Friday, April 08, 2005

Pedro in the Herald

Old news by now, but here's a Boston Herald interview with Pedro - it's a lot milder than the headline makes it out to be. Nothing really shocking: he misses Boston, although he finds it more peaceful without the scrutiny; no love lost with management, but he understands giving the money to Varitek; still loyal to his former teammates. Of course, the New York Post promptly took one quote out of context and turned it into a "Pedro doesn't want the ring!" scandal. Yawn.

Incidentally, I was thinking about Minaya as a GM thanks to a discussion on John Sickels' April Fool's joke on SoSH, and I concluded that the $50 million may be, arguably, a perfectly accurate valuation of Pedro's value from the Mets' POV, even if he pitches awfully in the 4th year - or even in the 3rd. Here's the logic: a long time ago, Sherwin Rosen wrote about the economics of superstars (here's an abstract), and one of his points was that the premium that superstars command cannot just be explained by the idea that talent is imperfectly substitutable, but must also take into account the introduction of technologies that can duplicate a performance, which increase the audience for that performer's work. Since the Mets are starting up their new cable network to take on YES, they need someone who can bring in the gate and the viewers at the start. The fact is, there are few people who are on the fence about Pedro - they either love him or hate him (guess which side of the fence I'm on). Either way, it seems they'll tune in. Is kickstarting a new TV station worth about $12 million? It's possible.

Of course, what keeps people coming back after the initial novelty of a new place has died down is a winning team. Indeed, the successful new parks are the ones belonging to teams that have a plan for winning, rather than just relying on the existence of a new park to bring in fans.

And of course, it's possible that Minaya could just be a crap GM. Or that $50 million is the right price for the Mets for Pedro, but Minaya could remain the Dan Duquette type, paying high for quality talent that produces quality (albeit expensive) results, and spending way, way too much on middling players such as Mike "the 6 million dollar man" Lansing. Personally, I think of the Mets' offseason moves, the really bad contract was the Kris Benson one, not the Beltran or Pedro ones.


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