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Thursday, July 26, 2012

ESPN: Jerry Reinsdorf talks contraction

If it somehow involves former White Sox…Garland Braxton - Joe Hicks, that’s fine.

Speaking on a panel discussion about baseball in Israel, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was asked by a fan about the possibility of international expansion. He said he’d rather see two teams contracted.

“I don’t see any baseball expansion right now,” he said. “If it were up to me, I would contract two teams. But I certainly don’t think expansion on the horizon.”

When fans yelled, “What two teams?” Reinsdorf clammed up.

“I have a habit of getting myself into trouble,” he said. “I just did yesterday. So I’m not going to (get in trouble).”

While the possibility seems unlikely today, these aren’t Reinsdorf’s first public comments about the possibility of eliminating teams. In early 2002, he spoke of the possibility of contracting the Minnesota Twins and the benefits it would have for then-owner Carl Pohlad, telling The New York Times: ‘We’re not doing Carl a favor. ‘If the Twins are one of the teams and Carl lets us contract him, he’d be doing us a favor.’‘

Reinsdorf also said to expect “an international draft, except for Japan, in the next couple of years.”

Repoz Posted: July 26, 2012 at 06:47 AM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: white sox

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   1. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 26, 2012 at 07:20 AM (#4192474)
“What two teams?”

The Yankees. Twice.
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 26, 2012 at 07:42 AM (#4192479)
Oakland and Tampa, Jerry Reinsdorf is coming unless you get those free stadiums! The irony of Jerry Reinsdorf wanting to kill baseball in Tampa/St. Pete is, well, it's just so...you know! Could the man be a bigger a$$hole?
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 26, 2012 at 07:48 AM (#4192480)
shooty

he's playing the role bud asks him to play.

jerry is comfortable in this role. he enjoys it
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 26, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4192482)
he's playing the role bud asks him to play.

jerry is comfortable in this role. he enjoys it


So you're saying he can't be a bigger a$$hole, then. I'm pretty sure happily agreeing to be Bud Selig's henchman is the ceiling for a$$holitude.
   5. Lassus Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:02 AM (#4192484)
I know in no known reality will contraction actually happen, but it does make me wonder exactly what real-world circumstances would be required for two - or, say, crazier - SIX (to bring us to a good square number) teams to actually be contracted.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4192488)
shooty

jerry can get worse, especially if you are negotiating with him.

   7. cmd600 Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4192491)
I know in no known reality will contraction actually happen, but it does make me wonder exactly what real-world circumstances would be required for two - or, say, crazier - SIX (to bring us to a good square number) teams to actually be contracted.


A plague that knocks out between 30 and 100 million people?
   8. Hack Wilson Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4192492)
#5 How fast are these contractions coming?
   9. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4192493)
Contraction threats are so clearly empty and dishonest I find it striking that they were ever used (to say nothing of still being used). Every time I hear one I want to say "Go Ahead," because I know it is ridiculous.
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4192495)
A plague that knocks out between 30 and 100 million people?

Don't give Reinsdorf any ideas.
   11. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4192500)
A plague that knocks out between 30 and 100 million people?

They gone!
   12. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4192502)
According to Faye Vincent, Reinsdorf and Bud were the ringleaders in collusion and MLB had to expand to get fees to pay the settlement. So Jerry's stance is kind of ironic.
   13. Gamingboy Posted: July 26, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4192516)
“I have a habit of getting myself into trouble,” he said. “I just did yesterday. So I’m not going to (get in trouble).”


What did he do yesterday?
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 26, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4192518)
Garroted a hobo, presumably.
   15. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 26, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4192521)
reinsdorf was quoted in a tweet as saying the following: 'basketball is a game. baseball is a religion. baseball is american'

bulls fans went beserk on the internets
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4192530)
Oakland is an obvious candidate. Tampa Bay would seem like a candidate, but they have a pretty good lease with the city.

