Posted tagged ‘Economy’

Why are Marquette students not showing up to basketball games in 2012?

February 1, 2012

The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer travels to the Bradley Center to find out why students are not showing up to games. Attendance has been low this season and I wanted to ask the students the reason why some of their peers are not showing up in 2011 and 2012. Hear what they say…

 

New York Mets projected to have salary drop more than 50 million dollars

January 31, 2012

I have to post this whole article from Adam Rubin because it is just so perfectly written. I can’t tell you how bad this is going to be for Mets fans around the nation…

Via ESPN NewYork:

The largest one-year payroll slashing in Major League Baseball history might not belong to the then-Florida Marlins, whose offseason fire sale six years ago landed Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca with the New York Metsand gutted the team’s payroll from $60 million to $15 million.

The distinction, it turns out, soon may belong to the 2012 Mets.

After general manager Sandy Alderson revealed the organization lost $70 million last year, the Mets appear poised to have the biggest one-year payroll drop in MLB history — roughly $52 million. That would surpass the former record: $48.4 million by the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The Marlins from 2005 to 2006 had the biggest reduction by percentage, trimming nearly 75 percent of their payroll, but the total was $45.4 million.

The Mets’ payroll, which stood at roughly $143 million last season, is expected to swoon to less than $91 million this Opening Day.

Reigning National League batting champion Jose Reyes signed a six-year, $106 million contract with the Marlins — without the Mets mustering a bid. In fact, the biggest-ticket acquisition the Mets made this offseason was signing free-agent closer Frank Francisco to a two-year, $12 million deal. He will earn $5.5 million in 2012.

As a result of the departures of Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and Reyes from last year’s Opening Day roster, as well as upgrades by other National League East clubs, the Mets are widely projected to have their fourth straight losing season and finish in last place in the division.

And if Fred Wilpon and family are to survive as Mets owners — which is their intent — the austerity likely will continue into future offseasons, meaning fans bear the brunt of the payroll constraints with a less-than-optimal product.

“I think we have to get the fans back at the stadium. That’s a necessity. That’s the lifeblood,” Wilpon told reporters at this month’s quarterly owners meetings in Paradise Valley, Ariz. “And to do that, we have to have a good team. … I think we’re going to be better than you think. We would hope that Mets fans enjoy going to the ballpark and give this team a try.”

The Mets cut ticket prices for the third consecutive season, this time between 5 and 30 percent depending on the location. The paradox the Wilpons are facing is that they need the revenue generated by fans in order to continue meeting their debt payments. Yet the lack of big-ticket signings and excitement about what’s forecast to be a last-place team likely will keep fans away.

To put it simply, the Mets have a chance to be the 2002 Oakland A’s by playing the Money ball approach. They have power, a bullpen, and youth to win 80 games this season. However, how many mistakes will they make this year and who will they have to get rid of come Trade Deadline time. Oh it should be an interesting season in Flushing…

The Sports Cycle Video: College programs changing conferences with special guest Derek Hudgin

September 22, 2011

Donnie Dwyer interviews MUTV production director Derek Hudgin about the college conferences and whether Marquette should stay or go in the Big East like when Pitt and Syracuse went to the ACC…

The New York Yankees are Good, Rich, and Lucky

August 31, 2011

This is a great article by Grant Brisbee of SB Nation regarding baseball and the luck the Yankees have had. Not to mention how much payroll leads to success in the MLB. Check it out…

The Yankees are leading MLB in payroll. Again. Silly Yankees. Don’t they know that money can’t buy championships? Of course not. Money can’t buy anything. It’s an inanimate object. It can’t even buy a bag of FunYuns if the dollar is too wrinkly.

Teams can use money to buy players, but the teams who spend a lot of money on payroll aren’t even guaranteeing wins, much less championships. Here are the twelve teams who will spend more than $100,000,000 on payroll this year: 

1. New York Yankees $201,689,030
2. Philadelphia Phillies $172,976,381
3. Boston Red Sox $161,407,476
4. Los Angeles Angels $138,998,524
5. Chicago White Sox $129,285,539
6. Chicago Cubs $125,480,664
7. New York Mets $120,147,310
8. San Francisco Giants $118,216,833
9. Minnesota Twins $112,737,000
10. Detroit Tigers $105,705,232
11. St. Louis Cardinals $105,433,572
12. Los Angeles Dodgers $103,788,990

The top three are three of the best teams in baseball, of course. But of the nine teams that follow, only one is likely to make the playoffs. The Angels have a decent chance, and the Giants technically aren’t out of it, but the teams who spent more than $100 million in 2011 had just as good of a chance at finishing under .500 as they did of making the playoffs.

