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  1. Wow, poor Cards.

    Comment by Rodney — February 23, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  2. Terrifying to think that there is some possibility that Waino’s injury cost the Cards not only this season, but also the revenue needed to sign Pujols.

    Comment by Jesse Wolfersberger — February 23, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  3. This gets a +1 and a sad face… unless you are a Brewers/Reds fan…

    Comment by Telo — February 23, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  4. “Given the Cardinals tenuous standing in a tough division”

    Since when is the NL Central a tough division?

    Comment by Dan — February 23, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

  5. Just by virtue of having 6 teams makes it tough. But to really look at it – there’s a young, very solid all the way around Reds team only getting better, a Brewers team who clearly feels this their year to contend for all the marbles, a Cubs team who won’t embarrass themselves. The Pirates and Stros won’t make any noise, but they’re young and on the up and up (compared to where they were last year…)

    Comment by Telo — February 23, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  6. I think it is not as much a tough division as it is a balanced division. The Brewers/ Cards/ Reds are all fairly equal and the Cubs, while not a playoff team, are probably an 80 win team. Pitsburg is bad…but not as bad as last year……and Houston while bad is probaly a 76 win team.

    Comment by Joel — February 23, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  7. Or what Telo said.

    Comment by Joel — February 23, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  8. Cardinals will make money no matter what. People go to games record regardless and spend money. I wouldn’t be to worried about losing 10 million. Got a feeling it will be a lot less.

    Comment by Kevin — February 23, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

  9. yes, i suppose you could just ignore the entire article and go on the assumption that winning and losing has no impact on revenue.

    Comment by phoenix2042 — February 23, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  10. I’m pretty sure whether or not they’ll be in the black isn’t the issue here. You’re going to get a lot more casual fans on day-of-game sales when Wainwright is starting, as opposed to McClellan or any of the other goomba’s they might be forced to start.

    And your “feeling” seems to lack some of the support and evidence that was produced in this article. Maybe you could elaborate on this feeling? Maybe it was just gas?

    Comment by sgolder06 — February 23, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  11. The Cardinals will get some insurance money, no? If they don’t squander it, it could mitigate some loss of revenue they’ll incur due to Wainwright’s injury.

    Comment by PWH — February 23, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

  12. Do truly “casual” fans say, “Hey, Wainwright’s pitching, let’s go to the ballpark!” or do they say, “Hey, boss let me off of work early, let’s go to the game,” or “It’s a wonderful Saturday, let’s take the kids to the ballpark today!”

    My guess would be the former, but I suppose there’s no way to prove it.

    Comment by hunterfan — February 23, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

  13. Wasn’t Silver the guy who basically predicted exactly how each state voted in the presidential election?

    While it might not be scientifically rigorous, I wouldn’t dismiss the point of this article. If you’re, say, a Twins fan, and the Twins are playing meaningful games in the 2nd half of the year, you might choose to go to a game when Liriano is starting, but that choice is probably subordinate to your decision to go to a game. Any game. If you’re indifferent (otherwise) between two games and Liriano is pitching one of the games, you probably go to the Liriano game.

    I completely believe that revenue is altered like this. Who wants to buy a baseball to give to their kid when the team is 68-80 at a game in the last weeks of the season? Some people, but less than if the team was 85-63 and in the play-off hunt. Seattle probably sold more Felix Hernandez jerseys last year than the jerseys of any other player, but how many more jerseys would have been sold if he had been 19-5 and leading Seattle into the play-offs.

    You always have your die-hards, and you always have people who aren’t going to go to the games, and you always have people who never buy any merchandise, but I think a lot of people fall into the “fair weather” category where they might go to the game when the team is at the top of the standings or in the hunt. And, at the game, they might splurge for more merchandise and have an extra beer when the team is winning.

    Except at Wrigley. It doesn’t matter how the Cubs perform, the bleachers have basically become a really cool outdoor bar where you get to pay $7 for a glass of Old Style.

    Comment by Nick — February 23, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  14. Cardinals fans are extremely loyal (borderline sheep). Although not making the playoffs would create a revenue dent, I don’t buy the premise that Waino’s injury and a less competitive team will hurt them tremendously at the gate or in terms of merchandise sales.

    You mention the Pujols issue as another cloud for the organization, but if anything, it’ll help push more fans to Busch this summer and prevent the Waino $$ decline. This could be Cards’ fans last chance to see Albert in a Cards uniform. Even if the team is 10 games out by August, fans will still come to see #5, possibly for the final time.

    Comment by Tito Landrum — February 23, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  15. When I read that, I knew it would take no more than 5 posts for someone to point this out. The NL Central is not a tough division by any standard other than “all divisions in MLB are tough divisions.”

    Someone said they had six teams, but I only count 5 MLB teams.

