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View Full Version : "Small Market" excuse will no longer work...



Matt700wlw
10-09-2007, 03:54 PM
http://blog.dispatch.com/blog-16/2007/10/hey_reds_its_not_about_the_money.shtml


Playoff payrolls

2. Red Sox 143.0 million
23. Indians 61.6 million
25. Rockies 54.4 million
26. Diamondbacks 52.0 million

Reds...at home

20. Reds 68.9 million

Phhhl
10-09-2007, 04:13 PM
It is still a very valid argument. Pick the two teams out of that group that are virtually guaranteed a playoff spot every single season because they outspend everyone else. It's not hard to identify them, and that IS a problem that hurts the game. When the Rockies, D-Backs or Indains win 13 consecutive division titles we can stop banging on baseball for being a total catastrophe in terms of competitive balance. But, it is just going to get worse.

Matt700wlw
10-09-2007, 04:21 PM
It is still a very valid argument. Pick the two teams out of that group that are virtually guaranteed a playoff spot every single season because they outspend everyone else. It's not hard to identify them, and that IS a problem that hurts the game. When the Rockies, D-Backs or Indains win 13 consecutive division titles we can stop banging on baseball for being a total catastrophe in terms of competitive balance. But, it is just going to get worse.

They may not win 13 consecutive division titles, but how many have the Reds won since 1995?

The Marlins have won 2 titles, while rebuilding in between them, the D'Backs won 1, made the playoffs the next year, blew it up, and are back in this year...the Indians had their run in the late 1990's, blew it up, and got themselves back in it....the Twins and A's have had some good teams and playoff appearances...I'm sure there's more cases I'm not thinking of...

Meanwhile the Reds have used it as an excuse as to why they're not winning. I hope Castellini changes that.

With some pitching, this team should be there.

redsmetz
10-09-2007, 04:22 PM
I finally got to read the article and I don't think Bronson Arroyo stating a well known fact is "whining" about being a "small market" club. I've long argued that the Reds needn't be considered a "small market" because we're more than just the Cincinnati market. There is no question that lower payroll clubs can make the playoffs and what an organization that will be in the middle of the pack needed to be smarter than those who can just throw money at the problem. A fairly worthless article, IMO.

red-in-la
10-09-2007, 04:34 PM
These artilces are so silly.....look at the converse side of the argument. How many 100+ million teams lost 90 games?

The author made the proper statment in the first paragraph......other teams can afford to make mistakes.

The fact that some teams cannot afford the mistakes makes the whole ridiclous system unfair.

dougdirt
10-09-2007, 04:40 PM
NYY - 3B, SS and 1B = 72 Million in 2007.
Reds- Entire roster = 69 Million in 2007.

There are serious flaws in the system.

Unassisted
10-09-2007, 04:44 PM
3 of the 4 teams that lost in their division series were Top Ten in payroll.

1. Yankees.
4. Angels
8. Cubs
13. Phillies

And putting that list back with the 4 survivors shows that half of this years playoff teams were in the top 50-percentile of payroll.

If the Red Sox win it all, doesn't that disprove the notion that payroll size doesn't matter in 2007? ;)

Matt700wlw
10-09-2007, 04:47 PM
NYY - 3B, SS and 1B = 72 Million in 2007.
Reds- Entire roster = 69 Million in 2007.

There are serious flaws in the system.

There's plenty wrong with the system, however, it's not going to change...unfortunately.

Some teams use it as an excuse....other teams find a way to win in spite of it.

Unfortunately, the Reds have used it as an excuse....

GullyFoyle
10-09-2007, 04:47 PM
They may not win 13 consecutive division titles, but how many have the Reds won since 1995?


But turn that around... does anyone think the Reds wouldn't be in the running for divisional titles if they could spend another 100 million?


Edit: but i get your point... the Reds are poorly run and have no margin for error...

Chip R
10-09-2007, 04:53 PM
But turn that around... does anyone think the Reds wouldn't be in the running for divisional titles if they could spend another 100 million?



Depends on who they spent it on. If they spent it on Eric Milton, Jeff Weaver, Chan Ho-Park, etc, then I would think they wouldn't be any better off than they were before.

Rojo
10-09-2007, 04:54 PM
Its crazy how teams continue to spend even though payroll doesn't matter. The Yankees should fire their front office and hire Mr. Blogger.

redsmetz
10-09-2007, 05:02 PM
There's plenty wrong with the system, however, it's not going to change...unfortunately.

Some teams use it as an excuse....other teams find a way to win in spite of it.

Unfortunately, the Reds have used it as an excuse....


But turn that around... does anyone think the Reds wouldn't be in the running for divisional titles if they could spend another 100 million?

Edit: but i get your point... the Reds are poorly run and have no margin for error...

I would disagree with these assessments with regards to the present management of the club. If the present ownership and management has said anything about being small market club, it's been about saying we've got to work harder and smarter to reach the post-season.

We all know we've come off of twenty years of bad ownerships; Marge's short sightedness viz scouting and Lindner's refusal to move the club beyond a break even standpoint. But I disagree that the Castellini regime has the Reds "poorly run".

M2
10-09-2007, 05:07 PM
Small market never was a very good excuse to begin with. If an organizational can judge talent and accurately assess its needs, then bright minds should be able to make the budget work.

Jones' article actually points out something that we've known, but hasn't gotten a lot of play in recent years - since 2000 the game has gotten consistently more competitive.

Only one team from the 2006 playoffs made the 2007 playoffs (two if you want to count the Padres) and that club has already been eliminated. Only three teams from the 2005 playoffs made the 2006 playoffs.

That's some decent turnover. Over the last five seasons, 12 of the 16 clubs in the NL have made the playoffs. The AL's been a little less competitive with 8 of 14 making the playoffs, though part of that is because you've had small market successes in Oakland and Minnesota making extended runs. Two other NL clubs (Washington/Montreal and Milwaukee) and four other AL clubs (Toronto, Kansas City, Texas and Seattle) have put together winnings seasons, but missed the playoffs during that stretch. So it's only Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Tampa Bay forming the Perpetual Sisters of the Poor.

Point is, the game has been awfully competitive. No team has made consecutive World Series for seven seasons. Only two teams (the Yankees and Cardinals) have appeared in more than one World Series since 2001, though the Red Sox and D-Backs could join them.

The Braves' dynasty has crumbled. The Dodgers, Cubs and Mets haven't been able to buy domination. The Angels have spent big and gotten three division titles in the past four seasons, but they've also found themselves on the receiving end of three playoff beatdowns in those seasons.

The White Sox jumped their payroll over $100M after they won the Series and have done nothing but disappoint since.

The Yankees of the 21st century have been basically an improved version of the '80s Yankees. They've bought a lot of talent, made a lot of headlines and won the most games, but it hasn't resulted in a championship. Frankly, every team in baseball should be begging the Yankees to keep blowing large sums of cash on veteran contracts ($30M a season for A-Rod works for me). It spreads the wealth around in the form of the luxury tax and it hasn't produced an unstoppable juggernaut.

What would be scary is if the Yankees came up with another generation like Jeter, Rivera, Williams, Pettitte and Posada. The Yankees and Red Sox are both making feints in that direction and that's what ought to scare people. Right now they've just got the biggest dippers in the trough. That still leaves plenty of water. What other teams should fear is if they buy the spiggot.

RedLegSuperStar
10-09-2007, 05:19 PM
They may not win 13 consecutive division titles, but how many have the Reds won since 1995?

The Marlins have won 2 titles, while rebuilding in between them, the D'Backs won 1, made the playoffs the next year, blew it up, and are back in this year...the Indians had their run in the late 1990's, blew it up, and got themselves back in it....the Twins and A's have had some good teams and playoff appearances...I'm sure there's more cases I'm not thinking of...

Meanwhile the Reds have used it as an excuse as to why they're not winning. I hope Castellini changes that.

With some pitching, this team should be there.

Very good points.. And I have to agree.. this can't be an excuse or the fall back reason. It's not saying go out and spend money.. but know how to draft and develop players. Reds are doing a great job finding diamonds in the rough so to speak with Phillips, Hamilton, Burton, and Keppinger. But notice only one is a pitcher. He are going to need pitching and have always needed pitching but gotten away from it by pulling someone from the pen or took a flyer on someone who just didn't pan out. I think offensively this team is going to be good. Defensively might below average to average. But pitching is where Krivsky needs to go to work and weed out the goods and the bads and add to the mix this offseason.

westofyou
10-09-2007, 05:40 PM
The Marlins have won 2 titles, while rebuilding in between them, the D'Backs won 1, made the playoffs the next year, blew it up, and are back in this year

While this is true the Marlins are dead in the water as a viable business, they draw like the Phillies in the 30's and Arizona has a sketchy past and recent attendance woes too. Both have lost over 107 games almost immediately after winning. The Reds have only lost over 100 games once since 1882.

The D-Backs situation was particularly interesting.


In 2000 Major League Baseball had to guarantee a bank loan to keep Colangelo’s Diamondbacks franchise afloat (a first for MLB). Ten members of the 2001 Diamondbacks agreed to restructure their contracts, including Randy Johnson, a key member of the World Series winners.

''I feel I'm helping this organization out to let Jerry have some working capital and go out and get what he needs to make this a competitive team,'' Randy Johnson, one of the deferring 10, told The New York Times. Having had to ‘rescue’ the D-Backs from financial peril, Major League Baseball was less than enamored with Colangelo’s business philopshy in May 2001.

''There are significant concerns there,'' the official told The New York Times Murray Chass at the time speaking on the condition of anonymity. ''They've spent themselves into serious economic problems. What they've done with deferring more money has only postponed the problem.''

http://sportsbiznews.blogspot.com/2007/04/sale-of-cubs-much-more-than-sale-of-mlb.html

As business plans go I find that approach to be tenuous at best, it's a little too Cowboy to build a foundation and still 6 years after they won the series they too worry about too many Cubs fans at their home games against Chicago.

Seats are important, what defines a small market is the revenue generated from the business outside of the sales of seats and hot dogs. Currently the Reds are a small market, perhaps they can attack that in a manner that is sustainable and produces winners.

Matt700wlw
10-09-2007, 05:47 PM
There's plenty of argument on both sides of this issue, which is why it's such a good debate...

RedsManRick
10-09-2007, 05:51 PM
It's not really a debate. Any organization can put together a winning team together, virtually regardless of payroll. The more money you have, the easier it is to do.

I can't stand how this issue is constantly discussed in black & white terms. Money isn't everything, but it helps -- a lot. That's it and that's not going to change anytime soon.

Sea Ray
10-09-2007, 05:56 PM
MLB does have horrible economic balance but I do think the situation has improved in recent years. The Reds have been poorly run in the past decade but even if they'd had stellar management they never could have strung together division titles like the Yankees and Braves have done. It takes money to do that.

Small payroll teams like those in this year's postseason can have limited success but they can't sustain it w/o raising payroll. As these players gain service time they'll get more expensive and the rich teams can retain them while the small market ones must scout for young replacements, acquire them and hope they work out. It is a different agenda depending on $$

oregonred
10-09-2007, 06:31 PM
I'm with M2 on this and have been pleasantly surprised how competitive baseball has become, especially in the National League, over the past 3-4 seasons. IMO, the only two teams that can really complain are the Blue Jays and the Devil Rays. They have to play for the AL wild card each year since it is hard to envision a year where one of two $150M+ payroll teams won't win 95 games. The Orioles are simply mismanaged so they can't complain. Having six teams in the NL Central is also unfair just from a numerical/odds perspective given that you have a 16% chance of winning your division vs. 20-25% in all the others (all things being equal).

It is easily forgotten since the Reds ended up 80-82 last year with the Sept collapse, but the Reds led the wild card chase almost wire to wire from April into early September last season. The team going into 2008 has many fewer questions then the one that started the 2006 season.

The Brewers had 14 awful seasons in a row (including 6 last place finishes). They are on the upswing now but have been the poster child for sister of the poor since 1992.

The trend is clearly towards youth and not even the big market teams are as apt to give away young pitching prospects like they did even five years ago. Both New York teams and Boston have wised up and are mixing in much more home grown minor league pitching talent with a best of breed surrounding veteran/free agent cast. This may turn out to be a big problem for the Reds if the Cubs/Dodgers start to figure this out. $100M+ payrolls and smart organizations are a deadly combo.

The Reds have less margin for error, but the youthful turn of the core is definitely very intriguing and promising (Phillips, Votto, EdE, Hamilton, Bruce, Burton) along with cheap and youthful backup options in Keppinger/Cantu/Hopper who can play multiple positions. The biggest piece is finding an ace and for the first time since the early 1990's the Reds have one. It really rests on one of Bailey/Cuerto emerging over the next couple of seasons along with moves needed to upgrade the pen with another couple of arms and finding a #3 type starter for 2008. If one of Bailey/Cuerto two emerges, this team will be a legitimate playoff contender for the forseeable future.

M2
10-09-2007, 07:24 PM
One thing to beware of with a young core is not all young cores are created equal. It wasn't that long ago that folks pointed to Sean Casey, Pokey Reese, Aaron Boone and Dmitri Young as a young core to carry the Reds well into this decade with Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, Gookie Dawkins and a host of young pitchers sure to join them. That was the Jim Bowden plan. He even added a resident superstar in Ken Griffey Jr. and traded for the much ballyhooed Drew Henson.

For the record I'm generally for going the youth route, but, to my thinking, the Reds will need to be selective about who constitutes the "young core." I don't think there's enough young talent on hand to make it work, so some kids are going to need to be sacrificial lambs (probably at least one of Bruce, Bailey, Cueto and Votto for instance).

jojo
10-09-2007, 07:28 PM
Here's (http://ussmariner.com/2007/10/09/the-seeds-of-success/) a post that I think is both on target and a great summary that puts the wave that is sweeping mlb into perspective....

Sea Ray
10-09-2007, 07:29 PM
One thing to beware of with a young core is not all young cores are created equal. It wasn't that long ago that folks pointed to Sean Casey, Pokey Reese, Aaron Boone and Dmitri Young as a young core to carry the Reds well into this decade with Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, Gookie Dawkins and a host of young pitchers sure to join them. That was the Jim Bowden plan. He even added a resident superstar in Ken Griffey Jr. and traded for the much ballyhooed Drew Henson.



Jim Bowden's stars always had fatal flaws in their game to keep them from being superstars. In the case of Pokey and Dawkins they couldn't hit. In the case of Casey and Young they could hit but couldn't contribute in any other way. And he was always thought guys like Wily Mo, Rolando Roomes and Drew Henson could cut down on their strike outs.

RedEye
10-09-2007, 07:37 PM
Some teams are well run and have a large margin for error (Yankees, Red Sox)
Some teams are poorly run and have a large margin for error (Dodgers, Mariners)
Some teams are well run and have a small margin for error (A's, Twins)
Some teams are poorly run and have a small margin for error (Reds, Pirates, Royals)

Just because some teams are poorly run on both ends of the spectrum doesn't mean the system shouldn't be made more equitable.

M2
10-09-2007, 08:15 PM
Just because some teams are poorly run on both ends of the spectrum doesn't mean the system shouldn't be made more equitable.

Though beware of inequitable equity. Trying to keep the Yankees and Red Sox from spending money on major leaguers (thus forcing them to spend tens of millions extra on scouting and development), is going to get you a system that's beyond lopsided. You'd be looking at a system where a lot of well run franchises would be hopeless causes, unable to funnel much of any talent into the pipeline.

vaticanplum
10-09-2007, 08:16 PM
Its crazy how teams continue to spend even though payroll doesn't matter. The Yankees should fire their front office and hire Mr. Blogger.

I think the Yankees front office has been trying to pull their focus away from money for a while now. The team's payroll decreased last year (I think the only team in baseball to do so?)

westofyou
10-09-2007, 08:26 PM
I think the Yankees front office has been trying to pull their focus away from money for a while now. The team's payroll decreased last year (I think the only team in baseball to do so?)

Yet they went out and payed 25 million for a 45 year old pitcher.

That's quite a pull back.

vaticanplum
10-09-2007, 08:29 PM
Yet they went out and payed 25 million for a 45 year old pitcher.

That's quite a pull back.

They do not always spend money well. I'm just saying that to some degree I think their hands are still tied.

pedro
10-09-2007, 08:33 PM
They do not always spend money well. I'm just saying that to some degree I think their hands are still tied.

Despite their large payroll it used to seem that unlike a lot of teams the Yankees were getting value from their big name FA's. At least until Carl Pavano & Jaret Wright anyway.

M2
10-09-2007, 09:11 PM
Despite their large payroll it used to seem that unlike a lot of teams the Yankees were getting value from their big name FA's. At least until Carl Pavano & Jaret Wright anyway.

If you look at their dynasty years (1996-2000), they had very few free agents in the mix. David Wells, El Duque, Mike Stanton, Jimmy Key, Wade Boggs, Joe Girardi, Darryl Strawberry and Mariano Duncan were the only significant free agents.

After that Mussina, Giambi, Matsui, Wells v2 and Karsay showed up and had some impact, but it didn't net the results of the development/trade regime.

Aronchis
10-09-2007, 09:15 PM
If you thought Casey,Reese, Young and folks were a "good young core", you were out on a barge.

I remember going into 99, I thought Young would be dealt at some point and the bullpen would be breaking down by 2003. Looks like I was right but they waited to long keeping those guys.

Then the farm was going have to develope players by 2003, which they didn't. Dunn struggled to 2004 and Kearns was injury plagued and never really did develope as expected.

They developed nothing for the rotation and the bullpen fell off after Williamson/Sulliven.

Hence, talent that never developes, means cores are never developed.

I think we will have a better idea this time next year if the Reds have developed a "good" core of young talent. But Bailey,Bruce,Votto,Cueto,Viola and Roenicke sound more promising coming up at similiar times, but there are no promises. It either happens or it will not happen. Maybe it is all luck in some respect.

Rojo
10-09-2007, 09:18 PM
Though beware of inequitable equity. Trying to keep the Yankees and Red Sox from spending money on major leaguers (thus forcing them to spend tens of millions extra on scouting and development), is going to get you a system that's beyond lopsided. You'd be looking at a system where a lot of well run franchises would be hopeless causes, unable to funnel much of any talent into the pipeline.

A) Now, they can spend on the ML roster and development.

B) The Yanks-Redsox rivalry is the prime machine of escalating salaries.

Again, the best way to handle this is to add a couple of teams to the Northeast. Competition is the American Way.

Rojo
10-09-2007, 09:18 PM
It's not really a debate. Any organization can put together a winning team together, virtually regardless of payroll. The more money you have, the easier it is to do.

I can't stand how this issue is constantly discussed in black & white terms. Money isn't everything, but it helps -- a lot. That's it and that's not going to change anytime soon.

Well put.

Rojo
10-09-2007, 09:20 PM
I think the Yankees front office has been trying to pull their focus away from money for a while now. The team's payroll decreased last year (I think the only team in baseball to do so?)

The Yankee payroll is a little like the price of oil, it recedes for a while before zooming up.

Falls City Beer
10-09-2007, 09:33 PM
If you thought Casey,Reese, Young and folks were a "good young core", you were out on a barge.

I remember going into 99, I thought Young would be dealt at some point and the bullpen would be breaking down by 2003. Looks like I was right but they waited to long keeping those guys.

Then the farm was going have to develope players by 2003, which they didn't. Dunn struggled to 2004 and Kearns was injury plagued and never really did develope as expected.

They developed nothing for the rotation and the bullpen fell off after Williamson/Sulliven.

Hence, talent that never developes, means cores are never developed.

I think we will have a better idea this time next year if the Reds have developed a "good" core of young talent. But Bailey,Bruce,Votto,Cueto,Viola and Roenicke sound more promising coming up at similiar times, but there are no promises. It either happens or it will not happen. Maybe it is all luck in some respect.

Just because they're the new batch doesn't mean they're any better than the old. Right now, they're just "new." Let's leave it at that.

Really, there's not an arm in the "new" batch that comes close to being as electric as Williamson's or as effective as Sullivan's was. Maybe Bailey can emerge as a starter--but he doesn't have the raw stuff of Williamson or the control/difficulty to hit of Sullivan. And Viola and Roenicke are years away at best.

The Reds would be lucky to get a 99-era batch of players out of this new crop. Very lucky indeed.

Aronchis
10-09-2007, 09:41 PM
Just because they're the new batch doesn't mean they're any better than the old. Right now, they're just "new." Let's leave it at that.

Really, there's not an arm in the "new" batch that comes close to being as electric as Williamson's or as effective as Sullivan's was. Maybe Bailey can emerge as a starter--but he doesn't have the raw stuff of Williamson or the control/difficulty to hit of Sullivan. And Viola and Roenicke are years away at best.

The Reds would be lucky to get a 99-era batch of players out of this new crop. Very lucky indeed.

I disagree. Viola and Roenicke are probably close. As we have seen with Burton, bullpen arms typically can develope fast.

Bailey's control isn't important right now. Most young pitchers struggle with control, Homer is no exception. But it will improve with time and his stuff will be better than Williamson's in time as well.

M2
10-09-2007, 09:52 PM
A) Now, they can spend on the ML roster and development.

B) The Yanks-Redsox rivalry is the prime machine of escalating salaries.

Again, the best way to handle this is to add a couple of teams to the Northeast. Competition is the American Way.

I agree about the solution. There ought to be another team in New York and one in Connecticut.

You're right that the Yankees could spend on roster and development, but they got away from that for most of this decade. If you're worried about the Yankees being an unbeatable dynasty, then you want to keep the system so that the franchise can fall victim to George Steinbrenner's baser instincts. But say MLB set a $90M payroll cap. That would give the Yankees an extra $100M to spend on development every year. You don't have to imagine very hard as to what it would look like. Refer to the 1930s or the 1950s. Don't let that franchise resurrect the ghost of George Weiss.

Escalating salaries are the result of a league flush with cash, revenues have doubled since the start of the century, up to $6B. The Yankees and Red Sox pump a lot of money into the system (via revenue sharing and payroll tax), but there's a lot of deep pockets out there.

Sea Ray
10-09-2007, 09:55 PM
Just because they're the new batch doesn't mean they're any better than the old. Right now, they're just "new." Let's leave it at that.

Really, there's not an arm in the "new" batch that comes close to being as electric as Williamson's or as effective as Sullivan's was. Maybe Bailey can emerge as a starter--but he doesn't have the raw stuff of Williamson or the control/difficulty to hit of Sullivan. And Viola and Roenicke are years away at best.

The Reds would be lucky to get a 99-era batch of players out of this new crop. Very lucky indeed.

The innings Sullivan ate up is very hard to find. In fact few teams even today have a Scott Sullivan.

Williamson sure had the stuff but his control was inconsistent at best. I'd take Burton over Williamson right now.

The pitching doesn't have to be as good as the 99 team's because the current Reds are much more powerful offensively.

westofyou
10-09-2007, 09:57 PM
Again, the best way to handle this is to add a couple of teams to the Northeast. Competition is the American Way.

