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GAC
02-14-2007, 05:39 AM
How many times have we heard this coming out of the mouths of these multi-millionaire baseball players? I know there are some who will disagree with me on this issue, and I respect that position; but I am looking at it from the perspective of being a fan (diehard) of the game of baseball for over 40 years and watching many, many changes/evolutions take place in the game that I love.

I'm just sick and tired of hearing this from these spoiled, selfish, multi-millionaire ballplayers. I'd love to punch one of them. They think I am going to defend them when I struggle to make 60 grand/year, which includes lots of overtime, for a family of five? And I realize there are alot of great fans that are in a worse position then my family is.

I understand that money is always an issue. It is for all of us. But it just seems anymore that it is all a professional ballplayer is concerned about. I think many young athlete's desire anymore to be a pro ballplayer is completely focused on the money, more then a passion/love for the game. And I'm not against someone getting well paid; but I think these salaries are getting simply ridiculous, and it's being passed on to us fans in various ways.

Lets face it.... we, the fans are the ones who end up getting this cost passed on to. Are we being taken for granted? And more importantly - where is the respect we, as fans, deserve for supporting this game?

I personally think we get get very little anymore from the players. It's somehow like we should be honored or privileged to be in their (players) presence.

Mariano Rivera, who will earn $10.5 million this season, completing a deal that pays him $31.5 million over three years, is the latest to come out with this line of reasoning....

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2764812

I understand that for many decades the "ball was grossly tipped" towards the owners. Ballplayers were treated like nothing more then property. then we saw, over the last 30 years or so, numerous events that has contributed to not only helping/aiding player; but grossly tipping the scale the other way. And some would contend with the last couple of labor contract agreements the owners have tried to regain some of that ground back. I personally think agrrement after the '94 season was a huge joke.

But again - it shows little consideration for the fans.

I just got done reading "Fair Ball: A Fan's Case For Baseball" by Bob Costas, and I'm currently reading George Will's "Men At Work".... and I just want to shake my head in disgust at what is happening to the game I love so dearly.

Many years ago my Dad, who was the one who inspired and got my brothers and I "hooked" on baseball - remember many a fond memories of games at Crosley Field growing up (and when players were very accessible), gave up on organized sports and baseball especially, because of what he saw evolving and that the fans didn't matter any more. That and the huge amonts of money players were making. Understand, my Dad was raised during the Depression, so his mindset was very money-conscious. When you didn't have it you had to be. He was a postal clerk for 40 years, worked hard, and made sure that he did various activities with us kids as a family. It wasn't cheap then to take your family to a ball game; but it was never to the extremes that he saw later on, and which many are witnessing today.

Now the Reds would love for me to come down to more games this year with my family. I'd love to too. But it's come down to a choice of - Do I take my family on a summer vacation, or save up the money to take in a few Red's games this summer? It's that way for alot of people/familes these days. It can involve some tough choices.

So I say to Mariano and any of these other beanheads who are grossly overpaid IMO..... I don't think I'm getting the respect I deserve. :mooner:

RedsBaron
02-14-2007, 06:50 AM
I like Rivera, but, yeah, I get tired of hearing multi-millionaire athletes whine about a "lack of respect" when they are not offered quite as many millions of dollars as they want. "Lack of respect" is professional athlete-speak for "give me more money."

redsfan30
02-14-2007, 09:24 AM
Well said.

Cedric
02-14-2007, 09:59 AM
Carlos deserves it. More than the Tribune company.

If you could get 40,000 people to watch and pay for your work then best of luck to you.

macro
02-14-2007, 10:02 AM
I agree with everything you said, GAC, but unfortunately, the attitudes aren't going to change as long as the money is flowing in the way it is. Our society as a whole has more disposable income than ever before, and the sports and their players are benefitting. I think that makes some/many of them lose any humility that they may have ever had.

The only way that athletes will ever be brought back to earth will be if the millions who fork over their disposable incomes stop paying the prices being asked for tickets, pay-TV packages, licensed merchandise, etc. People aren't going to stop buying those things unless they have to, i.e. they no longer have disposable income - a situation caused by a major downturn in the economy that affects almost everyone. I don't think anyone wants that, because while bringing the millionaire athletes back down to earth, it also means that "average" Americans (for lack of a better term) can no longer afford $100+ trips to the ballpark, MLB Extra Innings and $150 authentic jerseys. (I'm not among those "average" Americans, by the way, as my "disposable" income goes to the childcare provider. :laugh: ) So almost everyone would be brought "back down to earth" together, including the $10,000,000/year player and the $50,000/year fan.

I don't like the attitudes of so many of today's athletes, either. But the fans are the ones who are willingly spending the money that enables these attitudes.

Johnny Footstool
02-14-2007, 10:09 AM
They could at least lie to us and say, "it's not about the money; it's about winning." ;)

Seriously, some of these guys seem so out of touch with reality. Maybe it's because they've been getting paid to play baseball since they were 18 and they never had to actually search for work or wonder where their next paycheck is coming from. I don't know.

A guy like Aaron Harang is an exception.

vaticanplum
02-14-2007, 10:09 AM
GAC, I agree with the crux of your argument in many ways, but I'm curious as to how you personally feel disrespected by the players. Not challenging, just curious. I certainly think they could get by with less money, and more importantly, I believe that monetary grievances should be dealt with through agents and team reps and not aired out in the press -- but I personally have never felt "disrespected" by baseball players. They go out every day and give me a product that I love. Rarely do I think they're not working their hardest to do it either. So what disrespect do you mean? Are you referring to them specifically asking for more money through the press (and if so, how does that relate to you), or something related to the job they do?

Johnny Footstool
02-14-2007, 10:19 AM
It's disrespectful in that they don't seem to appreciate the fact that they make more money in a year than most of us make in a lifetime.

vaticanplum
02-14-2007, 10:28 AM
It's disrespectful in that they don't seem to appreciate the fact that they make more money in a year than most of us make in a lifetime.

I just don't know about that. The context in which they're asking for more money doesn't address that. They're not saying I don't make enough money to live on, I don't make 100 billion times what my plumber does. They're saying I don't believe I'm making fair market value for my production within the context of my profession.

Surgeons make a lot of money, right? Say you're one of the best surgeons in the world, you do a lot of work, run a laboratory, give speeches, whatever, and you make five times as much as the average American but you're still making significantly less than others in your field. You feel that your production demands more in its context. Is it unfair, then, for a surgeon to demand higher salary? Should he just be content that he already makes more than a lot of other people, period?

RedsManRick
02-14-2007, 10:41 AM
A surgeon isn't asking for his outrageous salary to be guaranteed for 3 years from now when it's quite likely he won't be able to perform surgery anymore.

penantboundreds
02-14-2007, 10:46 AM
It's business. I can deal with it, I know I'm not going to cut discounts for my customers or give them an easy way out. You be as nice as you can through the process and show loyalty to them, but Riviera has done so much for the Yankees they do need to show him that respect.

vaticanplum
02-14-2007, 10:51 AM
A surgeon isn't asking for his outrageous salary to be guaranteed for 3 years from now when it's quite likely he won't be able to perform surgery anymore.

Well, that's not entirely true, but beyond that as I said I do have some problems with the contracts themselves. But I'm at a loss as to why their asking for them disrespects the fans in particular. The example of a surgeon was used in response to the amount of money that's fair within a profession. Were a surgeon to ask for a fair salary within his profession, I would not feel that that's disrespecting his poor patients.

Johnny Footstool
02-14-2007, 11:05 AM
I just don't know about that. The context in which they're asking for more money doesn't address that. They're not saying I don't make enough money to live on, I don't make 100 billion times what my plumber does. They're saying I don't believe I'm making fair market value for my production within the context of my profession.

Surgeons make a lot of money, right? Say you're one of the best surgeons in the world, you do a lot of work, run a laboratory, give speeches, whatever, and you make five times as much as the average American but you're still making significantly less than others in your field. You feel that your production demands more in its context. Is it unfair, then, for a surgeon to demand higher salary? Should he just be content that he already makes more than a lot of other people, period?

Surgeons don't depend on fan support, though. Ultimately, baseball players do, as do all entertainers.

I understand them wanting fair market value for their skill set, and I agree with that. The problem is when these guys act like they're underpaid and "disrespected" at $10 million a year. They don't appreciate what they have -- they just want more. That doesn't sit well with Joe Baseball Fan.

And when you consider what RedsManRick said about guaranteed money for diminishing performance, it really sticks in your craw.

MWM
02-14-2007, 11:25 AM
If these guys would just say that they want the market rate for their services, I don't think anyone could have a problem with that. We all command the market rate for what we do. I'd take no issue with them being honest about maximinzing their income based on the market. That's just good economics and I don't care it you make a billion dollars a year or 10,000.

But I do think it becomes a little disrespectful to the non-wealthy people who pay good money to go see the Yankees to come out publicly and somehow claim that their very high salary is disrespectful. That just shows a lack of persepctive to turn it into that kind of argument rather than an economic one. And it's the public nature of the comments that baffle me. How can a guy like Rivera not know any better than to come public with the notion that he's not being respected by the organization? If he wants to think this, that's fine. The fact that he feels perfectly comfortable letting the whole world know his feelings shows he's completely out of touch with the common man.

