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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Ducks look...um just ok

After playing quite well against Mississippi State in our opener, I hoped we would roll Nevada 56-7 or something in our home opener. We did 31-23 to notch our 2nd win of the year, but I have some concerns. The offensive line struggled to give our quarterbacks time. Between watching the Duck and Raider game this weekend, it was one constant quarterback scramble. We have to shore up that line and give KC some time. At least the defense showed signs of brilliance in the first half, as every time Nevada had the ball they lost yards.

The catalyst play for Nevada to start moving the ball was actually a punt they did which we tried to let roll to a stop. Problem was it took a weird bounce and knicked the heel of a Duck lineman trying to make a block unaware of what was going on. Instant fumble and it was there longest gain of the day till that point. Funny what can get a team going, but it wasnt like they made a play or anything impressive.

We need to play better next week on the road to beat the Wildcats. The Michigan game could be ugly.
Customer Service #108

A certain beloved baseball team just started selling there playoff tickets this week. Every year its a new fiasco, either the tickets are overpriced, or something strange is going on.

I guess this years goofiness (and actually this has happenned in past years) is the fact that unless you drive all the way to the stadium and buy your tickets at the box office (so you ONLY pay the handling and convenience fee of like $8), now you can ONLY get your tickets 3rd day fedexed to you for $15 a pop. No will call option, no normal mail option, only $15 a pop shipping on top of $4-5 handling and something for convenience. Nevermind the fact we could not find any service at all the charged $15 for overnight service of an envelope. If I remember this correctly part of the scam is they send the tickets in a box as opposed to a padded envelope or something that makes more sense. See, the box costs more. You know the best part of the deal is they always quote you this full retail rate. Do you really think Fedex is charging tickets.com full cost, no group or volume discount. In this day of shipping being commoditized (ie Post Office, Fedex ,Airborne, UPS are all fighting for this business), your telling me sales reps are going into potential enormous clients and telling them, we would love your business, but you have to pay full rate. Its not happening, they are probably paying $6-7 for something you and I would pay $10 if I sent one package. The entire thing is disingenous, but they figure most people are to stupid to figure this out. Bottom line is they charge you $15 for something that really would only cost $10 to a normal person, then figure the volume discount which brings it down to about $7..$8 pure profit, although I have no idea where its going, and odds are as high it goes to some bizarre middle man as it does the team.
Catching up

First, I know its been awhile, but 2 internships, a full time career and grad school has taken its toll the past couple weeks. Not to mention in rocket trips to Eugene for the Ducks first home game and I have been a busy guy. Simone keeps telling me I really need to take a day off cause I look like death and need a break. She is probably very right in that assumption, but I must press on. I am either going to get that job in sports, or have a heart attack and die in the next 6 months trying. At least I will have gone down with a fight.

Back to my original subject, part of the problem is that the A's have not looked to good recently, and I dont want to be a negative jack and sit here every day and pick their lethargy apart. I have heard all the terms recently, "last man standing will win the division etc"...to me it appears it more the "the last flush". It has been one of the uglier stumbles home the last couple weeks in the AL west, but it least it reaffirms earlier thoughts that the Red Sox would be the wild card. Its almost a slam dunk at this point due to the fact they play a very week schedule the last 2 weeks.

Good to see my boy Dooch (not "the Gooch", that was the kid that kicked california governer candidates Gary Colemans tail around on different strokes) come up from Sacramento and pitch exactly the type of game we thought he could to beat the Angels for his first start as an Athletic. Just as expected, he went 7 shutout innings, effecient with his pitches and lead his team on the field. Dooch keeps the game going, he is effecient, works quickly, doesnt waste pitches and gets the job done. He is Sandy Alderson's dream pitcher, keeps those 2:15 mintue games rolling in. Appropriate he replaced Mark Mulder in the rotation who pitched at the same speed. And yes Macha has already said he will get the next turn against his old team, The Rangers, over the weekend.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Jimmy Watch

Its been a big week for Mecir, yesterday he got a entire 1/3rd of an inning. At least he avoided disaster
It must be a cult thing

Now that I am in pennant race mode, I frequently find myself flipping over to watch Mariners and Red Sox games on extra innings. I have one question for Mariners fans.

