Archive - June 2014

  1. Column: First MLB Pitcher to Wear Protective CapJune 30, 2014

    San Diego Padres pitcher Alex Torres wasn’t trying to make a fashion statement, he was just trying to protect his head. Torres, a 26-year old lefthander from Venezuela, became the first MLB pitcher to wear a protective cap in a game when he was summoned from the bullpen in the eighth inning of the June 21 game against the Dodgers. The cap is arguably the ugliest item of clothing ever worn on a baseball diamond. A close second might be the softball uniforms worn by the Oakland A’s during the 1970’s at the insistence of maverick owner, Charlie Finley. The new headwear is fitted with energy-diffusing protective plates that create bulges around the sides and front of the cap. It looks awkward, but its looks are no more awkward than its name: isoBox. Not surprisingly, it’s also heavier than the normal baseball cap.

  2. Column: Emmert Disses Minor League SportsJune 23, 2014

    If you want to know why the NCAA is out of touch with the rest of the country all you have to do is look at the testimony delivered by its President, Mark Emmert, during his appearance as a witness in the O’Bannon trial last week. The O’Bannon case is just one of a number of high profile lawsuits that have been filed against the NCAA during the past several years. The suit alleges, among things, that the governing body violates federal anti-trust laws by preventing athletes from selling their image rights to the highest bidder.

  3. Column: To Sign or Not To SignJune 16, 2014

    For most of us, a working career can last upwards of 40 years, into our mid-60’s or beyond. For athletes, a career lasting 10-15 years is the exception. Given that, here’s one athlete’s conundrum. Houston Astros’ first base prospect Jon Singleton was offered a choice: Spend the rest of this season toiling in the minors working for approximately $40,000 and the next three for the Major League minimum, $500,000 (which is effectively the maximum salary). If he makes it that far, he will be eligible for salary arbitration for three years which will boost his salary at least four-fold in the first year, up to ten-fold in the third year. All told, he could earn as much as $10-15 million before he reaches free agency after six years of Major League service when he could auction himself off to the highest bidder.

  4. Column: USA Swimming Succumbs to PressureJune 4, 2014

    Chalk this one up to the power of the people, with an assist from the media. Days after a petition signed by 19 women who had been sexually abused by their swim coaches was made public, USA Swimming and the International Swimming Hall of Fame announced that USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus withdrew his name from consideration for induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. At the time of the withdrawal, the petition had been signed by more than 700 sympathizers. Greg Louganis, one of this country’s most beloved Olympic swimmers, had also tweeted out his support for the movement to rescind Wielgus’ nomination to the Hall.

  5. Column: Clippers Sale Price Makes CentsJune 1, 2014

    According to Investopedia, a free market is defined as, “A market economy based on supply and demand with little or no government control.” In a free market system, any item of value is worth what a seller is willing to sell it for and what a buyer is willing to pay for it. A free market system is the best way to explain the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers for an NBA record price of $2 billion dollars. It is also the second highest price ever paid for a North American sports franchise, exceeded only by the $2.1 billion paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers two years ago. If you see a similarity in the location of those two franchises, congratulations. You just passed your first marketing exam with flying colors.