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Friday, August 08, 2014

Orioles-Nationals MASN Dispute: The case that Major League Baseball has cheated the Orioles

It’s not just conjecture by MASN that the RSDC ignored the Bortz methodology. The Managing Director of Bortz stated in an affidavit that the RSDC “improperly ignored facts and intentionally ignored other applicable reports that applied the established methodology” - all in order to find in favor of the Nationals, which, as far as MASN/the Orioles are concerned, it had planned to do for years, going back to when MLB was selling the Nationals franchise.

One way that the RSDC juked numbers to rule in the Nationals’ favor, MASN lays out in its petition, is that the RSDC considered as a baseline numbers from the 2007 season, which, as the first year of MASN’s existence, are not representative of how it has performed in any year since and particularly not in the present.

...

By shifting money from MASN profits to the rights fees, the Orioles suffer in two ways. One, they lose the 85% of money that they would have collected from what would be shifted to the Nationals rights fees. Two, they would lose 34% of money shifted to their own rights fees as part of the revenue sharing tax. If the result of the arbitration is that both the Orioles and Nationals make $60 million more in rights fees, that’s potentially $71 million annually that now goes to the Orioles that would be lost if this arbitration award is forced upon them.

I know there have been previous links on the MASN dispute, but this a nice summary of what’s happened and the broader implications.

birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: August 08, 2014 at 12:36 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bud selig, masn, nationals, orioles

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   1. Joey B. Posted: August 08, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4767356)
If you can't get an unbiased, straightforward viewpoint on this subject on Camden Chat from a writer with the Twitter handle "@EatMoreEsskay", then you can't get one anywhere.
   2. Chris Needham Posted: August 08, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4767402)
Despite being required to use the Bortz methodology, which MASN had already consulted, the committee ruled in June, as we only found out a week ago, in favor of the Nationals.


Well, no. That's one of the facts that's at dispute.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 08, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4767409)
The claim that the arbitration panel was biased due to financial self-interest seems weak. The money moved into the revenue sharing pool by upping the Nationals to fair market value is de minimis for an industry rolling in dough. If that logic is applied, MLB owners could no longer be decision makers on all kinds of issues. Can't see the courts, or other MLB owners, buying that.
   4. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: August 08, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4767438)
Well, no. That's one of the facts that's at dispute.

Has the RSDC said that they used the Bortz methodology elsewhere? What evidence exists that the RSDC used it? Obviously just because the Bortz Media & Sports Group said it wasn't used doesn't mean Bortz methodology was ignored. But at the least the article reviews facts that shows why the Bortz methodology was not used. I don't see counter facts supporting that it was used at this point.
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 08, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4767455)
Lawyer: Your honor, I would like to open by conceding that my clients, MLB baseball and the Nationals baseball franchise, are run by deceitful and objectionable people, and did unfairly rig the arbitration panel to cheat the Orioles of a substantial amounts of monies owed them in this agreement. But in their defense, if they had not committed these despicable acts, the monies would have gone into the pockets of Peter Angelos, so I would like to move for a summary judgement in favor of my clients.

Judge: May it be so ruled!
   6. donlock Posted: August 09, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4767611)
When DC moved into the Baltimore territory, it was unusual in that the new team had the bigger media market. It would be as if Oakland was in the Bay area and then San Francisco came later. Usually the big guy resents the newcomer shrinking his market. That is what would happen if MLB moved a team to Portland or San Antonio or Hartford. The big team would scream and would demand an accommodation for lost attendance and TV money.

The Orioles did this when the Nats moved to DC. They realized that they were going to lose several hundred thousand fans a year and a lot of tv revenue. To make it work, the MASN deal was arranged. Now the DC faction wants to split the tv money on an equal basis. Baltimore still is missing the suburban Maryland-DC fans that used to go up to Camden Yards and the DC television revenue. Baltimore has only been able to compete as a mid-major when 1) Camden Yards was built,2) the Colts and Bullets left town and 3)the Senators left DC.Now it competes because of the MASN money.

It may be sad that this is so but Baltimore and Washington had trouble drawing fans when they both had teams twice in the past -the old Senators and the expansion Senators both left town because their owners couldn't or didn't make money. Now the third time around DC has a bigger market with the Northern Virginia fans but the owners want an even share of the TV money

The deal that Angelos worked out was not meant to be even. It was meant to be his compensation for losing DC fans and TV money. I don't see how taking millions from the Orioles and giving it to the Nationals will help the two teams in the region. As it stand now, both teams are successful, both have fair to good attendance and a rivalry is developing. The original agreement and intent of the unbalanced TV revenue has made it possible.Why change a plan that has worked? The Nats are not suffering financially. Neither team will draw 3 million fans but they both can draw 2.5 million and compete in their division.