Pass, the rest of the country also exists and there's no way that NYC deserves a team over other parts of the country.

M2
10-09-2007, 09:58 PM
If you thought Casey,Reese, Young and folks were a "good young core", you were out on a barge.

I didn't, but most Reds fans were on that barge, along with the Reds front office. Those of us who kept pointing to the rocks were deemed needlessly pessimistic.

Point is, it's easy to list the names of kids in your system and pretend the future is assured. Having it actually work out is the tricky part.

Sea Ray
10-09-2007, 10:00 PM
I agree about the solution. There ought to be another team in New York and one in Connecticut.

You're right that the Yankees could spend on roster and development, but they got away from that for most of this decade. If you're worried about the Yankees being an unbeatable dynasty, then you want to keep the system so that the franchise can fall victim to George Steinbrenner's baser instincts. But say MLB set a $90M payroll cap. That would give the Yankees an extra $100M to spend on development every year. You don't have to imagine very hard as to what it would look like. Refer to the 1930s or the 1950s. Don't let that franchise resurrect the ghost of George Weiss.

Escalating salaries are the result of a league flush with cash, revenues have doubled since the start of the century, up to $6B. The Yankees and Red Sox pump a lot of money into the system (via revenue sharing and payroll tax), but there's a lot of deep pockets out there.


I doubt another team in NY would hurt Yankee revenues much unless you're convinced that some cable systems would drop the YES Network.

I also don't see that giving the Yanks more money to spend on player development would make much of a difference either. They do need an international draft but unless MLB raises the cap on the number of minor league teams a major league team can have then I doubt we'd see much difference.

Falls City Beer
10-09-2007, 10:16 PM
I disagree. Viola and Roenicke are probably close. As we have seen with Burton, bullpen arms typically can develope fast.

Bailey's control isn't important right now. Most young pitchers struggle with control, Homer is no exception. But it will improve with time and his stuff will be better than Williamson's in time as well.

When this bunch cranks out 96 wins, we'll talk.

I'd say this team is a defense, a bullpen and a Denny Neagle short of real contention.

Yachtzee
10-09-2007, 10:21 PM
I doubt another team in NY would hurt Yankee revenues much unless you're convinced that some cable systems would drop the YES Network.

I also don't see that giving the Yanks more money to spend on player development would make much of a difference either. They do need an international draft but unless MLB raises the cap on the number of minor league teams a major league team can have then I doubt we'd see much difference.

I think putting a team in Northern New Jersey might have some impact. Another team in the City isn't going to do much to the Yankees, but giving New Jersey a team to call their own might do something.

Personally I think they should just require all teams to pay 50% of gross revenues into a pot to be distributed equally among all teams in the league. The reasoning behind it is that a team like the Yankees has the other teams in the league to thank that they have games to play in order to make that revenue. I doubt anyone wants to see a season of Yankees/Red Sox tilts, no matter what ESPN thinks. And since it's only 50% of the revenue, teams like the Yankees and Red Sox would still have a proportionally higher revenue level. It's just that it would make the revenue disparity less great. I would include in gross revenue all revenues made from team owned TV networks so that teams couldn't stash money in their TV network to avoid sharing with the other teams.

I don't know if a salary cap will fix things, but more equitable revenue sharing might.

KronoRed
10-09-2007, 10:33 PM
I don't know if a salary cap will fix things, but more equitable revenue sharing might.

I'm with you, but I'd go as high as 75% sharing, and while a cap wouldn't help a floor would certainly stop some owners from taking the revenue sharing and pocketing it.

vaticanplum
10-09-2007, 10:37 PM
As long as the Yankees can't buy championships (and it's becoming more and more clear that they can't), I don't actually see a problem as much as the rest of you do. The sentimental part of me doesn't want any more teams in the northeast: North Jersey belongs to the Yankees, South Jersey to the Phillies, and New England to the Red Sox. That blood runs pretty thick up there. I have a hard time imagining new teams splitting it up -- MLB would do better to drum up interest via new teams in non-baseball territory (like the oft-bandied about Portland).

If a team was a perpetual contender because of smart management, would any of you demand that the general manager be split into pieces and divided between teams to ensure fairness? Is money really that different? Earning, using and spending money well -- especially in this day of media and endorsements -- is smarts too; it's not just a matter of pure cash. As other people have said, there are a lot of ways to build a good team. Any team that whines about not having enough money is just wasting time that could be spent finding another way to do it.

GAC
10-09-2007, 10:38 PM
It is still a very valid argument. Pick the two teams out of that group that are virtually guaranteed a playoff spot every single season because they outspend everyone else. It's not hard to identify them, and that IS a problem that hurts the game. When the Rockies, D-Backs or Indains win 13 consecutive division titles we can stop banging on baseball for being a total catastrophe in terms of competitive balance. But, it is just going to get worse.

Exactly. It's a percentage thing. Of the 31 in existence, how many small market teams are there in comparison to large market teams?

So it is as you state.... smaller to mid sized teams are most likely going to make it into the pst-season since there are more of them. But what are their chances of winning?

That's why it is great when a team like the Indians knocks off the Yankees. The Indians are, IMHO, a well ran orgainzation centered on their farm system. But even they ave to rebuild every several years because why? They can't afford to retain the talent as it exits via free agency to better, more profitable, pastures.

I don't see being a small market team as an excuse as much it's a reality. It is a bigger hurdle. Money (revenue) talks.

Rojo
10-09-2007, 10:39 PM
Pass, the rest of the country also exists and there's no way that NYC deserves a team over other parts of the country.

Ah, the Electoral College strategy.

red-in-la
10-09-2007, 10:43 PM
When this bunch cranks out 96 wins, we'll talk.

I'd say this team is a defense, a bullpen and a Denny Neagle short of real contention.

This team tied the record for fewest errors in a season.

M2
10-09-2007, 10:48 PM
Pass, the rest of the country also exists and there's no way that NYC deserves a team over other parts of the country.

The northeast has got more people with money who care. You're talking about 19 million humans in the NYC metropolitan area. Greater Boston (which extends from Manchester, NH down to Providence) has 7.4 million people. Greater Hartford's got 1.2 million people.

If they'd show up and pay (and they would), then what's the argument against it? That less lucrative options should take predence because of northeastaphobia? Let's be honest, the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox aren't letting anyone else into those markets, but you could easily fit two more teams into the region and they'd immediately be top 10 in terms of revenue.

I know Portland's trying, but the Beavers currently rank #2 on the list of Portland baseball team attendance and that can't help in convincing MLB to consider the city as a viable option.

Rojo
10-09-2007, 10:53 PM
But say MLB set a $90M payroll cap. That would give the Yankees an extra $100M to spend on development every year.

So, money does matter.


Escalating salaries are the result of a league flush with cash, revenues have doubled since the start of the century, up to $6B. The Yankees and Red Sox pump a lot of money into the system (via revenue sharing and payroll tax), but there's a lot of deep pockets out there.

Sure there are, but you're going to pay more at an auction if Warren Buffet's in the room.

FTR, I think cap's are ham-fisted but the playing field's far from even.

PuffyPig
10-09-2007, 11:03 PM
Sure small market teams can make the playoffs, but how many of those small market teams that made this years playoffs made last years playoffs.

Zero.

Every year some small market teams make the playoffs, but it's a revolving door. THye can't sustain thesuccess becasue once they get good, they can't afford to stay good.

Yachtzee
10-09-2007, 11:13 PM
As long as the Yankees can't buy championships (and it's becoming more and more clear that they can't), I don't actually see a problem as much as the rest of you do. The sentimental part of me doesn't want any more teams in the northeast: North Jersey belongs to the Yankees, South Jersey to the Phillies, and New England to the Red Sox. That blood runs pretty thick up there. I have a hard time imagining new teams splitting it up -- MLB would do better to drum up interest via new teams in non-baseball territory (like the oft-bandied about Portland).

If a team was a perpetual contender because of smart management, would any of you demand that the general manager be split into pieces and divided between teams to ensure fairness? Is money really that different? Earning, using and spending money well -- especially in this day of media and endorsements -- is smarts too; it's not just a matter of pure cash. As other people have said, there are a lot of ways to build a good team. Any team that whines about not having enough money is just wasting time that could be spent finding another way to do it.

I think you underestimate the pride people in New Jersey have in being from Jersey. Give them a Jersey team and you'll have a tremendous following. Sure the older generations will stick with the Yankees and Phils, but the kids will rather root for Jersey. The New Jersey Devils of the NHL don't seem to have any problems being surrounded by the Flyers, Rangers and Islanders.

The problem with money is arbitration. Because the Yankees and Red Sox can spend, spend, spend for the good players, it makes mediocre players more expensive too. The Yankees can afford to make mistakes with their money, but with arbitration, it's the other teams that can't afford the mistakes the Yankees make with their money. So either share the wealth or get rid of arbitration. Which do you think the Players Association is going to go for?

As a Yankees fan, it's easy for you to say that money doesn't matter. But imagine being a Blue Jays fan or a Devil Rays fan. You can try to build through smart development as much as you want, but your team is still playing an unbalanced schedule against two juggernauts with piles of cash and a team that should be good if it weren't for a meddling owner. You don't have the luxury of playing an unbalanced schedule in an AL Central where most of the markets are fairly comparable. It makes it difficult to succeed. Add arbitration to the mix and suddenly it makes even middle relievers too expensive to keep around. I'd like a system that rewards teams for being run well, not one in which some teams can afford to make mistakes, the secondary costs of which are born by everyone else.

Maybe I'm a product of my time, but I liked major league baseball best in the '80s, when the Yankees were one of just 26 teams.

M2
10-09-2007, 11:14 PM
So, money does matter.

Of course it does. Better to let the Yankees blow large chunks of their cash on fat contracts rather than buying up a generation.

Though back to the original point, money isn't a panacea and a lower payroll has hardly been a disqualifier during the 21st century.


Sure there are, but you're going to pay more at an auction if Warren Buffet's in the room.

Only if he's bidding, which wasn't the case with either Zito or Soriano last winter.

Falls City Beer
10-09-2007, 11:18 PM
Imbalance has meant two of the eight possible playoffs slots have been locked down by two teams for about a decade, and will be for the foreseeable future. So teams are basically shooting for the remaining six slots.

Thank god for the NL.

I think one's perspective about imbalance would be greatly changed if, say, the Reds played in the AL East. They'd not see the playoffs again in my lifetime.

Rojo
10-09-2007, 11:25 PM
Of course it does. Better to let the Yankees blow large chunks of their cash on fat contracts rather than buying up a generation.

Though back to the original point, money isn't a panacea and a lower payroll has hardly been a disqualifier during the 21st century.


And being under 6" hasn't disqualified a lot of NBA'ers.

The original point of the thread was that, because we have some low-budget teams, money just doesn't matter much. Maybe I missed that as I was spell-checking panacea.


Only if he's bidding, which wasn't the case with either Zito or Soriano last winter.

To name two examples.

Falls City Beer
10-09-2007, 11:28 PM
And being under 6" hasn't disqualified a lot of NBA'ers.

Spudd Webb.

M2
10-09-2007, 11:35 PM
Maybe I'm a product of my time, but I liked major league baseball best in the '80s, when the Yankees were one of just 26 teams.

That's basically what you've got now. The Yankees were the winningest team of the 1980s, but they didn't win it all. They were one of the four best teams in the AL six times in '80s, but only made the playoffs twice because of the system in place at that time. This, for all intensive purposes, has been an all '80s replay decade for the Yankees.

vaticanplum
10-09-2007, 11:42 PM
I think you underestimate the pride people in New Jersey have in being from Jersey. Give them a Jersey team and you'll have a tremendous following. Sure the older generations will stick with the Yankees and Phils, but the kids will rather root for Jersey. The New Jersey Devils of the NHL don't seem to have any problems being surrounded by the Flyers, Rangers and Islanders.

Well, my own experience is very different. I went to college in New Jersey, and was bowled over by the Yankee fandom there I never knew existed. It is a Yankee fan from Jersey who is almost completely responsible for my own fandom. I realize this is just my own experience talking, and it's a small portion of everything, but North and South Jersey are as devoted to the Yankees and Phillies respectively as people from the teams' own cities. If Jersey had its own team, yes, I think in time its residents could become slavishly devoted to it, but it would take at least a generation if not more. And these are people who would already be baseball fans of somebody -- money that's already made. I think that may be a reason MLB would be hesitant to do that.


The problem with money is arbitration. Because the Yankees and Red Sox can spend, spend, spend for the good players, it makes mediocre players more expensive too. The Yankees can afford to make mistakes with their money, but with arbitration, it's the other teams that can't afford the mistakes the Yankees make with their money. So either share the wealth or get rid of arbitration. Which do you think the Players Association is going to go for?

Now this is an excellent point. I question the "can't afford" part (put together a well-run team, and surprise surprise, you'll be able to afford more) but the rest I totally agree with. This part really isn't fair. I'm not sure that anything truly can be, but it isn't.


As a Yankees fan, it's easy for you to say that money doesn't matter. But imagine being a Blue Jays fan or a Devil Rays fan. You can try to build through smart development as much as you want, but your team is still playing an unbalanced schedule against two juggernauts with piles of cash and a team that should be good if it weren't for a meddling owner. You don't have the luxury of playing an unbalanced schedule in an AL Central where most of the markets are fairly comparable. It makes it difficult to succeed. Add arbitration to the mix and suddenly it makes even middle relievers too expensive to keep around. I'd like a system that rewards teams for being run well, not one in which some teams can afford to make mistakes, the secondary costs of which are born by everyone else.

Well, your last sentence pretty much brings home the ultimate point: the only thing that truly rewards teams is winning. In the lofty sense, yes, but also in the tangible monetary sense. And I still believe there are a lot of ways to win, and money can still apparently lose. Money helps get teams into the playoffs, but it doesn't necessarily get them out of it on top. The World Series is still almost as good a checks and balances system as baseball can have for itself.

I think these points are all absolutely legitimate in the theoretical sense. The problem is that they've also become an excuse for poorer teams to make mistakes and blame them on other teams' money. You're right: as a Yankees fan, I escape a lot of that, but I have an Orioles fan bleating into my ears every day of my life about the stupidity of his own fellow fans -- not because their team can't compete on a monetary level, but because their owner is a perfect idiot who doesn't spend his money wisely -- and he gets away with it because the Orioles are in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees and thus can't compete anyway because it's unFArE!!!1111!!!

What is the basis of all competition, all success in life? Recognize where your talents are, be creative, do what you can do to make yourself better. Don't worry about what the other guy is doing. It's tougher to succeed if you start out with less, yes, but all the more rewarding. Now, this is a little idealistic of course. But I do suspect that if a lot of poorer teams made smarter decisions, suddenly the financial disparity would seem like a lot less than people make it out to be now.

M2
10-09-2007, 11:55 PM
The original point of the thread was that, because we have some low-budget teams, money just doesn't matter much. Maybe I missed that as I was spell-checking panacea.

You can type "money just doesn't matter much" a dozen more times, but it won't change the fact that you're the only one saying it. Talent evaluation skills matter a good bit more. Team construction skills matter more.

If the Reds had those two things, they'd likely find they had enough money to get the job done.

Money still matters of course, but fortunately the league currently doesn't run a system where money rules the roost.

westofyou
10-10-2007, 12:09 AM
Ah, the Electoral College strategy.

Pshawww

Last week in the Times Dave Anderson wrote a column crying about the Dodgers leaving NYC 50 years ago. In a retort a reader sent this in yesterday.


To the Sports Editor:

Re “Time Doesn’t Relieve the Pain, or Change the Facts,” Sept. 30: The extent to which the Brooklyn Dodgers debate and hurt hangs on is often astounding, and Dave Anderson perpetuates it.

Walter O’Malley would have been absolutely wrong to turn down what was by far the strongest opportunity available to him (along with the daunting struggles involved), even aside from the groundbreaking history it represented. In the end, the Brooklyn fans lost their most local team, but have always had one or two others within 15 minutes.

California had 16 million residents at the time, and New Yorkers have always ignored the benefit those fans derived from the move, as if New York were entitled to three teams and half the country should have none.

Preston Bealle

Darien, Conn.

So with your two teams in the Bay Area and the Northeast with their allotment I say ... Brzrzrrrzrzrzrrzrzrrz.

I like baseball too.

BCubb2003
10-10-2007, 01:29 AM
I've said this before, but there are several kinds of markets, not just big and small, and you can overachieve or underachieve in any of them, for awhile. There are:

Superstation markets: New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, L.A.

Major metro markets: Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Toronto.

Midwest Industrial League: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Milwaukee.

Sunbelt: Florida, Tampa Bay, Houston, Texas, Arizona.

Prairie and Mountain League: Minnesota, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver.

Pacific Coast League: Seattle, San Francisco, Anaheim, San Diego.

Of course, the short answer is probably this: Will the team that needs Mariano Rivera the most be able to get him?

Rojo
10-10-2007, 01:31 AM
You can type "money just doesn't matter much" a dozen more times, but it won't change the fact that you're the only one saying it.

Maybe it was the title, Hey Reds, it's not about the money that misled me.

Rojo
10-10-2007, 01:37 AM
So with your two teams in the Bay Area and the Northeast with their allotment I say ... Brzrzrrrzrzrzrrzrzrrz.

I like baseball too.

You moved away from it, it didn't move away from you.

And its not Hartford's fault that Portland's so far from everything.

Yachtzee
10-10-2007, 04:24 AM
Well, my own experience is very different. I went to college in New Jersey, and was bowled over by the Yankee fandom there I never knew existed. It is a Yankee fan from Jersey who is almost completely responsible for my own fandom. I realize this is just my own experience talking, and it's a small portion of everything, but North and South Jersey are as devoted to the Yankees and Phillies respectively as people from the teams' own cities. If Jersey had its own team, yes, I think in time its residents could become slavishly devoted to it, but it would take at least a generation if not more. And these are people who would already be baseball fans of somebody -- money that's already made. I think that may be a reason MLB would be hesitant to do that.


Now this is an excellent point. I question the "can't afford" part (put together a well-run team, and surprise surprise, you'll be able to afford more) but the rest I totally agree with. This part really isn't fair. I'm not sure that anything truly can be, but it isn't.



Well, your last sentence pretty much brings home the ultimate point: the only thing that truly rewards teams is winning. In the lofty sense, yes, but also in the tangible monetary sense. And I still believe there are a lot of ways to win, and money can still apparently lose. Money helps get teams into the playoffs, but it doesn't necessarily get them out of it on top. The World Series is still almost as good a checks and balances system as baseball can have for itself.

I think these points are all absolutely legitimate in the theoretical sense. The problem is that they've also become an excuse for poorer teams to make mistakes and blame them on other teams' money. You're right: as a Yankees fan, I escape a lot of that, but I have an Orioles fan bleating into my ears every day of my life about the stupidity of his own fellow fans -- not because their team can't compete on a monetary level, but because their owner is a perfect idiot who doesn't spend his money wisely -- and he gets away with it because the Orioles are in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees and thus can't compete anyway because it's unFArE!!!1111!!!

What is the basis of all competition, all success in life? Recognize where your talents are, be creative, do what you can do to make yourself better. Don't worry about what the other guy is doing. It's tougher to succeed if you start out with less, yes, but all the more rewarding. Now, this is a little idealistic of course. But I do suspect that if a lot of poorer teams made smarter decisions, suddenly the financial disparity would seem like a lot less than people make it out to be now.


I think Jersey fans are passionate sports fans, no doubt. But I also think they're proud of Jersey. Before the Bengals came around, a lot of Cincinnatians were passionate Browns fans, but it didn't take long for them to change allegiance because geography and pride in your community has a lot to do with what team you call your own. Now it may be an uphill battle to put a team in New Jersey because the owners of the Yankees, Mets, and Phillies will have a conniption over it, but I don't think a team in New Jersey would have a lack of fans.

I agree with you that money can lose and a lot of poorer teams use money as an excuse. Baltimore has no one but Angelos to blame for their predicament. Before the Nationals came around, he had the Baltimore/Washington Market to himself and he squandered it.

And under the current set up, with the unbalanced schedule, I don't think there is any reason why KC or Cincinnati or Pittsburgh can't succeed in the division in which they've been placed. The teams they play most of their games against are relatively equal in market size, some bigger, some smaller, but none oppressively so. As much as I don't like the unbalanced schedule, I think it shields teams like the Royals and Reds from having to play too many games against big market juggernauts (Thankfully the Cubs are completely inept). I can't say the same for the Jays and Devil Rays. When the Yankees and Red Sox have their playoff tickets punched by their significant monetary advantage, it's hard for smaller teams in the division to compete. The Yankees and Sox may face a challenge for the Wild Card from teams outside their division, but I think if the Jays or Rays were to have a year where they challenged for the division, it would be short-lived. Any success by those teams would only spur the Yankees and Sox to spend more money to get better, making it difficult for the Jays or Rays to sustain that success.

mth123
10-10-2007, 05:29 AM
Sure small market teams can make the playoffs, but how many of those small market teams that made this years playoffs made last years playoffs.

Zero.

Every year some small market teams make the playoffs, but it's a revolving door. THye can't sustain thesuccess becasue once they get good, they can't afford to stay good.

Exactly. And when they make a mistake they're screwed. Big money teams move on and get a replacement. They don't even have to be smart, just persistent in spending their resources until something works out.

Ltlabner
10-10-2007, 07:12 AM
In a somewhat serrious suggestion, what if the league put NYY and BOS into their own division where they can fight it out with each other every year. They can outspend and out slug each other year after year. They can still spend all the money they want, since they have huge revenues, but it woln't bury the Blue Jays of the world.

Then the remaning 3 teams of the division are re-aligned into other divisions so you don't have one with 4 teams and one with 6 any more.

Of course, it will never happen. But it seems like (at 6:11am anyway) a quick and simple fix that doesn't penalize BOS/NYY for being successfull but gives the rest of the teams in their current division a shot at actually being competitive.

Chip R
10-10-2007, 10:24 AM
The solution is obvious. Cut back to 16 teams, eliminate free agency the amateur draft and arbitration and then the Yankees and Sox will no longer dominate baseball.

M2
10-10-2007, 10:43 AM
Maybe it was the title, Hey Reds, it's not about the money that misled me.

If you want to argue with Jones, feel free to contact him about it. I was under the false impression I was being held responsible for my own words.

bucksfan2
10-10-2007, 10:46 AM
i read half of this debate and here is what I think. There is a great inequity in baseball. Does more money spent correlate to winning, yes and no. Do the Yankees, Red Sox, Angles, and Cubs have an advantage over other teams, yes. Free agency and the contracts have prevented a lot of smaller teams from keeping their talent and either trading them or losing them in free agency.
-The Royals would have had an outfield in their prime of Beltran, Damon, and Dye.
-The A's would have had Tejada and Gimabi
-Would the Reds have been able to keep a core together of Pasada, Williams, Jeter, and Rivera?
-The Red Sox spend $50M just for the rights to negotiate with a Dice K
-The Twins are having to cut payroll just for the opportunity to try and sign Santana.
-Barry Zito gets an outrageously stupid contract which will forever hurt smaller clubs in their ability to sign FA pitchers
-The Royals, Reds, Pirates, Brewers, O's, D Rays say hi to the playoffs.

