loquax's profile

loquax
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Member since: January 04, 2005
Last visit: April 15, 2013

loquax has posted 1 link and 64 comments to SportsFilter and 0 links and 0 comments to the Locker Room.

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The Center of the World: "Stern had arrived with what he thought was a surefire deal: free programming for China’s state-run television monopoly that would help the NBA gain a foothold in the world’s biggest market. In other countries, Stern was given the red-carpet treatment. But as the most powerful man in American sports strode into the marble lobby of China Central Television’s headquarters, nobody was there to greet him; indeed, nobody even knew who he was. Snubbed by one TV executive, Stern was made to wait for hours to meet a low-level apparatchik who lectured him on the importance of ennobling, rather than entertaining, the masses."

posted by loquax to basketball at 11:34 PM on August 31 - 9 comments

Recent Comments

Adam Scott Wins the Masters

Yeah, right. If the Augusta National could keep the spectators out on the surrounding roads and still take their money, they'd do that instead

Ha ha, you mean, if Augusta National could play the entire tournament in front of only members, screw the public and their "money", they'd do that instead.

Augusta is a lot of things, but cash-hungry it's not.

posted by loquax at 08:52 AM on April 15

The state of Cuban baseball.

Excellent, thanks.

posted by loquax at 10:55 PM on July 05

Hey, Leaf fans: Boo these guys, not Leafs.

Here is the problem with the Leafs as a hockey team (not as a business). The owners of the team have very different motivations than the fans (or the Mark Cuban's of the world). The managers of this subsidiary of the Teacher's Pension Plan must meet quarterly and yearly financial performance metrics out of an obligation to the shareholders (really just OTPP, not "nobody" as Cox says). Those shareholders are not looking for Stanley Cups, they are looking for cash flow, consistency and ROI. Therefore, the Leafs will never go through a period where they are "rebuilding" and stock draft picks a la the Senators, Penguins, etc. The managers who run the show will ALWAYS sell the future for the present, ALWAYS trade draft pics for veterans that MAY get them into the playoffs/past the first round/etc. As long as they meet short term investment goals, they're fine. And they'll always be fine as long as the support of the team by fans, corporations, etc remains in place despite results (which will never be truely awful for the same reason). Certainly for the foreseeable future, with condos and office buildings being built on Leaf's property, and a TV channel being launched, the Leafs will not be allowed to fail and restock the farm system. Count on more stopgap measures like the Nolan/Toskola/Raycroft deal and marginal free agent signings. For most of the investors, all they need is 7-10%/year returns, easily manageable by staying the course. Risking those returns for the one/two year bump of having a true cup contender is not worth it, and will never be worth it. That's not the business that banks and pension plans are in. So don't boo the managers, who are only responsibly to their own shareholders, don't boo anyone other than the NHL system which allows, nay, enforces the monopolistic clutches that the club has on pro-level hockey in this city. If they faced any meaningful level of competition, from another team in Hamilton, or North York, or (god forbid) relegation, the entire formula would be different, and maybe the conservative financial institutions that own the team would have never bought in in the first place. Or don't show up, subscribe to leafs tv, go to raptors games, TFC games, or anything else. A few years of negative returns would have MLSE on the block in no time. Knowing that that will never change, I pray for an NFL franchise to move in and actually challenge the Leaf/Raptor stranglehold on sports entertainment during the fall and winter. Barring that, the only way the Leafs win the cup is by luck, having guys outperform expectations, and having the hockey moves work out brilliantly in one magical year. Forget about a run like Detroit's, Colorado's or Ottawa's. Not gonna happen, and it's a market fault, not an organizational fault.

posted by loquax at 06:39 PM on October 23

Bettman Buggers Up Balsillie's Bid

Revenue sharing in the NHL is minuscule compared to other leagues, and last I heard, it was a pool of something like $100mm a year. The delta in that pool is nothing compared to what a TV deal (however farfetched) in the states might bring. The only reason it even exists is to ensure that the league is big enough and stable enough for a truly national audience. Otherwise, why would the owners of the Leafs or Rangers care if Florida survived or not? Think of it as an investment to show ESPN the NHL is a serious, big four league. Putting a team in Hamilton, even if they sold out every single game, will make ESPN guffaw and jack up the NASCAR coverage. The NHL is not like McDonalds in that the overall league is affected by the individual franchises - the owner of a McDonalds franchise doesn't care where the other franchises are or what they do as long as he makes money. The owner of the Phoenix Coyotes does care - they need the TV deal. Badly. That's REAL revenue sharing. The extra few hundred grand each team might put into a revenue sharing pool is nothing, a fourth line winger. Or a fifth of Nik Antropov's salary. I'd bet that on the chance at a sniff from ESPN anyday. The N.H.L. would put franchises in Capetown and Kabul if they thought they'd make money from doing it. You're absolutely right. That's why they took franchises away from Quebec and Winnipeg and put them in Phoenix and Colorado. Canada is useless to the NHL as a moneymaking operation. At the very least, it takes care of itself with the TSN and CBC dollars. And that's why they would much rather have a team in KC than Hamilton. This is, of course, assuming that one even believes any of the numbers tossed around by the league when it comes to matters like these.

