Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beyond The Boxscore: The Cubs' Contract Window

The Chicago Cubs, unlike teams in win-now mode, were waiting for contracts to end, not hoping to sign extensions or win it all before the All-Star leaves.

Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein worked some magic earlier this offseason, sending SP Carlos Zambrano tot he Miami Marlins, but they still have OF Alfonso Soriano — whose albatross contract does not end for another three more seasons — and OF Marlon Byrd, who is still really useful, but is blocking top prospect OF Brett Jackson.

Beyond the Boxscore's David Fung has a great visual to show the Cubs' current contract obligations:

Click to en-large-a-size.

Want to know more about the prospects at the bottom of the chart? Jonathon Mayo has you covered with his latest top 10 prospects, complete with videos.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

So, You Wanna Host The Superbowl, Eh?

I've always been interested in the effect of big sporting events have on local economies. One of the reasons is that I'm not entirely sold that it has the positive effect that is mostly spun to the public by local politicians and large sporting organizations (e.g.- NFL, IOC).

Recently, out favorite economic journalists at NPR's Planet Money spoke with a Sports Economist regarding the Super Bowl's effect on Indy's local economy:
[Victor Matheson] argues hosting the Super Bowl pushes out the economic activities that occur on normal, non-Super Bowl hosting weekends. No conventions are held. Museums are closed. Local residents do not come downtown simply because it's too crowded.
We luuuuuvvvzzz sports and we luuuuuuuuuuvvvzzzz economics -- when combined, they produce unstoppable powers. And, if you listen closely to said podcast, you'll hear about such awesome powers in terms such as "multiplier," "equity," "efficiency," and the implication of substitute goods. See? Unstoppable.

(I just had an econgasm, but I digress)

Good job, Planet Money crew!

P.S.-If any of our readers are from Atlanta and are familiar with the economic effects of the '96 Olympics, please do leave a comment!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome To The South Side, Dan Johnson!

Word broke this morning that the Chicago White Sox have signed 1B Dan Johnson to a minor league contract. Which is funny, because it was less than a year ago, White Sox fans were mercilessly booing me and Johnson after he cracked this homer, giving the Tampa Bay Rays their first win of the season and the Chicago White Sox one of their first losses.

I make little pretense about my team affiliations. They are as such:

1. Chicago Cubs
1. Tampa Bay Rays
3. Chicago White Sox

As such, the White Sox were SOL that night because I was elated. Johnson is one of my favorite all-time Rays — and not just because he cranks seriously clutch homers (do a video search on MLB's website for "Dan Johnson" — the majority of the results will be about game-tying home runs), but because I like his approach at the plate — wait, wait, wait... wait... HOME RUN SWING! (strikeout).

At the same time, though, Johnson is getting up there in age and is going to be stuck behind DH Adam Dunn (whom I anticipate will play MUCH better in the 2012 MLB Season) and 1B Paul Konerko (who's only moving if he gets traded, and I am not confident that will happen).

Nonetheless, I am excited to see Johnson alive and kicking. Here's to a great year, Pumpkin!

Bulls v. Miami — Part 1

With Deng out, the Bulls find themselves with 18ppg missing from their lineup. And unfortunately, the only player on this Bulls team that can compensate missing Deng’s productivity is Derrick Rose. But there’s a problem with this: Rose isn’t cannot be a high-volume shooter — especially against Miami:
I know, I know, if it wasn’t for Derrick’s higher volume, the Bulls wouldn’t have been in the game — this is true. And if there’s one guy that I want on my team that can create and carry a team, it’s DRose. But someone needs to step up (liked what I saw from Noah) like, say, Rip Hamilton?