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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chass: WEINER WHACKS MARLINS; PIRATES NEXT?

Kudos to Murray’s headline writer.

No other Florida-like agreements have been reached and none apparently will be sought until after April 1, the deadline for revenue-sharing recipients to report on their use of the 2009 money. But the Pirates, the Rays, the Padres and the Royals remain in the union’s sights, according to union and management representatives.

Weiner, who succeeded Donald Fehr last month as the union’s executive director, declined to discuss the matter Saturday, saying he had said all he wanted to say in a statement the union issued last week.

Rob Manfred, the chief management labor executive, declined to confirm the identity of teams that have been discussed with the union but said, “We’ve had more conversations than just about the Marlins. It’s not a Marlins-only issue.”

Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:58 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, miami, padres, pirates, royals

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   1. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:14 PM (#3440943)
IMHO, this is a brilliant strategy on the part of Weiner. The union knows that it can't make a plausible case for collusion any longer with a straight face, so they're going to shift to shaming and whacking away at the teams at the bottom of the spending totem pole. And there's no question that it was justified and long overdue in the case of the Marlins. This is one sharp dude, and he'll probably serve the players quite well.
   2. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:22 PM (#3440950)
I'm a fan.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:27 PM (#3440958)
FWIW, Mark Teahen, the Royals former player union rep, was on the radio earlier this week and said the Royals were not one of the targeted teams.

How come no one ever talks about the Nats in this discussion? They're in a huge market with a brand spankin new stadium and one of the richest owners in baseball and their payroll has been less than the Royals in each of the last three years.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:31 PM (#3440961)
PIRATES NEXT?


Unlikely, in that the Pirates:

a) Are actually at a point in the rebuilding cycle where spending money is counterproductive.
b) Have spent almost twice as much as the Marlins over the last three years.
c) Are already confirmed as not being targeted by sources connected to the process, per Dejan at the P-G.
d) All of the above.

Thanks for playing, though, Murray. Decent enough guess, for an irresponsible blogger.
   5. RJ in TO Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:33 PM (#3440965)
How come no one ever talks about the Nats in this discussion?


Because they did sign Dunn last year, they "tried" to sign Teixeira as well, they threw money at Marquis this offseason, they signed Strasburg to a record deal, and they've tried to sign at least some of their young talent to long term extensions. Basically, the Nats have been (or at least appear to have been) trying to sign players and spend money.

Besides, aren't they also limited in their spending, because they have to cut an annual check to Mr. Angelos for the privilege of being somewhere close to what he claims as his territory?
   6. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:33 PM (#3440966)
Um, you probably shouldn't include the word "Weiner" and "whacks" in the same headline.
   7. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:34 PM (#3440967)
How come no one ever talks about the Nats in this discussion?

Granted they haven't given anyone a megacontract, but little by little they've been increasing spending.

Last season you had Dunn and Strasburg, and this year Capps, Marquis, Bruney, and they even gave contracts to the dessicated corpses of Pudge Rodriguez and Eddie Guardado.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:34 PM (#3440968)
In case anyone wants a link:
I just communicated with a source outside the Pirates who confirmed that the Pirates are not a target for a similar push, nor have they ever been. Not from MLB and not from the union. That squares with what I was told in September by MLB commissioner Bud Selig.

No reason was given for why the Pirates were not included, but one good guess is that the Marlins have spent much less than the Pirates in actual payroll over recent years, as this Biz of Baseball research shows.
[...]
Also, the Marlins have received larger revenue-sharing checks than the Pirates all through that period, including in 2009. -Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 12
   9. RJ in TO Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:35 PM (#3440969)
Unlikely, in that the Pirates:

a) Are actually at a point in the rebuilding cycle where spending money is counterproductive.
b) Have spent almost twice as much as the Marlins over the last three years.
c) Are already confirmed as not being targeted by sources connected to the process, per Dejan at the P-G.
d) All of the above.


Don't forget (e): Have a hellish time getting free agents to take their money when they do actually try to spend it.
   10. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:36 PM (#3440971)
Not to mention the fact that this approach has some potential to divide the owners, as larger market teams resent the free rising as much or more than the union. That tactic could have other benefits to the union, if successful.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:44 PM (#3440983)
Because they did sign Dunn last year, they "tried" to sign Teixeira as well, they threw money at Marquis this offseason, they signed Strasburg to a record deal, and they've tried to sign at least some of their young talent to long term extensions.


