Friday, January 19, 2007

SoSG Remains Above the Law

Keith Law, our favorite resident baseball columnist who thinks he is a economist, chatted today on espn.com and continues to mix up the economic concepts of "moral hazard" and "aligning incentives":

Jon (Jericho): Keith I currently attend Cornell university and for the past semester we have discussed in depth the theory of moral hazard as it relates to American politics. Recently I read your article and thought it was simply brillant, and relates the topic perfectly. What do you foresee as the possible solutions to moral hazard in baseball?

Keith Law: It's a difficult problem to solve in any industry. JC Bradbury (of sabernomics.com fame) suggests altering compensation of executives to reward things like development of specific players ... which sounds great, but you'd have a hard time getting GMs, who are now paid half a million or more in guaranteed annual salaries, to accept an incentive-laden deal like that. I do think that asking GMs to make business cases for long-term contracts should be de rigueur, and I don't believe that it is.

Wonderful, he is now instructing current students with his unfounded stance. Tepper School at Carnegie Mellon (Law's alma) is tied with the Johnson Business School at Cornell for 16th place, but let's hope Jericho Jon is "brillant" enough to know the difference.

Okay, enough snarkiness for now. Law does cover Dodger-related (including former Dodgers, and arch-rivals) on a number of posts:

Michael (Tustin, CA): Are the Dodgers still trying to acquire a big bat and if so, who are they targeting? If they stand pat for the remainder of the offseason, what are their chances of getting to the World Series?

Keith Law: If one sort of fell into their laps, sure. Billingsley's available, and I think you could pry Ethier loose. Kemp seems to be the untouchable. But even if they stand pat, they're probably co-favorites with the Padres and just a shade ahead of Arizona. Might be worth rolling with what they have and seeing who becomes available as the season progresses.

Johnny (Seattle): Did the Dodgers do right by resigning Nomar? Isn't he still a DH in the wrong league?

Keith Law: That deal didn't make sense to me - it further blocked Loney, and it ran counter to the idea of signing Nomar the year before (get a good hitter cheap and see if he can play enough).

Dan(NJ): What, in your opinion, was the best free agency signing?

Keith Law: Handful of good ones. Randy Wolf. Jason Schmidt. Andy Pettitte. David Dellucci.

Joel Guzman (Tampa): Do you have any faith in me?

Keith Law: You're a good candidate for that earlier question about a hyped prospect who might not/probably won't pan out.

Kris (Chicago): Where do you think Bonds is going to end up. I hate bonds and I hate Boston. However I think a lineup that has manny, ortiz, bonds would get me to watch the games. Any Thoughts? P.S. Have you seen the movie "City of God"

Keith Law: I don't see that as any kind of fit, not for him (hates Boston, wants to stay on the West Coast) and not for Boston (can you imagine a Bonds-Crisp-Manny outfield??). "City of God" is amazing, one of the ten or fifteen best movies I've ever seen.

CARLOS PINEDA CA: DO YOU THINK THE SF GIANTS CAN CONTEND FOR THE WEST TITLE NEXT YEAR WITHOUT AN AGING BONDS?

Keith Law: No. I'm not sure they can do it WITH an aging Bonds.

Keith Law also mentioned that he's a big fan of Jane Austen's Emma. Insert joke here. (Whoops, am I snarky again?)

4 comments:

Mike said...

Billingsley's "available"? Say what now? If he's going, we best be getting something along the lines of Johan Santana or Dontrelle Willis or Miguel Cabrera back. Not that I'm saying Billingsley is going to be any of those, but he's a young cheap ace quality pitcher. He may not be 'untouchable', but it's a stretch to say he's "available".

Steve Sax said...

I agree with you, Mike. Billingsley is "available"--in a Mr. Frank Churchill (from Emma) sort of way.

Steve Sax said...

And why the heck is CARLOS PINEDA SCREAMING TO KEITH LAW???

Giants fans. Where's that taser when you need one?

Orel said...

But something must have led Law to believe Bills is available—something more than idle trade talk.

After all, teams must inquire about, say, Freddy Sanchez all the time and we never hear he's available.