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Monday, November 15, 2021

Revamping MLB Draft order is key to eliminating tanking in baseball

Here’s the essential element of our idea: If you want to have a shot at the No. 1 pick in the next year’s draft, you have to put a decent product on the field for your paying customers in the current season. Right now, lower-budget teams essentially have to choose: Do we try to push for a playoff spot or sell off players to intentionally lose a lot of games and get an all-important high draft pick?

That shouldn’t be an either-or proposition.

Under this new system, which would require a draft-order lottery, every single team that misses the playoffs has at least a tiny chance at getting that No. 1 overall pick (the 10 playoff teams would get picks 21-30, by reverse order of standings). Every team either gets a shot at winning in October or a shot at a top draft pick.

In MLB’s new system, a target loss number (TLN) would be set — the average number of losses for the 20 non-playoff teams — and the teams that finish closest to that number have the best shot at the top pick; odds would decrease the further the team is away from the TLN (above or below, doesn’t matter).

It would be somewhat similar to how the NBA Draft works; last year, the Rockets, Pistons and Magic had the best odds (14.0 percent) of getting the top pick and the Warriors, the last team in the lottery, had just a 0.5 percent chance.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2021 at 10:08 AM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: draft, tanking

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   1. sanny manguillen Posted: November 15, 2021 at 12:33 PM (#6052961)
It's seemed to me for a while that the Pirates player acquisition analysis includes potential impact on draft position. Specifically, it seems like they've shifted to offseason trades instead of waiting for the deadline, and it seems like they're more willing to deal upside away before it gets realized. So, is there sign that teams in general are considering draft position in their acquisition analysis?
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 15, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6052964)
Many fantasy and simulation leagues do just this. They pick a win threshold (say 70) and any wins below that get treated as extra wins for draft purposes. So, a 60 win team drafts like an 80 win team. Add in some sort of lottery, and volia, no more race to the bottom to get picks!
   3. Jack Sommers Posted: November 15, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#6052965)
Since 1998 expansion to 30 teams, number teams failing to reach .400 W%

(65-97 = .401 W%)

An obvious increase over the last 4 years.

The question I asked on twitter is this

A) A major problem requiring a big fix
B) A minor problem requring a minor fix
C) Not a problem at all, requires no fix

Year Tms und .400 5 yrincrements
1998  2 
1999  3 
2000  0 
2001  3 
2002  4                    98
-022.4
2003  3 
2004  3 
2005  1 
2006  2 
2007  0                    03
-071.8
2008  3 
2009  3 
2010  2 
2011  2 
2012  3                   08
-122.6
2013  3 
2014  1 
2015  2 
2016  1 
2017  2                   13
-171.7
2018  5 
2019  4 
2020  4 
2021  4                   18
-214.25 
   4. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 15, 2021 at 01:11 PM (#6052968)
I think the root cause is because there is so much shared revenue now that when you combine cheap ownership with little talent on the field, it's more profitable for them to run a barebones roster to a 100+ loss season than it is to spend the money to field a 70 or 75-win team for no proportional jump in attendance/in-stadium revenue. To the extent that systemic changes are needed, it's in MLB's revenue sharing formula rather than (or perhaps combined with) a draft lottery. For teams like this (Hello, Rangers!), I think the draft position is the cherry, but it's not the hot fudge sundae.
   5. Paul d mobile Posted: November 15, 2021 at 01:22 PM (#6052969)
The root cause is that not everyone can win. This issue is overblown. Baseball is the most competitive North American sport.
   6. Craig in MN Posted: November 15, 2021 at 01:33 PM (#6052970)
It seems like this could result in some more bizarre tanking. Right now terrible teams tank all season and that seems fairly normal. For a mediocre team, there's little difference between getting the 11th pick or the 14th pick, so tanking isn't that motivating towards the end of the season.

But under this scenario a mediocre team might go all out until they are eliminated, and then decide they can try to go about 2-13 the rest of the way and have a reasonable chance to get an elite pick. They could let some AA starters take a drubbing 4 days a week, use terrible defensive alignments, or use their worst relievers when they are leading. If that team is playing a team in playoff contention during those last couple weeks, those opponents get basically free wins for having a luckier schedule. Even a couple decent teams deciding to throw games at the end of the season would make the whole league seem ridiculous. Maybe pride would factor in larger than that, but eventually someone would try to game that system.

