Baseball On My Brain

My brain hurts!
April 2, 2008, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

You would think that with the first week of the 2008 baseball season upon us, my brain would be full of baseball topics, and it is. But it’s also been full of work topics – which have really run me down and made me want to do almost anything except sit in front of a computer even more than I already do.

However – I’m going to put a couple things out there that have been on my brain lately. I think I’ve been weighed down by the burden of trying to put these really great posts together as opposd to just what’s on my mind. Stay tuned for shorter posts, hopefully more frequently.

This question came up around the office the other day — would you pay to keep commercials off the radio? I read an article a while back about alumni groups who are giving large sums of money to their universities just so that buildings won’t get named. For instance – keep the School of Business called the School of Business; not the Jones School of Business, or even worse as some fear – the Jones Corporation School of Business. I’ll have to find the article – but I seem to recall it made the case that often times you can generate more money to keep something from happening as you could to make something happen. It’s an interesting proposition.

I think we all agree that sports on the radio and TV would be better without the commercial intrusions. Sponsored this and that, it all wears on you – but it’s the price for not having to pay to watch or listen to your local baseball team, short of if you have cable and/or the price of a TV set or radio. Overall, it’s not a bad deal.

But what if you could go to your local radio station with a plan to buy back some of the advertising time? Would it work? I was trying to do the math on it and how much it would cost to take a noticeable amount of commercial time out of a typical radio broadcast. It didn’t seem quite right, so I’m still playing with the numbers. However – I figured that to take 30 seconds out of each break in play by play – a total reduction of 9 minutes of commercial time, would cost in the area of $9000 or so in a medium to large size market. It would cost more in New York and less in Kansas City or Tampa.

That doesn’t seem to be feasible for most folks – but would 90 people be willing to donate $100 each? Maybe — although I’m not sure how the ask would be made and not make it sound like a pledge drive. It would seem to me that this would have to come from baseball fans organizing and planning how to make it work.  But ask your friends if they think it’s worth it. There’s always someone complaining about the amount of commercials on TV and radio — so would you be willing to put your money up to rein some of it in?

On another note, Bill James was featured on the Freakonomics blog on the New York Times website. Worth a read. If you missd his appearance on 60 Minutes on Sunday, 3/31/08, you can find it here.

Be sure to check out my review of Bill James’ new book The Bill James Goldmine 2008 at

Other than that, the Mariners are 2-1, which is good. We’re without a closer, which isn’t good, but we had three good-to-great starts by our pitchers so far, which is good. Call it a wash, but I like it so far.

Enough of that – comment and I’ll be back soon.


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