Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Murray Chass: A BASEBALL WRITERS’ GIVEAWAY

I posed that question to Jack O’Connell, the long-time BBWAA secretary-treasurer, who announced the awards live on the shows.

“Any answer to my question about our giving away our awards while MLB network makes many thousands off it?” I asked in a second e-mail.

“The answer is that we did not give away the awards,” O’Connell replied. “They are still ours.”

I will give O’Connell the benefit of doubt and figure he misunderstood my question. My “give away” was not to be taken literally, as in giving the network proprietary control of the awards. But the BBWAA gave away the awards for television profit and got nothing in return.

There was commercial money involved, and the network got it all. ...

Using the low estimate, each show would have earned $120,000 for a total of $600,000. Even if the commercials were discounted by 50 percent, the network would have had $300,000 in revenue. ...

What could the BBWAA have done with the money if it had received any from the network? It could have helped families of writers who died or writers who had lost their jobs in a shrinking and decaying industry. Institute a college scholarship program. Make donations to hurricane or earthquake victims.

The BBWAA wouldn’t have to keep any of the money and ruin its nonprofit stratus [sic]. But instead of giving away money, the BBWAA would rather give away its awards.

bobm Posted: November 25, 2012 at 01:00 PM | 112 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, bbwaa, tv

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4309228)
Since Chass doesn't understand a baseball stat (WAR) that has an opportunity cost component, it's not surprising that he doesn't understand opportunity cost in other contexts. Or money - the only thing the BBWAA provided of value was the announcement itself and a 30 second head start on the competition.
   2. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4309239)
The fact that the BBWAA vote on and talk about the awards does create value for the awards and to MLB. BBWAA "giving away" these awards when MLB is now trying to monetize them seems rather foolish in my opinion.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 25, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4309240)
The MLB Network saved the BBWAA from having to rent a suitable venue for the announcements. Seems like an even trade.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 25, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4309241)
Or money - the only thing the BBWAA provided of value was the announcement itself and a 30 second head start on the competition.

Well, not exactly. Otherwise ABC would be chumps to pay for the Oscars, and news network anchormen would be of no commercial worth. Even so, what is Chass going on about? The BBWAA helps MLB Network, MLB Network helps the BBWAA, the equation's not that hard. And it's not a quo that Chass hasn't quidded. Should the baseball players have charged Chass $20 apiece for the initial publishing rights to their after-game quotes?
   5. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4309250)
The fact that the BBWAA vote on and talk about the awards does create value for the awards and to MLB. BBWAA "giving away" these awards when MLB is now trying to monetize them seems rather foolish in my opinion.

What exactly does the BBWAA have to sell other than Jack O'Connell speaking at a podium for a minute? All that other stuff MLB Network gets for free anyway.
   6. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4309252)
Otherwise ABC would be chumps to pay for the Oscars, and news network anchormen would be of no commercial worth.

Yeah, but the BBWAA hasn't established that announcement itself as an event that's worth much in the way of paying. The BBWAA announcement itself is a lot closer to me standing at an intersection an announcing Things Dan Likes than it is to the Oscars or the news.
   7. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4309255)
The network news analogy doesn't really hold up, either. The network is paying for *their* side of the event, they're not leasing news from a third party. That would suggest that the MLB Network would have an interest in investing on an awards show on their end, with glitzy presentations and reporters announcing stuff, but in this analogy, the BBWAA still doesn't have any leverage - they're simply the focus of a fungible news story, like a murder victim or a company announcing an IPO. The only real exclusive that BBWAA has to offer is the name of the winner itself, but once that's out of the bag, anyone can report it.
   8. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 25, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4309257)
Right, DJS, we're agreeing. The Oscar/anchor analogy is for the value of exclusivity; not to exclusive content, but to movie stars or to projecting a credible authority.

I'm saying that the creation of an hourlong awards "show" with a 10-second payoff and the subsidiary buffing of the BBWAA's role is ample payment for the exclusive rights to the announcement. Especially considering those rights diminish with incredible speed as soon as they emerge from Jack O'Connell's mouth.

That doesn't mean MLB Network gets nothing because the news is nearly worthless; they get a kind of imprimatur and a few hours of programming that aren't about the top 9 foul poles in the game. But if the MVP announcement is intrinsically valuable, ESPN will make a play to "steal" it away from MLB Network soon enough.
   9. Swedish Chef Posted: November 25, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4309258)
The only real exclusive that BBWAA has to offer is the name of the winner itself, but once that's out of the bag, anyone can report it.

They could offer access to the voters for money. How many statsy types wouldn't pay twenty bucks to throw a pie at one MVP voter?
   10. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: November 25, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4309261)
Come on, Murray. You know there's no money in blogging. Get over it.
   11. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4309262)
If MLB is dedicating air time and thus selling air space to advertisers around the announcement of the winners then having a recognized and yes respected body organizing the voting of the awards has value and simply handing MLB a product that they then turn around and sell is foolish.

If BBWAA gives ESPN the names of the winners first then MLB loses a ton of value in packaging and presenting the awards. If BBWAA simply doesn't play ball and says that they'll announce the winners at some point between X and Y to all outlets that destroys the value to MLB. If BBWAA simply says that they themselves will announce the winners via twitter, facebook, and the internet that will destroy the value to MLB. If BBWAA creates their own presentation that destroys the value to MLB. MLB is better off simply coming to an agreement with BBWAA in which BBWAA keeps on announcing the winners in a standardized format and at a time favorable to presentations and BBWAA would be foolish to simply give it away.
   12. Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4309278)
I'd love to see BBWAA try to extract money for the announcement. If BBWAA announces the award winners by Twitter or whatever, they still wouldn't be creating value for themselves. If they try to strong arm MLB all MLB has to do is form their own award committee (of say broadcasters, Internet writers, or many of the BBWAA writers who don't currently get a vote). MLB has the product. BBWAA is at MLB's mercy, not the other way around.
   13. MHS Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4309285)
The more interesting thing here is that chase is dancing around the inherent conflict of reporters "creating news". Of course, he isn't smart enough to realize that he is doing hat OR that it is inappropriate and something that no serious journalist would entertain.

   14. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4309289)
How would it kill MLB Network to "lose" the "rights" to next year's announcement, produce the exact same one-hour show, but have to deliver the winner's name at the 53-minute mark instead of the 52-minute mark? What network news department loses a dollar in ad revenue for being the third or fourth to declare an election?

If multiple sports channels start bidding to get the announcement, it will have monetary value. If not, follow the no money.
   15. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4309296)
Who is going to watch an award show in which the awards are never announced? The vote and who won is controlled by the BBWAA. They can do numerous things that would impact the revenue of MLB. I'm not sure why people think MLB can simply say "go screw" to BBWAA as if BBWAA can do nothing to impact the revenue of MLB. It is simpler and far easier for MLB to give BBWAA something to make sure that everything stays smooth.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4309300)
Who is going to watch an award show in which the awards are never announced? The vote and who won is controlled by the BBWAA. They can do numerous things that would impact the revenue of MLB. I'm not sure why people think MLB can simply say "go screw" to BBWAA as if BBWAA can do nothing to impact the revenue of MLB. It is simpler and far easier for MLB to give BBWAA something to make sure that everything stays smooth.


Who is going to cover its news announcement if the BBWAA starts jerking around with the timing? The BBWAA, individually and collectively, gets a major image boost from the Awards and HoF voting, but they are dependent on MLB, more now than ever, for that status. They aren't gong to be making any demands.

Other than having Jack O'Connell in the studio, definitely not the highlight of the show, the MLB Network presentation wasn't any different than what ESPN could have done if they chose to schedule a BBTN awards show at the same time.
   17. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4309303)
Who is going to cover its news announcement if the BBWAA starts jerking around with the timing?

Um, you do know what BBWAA stands for and who the members of that organization do for a living, right?



