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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Angels block Dodgers’ attempt at doing something cool

There’s an interesting story in the Los Angeles Times today about a neat idea the Dodgers had a couple of years ago. The idea: converting a dying mall in the San Fernando Valley into a small minor league ballpark and moving their single-A California League team there.

The plan would cost taxpayers nothing as the Dodgers and the existing landowners would foot the entire bill. It would not add to traffic, parking or zoning problems in the area — L.A.’s mayor said it would have less impact than if a Costco opened on the same property. It would provide cheap, accessible entertainment for an area of the city which is home to almost two million people for whom simply bopping down to Dodger Stadium is a tremendous headache given the traffic and expense. It would also help solve the California League’s problems with a couple of teams located in places where neither the teams nor the towns were particularly fond of one another any longer.

Sounds good, right? Well, it did to everyone but the Los Angeles Angels who, as is their right as co-owners of the Los Angeles Territory, have veto power over a minor league team locating there. They exercised that veto power, the plan died and the parties have all moved on. The land in question is probably going to be redeveloped into some boring mixed-use thing. There might even be a Costco there someday.

Well, this answers the question of what Angels management does, since building a good team clearly isn’t one of their goals….

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, dodgers, minor leagues

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   1. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5843554)
The Los Angeles Times article, which Calcaterra parrots, indicates that the Angels would have approved the deal if the Dodgers reciprocated by giving the Angels the right to relocate a minor League team within the shared territory. Given the Dodgers refusal, I don’t see that they have much to complain about.
   2. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 19, 2019 at 03:06 PM (#5843559)
I mean why would the Angels allow it, without getting something reasonable out of it return? This seems like an article slanted entirely against one party, that happened to be acting entirely reasonable.
   3. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2019 at 05:10 PM (#5843585)
I mean why would the Angels allow it, without getting something reasonable out of it return?
Because it's good for baseball and doesn't hurt them? Also, the article says that the Dodgers offered "various incentives." What Clapper omits from his comment is that the LATimes article does not say that the Dodgers refused to let the Angels put a minor league team somewhere in the territory; rather, they refused to grant open-ended consent for the Angels to put a minor league team anywhere they felt like in the territory at some unspecified point in the future:
The Angels had no idea what their future might hold. They would have granted permission for the Woodland Hills team, vice president Tim Mead said, if the Dodgers would have promised to grant permission should the Angels ever wish to move a minor league team within the shared territory.

Even into Los Angeles? Maybe someday, the Angels said. No, the Dodgers said.
   4. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 19, 2019 at 05:28 PM (#5843589)
Because it's good for baseball and doesn't hurt them?

I mean that seems like begging the question. Why doesn't it hurt them? That's why teams have territorial rights to begin with. Because it does.

The Angels are competing directly with the Dodgers, for fans in the area. More fans, means more revenue.
Having the Dodgers minor league team there, will mean the local residents will form some level of connection with the team. And therefore ultimately be more likely to support the Dodgers at the major league level as a result.

I mean, maybe you would say 100% of those people were going to be Dodgers fans, and never be Angels fans anyway. But then you might as well contract the Angels. In which case: dibs on Trout.
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2019 at 06:49 PM (#5843606)
What Clapper omits from his comment is that the LATimes article does not say that the Dodgers refused to let the Angels put a minor league team somewhere in the territory; rather, they refused to grant open-ended consent for the Angels to put a minor league team anywhere they felt like in the territory at some unspecified point in the future:

The Dodgers wanted to put a farm team in the shared territory. The Angels wanted the same privilege, but the Dodgers said only if we like whatever proposal is made in the future. Why would any team waive its rights when the team requesting the waiver isn’t willing to reciprocate? It’s not like even an Angels farm team playing in Chavez Ravine would harm the Dodgers, it’s about denying the Angels a location that might be “too advantageous”.
   6. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: May 19, 2019 at 06:56 PM (#5843609)
I mean that seems like begging the question. Why doesn't it hurt them? That's why teams have territorial rights to begin with. Because it does.

It doesn’t hurt the Angels because the Dodgers already have their California league affiliate in the shared territory. Moving the minor league team 20 miles further away from Angels stadium would likely help the Angels.
   7. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2019 at 07:08 PM (#5843611)

The Dodgers wanted to put a farm team in the shared territory. The Angels wanted the same privilege,
The Dodgers wanted to put a specific team in a specific location (one which wouldn't hurt the Angels). The Angels wanted an entirely different privilege, the right to put a farm team wherever they later decided they felt like.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2019 at 07:22 PM (#5843613)
The Dodgers wanted to put a specific team in a specific location (one which wouldn't hurt the Angels). The Angels wanted an entirely different privilege, the right to put a farm team wherever they later decided they felt like.

So what? The territorial rights prevent anyone, including the Dodgers & Angels, from putting a minor league team in the shared territory. The Dodgers found what TFA article suggest would be a very good location, and asked the Angels to waive their rights. The Angels said OK if we get the right to make a similar or better deal in the future. The Dodgers said, “no we get to place a team first and then reserve the right to object to what you might do in the future”. That’s not a “deal” many will accept.
   9. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2019 at 09:32 PM (#5843642)
That’s not a “deal” many will accept.
Actually, it's exactly a deal many would accept; the Angels' version that you tout is the deal nobody would accept.

