Category Archives: Offseason

Gotta Be In It…

What is fair market value for a superstar these days? Over the last few seasons, the Las Vegas Vipers have gone out to get two big free agents on the open market. They gave Ryan Anderson a record contract, and signed Adam Shorsher to another big deal last season.

Combined with Ichiro Suzuki (Perhaps the best player in the ULB, mind you…) they have a combined 93,670,000 tied up in these three players.

According to WAR (Wins Above Replacement), Shorsher was worth 6 wins above a replacement player. Ryan Anderson was worth 8.8. Ichiro, had he played a full season and not gotten injured, could have been worth 6. (He was worth 3.0 in 82 games.) That’s a combined 21 WAR for these three players. That’s $4,460,476 per win.

We’ll use that number as an extremely expensive baseline.

David Zed was worth 4.8 wins last season over in the MLB. Free Agent Market Value according to the Vipers would have been $22,302,380. Looks like the Mavs overpaid him by about $5,000,000. How about Jim Thome? He was worth 7.7 WAR last season for the Blue Jays and was worth $34,345,665. Looks like the Fire got a potential bargain for him, paying him about half of what he’s worth potentially.

Of course, these numbers aren’t a guarantee that a player will perform. They could get old (Thome) or skyrocket to superstardom (Zed). The key factor is that no one can really predict the future. Anything can and will happen. The Vipers rolled the dice and spent big and ending up losing 89 games last season. The Fire lost 101 games in 2009 and the Mavs have had two losing seasons after ending up in the plus column for 13 years.

Big Signings Highlight X-Mas Week in ULB

ULB Gives Final Approval for Montreal Move

Union League Baseball approved the sale of the Columbus Crickets today. Also given final approval was the move of the Columbus franchise to Montreal in light of Major League Baseball’s Montreal Expos taking flight and moving in next to the ULB’s Washington Senators.

Donald Sutherland leads a group that is buying the Crickets and moving them to Montreal.
Donald Sutherland leads a group that is buying the Crickets and moving them to Montreal.

The Crickets will be leaving behind a legacy in Columbus that included the 2nd start of Michael Jordan’s brief but Hall of Fame career before he set up shop in Charlotte. The Crickets attracted fans, but an inability to expand Dave Thomas Memorial Field or get a new stadium approved in recent years was the final nail in the coffin of the Crickets.

“In modern terms, the Crickets park was a refurbished nightmare. Built quickly and on the cheap, it held 32,000 fans, but lacked amenities. It wasn’t a ballpark built to last decades. The Thomas group always envisioned a new ballpark built within a decade. That never came to be due to potential voter backlash.” said Commissioner Steve Greenberg.

While MLB Commissioner George W. Bush was apparently miffed at the idea of the ULB’s Generals changing names to the Washington Senators two seasons ago, he enlisted high powered help to get approval for a new ballpark to be built in the footprint of Old RFK Stadium.

With the Expos leaving Montreal and the Thomas family looking to sell, the ULB hooked up with Canadian actor Donald Sutherland who had originally put together a group to buy the Expos from Jeffery Loria and keep them in Montreal. When that failed to come to fruition, the group approached the ULB with the idea to bring a ULB team back to Canada. With the sale approved from the Thomas Family to the Sutherland Group, and Labatt Park soon to be sitting empty after just 10 years of baseball, the fates aligned and the Montreal Royals were reborn.

The Montreal Royals were a minor league professional baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, that existed from 1897–1917 and 1928–60 as a member of the International League and its progenitor, the original Eastern League. The Royals are most famous as the top farm club (Class AAA beginning in 1946) of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1939 to 1960, which included the pioneering African-American player, Jackie Robinson, as a member for the 1946 season.

Sutherland’s group include Eugene Levy, Saul Rubinek and The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, the 18th Prime Minister of Canada.

“If we need to make a movie about the Royals, we’ve got 3 fine lead actors.” quipped Mulroney at the press conference.