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Brutus
07-28-2010, 05:12 PM
Play the role of the commissioner. As we get nearer the next collective bargaining agreement, on the heels of the announcement about beginning the 2011 season on a Friday, what other changes would you make to Major League Baseball's structure?

In no real particular order, I can think of quite a few.

1. Draft overhaul. Go to a slotting system based on draft position and age, include international free agents and assign a draft-and-follow rule.

The slotting system is pretty obvious. If you're are drafted No. 7 overall, you have a specific dollar range teams can pay as a signing bonus, that will fluctuate based on whether you're 17, 19, 21, etc. If you elect to go back to college (or go to college), your slot position is frozen and your rights are protected by the team the drafted you, but you will be given the slotting bonus based on the age of when you decide to sign, as opposed to when you are drafted.

I would like to see some sort of additional perk for players originally drafted outside of Round 10. If you are drafted out of high school (let's say in Round 15) but go to college for 3 years, then anyone can draft you in the first 5 rounds when you go back. However, the original drafting team must match 110% of slot in order to retain your rights. It's kind of similar to restricted free agency.

2. Roster Rules. This has been discussed recently here, but I would definitely like to see changes made to the 40-man roster expansion. I think teams should be able to go to 40 players for the first few weeks of the season (especially since most minor leagues don't start for a few weeks). For guys out of options, perhaps this can be an extended amount of time out of spring training that teams have to make a decision whether to add them to the active roster or designate them for assignment.

3. Soft cap! I've come to accept there will not likely be a true hard salary cap for baseball. But that's OK. Just give us a soft cap--perhaps similar to the one that is used by the NBA.

The cap level could be exceeded for re-signing your own free agents, trades and arbitration or extension raises.

While I'm not in favor if "max" contracts for individual players, the cap could be assigned by a formula designated to overall salaries based on a percentage of the total income. That number could be based on previous year's national media revenue, local media revenue, gate revenue, etc. The tax threshold and revenue sharing could remain in place, paying into the central fund and redistributed to teams functioning under the cap and in the lower quadrant of local revenue.

There should be a "minimum" cap for teams required to function at or above in order to receive their portions of the revenue sharing.

4. To Designate or not Designate. I'm OK with the DH rule, though I'm preferential against it. However, whether they keep the DH or not, I'd prefer they either do away with it entirely or use it in both leagues. I'm admittedly a person of symmetry. I don't like unevenness. So if they're going to keep the DH in the AL, I'd rather they add it to the NL. As I said, though, I like the strategy involved of not having it more than having it.

5. All-Star game. I'd change a lot about this. First, do away with the silly "winner gets home field advantage" rule. The heart was in the right place, the execution was not. If they want to make the game more important, reward the players for their participation. The rule about re-entering starters late in the game was a good step for better management.

Second, I would change the voting. Have the two-deep rosters awarded by vote. However, have the voting done by four facets: fans, managers, players and general managers. Each group having an equal 25% share of the vote. The top two players at each position get voted in, and the rest of the rosters will be picked by the manager, taking into account positional requirements and making certain each team is represented.

Strikes Out Looking
07-28-2010, 05:29 PM
I'd kill interleague play -- at the least cut it down to a lesser number of games -- and make sure the Reds didn't play the Indians 6 times a year. I'd rather have them play other NL teams those six times.

I'd also make sure that at least one WS game started prior to 6:00 PM EST each year. Kids and adults who like to sleep just can't watch games that start after 9 and go until the wee hours of the morning.

I'd also make sure that the post season was continuous with only 1 day off between series and for travel. November baseball, even with global warming, is not fun in at least 1/2 of the country.

vaticanplum
07-28-2010, 11:29 PM
I loathe the NBA salary cap rules. Seems to me an even bigger possibility for the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. I just don't know that it would translate with the rosters being constructed so differently and, really, the athletes' careers in the two sports being so different. I'd really like a salary cap though. Throw some real economic minds, not sports minds, at this to work out the details and make sure MLB still profits.

The first thing I'd do is radical realignment. Leagues split down the country with divisional rivals all in close proximity to each other. I'm sure I'd be assassinated, but everyone would be thanking me in the grave 20 years down the line.

I'm with Strikes Out Looking on timing -- I'd push up all postseason games at least to 7 pm EST (with them actually STARTING at 7 and not after 40 minutes of promos and Scooter the Flyball). With day games on the weekends all the way through the World Series. I feel strongly that MLB is going to stop creating young fans if they keep airing the most important games of the year after all the kids are in bed. And 7 EST seems the best East/West Coast compromise.

