I'm so tired of all this Lindner talk. It's so easy to say to you have to spend money to make money. BUT, spending $70 or $75m in 2003 doesn't guarantee the Reds will be playing in October. It improves your chances and raises expectations, but doesn't guarantee anything. Let's say things don't go as planned in 2003, even after you spend $75m. The disappointment is greater than ever, there go a bunch of season ticket holders, so the Reds then cut payroll to $60m for 2004. Oh my God, can you imagine the *****ing from the fans when they have to CUT payroll? I mean, look at the *****ing now that they're INCREASING payroll by $15m.
When the Pirates and Brewers were in the first year of their new stadiums (2001 I believe), what were their payroll levels? Why do Reds fans believe our payroll in 2003 should be higher than that?
And, even if the Reds are winning, to say the turnstiles will explode might be an exaggeration. What we saw here in '95 and '99 was well short of turnstiles exploding. Granted, the new stadium will help tremendously. But, any explosion of turnstiles is a short-term thing. Not to mention that clubs that spend big money do so from TV revenues, not turnstile explosions. I suspect that if the Reds spent $70m on player payroll this coming year, there are still those that would complain and say that they should spend $80m. Personally, mark me down as being ok with the $60m, as long as we maintain that over the next 2-3 years. With the development of Dunn and Kearns, with the Larkin contract expiring in '03, and with everybody but the Yanks and Red Sox watching their dollars a little closer these days, we can compete in the NL Central with $60m. I think we're a couple moves away, but moves that can be made by the start of spring training.
Baseball's a screwed up game right now. I don't blame Steinbrunner for wanting to win, but I also don't expect Lindner to spend like Steinbrunner. Steinbrunner has the market to do it - Uncle Carl doesn't. The game is a mess - thanks Bud.