Whatever happens to the 10,000 freaking pictures that are taken every day of Shitegoshi Hasegawa and The Great Gazoo (kazu the great green charachter that was supposed to save the flintstones). Seriously, regardless of the time of game, situation (ie the mariners can have the bases loaded with Boone up and there are still 30 people fixated on taking pictures of these two in the bullpen) these people are going nuts taking pictures of these two guys, and ichiro as well.
Where do they end up, are they being sold on the black market to japan for thousands of dollars so every little japanese kid can have a pitcure of Kaz or Shit on his wall? Or is it a cult, like "One hour photo" are there people in Japan that have a wall of 10,000 pictures of these guys. When they leave the game at the end of the day do they say to themselves "That was a great game, Boone hit a walk off bomb, Soriano was dealing", or do they say "Kioke, looks like I take 432 pictures of Hasegawa in the bullpen today, Me very happy"


Its been a good week

I would have not imagined at the end of last week that seven days later we would be sitting on top of a 2 game lead in the Western Division. I would not have imagined the Devil Rays taking 2 out of 3 in Seattle. The game I was able to attend this week was Barry Zito's masterpiece on Wednesday, and I realized how far off he had been to that point. He had the look of a killer in his eye on the mound, as opposed to one of confusion he seems to have had in earlier starts I had seen him this year. That look is one of being in control of his destiny, which is critical to get batter out. Tim Worrel has said it many times this year, he doesnt have the greatest stuff but as long as he thinks he does and its in his eyes on a given night he notches up a save. When he has like slighest twinge in confidence, the batters know it and miserable results happen. This is very un baseball propectus type analysis, but it is what it is. The mental game of basebal is still a huge part of the results over the course of a season.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Boat Race

Midday and it seems Boston clobbered Seattle. If somehow Lilly can get a win tonight, we are setting up for one of the great final dashes to the finish line. With Seattle falling apart a bit, and Oakland pitching being depleted (we need to make it to to the Sept 1 call ups) and the fact both teams play exact mirror schedules from here on out, it will be great. I hope it comes down to how the teams play against each other. If the Mariners for some reason cant handle the D'rays and the A's can, that will be the difference. Scary to think how either team could win or loose it based on the DRays. I also get the impression that the West will become a win it or go home division. Boston plays some dogs the last 2 weeks of the season while we beat each other up.
Seattle's troubles
Interesting to see the Mariners falling apart on this trip. Have not had time to watch there games so I am not sure of what going on besides what I read over at he USSMariner. Only 1 game back now, although today is a Lilly start, so best case scenario is we are still there at the end of the day.

Rivercat Roadie

Figured it was time to one make more trips to Sacramento before the end of the season. Evidently in the minors you can claim your ticket sales for attendance, as there was no way in the world there was 10,233 people there last night, more around 4,000. Rivercats should probably start looking at a DP ticket window or a ticket relay, as it looks like the Season Ticket Holders are burned out on the season, and are to lazy to drive across town to give the tickets to there buddy.

As for baseball, I had a Jermaine Dye sighting, and it did not start out pretty. He was leading off as DH to maximize his at bats. Sure enough, against subpar AAA starter Mike Gosling he took a couple big hacks and missed by three inches at least, then took a third strike. He suffered the same fate in his 2nd at bat, but finally got enough wood on a blazing 83 mph fastball to go opposite field for a single in the 4th and get a RBI. Sacramento is the only team out there in triple AAA with an 11 million dollar DH for the last week of the season. ( JD ended 2-5 after the tough start, with 2 RBI’s)

On the shortstop front, Bobby Crosby looks like he owns triple AAA now which is the progress we expected over the course of the season. He blasted a 410 foot 2 run homer in the first, the Tucson walked him 2 times. He will probably finish over .300 this year, and will be ready to take over Tejadas position 6 weeks from now when Miggy leaves. Besides the fact he cannot go as deep in the hole like Miggy, he will work out there with Mark Ellis. And he looks like he will be a 7 or 8 hitter next year, much like how he started this year with the Cats. Hopefully he progresses at the major league level as he did against triple AAA, but I would venture to guess it will be a 2-3 year curve versus a 1-year progress curve.

