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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Begel: Yankees’ success is proof Brewers are a lost cause

Beg-El: My friends, you know me to be neither rash nor impulsive. I’m not given to wild, unsupported statements. And I tell you that we must evacuate this sport immediately!

The Brewers will not make it to the playoffs next year, or the year after that, or the year after that or the year after that, or ... well you get the point.

The World Series is over. The Yankees bought it. And the gap between the rich teams and the rest of us is growing faster than Lance Armstrong pedaling downhill.

I know there’s this theory that all you have to be is smart to compete in Major League Baseball. Good decisions are seen as the great leveler of the playing field. People cite the New York Mets, the second biggest payroll in baseball, as a prime example.

But what happens if you’re rich and smart. Let’s say you’re Warren Buffett. You’re a lot more powerful than some brilliant rocket scientist who works at NASA.

I know the world of sports fans is full of optimism. I want to feel like that, too. I really want to have a heart full of hope that the Brewers will be in the thick of things next season.

But my reality is a little different. There is almost no hope in my reality.

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:23 PM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, business, special topics, yankees

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   1. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:37 PM (#3383943)
Don't worry, Brewers fans, the market always corrects itself. You must learn to love Big Market.
   2. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:43 PM (#3383945)
Jesus Christ, I understand that there is a gap and I think something should be done about but...

THE BREWERS WERE IN THE PLAYOFFS TWELVE MONTHS AGO!!!! It's not like the Brewers making the playoffs is some kind of abstract concept that can only be theorized but not remembered like the Pirates or Royals making the playoffs, they did it last freakin' year!
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:44 PM (#3383947)
The Brewers will not make it to the playoffs next year, or the year after that, or the year after that or the year after that, or ... well you get the point

I'm at a loss, what does the Yankees success have to do with the Brewers winning the NL Central or NL wildcard. I could understand(barely) if the argument was that they won't do well in the playoffs, but the only big market team in the central is the Cubs and they have their own monetary issues to worry about.
   4. TerpNats Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3383949)
But my reality is a little different. There is almost no hope in my reality.
I could understand this angle if 1) the Yankees were coming off their third or fourth Series win in a row (something I don't see this franchise doing, not with the number of players age 35 and over on the roster), and 2) if the writer were based in Baltimore or Toronto.

Do the Yankees (and to a lesser extent the Red Sox) have an edge due to their wealth? Sure. But it isn't insurmountable if you're outside the American League East, a division Milwaukee hasn't played in since 1993. If I'm the Brewers, I'll start getting worried when the Cubs finally know what they're doing.
   5. Ginger Nut Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3383951)
And the gap between the rich teams and the rest of us is growing faster than Lance Armstrong pedaling downhill.


This analogy would work better if he said "uphill." It would be much harder to keep up with Lance pedalling uphill, whereas going downhill Lance would have to regulate his own speed to avoid crashing. Epic fail!

As to the point of the article, why would an NL fan think his team couldn't make the playoffs? Even if we were to accept the thesis that the Yankees will inevitably dominate the AL from now on, there is a lot of parity in the NL (mediocrity perhaps); even the Phillies have some big holes and looming future problems, so I don't see how NL fans could have anything to complain about. There are exactly zero teams in the NL that are prevented by economic conditions from making the playoffs and even winning the pennant.
   6. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:47 PM (#3383952)
I sang this article to the music of leonard cohen's "everybody knows".
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:51 PM (#3383957)
I sang this article to the music of leonard cohen's "everybody knows".

is that the song from the movie Pump Up the Volume?(starring Christian Slater)
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:52 PM (#3383958)
And the gap between the rich teams and the rest of us is growing faster


As always, baseball is a pretty good metaphor for life in these U.S. more generally. Greed is good. Empathy is bad. Any systemic structuring meant to strengthen the Brewers et al will only make them weaker. Tough love. Looks more like "tough ####\" in practice. It is what it is.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3383961)
The Yankees have about as much impact on Milwaukee's playoff chances as the Patriots do.
   10. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:57 PM (#3383963)
is that the song from the movie Pump Up the Volume?(starring Christian Slater)


Without having seen it, I'd guess yes. It lends itself well to movies. I remember it being in Exotica. There was a Canadian connection there, of course.
   11. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:57 PM (#3383964)
While I hate the Hardy trade from the side of the Brewers, here's yet another cringeworthy snipped from the article:


My Brewers traded a matinee idol shortstop for a .229 hitter. We traded for a guy who got benched last year.


Hardy, while likely the better player going forward, was a .229 hitter that got demoted last year, of course.
   12. joeysdadjoe Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3383969)
Hardy, while likely the better player going forward, was a .229 hitter that got demoted last year, of course.



Hardy had at least shown the ability to hit ML pitching.

