Can Legalized Sports Gambling Save Baseball

On one hand, you could say baseball is thriving.  Revenues are over Gross revenues are $10 billion, National TV ratings are up, and many teams have lucrative local or regional TV deals that help pay the bills and then some. Plus, every time an NBA or NFL team gets sold for a new record, each team sees its valuation go up as well.

But then there’s that pesky issue of attendance and fan interest. From Forbes, “The 2017 regular season saw a total of 72,670,423 in paid attendance across the league. This was the first time since 2010 that attendance dipped below the 73 million mark, which was surprising.”

People will argue why attendance is down, but most ideas fall around a central theme. The games are too long for today’s environment, often too boring, and the reliance on stats and analysis to make the smartest decisions possible takes the fun and unpredictability out of the game. Heck, even former players think the game is boring now. Jim Kaat says they should only play seven innings.

I made a comment earlier this week that I thought baseball was at its “Kodak Moment.” By that I meant, there was a time in the 1990’s when Kodak was making heaps of cash with a near monopoly on film and film development. Digital cameras kind of existed, but Kodak didn’t want to believe that people would prefer digital over film, so they just to keep looking at their stacks of cash, half-heartedly built some bad digital cameras, and ignored the direction the market was going. It’s easy to forget that in the mid-90’s, Eastman Kodak was a $90 stock. Today it’s barely above $5.00.

Compare that to Major League Baseball today. Heaps of cash, a storied history and a plethora of purists who want to make sure the game never changes. And the new entrants to their market are eSports and a growth in soccer, where people can get in and out of a match in a guaranteed 105 minutes. The market is shifting, and 10 years from now, you might be able to make an argument that the 2017 World Series may have been baseball’s apex.

But a savior has arrived, and its name is Legalized Gambling.

Today betting on a baseball game is dumb. Choose odds on a game or a point spread and hope for the best. It’s unpredictable at best, a monkey throwing darts at worst. Plus, why watch the game? All you need to do is check the score in the morning.

But the 2020 version of Legalized Sports Betting is intriguing. Be in the park or on your couch. Open your mobile phone app. Bet a tiny micro amount on each inning or each at bat. 2.5 to 1 he gets a hit. 2 to 1 they score a run. 10 to 1 there’s a home run in the inning. 1 to 1 there’s a strikeout. You could make 50-100 bets at $.25 to $2.00 per bet and the game would be awesome every pitch. And realistically, you’re probably only going to win or lose $10 to $20 per game unless you are exceedingly good or bad. A small price to pay for three hours of entertainment.

Baseball needs to get behind this. Having people actively involved on a batter by batter basis is akin to Fantasy Football players watching the 4th quarter of a 34-7 blowout to see if their receiver can pick up 60 cheap yards in garbage time. It would be great for the game, and engage a whole new set of fans who need instantaneous entertainment on their mobile devices. This generation of fans wouldn’t even need to watch the whole game – they could log in for an hour, play 20-30 bets, and then move on with their day.

Baseball need to embrace this.  Don’t listen to the people who want to make fancier film. Go where the market wants to go.

 

 

9 Reasons the Mariners Will Make the Playoffs

It’s Opening Day! Yay Baseball! Is this the year the Mariners break their playoff drought? Here are 9 reasons why we shouldn’t be worried. We’re playoff bound.

binäre optionen deutsche bank 1. James Paxton
You say he’s a guy who’s never been able to stay healthy, I say that with all those days on the DL, he has a 29 year old brain with a 26 year old’s arm. He could have 140 games started under his belt, but instead he’s just at 75. His stuff makes grown men cry and he’s ready for a huge year. Let’s write him in at 19-6.

http://bossons-fute.fr/?fimerois=site-de-rencontre-amicale-avis&f44=80 2. Felix Hernandez
He’s spent the last 10 years playing with (and for) a bunch of chumps. It’s human nature – why work your hardest when the rest of your co-workers are drunk by lunch? Now he finally has a team around him that actually inspires – no, forces – him to be good. Big comeback year. Maybe not 2014 good, but let’s mark him for 17-8.

follow link 3. Mike Leake
He’s going to be a great #3 starter. Just wind him up, go watch a movie for 2 hours and come grab him in the 7th. If he can pitch to his career 3.98 ERA with THIS lineup, he’ll be 16-9.