And it's not just Mo, but many of these guys have lived such lavish, care-free lifestyles for so long that the reality they exist in changes. The paradigm with which they see the world leads them to believe the things that Mo said here. It's just part of being so stinkin' rich for so many years that he probably does feel it's a matter of respect. It shows just how detached they are from the fans who make their lifestyle possible.

texasdave
02-14-2007, 12:00 PM
With perhaps one exception all contracts are fair market value if you look at them within the 'context' of the market. The rules of this particular market state that for the first six of years of a player's career the club holds a certain control over the player. These terms were agreed upon by both the player's union and the club owners. They are the rules of this market. In that context whatever salary a player earns during these years has to be fair. Once a player becomes a free agent a different set of market rules applies. It is essentially a barter market. A play takes his skill set out into the free agent market place and negotiates his best deal. Whatever salary he agrees to is his fair market value. That is what the market has dictated that this particular player is worth. The needs of the market will set the contract. The only exception to this is when a player takes a discount for whatever reason (usually to play closer to home). But in this instance the player voluntarily takes the discount. It is not forced upon him.

Mariano Rivera's comments are puzzling. He says that next year the Yankees better not disrespect him. In other words they better pay him what he is worth. And then he turns around and says the Yankees have always shown him respect. What? If a team has always treated Mariano right, why would he
go public with such a comment? It makes no sense to me.

RedsManRick
02-14-2007, 12:15 PM
I have no problem with ballplayers getting well compensated for their work. However, pay and respect are too different things. I respect teachers 100x more than ballplayers and I don't think that they should be paid millions. Respect is openly and honestly communicating with the player about how the organization views his role/place in the organization moving forward. It's not blindly writing a check for his 2009 performance.

I could give Mo' Rivera all the respect in the world and say:

"Mo, we love having you in pinstripes. You've been the heart of the organization and we feel we have financially compensated you significantly for your contributions. However, given your age and bout with injury last year, we don't feel comfortable guaranteeing you a salary for years to come when you can't give us a similarly enforceable guarantee about your ability to perform in a manner which justifies that salary. We'd be doing a disservice the organization to take on that sort of risk. That said, let's look at a deal which keeps you here as long as your willing and able to pitch at the level for which we intend to pay you quite well."

Frankly, I'd love to see more deals like the JD Drew one. I'm all for guaranteed salaries insofar as the team cannot simply cut the player without cause to escape the financial commitment. However, it's unfair to ask teams to take on the full risk of a long term guaranteed contract when the player is under no obligation to return the money should he be unable to perform.

Cedric
02-14-2007, 12:27 PM
I have no problem with ballplayers getting well compensated for their work. However, pay and respect are too different things. I respect teachers 100x more than ballplayers and I don't think that they should be paid millions. Respect is openly and honestly communicating with the player about how the organization views his role/place in the organization moving forward. It's not blindly writing a check for his 2009 performance.

I could give Mo' Rivera all the respect in the world and say:

"Mo, we love having you in pinstripes. You've been the heart of the organization and we feel we have financially compensated you significantly for your contributions. However, given your age and bout with injury last year, we don't feel comfortable guaranteeing you a salary for years to come when you can't give us a similarly enforceable guarantee about your ability to perform in a manner which justifies that salary. We'd be doing a disservice the organization to take on that sort of risk. That said, let's look at a deal which keeps you here as long as your willing and able to pitch at the level for which we intend to pay you quite well."

Frankly, I'd love to see more deals like the JD Drew one. I'm all for guaranteed salaries insofar as the team cannot simply cut the player without cause to escape the financial commitment. However, it's unfair to ask teams to take on the full risk of a long term guaranteed contract when the player is under no obligation to return the money should he be unable to perform.

Teachers?

Those who can't

gonelong
02-14-2007, 12:28 PM
I'd gladly pay someone $100,000,000 a year if they could bring me in $120,000,000 a year.

GL

Chip R
02-14-2007, 12:38 PM
Frankly, I'd love to see more deals like the JD Drew one. I'm all for guaranteed salaries insofar as the team cannot simply cut the player without cause to escape the financial commitment. However, it's unfair to ask teams to take on the full risk of a long term guaranteed contract when the player is under no obligation to return the money should he be unable to perform.


So teams shouldn't give out those long term deals. If BOS is afraid J.D. Drew is going to get hurt, offer him a 1 year deal. If the Yankees don't think Rivera can pitch for any more than a couple of years, they should only offer him a 1 or 2 year deal.

RedsManRick
02-14-2007, 12:57 PM
So teams shouldn't give out those long term deals. If BOS is afraid J.D. Drew is going to get hurt, offer him a 1 year deal. If the Yankees don't think Rivera can pitch for any more than a couple of years, they should only offer him a 1 or 2 year deal.

I'm no socialist, but free markets aren't perfect. The balance of leverage in MLB is so far on the side of the player that teams are forced to make bad business decisions. In order to obtain talent which allows them to compete, teams must put themselves at significant risk of paying for unrealized talent. This doesn't just hurt that team (see Meche, Gil) but fans of the sport who root for the team and thus the sport as a whole.

Again, I don't want an NFL system where every player is a year to year mercenary and contract values are based on signing bonuses about all else. I just would prefer a system that doesn't encourage the teams least able to deal with a contract gone bad from taking the risk of a long term contract because of crap like "respect".

Rivera isn't in a situation like Larkin was, where he took significantly less money early in his career to facilitate a more competitive team given the financial limitations of the club with the understanding he'd get a due payday down the road.

I have no problem with Rivera wanting as much as he can get given the rules of the market. However, I lose "respect" for him when he plays the card of personal affront in the media when his team won't make a bad business decision. Again, "respect" isn't making decisions which potentially hurt the team -- it's dealing fairly and honestly with the players. I haven't' heard any evidence of that and in fact, everything I've heard from Cashman suggests he's giving Rivera plenty of respect. It's just that the respect Mo' wants is the kind of respect he can buy a yacht with.

MWM
02-14-2007, 01:21 PM
I agree with some of what you said RMR, but I don't at all agree that teams are "forced" to make bad business decisions. If they know it's a bad decision, they wouldn't do it. Teams that make bad decisions do so because they don't know how to make good ones, or they lack the discipline to not make the bad ones. Markets and poor decisions are mutually exclusive. Sure, the current market might seem irrational, but no one was forced to sign Gary Matthews, Jr. to such a ridiculous contract. No market dynamic could ever justify giving $55MM to Gil Meche. These are bad decisions irrespective of the market. And it's no surprise it's bad organizations that are making them.

Markets get out of line not when great players get absorbitant contracts, but when marginal players get big contracts. And signing an average player to a big money contract is a bad decision regardless of the market. These are decisions bad organizations make. Good organizations are willing to pay the high price but only for the great player.

Roy Tucker
02-14-2007, 01:33 PM
To me, its a matter of where you want this to play out.

I can understand a player saying he doesn't get "respect". But that is more from the standpoint of owners and general managers and those who control the purse strings.

In the context of today's MLB market and salaries, to pay someone far beneath their market value and deliberately keep them there is a form of disrespect.

However, where I think this starts to fall apart is when they take their case of "disrespect" to the media and the public. That, to me, is a gross case of being completely oblivious to the audience you are speaking to.

They either don't have the awareness or the motivation or simply don't care to understand the $$$ level of the general MLB public. Which, in my book, is a form of disrespect.

It's like the CEO of my company calling me up and whining about how the Board doesn't pay him enough. His case may have merit and have some germ of truth, but I am certainly the wrong audience to be complaining to.

texasdave
02-14-2007, 01:36 PM
However, it's unfair to ask teams to take on the full risk of a long term guaranteed contract when the player is under no obligation to return the money should he be unable to perform.

I might be wrong but I thought the player did assume some of the risk. I was under the impression that a player left some of the total dollars (he could make on a year-to-year basis assuming he stays healthy and produces) on the table for the security a long-term deal provides. I guess it would just be a question of whether the player assumes a big enough portion of the risk.

luvdozer
02-14-2007, 01:45 PM
For crying out loud - it's not about YOU!

The fans are CUSTOMERS of the business. Salaries are an internal business practice WITHIN the business. Stop taking this stuff personally - you are simply not involved.

A guy like Mariano Rivera (or Carlos Zambrano or Pedro Martinez or many others) is saying that he considers the amount of the salary offer to be a measure of the respect that his employer has for his previous contributions and likely future contributions to the business. When a player feels that a salary offer is unreasonably low, he isnt complaining that the FANS dont respect him. When Auto workers at GM complain about a low contract offer, they arent complaining about a lack of respect from those people who drive GM cars, they are complaining about a lack of respect (or whatever term you choose to use) from the people who run the company.

The baseball industry wouldnt have the revenues to pay players millions if it wasnt for the fans - but that customer base is utterly irrelevant to an individual contract negotiation.

When the CEO of Procter and Gamble decides to step down because his board of directors refuses to give him the kind of compensation package he expects, he doesnt have a beef with the people who buy razor blades and toothpaste. More importantly, the people who buy razor blades and toothpastes dont care if the CEO leaves because of a low contract offer - it has nothing to do with them.

The market for the services of major league baseball player is stratospheric. Even journeyman players make more money in a 10 year career than i will make in a lifetime. Why should that offend me? If the business prices the product too high for me (ticket prices) I can always stop buying the product. This is why i dont buy Nike or Reebok products. The cost of their entire product line is inflated by all of the endorsement deals they sign. But i dont get pissed at Nike or Michael Jordan. They made their economic choices and I made mine. If Nike turned around and offered to renew Jordan's endorsement deal at only 10% of lasts year's compensation and Jordan got offended and refused the deal, why should I care one way or the other? It's between him and Nike.

I would love to be paid to endorse Nikes. Sadly, my endorsement isnt worth very much. I would love to play shortstop for the Reds. Sadly, Alex Gonzalez is probably a better choice. The skills that I bring to the market are worth about 70K per year. I wish they were worth more - but they arent. That isnt anyone else's fault. Most importantly, it is completely unrelated to whether a guy like Alex Gonzalez is able to argue and negotiate 15 million over 3 years or 16 million over 3 years.

luvdozer
02-14-2007, 02:09 PM
I'm all for guaranteed salaries insofar as the team cannot simply cut the player without cause to escape the financial commitment. However, it's unfair to ask teams to take on the full risk of a long term guaranteed contract when the player is under no obligation to return the money should he be unable to perform.

why should a player return money if they underperform? would the team pay him extra if he outperforms expectations?