Gomez unless he takes a major step foward is a 4th of
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3383977)
Gomez unless he takes a major step foward is a 4th of


July?
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:10 PM (#3383978)
Didn't the Brewers move to the National League some years ago? How'd this guy miss that?
   15. RJ in TO Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3383982)
As a fan of a team that actually is stuck in a division with the Yankees, I don't have a lot of sympathy for this guy.

Perhaps that'll change if the new owner of the Cubs actually starts throwing his weight around, and turns them into the economic (and on-field) monsters that they really should be.
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:21 PM (#3383991)
THE BREWERS WERE IN THE PLAYOFFS TWELVE MONTHS AGO!!!!


The Rays were in the World Series twelve months ago (OK, thirteen), but some people around here still claim they can't compete.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:32 PM (#3384002)
Was mulling over an idea, and I guess this is the most current "competitive balance" thread, so I'll post it here.

Instead of giving revenue sharing to the Loria's of the world to just pocket, what if MLB used the money to fund a "franchise player" subsidy.

Each team could sign two home grown players to long-term deals, designate them as "franchise players" and the revenue fund would pay half their contracts.
   18. Randy Jones Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3384011)
Was mulling over an idea, and I guess this is the most current "competitive balance" thread, so I'll post it here.

Instead of giving revenue sharing to the Loria's of the world to just pocket, what if MLB used the money to fund a "franchise player" subsidy.

Each team could sign two home grown players to long-term deals, designate them as "franchise players" and the revenue fund would pay half their contracts.


How do you ensure there is enough money in the fund to cover the player salaries? How do you stop agents from using it as a mechanism to get their clients paid nearly double their market value? e.g. Player A is a first time FA and the highest offer he gets is a 7/175 contract. His agent goes back to his original team and says "You can keep your star player if you franchise him and offer him 7/250. You're only paying 7/125." If the original team agrees, the player would actually get paid 7/250 when his market value is only 7/175. Salaries for top players would skyrocket.
   19. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3384012)
I think the solution to this problem is not to impose a salary cap, but to impose an IQ cap on Yankees front office people. Force them to fire Brian Cashman and hire Buzzie Bavasi's kid.
   20. Randy Jones Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3384014)
I think the solution to this problem is not to impose a salary cap, but to impose an IQ cap on Yankees front office people. Force them to fire Brian Cashman and hire Buzzie Bavasi's kid.


You could just force them to put Hank in charge of the team instead of Hal.
   21. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:55 PM (#3384023)
If the Brewers are a lost cause, it has little to do with the Yankees; it's because Doug Melvin is going to sign Jarrod Washburn and Doug Davis and then wonder why the pitching is terrible again next year, all the while waiting for Josh Butler and Mark Rogers to blossom into aces.
   22. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:57 PM (#3384024)
How do you ensure there is enough money in the fund to cover the player salaries? How do you stop agents from using it as a mechanism to get their clients paid nearly double their market value? e.g. Player A is a first time FA and the highest offer he gets is a 7/175 contract. His agent goes back to his original team and says "You can keep your star player if you franchise him and offer him 7/250. You're only paying 7/125." If the original team agrees, the player would actually get paid 7/250 when his market value is only 7/175. Salaries for top players would skyrocket.
1) Only teams with below-average revenues for the previous five seasons who do not have a currently designated Franchise Player can designate a free agent as a Franchise Player.
2) If a player on one of those teams signs with another team as a free agent, his original team can designate him a Franchise Player for the salary he signed for.
3) Half of the player's salary will be paid from the revenue sharing pool
4) A designated franchise player can reject a trade for the remainder of his contract (even if he is traded -- he retains the full no-trade clause). The first time he is traded, he can choose to opt out of his contract and become a free agent at the conclusion of his first season. He does not have this option with subsequent trades, or beyond the first season following a trade.
5) Once traded, the Franchise Player's contract is paid entirely by the team trading for him, the team receiving him does not get the 50% discount.
   23. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:59 PM (#3384025)
If the Brewers are a lost cause, it has little to do with the Yankees; it's because Doug Melvin is going to sign Jarrod Washburn and Doug Davis and then wonder why the pitching is terrible again next year, all the while waiting for Josh Butler and Mark Rogers to blossom into aces.


quite true, don't forget about Jeffress. You take away his weed and he's ready.

As a Brewers fan, I wish this guy would go write about the Packers like everybody else.
   24. RJ in TO Posted: November 10, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3384026)
2) If a player on one of those teams signs with another team as a free agent, his original team can designate him a Franchise Player for the salary he signed for.


Is this intended as a restricted free-agency clause? If so, you'd never get the Players Association to agree with it.
   25. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: November 10, 2009 at 04:01 PM (#3384027)
I think the solution to this problem is not to impose a salary cap, but to impose an IQ cap on Yankees front office people. Force them to fire Brian Cashman and hire Buzzie Bavasi's kid.

