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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mariners Blog | Albert Pujols signing by Mariners’ rival is a huge wakeup call | Seattle Times Newspaper

As everyone knows, statheads are a monolithic collection of cellar-dwelling nerds working in unison to craft a reality that conforms with a worldview that only values things which can be quantified. Every reporter who belongs to the BBWAA knows this as fact and is compelled by their association to thwart the stathead aims.

Or, Geoff Baker shouldn’t be making blanket accusations and, instead, should directly address the people whose claims he disagrees with.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2011 at 06:12 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners

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

   1. Shohei Brotani (formerly LA Hombre) Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#4012592)
6th best team in the American League West.
   2. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4012594)
That's a long article to ####### read. Nowhere in his rambling did I really discern any coherant argument other than "the Mariners should sign Fielder not because it makes them a playoff team or is a smart way to build such a team, but rather, because they can."

Well yes, they can afford to sign Prince. Sure as hell doesn't mean they should.
   3. MM1f Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#4012598)
Was that article actually printed in the paper? What is the word count on that? Where on earth did it fit?

Thats a feature length article... only, it isn't a feature-type story.
   4. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#4012599)
Do the Mariners have a TV deal that's even worth discussing in comparison to LAAAAAA's new $150M/year contract? Market disparities don't begin and end on the east coast after all.
   5. Guts Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:24 PM (#4012603)
Those paragraphs....Plaschke-esque.
   6. joker24 Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:29 PM (#4012606)
LAA's contract isn't "really" for $150m a year. Some back of the napkin excel: $80M for 2012 growing at 6% per year basically gets you to 20-year/$3B.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:42 PM (#4012623)
statheads are a monolithic collection of cellar-dwelling nerds working in unison to craft a reality that conforms with a worldview that only values things which can be quantified. Every reporter who belongs to the BBWAA knows this as fact and is compelled by their association to thwart the stathead aims.
I didn't see this as the message of the piece. I will grant you that it's rambling and not very good writing, but on the other hand, that means he makes his main point 12 times, so it should be pretty apparent ;) That main point would seem to be: "A team's payroll is more flexible than that team would normally like its fans to believe."

Do "statheads" really disagree with the following?
the only hard evidence of Mariners finances as they currently stand is that the team's ownership spent $212 million since 1992 on a franchise that Forbes now values at $449 million. That's a cushion of $237 million before we even talk about tax breaks or anyone "losing money" on their investment.

So, those making the argument that the team can't "afford" Prince Fielder at $25 million per season, or $30 million, or $40 million per year*, are flat-out wrong...

The team could have absorbed more loss in franchise value over the short term and still left investors well in the black had they upped payroll in 2009-2011. They chose not to. That's a far cry from them being unable to "afford" to do it...

I've seen too many teams making too many profits, some of them even grabbing revenue sharing charity when they are owned by conglomerates...

If someone tells you a team can't "afford" something, ask why. Don't just take the team's word for it on blind faith.

It's nice to assign money values to players based on production and average expectations of performance, but in the end, if [Arte] Moreno thinks he can make another $50 million in revenues off [Albert] Pujols then that player is potentially "worth" way more than $25 million, no matter what we think he's worth...

until fans get the money facts on their respective teams, they'd do themselves a favor by not trying to play banker or PR rep by telling other fans what those squads can "afford".
* Of course, he's not actually suggesting they pay Prince Fielder $40 million a year -- his point is that the "payroll" is essentially the owner's call. And he's not insisting that they up the payroll, either -- he doesn't seem averse to trading off Felix and rebuilding, just as long as they pick one direction or the other.
   8. Dan Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#4012629)
Do the Mariners have a TV deal that's even worth discussing in comparison to LAAAAAA's new $150M/year contract? Market disparities don't begin and end on the east coast after all.


Not sure what their TV deal is now, but it seems like every team is getting a massive TV deal when their contracts some up lately. Don't the Angels have some of the worst TV ratings in MLB? That didn't stop them from getting that big deal from FOX Sports. I imagine the Mariners should be able to get a strong deal when their current contract is over.
   9. bfan Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:42 PM (#4012675)
he only hard evidence of Mariners finances as they currently stand is that the team's ownership spent $212 million since 1992 on a franchise that Forbes now values at $449 million. That's a cushion of $237 million before we even talk about tax breaks or anyone "losing money" on their investment.


That is about a 5% appreciation on your investment a year; not that great.
   10. smileyy Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#4012677)
[6] I really wish things were presented more in terms of Net Present Value.
   11. Tripon Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#4012680)


That is about a 5% appreciation on your investment a year; not that great.


