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MoneyIt’s another driving day today – the driving home variety – so, the usual expectations are in place: normal posting, but I won’t be around much in the comments/Twitter/Facebook/etc.

  • While the Chicago Cubs’ revenues remain a relatively opaque subject for debate, Forbes is reporting that revenues for MLB as a whole continue to shoot through the roof. Just a year after the league reportedly recorded revenues in the $7.5 billion range, Forbes says MLB will clear the $8 billion hurdle in 2013, and the figure could go as high as $8.5 billion. That’s astonishing revenue growth in a year when, to my knowledge, attendance didn’t rocket upward. Instead, bigger and bigger TV deals are driving the bulk of the revenue growth – and the new national TV deals don’t even kick in until next season. Say what you will about the waning state of MLB in the public’s consciousness, but, as a business enterprise, it’s certainly a healthy beast.
  • The Cubs reportedly agreed to terms with reliever Jose Veras last night, and Veras confirms the signing to MLB.com with this … calm quote: “There’s a lot of good talent, good guys on that team. Hopefully, we’ll see it’s going to be good. Maybe it’s the same situation as Houston with the Latin guys being young guys who had a lot of talent. I still have to do my job anyway.” Whoa there, Jose. Pull back the reins on the excitement sleigh. (I kid – he’s clearly got a pretty good sense of what lies ahead of him, and he knows that, realistically, the best thing you can say for the 2014 Cubs’ chances of not being terrible involves words like “maybe,” “hope,” and “we’ll see”. But, well, maybe some guys will break out, I hope there are roster amplifications over the next few months, and we’ll see what happens.).
  • Former Cubs pitcher Chris Carpenter, best known as the compensation the Cubs sent the Red Sox for hiring Theo Epstein (to a promotion), has been released so that he can pursue an opportunity in Japan.
  • Cee Angi, writing for Deadspin, discusses the merits of Sammy Sosa as a Hall of Fame candidate, and wonders whether he was really all that good in the first place.
  • There’s a Chicago sports team pushing for the playoffs, and I’m going to highlight it, damn it, even if it isn’t the Cubs. Jay digs (deeply) into the multifarious playoff scenarios for the Bears over at the BN Bears page. Makes me appreciate that baseball’s playoff picture is settled 99% of the time by the old “I won more games than you won, so shove off” metric.
  • Jp3

    So the business is booming everywhere except the cubs? Sigh, why are we being told by management otherwise? This is the reason it’s tough to be a cubs fan…. We construct our team like Rachel Phelps, either the players are way past their prime, never had a prime or are dead.

  • Spoda17

    I have a feeling this “TV” money is going to hit the proverbial “fan” one of these days like the Mortgage crisis. “Hey. let’s spend money that we really don’t have yet… it’ll all work out; trust me…”

    • DocPeterWimsey

      This is very different. This is not a case where MLB is expecting to make money off of investments in TV, and foolishly assuming that the investment will always be profitable. It’s the opposite, really: the TV networks essentially are investing in MLB on the assumption that the revenue they get from broadcasting baseball will exceed the amount that they pay MLB.

      Now, it is possible that TV networks will get burned on this: MLB might provide a poor (or negative) return on the investments. That means that the network investors don’t get nice dividends, and cranky rich people make Smaug look tame.

      However, MLB will still have that money (barring bankruptcy of networks, of course): MLB just might not get the same amounts in future contracts.

      • Spoda17

        I understand your point, try to convince the Astros they are getting the TV money. They are a perfect example of the broadcast company promising and then can’t deliver. At the end of the day, the Astros do not have money they were promised.

        It’s like having a renter. You have a contract, you receive money, then one day the renter can’t pay… you are still owed, and you are still entitled to the money, but the reality of it is, the money is not in your bank account. Which is exactly what happened to the mortgage companies. They took a risk that people would pay their mortgages and they didn’t so it impacted the entire market.

        The broadcast companies are spending money they do not actually have yet, but “expect” to have.

  • ssckelley

    Brett, has the interest in the Bears section been a disappointment? I thought there were more combo Cub/Bear fans on this blog than what I have seen so far.

    Get over there and join the Bears talk! There is a rumor going on over there that the Bears will give Baez a look at safety next season.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I haven’t paid much attention to the Bears in a while. Is McMahon still QB?

      • Fishin Phil

        No, Lovie assured me that “Rex Grossman is our quarterback”.

        Sheesh, try to keep up Doc.

        • Spriggs

          “… we are 8 and 2….”

      • ssckelley

        I am sure McMahon still thinks he is the Bears QB.

        • itzscott

          +1

          LOL!

          Always refreshing to start the day off with some dark humor.

          • http://BN Sacko

            McMahon was great for getting Ditka excited but Flutie almost killed him.

    • ari gold

      I’m a Packer fan, so I guess “Go Pack Go”

      • ssckelley

        Actually I think a troll or 2 would help spice things up.

