Posts tagged mlb

Sirius-XM Merger Finally Approved

The FCC finally approved the merger of the only two satellite radio services in the country.  It is kind of funny that it has taken this long, but we are starting to see the future for this new company.  The funny thing is that I am betting it will only have to do with satellites in the very very short term.

The reason?  This product.

This, looks like an ordinary wireless router, but it isn’t. This is a mobile wifi router from a company called WAAV. It has been announced already that mobile wifi technology will be available in some of next year’s Chrysler cars. This device grabs the mobile data signals from cellular carriers like AT&T or Sprint and broadcasts it inside your car (and about a 50-100 foot radius outside your car) so you can access the internet on the go. This means laptops, video games, and soon enough wifi radios.

This is an important point because if the internet starts being an accessible network on the road in every car, it will certainly marginalize the need for a lot of satellite technology. All that money that Sirius and XM have spent over the years will seem completely wasted as more and more people stop bothering with satellite antennae.

Then, the new merged Sirius/XM company is no longer anything more than a content company. Instead of selling a technology, they are just selling Oprah, Martha Stewart, Opie and Anthony, Howard Stern, NFL Football and Major League Baseball.

Except those last two will probably stop renewing their contracts with Sirius/XM because they won’t need a middleman to broadcast the radio descriptions of their games straight to consumers. So there is one lost selling point for Sirius/XM.

Also, the Sirius/XM music channels will have stiff competition from Slacker and Pandora that use user data to customize radio stations just for you, not to mention iPods which will easily be connected in any car on the road in the next couple of years. As it stands now, I would guess that at least 50% of cars being produced today have MP3 player functionality, at least by way of headphone jack.

It is through this filter that I find all the debate over Sirius/XM so hilarious. These two companies have done an amazing job developing a technology that will be completely unnecessary in a matter of years. As that happens, the content producers will be able to go directly to the consumers more and more, thus marginalizing the need for a company to consolidate talent into a service platform once and for all.

Does this sound like a monopoly to you? It doesn’t sound like a monopoly to me either.

Hat tip to MisterCrunchy, who actually commented on this site well over a year ago that satellite technology was going to be marginalized and obsolete.

Cleveland Indians Fire Sale Should Begin

After last night’s game in Chicago where Indians “closer” Joe Borowski gave up two runs in the bottom of the tenth to waste Casey Blake’s should-a-been game winner, I think it is officially time to stick a fork in the Cleveland Indians for 2008. They are so very completely ridiculously hopelessly done in an unbelievable fall from almost beating the Red Sox to go to the World Series last October. From injuries, to sophomore slumps, to complete busts, to tired players, this team has failed in almost all facets of the game this season.

I am not going to rehash it all for you in any detail, but imagine the moustachioed man who used to do the commercials for Micro Machines

CC Sabathia’s early season slump, the failure of Jason Michaels / David Dellucci platoon, the continued struggles and injury of Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook Tommy John surgery, Fausto Carmona hip injury, Victor Martinez elbow surgery, Asdrubal Cabrera sophomore slump, Garko failing to live up to expectations, continued inconsistency from Jhonny Peralta, Franklin Gutierrez’ utter failures at the plate, Joe Borowski injury and failures after returning, Rafael Betancourt seemingly tired and ineffective, etc, etc, etc…

So, where do we go from here now that the season is basically over?

  • Sign or trade CC now. The Indians have been making a last ditch effort to lock up CC for the long term. If they can’t get that done, they need to get as much Triple and Double A talent as they possibly can for him. I don’t know if it is three players or more or even less, but they have plenty of needs from starting pitching to corner outfield and infield.
  • Either give Andy Marte 20 games in a row or cut him. Andy Marte can’t be expected to produce when he plays sporadically. If he is going to get an actual shot at third base, give it to him.
  • As Terry Pluto has stated multiple times, let https://roids.co play the middle of the infield when Barfield is healthy. This means doing something with Jhonny Peralta.
  • Either try to trade Jhonny Peralta or try him out at third base. Then again, with those offensive numbers maybe you cut your losses with both him and Marte.
  • Trade Paul Byrd for whatever you can get. I like Byrd, but he is as old as the hills and I don’t expect him to be back in Cleveland next year.
  • Trade Joe Borowski. I am not sure what value he has, but I am sure someone could use another bullpen guy.
  • Last but not least, and I hate to say this, but trade Casey Blake. I love Casey Blake because he can play basically any position on the field and my friends and I have all built up an irrational, unjustified worship of Casey Blake. After a pinch hitter came into the game last week he even played a couple innings at short. Casey Blake could possibly help someone in the stretch run filling in at multiple positions and pinch hitting. His numbers are excellent with men in scoring position. Plus, if the Tribe really wants him back next season he will be a free agent.