MLB is trying to monetize the awards, are you guys seriously suggesting that MLB play hardball with BBWAA over this? What does MLB gain by saying "bugger off" to BBWAA? What does it cost them to give BBWAA something in return? It costs them nothing since all of this is additional revenue that did not exist previously.
   18. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4309309)
Um, you do know what BBWAA stands for and who the members of that organization do for a living, right?


But baseball writers aren't employees of the BBWAA. Nobody's going to risk their livelihoods for the BBWAA. Writing is big, but the BBWAA is not - the BBWAA can't even afford $100 to get a logo that doesn't look like they ripped it off from a 1980s PC game.
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4309311)
The MLB Network could get the same rating without Jack O'Connell in their studio. The BBWAA isn't producing any TV content - this isn't the Oscars or Emmys.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4309314)
If BBWAA announces the award winners by Twitter or whatever, they still wouldn't be creating value for themselves. If they try to strong arm MLB all MLB has to do is form their own award committee (of say broadcasters, Internet writers, or many of the BBWAA writers who don't currently get a vote). MLB has the product. BBWAA is at MLB's mercy, not the other way around.


MLB can create those awards now, but it won't be THE MVP, and thus won't have the same cachet.

The MVP belongs to the BBWAA. It's their award. The others were created by MVP with voting turned over to the BBWAA. I don't know if the league could simply reclaim those awards (other than the MVP) and turn over the voting to another body if the BBWAA decided to play hardball on this or other matters.

The BBWAA has a product of some value, though MLB is in a much better position to monetize it than the BBWAA (or pretty much anyone else, including ESPN). I'd say if MLB wanted to throw a small portion of the proceeds toward some BBWAA-directed charity or foundation for the rights to broadcast the awards, it would make a reasonable solution. But if they don't, I doubt the BBWAA would put up a fight.

   21. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4309315)
The MLB Network could get the same rating without Jack O'Connell in their studio. The BBWAA isn't producing any TV content - this isn't the Oscars or Emmys.

Yup, and that's why the BBWAA didn't get money for this - there's no reason to pay the BBWAA any more than a next-to-nothing courtesy fee at this time. Jack O'Connell didn't give away hundreds of thousands of the BBWAA's money, he just didn't get it. It's not O'Connell's fault that Chass is unaware how currency works.

(Sorry to flip my handle back and forth, but I'm not used to having a second one and I sometimes forget and log in with old one)
   22. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4309316)
But baseball writers aren't employees of the BBWAA. Nobody's going to risk their livelihoods for the BBWAA. Writing is big, but the BBWAA is not - the BBWAA can't even afford $100 to get a logo that doesn't look like they ripped it off from a 1980s PC game.

I'm not sure what this has to do with what I said or what Yankee Clapper said. YC is acting like if MLB doesn't do an awards show or if BBWAA doesn't have some rigid timed announcement this information won't get out. Which is of course silly. BBWAA is full of people who are in the business of relaying information to the masses and furthermore since BBWAA currently makes no money off of the announcement they have no incentive to release the information in a manner that is convenient to anyone but themselves.

The MLB Network could get the same rating without Jack O'Connell in their studio. The BBWAA isn't producing any TV content - this isn't the Oscars or Emmys

BBWAA creates the content by voting and releasing that information. That they do it now in a manner agreeable to MLB does not mean it will always be that way. Why be Scrooge on this when a small fee or service will probably guarantee that this product is available to MLB in a way conducive to their own needs? Why be so shortsighted? It gains MLB nothing to be so.

Hell, even Price-Waterhouse-Cooper get something for tabulating all the Oscar ballots.
   23. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4309320)
Yup, and that's why the BBWAA didn't get money for this - there's no reason to pay the BBWAA any more than a next-to-nothing courtesy fee at this time. Jack O'Connell didn't give away hundreds of thousands of the BBWAA's money, he just didn't get it. It's not O'Connell's fault that Chass is unaware how currency works.

Spoken like Donald Trump. Screw'em till they have the power to screw me!
   24. JJ1986 Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4309321)
I think the viewers for an awards show would be substantially lower if the awards had already been announced hours earlier. The BBWAAA does control when the awards are released and MLB Network couldn't produced the same show but announce them a minute later unless they did it when the awards were announced, which I think was 2 in the afternoon.
   25. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4309322)
The timing of the BBWAA awards and HoF votes is always made known to the media in advance. I look forward to seeing the BBWAA telling all of the news services that the announcement is coming at 2 PM, and then deliberately holding it off until 4:30 to make Harold Reynolds cry.

Or Jack O'Connell could swallow the sealed envelope live on-air, put a cork in his butt, and refuse to take it out until MLB Network executives pony up.
   26. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4309325)
MLB can create those awards now, but it won't be THE MVP, and thus won't have the same cachet.

They don't need to create a new one, though. They can simply announce BBWAA's winner, with or without the BBWAA's approval, and there's absolutely nothing the BBWAA can do about it.


The MVP belongs to the BBWAA. It's their award. The others were created by MVP with voting turned over to the BBWAA. I don't know if the league could simply reclaim those awards (other than the MVP) and turn over the voting to another body if the BBWAA decided to play hardball on this or other matters.


It's their award to give out. But that's where the BBWAA power over their own award starts and ends. If the BBWAA wants to organize an awards show that actually generates revenues that they have control over, they'd have to invest millions and millions of dollars in putting one on. They don't have that kind of revenue to do that.

The BBWAA has a product of some value, though MLB is in a much better position to monetize it than the BBWAA (or pretty much anyone else, including ESPN). I'd say if MLB wanted to throw a small portion of the proceeds toward some BBWAA-directed charity or foundation for the rights to broadcast the awards, it would make a reasonable solution. But if they don't, I doubt the BBWAA would put up a fight.


Chass calculated what he believes to be 100% of their revenue from commercials. Which is a lot more than a token payment for the 5% or so of the award show consisted of BBWAA.
   27. JJ1986 Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4309326)
The timing of the BBWAA awards and HoF votes is always made known to the media in advance. I look forward to seeing the BBWAA telling all of the news services that the announcement is coming at 2 PM, and then deliberately holding it off until 4:30 to make Harold Reynolds cry.


But a show at 1 in the afternoon isn't worth nearly as much as a show at 8 in the evening.
   28. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4309327)
Or they could simply say that at midnight they will announce the winners. Or they could announce the winners at 7am so that the morning radio shows and news stations could release it. They can pick virtually any time they want and most of the day would create next to zero monetary value for MLB.
   29. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4309331)
It's their award to give out. But that's where the BBWAA power over their own award starts and ends. If the BBWAA wants to organize an awards show that actually generates revenues that they have control over, they'd have to invest millions and millions of dollars in putting one on. They don't have that kind of revenue to do that.

Millions? Try next to no money. What BBWAA would need is the players. If they could get 10 or so leading contenders to come to an awards show or take part in the production somehow then BBWAA would get sponsors and television coverage.

Even without players it wouldn't cost millions and BBWAA probably could still sell the television rights to the award show. Tons of organizations throw award ceremonies and parties. They do not cost millions of dollars to produce. If BBWAA wanted to host an awards dinner it would probably cost them less than 50,000 dollars to do it but that is just a guess because I have no idea how many people they would plan for.
   30. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4309333)
The timing of the BBWAA awards and HoF votes is always made known to the media in advance. I look forward to seeing the BBWAA telling all of the news services that the announcement is coming at 2 PM, and then deliberately holding it off until 4:30 to make Harold Reynolds cry.

True, but MLB has more leverage to make things more unpleasant for the BBWAA than the other way around. Writers as a *group* have leverage, but not in the context of working together in the guise of the BBWAA. This isn't the AARP or the NRA, the BBWAA has very little clout - and they've made it even worse by strictly guarding membership to the degree that a coordinated strike by the BBWAA would probably be less successful than the Hostess strike.
   31. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4309334)
Or they could simply say that at midnight they will announce the winners. Or they could announce the winners at 7am so that the morning radio shows and news stations could release it. They can pick virtually any time they want and most of the day would create next to zero monetary value for MLB.