5% appreciation of a lot of money is still a lot of money.
   12. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:04 PM (#4012687)
5% appreciation of a lot of money is still a lot of money.


It's 10m a year, and he's using it as evidence that they could spend another 40 per year.

Not to mention, that if the team is less profitable (i.e. has a higher payroll), it will appreciate in value slower.
   13. gs05 Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#4012694)
The Mariners receive $60 million a year on their TV deal with Fox/Root Sports. The deal started in 2007 and goes thru 2019.

it's not the Angels deal, but it's not chump change either, but unfortunately, the team has been putting most of that money in their
pockets since the new deal started, having cut back on payroll from their historic 2008 payroll of $117 million.

This was particularly offensive in 2010, when they traded for
Cliff Lee (who had one year on his deal), signed Chone Figgins, which looked like a good deal @ the time and unveiled a
new marketing slogan for their fans: Believe Big. But they cut payroll that year by $10 mil from the year before and
GM Jack Zduriencik didn't have $$$ for a left fielder or a DH. That team was doomed from the start.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:15 PM (#4012700)
That is about a 5% appreciation on your investment a year; not that great.

5%, plus whatever cash they're taking out. They could easily be taking out $20M p.a., if which case the return in 15%.
   15. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#4012701)
monolithic collection of cellar-dwelling nerds
Come on, now. I'm sure that different Mariners have different opinions on various matters.
   16. 1k5v3L Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#4012720)
So, I clicked on the link and read the article and made an honest effort to understand Baker's thesis... and I failed. Was it just me? I honestly have no idea why he wrote 80% of what he wrote in there, because it was pure and pointless meandering.
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: December 10, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#4012740)
Do the Mariners have a TV deal that's even worth discussing in comparison to LAAAAAA's new $150M/year contract? Market disparities don't begin and end on the east coast after all.


Don't the Mariners have a Japanese TV deal that other franchises don't have?
   18. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 10, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#4012798)
I have to say, people just aren't excited about the Mariners in Seattle, and I can't really blame them. They've got a few interesting players, but Felix/Ackley/Ichiro just isn't enough to make this a not-boring team to watch. At least a team that scores a lot of runs but gives up a lot of runs is exciting. The M's are just totally bland, and now it doesn't seem like they're going to be able to compete, despite not being a poor team. They've got a nice stadium, a good tv deal, and a decent number of fans (many of them insane). There's really no excuse why they can't put together a good team. People would definitely come out to see a good team, but honestly it's hard to see them even sniffing the playoffs for the next 5+ years. It's depressing.
   19. Tripon Posted: December 11, 2011 at 12:03 AM (#4012812)


Don't the Mariners have a Japanese TV deal that other franchises don't have?


I think the Red Sox and Yankees are played pretty regularly.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2011 at 12:22 AM (#4012820)
I think the Red Sox and Yankees are played pretty regularly.


So Japan has ESPN too? :)
   21. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: December 11, 2011 at 12:54 AM (#4012843)
I have to say, people just aren't excited about the Mariners in Seattle, and I can't really blame them.


I've only been in Seattle about 18 months now but I get the impression the Mariners have a large casual fan base and a small hardcore fanbase as well. Not so different from most cities in that when they are winning the folks show up and when they aren't, the casual folks stay home.

Safeco is a wonderful place to take in a game, but that can only bring so many folks in, especially in this crap economy.
   22. CFiJ Posted: December 11, 2011 at 01:26 AM (#4012910)
Don't the Mariners have a Japanese TV deal that other franchises don't have?

No. MLB has a deal that splits revenue among all Major League teams. All foreign revenue, including broadcasts deals and merchandise, are shared by all MLB teams, excepting, of course, ballpark advertising. NHK-Broadcast Satellite, can then select what games they want to show. When Ichiro came along, it was virtually all him, with a few Mets (Shinjo) or Red Sox (Nomo) here and there. When Matsui joined, he cut into Ichiro's share heavily. When Matsuzaka joined, just about every game he pitched was shown. Next year, Darvish will be the new flavor.
   23. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: December 11, 2011 at 01:49 AM (#4012938)
Pardon me for pointing out the obvious, but this team has sucked for most of the past 8 years. Only twice have they finished out of the AL West cellar.