While you need a well run front office smaller market clubs have very little opportunity for Error. While it is possible for a "small market" club to make it the playoffs and even win a world series they have a much more difficult route and also have a tighter window. I would be in agreement that "small market" is an excuse if and when we have a playoffs where the top 5 payroll teams all do not make the playoffs.

PuffyPig
10-10-2007, 11:08 AM
The solution is obvious. Cut back to 16 teams, eliminate free agency the amateur draft and arbitration and then the Yankees and Sox will no longer dominate baseball.


Without the amateur draft, the rich teams will still dominate baseball, more than now.

Or have you forgotten.

Chip R
10-10-2007, 11:11 AM
Without the amateur draft, the rich teams will still dominate baseball, more than now.

Or have you forgotten.


I was being sarcastic. Back in the "Good old days" without arbitration, free agency, 16 teams and no amateur draft, the Yankees dominated even more than they have in the last decade.

westofyou
10-10-2007, 11:14 AM
Back in the "Good old days" without arbitration, free agency, 16 teams and no amateur draft, the Yankees dominated even more than they have in the last decade.

Don't forget the self imposed salary cap. The 1967 Orioles had a delightful payroll of 850K, a year after they won the world series.

40 years later.....

westofyou
10-10-2007, 11:22 AM
D Backs have attendance issues.

http://badaltitude.baseballtoaster.com/archives/839339.html




Here is the real kick in the face about the Diamondbacks, though, with thanks on the link going to Buster Olney: As of this morning, some 12,000 seats for the NLCS at Chase Field remained unsold. I told you Phoenix was a crummy sports town. Of course, that didn't do the Yankees much good in 2001, but that Diamondbacks team was constructed of veterans from other organizations, many of whom got their starts in cities to which big chunks of the retired community in Arizona remained loyal. Rockies fans are now completely on board with this youth movement thing; Arizona fans still seem to wonder where Luis Gonzalez and Mark Grace went. It's hard to develop from the inside in an area where half the biggest stars in the game play for peanuts right in your backyard for a month every year. Phoenix might be a market where you have to get at least a few already-famous free agents on your roster to convince fans you mean business. The Cardinals and Coyotes certainly work this angle, although look how successful they've been. The best franchise in the area is the Suns, who have mixed and matched free agent signings and player development, but I've always felt like the Suns are far more appreciated by NBA junkies out of town than the locals, who show up for the games when the team is good but will never approach the loudness of the fans of Sacramento or Denver.

Sea Ray
10-10-2007, 11:37 AM
i read half of this debate and here is what I think. There is a great inequity in baseball. Does more money spent correlate to winning, yes and no. Do the Yankees, Red Sox, Angles, and Cubs have an advantage over other teams, yes. Free agency and the contracts have prevented a lot of smaller teams from keeping their talent and either trading them or losing them in free agency.
-The Royals would have had an outfield in their prime of Beltran, Damon, and Dye.
-The A's would have had Tejada and Gimabi
-Would the Reds have been able to keep a core together of Pasada, Williams, Jeter, and Rivera?
-The Red Sox spend $50M just for the rights to negotiate with a Dice K
-The Twins are having to cut payroll just for the opportunity to try and sign Santana.
-Barry Zito gets an outrageously stupid contract which will forever hurt smaller clubs in their ability to sign FA pitchers
-The Royals, Reds, Pirates, Brewers, O's, D Rays say hi to the playoffs.

While you need a well run front office smaller market clubs have very little opportunity for Error. While it is possible for a "small market" club to make it the playoffs and even win a world series they have a much more difficult route and also have a tighter window. I would be in agreement that "small market" is an excuse if and when we have a playoffs where the top 5 payroll teams all do not make the playoffs.


Would anyone here deny that it was an influx of cash that got the Cubs to the post season this year? Money spent was the major difference between 2006 and 2007 for them. Their management didn't all of a sudden get smarter. They spent a ton of money on FAs and a very expensive FA manager.

How 'bout the Red Sox? Where would they be w/o Dice K? It was also because of money that they were able to acquire Beckett and Schilling. Small market teams are forced to acquire a young Aaron Harang and hope he works out. I'd be a much smarter GM if I just went shopping in Japan and came back with Dice K.

Chip R
10-10-2007, 11:45 AM
How 'bout the Red Sox? Where would they be w/o Dice K?


According to popular wisdom, they would have been at least a wild card team since none of the other teams in that division has a chance.

traderumor
10-10-2007, 12:34 PM
I told you Phoenix was a crummy sports town.You mean people find things to do other than go see a ballgame? The shame.

M2
10-10-2007, 01:08 PM
You mean people find things to do other than go see a ballgame? The shame.

Normally I'd agree with you, but from what I understand, Phoenix's particular problem isn't that it's overflowing with social activity, it's that much of the city doesn't do a whole lot more than watch TV. I've been told it's an exceptionally sleepy town.

blumj
10-10-2007, 01:21 PM
According to popular wisdom, they would have been at least a wild card team since none of the other teams in that division has a chance.

Well, the Red Sox have made the playoffs 6 of the last 10 years, but that's only 1 time more than the A's, 2 times fewer than the Braves, and 4 times fewer than the 800 lb. gorilla in their own division. Of course, it's been all of a whole year since they failed to make the playoffs and finished behind the Blue Jays. But, hey, those poor SMALL MARKET Baltimore and Toronto teams have no chance to compete, right?

Chip R
10-10-2007, 01:24 PM
But, hey, those poor SMALL MARKET Baltimore and Toronto teams have no chance to compete, right?


:) Yeah. Seems I remember the O's having a pretty good run in the mid-late 90s and the Jays doing likewise in the early 90s. The Jays aren't even handicapped by the currency since it's on a par with the US dollar now.

westofyou
10-10-2007, 01:25 PM
I've been told it's an exceptionally sleepy town.

It's a western town that is smacked with heat, best time to exercise is in the morning and the evening... in fact that's the best time for anything when it's 110 mid day.

If you want to really pick at the fan base it's fair to note that it's a lot of older folks with limited income and young families with limited income.

Rojo
10-10-2007, 01:44 PM
If you want to argue with Jones, feel free to contact him about it. I was under the false impression I was being held responsible for my own words.


Sometimes, its not about you.

M2
10-10-2007, 02:20 PM
Sometimes, its not about you.

Then don't quote me and type a response and I won't think that. And when you do quote me and type a response, don't expect me to secretly understand that you're actually referring to an unnamed third party.

Falls City Beer
10-10-2007, 02:27 PM
I've been told it's an exceptionally sleepy town.

Old people.

Falls City Beer
10-10-2007, 02:31 PM
The door is always wide open for the Yankees and Red Sox--that they may not make it every year to the playoffs is solely their ineptitude.

Honestly, if they don't make it to the playoffs with their payroll, they should be put on probation for a season.

Problem solved. :)

Chip R
10-10-2007, 03:03 PM
Personally I think they should just require all teams to pay 50% of gross revenues into a pot to be distributed equally among all teams in the league. The reasoning behind it is that a team like the Yankees has the other teams in the league to thank that they have games to play in order to make that revenue. I doubt anyone wants to see a season of Yankees/Red Sox tilts, no matter what ESPN thinks. And since it's only 50% of the revenue, teams like the Yankees and Red Sox would still have a proportionally higher revenue level. It's just that it would make the revenue disparity less great. I would include in gross revenue all revenues made from team owned TV networks so that teams couldn't stash money in their TV network to avoid sharing with the other teams..

Whitey Herzog said pretty much the same thing in his last book. It's not a bad idea although I worry about how they would define revenue. Let's say YES (which is owned by the Yankees) decides to pay the Yankees only $50M for the rights to show their games on TV. That obviously affects the Yankees revenue.

bucksfan2
10-10-2007, 03:07 PM
Here is the cost of the Yankee's starting rotatoin
Clemens $17.4M
Pettite $16M
Mussina $11M
Pavano $10M
Wang $.5M
not to mention that they owe $9M for Johnson, Vasquez, and Wright. That brings their total to ~$64M. Small market teams just can't compete with that. Whether you want argue that there is such a thing as small market the field isn't level when a team walks in with a higher paid pitching staff than you entire roster.

The thing about this is the Yankees staff was bad this year. The better pitchers were the younger guys with cheaper contracts. The trouble with the pitching staff is that it sets the bar for other FA contracts out there. It is never good when you pay as much money to the likes of Mussina, Clemens, and Pettite who are all past their prime. These contracts are the ones that lead to the Mench's, Suppan's, Marquis', Milton's of the world who end up financially strapping small market clubs.

Sea Ray
10-10-2007, 04:58 PM
The thing about this is the Yankees staff was bad this year. The better pitchers were the younger guys with cheaper contracts. The trouble with the pitching staff is that it sets the bar for other FA contracts out there. It is never good when you pay as much money to the likes of Mussina, Clemens, and Pettite who are all past their prime. These contracts are the ones that lead to the Mench's, Suppan's, Marquis', Milton's of the world who end up financially strapping small market clubs.

This illustrates very well how difficult it is to buy pitching. You really have to grow it and keep it. The Yankees have gone out and bought the best pitching available at the time but a lot of times it was slim pickin's. One yr Pavano and Wright were the best FA pitchers available. This yr it was Clemens.

Rojo
10-10-2007, 05:16 PM
You can type "money just doesn't matter much" a dozen more times, but it won't change the fact that you're the only one saying it.

Perhaps, if you'd written "I'm not saying it" instead of "you're the only one saying it", I would've been clearer that Todd Jones was out of the picture.

M2
10-10-2007, 06:42 PM
Perhaps, if you'd written "I'm not saying it" instead of "you're the only one saying it", I would've been clearer that Todd Jones was out of the picture.

Perhaps, but we were five responses in by that point and you'd already brought it up twice. Like I said, if you're arguing with something Jones said while responding to me, at least do me the courtesy of letting me in on that.

Given the choices of money is the most important thing to building a winning club and money isn't important, I'd be picking neither. If Jones chooses to get wrapped up in that construct, that's his choice.

Rojo
10-10-2007, 06:50 PM
Given the choices of money is the most important thing to building a winning club and money isn't important, I'd be picking neither. If Jones chooses to get wrapped up in that construct, that's his choice.

Fair enough.

My main bone with the article is that he focuses solely on roster payroll and then only the last few years (or the "21st century", as he puts it). But money can make the difference in a myriad ways: drafts, international developement, arbitration eligibles, compensatory picks, coaching and even player development and roster construction.

RedsManRick
10-10-2007, 07:03 PM
The thing about this is the Yankees staff was bad this year. The better pitchers were the younger guys with cheaper contracts. The trouble with the pitching staff is that it sets the bar for other FA contracts out there. It is never good when you pay as much money to the likes of Mussina, Clemens, and Pettite who are all past their prime. These contracts are the ones that lead to the Mench's, Suppan's, Marquis', Milton's of the world who end up financially strapping small market clubs.

This makes me wonder if we don't occasionally think about it backwards. It's not that small payroll teams can't play in free agency, it's that rich teams can.

Every single team starts from the same competitive base of fielding a team based on players who they draft (and unsigned FA) and develop. Access to these players and the ability to develop them is essentially a level playing field. (with some understanding that payroll has a moderate affect on who gets drafted)

What a big payroll does is simply allow you more options. The universe of availalbe starting pitchers to the Reds looks like everybody they already have and a small handful of FA. For the Yankees, it's everybody they already have and anybody who is a FA. So instead of thinking in terms of dollars, simply think of it as the universe of possible players from which they can draw talent. The bigger the payroll, the bigger the universe of talent from which your team can be constructed.

So, if the Yankees screw up every single free agent signing they make, they're now on the same playing field as the Royals.

M2
10-10-2007, 07:15 PM
Here is the cost of the Yankee's starting rotatoin
Clemens $17.4M
Pettite $16M
Mussina $11M
Pavano $10M
Wang $.5M
not to mention that they owe $9M for Johnson, Vasquez, and Wright. That brings their total to ~$64M. Small market teams just can't compete with that. Whether you want argue that there is such a thing as small market the field isn't level when a team walks in with a higher paid pitching staff than you entire roster.

The thing about this is the Yankees staff was bad this year. The better pitchers were the younger guys with cheaper contracts. The trouble with the pitching staff is that it sets the bar for other FA contracts out there. It is never good when you pay as much money to the likes of Mussina, Clemens, and Pettite who are all past their prime. These contracts are the ones that lead to the Mench's, Suppan's, Marquis', Milton's of the world who end up financially strapping small market clubs.

So the Yankees are paying $9M to guys who aren't even with the team. They paid another $10M to the rolling disaster that is Carl Pavano. They paid Mike Mussina $11M for a 5.15 ERA. They paid Roger Clemens $17.4M for 99 IP. They paid $4M plus a $26M bid for Kei Igawa (6.25 ERA). They also paid a $4M buyout for Jaret Wright.

What about any of that is bad for competing teams? I'm missing it. That's $80M mostly up in smoke and I'm not even counting the luxury tax hit on that money. The only people who should be offended by that are Yankees fans. For anyone else, the hope ought to be that the Bombers lather, rinse, repeat.

The Yankees finished with a 4.57 starters' ERA, good for 8th in AL. They were 11th in IP (921). Small market teams can not only compete with that on the field, they can kick it in the pants.

No one's forcing teams to throw good money at bad pitchers. The Yankees did not make the Reds sign Eric Milton, that was sheer idiocy at work. In fact, it's even better if some other clubs want to follow them into the expensive bad pitching black hole. Granted, the Yankees have the resources to survive it, but their imitators don't. Plus, it's knocked the Yankees off of baseball's Mt. Olympus.

What would be unfair is if the Yankees had 10 of the 50 best starting pitchers alive on their team. They don't. Perhaps they could do it in the future. They have done it in the past, back when, as many have noted, player salaries were artificially constrained and teams adhered to secretive salary caps.

The Yankees are always going to have a lot more money than anyone else. Better that they waste it than use it wisely, says I.

Yachtzee
10-10-2007, 07:20 PM
So the Yankees are paying $9M to guys who aren't even with the team. They paid another $10M to the rolling disaster that is Carl Pavano. They paid Mike Mussina $11M for a 5.15 ERA. They paid Roger Clemens $17.4M for 99 IP. They paid $4M plus a $26M bid for Kei Igawa (6.25 ERA). They also paid a $4M buyout for Jaret Wright.

What about any of that is bad for competing teams? I'm missing it. That's $80M mostly up in smoke and I'm not even counting the luxury tax hit on that money. The only people who should be offended by that are Yankees fans. For anyone else, the hope ought to be that the Bombers lather, rinse, repeat.

The Yankees finished with a 4.57 starters' ERA, good for 8th in AL. They were 11th in IP (921). Small market teams can not only compete with that on the field, they can kick it in the pants.

No one's forcing teams to throw good money at bad pitchers. The Yankees did not make the Reds sign Eric Milton, that was sheer idiocy at work. In fact, it's even better if some other clubs want to follow them into the expensive bad pitching black hole. Granted, the Yankees have the resources to survive it, but their imitators don't. Plus, it's knocked the Yankees off of baseball's Mt. Olympus.

What would be unfair is if the Yankees had 10 of the 50 best starting pitchers alive on their team. They don't. Perhaps they could do it in the future. They have done it in the past, back when, as many have noted, player salaries were artificially constrained and teams adhered to secretive salary caps.

The Yankees are always going to have a lot more money than anyone else. Better that they waste it than use it wisely, says I.

The problem with the Yankees blowing that money on bad pitching is that agents for other pitchers can then use that, either in arbitration or in salary negotiations, to say "If Carl Pavano is getting that much to stink, my guy should be worth this much." Teams don't make bad contract decisions in a vacuum.

M2
10-10-2007, 07:35 PM
My main bone with the article is that he focuses solely on roster payroll and then only the last few years (or the "21st century", as he puts it). But money can make the difference in a myriad ways: drafts, international developement, arbitration eligibles, compensatory picks, coaching and even player development and roster construction.

I agree on that latter point about where the money could have impact in other ways. In fact, that's where I maintain it could have more impact.

Yankees haters ought to be delighted by the team's payroll. What would be all kinds of scary is if the franchise used that cash to build an army of young baseball superclones.

M2
10-10-2007, 07:53 PM
The problem with the Yankees blowing that money on bad pitching is that agents for other pitchers can then use that, either in arbitration or in salary negotiations, to say "If Carl Pavano is getting that much to stink, my guy should be worth this much." Teams don't make bad contract decisions in a vacuum.

The market always goes up. Will you have to pay handsomely for accomplished veteran pitchers? Yes, but that's been the case for 30 years. The A's and Indians have been forward thinking enough to lock guys up before they have to pay top dollar. The Reds waited a year too long on Aaron Harang, probably costing themselves about $10-15M when all is said and done.

My take is the Yankees aren't preventing smaller market teams from acquiring or affording good pitchers, what they're doing is forming a conga line of teams looking to waste money on bad pitchers. The Reds fell into that trap something fierce when they spent on Milton, Ortiz and Wilson three years ago. They were also still paying for Danny Graves at that time. Money wasn't the issue, judgment was.

I said it on the first page of this thread and I'll say it again, a team with talent spotting abilities will be able to make the money work in this system (with perhaps a few exceptions where the franchise refuses to pay the going rate from 15 years ago).

Plus, the Carl Pavano argument cuts both ways. Management's answer can be, "Yep, Carl Pavano is getting paid like crazy to stink. That's why we're not giving out Carl Pavano contracts."

Chip R
10-10-2007, 08:03 PM
I said it on the first page of this thread and I'll say it again, a team with talent spotting abilities will be able to make the money work in this system (with perhaps a few exceptions where the franchise refuses to pay the going rate from 15 years ago).


Hopefully Wayne's eye for position player talent can also do the same when it comes to starting pitching. He's found some interesting arms as far as relievers go. It's good he hasn't pulled a DanO and stuck the Reds with guys like Milton, Ortiz and Wilson just because they were available. Yet doing nothing can be as bad as doing something and failing. Otherwise he'll be no better than JimBo.

redsmetz
10-10-2007, 08:25 PM
I said it on the first page of this thread and I'll say it again, a team with talent spotting abilities will be able to make the money work in this system (with perhaps a few exceptions where the franchise refuses to pay the going rate from 15 years ago).

I keep coming back to my regular question and I still don't think I've heard the answer - is it possible to take pitchers with the raw talent and teach them to be better, more effective pitchers? It seems to me, particularly with the present end of season relief corps, we have some pitchers with some talent, but much of it needs to be harnessed or taught to be more effective.

How do we make that happen? If we can learn that, then we'll be on our way to marked improvement. Can that be done?

Sea Ray
10-10-2007, 08:52 PM
What about any of that is bad for competing teams? I'm missing it. That's $80M mostly up in smoke and I'm not even counting the luxury tax hit on that money

There's nothing wrong with that $80mill. Redsmanrick put it well:


What a big payroll does is simply allow you more options

You can go on all day about money spent that didn't help teams in the end but that doesn't make the system of have/have nots any more equitable.

In the Yankees case they had a horrible year by their standards. I'm amazed Torre got them into the post season given their pitching issues, but for them an off year is one in which they lose in the divisional playoffs. For the FL Marlins it's when they lose 100+ games.

In the case of the Boston Red Sox money has made them the favorite to win the WS. Money resources are the reason they have Beckett, Dice K and Schilling in their rotation.

Eric_Davis
10-10-2007, 08:55 PM
It's not just the total payroll. It's how you spend the money. The REDS were handcuffed for years by the Griffey and Larkin contracts, with only 2 of Juniors' years, this being one of them, they got what they paid for. New ownership is going the right direction as they strive to move a larger percentage of the payroll towards pitching as each month passes.

The Rockies are successful because they are spending their money on pitching. They've tried to spend it on pitching before, but with disastrous results, but they seem to have gotten it right this time.

Take a look at this years' Rockies Payroll. Keep in mind that they have tried like hell the last two years to get rid of that awful contract of Todd Helton. It has handcuffed them from spending more money on the pitching they'd like to get. (This is why Dunn should not be signed and is easily replaced.)

Rockies pitching: $30.195M + $1.8M in 2007 signing bonuses for drafted pitchers + 4 minor league contracts purchased (pitchers) + $1.3M to a Mexican team for a pitcher that stuck with the team.

Rockies hitters: $16.6M for Todd Helton + $12.646M for all other position players + $.45M signing bonus for drafted hitter + 3 minor league contracts purchased (hitter).

This is 42 players including Steve Finley released in June and one other veteran released in July.

Their pitching contracts are well spread out. Not a lot given to one, but enough to get some quality.

$4.325M
$3.625M
$3.6M
$3.5M
$3.5M
$3.1M
$3.05M
$1.5M
$1.25M
$.5M (Jeff Francis...great contract $2.75M for '08, $3.75M for '09, $5.75M for '10, $7M club option for '11, could go to $8M)
$.386M
$.383M
$.382M
$.382M
$.381M
$.381M
$.450M (released player mid-season pro-rated)
4 minor league contracts purchased
$1.3M to team in Mexican League for a pitcher that stuck with the team.
$1.8M signing bonus to 2007 drafted pitcher


Rockies hitters' contracts:

$16.6M Helton....they hate being stuck with this contract, but they couldn't get a trade they wanted worked out the last two years. Hopefully, that's not the case with Krivsky and Dunn and Dunn gets moved. They should pick up his option and try to trade him next June as they might be able to get a better return than a 1st Round draft pick and a supplemental pick after the 1st Round. They could get a proven pitcher that's ready to step into the Majors instead of one that has to make it through the minors injury-free. The upside won't be as good, but the reliability would be better.

$4.4M Outfielder
$1.7M Utility Infielder
$1.075M Catcher
$.9M Outfielder
$.5M Catcher
$.403M Outfielder
$.402M Outfielder
$.4M Infielder
$.4M 3B/OF
$.395M Shortstop
$.383M Outfielder
$.381M Catcher
$.381M Shortstop
$.381M Shortstop
$.345M Outfielder (Finley)
$.200M Infielder (released in May)
$.45M Signing bonus for 2007 draftee hitter

Eric_Davis
10-10-2007, 09:02 PM
http://blog.dispatch.com/blog-16/2007/10/hey_reds_its_not_about_the_money.shtml




20. Reds 68.9 million

Keep in mind that the 68.9M is counting Junior's contract at $12.5M for 2007. If you subtract the $6.5M that Junior deferred to 2009-2024 at 4% interest, then the REDS actual "payout" in 2007 was $62.4M. (the $6.5M is money the Club had to guarantee at 4% interest for Junior while they get to keep it and earn whatever percent they could get on it, and it was pretty easy to get 15% on your money in 2007.)

blumj
10-10-2007, 09:27 PM
There's nothing wrong with that $80mill. Redsmanrick put it well:



You can go on all day about money spent that didn't help teams in the end but that doesn't make the system of have/have nots any more equitable.