Replay, replay, replay.

The fact that I can only think of four things to change off the top of my head when I think so much is wrong with MLB is the main reason I'll never be commissioner. The secondary reason is that I usually disapprove of tradition just for the sake of tradition.

RedsManRick
07-28-2010, 11:42 PM
(Only read the title)

With cement?

(read the rest)

Agreed with most of your thoughts Brutus, especially the expanded roster issue.

Brutus
07-28-2010, 11:52 PM
I loathe the NBA salary cap rules. Seems to me an even bigger possibility for the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. I just don't know that it would translate with the rosters being constructed so differently and, really, the athletes' careers in the two sports being so different. I'd really like a salary cap though. Throw some real economic minds, not sports minds, at this to work out the details and make sure MLB still profits.


If there were a soft cap, and prevention from functioning much above that cap, I don't see how the rich would get richer. Currently, the Yankees are functioning 2-3 times above 90% of the rest of baseball when it comes to payroll. If they were limited in the types of transactions they could do above a soft cap, they would be grounded into the same stratosphere.

Let me iterate that I don't like all facets of the NBA cap. I hate the max contracts. I don't know if I'd implement all the same types of exceptions that they have. However, I do think that the logic behind their cap is pretty solid. It's more important since in basketball it takes a couple stars to be dominant. However, on a smaller scale, I think some of the same motivation could help baseball.

Scrap Irony
07-29-2010, 09:28 AM
1. Shorten the season.
162 games is too many. Scale back to 152. Too, every team should play one home and one away doubleheader during the season, twi-night or otherwise. (Why? Because it's cool and a tradition that shouldn't be lost at the major league level, as it's done everywhere else.) Less games should give the players more days off in the season. This should mean a higher level of play and put an end to November playoff baseball. Sure, teams may take an attendance hit. So be it. Best interests of the game and all that.

2. Fix the draft.
Not only should all draft picks be slotted, they should also implement an international draft with all players available at ae 18. This should add intrigue as to who gets drafted in what position and keep agents away from players that might want to stay in college. It should also theoretically keep rich teams from getting the best talent year in and year out and make it easier for evaluators to figure out if the next latino superstar is more Vlad Guerrero than Alejandro Diaz. Teams should also be allowed to trade draft picks as well. So what if Washington wants to deal the number one pick for a fifth starter? Let 'em.

3. Pay to Play.
It takes two teams to play a game, so two teams should share in the money generated. That means, if KC plays New York, KC deserves a portion of that gate. Give the visiting team one quarter of all gate, parking, and concession receipts for each game. (This can be done with independent auditors, as successful businessmen may actually lie when it comes to money. Shocking, I know.) This goes for cable companies and stations owned by teams as well. This should limit the need for a luxury tax or revenue sharing, but keep values of specific teams about where they are.

4. Implement a Salary Floor.
This has to go hand in hand with gate monies. Because you know the "real" money spent at each game and roughly what each team spends on said games, you can figure out how much a team should spend on its players. I'm not demanding that players get it all; owners should make money if they want. But players should receive at least three-quarters of the monies at this level. (The franchise value and value of franchise materials are all team-related, though individual sales of player merchandise should be split 50/50 with each player.) At this point, a floor of $50 million should be fairly easy to hold teams to.

5. Change the All Star voting procedure.
All managers create a 25-man roster of All-Stars. 10 pitchers, 15 position players. You may not vote for your own players. Forget about the one player per team rule as well. Votes are sent in on July 1 and tabulated and announced on July 4. Every year. All games played on July 4 are day games (new rule), so, during the show, managers would have to defend their choices. Ties are decided by that league's All Star manager, if needed. Injured players are replaced by the next positional player on the list. (If Jose Reyes gets hurt, for example, the next SS on the list would be chosen.) Forget home field advantage. The game is played until someone wins. There are no ties.

6. DH all games. Or don't.
Work with the player's union to decide which they want more-- the DH or two extra spots on the 25-man roster. Go with that in both leagues. This should grease the wheel of cooperation, as you're offering the choice to the players. Get them involved. Make it less me v. you and more us together.