That worked in the 70s and 80s, and would probably work again. Now that the teams that are most willing and able to spend money also know the most intelligent things to do, the unfairness will get worse and worse. And the best thing is, the IQ cap wouldn't interfere with the magic of the monopolistic marketplace.
   26. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: November 10, 2009 at 04:02 PM (#3384028)
Is this intended as a restricted free-agency clause? If so, you'd never get the Players Association to agree with it.
There would be fewer than 15 players in MLB who this would end up applying to, and they'd all get full market value.
   27. Barnaby Jones Posted: November 10, 2009 at 04:10 PM (#3384035)
growing faster than Lance Armstrong pedaling downhill


The true secret of Lance Armstrong's success: pedaling downhill had the same effect as yelling "Inyuk-chuk."
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 10, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3384037)
I think the solution to this problem is not to impose a salary cap, but to impose an IQ cap on Yankees front office people. Force them to fire Brian Cashman and hire Buzzie Bavasi's kid.

The only problem with that is that if you have a high enough IQ, you're smart enough to purposely screw up on your IQ test.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:12 PM (#3384071)
Is this intended as a restricted free-agency clause? If so, you'd never get the Players Association to agree with it.
25. Crispix Attacks Posted: November 10, 2009 at 11:01 AM (#3384027)


No, it's intended as a way to force the small market teams to use the revenue sharing $$ to retain their marquee players.
   30. jmp Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:16 PM (#3384073)
Repoz is digging deep for his pinatas.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:21 PM (#3384076)
His next article is how the Seattle Seahawks have no chance to make the AFC playoffs because of the Steelers, Colts, and Patriots.
   32. Juan V Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:22 PM (#3384078)
I'm starting to like the subsidy for locking up players idea that has been floated around here for a while. It seems like a more politically viable way to improve competitive balance. However, I'm not sure if Larry's idea is the best way to go.
   33. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:25 PM (#3384085)
the Yankees were coming off their third or fourth Series win in a row (something I don't see this franchise doing, not with the number of players age 35 and over on the roster),

Well, old players on the Yankees don't seem to age, so I think it's plausible.
   34. RJ in TO Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:26 PM (#3384087)
Is this intended as a restricted free-agency clause? If so, you'd never get the Players Association to agree with it.

No, it's intended as a way to force the small market teams to use the revenue sharing $$ to retain their marquee players.


And that's fine. However, the way Larry phrased that one line, it sounded like the player's original team would be able to match the offer sheet from another team for any player that they designated as a franchise player. In such a case, I can see the Players Association fighting against this, since it would restrict the options and freedom of movement of a player. It would also run the risk of suppressing that players earnings, since most teams would invest less effort in trying to sign a player who's current team could automatically retain by using the franchise tag.

Of course, it's also certainly possible that I haven't correctly understood Larry's intent.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:31 PM (#3384095)
And that's fine. However, the way Larry phrased that one line, it sounded like the player's original team would be able to match the offer sheet from another team for any player that they designated as a franchise player. In such a case, I can see the Players Association fighting against this, since it would restrict the options and freedom of movement of a player. It would also run the risk of suppressing that players earnings, since most teams would invest less effort in trying to sign a player who's current team could automatically retain by using the franchise tag.

No, the way I envision it is that Minnesota freely enters a contract with Joe Mauer. They then designate his contract a "franchise contract" and the revenue sharing pool picks up 50%.

You could allow the team to change the "franchise" designation each season, so basically, the pool always picks up 50% of your highest contract.

I would restrict the "franchise" tag to a home-grown player.
   36. Dock Ellis Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:37 PM (#3384098)
What should a homegrown player be defined as? A team like the Marlins may not be able to franchise Hanley and the Padres probably won't be able to franchise Adrian.
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:40 PM (#3384101)
well then theyll structure a contract so Mauer gets $1 million for every year of the deal except 1 and then he gets $90 million the year he's franchised. And then they can use the franchise on other people in the other years who have similarly structured deals.
   38. esseff Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:48 PM (#3384108)
The Rays were in the World Series twelve months ago (OK, thirteen), but some people around here still claim they can't compete.


In fact, nine different teams have played in the five most recent World Series, and it would be a maximum 10 different teams if LA had beaten Philadelphia in either of the past two NLCSs. Four additional teams made the Series during the aughts.

That might not be much comfort to fans of the Royals or Pirates (and doesn't diminish the real advantage the Yankees have), but there's no reason to think a team like the Brewers has no hope.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 05:49 PM (#3384110)
well then theyll structure a contract so Mauer gets $1 million for every year of the deal except 1 and then he gets $90 million the year he's franchised. And then they can use the franchise on other people in the other years who have similarly structured deals.

You can easily add a clause that it can be no more than 50% of the AAV of the contract.

What should a homegrown player be defined as? A team like the Marlins may not be able to franchise Hanley and the Padres probably won't be able to franchise Adrian.

Good point. I just wanted to exclude free agents. I'm trying to get teams to keep "face of the franchise" type players.