John Rheinecker was pitching, which was my main curiosity to head up the freeway for 90 minutes to catch the game. Rheinecker sort of has that Barry Zito motion, but he is no Barry Zito yet. Much like Duchscherer the knock on this guy is he doesn’t throw hard enough. He was the buzz at Midland last year and had a solid year this year, before being called up to replace the holes left by Harang departure and Harden’s promotion. He is another lefty in the system, and he sports the 88-mph fastball, the 83-mph slider and the 71-mph changeup. Unlike Zito, he does not have the slow bender, rather goes to his slider when he needs a pitch with some movement. In the early innings he got himself into some jams including a bases loaded, no outs in the 2nd. He came back strong to get a couple of K’s and the final out. From that point he retired 17 out of the next 18 batters. I came away impressed, he will do well at triple AAA like Duchsherer, it’s just a matter of having the velocity for the show. Clearly he knows how to pitch and get himself out of jams. He ended up the night going 6 2/3 with no earned runs, 7 Ks and 3 walks. He did get up to 100 pitches as in this game; efficiency was not there. He ran the count full numerous times, getting behind batters, and then having the Tucson hitter’s foul off a ton of balls.

The final bit of the game I saw was Bert Snow, who is one of those players in the organization who holds an in-auspicious honor. He holds the Midland all time saves record, i.e. he played at that level way to long. He came in and shut down Rheineckers final jam in the 7th and pitched a scoreless inning afterward giving up 1 hit. He does sport the Rod Beck mullet circa 1995. He definitely looks like he played in Texas for the past couple of years if you know what I mean. In certain parts of Sacramento that works well to with the ladies

Final Side Note: Bobby Crosby’s intro music is the Beastie Boys 1987 classic “Girls”. I am not sure If I want to know what that is all about, but I sure hope he has the nerve to use that when he gets up to the show later in September. The left field Bleacher females are going to love this guy, Eric Byrnes is a dead duck. Of course they will probably still have to use Brandon Buckley and Robert Buan to get access to Bobby, but who knows, I am guessing he likes the attention.

Saturday, August 23, 2003


Regressing to the Mean

Well, In Oakland its tough to have it go perfectly every year, and while I have felt all year things just were not going as well as usual, Mulders freak injury cemented it. We have not had a key pitching injury all year (I dont count Jimmy, more on that on going saga in a minute). I will say this, I am not for Billy doing a desperate trade to get somebody who can only clear waivers due to a contract that is to expensive. So I think we are going to have to do with this and see what happens

1. Huddy
2. Zito
3. Rich
4. Lilly
5. Wood

Thats right, I want to keep Halama in the pen as he is better suited there anyway. The Young Kids have started all year so why reinvent the wheel. Keep them as starters and keep Halama where he is more comfortable. It also avoids situations like the other night where you are bringing rookies in with the bases jammed in a hostile enviornment. Keep it as simple as possible and let the kids at least start innings with clean slates.

Keys : Lilly HAS to step it up, Harden has to pitch like he can. It is a great deal to ask of them, but it has to be done. This assumes Zito and Hudson are nails the rest of the season, which remains to be seen

Mecir Update : First of all , yes I know Jim pitched one good inning in Boston the other night in the midst of a blowout. So all the Mecir Maniacs will use that against me for the next month while "forgetting" about the previous 3 outings. In a continuation of the theater of the absurd, Mecir was doing the pre-game with Fosse yesterday. Three times Mecir himself said "he didnt consider himself part of the bullpen anymore (in a self denegrating way)" and to top it off, when asked how he gets through all his problems, he said "Its tough, because I am in so much pain out there my body just doesnt want to do what it needs in order to make my pitches effective, so I have to force myself on each pitch through the pain and remember what I have to do"..So here we have a guy who has no confidence in himself, and admits he has to do unnatural things (forcing pain upon himself) just to have the opportunity to throw correctly.

Jim, please Jaha yourself as soon as possible, this roster spot that you yourself claim is useless is killing the team.

Friday, August 22, 2003


Post Season Tickets.

Derek writes a good piece on one of my pet peaves, post season ticket strips at BP today. I am not able to link to it as its premium and that would be innapropriate (and it probably wouldn't work). He listed the costs associated with the strip, including the convenience fees, etc...He left off the best part, the actual cost of these items so you can see the 90% profit margin

What is the difference between a convenience fee and a handling fee...A handling fee a joke because I guarantee you tickets are cut and inserted into an envelope by a machine. Since when are machines collecting commission? Better yet, say handling fee is to pay for a slug (how come I envision Barney from the simpsons) to insert tickets into an envelope. Say this slug gets maybe $8 an hour, and each transaction they charge you $2 handling fee, you telling me this slug can only do 4 transactions an hour, that is 15 minutes for each 2 tickets to be put into an envelope. Well I guess there is a 5 minute bathroom break per transaction, and 5 minute smoking break and 2 minutes to get chips out of the vending machine, but still he has 3 minutes to rip tickets apart and insert into the envelope.