خيار ثنائي الروبوت شرعي 4. The other pitchers, minus Edwin Diaz
At this point, the Big 3 have the team at 52-23, 29 games over .500. The rest of the crew with Iwakuma, Ramirez, Gonzales and whoever else we can bring up should be able to grind out at least 22-28. That gets the starters to 74-51 for their 125 decisions. Assuming the bullpen can go about .500 (say 18-19) in their 37 decisions, that gets the team to 92-70. That’s Wild Card worthy. Probably.

get link 5. Edwin Diaz
So why do I think the bullpen can go .500? Because Edwin Diaz is almost un-hittable in the 9th inning, so they won’t have to play Reliever Roulette out there. Guys will settle into their roles and while they may struggle at times, most of the time they’ll have about 3 to 4 arms to get the team through the 7th and 8th. Diaz will blow a couple, but for the most part he’ll make sure the rest of the guys don’t have to work outside of their comfort zone.

enter 6. Mitch Haniger
Remember the beginning of 2017, before he got hurt? He came out strong. He can bat 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th. He’s an All-Star. And he was the guy no one had ever heard of in the Segura for Walker and Marte trade.

guadagni trading online 7. Dee Gordon
In his last 3 healthy years, he’s hit .289, .333 and .308 with 64, 58 and 60 stolen bases. Now put him in front of Jean Segura and Robinson Cano. He’s going to drive pitchers batty.

http://documentalqueridowatson.es/pizdyhov/255 8. Jean Segura
.319 and .300 in his last 2 seasons for bad teams. Now he hits with a stolen base threat (Gordon) on 1st and Robinson Cano on deck. The guy may not see a curveball all year. Just swing away Senor.

follow link 9. Robinson Cano
Maybe by the end of the year he’ll be down at the #6 hole because Haniger is batting .340. But you can still count on him this year for .280 and 20 HR. Either way, he’s still one of the best 2B in baseball.

http://ebbandflowdesigns.com/?ruioed=rencontre-gratuites&3d4=9e Conclusion:
This team is going to hit the ball. They have 3 starters who can throw the ball, a closer who will give batters nightmares, and a cadre of supporting arms that won’t kill them. Keep it simple, stay healthy, and have a few other guys hit near the stats on their baseball card (Cruz, Seager, Zunino, Gamel), and it’s a 92 win team. Not enough to win the West, but enough to earn a one game wildcard playoff game with James Paxton on the hill. From there, who knows what happens?

What I Learned – Scott Servais on the 2018 Baseball Season

My baseball season officially kicked off Tuesday night. I was able to join about 50 other fans as Art Thiel of SportsPressNW interviewed Mariners skipper Scott Servais.

So what did I learn/infer from listening to Scott’s answers to 45 minutes of questions from Art, and 45 more from the audience?

  1. http://battunga.com.au/?giopere=opzioni-digitali-con-10-euro&076=a2 Kyle Seager is on the trade block – One of two things will be true on July 31. Seager will have gotten off to a hot start, leading the Mariners to a respectable record and as the trading deadline approaches, The Mariners will be in a position to make a run. Or…… Seager will have gotten off to his customary slow start, and as the only real trade chip the team has, he’ll be dealt for prospects.
  2. http://adetacher.com/misroe/jisdr/7150 This is the last year of the Cruz, Cano, Felix window – It was made clear that witht he amount of money tied up in the Big 3, there was no way to rip the team down to the studs, a la Houston and Chicago. But this is the last year of Cruz’ deal, and if Felix wants to be regarded in the same breath as Glavine, Maddux, Pedro, etc… he needs to pitch another 6-8 years. If 2018 goes poorly, I suspect you’d see Cruz dealt at the deadline and Felix redo his contract to be part of an overhaul so he can get another 150 career starts.
  3. You’re going to see a lot of Zunino, Segura, Haniger, and Paxton in the Mariners marketing materials –If you’re gong to trade any of the Big 4, you need some new guys to make bobbleheads for. The Mariners seem ready to phase out some of the old guard and put their promotional arms behind some new guys. I suppose this is meant to lessen the blow when our favorite guys disappear.
  4. “Performance” is going to mean something different – With the hiring of Dr. Lorena Martin as Director of High Performance, the Manager is going to have a few lineup decisions “strongly suggested” to him. Players will be evaluated constantly on aspects such as fatigue, conditioning, strength, mentality, etc… So while a 5 for 5 day may have previously earned you a week in the starting lineup, if you tired yourself out running all those bases, it may be highly suggested that you be given the day off.
  5. The Mariners decided not to look for new pitching, and are going to try to simply outscore teams – To their credit, they realized there weren’t going to be a lot of great pitching options to pick up this off-season. So as I wrote about last year, they built their 2018 starting rotation under the guise of competing for a 2017 playoff spot. They have accumulated average to above average throwers who they expect can give them 150+ innings. If those guys can get them through the 5th and only give up 3 runs, they will hand the ball off to the bullpen in hopes it gives up just 1-2 more runs. Meanwhile, they’ll try to bang out 5-6 runs a game on offense. Do that enough times and you make it to the playoffs. Now the downside is that if you try to do that in the playoffs, you’ll lose each game 8-3. But the team isn’t shooting for a World Series. It just needs to make the playoffs.