One of my biggest pet peeves in baseball today is a reductive haves/have-nots discussion. That sort of thing makes baseball seem predictable, which it most certainly isn’t. Yes, the Yankees have a substantial, irrefutable advantage as the only team willing to spend $200 million. They can afford players like Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett, and when the latter started to stink, they offered to throw sacks of doubloons at Cliff Lee. The Yankees are rich, and that helps them greatly.

When people focus on what the Yankees spent this year, though, it’s irritating. Not because I’m some radical laissez-faire fetishist, but because it ignores how lucky the Yankees have been this year.

  W-L G GS CG SHO     IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Bartolo Colon 8-9 24 21 1 1     138.2 138 65 56 17 34 116 3.63 1.24

 

  W-L G GS CG       IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Freddy Garcia 11-7 22 21 0       128.1 125 48 44 10 38 85 3.09 1.27

 

  W-L G GS CG       IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Ivan Nova 14-4 24 22 0       131.2 136 64 58 12 45 81 3.96 1.37

The Yankees have gotten 64 starts out of those three pitchers. Two of them might have been dead before this season started, I haven’t checked their Wikipedia pages yet. The Yankees entered the season with three known quantities in the starting rotation. After that, they were just hoping to patch things up until the trading deadline. And of those three known quantities, here’s how they’ve done this season:

  • One was the ace he was supposed to be
  • One has continued to pitch far below expectations
  • One completely disintegrated

It should have been a complete disaster. It should have been “Sabathia and Sabathia, and pray for Sabathia.” Instead, the Yankees found three good pitchers by putting an ad on Craigslist. Other teams spend millions internationally, in the draft, and on the market looking for pitchers like Colon, Garcia, and Nova. Like, oh, the Yankees, for one. And after all of that, the Yankees rotation is being held together ably by two minor-league deals and a semi-prospect.

Don’t let the word “luck” irritate you, Yankees fans. All sorts of credit goes to the Yankees’ scouts, coaches, and front office for correctly predicting that they could find a couple of useful players out of the group they invited to camp. But for all three of them to hit in the same season with barely a hiccup? That’s not how any pitching staffs are supposed to work, much less pitching staffs cobbled together in January.

Colon hadn’t pitched since 2009, and he hadn’t pitched a full season since 2005. Garcia hasn’t stayed healthy for a whole season since 2006, and he was merely decent when he has been healthy since then. Nova’s career strikeout rate in the minors was 6.4 — that’s a hard strikeout rate for a right-hander to thrive with in the majors, and that was his career mark in the minors. And that’s before accounting for the fact that young pitchers are all weirdos whose performances are usually impossible to predict.

Yet here the Yankees are, ready to make the playoffs again, behind a ridiculous offense and a lot of good pitching. A ton of that has to do with money (and talent evaluation), don’t get me wrong. But don’t ignore the good fortune that the Yankees have enjoyed, either.

I know what you’re thinking now: “Finally. Finally the Yankees catch a few breaks.” Yep. It’s about time.

This is perfectly argued and perfectly said. As a New Yorker and a guy who follows the Yankees, I don’t even know how they have won as many games and are even in contention for first place. I guess when you have the big bucks, there are no whammies…

ESPN the Magazine: What if Michael Vick was white?

August 30, 2011

Saw this story on ESPN.com and I think it is a must read for football players and future sociologist out there who want to understand more about race in sports. This story appears in the Sept. 5 issue of ESPN The Magazine and is written by Touré…

(Photo illustration by D'arcy Hyde for ESPN The Magazine )

WHEN MICHAEL VICK PLAYS, I see streetball. I don’t just mean that sort of football where you have to count to four-Mississippi before you can rush the quarterback, nearly everything breaks down and it’s all great fun. I also mean street basketball. Vick’s style reminds me of Allen Iverson — the speed, the court sense, the sharp cuts, the dekes, the swag. In those breathtaking moments when the Eagles QB abandons the pocket and takes off, it feels as if he’s thumbing his nose at the whole regimented, militaristic ethos of the game.

All of that is why, to me, Vick seems to have a deeply African-American approach to the game. I’m not saying that a black QB who stands in the pocket ain’t playing black. I’m saying Vick’s style is so badass, so artistic, so fluid, so flamboyant, so relentless — so representative of black athletic style — that if there were a stat for swagger points, Vick would be the No. 1 quarterback in the league by far.

Race is an undeniable and complex element of Vick’s story, both because of his style as well as the rarity of black QBs in the NFL. A decade after he became the first black QB to be drafted No. 1 overall, about one in five of the league’s passers is African-American, compared with two-thirds of all players. But after his arrest for dogfighting, so many people asked: Would a white football player have gotten nearly two years in prison for what Vick did to dogs?

