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Monday, February 05, 2018

The ‘Tank Tax’ Could Push Teams To Try Harder | BaseballAmerica.com

What happens when a team is incompetent?

It’s relatively simple. The same draft system continues to exist. The worst team picks first, the second worst picks second, etc., with one caveat: any team that fails to win 70 games in back-to-back seasons faces a 10-spot draft penalty.

Have one awful season (like the Giants and Tigers 64-win teams in 2017) and your club reaps the benefits of having the top picks in the draft and the larger draft bonus pool that comes with it. But if a team wins 60-something games two years in a row, they pay the penalty. Instead of drafting first again, that team would draft 11th.

And the penalty escalates. Win less than 70 games three seasons in a row and it’s a 15-spot draft penalty. Four straight seasons with less than 70 victories and the team pays a 20-spot draft penalty. Twenty spots would the be maximum penalty, so a fanbase unfortunate enough to suffer through five straight seasons of 93 or more losses would see their team face another 20-spot penalty.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2018 at 02:34 PM | 94 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: amateur draft

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: February 05, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5619895)
Yeah...I have a real hard time seeing tanking as presented in this piece to be a problem. The Astros or Cubs going to seed for two seasons as part of a (Well executed) plan to be on top for many years to come is not bad for the fans. It might be bad for the players, who don't want top-spending franchises to slash their payroll to the bone, but fanbases can rebound from a couple bad season if there's a payoff. The Marlins, Padres, Rockies, etc. spending eight of every ten years battling for last place is the problem, and has nothing to do with draft maneuvering.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 05, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5619902)
Yeah...I have a real hard time seeing tanking as presented in this piece to be a problem. The Astros or Cubs going to seed for two seasons as part of a (Well executed) plan to be on top for many years to come is not bad for the fans. It might be bad for the players, who don't want top-spending franchises to slash their payroll to the bone, but fanbases can rebound from a couple bad season if there's a payoff. The Marlins, Padres, Rockies, etc. spending eight of every ten years battling for last place is the problem, and has nothing to do with draft maneuvering.

It's bad for the league as a whole, and for the players. Having 10 teams not trying to compete in any given year is going to lower league revenues.
   3. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 05, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5619919)
How about this: take all the shared revenue, eg MLB merchandise, National contracts with FOX/ESPN/MLBNetwork and assign percentages of the revenue based on the number of games each team wins. There are 2430 games per season. Each game a team wins could award that franchise 1/2430 share of the shared revenue.
   4. BrianBrianson Posted: February 05, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5619922)
Or, if a team has a losing record two seasons in a row, they could be excluded from the draft.

And forbidden from signing free agents.

That'd teach 'em.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 05, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5619925)
There's been a proposal discussed in various places that draft order be awarded based on the teams with the most wins after they were eliminated from contention. Still gives the bad teams a huge advantage, but at least they won't be indifferent to or happy with losing down the stretch.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 05, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5619934)
This looks like a great way to end up with a Browns-style perennial loser that sucks and has no real avenue toward improving itself. As such, I hate the idea.
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 05, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5619939)
Honestly, I think the draft order should just be done completely at random. Throw in all the teams, whether or not they made the playoffs and generate an oreder at random. Maybe add a rule that a team who makes the top 5 one year must be excluded from the top 5 the next year, so that no team gets overly lucky over time.
   8. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 05, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5619943)
This is only an issue because you chumps have insisted on subsidizing teams with purloined money to decouple the relationship between success and profits. Naturally because you've demanded the league operate under an inefficient model that created obvious moral hazards and resulted in behavior that was completely predictable, your solutions can't wait to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Teams that pay their own way should be able to "tank" if they think it's in the best long-term interest of their franchise. They have a direct and undeniable incentive to win. It's the welfare teams that appear to need to be incentivized to do something with their money beyond shoving it in their pockets and hoping to hit the jackpot on the artificially-suppressed talent pools. Any proposal that punishes both groups equally is ill-conceived.
   9. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 05, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5619945)
The Marlins, Padres, Rockies, etc. spending eight of every ten years battling for last place is the problem, and has nothing to do with draft maneuvering.


Excluding the years whe they were a brand nex expansion franchise, the years in which the Marlins failed to win 70:

1998, 1999, 2012, 2013. So, twice in their history they had consecutive seasons of <70 wins, and never 3 in a row. I highly doubt a proposal like this would motivate them to significantly change their behavior.

And while we are at it:

Padres since the strike (consecutive seasons only): 2003, 2003
Rockies: 2004, 2005, 2014, 2015

The famous tanking Cubs failed to reach 70 wins in 2012 and 2013. So instead of getting the 4th pick (Schwarber), they would have had the 13th. in 2014 they won 73, so happ is stilla Cub. The Astros did it 3 years in a row, 2011-2013. So in 2013 they don't get the 1st pick (Mark Appel, oh darn), and then in 2014, instaed of Brady Aiken (double darn!), they draft 16th.

This proposal, as stated, would have resulted in the Astros getting a huge windfall.


   10. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 05, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5619956)
From 2011-2015, the Astros first round picks were

Geroge Springer
Carlos Correa
Mark Appel
Brady Aiker
Alex Bregman

3 key members of their 2017 WS winners, a guy who didn't sign, and a guy they gave $6 mil to sign and recently retired never having made the show. This proposal would have "punished" them by not letting them draft the latter 2 only.

I realize that's just a fluky coincidence, but I find it hillarious.
   11. #6bid Posted: February 05, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5619974)
There should be an actual literal tank tax.

15 bucks a tread.

I am not a kook.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2018 at 05:47 PM (#5619993)
The BBTF remedy of merely taking away some strategically placed children would probably do the trick. Just the owner(s) & front office should be enough.
   13. Bhaakon Posted: February 05, 2018 at 05:56 PM (#5619999)
Excluding the years whe they were a brand nex expansion franchise, the years in which the Marlins failed to win 70:

1998, 1999, 2012, 2013. So, twice in their history they had consecutive seasons of <70 wins, and never 3 in a row. I highly doubt a proposal like this would motivate them to significantly change their behavior.


Never said it would motivate them, merely that extended flailing, a decade or more averaging 20 games back in their division, is far worse than tanking for a couple seasons. And this policy not only does nothing to prevent extended terribleness, but would probably cause more of it.