One last point would be that if a ruling goes down that the Orioles must give millions of MASN money to DC, the possibility exists that the now free tv would be a premium item for O's fans as it is in other cities (LA, for one). A few years back Oriole fans had to pay for Home Team Sports to see the games on cable.If a new TV deal raises the earnings from $29 million to $100 million, where is this money coming from? More commercials during the games or a user fee?
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 09, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4767617)
The original agreement and intent of the unbalanced TV revenue has made it possible.Why change a plan that has worked?

What is being changed? The MASN Agreement requires that rights fees be reviewed every 5 years, that the Nationals be paid fair market value, and that MLB arbitrate any dispute as to fair market value. It appears that Angelos doesn't want to live up to those terms, which would seem to give the Nationals and/or MLB the ability to force him to comply with the arbitration decision, or declare Angelos & MASN to be in breach of the agreement and set the Nationals free to pursue their own deal.
   8. DFA Posted: August 09, 2014 at 02:09 AM (#4767629)
If you can't get an unbiased, straightforward viewpoint on this subject on Camden Chat from a writer with the Twitter handle "@EatMoreEsskay", then you can't get one anywhere.


Mark Brown (@EatMoreEsskay) is a good dude, so taking a shot his objectivity because you disagree with him is weak sauce IMO.
   9. Belfry Bob Posted: August 09, 2014 at 02:45 AM (#4767631)
The deal that Angelos worked out was not meant to be even. It was meant to be his compensation for losing DC fans and TV money.


Thank you, Don. I get tired of the pot shots taken at the Orioles and Angelos by a vocal minority of poor widdle ole Nats fans who seem to feel that their team is entitled to the whole friggin' pie.

And Matt Brown IS a good guy, not that facts ever stopped Joey from bashing someone.

So when is someone going to post a link to Friday's Braves-Nats game?
   10. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 09, 2014 at 03:56 AM (#4767632)
DC was Orioles territory. MLB wanted, by hook or crook, to move the Expos into it. This is the deal they got, but we can't expect them to live with it. What I don't get is why Bud wants a team to have more money that might spend it. That's not his usual agenda. I guess he wants the nation's capital to be a flagship market, but considering how hard he's worked to hurt the Yankees, it's hard to believe he cares about such things.
   11. JE (Jason) Posted: August 09, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4767645)
Mark Brown (@EatMoreEsskay) is a good dude, so taking a shot his objectivity because you disagree with him is weak sauce IMO.

So you're saying a stronger sauce is required to eat more Esskay?
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 09, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4767669)
I've gotta pull for the O's in this one, if for no other reason than to goose up the annual cost of Joey's diaper cleaning. In fact it's only my residual hometown instinct that keeps me from rooting for the Braves, and for the same reason. (smile)
   13. toratoratora Posted: August 09, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4767673)
It may be sad that this is so but Baltimore and Washington had trouble drawing fans when they both had teams twice in the past -the old Senators and the expansion Senators both left town because their owners couldn't or didn't make money. Now the third time around DC has a bigger market with the Northern Virginia fans but the owners want an even share of the TV money

Things have changed pretty drastically in the area since the Senators Redux moved. DC has grown tremendously in the past few decades as private industry has moved into the region chasing government contracts, especially around the Navy Yard.NOVA has become one of the Silicon Valleys of the decade, undergoing a massive explosion of hi tech industry and entrepreneurship. Finish by noting that several of the wealthiest counties in the country surround DC on both the MD and VA sides. In the late 60's/early 70's,much of the area between Baltimore and DC was farmland, now it's all burbs, with education and wealth to match.
Between the TV market, the rising, albeit spread out population, and the high income levels of the locals, and there are more than enough people to support two teams.
It's a very different scenario than things once were.

The deal that Angelos worked out was not meant to be even. It was meant to be his compensation for losing DC fans and TV money. I don't see how taking millions from the Orioles and giving it to the Nationals will help the two teams in the region. As it stand now, both teams are successful, both have fair to good attendance and a rivalry is developing. The original agreement and intent of the unbalanced TV revenue has made it possible.Why change a plan that has worked? The Nats are not suffering financially. Neither team will draw 3 million fans but they both can draw 2.5 million and compete in their division.