    Comment by TK — February 23, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  16. Value based on marginal wins and playoff probability? True love.

    Comment by Garrett — February 23, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

  17. very few pitchers contracts are able to be insured….so, more than likely, no

    Comment by patrick — February 23, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

  18. I have a question; per Cots, waino’s options won’t vest if he is on the dl at the end of the season, which he apparently will be. Even if he’s injured, his options still seem like a bargain (though clearly a riskier one now). My question is, should/can the cardinals pick up his option(s) at the end of the year if he is indeed still rehabbing?

    Comment by Old randy — February 23, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

  19. You’re kidding right?

    Comment by os2011champs — February 23, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

  20. The killer is in perception… suddenly, they’re not seen as a playoff contender. This, combined with the Pujols situation blowing up, could cause a serious backlash.

    Comment by Christian — February 23, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

  21. Then you need to recount

    Unless you just ignore the Pirates on principal. It is indeed a 6 team league with at least 3 teams who could take it. Cards took a big shot in the face if Waino is out but who knows.

    Comment by highrent — February 23, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

  22. I think Cameron meant that it is a tough division to win for the teams involved. With the Reds, Cardinals, and Brewers, you have three teams that can legitimately contend for the World Series, and that makes the Central a difficult division to win. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the bar is set higher, or that they are top long-term franchises. It simply means that there is no obvious top dog for which winning the division would be assumed.

    Comment by mhad — February 23, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

  23. sorry mean division not league.

    Comment by highrent — February 23, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  24. I think the Cardinals were prepared to let Carpenter go at the end of his contract knowing that they had a new number 1 guy in Wainwright. Now with Wainright’s return in question they may be forced to have to try to sign both Carp….making it all the harder to find the money for Albert

    Comment by mike reese — February 23, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  25. Also, to os2011champs and highrent, I think the “5 mlb teams” was just a dig at the pirates. Or possibly the Astros, of whom many could argue are in worse shape.

    Comment by mhad — February 23, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  26. I don’t think specific players drive the box office nearly as much as being in the playoff hunt does. If a team has a chance to make the playoffs, more people come. It’s exciting. The games mean something. When teams are out of it, stadiums start to look like ghost towns. If you accept the basic premise of the article (that downgrading from Wainwright to his replacement takes a huge chunk out of the Cards’ playoff chances), you pretty much have to accept that they’ll be losing a lot of revenue as well.

    Comment by JH — February 23, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

  27. I’m still not convinced. I think Dave Cameron needs to break down the stats to prove how many teams there are in the NL Central.

    Comment by Adamsternum — February 23, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

  28. or maybe explain what happened to make the division that by far had the worst run differential in 2010 “tough” in 2011. mhad, I like your advocacy skills defending the authur, but the fact that no team in the Central is a clear favorite doesn’t make it tough. If two six-year-old girls got in a fight, you might not know who would win, but that doesn’t make them “tough”

    and yes, that was a dig at the Pirates, though maybe it would have been better if I said 4 teams as you are right, the Astros are in pretty rough shape right now (but the Pirates are long lasting losers)

    Comment by TK — February 23, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  29. I agree. But I think Millwood seems just the guy to get ‘the treatment’. Just get him on a 2 year deal right now.

    Comment by ofMontreal — February 23, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  30. It might not make the girls tough, but it will still be a tough fight to win. A six year old girl and Manny Pacao, on the other hand, would not be a tough fight.

    Comment by mhad — February 23, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  31. If the Cardinals can’t sign Pujols, there will have to be bigger problems than Adam Wainwright.

    Comment by mhad — February 23, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

  32. especially since liriano is apt to get hurt any second of the day, going to see any one of his starts could be going to see his last, and everyone wants a bit of history

    Comment by fredsbank — February 23, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

  33. Of course the Cardinals can always improve themselves in a trade, but those have costs too.

    Comment by Xeifrank — February 23, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  34. “If two six-year-old girls got in a fight, you might not know who would win, but that doesn’t make them “tough””

    This is true. It is their penchant for going directly for the hair and eyes that makes them tough- much like chimps.

    Comment by B N — February 23, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

  35. If we’re talking about the Cardinals overall bottom line don’t forget that they’ll see a boost with U2 bringing their stadium show to Busch. Also, Wainwright’s option will not vest if he’s on the DL at the end of the season. You can almost certainly bet that that deal will be restructure.

    The effects are obviously still a concern but there are some not so obvious effects that will balance things out at least a little bit.