Yes, they could. So let's see them do it.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4309337)
They don't need to create a new one, though. They can simply announce BBWAA's winner, with or without the BBWAA's approval, and there's absolutely nothing the BBWAA can do about it.


There is something the BBWAA can do. Announce the awards at a time that isn't convenient to MLB (in terms of monetizing the award). It wouldn't generate money for the BBWAA, but it could cost MLB money. So yes, they do have some power there Dan.

If the BBWAA wants to organize an awards show that actually generates revenues that they have control over, they'd have to invest millions and millions of dollars in putting one on. They don't have that kind of revenue to do that.


I wish I had pointed out that MLB was in a much better position to monetize the award announcement than anyone else, including the BBWAA. Oh, that's right, I did.

Chass calculated what he believes to be 100% of their revenue from commercials. Which is a lot more than a token payment for the 5% or so of the award show consisted of BBWAA.


One doesn't have to agree with Murray Chass to disagree with you. (-:
   33. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4309339)
How does the Heisman Trophy announcement work?

Why did CBS pay for the right to televise it? Why did ABC and NBC eventually pay for it as well and why does ESPN currently own the rights to televise it?

If BBWAA awards have no monetary value for them and can be used with or without BBWAA's consent then why did broadcast companies feel the need the need to buy the rights to televising the Heisman Trophy presentation?
   34. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4309340)
Even without players it wouldn't cost millions and BBWAA probably could still sell the television rights to the award show. Tons of organizations throw award ceremonies and parties. They do not cost millions of dollars to produce. If BBWAA wanted to host an awards dinner it would probably cost them less than 50,000 dollars to do it but that is just a guess because I have no idea how many people they would plan for.

No, it does not cost millions of dollars to produce an awards show, it costs millions of dollars to produce an awards show that anyone gives a #### about to the extent that someone will pony up cash for. Cable networks aren't paying significant cash amounts to televise the award ceremonies and parties of those organizations.

I think you're overestimating how big the BBWAA is. SABR has more than 10 times the members and higher dues.
   35. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4309341)
True, but MLB has more leverage to make things more unpleasant for the BBWAA than the other way around.

Yeah, MLB is going to wage war on members of the media. Right.
   36. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4309345)
If BBWAA awards have no monetary value for them and can be used with or without BBWAA's consent then why did broadcast companies feel the need the need to buy the rights to televising the Heisman Trophy presentation?

Because there's an established pattern of people actually wanting to see the Heisman Trophy presentation? Do you think these award presentations all started off getting rights fees? Do you think the NFL not getting paid for draft coverage until the mid-80s was because they only started liking money then?

Where exactly is the BBWAA going to get the dough to put on something as produced as any of these?
   37. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4309346)
Re: #33--
How much money does the press get for the Heisman Trophy telecast?
   38. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4309348)
Yeah, MLB is going to wage war on members of the media. Right.

No, they'd be waging war on an association of a small subset of the media, not the media itself. And a great many of that small subset require MLB cooperation in order to be employed. No beat writer's going to risk his livelihood on an issue which to them personally, is less important in their daily lives than the dress code, another issue that the BBWAA clearly had zero leverage over MLB on.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4309350)
How much money does the press get for the Heisman Trophy telecast?


I didn't get a dime when I was a voter (nor should I have), but the Downtown Athletic Club must get something. It's their award.

   40. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4309352)
There is something the BBWAA can do. Announce the awards at a time that isn't convenient to MLB (in terms of monetizing the award). It wouldn't generate money for the BBWAA, but it could cost MLB money. So yes, they do have some power there Dan.


And then, after MLB gets pissed off and pulls locker room access for every member of the BBWAA, what do they do?

Don't get into a kicking contest with a man with an iron leg.
   41. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4309353)
No, it does not cost millions of dollars to produce an awards show, it costs millions of dollars to produce an awards show that anyone gives a #### about to the extent that someone will pony up cash for. Cable networks aren't paying significant cash amounts to televise the award ceremonies and parties of those organizations.

I think you're overestimating how big the BBWAA is. SABR has more than 10 times the members and higher dues.


And yet companies have paid for the right to televise the Heisman Trophy presentation despite the fact that it doesn't cost millions of dollars to have that award ceremony.

Because there's an established pattern of people actually wanting to see the Heisman Trophy presentation? Do you think these award presentations all started off getting rights fees? Do you think the NFL not getting paid for draft coverage until the mid-80s was because they only started liking money then?

They started paying for the right to televise the show in 1977. Decades after the DAC had started the award and they've been getting money ever since. The MVP is not some new fangled award. Everybody knows it has value and that a production can be made around it that will generate revenue. Are you seriously suggesting that MLB should spend years building up media value in an award they have no control over and then when it actually has some real value pay for it? How can you not see that as being shortsighted? They can either spend a penny today or spend 10 dollars tomorrow. Why wouldn't you spend the penny today?
   42. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4309354)
No, they'd be waging war on an association of a small subset of the media, not the media itself. And a great many of that small subset require MLB cooperation in order to be employed. No beat writer's going to risk his livelihood on an issue which to them personally, is less important in their daily lives than the dress code, another issue that the BBWAA clearly had zero leverage over MLB on

Exactly. If MLB makes the MVP voting an issue BBWAA can and will drop it. MLB gets egg on their face, destroys a brand that had monetary value for them, and forces them to rebuild that value if they wish to continue with the award. Good luck getting anyone to take MLB's awards seriously without the backing of the hundreds of writers they just pissed off.

   43. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4309355)
And then, after MLB gets pissed off and pulls locker room access for every member of the BBWAA, what do they do?


And they would do this why? Why would MLB wage war with members of the media? What do they gain by it? They are going to wage war over the MVP? Why? The MVP award probably generates something less 1 million dollars directly for MLB and for that they are going to go nuclear? Geez guys, let's get a grip on things.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4309356)
And then, after MLB gets pissed off and pulls locker room access for every member of the BBWAA, what do they do?


At no point was I arguing what BBWAA should do (and, in fact, speculated that they wouldn't be likely to get into a fight over this). The argument was whether the awards announcement had value, which it quite clearly does, and whether the BBWAA could do something, which quite clearly they can.

Whether the BBWAA can (or should try to) leverage that value into something is no doubt an interesting direction for the conversation to take, but its not the original point Dan made that I was refuting.
   45. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4309357)
I can't wait to see the new BBWAA-produced awards show, created as an F.U. to the MLB Network. Unfortunately, given the animus, the writers aren't likely to be permitted to show any video clips. But I'm sure Murray Chass would be willing to don a TROUT 27 jersey and recreate some of those over-the-wall catches.
   46. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4309358)
And they would do this why? Why would MLB wage war with members of the media? What do they gain by it?


They demonstrate who the boss is in that particular relationship.

Of course, they'd never need to actually do it, because the MLBPA understands that MLB can hurt them a lot more than they can hurt MLB.
   47. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4309360)
Decades after the DAC had started the award and they've been getting money ever since. The MVP is not some new fangled award. Everybody knows it has value and that a production can be made around it that will generate revenue.

The MVP as an award event is is a new-fangled event. The DAC had done a fancy awards presentation for decades prior to 1977.

They could do a production around it that will generate revenue, but that would be done on the side of the network, it's not something that the BBWAA's participation would add much in the way of value to.

If the BBWAA could have gotten anything from MLB Network, don't you think they would have? I'm sure O'Connell would prefer not to have to scramble on a nothing budget.
   48. KT's Pot Arb Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4309363)
And then, after MLB gets pissed off and pulls locker room access for every member of the BBWAA, what do they do?


LOL, just LOL.The MLB isn't going to cut off their nose to avoid some rinky dink payment for a rinky dink show.