I'm sorry but this is silly.
Why change the plan?
-The O's pay the Nats $30 mil a year for cable rights. The Nats asked for between 100-120 million. That's a bit more than a few million. While the Nats may not be "suffering financially," I bet they'd be doing a whole lot better with that loot in their bank account
-The O's already got their payoff. By contract that period ended in 2011 after which Angelos was supposed to pay fair market value. There's no changing of plans here. If anything, the Nats are trying to stick to the plan and the O's, out of greed, are defying it.What's happening instead is simply that Angelos doesn't want to surrender his IGG.
-It ain't as if Angelos has shown any tendency to spend the money. At least the Nats have been willing to open their wallets and spend, which, considering the O's could be shafting them out of $100 mil a year, that's kind of amazing.
-This isn't the NFL. It's not about "'helping the two teams in the region." It's about the fact that Pete and the O's are stealing cash from their fellow business partner in defiance of contract, baseball and arbitration.
-The Nats are under no obligation to fund/support poor Pete. They already have. This isn't communism. They have no moral duty to provide him welfare. In fact, considering how Pete blocked the franchise, how he essentially blackmailed his way into this deal via regional rights, that he's made a freaking fortune off the TV rights while the Nats have been paying down their debt and building a franchise,that's he's still trying to screw them now, and that he is in general a complete A-hole who has utterly failed in the good neighbor policy, they have any number of reasons to abhor the man and zero to support him.
-I bet you would howl holy hell if someone snaked up to $100 mil a year from you or your business. That's real money, more than almost every other teams claimed profits most years. Imagine for the sake of fun that the Nats reinvest 100%(Hah!) of that on the field. At $7m/WAR, that's an extra 14 WAR a year the Nats are fielding-think that would help their franchise much?
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 09, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4767678)
I don't know how it factors into all these legal arguments, but it's safe to say that Baltimore is still a better baseball town than Washington, at least if you go by per capita attendance and TV ratings:

Nationals TV ratings down 34 percent

The 2013 Nats started off slowly, underachieved for most of the season, never really contended for a playoff berth and fell far short of 2012's happiness and joy.

The 2014 Nats have been flirting with first place for weeks and enter the all-star break tied for first in the division, within a game of the NL’s best mark and with the best run differential in the National League.

And yet the team’s local television ratings are down, substantially. According to SportsBusiness Journal’s annual July assessment of local TV ratings for baseball’s 29 U.S. franchises, Nationals ratings in the D.C. television market on MASN/MASN2 and WDCW WUSA are averaging a 1.90 rating, which is down 34 percent from the same point last season. That’s the third-biggest drop in baseball, behind just the Dodgers — who are struggling with distribution on their new regional network — and the last-place Rangers.

The Nats are averaging 46,000 homes through the first week of July; last year at this time, they were averaging 67,000 homes, and I was writing about how much ratings were up.

In the Baltimore market, meanwhile, the Orioles are averaging a 5.58 rating and 62,000 homes for broadcasts on MASN, MASN2 and WJZ, according to SportsBusiness Journal. That’s down 7 percent from the same time last season.

The Nats have the 21st biggest average rating of the American teams, and the 24th biggest average audience. The Orioles have the eighth biggest average rating, and the 17th biggest average audience....

A possible explanation? Well, Washington was the country’s top-rated English-language World Cup market over the past six weeks. Were D.C.-area sports fans transforming their casual Nats fandom into casual World Cup fandom? Or do 23,000 households just miss Davey Johnson so much that they’re no longer tuning in?
   15. #6bid is partially elite Posted: August 09, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4767680)
Things have changed pretty drastically in the area since the Senators Redux moved. DC has grown tremendously in the past few decades...


This. DC/Baltimore is now the 4th largest metro area in America, with a million more people than SF-Oakland-San Jose and only 600,000 fewer than Chicago.
   16. Belfry Bob Posted: August 09, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4767687)
-I bet you would howl holy hell if someone snaked up to $100 mil a year from you or your business.


It was interesting to read THIS right after you demonized Angelos for doing exactly this. I love the reference that he's been a 'bad neighbor' when the presence of the Nats cut off a huge chunk of his market, leaving the O's with everything between Montgomery County and York, PA.

Trying to stop a team coming to DC was something anyone would have done. How cooperative have the Giants been with the A's? How's that team in New Jersey coming along?

