Live from the Bloomberg Sports launch

Olney & Cafardo on Damon
Report: Dodgers close to deal with Reed Johnson

In early December, we received word of Bloomberg News’ foray into the sports world. The early news featured discussions of how Bloomberg would use its successful financial analytical tools to bring fantasy sports products to the baseball world. Today, Bloomberg is debuting its product, and Joe and I are now at Bloomberg HQ watching their presentations. You can follow along with us via the RAB Twitter feed, and all of the presentations’ participants are Tweeting via the #BBGsports hashtag.

We’ll have a full write-up of the offerings over the next few days. I’m waiting on some screenshots in order to introduce the product’s features. From the early demo, it looks very good, and Bloomberg Sports seems serious about responding to reader feedback as they work to make the product more useful and user-friendly. As you can see from the above photo, the swag is pretty sweet too.

Olney & Cafardo on Damon
Report: Dodgers close to deal with Reed Johnson
  • Mike Axisa

    I want that shirt.

    • JGS


      • Jack


        • Matt Imbrogno


    • Mike Axisa

      Awesome, Ben grabbed me one.

  • Warren

    Derivatives… Wall Street wants to ruin every part of U.S. social fabric.

    so saddening.

    • Nostra-Artist

      What many people like you don’t realize is that if you’re into sabermetrics, you’d fit right in on Wall Street. If anything, you’d be behind the curve. The financial sector is teeming with number crunchers, statisticians, and trend watchers. Most of it makes sports analysis look like tiddlywinks.

      • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

        Yeah, first I’d like to agree with Steve’s comment here. (I have a few family members on Wall Street, all with mathematical backgrounds. Trend lines, outliers, projection systems and how assets falling on one market can affect businesses/markets on others. It’s a hyperactive Hot Stove in many ways.)

        I’d like to take some objection to the point that all of Wall Street is hell-bent on destroying U.S. social fabric. The vast majority that I know working on Wall Street, some in their mid-to-late 20s, others that have worked there for decades, ARE NOT in the market of destruction. The decisions to jump into risky ventures, real estate and other heavily-criticized arenas are made by 1% of people, people on the top floor. The everyday worker on Wall Street doesn’t even exercise the authority to “ruin” people’s lives. It’s a fantasy.

        I know people want to go out with their pitchforks and torches, and it’s easy to conveniently to assume that if one works on Wall Street they’re evil, but it’s not that simple.

        /done with the politicos

        • Nostra-Artist

          ..and God forbid we blame the people who were bidding up those homes and caught up in the housing frenzy, namely John Q Public. No, Wall Street was supposed to save them all from themselves. Because that’s how life works.

          But JMK, I will disagree with you on one sentence:

          The vast majority that I know working on Wall Street, some in their mid-to-late 20s, others that have worked there for decades, ARE NOT in the market of destruction.

          Destruction is part of the process of Capitalism and they are all very much in that business. If we didn’t tear down the old, we’d be living in 3rd world conditions and riding horses to work. Destruction is (eventually) a good thing, it’s essential to progress. It’s just tough to live through it.

          One of the reasons why the jobs market is still so bad and the economy so weak is we didn’t allow the market to clear itself. Residential and Commercial real estate still has pent up properties that should be in foreclosure that haven’t been allowed to hit the market. Estimates are 4 million Homes and God knows how many commercial properties. All of this is why the Banks aren’t lending, and the asshole in chief who’s been demonizing the bankers lately is intimately aware of this fact. He’s just playing populist, since his poll numbers are plummeting.

          • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

            Regarding my statement: I was dealing in the abstract that the main goal of the everyday Wall Street worker is not, “Hey, I was thinking of ruining the life of Steve Thompson, that guy living in Davenport, Iowa. Say, after that, you guys wanna grab lunch?” Sure, there’s an obvious correlation between absolving assets when their value no longer confers with the impetus of the future and the actions on Wall Street may indirectly (or directly depending on their specific tasks) affect Steve Thompson, but the point was that there’s no conscious effort on the part of the yeoman banker (I’ll trademark that later) to fuck people.