I also doubt motivation is the real problem. Outside of maybe Loria, I don't think any of these management teams just looked at their roster and decided to stink in perpetuity. They're just bad at winning due to mismanagement, structural factors largely outside the team's control, or both. This policy would just be another structural factor stacked against them.
   14. winnipegwhip Posted: February 05, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5620017)
Keep the draft order as it is. Get rid of slotting the bonuses and let the teams spend what they want. This allows for teams to get creative in acquiring talent much like Kansas City did a few years ago.
   15. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 05, 2018 at 07:07 PM (#5620029)
This is how stupid all of this talk is:

Fangraphs has the Reds projected as a 72-win team. For them to be even a .500 club, they would have to add 9 wins; at $8M/win, their payroll would have to go up $72M. Cots estimates their payroll this year at $98M, meaning they would be at $170M - a number that would put the 2nd smallest market in MLB #11 on last year's salary scale. Since going to the 2nd WC, every NL WC team has had at least 87 wins (division winners have all been 90+), meaning they'd need to spend $120M to have a playoff-caliber team - blowing right past the Yankees, Dodgers, Giants and everyone else on the way to a $218M payroll.

On the other hand, a large part of the reason the Reds have a lower payroll is because they only have 11 players with 3+ years of service time - they have lots of younger guys who may or may not be MLBers. They've invested a lot of time into these players and both the team and the players deserve a chance to show what those players have.

Not every team can compete every year. Not every team can afford to compete every year.
   16. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: February 05, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5620033)
Having 10 teams not trying to compete in any given year is going to lower league revenues.


It depends who is doing it. If you want to maximize revenue you want to distribute as many wins to the Yankees/Dodgers/etc as you can (consistent with making it look good - you can't have the Royals lose 100 games EVERY year), since each win is worth more to them than it is to the other teams.
   17. ptodd Posted: February 05, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5620044)
I prefer tanking teams to be punished with reduced revenue sharing dollars. For example if 3 out of 5 years they finish last in their division reduce revenue sharing 30%

For most of these tanking teams rebuilding is just an excuse to save money that works for "trained" fans

Just as important is getting the middle tier teams to compete for a playoff spot. They probably need more of a financial incentive. Lacking that take the picks the middle tier usually get, say 11-20 and drop it to 21-30 and give playoff teams 11-20
   18. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 05, 2018 at 07:56 PM (#5620060)
How about we take the teams with the worst records and put them in their own playoffs (I’d call it the ‘Budbowl’) with the winner of each round cannibalizing 50% of any revenue stealing money the losing team receives the next season. If a losing team doesn’t receive any purloined money from the league, they owe every player on the other team a Coke.
   19. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: February 05, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5620090)
Or, if a team has a losing record two seasons in a row, they could be excluded from the draft.

And forbidden from signing free agents.


And have their franchise revoked.

And have their front-office people put into those agonizer booths, like in Star Trek: Discovery.

And have their stadiums nuked from orbit, and the ground salted.

And give the city a soccer team instead.

That, truly, will teach 'em.
   20. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 05, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5620097)
But if a team wins 60-something games two years in a row, they pay the penalty.


Eh, I don't like this. Sometimes the combination of injuries, incompetency and a mid-tier payroll can doom a team to 65 wins a couple of times in a row and then you're penalising a team that although may be run poorly, but yet may actually be trying.

I prefer tanking teams to be punished with reduced revenue sharing dollars. For example if 3 out of 5 years they finish last in their division reduce revenue sharing 30%


Like those pesky Boston Red Sox who finished last in 2012, 2014 and 2015. All us fans know they weren't really trying, how else can you explain that!
   21. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 06, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5620752)
angraphs has the Reds projected as a 72-win team. For them to be even a .500 club, they would have to add 9 wins; at $8M/win, their payroll would have to go up $72M.


1. Projections can be off.
2. Random Variation over the course of a single season as about 6 wins = 1 standard deviation, so any team can realistically over-perform by 10 wins by chance alone (or under-perform by as much)
3. Once a team makes the playoffs, random variation dwarfs talent differences in the post-season.

Just putting out a true talent 81 win team on the field, you'll win 90 or more games 7% of the time which is usually enough to make the playoffs. Even just 86 wins would give an ok chance at winning a wild card and a .500 team has a 20% chance of getting at least 86 wins. So yeah, if you have a team in the low-70s win expectations, getting a couple of decent players and hoping your prospects are better than expected isn't a worthless move.
   22. The Duke Posted: February 06, 2018 at 09:14 PM (#5620807)
The base principle they need to incentivize is that we want owners to try to win every year. Everyone knows there will be troughs even For the best teams but the goal is to get everyone to put the best product possible on the field. At some point the owners realized that a team like the Yankees or dodgers have built in advantages of market size so they put a salary cap in place.

Now they need to re-design the system to disincentivize tanking. Clearly the draft is broken and can either be fixed by a lottery and/or removing graduated draft budgets That should be easy.

At the major league level I’m an advocate of team salary floors or you could monetarily penalize a team whose salary falls too low and make them pay a fine. Or you could pool larger sums of money (antes in poker) in a winners pool and only pay that out to teams that make the playoffs.

It’s not hard but the first principle each owner must agree to is that we should all be trying to win every year. Everything else will flow from that.
   23. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:09 AM (#5620933)
At some point the owners realized that a team like the Yankees or dodgers have built in advantages of market size so they put a salary cap in place.


I thought there wasn’t a salary cap in baseball. Have you informed the players association?

And as long as I’m here, let’s try to ground your claims in reality:

At some point the owners realized that a team like the Yankees or dodgers Mets or Angels have built in advantages of market size so they put a salary cap in place.


I don’t think you’d get anyone whipped up in the sort of hysterical frenzy you’d need to implement Budshovism with accurate statements like this.
   24. OsunaSakata Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:08 AM (#5620968)
J.J. Cooper was on MLB Network yesterday. Dan O'Dowd proposed a salary floor, as opposed to a tanking penalty, since the luxury tax effectively imposes a salary cap. Cooper believed a floor would result in a team taking on the bad contracts of Jacoby Ellsbury or Matt Kemp in exchange for three prospects while sending back a low A prospect. This would mean a tanking team gets through its trough much more quickly and gets to competitiveness that much sooner. I don't see Cooper's objection as problem, but as a favorable feature of a floor.
   25. villageidiom Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5621022)
How should they penalize players on perennially losing teams? Take their salary away? Make them play without shoes?

