Monday, December 7, 2009

Let's have a series of meetings!

Well, fellas (and sheilas)...This is it. Winter Meetings. Can't you feel the excitement?

Yeah, us neither.

It probably helped to temper our expectations and dampen our mood over the weekend when we found out that the HUGE (YOOOGE!) news that Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll cryptically hinted was coming over the weekend was something about Bloomberg getting involved with repackaging and reselling stats to MLB teams.

And not to say that we don't see how this could become an interesting topic of discussion, know...when you say that there are going to be big announcements, we expect the imminent announcement that MLB will install exploding bases which will blow up when fielders attempt that "neighbourhood play" bullshit. (That would be kinda awesome.)

We're not entirely sure what the expect from this year's December confab in Indy, but we're not anticipating much. Maybe lots of heat about Halladay, but not much light.

(Speaking of Halladay, we had a dream about him last night, which is weird. It involved us following him and his family to church on an old bicycle, except that they were going to church in rural New Brunswick. And in the dream, we learned that Brandi Halladay was to blame for everything, and refused to move to Arizona. We're not saying that this means anything more than that we have some latent misogyny in our subconscious. But we share everything else, and it seemed wrong not to share this.)

We fully expect that this week will provide us with unending lukewarm stove tidbits, like the guys that the Jays will be signing to minor league contracts, or the Rule 5 draftees. (If we're lucky, the Jays may root out another DeWayne Wise or Corey Thurman...think of the possibilities!)

When Paul Beeston speaks, bad stuff happens
David Wade of Baseball Digest Daily reports that things went pear-shaped for good Canadian boy James Paxton when Paul Beeston bumbled his way through a Globe and Mail interview explaining why the good Canadian boy didn't want to sign with the hometown team.

Oh, Beest! The more we see of him, the more he reminds us of Hrundi V. Bakshi, Peter Sellers' vaguely offensive and mishap-prone character in The Party.


Ian H. said...

That was it? Bloomberg? What a disappointment!

eyebleaf said...

I'm excited. I'm excited for AA. I like how he's laying down the law. You want to see the 32-year-old rookie GM? You go to his room, not the other way around. It's bloody brilliant!1 Really hope Doc is gone by Wednesday. (Never thought I'd say that one.)

As for Beeston, well, fuck. When he speaks, I try to just ignore it. A most apt reference to Peter Sellers in The Party. Great movie.

And apparently the Jays will spend $16 million in the draft next season. With this franchise, it's always next year. At least we're on the same page, I guess. Playoffs!!!1

Tao of Stieb said...

It's always the carrot with this team.

"Look at the big yummy carrot at the end of the stick! Keep chasing it fanboy! Keep believing that one day, you'll get close enough to grab a bite! Satiety is just a few steps away! Handsome Tony assures you!"


Ian H. said...

If Handsome Tony says it's true, I believe him.


^^^^^^ There's your sign for opening day, eyeB!

Anonymous said...

Will Carroll is a jerk.

The Ack said...

Oh come on, Tao. Play along. Get excited.


(and yeah, -1 to Carroll for that twitter tease...and -2 to yours truly for passing it along)

eyebleaf said...

I love carrots. They're good for your eyes. So we can see just how fucking shitty this team is.

@ Ian: "I Believe in Handsome Tony Viner" might have to be done. Perhaps I'll put it on the back of my Vernon Wells sign. I have to rep Wells during the home opener. I also need a sign that says "Building!!!1" Or perhaps I'll finally make a t-shirt on Zazzle:

It's not a rebuild if you don't tear it all down.

And on the back: Building!!!1

jw said...

As someone who a) wants to get into the baseball stat industry, b) knows what Bloomberg does, and c) recently went through an application cycle with said company, I can confirm that it actually is pretty big news. Bloomberg has the resources and the expertise to completely dominate the market, and their financial analysis background will certainly change the game inasfaras analyzing risk and hedging against injury. It's not something that the casual fan will care about but it's big news for front offices and bad news for anyone currently in the statistical analysis game.

Also, the didn't hire me and now they're going to be doing the kind of innovation that I hoping of doing in grad school to land myself a job in the biz, so it was kind a big deal for me at least.

Tao of Stieb said...

Well, Bloomberg doesn't dominate the market in their financial data business, so the notion that they are going to step in and be a behemoth overnight strikes us as odd.

In their native business, there's still room for Thomson Reuters and Dow Jones, along with a number of other players, so I don't see how their presence in the baseball data market fundamentally changes the game.

There will still be room for others to play along, and MLB would be smart to allow for competition in the market.

jw said...

