Hair of the Dog: Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Sonics Arena, Stolen Bases, TV Deals

Winter time is upon us, and I didn’t even notice, but my girlfriend and my Untappd account both noticed that I am pretty obsessed with winter ales right now.

Winter isn’t always the most celebrated time in Washington. It’s rainy all the time, and it’s dark when I leave for work, and dark on my drive home. Last night however was much different, as I started work at four o’clock in the god damned morning for inventory, and took part in multiple inventories and dealt with a handful of relative crises in between. But I saw some daylight.

After waking up three bleeping hours earlier than normal, working three hours longer than normal, when I got home I needed a beer. Well, a nap, and then a beer, and then another beer.

As a sports fan in Seattle I needed a week off of sports, too. I spent a large portion of my week asking WSU fans when their next game was. It’s a question that’s obviously bittersweet. And on Monday I asked if last weekend was the worst in Seattle sports history. I personally can’t think of one worse throughout, though obviously a Super Bowl loss for the Seahawks, or one of many Mariners playoff losses must fit in there somewhere.

But I digress. We’ll move on from that terrible weekend.

 

We found out on Sunday that the Dodgers and Fox were discussing a 25 year, $6 billion contract. That’s $240 million per year. As Mariners fans we’ve felt like outsiders looking in on these new-age TV deals that will bring division rivals Texas, Houston, and Anaheim north of $100 million per year that they can presumably devote largely to payroll.

With increasing fan impatience with the ownership group, a sale that seems to be increasingly imminent based on payroll slashing and a reduced emphasis on stockpiling japanese talent, and a TV deal that could literally be in negotiations right now, as the Mariners have the opportunity to opt out in 2015, we’re watching this pretty closely.

The more contracts like this I’d seen, all I’d thought about is how crazy expensive cable television will be in the future.

That’s not a definite. Sports are the only genre of television that aren’t falling victim to DVR, Hulu, and Netflix. People watch sports live almost all the time, and if they don’t the usually watch it shortly after the game is finished. You can’t rely on re-runs or Netflix to scratch your sports itch.

Advertisers know that, and advertisers fund a much larger portion of cable budgets than subscribers. But subscribers will ultimately take a hit. With partial deregulation of network ownership there are a lot of odd bedfellows, and sports channels and sports programming fund a lot more than just their own staff.

What I hadn’t considered though, is inevitability of media turning upside down once again in the next 20 years. Remember when you could buy a hard copy of the Seattle PI? Remember when you had to watch ESPN to see a video of a great play? Remember when Yahoo.com was the king of all search engines?

U.S.S. Mariner has a lot of great posts. There the best independent blog I know of. There may have never been a better post on U.S.S. Mariner than the post that marc w posted on Monday about the long term viability of these monster contracts. There’s a lot of right for Mariners fans to be jealous, but this may all be Monopoly money in the end.

 

The prospective Sonics ownership group headed by Chris Hansen released concept drawings of what their SoDo arena would look like. I don’t really know what to look for or care about in things like this. I’m not one of these guys that needs modern-architecture or comfortable seats to go watch a game. I love standing through Sounders matches. I like standing through Mariners games. I like standing through Seahawks games.

But in some way, these images represent progress. Probably less progress than we’ll make them out to be, but progress nonetheless. It may not even mean we’re less far along than we think, though. Some people don’t understand reality until they can see it. We’re getting there. This is proof. A picture is worth 1,000 words, and if I could take a picture to replace these 1,000 words I’ll write today, I’d do it.

Go Sonics.

 

The saga of Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner’s impending suspensions continued with Sherman denying using anything illegal, and Browner saying that the person taking his sample played with his pee too much, basically.

My girlfriend is a huge fan of the show Roseanne. Anytime something happens in our lives she compares it to some goofball episode of Roseanne. This is one of the many endearing qualities she has, but it also clouds her view of reality sometimes, and earlier this week we had a discussion about where Roseanna fit among role models. I don’t think she’s a good role model, and my girlfriend made many arguments to the contrary. She’s empowered women, broached social issues, persevered through her own personal conflicts, though many were self-inflicted. But that doesn’t make her a good role model.

Sometimes we lose sight of our own objective thought, and instead try to fit people we enjoy into roles we admire.

I like Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. They play hard, they’re versatile, and they’ve become the identity of this team. Both of them, though, have been long-considered to be below-average NFL talent, and have played well above their heads the last two years. Or well above where we, and many NFL executives thought their heads were.

I’m not saying that Sherman and Browner are guilty, but that if they are found guilty of this act we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s possible that there is a widespread conspiracy to destroy Seattle sports. It’s more likely that competitors tried to gain a competitive edge.

 

This is a Seattle sports website. We try to talk about Seattle sports, and in the rare case that we talk about something that isn’t Seattle sports we try to include a Seattle tie. Earlier this week I read perhaps the best-written post I’ve ever seen on Fangraphs (It’s also a great week for my own hyperbole, apparently).

Jack Moore detailed the opposite directions being taken between the breakeven point in the conversion rate of stolen base attempts and the decreasing negative value of an unsuccessful stole base attempt based on the average value of each plate appearance dropping.

I try my best not to be elitist, though I’m a huge SABR head, and I strive to make the stats I use as understandable as possible, using stats with defined context and park adjustments built in. I’m not a professor, though. I’m always seeking education. Jack Moore educated me, and while I don’t attempt to educate you, consider this article by more like the sharing of a great book. This is high level statistical analysis of a kid’s game. And it’s fun.

 

The Huskies beat St. Louis this week. It was on at 9 PM on Pac 12 Network. A lot of people are bitching about the late tip off, but we must realize that the vast majority of Washington basketball games will be on TV this year. Games that you’d have to watch a choppy, low-res feed of last year, you can sit in the comfort of your own mancave and enjoy this year. I didn’t stay up to watch it. But it will be a long time before I bitch about Pac 12 Network.

  • maqman

    An often overlooked fact about these big new regional sports network contracts is that 34 percent of that income goes to MLB, along with 34 percent of all local revenue and is divided into payments of equal value to all teams. So if the Dodgers get $280MM a year then the M’s will get $2,720,000 of that income. Same goes for the Texican and LAAofA contracts. Additionally there is an equal share of the new national media deals which are worth about $25MM more per year for each team. The M’s currently get about $45MM a year from the regional media package, which is more than many teams do. When they renegotiate in 2015 they might hit nine figures. The M’s can afford a larger payroll.
    As for what, how and when this system is superseded in the future is hard to say at this point but it will probably be even more profitable to the teams rather then less because they own the game we love.