Maybe say the guy has to have played 75% of his MLB games with the team, or be on the team a minimum of 4 years?
   40. Juan V Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:02 PM (#3384119)
The way I've thought of this (and keep in mind I haven't thought all that much, I'm looking for holes/flaws in the theory), is that a player can be classified as "homegrown" based on where did he play during the first three years of service time, as well as minor league time. If a certain player qualifies as homegrown for a certain franchise, that franchise is eligible to have a long-term contract subsidized by the league. The amount of the subsidy could vary relative to market size, and if a subsidized player is traded to a team where he doesn't qualify as homegrown, the receiving team takes on the whole contract (including the subsidy).

For example, Hanley might qualify as homegrown for the Red Sox and Marlins, and Adrian Gonzalez for the Marlins, Rangers and Padres.
   41. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:03 PM (#3384120)
In fact, nine different teams have played in the five most recent World Series, and it would be a maximum 10 different teams if LA had beaten Philadelphia in either of the past two NLCSs. Four additional teams made the Series during the aughts.
Yes. The complaints about the Yankees shouldn't be that they win the Series — or even get to it — every year. It's that they're able to get into the postseason every year. (For the sake of argument, I'm taking 14 of 15 to be "every year.") While other teams have to ride the success cycle up and down, the Yanks can more or less buy themselves out of the down periods of the cycle.

The Brewers should really be smack dab in the happy zone of their success cycle. They're not short on cash, they're short on brains. Delicious, delicious brains.
   42. esseff Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3384125)
Is this intended as a restricted free-agency clause? If so, you'd never get the Players Association to agree with it.


There would be fewer than 15 players in MLB who this would end up applying to, and they'd all get full market value.


But free agency also allows a player to escape a manager, a team with poor prospects of winning or a community in which he feels underappreciated. I agree that it will be a tough sell to get the MLBPA to go along. To say it's OK because the players will be well-paid echoes the argument made against Curt Flood.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:16 PM (#3384126)
But free agency also allows a player to escape a manager, a team with poor prospects of winning or a community in which he feels underappreciated. I agree that it will be a tough sell to get the MLBPA to go along. To say it's OK because the players will be well-paid echoes the argument made against Curt Flood.

I don't see a need to restrict player movement at all to achieve the subsidy.
   44. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:18 PM (#3384128)
The complaints about the Yankees shouldn't be that they win the Series — or even get to it — every year. It's that they're able to get into the postseason every year.

Much to my chagrin, the Angels have been doing much the same recently. From a pure fairness perspective, I think both the Yankees and the Angels deserve to make the playoffs regularly since they are both exceptionally well run franchises.

My only complaint is that the Yankees and Angels have duopolies in markets that could support more teams. Add franchises in Brooklyn, Manhattan and San Bernadino and I'd have no principled problem if the Yankees and Angels made the playoffs 14 times out of 15. Of course as an A's fan I'd not like it very much.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3384130)
Of course the Cards are the "Yankees of the NL Central" having made the playoffs 7 of the last 10 seasons, winning the division 6 of those times, and winning a couple NL pennants along the way. They've had one sub-500 season (78 wins). They didn't buy their way out of the "success cycle" ... of course they have the one-man success cycle in Pujols.

And of course the Braves made the playoffs for about 300 straight years there -- they were at times "high payroll" but never dominant payroll and generally didn't sign expensive FAs.

The Brewers -- they've really just had some bad luck. Hardy disappointed (and they may have panicked), Weeks disappointed, Hall cratered, Hart was meh. They also can't seem to build a bullpen for anything. Last year's team ended up being Fielder and Braun and little else but, other than miraculously re-signing CC, there's not a huge amount they could have done differently if the Yankees didn't exist.
   46. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:23 PM (#3384134)
They're not short on cash, they're short on brains. Delicious, delicious brains.


So that takes them out of the Lackey sweepstakes.

Zombie Lackey
   47. Jay Z Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:32 PM (#3384143)
But free agency also allows a player to escape a manager, a team with poor prospects of winning or a community in which he feels underappreciated. I agree that it will be a tough sell to get the MLBPA to go along. To say it's OK because the players will be well-paid echoes the argument made against Curt Flood.


But the MLBPA practically orders its members to take the highest offer. So if a city the player doesn't like, with a manager the player doesn't like, etc. makes the highest offer, he's obligated to take it, even if he will be independently wealthy with several offers.
   48. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3384145)
What should a homegrown player be defined as?

The team a player is playing for when he exhausts his rookie eligibility.
   49. Gamingboy Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:49 PM (#3384163)
But what happens if you’re rich and smart. Let’s say you’re Warren Buffett. You’re a lot more powerful than some brilliant rocket scientist who works at NASA.


