a mid-inning RH reliever role for now.

  39. Paul B on March 22nd, 2007 2:12 pm

    The rain has stopped…

    rain delay of around 50 minutes.

  40. msb on March 22nd, 2007 2:32 pm

    Baker is really enjoying the ‘bring on Broussard’ comments 🙂

    That brought Sexson to the plate. Want to guess what happened next? Come on, guess, guess… OK, time’s up. First, we’ll tell you that Ibanez stole second on a 2-2 pitch to Sexson. OK, guess what Sexson did next. A walk? A home run? Nope. He bounced out to shortstop. Where’s Ben Broussard? Oh yeah, he’s back in Peoria. Good thing, because Sexson is the starting first baseman. Like him or not, you’ve got to live with it. Repeat after me, it’s only spring.

  41. Benno on March 22nd, 2007 3:45 pm

    Should we be getting concerned about how Sherrill has pitched this spring? I know that he is a notoriously slow starter, but there seems to be more talk about how he needs to start producing this spring. Also, what is the possibility that Morrow starts the year in the bullpen? Seems pretty quick to me, and something that does not seem all that prudent. Or does Hargrove want to start the year with a 13 man pitching staff?

  42. Ralph_Malph on March 22nd, 2007 4:46 pm

    2-3: Peeve with a double e, not peave as in Jake Peavy.

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