Wouldn't the White Sox be pretty high up the list of candidates after that? The rest of the teams all have pretty new stadiums or are very successful financially.
   17. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4192533)
reinsdorf was quoted in a tweet as saying the following: 'basketball is a game. baseball is a religion. baseball is american'

I was at the event. Reinsdorf was asked about a previous comment he apparently made about being willing to trade his Bulls titles for his White Sox title. His response was that he made the statement prior to winning the title so it should be taken with a grain of salt. He then paused for a moment and went on to explain that when the Bulls won the titles and had their celebrations there were thousands of people at the parade and everyone was happy. He said when the WS won the title there were more people and there was nowhere in Chicago you could go where people weren't talking/happy about it (I assume this excludes Cubs-land). He made some quip about seeing White Sox banners strewn on gravesites. He then paused again and tried to sum up all of his comments thusly, "Basketball is a great, great sport. Baseball is a religion."
   18. zack Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4192543)
Given the lack of upcoming CBA discussions, I can see this as not necessarily being pre-determined. Maybe Jerry, seperate from the rest of the owners, is sick of paying revenue sharing and there are two teams that gobble up the most of the money? I don't know. The White Sox have to be a net loser on revenue sharing, right? How are the payments distributed?

Assuming, of course, that Reinsdorf has an independent conciousness.
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4192548)
melo

the bulls fans i hear from fume about reinsdorf willingness to spend on the white sox and his alleged parsimonious ways with the bulls

i don't follow the nba well enough to know if this characterization is remotely accurate
   20. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4192550)
[19] He IS notoriously cheap when it comes to the Bulls, always attempting to avoid the NBA's salary cap taxes, though I believe he will have to actually pay some this year. Not sure what the economics behind the two situations are though. The other thing he was big on harping about on Tuesday was that for him, everything comes down to making financial sense.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4192556)
melo

jerry always makes money on a transaction. even if the short-term transaction looks bad there is a longer-term reinsdorf goal where the return is much, much bigger

he's in a place now where everything in chicago that has a chance of being real money is run past jerry. if he says its garbage folks scatter. he can kill a deal by mere facial expressions

and by the accounts i have heard he doesn't say something is garbage and then swoop in for himself. he just says crap is crap and lets folks do what they will.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4192580)

I thought this was the most interesting part of the article...perhaps it has been reported before but it was news to me.

Reinsdorf was asked about adding pitching to his playoff-contending club, specifically bringing back Mark Buehrle, considering Miami's so-called fire sale. Reinsdorf admitted he advised Buehrle to sign with the Marlins.

"The only thing I can tell you is when Mark told me he had a $56-million, four-year contract offer, I told him he should take it," Reinsdorf said. "I really told Mark he had to take it. At this stage of your career, it's more money than you're worth. He said he was going to take it, but he'll back in four years."
   23. fra paolo Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4192585)
I am possibly alone on BTF in believing contraction was and remains a genuine threat by the owners.

The problem is that it is usually hard to find two teams to contract. Contracting the Expos in 2001 was obvious, but the second team could have been the Angels (up for sale), the Twins (exceptionally greedy owner) or the Marlins (nobody went to the games). Each of those three had problems that made it difficult to carry through on the threat. The real reason contraction was avoided was because there was a good alternative market (Washington DC) to try out.

At the moment, the front-runners for contraction have to be the Rays (nobody goes to the games) and the Athletics (currently being held to ballpark ransom). There is nowhere else for these teams to go that looks as if it might be a good alternative. On the other hand, neither of them has been quite run into the ground by ownership the way the Expos were.

Although I'm not expecting contraction to be put on the agenda again, it wouldn't surprise me if it did reappear during the reign of the next commissioner. Especially if the next commissioner is as close to Reinsdorf as the current one.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4192593)
I am possibly alone on BTF in believing contraction was and remains a genuine threat by the owners.
I think the owners would absolutely contract two teams if they could. They can't actually contract any teams, though, because the union will go to and through the wall to fight them on it.