If it's true that owners have a natural incentive to win, and also that if they're not winning it must be because they're not trying, then how can it not also be said of the players? They have a natural incentive to win. And by the same spurious logic if they're not winning it must mean that they're not trying. And by the same spurious logic, if they're not trying then we should make it harder for them to try, in order to give them incentive to try harder. If they're not running fast enough, take away their shoes so they have to work harder just to keep up, and then when they finally catch up let them have their shoes back and watch them fly.

This is absurd.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5621034)
If it's true that owners have a natural incentive to win

This is the whole problem. For the teams getting $60M a year in revenue sharing (I won't call them "small market" b/c Miami is a big market) there is no natural incentive to win.

A revenue sharing team winning 60 games with a $50M payroll is going to be more profitable than one wining 100 games with a $125M payroll. The Pirates are among the most profitable franchises in MLB.

The economic system in MLB has severed the connection between winning and profit. That's the whole problem.
   27. BrianBrianson Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5621046)
A revenue sharing team winning 60 games with a $50M payroll is going to be more profitable than one wining 100 games with a $125M payroll. The Pirates are among the most profitable franchises in MLB.


The problem with this assertion is that it's not true. The most successful teams make the most money, and that's why their worth the most. You get more TV money, charge more for tickets, sell more tickets, sell more merchandise (and play more games!) when you win 100 games.

Even the teams that get accused of "tanking" re-organise themselves and start pushing to be a 100 game winner $125 million payroll within a year or two. They just don't try to be 100 game winning $500 million teams (which is pretty much impossible anyways, since the total number of free agents is fairly limited.)
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5621074)
The problem with this assertion is that it's not true. The most successful teams make the most money, and that's why their worth the most. You get more TV money, charge more for tickets, sell more tickets, sell more merchandise (and play more games!) when you win 100 games.

BS. Per Forbes the most profitable team in MLB last year was the horrendous Phillies. The Pirates made more profit than the Yankees, Cardinals, Nationals or Dodgers.
   29. The Duke Posted: February 07, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5621201)
Of course there is a salary cap. You can call it a luxury tax or you could call a piece of strawberry pie but it functions as a cap and all one has to do is read every story this winter about how the dodgers and Yankees are trying to stay under that cap.

Chief Justice Roberts even addressed the naming convention silliness in the Obamacare decision. If it looks like a tax, sounds like a tax and acts like a tax, it is a tax no matter what you call it

   30. BrianBrianson Posted: February 07, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5621235)

BS. Per Forbes the most profitable team in MLB last year was the horrendous Phillies. The Pirates made more profit than the Yankees, Cardinals, Nationals or Dodgers.


Literally nothing has been bigger BS than reported MLB earnings. Sell your TV rights to yourself for a dollar, and it's easy for your team to lose money hand over fist. If the Yankees were actually grossing $40 million, they wouldn't be worth $4 billion.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5621239)
Literally nothing has been bigger BS than reported MLB earnings. Sell your TV rights to yourself for a dollar, and it's easy for your team to lose money hand over fist. If the Yankees were actually grossing $40 million, they wouldn't be worth $4 billion.

It's not reported, it's estimated. They account for that stuff as best they can.
   32. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5621246)
Of course there is a salary cap. You can call it a luxury tax or you could call a piece of strawberry pie but it functions as a cap


It doesn't. A cap prevents you from spending over that amount. A luxury tax merely disincentivizes you from spending over that amount. If you either need to spend over that amount to put as talented a team as you want on the field, or can still be profitable despite paying those penalties, there's no one preventing you from doing so, completely unlike a cap.

read every story this winter about how the dodgers and Yankees are trying to stay under that cap.


Completely because of their preference not to spend, and not at all because they can't go over it.
   33. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5621267)
Completely because of their preference not to spend have even more of their money confiscated by the league on top of the tens of millions already taken each and every year without fail, for disbursement to teams who are using the money so judiciously that we are discussing them in the context of a "tank tax" in this thread,


No charge.
   34. McCoy Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5621286)
If I recall correctly Forbes has generally been way off when it comes to estimating franchise values when comparing them to actual sales. I also seem to recall the leaked MLB documents for possibly the Pirates having different revenue numbers than Forbes and of course the famed Blue Ribbon Panel had differing numbers as well.
   35. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5621300)
No charge.


However you want to put it, the Yankees and Dodgers are doing the same thing as the Pirates and Marlins - valuing having more money over having more wins. I won't blame one side more than the other.
   36. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5621301)
The problem I (and many of you) see with a salary floor is that it gives a skimping team incentive to sign J. Random Reliever (say, John Axford or Ollie Perez) to a 1-year, $22 million-contract. Which, of course, does nothing to address the underlying problems that we'd like to see addressed.

I don't know the answer to this. My first suggestion, which I admit I haven't thought through, is to give players a set percentage of profits (I'd favor 50%). At the end of the year, profits and salaries are tallied up, and any profits in excess of that percentage goes to the pre-arb players.
   37. The Duke Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:46 PM (#5621555)
Listen, you can come up with all kinds of straw horses. Buying prince fielders 72 million contract to burn the cash. Paying relievers 22 million a year for no reason. It is incredibly unlikely to happen.

Imagine Jeter stripping the team down and then saying to his fan base, don’t worry I just signed Bartolommeo for 2/100. All is well.

It will never happen.
   38. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 07, 2018 at 08:01 PM (#5621571)
I don't know the answer to this. My first suggestion, which I admit I haven't thought through, is to give players a set percentage of profits (I'd favor 50%). At the end of the year, profits and salaries are tallied up, and any profits in excess of that percentage goes to the pre-arb players.

Sure, but suddenly every team is operating at a loss.
   39. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:00 PM (#5621617)
Listen, you can come up with all kinds of straw horses. Buying prince fielders 72 million contract to burn the cash. Paying relievers 22 million a year for no reason. It is incredibly unlikely to happen.

Imagine Jeter stripping the team down and then saying to his fan base, don’t worry I just signed Bartolommeo for 2/100. All is well.

It will never happen.
If a salary floor were in place, you don't think owners would find some way to technically comply while still gaming the system? Of course they would. Hell, if I were them I would too.
   40. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5621747)
However you want to put it, the Yankees and Dodgers are doing the same thing as the Pirates and Marlins - valuing having more money over having more wins.