Granted they haven't given anyone a megacontract, but little by little they've been increasing spending.


Well, so have the Royals, yet their name is always one of the first brought up. The Nats can't even spend as much as the Royals.

2009 Bottom Ten Payrolls:
1. Marlins
2. Padres
3. Pirates
4. Nationals
5. A's
6. Rays
7. Twins
8. Orioles
9. Rangers
10.Royals

2008 Bottom Ten Payrolls:
1. Marlins
2. Rays
3. A's
4. Pirates
5. Nationals
6. Twins
7. Royals
8. Diamondbacks
9. Orioles
10.Rangers

2007 Bottom Ten Payrolls:
1. Rays
2. Marlins
3. Nats
4. Pirates
5. Diamondbacks
6. Rockies
7. Padres
8. Indians
9. Royals
10.Rangers

2006 Bottom Ten Payrolls:
1. Marlins
2. Rays
3. Rockies
4. Pirates
5. Royals
6. Indians
7. Brewers
8. Diamondbacks
9. Reds
10.Athletics

I don't know that there are any obvious candidates other than the Marlins and maybe the Rays or Pirates (which are not a candidate according to published reports). The Royals payroll has been inching upwards. The Nats have to cut that check to the O's I guess. The Twins and A's both spent money earlier in the decade. The Indians spent money on some foolish contracts. The Diamondbacks and Rangers kind of stick out to me, although I don't know if they're getting much in revenue sharing.

Is Manfred just posturing?
   12. Swedish Chef Posted: January 19, 2010 at 04:17 PM (#3441012)

a) Are actually at a point in the rebuilding cycle where spending money is counterproductive.


Shouldn't they send back the money to Selig if they don't need it?
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 04:20 PM (#3441017)
Shouldn't they send back the money to Selig if they don't need it?


Spending money on the ML roster. They've actually been quite aggressive about spending in the draft, on foreign amateurs, and on facilities improvement.
   14. OsunaSakata Posted: January 19, 2010 at 04:31 PM (#3441030)
I don't think the Nats cut a check to the Orioles. Instead, the Orioles own the television rights to the Nationals and cut a check to the Nats. MASN history on Wikipedia.
   15. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3441063)
I don't think the Nats cut a check to the Orioles. Instead, the Orioles own the television rights to the Nationals and cut a check to the Nats


Correct (and any dispute over the amount would go to an arbiter). The deal has worked okay so far for the Nats, at least in a perverse sense -- they've been bad and have failed to catch on, but the O's are still bound to pay them "market rates" even though almost literally no one watches the games on TV.
   16. RJ in TO Posted: January 19, 2010 at 05:01 PM (#3441072)
I don't think the Nats cut a check to the Orioles. Instead, the Orioles own the television rights to the Nationals and cut a check to the Nats.


Whoops. Thanks for the correction on that.
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 19, 2010 at 05:13 PM (#3441090)
The Nationals being carried by a TV station that otherwise carries nothing but Baltimore sports content is a real problem, particularly because they're a team that started out with no fans and has to build up a fanbase from the obvious market of Redskins, Capitals and Bullets fans, none of whom normally watch MASN, and some of whom probably have a feeling between rivalry and revulsion toward it.

As for the Pirates, I think the contract they gave Ian Snell alone dwarfs anything the Marlins have done recently for anyone other than Hanley Ramirez. Showing the bottom 5 teams by payroll is deceptive because the Marlins had half the payroll of the #2 most low-budget team. They are a unique situation.
   18. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 19, 2010 at 05:51 PM (#3441139)
They are a unique situation.


Woooo!!1 We're especial!1
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 05:54 PM (#3441145)
Showing the bottom 5 teams by payroll is deceptive because the Marlins had half the payroll of the #2 most low-budget team.

Well I think everyone knew the Marlins were the union's #1 target. When you aren't willing to spend money on Kiko Calero, you are cheap.

We were trying to figure out who else, if anyone, was being targeted.
   20. Meatwad Posted: January 19, 2010 at 07:35 PM (#3441270)
maybe its the padres since they have been openly cutting salary because of the divorce, the mlbpa can probly argue thats no reason to slash payroll
   21. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 19, 2010 at 07:47 PM (#3441294)
Yeah, I was also thinking that if anyone besides the Marlins is being targeted, it would be the Padres--except the Padres just built a new park and are therefore Bud's friend.

