On the heels of yesterday noting how much I’m looking forward to watching the Olympics at Sochi, I think that goes double after reading hilarious (and depressing) accounts of what it’s like over there in terms of preparedness for the games and the influx of people. A pair of tweets from Tracy St. Clair and Dan Wetzel pretty much sums things up.
- Want to dream about what a huge new TV deal would mean for the Cubs besides a dramatic increase in revenue? How about what the Dodgers will be doing on their new TV home this Spring: at SportsNet LA, the channel created by a partnership between the Dodgers and Time Warner, Dodgers fans will get to see every Dodgers Spring Training game during the day, and then an hour-long studio show on the Dodgers every night. That would be awesome, and I imagine the coverage only gets deeper during the season. The only rub? The network is still haggling with cable and satellite providers to actually carry the channel.
- BP’s Ben Lindbergh dug into yesterday’s PECOTA projections reveal, and there are actually a few nice bright spots for the Cubs. Of the top six projected improvements in total value among offensive players, the Cubs have three: Starlin Castro (1), Darwin Barney (3), and Anthony Rizzo (6). Of course, in Castro’s and Barney’s cases, the big improvement comes in large part because of the depths to which they sunk in 2013. The Cubs also have the number six pitching improver (Edwin Jackson). The Cubs have none of the bottom offensive “decliners” from 2013 to 2014, and none of the bottom pitching decliners, either. So, the good news is that this roster is primed for positive regression. The bad news is that the roster is still, um, not great.
- For the 2013 calendar year, per Baseball America, the Chicago Cubs spent more on international prospects than any team in baseball outside of the Texas Rangers. Note that the 2013 calendar year covers portions of two international signing periods, and, if memory serves, the Rangers spent a whole lot in the first half of 2013 (which was the end of the 2012-13 signing period), whereas the Cubs spent a whole lot once the 2013-14 period opened up on July 2.
- Dave Cameron looks back at the time the Mariners traded one year of Ken Griffey, Jr. for four cost-controlled years of Mike Cameron and a handful of prospects (can you believe that was 14 years ago?). With a better understanding of player valuation, Cameron notes that the Mariners completely jacked the Reds. (And that’s considering the fact that Griffey wielded a no-trade clause that limited the Mariners’ options to pretty much just the Reds, and granting that it would have been a steal even if Griffey had been fantastic in that year with the Reds.) We simply think about things differently now.
- … speaking of which, we think about the value of players like Mike Cameron differently now (above average bat playing excellent defense in center field), which makes me all the more giddy when I hear Cameron comps dropped on Albert Almora.
- A couple guys in the Cleveland Indians analytics department discuss, generally, what they do (spoiler alert: they provide analysis for just about everything the baseball ops department does).