This question makes me cringe. It is so facile, naive, shortsighted and flawed that it is meaningless. Whiteness comes with great advantages, but it’s not a get-out-of-every-crime-free card. Killing dogs is a heinous crime that disgusts and frightens many Americans. I’m certain white privilege would not be enough to rescue a white NFL star caught killing dogs.

The problem with the “switch the subject’s race to determine if it’s racism” test runs much deeper than that. It fails to take into account that switching someone’s race changes his entire existence. In making Vick white, you have him born to different parents. That alone sets his life trajectory in an entirely different direction. Thus when this hypothetical white Michael Vick … wait, I can’t even continue that sentence in good faith. I mean, who would this white Vick be? That person is unknowable. When you alter his race, it’s like those Back to the Future movies where someone goes back in time, inadvertently changes one small thing about his parents’ dating history and then the person starts to disappear. If Vick had been born to white parents, you wouldn’t even be reading this right now. That Vick would have had radically different options in life compared with the Vick who grew up in the projects of Newport News, Va., where many young black men see sports as the only way out.

This is not to say there aren’t insights to be gained from hypotheticals. One pertinent question: Would a white kid have been introduced to dogfighting at a young age and have it become normalized to the extent that he builds it into his life after he joins the NFL? It’s possible, but it’s far less likely because what made Vick stand out among dogfighters is less race than class. The deep pockets of an NFL star led to a kennel that was too big not to fail eventually. But if it did, though, would this white kid have been busted? Remember, it wasn’t suspicion of dogfighting that started the investigation that put Vick in jail. It was that element that we’ve all seen hold back or bring down so many athletes from the hood — the entourage. Vick’s cousin Davon Boddie was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell in Hampton, Va. When police asked him for his address, he led them to the home where Bad Newz Kennels was located. After that, Vick never had a chance.

Here’s another question: If Vick grew up with the paternal support that white kids are more likely to have (72 percent percent of black children are born to unwed mothers compared with 29 percent of white children), would he have been involved in dogfighting? I ask this not to look for an excuse but to explore the roots of his behavior. Vick’s stunningly stupid moral breakdown with respect to dogs is certainly related to the culture of the world he grew up in, which he says fully embraced dogfighting. But it’s also related to the household he grew up in.

Vick’s father, Michael Boddie, was not a positive influence on him growing up. Boddie admitted to The Washington Post that he was a cocaine user and had been high and drunk around young Vick. He says he often prepared the family garage so Vick could have pit bull fights there. Boddie’s account is disputed by a family friend, who says Vick’s mother would not have allowed that. Either way, at some point in Vick’s youth, his father became estranged from the family. This breakdown of Vick’s paternal relationship is a pattern that’s all too common among black men of his generation. Too many are left to define manhood on their own, so they gravitate toward the most charismatic and inspiring men in their world. Sometimes those men are gritty local sports coaches who teach them the value of hard work, but sometimes they’re ghetto celebrities who are unsavory role models with bad habits.

Ultimately, there is no separating Vick from his circumstances: his race, parents, economics and opportunities. Alter any of those elements and everything about him and how the world sees him would be unrecognizable.

So let’s look at him a different way. Let’s see him as someone in the third act of the epic movie that is his life, leading a team that many expect to see in the Super Bowl. Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” is playing underneath because the humbled protagonist has finally overcome his personal demons and has begun living up to his athletic promise. And to those who believe we should judge a man by how he responds when dealing with the worst life has to offer — with how he climbs after he hits rock bottom — Michael Vick has become heroic.

And that has nothing to do with race.

…This is an interesting article but also confuses me and probably every football fan. What does Mike Vick’s success in the NFL have anything to do with his race? Is the author trying to say that African-American Quarterbacks in the NFL are not liked because of race? Are they not good  enough to win because of their skin color? These are the questions that I have to ask throughout the article because he clearly thinks Vick would have been different and played differently if he was a caucasian quarterback. To be honest, I think Vick is a top 5 quarterback regardless of race, economics, or opportunity. If you are a great player and a great talent in the NFL, it shouldn’t matter what race you or where you are from. All that should matter is that you love the game and play it at the highest level. Yes, he has made mistakes, but in his defense many white players have made bad decisions. It’s not only the African-American players that get into trouble and hurt themselves. Overall, he’s a great player and you can’t knock his skills. That’s why Michael Vick is so popular in the NFL and it is why he is now part of the 100 million contract club…

VCU Rams basketball plans to increase student fees next season

May 26, 2011

Via ESPN:

Virginia Commonwealth University plans to increase student fees so it can give $733,000 more to the basketball program, including for coaches’ raises.