   17. depletion Posted: August 09, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4767695)
The O's had no case to stop the Nats from moving in, as they play in different leagues. I understand that the TV/radio deal is a separate issue, but they've had 9 years to make cash off the Nats broadcasts. It can't go on that way forever. Many people in the DC area are still, and will remain, O's fans. So I don't see the O's have much of a logical case here. Legally, I have no clue.
   18. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 09, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4767742)
No case, eh? What about the Giants keeping the A's out of San Jose? I don't see Bud stepping up to do anything about that. Territorial rights are a real thing . . . except when they're not.
   19. McCoy Posted: August 09, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4767744)
If the O's had wanted the market they should have moved to DC.
   20. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 09, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4767749)
Same with the Giants, then.
   21. depletion Posted: August 09, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4767750)
It was the case, at one time, that a team could block other teams from moving nearby only if they were in the same league. I'm pretty sure that the A's "problem" in moving to SJ has as much to do with Media rights as live event rights. I don't really keep up on this, so sorry if I got the story wrong.
Regards,
Tim
   22. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 09, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4767754)
The folks defending Angelos are missing the point. It isn't the Nationals trying to change the MASN deal, it's Angelos.
   23. DKDC Posted: August 09, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4767770)
I personally can't wait to see MASN's financials, which will have to come out as part of the litigation.

If the market value of the Nationals TV rights are really worth $100 million or more, then the revenue associated with that would have to be even higher depending on operating costs and profit margin in the industry.

And the same would be true of the Orioles TV rights, which based on ratings would have to be generating revenue in the same zip code.

So has MASN brought in the $3-5 billion in revenue and $1-2 billion in profits over the last 10 years that this market value would suggest?
   24. donlock Posted: August 09, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4767788)
It's not clear to me that all of the financial compensation was supposed to end after 5 years. Why would Angelos have ever agreed to that? The conditions of sharing his market didn't disappear in five years. The package was to be re-evaluated and DC was to get more of a MASN percentage each year up to 33%.

I think both franchises are run well and have comparable payrolls. While there are many people in the combined market, neither team gets all the revenue from being the fourth biggest metro area. The market includes two large cities with poor populations. Neither team draws many city fans. With all the population and competitive teams, they should both draw much better but both are middle of MLB in average attendance.

I also question where the hundred million in TV revenue is. Did the Orioles make tons of money from being the TV provider for this #4 market? Weren't both teams collecting a more modest $20-30 million a year? Is this market going to make huge revenues in years to come to justify $100+ million for each team? I doubt this is a mega market a rung under NY,LA and Chicago. Not even sure it makes sense to combine the metro areas(40 miles apart). Individually are DC and Baltimore even comparable to Philadelphia, Atlanta or Boston? Imagine adding a team to one of these markets.
   25. BDC Posted: August 09, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4767798)
Between the TV market, the rising, albeit spread out population, and the high income levels of the locals, and there are more than enough people to support two teams. It's a very different scenario than things once were.

The leading indicator there might be the relocation of the Browns/Ravens to Baltimore in 1996. Before that, the two cities had a long history in both baseball and football of not being able to sustain a team in each for very long. But it's now 18 years of a viable coexistence in the NFL (albeit with a much different revenue structure), and a decade in MLB which should turn into many more decades if some of these issues can be resolved.
   26. Curse of the Andino Posted: August 09, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4767805)
The leading indicator there might be the relocation of the Browns/Ravens to Baltimore in 1996. Before that, the two cities had a long history in both baseball and football of not being able to sustain a team in each for very long. But it's now 18 years of a viable coexistence in the NFL (albeit with a much different revenue structure), and a decade in MLB which should turn into many more decades if some of these issues can be resolved.


Nah, the Colts were supported rabidly by Baltimore fans for decades, even as the city declined, until Irsay came in, destroyed the franchise. snuck out in the middle of the night. Memorial Stadium was known as the World's Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum. Baltimore is among the footballiest of football towns.

Sign 84 that Angelos is insane? His tiffs with the Ravens, which MASN essentially no longer covers.
   27. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 09, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4767806)
The folks defending Angelos are missing the point. It isn't the Nationals trying to change the MASN deal, it's Angelos.

Seems to me Angelos is perfectly willing to adhere to the deal -- paying Washington its actual "fair market value." He's not willing to pay over $100 million, when that's the going rate for teams like Seattle and Philadelphia who draw twice as many viewers as Washington. The panel's number is absurd, making it patently obvious the fix was in.
   28. BDC Posted: August 09, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4767810)
Baltimore is among the footballiest of football towns

Sure, but remember that they lost the Colts twice. One may be a misfortune but two starts to look like carelessness :-D
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 09, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4767820)
The folks defending Angelos are missing the point. It isn't the Nationals trying to change the MASN deal, it's Angelos.

Seems to me Angelos is perfectly willing to adhere to the deal -- paying Washington its actual "fair market value." He's not willing to pay over $100 million, when that's the going rate for teams like Seattle and Philadelphia who draw twice as many viewers as Washington. The panel's number is absurd, making it patently obvious the fix was in.