To answer your question, the BBWAA will sit back as nearly every sportswriter boycotts MLB games, and writes horrible things about the MLB, for less than a week the MLB begs for forgiveness and fires the idiot who endangered millions of dollers in free daily press coverage of their events over a rinky dinky payment for a rinky dink show.
   49. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4309364)
They demonstrate who the boss is in that particular relationship.

And why would that have positive value? Are you guys all going Donald Trump's School of Business?
   50. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4309365)
What do they gain by it? They are going to wage war over the MVP? Why? The MVP award probably generates something less 1 million dollars directly for MLB and for that they are going to go nuclear? Geez guys, let's get a grip on things.

It's not the media, it's a small subset of the media. And MLB has already gone to war with the BBWAA over issue, most recently over open-toed shoes - the wars don't ever last long because MLB has all the leverage. They're going to be even *more* protective of the programming of their big expensive startup network. The BBWAA's kind of shot themselves in the foot by not functioning as an association for baseball media professionals on a general level.
   51. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4309366)
If the BBWAA could have gotten anything from MLB Network, don't you think they would have?

Like you indicated with the logo comment, the BBWAA hasn't demonstrated much in the way of marketing savvy.
   52. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4309367)
To answer your question, the BBWAA will sit back as nearly every sportswriter boycotts MLB games, and writes horrible things about the MLB, for less than a week the MLB begs for forgiveness and fires the idiot who endangered millions of dollers in free daily press coverage of their events over a rinky dinky payment for a rinky dink show.

Nearly every sportswriter? BBWAA members are a small percentage of baseball sportswriters, even among big media (I just counted on my ESPN distro list and I get 92% of full-timers as non-BBWAA members). And those BBWAA members would be fighting for something that gives them zero direct benefit.

To a BBWAA member, the dress code rules were a *far* bigger deal and the BBWAA had zero clout. Geez, do you guys think I don't talk with other sportswriters on these issues? This is literally an issue that nobody besides Chass cared about.
   53. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4309368)
The MVP as an award event is is a new-fangled event. The DAC had done a fancy awards presentation for decades prior to 1977.

No, DAC had a rather basic awards dinner held annually in which part of the festivity was the announcement of the Heisman winner. TV has made the awards show fancier. Secondly, have you seen the announcement for the Heisman trophy? It is not exciting and hasn't changed much. I remember watching Testaverde winning the Heisman in 1986 or so. There is basically 5 or so college kids sitting in a chair and then some guy announces who won. Media companies for decades were paying for that.

If the BBWAA could have gotten anything from MLB Network, don't you think they would have? I'm sure O'Connell would prefer not to have to scramble on a nothing budget.

So you believe that BBWAA did ask and MLB told them to go fish and furthermore you think that was the right call on MLB's part, is that correct?

I don't believe that. I don't know if they asked for money. In fact I kind of doubt they did ask for money. It is my impression that BBWAA is like that. I also don't think MLB would tell them to bugger off if BBWAA asked for something in return.
   54. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4309372)
It's not the media, it's a small subset of the media. And MLB has already gone to war with the BBWAA over issue, most recently over open-toed shoes - the wars don't ever last long because MLB has all the leverage. They're going to be even *more* protective of the programming of their big expensive startup network. The BBWAA's kind of shot themselves in the foot by not functioning as an association for baseball media professionals on a general level.

So MLB was going to go nuclear about shoes?

MLB wishes to set a dress code for people entering their business I'm not sure how that is a great example for a discussion about MLB profiting off of what BBWAA does.
   55. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4309375)
LOL, just LOL.The MLB isn't going to cut off their nose to avoid some rinky dink payment for a rinky dink show.


Of course they aren't. They don't need to, because the BBWAA is thoroughly cowed (as they should be, given the balance of power in the relationship).
   56. McCoy Posted: November 25, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4309395)
And yet you think MLB would go nuclear to prove a point that doesn't need to be made and all over what is peanuts to them.
   57. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4309398)
So MLB was going to go nuclear about shoes?

They did. Disobey the dress code, lose your access. Not only did the BBWAA conform, the first thing the new BBWAA president did was write a press release essentially telling BBWAA members to stop complaining.

MLB doesn't need to go nuclear - the BBWAA has zero leverage and both parties know it. As I said, maybe things would be different if the BBWAA was a large baseball media organization, but it's not, so it's a moot issue.
   58. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 25, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4309403)
And yet you think MLB would go nuclear to prove a point that doesn't need to be made and all over what is peanuts to them.


Well, yeah. Because it's not about these particular peanuts. It's about making sure the BBWAA knows its place, like the mob breaking a gambler's knees because he's a hundred short on his payment for the week. The bookie could live without the hundred bucks for a couple of days, but it's the principle of the thing. If they start thinking they can get away with the little things, they'll start trying to get away with the big ones.
   59. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: November 25, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4309409)
My favorite part of the future BBWAA produced award show? The puke green background.

I almost want them to produce the show to see what a great TV show looks like to a bunch of 50-65 year olds wearing bad suits.

   60. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 25, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4309419)
The next Spink Award announcement is still very acquirable. Networks, prepare your bids.
   61. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4309430)
MLB can create those awards now, but it won't be THE MVP, and thus won't have the same cachet


In the same way that the AP has a monopoly on college football polls?
   62. SoSH U at work Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4309435)
In the same way that the AP has a monopoly on college football polls?


I'm not sure AP ever had a monopoly on college football polls to begin with.*

But so what? There are other MVP type awards already. MLB has its terribly defined Hank Aaron Award. The IBA is out there. The Sporting News awards one. I'm sure there's an ESPY, though I've never paid any attention so I can't say for sure. The only one that people actually care about is the BBWAA's MVP, and it likely will stay that way because it's the only one they've ever cared about. Now, that's not to say that it couldn't someday be usurped by some other award, but like the Heisman Trophy, it's got a hell of a lot more weight behind it than any of the others.

Hell, how many threads at this place were devoted to the AL MVP race, despite the fact that we knew before the votes were counted that we were going to hate the result? And compare that to how much digital ink was spilled here over the other awards.

If Primates, many of whom have little respect for the BBWAA, can spend so much time arguing over the BBWAA awards and only the BBWAA awards, what would make one think their pre-eminence in the overall baseball world is in the least bit threatened?

* And for the record, the AP Poll's diminished stature relates to two things: the creation of the BCS, which incorporated the two major polls and a computer formula to create a single champion, and the AP's voluntary removal from inclusion in the BCS formula. Until then, it remained one of the two primary polls for CFB.
   63. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4309436)
They did.

Um, that isn't going nuclear.

MLB doesn't need to go nuclear - the BBWAA has zero leverage and both parties know it.

BBWAA does have leverage when it comes to MVP awards. BBWAA has very little leverage when it comes to shoes. If MLB tells BBWAA that all members must wear bikinis upon entering the stadium you'll see just how much leverage MLB has on that front as well.


Well, yeah. Because it's not about these particular peanuts. It's about making sure the BBWAA knows its place, like the mob breaking a gambler's knees because he's a hundred short on his payment for the week. The bookie could live without the hundred bucks for a couple of days, but it's the principle of the thing. If they start thinking they can get away with the little things, they'll start trying to get away with the big ones.

You still haven't answered the why. Why would MLB act like a mobster and why would they act like one on this issue? MLB is going to crack heads because they are afraid that at some BBWAA is going to demand what? A spot in the batting order? Ownership stakes? Your reasoning on this is illogical and extreme.
   64. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4309440)
Disobey the dress code, lose your access. Not only did the BBWAA conform, the first thing the new BBWAA president did was write a press release essentially telling BBWAA members to stop complaining.

Good to see there are still some standards. Perhaps MLB could also require sportswriters to wear hats. It was a good look for Max Mercy.
   65. KT's Pot Arb Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4309442)
Nearly every sportswriter? BBWAA members are a small percentage of baseball sportswriters, even among big media (I just counted on my ESPN distro list and I get 92% of full-timers as non-BBWAA members). And those BBWAA members would be fighting for something that gives them zero direct benefit.