In the Yankees case they had a horrible year by their standards. I'm amazed Torre got them into the post season given their pitching issues, but for them an off year is one in which they lose in the divisional playoffs. For the FL Marlins it's when they lose 100+ games.

In the case of the Boston Red Sox money has made them the favorite to win the WS. Money resources are the reason they have Beckett, Dice K and Schilling in their rotation.
No one said it's equitable, it never has been, and maybe it never will be. It hasn't stopped the A's and Twins from having some really good teams, hasn't stopped the Rockies and D-Backs and Indians from getting this far this year, and it probably won't stop at least a few small market teams from getting into the playoffs and winning next year, over the dead bodies of teams with larger payrolls.

RedsManRick
10-10-2007, 09:41 PM
I don't have the data at my fingertips, but can somebody just run the damn regression already?

Four kinds of organizations:

1.) Stupid and have no money. These guys will never make the playoffs, ever.
2.) Stupid and have money. These guys will only make the playoffs on rare occasion.
3.) Smart and have no money. These guys will make the playoffs on occasion.
4.) Smart and have money. These guys will make the playoffs more often than not.

Is money required to win? No. But it helps a lot.

Making the playoffs is like getting to an Ivy League school. If you're a complete idiot, virtually no amount of money will get you in. If you have no money, you better be a freaking genius. If you're smart and you have money, it's not that tough.

Let's not make this more complicated than it is. Having lots of money increases your opportunities to acquire talent and thus your odds of having a team talented enough to make the playoffs. However, you can still build a really crappy team with lots of money and you can still build a pretty good team without lots of money.

No single variable makes or breaks the organization. However, I feel somewhat comfortable saying that if Jim Bowden had $100M to work with instead of $50M, the Reds likely would've made the playoffs a few more times in his tenure. If the Yankees only had $50M to spend, they'd never have won their titles.

vaticanplum
10-10-2007, 09:41 PM
No one said it's equitable, it never has been, and maybe it never will be. It hasn't stopped the A's and Twins from having some really good teams, hasn't stopped the Rockies and D-Backs and Indians from getting this far this year, and it probably won't stop at least a few small market teams from getting into the playoffs and winning next year, over the dead bodies of teams with larger payrolls.

Money makes you stupid and shallow. Poverty breeds creativity and appreciation of smaller gems that richer people walk by. Blah, blah, blah, but what our moms all taught us at five years old isn't completely invalidated by adulthood. Or playoff results.

RedsManRick
10-10-2007, 09:47 PM
One more thought for the road.

The smartest poor organizations find ways to make themselves in to smart richer organizations. The Yankees were always a payroll behemoth. There's a reason the Yankees have a 9 figure payroll and it's not because GS is a really generous guy. It's because he grew the revenue base of the franchise such that he can spend twice as much money as anybody else and still turn a profit. The New York market has a ton to do with that, but think it's as simple as having a big market. You have to turn that market size advantage in to money -- something that a number of other owners in LA, Chicago, and Queens have failed to do. Ted Turner didn't exactly lose money on the Braves and it's not like Atlanta is a huge market. He simply figured out a way to expand his market from Georgia to America.

vaticanplum
10-10-2007, 09:49 PM
I don't have the data at my fingertips, but can somebody just run the damn regression already?

Four kinds of organizations:

1.) Stupid and have no money. These guys will never make the playoffs, ever.
2.) Stupid and have money. These guys will only make the playoffs on rare occasion.
3.) Smart and have no money. These guys will make the playoffs on occasion.
4.) Smart and have money. These guys will make the playoffs more often than not.

Is money required to win? No. But it helps a lot.

Making the playoffs is like getting to an Ivy League school. If you're a complete idiot, virtually no amount of money will get you in. If you have no money, you better be a freaking genius. If you're smart and you have money, it's not that tough.

Let's not make this more complicated than it is. Having lots of money increases your opportunities to acquire talent and thus your odds of having a team talented enough to make the playoffs. However, you can still build a really crappy team with lots of money and you can still build a pretty good team without lots of money.

No single variables makes or breaks the organization. However, I feel somewhat comfortable saying that if Jim Bowden had $100M to work with instead of $50M, the Reds likely would've made the playoffs a few more times in his tenure.

We keep seeming to brush around the point that money helps you buy your way into the playoffs -- which is true; sheer (expensive, experienced) talent is going to win out over 162 games. But poorer teams squeak into the playoffs too, and it's been made pretty clear over the past few years that once the postseason hits it's anybody's game.

So I have to bring up the point, from a pure business standpoint: is this maybe the best scenario we can get? The thought of 8 scrappy, $40 million teams in the playoffs is kind of heartwarming, but the plain fact is that not as many people are going to turn on the TV for Josh Fogg as they are for Alex Rodriguez. Major League Baseball, to a degree, needs the Yankees and the Red Sox. Baseball is now on network TV a grand total of one day a week. Playoffs hit, and all of a sudden people are expected to sit down for five, six, seven+ nights straight for a bunch of players they've never heard of? It just doesn't work that way. Love em or leave em, those big-money teams have a lot of the only names that can draw in the casual fan, and lest we forget, there are a lot more casual fans than there are freaks like us.

So I wouldn't say it's an accident that MLB continues to let certain teams continue their spending habits with no penalty except a luxury tax that the teams can, of course, afford. And in the end, I hasten to say that that may be beneficial to all of us in a way. Get 'em to the playoffs with a couple of the underdog stories and let them all battle it out on even ground*. There's no guarantee that it will work that way, but it seems to have come close enough to serve baseball pretty well the last few years.

*unless you are playing in stupid minute maid park with a hill in the outfield

redsmetz
10-10-2007, 09:59 PM
It's not just the total payroll. It's how you spend the money. The REDS were handcuffed for years by the Griffey and Larkin contracts, with only 2 of Juniors' years, this being one of them, they got what they paid for. New ownership is going the right direction as they strive to move a larger percentage of the payroll towards pitching as each month passes.

The Rockies are successful because they are spending their money on pitching. They've tried to spend it on pitching before, but with disastrous results, but they seem to have gotten it right this time.

Take a look at this years' Rockies Payroll. Keep in mind that they have tried like hell the last two years to get rid of that awful contract of Todd Helton. It has handcuffed them from spending more money on the pitching they'd like to get. (This is why Dunn should not be signed and is easily replaced.)

I would suggest that Dunn versus Helton might be similar, but then again, but year his new contract started, he turned 30. Whereas if we do a long term deal (say five years starting in 2008), we're talking Dunn at age 28. Plus, I don't think anyone is suggesting giving Dunn a nine year deal.

You could be right about his current never being higher, but I'm not against getting four or five years of Dunn now.

Falls City Beer
10-10-2007, 09:59 PM
One more thought for the road.

The smartest poor organizations find ways to make themselves in to smart richer organizations. The Yankees were always a payroll behemoth. There's a reason the Yankees have a 9 figure payroll and it's not because GS is a really generous guy. It's because he grew the revenue base of the franchise such that he can spend twice as much money as anybody else and still turn a profit. The New York market has a ton to do with that, but think it's as simple as having a big market. You have to turn that market size advantage in to money -- something that a number of other owners in LA, Chicago, and Queens have failed to do. Ted Turner didn't exactly lose money on the Braves and it's not like Atlanta is a huge market. He simply figured out a way to expand his market from Georgia to America.

Well, Atlanta's not exactly a small market.

But your point's taken: you still have to *seize* the market.

I don't know: I guess I don't get too choked up by small market Horatio Alger stories. I'm no gross sentimentalist--money matters, but, selfishly, I kind of don't care: the Reds aren't in the AL East, so it doesn't really bother me. Maybe I should be all "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" but I can't feel that way. I just thank my stars that my GM's ingenuity *only* has to overcome the markets of other rust belt GMs.

Chip R
10-10-2007, 10:02 PM
As much as I hate to give credit to him, Bud has done wonders getting the big market teams to accept - grudgingly - revenue sharing. Maybe there isn't enough to satisfy fans of small market teams but not everyone is going to be happy.

REDREAD
10-10-2007, 10:20 PM
Sure small market teams can make the playoffs, but how many of those small market teams that made this years playoffs made last years playoffs.

Zero.

Every year some small market teams make the playoffs, but it's a revolving door. THye can't sustain thesuccess becasue once they get good, they can't afford to stay good.

The Cardinals had a pretty good run of contending on a regular basis. They are about the same market size as the Reds (when the region is taken into account).

Heck, I remember back in the 80's when the Braves were a small market laughingstock, much like the current day Royals/Pirates/Reds

The Reds have made a lot of poor decisions in marketing, broadcasting, etc that have hurt their marketablity. Not to mention that under the Lindner/Allen era, acquiring talent took a backseat to short term profit taking.

Now the Reds are paying the piper, to some extent. Actually, after all the losing seasons they have had, I think they do quite well with attendence.

Hopefully Cast has a plan that works.

blumj
10-10-2007, 10:50 PM
Actually, how many large market teams made the playoffs both this year and last? Only one.

mth123
10-11-2007, 02:54 AM
So the Yankees are paying $9M to guys who aren't even with the team. They paid another $10M to the rolling disaster that is Carl Pavano. They paid Mike Mussina $11M for a 5.15 ERA. They paid Roger Clemens $17.4M for 99 IP. They paid $4M plus a $26M bid for Kei Igawa (6.25 ERA). They also paid a $4M buyout for Jaret Wright.

What about any of that is bad for competing teams? I'm missing it. That's $80M mostly up in smoke and I'm not even counting the luxury tax hit on that money. The only people who should be offended by that are Yankees fans. For anyone else, the hope ought to be that the Bombers lather, rinse, repeat.

The Yankees finished with a 4.57 starters' ERA, good for 8th in AL. They were 11th in IP (921). Small market teams can not only compete with that on the field, they can kick it in the pants.

No one's forcing teams to throw good money at bad pitchers. The Yankees did not make the Reds sign Eric Milton, that was sheer idiocy at work. In fact, it's even better if some other clubs want to follow them into the expensive bad pitching black hole. Granted, the Yankees have the resources to survive it, but their imitators don't. Plus, it's knocked the Yankees off of baseball's Mt. Olympus.

What would be unfair is if the Yankees had 10 of the 50 best starting pitchers alive on their team. They don't. Perhaps they could do it in the future. They have done it in the past, back when, as many have noted, player salaries were artificially constrained and teams adhered to secretive salary caps.

The Yankees are always going to have a lot more money than anyone else. Better that they waste it than use it wisely, says I.


The issue isn't that they blow the money on poor choices. The issue is they have more money to try again and again until some one works out and they still field a good team even with all the poor choices sitting it out or taking reduced roles. So the Yankees and a few other big dollar teams are able to outspend their mistakes where other teams are stuck running thier mistakes out there and waiting for the dollars to go off the books before trying again.

Worst of all, when the uneven playing field gets mentioned the big markets seem to look down their nose and say, "you can compete for less, you just need to invest wisely." That may be true, but your post is the perfect example showing investing wisely is not a requirement for the big markets. Invest repeatedly until successful is more accurate.

Ron Madden
10-11-2007, 03:33 AM
The issue isn't that they blow the money on poor choices. The issue is they have more money to try again and again until some one works out and they still field a good team even with all the poor choices sitting it out or taking reduced roles. So the Yankees and a few other big dollar teams are able to outspend their mistakes where other teams are stuck running thier mistakes out there and waiting for the dollars to go off the books before trying again.

Worst of all, when the uneven playing field gets mentioned the big markets seem to look down their nose and say, "you can compete for less, you just need to invest wisely." That may be true, but your post is the perfect example showing investing wisely is not a requirement for the big markets. Invest repeatedly until successful is more accurate.


That's the way I see it.

Good Job mth123. :thumbup:

Phhhl
10-11-2007, 08:01 AM
The issue isn't that they blow the money on poor choices. The issue is they have more money to try again and again until some one works out and they still field a good team even with all the poor choices sitting it out or taking reduced roles. So the Yankees and a few other big dollar teams are able to outspend their mistakes where other teams are stuck running thier mistakes out there and waiting for the dollars to go off the books before trying again.

Worst of all, when the uneven playing field gets mentioned the big markets seem to look down their nose and say, "you can compete for less, you just need to invest wisely." That may be true, but your post is the perfect example showing investing wisely is not a requirement for the big markets. Invest repeatedly until successful is more accurate.

Excellent post! That articulates my thoughts on the matter as well. Bottom line is that the Reds have not been a smart franchise for quite a while, and I have no doubt they could have won a little more often had they been. But, the Yankees have not been particularly smart either. It really doesn't make a lot of difference to them on the field.

RFS62
10-11-2007, 08:39 AM
The issue isn't that they blow the money on poor choices. The issue is they have more money to try again and again until some one works out and they still field a good team even with all the poor choices sitting it out or taking reduced roles. So the Yankees and a few other big dollar teams are able to outspend their mistakes where other teams are stuck running thier mistakes out there and waiting for the dollars to go off the books before trying again.

Worst of all, when the uneven playing field gets mentioned the big markets seem to look down their nose and say, "you can compete for less, you just need to invest wisely." That may be true, but your post is the perfect example showing investing wisely is not a requirement for the big markets. Invest repeatedly until successful is more accurate.


Great post.

GAC
10-11-2007, 10:59 AM
I really don't believe that baseball needs a salary cap, per say; but simply greater (and expanded) revenue sharing. You take the money out of the other guy's pockets and he'll practice their own form of budget (self) restraint.

But I do believe there needs to be a "bottom" with stipulations on how that shared revenue monies can/cannot be spent.

There is no such thing as a "dynasty" in baseball anymore. In the last decade I guess the Yankees is the closest thing that has come to that. And how have they been able to maintain that so-called dynasty? Overall, not through player development. Primarily, what has their farm system been used for?

They let the rest on MLB develop the players, and then they entice them to come to NY by throwing large sums of money at them. That's their idea of "retooling", which they AGAIN will do this off-season too.

They sign Clemens to a 1 yr 28 mil deal, where he will make 4.5 mil/month. It cost the Yanks $7.4 million in additional luxury tax (which they laugh at).

The Boston Red Sox spent $51.1 million on a personal seat license to sit at the bargaining table across from Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Over the last decade, what teams have been considered small market models of success that other teams try to emulate? The A's (Moneyball), the Twins, and possibly the Indians. How many WS have they won, or for that matter, even appeared in?

So are they still viewed as sucessful?

Sure, small to mid-sized market teams are going to get into the post-season every year. Looking at the number of them that exist, I'll take that bet. But is it the same teams being able to do it consistently? Or is it a team that is able to put it together during a given year, and then afterwards, face the stark reality that they can't retain alot of those players, mainly because of money/financial restraints, and the team is dismantled and they are trying to re-tool again?

The Marlins have won twice in the last decade. What have they been in-between?

RedsManRick
10-11-2007, 11:15 AM
What's funny about the Matsuzaka deal is that it's still a better overall investment than Barry Zito...

Highlifeman21
10-11-2007, 11:52 AM
What's funny about the Matsuzaka deal is that it's still a better overall investment than Barry Zito...

The fee the Red Sox paid to his Japanese team is simply an opportunity cost, or the cost of emerging their market.

The salary they pay is a little high based on his performance, however.

blumj
10-11-2007, 11:56 AM
What's funny about the Matsuzaka deal is that it's still a better overall investment than Barry Zito...
But the Giants are a large market team, while the A's are a small market team. Someone needs to explain that one to me. Why aren't the Phillies a large market team? It's Philadelphia and they don't have to share the market. How did the Angels and White Sox go from being a small market teams to large market ones? The Diamondbacks actually play in a larger media market than several supposed larger market teams. Is it supposed to be commendable that they have lower revenues and therefore a lower payroll?

PuffyPig
10-11-2007, 12:05 PM
Actually, how many large market teams made the playoffs both this year and last? Only one.

Which is one more than small market teams.

blumj
10-11-2007, 12:28 PM
Which is one more than small market teams.

Two small market teams made the playoffs in both '05 and '06, only one large market team did.

RedEye
10-11-2007, 12:39 PM
Two small market teams made the playoffs in both '05 and '06, only one large market team did.

It really isn't as simple as "how many teams made the playoffs?" though, is it? What it is about is fielding a winning team year after year after year--a situation that makes any franchise more likely to make the post-season some of the time. Big budget teams are just more likely to be able to maintain consistency like this. Even when they are on the "down side" of a dynasty (like the current Yankees), they still win over 90 games and have a host of hot prospects ready to take over for their overpaid veterans.

Johnny Footstool
10-11-2007, 12:47 PM
But the Giants are a large market team, while the A's are a small market team. Someone needs to explain that one to me. Why aren't the Phillies a large market team? It's Philadelphia and they don't have to share the market. How did the Angels and White Sox go from being a small market teams to large market ones? The Diamondbacks actually play in a larger media market than several supposed larger market teams. Is it supposed to be commendable that they have lower revenues and therefore a lower payroll?

"Market" is a misleading term owners like to use. It externalizes the factors that influence payroll. Instead of saying, "I just don't want to spend a lot of money," they can say, "We're in a small market."

"Budget" is a more accurate term, because it reflects the fact that a team's budget is set by its owner.

jojo
10-11-2007, 12:48 PM
The issue isn't that they blow the money on poor choices. The issue is they have more money to try again and again until some one works out and they still field a good team even with all the poor choices sitting it out or taking reduced roles. So the Yankees and a few other big dollar teams are able to outspend their mistakes where other teams are stuck running thier mistakes out there and waiting for the dollars to go off the books before trying again.

Worst of all, when the uneven playing field gets mentioned the big markets seem to look down their nose and say, "you can compete for less, you just need to invest wisely." That may be true, but your post is the perfect example showing investing wisely is not a requirement for the big markets. Invest repeatedly until successful is more accurate.

Right.

The Yankees are in essence able to leverage their large market for even more revenue. They can continually reap the financial windfall of playoff appearances because they can afford to over pay, sometimes dramatically (i.e. Roger Clemens), for those final 5 wins every year.

Other teams simply can't afford consistently "jump the hump" so easily.

Chip R
10-11-2007, 12:55 PM
It really isn't as simple as "how many teams made the playoffs?" though, is it? What it is about is fielding a winning team year after year after year--a situation that makes any franchise more likely to make the post-season some of the time. Big budget teams are just more likely to be able to maintain consistency like this. Even when they are on the "down side" of a dynasty (like the current Yankees), they still win over 90 games and have a host of hot prospects ready to take over for their overpaid veterans.


Fans love to bring the NFL up as the paragon of sports leagues because of the parity factor. That any team can be successful because of the revenue sharing and the salary cap. That there are few Yankee-type dynasties. But MLB has more parity than the NFL does even though they have no salary cap, limited revenue sharing and fewer teams make the playoffs. So what do people want? Dynasties or parity?

dougdirt
10-11-2007, 12:58 PM
Fans love to bring the NFL up as the paragon of sports leagues because of the parity factor. That any team can be successful because of the revenue sharing and the salary cap. That there are few Yankee-type dynasties. But MLB has more parity than the NFL does even though they have no salary cap, limited revenue sharing and fewer teams make the playoffs. So what do people want? Dynasties or parity?

Coming into every year though, nearly every team in the NFL has a legit change.

It is not that way in baseball.

IslandRed
10-11-2007, 01:03 PM
Coming into every year though, nearly every team in the NFL has a legit chance.

It is not that way in baseball.

The NFL lets more teams into the playoffs, though. If baseball let 12 teams in, there wouldn't be but a few clubs that would go into a season knowing they couldn't get there. Conversely, cut the NFL playoffs to eight and you wouldn't have trouble picking out a dozen teams that didn't have a prayer.

It's still a zero-sum game. Not everyone's going to be a contender in the same year.

blumj
10-11-2007, 01:08 PM
It really isn't as simple as "how many teams made the playoffs?" though, is it? What it is about is fielding a winning team year after year after year--a situation that makes any franchise more likely to make the post-season some of the time. Big budget teams are just more likely to be able to maintain consistency like this. Even when they are on the "down side" of a dynasty (like the current Yankees), they still win over 90 games and have a host of hot prospects ready to take over for their overpaid veterans.
But who, other than the Yankees, really does field a winning team year after year? In the AL, it's as much the A's and Twins as it is the Red Sox and Angels. In the NL, it's as much the Padres and Cardinals as it is the Dodgers and Mets.

RFS62
10-11-2007, 01:13 PM
In recent years it's become fashionable to say the "small market" excuse isn't valid.

I'll never understand this.

When a team has a tremendous economic advantage, they can afford to make mistakes which would cripple us. Like the Milton contract. The Yankees barely notice such a mistake, while it deals a devastating blow to the Reds.

Yes, a small market team can still succeed. So what? Level the field, stop stacking the deck and let the smartest team win.

And don't act like it doesn't matter.

dougdirt
10-11-2007, 01:19 PM
In recent years it's become fashionable to say the "small market" excuse isn't valid.

I'll never understand this.

When a team has a tremendous economic advantage, they can afford to make mistakes which would cripple us. Like the Milton contract. The Yankees barely notice such a mistake, while it deals a devastating blow to the Reds.

Yes, a small market team can still succeed. So what? Level the field, stop stacking the deck and let the smartest team win.

And don't act like it doesn't matter.

:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

M2
10-11-2007, 01:22 PM
The issue isn't that they blow the money on poor choices. The issue is they have more money to try again and again until some one works out and they still field a good team even with all the poor choices sitting it out or taking reduced roles. So the Yankees and a few other big dollar teams are able to outspend their mistakes where other teams are stuck running thier mistakes out there and waiting for the dollars to go off the books before trying again.

Worst of all, when the uneven playing field gets mentioned the big markets seem to look down their nose and say, "you can compete for less, you just need to invest wisely." That may be true, but your post is the perfect example showing investing wisely is not a requirement for the big markets. Invest repeatedly until successful is more accurate.


But the Yankees are always going to have more money. They play in New York. It's a massive, rich city. Yes, it allows them to lay down multiple bets to cover themselves.

Though what I keep coming back to is that smaller markets, who will never make as much money as the Yankees because they don't play in New York, ought to be thankful the Yankees have gone the route of placing multiple large bets. There are other ways they could spend that money and, while it might mean they don't make the playoffs every season in the short term, the long term effect would be that they'd win the World Series more often than not.

The Yankees always have been and always will be a leviathan. Better they be a sloppy leviathan.

M2
10-11-2007, 01:34 PM
Coming into every year though, nearly every team in the NFL has a legit change.

It is not that way in baseball.

That's bunk. One of the reasons I stopped watching football was that it got so predictable. There was a span of years where the only question in the league was whether the Cowboys or 49ers would win the Super Bowl.

Now you get your choice of the Patriots, Colts or Steelers. Granted, the league makes the playoffs big enough that it makes bad teams that finish 6-10 and 7-9 think they've got a chance when they really don't, but did last year's Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills really have a chance? Hell no they didn't.