The rocket scientist clearly should build a rocket to fire at Buffett. The Yankees are Buffett, a good player is the rocket.
   50. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:55 PM (#3384167)
The Rays were in the World Series twelve months ago (OK, thirteen), but some people around here still claim they can't compete.

Does one amazing season prove that they can?
   51. bads85 Posted: November 10, 2009 at 06:56 PM (#3384169)
Add franchises in ...San Bernadino


It would be hard to build a fan base with people going to the games getting shot. Putting a team in Ontario or Rancho would be better.
   52. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: November 10, 2009 at 07:03 PM (#3384173)
Yes, I can see the flaw in my plan -- players should retain the right to leave.

So the team gets the right to match the offer, the player gets the right to reject that matching offer. The team gets two sandwich picks if the player rejects the offer, in addition to whatever compensation they already get, and retains the right to designate a Franchise Player.

It is important to restrict the Franchise Player designation to matching offers, to prevent the scenario outlined earlier where an agent gets the team to pay him twice as much as he's worth.

I do not think that it should be limited to homegrown players, or anything like that. I think that it's important that the Brewers be able to retain CC Sabathia if he wants to stay with them. The goal should not be to keep players with the team that drafted them, but rather to allow teams to keep an important player rather than lose them just as the team is ready to contend.

The idea could even be expanded so that teams would have multiple Franchise tags to use, each one coming with less assistance from the league -- so that a team can keep three big players on the roster, one of them having half of his salary paid by the rest of the league, another 30%, another 20%.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 07:09 PM (#3384177)
It is important to restrict the Franchise Player designation to matching offers, to prevent the scenario outlined earlier where an agent gets the team to pay him twice as much as he's worth.

Why would a team do that? They get no benefit. The point is to allow the team to retain a player they can't afford. If they double the contract, they can't afford it. Since they pay half the contract, they have no incentive to blow away the market.

If Boston offers Mauer $20M p.a., Minnesota will only beat that by enough to keep him ($21M?, $22M?).

If you're really worried, make it 25% of three contracts.

I do not think that it should be limited to homegrown players, or anything like that. I think that it's important that the Brewers be able to retain CC Sabathia if he wants to stay with them. The goal should not be to keep players with the team that drafted them, but rather to allow teams to keep an important player rather than lose them just as the team is ready to contend.

I think it should. This plan is as much about marketing as competitiveness. The home grown star builds fan loyalty and the revenue base in a way the imported player doesn't. Milwaukee should use the franchise tag to extend Prince Fielder.
   54. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: November 10, 2009 at 07:54 PM (#3384198)
A shared revenue central fund would be great, but why limit it to retaining FAs? The cash could go towards privately funded ballparks, ml development, allowing KC to draft the best player available etc...

The iq test is a good idea and should be paired with a competitiveness test for owners.

[51] don't mess with the quakes
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 08:01 PM (#3384205)
A shared revenue central fund would be great, but why limit it to retaining FAs? The cash could go towards privately funded ballparks, ml development, allowing KC to draft the best player available etc...

We're trying to avoid the owners pocketing the money or using it in any other way than to put a better product on the field. Plus, keeping the marquee player, Adrian Gonzalez, Mauer, Pujols, etc. in his home town is likely to have the biggest bang for the buck in terms of growing the local market and the baseball market in general.

In any case, money is fungible. They can use the savings for draft bonuses, ml expenses, etc. Ball park funding is a multi-billion dollar proposition, and beyond the capacity of the revenue sharing fund.
   56. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: November 10, 2009 at 08:28 PM (#3384227)
We're trying to avoid the owners pocketing the money or using it in any other way than to put a better product on the field.

Which is why I suggested that teams be allowed to do pretty much anything with the money that helps them put a better product on the field.

Plus, keeping the marquee player, Adrian Gonzalez, Mauer, Pujols, etc. in his home town is likely to have the biggest bang for the buck in terms of growing the local market and the baseball market in general.

Yeah, you're still gonna have to explain this.

Winning grows markets. Players wearing the same uniform makes kids and romantic baseball fans happy, but that's something completely different. If retaining an AGonz, Mauer, Pujols etc... is the best way to help that particular team win, then fair enough, but that's not always the case. This notion that marketing is something distinct from competitiveness is completely misguided; making a team more competitive will have far, far greater impact on their marketing than retaining one All Star.

In any case, money is fungible. They can use the savings for draft bonuses, ml expenses, etc.

Or they could pocket it, like they do now with revenue sharing. Your solution is to shift the money they don't have to spend from the revenue sharing account to the normal revenue account? Um....
   57. Davo Posted: November 10, 2009 at 08:36 PM (#3384233)
And the gap between the rich teams and the rest of us is growing faster than Lance Armstrong pedaling downhill.
Unless Lance Armstrong physically increases in size while pedaling downhill, I have to question this analogy.
   58. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 10, 2009 at 09:14 PM (#3384292)
The complaints about the Yankees shouldn't be that they win the Series — or even get to it — every year. It's that they're able to get into the postseason every year.