If Scott Hatteberg hits 50 home runs this year, will Cincinnati add more money to his 2007 salary? of course not. Long term contracts have risk and reward for both parties. I have a long term contract with my heating oil company. If prices go up, i make out better than if prices go down. I give up freedom for certainty.

Teams choose to give up the freedom of future dollars in order to gain the certainty that a given ball player will be on the team for more than a single season. If the risk outweighs the probability of reward then they might choose to only offer the guy a one year deal. Players give up the ability to parlay one season's worth of success into additional dollars in exchange for the certainty of a certain number of dollars over numerous years.

Long term contracts in baseball are a choice by both parties. Just like long term contracts among CEOs or university presidents or in the energy exchange field. No one is forced to enter into a long term contract - they choose to do so for greater predictability. Some of those contracts work out better than others.

You can hate them all you want. But, the reality is that if you were put in charge of a baseball team tomorrow - it doesnt matter if it is the Reds, Yankees or Devil Rays - you simply wouldnt be able to operate the team if you refused to give out anything more than a 1 year deal. The economics of this particular business system require multi year deals. It isnt the same as running a meat packing plant or an office supply store. No amount of wishing can make it so.

RedsManRick
02-14-2007, 02:27 PM
Is there a difference between respect in value. In my mind, respect is shown by how you go deal with somebody. How you are respected is not necessarily shown by how you are valued. Now, if Zambrano feels that the Cubs aren't showing him respect by going to arbitration rather than caving to his demands, then fine. But in that case, it's not the specific dollar value, it's the fact that they'd go to arbitration.

My employer could give a $1,000,000 offer in a very disrespectful manner. "Take or it leave it. We don't want to hear your thoughts or concerns." They could give me a $20,000 offer in a very respectful manner. Now, I could disagree with their valuation of me -- and likewise could so in a respectful or disrespectful manner. "I appreciate your honesty but feel I am worth more than twenty grand and will be exploring other opportunities. Thanks."

Also, I understand there is risk involved for both parties. However, that doesn't change the fact that the level of risk involved for both parties is a function of the rules of the market and not an absolute truth of the universe. I understand HOW it works currently. However, markets don't always distribute risk equitably, or in an optimal fashion.


(Blatant rip-off of Freakanomics incoming)

Take the case of a realtor. This realtor makes $300,000 a year based on a 5% commission on everything they sell. You, the homeowner, make $90,000 a year.

You have your house listed for $300,000, putting the realtor in line for a $15,000 payoff upon sale. Within a week you get an offer for $270,000. If you (the homeowner) accept the deal now, you lose $28,500, nearly 4 months worth of salary. Ouch. If you do the math, that realtor makes the equivilent of $150/hour. Given that, if you take the deal, the realtor loses $1,500, 10 hours worth of salary. Unless that realtor can get an offer of $300,000 with less than 10 hours of work, it's in their best interest for you to take the deal.

So, what do they tell you? "Well, it is a down market right now and there are concerns about crime in your neighborhood. Do you want to be stuck with this house? What happens if nobody makes an offer? Etc." Suddenly, the person whose job it is to get you the best deal, and who supposedly is encouraged to do so via a commission structure, has a set of incentives that don't align with the outcome you desire. Everybody wins! Nobody is forced to do anything!

Ok, end of example.

Is this a perfect analogy? Of course not. However, it's a good example of how artificial rules of a market system can distribute cost/risk inefficiently in regards to an optimal outcome given the purpose of the market.

The Rafael Furcal contract was a good example of the $$ cost of a shorter contract. It certainly is an option. There are options for building a team in baseball that don't require long term deals. However, the presence of those options doesn't mean the market is optimal or even fair.

texasdave
02-14-2007, 02:41 PM
It is about the fans. Sports isn't just any business. Sports fans grow up strongly identifying with their particular sports franchise. Rightly or wrongly they live and die with the fortunes of their favorite team. When Carlos Zambrano threatens to walk, he threatens to walk out on the fans as well. It is as if he is saying your cheers mean nothing to me. I just want more money. Fans chant we're number one. Not the Cubs are number one. Communities throw parades for when their team wins the championship. I have yet to see a parade for P&G when they sell the most laundry soap. It isn't the same.

Chip R
02-14-2007, 03:02 PM
It is about the fans. Sports isn't just any business. Sports fans grow up strongly identifying with their particular sports franchise. Rightly or wrongly they live and die with the fortunes of their favorite team. When Carlos Zambrano threatens to walk, he threatens to walk out on the fans as well. It is as if he is saying your cheers mean nothing to me. I just want more money. Fans chant we're number one. Not the Cubs are number one. Communities throw parades for when their team wins the championship. I have yet to see a parade for P&G when they sell the most laundry soap. It isn't the same.


And that's very true. We do root for teams - or as Seinfeld says, we root for laundry. It doesn't matter much who is in that laundry, we still root for them. I'm guessing most Cubs fans were Cubs fans before Zambrano came along and they will still remain Cubs fans after he's gone. If Zambrano walks, he walks. Maybe the Cubs can find someone better than him to replace him. I don't normally like to compare the NFL to MLB but look at the Indianapolis Colts. At the end of last year, they let Edgerrin James leave. I'm sure a lot of Colts fans were heartbroken about it since he was a proven performer. Perhaps some were even mad at the Colts for not giving him enough to stay. You think any Colts fans are crying about losing James now?

PickOff
02-14-2007, 03:11 PM
..I think these salaries are getting simply ridiculous, and it's being passed on to us fans in various ways. Lets face it.... we, the fans are the ones who end up getting this cost passed on to.

I agree with the notion that many players have lost perspective on the amount of money the make in relation to society at large and the average baseball fan. And it can be sickining when they display that lack of perspective by disregarding fans or making statements about pay that don't acknowledge the unbeleivable sums of money they are making.

However, I disagree that the costs are being passed on to fans. It is a matter of the money ending up in the player's pocket or the ownership's. Either way, the amount of revenue the team brings in would not change (beyond the normal factors of marketing, economy, quality of product, etc.).

The ownership will set the ticket prices to maximize revenue (until the variable costs of increasing revenue are higher than the revunue gains), regardless of the costs of running the ballclub (players' salaries included). If the feel they can earn more revenue by lowering prices and gaining more attendance, they will do so. To think the ownership would not maximize profits and instead lower ticket prices just to be nice to the fans, is naive. If they feel that approach will result in more future profits, then maybe they will do so for a time, but not for long.

So, the end result is, who do you think deserves the money more? Players or ownership. As it stands now they are both getting a good share, but the players are getting more than in the past.

vaticanplum
02-14-2007, 03:38 PM
Surgeons don't depend on fan support, though. Ultimately, baseball players do, as do all entertainers.

I understand them wanting fair market value for their skill set, and I agree with that. The problem is when these guys act like they're underpaid and "disrespected" at $10 million a year. They don't appreciate what they have -- they just want more. That doesn't sit well with Joe Baseball Fan.

And when you consider what RedsManRick said about guaranteed money for diminishing performance, it really sticks in your craw.

I haven't read through the whole thread yet, but for me, I still don't see what one has to do with the other. What a baseball player makes has nothing to do with me and I just don't see how it's "disrespecting" me to ask for more money. If Joe Baseball Fan has enough problem with what baseball players are making, he doesn't need to go to games. (I'm sure there are some that already do, and I totally respect that.) If enough fans do that, then yes, it will affect salaries. But I don't see any indication that we're there yet. Baseball is still one of the cheapest sports to attend (partly because they play more games than any other sport, which one could argue merits higher salaries). So at the moment I go and I feel like I'm getting a bang for my very hard-earned, very low-salaried buck. What they make is not really a concern of mine and I don't see how respect plays into it and comes back to me.

Now, again, I'm speaking of a separate issue than the salaries themselves. I think the overall MLB market value could stand an overhaul, as could contracts. But that has to do with players and with the business of baseball, not Joe Baseball Fan. It sounds like Joe Baseball Fan may just have a personal complex to me.

RedsManRick
02-14-2007, 03:39 PM
So, the end result is, who do you think deserves the money more? Players or ownership. As it stands now they are both getting a good share, but the players are getting more than in the past.

Do players deserve the money they get any more/less than the owners? I don't think so. Should money = respect? I don't think so.

If they want more money or more years on a contact and want to complain to the media, don't use "respect" as a euphemism for it. Say "I think I'm worth a 30 million dollar, 3 year extension. If I can't get that in XXXX, I'll see if I can get it on the free agent market."

The player is trying to guilt the team in to a contract that they may not deem economically wise by attacking their integrity instead of their economic valuation of the player. In my opinion, THAT is disrepsectful.

Johnny Footstool
02-14-2007, 04:43 PM
I haven't read through the whole thread yet, but for me, I still don't see what one has to do with the other. What a baseball player makes has nothing to do with me and I just don't see how it's "disrespecting" me to ask for more money. If Joe Baseball Fan has enough problem with what baseball players are making, he doesn't need to go to games. (I'm sure there are some that already do, and I totally respect that.) If enough fans do that, then yes, it will affect salaries. But I don't see any indication that we're there yet. Baseball is still one of the cheapest sports to attend (partly because they play more games than any other sport, which one could argue merits higher salaries). So at the moment I go and I feel like I'm getting a bang for my very hard-earned, very low-salaried buck. What they make is not really a concern of mine and I don't see how respect plays into it and comes back to me.