  • mdavis

    (knock on wood) the bullpen is shaping up to look like a potential strength. Veras, Strop, Parker, Russell, Wright, Rondon then some combo of Villanueva, Rusin, Raley, Rosscup.

    • Fishin Phil

      Yeah, I don’t want to get too excited too early, but that Pen is looking a whole lot better these days!

  • Fishin Phil

    “Former Cubs pitcher Chris Carpenter, best known as the compensation the Cubs sent the Red Sox for hiring Theo Epstein (to a promotion), has been released so that he can pursue an opportunity in Japan. ”

    Good luck to Chris.

    HA! to Red Sox

    • DocPeterWimsey

      heh, weren’t people whining about how we’d given up a probable stud in Carpenter 2 years ago? Looks like he’s going to the same HoF that the Rays Garza haul is headed…..

      • Fishin Phil

        Text from Theo to Larry L. : “Yeah, I got your compensation right here!”

  • JoeyJoJo Junior

    Brett–

    Did you see the latest Cuban OF defecting? Any info on him? Think the Cubs will have interest?

  • ETS

    “There’s a Chicago sports team pushing for the playoffs, and I’m going to highlight it, damn it, even if it isn’t the Cubs.”

    Just please don’t let it be the white sox

  • Rebuilding

    @Brett – Just wanted to let you know that I’m really enjoying the Bears site. Jay has a tone and style very similar to yours (meant as a compliment) – lots of info while being conversational and humorous. It must have been hard to attach your brand to someone else, but it seems you’ve done well.

    • JulioZuleta

      Same here. Good stuff. More of you should check it out.

    • Mark

      Totally agree, love the new bears page!

    • Coop

      Agreed. The comment sections have been pretty bear-en (ugh, i feel dirty at that…). I think the problem is the Bears are doing okay, and are trying to get better. Just not enough to complain about…

  • oswego chris

    One difference with this FO, that I actually heard McLeod state with Levine on Saturday morning, is they see no reason to come out and say how much $ they have to spend, so they are always going to get labeled as cheap…personally I think it’s a very shrewd strategy, if Boras can’t go to the Yankees and say “the Cubs have earmarked this amount for player X” that’s not a bad thing…

    • CubFan Paul

      “they see no reason to come out and say how much $ they have to spend”

      Almost all the other teams are transparent on spending and don’t treat their fans as idiots.

      Revenues for the Cubs are going UP and expenses have been slashed and cut.

      • hansman

        Really? Maybe I have missed the press clippings for all of these other GM’s coming out and saying “We are going to spend $X this offseason!”

  • Curt

    I’d rather hear about the blackhawks than the bears but to each their own , I’m sure it’s a nice dirt just not a bears fan, on another topic it really is ironic tht mlb is making tons of money and the cubs are to broke I guess to put a competitive team on the field, I just really hope the cubs get their tv deal done b4 mlb regulates it and they don’t get wht their looking for.

    • Coop

      I live in the LA area – and get sick of hearing about the Kings – that game a couple of nights ago was awesome! The Kings play-by-play guys grew increasingly depressed and started making comments like “…and the Kings fail to clear the puck out of their zone, AGAIN.” I think the final score didn’t really give a fair sense of how much the Blackhawks controlled that game. Good times.

  • JulioZuleta

    I don’t quite get the Deadspin article. She makes it sound like he wasn’t nearly as good as everyone thought. I don’t think anyone ever considered Sammy to be one of the 10 greatest players ever, or anything like that. It basically implies that, even if you assume that he didn’t take steroids…he wasn’t all that great. I know that counting stats aren’t a great way to measure value, but averaging 45 HRs a year for a TWELVE YEAR PERIOD, is pretty dang phenomenal. Even ignoring the counting stats, he’s 116th all-time in fangraphs WAR, which like, is pretty good considering baseball has been played for 134 years. (Tied with Billy Williams, coincidentally).

    That being said, since I’m 99.9% sure that he was on massive amounts of steroids, I don’t think he belongs. But to say that, even if his numbers weren’t artificial…that Sammy Sosa wouldn’t be all that great…is pretty crazy.

  • http://BN Sacko

    Lions

  • Jono

    compared to the Astros, he is joining a very talented team (let’s ignore the whole tigers thing for the sake of my comment)

  • Cubfan Budman

    Steroid era stung baseball but its not like just the hitters were using it ! Pitcher’s were also using you would think they would have evened out in some crazy way!! The Bears sight is great Go Bears enter the playoffs as the “HOT” team ie:Baltimore last year you just never know

  • DrReiCow

    ” Makes me appreciate that baseball’s playoff picture is settled 99% of the time by the old “I won more games than you won, so shove off” metric. ”

    Sadly, it feels like 90% of baseball’s playoff picture is settled by the All-Star break, so there is no reason to watch anymore.

    Moo :(

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