Orioles Surprise Starter & Chinese Buying Stake in the Clevland Cavs

May 26, 2009 |

Surprise, surprise, surprise….the Orioles will apparently use Jason Berken as the starter on Tuesday against the Jays. Chris Tillman’s 2 inning outing had us all jumping to conclusions. It teased us and had us believing he was coming to Baltimore. He left the game with a strained groin.  Berken has pitched well in his seven starts this year. He has a 2.14 combined ERA at Norfolk and Bowie and a 2-1 strikeout to walk ratio.  Good Luck and welcome to Baltimore.

I haven’t watched the NBA playoffs but I have caught the highlights on Comcast and ESPN. Does Denver’s inability to inbound the ball remind anyone of the Terps of old? In big games Lefty seemed to get outcoached in the last two minutes of the game. His achilles was inbounding the ball. The Terps would get a lead but couldn’t hold it. Two things would happen:  1) we couldn’t get the inbound pass in and turned it over or 2) the inbound pass would get stolen. Either way, we turned the ball over and the other team scored the winning basket.  Lefty never seemed to learn from his inbounding mistakes, will George Karl learn from his?

The Chinese have been buying US debt and real estate for years. Now, Chinese investors are attempting to purchase a 15% minority stake in the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena. If approved, the Cavs owners have given themselves an inroad to the vast Chinese market. The NBA has been trying to grow the game in China and the Cavs have taken a major step forward towards this goal. The potential for the team and the NBA’s MVP are unlimited.

The Cavs will use this help convince King James that Cleveland, not New York, is the place to be.  China’s 1 billion consumers are a marketers dream.  The team could play more exhibition games in China to increase their following. This will draw higher ratings in China and help the Cavs sell more jerseys, DVDs, and advertising. The team will be able to sell courtside adverting in Mandarin, copying a marketing program started by the Rockets.  LeBron could pitch his own games, clothing, shoes, cars, hotdogs, or anything else you could think of. He could rival Yao Ming as China’s biggest hoops star and product endorser. This deal, if approved, could help LeBron reach his dream of becoming the first billion dollar athlete. Cleveland may have just out flanked Nike and their desire to move LeBron to the New York Knicks.