Now, again, I'm speaking of a separate issue than the salaries themselves. I think the overall MLB market value could stand an overhaul, as could contracts. But that has to do with players and with the business of baseball, not Joe Baseball Fan. It sounds like Joe Baseball Fan may just have a personal complex to me.

Joe Baseball Fan also tends to carry the notion that sports figures are "heroes" and should exemplify all that is good and right. It's a quaint notion, but one that many people still carry. It's not a role that sports figures choose for themselves, but rather it's something fans project onto them.

When the start demanding money, they stop being the kind of person that Little Joey Baseball Fan can look up to. It's like they don't respect the roles that the fans want them to play.

Granted, they never asked to be Little Joey's hero in the first place. But the fans' expectations are still there, and the players should realize and respect that. It's a letdown when a player doesn't live up to those expectations.

Let enough fans down, and maybe they won't come back after the next player's strike.

Eric_Davis
02-14-2007, 06:07 PM
It's the agents (the scum of the earth) that put these ideas and words in their mouths.

remdog
02-14-2007, 07:45 PM
When I read the title of this thread I thought a certain poster was leaving us. :laugh:

Rem

vaticanplum
02-14-2007, 09:01 PM
Joe Baseball Fan also tends to carry the notion that sports figures are "heroes" and should exemplify all that is good and right. It's a quaint notion, but one that many people still carry. It's not a role that sports figures choose for themselves, but rather it's something fans project onto them.

When the start demanding money, they stop being the kind of person that Little Joey Baseball Fan can look up to. It's like they don't respect the roles that the fans want them to play.

Granted, they never asked to be Little Joey's hero in the first place. But the fans' expectations are still there, and the players should realize and respect that. It's a letdown when a player doesn't live up to those expectations.

Let enough fans down, and maybe they won't come back after the next player's strike.

I guess it all comes down to what you expect as a fan. I personally -- and this is just me; I do see the other viewpoint -- don't think it's fair to hold athletes to standards that, as you say, WE set for them. Their job to me is quite simple: to play baseball, and to play it as well as they can, for 6+ months of the year. That in itself is a tall order, requiring much physical and mental development, an almost certain forfeiture of certain elements and stabilities in life that a lot of us have in exchange for lower salaries. But it's what they're paid to do, so I believe they should do it. That is what I ask of them. That is what I want as a fan.

I don't see them as providing a service to me. Their job is not to project a certain image, or to speak a certain way, or to carry out any set standard of humility, or to treat me a particular way. I feel the same way about movie actors, musicians, any number of groups of people. The only people who are providing a service to me, and are appropriately monetarily compensated as such, are largely low-profile people: waiters, bartenders, pizza delivery guys, etc. The only higher-profile people who might fall into this category off the top of my head are my representative elected officials. Baseball players are doing a job in the same way that plumbers are, or lawyers, or veterinarians. They should be rewarded for good work. But baseball players happen to be doing their work in the public eye, in an arena that holds a lot of weight for a lot of people. Realistically, they are already held to certain non-work-related standards because of that, but in truth they are still just doing a job like anybody else.

It's wonderful if an athlete serves as a good role model, if he possesses humility and charity and kindness and all that. I think those athletes should be praised and particularly pointed out to Joey Baseball Fan. But I also think it's important to point out that those elements, while wonderful, are critical to the person he is, not to the job he's doing on the field and therefore not to what I personally expect from him. If we lump them all together, I think we veer into dangerous territory on both sides. For the athletes, they are then given the impression that their job is as much about non-baseball-centric things as it is about baseball, thus taking time and energy away from the job they really should be doing; it also presents a cookie-cutter standard to which everyone should adhere, which I never think is a good idea, partly because I believe it takes away the real joy of doing something good. For the public, though, that's where I think it's really detrimental. There are plenty of people, both celebrities and "everyday" people, whose job it is to do good things, or who make it a point of their character and their lives to do good things. They've made that choice and they should be celebrated for it. But to expect that of someone who is not by any standard required to act that way -- and, more crucially, to be disappointed when he does NOT act that way -- is not really fair in my opinion. Because he never made the choice to be a role model. He just made the choice to play baseball. Take on the responsibility of being a role model and I'll think you're great. But don't, and I won't think less of you as a baseball player, nor am I likely to criticize things you do if you think they're important in relation to your baseball career (within reason -- steroids, for example, don't fall under this as I believe they go against the principles of sport).

I love a lot of the work of actors, writers, etc. who were deplorable people in real life. People who abused their bodies, people who were greedy, etc. I may not wish to emulate my life after theirs and I may find them personally reprehensible, but I don't think any less of their work because of the way they lived; in fact, I even respect that the choices they made were the ones they felt appropriate to their lives and careers. If you're an actor, you don't owe me anything but your best acting. If you're a writer, you don't owe me anything but your finest words. Same goes for baseball players. If they choose to go beyond that, fine, but it's not something that's OWED me. The only thing owed to me is good work. So if they're doing good work, they are respecting me as a fan, and "not letting me down." period.

I know it's a slippery slope, partly because baseball -- like movies, like literature -- is such an emotionally involving thing. It's natural, in fact, to want a personal return for such a personal investment. I have learned this the hard way, as I am still sitting here in full anticipation that Eric Davis is going to walk through my front door and ask me to marry him. But I try to remind myself that that's a personal expectation that I've put on him, and he isn't obligated to fulfill it. I have really had to make myself separate what the job is from what the people are a whooole lot of the time; I do it because I believe it's right, and also because if I didn't I would never stop crying, ever. Others may not feel the same way, and I do understand that.

GAC
02-14-2007, 09:10 PM
GAC, I agree with the crux of your argument in many ways, but I'm curious as to how you personally feel disrespected by the players. Not challenging, just curious.

We can all sight examples over the years vp where various players have made public statements that show a disrespect and "I could care less" attitude for the fans. Some of it's direct, and some indirect. Yet very noticeable. I'm speaking of an atmosphere/attitude in general among MLB. We can also sight exceptions (ex- a Sean Casey).

And it's just not the ballplayers, but the MLB heirarchy also. Decisions are being made, for the most part, without little or no consideration for the fans.

Money has become the most important issue to many in the game today. That is all it seems to be about. How can any ballplayer even think about saying that they aren't getting respect when they are making, for example, 31 Mil over 3 years. Let me repeat that so everyone can let that kind of sink in..... 31 Mil over 3 years.

We'll never see 31 Mil in 3 lifetimes.

Trickle down economics. Revenue streams support/pay those salaries. And there are numerous avenues organizations have to take anymore, and how many of those avenues directly (or indirectly) impact the fan's pocket? Where is the greater burden being placed? Just a few that come to mind...

tickets, concessions, memoribilia, stadium taxes (to build new stadiums).

Some may think of more, but those are just a few that come to mind.

The day is coming when there will be no such thing as watching free baseball on TV. It's already began. Look at the recent deal Directv made with the MLB package. You want to get the MLB package, which many fans were already willing to pay a few hundred dollars for? You now better have Directv because of this exclusive deal with MLB. Your local cable company lost out. Was there any consideration for the fans by MLB when this deal came down, or was it all about money? It was all about the money.

Card shows have become big business for the fan/collectors. I wish I had all the cards that I wasted as a kid in the spokes of my Schwinn bike. :lol:

But now the players have decided they want a piece of that action too. You want my autograph? It'll cost you.

How about baseball strikes/labor disagreements/lockouts over what issue? M-O-N-E-Y. Any consideration being made for the fans?

I get tired of hearing ballplayers talk about the reason they want traded is because they want a title, when really all about the money. Examples? Is that why Arod left for Texas, Knoblauch (who won a title with the Twins, and the ownership offered him one heck of a deal to stay) left for the Yanks, Clemens saying he wanted to play closer to home (while at Boston), and signed with Toronto, and then NY? Clemens needs a geography lesson.

So to answer your question vp - I don't think TODAY'S ballplayers, and the MLB heirarchy, take into consideration the "sacrifice" and commitment that millions of fans make for baseball. They instead EXPECT it, play off of it, and take it for granted.

I never hear any of them ever coming out and saying just how costly it has gotten to take a family down to a game(s). IMHO? They don't care.

I can sight many a former ballplayers who took less money, yet still were being paid quite well, because they wanted to stay with an organization, and believed in loyalty to the fans that were supporting them.

That is no longer an issue today for players. It's all about the highest bidder.

So when I hear a player, when it comes to money/contract, saying they aren't gettingf respect - they have lost any true concept of reality and what it cost those fans. And they don't care.

I see that, in a way, as being disrespectful toward those fans.

gonelong
02-14-2007, 09:13 PM
Nice post vaticanplum. They are just people. Some are great, some are awful, most are somewhere in between.

GL

vaticanplum
02-14-2007, 09:14 PM
Then, GAC, I think your biggest issues may lie at the feet of the owners and MLB business officials, not with the players. Do you really expect one individual player to take on the whole responsibility of, "well, eventually a fan may suffer for my high salary, I alone will accept less than market value for their sake"? That'd go over real well with their fellow players, I imagine.

The players are responding to the market and the standards. There is an argument for the standards being changed, definitely. But the responsibility for that is not at the feet of the players in my opinion.

GAC
02-15-2007, 08:43 AM
Then, GAC, I think your biggest issues may lie at the feet of the owners and MLB business officials, not with the players. Do you really expect one individual player to take on the whole responsibility of, "well, eventually a fan may suffer for my high salary, I alone will accept less than market value for their sake"? That'd go over real well with their fellow players, I imagine.

You're obviously misreading my point.

You state that what a baseball player makes has nothing to do with you. Where do you think MLB heavily depends on as their chief revenue source? For any business to thrive and make a profit it must have customers. It's you the fan.