Under the MASN deal, Angelos doesn't get to decide what is fair market value for the Nationals TV rights. Any dispute goes to MLB for arbitration. Angelos' after-the-fact whining about bias by the decision-makers isn't much of an argument, and I'm a bit surprised that any supposedly "thinking fans" have bought into it.
   30. DKDC Posted: August 09, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4767840)
How common are arbitration panels where the arbitrators stand to pocket $1mil/year each if they rule in favor of one of the parties?

I'm a bit surprised at people who think the Orioles case has no merits. If it was completely baseless, why would the judge stay the panel's ruling?
   31. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 09, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4767841)
Trying to stop a team coming to DC was something anyone would have done.


If by "anyone" you mean selfish self centered jerks, I agree.

As the San Jose lawsuit explains, the Giants' right to Santa Clara County came to the Giants as the result of a gentlemanly move by the late Walter Haas when he owned the A's. When the Giants expressed an interest in moving to San Jose to escape Candlestick Park, Haas could have vetoed the move under baseball rules. But instead, he consented to the move and did not demand anything in return.

At the time of the Haas action, according to the lawsuit, Selig said, "Walter Haas, the wonderful owner of the Oakland club who did things in the best interests of baseball, granted permission."

In a statement that will become critical in any trial of the San Jose lawsuit, Selig continued, "What got lost there is they [the A's] didn't feel it was permission in perpetuity."[



http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9403225/the-san-jose-legal-case-oakland-strong

Baseball is a collection of owners who profit when the league as a whole becomes stronger. Sometimes that means accommodating the needs of another owner, even when it isn't in your direct best interest.
   32. Curse of the Andino Posted: August 09, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4767861)
Sure, but remember that they lost the Colts twice. One may be a misfortune but two starts to look like carelessness


Mistakes were made, hon.
   33. toratoratora Posted: August 09, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4767862)
Comments.
-The $100 mil came from a grantland article IIRC. As far as I know, the Nats get 29 mil from MASN. The arbitrator ruled their rights are worth 100-130 mil. Hence the up to 100 mil figure. A little research shows I was slightly off. The Nats also get around $6 mil from MASN ownership rights and the Nats were originally asking for $100-120 mil.

It was interesting to read THIS right after you demonized Angelos for doing exactly this. I love the reference that he's been a 'bad neighbor' when the presence of the Nats cut off a huge chunk of his market, leaving the O's with everything between Montgomery County and York, PA.

Trying to stop a team coming to DC was something anyone would have done. How cooperative have the Giants been with the A's? How's that team in New Jersey coming along?

I'm not gonna disagree about the fact that I also would have tried to block a team. But things get a bit sticky here. First, Pete didn't just give the rights away or have them simply stripped, he's been more than well compensated for his pain
From a 2012 Post article:
"MASN paid the Nationals $20 million in rights fees in the first two seasons of the deal, and it increased the amount about $1 million a year until it hit $29 million at the end of last year."(where, according to the suit, it's remained).
Time for some back of the napkin math-lets lowball the Nats estimation and figure their TV rights are worth 80 mil. Devalue the worth of the rights by 10% a year and go back to 05 and the Nats rights are worth approx 521 mil over that period. Working off the numbers given by the Post, the O's have paid out $255 Mil, leaving the O's a whopping $266 mil in the black from the deal.
That's a nice chunk of change.
(Made worse by the fact that he's spent half that time crying "Poor,",which just sets my teeth on edge)


As for a 'cut of 'his' market," hmmm, I'm gonna beg to differ. DC was never a huge chunk of the O's market, even as much as EBW tried to make them a regional team. It could have been. Maybe even should have been. But in DC the Skins come first and, to go all Ricky Bobby, everything else is in last place.

Donlock was making the case the Nats rights are being overvalued. He might be right. Re what I've read, MASN undercharges for one team, much less two. From a prior Keri article:
""MASN properties made $167.8 million in total revenue in 2012.5 They have 5.4 million consumers paying $2.14 a month. That’s well below the $2.47 industry average for 2012 and $2.69 projection for 2013. They should be getting much more. Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, which primarily airs Washington Capitals and Wizards regular-season games, got $4.02 per month in 2012" "

Maybe the real issue here, as I've said before, isn't that Angelos is a bad baseball owner. It's that he's a crappy TV exec.
Either way, again, that's on him.