It seems like the grossness of tanking is less notable when bad teams are motivated to be bad than when mediocre teams are motivated to pretend to be abysmal. This could probably be ameliorated by draft ranking based on losing percentage on Sept 1, or on a multi-year losing percentage, though.



I'd been curious about using bonus "40 man" roster spots used as additional compensation for bad teams (and teams that lose free agents). Draft picks don't materialize for 4 years or more. Give those teams a chance to get some talent in the short term to help them get back to competitive....this could help them in the Rule V and with some fringy free agents.

   7. Rally Posted: November 15, 2021 at 02:18 PM (#6052974)
It could result in some strange incentives as the season comes to the end. Imagine the target number is 70. Say the Marlins go into the final day with 69 wins, playing the Pirates who have 70.

If the Pirates win, then both teams will be 1 away from the target, but if the Marlins win they’ll both hit the target. The executives for both teams will be rooting for a Marlin win. Maybe you’d see sub-optimal lineups from the Pirates. Maybe instead of the guy who went 14-10 for them trying to get his 15th win, it’s time to give a AA guy who isn’t on any prospect list his MLB debut.

But once the players are on the field their incentives should be clean. Doesn’t matter to them if their team picks #1 or #4 in next year’s draft. By the time that draft pick gets to the big leagues, if the current players are even still playing they will likely have moved on from Pittsburgh or Miami.
   8. BDC Posted: November 15, 2021 at 02:45 PM (#6052979)
The root cause is that not everyone can win

The more I think about it, especially given the weird scenarios that Craig & Rally bring up (which are not like the NBA at all) – I think this is the key point. If you gain more in the long run by folding now, folding now is fine, and is practiced in all kinds of competitions. You don't whip a badly-beaten horse down the stretch or throw all your chips in on a terrible poker hand. You don't use your closer for three innings in a 10-1 loss, for that matter.

The problem (as Pat Rapper notes) is to disincentivize perpetual folding.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 15, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#6052982)
It could result in some strange incentives as the season comes to the end. Imagine the target number is 70. Say the Marlins go into the final day with 69 wins, playing the Pirates who have 70.

If the Pirates win, then both teams will be 1 away from the target, but if the Marlins win they’ll both hit the target. The executives for both teams will be rooting for a Marlin win. Maybe you’d see sub-optimal lineups from the Pirates. Maybe instead of the guy who went 14-10 for them trying to get his 15th win, it’s time to give a AA guy who isn’t on any prospect list his MLB debut.

But once the players are on the field their incentives should be clean. Doesn’t matter to them if their team picks #1 or #4 in next year’s draft. By the time that draft pick gets to the big leagues, if the current players are even still playing they will likely have moved on from Pittsburgh or Miami.


That's where the lottery come from. Correctly designed a 71 win team and a 70 win team will have basically the same odds.
   10. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 15, 2021 at 03:04 PM (#6052983)
How about taking the bottom X teams in revenue and having them be recipients of revenue sharing, but then distribute the monies unequally. The higher your winning percentage, the larger the share you get. What you want is to give value to marginal wins. (Of course ownership wouldn't like this plan.)
   11. Walt Davis Posted: November 15, 2021 at 03:58 PM (#6052993)
Always missing from this is that you need a system that doesn't doom a bad team (who may just be in a downturn) to being bad for a decade or more. The Rangers just stunk up the joint. How does hitting them with, say, a $50 M reduction in league revenue payout help them improve?

Not that the current system works -- the Marlins have won 90 games just twice in 29 seasons (and the WS both times). The Royals just once in 33 years. Of course if tanking was such a great strategy, these teams would have more frequent blips of success. Those teams (and otthers) have failed under a few variations of the revenue sharing model.

