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Thread: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

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    I wear Elly colored glass WrongVerb's Avatar
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    Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    A new group is buying up minor league baseball teams at a feverish pace. What’s the end game?

    WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. — The artificial turf at Heritage Financial Park is new. So is the right-field wall that opens wide enough for an 18-wheeler to haul concert equipment onto the field. The party deck is sponsored by a brewery that’s 10 miles away, giant windows have been installed around the corporate event space overlooking left field, and the renovated home clubhouse, where the Hudson Valley Renegades dress before games, has two indoor batting cages flanked by state-of-the-art data and motion-capture technology.

    This is Class-A baseball in 2024. Quirky and local, but also big business that’s booming. Minor-league attendance is up and approaching pre-pandemic levels, new ballparks are being built, and existing franchises are selling at what are believed to be record prices. These are not the wooden bleachers and potholed infields of old.

    At the center of this transformation is Diamond Baseball Holdings, a three-year-old company that owns more than a quarter of all minor league clubs. From a ground-up franchise in Spartanburg, S.C., to long-established clubs in Louisville, Ky., and Lansing, Mich., to their most recent purchase of the Harrisburg Senators in Pennsylvania, Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH) now owns 32 of 120 affiliates, and its founders said they are still “aggressively in acquisition mode.”

    “We are agnostic to geography. We are agnostic to club affiliation,” executive chairman Pat Battle said. “If you’re one of the 120, we are interested.”
    Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. -- Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot)


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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    The venture capitalization of America continues.

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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    I can only assume the quality of the experience at minor league parks will drastically decrease and become stale and homogenized as this continues.
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
    -Walt Whitman

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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    Probably something terribly evil like they think there's money to be made in it.

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    I wear Elly colored glass WrongVerb's Avatar
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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Red View Post
    Probably something terribly evil like they think there's money to be made in it.
    There's a difference between making money at something, and making it so homogeneous and stale and cheap in an effort to extract every last possible dollar from the paying customers.
    Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. -- Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot)

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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by WrongVerb View Post
    There's a difference between making money at something, and making it so homogeneous and stale and cheap in an effort to extract every last possible dollar from the paying customers.
    Yeah, exactly, it's not complicated. Any local business category that isn't consolidated nationally is a target. There aren't many left, so you see it trickling down to minor league baseball. Local flavor (whatever they pretend in this article) is just an inefficiency to be corrected.
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Red View Post
    Probably something terribly evil like they think there's money to be made in it.
    IF VC's are involved, they'll likely streamline operations, continue to combine all these parks into one big holding commodity, cut staff and costs back wherever they can, "plump things up" so to speak, then sell it off to someone else for a profit large or small if they can, no matter who or what they destroy in the process.

    If you ever wonder why everything sucks in America today, this is why. It's why M&M Stores and "JM Smuckers" museums exist, the new spiritual temples of America.

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    Go Reds Go! UKFlounder's Avatar
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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful View Post
    Yeah, exactly, it's not complicated. Local flavor (whatever they pretend in this article) is just an inefficiency to be corrected.
    Honest question, please be kind if I’m off-base, but isn’t that just a natural progression from all the analysis trying to eliminate inefficiencies on the field to maximize performance, and computer umpires limiting human mistakes? Isn’t it natural that such a mindset move from the on-fired product to the business model as well? Front-offices “suggesting” lineups and who plays when, statistics determine strategies, etc.

    I’m not defending it as its potential is pretty bad,in a Borg-like way, but it kind of reflects modern sports? (And this is also not intended as an attack on metrics. I understand why they’re used, but this seems like an unfortunate natural progression of efficiency, logic, and analysis. If it works on the field, why not in management/ownership?
    Last edited by UKFlounder; 04-17-2024 at 12:25 PM.

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    Member Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    Quote Originally Posted by UKFlounder View Post
    Honest question, please be kind if I’m off-base, but isn’t that just a natural progression from all the analysis trying to eliminate inefficiencies on the field to maximize performance, and computer umpires limiting human mistakes? Isn’t it natural that such a mindset move from the on-fired product to the business model as well? Front-offices “suggesting” lineups and who plays when, statistics determine strategies, etc.

    I’m not defending it as its potential is pretty bad,in a Borg-like way, but it kind of reflects modern sports? (And this is also not intended as an attack on metrics. I understand why they’re used, but this seems like an unfortunate natural progression of efficiency, logic, and analysis. If it works on the field, why not in management/ownership?
    I think that's probably fair, but I also think on-field and off-field are separate issues.

    I just think there was a lot of lower-hanging fruit before this and so we're getting into the tougher categories now. It's pretty cheap (relatively) to open franchised coffee shops and drive the local guys out of business but minor league baseball teams are 7-8 figure purchases with a lot of overhead. There's no guarantee these guys will actually succeed with this plan, but either way they'll do a lot of homogenizing that will be permanent and I do think that's a shame.
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?

    A little research shows that this holding company is owned by Silver Lake, a private equity firm with over $100B in assets under management.

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    I wear Elly colored glass WrongVerb's Avatar
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    Re: Why is one group buying up all the minor league baseball teams?



    With the minors experiencing a resurgence over the past three decades, baseball’s ultimate con man got involved. Ron Manfred is doing what those old-time carnival grifters couldn’t do…destroy minor league baseball.

    This series looks at how the sport went from America’s last great carnival to an opportunistic con and what looks to be the eventual big boxification of the entire system. This is how the how the minor leagues were lost.
    Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. -- Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot)


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