I'd also note, the 2007 Reds were the equivalent of a 7-9 NFL team. The 2006 team was an 8-8 equivalent. If we're going to apply an even set of standards here then the Reds have had "a legit chance" every season during this decade.

Yachtzee
10-11-2007, 01:44 PM
That's bunk. One of the reasons I stopped watching football was that it got so predictable. There was a span of years where the only question in the league was whether the Cowboys or 49ers would win the Super Bowl.

Now you get your choice of the Patriots, Colts or Steelers. Granted, the league makes the playoffs big enough that it makes bad teams that finish 6-10 and 7-9 think they've got a chance when they really don't, but did last year's Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills really have a chance? Hell no they didn't.

I'd also note, the 2007 Reds were the equivalent of a 7-9 NFL team. The 2006 team was an 8-8 equivalent. If we're going to apply an even set of standards here then the Reds have had "a legit chance" every season during this decade.

The difference in the NFL is that teams succeed based on how they are run rather than how much they spend. I think what offends many is that the Yankees can spend stupidly and make mistake after mistake and still have a spot in the playoffs. With revenue sharing and a salary cap, you have to believe that NFL teams make the playoffs year after year do so because they are just better run teams.

Chip R
10-11-2007, 01:46 PM
Another huge difference between the NFL and MLB is the scheduling. In the NFL, if you are a bad team then the next year you get to play other bad teams for the most part. I beleive they have tweaked that somewhat but if you have a bad record you're not going to play a lot of tough teams unless they fall within your division. So it's easier to get better sooner in the NFL than it is in MLB because of the scheduling. When the Bengals made the playoffs a couple of years ago they played a fairly easy schedule. The next season they went back to 8-8 because they had to play better teams.

Next year the Reds have to play CLE, the Yankees, and the Red Sox even though they only won 72 games. If MLB were more like the NFL, the Reds wouldn't be playing those teams.

Rojo
10-11-2007, 01:49 PM
But the Giants are a large market team, while the A's are a small market team.


You ever been to Oakland?

westofyou
10-11-2007, 01:57 PM
You ever been to Oakland?

I think the Giants have traditionally had a greater hold on the area and the NW too, lots of older Giants fans in these parts and north of Mendocino. The A's have always had a small core group, but they never extended too deep beyond the range of Channel 36. It was downright hard to get them on the radio in Santa Cruz prior to the Bash Brothers era. Stick them in the farther South Bay and in a newer park and their status as small market cousins in a football stadium will vanish.

M2
10-11-2007, 02:38 PM
The difference in the NFL is that teams succeed based on how they are run rather than how much they spend. I think what offends many is that the Yankees can spend stupidly and make mistake after mistake and still have a spot in the playoffs. With revenue sharing and a salary cap, you have to believe that NFL teams make the playoffs year after year do so because they are just better run teams.

The Yankees are well-run too. That shouldn't be lost in the discussion. They consciously take monetary risks because they can. They care more about immediate results than long term results because they've got the market to make constant adjustments. They're massive and they aren't shy about acting like they're massive. That's self-aware smart business.

I imagine that self-awareness would come into play given a different set of parameters. Seems to me, most good organizations are self-aware.

dougdirt
10-11-2007, 02:41 PM
That's bunk. One of the reasons I stopped watching football was that it got so predictable. There was a span of years where the only question in the league was whether the Cowboys or 49ers would win the Super Bowl.
And then the NFL got a Salary Cap.... and that stopped. Amazing how that works huh?



Now you get your choice of the Patriots, Colts or Steelers. Granted, the league makes the playoffs big enough that it makes bad teams that finish 6-10 and 7-9 think they've got a chance when they really don't, but did last year's Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills really have a chance? Hell no they didn't.
How do those teams win? Drafting, developing and coaching. The Patriots, until this past year, have just played 'smarter' football without all of the star type players that other teams have had. Last I checked, the Steelers finished .500 last season and missed out on the playoffs as well. Yes, the Colts and Patriots are just better than everyone else right now. Thats bound to happen every now and again, but where were the Colts in the late 90s and early 2000's? Near the Bengals.

bucksfan2
10-11-2007, 02:48 PM
The Yankees are well run???? I disagree. Since Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and Williams all came up through their organization in the mid to late 90's they haven't drafted and developed anyone of note(I believe that they signed Soriano and Cano IMO is a proudct of the system). Over the past decade the yankees have won because they threw more and more money around. They have roughly $20-25M in dead money because of traded players or Pavano that would cripple other clubs but they get by because they go out and play a 43 year old pitcher $20M to pitch for a few months. They go out and buy the best FA on the market. Prior to his recent class of pitchers the Yankees have not done anything to out smart the rest of the leauge rather they outspent the rest of the league.

Sea Ray
10-11-2007, 02:49 PM
Now you get your choice of the Patriots, Colts or Steelers. Granted, the league makes the playoffs big enough that it makes bad teams that finish 6-10 and 7-9 think they've got a chance when they really don't, but did last year's Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills really have a chance? Hell no they didn't.




You make a great point. In the NFL you can have teams that are successful every year in markets like Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and ten yrs ago, Green Bay. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say dynasties but definitely sustained excellence. Given MLB's current economic climate can you imagine similar markets having such sustained success e.g. Pirates, Brewers, Royals? In the NFL you don't see teams win a division title 10 or 11 times in a row. In the NFL you don't see one team gobbling up all the FAs. In fact the franchise rules on FAs help deter such movement. There's no arbitration in the NFL.

The economic system in the NFL is far superior to that of MLB and that's why it is the most popular sports league in the country.

Rojo
10-11-2007, 02:49 PM
I think the Giants have traditionally had a greater hold on the area and the NW too, lots of older Giants fans in these parts and north of Mendocino. The A's have always had a small core group, but they never extended too deep beyond the range of Channel 36.


The South Bay (San Jose, Silicone Valley) has traditionally been Giants fans as well. And San Jose is the largest city in the Bay Area.

Giants territory also extends to Hawaii.

bucksfan2
10-11-2007, 02:54 PM
You make a great point. In the NFL you can have teams that are successful every year in markets like Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and ten yrs ago, Green Bay. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say dynasties but definitely sustained excellence. Given MLB's current economic climate can you imagine similar markets having such sustained success e.g. Pirates, Brewers, Royals? In the NFL you don't see teams win a division title 10 or 11 times in a row. In the NFL you don't see one team gobbling up all the FAs. In fact the franchise rules on FAs help deter such movement. There's no arbitration in the NFL.

The economic system in the NFL is far superior to that of MLB and that's why it is the most popular sports league in the country.

I think to take it even a step futher the NFL doesn't really care where the best teams are located. Look at last years World Series ratings, they were horriable primarily because St. Louis played Detriot. In the NFL it doesn't matter where your best teams are located. MLB as a whole has embrased the large markets and driven fans away from smaller market cities. If this world series would be comprised of Cleveland and Colorado I would imagine ratings would be horriable but if the Super Bowl comprised of the Browns and Broncos the NFL wouldn't miss a beat. IMO that under Selig's watch he has created an inequity in baseball that will continue to see the sport lose fans and players to the other sports.

M2
10-11-2007, 03:15 PM
And then the NFL got a Salary Cap.... and that stopped. Amazing how that works huh?

The NFL had a salary cap then too. All that happened is the locus of dominance shifted to some other franchises.



How do those teams win? Drafting, developing and coaching. The Patriots, until this past year, have just played 'smarter' football without all of the star type players that other teams have had. Last I checked, the Steelers finished .500 last season and missed out on the playoffs as well. Yes, the Colts and Patriots are just better than everyone else right now. Thats bound to happen every now and again, but where were the Colts in the late 90s and early 2000's? Near the Bengals.

Last I checked, the Patriots, Colts and Steelers had won the past four Super Bowls and the most games in the 21st century. That the Steelers had a down year in 2006 doesn't mean they haven't dominated most of the rest of the decade.

So NFL dynasties get roughly a 10-year run where they beat the living snot out of everyone else most of the time. Just because the dynasties rotate a bit doesn't make the league competitive.

BTW, 10 years ago, no one considered the Yankees a dynasty. They were doing well with three straight playoffs appearances and a World Series win in the middle, but the Braves were the nominal dynasty at that time.

Point being, the dynasties rotate in MLB too. So the Yankees look awesome in 2007 as compared to merely good in 1997. In 1987 they were New York's #2 baseball team. In 1977, the were the reborn big spending titans. In 1967 they were a symbol of urban decay. A little perspective is in order.

Johnny Footstool
10-11-2007, 03:21 PM
In recent years it's become fashionable to say the "small market" excuse isn't valid.

I'll never understand this.

When a team has a tremendous economic advantage, they can afford to make mistakes which would cripple us. Like the Milton contract. The Yankees barely notice such a mistake, while it deals a devastating blow to the Reds.

Yes, a small market team can still succeed. So what? Level the field, stop stacking the deck and let the smartest team win.

And don't act like it doesn't matter.

It's not the market size, though.

It's the investment size.

Steinbrenner could run the Yankees like the Marlins if he wanted to. And Lindner could have run the Reds like the Yankees -- he had the cash to do it.

M2
10-11-2007, 03:25 PM
I think to take it even a step futher the NFL doesn't really care where the best teams are located. Look at last years World Series ratings, they were horriable primarily because St. Louis played Detriot. In the NFL it doesn't matter where your best teams are located. MLB as a whole has embrased the large markets and driven fans away from smaller market cities. If this world series would be comprised of Cleveland and Colorado I would imagine ratings would be horriable but if the Super Bowl comprised of the Browns and Broncos the NFL wouldn't miss a beat. IMO that under Selig's watch he has created an inequity in baseball that will continue to see the sport lose fans and players to the other sports.

Gamblers are located everywhere, that's why the Super Bowl could draw ratings if a team from Toledo played one from Corpus Christi. The majority of people who watch the Super Bowl have some money riding on the game. The majority of people who watch the World Series are just watching to see baseball. The gambling interest means football can survive on anonymous players and anonymous teams. Baseball can't. If you don't know the players on a given team and if you've never much paid attention to that franchise, then you probably won't have much of a vested in the games it plays.

dougdirt
10-11-2007, 03:27 PM
It's not the market size, though.

It's the investment size.

Steinbrenner could run the Yankees like the Marlins if he wanted to. And Lindner could have run the Reds like the Yankees -- he had the cash to do it.

But he would have lost money doing it, and that is the biggest thing with it.

Johnny Footstool
10-11-2007, 03:28 PM
But he would have lost money doing it, and that is the biggest thing with it.

Nope. He would have turned a huge profit when he sold the team. Even bigger than he actually did, because if he had spent the money even semi-wisely, he could have cultivated the fan base and built the franchise into a perennial contender.

Sea Ray
10-11-2007, 03:32 PM
NE, Indy and Pitt have had sustained success for reasons other than $$. You can't have that sort of success in MLB w/o spending a lot of $$. A couple years ago Indy had to cut a bunch of people in order to get Manning's signing bonus under the cap. Whoever signs A-Rod will have no such consequences.

M2
10-11-2007, 03:34 PM
Nope. He would have turned a huge profit when he sold the team. Even bigger than he actually did, because theoretically, he would have cultivated the fan base and built the franchise into a perennial contender.

Exactly. Plus, anyone notice how the Cardinals were able to expand their budget in the wake of sustained success? Winning = revenue. The Reds would have a more lucrative media package now if 1999 and 2000 had been a launching pad instead of a brief respite. They'd make more on promotions and merchandising. They'd bring oodles more through the gates. The franchise actually boasts two of the best-attended minor league affiliates in the business (Louisville and Dayton) and they're right in the Reds' geographic wheelhouse. If they put together a quality baseball team, they'd likely find a lot of interested baseball fans.

Sea Ray
10-11-2007, 03:48 PM
Nope. He would have turned a huge profit when he sold the team. Even bigger than he actually did, because if he had spent the money even semi-wisely, he could have cultivated the fan base and built the franchise into a perennial contender.

I doubt it. If he'd spent money and the Reds won many more games it would not have increased the value of the franchise unless you think such success could be parlayed into a Reds Network like YES. The increase in attendance would not much effect in the value of the team. As Huizenga showed in FL a franchise has more value if it's not laden with huge contract commitments.

RedsManRick
10-11-2007, 03:55 PM
wrong thread...

Rojo
10-11-2007, 04:02 PM
I think to take it even a step futher the NFL doesn't really care where the best teams are located. Look at last years World Series ratings, they were horriable primarily because St. Louis played Detriot.

To digress, I wonder if anyone's done a Game 7 to Super Bowl ratings comparison. That would be more apple-apple.

redsmetz
10-11-2007, 04:07 PM
Here's an enormous difference between MLB and the NFL - the NFL does not do local TV rights. It's all one pool. And it's divied out between networks and cable and a local feed when it's on the cable. There's an enormous amount of cash that the NFL splits among each franchise from that well.

RFS62
10-11-2007, 04:37 PM
It's not the market size, though.

It's the investment size.

Steinbrenner could run the Yankees like the Marlins if he wanted to. And Lindner could have run the Reds like the Yankees -- he had the cash to do it.


This is another popular argument that has always mystified me.

The idea that it's the same thing for Lindner to take money out of his other business interests and invest in the Reds being the same as Steinbrenner taking money out of the REVENUE STREAM the Yankees generate with their tremendous market advantage.

It's not the same. Steinbrenner doesn't have to touch a dime of his own money, outside the Yankees, to dominate spending in MLB. In fact, he spends LESS of his own money than Lindner ever did, as Lindner bought tickets for kids and propped up revenues several times during his ownership.

And the argument that the Yankees money is really Steinbrenner's doesn't trump this distinction, IMO. He has an economic advantage simply from the proximity of his franchise. Say it any way you want too... market size, investment size, whatever.... the money is giving him an unfair advantage which no other team can match, and the disparity gets worse as you move into our neck of the woods.

The NFL understands this, and the nature of their much smaller schedule makes it easy to deal with.

Until all games are pay per view and under the auspices of the internet deal in which the revenues are divided equally among clubs, it won't change. All this debate is just an academic exercise.

jojo
10-11-2007, 04:39 PM
Here's an enormous difference between MLB and the NFL - the NFL does not do local TV rights. It's all one pool. And it's divied out between networks and cable and a local feed when it's on the cable. There's an enormous amount of cash that the NFL splits among each franchise from that well.

Right. The NFL is not a comp for major league baseball....

bucksfan2
10-11-2007, 05:08 PM
Right. The NFL is not a comp for major league baseball....

I agree with this. NFL and MLB are not comparable. The one thing I think you have to look at is MLB used to be the national past time. It used to be the biggest sport acorss the country. MLB was comparable to Soccer in European conutries. Over the past decade in a half the NFL has risen to the most popular sport in the country. Does this coincidentally coincide with the Yankees rise to the forefront or not? Don't get me wrong there have been many other reasons that the NFL is more popular than baseball however continues to distance itself from MLB in terms of popularity.

M2
10-11-2007, 05:12 PM
This is another popular argument that has always mystified me.

The idea that it's the same thing for Lindner to take money out of his other business interests and invest in the Reds being the same as Steinbrenner taking money out of the REVENUE STREAM the Yankees generate with their tremendous market advantage.

It's not the same. Steinbrenner doesn't have to touch a dime of his own money, outside the Yankees, to dominate spending in MLB. In fact, he spends LESS of his own money than Lindner ever did, as Lindner bought tickets for kids and propped up revenues several times during his ownership.

And the argument that the Yankees money is really Steinbrenner's doesn't trump this distinction, IMO. He has an economic advantage simply from the proximity of his franchise. Say it any way you want too... market size, investment size, whatever.... the money is giving him an unfair advantage which no other team can match, and the disparity gets worse as you move into our neck of the woods.

The NFL understands this, and the nature of their much smaller schedule makes it easy to deal with.

Until all games are pay per view and under the auspices of the internet deal in which the revenues are divided equally among clubs, it won't change. All this debate is just an academic exercise.

I agree wholeheartedly with that last point.

As far as I'm aware, Lindner never spent a thin dime of his own cash on the Reds. I'm pretty sure he never propped up revenues, in fact John Allen used to go out of his way to note that the Reds weren't going to spend more than they make. Lindner might have made some charitable ticket donations though that could have been out of the team coffers too and even if it didn't, that's more of a charity/writeoff situation than an investment in the club.

As for the unfair advantage, the Yankees have had that advantage for a century. It's nothing new under the sun. They're the elephant in the ecosystem. Smaller animals can outcompete them, but not by pretending they're elephants.

Johnny Footstool
10-11-2007, 05:20 PM
This is another popular argument that has always mystified me.

The idea that it's the same thing for Lindner to take money out of his other business interests and invest in the Reds being the same as Steinbrenner taking money out of the REVENUE STREAM the Yankees generate with their tremendous market advantage.

It's not the same. Steinbrenner doesn't have to touch a dime of his own money, outside the Yankees, to dominate spending in MLB. In fact, he spends LESS of his own money than Lindner ever did, as Lindner bought tickets for kids and propped up revenues several times during his ownership.

And the argument that the Yankees money is really Steinbrenner's doesn't trump this distinction, IMO. He has an economic advantage simply from the proximity of his franchise. Say it any way you want too... market size, investment size, whatever.... the money is giving him an unfair advantage which no other team can match, and the disparity gets worse as you move into our neck of the woods.

The NFL understands this, and the nature of their much smaller schedule makes it easy to deal with.

Until all games are pay per view and under the auspices of the internet deal in which the revenues are divided equally among clubs, it won't change. All this debate is just an academic exercise.

Exactly how much revenue does the Yankees organization generate? How much of that can be attributed to simple geography, and how much can be attributed to cultivating a fan base by fielding a winning team?

The 80's and early '90's version of the Yankees was nothing like the financial juggernaut of the past 10 years. They had the same geography, but that's it.

IslandRed
10-11-2007, 05:32 PM
I agree with this. NFL and MLB are not comparable. The one thing I think you have to look at is MLB used to be the national past time. It used to be the biggest sport acorss the country. MLB was comparable to Soccer in European conutries. Over the past decade in a half the NFL has risen to the most popular sport in the country. Does this coincidentally coincide with the Yankees rise to the forefront or not? Don't get me wrong there have been many other reasons that the NFL is more popular than baseball however continues to distance itself from MLB in terms of popularity.

Keep in mind that the current Yankee so-called dominance is but a shadow of how they ruled the sport between 1920 and 1964, and the NFL's trend line has been better since probably 1958.

The "national pastime" thing has always been a bit overstated. Baseball was the most popular sport in the country back then, but on a more grassroots level. As late as the 1970s, it was a big deal for a team to draw 2 million fans; now, 2 million is the minimum to not be laughed at. For a dying sport baseball's doing pretty well for itself, World Series ratings be darned.

M2
10-11-2007, 05:33 PM
I agree with this. NFL and MLB are not comparable. The one thing I think you have to look at is MLB used to be the national past time. It used to be the biggest sport acorss the country. MLB was comparable to Soccer in European conutries. Over the past decade in a half the NFL has risen to the most popular sport in the country. Does this coincidentally coincide with the Yankees rise to the forefront or not? Don't get me wrong there have been many other reasons that the NFL is more popular than baseball however continues to distance itself from MLB in terms of popularity.

I don't know how old you are, but a history lesson is in order here. The NFL passed MLB in popularity roughly 40 years ago, at least if you want to go by national viewship for any single game.

Once Max McGee rumbled into the end zone and the Hammer got hammered during the first Super Bowl, football took a slingshot ride to the top of the sports food chain. A good bit of this board, myself included, can't recall a time when football didn't rule the roost.

Mind you, more people actually pay to go to baseball games and more baseball games are watched on television than the NFL, but that's because it plays 10 times more games. So it's a bit screwy to compare a volume business with a premium event business. In 2006 MLB revenues were $5.2 billion while the NFL was at $5.86 billion. The NFL holds a slight edge, but nothing like the gap between MLB and the NBA ($3.13 billion in revenue).

MLB has seen its revenues double since the start of the decade and it's setting new attendance records every season, meaning that there's a lot of needless handwringing over the health of the game. The sport's revenues are growing at a healthy rate and it's the most competitive sport around (which makes it lousy to bet on).

Roy Tucker
10-11-2007, 06:03 PM
Until all games are pay per view and under the auspices of the internet deal in which the revenues are divided equally among clubs, it won't change. All this debate is just an academic exercise.

I long-ago bookmarked this article from 2005 about MLB.tv.

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w050221&s=marchman022205

oneupper
10-11-2007, 06:26 PM
Some of the younger posters here probably need a little Business 101.

Owners' money not equal to Team's money.

These things are SEPARATE. In most cases (Linder's, and BCast case), the owner is part of a consortium (there are several other partners).

If the "owner" were to put more money into the team, the other partners would have to put in their share also (or have their ownership percentages diluted).

What I'm trying to say that it's NOT like:

"We're a #3 starter away from the playoffs...tell Bob to write a check for $15 million".

It doesn't work that way.

Johnny Footstool
10-11-2007, 06:59 PM
Some of the younger posters here probably need a little Business 101.

Owners' money not equal to Team's money.

These things are SEPARATE. In most cases (Linder's, and BCast case), the owner is part of a consortium (there are several other partners).

If the "owner" were to put more money into the team, the other partners would have to put in their share also (or have their ownership percentages diluted).

What I'm trying to say that it's NOT like:

"We're a #3 starter away from the playoffs...tell Bob to write a check for $15 million".

It doesn't work that way.

So instead of getting one old, rich guy to throw in a ton of cash, you need to get several old, rich guys to throw in a little bit of cash each.

That sounds like even less of a problem than I thought.

Yachtzee
10-11-2007, 07:07 PM
Some of the younger posters here probably need a little Business 101.

Owners' money not equal to Team's money.

These things are SEPARATE. In most cases (Linder's, and BCast case), the owner is part of a consortium (there are several other partners).

If the "owner" were to put more money into the team, the other partners would have to put in their share also (or have their ownership percentages diluted).

What I'm trying to say that it's NOT like:

"We're a #3 starter away from the playoffs...tell Bob to write a check for $15 million".

It doesn't work that way.

Baseball owners didn't get rich by losing money, and I can think of a lot more philanthropic causes to donate money to than running a baseball team. That's why it always bugs me when you hear people say that owners of sports teams buy into teams just to be a sports team owner and not to make money.

I think teams with low revenues can get creative and win and I think teams with large revenue streams can lose. I just think that, if you want to grow the game, you want to encourage a fairly equitable distribution of revenues. From an equitable perspective, teams don't make money by playing themselves. They make money by playing the other teams in the league. It only makes sense that all teams should share in the revenue. From a "good of the game" perspective, you raise all ships in the water by increasing the flow of money to all teams. If baseball would work together to ensure a fairly equitable distribution of talent across the league, you generate more interest in the sport as a whole. Baseball teams compete against each other on the field for championships. They compete against other sports and other entertainment options for dollars. They need to start working together to raise fan interest in the sport in all cities in which they play. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to raise the profile of minor league teams as well.