Much to my chagrin, the Angels have been doing much the same recently.
Hey, don't lump the Angels in with the Yankees. Lump them in with the Phils, or the Dodgers, or even the BoSox, but not the Yankees. There's a real difference in the way LAAoA constructs their roster and the way the Yankees do it.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 09:49 PM (#3384335)
Or they could pocket it, like they do now with revenue sharing. Your solution is to shift the money they don't have to spend from the revenue sharing account to the normal revenue account? Um....

No. Let's use Florida as an example.

Today Loria gets his $20M revenue sharing regardless of what he does with the team. He can just pocket it as profits.

Under my system, if he keeps Miguel Cabrera, and Hanley Ramirez (for example) and signs them the long-term deals totaling $40M per year, he get's $20M from revenue sharing. If he trades them away, he gets nothing. He has to spend $20M of his own money to get the $20M.

For an owner operating in good faith to be competitive, there's no difference. The subsidy on MLB payroll can be used to fund amateur bonuses and development.

For a scumbag like Loria, there's a huge difference. He gets nothing if he doesn't reinvest the money in the actual on field product.
   60. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: November 10, 2009 at 10:28 PM (#3384363)
For an owner operating in good faith to be competitive, there's no difference. The subsidy on MLB payroll can be used to fund amateur bonuses and development.

For a scumbag like Loria, there's a huge difference. He gets nothing if he doesn't reinvest the money in the actual on field product.

No, he gets to keep his $20 million. The assumption that he would spend $20 million rather than just pocketing it is contradicted by, well, Jeffrey Loria. On the other hand, look at Kansas City--they let Damon, Beltran etc... go and still couldn't afford to take the best player available in the draft.

Again, this proposal is based on the assumption that retaining marquee FA's is (a) the most important factor in winning and (b) the most important factor in marketing the team. And again, it would be really helpful if you could explain that assumption.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2009 at 10:38 PM (#3384375)
No, he gets to keep his $20 million. The assumption that he would spend $20 million rather than just pocketing it is contradicted by, well, Jeffrey Loria. On the other hand, look at Kansas City--they let Damon, Beltran etc... go and still couldn't afford to take the best player available in the draft.

Fine, then the revenue sharing dollars can go to another team that's trying to win. He gets $20M less than he is getting now.

KC can afford it, their management are idiots and have been for a decade or more.

Again, this proposal is based on the assumption that retaining marquee FA's is (a) the most important factor in winning and (b) the most important factor in marketing the team. And again, it would be really helpful if you could explain that assumption.

No. It is based on something that is really easy to monitor and transparent to fans. Getting into player development spending and bonuses is just a rat's nest of complexity. Do you put it past Loria to make deals with international players and their "handlers" to kick back half their bonuses to him? Not to mention related party transactions.

I'm looking for a clean way to link revenue sharing to attempting to compete, in a way that the fans will see and appreciate. Subsidizing contracts for "franchise players" may not be the exact optimal way to do so, but I think it's a very good way.

It is almost always a good baseball decision to look up your superstars to long-term deals a few years before FA. This plan facilitates it.

If this plan had been in place 5 years ago, I bet Florida would have both Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez locked up long term for a total cost to the Marlins of less than $15M p.a. That's a hell of good first step to a playoff caliber team.
   62. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 10, 2009 at 10:54 PM (#3384403)
And if this plan had been in place two years ago, we wouldn't need to worry about whether helping a team like the Brewers retain a non-homegrown FA like Sabathia was a good use of the franchise tag, because the Indians wouldn't have traded him in the first place.
   63. cseadog Posted: November 10, 2009 at 11:11 PM (#3384426)
This is a pretty good plan.

I'm in favor of something even more simple--an individual salary cap. I'd suggest 5 years/75M. Similar to the what the NBA does, but lower in years and amount. So, Minnesota could offer Joe Mauer a max contract if it wants to. Minn cannot be outbid by the Yankees or Sox. He can still leave if he wants to. With the luxury tax and revenue sharing, they should be able to afford it.

The MLBPA might not love it, but how many members will be affected? I can't see any support for the "right" of abused downtrodden players to make more than $15M/year. That's lottery money, not chump change. Plus if you increase the minimum,then more MLBPA members get a raise. After all this is a union--one for all and all for one.
   64. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 10, 2009 at 11:34 PM (#3384454)
Hey, don't lump the Angels in with the Yankees. Lump them in with the Phils, or the Dodgers, or even the BoSox, but not the Yankees. There's a real difference in the way LAAoA constructs their roster and the way the Yankees do it.

I just meant that they seem to be in the post-season every year, and have a big financial advantage over anyone else in the division.
   65. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 10, 2009 at 11:36 PM (#3384456)
It would be hard to build a fan base with people going to the games getting shot. Putting a team in Ontario or Rancho would be better.