            In an attempt to limit political banter (I will, however, say that I’m right of center on most non-social issues), I just want to extend my prevailing thought regarding the housing market/other such risks.

            I watched a lot of HGTV before the whole Scripps/Cablevision thing. I used to love watching people choosing the three houses, seeing how the negotiations went, how they prioritized value, and finally, how they financed.

            I was amazed to see how many school teachers and mailmen put 5% down on expensive homes.

            Look, I understand the collective backlash against the bankers. Many of their policies, and much of the regulatory overseeing are out of whack. I don’t agree with the size of the bonuses, but I also understand that it’s small price to pay if you want to see actual gains in the markets.

            But I think the point most forget is that while banks and lenders haphazardly offered financing to people who in times of trouble physically wouldn’t have enough in assets or capital to pay off mortgages, WE’RE FORGETTING ABOUT THE AVERAGE MORON WHO SAYS, “OH, I MAKE $40K A YEAR, AND BY MOST MEASURES, SHOULD NOT BE GETTING AN EXPENSIVE HOUSE WITH LITTLE DOWN AND HIGH INTEREST RATES.” These people, as much as anyone, deserve the blame for buying things they couldn’t afford.

            You’re saying that the market is still squeezing for jobs because there was no room for what could be called catharsis, and the holdings artificially propped are exacerbating the symptoms as lenders see it as another un-payable asset?

            Populism would be nice if the populous knew how to govern proactively, not reactionary due to emotion.

            -Seacest Out

            • Nostra-Artist

              You’re saying that the market is still squeezing for jobs because there was no room for what could be called catharsis, and the holdings artificially propped are exacerbating the symptoms as lenders see it as another un-payable asset?

              Yeah, that’s my understanding. In order for jobs to grow, banks need to start lending again. Especially to small biz, where most job growth comes from. But they can’t, because they have no stomach for added risk at this point. They’d rather park their money at the Fed and make .25 basis points given that they’re up to their eyeballs in bad debt as it is.

              The answer would be to let big banks like Citibank fail, have healthy institutions buy up their good assets and let the shareholders/bondholders get wiped out. But we don’t have the stomach for that, Lehman was a fraction the size of Citi and it sent shock waves through the country.

              If you’re into economics on any level, check out the radio show I mentioned, 1130AM from 6-10. High level debate with leading figures from business and economists. Fascinating stuff.

              • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

                Yeah, I’ve taken a few courses in economics, but am certainly not in a position to say I understand the intricacies and affects of a confidence crash. To my understanding, the reason they were too big to fail was for fairly obvious reasons—the government felt by propping the institutions up, eating the “toxic assets”, they could at least control some of the effects, whereas letting the chips fall where they may could result in absolute catastrophe.

                I think the fear was twofold: to let the banks fail politically would have been an unbelievable risk, one few would be willing to let happen because they’re more concerned with themselves and future prospects; they had no way of knowing/controlling a potentially lethal domino effect.

                I think it’s fair to say someone or someones would have bought out the profitable, valued assets (I don’t believe there are institutions large enough to buy up all of the positive securities solo), but letting those shareholders/bondholders eat their losses would have really, really hurt a market built on confidence. Better in the long run? Probably. It would have also regulated itself to some extent, ultimately quashing some risk-taking particular institutions would have ordinarily pursued.

                It is fairly amusing to see that the government has bought large stakes in banks and supposedly should be able to regulate, control asset allocation, but it’s business as usual.

            • pete

              “Populism would be nice if the populous knew how to govern proactively, not reactionary due to emotion”

              the parallels between this and the 2010 yankees are hilariously obvious. and i’m not being sarcastic. the people who refuse to critically analyze their own financial situations and try to figure out how to construct budgets that match their needs, wants, and fiscal capabilities, are probably the same people who say “the yankees have lots of money and have never had a problem spending before, why should they have a budget now?!?!?!” EVERYONE should ALWAYS have a budget, and should always consider the financial ramifications of any decision they make, using their personal budget as a backdrop.

