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Senior Day awaits WSU Baseball, Pac-12 finances revealed

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The WSU Baseball team takes the field Sunday for the last time in 2015.

WSU Athletics

Good morning, Cougar fans. Hopefully today finds you gathering with friends and celebrating the Memorial Day weekend. The WSU Baseball team will make its final appearance of 2015 on Sunday, taking on Stanford and saying "goodbye" to six departing seniors. The players donning the Cougar uniform for the final time are Joe Pisotrese, Ian Sagdal, Sean Hartnett, P.J. Jones, Sam Triece and Ben Roberts. Roberts is listed as a Redshirt Junior, but is apparently graduating and foregoing his last year of eligibility.

This class came in on the heels of an upswing in the program, as WSU qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2009 and came pretty close to making the Super Regionals in 2010. They were unable to build on that newfound success, however, as the WSU baseball team hasn't been back to the postseason since.

One player who stands out above his fellow seniors is pitcher Joe Pistorese. Even though he was tagged the loss Saturday, Pistorese has had an outstanding season. He managed to compile an 8-5 record even though he received a Felix Hernandez-esque (read: paltry) amount of run support. Pistorese also finishes 2015 with a 2.41 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. For a little context, that WHIP would be in the top 20 of MLB pitchers.

WSU will dearly miss Pistorese, who goes down with the likes of Klay Thompson, Brock Motum, DaVonte Lacy, Connor Halliday and Deone Bucannon. All of these guys had a great amount of individual success at WSU, but never achieved a lot of team success.

On the Pac-12 front, the conference released its Fiscal Year 2014 revenues, expenses, and per-school distributions this week. The good news is that revenue is at an all time high, and outpaced that of the Big Ten and SEC. The bad news? The Pac-12 has more expenses, by a lot, than those conferences. That results in a smaller payout to conference schools. Expenses were up approximately $10 million, as the age-old axiom "the more you make, the more you spend" appears to be a tenet of the Larry Scott regime.

The Pac-12 distributed 67 percent of its $374 million in revenue to the schools, which is basically the same as it did last year. By comparison, the Big Ten gave back 94 percent, the SEC gave 90 percent and the Big 12 distributed 87 percent. That is a whopping difference. For its part, WSU received $21,266,735, which is up from $19,772,595 in 2013. The statistic that caught my eye was the salaries that the higher-ups in the conference make. According to Wilner:

Commissioner Larry Scott earned approx $3.5 million in calendar year 2013 (individual compensation is reported for calendar years, not fiscal years). That’s up slightly from ’12 and, once again, makes him the highest-paid commissioner.

Additionally, nine other employees earned more than $400,000 in calendar year 2013. My guess is that far exceeds the number of highly-paid staffers at the other conferences. (Worth noting: Of the nine, six are Pac12Nets employees, and other leagues don’t have an in-house TV network.)

Scott runs the Pac-12 like a professional sports league, and that includes staff compensation.

I'm in the wrong business.

Now for the shameless, baseless self-promotion portion of today's post. After a four month sabbatical, and for no good reason, I decided to wade back into the Twittershpere. If you enjoy lava-hot takes on the Cougs/Seahawks/Mariners, the lunacy of teeball parents, and the idiocy of humanity in general (Floridians in particular), you can follow me @Deathby105. If you're not into any of those topics, I envy you. Also, if you're a 90s techno fan, you'll enjoy the first tweet.

With that, it's time to prepare for consumption of grilled meats and craft brews. Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Baseball

Cougars Drop Doubleheader to Stanford - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State managed just one run on the day as Stanford completed a doubleheader sweep with scores of 9-0 and 3-1 in Pac-12 Conference play Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Pac-12 Finances

The Pac-12 brought in $374 million in total revenue last year - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN
USA Today sportswriter Steve Berkowitz wrote that "The new revenue disclosure mean that the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC combined to have nearly $1.27 billion in total revenue in fiscal 2013-14 -- a nearly 60% increase over their combined $798 million in 2010-11."

Pac-12 Conference: FY14 revenues, expenses and per-school distributions – College Hotline
The good news for the conference: conference expenses as 10% of total revenue is in line with the Big Ten, SEC, etc. The bad news for the conference: If the Big Ten and SEC keep expenses fixed as their revenues pop in coming years from a new TV network (SEC) and a new Tier 1 deal (B1G) — and that’s a pretty safe assumption — then the Pac-12 will lag far behind its peers in the amount distributed.

Is Pac-12 about to fall far behind Big Ten and SEC financially? - CBSSports.com
The Pac-12's gorgeous, state-of-the-art offices in downtown San Francisco symbolize the financial state of the conference. The shared offices with the Pac-12 Network blend the league's daily operations with the only television channel in major college sports that is owned entirely by a conference. They are joined at the hip.

Connor Halliday

Connor Halliday's decision to quit football doesn't add up - WSU Cougars | 710 ESPN Seattle
Jim Moore weighed in on Halliday's decision to give up football.

Beer

Lager is feeling the love from craft breweries
"The pioneering craft brewers ran so far away from the norm, which was undifferentiated, light-colored, low-flavored beer," said Bill Covaleski, founder and brewmaster of Pennsylvania-based Victory Brewing. "It was almost like they were planting their flag in the sands of a completely different beach."

Non-Sports

Unless you've taken on a life akin to the Unabomber, you know that David Letterman's talk show came to an end this week. I'll admit I rarely watched the show. I loved Johnny Carson growing up, going so far as to record his "Carson's Comedy Classics" on my dad's Betamax(!!!). Once Johnny retired, I basically migrated to Jay Leno out of habit more than anything else. If I had to choose one late night show to watch now, it would be Jimmy Kimmel. It's also been widely said that Dave has been mailing it in for about a decade now, which didn't help his cause. Regardless, this story from one of Letterman's former staff members is an outstanding read.

My Letterman Years «
Mafia hit men out for revenge. Drew Barrymore stripteases. Beer-guzzling camels. Madonna high on ‘endo.’ It was all in a day’s work in his first job out of college. These are Daniel Kellison’s memories of working for David Letterman in the 1990s.