Pete's made out all right on the deal. He gets majority ownership of MASN (Nats % peaks at 33%), a bunch of games against a local rival annually and, oh yeah, maybe a quarter billion dollars.
What he's gotta do (By contract), and what he should be doing, is paying the Nats FMV. Just because he undercuts the O's and, in my opinion, slushes money in MASN, doesn't give him the right to screw the Nats out of their fair share.
They've been screwed long enough. The deserve a shot at a reasonable TV deal, if for no other reason than to keep up with the Joneses, or at least their rivals in the NL East.
Is the 100 mil estimate, accurate and fair? No clue. But I'm really really dubious that 29 mil is.
Either way I hope this suit continues and that MASN has to open the books. That would simply be enchanting.
(Bud will never ever allow it is my bet. Never)


   34. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 09, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4767866)
It's not clear to me that all of the financial compensation was supposed to end after 5 years. Why would Angelos have ever agreed to that?
Because he didn't have a choice; the Orioles had no legal power to stop the Expos from moving in the first place. He could have gotten nothing. Instead, he got all these years of extra money as a gift to shut him up.
   35. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 10, 2014 at 03:21 AM (#4767923)
Then why do the Giants apparently have the right to stop the A's from moving to San Jose? I'm honestly curious.
   36. bobm Posted: August 10, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4767939)
[35]

From Doug Pappas' website. "Originally published in the Fall 2002 issue of Outside the Lines, the SABR Business of Baseball Committee newsletter."

Inside the Major League Rules

Major League Baseball's fundamental governing documents – the Major League Agreement, Major League Rules and league constitutions – aren't generally available to the public. A few months ago, though, I spent several hours reviewing the 1999 editions of these documents. Some of these provisions may since have been amended, but most should remain in full force and effect. [...]

Major League Rules. These include the rules establishing teams' territories and governing franchise moves, expansion and discipline. They also include the draft and waiver provisions, which I didn't have time to review thoroughly

Territorial Limits: Expanded between the 1990 and 1994 Major League Rules to include not just a club's home city, but also surrounding counties. Of particular interest in this respect:

The Orioles' territory includes Anne Arundel, Howard, Carroll and Harford Counties in Maryland;

• The Marlins' major league territory includes Palm Beach County;

• The Dodgers' and Angels' territory includes Orange, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties;

• The Yankees' and Mets' territory includes New York City, plus Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland Counties in New York; Fairfield County south of I-84 and west of SR 58 in Connecticut; and Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Union Counties in New Jersey;

The Athletics' territory includes Alameda and Contra Costa Counties;

• The Phillies' territory includes Gloucester, Camden and Burlington Counties in New Jersey;

The Giants' territory includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Marin Counties, plus Santa Clara County with respect to another major league team.

Under Rule 1(c), either league can move into a territory belonging to a club in the other league, so long as (a) 3/4 of the affected league's teams consent; (b) the two parks are at least five air miles apart unless the two clubs mutually agree otherwise; (c) the newcomer pays the existing club $100,000 plus half of any previous indemnification to invade the territory; and (d) the move leaves no more than two clubs in the territory. This provision dates to late 1960, when it was adopted to establish the terms for the expansion Los Angeles Angels to play in the territory claimed by the Dodgers in 1958.

As additional territorial protection, Rule 52 allows a major league club to block any other major or minor league clubs from playing within 15 miles of its territory without permission. [Emphasis added]


1. The A's apparently ceded the right to San Jose (county seat of Santa Clara County).

2. Washington DC is 35+ miles from Baltimore.


   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 10, 2014 at 09:11 AM (#4767948)
The Orioles' territory includes Anne Arundel, Howard, Carroll and Harford Counties in Maryland;

As additional territorial protection, Rule 52 allows a major league club to block any other major or minor league clubs from playing within 15 miles of its territory without permission. [Emphasis added]


2. Washington DC is 35+ miles from Baltimore.

But if you go from the northeast corner of Washington to the westernmost point of Anne Arundel County, it's well under 15 miles. I suppose that really should be considered as little more than a nitpicking point, but at the very least, whoever wrote those guidelines wasn't being very precise in his definitions.
   38. bobm Posted: August 10, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4767958)
But if you go from the northeast corner of Washington to the westernmost point of Anne Arundel County, it's well under 15 miles. I suppose that really should be considered as little more than a nitpicking point,

To pick the nit you picked, the Nationals don't "play" in the northeast corner of Washington. Is it less than 15 miles from Nationals Park to Orioles' territory?

Nationals Park is located in Southeast Washington, south of the Capitol, along the fast-developing Capitol Riverfront adjacent to the Navy Yard.



http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ballpark/index.jsp
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4767966)
But if you go from the northeast corner of Washington to the westernmost point of Anne Arundel County, it's well under 15 miles. I suppose that really should be considered as little more than a nitpicking point,

To pick the nit you picked, the Nationals don't "play" in the northeast corner of Washington. Is it less than 15 miles from Nationals Park to Orioles' territory?