How can you say it has nothing to do with you (or any fan in general) when teams are consistently having to raise prices on tickets, packages, concessions, memorabilia, and all the other various expenditures in order to generate more revenue, and in order to somehow compensate for the escalating rise in player salaries (payroll)?

Sure - as I have already pointed out, the problem is with the entire current structure in MLB. And a good part of that structure is player salaries which comprise a vast majority of an organization's yearly budget. Check it out.

It's why a lot of teams, and the list is growing, cannot acquire, retain, and even have to end up trading away/losing quality players. It's a big reason why they cannot establish competitiveness.

You're trying to "exonerate" the players from any culpability with the problem of rapidly escalating salaries, when the player's, and their union, is just as "guilty" as the rest.

And that proves my initial point.... the players and the owners, when it basically comes down to it, take the fans for granted.

Maybe the fans need a union. ;)


The players are responding to the market and the standards.

They are not only responding to it, they are also helping to create and mold it to their liking. You don't think a ballplayer (and their agent), who is making 10 Mil/year, and then says he isn't getting any respect come new contract time, isn't contributing to setting future market value/standards for other "like" players? You think guys like Boras are guiltless?

Do you think any of them could care less that costs are shouldered/passed on to, for the most part, to those fans? Again - where do you think a majority of the money ultimately comes from? Who, in a sense, are consistently being asked to open up their pockets, in various different ways and marketing techniques, to shoulder those costs? The fan is.

That is my point vp. And in a very roundabout way, yes, I think that is not showing the fan and respect at all for what they are contributing to the game.

How is a team like the Reds suppose to not only build, but maintain, a quality competitive team when it's very hard to generate the revenues to acquire and retain those players needed to do so? When an organization has to make choices, because of player salaries, as to who they can retain, and who they must trade away because of budget/affordability.... then whose fault is that? Is it anyone's at all?

Sure, it has to do with the market allowances. But who is setting those standards, and in the long run, who is expected to shoulder those escalating costs?

Again - you the fan.

Johnny Footstool
02-15-2007, 09:44 AM
vaticanplum,

I completely and totally agree that it's not fair to ballplayers to project our own expectations onto them and ask them to be our heroes. But many people do -- people who buy player's jerseys, collect their baseball cards, put their posters on the wall.

The players can choose to respect the wishes of those fans and try to be a fine, upstanding citizen, eat all their vegetables, and say their prayers at night, or they can choose not to do those things.

I'm not saying they should or shouldn't, or trying to make character judgements. But if they choose not to do those things, I can certainly understand why fans would feel they aren't being shown respect -- which was GAC's initial point. That's all I'm getting at.

PickOff
02-15-2007, 11:53 AM
Once again, player's salaries do not affect the price fans pay for tickets, merchandise, taxes, etc.

Example: Ownership sets ticket prices such that they recieve 100 million in ticket revenue. They set the prices such that they maximize revenue. (actually profit, but since player's salaries are not variable in regards to the amount of tickets sold revenue works for this example). So, if they charged more, attendance would decrease to such a degree that they would end up with less than 100 million, so they don't raise prices. If they charged less, attendance would increase but not to the degree to gain more than 100 million. What price they set ticket prices has no bearing on anything except what will produce the most revenue

GAC, you seem to be arguing that the ownership, if they had reduced payroll costs, should lower ticket prices and voluntarily take less revenues because they care about the fans. I disagree. Now, the ownership does care about the fans, but only to the extent that they will provide revenue now and in the future. As I said in a previous post, they may reduce prices for a short time to increase the fan base and show that they care, but they would only do so in order to eventually gain more future revenues by raising prices back up.

All this pertains to concessions and merchandise as well.

texasdave
02-15-2007, 12:52 PM
Within reason player's salaries should affect ticket prices. If a club wisely pays out more in salaries then it stands to reason they would have more talent. Increased talent should lead to an increased expectation of winning. A winning team should create more demand for tickets. More demand for tickets should lead to an increased ticket price. That is how I see it. I could be wrong.

Chip R
02-15-2007, 02:01 PM
I'm not sure a lot of this isn't just posturing. A guy like Rivera who says he's not getting the respect he deserves may not really believe what he's saying. It just could be a pretense to getting a new contract. Saying you are being disrespected fans the flames of the fans and media who put pressure on the team to sign the player. Rivera gets signed to a contract now and if he blows out his arm in July, he's got a couple of years - or so - where he can be paid while rehabbing. If he doesn't sign a deal and he blows his arm out, it's an easy decision for the Yankees to make and they can either let him go or sign him to an incentive laden deal or a minor league deal. Guaranteed money >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> non-guaranteed money.

RedsManRick
02-15-2007, 02:04 PM
Product -> Demand -> Price/Revenue -> Compensation for providing the Product.

The product hasn't changed very much over the years. For numerous reasons (mass media, etc.), the demand for said product has skyrocketed. With increased demand comes increased cost to the consumer (because volume is fixed at 30 teams and 162 games). With increased revenue comes increased compensation for those who generate that revenue.

This is the same anywhere. For all the getting high and might about who much money $30,000,000 is, there are a few billion people in the world who would say the exact same thing about $30,000.

The problem is when you equate that specific number, or somebody's willingness to exchange a portion of the revenue created by your production of a product, with respect. These guys aren't getting paid because they are respect or are not respected. They are getting paid because of their ability to create a product that creates revenue.

An owner may have all the respect in the world for the Dali Lama, but they won't pay him millions to play baseball. Conversely, an owner may have zero respect for Albert Belle, and will gladly give him millions to hit the ball over the fence. Respect is relevant as a judgment of how a goes about the negotiation process, but it simply is not reflected in the final number above the dotted line.

PickOff
02-15-2007, 03:04 PM
Within reason player's salaries should affect ticket prices. If a club wisely pays out more in salaries then it stands to reason they would have more talent. Increased talent should lead to an increased expectation of winning. A winning team should create more demand for tickets. More demand for tickets should lead to an increased ticket price. That is how I see it. I could be wrong.

A better product will most likely increase demand, and this is to be expected. But the crux is the "wisely" spend money. The ownership could pay 50 million for salary and have a great product or 150 million and have a poor one. It is sustained winning, not expectaions that creates demand.

Regardless, the ownership will set prices to maximize revenue. If the 50 mil and 150 mil teams were winning the same for the first few years and they spent similarly in marketing and were in a similar market, their ticket prices would be pretty much the same.

Your right that it is about demand, but is that a reason to drive salaries down? I think your point argues for the opposite.

Highlifeman21
02-15-2007, 03:55 PM
Would you rather see the majority of the money in the pockets of the owners, or would you rather see the majority of the money in the pockets of the players?

Mark me down for pay the players.

If you keep the vault in the owners' pockets, you're almost virtually guaranteeing a horrible product on the field, due to the fact the owners will have zero incentive to field a financially competitive team.

luvdozer
02-15-2007, 05:21 PM
Do players deserve the money they get any more/less than the owners? I don't think so. Should money = respect? I don't think so.

If they want more money or more years on a contact and want to complain to the media, don't use "respect" as a euphemism for it. Say "I think I'm worth a 30 million dollar, 3 year extension. If I can't get that in XXXX, I'll see if I can get it on the free agent market."

The player is trying to guilt the team in to a contract that they may not deem economically wise by attacking their integrity instead of their economic valuation of the player. In my opinion, THAT is disrepsectful.


the key words are "in my opinion." In the opinion of other people, money DOES equal respect. Obviously, the unspoken part of the statement is that the player believes that the team COULD offer a certain amount of money, but they choose not to because they dont respect his ability or potential contribution.

In my opinion, it would likely be a mistake for any player to personalize contract negotiations like that. If I were a player, i certainly wouldnt use those terms. However, my point is - why should I care if some player does choose view contract negotiations on such a personal level. As a fan, it has NOTHING to do with me.

I live in Boston - I have witnessed more than a few contract superstar contract negotiations that have suffered because one side or the other felt "disrespected." In this town, everyone takes sides. Fans were happy to see Clemens go and then pulled their hair out when he decided to have a second hall of fame career. The same fans sided with Mo Vaughn and wanted to lynch Dan Duquette. At first, the fans were furious that Nomar wasnt locked up with an extension, then they turned on him, decided he was a malcontent and barely waved goodbye when he was traded.

My point is that it doesnt matter whether Mo Vaughn should or shouldnt have felt "respected" If you are a fan of the team, then you want your team to make rational business decisions that will maximize the chances that they will win 100 games. Who cares what type of interpersonal interactions they have to do in order to get that task done. More importantly, I am not going to confuse myself with the general manager of the team. Clemens felt that dan duquette "disrespected" him, so he decided to leave. I never misunderstood that decision to mean that Clemens thought that I disrespected him. I dont begrudge clemens or vaughn or pedro or griffey or dunn doing whatever they feel they have to do to maximize the things that are important to them (money or anything else) - that is between them and the team. i care whether the reds make the playoffs.

luvdozer
02-15-2007, 05:27 PM
The problem is when you equate that specific number, or somebody's willingness to exchange a portion of the revenue created by your production of a product, with respect. These guys aren't getting paid because they are respect or are not respected. They are getting paid because of their ability to create a product that creates revenue.

An owner may have all the respect in the world for the Dali Lama, but they won't pay him millions to play baseball. Conversely, an owner may have zero respect for Albert Belle, and will gladly give him millions to hit the ball over the fence. Respect is relevant as a judgment of how a goes about the negotiation process, but it simply is not reflected in the final number above the dotted line.