Head coach Shaka Smart was given a $1.2 million contract after taking the Rams to the NCAA Final Four this past season.

According to VCU’s budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the school plans to increase its mandatory university fee by $50 per student to raise about $11 million for intercollegiate athletics, an $875,000 increase.

VCU figures show that 37 percent of the $1,637 per-student university fee for 2011-12 will go toward intercollegiate athletics. That includes salaries, scholarships, and sports-facility repairs.

Spokeswoman Pam Lepley said Tuesday that private donations and ticket revenue, along with the university fee allocation, fund VCU athletics programs.

This is smart for the VCU basketball program, excuse my pun. However, should money be spent on athletics in the NCAA? And, should the students be responsible for providing salaries for coaches and programs? Economists keeps saying that no one has money to spend in the United States but we are spending money on athletics left and right. I have spoken to a few studnets from VCU and they like that the program is going to get more recognition from their Final Four run but they don’t think it is worth the extra money. Honestly,  I agree with them…

…I go to a college basketball school in Marquette and I will say that they are very dedicated to spending money on the team. When I was there as a freshman, season tickets were $75 a student and that wasn’t a bad price. Now over the last two years, they have been raised to $100. It is worth it because our team is always very good and we play in the Bradley Center, an NBA arena. However, besides the Wisconsin matchup and the Big East games we had to see the likes of Prairie View A&M and Centenary. Is it worth all that money? Some students say yes and some say no. I love college basketball and would spend the money for the games but some don’t believe their money should go to athletics. It’s a big debate around the college sports world. Would you spend the money? Isn’t it all about education…

Michigan Renovates Stadium Even With Bad Economy

July 19, 2010

via ESPN:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan made a lot of changes to the Big House, erecting luxury boxes and club seats in towering structures that loom along both sidelines as part of a $226 million renovation.

Tour of the newly renovated Michigan Football Stadium on July 14th, 2010. (MARISSA MCCLAIN/ Daily)

It also increased the seating capacity to 109,901 for this season — up about 2,000 — to reclaim the distinction from Penn State of having the largest football stadium in the country.

Athletic director Dave Brandon is already envisioning the iconic venue getting even bigger.

“We’re already looking at future expansion,” he said Wednesday after the media and public got a chance to tour the new-look stadium.

Brandon said the project — which started a day after the 2007 season ended — is on budget and on time. He said revenue generated by suites and club seats has already covered costs.

“It’s already a financial win,” he said.

But the school still has some selling to do before the opener Sept. 4 at home against Connecticut. Twenty of the 81 suites are available and about 80 percent of the 2,952 club seats haven’t been sold yet.

Brandon said he’s optimistic that giving people a chance to sit in comfy club seats and walk into posh suites — an opportunity they had for 14 hours Wednesday — will be great marketing that should boost sales.

Season-ticket holder Ken Close, a 60-year-old resident of Toledo, Ohio, took advantage of the public tour because he doesn’t expect to have the money or a friend rich enough to see the premium seats again.

“I think this is great,” Close said. “I know some traditionalists didn’t want to make these big changes, but I think they’re wonderful. We’ll make new memories here. You have to grow with the times.”

226 MILLION DOLLARS???? are you kidding me??? This must be a joke right? You know what this economy could do with that amount of money? Instead of helping out the world right now, sports stadiums are getting bigger and bigger or changing every other year. From looking at the new Yankee Stadium everyday that was 1 billion dollars to now this renovation on a college football game. This is outrageous and needs to be stopped because this money could be used for bigger and better things even academically than athletically. People need to manage their money better…

…It also increased the seating capacity to 109,901 for this season. That is a ton of people, probably more than the state of Rhode Island. That is way too many people to attend a game. Speaking of attendance, Twenty of the 81 suites are available and about 80 percent of the 2,952 club seats haven’t been sold yet for the September 4th opener against Connecticut. Who has the money to go to the game?? You can go watch it on TV for free in  a bar. Seriously, this is crazy. How do they expect to fill up the stadium September 4th…

…Here is the best part. Season-ticket holder Ken Close, a 60-year-old resident of Toledo, Ohio, took advantage of the public tour because he doesn’t expect to have the money or a friend rich enough to see the premium seats again. So he took out money, for one game he will go to in the renovated stadium? Wow. That is crazy. I understand that he has been a season ticket holder but it’s not worth the money and time if you can only go to one because they are so expensive. This really annoyed me because money in sports could be used for better things especially in college but obviously they are not and it is effecting everyone…