Tuesday, November 29, 2005
www.where are the players? .com
Sometime between 1 a.m. and 2 p.m. this morning, my insomnia exiled me to the living room. There, I flipped on my laptop (yeah, I keep my laptop in front of the TV, you don't?) for a little research, in a continuing effort to bring you half-assed content to enjoy during a little break from your shitty job. I decided to search for athlete's personal websites, in order to make fun of them. I just assumed that any number of them would have some kind of web presence to promote themselves, like www.terrellowens.com. No such luck. I started with the Cardinals, and, based on what I discovered through an hour of research, not a single member of the team has a site. Albert Pujols has a site for his family foundation, and not even a black hearted cynic like me can make fun of that. "Strange," I thought. So I decided to see about other players that might have their own site. With T.O. on the brain, my next stop was naturally www.barrybonds.com. Bingo! But wait, although it lives up the ridiculous factor (those photos should have every leper in the world lining up for a one-touch cure), the site is clearly part of MLB's online empire. Derek Jeter has a site, but it's the same deal, MLB owned, no NYC exclusive club party pics. A little more digging into whether or not there was something in the CBA about the players having their own website revealed nothing. This has got to be the case though. Besides the issues with licensing and such, I am really surprised to find players without their own sites. MLB clearly doesn't own the rights to the URLs with individual player names (or all of them at any rate), because if you add ".com" to a players name in your browser window you get fans sites or those search engine, "we bought up all the URLs to advertise" sites. If I were a player (as opposed to playa), I would have my agent insist on my own website. Think about the potential. Imagine if your agent was Scott Boras and he commissioned a site to promote your skills and abilities, for instance his recent portfolio for Johnny Damon might become, www.bettercenterfielderthanRickeyHenderson.com. Besides seeing the questionable logic in the statistics, web savvy managers could game out historical matchups with Damon inserted in the lineup. The Yankees could see how things would have turned out with Damon in the 2004 lineup, replace Rickey on the 1990 Athletics for a sure-fire World Series victory, and the possibilities go on and on. So, Players Association, you now have something else to include in the upcoming CBA agreement. You'll thank me later.