Journalists, which sportswriters believe themselves to be, are highly protective of their bretheren when it comes to access because entities that threaten their access threaten their ability to both do, and have, their jobs. This isn't a triviality like dress codes. Most non-BBWAA members are going to support them, along with their editors. If the MLB cuts off the BBWAA, what's next? Barring individual writers when they write something negative about the MLB? Writers aren't going to wait to find out, theyll likely respond en masses in support.

The MLB's best case scenario is that non- BBWAA members ignore their ban on BBWAA members. OK, in that case they have banned 700+ writers whose publications will likely take significant action in response, such as no longer write any stories or columns about baseball teams, beyond printing daily box scores. Just imagine the impact in the 27 cities where MLB teams are located, and how much attendance could be affected. If each team wanted to maintain similar coverage in its home paper's sports section, it would be forced to hire its wn writers and purchase at least $5k-$10k per day of additional advertising space to run its own writer's coverage of the team. From the beginning of March until the end of September, each team would have to spend a minimum of $1M per season to get less effective coverage in ther local paper than they get now for free. Even if the local editors still cover the team, but minimize the number of stories, it's going to hurt badly, and likely cost each team tens of thousands per game in lost gate receipts (just 400 tickets per game is probably over $1.2M in gross annual revenues and close to $1M a year in profit, per team).

Anyone who proposes the MLB retaliate in any way against the BBWAA doesn't have the business sense needed to run a lemonade stand. BBWAA members stories and columns probably provide teams with close to $100M per year in free publicity. Any MLB exec who threatens them in a manner that causes teams to have an even temporary loss of that valuable resource will have made a career ending decision.

So no, its extremely likely that we will never find out whether other sportswriters will take advantage of the situation, or support their brethren. And even if it happens we probably won't, because the execs responsible at the MLB will certainly be fired within 2 days (one day for individual team presidents/marketing VPs to scream to their owners, and 1 day for Selig to field 30 angry phone calls from his bosses) and an effusive apology made by Selig to BBWAA writers before other sportswriters even have time to even make a decision.
   66. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4309447)
BBWAA does have leverage when it comes to MVP awards.


How? If MLB decided to take voting and recognition away from the BBWAA and give it to someone else, how many people would know, or care?

You still haven't answered the why. Why would MLB act like a mobster and why would they act like one on this issue?...Your reasoning on this is illogical and extreme.


I already answered it twice, including one time in the bit you're quoting: They'd do it to show the BBWAA (and anyone else who's watching) that they can't push MLB around and take dollars out of MLB's pocket. Why is Disney such an ####### about people using its intellectual property? Why does Mossad go to ridiculous lengths to punish ex-Nazis years after WWII ended? Why doesn't the schoolyard bully let you keep your lunch money once in a while, even if you ask nicely? Sending a message keeps all the smaller fish in line, and prevents problems down the road.
   67. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4309454)
OK, in that case they have banned 700+ writers whose publications will likely take significant action in response, such as no longer write any stories or columns about baseball teams, beyond printing daily box scores.


Heh, talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. You may not have noticed, but the newspaper industry as a whole ain't doing so hot. They don't have enough money to stand on principle like that these days - if fans aren't getting their game recap from the paper, they'll just go somewhere else to get it instead. Maybe even MLB.com. Whereas MLB has more than enough money to hold the ban until the writers cave.

Remember when the Royals pulled media credentials from two radio hosts over the tone of their coverage? Did the rest of the industry boycott the Royals in solidarity? Not so much...
   68. SoSH U at work Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4309455)

How? If MLB decided to take voting and recognition away from the BBWAA and give it to someone else, how many people would know, or care?


They can't take MVP voting away from the BBWAA.* It's the BBWAA's award. They can go out and create a similar type of award (which they kind of did with the Hank Aaron). But they can't do anything about the fact there's a good chance no one will care about the award they create, such as the case with the ignored Hank awards (quick, who won this year's?).

The NCAA can create a new best player award to go head-to-head with the Heisman. It won't mean dick, but they can do it.

* They may be able to take the Cy Young and Rookie votes, since those were created by MLB which they turned over to the BBWAA to vote on. I don't know how that would work.

   69. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4309467)
But they can't do anything about the fact there's a good chance no one will care about the award they create, such as the case with the ignored Hank awards (quick, who won this year's?).


People would care a lot less about the BBWAA's MVP award if MLB decided to stop recognizing it, in favor of a different MLB-supported award. The BBWAA's MVP award has popular legitimacy in large part because MLB recognizes it as legitimate.
   70. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4309474)
Who cares that MLB recognizes the MVP? If MLB ignored the award would anyone actually care?
   71. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4309479)
If MLB ignored the award would anyone actually care?


That was exactly my point. If MLB ignored the award, no one would care about it.
   72. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:18 AM (#4309481)
I already answered it twice, including one time in the bit you're quoting: They'd do it to show the BBWAA (and anyone else who's watching) that they can't push MLB around and take dollars out of MLB's pocket. Why is Disney such an ####### about people using its intellectual property? Why does Mossad go to ridiculous lengths to punish ex-Nazis years after WWII ended? Why doesn't the schoolyard bully let you keep your lunch money once in a while, even if you ask nicely? Sending a message keeps all the smaller fish in line, and prevents problems down the road.

So your position is that BBWAA and MLB are enemies and MLB must punish and destroy the BBWAA as if they were Mossad and BBWAA were Nazis. Got it. Totally rational and very much commonplace in the business world.

Secondly how is copyright infringement similar to MLB monetizing the MVP voting and award?

What problems down the road? Again, are the BBWAA guys going to ask for a spot in the lineup or something? MLB wishes to use something BBWAA does to generate money. Stepping on BBWAA's neck and screaming "take it biatch!" isn't really going to work in this situation and gains MLB virtually nothing while actually risking a good deal. MLB gains absolutely by taking your approach and I don't think MLB would ever take your approach in a million years on this issue or anything similar to it.
   73. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4309483)
That was exactly my point. If MLB ignored the award, no one would care about it.

Your point was that if MLB ignored the award no one would care that MLB ignored the award? Glad to see we are on the same page at the end.
   74. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:22 AM (#4309486)
Your point was that if MLB ignored the award no one would care that MLB ignored the award?


No, it was that if MLB ignored the award, no one would care about the award.

The Sporting News Rookie of the Year award used to be a big deal. Who gives a #### about it today?
   75. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4309489)
If the MLB cuts off the BBWAA, what's next?

MLB isn't going to cut off the BBWAA - it's a mutually beneficial relationship. But that doesn't mean they are going to pay the BBWAA for something it, and everyone else, has been getting for free. However, if MLB ever wanted to sock it to the BBWAA, it wouldn't cut off access, it'd just stop making special arrangements for food in the press box.
   76. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4309493)
The Sporting News Rookie of the Year award used to be a big deal. Who gives a #### about it today?

Who gives a #### about the Sporting News? The RoY award was established before the SN RoY award and was setup by the BBWAA. The SN RoY was somewhat of a big deal as long as SN was relevant to the discussion. When they faded they lost their media presence and so they lost the ability to trumpet their awards. BBWAA is still going and they still do a good job getting their voice heard in the media. Thus their awards are still relevant.

Remember when the Royals pulled media credentials from two radio hosts over the tone of their coverage? Did the rest of the industry boycott the Royals in solidarity? Not so much...

I see you have a problem with degrees. There is a difference between pulling credentials for two reporters (1 of whom got her credentials back while the other it appears to be a rather obnoxious and unprofessional sports talk guy) and pulling credentials off all BBWAA members.
   77. SoSH U at work Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4309495)

People would care a lot less about the BBWAA's MVP award if MLB decided to stop recognizing it, in favor of a different MLB-supported award. The BBWAA's MVP award has popular legitimacy in large part because MLB recognizes it as legitimate.