posted by loquax at 08:45 PM on July 20

Bettman Buggers Up Balsillie's Bid

Can we please stop talking about Gary Bettman. He is an employee of the owners. He serves at their whim. And he has done a marvelous job for them. You want to blame somebody, blame them, they give him his marching orders, they wanted US expansion, they wanted FOX, they wanted David Stern's ex right hand man, they wanted the lockout. No owner wants another franchise in Southern Ontario (or any other franchises in Canada). The local gate and local TV coverage does nothing for owners in California, or Florida, or Michigan. The other owners want a TV deal in the US, because that's the only way they get more money. Well, that and expansion cash grabs (another ridiculous thing "Bettman" gets blamed for). In that respect, Kansas City (or Nashville, or Bangor, Maine) is a FAR better market than Kitchener-Waterloo or Hamilton or Winnipeg or Quebec or any other nonsensical suggestions. If you were the owner of an NHL franchsise, attempting to justify your investment, and the investment of your partners, where would you rather have a team? I like talking about the pro sports leagues as if they're not franchised entertainment delivery collectives too, but they are. Blaming businesses for attempting to maximize return on investment is a waste of time. That being said, it would be great to ditch the leafs and cheer for the RIM Blackberries.

posted by loquax at 07:36 PM on July 20

So much for Pujol's run at the HR and RBI records

The Cardinals gave Pujols a $100 million, seven-year contract on Friday, a deal that would be worth $111 million if St. Louis exercises an option for 2011. So the Jays can't take a shot at hime until next decade. (You did mean that big money team in the AL East, right?)

posted by loquax at 11:35 AM on June 04

AL Central the best ... so far

Tigers drop two in a row to the Yanks, and yesterday give up 5 in the 11th and squander all kinds of opportunites, despite poor Yankee pitching.

posted by loquax at 10:24 AM on May 31

Games against native Canadians forfeited.

"They are supposed to play against us. We are part of the league and we've been playing baseball against them for 30 years," Jamieson said. Ridiculous situation all around, but it sounds pretty silly to hear representatives of the Six Nations talking about "rules" and what people are "supposed" to do when they've been illegally setting up blockades, looting, knocking out power, and occupying land for many months.

posted by loquax at 02:32 PM on May 30

AL Central the best ... so far

Why can we not call them the strongest division in baseball? Because combined, CWS and DET are 35-13 against MIN, CLE and KC. It isn't a strong division if it's comprised of one good team and one team (Detroit, 21-5) that has 60% of their wins against the other two mediocre-bad teams and another atrocious team in their division. Not only that but the White Sox haven't played the Yankees or Red Sox yet, are 3-3 against the Jays, and have been running up their record against the weak West. Detroit's record is purely a function of their intradivision play, which won't last.

posted by loquax at 08:50 AM on May 30

Why did Shumi do it?

Thanks Drood! That makes more sense...

posted by loquax at 11:28 PM on May 28

Why did Shumi do it?

Sorry, I don't understand racing at all and the stories presuppose some knowledge - what happened? He stopped and tried to pretend it was an accident so that someone who was going to finish ahead of him, wouldn't? And he thought he would end up ahead of the other guy even though he had this accident?

posted by loquax at 11:20 PM on May 28

Carl Cook is not a typical Clipper season-ticket holder

Who the hell else is in the running? Bill Simmons.

posted by loquax at 03:00 PM on May 12

Maurice lands Leafs top gig

So does this mean JFJ gets his rumoured extension too? (that picture of him is priceless, BTW)

posted by loquax at 09:59 AM on May 12

Nash again, allegedly.

The Canadian Press says so too.

posted by loquax at 08:50 PM on April 26

The Toronto Maple Leafs fire coach Pat Quinn and assistant coach Rick Ley

One thing this isn't is a quick fix. This is part of what's looking like a much larger plan by Ferguson to get the Leafs away from overpaying old farts every year, and starting to take advantage of the homegrown talent (much of it currently being coached by Paul Maurice, coincidentally) which is much cheaper, longer-lasting and (not least importanly) way better from a PR standpoint. Ferguson was the one that brought in O'Neill, Allison and Lindros, and re-signed Domi, and traded for Leetch. I agree that it looks like the leafs *may* head in that direction, but with millions to spend, I'll bet that you see more veterans replace departing players than the injury replacements we've seen at the end of this year. I know Quinn and JFJ have never gotten along, but why fire Quinn now? If they didn't get along and it was such an issue, why not fire him in January, mid-slump when his firing could have changed things? Firing Quinn and bringing in someone who isn't an obvious improvment is a bad move in my books, and looks like a quick fix to appease the media and the fans, creating the illusion that something is happening. Why couldn't JFJ get rid of the players that he thought contributed to the lack of success this season and let Quinn coach the personnel the GM thinks is appropriate. Because if Quinn was fired because JFJ didn't like the players Quinn was playing, well, who's fault is it that Domi, Berg, Khavanov and the rest of them were sitting on the bench and avaialble? I don't hate Maurice, just don't see why he's viewed as a better option than Quinn. He's coached about 600 games in the NHL with a record below .500 with some crappy teams and made the playoffs three times. Their cup run was a fluke, and it showed when they were clobbered 4-0 by the Wings. I think it's fair to see what Maurice can do with another year with Marlies before making him the coach of the big club. Honestly, there's a host of guys I'd rather see come in, including Andy Murray and Marc Crawford (assuming he gets fired).

posted by loquax at 12:58 PM on April 20