You can point out the differences between the NFL and MLB and where the NFL system fails, but the one area you can't fault them on is that they do an incredible job of marketing their sport and maintaining fan interest. Even fans of bad teams still get excited come draft time. There's just some sense with NFL teams that, even if your team is currently bad, it won't be that way forever. And they still have dynasties. So what? The goal isn't to give every team a turn at a championship. It's to give fans a feeling that their team is going to have a shot at one.

M2
10-11-2007, 07:14 PM
That's why it always bugs me when you hear people say that owners of sports teams buy into teams just to be a sports team owner and not to make money.

Who are "you people"? I don't think there's a single person in this thread who's so much as intimated the franchise should be run as a philathropic organization.

As for fans thinking their team has a chance to win a championship, talk to me about that in March when most Reds fans will once again be deep in the throes of Spring Fever.

Yachtzee
10-11-2007, 08:03 PM
Who are "you people"? I don't think there's a single person in this thread who's so much as intimated the franchise should be run as a philathropic organization.

As for fans thinking their team has a chance to win a championship, talk to me about that in March when most Reds fans will once again be deep in the throes of Spring Fever.

Sorry. Wasn't speaking of this thread in particular. It really hasn't been discussed this way here. I heard it at lot with the Indians when Larry Dolan bought the team and started cutting guys like Manny and Jim Thome loose. The feeling was that, if you don't have enough money for your sports team to be a big play toy that you don't expect to make money on, you shouldn't be an owner. It often comes up with Bengals fans as well when they perceive Mike Brown as being cheap.

mth123
10-11-2007, 09:50 PM
It's not the market size, though.

It's the investment size.

Steinbrenner could run the Yankees like the Marlins if he wanted to. And Lindner could have run the Reds like the Yankees -- he had the cash to do it.

Not really. Steinbrenner is taking his cash from the Yankees revenue and no money comes from his pocket. Lindner had lots of cash, but it wasn't being generated by the Reds. For Lindner to have invested like Steinbrenner he would have had to take the money out of his personal savings or siphon it from his other businesses.

I can fault Lindner for quite a few things, but failing to blow his personal fortune in an attempt to keep up with the top spenders isn't one of them. I certainly wouldn't do that if it were my money and my team.

mth123
10-11-2007, 09:52 PM
This is another popular argument that has always mystified me.

The idea that it's the same thing for Lindner to take money out of his other business interests and invest in the Reds being the same as Steinbrenner taking money out of the REVENUE STREAM the Yankees generate with their tremendous market advantage.

It's not the same. Steinbrenner doesn't have to touch a dime of his own money, outside the Yankees, to dominate spending in MLB. In fact, he spends LESS of his own money than Lindner ever did, as Lindner bought tickets for kids and propped up revenues several times during his ownership.

And the argument that the Yankees money is really Steinbrenner's doesn't trump this distinction, IMO. He has an economic advantage simply from the proximity of his franchise. Say it any way you want too... market size, investment size, whatever.... the money is giving him an unfair advantage which no other team can match, and the disparity gets worse as you move into our neck of the woods.

The NFL understands this, and the nature of their much smaller schedule makes it easy to deal with.

Until all games are pay per view and under the auspices of the internet deal in which the revenues are divided equally among clubs, it won't change. All this debate is just an academic exercise.


Exactly.

GAC
10-11-2007, 10:21 PM
What's funny about the Matsuzaka deal is that it's still a better overall investment than Barry Zito...

That is true; but how many teams were able to come up with that kind of money to simply win the right to negotiate with this guy and his agent?

GAC
10-11-2007, 10:33 PM
In recent years it's become fashionable to say the "small market" excuse isn't valid.

I'll never understand this.

When a team has a tremendous economic advantage, they can afford to make mistakes which would cripple us. Like the Milton contract. The Yankees barely notice such a mistake, while it deals a devastating blow to the Reds.

Yes, a small market team can still succeed. So what? Level the field, stop stacking the deck and let the smartest team win.

And don't act like it doesn't matter.

Exactly. Anyone who thinks there is nothing to the small market vs big market scenario, and we are talking from an issue of economics/revenue generation, then I don't know what to say.

Yes they do have an economic advantage.

You have the money, then you've got the upper hand. Now sure, that doesn't mean that one cannot be irresponsible and not spend it wisely (i.e a Orioles for instance); but as rfs mentions above.... a team like the Yanks,and others, can make "mistakes" and it doesn't have the devasting effect on them like it would a smaller market team. Basically, they can "afford" those mistakes due to their financial status.

Did the signing of Clemens this past summer, and the huge amounts of money they gave him, really hurt the Yanks in the long run? It doesn't matter that Clemens didn't really help them. It was the fact they could take the risk without batting an eyelash. And if it doesn't work out, then they simply move on without missing a beat.

Alot of teams yearly have to sit back, due to budget constraints, and decide who they need to retain and who they can no longer afford. Do larger market teams have that problem? If they let someone walk it's usually not due to financial constarints because they want to find a more viable repalcement. Even if it means paying out more.

vaticanplum
10-11-2007, 11:57 PM
That is true; but how many teams were able to come up with that kind of money to simply win the right to negotiate with this guy and his agent?

On the simplest level, I'm sometimes a little mystified as to why so many fans because so irate at the "unfair advantage" afforded richer teams (and your comment reminded me of this GAC because of the "win the right" comment, but it's not directed specifically at you; it's just a general thought).

Baseball is a business. It makes a lot of money. We feel like it belongs to us and we hold up illusions about it being a metaphor for life or the American pastime, and all that is fine, but all that is not why players can be put on the field every day. They're put on the field because of money, and the money exists because MLB is a for-profit business. Sure, on an individual level, it's nice to believe that most players are playing because they love it -- and I believe that's true to a degree; it's too tough and single-minded a profession to last in if you truly hate it -- but that's separate from the larger picture of this billion-dollar industry.

Each of these franchise owners is charged with putting the best possible product they can on the field. Some choose to spend less money in creating their product -- skimping on research and development, pinching pennies on salaries -- and the best product that they can thus produce will probably not be very good. They haven't lost a lot of money, but they likely won't make as much either. Still, there's a place for this kind of thing. When I want a tank top to wear to the beach, I go to K-Mart. It's perfectly serviceable for what it is and there's not always a need to buy the best tank top out there.

Some owners are penny pinchers who still nonetheless take a great interest in their product. They'll get creative, study their audience, learn to do things a little differently than the people around them producing the same product. Sometimes they strike gold and become Target. Sometimes they overreach and go the way of Parisian.

And some owners go all out and do whatever they can to produce the best product around. Money is not an issue for them, either because it doesn't need to be or they don't allow it to be or they find ways for it not to have to be. These are one-of-a-kind designer stores. A lot of people won't shop there simply because they find it absurd to shell out that much more money for a piece of clothing you can get somewhere else. But these stores survive in the market, because others feel that the product is superior.

I'm reaching with my metaphors due to fatigue, but my point is that this is America and it's in the nature of our being here to allow all kinds of variations to compete for the same thing. And very often those variations all have their own degree of success at any given time due to the economic climate, current public taste, some amount of luck, etc. Is it true that certain owners begin with a lot more money and inherit a lot more talent than others? Sure it is, but if anyone truly believes that this is a problem that requires serious intervention and overhaul, then I think you have to believe the same for the superstores across the nation vs. the general stores and the fast food chains vs. the local diners and any other industry that has a huge disparity between different entities offering the same product. A lot of people who cry out about baseball being unfair are the same people who balk at anti-trust laws and government interference in the corporate world. But this is all business. Don't mistake what we watch on TV for a sport alone. Baseball is a sport. What we watch on TV is a product of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. It is a business, and all of its teams are competitive franchises.

Luckily for us, teams usually have to play well to be financially successful, which means that owners are motivated to do what they can to ensure that the sport aspect of all this (the part we're there for) is upheld even if they really are in it for the business aspect only.

maybe this is all why I don't see the problem that a lot of people do with baseball as it stands today. I have very liberal tendancies, no doubt, but I am a capitalist at heart, because I think the alternative usually dissolves into muck. I see no possible way -- NO way -- that baseball in today's world could be set on even financial ground for everybody and continue to profit as a business in the way it has in recent years. This is an extremely rich and populous country in an extremely prosperous and accessible age. MLB has grown and changed because the country has. This isn't stickball on the Ohio River, and it shouldn't be. To move backwards would be to suffocate financial and business possibilities here, and so I can't fault MLB -- a business -- for not doing so. Everyone is still competing on a free market under the same rules.

So while there are some excellent points all through this thread (yes, the big-market teams' money gives them somewhat of an unfair advantage, etc.) I still have some trouble grasping why so many people find it to be so troubling when in fact it is a perfect American success story. I don't feel we're at the point yet where true competition or sport has been choked out by money. Anything can still happen in nine innings. The rest of it gets a little sticky and it raises eyebrows at times, but frankly that's what we signed on for in this country. Slip into the illegal (collusion, steroids) or the blatantly immoral (gambling, throwing games) and then I have a problem. But as long as the business puts a fairly obtained and developed product on the field, in any capacity it chooses up to 30 different ways, then it's doing what we've asked of it as a business whose product we buy in my opinion.

RedEye
10-12-2007, 12:46 AM
I'm reaching with my metaphors due to fatigue, but my point is that this is America and it's in the nature of our being here to allow all kinds of variations to compete for the same thing. And very often those variations all have their own degree of success at any given time due to the economic climate, current public taste, some amount of luck, etc. Is it true that certain owners begin with a lot more money and inherit a lot more talent than others? Sure it is, but if anyone truly believes that this is a problem that requires serious intervention and overhaul, then I think you have to believe the same for the superstores across the nation vs. the general stores and the fast food chains vs. the local diners and any other industry that has a huge disparity between different entities offering the same product. A lot of people who cry out about baseball being unfair are the same people who balk at anti-trust laws and government interference in the corporate world. But this is all business. Don't mistake what we watch on TV for a sport alone. Baseball is a sport. What we watch on TV is a product of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. It is a business, and all of its teams are competitive franchises.


Phenomenal post, vaticanplum. Really good read. I'm surprised you didn't bring up the NFL, which uses the salary cap to very good effect -- and encourages parity that I think could really profit MLB (and makes me even more sad the Bengals still can't drag themselves out of oblivion).

Sports is a business, yes. Teams are competitive franchises, yes. But baseball also a national pastime which, we like to think, can operate on an even playing field. I just have to believe that there is a way to share the wealth, to give teams equal opportunities to win regardless of their markets.

If I boycott Walmart, it's not just because I think I can get a better product for slightly more money at another place. It's because I'd rather buy at a place that offers fair benefits to its employees and doesn't throw human dignity out the window in the name of a "fair market competitive advantage".

Nothing's "fair" in a democracy dominated by free market capitalism, and I used to think baseball was an exception to the rule. As I've grown older, I've realized that was naive... but I'm still hoping that Selig's office might wake up and set things straight.

Excuse my rant. I hope this made some sense.

M2
10-12-2007, 01:10 AM
Each of these franchise owners is charged with putting the best possible product they can on the field.

Phenomenal post. That was my favorite line.


... but I'm still hoping that Selig's office might wake up and set things straight.

I'm telling you, when you look at what the fallout would be from the kind of fix you're talking about, the current system looks like Eden. It would be a competitive extinction event for a club like the Reds.

Johnny Footstool
10-12-2007, 01:40 AM
Not really. Steinbrenner is taking his cash from the Yankees revenue and no money comes from his pocket. Lindner had lots of cash, but it wasn't being generated by the Reds. For Lindner to have invested like Steinbrenner he would have had to take the money out of his personal savings or siphon it from his other businesses.

I can fault Lindner for quite a few things, but failing to blow his personal fortune in an attempt to keep up with the top spenders isn't one of them. I certainly wouldn't do that if it were my money and my team.

Again, these are short-term expenses used to cultivate a long-term investment.

And do we even know exactly how much revenue each team generates? MLB owners have never exactly been forthcoming with their financial records.

Sea Ray
10-12-2007, 01:44 AM
A microcosm of how $$ buys pennants is that painful Monday Night in early October 1999. The season came down to us or the Mets. The Reds had skimped by all year with retreads like Pete Harnisch and the starter that night, Steve Parris, because they had a mere $38mill to spend. Whereas the Mets had $71mill to land Al Leiter among others. That game to decide the season came down to Steve Parris vs Al Leiter. Is it any wonder why the Reds went home and the Mets moved on?

That year the Mets had a payroll 88% higher than our Reds. Teams with minimal payrolls have Steve Parris their rotations. Teams flush with money have Al Leiter. I for one am convinced that if not for the disparity of payrolls, our Reds would not have found themselves tied with the Mets in the regular season that year.

BCubb2003
10-12-2007, 03:10 AM
If you go back far enough, you might ask why a team in the Bronx would have a built-in advantage over a team in Brooklyn, Boston or Philadelphia. I guess you can blame Babe Ruth. Once the Yankees dominated the New York market, their advantage was locked in.

But for most of baseball's history, there was a limit to the gap. It was easier for the Yankees to sell out their stadium, so they could get a Maris from Kansas City, but there's a limit to the size of the stadium. A well-run small market team could fill its stadium and compete well, espcially if a poorly run Yankees team slipped a little.

The gap then might have been double, if the Yankees were drawing 40,000 a night and other teams were working hard to draw 20,000.

But when the big media contracts started happening, the gap became exponential. If the Reds had a media contract of $7 million, did the Yankees have one at $14 million? No, the Yankees had $100 million. Basically a blank check.

The way to do the capitalism that VaticanPlum suggests is to do what someone else mentioned earlier. Put two more teams in the Yankees backyard. That's supply and demand. But the Yankees are so entrenched as a brand now that it probably doesn't matter. The Mets have had 40 years to make inroads.

If the media revenue were like the NFL's, it might make a difference. Otherwise, no matter what restrictions you put on it, there will be a way around it. Cap the salaries, and you'll probably get A-Rod doing a $30 million a year TV show on the YES network.

The more I think about it, the more remarkable it is that the no-World-Series-winning Red Sox have become the Pepsi to the Yankees' Coke. Was it all Theo Epstein? Or will the Red Sox eventually go the way of the Braves?

jojo
10-12-2007, 05:39 AM
Again, these are short-term expenses used to cultivate a long-term investment.

And do we even know exactly how much revenue each team generates? MLB owners have never exactly been forthcoming with their financial records.

The Yankees' Yes network alone made somewhere near a quarter of a billion dollars in '06.....

Ltlabner
10-12-2007, 08:33 AM
VP, that might qualify as the post of the year. Very well said and it sums up what I've been feeling/thinking as I've read this thread. There's is always going to be disparity amungst the teams. Period.

Does anyone really think if you give the Angelos a pile o' cash that they'd become less stupid? Or if the Marlins had their share of the YES network money that people in Flordia would give a crap about the game? Or that if the Pirates ownership/management of the recient past had some of Bostons money they'd make better decisions with it.

Nope. They still make dumb, stupid decisions with a lot more money. You really think *that* woln't end up effecting the market? You really want the KC FO running up the prices of marginal players? Or getting in a bidding war for Royce Claton simply because now they have the money to do so?

Market usually takes care of these things. Yankees out in three. Cleveland, Diamondbacks and Rockies all still in the hunt.

Penalizing Georgie for being sucessfull and giving tons of his money to some of the more ignroant leadership teams strikes me as a bad idea just chock full of unintended consequences. Naturally we assume *our* team wouldn't do anything dumb with the money, but besides helping all the teams in the middle who would generally use the money well, you are giving the hidiously run orginizations the power to make bad decisions on an even larger scale...with someone elses money.

We already have enough welfare in baseball: the NL central.

RFS62
10-12-2007, 08:53 AM
Baseball is a business. It makes a lot of money.

Each of these franchise owners is charged with putting the best possible product they can on the field. Some choose to spend less money in creating their product -- skimping on research and development, pinching pennies on salaries -- and the best product that they can thus produce will probably not be very good.



Baseball is indeed a business. But the product is Major League Baseball, not Yankee baseball. This is the central distinction that gets swept under the carpet in all these discussions, IMO.

If not for the rest of the league, who would the Yankees play? They are dependent on the health of the rest of MLB in order to succeed.

And frankly, I don't give a hoot if any owner keeps all the money, spends it, whatever. As you correctly point out, it's capitalism at its core. What I want is a level playing field at the start of the day. Let the smartest team win, not the one with the biggest economic advantage. What do the Yankees have to fear if they're really so smart?

And I don't blame them one bit for taking complete advantage of the system that is in place. It's absolutely the correct thing to do... to maximize the tremendous hammer they swing. They can't be expected to rein themselves in for the good of baseball. That should fall on the other owners and the commissioner.

For the life of me, I can't figure out any argument that doesn't acknowledge the enormous advantage that having 5 times the operating capital gives the Yankees over most of the rest of baseball.



If you go back far enough, you might ask why a team in the Bronx would have a built-in advantage over a team in Brooklyn, Boston or Philadelphia. I guess you can blame Babe Ruth. Once the Yankees dominated the New York market, their advantage was locked in.

But for most of baseball's history, there was a limit to the gap. It was easier for the Yankees to sell out their stadium, so they could get a Maris from Kansas City, but there's a limit to the size of the stadium. A well-run small market team could fill its stadium and compete well, espcially if a poorly run Yankees team slipped a little.

The gap then might have been double, if the Yankees were drawing 40,000 a night and other teams were working hard to draw 20,000.

But when the big media contracts started happening, the gap became exponential. If the Reds had a media contract of $7 million, did the Yankees have one at $14 million? No, the Yankees had $100 million. Basically a blank check.



Killer post, BCubb. Exactly right.

Ltlabner
10-12-2007, 08:58 AM
Baseball is indeed a business. But the product is Major League Baseball, not Yankee baseball. This is the central distinction that gets swept under the carpet in all these discussions, IMO.

I've never heard anyone say, "I'm going to the ballpark to catch some of that Bud Selig's Major League Baseball". Ever.

On the other hand, lots and lots of people are going to see the Yankees play. Or the Cubs. Or the Red Sox. Or the Phillys. Or the A's.

The product is the team, and the players. That is what the overwhelming majorty of casual fans go to see. They want to see the Red Sox. They want to see McGuire. They want to see big named players. Not the game as a whole. Those on RZ might love it "for the game" but I doubt you could run a franchise on the money the memembership of RZ would generate.

Falls City Beer
10-12-2007, 09:03 AM
If not for the rest of the league, who would the Yankees play? They are dependent on the health of the rest of MLB in order to succeed.

.

Realistically, MLB can't allow it to be "just" the Yankees. However, the Yankees and Red Sox are plenty I suspect.

I'm not being glib here, either. As long there are two behemoths acting out their big market narrative, really, the rest of baseball is pretty interchangeable. From a business standpoint of course.

That entitles everyone to gain righteous joy from watching them get their tails kicked by the Indians however. That's the poorer teams' privilege.

RFS62
10-12-2007, 09:05 AM
I've never heard anyone say, "I'm going to the ballpark to catch some of that Bud Selig's Major League Baseball". Ever.

On the other hand, lots and lots of people are going to see the Yankees play. Or the Cubs. Or the Red Sox. Or the Phillys. Or the A's.

The product is the team, and the players. That is what the overwhelming majorty of casual fans go to see. They want to see the Red Sox. They want to see McGuire. They want to see big named players. Not the game as a whole. Those on RZ might love it "for the game" but I doubt you could run a franchise on the money the memembership of RZ would generate.



Maybe I didn't explain my point well enough, if that's what you took from it.

Of course we all go to see our local favorite team. It would be nice if we could afford to field a better team to go see.

RFS62
10-12-2007, 09:08 AM
Realistically, MLB can't allow it to be "just" the Yankees. However, the Yankees and Red Sox are plenty I suspect.

I'm not being glib here, either. As long there are two behemoths acting out their big market narrative, really, the rest of baseball is pretty interchangeable. From a business standpoint of course.

That entitles everyone to gain righteous joy from watching them get their tails kicked by the Indians however. That's the poorer teams' privilege.



Yep, and with the system as it is, that's the best we can hope for. And, to a degree, it's always been that way, I readily admit.

But as BCubb so succinctly pointed out, the gap is far bigger than ever and that makes the problem more distasteful than ever for me.

Again, I know it's not going to change. It's all academic, this discussion.

Falls City Beer
10-12-2007, 09:12 AM
Yep, and with the system as it is, that's the best we can hope for. And, to a degree, it's always been that way, I readily admit.

But as BCubb so succinctly pointed out, the gap is far bigger than ever and that makes the problem more distasteful than ever for me.

Again, I know it's not going to change. It's all academic, this discussion.

But at least we get John Turturro as Billy Martin out of it.

blumj
10-12-2007, 09:13 AM
If you go back far enough, you might ask why a team in the Bronx would have a built-in advantage over a team in Brooklyn, Boston or Philadelphia. I guess you can blame Babe Ruth. Once the Yankees dominated the New York market, their advantage was locked in.

But for most of baseball's history, there was a limit to the gap. It was easier for the Yankees to sell out their stadium, so they could get a Maris from Kansas City, but there's a limit to the size of the stadium. A well-run small market team could fill its stadium and compete well, espcially if a poorly run Yankees team slipped a little.

The gap then might have been double, if the Yankees were drawing 40,000 a night and other teams were working hard to draw 20,000.

But when the big media contracts started happening, the gap became exponential. If the Reds had a media contract of $7 million, did the Yankees have one at $14 million? No, the Yankees had $100 million. Basically a blank check.

The way to do the capitalism that VaticanPlum suggests is to do what someone else mentioned earlier. Put two more teams in the Yankees backyard. That's supply and demand. But the Yankees are so entrenched as a brand now that it probably doesn't matter. The Mets have had 40 years to make inroads.

If the media revenue were like the NFL's, it might make a difference. Otherwise, no matter what restrictions you put on it, there will be a way around it. Cap the salaries, and you'll probably get A-Rod doing a $30 million a year TV show on the YES network.

The more I think about it, the more remarkable it is that the no-World-Series-winning Red Sox have become the Pepsi to the Yankees' Coke. Was it all Theo Epstein? Or will the Red Sox eventually go the way of the Braves?
It was ownership, Henry/Werner/Lucchino. They knew they were Pepsi, they acted like Pepsi, and they knew it was their job to compete with Coke.

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 09:40 AM
If it were a true capitalist system, similar to the superstores as VP mentioned, then new owners could enter and leave the market at will and would be free to open franchises in areas where there is greater demand. This is not true. The Yankees have a built in market advantage because they've had 100 years of MLB protecting their market from additional entrants in the greater NY metro area. Sure they succeeded in driving out the Giants and Dodgers, but part of that has to do with the owners of those teams not using their market advantage and chasing after big west coast money. Baseball still controlled the entry of the Mets in a way that prevented them from going out and immediately signing a bunch of players to challenge the Yankees.