I could genuinely threaten Stephen Strasburg that I'm going to hit a home run off him, but he won't care, because I can't actually do it.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4192607)
Although I'm not expecting contraction to be put on the agenda again, it wouldn't surprise me if it did reappear during the reign of the next commissioner. Especially if the next commissioner is as close to Reinsdorf as the current one.


On the bright side, given the number of times Bud has extended his term, maybe Reinsdorf will be dead by then.
   26. Chicago Joe Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4192611)
he's in a place now where everything in chicago that has a chance of being real money is run past jerry. if he says its garbage folks scatter. he can kill a deal by mere facial expressions


That's laying it on a little thick. He's no Pritzker, that's for sure.
   27. bunyon Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4192612)
I could genuinely threaten Stephen Strasburg that I'm going to hit a home run off him, but he won't care, because I can't actually do it.

I dunno. Are you reasonably athletic?
   28. McCoy Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4192613)
I don't think they would ever contract one of the original 16 teams. If anything, and this would still never happen, some other team would get contracted and the A's would move into their territory. Like for instance contracting the Rays and then having the Tampa area pony up for a new stadium to bring the A's to town.
   29. bunyon Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4192617)
In all seriousness, if the owners offered to expand the 40-man to 45 and the 25 to 28, would the players still object to contraction? That would be a significant increase in union membership, more jobs, more MLB roster spots, etc.

I really don't know what the issue is. I guess it would still be fewer starting, and therefore higher paying, jobs. I'm also not arguing FOR expansion. I'm just asking if there is someway the owners could make it palatable to the players.
   30. TerpNats Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4192619)
I hate the idea of contracting the Athletics, one of the pre-expansion era franchises. Also, contracting both the A's and Rays leaves you with 13 American League teams and 15 in the National.

My suggestion, if contraction comes to pass (and I hope it doesn't): Dissolve the Diamondbacks and Rays, then have the D'backs' owners buy the A's and move them to Phoenix.
   31. Chicago Joe Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4192620)
I don't think they would ever contract one of the original 16 teams.


The Twins were also seriously considered as well.
   32. Randy Jones Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4192623)
Contraction is joke. It's simply not going to happen unless the players get incredible concessions in the next CBA. Like raising the minimum salary 10x, reducing minimum service time for FA to 3 years instead of 6, and expanding rosters to 30. The owners aren't that stupid.

In all seriousness, if the owners offered to expand the 40-man to 45 and the 25 to 28, would the players still object to contraction? That would be a significant increase in union membership, more jobs, more MLB roster spots, etc.


Trading starting spots for spots at the end of the bench is not an even trade from the players' perspective.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4192625)
In all seriousness, if the owners offered to expand the 40-man to 45 and the 25 to 28, would the players still object to contraction? That would be a significant increase in union membership, more jobs, more MLB roster spots, etc.


But those are mostly near minimum wage jobs, but you're losing 16-18 starting position player jobs, plus 10 starting pitching jobs.
   34. Comic Strip Person Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4192629)
I also find it very difficult to imagine that they would contract a team which is playing in a "new" stadium, by which I mean it was built in this last cycle of ballparks, and is (presumably) still be paid for by the locals. That act would probably ensure MLB a giant tornado of litigation. So, who doesn't have a "new" ballpark? The Cubs and Red Sox, who are money makers in their old ballparks, and the A's and Rays. That's it.
As someone noted recently in another discussion, some team always has to be at the bottom in revenue and spending. Owners who are complaining about paying revenue sharing aren't thinking about how much more they are making than they used to, or how much they will eventually clear when selling their franchise. Even success can be expensive, it turns out.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4192633)
The Cubs and Red Sox, who are money makers in their old ballparks, and the A's and Rays. That's it.


The Royals, Angels and Dodgers also play in parks not built during the cycle. And the Rays' dump is actually only a year older than the first of the new parks.

   36. bunyon Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4192635)
Hadn't taken pitchers into account. Yeah, that's a hit.