7. Balance the leagues and schedules.
Reconfigure the leagues so that there are 15 teams in each. Play each team in your league a home and home four-game series. (That should mean two West Coast trips of no more than 12 and 8 games, Red fans.) That's 112 games. Play another 10 games against your division rivals. That leaves no games for interleage play. (Remember the 152 game schedule.) If the players want to play interleague, take 20 games away from division rivals and play two-game home and home series division by division over a three-year period.

dougdirt
07-29-2010, 09:44 AM
Soft salary cap/floor. This isn't my idea, as a scout friend of mine has been talking about it for years. Set a floor that is 50% of the ceiling (say 70 and 140). For every 5M you are over/under, you lose 1 spot on your 40 man roster.

The draft goes to a hard slotting system. You get paid based on where you were picked. It protects the intention of the draft to give the worst teams the perceived best talent. Right now, that simply doesn't happen as guys fall due to demands and get picked up by teams willing to spend more on players, kind of like free agency. If you want to make an international draft, you must up the age to 18 for international players.

I would change the current way we value free agents. The stats that are used to determine what 'type' of free agent a player is (type A, B) is outdated. It needs fixing.

vaticanplum
07-29-2010, 09:46 AM
If there were a soft cap, and prevention from functioning much above that cap, I don't see how the rich would get richer. Currently, the Yankees are functioning 2-3 times above 90% of the rest of baseball when it comes to payroll. If they were limited in the types of transactions they could do above a soft cap, they would be grounded into the same stratosphere.

Let me iterate that I don't like all facets of the NBA cap. I hate the max contracts. I don't know if I'd implement all the same types of exceptions that they have. However, I do think that the logic behind their cap is pretty solid. It's more important since in basketball it takes a couple stars to be dominant. However, on a smaller scale, I think some of the same motivation could help baseball.

A lot of that makes sense. To be fair, I'm not familiar with a lot of the details of the NBA salary cap. I think it's the resigning your own free agents over a team's salary cap that gets to me. Transferred to baseball, it would still limit the amount of high-paid superstars that a team could have, but it seems that it would still lead to teams like the Yankees -- even more so than in basketball where a luxury tax seems to be far more a genuine hardship for teams than it is in baseball. Though on the flip side, I guess it could lead to smaller market teams being better able to hold on to their high draft picks when they come of free market age. But maybe not (they're still free agents), and then wouldn't it just be a matter of one great player on a crappy team the way it often is now? One great player makes a lot bigger difference on a basketball team than it does on a baseball team.

I'm in favor of a salary cap; I think it would make the game more exciting (through more even matchups), and I believe it's the moral thing to do. But not having one serves MLB financially. People are willing to pay a lot of money, both in person and through lucrative television deals, to see superstars on the Yankees play. The Yankees then profit so much that they have no problem paying luxury taxes, which profit everyone in MLB. All fans talk about the merit of a salary cap, but until economic minds present MLB with a plan that makes them as much money with it (or someone is able to prove to them that baseball is losing fans without one), the capitalist enterprise of baseball is going to have nothing to do with it. That's actually the dilemma the commissioner faces -- not how to make the game fair, but how to make it profitable. I do believe it can be done, though.

reds1869
07-29-2010, 10:02 AM
1. Shorten the season.
162 games is too many. Scale back to 152. Too, every team should play one home and one away doubleheader during the season, twi-night or otherwise. (Why? Because it's cool and a tradition that shouldn't be lost at the major league level, as it's done everywhere else.) Less games should give the players more days off in the season. This should mean a higher level of play and put an end to November playoff baseball. Sure, teams may take an attendance hit. So be it. Best interests of the game and all that.


You really start messing with the record books this way. There was enough of an uproar when the number of games was bumped to 162, there would be an even bigger one if the schedule went to 152. And as you said, teams will take an attendance hit. The owners will never ever agree to generate less revenue while in all likelihood paying the same salaries. Players won't agree to less pay just because there are ten less games.

As for double headers, I think the union will never go for it. I have to admit to being a fan who can take doubleheaders or leave them. I wouldn't mind seeing them but I'm not overly enamored with them, either.

There are some really interesting ideas in this thread; great idea, Brutus!

Roy Tucker
07-29-2010, 10:05 AM
I'm not 100% that the current-day MLB customer would like double-headers.

I've been to a lot of doubleheaders. Its a long day at the ballpark. It's a little bit like taking a vacation in that you have to get used to a different concept of time. You're going to be there for 6-8 hours so you have to settle in for long haul. People complain now about the length of games. Well, you're going to have it x2 plus 1/2 hour between games. A Yankees-Red Sox doubleheader would last ... a long time.