In a capitalist system where each team owner is competing against each other economically, NY-NJ could possibly have 4 or 5 teams competing against each other. In fact, if MLB teams could freely enter the market, maybe the early Yankees dominance would have been challenged by someone more savvy that Stoneham and Ebbets and it would have been the Yankees moving out west in the '50s. But it's not. It's a trust, a business trust, regardless of what the courts or Congress or the owners say. Baseball owners are not in competition for each other economically. Otherwise, why would they have things like "market areas" and "blackouts?" In what other industry would you have competitors agreeing to split up market areas and not compete with each other in those market areas without being slapped with an anti-trust suit?

If it's a trust and not a competitive market, and one sanctioned by the US government, why not operate it on a level in which you maximize your earnings across the league and across the country? Why not do that rather than allowing money and fan interest to concentrate around the Northeastern portion of the country?

blumj
10-12-2007, 10:41 AM
Hard to believe the other elephant in the room, the MLBPA, hasn't even made an appearance in this conversation yet. Anything that regulates how much teams can spend on player salaries can stop right there, and it doesn't matter a bit what the commissioner and owners want. Sure, why not do everything you can to level the playing field? Well, because you don't actually have the power to do it.

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 10:56 AM
Hard to believe the other elephant in the room, the MLBPA, hasn't even made an appearance in this conversation yet. Anything that regulates how much teams can spend on player salaries can stop right there, and it doesn't matter a bit what the commissioner and owners want. Sure, why not do everything you can to level the playing field? Well, because you don't actually have the power to do it.

I think because we're mostly talking about revenue sharing, not capping salaries. I have no problem with players getting their cut of the money that MLB makes. Revenue sharing won't necessarily cut down on player salaries. It probably won't even cut down on dumb contracts. In fact, it might actually increase league revenues across the board by increasing fan interest in KC, Pittsburgh and other cities (provided those teams actually use revenue sharing to improve their team). More fan interest = more dollars = more money for player salaries.

Chip R
10-12-2007, 10:58 AM
Hard to believe the other elephant in the room, the MLBPA, hasn't even made an appearance in this conversation yet. Anything that regulates how much teams can spend on player salaries can stop right there, and it doesn't matter a bit what the commissioner and owners want. Sure, why not do everything you can to level the playing field? Well, because you don't actually have the power to do it.


That's a great point that is missed by so many. It's OK if you believe that MLB should mandate much greater or full revenue sharing, but not only are you going to have a war with the big market owners but you're going to have a war with the union as well.

It used to be that there was no local revenue sharing. Over the past decade that has changed. Now there is local revenue sharing and a luxury tax - sometimes. Maybe there isn't as much as some would like but you have to compromise. Plus, now that there is revenue sharing, do you think that in future CBAs there will be greater or less revenue sharing? My money is on the former because once you get that foot in the door, it's easier to get in further.

westofyou
10-12-2007, 11:57 AM
Normally I'd agree with you, but from what I understand, Phoenix's particular problem isn't that it's overflowing with social activity, it's that much of the city doesn't do a whole lot more than watch TV. I've been told it's an exceptionally sleepy town.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-dbacksfans101107


The view from Section 307, Row 40, Seat 13 – the one that not a single person of the four million living in the Phoenix metropolitan area cared to inhabit Thursday night during the biggest baseball game of the Arizona Diamondbacks' season – was quite nice. Take in a few innings from that seat down the right-field line, the field unfolding in an expansive portrait, and the game feels so much more real than TV's microwave-popcorn version of it.

Hector Tapia and Eddie Reyes, sitting three seats down from lucky No. 13, didn't know until 8 a.m. Thursday that they would come to Game 1 of the National League championship series. During homeroom at Summit High, the 18-year-old seniors' teacher told them that because of their perfect attendance this year, each would receive a ticket – face value: $60 – gratis.

"And even then we weren't going to come," Hector said, "but we figured we had free tickets."

The announced attendance for Thursday night's game, a 5-1 victory by the surging Colorado Rockies over the Diamondbacks, was 48,142. A sellout, the Diamondbacks said. Maybe, even with Seat 13 surrounded by thousands of cousins in emptiness during the first pitch, it was. Perhaps every person in Section 307 got caught in the same traffic jam because they had to scramble after the dog ate their tickets. Or it could be that someone bought up all the remaining tickets and gave them away – some, say, to local schools.

A Diamondbacks spokesman said he did not believe the franchise had bought tickets, though if majority owner Ken Kendrick and his partners did, who could blame them? So much talk leading up to Game 1 focused on the flaccid ticket sales, taking away from the fact that Arizona has built itself up from the 111-loss mess of 2004 to the winningest team in the National League.

Now, on the biggest stage since the Diamondbacks' 2001 World Series championship, the great fans of Phoenix – which is creeping up on Atlanta for most pathetic sports city in America – couldn't bother to watch their team host a division rival hotter than any team since Oakland won 20 straight in 2002.

The Diamondbacks deserve better than this city.

They deserve better fans, too, than some of those who showed up, drank too much and decided to throw bottles on the field after umpire Larry Vanover called interference in the seventh inning on Justin Upton's hard slide into second base, forcing an automatic double play. Plastic bottles – some still heavy with liquid inside – rained onto the outfield grass and warning track, and umpires delayed the game and pulled the Rockies off the field to restore order.

"I'm not scared of plastic bottles," Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday said. "I lift weights for a reason. In case mayhem breaks out at the field and they start throwing stuff, I've got muscles."

Holliday, spared from a direct hit, could kid. The Diamondbacks couldn't. Now they had to apologize for two sets of fans: the handful of idiots who showed up and the thousands of apathetic ones who didn't.

To the right of Seat 13 sat Nick Johnson, Jordan Kaye and Brian Aden, all 9, who had moved up to the $60 seats from their $25 ones. Kaye's father, Sean, came up to check on the kids, and, bless the man, tried to defend the dozens of empties that surrounded him.

"This stadium is huge," Kaye began.

"Give the sense it's a hard ticket to get and people will want it more," he continued.

"Look at everything going on here: Cardinals, Coyotes, preseason Suns, 6-0 (Arizona State football)," he explained.

"We have really good TV numbers," he elucidated.

"We got spoiled going to the playoffs after the second season and winning the World Series after the fourth," he rationalized.

So, he was all right with this.

"Um. OK. I wish there were more fans," Kaye said. "We are the biggest bandwagon fans here."

The biggest shame is that a series dying for exposure – Game 2's East Coast start time: around 10:20 p.m. – can't even sell one of the cities participating. What kind of impression does it give those who might stay up past midnight to watch a game with two unfamiliar teams when the host city pretends like that game barely exists?

On StubHub, the ticket resale site, the lowest price for Game 1 of the ALCS in Boston was $200, the highest $1,730. For Game 3 in Cleveland, the prices were $75 and $1,990. Even for Game 3 in Colorado, which sold out almost immediately, the cheapest went for $85 and the priciest $1,200.

Anyone interested in Game 2 here can get in for $15.90.

And in case a big group wants to go, as of midnight here, blocks of up to 18 tickets were available for Game 2 on MLB.com.

"You'd think the National League championship series would sell out," Holliday said.

Certainly you would, though the Atlanta Braves made a habit of not selling out the NLCS – as recently as 2001, when they faced the Diamondbacks, who, too, couldn't even pack in 40,000 for Game 1 with Randy Johnson starting.

This isn't the Diamondbacks' fault, and it's not Major League Baseball's, either. Sometimes, it's incumbent upon a city to adopt a franchise, and even if the fans chuckle at the public address announcer's imploring fans to chant along to the "Anywhere, anytime" catchphrase and roll their eyes at the team's theme song with the chorus "It's a fact, Jack, I back, you back, we back the D'backs," they should support the team by, at very least, showing up.

On the walk back down to the main concourse from Section 307, Row 40, Seat 13, a sign greets those about to leave the stadium.

THE D-BACKS THANK THE BEST FANS IN BASEBALL

Too bad those fans refuse to thank the Diamondbacks in kind.

M2
10-12-2007, 12:40 PM
I think because we're mostly talking about revenue sharing, not capping salaries.

I'm pro revenue sharing too, but the real problem with it is that smaller markets aren't all that big on it. The primary collective drive of those small market owners has been to seek caps and, failing that, luxury taxes in order to secure their profit margins rather than broad revenue sharing in order to alter the competitive landscape.

It's not like anyone in this mix has noble intentions. I'd say that right now what you've got is a good balance of massively self-interested parties. The Reds can't act like the Yankees, but they can act like the Indians.

IslandRed
10-12-2007, 12:47 PM
That's a great point that is missed by so many. It's OK if you believe that MLB should mandate much greater or full revenue sharing, but not only are you going to have a war with the big market owners but you're going to have a war with the union as well.

Yep. Small market versus big market is just as contentious as owners versus players. Every CBA is essentially negotiated at a three-sided table.

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 01:05 PM
I'm pro revenue sharing too, but the real problem with it is that smaller markets aren't all that big on it. The primary collective drive of those small market owners has been to seek caps and, failing that, luxury taxes in order to secure their profit margins rather than broad revenue sharing in order to alter the competitive landscape.

It's not like anyone in this mix has noble intentions. I'd say that right now what you've got is a good balance of massively self-interested parties. The Reds can't act like the Yankees, but they can act like the Indians.

I don't think all small markets are out there solely to secure profit margins. You might have one or two owners out there who are simply trying to make money out of it, but I think most owners of sports teams want to win. It's just that they want to win within the constraints of the revenue they bring in. Often whether they win or not is determined by the savvy of the GM and Manager they hire. Hence GMs of small market teams often get canned for failure. The problem is that often the replacement GM fails to come up with a plan to win within the constraints, so they fire that guy and find another.

I think that if you raised the revenue levels of teams across the board, you would see more of those small market teams as players in free agency and more investment in scouting and player development. Sure you will have your penny pinchers who will try to just take the money from revenue sharing and put it in their pockets. But the way to solve that is to require that teams spend a certain percentage of their revenues on salaries, scouting and development in order to participate in revenue sharing.

The real problem with that plan is trust. Large market owners don't trust the small market guys to put every effort forth to maximize revenue and put a competitive team on the field, whereas small market owners don't trust large market owners in honestly reporting their revenue. But if MLB had a visionary commissioner, I think that person could bring all owners in line and work out a system that seeks to maximize fan interest and revenue it all of its markets.

vaticanplum
10-12-2007, 01:08 PM
The real problem with that plan is trust. Large market owners don't trust the small market guys to put every effort forth to maximize revenue and put a competitive team on the field, whereas small market owners don't trust large market owners in honestly reporting their revenue. But if MLB had a visionary commissioner, I think that person could bring all owners in line and work out a system that seeks to maximize fan interest and revenue it all of its markets.

What is the role of MLB's CEO? It does have one, but I never hear much about him. How is the "vision" supposed to be broken down, ie. commissioner from the baseball side and CEO from the financial side? Are they supposed to work together? I realize just how little I ever hear about the actual delegation of responsibilities within the organization.

Chip R
10-12-2007, 01:18 PM
I don't think all small markets are out there solely to secure profit margins. You might have one or two owners out there who are simply trying to make money out of it, but I think most owners of sports teams want to win. It's just that they want to win within the constraints of the revenue they bring in. Often whether they win or not is determined by the savvy of the GM and Manager they hire. Hence GMs of small market teams often get canned for failure. The problem is that often the replacement GM fails to come up with a plan to win within the constraints, so they fire that guy and find another.

I think you're right but it's the "one bad apple" theory. And I think owners want to win but they also don't want to lose money. Now which is the greater temptation?



I think that if you raised the revenue levels of teams across the board, you would see more of those small market teams as players in free agency and more investment in scouting and player development. Sure you will have your penny pinchers who will try to just take the money from revenue sharing and put it in their pockets. But the way to solve that is to require that teams spend a certain percentage of their revenues on salaries, scouting and development in order to participate in revenue sharing.


I agree but you still have the penny pinchers who spoil it for the rest of the bunch. And those penny pinchers are the ones the big markets point to when they rail against revenue sharing.



The real problem with that plan is trust. Large market owners don't trust the small market guys to put every effort forth to maximize revenue and put a competitive team on the field, whereas small market owners don't trust large market owners in honestly reporting their revenue. But if MLB had a visionary commissioner, I think that person could bring all owners in line and work out a system that seeks to maximize fan interest and revenue it all of its markets.


As long as the teams in the smaller markets don't put their money into the team and the largert markets underreport revenue, there's going to be that lack of trust. I don't care who you have as commissioner you're always going to have that problem.

westofyou
10-12-2007, 01:19 PM
What is the role of MLB's CEO? It does have one, but I never hear much about him. How is the "vision" supposed to be broken down, ie. commissioner from the baseball side and CEO from the financial side? Are they supposed to work together? I realize just how little I ever hear about the actual delegation of responsibilities within the organization.

CEO?

That's the ownership group, whom only in your lifetime actually started to see each other as allies, not competition.

blumj
10-12-2007, 01:21 PM
But if MLB had a visionary commissioner, I think that person could bring all owners in line and work out a system that seeks to maximize fan interest and revenue it all of its markets.
Good idea, let's get one of those. I don't think you'll get much of an argument from anyone here on that point.

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 01:32 PM
Good idea, let's get one of those. I don't think you'll get much of an argument from anyone here on that point.

Maybe they'll get one once they decide the job of the commissioner isn't to try to beat the MLBPA into submission.

vaticanplum
10-12-2007, 01:36 PM
CEO?

That's the ownership group, whom only in your lifetime actually started to see each other as allies, not competition.

Well, here he is:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/about_mlb/executives.jsp?bio=dupuy_bob

Still not quite clear on what he does though. Keeps them out of legal trouble?

westofyou
10-12-2007, 01:37 PM
Well, here he is:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/about_mlb/executives.jsp?bio=dupuy_bob

Still not quite clear on what he does though. Keeps them out of legal trouble?

It's hard to work with so many owners pulling the strings.

BCubb2003
10-12-2007, 01:41 PM
It was ownership, Henry/Werner/Lucchino. They knew they were Pepsi, they acted like Pepsi, and they knew it was their job to compete with Coke.

I guess the Reds would be Big K Cola, with dreams of being RC Cola.

Rojo
10-12-2007, 02:40 PM
If it were a true capitalist system, similar to the superstores as VP mentioned, then new owners could enter and leave the market at will and would be free to open franchises in areas where there is greater demand. This is not true. The Yankees have a built in market advantage because they've had 100 years of MLB protecting their market from additional entrants in the greater NY metro area. Sure they succeeded in driving out the Giants and Dodgers, but part of that has to do with the owners of those teams not using their market advantage and chasing after big west coast money. Baseball still controlled the entry of the Mets in a way that prevented them from going out and immediately signing a bunch of players to challenge the Yankees.

In a capitalist system where each team owner is competing against each other economically, NY-NJ could possibly have 4 or 5 teams competing against each other. In fact, if MLB teams could freely enter the market, maybe the early Yankees dominance would have been challenged by someone more savvy that Stoneham and Ebbets and it would have been the Yankees moving out west in the '50s. But it's not. It's a trust, a business trust, regardless of what the courts or Congress or the owners say. Baseball owners are not in competition for each other economically. Otherwise, why would they have things like "market areas" and "blackouts?" In what other industry would you have competitors agreeing to split up market areas and not compete with each other in those market areas without being slapped with an anti-trust suit?

If it's a trust and not a competitive market, and one sanctioned by the US government, why not operate it on a level in which you maximize your earnings across the league and across the country? Why not do that rather than allowing money and fan interest to concentrate around the Northeastern portion of the country?

Wither Teddy Roosevelt.

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 02:57 PM
Wither Teddy Roosevelt.

He probably has tickets to a Federal League game.

M2
10-12-2007, 04:44 PM
I don't think all small markets are out there solely to secure profit margins. You might have one or two owners out there who are simply trying to make money out of it, but I think most owners of sports teams want to win. It's just that they want to win within the constraints of the revenue they bring in. Often whether they win or not is determined by the savvy of the GM and Manager they hire. Hence GMs of small market teams often get canned for failure. The problem is that often the replacement GM fails to come up with a plan to win within the constraints, so they fire that guy and find another.

Obviously every club has multiple needs and desires. I'm sure every team wants to win, but I'm equally sure, because we've seen it play out in front of our faces, that locking in profits via a salary cap has been more important to small market owners than pushing for NFL-style revenue sharing to bolster leaguewide financial equity. The latter simply hasn't been pushed in any serioius manner while the former has been THE issue for those owners for two decades. Win if you can, lose if you must, but always maximize your profits.


I think that if you raised the revenue levels of teams across the board, you would see more of those small market teams as players in free agency and more investment in scouting and player development. Sure you will have your penny pinchers who will try to just take the money from revenue sharing and put it in their pockets. But the way to solve that is to require that teams spend a certain percentage of their revenues on salaries, scouting and development in order to participate in revenue sharing.

I don't disagree with any of that. Revenue sharing would probably increase veteran salaries on the whole (though it would probably decrease absolute top end salaries). I actually think that the MLBPA would accept a significant revenue sharing plan in exchange for five-year free agency and the elimination of the luxury tax. It probably wouldn't be full revenue sharing, more like half of all local revenues thrown into the kitty, but the owners would never propose it.


The real problem with that plan is trust. Large market owners don't trust the small market guys to put every effort forth to maximize revenue and put a competitive team on the field, whereas small market owners don't trust large market owners in honestly reporting their revenue. But if MLB had a visionary commissioner, I think that person could bring all owners in line and work out a system that seeks to maximize fan interest and revenue it all of its markets.

I don't think it's trust so much as familiarity. Large market owners know the small market owners too well to buy into the notion that they've got noble competitive aspirations. Personally, I don't think that should matter. No team is an island. Half of everything you make is due to you competitors showing up and playing. It's a case of large markets having been allowed to keep money they should have been sharing in the first place. It's the fans and the media who'd have to hold the small market owners accountable for not spending the extra cash.

Ltlabner
10-12-2007, 05:04 PM
If it's a trust and not a competitive market, and one sanctioned by the US government, why not operate it on a level in which you maximize your earnings across the league and across the country? Why not do that rather than allowing money and fan interest to concentrate around the Northeastern portion of the country?

So the only thing holding the Angelos back is money? If only KC had a little more jack? Pittsburg of the last 15 years was this close to a division title if it wern't for a lack of funds?

Giving poorly run teams other peoples money in no ways guarentees that they will maximize earnings. It only guarentees they will be dumber on a grander scale.

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 05:10 PM
So the only thing holding the Angelos back is money? If only KC had a little more jack? Pittsburg of the last 15 years was this close to a division title if it wern't for a lack of funds?

Giving poorly run teams other peoples money in no ways guarentees that they will maximize earnings. It only guarentees they will be dumber on a grander scale.

Why is it other people's money? Last I heard, Baltimore, KC and Pittsburgh still show up to play games. Maybe the large market teams should be paying them more money for all those easy wins and not posing yet another threat in the march to the playoffs. Why is it so nutty to say that a team owes half it's revenue to the fact that it has other teams in the league to play.

And Angelos already has money. He had the DC market to himself forever and probably still brings in enough with the Orioles to be a net payer in the revenue sharing.

Ltlabner
10-12-2007, 05:19 PM
Why is it other people's money? Last I heard, Baltimore, KC and Pittsburgh still show up to play games. Maybe the large market teams should be paying them more money for all those easy wins and not posing yet another threat in the march to the playoffs. Why is it so nutty to say that a team owes half it's revenue to the fact that it has other teams in the league to play. .

When the Yankees play the Pirates in Pittsburg (assuming it happened) who do people go to see...the Pirates or the Yankees?

When Boston visits the Rockies and Colorado sells out (after only averaging 20,000+/- a night) who are the folks there to see...Manny, Ortiz, and Dice-K or the Rockies?

When's the last time ANY team raised ticket prices and sold out a game because KC was in town?

If Phil Dirt & The Dozers opens for Bruce Springsteen, should they get an equal cut of the gate? Obviously not...people are there to see Bruce, so Phil lives on a much smaller take. The idea that the revenue is equal soley because they are both MLB teams is non-sensical.

Phhhl
10-12-2007, 06:06 PM
When the Yankees play the Pirates in Pittsburg (assuming it happened) who do people go to see...the Pirates or the Yankees?

When Boston visits the Rockies and Colorado sells out (after only averaging 20,000+/- a night) who are the folks there to see...Manny, Ortiz, and Dice-K or the Rockies?

When's the last time ANY team raised ticket prices and sold out a game because KC was in town?

If Phil Dirt & The Dozers opens for Bruce Springsteen, should they get an equal cut of the gate? Obviously not...people are there to see Bruce, so Phil lives on a much smaller take. The idea that the revenue is equal soley because they are both MLB teams is non-sensical.

Ok, how about this? Wasn't Johnny Damon drafted and developed by the Kansas City Royals? Bobby Abreu the Phillies? David Ortiz the Minnasota Twins, and his budy Ramirez by the Indians? Can't the argument be made that these guys might not have become major leaguers at all without the investment of time and money of other organizations? What is that worth to what these large markets are today? Seems to me quite a bit. Small market clubs are already being jobbed out of the ability to retain talent through the prime years of their players' careers by this system. Heck, it is already impossible for some times to sign kids out of high school. I don't think it is unreasonable for baseball to follow the lead of the NFL and recognize the value of all the teams that comprise the whole through revenue sharing. The Yankees cannot play themselves.

Call me nonsensical. I think it is an excellent point, one that the NFL practices and one baseball would be wise to follow some day.

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 06:37 PM
When the Yankees play the Pirates in Pittsburg (assuming it happened) who do people go to see...the Pirates or the Yankees?

When Boston visits the Rockies and Colorado sells out (after only averaging 20,000+/- a night) who are the folks there to see...Manny, Ortiz, and Dice-K or the Rockies?

When's the last time ANY team raised ticket prices and sold out a game because KC was in town?

If Phil Dirt & The Dozers opens for Bruce Springsteen, should they get an equal cut of the gate? Obviously not...people are there to see Bruce, so Phil lives on a much smaller take. The idea that the revenue is equal soley because they are both MLB teams is non-sensical.

The idea that they Yankees and Red Sox earn all their revenue from their own efforts is nonsense. You can have a Bruce Springsteen Concert without Phil Dirt and the Dozers. You can't have a baseball game without two teams on the field, regardless of who people might be coming to see.

As stated before here are the logical reasons for revenue sharing:

1. It takes at least two teams to play the game. No one wants to see the Yankees play themselves 162 games. If that were the case they might as well be the Harlem Globetrotters, carrying around a squad of scrubs like the Washington Generals.

2. MLB protects their market from other entrants and has done so for 100 years. Teams like the Yankees benefit from the fact that they only have to worry about 1 other team on their home turf. Would they be as successful if the Royals, Pirates, Twins, and A's had all relocated to NYC? Or what if some bajillionaire could start an expansion club and pay the league's best talent to skip out on their contracts and join the "New York Omnipotents?" You can't discount the benefit that large market teams get from market protection.