You'd have to bump the minimum a lot. It just seems to me that if the problem is two franchises seriously failing and everyone else making money that there should be a way to do it.

I don't think that is the case and would hate to see it happen. If anything, I'd like to see expansion to 32.
   37. JJ1986 Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4192636)
My suggestion, if contraction comes to pass (and I hope it doesn't): Dissolve the Diamondbacks and Rays, then have the D'backs' owners buy the A's and move them to Phoenix.


If you're doing this, I think you should probably dissolve the Marlins and move the Rays to Miami too.
   38. Steve Treder Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4192642)
I'm just asking if there is someway the owners could make it palatable to the players.

Not in any way that would remain a positive for the owners, so it isn't going to happen. The math just doesn't work.
   39. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4192645)
The Royals, Angels and Dodgers also play in parks not built during the cycle. And the Rays' dump is actually only a year older than the first of the new parks.
The Dodgers obviously aren't going anywhere, and the Angels and Royals have recent renovations.

Per this article, the Rays lease to play in the Trop is pretty ironclad until 2027. I don't know if that would necessarily rule out contraction*, but it does basically kill any chance of dissolving one team and moving the Rays franchise into that spot.

*Though it sounds like St. Pete would fight that as hard, if not harder, than the MLBPA
   40. aleskel Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4192646)
Isn't the big hurdle to contraction (other than the players union's objection) the money that would be needed to pay off the contracted owners? I imagine the other owners need to have a really strong cost-benefit argument to be convinced. Considering the teams that were up for contraction 10 years ago (Twins, Nats, Rays) have all turned themselves into healthy and/or competitive franchises since then, I can see the owners betting on long-term recoveries rather than selling low.
   41. Randy Jones Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4192648)
See, I always thought the biggest hurdle to contraction at this time is that MLB as a whole is posting record profits year after year and even the lowest revenue teams are making money...
   42. McCoy Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4192650)
The Twins were also seriously considered as well.

I seriously doubt they were ever seriously considered. Contraction was a tactic used against cities and the union.
   43. catomi01 Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4192655)
If you're doing this, I think you should probably dissolve the Marlins and move the Rays to Miami too.


Compromise - move to Orlando...I'd rather see Mickey Mouse shooting off fireworks in centerfield than that monstrosity the Marlins put up to celebrate homeruns.
   44. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4192659)
Contraction was a tactic used against cities and the union.

IS a tactic. IS a tactic, even if no one takes it seriously anymore. You don't sell franchises for billions of dollars and then cry about the economics of your business.
   45. Dale Sams Posted: July 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4192692)
Selig: "Come WORM! Once again we are turned out upon the road!"
   46. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4192699)

I seriously doubt they were ever seriously considered. Contraction was a tactic used against cities and the union.


No, the Twins were the basic impetus behind the whole deal. An aged Carl Pohlad supposedly offered to sell the Twins to MLB for $150 million with the intention of killing them off. Here's Jim Caple of ESPN:

In a shameless 1997 attempt to frighten Minnesota into a deal, he threatened to sell the Twins to a North Carolina businessman who said he would move the team to what is essentially Mayberry. When that ludicrous deal fell through and Pohlad still was unable to receive public funding, he volunteered the Twins for contraction after the 2001 season in return for what is believed to be a $150 million payoff.
   47. caprules Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4192717)
The link in 46 doesn't really prove that the Twins were seriously in danger of being contracted. It just shows that there was a protracted scheme to get public funds to build a stadium.
   48. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4192725)
I always thought the biggest hurdle to contraction at this time is that MLB as a whole is posting record profits year after year and even the lowest revenue teams are making money...