I couldnt agree more. but this begs the question: why do you care if the dali lama or albert belle feels disrespected by one teams calculation of their relative worth in the baseball marketplace?

what if there is a team (i.e the Cubs) that is willing to pay the dali lama 500,000 to be a joke pinch hitter a la Eddie Geddell? No other team values him that way. if the Dali Lama feels that this means the Cubs respect him more than the rest of the teams in the MLB, why do you care? I dont. I'm just glad the reds werent dumb enough to waste a roster spot on him. I certainly dont get angry at the Dali Lama for dissing my home team.

luvdozer
02-15-2007, 05:44 PM
And I'm not against someone getting well paid; but I think these salaries are getting simply ridiculous, and it's being passed on to us fans in various ways.

Lets face it.... we, the fans are the ones who end up getting this cost passed on to. Are we being taken for granted? And more importantly - where is the respect we, as fans, deserve for supporting this game?

I personally think we get get very little anymore from the players. It's somehow like we should be honored or privileged to be in their (players) presence.

:

then stop going to games. dont subscribe to MLBtv. dont buy reds jerseys or ball caps.

If you think players salaries are too high, then stop contributing revenue to the business that employs them. If baseball revenues dropped 40% in 2007 and stayed that low in subsequent years, you better believe that the amount of free agent offers would drop. Players salaries have climbed relentlessly because baseball revenues have increased relentlessly.

So basically, what you are complaining about is the reality that more and more people enjoy the game of baseball; and those people are willing to pay more and more money in order to enjoy the product of baseball. Those ever-increasing revenues increase the chances that the more and more of the most physically gifted atheletes in the world choose to play baseball (and football and basketball) rather than sports like field hockey and water polo. This increasing talent pool means that the overall quality of baseball that i see every day is better than the overall quality of baseball that my grandfather watched.

I dont see a problem.

I also cant imagine how i would enjoy watching a reds game more if the players were paid less. Lets assume for a moment that griffey (random example) is only playing for the money right now. If he hits a home run on opening day, do i enjoy that home run less? If griffey goes 0-5 on opening day does that hurt the reds more than if he went 0-5, but did it with love in his heart?

Who cares if a given player takes you for granted? you arent giving your money to that particular player. you give it to the TEAM. The team then gives it to the playerS. In Boston, they took the fans for granted for DECADES. Now, Henry Werner and Luchino run around all day long thinking up one fan friendly idea after another. Anyone who has been to red sox games in both the Henry and Harrington eras will tell you that there is simply no comparison. However, none of that changes the fact that Manny Ramirez probably takes me - and everyone else in Fenway - for granted. The guy is nuts; what are you gonna do? but as long has he hits home runs that help the red sox win, I am a happy guy.

If, at any point, i cease being a happy guy, I am free to STOP GIVING THEM MY MONEY

Chip R
02-15-2007, 05:58 PM
if the Dali Lama feels that this means the Cubs respect him more than the rest of the teams in the MLB, why do you care? I dont. I'm just glad the reds werent dumb enough to waste a roster spot on him. I certainly dont get angry at the Dali Lama for dissing my home team.

I understand the Lama is quite a golfer.

gonelong
02-15-2007, 07:25 PM
I understand the Lama is quite a golfer.

From what I understand, he loves the game, but is not very good at it.

Of course, it might be his heightened state of enlightenment that allows him to enjoy the game without being particularly good at it. :)

GL

Chip R
02-15-2007, 07:36 PM
From what I understand, he loves the game, but is not very good at it.


I heard he was a big hitter, the Lama. But a lousy tipper.

Cyclone792
02-15-2007, 07:51 PM
And I'm not against someone getting well paid; but I think these salaries are getting simply ridiculous, and it's being passed on to us fans in various ways.

This is a common belief that the salaries athletes make is passed onto the fans, but it's also 100 percent inaccurate. Many, many years ago I did some in-depth research on this very topic, and quickly realized the flaws with the take that athletes' salaries just passed a greater cost on to the fans.

Here's a good excerpt from Pay Dirt (http://www.amazon.com/Pay-Dirt-James-Quirk/dp/0691015740/sr=8-2/qid=1171585882/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/103-9361721-8912621?ie=UTF8&s=books) ...


Given a team's roster of players, the simple economic fact of life is that the ticket pricing decision by a profit-oriented owner is completely independent of the salaries paid to those players. Profit-oriented ticket-pricing decisions depend solely on the demand by fans for tickets to the team's games. The demand for inputs used to produce winning games, including players, is derived from this profit-oriented decision, not the other way around. Ticket prices rise when fan demand rises, which in turn increases [the] player[s] marginal revenue product, which spills over into higher salaries for players.

You can substitute any other type of product MLB sells alongside tickets and the economics remains the same. Whether it's subscribing to a service like MLB.tv, watching games on cable, buying MLB licensed apparel, concessions at the game, or generally any other way you spend money and/or time on MLB. The higher fan demand for any MLB product, the higher the price for that MLB product. When you see the absurd MLB product prices today, that's simply because of demand from fans across the world.

Here's another way to illustrate that fact: Only two MLB teams had higher ticket prices in 1988 than they did in 1971. Just two, and they are the Yankees and Red Sox. In fact, in 1971 the Cincinnati Reds had an average ticket price of $11.10, and in 1988 that average ticket price had dropped down to $7.08. By 1992, the Reds average ticket price had only rebounded back to an impressive $7.20.

The above is all real interesting considering we all know what happened between 1971 and 1992, which is that free agency and multi-million dollar contracts started happening. Plus, we haven't even touched the issue on the impact of inflation, which tells us that the difference between $11.10 in 1971 and $7.20 in 1992 is a little more than just $3.90.

GAC
02-15-2007, 08:11 PM
I still don't see what one has to do with the other. What a baseball player makes has nothing to do with me and I just don't see how it's "disrespecting" me to ask for more money. If Joe Baseball Fan has enough problem with what baseball players are making, he doesn't need to go to games. (I'm sure there are some that already do, and I totally respect that.)

Try looking at it from the family perspective. A team wants my family to attend more games per year right? What do you think it costs a family of 4-5 to go down to one game? On the average? - about $300 figuring all the costs (and that is not considering possible hotel costs). Now if I try to take them down to 4-5 games that could equal about $1500. We talk up this subject alot a work, and alot of guys, including myself, say it comes down to "Do I take my family to more ballgames this summer OR get more bang for my buck with a family vacation?

What factor(s) sets the costs of those items we incur at a game? I'm referring to tickets, concessions, memoribilia, misc. It was stated earlier by another poster on here that teams raise ticket prices to maximize revenue. True. And that is to supplement operating costs. And player salaries take up a far larger slice of that pie in operating costs. Prices are raised/passed on to the fans as needed.

So how can we say it has nothing to do with us, or affect us? It certainly does when I have to cut down on attending games with my family due to those ever raising costs.

So to say "If it upsets you that much then quit going to games" misses the point/issue - though that is exactly what alot of people have done. Look at what alot of fans did after the strike/lockout in the mid-90s. Some never came back due to the selfishness/greed of the players & owners with total disregard to the fans.

They are "disenfranchising" alot of fans and forcing them to make alternate choices due to costs.

GAC
02-15-2007, 08:16 PM
I haven't had the time to go back and get cauught up on this thread until tonight; but many of you have brought up some points that get to the "heart" or crux of what I was trying to say....

Well put Mike....


If these guys would just say that they want the market rate for their services, I don't think anyone could have a problem with that. We all command the market rate for what we do. I'd take no issue with them being honest about maximinzing their income based on the market. That's just good economics and I don't care it you make a billion dollars a year or 10,000.

But I do think it becomes a little disrespectful to the non-wealthy people who pay good money to go see the Yankees to come out publicly and somehow claim that their very high salary is disrespectful. That just shows a lack of persepctive to turn it into that kind of argument rather than an economic one. And it's the public nature of the comments that baffle me. How can a guy like Rivera not know any better than to come public with the notion that he's not being respected by the organization? If he wants to think this, that's fine. The fact that he feels perfectly comfortable letting the whole world know his feelings shows he's completely out of touch with the common man.

And it's not just Mo, but many of these guys have lived such lavish, care-free lifestyles for so long that the reality they exist in changes. The paradigm with which they see the world leads them to believe the things that Mo said here. It's just part of being so stinkin' rich for so many years that he probably does feel it's a matter of respect. It shows just how detached they are from the fans who make their lifestyle possible.


I agree with some of what you said RMR, but I don't at all agree that teams are "forced" to make bad business decisions. If they know it's a bad decision, they wouldn't do it. Teams that make bad decisions do so because they don't know how to make good ones, or they lack the discipline to not make the bad ones. Markets and poor decisions are mutually exclusive. Sure, the current market might seem irrational, but no one was forced to sign Gary Matthews, Jr. to such a ridiculous contract. No market dynamic could ever justify giving $55MM to Gil Meche. These are bad decisions irrespective of the market. And it's no surprise it's bad organizations that are making them.

Markets get out of line not when great players get absorbitant contracts, but when marginal players get big contracts. And signing an average player to a big money contract is a bad decision regardless of the market. These are decisions bad organizations make. Good organizations are willing to pay the high price but only for the great player.

And don't those bad decisions also contribute to setting the market standard for the rest of the league? If Meche and Mathews, just to name a couple, can get what they got, then don't think players and especially their agents aren't watching and salivating. ;)


It's disrespectful in that they don't seem to appreciate the fact that they make more money in a year than most of us make in a lifetime.


It is about the fans. Sports isn't just any business. Sports fans grow up strongly identifying with their particular sports franchise. Rightly or wrongly they live and die with the fortunes of their favorite team. When Carlos Zambrano threatens to walk, he threatens to walk out on the fans as well. It is as if he is saying your cheers mean nothing to me. I just want more money. Fans chant we're number one. Not the Cubs are number one. Communities throw parades for when their team wins the championship. I have yet to see a parade for P&G when they sell the most laundry soap. It isn't the same.