              Personally, I blame the public school systems. Economics are typically taught as elective courses in high school, and the focus is typically on gross economic trends. IMO, every student should have to take a course in financial management and budget construction in high school. If everyone knew early on how to operate on their own budgets, this country would not have gotten into this mess to begin with. In other words, I agree with you JMK in terms of the reckless spenders being every bit as responsible as the reckless lenders, but I think more preventative action could have been taken early on. A high school education provides plenty of food for intellectual thought processes, but its practical applications are, at the time being, incredibly limited, and that’s simply unnecessary. Nobody should be able to graduate HS without knowing how things like budgets (also simple machinery – i mean honestly what kind of adult can’t change a tire or battery in their car?) work.


              • pete

                and in my opinion, it hardly counts as political banter when you’re referring to an area of intellectual pursuit that probably has more bearings on baseball than any other, except perhaps kinesthesiology

              • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

                I’ll certainly concede that our public school system does a poor job, particularly considering how much money is filtered through it. It has many fundamental flaws, notably in personal budgeting, critical thinking(!), and practical skills, including some you mentioned. By the same token, you could also just as easily heave blame upon the parents for not instilling a sense of curiosity in their dependents. Those students in the schools should also have the initiative to learn things on their own. In short, it’s easy to siphon blame and drop it into all sorts of related, but separate constituencies/institutions. However, I think the problem runs deeper—on a macro level, it’s a cultural/political issue.

                We have not so much a representative government as a cartel where the market of political power is tightly controlled by two nominally-competing parties. Sure they contest each other in elections, but structurally, the organizational behaviors of the parties are profoundly anti-competitive. Barriers to entry are extreme. The competitors are often held on retainer by the same interests, on which not coincidentally collusion is at its most pronounced.

                Alternatively, they each have their own captive markets to reliably supply them with their vital raw materials, partisan political activity and pinched-nose votes. Things will not change for as long as the competition for political power is reduced to a section between the candidates employed by two equally compromised and conflicted political parties.

                Our collective insanity is the key reason to their success. We keep restricting our choice, often castigating others who don’t, always expecting an efficient government that doesn’t arrive. The parties have little reason to change the activities that reward them handsomely, and they won’t without being faced with organizational accountability for it. It’s your vote; fundamentally, you have no one to blame but yourselves.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    As you can see from the above photo, the schwag is pretty sweet too.

    “Schwag” means something entirely different here in Florida. I’ve heard of “swag”, as in, “stuff we all get”. But schwag? Well that’s a plant of a different smell.

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      This never would have happened if I’d written the post.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        By Joseph Pawlikowski

        As you can see from the above photo, the Super Silver Haze is pretty sweet too.

  • Salty Buggah

    Looking at tweets, the pro product seems like the shit.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Oh yes. Words can’t do it justice. I wish I had screenshots. It appears to be amazing. The pitch f/x integration into predictive charts is enough by itself to make this a big want.

  • bonestock94

    This is nuts, it’s crazy to see a main stream company get into the analysis on this level.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      Hopefully, other companies with big financial resources can follow suit.

  • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

    Doctoroff was skeptical about entering the baseball market when Jay B. Lee, a Bloomberg product sales manager, and Bo Moon, a business and product manager, suggested it. Lee and Moon were frustrated that they could not find better fantasy league analysis.

    Bo knows sabermetrics? How does Lanny feel?

    • Matt Imbrogno


  • Nostra-Artist

    From everything I’ve heard, Bloomberg is a terrific operation. I have no doubt they’ll add a lot, or they wouldn’t even be doing this. I’m also a big fan of their radio station (Bloomberg Surveillance with Tom Keane from 6-10 am weekdays is must-listen) and their handhelds are standard equipment on Wall Street. He’s not a billionaire for no good reason.

  • Nostra-Artist

    Fangraphs has a piece up, with pix of the new tools.

    Very cool looking stuff.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      That first picture gets me quite excited.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Those are the pro tools. As of now, they won’t be available to anyone but MLB teams. That’s what I really want though.

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