Well they earn their money, they should have wide leeway on how they want to spend it. It's obvious to me that you shouldn't conflate the behaviors of the "makers" who have to produce a quality product in order to maximize their revenues, and the "takers" who are receiving purloined revenues from the makers regardless of what they do regarding their on-the-field product or attempts at community engagement and outreach.
   41. McCoy Posted: February 08, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5621755)

MLB is never going to agree to a floor in which a team is going to have to waste money simply to meet the floor. They might agree to a 30 or 40 million dollar floor but they certainly are not going to agree to an 80 or 90 or 100 million dollar floor. That's a pipedream and getting that 30 or 40 million dollar floor will likely mean that the players will have to agree to a 200 million to 225 million dollar cap at the other end.
   42. Rally Posted: February 08, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5621759)
The problem I (and many of you) see with a salary floor is that it gives a skimping team incentive to sign J. Random Reliever (say, John Axford or Ollie Perez) to a 1-year, $22 million-contract. Which, of course, does nothing to address the underlying problems that we'd like to see addressed.


That's definitely not how I'd handle it if I were the GM of a "strategically rebuilding" team.

I'd spend the extra money on guys like Matt Kemp - Hey Dodgers, I'll take that salary off your hands, just give me a few good prospects to go along with it.

Another option is to try and work out extensions with my young players. But instead of paying them something that approximates the arbitration scale (say 2/5/10 + team options for 12 mil) I'd give them more money in the early years and less at the back end.
   43. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5621779)
MLB is never going to agree to a floor in which a team is going to have to waste money simply to meet the floor. They might agree to a 30 or 40 million dollar floor but they certainly are not going to agree to an 80 or 90 or 100 million dollar floor. That's a pipedream and getting that 30 or 40 million dollar floor will likely mean that the players will have to agree to a 200 million to 225 million dollar cap at the other end.


OK, then I guess we can stop worrying about the topic of the thread then. Most owners are not going to vote for anything which hammers them for trying to make as much money as possible. Any proposal which "helps" the league and doesn't help the owners (in total) is a non-starter and that basically describes all the proposals as far as I can see.

The main problem with teams which are not competitive is two fold. Wins are zero sum and some teams have advantages other teams don't. Great front office personnel are not freely available, it is not like owners say "I could hire a great GM, but I would rather hire a guy who will lose me 90 games a year and saddle me with tons of bad contracts - yeah, I'll do that instead." This is especially compounded because bad owners tend not to fire themselves and so franchises stuck with them are burdened by them for a long time.

And of course the off discussed problem that it is market size and available money. The Twins could be run by a team of mutant super-geniuses for the next hundred years and they still will not have the revenue potential that the Yankees and Mets enjoy.

Penalizing draft picks won't make owners better, front offices smarter, or market sizes larger. The problem is inequality of talent up and down an organization (from owner down to A ball relief pitchers and inequality in available possible resources to make up for the former inequality. Do some ownership groups act as free riders? Sure, but picking them out from the the teams that are just not very good at the whole baseball thing is really hard and unlikely to be something a broad base of ownership would vote for in my opinion.

Sure they might vote for something, but how effective a thing? Not very I suspect.
   44. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5621783)
[deleted, misread rally's 42, which i agree with]
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5621798)
OK, then I guess we can stop worrying about the topic of the thread then. Most owners are not going to vote for anything which hammers them for trying to make as much money as possible. Any proposal which "helps" the league and doesn't help the owners (in total) is a non-starter and that basically describes all the proposals as far as I can see.

It helps the owners to grow total revenue. If we are in a "new normal" where 10 teams aren't really trying every year, that will suppress revenue, and hurt owners collectively.

Because of the way revenue is shared, this pain is spread across all teams, not concentrated on the teams that are not trying. It also benefits revenue sharing recipients disproportionately, b/c a much smaller % of their total revenue is local.
   46. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 08, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5621846)
Listen, you can come up with all kinds of straw horses. Buying prince fielders 72 million contract to burn the cash. Paying relievers 22 million a year for no reason. It is incredibly unlikely to happen.

The Cleveland Browns traded for Brock Oswiler and his 3/$48M contract, then immediately dumped him. The NFL has a very soft floor (there are no actual penalties, and it's based on the total over the life of the CBA (not yearly)), but it still happened so that Cleveland could get a couple of draft picks and Houston could stay under the cap.
   47. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 08, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5621948)
Just putting out a true talent 81 win team on the field, you'll win 90 or more games 7% of the time which is usually enough to make the playoffs. Even just 86 wins would give an ok chance at winning a wild card and a .500 team has a 20% chance of getting at least 86 wins. So yeah, if you have a team in the low-70s win expectations, getting a couple of decent players and hoping your prospects are better than expected isn't a worthless move.
Except that "a couple of decent players" isn't going to turn a 72 win (true talent) team into an 81 win team. Using ZiPS, adding 3 of the top 4 FAs (Darvish, Martinez, Arrieta) turns the Reds into an 82 win team.

So -
1. You have to think everything is going to break your way, your 82-win team becomes an 87 win team, and this year it only takes 87 wins to make the playoffs.
2. You have to be OK with pushing your $100M payroll to $170M.
3. Now that you've committed that money, you have to be OK with the declining skill of those FAs you just signed as you continue to pay them $70M/yr.
4. You also have to be OK with the fact that your payroll is going to naturally rise in coming years as your currently controlled players move from pre-arb to arb eligibility.
5. Meanwhile, if you're the Reds, all three of those FAs would be blocking guys you hope are part of the long-term success of the club.

If I owned a team, and the GM came to me with this, I'd fire him on the spot because it's insanity. The team's plan should be based on an actual plan, not "let's hope for the best".
If we are in a "new normal" where 10 teams aren't really trying every year
You keep saying this as if it's known, as opposed to "everyone knows". I asked before and never saw an answer - please define "not trying to win", and with that definition show which 10 teams are not trying to win. While doing so, here's a handy chart to keep in mind.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5621966)
You keep saying this as if it's known, as opposed to "everyone knows".

The first word of the sentence is "If".

asked before and never saw an answer - please define "not trying to win", and with that definition show which 10 teams are not trying to win.

TB, Balt., KC, CWS, Tigers, Oak., Tex., MIA, PIT, SD are making no real effort to contend this season.

I'm not opining on whether that is a good or bad plan for the individual franchise, I'm merely saying it's bad for the League as a whole.
   49. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 08, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5622007)
TB, Balt., KC, CWS, Tigers, Oak., Tex., MIA, PIT, SD are making no real effort to contend this season.


