Results tagged ‘ Fantasy ’

Can You Use the Word in a Sentence?

Katherine Close is the top speller in the land. The winner of Thursday night’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, she’s an eighth-grader at H.W. Mountz School in Spring Lake, a beach town on the south New Jersey Shore.

That Close attends an actual school is relevant, because some of you bet that she wouldn’t. More specifically, the "Bee" went off at +283 that the winner would be home schooled, +178 that they’d wear glasses (she doesn’t), and +141 that "they" would be a she in the first place.

Oh, and the over/under on letters in the final word was 10.5.

Gambling in America is a curious thing. Mention it, and most of us immediately think slot machines, Vegas, and getting rich. We think the World Series of Poker and fourth quarter mutterings by the announcers on Monday Night Football. The lot of them, we all know, go hand-in-hand.

But gambling isn’t always about the money. If there’s a lesson in the news that bookies, crunching numbers on the educational backgrounds of top spellers past, took time to analyze the participants and set lines on the National Bee, it’s that financial victories alone don’t fulfill the human condition. More satisfying, more often, is the feeling of simply being proven right.

We don’t take Loyola Marymount -4 or the Jets +13 1/2 because we’re simply after that pot of gambling gold. We take them because we believe, strongly, that we know better. And we want to be proven so in a real, tangible, humiliating-for-the-guy-who-is-wrong kind of way.

Better than traditional gambling, that markets can provide such closure so effectively was a driving force behind our founding of PROTRADE. We all wanted more opportunities to weigh in not just on games themselves, but also the prevailing great sports debates of the day (though we hadn’t considered spelling).

Floating our two cents into the ether on sports radio or via message boards, like those endless arguments with your dad over whether Barry Bonds could touch Mickey Mantle, or if LeBron James will be as good as Michael Jordan, just isn’t up to the craving. We’re never truly right if someone else isn’t truly wrong.

Buying and selling shares of players on PROTRADE’s 24/7 marketplace, fans can weigh in with real consequences. Here, there is right and

wrong– and you know it that night, or even within the hour.

So our focus is on sports. You cannot fade Ms. Close and her chance of a repeat with us next year. But you can test your ability to predict the future. We’ve created an athlete market based on our Moneyball Valuation System. 

But there are many other markets in sports that could be compelling.  What about a market to predict the day that Bonds passes Aaron?  Or a market on the number of Super Bowls Tom Brady wins in his career? What sports markets would you like to see?

Email me at with your brightest ideas.

Feeling lucky?

Chicago White Sox SS Juan Uribe is in an early-season hitting slump, spending much of April below the proveribal Mendoza Line before wrapping the month at a sub-Mark Belanger-esque .167.

Would you believe Uribe if he gave the excuse that he’s been just plain unlucky?

Would you believe me?

Because baseball is a game of inches. And because here at PROTRADE we’ve mapped every one of them, charting every batted ball in the majors over the past four years, calculating the probability that given their direction and distance, they become hits, I can quantify and confirm what Uribe is feeling.

Indeed Juan, you’ve been unlucky.

That’s unlucky, as in considering the balls he’s hit how they turn out in the majors on average, Uribe should be hitting more than 100 points higher– or .277.

At least he doesn’t suffer alone: The Angels’ Edgardo Alfonzo, Padres’ Eric Young, Cardinals’ Yadier Molina, and A’s Mark Ellis all also ended April below .200.

On the flipside, Boston’s Manny Ramirez, Arizona’s Chris Snyder, and Houston’s Willy Taveras should all be hitting below .200 but aren’t. Perhaps they did good works in the off-season.

Look to this space throughout the season for weekly PROTRADE’s Lucky/Unlucky updates. And if you see Jim Tracy, ask him what Freddy Sanchez needs to do to crack that Pittsburgh lineup.

PROTRADE’s Unlucky Ten

Player BA PT BA
1- Edgardo Alfonzo (LAA) .125 .287
2- Barry Bonds  (SF) .250 .396
3- Juan Uribe (CWS) .167 .277
4- Eric Young  (SD) .176 .286
5- Freddy Sanchez (PIT) .352 .458
6- Eduardo Perez (CLE) .300 .403
7- Yadier Molina (STL) .149 .245
8- David Bell (PHI) .247 .334
9- Albert Pujols (STL) .329 .416
10- Mark Ellis (OAK) .185 .269

PROTRADE’s Lucky Ten

Player BA PT BA
1 -Brad Ausmus (HOU) .358 .229
2- John Rodriguez (STL) .424 .302
3- Mark Bellhorn (SD) .316 .193
4- Chris Burke (HOU) .400 .278
5- Prince Fielder (MIL) .343 .236
6- Chris Snyder (ARI) .273 .171
7- Willy Taveras (HOU) .265 .170
8- Kevin Youkilis (BOS) .293 .200
9- Manny Ramirez (BOS) .289 .198
10- Trot Nixon (BOS) .303 .218 

Keep score… like a financier

Would you invest with a money manager who likes Microsoft shares because Bill Gates is a friend? How about a Texo-centric fund that buys Dell because it’s homegrown? Or a St. Louis short seller who fades Tribune Corp. because it owns the Cubs– and he bleeds Cardinals red?

Of course you wouldn’t.

That we don’t have such choices when it comes to growing our investment portfolios is a testament to the fact that the market rewards, and thus attracts, objective decision-making. When real money is an end, emotion-soaked stock picking has a short shelf life.

So what does this have to do with baseball?

Here at PROTRADE, our goal has been to develop a useful alternative to the reigning subjectivity that dominates questions of sport. Who’s the most talented hitter or baserunner? The worst third baseman? The best pitcher in baseball?

Truth-seeking sports fans that we are, we weren’t finding the answers in grudge-laden, know-it-all commentary or the endless breadth of traditional baseball statistic-ry. Lies and **** lies notwithstanding, when it came to baseball analysis, we found it virtually impossible to get to black and white.

Then we remembered the market.

Centered around hard dollars and cents that lead to genuine return, markets speak truth plainly and clearly. If baseball is built around runs leading to wins, why cannot they do the same for America’s Favorite Pastime?

At PROTRADE, we figured that supply and demand could generate sincerity. With this in mind, our one-of-a-kind "marketplace" of professional athletes is built to resemble a trading pit.

Hunting for their own "returns" in our competitive challenges, PROTRADE members buy and sell player "shares" across multiple leagues, including MLB, weighing in on the reigning debate, if with real consequences.

Wondering who’s really hot or not in the majors? Check out our daily trading volumes. Want to analyze a particular player? Go to PROTRADE and study his chart. Think you can see the future? Build your own player portfolio and prove yourself right.

Or wrong. Not that you’ll be worse off for the experience.

Markets speak truth, and the truth sets us free. Even in sports.