…And I’m Sure As Hell Neither Rich Nor Famous For It
Well, 10years is a long time. It’s been across 3 blogs.
I’m thinking maybe I should consolidate everything into 1 big blog and slap it full of google ads. Let me know what you think.
MLB Opened 2014 In Sydney
I got asked for an opinion about the MLB staging their season opener at the Sydney Cricket Ground last weekend by Pleiades. I do have a bit to say about it but it’s all tangential to what happened. What happened was that the LA Dodgers rolled into town with what we now know to be the highest payroll in baseball and beat Team Australia 4-2 in an exhibition warmup, then the Arizona Diamondbacks twice to open their season 2-0. Also in the fray was the game Team Australia won 5-0 against the D-Backs.
Some impressions of the Dodgers… Jeez they’re a bunch of freeswingers. Apart from Adrian Gonzales and Scott Van Slyke, nobody really seemed to work the count at all. And they still won. So I guess that’s talent. They did leave it to the very end when they were losing 0-2 to Team Australia before they broke open for a 4 run top of the 8th. They kept hacking at the first pitch and were being 1-hit by that time. Of course they went on to essentially beat the D-backs swinging that way so who’s to say they’re wrong? Maybe talent doesn’t need strategem?
Team Australia acquitted themselves well. This was surprising. The 5-0 win over the D-Backs was really surprising. Until of course the D-Backs proceeded to get rolled by the Dodgers in the first two official games. This prompted great commentary from the ESPN commentators saying that more scouts will come to Australia looking for talent. John Smotlz in particular seemed incredibly keen on the idea.
The arrival of MLB, even for a glimpse should represent a threat to the cricket fraternity. If the awareness of baseball goes up, the kind o talent that goes into cricket might opt to go to baseball. The money and opportunities are certainly weighted that way. This isn’t a discussion about which sport is better. Baseball has more money than cricket right now. When you combine other markets where it is played apart form North America, it’s clear there’s a lot of money out there.
Here’s a comparison. Once-in-a-generation wicket keeper and batsman Adam Gilchrist probably earned about AUD$10million-15million in his career, an that’s being generous. Roughly overlapping his carer was once-in-a-generation hitting catcher Mike Piazza whose lifetime earnings would be closer to US$100million. They most likely have never heard of each other, which reflects how far apart the worlds have been. Adam Gilchrist had what cricket commentators might call a ‘tidy’ career. Mike Piazza had a resplendent one. Yes, “there’s money in them thar hills”, as they say.
Of course it’s s not all about the money. Lots of Australian kids have a knee-jerk reaction of hating on” Yank sports” so it might take a while. A very long while even; but eventually the money and interest from America is going to make its presence felt. So yeah, money does talk and bullshit does walk. It’s making me think that the whole Kerry Packer World Series cricket thing was an attempt to stave off baseball from eating his favourite game of cricket. it probably worked in the 1970s. I doubt the numbers are there today and going forward.