The White Sox could use a CF, and maybe a SP, though they have a bunch of young live arms to try out. They signed a FA catcher, are set at 1B, SS, and RF, have an adequate placeholder in LF as they await the promotion of a top 4 prospect, have a young, highly touted prospect at 2B, and a youngish 3B who had a breakout season last year. They could have used Cain, and maybe they tried to sign him, but again, unless you think they should sign a FA to block a prospect, which would be counter-productive, I fail to see what they could do to satisfy you. A team loaded with young, ML ready prospects giving them playing time in lieu of signing expensive veterans, IS a form of trying to win.
   50. BDC Posted: February 08, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5622009)
Tex. … making no real effort to contend this season

With the possible exception of Lorenzo Cain, I am not sure any of the big-name position-player free-agents would have helped Texas very much. They are trying to get one last useful year out of Adrian Beltre at 3B and Shin-Soo Choo at DH, which moves Joey Gallo to 1B and Willie Calhoun to LF; if Beltre gets hurt, Gallo goes back to 3B and their best minor-league prospect is a first baseman (Ronald Guzman). So the whole crowd of Hosmer/Martinez/Moustakas make little sense for them.

Whether stupid or not, they are banking on their ancient veterans having a little something left, at the same time hoping that their kids (Mazara, Odor, DeShields, Calhoun) will put together strong years at the same time. Their pitching consists of Cole Hamels and Martin Perez, who might also be very good, and a bunch of reclamation projects, like their potential new closer Oh from St. Louis. You can argue they should sign one of the FA starters to an exorbitant contract, but maybe that's always a bad idea, and none of these FAs is Hamels-like in terms of durability and consistency. I think the Texas front office figures that Doug Fister for $4M has every chance of being as good as Andrew Cashner was last year for $10, or Jake Arrieta might be for many times that. This could be insane, but it's not tanking.

So I'm not sure they belong on your list, which has some clear rebuilders (Det., Chi.) plus the chronic non-contenders. In a sense the Rangers spent their big money on long-term contracts awhile back (Andrus, Beltre, Hamels, Choo) and they are attempting a youth movement while those guys are still around. They had bad results with this in '17, but it remains a plan. (They had the league's best record with that plan in '16.) If they were tanking, Hamels at least would be long gone, probably Andrus as well, for fire-sale returns.
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5622010)
The White Sox could use a CF, and maybe a SP, though they have a bunch of young live arms to try out. They signed a FA catcher, are set at 1B, SS, and RF, have an adequate placeholder in LF as they await the promotion of a top 4 prospect, have a young, highly touted prospect at 2B, and a youngish 3B who had a breakout season last year. They could have used Cain, and maybe they tried to sign him, but again, unless you think they should sign a FA to block a prospect, which would be counter-productive, I fail to see what they could do to satisfy you. A team loaded with young, ML ready prospects giving them playing time in lieu of signing expensive veterans, IS a form of trying to win.

They made the decisions that make them non-competitive last year. There's nothing they could do this year. But, they're still non-competitive.
   52. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 08, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5622050)
You keep saying this as if it's known, as opposed to "everyone knows".

The first word of the sentence is "If".
In every thread about "tanking" or the lack of FA signings, you've brought it up. Do you, or do you not, believe "~10" teams are actively not trying to win?
asked before and never saw an answer - please define "not trying to win", and with that definition show which 10 teams are not trying to win.

TB, Balt., KC, CWS, Tigers, Oak., Tex., MIA, PIT, SD are making no real effort to contend this season.
We know that KC, an 80 win team last year, has been in discussions to keep Moustakas and Hosmer. The Rays, an 80 win team in a division with 2 of the highest spending teams in the league, is projected to win that many this year. According to #21, that and a rabbit's foot is all a team needs.

But you still haven't defined "not trying to win", and how these teams fall into that definition.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5622056)
Do you, or do you not, believe "~10" teams are actively not trying to win?

Yes.

But you still haven't defined "not trying to win", and how these teams fall into that definition.

Not making a good faith effort to assemble a team that can reasonably compete for a playoff spot under optimistic assumptions.
   54. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5622188)
The penalty for "tanking" should fit the crime - fighting Tank Abbott.
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: February 08, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5622224)
Not making a good faith effort to assemble a team that can reasonably compete for a playoff spot under optimistic assumptions.


I just think of trying to win as "teams trying to win as many games as they can during their current rebuild cycle."....

I don't expect every team to spend every penny that they have to try and win.... but teams that I would qualify as tanking would be
1. Teams who don't promote clearly major league players at a position of need, simply to save a buck.
2. Teams who don't get an affordable one or two year player at a position of need, that they have no real other options.
3. Teams who trade off a ton of post arbitration players for a bunch of not ready for the major players with no options to replace them.


I get in a rebuild cycle you have to make a decision or two of dumping payroll for future talent, but when it appears you are dumping your entire roster and going to put not yet ready for prime time players(who project as bench) and keeping the cream down in the minors, then it seems like you are tanking..... and again, in mlb tanking isn't about losing a lot of games for the good draft picks, but instead about erasing your payroll to profit for a few years during your rebuild cycle.... (which I would have no problem with, if the teams that did that, then took those 30+ mil saved and added it to a future competitive level payroll.... meaning if the Cubs or Astros are exceeding the salary cap inside of the next two or three years, then they weren't really tanking in the baseball sense.....but I have a funny feeling that isn't going to be the case. I have a feeling that both will be consistently around where you would expect a team of that market size to be or even less "because they are smart"..
   56. BrianBrianson Posted: February 08, 2018 at 05:04 PM (#5622230)

Not making a good faith effort to assemble a team that can reasonably compete for a playoff spot under optimistic assumptions.


Two comments ago, you said a team that did everything they possibly could to assemble a team that could reasonably compete for a playoff spot under optimistic assumptions was tanking.
   57. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 08, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5622238)
meaning if the Cubs or Astros are exceeding the salary cap inside of the next two or three years, then they weren't really tanking in the baseball sense
From '14-'17, the Cubs went from $92M to $172M for the 25 man payroll. From '13-'18, the Astros went from '$29M to at least $155M (and likely much more in '19 as many of their good players go through arbitration process).