No, but I'd love to have had the Dex concession while Angelos and the Lerners were duking it out over their competing definitions. (smile)

Personally I can't see where the Orioles have a legal leg to stand on, but OTOH if you're looking at it from an overall POV there's no question that the Nats have encroached into good portion of the Orioles' former market. Given what the O's are up against in the AL East, and given the much smaller size of the Baltimore market, I hope that the final split gives the Orioles the biggest part of the pot. Washington's got far more room to grow its profits in other ways, in a market that's much bigger than that of the O's.

As a more general point, if you look at the standings over the past few years, it's clear that revenue sharing and luxury taxes have made for more competitive races than we saw in the years where the AL East's 1-2 positions stayed the same for 8 straight years, and the other 3 teams were completely shut out of the postseason for even longer than that. I look at this particular cable split dispute within that context, and would hate to see the Orioles put back in a position where their financial capabilities were dwarfed by the sheer size of the competing media markets. "Fairness" can have many competing definitions, but I like it much better when teams aren't on too unequal a financial footing. I like it even better when there's virtually no correlation between a team's record and the size of its market, as is now the case in 5 of the 6 divisions.
   40. toratoratora Posted: August 10, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4767969)
Yep. Nats Stadium is on the opposite side of DC, right on the VA border. Turn out of the stadium, head over the South Capital Street bridge and you are in VA.
It's a lousy place to drive to from Baltimore. On a weeknight, that means fighting through rush hour traffic leaving Charm city, battling down 95 and either through the heart of the city or crawling round the capital beltway.
Both options suck.
The way to get there is take the MARC from B-more to DC, then hop on the metro.

I think the whole Nat's/O's thing is a bit different than say San Jose (But I do think the Giants are being dicks. I mean, the A's tried to help them out when the Giants were in a jam, gave, as in for free, them the rights to San Jose. Now that the shoes on the other foot, the Giants are seeking concessions for something they received out of kindness, which is pretty crappy. Different ownership groups I know, but still...)because there has traditionally been a Washington team, one that was there when the O's arrived from St Louis. I see that as kinda diminishing any true claim the O's can have to territorial DC rights.
I've done a little research and it looks like the O's got a bit lucky in that the cable rights were granted them in the mid 70's when cable first started making inroads, right after Senators 2 left town. So the O's hit the jackpot on the window. Five years earlier and the Senators would have been granted the territory. What would have happened to their claimed "rights" when they moved-I don't know. Maybe MLB would have granted it to the O's (Though, as mentioned above,especially if one includes NOVA and parts south, that would entail a large expansion of the O's existing area). I kinda suspect they would have held the rights in abeyance, because almost every commish (other than maybe Ueberroth) I can recall has desired a team in the Nations Capital.

When Angelos bought the O's he knew that MLB wanted a team in DC. It's not as if it was a secret. Every team in a jam threatened to move there. He had to be at least peripherally aware that there was a chance a team was going to get placed eventually.

It happened, he fought the good fight, made a good bargain for his team and has profited considerably from it.

None of that gives him the right to, in defiance of arbitration and a contract he agreed to, screw the Nats though.


ETA
I look at this particular cable split dispute within that context, and would hate to see the Orioles put back in a position where their financial capabilities were dwarfed by the sheer size of the competing media markets.


Why would that bother anyone? It's not as if Angelos has done anything than pocket cash for years. He certainly doesn't spend it on the field so any worries about limiting the O's "financial capabilities" seem ludicrous. Giving the O's more loot=lining Pete's pockets. We have almost no indication it goes back into the franchise now. The thing limiting the O's isn't MLB, it's Peter Angelos.
   41. McCoy Posted: August 10, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4767971)
The problem isn't getting there it is coming back that is the problem
   42. bobm Posted: August 10, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4767976)
Did this TV story ever get posted?

AP: JUDGE: TRIAL CAN DECIDE FATE OF MLB TV BROADCASTS

U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin's ruling came after two lawsuits were brought by fans against MLB and the National Hockey League to stop their strict control over television broadcast rights.

The judge wrote that exceptions to antitrust laws are to be construed narrowly and noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has "expressly questioned the validity and logic of the baseball exemption and declined to extend it to other sports."

Thus, she said, she was declining to apply the exemption to "a subject that is not central to the business of baseball, and that Congress did not intend to exempt — namely baseball's contracts for television broadcasting rights."