But we're naive if we think there's any obvious solution. Sure, the current revenue model makes it easy to suck and just pocket the money leftover from the $200+ M every team gets. But the Philly/KC A's never went out of business, the Cubs didn't win for a century, the Senators moved a couple of times but somebody was still making money. Not winning has always been a viable strategy in MLB. And every other sport (Clippers, new Browns, etc.)
   12. Cris E Posted: November 15, 2021 at 04:08 PM (#6053003)
How about determining draft positions based on team records on Sept 1 or 15 or 25? Then you still have weeks left in the season to play without fear of consequence once the prize has been awarded.
   13. Adam Starblind Posted: November 15, 2021 at 04:30 PM (#6053012)
Are teams really doing this much anymore? After the Cubs and Astros, the cat was sort of out of the bag. And even if you succeed in getting the number 1 pick, you still stand a pretty good chance of drafting the next Mickey Moniak or Brady Aiken.
   14. Jack Sommers Posted: November 15, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6053022)
Walt, what you are talking about applies to the D-backs as well. Mike Hazen somewhat questionably stuck with his aging "core" heading into 2021 despite ownership cutting his opening day paryoll budget from 123M in 2020 to 96M in 2021

If they were going to do cut payroll like that , they should have moved Escobar and Ahmed, and Peralta and just started a full on rebuild. But they chose to try to remain "competitive" while at same time rebuilding their system. In fact It all fell apart anyway, and they failed to speed up their recovery timeline, missing some trade opportunities. Hazen admitted this explicitly in a recent interview.

So while this 110 loss team is pointed to as evidence of teams tanking, in fact it was very unintentional.


   15. TJ Posted: November 15, 2021 at 06:26 PM (#6053032)
I think MLB should stay consistent and base the draft order on WAR. Hey, if they want to use it for arbitration...
   16. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: November 15, 2021 at 08:43 PM (#6053041)
   17. Space Force fan Posted: November 15, 2021 at 10:40 PM (#6053046)
A question that needs to be looked at is where are all these extra wins coming from? Using the numbers in post 3, forcing teams to stop tanking and try to win 75 games (per post 4) requires somewhere from 40-60 wins taken from the rest of the league and added to the "tankers". The unintended consequence is that we will have a lot more high 790s/low 80 win totals as the 83-88 win teams loss additional games, increasing the odds that a 81-81 team makes the playoffs, gets hot, and wins the WS. A great team like LA/SF this year probably won't lose many additional games, but an Atlanta team might.

In this mythical game with no tankers, what is the expected records of division and wild card teams?
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: November 15, 2021 at 11:00 PM (#6053053)
In this mythical game with no tankers, what is the expected records of division and wild card teams?


It's not really mythical. You just have to go back to the turn of the century and look how the seasons played out.

In 2000, there were no sub .400 teams in baseball.

The three division winners had 87, 95 and 91 wins. The two wildcards would have won 91 and 90 games.

In the NL, the division winners had 97, 97 and 95 wins, and the two best runners up won 94 and 86 games.

Other than the second WC in the NL, that looks pretty normal.

Frankly, two teams winning 106-plus games in the same division ain't natural.
   19. Jack Sommers Posted: November 15, 2021 at 11:19 PM (#6053055)
Frankly, two teams winning 106-plus games in the same division ain't natural.


The DBacks had losing streaks of 17 games, 13 games, an MLB record 24 straight game road game losing streak, and W-L records of 5-24 in May and 3-24 in June and this all happened long before the trade deadline and any possible accusations of "tanking". They just sucked so bad, It wasn't natural .,


The Giants went 17-2 against Arizona, and the Dodgers 16-3



   20. DFA Posted: November 16, 2021 at 12:08 AM (#6053062)
The root cause is that not everyone can win. This issue is overblown. Baseball is the most competitive North American sport.


My team (Orioles) is currently tanking. I don't personally care, as getting the most top 5 picks is better long term than trying to win 75 games (something Oriole fans know a lot about). The system in place rewards gaming service time, maximizing prospect potential for a hopeful competitive window. I am much happier with Elias knowing the system better and hopefully accruing as much young, cost controlled talent now compared to prior iterations of the club that wanted to put a "competitive" product on the field that manifested in signing one sh!t free agent after another. We need less of that...
   21. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 16, 2021 at 12:16 AM (#6053064)
I am much happier with Elias knowing the system better and hopefully accruing as much young, cost controlled talent now compared to prior iterations of the club that wanted to put a "competitive" product on the field that manifested in signing one sh!t free agent after another. We need less of that...