And I don't think it's incumbent on the teams to exceed the luxury tax threshold as that's just throwing money away.
   58. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 08, 2018 at 05:25 PM (#5622248)
They made the decisions that make them non-competitive last year. There's nothing they could do this year. But, they're still non-competitive.


The WS won 67 games last year. Not trading Sale nets them 4.4 wins (Sale's 6.1 WAR - Moncada's 1.7). Not trading Eaton nets them nothing as Eaton played only 23 games. Not trading Frazier mid season nets them 1.6. Not trading Kahnle nets them 0.8. Not trading Robertson nets them 1.8 Not trading Quintana nets them 1.3. Not trading Melky costs them 1. All summed up, a gain of 9 wins, all the way up to 76 wins. And their outlook for this year is no better, and the future is bleak, missing Moncada, Jimenez, Giolito, Lopez, Dane Dunning, Dylan Cease, Blake Rutherford, and michael Kopech, all of whom were acquired in trade for the above guys. For the first time in a long time, the White Sox are worth watching.
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: February 08, 2018 at 05:37 PM (#5622256)
From '14-'17, the Cubs went from $92M to $172M for the 25 man payroll. From '13-'18, the Astros went from '$29M to at least $155M (and likely much more in '19 as many of their good players go through arbitration process).

And I don't think it's incumbent on the teams to exceed the luxury tax threshold as that's just throwing money away.


I rarely say that the Cubs tank, and even then it's mostly to needle Cub fans, I do think that the Astros tanked, but at least them upping their salary is a sign of good faith.
   60. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 06:27 PM (#5622290)
Two comments ago, you said a team that did everything they possibly could to assemble a team that could reasonably compete for a playoff spot under optimistic assumptions was tanking.

Who? Please don't tell me TB or KC.
   61. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5622296)
The WS won 67 games last year. Not trading Sale nets them 4.4 wins (Sale's 6.1 WAR - Moncada's 1.7). Not trading Eaton nets them nothing as Eaton played only 23 games. Not trading Frazier mid season nets them 1.6. Not trading Kahnle nets them 0.8. Not trading Robertson nets them 1.8 Not trading Quintana nets them 1.3. Not trading Melky costs them 1. All summed up, a gain of 9 wins, all the way up to 76 wins. And their outlook for this year is no better, and the future is bleak, missing Moncada, Jimenez, Giolito, Lopez, Dane Dunning, Dylan Cease, Blake Rutherford, and michael Kopech, all of whom were acquired in trade for the above guys. For the first time in a long time, the White Sox are worth watching.


Is anyone worried about all the free money the White Sox are going to pocket while they were "tanking"?
   62. Endless Trash Posted: February 09, 2018 at 01:54 AM (#5622397)
Honestly, I think the draft order should just be done completely at random. Throw in all the teams, whether or not they made the playoffs and generate an oreder at random. Maybe add a rule that a team who makes the top 5 one year must be excluded from the top 5 the next year, so that no team gets overly lucky over time.


Better yet, abolish the draft altogether and just set spending limits for all amateurs ad you already have for international ones.
   63. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 09, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5622435)
Not making a good faith effort to assemble a team that can reasonably compete for a playoff spot under optimistic assumptions.


Over what time horizon? Do you visit your financial manager (even if they only exist as a hat you put on) and say "Financial advisor maximize my return over the next year, I don't care about the future at all!"?

I bet you don't. And yet you are only judging teams (seemingly) based on a time horizon of a single year. You are asking them to try to make the playoffs every single year, no matter what that does to their prospects after that time horizon, except of course the next year they have the same burden and the next and the next. And if they falter for a single year then they are tanking, acting in bad faith, harming the league and should be penalized.

That is nuts.

Yes, I am taking an extreme reading in order to point out the inherent flaws in the argument. Trying to nibble around the edges doesn't change the fact that as soon as you allow teams to consider future years then that is essentially tanking - sacrificing 2 expected wins this year in exchange for 10 expected wins over the two following years would be tanking if that move pushes them out of the window you have set. So really good teams are given the luxury to take those trade offs and marginal good teams can't, which pushes them further back and makes them less competitive with the top teams because their actions are now constrained relative to the best teams. Congratulations you have managed to make the league less competitive.
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5622451)
Over what time horizon? Do you visit your financial manager (even if they only exist as a hat you put on) and say "Financial advisor maximize my return over the next year, I don't care about the future at all!"?

I bet you don't. And yet you are only judging teams (seemingly) based on a time horizon of a single year. You are asking them to try to make the playoffs every single year, no matter what that does to their prospects after that time horizon, except of course the next year they have the same burden and the next and the next. And if they falter for a single year then they are tanking, acting in bad faith, harming the league and should be penalized.


Again, I'm not saying that every team should be trying for the playoffs every year. Sometimes you have to take your lumps, because your roster/farm is so bad, there's no short-term path to competitiveness.

But, when we get to the point where one third of the league isn't trying in a given season, and 60% of a division in the AL central, the pendulum has swung way too far towards "success cycle" thinking, and changes should be made to the incentives to make competing more attractive.

It's just like the explosion of HRs and Ks. No one is saying individual players should eschew a successful strategy, but lots of people would like the rules changed so that the strategy is no longer so effective.
   65. Eddo Posted: February 09, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5622477)
The WS won 67 games last year. Not trading Sale nets them 4.4 wins (Sale's 6.1 WAR - Moncada's 1.7). Not trading Eaton nets them nothing as Eaton played only 23 games. Not trading Frazier mid season nets them 1.6. Not trading Kahnle nets them 0.8. Not trading Robertson nets them 1.8 Not trading Quintana nets them 1.3. Not trading Melky costs them 1. All summed up, a gain of 9 wins, all the way up to 76 wins. And their outlook for this year is no better, and the future is bleak, missing Moncada, Jimenez, Giolito, Lopez, Dane Dunning, Dylan Cease, Blake Rutherford, and michael Kopech, all of whom were acquired in trade for the above guys. For the first time in a long time, the White Sox are worth watching.

I'll add as a White Sox fan, last year was a much more fun season than any since 2008.
   66. McCoy Posted: February 09, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5622480)
Snapper has become 90's era Bud Selig. Clearly the answer is more new stadiums.
   67. Eddo Posted: February 09, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5622481)
Again, I'm not saying that every team should be trying for the playoffs every year. Sometimes you have to take your lumps, because your roster/farm is so bad, there's no short-term path to competitiveness.