    Comment by winwin07 — February 23, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

  36. Interesting point. It’s 9m for 2012 and 12m for 2013, but the team has to exercise them both at the same time. That’s $21 million of risk in the hopes he comes back strong. Since the first year after TJ is usually a mediocre one (or worse), you can’t assume much out of him then. Still, he’d only have to be a 2-win pitcher in 2012 and 2 or so in 2013 (or 4 over both years). Four wins total over both years seems totally attainable to me. He’s been worth almost 12 wins over the last 2 years.

    The real question is whether the team wants to make a $21 million gamble on a guy that may or may not ever even be a 2 WAR per year player again. He’ll turn 30 this year.

    Plus, if the Cards need every last penny to keep Pujols, they may not be able to keep a risky Wainwright. If Pujols leaves, what’s the point? If Pujols and Carpenter leave (both possible), the Cards need to go into immediate rebuild mode, in my opinion.

    On the other hand, the Cards may want to offer some kind of compromise deal to Wainwright sometime this season. Offer him 2 years for say $10-15 million total. Wainwright gets some security despite a serious arm injury; the Cards get a more reasonable gamble.

    Comment by DL80 — February 23, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

  37. They’d have to rebuild. I’m not saying they will, but they ought to.

    Comment by DL80 — February 23, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

  38. by “tough”, he means competitive.

    Comment by chuckb — February 23, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

  39. The potential playoff revenue is really an all or nothing proposition… Either they get the 25 million or they don’t, you can’t halve or quarter that number to calculate the loss

    Comment by Lloyd mclendon — February 23, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

  40. I’m kind of on the same side here. I think Cardinals fans are probably much more likely to continue to support the team despite a few extra losses. More so, at least, than a team like the Pirates/Athletics/Astros/Nationals etc…I don’t have the data in front of me but everything I’ve heard about St. Louis is that its a baseball town through and through.

    I’m not sure that they’ll lose all the extra revenue from those wins. Shouldn’t it be mentioned that the Cardinals have recent playoff seasons and a world series victory? I’m’ pretty sure that affects fan attendance as well…I think the Cards have more wiggle room than just assuming they’re an average MLB draw.

    The playoff appearance, well, that’s obviously different. But it wasn’t clear that they would be a playoff team anyway…

    Comment by Mike Savino — February 23, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

  41. The Reds, Brewers and Cardinals aren’t tough teams to face? Please take a look at their rosters before talking nonsense. This isn’t five years ago.

    Comment by Tomas — February 23, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  42. sign an “attraction” like Yu Darvish. Long shot. Really reeeeeeaaaaaaallllllllyyyy long shot. But still, he should be better than other options and the exposure the first month would be a gigantic boost.

    I’m not sure why everyone points to attendance as revenue. I get that it’s where they make most of their money. However, lots of money is made on broadcast rights and merchandise too. The Cards will still have a higher average attendance than probably 20 teams even if they’re 80-82, but less people will watch on TV and less people will buy jerseys. The Cardinals, much like the Yankees, Sox, Dodgers, and other traditionally great teams that haven’t been killed by 20 years of losing season always draw.

    Comment by Anthony — February 23, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

  43. What he was doing was computing the expected value of the loss.

    E(Value)=Sum of[(Pi)(Vi)], where Pi is the Probability of Event i and Vi is the Value of Event i. If the Cards had a 50% chance of making the playoffs, then 50% of the time they’d get a value of $25MM and 50% of the time they’d get zero. The expected value of this gamble if $12.5MM.

    Comment by bluejaysstatsgeek — February 23, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  44. This is false. The expected value is the amount times the probability of occurrence. The point here is the Cardinals’ probability of reaching the post-season decreased by 50%, so their expected income from the playoffs also decreased by 50%.

    Comment by Aaron — February 23, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

  45. Nick, checkout what the Nats did with Strasburg. To see him, you had to purchase four tickets. Because of this, and the fact that there was finally something to see, he actually brought people to the stadium, not just adjusting around to see his games instead of the duds you usually went to.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — February 23, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

  46. Darvish isn’t FA, and isn’t available.

    Comment by The Ancient Mariner — February 23, 2011 @ 11:57 pm

  47. A two year minor league deal?

    Comment by merizobeach — February 24, 2011 @ 12:26 am

  48. The Cards will still be playing meaningful games late in the summer, since it’s doubtful any team in the NLC is going to run away with the division.

    I don’t see StL falling more than 6-8 games off the pace.

    Now, what will be interesting is what affect a monster year by Pujols keeping them in the division race will do for contract negotiations. If he slugs them in the division race, well there could be no greater argument in his favor.

    This just sucks for Wain, he is everything Matt Morris was supposed to be. His injury is most curious given the timing and severity.

    Cardinal fans will still attend games. From August on the push will be “Show Albert the Love” in hopes that he stays … And StL will likely be “mathmatically alive” in the September race. They won’t be the only team to experience injuries in the season.