I, for one, would love a doubleheader. I've got some epic stories about them. But I'm a baseball geek and love being at the ballpark and the longer the better. I'm just not sure in this Internet/video game/500 cable stations/DVR/Hulu days, people will have the attention span and endurance for a full day at the ballpark.

westofyou
07-29-2010, 10:08 AM
Double headers, players hate them, owners want 2 gates, not one.

Doubleheaders are as gone as coal chutes and milk delivery

cumberlandreds
07-29-2010, 10:29 AM
Fix the TV black out rules currently in place. Make it just a little bit easier for fans to see your product. An MLB market should only extend no more than 75 miles from the ballpark. Having Reds games blacked out in parts of Mississippi,Tennessee and North Carolina is just crazy. That's just one example of how black outs are used too.

I would love a salary cap but I think the union would shut down baseball for many,many years before they will agree to one. I really think that is out as much as doubleheaders are a thing of the past.

Cedric
07-29-2010, 10:35 AM
My ears bleed at even the mention of a salary cap.

The NBA is example #1 of why a salary cap is a terrible idea.

medford
07-29-2010, 10:41 AM
1) I like the soft cap/bottom cap idea. For every millon over the soft cap, a millon tax is implemented to be split amongst all teams below the soft cap. For ever millon under the bottom cap, a team forfeits 1 draft spot as well as any claims to revenue sharing from teams hit w/ the "over the tax cap". So in other words, you've got a super star team full of young players, ie Tampa of a few years ago, rather than just spending money to spend money, you can instead opt to move to the back of the 1st round, rather than your expected top 10 draft pick.

2) No DH. If you can't play in the field, you can't play baseball. This isn't home run derby, grab your glove, or grab a spot on the bench until its time to pinch hit. I'd offset that by expanding rosters from 25 to 28.

3) Forced slotting the MLB draft w/ a draft and follow rule. For each season that a team holds your draft rights, you're slot max can jump by 5 rounds. IE, if the Grandal decided to go back to college, the Reds would hold his rights until next seasons draft and could offer him up to top of the draft slot money. For a guy like Sisco that they drafted in round 10 (I think) out of HS, they could offer him round 5 slot money if he went JC and re-enterred the draft next year, or 1st round slot money if he went to JC for 2 years, or college for 3. For a HS kid drafted in the 20th round that goes to college for 3 years, the Reds could offer him up to 5th round money (5 x3) prior to the draft after his junior year. A player must declare if he wants to be drafted (to help w/ the JC 1/2 or college kids that think they'll come back for their senior year and don't want to be drafted in their junior year so their HS draft position and slotting offers remain the same) A player must sign by 1 week prior to the next draft period he applies for, or his rights are no longer retained by the original team. My only question with this is how it would effect the college W-S. Perhaps allow players to sign an "offer sheet agreement" while continuing their college eligibility.

4) Mandatory double headers on Memorial Day, Labor Day and 4th of July weekend (however you want to define that). Allow rosters to expand by 2 players that day so teams can call up an extra bat and and extra arm, or 2 extra arms, or whatever they want. Turn it into a day for the fans. throw in 3 more sunday double headers thru the season and you've just shortened the season by a week.

5) Balance the league, either add 2 teams, subtract to teams, or go to 15 in one league, divisions of 5, and 15 in the other, which would require at least 1 interleague series at all times, but so be it. Does it really matter if the Reds play KC in June or April 7th?

6) A more balanced spread of games. No more being done w/ one team by the end of May, and not playing another until August. No more playing 70% of your division games vs Pittsburgh in the 1st half, and 70% of your games vs the Brewers in the 2nd half. Balance it out a bit, so everyone has equal opportunity vs teams that might be worn out or have acquired several key pieces in the 2nd half.

RedsManRick
07-29-2010, 10:42 AM
Put me in the camp that doesn't want a cap, just a really strong luxury tax. That kills two birds with one stone. It doesn't create the issues you see in the NBA with cap space being more valuable than talent and it redistributes wealth a bit. If the Yankees want to spend on talent go for it, but you're going to help the Rays afford their talent in the process.

dougdirt
07-29-2010, 10:43 AM
I would love a salary cap but I think the union would shut down baseball for many,many years before they will agree to one. I really think that is out as much as doubleheaders are a thing of the past.