This is what the White Sox finally did, instead of trying to sneak a woefully imbalanced roster into the playoffs every year.
   68. Chicago Joe Posted: February 09, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5622485)
What about the troll toll?
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5622489)
This is what the White Sox finally did, instead of trying to sneak a woefully imbalanced roster into the playoffs every year.

Right. And if two or three teams are doing it, that's OK. If it becomes SOP for one third of the teams to be "rebuilding" it's a problem.
   70. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 09, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5622491)
Again, I'm not saying that every team should be trying for the playoffs every year. Sometimes you have to take your lumps, because your roster/farm is so bad, there's no short-term path to competitiveness.


I don't think there is an objective way to distinguish between all the gradations of inequality of front office talent, ownership, market advantages, existing player talent, and various time horizons for becoming successful. Maybe it is like porn and you know it when you see it, but I don't think you can penalize teams based on such a metric.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5622499)
I don't think there is an objective way to distinguish between all the gradations of inequality of front office talent, ownership, market advantages, existing player talent, and various time horizons for becoming successful. Maybe it is like porn and you know it when you see it, but I don't think you can penalize teams based on such a metric.

It's not a penalty. It's taking away free money if you're not going to use it for its intended purpose.

Revenue sharing is meant to help small market teams put a competitive product on the field, not to guarantee the Pirates owner $50M in profit every year.

If a team is not using revenue sharing on its major league product, they should lose it. A team running a $50M payroll during a rebuild will be wildly profitable anyway, based on the central revenue.
   72. McCoy Posted: February 09, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5622504)
10 teams make the "playoffs". So about a third of teams realizing they need to rebuild for a shot at a future payoff sounds about right. This isn't hockey of old where practically everyone made the playoffs and even then the bottom teen seeds seldom had a chance to advance in the playoffs. Though they had a better shot than the low seeded NBA teams of yesteryear.

There is not much advantage to being a 75 to 83 win team year in and year out. Fans are going to be much happier with a 65 to 72 win team for a few years followed by being an 87 to 94 win team for a few years.
   73. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 09, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5622511)
It's not a penalty. It's taking away free money if you're not going to use it for its intended purpose.


No one in the world would accept something denying them access to money they currently enjoy as anything but a penalty.

Revenue sharing is meant to help small market teams put a competitive product on the field, not to guarantee the Pirates owner $50M in profit every year.


A case built on "meant to" where the meant to is your notion maybe based in some PR speak is not as compelling as you might hope.

If a team is not using revenue sharing on its major league product, they should lose it. A team running a $50M payroll during a rebuild will be wildly profitable anyway, based on the central revenue.


They are using the money to pay folks to fix the situation. Sometimes those folks are players, scouts, or front office personal (which can easily be defined to include ownership, since they make critical decisions every day).

If you think owners are going to pas a rule limiting what they can pay themselves or defining their role to one that is non-essential to running a team, well good luck with that.
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5622552)
They are using the money to pay folks to fix the situation. Sometimes those folks are players, scouts, or front office personal (which can easily be defined to include ownership, since they make critical decisions every day).


It constantly amazes me that seemingly intelligent people believe the bullshit owners tell us.

If you think owners are going to pas a rule limiting what they can pay themselves or defining their role to one that is non-essential to running a team, well good luck with that.

Totally non-responsive. The change I propose would not reduce what owners earn in total, it just re-allocates revenue sharing. It does nothing to change their role.
   75. BrianBrianson Posted: February 09, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5622553)
Totally non-responsive. The change I propose would not reduce what owners earn in total, it just re-allocates revenue sharing. It does nothing to change their role.


It does reduce total revenue, because you keep proposing things that would create a few perpetual winners and a lot of perpetual losers. That's not good for total revenue. Not every team has to compete every year to keep interest, but recreating the Kansas City Athletics is not good for total revenue.
   76. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5622564)
It does reduce total revenue, because you keep proposing things that would create a few perpetual winners and a lot of perpetual losers. That's not good for total revenue. Not every team has to compete every year to keep interest, but recreating the Kansas City Athletics is not good for total revenue.

It should increase total revenue, because more teams will compete.

I don't see how taking $30M of Miami's $60M in revenue sharing and giving it to Milwaukee, and Colorado, reduces total revenue at all.

I just limits the Miami owners profits during their tank.
   77. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 09, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5622569)
It constantly amazes me that seemingly intelligent people believe the bullshit owners tell us.
It constantly amazes me that seemingly intelligent people believe that the only cost a team has is player salaries.
   78. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 09, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5622571)
I'll add as a White Sox fan, last year was a much more fun season than any since 2008.


Who is going to be their CF? MLB.com had Adam Engel first on the depth chart. Surely he can't be the #1 option.
   79. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5622576)
It constantly amazes me that seemingly intelligent people believe that the only cost a team has is player salaries.

Everything else is small potatoes. Especially if you exclude the salaries for the owners, their wives, and idiot sons.
   80. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5622629)
Those of us with longer memories will recall the original justifications for revenue-stealing floated in the late-90s - that owners needed that free money so they could pay their players more money and keep them from signing with the Yankees. Now it turns out they need the money for minor league buffets, parking lot resurfacing, private jets, a cigar reimbursement fund for scouts, and some sort of golden calf.

Remember comrades, the Marlins were revealed to have one of the highest-paid front offices in all of baseball last season. Let that sink in.
   81. Sunday silence Posted: February 09, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5622637)
It should increase total revenue, because more teams will compete.


People keep repeating this mantra, as if its obvious when its anything but that.

Looking at small market teams it seems that their attendance figures will spike when they have initial success like World Series win or almost. After that the fans treat them like familiarity breeds contempt despite continued success.

Look at the Pirates of the 70s their best attendance came in '71 they had continued success in the 70s but the attendance was down relatively. The won another WS in 79 and attendance was down that year.

Same with the Red of the 90s their best attendance was the WS win, they had some good second place finishes later but attendance was down. They wet to playoffs in the late 90s and the attendance was lower.

Didnt the Royals have the same thing? Thats about all the teams I looked at , are there some sort of counter examples at the small to mid size level?
   82. BDC Posted: February 09, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5622648)
They won another WS in 79 and attendance was down that year

I think you're looking one line off. Pirate attendance was way down in 1978, but then rose by almost half a million in 1979 and was even higher in 1980.
   83. Eddo Posted: February 09, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5622694)
Who is going to be their CF? MLB.com had Adam Engel first on the depth chart. Surely he can't be the #1 option.