Yeah, that's nonsense. As long as the guys voting on the BBWAA are the guys writing about the MVP race, people will still care whether it has MLB's backing. To suggest otherwise strikes me as substituting your wishes for reality.

All of this is kind of silly anyway. MLB has no desire to go to war with the BBWAA over anything, for obvious reasons. The BBWAA has no desire to go to war with MLB, also for obvious reasons. If the BBWAA had been a little savvier, it likely could have gotten a little something when it turned over announcement of the MVP and other awards to the MLB Network, such as a contribution to a charitable effort or foundation. Having already given it away, it's not reasonable to think the organization could go back and ask for something now (nor is it clear that it would want to). Then again, if ESPN came calling wanting to broadcast the official announcement of the MVP award (unlikely as hell, as it might interfere with a show featuring guys yelling at each other), then perhaps BBWAA could extract a little from MLB, if it desired.

   78. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4309496)
MLB isn't going to cut off the BBWAA - it's a mutually beneficial relationship. But that doesn't mean they are going to pay the BBWAA for something it, and everyone else, has been getting for free.

And on the flipside it also doesn't mean that BBWAA won't change their stance when people start profiting off of product the BBWAA produces.
   79. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4309497)
Having already given it away, it's not reasonable to think the organization could go back and ask for something now (nor is it clear that it would want to). Then again, if ESPN came calling wanting to broadcast the official announcement of the MVP award (unlikely as hell, as it might interfere with a show featuring guys yelling at each other), then perhaps MLB could extract a little from MLB, if it desired.

Did BBWAA sign a waiver or a contract with MLB? If they hadn't I'm not sure why it is unreasonable for the BBWAA to ask for something for next year's awards. If you're saying that BBWAA can't ask for something for this years presentation then I agree with you in that they missed the boat for this year but this year alone.
   80. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4309499)
So your position is that BBWAA and MLB are enemies and MLB must punish and destroy the BBWAA as if they were Mossad and BBWAA were Nazis.


No, it's that MLB, like all big-time businesses, doesn't like people stepping on its turf, and will react harshly when that happens. The BBWAA is smart enough to understand that, so they won't challenge MLB on it, out of respect for the potential consequences.

Totally rational and very much commonplace in the business world.


Yes, exactly. People in the business world understand how leverage works. You think Wal-Mart pays a nickel more for its products than it has to? They squeeze out every penny they can get, even if it ##### their suppliers. That's what made them successful in the first place.

Secondly how is copyright infringement similar to MLB monetizing the MVP voting and award?


Copyright infringement takes money out of Disney's pocket. Paying a fee to broadcast the award would take money out of MLB's pocket. Seems like a pretty straightforward analogy to me.

What problems down the road?


Other people trying to take money out of MLB's pocket. Media members demanding more access. Networks offering less for TV deals. The MLBPA pushing harder in CBA negotiations. Local governments getting shirty about stadia or taxation or zoning issues. Basically anyone who would feel emboldened to act due to a perception that MLB was soft.

Stepping on BBWAA's neck and screaming "take it biatch!" isn't really going to work in this situation...


Only because the BBWAA will never let it get to that point. They're too afraid of the consequences, with good reason.
   81. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4309502)
As long as the guys voting on the BBWAA are the guys writing about the MVP race, people will still care whether it has MLB's backing.


As Dan already noted, only a small fraction of the guys writing about the MVP race are BBWAA members.

MLB has no desire to go to war with the BBWAA over anything, for obvious reasons.


Oh, of course not. But if the BBWAA tried to squeeze money out of them (which they won't), they wouldn't just roll over and show their bellies.
   82. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:44 AM (#4309504)
No, it's that MLB, like all big-time businesses, doesn't like people stepping on its turf, and will react harshly when that happens. The BBWAA is smart enough to understand that, so they won't challenge MLB on it, out of respect for the potential consequences.

The BBWAA's awards are MLB's "turf"?


Yes, exactly. People in the business world understand how leverage works. You think Wal-Mart pays a nickel more for its products than it has to? They squeeze out every penny they can get, even if it ##### their suppliers. That's what made them successful in the first place.

So you understand that despite having leverage businesses still pay for goods and yet you can't understand why MLB would have to pay BBWAA for BBWAA's awards should BBWAA decide that is what it wants and MLB wishes to monetize those awards?

Also;
They squeeze out every penny they can get, even if it ##### their suppliers.


Um, no.


Copyright infringement takes money out of Disney's pocket. Paying a fee to broadcast the award would take money out of MLB's pocket. Seems like a pretty straightforward analogy to me.


I'm beginning to see a trend here concerning your business acumen.

Other people trying to take money out of MLB's pocket. Media members demanding more access. Networks offering less for TV deals. The MLBPA pushing harder in CBA negotiations. Local governments getting shirty about stadia or taxation or zoning issues. Basically anyone who would feel emboldened to act due to a perception that MLB was soft.

You know this isn't 1938 Europe, right? This isn't some Machiavellian game the world is playing. MLB wishes to use a product that they do not own or control. Everybody on the plant except maybe you would understand why MLB would purchase that product and virtually no one would think MLB had gone "soft" and go for MLB's juggular because of that. Do networks go in for the kill when some team over pays for Neifi Perez?

Only because the BBWAA will never let it get to that point. They're too afraid of the consequences, with good reason.

So the BBWAA are a bunch of slaves and they do the awards because they fear their master's whip?
   83. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4309507)
As Dan already noted, only a small fraction of the guys writing about the MVP race are BBWAA members.

Yeah that is nice to believe but I don't really buy it. A ton of BBWAA writers write about the awards and because they do a bunch of other people then also write about it and talk about it.

BBWAA writers don't really write about the Hank Aaron award or the Silver Slugger award and consequently no one else does either. If you had a core group of writers the size of the BBWAA fretting about who did and didn't get a Silver Slugger award those awards would be a lot bigger deal and consequently more people would talk about them. Since they don't do that nobody cares about them.

Gold Glove awards get barely a blip of notice when they get announced and usually only get noticed when something screwy goes on.
   84. SoSH U at work Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4309508)
As Dan already noted, only a small fraction of the guys writing about the MVP race are BBWAA members.


And an even smaller fraction of the guys writing about the MVP race are affiliated with MLB. Very few of us here are members of the BBWAA, yet we talk about the BBWAA MVP races (and only them) all the time. Why do you think that would change just because MLB said it was no longer going to do the almost nothing it did in the past in regards to the MVP?

The organization's award may have needed MLB's seal in getting started. Now? No. It's the one with the history, the one with the built-in audience, and would survive on its own just fine.
   85. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:58 AM (#4309510)
The BBWAA's awards are MLB's "turf"?


MLB's money is MLB's turf. If the BBWAA tries to exploit the awards to take money away from MLB, they're stepping on MLB's turf.

So you understand that despite having leverage businesses still pay for goods and yet you can't understand why MLB would have to pay BBWAA for BBWAA's awards should BBWAA decide that is what it wants and MLB wishes to monetize those awards?


I don't understand why MLB would pay for the BBWAA's awards when they can use their leverage in other areas of the business relationship between the two entities to get them for free.

Um, no.


No? You sure about that?

MLB wishes to use a product that they do not own or control. Everybody on the plant except maybe you would understand why MLB would purchase that product...


If MLB willingly paid for something they could get for free, people would see them as suckers. And rightly so.

So the BBWAA are a bunch of slaves and they do the awards because they fear their master's whip?


They do the awards because their members like being able to act like kingmakers and get popular attention for doing their jobs. But they're wholly dependent on MLB for the access that they need in order to do their jobs, which is why there's a limit on how hard they'll push MLB on business-related matters. Guys who rock the boat get pushed over the side, and no one will mourn their passing.
   86. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:02 AM (#4309512)
How? If MLB decided to take voting and recognition away from the BBWAA and give it to someone else, how many people would know, or care?