Granted they don't dominate the finance data business, but there's stiff competition there from equally large players. Stats Inc. is probably the largest player in the baseball data market and they're a fraction of the size that Bloomberg is. I would liken it to being in a nascent consumer electronic field and finding out that Apple is entering the field.

If we go by Geoffrey Moore's Crossing The Chasm model, the baseball data field has reached the early majority phase, where the tornado consolidates the competition. Companies such as Bloomberg will come along and buy up smaller players. I was erroneous to state that it's bad news for the smaller players because they certainly have an opportunity to make quite a bit of money by selling to larger players. I would say that the Bloomberg announcement is the beginning of Moore's tornado, which is a very critical phase in the maturation of a technology field. So yes, big news.

Tao of Stieb said...

I take your point, jw. Possibly the start of some consolidation in the industry, although I think that Bloomberg will have to establish their bona fides in the area, or buy up some players who have already established themselves.

Could be interesting, although of interest to probably about 20% of baseball fans.

Brian Tallet's Mustache said...

I'm not so interested in who is producing the stats (though, yes, it will be interesting to see how the biz gets restructured) so much as how this changes the stats that are likely to be produced. For example, jw mentioned "analyzing risk and hedging against injury".

As a corollary, how much of this are we as fans likely to see. After all, much of the profit would likely being in selling this information to organizations, no? And presumably, much of the benefit to organizations is in being the only one(s) to hold the data.

Brian Tallet's Mustache said...

I suppose what I'm asking is, how much is that 20% stats-geek section of fans actually going to see of all this?

Anonymous said...

Michael Lewis must be quite the influencer at Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

Check out this footage from Alex Ant's hotel room.

He's a smooth-talker!

Anonymous said...

Love 'The Party' reference - a classic Sellers film until it goes off the rails two-thirds into the picture...not unlike several Jays seasons in recent memory.

The Ack said...

So, ESPN's Latin America guy Jorge Arangure says that Champman's price tag might be dropping - ie: he says there's a feeling now he won't top $20M.

Hypothetically, do the Jays start to get involved at that price?

Tony Viner said...

Look, the trap has been set. My minions have barricaded themselves inside their mid-priced suite, while Beeston and I are a twenty-minute helicopter flight away in Trump Chicago's penthouse.

Having the other GM's come and beg for Doc is the plan, and when the traffic begins to pile up I will swoop in with my sexy business technique and remind them that if they want the Doc, they will pay Handsome Tony's price.

This all fits into my personal plan to rebuild the farm in a massive way, through the 2010 draft. I concocted a contrivance that will allow me to stockpile picks, and commit a revolutionary amount of capital to signing bonuses for the most talented and expensive prospects available.

I refused to bow to Scott Boras' tactics in the Paxton negotiation in order to conduct my grand symphony in 2010 (although his parroting of my underhanded and dishonest business methods angered me a great deal).

Trust me, I am extremely smart, and truly handsome. I will use my sexy, robber-baron strategy to build this team up to Olympian heights, and we will shock the world. Trust me.

Yours honestly, sincerely and truthfully,

Handsome Tony Viner

plain_g said...

tao favourite matt murton just got released so he could go play in japan.

Anonymous said...

@ Handsome Tony

Kudos to you for using the proper invective and negotiating technique to get Roy to relax his Draconian hold on his no trade clause, well at least a little. What did it take to get Roy to pry at least a few fingers off of it? A blackjack to the kneecaps? The threat to actually bring back Kevin Millar? An 8x10 erotic picture of George Steinbrenner rendered in glossy format?

Anyway, if not the method, I admire the conviction of Handsome Tony. If JP had half the stones that Handsome Tony does, no way would the Jays minor league organization be wallowing in the bowels of most minor league rankings.

Does Handsome Tony plan on passing on a few edicts, such as don't draft young pitchers you cluster****!, to his young squire at the draft table or will Handsome Tony just tell AA to let his hair down, trust his scouts, and then Handsome Tony will take care of the rest?

Joanna said...

birdy num num

SP said...

You (guys) even dream in first person plural? That's some serious dedication to a narrative, Holmes.

bkblades said...

Beeston is pretty much the older Canadian version of JP Ricciardi when it comes to handling of media.

In more serious tones, does the Bloomberg announcement have any ancillary effect on fantasy baseball? I remember there were a few reports earlier this year where MLB lost their case (if I recall correctly) on monopolizing statistics as MLB property and thus, forcing sites like Yahoo to pay licensing fees to use stats for game/"gambling" purposes. I wonder if statistics will now be treated as commodities, which will no doubt affect other leagues trying to make profit from that avenue as well.

Tao of Stieb said...


The imperial "we" never rests.