Good freaking question. My guess is they will try to get as much as they can from Leury Garcia, who hit 270/316/423 and had 1.2 bWAR in 87 games last year, while they figure it out.
   84. BrianBrianson Posted: February 09, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5622699)
It should increase total revenue, because more teams will compete.

I just limits the Miami owners profits during their tank.


No, they won't. When you advocate making it harder to compete, you advocate an end where fewer teams compete. Making something harder to do doesn't motivate people to do. What will happen is a team will have a couple bad years, and get caught in a permanent trap of low revenue, bad records, and no way out.
   85. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5622706)
Out here in the real world where I occasionally reside, scientific research often requires external funding. For large projects, granting agencies will typically ask to see a projected breakdown of costs and research conduct, with timelines, so they can assess the ability of the recipient to project expenses and confirm they understand the nature of their work.

Perhaps the free money grants from MLB should come with similar considerations to ensure these recipients indeed have a plan in place to improve their franchise with the help of these windfall funds. Say, present a 5-year plan, and for each of the next 5 years disbursement of the next "revenue sharing" payment could be contingent on a proper evaluation of how well a team has adhered to its plans, anticipated difficulties and prepared accordingly, and generally acted as a responsible steward to other people's money. Be found wanting at the end of 5 years, and be frozen out of the next round of free money disbursement.

This would incentivise the receiving teams to pay close attention to on- and off-the-field activities to ensure they are meeting their milestones and looking ahead. Given that the owners are typically heroes of capitalism from business backgrounds, they should be used to managing with similar metrics and should have no issues following these basic limitations on conduct.
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5622722)
No, they won't. When you advocate making it harder to compete, you advocate an end where fewer teams compete. Making something harder to do doesn't motivate people to do. What will happen is a team will have a couple bad years, and get caught in a permanent trap of low revenue, bad records, and no way out.

Patently false.

For a team that has it's revenue sharing curtailed, signing additional players to get better is free. For every dollar they spend, they get an extra dollar from the league. There's no low revenue trap. Revenue goes up as soon as you spend.
   87. BrianBrianson Posted: February 09, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5622775)

For a team that has it's revenue sharing curtailed, signing additional players to get better is free. For every dollar they spend, they get an extra dollar from the league. There's no low revenue trap. Revenue goes up as soon as you spend.


Yes - it motivates you to become a perpetual 72 win team, rather than take the risks associated with putting together a good team. (And, of course, by forcing teams to spend on free agents rather than where it makes the most sense for them, you drive up the cost of free agents, making them even less effective a way to win than they are now).
   88. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 09, 2018 at 06:15 PM (#5622811)
It constantly amazes me that seemingly intelligent people believe the bullshit owners tell us.


It amazes me when intelligent people completely miss the point of what I said. Try again.
   89. Sunday silence Posted: February 10, 2018 at 08:37 AM (#5622945)


I think you're looking one line off. Pirate attendance was way down in 1978, but then rose by almost half a million in 1979 and was even higher in 1980.


Yeah but their attendance figures in the late 70s are below where they were in the early 70s. I am talking relative to the league.

IN 70 and 71 they were 7th in the league. This was the start of their sucessful run.

THey were 6th in 74; 7th in 75 and In 76 and 77, there 8th. That's a downward progression DESPITE THE FACT that they won a number of divisions.

In 78 they were 11th, in 79, they were 10th. So they won a world Championship in 79 and all it did was move them from 11th to 10th.

THey appear to have not been able to get to where they were in the early 70s, despite having their best decade in history. Their relative numbers went down. They won a championship in 79 but didnt get to where they were ranked in 71. Get it?

Look at CIN in the 90s. Isnt this the same pattern?

We dont have attendance for the early 90s for PIT so I have no idea what to say there I suppose it did improve it would be interesting if anyone can find numbers.

Baseball ref does not appear to have attendance figures for the last 9 seasons, does anyone have this?

   90. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 10, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5622959)
The Pirates opened 3 Rivers in mid season 1970, so the new stadium effect is one factor of attendance. Also, despite the consistent winning, they got buried by the attention the got Steelers mid-decade. It's a football town.

If punting seasons are the next big thing, it should self-correct pretty quickly. If ten teams try to do what two or three have been successful at, they're not all going to be successful at it. If ten teams tank and five years later five of those are still at the bottomc, strategies will change.

   91. Buck Coats Posted: February 10, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5622971)
No need to change if unsuccessful tanking is still very profitable...
   92. McCoy Posted: February 10, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5622972)
Every single team over the last 10 years has tried to compete. Every single team has taken risks to improve the product on the field despite the fact that they were under no rules to actually field competitive teams. Why? If they could do nothing but field a 13 million dollar and rake in millions and millions of dollars why wouldn't they? Why would they spend money in the draft? Why would they have farm teams? Why would they spend million on their front office?
   93. Sunday silence Posted: February 10, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5622989)
The Pirates opened 3 Rivers in mid season 1970, so the new stadium effect is one factor of attendance. Also, despite the consistent winning, they got buried by the attention the got Steelers mid-decade. It's a football town.


The new stadium effect I can agree. That seems to be a real thing. I dont agree that the Steelers had much if anything to do with it. For one thing the two seasons barely overlap. For another: the Steelers first great run in 1972 didnt seem to hurt Pirate attendance at all. Finally we would really need to see month by month comparisons to see if football has any effect at all. I doubt it very much.

Also there was some sort of recession/stagflation thing going on with the economy throughout this period. Pittsburg steel industry was pretty hard hit. Maybe that had something to do with it.

All in all its very hard to tease out the different numbers from all the background noise. the only conclusion I can draw so far is that there is no evidence of a 1:1 connection between winning and attendance.
   94. Sunday silence Posted: February 10, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5622994)
There's alot of other news going on in MLB but it seems the stories dont get updated quite as often here. So just to make you aware:

Darvish signs with the Cubs.
Elias Diaz (PIT) his mother was kidnapped in Valenzuela. awful.
Former Brave:Williams Perez accidentally killed a baseball coach in Portugal.
Bud Harrelson has Alzeihmers.
Wally Moon died.

Fangraphs has a nice break down of the top 100 prospects by team (PIT has 4 in the top 50):

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/2018-prospects-week-overview-grid/


Not trying to hijack the thread, sorry if it comes off that way. But lots going on.

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