Since the Royals and Pirates moved out of their league a couple years ago, the Marlins were an outlier on the Scrooge-o-meter. The Pirates could be targeted by the union for refusing to spend much on their MLB payroll, but the owners won't likely go along and given the CBA's wording the union couldn't really win a grievance over them (since the Pirates HAVE been spending on infrastructure. Which is obviously the Right Thing for a poor team; note how the 2008 American League champion spent less money on its MLB payroll than the Pirates did.)
   22. Tripon Posted: January 19, 2010 at 07:50 PM (#3441303)
Well, the Padres just brought in new owners, and a re-commitment to its farm system. And they just signed and traded for both Hairston's brothers. They'll be fine.
   23. Greg Goosen at 30 Posted: January 19, 2010 at 08:56 PM (#3441389)
Weiner and the rest of his union buddies should buy the Marlins, Pirates, and Royals and show the world how to run a franchise by paying high salaries to players.

Chass shouldalso detail how many minorities baseball should have on its committees. And then eat the 1964 Civil Rights as Hubert Humphrey promised (but never did) by saying it would never resort to quotas.
   24. geonose Posted: January 19, 2010 at 09:01 PM (#3441394)
Agree on the Royals; I don't know how they could be targeted for thier 2009 spending.

Unless part of the ditate is that money received must be spent intelligently ...then I think the union might have a case.
   25. fra paolo Posted: January 20, 2010 at 06:27 PM (#3442285)
One of the differences here was the clubs that pay into the revenue-sharing pool have been as outraged as the union by the recipients’ failure to spend the money properly.
...
Bob Nutting, the Pirates’ managing partner, has been especially criticized by other owners for not spending the money to improve his team, which is on a record 17-year streak of losing seasons.
...
“The Pirates, Marlins and Rays are spending nothing on payroll and showing operating profits of $20, $25 million, which goes into the owners’ pockets,” one executive said.

Chass didn't single out the Pirates because of the union's negotiations. Chass is arguing that the owners are going to get after the Pirates; the MLBPA may play along with big-market owners because any action against the Pirates potentially helps MLBPA members make more money in the short term.
   26. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 20, 2010 at 06:34 PM (#3442298)
We wouldn't be having this sort of invasive meddling into owner finances if owners were spending their own money as they saw fit, rather than receiving free money confiscated from other, more successful franchises. Now that we've established that several baseball owners were using the free money windfall to enrich themselves rather than invest in their product, we should be discussing what sort of punitive actions and restitution should be required as penance.
   27. WTM Posted: January 20, 2010 at 08:36 PM (#3442400)
Now that we've established that several baseball owners were using the free money windfall to enrich themselves rather than invest in their product

Um, that hasn't been "established" with respect to anybody outside of the Marlins.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 20, 2010 at 08:49 PM (#3442411)
We wouldn't be having this sort of invasive meddling into owner finances if owners were spending their own money as they saw fit, rather than receiving free money confiscated from other, more successful franchises.


If owners were "free to spend their own money as they saw fit", one or two would probably spend it relocating into the NY market and undercutting the Yankees' revenues through direct competition. With the current arrangement, they're getting off light.
   29. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 20, 2010 at 11:51 PM (#3442570)

Um, that hasn't been "established" with respect to anybody outside of the Marlins.


Oh, well, nothing to see here then. Carry on with the dump trucks full of free cash.
   30. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 20, 2010 at 11:53 PM (#3442574)
If owners were "free to spend their own money as they saw fit", one or two would probably spend it relocating into the NY market and undercutting the Yankees' revenues through direct competition.


Great, bring it on. Of course you'd want to open every market up to that sort of freewheeling competition, no reason for the Yankees to be singled out for unfair targeting when every other team in baseball continues to enjoy the protection of their markets.
   31. WTM Posted: January 21, 2010 at 01:44 AM (#3442663)
Just guessing, but I think Vlad's idea is to tell all the teams that they're free to relocate wherever they want. There just wouldn't be anybody who wanted to relocate to Cleveland.
   32. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2010 at 02:04 AM (#3442689)
There just wouldn't be anybody who wanted to relocate to Cleveland.


What if they showed this promotional video?

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