When are teams going to realize emotionally fans would much rather just pay an extra $3 a ticket instead of getting nickel and dimed with 20 other items on the ticketmaster invoice. Concert venues finally figured that out for collecting parking money, its just part of the ticket now.

Baseball in Portland

I was reading Rob Neyer’s column about the possibility, and I would have to say at this point he has made more sense out of the situation than anyone else has. I believe Rob lives there, or nearby so he probably has a bias and would not mind having a team in town. I myself have a bias as I lived in Oregon during my black hole years (the twenties) and I would love to have a team there. In fact, I used to live above the right field wall at Civic Stadium in Portland towers next to the Multnomah Athletic Club. I was able to look down every night and watch games from my apartment in the previous incarnation (The Buzas Days) of the Portland Beavers. I use to attend games there all the time in 1993, which was the final year of the Beavs in the old stadium. Civic Stadium had style, and it seems to have picked up a great deal more since its expensive renovation. Back in the day there was a very short porch in leftfield, which sort of was like a mini Fenway. Now they cut the bleachers out and its normal MLB dismensions.

When I first heard of the plan to put MLB in Civic I rolled in laughter, but I admit it was because I had not done research into how well thought out the Civic Stadium expansion was. I just remember the old days, trying to find parking anywhere within about 20 blocks of the ballpark. It seems the city now has a very draconian policy towards parking near the games which enables the neighbors (Civic Stadium is like plopping down a stadium on a Chestnut St in San Francisco, or even Pacific Heights to some extent) the ability to still live a normal life and have the team as well. Bottom line is you either know someone in Northwest Portland with a driveway or take the MAX to the games. The stadium itself would be adequate in the short term for MLB and it certainly would be unique. In Rob’s column he mentioned Rob Nelson says Portland would require a strange unique stadium to be accepted, much like a Fenway. I would agree with this completely, and I would argue that if Portland had MLB now, Civic Stadium would as close to Fenway Park as anything in the league. Since they have done so much to the area to make it work for MAX (the Portland subway) it might be the best place to put a new stadium for the team that would hold about 35,000. It would allow the stadium to be in a GREAT neighborhood (the Northwest Portland district is a weird cross of yuppie heaven and UofO fraternity lifestyle continued), and it seems people are already adept at dealing with the issue of there being no parking whatsoever next to the stadium.

Let’s face it, a Portland stadium needs to be downtown. If you have never been to Portland it has not just one, but two rivers bisecting it. That means bridges, and bridges mean traffic. You want to minimize the amount of bridges people have to cross to get to the park; therefore a central location is important. The area around the old train station downtown might not be a bad spot either. If you put a Portland Area stadium in Gresham, the flock of suburbia from Beaverton, Hillsboro area is not going to deal with the traffic to get out that way. Same problem if you build a stadium in Beaverton, you can forget the 205 crowd going to a game on a consistent basis. If you put the stadium up by Portland Meadows, it will a colossal mess to get to the games from Lake Oswego (um where the money is anyway), Newburg, Oregon City areas as you will have to cross bridges in downtown (one of the two) and then fight Vancouver, Washington traffic on I5 just to get to the stadium.

One factor that many people do not understand about the Northwest is the passion for their teams. People always speak about how good chowd and Yankee fans are, but Seattle fans have made the best stride of any team in the past ten years. Ten years ago Mariner fans didn’t exist, or they were a small weird cult bunch that went into the worlds largest air conditioner to watch other teams blast there M’s. I would argue now that they are some of the best in the game, last year when I went to attend Derek’s wedding in mid April the fans around town watched every game as if it was the World Series. In the bay area I have to argue with the guy at the local brewery simply to turn the Giants game on in the second week of the season. Yet every place my wife and I went in Seattle, if the game was on, everybody was watching it. The entire northwest has adopted that team, and Safeco field does not hurt either. When I am in Oregon for a football game, Oregon itself is watching Mariners games as if it’s the World Series. It is a regional team that has captured the hearts of everyone in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska.