I'm pretty sure if you ask the average baseball fan who votes on:

Gold Glove Awards
Silver Slugger Awards
MVP Awards
Cy Young Award
Rookie of the Year
Manager of the Year
Hank Aaron Award
Rolaids Relief Man Award

they wouldn't have a clue, and would probably just assume it's a bunch of "baseball people" (GMs, coaches, players).

The BBWAA is about as important and powerful in baseball to the average fan as the accounting firm for the Oscars is to movie fans.
   87. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4309513)
Yeah that is nice to believe but I don't really buy it.


You don't believe that the guy who writes for ESPN has an accurate idea of how many of his colleagues are in the BBWAA?

BBWAA writers don't really write about the Hank Aaron award or the Silver Slugger award and consequently no one else does either.


Part of the reason that nobody writes about those awards is that they're for smaller subgroups of players, and therefore less interesting.

Very few of us here are members of the BBWAA, yet we talk about the BBWAA MVP races (and only them) all the time.


Sure, because the BBWAA MVP is the only game in town. If MLB started their own MVP award, that would change. Particularly if MLB threw voting for that new award over to a different group of writers...
   88. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4309514)
I don't understand why MLB would pay for the BBWAA's awards when they can use their leverage in other areas of the business relationship between the two entities to get them for free.

Because it isn't worth it.

No? You sure about that?

Yes.

If MLB willingly paid for something they could get for free, people would see them as suckers. And rightly so.

They get it for free because the BBWAA currently gives it away for free. People, besides you, understand that.

They do the awards because their members like being able to act like kingmakers and get popular attention for doing their jobs. But they're wholly dependent on MLB for the access that they need in order to do their jobs, which is why there's a limit on how hard they'll push MLB on business-related matters.

I agree there is a limit to what they can ask for and it isn't a high limit but MLB wishes to make money off of BBWAA property and virtually nobody would think it would be absurd and out of bounds for BBWAA to ask for something in return.
   89. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:09 AM (#4309517)
Part of the reason that nobody writes about those awards is that they're for smaller subgroups of players, and therefore less interesting.

Huh? The best players in the game are a smaller subgroup than the best players in the game? The biggest and most giantest reason nobody talks about these awards is because the journalists don't talk about these awards. Plain and simple.


Sure, because the BBWAA MVP is the only game in town. If MLB started their own MVP award, that would change. Particularly if MLB threw voting for that new award over to a different group of writers...

Which group would that be? Bloggers? Maybe in another decade that'll mean more but why would MLB spend the time and energy to organize and legitimize a new award when they have a bunch of awards that already have value to them and can be had really cheaply? Are you telling me that if BBWAA simply wants MLB to pay for the award ceremony that is being televised and to kick in 50 grand you'd tell the BBWAA to go pound sand and if they didn't like it that you'd crush their throat with your iron-soled boots?
   90. KT's Pot Arb Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:18 AM (#4309520)
Heh, talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. You may not have noticed, but the newspaper industry as a whole ain't doing so hot. They don't have enough money to stand on principle like that these days - if fans aren't getting their game recap from the paper, they'll just go somewhere else to get it instead. Maybe even MLB.com. Whereas MLB has more than enough money to hold the ban until the writers cave.


Again, you understand so little about business that you couldn't run a Popsicle stand. You don't alienate your most cost effective marketing resource to try to screw them out of an amount of money that is less than one thousandth of the value they give you for free every year.

The BBWAA provides the MLB with a massive amount of free coverage that significantly contributes to attendance. You mistakenly believe the MLB is a large monolithic organization with massive powers, when it's a weak central organization that is controlled by and run for the benefit of team Owners. Any exec who works for the MLB would commit career suicide picking a fight with the BBWAA that would hurt team's local attendance even slightly, because it would cost each owner millions a year, and for what, to "teach a lesson" to their most prized and important free PR medium so MLB.com can avoid paying the BBWAA a minor honorarium that is a fraction of what this moronic "war" costs each owner?

Sure newspapers are a declining business, but covering the MLB is one of many reasons people read the papers. As I pointed out, even if the Sports Editor merely decides to downplay coverage of the local team, which they obviously will do given their best reporter or columnists have been banned from games, it can cost teams millions a year even if the team loses less than a thousand people per game (or a tiny fraction of the TV/Radio audiences).

It wont' be the newspapers cutting off their own nose, it will be the MLB cutting both of their noses off. The MLB has zero staying power because every teams president and marketing directors are suddenly going to fear missing their ticket sales targets, bonuses, and possibly getting canned, and those MLB execs who made the decision will become marked men with the clock ticking quickly down to zero on the high water mark of their careers. You really believe the MLB execs are going to risk their jobs and damaging a relationship worth a hundred million dollars a year to the MLB just to try to avoid paying a few hundred thousand to the BBWAA to help them increase the appeal, ratings and value of one of their shows?

Remember when the Royals pulled media credentials from two radio hosts over the tone of their coverage? Did the rest of the industry boycott the Royals in solidarity? Not so much...


It was one backwater team, 2 journalists, and the Society of Professional Journalists actually wrote a protest letter. But more importantly, the Royals started a blog to spur coverage of the team after the incident, why do you think they did that? It was a clear reflection of their realization that their idiotic move was costing the team coverage and their dumb blog was the easiest thing they could think of to try to fix the bleeding.

But again, this was a misguided owner shooting himself in the foot, who will defend his idiocy until his dying day out of personal pride, but do you really think if someone else shoots him in his foot he'd forgive them?

Even as dumb as David Glass is, if the MLB starts randomly banning the most important local journalists covering his team, and he starts losing ticket sales directly because of it, or fears he will, he will burn up the line to Selig along with every other owner, and Bud won't hesitate to can every MLB exec responsible to ensure that his reign as the highest paid commissioner in sports continues as long as possible.

Obviously the light has to have been going off for you, you are way above your head here in understanding business decisions and even how the MLB is structured. You had a choice of pulling back, saying nevermind, or just calling it a night and realize everyone would forget about it in a day. But instead, you chose to go full retard...
   91. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:36 AM (#4309526)
Because it isn't worth it.


It isn't worth it to get them without paying, when they don't even need to fight to do so? You're awfully free with MLB's money, McCoy.

Yes.


None so blind as them that refuse to see, I guess.

They get it for free because the BBWAA currently gives it away for free.


Yes, and the BBWAA gives it away for free because if they tried to screw with MLB over money, MLB could crush them like a grape.

Huh? The best players in the game are a smaller subgroup than the best players in the game?


The "best hitter in the game" is a smaller subgroup than the "best player in the game", and the "best-hitting catcher" or "best-hitting third baseman" is an even smaller subgroup than that.

Which group would that be?


The vast majority of sportswriters who aren't in the BBWAA.

Are you telling me that if BBWAA simply wants MLB to pay for the award ceremony that is being televised and to kick in 50 grand you'd tell the BBWAA to go pound sand and if they didn't like it that you'd crush their throat with your iron-soled boots?


That's like asking what would happen if a rabbit attacked a tiger.
   92. Srul Itza At Home Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4309527)
A lot of speculation and very little actual fact -- so what else is new from a BBTF thread?

Something is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. What is wrong with the BBWAA finding out if MLB or ESPN or FoxSports is willing to pay something to be the first announcer of the awards, and to build a show around it, or around a show where all the awards are announced at once? If somebody is willing to pay, then BBWAA can collect some money. If not, then not.

The "threat" of MLB getting mad and creating their own awards is pretty minimal (especially if BBWAA owns TMs on Cy Young Award, etc.) The worst that would probably happen is that BBWAA would end up back where they started, announcing their own awards.
   93. SoSH U at work Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4309530)
Sure, because the BBWAA MVP is the only game in town. If MLB started their own MVP award, that would change. Particularly if MLB threw voting for that new award over to a different group of writers...