She said the lawsuits could proceed to trial as fans try to show that the leagues should be forced to open television markets for their games so customers would have more options at less expensive prices to watch games across the country. She said a trial would help show whether the leagues were accurate in saying the restrictions are good for the sports and their fans.

   43. DKDC Posted: August 10, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4767978)
Yep. Nats Stadium is on the opposite side of DC, right on the VA border. Turn out of the stadium, head over the South Capital Street bridge and you are in VA.


The other side of the South Capital Street bridge is DC. If you keep driving south, you'll get to Maryland, and then you can go over a bridge to get to Virginia.

But without getting overly nitpicky about the legal boundaries, Angelos bought a team that had a significant following in DC proper and particularly the northern suburbs. There's no disputing the face that moving the Expos there (versus just the POTENTIAL of moving a team there) permanently reduced the value of his franchise. And it's clear the other owners recognized that with the whole MASN arrangement.

Of course, Angelos has no one to blame but himself and his own lawyers for not being more careful about how they structured this market value mechanism. He probably should have for seen that the Nats would be able to rig the process to blow up MASN.
   44. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 10, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4768002)
1. The A's apparently ceded the right to San Jose (county seat of Santa Clara County).


Yea, the quotes from Selig at the time are very damning, but it appears when the MLB started/kept recording the territorial rights as owned by the Giants after they no longer were interested in moving, the As never objected and asked they be returned. Clearly the As forgot about the gift because they themselves weren't thinking about moving.

The current ownership of the Giants also has the claim that they paid extra for the franchise because of those rights. I feel that is somewhat overstated, given the gift of those rights that helped convinced taxpayers to gift Pac Bell Park to the team, which is far greater in value than territorial rights 30 miles away.

I always thought Selig would broker a Nats-Orioles type deal where the Giants got a payoff in return for letting the As move to a location that was better for them and the MLB as a whole. But that never happened and resolution seems farther away than ever.
   45. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 19, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4774644)
I've read that MASN got their preliminary injunction, I can't find the decision, but based upon reports:

MASN wanted to pay 40, te Nats wanted to get 118, the arb panel gave the Nats 60

the Nats want MASN to pay 60 OR cut the Nats loose

the judge saw the Nats that to cancel broadcast rights to be "extortion"

MASN claims that paying 60m would cut their margins the bone/ make them dip into reserves...

The Judge found that MASN would suffered irreparable harm if forced to pay 60m rather than 40m, or if the Nat's broadcast rights were cancelled, while this is being heard (but MASN does have to post a 20m bond)

The judge (seemingly) ignored the "likelihood of success on the merits" requirement, holding (per reports) that the Oriole's claim of impartiality (of the Arb panel) deserves to be heard- if the reports are accurate/not incomplete that's reversible error right there, or at the very least grounds for a quick remand

No discussion of whether the judge found that the balance of equities favored the Orioles/MASN, but we can assume he did.

I've read the National's memo of law- it's actually surprisingly "brief" very focused and to the point- however, the issues addressed in the Nats memo of law are not discussed at all in the articles on the ruling.


I take away 2 items of note-
1:the arb panel award was less favorable to the Nats than I'd originally thought- but still the Orioles are screaming

2: The judges has a criminal law background, the he was an administrative judge then he was on NY's Court of Claims- I'm a commercial lawyer in NY, we've had a bunch of new judges in NY (both state and Federal) with criminal/administrative law backgrounds who have been utterly clueless about civil and commercial law, they don't know the substantive law (insurance law, UCC law, contracts, arbitration) they don't know the procedural law (As in what you have to do to get an injunction), and many times they don't seem to care, they rule the way they want (To be charitable they are ruling the way they think is right irrespective of what the law says)- if nothing else it's thrown a bit of uncertainty into client advice- I represent Banks and Insurance Companies, it's been getting harder to predict what judges will do- which actually makes it harder to formulate settlement offers and responses (You always had to worry about Juries, from a large institutions POV juries are likely to do anything, but the odds of judges going off the reservation has sharply increased the past 3-4 years)


   46. Srul Itza Posted: August 19, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4774883)
When I was practicing in NYC, it was understood that the quality of NYS Trial Judges was and had always been abysmal. That is why NY permitted a party to appeal from ANYTHING, including discovery issues, as opposed to the Federal Rule, and the rule in most states, that limit all but a handful of appeals to after a final judgment on the case as a whole.

Have they changed the appeal rules in NY?

ETA: That was also why we were trained to always try to get everything into Federal Court if at all possible, and we had to be experts on Removal practice and procedure, and Federal Jurisdiction.
   47. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 19, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4774896)
Have they changed the appeal rules in NY?


no you can appeal pretty much everything immediately unlike Federal practice

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