It depends how its done. In my scenario, the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Phillies would have to cut a combined 98 Million (66, 23, 7 and 2 million each), while the Blue Jays, Nationals, Indians, DBacks, Marlins, Rangers, Athletics, Padres and Pirates would have to add 148.5 Million. I doubt the players association would be bothered by getting a 50 million dollar raise in contracts. The key isn't just the cap, its also the floor. A cap does no good if there is no floor.

dougdirt
07-29-2010, 10:45 AM
My ears bleed at even the mention of a salary cap.

The NBA is example #1 of why a salary cap is a terrible idea.

The New York Yankees having 6.5 times the payroll as the lowest team in the league is a reason its a good idea.

Cedric
07-29-2010, 10:49 AM
The New York Yankees having 6.5 times the payroll as the lowest team in the league is a reason its a good idea.

It's good to have giants, underdogs, and the poor class. I love that I get to despise the Yankees and the Sox.

Baseball has always been catered to the big markets. It's just the way it is.

dougdirt
07-29-2010, 10:52 AM
It's good to have giants, underdogs, and the poor class. I love that I get to despise the Yankees and the Sox.

Baseball has always been catered to the big markets. It's just the way it is.

Simply because its the way it is doesn't mean it should be. The Yankees and Red Sox would still be giants because they would still be the teams able to spend 140 million dollars unlike 25 other teams in the league.

Cedric
07-29-2010, 10:53 AM
Baseball is incredibly popular. I'm not one that needs to "fix" something that isn't near broken.

But I understand the other view.

bucksfan2
07-29-2010, 11:34 AM
My ears bleed at even the mention of a salary cap.

The NBA is example #1 of why a salary cap is a terrible idea.

The NFL is example #1 of why a salary cap is a great idea.

1. Cap and Floor. The Yanks have gone above and beyond every other team in the game in terms of spending. They need to be reigned back in and MLB needs to force teams like the Marlins and Pirates to invest in their team. I do think a floor is a more tricky idea then it is made out to be. You shouldn't force teams to hand out money while making bad decisions. I heard an interview, or comment, by a Marlins executive about the economic downturn in MLB. The comment was more that had American not experienced a recession they probably would have signed Willis to a long term deal. They said the downturn "saved" them money. I think a floor would only work if you gave teams one or two year exceptions. You don't want teams like the Pirates going out and signing the Eric Miltons of the world because they are forced to spend money.

2. Slot the Draft. You just can't have the best players threatening not to sign if their contract demands aren't met. If you are picked with the 10th pick, you sign you name on the line for a predetermined amount. I would also only allow a player not to sign once. Meaning if a HS senior gets drafted but doesn't sign and goes to college he can not do the same thing as a college junior.

3. International Draft. Needs to be done. You make every eligible player fill out the proper paperwork due at a given date. I would also make sure the so called "agents" are certified by MLB. This may be one of the most difficult to do.

4. Eliminate the DH. Nuff said. Make the MLB active roster 26 and get rid of the DH.

5. WS games start at 7. Unless the WS team plays on the west coast games start at 7. You can't allow your youngest fans not to watch world series games because they have to be in bed by 9. You also can't allow guys like me to go to bed before the game is over (I got to work). If the game is on the West Coast I would allow the start off time to be pushed back to 8-830 for games played on the West Coast.

6. Best team gets home field advantage. Is this really that hard to do?

KronoRed
07-29-2010, 04:32 PM
It depends how its done. In my scenario, the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Phillies would have to cut a combined 98 Million (66, 23, 7 and 2 million each), while the Blue Jays, Nationals, Indians, DBacks, Marlins, Rangers, Athletics, Padres and Pirates would have to add 148.5 Million. I doubt the players association would be bothered by getting a 50 million dollar raise in contracts. The key isn't just the cap, its also the floor. A cap does no good if there is no floor.

I can still see the union refusing it, in your scenario there would be less 20 to 30 million dollar a year contracts, which is really all the union appears to care about.

I'd go with no cap or floor, I would go with full revenue sharing, 50 percent of every dollar made by a team in any way goes to a pool for the rest of the teams.

Slotted draft, and the only way to get into baseball is via the draft, no matter who you are.

Abolish arbitration, go to 4 years for free agency.

No more "territory", each team gets around 50 to 75 miles around their home stadium, the rest of the country is free and clear.

Lets the A's move to San Jose and tell the Giants to get bent.