I also remember Blazer mania from the mid 1990s. The entire state bled Black and Red and Clyde Drexler was a local hero. (sidenote : Didn’t Terry Porter just get an NBA head coaching gig, why doesn’t the NBA do a “common sense” deal and bump mo cheeks over to philly, and put portland hero Terry Porter in Portland). I was a Warriors fan back then but ended up a Blazer season ticket holder in the Rose Garden. This all gets to the point I have no question that the makeup of the Oregon fan will support its baseball team, its just a matter of how many of them there are and how many can afford to go the games 81 times a year. Do Oregonians make enough to drop $10,000 a year in season tickets for baseball? Like Rob stated in his piece, it is not going to be New York or Los Angeles. Portland will be a better market than some of the other markets in baseball. It will do better than Detroit, Tampa, Miami.

I would like to see the Portland scenario roll out as well to see how the Mariners take it. Will MLB see the lawsuits coming in advance and work out some deal to siphon money off to Seattle for awhile as reparation and allow for a smooth transition. Will the Mariners gum up the deal in courts for years claiming its their territory as they have cultivated over time. (Sidenote : I just pulled out my Current Copy of Major League Rules published by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues and it lists solely King County as Mariners territory)

And the final point, is if Portland does get the team, need to change the name to something beside the Expos…Maybe the Beavers might not be a bad name as its historical in the area. That will not happen because the only man in the state wealthy enough to buy a sports team and still have it be 1% of his total net worth sure isn’t going to name the team the Beavers, rather the Ducks.

So there we go, the Portland Ducks, sign me up to work in the front office, since Portland is one of the 4 cities my wife has given us clearance to move once I finish my masters program in Sports Management. We can put a little Haas; Rivercats (the way a team SHOULD be run) spin on it and make it a great franchise. I promise I will not run the front office like PGE Park was run the first year.

Monday, August 18, 2003

One step forward, and now 18 backwards

Good lord, just when I started being able to go to Golden State Warriors games this season, we loose Gilbert Arenas. Then we don’t draft my boy Luke Ridnour out of Oregon, and let him get away to Seattle. Now we trade a quarter of our roster for the worst quarter of Dallas Roster. Its not that I had a great affection for any of the players we lost, but to get Popeye Jones, Avery Johnson (I swore he was already in the 3rd year of TNT in studio casting, not still playing), somebody else I cannot remember and Nick Van Excel, who implodes on loosing teams. What a bunch of miserable pickups to get rid of the Fortson's and Jamison's contracts. In June if the Warriors drafted Rid, even lost Arenas I was still thinking of buying a mini plan. At this point, I cannot see myself attending a game at this point. Such a sad situation because there are many basketball fans in the Bay Area, that any reasonable effort made to be good and convince fans your trying to win and we will fill the building. As one of our columnists said this weekend, chances are this offseason fiasco probably has not put a feeling team commitment in Eric Musslemans mind. E-muss is the epitomy of mr. positive, driving around listening to his positive affirmation and sales technique tapes. He is a motivator, and did a great job of getting players to believe in the Warriors. All this to have the air let out of the balloon by everything that went on this summer.

A’s Weekend

Well, if you would have told me last Monday that we would beat both Pedro and Halliday, I would have said “we took 6 out of 7”….Yet we only took 4-3 at home from the Sox and the Jays, and we are basically at the same point we were a week ago. So another 7 less home games, and essentially no better (well, I know were tied with the Sox, but still). Zito continues to grind it out, and at one point I believe he has set down 8 batters in a row.

Like many A’s fans, there was some moments of stress listening to the reports of Tim Hudson getting hit in the back of the hand. As Rick Peterson put it when Ken Korach asked for a detailed explanation on what happened “Oh, he just got smoked in the hand.”. Probably not the answer Ken was looking for, yet the correct answer. For 15 minutes all I could think of was : Hiljus, Wood or Duchscherer? Who would we bring up, Wood has pitched exceptionally well lately, Duchscherer has 12 wins and Hiljus has major league experience. Would they start whomever vs. Pedro at Fenway, this could be a life scarring event. I even forced myself to listen to young Oakland left field bleacher groupie, Robert Buan’s painful post game show just to get updates which luckily yielded the response we wanted, no break. Stop worrying about who will have to fill his shoes.