    While it is certainly a huge obstacle, their demise, at this point, may be greatly exaggerated.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 24, 2011 @ 12:28 am

  49. The prognosis for TJ surgery is very good, much better than for shoulder surgeries. He may even come back throwing 1-2 mph harder like many pitchers do.

    If Wainright was healthy, he makes 21 million for 2012 and 2013. If the Cardinals do not pick up the 9 million option for 2012, Wainright becomes a FA.

    He could end up making more money with a team like the Yankees than those two options would pay him. He will only be 30 in his comeback year in 2012 (say by ASB), so not so much risk offering him a 2 year deal for 21 million with a mutual option for a 3rd year at his market value (pre-injury). The expectation would be that Wainright pitches close to the pre-TJS Wainright in 2013 and 2014, with 2012 being pretty much a lost season or least a lost 1/2 season).

    So do the Cards pick up both options hoping for a pre-TJS Wainright in 2013. If so the total cost would be about what Wainrights market value is (pre-TJS). If not, I bet Wainright gets signed by the Red Sox or Yankees and Cards fans can watch Pujols and Wainright play in the 2013 ALCS, and maybe the World Series. LOL.

    Comment by pft — February 24, 2011 @ 2:10 am

  50. I’m a Brewer fan and I’m not happy. I enjoy watching Wainwright and I look forward to competition. I’d much rather win a competitive race than back into the playoffs due to a weak division. This isn’t supposed to be the NFL where playoff slots are just given away to the undeserving.

    Comment by Lion of the Senate — February 24, 2011 @ 2:50 am

  51. 5 Teams definitely includes pirates, sorry to all the ‘Stros fans out there, but your team is a joke right now… i dont think i could name your starting 8/roational 5… and the only reliever i know is lindstrom because he was my closer for fantasy last season…. not an MLB quality club…. and not much help on the horizon either

    Comment by Pat G — February 24, 2011 @ 8:43 am

  52. Why doesn’t Fangraphs post on their website an explanation of all the B.S. fancy shmancy stats that it uses (like ZIPS, WAR)…no one knows how these things are calculated yet their parotted mindlessly 500 times an hour.

    Comment by MC — February 24, 2011 @ 9:11 am

  53. I’ll take the “under” on Houston at 76 in a heartbeat! *plunks down cash*

    Comment by Jason B — February 24, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  54. The timing of the injury is not so troubling once you consider that he had elbow issues at the end of last year that didn’t go away completely in the offseason.

    Comment by Double D — February 24, 2011 @ 10:02 am

  55. Two-year deal?!? No need to panic and overbid when there are apparently no other suitors knocking down his door…

    Comment by Jason B — February 24, 2011 @ 10:02 am

  56. Very true…but with their “stars and scrubs” roster its hard to find value that (a) other teams would want or value, and (b) isn’t a huge factor in their immediate plans.

    (Admittedly I’m not sure what their minor league system looks like.)

    Comment by Jason B — February 24, 2011 @ 10:03 am

  57. “The Cards will still have a higher average attendance than probably 20 teams even if they’re 80-82″

    And heck, they won the World Series with basically that same record five years ago!

    Comment by Jason B — February 24, 2011 @ 10:04 am

  58. See that big, hard-to-miss tab labeled “GLOSSARY” at the top of the page? Check it out, yo.

    Comment by Jason B — February 24, 2011 @ 10:05 am

  59. You mean like this?

    Comment by Pitchers Hit Eighth — February 24, 2011 @ 10:07 am

  60. Hey – actually yeah I didn’t know that was up there. But what’s up there is useless. I mean how are these numbers CALCULATED. Or are you gong to tell me…well they’re so complex…gosh jee only a COMPUTAR can calculate them?

    Comment by MC — February 24, 2011 @ 10:57 am

  61. Made my day when people thought you believed there was only 5 teams in the NL central

    Comment by adohaj — February 24, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

  62. very few pitchers contracts are able to be insured

    There’s nothing I can bring to the table–empirical or anecdotal (at least not easily put together)–to refute this claim, but I don’t believe you.

    Comment by PWH — February 24, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  63. There are primers and articles explaining many of these concepts at length that can be found with but a smidge of effort…

    Comment by Jason B — February 24, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

  64. There are primers and articles explaining many of these concepts at length that can be found with but a smidge of effort…

    Comment by Jason B — February 24, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  65. Meant to append that response to another post…

    Comment by Jason B (occasional dumbass) — February 24, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  66. One other cost not incorporated; the cost of whomever they acquire to replace Wainwright PLUS the cost of however much (if any) of Wainwright’s salary is not covered by insurance (I assume the team has a policy).

    Comment by frug — February 24, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  67. That’s what I was thinking … That is was an injury that originated in 2010, but went undiagnosed in the offseason.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 24, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

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