Exactly. MLB attendance year-to-date is up well over 2 millions from 2011, despite the effects of what is still a very weak economy. TV revenue keeps going ever higher, with more teams cashing in on their own cable networks or getting much increased fees from rights holders to prevent them from going that way. Extra Innings and the Internet have opened up revenue streams that were non-existent when the owners last resorted to the contraction ruse as a bargaining ploy. MLB is in its best financial shape ever.
   49. pep21 Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4192744)
Isn't Reinsdorf the same jackass who complained on how players salaries were out of control and plead he was losing money all the while refused to open his team's book in 1994-1995 players strike? Yet he signed Albert Belle to a 5 yr $55 million days after the strike was settled.
MLB should allow the Rays and Marlins to relocate since their fan bases are pathetic.
   50. Bob Tufts Posted: July 26, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4192796)
Article XV(H) from the 2012-2016 CBA: No contractrion until at least 2017

H. Future Contraction

"The Office of the Commissioner and/or the Clubs shall not undertake
any centralized effort to reduce the number of Major League Clubs
effective for a season covered by this Agreement; provided, however,
that nothing in this Article XV(H) shall preclude the owner or owners
of an individual Club from taking action (e.g., bankruptcy) that would
result in the elimination of such Club. (See Attachment 8.)"

The key paragraph of Attachment 8 states that:

"The Parties agree, by this letter, that their agreement on this topic and the bargaining that preceded it shall not be used by either party as evidence that the topic is or is not a mandatory subject of bargaining in any subsequent litigation, including any grievance or NLRB proeeding."
   51. McCoy Posted: July 26, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4192830)
No, the Twins were the basic impetus behind the whole deal. An aged Carl Pohlad supposedly offered to sell the Twins to MLB for $150 million with the intention of killing them off. Here's Jim Caple of ESPN:



I'm not sure how what Caple said translates into a no. Carl wanted a new stadium and the threat of contraction was a tool to get it.
   52. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4192838)
Jerry Reinsdorf is the #### of the world.
   53. Gamingboy Posted: July 26, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4192867)
I remember reading somewhere that contraction will never happen not just because it will never happen given how much money MLB gets, but because of the minors as well.

Consider:
Each team has 5 to 7 affiliates.
Many of those affiliates also play in taxpayer-funded stadiums, many of them quite news.
Contracting two teams would thus take out 10 to 14 slots available for teams in the minors.
Even if teams were able to re-affiliate, there would still be odd-men out.
If a city that had paid millions of taxpayer dollars were to suddenly find out that it no longer would have a affiliated team- or if said team was going to have to be short-season A-ball instead of AA or whatever- there would be lawsuits, congress throwing fits, etc. MLB hates those.
   54. cmd600 Posted: July 26, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4192871)
I don't think they would ever contract one of the original 16 teams. If anything, and this would still never happen, some other team would get contracted and the A's would move into their territory. Like for instance contracting the Rays and then having the Tampa area pony up for a new stadium to bring the A's to town.


I don't see why they wouldn't ever consider it. Original 16 teams have moved. It depends on the if the market can support the team or not anymore. Which is also why I disagree with the second point. How would that be any different than building a new stadium for the Rays?
   55. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 26, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4192872)

I'm not sure how what Caple said translates into a no. Carl wanted a new stadium and the threat of contraction was a tool to get it.


I don't think we'll ever know to what extent contraction was just a ploy for more stadia as opposed to a threat that might be carried out, but either way, the Twins were at the center of it. And I can believe that Pohlad was a miserable enough bastard that he would have been willing to kill off his own team if it came to that.
   56. Bob Tufts Posted: July 26, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4192885)
Reinsdorf is once again making the mistake of looking backwards and fighting yesterday's battles that he lost. The "growth" of Bud Selig in getting past this attitude (credit to Manfred and Weiner) probably helped baseball more than anything else.
   57. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 26, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4192888)
The problem is that it is usually hard to find two teams to contract.


Thinking with my fingers....

Because of the everyday-nature of the game having one team idle at any one time, especially in the middle of summer, would be like leaving money on the table; one team would be idle on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday.

On the other hand, you can usually find one team in such financial straits that bankruptcy would contract them and you can usually find two teams that are almost as bad that they could be merged. I could see Oakland contracting with Miami and Tampa merging.