The way I see it the Indians have somewhere between 3 and 5 guys who can leave via trade. If they can average 2 players per trade that means the Indians should be able to infuse at least 6-10 guys with potential at the AAA and AA levels. That means that the Indians won’t keep themselves from competing next season with guys like Fausto Carmona, Cliff Lee, and Aaron Laffey definitely returning to the rotation, and guys like Victor Martinez, Grady Sizemore and hopefully a healthy Travis Hafner to the lineup.

Finally, I have one question that I am left with after seeing this collapse this season. How is it that the Indians coaches are so beyond blame? I know Eric Wedge has had his haters all along since he was named manager of the team. I know he wasn’t as good a manager as the team performed last season. I know he isn’t as bad a manager as the team performed this season. Still, would a team with such high expectations have a staff that remains as unscathed as this one has in any other city? I don’t really know at what point the finger of blame has to end up on someone in Eric Wedge’s staff. Yet all is quiet. Seems a bit odd to me that even a hitting coach is untouchable in a situation like this. This team has regressed offensively in a big big way this season.

Hank Steinbrenner = Mr. McMahon

Hank Steinbrenner is turning into Mr. McMahon from the WWE. You see when Vince McMahon decides he has to play a “heel*” in the WWE, he goes by the name Mr. McMahon. When he is playing a good guy, he plays Vince.

Well Hank Steinbrenner is slowly turning heel on the nation. He is walking into the arena somewhere in the midwest and he is calling everyone fat, lazy and stupid. I am convinced that Hank Steinbrenner is just trying to get boos now. He had this to say about “Red Sox Nation.”

” ‘Red Sox Nation?’ Hank says. ‘What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order,’ “

Someone remove the gas can and lighter from Hank Steinbrenner’s hands.  He is going to burn this whole place down.  The bright side here in Cleveland is that the Indians team that sent “America’s Yankees” onto the golf course last season in October will be able to fly under the radar of East Coast Bias for the Yankees and Red Sox this year even though the class of the American League just might exist in Cleveland and Detroit this year.

* Heel is WWE for bad guy.

Greg Aiello Wins the “Shut Up” Award

Apparently Hank Steinbrenner thinks baseball is being singled out and he doesn’t like it. As a result he had this to say.

“Everybody that knows sports knows football is tailor-made for performance-enhancing drugs. I don’t know how they managed to skate by. It irritates me. Don’t tell me it’s not more prevalent. The number in football is at least twice as many. Look at the speed and size of those players.”

BAM! That is a serious jab at the NFL. I wonder how they will respond. Will they be ok? How could they possibly answer these allegations? Greg Aiello has the answer. A calm, collected, well-reasoned bitch slap to the face with facts.

Answered NFL spokesman Greg Aiello: “We’ve had year-round random testing with immediate suspensions since 1990 and we conduct approximately 12,000 steroids tests a year.”

How perfect is that? Don’t claim to be perfect. Don’t claim to be superior. Just lay out some facts that make the other party look absolutely silly. Greg Aiello deserves a raise.

Welcome to February Sports News

After the Super Bowl and before March Madness or pitchers and catchers report, there is nothing to talk about in sports. I give you exhibit A. This snapshot was taken from ESPN.com’s front page today.

That’s right. A piece about the Olympics that is six months away. Not only that, but it is a canned piece that you know ESPN was sitting on so they could fill their pages with something (ANYTHING) during this down period in sports.I am not biting on this one. I will not read about Chinese athletes and their plight to participate in the most boring part of sports the world has to offer. I will not read about it six full months before this boring exhibition takes place.

This should be viewed as an opportunity. Someone needs to take this time and fill it up. The NHL or NBA need to think about putting together a mid-season mini playoff or something. The UFC needs to put in a two or three week tournament putting all their belts on the line in their varying weight classes. A sport like golf, tennis, or even badminton needs to step up and create some kind of interesting multi-week event to capitalize on all the bored eyes sitting out there that are fiending for some decent sports action to follow.

Let’s have a summit. I want David Stern, Gary Bettman, Bud Selig, Don King, Mark Cuban, Dana White and Vince McMahon to sit down and hash this thing out. I need something to be done about this now.

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