One weird thing about this whole discussion is that we spent fifteen years arguing that teams should stop signing mediocre free agents, play the cheap kids instead (plus sign the superstars), and don't waste money when you don't realistically have a chance. And now that we finally won that argument, we're complaining again.

After the Cubs and Astros, the cat was sort of out of the bag. And even if you succeed in getting the number 1 pick, you still stand a pretty good chance of drafting the next Mickey Moniak or Brady Aiken.


When people talk about "tanking" sometimes they mean "fielding a less competitive team than you could, given your budget constraints, with the intent of minimizing team wins". I think that's what you're talking about here. And I don't think that anyone has ever done this (Astros and Cubs included). What teams do is restrict their budgets (and thereby how competitive their team can be), but always with the intent of maximizing wins (or, well, profits, for which wins are a proxy) given those constraints. That's not tanking, it's saving your resources for a time when you might get a better return on your investment (because you've got good young players and a shot at the post season).
   22. villageidiom Posted: November 16, 2021 at 08:26 AM (#6053080)
Nobody cares that the Diamondbacks and Orioles sucked all season. Fans already don't pay attention to their team when they're on pace for 70 wins; they can't pay any less attention if they strive for 60 wins instead.

What people care about are the Nationals. They were 2.5 games out of 1st place at the end of June. They lost a few and then decided to blow up their roster. And they didn't blow up the roster to improve their draft position.

MLBPA wants to inflate demand of free agents by forcing teams to pursue aging union members instead of promoting minor leaguers who won't be paying dues long enough to matter. That's why the conversation around tanking is so focused on the teams that, at the start of the season, were destined to end up with a top draft pick. But the fans don't care about them, even if they'd won a dozen more games than they had! The fans care about teams giving up before they do. And that has almost nothing to do with draft position.
   23. sanny manguillen Posted: November 16, 2021 at 08:45 AM (#6053082)
we spent fifteen years arguing that teams should stop signing mediocre free agents, play the cheap kids instead


We also said that everyone should focus on walks and home runs, and shrug off strikeouts. That doesn't mean we're stuck with a duller game.
   24. sanny manguillen Posted: November 16, 2021 at 09:13 AM (#6053084)
And even if you succeed in getting the number 1 pick, you still stand a pretty good chance of drafting the next Mickey Moniak or Brady Aiken.


It's not the No. 1 pick, it's the No. 1 draft pool. The Pirates picked No. 1 this year, and were allowed to spend $14.4 million to sign players. The Red Sox had No. 4 and were allowed to spend $11.4 million. They spent about the same amount on their first round picks. The Pirates went on to sign three more guys between $1.5 million and $3 million, while the Red Sox next signing was $1 million. I think the Pirates analytics right now are spitting out that those three players are more valuable than any major league acquisition.
   25. BDC Posted: November 16, 2021 at 10:14 AM (#6053099)
The fans care about teams giving up before they do. And that has almost nothing to do with draft position

Exactly. TFE poses a dilemma between "Do we try to push for a playoff spot or sell off players to intentionally lose a lot of games and get an all-important high draft pick?" but that never happens. If you are in a position in mid-season to make a playoff run, you have long since lost hope of a great draft position. If you're 50-50, you can't lose fast enough to overtake the teams that are already 35-65.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6053103)
What teams do is restrict their budgets (and thereby how competitive their team can be), but always with the intent of maximizing wins (or, well, profits, for which wins are a proxy) given those constraints. That's not tanking, it's saving your resources for a time when you might get a better return on your investment (because you've got good young players and a shot at the post season).

That's not true at all. They restrict payroll to inflate profits, and try to accumulate future talent, while not giving a damn about winning in the present season.

They don't "save" those resources; there's no evidence any team has ever used the extra tanking profits to exceed their natural budget during the competitive years.
   27. base ball chick Posted: November 16, 2021 at 11:16 AM (#6053105)
snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6053103)
What teams do is restrict their budgets (and thereby how competitive their team can be), but always with the intent of maximizing wins (or, well, profits, for which wins are a proxy) given those constraints. That's not tanking, it's saving your resources for a time when you might get a better return on your investment (because you've got good young players and a shot at the post season).