It's not the only game in town, as I noted earlier. It's the only game in town that matters. There's a difference.

MLB started the Aaron award. No one cares, including you.

MLB's seal has not driven interest in the MVP award (at least it hasn't for a very long time). Hell, until the move to put the announcement on MLB Network, MLB had almost nothing to do with the award. It exists entirely on its own, and as the "real MVP," the one with the lineage to the greats, it will exist independent of any MLB backing.

The BBWAA is about as important and powerful in baseball to the average fan as the accounting firm for the Oscars is to movie fans.


Presumably, the Oscar people can take the vote-counting responsibilities away from the accounting firm. They can't do that to the BBWAA with baseball's most important award, which is kind of an important distinction.

   94. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:43 AM (#4309532)
That's like asking what would happen if a rabbit attacked a tiger.

So that is a yes then? You would tell BBWAA to bugger off if they asked MLB to pay for the ceremony and give 50 grand and in return MLB gets to announce the winners when they want to announce the winners?
   95. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:44 AM (#4309533)
A few of you guys keep making the same mistake. BBWAA is a subset of baseball media. It's not baseball media as a whole. And MLB doesn't need a nuclear war - the BBWAA has historically been very compliants to what MLB tells them.

In addition, the free publicity isn't something that writers they do out of the goodness of their hearts, it's because that's what they are paid by their newspapers/publications to do because there's a market for it. The "withholding of publicity" threat is absolutely punchless - there aren't enough BBWAA members to execute such a threat, only a minority of *that* minority subset would risk losing their livelihood over something they would receive little advantage from, and most of them have employers who want to cover baseball.
   96. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:46 AM (#4309535)
The "withholding of publicity" threat is absolutely punchless

Um, that isn't the threat being discussed, that is a strawman argument.
   97. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:55 AM (#4309538)
As Dan already noted, only a small fraction of the guys writing about the MVP race are BBWAA members.


Yeah, while I hate appeal to authority arguments, I don't think it unreasonable to consider me an expert at counting names on a contact list in my possession!

One surprising thing I've learned in the least couple of years is that Chass is detested as widely by a *lot* of non-sabermetric guys to the degree that he is in the sabermetric community. That Stan Musial smear blog entry last year did not go unnoticed.
   98. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:01 AM (#4309539)
The BBWAA provides the MLB with a massive amount of free coverage that significantly contributes to attendance.


How long are newspapers going to pay baseball writers to not write about baseball? If MLB and the BBWAA went to war (which they won't, because the BBWAA knows their place), the BBWAA would go right back to writing about baseball after MLB got done slapping them down, because that's their business, and like Dan said, none of these guys other than Chass actually want to fight over this kind of stuff. They know that it's a lot easier for a paper to hire new writers than it is to steal meat from a tiger.

It wont' be the newspapers cutting off their own nose, it will be the MLB cutting both of their noses off.


Yes, but MLB is starting out with a much larger nose than the writers will be, so they'll have plenty left after the point has been made.

You really believe the MLB execs are going to risk their jobs and damaging a relationship worth a hundred million dollars a year to the MLB just to try to avoid paying a few hundred thousand to the BBWAA to help them increase the appeal, ratings and value of one of their shows?


When was the last time MLB willingly left money on the table, even if getting it involved long-term damage to the brand? Look at the recent changes to the draft (which drives talent into other sports), or the sale of TV rights to the highest bidder regardless of the manner of presentation or priority within the network lineup.

It was one backwater team, 2 journalists, and the Society of Professional Journalists actually wrote a protest letter.


Ooh, a protest letter! I bet the Royals were shaking in their boots!

The suspended reporters' own stations were trashing them on the air the next day. The Royals kept the ban in place for the rest of the year. And two years later, both reporters were gone from the market.

But more importantly, the Royals started a blog to spur coverage of the team after the incident, why do you think they did that? It was a clear reflection of their realization that their idiotic move was costing the team coverage and their dumb blog was the easiest thing they could think of to try to fix the bleeding.


And it worked. The ban held, other outlets continued to cover the Royals, and the team successfully pushed the reporters in question out of the market. So in exchange for a little bit of short term pain, they got everything they wanted.

Even as dumb as David Glass is, if the MLB starts randomly banning the most important local journalists covering his team, and he starts losing ticket sales directly because of it, or fears he will, he will burn up the line to Selig along with every other owner, and Bud won't hesitate to can every MLB exec responsible to ensure that his reign as the highest paid commissioner in sports continues as long as possible.


If an owner is dumb enough to complain, Selig will explain to the slow learner why it's in MLB's interest to hold the line, and if the owner is dumb enough to keep complaining, Selig will put him on the #### list henceforth and forever, and the rest of the owners will back his play. MLB cancelled a World Series and a big chunk of a season under Selig. That's a hell of a lot more money than a handful of newspaper articles, and Selig came out of it as strong as ever.

Obviously the light has to have been going off for you...


I picked up on the fact that you're not the brightest bulb in the drawer, and that arguing with you on this is probably a waste of time. Lesson learned, I guess.
   99. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:07 AM (#4309543)
Yeah, while I hate appeal to authority arguments, I don't think it unreasonable to consider me an expert at counting names on a contact list in my possession!

And how many views does that "small fraction" get for their pieces and how many pieces are written because of their decisions? It's like arguing that Congress is but a small fraction of the American population so what they say and doesn't really matter. The BBWAA when it comes to their awards are the driving force and they are the ones that made those awards relevant and do a great deal to keep them relevant to this day.

Dan, is it your position as well that should BBWAA ask for something in return for an arrangement concerning the awards that MLB should say no?
   100. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:08 AM (#4309544)
MLB started the Aaron award. No one cares, including you.


The Aaron award isn't a MVP award, and MLB doesn't promote it as such. That's why nobody cares about it.

So that is a yes then?


It's a, "God, what a pointless question. I can't believe someone actually asked me that."

Um, that isn't the threat being discussed, that is a strawman argument.


You may want to re-read the thread. Post #90 is a good example.
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMike Carp designated for assignment, Mookie Betts called up - Over the Monster
(1 - 6:36pm, Aug 01)
Last: Batman

NewsblogNeyer: The Jim Johnson Gambit fails
(8 - 6:24pm, Aug 01)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(176 - 6:23pm, Aug 01)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

NewsblogYankees land infielders Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at Deadline
(38 - 6:18pm, Aug 01)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogMariners notebook: Zduriencik fires back at critics | Mariners Insider - The News Tribune
(27 - 6:15pm, Aug 01)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogGiants Designate Dan Uggla, Tyler Colvin
(10 - 6:12pm, Aug 01)
Last: dr. scott

NewsblogJose Bautista, Casey Janssen “frustrated” and “disappointed” by Jays’ lack of deadline activity
(4 - 5:51pm, Aug 01)
Last: Daniel in Toronto

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(577 - 5:46pm, Aug 01)
Last: puck

NewsblogJim Bowden Caught Stealing From Fake Twitter Account, Deletes Everything
(27 - 5:46pm, Aug 01)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - August 2014
(16 - 5:40pm, Aug 01)
Last: robinred

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-1-2014
(8 - 5:26pm, Aug 01)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

NewsblogDiamondbacks call up former elite prospect Andy Marte
(9 - 5:24pm, Aug 01)
Last: bfan

NewsblogRosendo ‘Rusty’ Torres found guilty of 5 counts of sex abuse, acquitted of 3 other charges
(10 - 5:15pm, Aug 01)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogGeorge "The Animal" Steele Mangles A Baseball
(159 - 4:38pm, Aug 01)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogMiklasz: Mozeliak sets off a loud wake-up call
(12 - 4:12pm, Aug 01)
Last: Ron J2

Page rendered in 0.6826 seconds
52 querie(s) executed