Dodgers: "My car is in the shop. Can I borrow your car at 2:00 p.m. to run a quick errand? I'll bring it back in an hour."
Angels: "Well, I'll agree — on the condition that you agree right now that I can borrow your car at some point in the future, whenever I ask, for as long as I want."
Dodgers: "Okay, but you'll be reasonable about your request, right? You won't ask when I really need my car, and you won't keep it too long, right?"
Angels: "No, I'm not going to promise that. Whenever I want, for as long as I want."
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2019 at 10:06 PM (#5843671)
The Angels aren’t requesting the Dodgers give them anything that they currently possess. The negotiation is much more like this:
Dodgers: We want to put a minor league team in a prime location in our shared territory.
Angels: That violates the territorial rights rule.
Dodgers: We want you to waive your rights to allow us to do it anyway.
Angels: Would we also be able to relocate a farm team to the shared territory if we were in a position to do so in the future?
Dodgers: Maybe. We’ll let you know later.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: May 19, 2019 at 10:41 PM (#5843687)
The plan would cost taxpayers nothing

I guess there is a first time for everything
   12. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 19, 2019 at 10:54 PM (#5843689)
Dodgers: "My car is in the shop. Can I borrow your car at 2:00 p.m. to run a quick errand? I'll bring it back in an hour."
Angels: "Well, I'll agree — on the condition that you agree right now that I can borrow your car at some point in the future, whenever I ask, for as long as I want."
Dodgers: "Okay, but you'll be reasonable about your request, right? You won't ask when I really need my car, and you won't keep it too long, right?"
Angels: "No, I'm not going to promise that. Whenever I want, for as long as I want."

Yeah, I might lend somebody my car. If they are a close family member, or a close friend.

Thing is Dodgers are neither to the angels. If a random person I only vaguely interact with walks in off the street, and says 'I need your car.' I tell them to #### off. And the Dodgers aren't even a random person, but a direct competitor...
   13. akrasian Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:57 AM (#5843696)
The Angels aren’t requesting the Dodgers give them anything that they currently possess. The negotiation is much more like this:
Dodgers: We want to put a minor league team in a prime location in our shared territory.
Angels: That violates the territorial rights rule.
Dodgers: We want you to waive your rights to allow us to do it anyway.
Angels: Would we also be able to relocate a farm team to the shared territory if we were in a position to do so in the future?
Dodgers: Maybe. We’ll let you know later.


They asked to move a team already approved under the territorial rights rules further away from the Angels, to an area that the Angels would be idiotic to try to move their team to. Seriously, moving there would mean the Dodgers were closer to virtually all the Angels' fans. As I said, it is actually a less threatening area for a minor league team than where they currently play. It is literally IN THE ANGELS INTEREST that the team moves. They were literally being ######## about it.

And now, if the Angels EVER want to get a nearby minor league team, they are out of luck. So their scouts, minor league professionals, etc will have much longer to go going forward than if they hadn't been dicks. Good going, Angels.

Ironically, it doesn't hurt Dodgers' management at all, it just means that their single A team doesn't make quite as much money. It hurts the Angels more.

   14. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5843787)

Thing is Dodgers are neither to the angels. If a random person I only vaguely interact with walks in off the street, and says 'I need your car.' I tell them to #### off. And the Dodgers aren't even a random person, but a direct competitor...
I disagree with this premise. The idea that they are competitors is a flawed model of their relationship. Yes, there are some ways in which they compete — but they are both participants in MLB, and ceteris paribus anything that makes the league stronger is good for all the teams in the league. To be sure, if this decision actively harmed the Angels, it would make sense that they would say no. But the article portrays the move as not affecting the Angels in any way. And, to be clear, based on the article, the Angels did not claim that the move would hurt them; they weren't demanding compensation. Rather, it was just — as Clapper himself portrays it — "We're not going to do something that might benefit you because we don't have to."
   15. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5843791)
The negotiation is much more like this:
Dodgers: We want to put a minor league team in a prime location in our shared territory.
Angels: That violates the territorial rights rule.
Dodgers: We want you to waive your rights to allow us to do it anyway.
Angels: Would we also be able to relocate a farm team to the shared territory if we were in a position to do so in the future?
Dodgers: Maybe. We’ll let you know later.
I mean, I basically agree with this summary. I just don't think it helps your argument.
   16. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5843795)
There should be a free market in baseball franchises and baseball labor. Competitors should no more get to divide territories in the manufacture of baseball than they should in the manufacture of steel or cars. Simple.

Next.
   17. JAHV Posted: May 20, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5843796)
Maybe the Angels really were being petty, but that LA Times article provided very little evidence of it given how slanted it was toward the Dodgers point of view. The Dodgers asked for something, the Angels asked for something in return, and the teams couldn't reach an agreement. Those are the facts as presented. We have one quote from Tim Mead on the Angels side that seems pretty straightforward and reasonable. Everything else is speculation or implication heavily favoring the Dodgers' side of the story, which isn't surprising since Bill Shaikin is a Dodgers beat writer for an LA newspaper.

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