I didn't realize San Bernadino was dangerous now. I haven't lived in Southern California in 26 years.
   66. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: November 10, 2009 at 11:40 PM (#3384460)
No. It is based on something that is really easy to monitor and transparent to fans.

Then why not link the dispensation of shared revenue to W-L record?

Getting into player development spending and bonuses is just a rat's nest of complexity.

There's nothing complicated about a system where the worst team in the league gets to draft the best available amateur. Spending $20 million/year extra on draft/development is a much better competitive investment for a cash-strapped team than one all-star. RPT's can be regulated, and any half-decent money-dispensing institution comes with regulations and regulators (OK, maybe not the US financial sector).

I'm looking for a clean way to link revenue sharing to attempting to compete, in a way that the fans will see and appreciate.

Not sure why you value a system "that the fans will see and appreciate" higher than a system that actually works. This is not a fan/marketing problem. It is a competitive problem. Forget the marketing/transparancy--99% of the marketing comes from competition.

It is almost always a good baseball decision to look up your superstars to long-term deals a few years before FA. This plan facilitates it.

The current system facilitates it. See Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun, Alex Rios, Nick Markakis, Hanley Ramirez, or any of the other players who've signed extensions while under team control.

If this plan had been in place 5 years ago, I bet Florida would have both Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez locked up long term for a total cost to the Marlins of less than $15M p.a. That's a hell of good first step to a playoff caliber team.

No Hanley, though Miggy, Lowell and DLee, with Beckett, Penny, Burnett and Willis in the rotation might even be good enough to win a championship or something. But given Loria's history, I don't know why you'd make that bet. Again, you're assuming good faith when he's demonstrated repeatedly that he's a scumbag.

The problem is uncompetitive owners. I guess taking away a free subsidy is a start, but unless you're encouraging competition it isn't really a solution.
   67. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:17 AM (#3384494)
I didn't realize San Bernadino was dangerous now. I haven't lived in Southern California in 26 years.

I thought San Bernardino was where all the abandoned swimming pools were breeding vast swarms of West Nile-infected mosquitoes. I suppose that would make attending a ballgame rather unpleasant, too.
   68. Jeff K. Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:31 AM (#3384503)
I did like Seth Myers' joke to open up Weekend Update on Saturday. Myers (a Sox fan, and a real one, not a Jimmy Fallon), who writes great sports jokes, starts "This weekend, in a sign that the economy might be turning around, New Yorkers started buying big-ticket items again. Like elections (cut to shot of Bloomberg)...and championships (Yankees celebrating.)"
   69. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:35 AM (#3384506)
Hey, don't lump the Angels in with the Yankees. Lump them in with the Phils, or the Dodgers, or even the BoSox, but not the Yankees. There's a real difference in the way LAAoA constructs their roster and the way the Yankees do it.

I just meant that they seem to be in the post-season every year, and have a big financial advantage over anyone else in the division.
I don't think they do. Success begets bigger payrolls — that's true for every successful team that keeps stars past arbitration — but it's not like the Angels are blowing everyone away. During this current run of success (2002-2009) the Rangers spent much more than the Angels during the first two years of the run. Between 2007-2008, the Mariners only spent about $3 million less per season than the Angels on their payroll. The Rangers and Mariners clearly have the financial wherewithal to spend just as much as the Angels do, which makes the AL West a very different situation than the AL East. (Oakland's not in this conversation, of course.)
   70. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:43 AM (#3384514)
I think the solution to this problem is not to impose a salary cap, but to impose an IQ cap on Yankees front office people. Force them to fire Brian Cashman and hire Buzzie Bavasi's kid.

What could Dayton Moore do with $200 million?
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:47 AM (#3384520)
What could Dayton Moore do with $200 million?

Probably trade for Vernon Wells and Barry Zito.
   72. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:50 AM (#3384525)
What could Dayton Moore do with $200 million?

He's heard really good things about the South Sea Company.
   73. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:56 AM (#3384529)
Then why not link the dispensation of shared revenue to W-L record?

That's what I would do.

Evaluate the market size of teams and force the marginal revenue of a win the same.

If the Royals get $0 million of the revenue sharing pot at 70 wins and, say, $40 million at 90 wins, that, plus the team's natural increase in resulting revenue, would make signing or keeping a star as profitable as it is for anyone.

If in the next CBA has the owners increasing revenue-sharing along the current lines, the players should offer a salary cap instead.
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 01:00 AM (#3384535)
That's what I would do.

Evaluate the market size of teams and force the marginal revenue of a win the same.

If the Royals get $0 million of the revenue sharing pot at 70 wins and, say, $40 million at 90 wins, that, plus the team's natural increase in resulting revenue, would make signing or keeping a star as profitable as it is for anyone.