And I hate to bludgeon this point home, but on Saturday, another fine line from Jimmy Mecir

IP 0
Hit 1
Runs 2
BB 1

He has pitched a total of 2 complete innings since the All Start Break and he has the following stats

IP 2
Hits 5
Runs 7!!
BB 6

Friday, August 15, 2003

Hmmmmm

I had heard recently of one major league team who had realized its revenue goals for the season, or that it would be impossible to miss them at this point. Given this, the team shifted their strategy from simply selling tickets at normal prices to mainly trying to do all but give them away in order to fill the stadium up. There is some logic to this point, because when studying how teams make money, one of the big numbers is there per cap number which basically is a combination of concession, souvenir money that each fan spends at the park. Empty seats produce no per cap number, one could also say empty seats create bad public image. If you are a team in the stretch drive you do not want to have thousands of empty seats, as it validates there is little demand for your product, even when the product is good.

Doing some research on per cap numbers, in many cases it almost approaches the average ticket price. The per cap number is not something that is often put out by teams, its one of those figures that is paramount to them but they do not want to reveal. I will say this, it is lower than the goofy fan cost index which calculates in people buying hats every time they go to the game with there kid and a program. Nobody buys a hat every time, and there are usually only 3-4 programs over the course of a season, so its not something that also is in heavy demand. It should be said that this per cap number approaching ticket cost mainly happens in the 75% of the house that is NOT premium seating. Someone who spends $80 on a club seat does not spend $80 on food himself, although I bet the number is higher than you think. (I could easily see $40 as you have 2 food items at $8 a piece and three premium beers also around $8 a pop).

For every “free” ticket you give away, or $1 ticket, or “group ticket” you sell for $1.50 you might still do an additional $20 in revenue by having those people in the stadium. If they are dumb enough to park you might extra $15 per car out of them as well which could extrapolate between $3-$7 a person. Now this is where it gets interesting. The team in question is not one where I have concession breakout numbers, so who knows exactly how much of the revenue generated gets back to the team. In essence the product existing generates revenue, but revenue that is split amongst other entities where it does not go to their central number reported for revenue sharing purposes.

The revenue sharing is not a punitive tax. If they made more than projected revenue from ticket sales, if that pushes them from being a revenue sharing receiver to payer, its still only on a percentage basis so it makes sense to sell the extra tickets outright at normal prices. I only wonder if there is something going on here, and I have seen other small things that also support the fact that maybe the money is going somewhere else here, where it is not exposed to the other owners. Remember though, that under the revenue sharing system, everyone HAS to do these things to keep up with the other guy. In the words of Rome “If your not cheating, your not trying. And it is not cheating until you get caught”. In my mind, there is nothing wrong with this, I am not a big fan of revenue sharing and love the unintended consequences it brings to the business of the game. The amount of capital and energy wasted by teams creating these schemes could probably be better put to use, say to promote the team or try to sell more tickets. It is interesting to try to evaluate why a team that’s going to hit its numbers, decides instead of racing past projections, they would rather just slog along and push tickets for nothing and pass up the window for a month of much higher profitability. (as the overhead is accounted for, now its just variable costs)

Fear (of Mecir)

Did I not just bring this up a few days ago. Jim Mecir comes in with his usual M.O., come in give up a lead off single up the middle, is bunted on (I am sure later today we will hear about how he cant pitch for 2 days now), then gives up a whopper to loose the game. It is true this game was lost by Menechino (who could not get around on fastball and fouled off about 8 pitches before grounding out) and Byrnes (who at this point you can only feel sorry for) scrubbed and could not get runners in from 2nd and 3rd with nobody out! This games hurts, we go into this weekend a game out of any playoff spot as opposed to a game up. The part that kills me is Halama was ready to go in, and I was okay with that considering his relief appearances haven’t been that bad lately and if this thing went an extra 2-3 innings he could go that long. Jimmy’s best case scenario was that one inning anyway.

Mecir needs to be Jaha’ed

Definition of Jaha’ed (as in John Jaha, A’s dh till mid 2001) : To be called in by Management mid season and told your roster spot is to valuable, and the constant wondering if your ever going to get it back together is killing us. Your medical problems have become to serious. Therefore we will pay you your contract, get your stuff and get out of here. We will put a positive spin on it

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