The Yankees and Red Sox are what they are because MLB has granted them a protected market in which to do business and a bunch of teams in economically less potent markets to compete against. With such a huge economic advantage, the only way they don't make the playoffs on a regular basis is if they failed miserably to even adequately allocate their resources. Why do you have a problem with them sharing the benefits they get from operating in a structure that protects them from direct competition in their own markets?

gonelong
10-12-2007, 06:37 PM
When the Yankees play the Pirates in Pittsburg (assuming it happened) who do people go to see...the Pirates or the Yankees?

When Boston visits the Rockies and Colorado sells out (after only averaging 20,000+/- a night) who are the folks there to see...Manny, Ortiz, and Dice-K or the Rockies?

When's the last time ANY team raised ticket prices and sold out a game because KC was in town?

And without any of those teams, nobody watches any games and the Yankees and Red Sox don't make anything at all.


If Phil Dirt & The Dozers opens for Bruce Springsteen, should they get an equal cut of the gate? Obviously not...people are there to see Bruce, so Phil lives on a much smaller take. People will go see Springsteen all by himself. The Yankees would have a limited audience for intra-squad scrimmages.


The idea that the revenue is equal soley because they are both MLB teams is non-sensical.

I say its 1/2 of the revenue ... you say less, but I think we all agree there is some worth to having an opponent. (Heck, even the Globe Trotters need the Washington Generals and the New York Nationals)

The other teams have to be there for the Yankees and Sox to play. That has a worth. If you let me move my franchise to New York or Boston or China or Mexico, then I'd say I'll take my chances making my own revenue ... if not, I'm going to want some of the revenue I help you generate. (If not 1/2 then much closer to 1/2 than not)

GL

Edit: Yachtzee, we might as well have made the same post, ha!

RFS62
10-12-2007, 06:44 PM
The idea that they Yankees and Red Sox earn all their revenue from their own efforts is nonsense. You can have a Bruce Springsteen Concert without Phil Dirt and the Dozers. You can't have a baseball game without two teams on the field, regardless of who people might be coming to see.

As stated before here are the logical reasons for revenue sharing:

1. It takes at least two teams to play the game. No one wants to see the Yankees play themselves 162 games. If that were the case they might as well be the Harlem Globetrotters, carrying around a squad of scrubs like the Washington Generals.

2. MLB protects their market from other entrants and has done so for 100 years. Teams like the Yankees benefit from the fact that they only have to worry about 1 other team on their home turf. Would they be as successful if the Royals, Pirates, Twins, and A's had all relocated to NYC? Or what if some bajillionaire could start an expansion club and pay the league's best talent to skip out on their contracts and join the "New York Omnipotents?" You can't discount the benefit that large market teams get from market protection.

The Yankees and Red Sox are what they are because MLB has granted them a protected market in which to do business and a bunch of teams in economically less potent markets to compete against. With such a huge economic advantage, the only way they don't make the playoffs on a regular basis is if they failed miserably to even adequately allocate their resources. Why do you have a problem with them sharing the benefits they get from operating in a structure that protects them from direct competition in their own markets?



Outstanding series of posts, Yachtzee.

:beerme:


You too, Gonelong.

Ltlabner
10-12-2007, 08:29 PM
if not, I'm going to want some of the revenue I help you generate. (If not 1/2 then much closer to 1/2 than not)

Well of course the big teams need other teams to play against. And of course the "other team" deserves part of the rewards for people coming to the park. That's fairly obvious.

But if the Red Sox coming to town increases attendence by 30% over normal, why on earth should the home team get a cut of that increase? The increase was because of the visiting team, thus they should reap the rewards. Sure, the home team gets a cut of the action for being there. And in this example, the home team also gets the benefit of the concessions...for having done nothing but suiting up.

But to say it's a 50-50 generation of revenue overlooks that people put value on certian teams over others. There's nothing 50-50 about it.

Ltlabner
10-12-2007, 08:47 PM
Why do you have a problem with them sharing the benefits they get from operating in a structure that protects them from direct competition in their own markets?

Because it isn't "sharing" it's taking.

Far more importantly, however, is that I don't think redistributing money will have an iota of effect on leveling the playing field in the long term. Well run orgizations will continue to be well run. Poorly run teams will find ways to waste the money and drive up the cost of players for everybody else.

Another issue, and this one is more theoritical, is that making sure everybody is equally miserable makes little sense to me. Take the RedSox. Put the team out of business and redistribute one player to all the remaining teams. Would KC suddenly be playoff bound with the addition of Manny? Would the Marlins suddenly be a powerhouse with the addition of Papelbon?

No, of corse not, they would still be horrable teams with one more star player (maybe their only star player). Since the money is shared, the ultimate effect will be big name tallents being more equally distributed. That's what's really being discussed. The big money teams will have to sell off the star players because they can't afford them anymore. And I think adding a star-caliber player here, or there, to the bad teams will make absoutley zero impact. They will still be horrably run teams who will invent new ways of losing. They just have a star player to add to their roster of dreck.

So you end up with a host of marginal teams instead of some "big name teams", some 2nd tier teams that find a way to win, and some dogs. That just doesn't seem like a step forward to me.

By the way, I have no issue at all with trying to get rid of the anti-trust protections. Not likely to happen, but I have no issues with that. It's the revenue sharing scheemes that I dispise.

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 09:08 PM
Because it isn't "sharing" it's taking.

Far more importantly, however, is that I don't think redistributing money will have an iota of effect on leveling the playing field in the long term. Well run orgizations will continue to be well run. Poorly run teams will find ways to waste the money and drive up the cost of players for everybody else.

Another issue, and this one is more theoritical, is that making sure everybody is equally miserable makes little sense to me. Take the RedSox. Put the team out of business and redistribute one player to all the remaining teams. Would KC suddenly be playoff bound with the addition of Manny? Would the Marlins suddenly be a powerhouse with the addition of Papelbon?

No, of corse not, they would still be horrable teams with one more star player (maybe their only star player). Since the money is shared, the ultimate effect will be big name tallents being more equally distributed. That's what's really being discussed. The big money teams will have to sell off the star players because they can't afford them anymore. And I think adding a star-caliber player here, or there, to the bad teams will make absoutley zero impact. They will still be horrably run teams who will invent new ways of losing. They just have a star player to add to their roster of dreck.

So you end up with a host of marginal teams instead of some "big name teams", some 2nd tier teams that find a way to win, and some dogs. That just doesn't seem like a step forward to me.

By the way, I have no issue at all with trying to get rid of the anti-trust protections. Not likely to happen, but I have no issues with that. It's the revenue sharing scheemes that I dispise.

Again, it's not taking. It's paying the other teams of MLB for providing them teams to play on TV and staying out of NYC and Boston. No one has said dispand the Red Sox or Yankees. Just that the Red Sox and Yankees should pay the other teams money they owe them for staying out of NYC and Boston. One could say the Yankees and Red Sox owe 100 years of back payments for protecting their market position. You say taking. I say rightful share of the proceeds.

If it weren't for market protection and the reserve clause, there would probably be 10 teams vying for market share between Boston and DC. You focus on one aspect of how a team makes its money, attendance, and assume that is the only way to quantify who makes what from whom. That's just one piece of a much more complex puzzle.

jojo
10-12-2007, 09:38 PM
MLB protects their market from other entrants and has done so for 100 years. Teams like the Yankees benefit from the fact that they only have to worry about 1 other team on their home turf. Would they be as successful if the Royals, Pirates, Twins, and A's had all relocated to NYC? Or what if some bajillionaire could start an expansion club and pay the league's best talent to skip out on their contracts and join the "New York Omnipotents?" You can't discount the benefit that large market teams get from market protection.

To be fair, the Giants and Dodgers weren't exactly kicked out of the market and mlb didn't prevent the Mets from entering it....

Ltlabner
10-12-2007, 09:56 PM
No one has said dispand the Red Sox or Yankees.

The part about disbanding the Red Sox was mearly an example to illustrate my point.


You focus on one aspect of how a team makes its money, attendance, and assume that is the only way to quantify who makes what from whom. That's just one piece of a much more complex puzzle.

No, actually it was just me commenting on one part of the overall issue.

Caveat Emperor
10-12-2007, 09:58 PM
Another issue, and this one is more theoritical, is that making sure everybody is equally miserable makes little sense to me. Take the RedSox. Put the team out of business and redistribute one player to all the remaining teams. Would KC suddenly be playoff bound with the addition of Manny? Would the Marlins suddenly be a powerhouse with the addition of Papelbon?

No...

But the Yankees might suddenly experience the humbling effects of bad management as well when they found themselves saddled with the awful contracts of guys like Pavano and Brown with no additional funds to go buy talent with.

You also neglect to take everything out to its next logical step with your argument -- the redistribution of resources and evening of the playing field eliminates cost-barrier excuses from organizations. Why do the Baltimore Orioles tolerate mediocrity in their front office? Because in the end, it doesn't matter who is running the Orioles -- the only way they make the playoffs is a total implosion in New York and Boston. They could have the best braintrust in the world running that organization and they'd still have to climb over the two superpowers to make the playoffs. Possible? Sure. Likely? Surely not.

In places like Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Kansas City, mediocrity is tolerated because there is no belief in the ability to win consistently. The teams accept that they work in a budget and have limited ability to succeed. Most, if not all, these places haven't been any good since the modern era of high-dollars took over in baseball. Most, if not all, these places have come to some weird acceptance of their role in life. If you made it so that the teams could compete equally without additional financial backing from ownership, etc. then suddenly the only reason for NOT winning is ineptitude. You think regimes would last as long as they do in MLB for loser franchises if each team had an equal ability to sign talent and the only thing holding them back was bad decisionmaking? At that point, the decisionmakers have to take it on the chin for their mistakes, because they can't hide behind things like "poor me" and "boo New York."

Its all a thought experiment, so there is no right answer...but I genuinely believe that leveling the playing field would clear up a lot of the detritus that is floating around at the management level in baseball. A lot of bad execs are getting by on crap excuses.

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 10:17 PM
To be fair, the Giants and Dodgers weren't exactly kicked out of the market and mlb didn't prevent the Mets from entering it....

No, but the Reserve Clause and the protections of MLB ensured that those moves were made with little disruption to the Yankees market. The Giants and Dodgers jumped at the chance to have large West Coast markets to themselves. I'm sure that once the Giants and Dodgers chased those West Coast dollars, a number of owners would have been interested in moving into the NY market if they could. Judging by the rumblings in Cincinnati in the 50s and 60s, is it crazy to think that if MLB hadn't replaced the Giants and Dodgers with the controlled expansion of placing the Mets in Queens that there would be the NY Reds today? Or the NY A's or NY Braves? Would the Senators have jumped at a piece of the NY market? Could one of those teams have gotten a deal from NJ to build a baseball park at the Meadowlands complex? Without MLB controlling who comes and goes, isn't it likely that more teams would seek those NY dollars?

Yachtzee
10-12-2007, 10:32 PM
Its all a thought experiment, so there is no right answer...but I genuinely believe that leveling the playing field would clear up a lot of the detritus that is floating around at the management level in baseball. A lot of bad execs are getting by on crap excuses.

Very true. With revenue sharing in the NFL, Mike Brown couldn't claim he's not making enough money to put a decent team on the field. He could try, but no one was going to buy it. Hence the push to hire an outsider like Marvin Lewis to turn the ship around.

GAC
10-12-2007, 10:39 PM
On the simplest level, I'm sometimes a little mystified as to why so many fans because so irate at the "unfair advantage" afforded richer teams

Because on the simplest level they do have an unfair advantage.


Baseball is a business. It makes a lot of money.

No argument there. But break it down. Organizations like the Yanks and Boston, among others, genernate how much revenue (make money) as compared to a Cincinnati or Kansas City?

And when it comes to the business aspect - the "competiveness" between teams is not the same as it is in many areas of the private sector. For example.... In the automotive industry, any of the Big Three would love to put the other guys out of business and be the "only kid on the block". The same when it comes to McDonalds, Wendys, or Taco Bell. As well as WalMarts and Target. It's not the same in MLB. The larger market teams need the other teams to remain viable in order to guarantee their own survival. Putting the "competition" out of business insures their own doom.


We feel like it belongs to us and we hold up illusions about it being a metaphor for life or the American pastime, and all that is fine, but all that is not why players can be put on the field every day. They're put on the field because of money, and the money exists because MLB is a for-profit business. Sure, on an individual level, it's nice to believe that most players are playing because they love it -- and I believe that's true to a degree; it's too tough and single-minded a profession to last in if you truly hate it -- but that's separate from the larger picture of this billion-dollar industry.

Again, no argument. But how would you like it if you were sitting at the table and given a crumb to survive on while a select few others are getting the bigger slices of the pie?


Each of these franchise owners is charged with putting the best possible product they can on the field. Some choose to spend less money in creating their product -- skimping on research and development, pinching pennies on salaries -- and the best product that they can thus produce will probably not be very good.

True. And no one is denying that there aren't franchises that are making bad decisions. Even organizations with greater financial resources have done that. I'm not saying that the reason the Reds, and other small-to-mid size market, aren't competing and fielding consistently competitive teams is because of those damn Yankees. I'm saying that the economics of the game has changed so radically in the last decade or so that it has created a system of "haves-have nots". It's the economic system in place. And teams like the Yankees and Boston are taking advantage of it and using to their benefit, while many others are not able to. The system is hurting them.

Some of the items you mention in the above paragraph organizations are also forced to do because of the financial restraints placed upon them. They spend less and are forced to pinch pennies because they have to. Are you saying it's the Red's fault for not wanting to spend on the same level as the Yankees or Boston?


and the best product that they can thus produce will probably not be very good. They haven't lost a lot of money, but they likely won't make as much either. Still, there's a place for this kind of thing.

So you're saying that the fans of those smaller market teams, like the Reds and many others, who see the chances of their team grow slimmer and more difficult, due to that expanse being created by the economic disparity, should just accept this reality, quit complaining, and learn to live with it? If so, you're addressing an awful lot of fans around baseball.


When I want a tank top to wear to the beach, I go to K-Mart. It's perfectly serviceable for what it is and there's not always a need to buy the best tank top out there.

You're using a "metaphor of life", and respectfully, it's a ridiculous metaphor when looking at the topic at hand. We're discussing trying to bring more competitve balance into baseball, which you have already stated is a business that makes billions, yet where that money is found is in the hands of the few. And those few are using it to their full advantage while leaving many in it's wake.


Some owners are penny pinchers who still nonetheless take a great interest in their product. They'll get creative, study their audience, learn to do things a little differently than the people around them producing the same product. Sometimes they strike gold and become Target. Sometimes they overreach and go the way of Parisian.

I'm assuming you may be referring to those small market teams that have "hit" on success, yet haven't been able to maintain it on a consistent basis? Sure, that can, and has, occurred (the A's Twins, Marlins). But why aren't they able to [b]consistently maintain that trend as larger market teams do? Economics and player turnover. Once success comes they can't afford to retain that talent. Again, has that ever been a problem in Boston and New York? They are the teams where those other players run to because of $$$$$.


And some owners go all out and do whatever they can to produce the best product around. Money is not an issue for them, either because it doesn't need to be or they don't allow it to be or they find ways for it not to have to be.

Money is not an issue for them because they have it. Yes, and those that don't have it do have to find other creative ways to get around it. But they are forced to do so because of the economics of the game. I guarantee you that Billy Beane would love to have the budget of the Yanks and/or Boston.

Fans of teams that are struggling and/or have little hope of competing need to see a system where some sort of reason and balance is restored.

It's good for baseball in the long run too.

gonelong
10-13-2007, 12:53 AM
But if the Red Sox coming to town increases attendence by 30% over normal, why on earth should the home team get a cut of that increase?

Because the Road team would get exactly zero if the home team wasn't there.


The increase was because of the visiting team, thus they should reap the rewards. Sure, the home team gets a cut of the action for being there. And in this example, the home team also gets the benefit of the concessions...for having done nothing but suiting up.

... and the home team has no incentive to try and increase their gate. The entire MLB product suffers under this system. Now, take that same game and split the gate 50/50. The home team gets a piece of the action **AND** the road team gets a piece of the action. **BOTH** teams have an incentive to grow their brand both singularly and together.


But to say it's a 50-50 generation of revenue overlooks that people put value on certian teams over others. There's nothing 50-50 about it.

You keep saying this. Nobody is arguing that point.

The Reds are not strictly responsible for 1/2 of the revenue a Reds/Reds Sox game in Cincy might generate. Lets say the Red Sox are 70% responsible for the revenue of that game. What people have been saying is good luck to the Red Sox generating any revenue at all on their own. 70% of 0 is still 0.

The only question left, is what is it worth to either the Reds or the Red Sox to have the other team around? At this point the Reds and Red Sox both seem to think that a 80/20 split is fair. If the Red Sox didn't mind if the Reds moved to Boston then I'd say that is fair. Since the Reds can't move to Boston I'd argue they are in many ways they are partners and should be at 50/50 or at least a whole bunch closer to it than 80/20.

It surely wouldn't hurt the entire league to incentivize each team to grow individually, which would then in turn grow the entire league, giving all the teams (and players) a larger pie to split up.

We all know that this will never happen, its a knuckleheaded internet discussion to be having in the first place and I'm a knucklehead for getting this deep into a conversation I don't care that much about.

GL

M2
10-13-2007, 03:52 AM
Because it isn't "sharing" it's taking.

That's kind of like saying that because you've always been allowed to embezzle money you shouldn't have to stop. Sharing half your revenue is a fairly modest proposal. The Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Cubs and Dodgers would still be filthy rich, but it would acknowledge that a sports league is a collective venture and that rising tides should lift all boats.

Though it's kind of non-issue, because, as I mentioned above, the small market clubs have never made a serious push for anything like that and aren't likely to start now.

While I agree that well-run organizations would continue to rule the roost with revenue sharing, it would allow certain well-run organizations to operate differently. Though we might find that some franchises operate better when they can't try to solve problems by throwing money at them.

Sea Ray
10-13-2007, 09:35 AM
The view of small vs large market can change quickly. If Boston cruises to a WS title it'll again look like money dominates the game.

GAC
10-13-2007, 10:15 AM
Is there a relationship between team payroll and team perform? That relationship became much clearer in the latter part of the 90's and into the 21st century. The greater the team payroll and the more equally this payroll is distributed among team members, the better the on-field performance of the team.

And interesting study covering the years 1985 to 2002....

http://economicsbulletin.vanderbilt.edu/2003/volume1/EB-03A10003A.pdf

And I enjoyed this from George Will a few years ago.....

Major League Baseball's labor negotiations involve two paradoxes. The players' union's primary objective is to protect the revenues of a very few very rich owners -- principally, the Yankees'. The union believes that unconstrained spending by the richest three teams pulls up all payrolls. Most owners believe that baseball's problems -- competitive imbalance, the parlous financial conditions of many clubs -- result from large and growing disparities of what are mistakenly treated as "local" revenues.

These disparities largely reflect differences in teams' broadcasting revenues. The Yankees' broadcasting revenues ($62 million) are more than those of seven other teams (Kansas City, Minnesota, Oakland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Florida, Milwaukee) combined.

The union likes the status quo.

But this is the status quo: Of the 224 postseason games since the 1994 strike, 219 have been won by teams in the top two payroll quartiles. All World Series games since the strike have been won by teams in the top quartile. In 1991, 13 of the other 25 teams had payrolls at least 75 percent as large as the Yankees' payroll (which was smaller than Oakland's). Today, only four of the other 29 do.

-----------------

When one team is paying $205 million, and another is paying $36 million, then it is a good bet, that one team can put better talent on the field.

Who is the better GM? Epstein, Cashman, or Beane?

blumj
10-13-2007, 11:06 AM
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-upcoming-cba-and-the-battles-within-it-part-2-revenue-sharing/

Anyone who wants a refresher course on revenue sharing under the current CBA might want to read this article.

Ltlabner
10-13-2007, 11:23 AM
While I agree that well-run organizations would continue to rule the roost with revenue sharing, it would allow certain well-run organizations to operate differently. Though we might find that some franchises operate better when they can't try to solve problems by throwing money at them.

Thats a good point. And while I object to a revenue sharing scheme, I can admit that the "middle of the road" orginizations such as the Twins, A's, Rockies, etc who are otherwise farily well run will likely greatly improve if their coffers are suddenly doubled. That's a good thing. It might even help the Reds.

It's the wack-jobs that worry me. Giving the total idiots of baseball lots of cash to do even bigger dumb things might effect the game in negative ways on levels approaching the current inequities.

Ltlabner
10-13-2007, 11:26 AM
The home team gets a piece of the action **AND** the road team gets a piece of the action. **BOTH** teams have an incentive to grow their brand both singularly and together.

Which of corse assumes that the only thing holding these oranizations back is the lack of money to impliment their visions. And that if that last obstical were removed these teams would flurish.

blumj
10-13-2007, 11:29 AM
One thing that absolutely jumps out at me is that the team that has the Philadelphia market all to itself actually receives revenue sharing money. There's something very wrong with that.

Yachtzee
10-13-2007, 12:02 PM
One thing that absolutely jumps out at me is that the team that has the Philadelphia market all to itself actually receives revenue sharing money. There's something very wrong with that.

I couldn't find it in the article, but I thought that revenue sharing dollars were passed out based on past performance. Whether it's based on performance or revenues, it shouldn't be a progressive system, but rather a system where all teams pay in the same percentage of their revenues and get an equal share of revenues in return.

blumj
10-13-2007, 12:29 PM
I couldn't find it in the article, but I thought that revenue sharing dollars were passed out based on past performance. Whether it's based on performance or revenues, it shouldn't be a progressive system, but rather a system where all teams pay in the same percentage of their revenues and get an equal share of revenues in return.
That is what I got from that article. Each team sends 34% of their local revenues to MLB(it used to be 20%), MLB pools the money and sends each team back an equal share of the pool. What they're showing you later in the tables is the effect of the exchange, that, for example, the check the Phillies got back is $5.8M more than the one they sent in. What I can't understand is why it's even remotely difficult to run a profitable MLB franchise in the Philadelphia market.


It's dated 5/1/06, so some teams may well be in very different situations now. I'd guess that the Tigers would be one.

gonelong
10-13-2007, 10:54 PM
Which of corse assumes that the only thing holding these oranizations back is the lack of money to impliment their visions. And that if that last obstical were removed these teams would flurish.

The only thing it assumes is that if you give teams a greater incentive to increase their own revenue, then most if not all of them will give it a try. I suspect they would.

Right now smaller-market teams get "penalized" if they increase their own revenue by receiving less revenue sharing.

GL

Matt700wlw
10-15-2007, 05:21 PM
If the manager hiring is any sign, the Reds are thinking more along the "big market" lines now...

jojo
10-15-2007, 07:09 PM
If the manager hiring is any sign, the Reds are thinking more along the "big market" lines now...

They're most likely thinking that its a reasonable bet that they'll be able to recoup most of his salary via marketing....