PickOff
02-15-2007, 08:37 PM
This is a common belief that the salaries athletes make is passed onto the fans, but it's also 100 percent inaccurate. Many, many years ago I did some in-depth research on this very topic, and quickly realized the flaws with the take that athletes' salaries just passed a greater cost on to the fans.


I've made this same point in previous posts, yet apparantly to deaf ears.

GAC
02-15-2007, 08:48 PM
vaticanplum,

I completely and totally agree that it's not fair to ballplayers to project our own expectations onto them and ask them to be our heroes. But many people do -- people who buy player's jerseys, collect their baseball cards, put their posters on the wall.

The players can choose to respect the wishes of those fans and try to be a fine, upstanding citizen, eat all their vegetables, and say their prayers at night, or they can choose not to do those things.

I'm not saying they should or shouldn't, or trying to make character judgements. But if they choose not to do those things, I can certainly understand why fans would feel they aren't being shown respect -- which was GAC's initial point. That's all I'm getting at.

The "hero" issue, IMO, is totally irrelevant to what I am trying to convey. Sure - a Steve Howe, Pete Rose, or Darryl Strawberry are not good "examples" for kids, and really don't do the game any good.

But my "judgment" has nothing to do with character or moral fiber. Separate issues IMO.

Most of the players I followed/idolized as a kid growing up had character isues (Rose, Cobb, Mantle, Williams). Some were real SOBs.

Revenue is not a problem in MLB as a whole. It's a revenue machine. The problem is how the "pie" is being distributed (or lack thereof). The standards (salaries) are being set by a handful of teams. A standard that most cannot meet/live by. It is all about revenue sharing.

People like Scott Boras, Donald Fehr, and the player's union, carry the logic that is based totally around money - rising player salaries is good for baseball as a whole because it will "trickle down" to all players who will, in the long run, get their money. They could care less where the source of that money/revenue is coming from (the fans). All they care about (and see) is that it exists and is there for the taking.

Sports teams transcend the boundaries of just aboutn every conventional business. It's niot like you have 30 restaurants on a busy street competing with each other for business, trying to run the other out.

MLB is like 30 restaurants of a franchise. They are not trying to put each other out of business. None can survive without the other.

Therefore, some controls and regulation, for the viability of the "franchise" are needed. If the league were anything like a true free market then it would be unthinkable to be sharing/pooling revenue to the extent that they are. If they were really interested in a pure free market, would they allow players to be traded for each other? Can Sony deal Bob Dylan to Virgin Records for the Rolling Stones? Can Delta swap three pilots to TWA for two flight attendants and a ticket agent? ;)


My point?

It has become increasingly clear that players, owners, and yes, the fans, need each other. A very self-serving attitude has prevailed in MLB over the last decade where the fans are being left out in the cold and basically their "importance" to the game has been ignored by the others.

Again - we are being taken for granted.

Highlifeman21
02-15-2007, 09:54 PM
I understand the Lama is quite a golfer.

Big hitter, the Lama.

GAC
02-16-2007, 09:34 AM
This is a common belief that the salaries athletes make is passed onto the fans, but it's also 100 percent inaccurate. Many, many years ago I did some in-depth research on this very topic, and quickly realized the flaws with the take that athletes' salaries just passed a greater cost on to the fans.

Where does the owner get revenue/money from that is utilized for players salaries? And I never said that ticket sales were the sole source.

Johnny Footstool
02-16-2007, 09:50 AM
The "hero" issue, IMO, is totally irrelevant to what I am trying to convey. Sure - a Steve Howe, Pete Rose, or Darryl Strawberry are not good "examples" for kids, and really don't do the game any good.

But my "judgment" has nothing to do with character or moral fiber. Separate issues IMO.
...


My point?

It has become increasingly clear that players, owners, and yes, the fans, need each other. A very self-serving attitude has prevailed in MLB over the last decade where the fans are being left out in the cold and basically their "importance" to the game has been ignored by the others.

Again - we are being taken for granted.

Your main argument may be with salaries, but the last paragraph kind of shows an underlying issue that *is* based on character. You blast MLB for being self-serving and taking the fans for granted. Those issues have a lot to do with character.

I have no problem with a guy like Aaron Harang or Ken Griffey Jr. making millions of dollars a year, because they're not jerks about it. But when guys like Carlos Zambrano and Mariano Rivera come out and publically demand "respect," it shows that they *are* more interested in themselves than in the image they project to the public.

GAC
02-16-2007, 10:17 AM
Your main argument may be with salaries, but the last paragraph kind of shows an underlying issue that *is* based on character. You blast MLB for being self-serving and taking the fans for granted. Those issues have a lot to do with character.

That is true Johnny; but I think the previous references were to individual character and being role models... i.e. living up to a fan's expectations.

Am I saying then that all ballplayers, who make salaries in the millions of dollars, are lacking in character? Absolutely not. It's just my personal opinion that they ALL are grossly overpaid and really have nothing to be complaining about. ;)

Cyclone792
02-16-2007, 12:23 PM
Where does the owner get revenue/money from that is utilized for players salaries? And I never said that ticket sales were the sole source.

Nope, ticket prices aren't the sole source, which is why I posted the following ...

You can substitute any other type of product MLB sells alongside tickets and the economics remains the same. Whether it's subscribing to a service like MLB.tv, watching games on cable, buying MLB licensed apparel, concessions at the game, or generally any other way you spend money and/or time on MLB. The higher fan demand for any MLB product, the higher the price for that MLB product. When you see the absurd MLB product prices today, that's simply because of demand from fans across the world.

As to your question on where the owners get the revenue to pay those high player salaries, the answer is higher demand for MLB products. It's simple economics really.

If you want someone to blame for MLB products being expensive, then blame all the fans who are willing to pay those prices for MLB products. Don't blame the players, because they're not driving the cost of MLB products up. It's all about the demand and popularity of MLB, which is pretty darn high right now.

RedsManRick
02-16-2007, 01:14 PM
Nope, ticket prices aren't the sole source, which is why I posted the following ...

You can substitute any other type of product MLB sells alongside tickets and the economics remains the same. Whether it's subscribing to a service like MLB.tv, watching games on cable, buying MLB licensed apparel, concessions at the game, or generally any other way you spend money and/or time on MLB. The higher fan demand for any MLB product, the higher the price for that MLB product. When you see the absurd MLB product prices today, that's simply because of demand from fans across the world.

As to your question on where the owners get the revenue to pay those high player salaries, the answer is higher demand for MLB products. It's simple economics really.

If you want someone to blame for MLB products being expensive, then blame all the fans who are willing to pay those prices for MLB products. Don't blame the players, because they're not driving the cost of MLB products up. It's all about the demand and popularity of MLB, which is pretty darn high right now.

I think it's important to differentiate between the source of the salaries involved and the nomenclature at the root of the discussion.

My point, perhaps already made, is
1.) Players seem to equate money with respect
2.) I equate money with valuation -- wholly different from respect

If we assume that players really do believe that respect = money = valuation of future contributions then I have no problem with the statements by Rivera or Zambrano. However, if they are using the term respect to mean on a personal level, then my complaint is fair.

For example, if you can fairly interpret the quote to mean "If the Cubs don't feel my future contributions on the field merit the kind of contract I'm seeking then I will sign elsewhere" -- I have no problem with that all. However, if the proper interpretation is "If the Cubs don't treat me with fairness, honesty, and integrity (and I'm implying by this they currently aren't), then I'm going to sign elsewhere", then I do take issue with it.

I have no problem with a player valuing himself a certain way and stating that he will explore other options if the team he's with won't meet those demands. However, if he is essentially trying to blackmail the team in to writing a check, because not doing so would be confirmation that it doesn't respect people (and thus lowering the organization's status from the perspective of fans and other players), then I do take umbrage with the approach. That sort of attempt at manipulation through the media speaks poorly of that person's character and I have no problem judging them accordingly.

Cyclone792
02-16-2007, 01:36 PM
I think it's important to differentiate between the source of the salaries involved and the nomenclature at the root of the discussion.

My point, perhaps already made, is
1.) Players seem to equate money with respect
2.) I equate money with valuation -- wholly different from respect

If we assume that players really do believe that respect = money = valuation of future contributions then I have no problem with the statements by Rivera or Zambrano. However, if they are using the term respect to mean on a personal level, then my complaint is fair.

For example, if you can fairly interpret the quote to mean "If the Cubs don't feel my future contributions on the field merit the kind of contract I'm seeking then I will sign elsewhere" -- I have no problem with that all. However, if the proper interpretation is "If the Cubs don't treat me with fairness, honesty, and integrity (and I'm implying by this they currently aren't), then I'm going to sign elsewhere", then I do take issue with it.

I have no problem with a player valuing himself a certain way and stating that he will explore other options if the team he's with won't meet those demands. However, if he is essentially trying to blackmail the team in to writing a check, because not doing so would be confirmation that it doesn't respect people (and thus lowering the organization's status from the perspective of fans and other players), then I do take umbrage with the approach. That sort of attempt at manipulation through the media speaks poorly of that person's character and I have no problem judging them accordingly.

Oh I don't disagree with you at all. My beef is only within part of the discussion, and that's strictly the part that feeds the belief that today's player salaries collectively are somehow just passed onto the fans.

Fans inaccurately believe that MLB teams have to raise the cost of their products in order to pay the players when in reality that's not at all how the economics operate. Teams calculate what the cost of their MLB product should be relative to the demand of that product in order to maximize revenue and profit. Since demand is so ungodly high, revenues are ungodly high. Therefore, the ungodly high aspect spills over into the salaries of the performers on the field.