So those were my takeaways. I’m sure other people heard different things. But pay attention to the interviews Servais is doing all week on sports radio. Were his comments Tuesday off the cuff, or do they fall into some pattern of talking points?

 

Mariners Trading Deadline Moves Indicate Strong Push for 2018

It’s no secret that the last time the Mariners made the post-season was 2001. And so with the team within striking distance of the playoffs this year, an impatient management team could go all-in with a pair of 6’s and hope for the best. Thankfully, this team held onto its chips and is preparing for the next hand.

Bad luck happens. Who knows where the team would be with a healthy Smyly and Iwakuma all year? Give them +4 wins with those guys and the standings look different. But that’s baseball.

Sure, they may still make an unexpected run in September this year and make the Wild Card. In which case they’d have to fly to New York or Boston and win a one game series against Sonny Gray or David Price. And their reward for winning that would be a five game series with Houston.

I think the Mariners made the right moves by not betting the farm – literally. You have to figure the team has at best about a 20-25% chance to make the Wild Card, a 35-40% chance of winning the Wild Card game, and a 30-35% chance of beating the Astros. Multiply those out and it gives you about a 3.5% chance of making it to the ALCS. That isn’t worth mortgaging the future.

This year the problem was that they made it to the trading deadline, wanted to bring in some added help, and didn’t have much to give in return. So the team did the next best thing. If they couldn’t get people to help in 2017, they went and got a few players they could use at the 2018 deadline.

When we get to July 31, 2018, hopefully the Mariners will be within striking distance for the AL West. Let’s assume the team can pick up a piece or two via free agency this off-season to add to a solid core (Segura, Cano, Cruz and Seager,) a good young outfield, some quality starting pitchers and a lights-out bullpen. Then with a depth of starting pitching acquired at this year’s deadline, and an improved farm system, they’ll have the trading pieces they need for some key late season acquisitions.

Whether or not they make an unexpected run this year, the table is set for 2018 and beyond. And that’s a good thing.

Some Fun Trivia to Celebrate Mariners Opening Day

It’s the home opener of our favorite hometown 9, the Seattle Mariners. So let’s take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and review some stats and trivia since the day the Mariners were bounced from the last playoff game in which they participated, October 22, 2001.

Things that did not exist the last time the Mariners were in the playoffs:

  • Xbox (launched 11/15/01), Century Link Field (2002), Facebook, Instagram, iPhone, Amazon Web Services, Seattle Sounders, Oklahoma City Thunder, Tesla, Uber, Snapchat, Link Light Rail.

Notable stats from October 2001:

  • U.S. President: George W Bush
  • 2001 U.S. House of Representatives: Democrats 213, Republicans 220
  • 2001 U.S. Senate: Democrats 50, Republicans 49, Independent 1
  • 2001 Seattle Mayor: Paul Schell through November, then Greg Nickels elected
  • 2001 Washington Governor: Gary Locke
  • 2002 Oscars (for movies produced in 2001):  Best Picture: A Beautiful Mind | Best Actor: Denzel Washington (Training Day) | Best Actress: Halle Berry (Monsters Ball)
  • Top 10 TV shows, 2001-2002 season: Friends, CSI, ER, Everybody Loves Raymond, Law & Order, Survivor, Monday Night Football, The West Wing, Will & Grace, Leap of Faith
  • 2002 Grammy Awards (for songs produced in 2001):  Song of the year: Fallin, by Alicia Keys | Record of the year: Walk On, by U2 | Album of the year: O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack
  • 10 Richest People in the World: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Karl and Theo Albrecht, Paul Allen, Larry Ellis, 5 heirs to Sam Walton – Jim, John, Alice, S Robson, Helen

Sports Champions since the day the Mariners lost in 2001:

  • World Series winners: Arizona, Anaheim, Florida, Boston (3),  Chicago White Sox, St. Louis (2), Philadelphia, New York Yankees, San Francisco (3), Kansas City, Chicago Cubs.
  • Super Bowl winners: New England (5), Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh (2), Indianapolis, New York Giants (2), New Orleans, Green Bay, Baltimore, Seattle (YAY!), Denver
  • NBA Champions: Who cares, the league ceased existing to me in 2008.

Statistical Points of Interest:

  • Seattle Population:  2001 – 570k | 2013 – 652k
  • Cost of Super Bowl Ad: 2001 – $2.2 million  | 2017 –  $5.0 million
  • Internet Advertising Revenue: 2001 – $7.2 Billion | 2015 – $59.6 Billion