That would ideal, but I'm skeptical the owners could agree on the plan and all the details, i.e. how to calculate market size, etc.
   75. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: November 11, 2009 at 01:06 AM (#3384547)
During this current run of success (2002-2009) the Rangers spent much more than the Angels during the first two years of the run. Between 2007-2008, the Mariners only spent about $3 million less per season than the Angels on their payroll. The Rangers and Mariners clearly have the financial wherewithal to spend just as much as the Angels do, which makes the AL West a very different situation than the AL East. (Oakland's not in this conversation, of course.)


You can't say they "have the financial wherewithal to spend just as much as the Angels do" without knowing that they can sustain said spending. Maybe the Angels are making big profits with a $100,000,000 payroll while the Rangers are losing tons of money.

None of us know this stuff, really. I find it surprising that in European soccer they actually know, somewhat accurately, the debt status of the various teams. Why can't they obfuscate and pretend to be losing money so they can be subsidized by the taxpayer, like US teams do?
   76. Richard Posted: November 11, 2009 at 01:34 AM (#3384577)
I find it surprising that in European soccer they actually know, somewhat accurately, the debt status of the various teams. Why can't they obfuscate and pretend to be losing money so they can be subsidized by the taxpayer, like US teams do?

So far as English clubs are concerned, it's because they have an obligation to publish accounts in their capacity as limited companies. I suspect the same goes for most European clubs.

And most of them are losing money - but there is no culture of government chucking money at teams to build new stadiums for the sake of it (although teams sometimes end up in a stadium built for other reasons, eg Manchester City).
   77. Juan V Posted: November 11, 2009 at 01:34 AM (#3384579)
I agree with both #73 and #74, how about that?
   78. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: November 11, 2009 at 01:36 AM (#3384580)
Anyone watching the Selig interview? I never understood everyone's ire towards Bob Costas but -- rather shockingly -- this interview has me siding with Selig. Costas is a pompous ####### #########.
   79. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 11, 2009 at 01:45 AM (#3384589)
Then why not link the dispensation of shared revenue to W-L record?

That's what I would do.

Evaluate the market size of teams and force the marginal revenue of a win the same.

If the Royals get $0 million of the revenue sharing pot at 70 wins and, say, $40 million at 90 wins, that, plus the team's natural increase in resulting revenue, would make signing or keeping a star as profitable as it is for anyone.


This might equalize the playing field for the Yankees and Royals but it would not increase total MLB profits the way adding teams in, or moving teams to, the under-served NY Tri-State Area and Southern California would do.


During this current run of success (2002-2009) the Rangers spent much more than the Angels during the first two years of the run. Between 2007-2008, the Mariners only spent about $3 million less per season than the Angels on their payroll. The Rangers and Mariners clearly have the financial wherewithal to spend just as much as the Angels do, which makes the AL West a very different situation than the AL East. (Oakland's not in this conversation, of course.)

The Angels might have chosen to spend at a particular level, but their market size is a lot bigger than that of the Mariners or Rangers, based on Gross Metro Product. The A's market is about the same as the Rangers and Mariners, but they are much worse at exploiting it. For the Angels I'd use half the GMP of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernadino Counties. I guess you could throw Ventura in there too.
   80. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: November 11, 2009 at 02:01 AM (#3384598)
The Angels might have chosen to spend at a particular level, but their market size is a lot bigger than that of the Mariners or Rangers, based on Gross Metro Product.

Yeah, if you assume that the Mariners only market is Seattle. Actually, they have then entire NW, including 3 large metro areas. More useful for cable than attendance, but it's there. Dallas is a major metropolis and Houston is 250 miles away. The Angels may have the biggest market, but it's not overwhelming and certainly not a structural problem akin to the Yankees. (Oakland is much harder to gauge; the combination of terrible stadium, ownership tanking and a media market that's entirely focused on the Giants makes their situation look a lot worse than it probably is).
   81. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: November 11, 2009 at 02:05 AM (#3384602)
Dallas is a major metropolis and Houston is 250 miles away.

Houston also has a major league team. I don't imagine the Rangers have a big fanbase there. Don't know about Austin and San Antonio, though.
   82. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: November 11, 2009 at 02:10 AM (#3384607)
Houston also has a major league team. I don't imagine the Rangers have a big fanbase there.

Yes, the Rangers' closest competition is 250 miles away. Whereas there are two other MLB teams within 100 miles of Anaheim (and five within 400).
(sorry rlr, I should've been more clear)
   83. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: November 11, 2009 at 02:16 AM (#3384610)
I totally misread you. I thought you were suggesting that Arlington draws from Houston as Seattle draws from Portland.
   84. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 05:01 PM (#3384965)
It's interested to read repeated assertions that owners are misappropriating "revenue sharing" money without much contradiction. Before we start discussing supposedly superior methods of distributing other owner's hard-earned profits, wouldn't some sort of formal apology to the franchises whose earnings were confiscated be in order?

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