I just renewed the “bleachernation.com” domain name’s registration for the 5th year, and it made me think about how glad I am that it’s the name I landed on back in 2008 (despite the potential confusion with a certain other bleacher-y site that started earlier that year). As best as I can recall, some of the other names under consideration at the time included “Rooftop Report,” “Rooftop Review,” “Rooftop Gazette” (I was really into the rooftop idea), various iterations of “Bricks” and “Ivy,” and, believe it or not, “Bleacher Report.” At the time, it was a really small site, and it meant nothing to me other than the fact that the name was taken, and I couldn’t use it. Little did I know…. So, I landed on “Bleacher Nation.” The online Cubs world didn’t really have a site using the oh-so-ubiquitous-and-kind-of-hacky-but-whatever “nation” thing, and I always really liked the bleachers at Wrigley. Ultimately, selecting the name had as much to do with what wasn’t already taken as what sounded good. That said, when “Bleacher Nation” popped into my head, I hoped beyond hope that it wasn’t already taken. So, there you go. More than you wanted to know.
- In light of the Dodgers’ spending spree, which will push their 2013 payroll to the $220 million range, you’re going to hear a whole lot in the coming weeks (and years, really) about how having a huge payroll doesn’t guarantee a team anything. And that’s quite right. But it sure does help you get to the table: in the last 18 seasons, the big money Yankees have missed the playoffs exactly once. Don’t let folks tell you the huge payroll thing is meaningless. It isn’t a guarantee, but it sure as heck does matter.
- Speaking of payroll, the MLB Players Association has released its average salary data for 2012, which showed a 3.8% increase in average player salary across baseball. For the Cubs, however, that figure was a greater than 50% drop – from almost $5 million in 2011 to about $2.1 million in 2012. That took the Cubs from 7th in baseball all the way down to 23rd. I’m not quite sure how these figures are calculated (does the fact that the Cubs used more players than almost any other team drive their “average” salary down, since the vast majority of those players were minimum salary guys?), but it paints a pretty clear picture about the Cubs’ rebuilding efforts, and shouldn’t be much of a surprise. I’ll have more on this payroll/spending stuff later today.
- Anthony Rizzo’s “Walk Off For Cancer” walk was a big success yesterday, in its first year, drawing a bunch of great names, and raising $63,000 online before the open registration at the walk, itself, yesterday. It takes place in Florida – maybe next year we can get a group together to head down there.
- The next SABR Analytics Conference will be March 7 through 9 in Phoenix, which obviously lines up with Spring Training and the World Baseball Classic. For those of you who head down for Spring Training at that time, you should know that Jed Hoyer is slated to speak at the conference.
- On that Rays/Royals trade, Dave Cameron at FanGraphs lays into the Royals, who he says just mortgaged the future in exchange for a shot at being mediocre.
- I am an unapologetic huge Smashing Pumpkins fan, and I think it’s the bee’s knees that Billy Corgan is such a Cubs fan that he’s asked substantive questions about the rebuilding process. Among his thoughts: it isn’t right to waste a player’s career while you remain uncompetitive. That’s an interesting, and humanitarian-ish view of a rebuild. And a reason to keep it brief.
- The MLBullets at BCB look at the Rays/Royals deal, the Greinke signing, and more. One interesting bit from baseball, at large: “MLB’s revenues have been climbing steadily since 1995, and reached $7.5 billion last year after a couple years at $7 billion (flat, likely due to the recession – but even staying flat through that period is positive). In just a couple years, with the infusion of serious television dollars, that figure could blow past $9 billion.”