Thanks for posting this, MartyFan; after reading this, I feel better about the future of the Reds in this smaller market than I have in a long time.Really good thread and this hits at my sweet spot...I'm in the media and I love baseball...so yipppeee!
The reds have been operating in the new baseball economy and the other "small market" teams that are still on their heals are going to be the ones dusted in this.
Someone mentioned the new media deal is why the Reds signed Votto to the deal they did and that is EXACTLY right, getting Votto for tha amount will seem like chump change...BP deal is the same way and DO NOT be surprised if the Reds SPEND on Broxton, Madson a corner OF like Swisher and/or a 3B like Wright...I am not kidding...with the money that is coming in from media they are going to lock up STARS for 5-10 years with contracts that are in the 12-20 million dollar range annually and they will be ahead of the pack (at first).
The economy of baseball changed with the Padres and Cubs being sold...not the Dodgers...things are about to get really fun.
We are about to see some MAJOR shifts in the game and the players (not on the field but who is involved in the business of baseball) that are making things happen...All this said...when the Reds do their new deal I would bet that it isn't for a penny LESS thank $3billiion...not kidding...the farm is in pretty good shape, they have invested in real talent at the big league level and have had some recent success that says they like it and will continue to grow their fanbase again...teams like the dbacks, indians, royals, marlins, mariners, astros who haven't been part of the divisional conversations for a while are the ones who will have the most ground to make up...to score a "big deal" or what is considered a big deal now.
I would say that the league actually may contract a few of these teams OR move them to other countries in Europe, Asia or more specifically China..I could see a day when the Japanese baseball league and MLB become affiliated to the point that it becomes another AL and NL setup...the teams in that/those leagues will be able to play in the WS...there will be regular season games in Japan and other countries and so on...I could even see a team in the Middle east, obviously south Ameerica, China...Cal Ripken has been working with the Chinese for several years to learn baseball....so this is just the tip of the iceberg for this sport and the league and the money that is about to come into it!
I know I went off track (a little) but the reason the media deals are so big is because the media dollars are about to go through the roof because of international dollars being spent, not just national dollars.