I think MLB making money hand over fist is probably more of an IMPETUS toward the contraction talk, simply because there is subsidization (revenue-sharing) going on. Plus Oakland has a hard time just moving because so many other teams have clams on the "open" territories and someone will then get the abandoned territory. I assume Angelos is still ######## in owners meetings.

Trying to have some fun thinking creatively with an odd number of teams... with the actual subject buried in the article... I wonder if that "idle team" in the MLB schedule could play a foreign team. For example, have the Tokyo Giants play the White Sox for a 3-game series in June and the games count in the teams' respective standings. Almost every MLB team would have to play two of these series. (I think the WHA did this with a couple of Russian teams in the 70's.)
   58. cmd600 Posted: July 26, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4192909)
Miami and Tampa merging


How do you do this and distribute talent across the league equally? I think any non-Houston and Seattle teams merging would result in an instant playoff contender.
   59. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 26, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4192910)
he threatened to sell the Twins to a North Carolina businessman who said he would move the team to what is essentially Mayberry.

I remember this well. Mayberry ain't far off as a description.

He IS notoriously cheap when it comes to the Bulls, always attempting to avoid the NBA's salary cap taxes, though I believe he will have to actually pay some this year.

Partial spoiler to the trivia question going on in the NBA thread, but the Bulls are one of seven teams never to have paid these taxes (though my understanding is that they will this year as well).
   60. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 26, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4192918)
On the other hand, you can usually find one team in such financial straits that bankruptcy would contract them and you can usually find two teams that are almost as bad that they could be merged.

Really? When is the last time a team went bankrupt on its own, not as the result of ownership's non-baseball finances? Seems like there were plenty of buyers for those non-baseball bankruptcy teams, too. Even the "small market" and second division teams are making money under the current set-up. Contraction is nonsense.
   61. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4192923)
I always thought the biggest hurdle to contraction at this time is that MLB as a whole is posting record profits year after year and even the lowest revenue teams are making money...

Not sure why this is a hurdle. The lowest revenue teams make money presumably due to revenue sharing. If you contracted two teams, you'd have a bigger pie (eliminating two teams who on their own are losing money) divided up among fewer owners.

If a city that had paid millions of taxpayer dollars were to suddenly find out that it no longer would have a affiliated team- or if said team was going to have to be short-season A-ball instead of AA or whatever- there would be lawsuits, congress throwing fits, etc. MLB hates those.

If you're willing to spend $150 million to contract a team, you can probably afford to spend a few million to settle those lawsuits. Congress is a different matter I guess, but other than being a nuisance I'm not sure what they can do.
   62. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 26, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4192965)
Congress is a different matter I guess, but other than being a nuisance I'm not sure what they can do.
Three words: Anti-trust exemption (or is that 2 words?)
   63. bookbook Posted: July 26, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4192977)
Expand. A's to San Jose. Add a New Jersey franchise. Add a Charlotte team.
   64. cardsfanboy Posted: July 26, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4192989)
I am possibly alone on BTF in believing contraction was and remains a genuine threat by the owners.


You may not be lone, but you're a very small minority. I do not see contraction ever happening. If it got past the point of the collective bargaining agreement, some senator from whatever state is having the team contracted, will interfere or another from a state(Nevada?) that could support a team would get involved. It's never going to happen. It's an empty threat that nobody takes seriously, and inside of the next decade, the owners and players will have approved expansion again.

   65. cardsfanboy Posted: July 26, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4193014)
I don't think we'll ever know to what extent contraction was just a ploy for more stadia as opposed to a threat that might be carried out, but either way, the Twins were at the center of it. And I can believe that Pohlad was a miserable enough bastard that he would have been willing to kill off his own team if it came to that.


It's possible(but highly unlikely) that the owners seriously considered contraction, but again, it doesn't matter what the owners want, the players were never going to allow it, and as pointed out, the cities wouldn't have allowed it.

Contraction was/is a threat to use as a bargaining chip, that is all it's good for, it's not going to happen in any of our lifetimes.

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