I'd call Seattle a frontrunner sports town, particularly in MLB. Team does well, they are popular as heck. Team is mediocre - - eh.
   24. O Tempura, O Morays ('Spos) Posted: December 11, 2011 at 02:18 AM (#4012974)
The past few months, I've kept reading ideas that suggest the Mariners lack the resources to pursue top-flight free agents. These ideas suggest the team is not a player or two away from contending and that spending $100 million or $150 million or $250 million on Prince Fielder would "cripple" the franchise and prevent further player development.

Well, that analysis fails.


[emphases mine]
   25. Something Other Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:26 AM (#4013037)
@23: which seems genuinely odd. The Mariners in the 90s had what seemed a well-deserved rep for being one of the better run franchises. Was it all because of payroll cuts? It seems like something else had to have been going on, and payroll last season was around 100m, no? I realize that'll make it tough to keep up with the Angels, but 100m is enough to keep a well-run team in the game.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:38 AM (#4013050)
I realize that'll make it tough to keep up with the Angels, but 100m is enough to keep a well-run team in the game.

That's your problem right there.

Bavasi was a disaster; big money to Sexson, Vidro, Silva, Batista, Washburn.

Zduriencik is better, but still, of the $94M in 2011 OD payroll, ~$57M went to Ichiro, Milton Bradley, Figgins, Jack Wilson, Cust, Gutierrez, Carlos Silva and David Aardsma, to provide ~0 WAR.

That's 1.2 WAR from Jack Wilson, and -1.2 from everyone else.
   27. Something Other Posted: December 11, 2011 at 06:24 AM (#4013145)
Ah--thanks for jogging my memory. I think it was shock and revulsion that caused me to block out things like the Silva contract.
   28. bookbook Posted: December 11, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#4013220)
Milton Bradley is basically the Silva contract (plus a little) traded to try and get something out of it. Both shouldn't appear on the list. Cust was a disaster (in part because Wedge benched him as soon as he started hitting) for a couple of million dollars. Gutierrez and Aardsma were injured (even if Guti was on the field). Ichiro's an ownership decision as much as anything. Figgins and Wilson are 100% Z's fault.

The M's may be less than two years away from having a truly superb rotation. Developing an offense is still somewhat hard to imagine, given current personnel and prospects on hand. Fielder by himself would be unlikely to put them over the top.
   29. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#4013249)
I had never physically seen Jack Z, but read a lot about him. He popped up on ESPN outside of the owner's meetings the other day.

He kinda looks like Darth Vader did after he took the helmet off.
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:49 PM (#4013268)
In fairness to Baker, I can understand a little craziness about statheada from someone who has to deal with Dave Cameron in his local market on a daily basis.
   31. bookbook Posted: December 11, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#4013418)
Cameron's a national guy now. His M's coverage is more of a weekly thing.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2011 at 08:00 PM (#4013476)
Milton Bradley is basically the Silva contract (plus a little) traded to try and get something out of it. Both shouldn't appear on the list.

Silva is only on there for the ~$5M Cots has the Mariners paying in 2011. They send cash with Silva, and I assume that's it. I didn't include the full contract.
   33. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: December 12, 2011 at 01:56 AM (#4013696)
I've met Jack Z. He does look more like a football player than the ex-second baseman that he is.

Dave Cameron was just voted into membership in Baseball Writer’s Association of America.
   34. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 02:18 AM (#4013700)
Dave Cameron was just voted into membership in Baseball Writer’s Association of America.

Meh. It's not a business in any real sense.
   35. gs05 Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:38 AM (#4013822)
#25 wrote: "The Mariners in the 90s had what seemed a well-deserved rep for being one of the better run franchises."

Based on what? Trading away Tino Martinez to the Yankees two months after making the playoffs for the first time and being given
a new stadium at that time? Their ticket sales and attendance went thru the roof in '96 and '97 (when over 3 million came indoors
to watch them play at the Kingdome). Yet they cried poor -- they raised payroll by $1 million from '95 to '96 and then cut payroll
after drawing 2.7 million fans in '96. That of course led to having a terrible bullpen and trading Varitek, Lowe and Cruz for bullpen
help.

This is the franchise that had three first ballot Hall of Famers (Griffey, Rodriguez and Johnson) all in their prime and a marginal
Hall of Famer in Edgar Martinez -- all four at the same time -- and didn't sniff the World Series even once.

if by "well-run franchise" you mean that they made a lot of money, well that's true, but running your F***ing team into the ground, six
last place finishes in eight year and watching your attendance decline by half, doesn't qualify as a well-run franchise in anybody's book, least of all mine.

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