Like Barry Bonds, Baseball Widow hasn't retired; she's just not playing.
Enjoy the archives. . .

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

F.Y.Y.I. (For your yummy information)

Today is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's. Well, go on, get out of here. . .

Irony (or, How Baseball Widow Wastes Time with Statcounter)

Baseball Widow considers it her duty to call 'em like she sees 'em. Consequently, Baseball Widow has not been complimentary of "sportscaster" Erin Andrews.

How ironic is it, then, that 13 of the last 20 people to land on Baseball Widow's page from an Internet search have stumbled here after typing the words erin andrews? Oh, loving hate. . . Ms. Andrews is actually driving up Baseball Widow readership!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Something's Fishy

In baseball, success is relative. What is a successful franchise? One that wins the World Series? One that consistently posts winning seasons? One that regularly sells seats?

Baseball is a business, and business is about making money. So, a successful franchise is one that makes money. That answer is incomplete, however, because it doesn't address the nature of the moneymaking. There are different ways to make money. A business can aim for a constant, steady return, or it can shoot for rapid high profits. It can seek to establish itself as an income generator or as a place from which one can rely on not losing money. (The business-entity equivalent to a 5% A.P.Y. CD, I suppose). Baseball Widow isn't an M.B.A.; she doesn't know the optimum way to exploit the fact that one is lucky enough to own a baseball team. What she does know, however, is that the Marlins aren't doing anything right.

After two barely .500 seasons under Jack McKeon, the Marlins restructured--trading away almost all major-league talent and slashing payroll to about a quarter of what it was. (The entire Marlins roster will make less this year than Mike Hampton will make for not playing!)
Baseball Widow is all for fiscal responsibility, but the Marlins have, if you'll pardon the pun, gutted themselves. We're talking about the youngest franchise ever to win a World Series, and the only wild card to do so--and they did it twice! Two World Series Championships in a dozen years, each followed by a winner-sells-all roster dump. This is not greatness--in business or in baseball.

Compare the Marlins to the Chicago Cubs, who despite a century-long drought, will sell-out every home game this season--and this is the third consecutive year that they will do so. That's success. There are no rumors that the Cubs will move, no fears that they will trade away their talent, and, let's face it, no real concern for whether they will win or lose 'cause there's always next year for the Cubbies. . .not so for the Marlins.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Baseball Widow, Brazen Outlaw

Baseball Widow just laughed until she fell out of her chair. Has anyone ever read this language on the bottom of MLB's homepage?

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball
entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball
Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League,
Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National
League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series,
All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color
combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and
entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions.

Ridiculous, and I'm not talking about the lack of continuity regarding the serial comma. Ah, I suppose it's no less ridiculous than trademark law in general. Baseball Widow will try to write more about that later, but for now, she will leave you with a bold, illegal publication:

The Atlanta Braves are my favorite MLB team. I hope they win their Division Series and that they are National League Champs this year. I would love to see them take the World Series, but I suppose I'll just have to content myself with rooting for as many Bravos as possible to make it to the All-Star Game.

Opportunity Wasted

Last Friday, Baseball Widow and Hubby caught the home opener of Milwaukee AAA affiliate Nashville Sounds at the pitiable Greer Stadium. Seriously, Baseball Widow's high school's baseball team had a better stadium, and they played in the school's parking lot.

Baseball Widow was quick to notice the striking minor league umpires who were picketing the front gates. They were hard to miss with their "Minor League Umpires on Strike" signs. Baseball Widow was appalled--at the lack of creativity. How about "One Strike and MiLB is Out" or "No Strikes 'Cause We're Out"? What about "Minor League Umps Call Foul!"?

Ah, Baseball Widow has missed her calling as a Headline Copy Editor. . .

A Pitching Coach By Any Other Name. . .

Baseball Widow knows that people like to wax poetic about Leo Mazzone's departure from the Atlanta Braves, but this is ridiculous.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

All Riled Up

Anyone notice how the camera at the Toronto/Boston game keeps cutting from home plate to Paul Newman and back? Anyone notice which advertisement has been behind the plate during these transactions? Viagra ad, handsome and well-preserved Paul Newman, Viagra ad, handsome and well-preserved Paul Newman. It's probably not intentional, but it's like a Viagra marketer's dream. If Baseball Widow were one of Mr. Newman's attorneys, she would be none too pleased. . .

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Better Late. . .

Baseball Widow can't find anything intriguing to write about today, so she thought she'd dig up some old news. Since Baseball Widow was on extended hiatus during the fall of 2005, she neglected to comment on Baseball America's 2005 Manager of the Year, Ken Oberkfell.

Baseball Widow faithfuls might remember that Mr. Oberkfell was first discussed here in 2004.

Belated congratulations, Ken.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Baseball Widow Round-Up

It's been a while since Baseball Widow posted, so she thought she'd do a quick round-up of various topics she meant to address but failed to do so before the topics became relatively untimely:

Randy Johnson's child-support blues. . .well, give the devil his due, he's not a deadbeat. In fact, he's always made payments as agreed. Now, of course, he just wants the money back. Still, what kind of millionaire dad won't foot the bill for community college?

Baseball's Steroid Probe. . .now we know how to get the attention of The Powers That Be: just publish a book. Ball Four made MLB interested in greenies, casual sex, and management conflicts. Juiced forced MLB into steroid testing and Game of Shadows made it really important to. . .well, apparently it's really important to investigate an issue that everyone else is tired of by now because baseball fans who cared were talking about steroids long before MLB seemed to realize that 'roids exist. In a related note, Baseball Widow is gleefully anticipating Bud Selig's reaction to the forthcoming tell-all in which Baseball Widow exposes price-fixing by hot dog vendors at MLB games. Baseball Widow sent an advance copy to Arizona Senator John McCain, who has promised to open Congressional Hearings.

As a follow-up to Baseball Widow's expose on hot dog prices, Baseball Widow is launching her own investigation into Bobby Cox's chronic game-fixing activities. How else do you explain fielding Horacio Ramirez and Brian Jordan (or, for that matter, Chris Reitsma)? Speaking of HoRam, has anyone else noticed that the ability to throw a ball past a batter is evidently no longer a requirement for a Major League LHP? The news is not all bad, however: Baseball Baby is left-handed!