Excellent Use of Google Ads

I came across this last week on Twitter through Tim Ferriss. It’s a great example of using the power of the internet to make something happen. In this case, Alec Brownstein used $6 in Google ads to create a nice opportunity for himself.

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June 8 MLB Debut for Nationals’ Strasburg Makes Better Baseball Sense

Washington Nationals fans and the media have been speculating that 2009 #1 pick Stephen Strasburg will make his major league debut on Friday, June 4 against the Cincinnati Reds. Tickets for that date have been selling well, even before the team made any sort of official announcement on when Strasburg will pitch his first game for the Nats.

But today, according to Mark Zuckerman on CSNWashington.com, the team “identified a window of possible dates during the Nationals’ next homestand (June 4-6 against the Cincinnati Reds and June 8-10 against the Pittsburgh Pirates)” when Strasburg could possibly make his debut.

There will be a lot of disappointed ticket holders if Strasburg doesn’t pitch on June 4, but starting him June 8 seems to make better baseball sense. As Zuckerman states, “In order for Strasburg to make the June 4 start against the Reds, he would need to take one extra day of rest following Saturday’s Class AAA outing. If he remains on normal rest, he would start again for Syracuse June 3 at Buffalo. He could then debut against the Pirates June 8 at Nationals Park on normal rest. He could also be bumped back a day or two and pitch later in that series.”

To me, it just seems that you’d want to have Strasburg pitching on a normal four days rest, no more and no less, when he makes his MLB debut. There could be enough on his mind as he takes the mound in a Nats uniform for the first time and I see no reason to risk throwing him off with an extra day of rest, just so he can start the June 4 game that so many fans have purchased tickets to.

As Zuckerman’s article says “there is little financial reason for the Nationals to keep him in the minors any longer [after his start this Saturday], because he most likely will have passed the date that ensures he can’t become eligible for salary arbitration until 2014.” But I see no harm in giving him one more AAA start so that he makes his MLB debut on 4 days rest. He could get hurt in that final AAA start but that could happen anytime and it seems more likely something might go wrong when you throw off a pitcher’s routine.

The better PR move at this point may be a June 4 start, but the team never made any announcement pointing to that date as Strasburg’s definite debut. And, over the long haul, positioning Strasburg for success as he begins his major league career makes more sense—from both a baseball and, likely, a PR perspective as well—than pleasing those who bought June 4 tickets on speculation.

Keep in mind, I have zero experience working in baseball operations, though I’d like to think my having led several dynasties—including the Nats—to multiple World Series wins in EA Sports baseball in the past has to count for something. They’re pretty much the same thing, right?

What Affect Will the ICC Have on Property Value?

Living just a few miles from where the first segment of the Intercounty Connector (ICC) is scheduled to open this fall in Maryland, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the new road will do for our property value. By late 2011, when two additional segments of the ICC are due to open, it will be possible for someone living in my area to travel from 270 near Rockville to 95 near Laurel without having to go on the DC Beltway or back roads.

Suddenly, it should get much easier for anyone living near us to work in places like Columbia and Baltimore or fly out of BWI, to give just a few examples of what the new road could offer, and I anticipate the ICC will have a positive affect on property value for those with easy access to it. My hunch is that we might see an up-tick in the next few months, as the opening of the first stretch nears and buzz around it builds, with more to come as we approach the opening of the remaining stretches that will connect 270 and 95 in late 2011.

What do you think?