Thursday, November 16, 2006
The guy behind Lucchino and Henry (the one who's trying to catch a marshmallow in his mouth) is Andrew Zimbalist, "one of the world's foremost experts on the economics of professional sports". At least that's what he was called on NPR today. My question is: "one of the foremost experts"? Judging from the national media, surely he's the only one. Really, in news reports, have you heard discussions of the economics of sports from anyone else? Anyhow, I don't know how he finds time to teach (he's a professor at Smith College) or write (he's written 14 books), because he seems to give interviews to freakin' everyone. He's quoted in 35 newpaper articles in the last month alone, covering topics like the Olympics, coaches' salaries, stadium funding, and of course Daisuke Matsuzaka. He's been arguing that Matsuzaka's appeal in Japan will bring the Sox maybe $3M/year. Maybe he's right...but where the hell does that number come from? I'm sure it's based on some real data/calculations, but I have no idea what those might be. But of course, when he gives some numbers, they go unquestioned. The media never ask (or aren't interested in reporting) about the source of his numbers, and apparently can't (or won't) find anyone to give a second opinion. So seriously, does nobody else study the economics of sports? Or do those people exist, but just don't give interviews?