Chip R
02-16-2007, 01:48 PM
Fans inaccurately believe that MLB teams have to raise the cost of their products in order to pay the players when in reality that's not at all how the economics operate. Teams calculate what the cost of their MLB product should be relative to the demand of that product in order to maximize revenue and profit. Since demand is so ungodly high, revenues are ungodly high. Therefore, the ungodly high aspect spills over into the salaries of the performers on the field.


Yep. If that was the case, why didn't the Marlins lower their ticket prices last season when they had such a low payroll?

GAC
02-17-2007, 03:47 AM
Oh I don't disagree with you at all. My beef is only within part of the discussion, and that's strictly the part that feeds the belief that today's player salaries collectively are somehow just passed onto the fans.

Fans inaccurately believe that MLB teams have to raise the cost of their products in order to pay the players when in reality that's not at all how the economics operate. Teams calculate what the cost of their MLB product should be relative to the demand of that product in order to maximize revenue and profit. Since demand is so ungodly high, revenues are ungodly high. Therefore, the ungodly high aspect spills over into the salaries of the performers on the field.

If revenues are so ungodly high - and I'm assuming you're referring to MLB as a whole (which I agree with), and not individual organizations - then why are so many teams struggling, from a financial perspective, and mainly with player payroll, when it comes to being able to acquire,retain, and pay for talent? And not just the Reds either.

I thoroughly agree with alot of what you're saying above Cyclone, as far as that prices are set by demand. But where is that demand coming from? Whether it's tickets, cable/internet services, TV, etc. Wouldn't that be the fans? A cable company or whatever is signing an agreement with a team and/or MLB because they know they are going to make their profit too by selling it to the fans. ;)

And if there is such a high demand for tickets, then why do the Reds have to introduce marketing techniques, such as these power packages to try and increase weekday ticket sales?

Why do pro athletes make so much money?

Sure - the answer, once again, is related to supply and demand in the labor market. Players are selling their skills and talents; team owners are the prospective buyers.

The players’ skills and talents—their labor inputs—are in great demand. Why? Because fans are willing to pay top dollar for a chance to see the world’s best players at work, and that produces tremendous revenue for team owners.

When it comes to salaries, no profit-oriented owner will knowingly pay more than a player is expected to generate in revenue.

James Quirk and Rodney D. Fort, authors of Pay Dirt: The Business of Professional Team Sports, explain why:

Looking at things from the point of view of any team, we can calculate the most that a profit-oriented team would pay a player; it is the amount that the player would add to the team’s revenue if he were signed. In the jargon of economists this is the player’s marginal revenue product, which we will refer to as his MRP. The player’s MRP is the most a team would pay a player because paying a player more than this would decrease team profits; on the other hand, signing a player for anything less than his MRP means that adding the player increases profits for the team.
Yes, owners and general managers sometimes misjudge a player’s talent or throw away big money on a player who isn’t right for the team. But here’s the bottom line: An owner will pay a player millions of dollars only if he or she thinks the player will bring the team even more than that in revenues.

“You measure the value of a ballplayer by how many fannies he puts in the seats.” - George Steinbrenner


So I can see an owner paying a Bonds, Griffey, or Arod, for example, huge sums of money because they are going to put butts in the seats and thus, increase revenue. Again - revenue generated that is coming from the fans either directly or indirectly.

QUESTION: In reference to the above (highlighted), were organizations "obeying" (or following) that bottom line in this recent FA market where we were seeing a lot of mediocre-average ballplayers with little or no star power getting ridiculous multi-year contracts?

I understand the shortage in pitching around the league. Again - a supply and demand issue. But how, when I look at this current FA market, is paying a Meche, Lily, Suppan, and so many other "average" ballplayers (like a Gary Mathews) such ridiculous salaries going to increase revenue?

RedsManRick brought up an interesting point concerning "money with valuation."

Now many of us, when we saw these contracts come down this past winter, severely panned them, and rightfully so, based on well thought out statistical analysis/historical performance. We asked ourselves "How can an owner sign this player to such a ridiculous contract when they will most likely bring much of an improvement to the team's fortunes?"

Now - are the owners also seeing this, but ignoring it? Or are they counting on a vast majority of the average/casual fans not realizing it, but simply seeing the dollar signs that ownership is shelling out, and seeing that as a commitment by that ownership of wanting to bring their fans a winner? They are being duped. ;)

But it's serving the owner's basic purpose of "putting butts in the seats" and increasing revenue.

My whole premise is basically this....

Players, owners, fans are all inter-dependent upon each other for the survival of the game.

And anymore, I don't think the owners and players realize that as much or have lost sight of the fact that we, the fans, are an intricate part of that triangle /equation.

Spring~Fields
02-17-2007, 11:39 AM
GAC,
Since time began the have's get the respect, not necessarily earned repsect, you know the ones looking and lacking, well you know the rest.

The players that use that term respect loosely are misusing it in my perception. I think that they fear mostly, fear that they won't get all that they can in a limited time span in a players limited years. They are just entertainers, not too many of them have saved any lives lately.

Cyclone792
02-17-2007, 12:18 PM
GAC, you had a premise earlier in this thread that athletes' salaries just get passed on to the fans and that their salaries were the reason why it costs so much for you to take your family to a game. All my posts in this thread have been directed at that flawed premise in which I attempted to show you that high fan demand for MLB products is why it costs so much for you to take your family to a game.

More people want to watch baseball now than ever, and they've shown they're willing to pay a high price to do so. That's why it costs so much for you to take your family to a game. It definitely isn't the high salaries that's pushing the cost for MLB products as high as it is.

You mentioned other things such as teams handing out $50 million contracts to average (or worse) players. Well that's just bad teams making stupid decisions, and we've been over this before. When bad teams make stupid decisions, they remain bad teams. Dan O'Brien made a stupid decision with Eric Milton in December of 2004, and the Reds are still paying for it. That's just one of many examples.

I'm not going to argue that the MLB revenue system cannot be improved, because we all know that it can be. But the fact is many of the teams stuck in the rut they're currently in really have nobody to blame but themselves. When teams make stupid baseball decisions, it has a tendency to show up in the standings.

GAC
02-18-2007, 06:59 AM
GAC, you had a premise earlier in this thread that athletes' salaries just get passed on to the fans and that their salaries were the reason why it costs so much for you to take your family to a game. All my posts in this thread have been directed at that flawed premise in which I attempted to show you that high fan demand for MLB products is why it costs so much for you to take your family to a game.

The Reds were 22nd in MLB last year with a total attendance of 2.1 Mil. That's an average of 26,000/game for a stadium that seats 42,000. So what was the justification for the ticket price raise when there was an average of 16,000 seats available/game? And if the demand is so high, then why have to be inventive with marketing plans/ticket packages that are trying to get fans to buy tix for weekday games, as well as offering discounts, if the demand is so high?

An owner will pay a player millions of dollars only if he or she thinks the player will bring the team even more than that in revenues.

So it still gets back to what I stated previously.....



So I can see an owner paying a Bonds, Griffey, or Arod, for example, huge sums of money because they are going to put butts in the seats and thus, increase revenue. Again - revenue generated that is coming from the fans either directly or indirectly.

So if one takes a comprehensive look at all the various avenues in which an organization utilizes to generate revenue, that revenue, whether directly or indirectly is dependent upon or coming from the fans. Whether it's tickets, concessions, memoribilia, TV/cable/internet subscriptions, taxes, packages, whatever.

So, yeah, you are right Jason to correct me from am earlier statement I made concerning ticket prices. I should have used a more broadened or comprehensive description. But the bottomline is that whether organizations "feed" off of fan demand, which sets prices, the money is still coming from the fans.

And I still don't see how DEMAND makes prices at the ballpark so ridiculous (concessions, merchadise). It all boils down to an organization generating revenues/profits to a sufficient level to pay various operating costs of that organization. And player salaries are the biggest expenditure for an organization out of the entire equation of operating costs.

Demand sets the pricing. That still tells me that the fans are willing to pay. No argument there from me. Just the fact that the monies are still coming from the fans.

Red fans were told, going into the new ballpark, that the park was needed to generate additional revenues. Additional revenues needed to be able to raise player payroll and be competitive. Again - where was that revenue be generated from and/or dependent upon? Any of it from the fans?




I'm not going to argue that the MLB revenue system cannot be improved, because we all know that it can be. But the fact is many of the teams stuck in the rut they're currently in really have nobody to blame but themselves. When teams make stupid baseball decisions, it has a tendency to show up in the standings.

True, When teams make stupid decisions it hurts them. But the reason why a lot of teams are in a "rut" is not because "they have nobody else but themselves to blame." As long as MLB, and the larger market teams, as well as the players union, continue to ignore and/or address the HUGE revenue disparity that exists in MLB - which hurts many small market teams such as the Reds, Pitt, Milwaukee, KC, TB, and the list is growing/expanding - those teams are going to find it increasing hard to be competitive, and to do so on a consistent basis. Oh sure - teams like the Red will make a surprise shot, such as in '99, or as the Marlins have done (players they couldn't afford to retain afterwards because of salary demands). But it will always be the exception, not the norm as long as the current system stays in place. And organizations can follow the Moneyball/Beane route. But even the large market teams (Boston) are following that option.

When I talk of parity, I speak of revenue parity - a leveling of the playing field to give all a chance. Right now, due to that disparity, many don't have it. It still doesn't mean that organizations aren't going to make bad decisions.

But it will never fly or be implemented because the large market teams, as well as Mr Fehr, the players union, and the agents won't allow it. They like the current system where those larger market teams are setting the standard/market on player salaries. They could care less that it's leaving more and more teams in their wake.

They are far more concerned about it "throwing a wrench" in the current "system" inwhich a select "few" (like the Yanks) are dictating the standards/market.