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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Important Disclosure on [Andrew] Zimbalist’s Rays-to-Tampa Argument: He’s Paid by MLB

Circling the Issues

Last week, the Tampa Bay Times posted a Q and A on the Rays Stadium Saga with leading sports economist Andrew Zimbalist… after the Rays essentially echoed many of Zimbalist’s sentiments on Thursday, I made a discovery:

Andrew Zimbalist is currently paid as an MLB consultant.

Zimbalist confirmed in an email he has worked off-and-on for the league over the years (including now).  He said he has also worked for the player’s association, various teams, and numerous municipalities, but never directly for the Rays.

This isn’t to question the validity of what Zimbalist was saying; merely to point out his realtionship with MLB.  It’s an important disclosure that was omitted from the Times article; especially significant given the “MLB has lost faith in Tampa” statements made just days later.

h/t Hardball Talk

The District Attorney Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:48 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: andrew zimbalist, economics, rays

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: January 29, 2013 at 09:43 PM (#4357892)
So, don't put quotes inside of links.
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 29, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4357898)
FTFY.

-- MWE
   3. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4357922)
One of the commenters said the Rays are one of the MLB's most profitable teams per Forbes, but Google tells me only they estimated a $26M annual profit.

Still seems like more than enough (on top of whatever they pay now) to cover most, if not all of the payments for a new stadium in a better location that would increase revenues significantly.
   4. azimbali@smith.edu Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:48 AM (#4358052)
just for the record. I have consulted for MLB on other matters and did not speak w/ MLB about the Rays situation regarding the Trop. MLB did not delegate me to say anything. I was unaware of MLB's position as articulated by Stu Sternberg several days afer my visit. My only constraint in my work for MLB is that I cannot publicly reveal confidential data and analyses. I am free to comment publicly on other matters concerning baseball, and I frequently do. I was invited to Florida State University to give a talk on my forthcoming book, Moneyball Revisited, and was asked if I were willing to speak to the media during my visit and also if I were willing to speak with the mayors of St Pete and Tampa. I said yes. I met with Mayor Foster of Tampa for about an hour. We had a frank discussion during which I told him that I consult for MLB but not for the Rays, and my only interest was in finding a workable solution for the benefit of all fans and residents in the Tampa Bay area. That remains my sole interest.
Andy Zimbalist
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:07 AM (#4358057)
post 4:

thanks for stopping by and clarifying

enjoy the work
   6. Lassus Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:14 AM (#4358061)
Another lurker yanked out of the Dead Marshes!

Seriously, though, thanks for coming by - look forward to seeing more from you around here, if so inclined.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4358093)
...and my only interest was in finding a workable solution for the benefit of all fans and residents in the Tampa Bay area...


I wonder which specific problem(s) a solution is being sought for?

What are the problems that need solving?

I can think of a couple:
(1) The owners aren't making as much money as they want.
(2) The game experience is pretty bad for the fans because of the low quality of the park.
(3) The team may leave the region (not just St. Pete itself).
(4) The team wants to break or amend its lease but is not having success.

If the most pressing issues are #1 and #4, then it shouldn't be framed as some public problem that everyone needs to join together to solve.
   8. SOLockwood Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4358100)
Or (2a) The game experience is pretty bad for the fans because of the less convenient location of the park.
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4358108)
The "Paid by MLB" gotcha should be less convincing than the fact that Zimbalist has been quoted in every article about publicly funded stadia for the last decade saying that publicly funded stadia are a bad idea. If he thinks one is a good idea either he is right or he has suddenly sold out all his principles.
   10. The District Attorney Posted: February 02, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4360632)
Zimbalist has been quoted in every article about publicly funded stadia for the last decade saying that publicly funded stadia are a bad idea. If he thinks one is a good idea either he is right or he has suddenly sold out all his principles.
Heh, I like that phrasing...

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