That's not true at all. They restrict payroll to inflate profits, and try to accumulate future talent, while not giving a damn about winning in the present season.


YES!!!


They don't "save" those resources; there's no evidence any team has ever used the extra tanking profits to exceed their natural budget during the competitive years.


it's used for "paying off the debt" or some other lie. it's going in owners pockets
   28. John M. Perkins Posted: November 16, 2021 at 11:19 AM (#6053108)
Yet teams "tanked" to give the Braves the Championship:
80 win Indians
74 win Royals
71 win Cubs
67 win Marlins.

Based on the 70 win model above, Indians, Royals and Cubs would have improved their draft chances for dumping Rosario, Soler and Pederson.
And the Marlins punished for Duvall.
   29. TJ Posted: November 16, 2021 at 12:14 PM (#6053130)
It's funny, but I don't recall Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, Joc Pederson and Adam Duvall being at the top of any "Big Names to Be Dealt at the Deadline" lists...
   30. Ron J Posted: November 16, 2021 at 12:33 PM (#6053136)
Well Rosario was stinking up the joint in Cleveland, Soler was awful in KC, Adam Duvall was OK (but nothing more) in Miami and Pederson not very good in Chicago.

Basically there was an element of returning to form, but still Rosario played a fair bit better than you'd have expected and Soler played at a level he hadn't been at in a while. Pederson was well below the best he'd established (and was basically just a guy) and Duvall played a tad below the level he'd shown in the recent past.
   31. Rally Posted: November 16, 2021 at 12:41 PM (#6053138)
Duvall and Pederson were better in Atlanta by a very slim margin. It did help the team to get them, going injury-replacement dreck to about league average performance.

But the real gain was Soler and Rosario. Before the trades they combined for an ops+ around 80, after the trade it was about 130.
   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 16, 2021 at 12:47 PM (#6053141)
One weird thing about this whole discussion is that we spent fifteen years arguing that teams should stop signing mediocre free agents, play the cheap kids instead (plus sign the superstars), and don't waste money when you don't realistically have a chance.

I don't really remember arguing the second point. Maybe others did.

I would say don't pay up for a mediocre veteran when you've got a guy who's just as good at AAA. But do pay up for someone who's actually good, even if it just makes your 80-win team into an 85-win team. 85-win teams sometimes win 88...and 88-win teams sometimes win the World Series, as we saw this year.
   33. cookiedabookie Posted: November 16, 2021 at 01:24 PM (#6053154)
My idea is this: At the end of the season, have a single elimination tournament with the top 8 teams at a neutral sight. Whoever wins gets the first draft pick. It would take three days, and can be done before the start of the playoffs. Bonus baseball, and gives fans of struggling teams some type of playoff baseball. And gives them a reason to have some talent and not completely tank. Second place gets second pick, the two semi-final losers get the third and fourth picks based on season record, and the first four to lose get seeded with picks 5-8 based on season record.
   34. Greg Pope Posted: November 16, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6053201)
At the end of the season, have a single elimination tournament with the top 8 teams at a neutral sight. Whoever wins gets the first draft pick.

The problem with this is that the players actually won't care. The GM might, and could maybe keep around guys just for the tournament. But do you think that Kyle Hendricks is going to care about getting the Cubs the opportunity to draft a high school pitcher who may or may not be in the majors in 4 years?

Any solution needs to take into account that the players themselves probably care very little about the team's draft position.
   35. cookiedabookie Posted: November 17, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6053288)
Then create a "playoff" bonus for those teams' players - use the TV and game revenues to fund it, just like the current playoffs do.
   36. donlock Posted: November 17, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6053299)
Let's consider three 3rd basemen: Machado, Rendon, and Arenado. These are probably the best 3b over the last few years to become available. Machado and Rendon were unwilling, on agent advice or for whatever reason to agree to an extension on their expiring contracts and hit the free agent market. The Rockies opted to arrange a very lucrative contract and Arenado agreed to stay. The Rockies, however, soon traded him as they felt they could not afford to pay the deal they just made.

All three are with new teams. Their old teams saved a lot of money but can't seem to fill the vacancy in their lineups. Maybe one of the teams will end up with a high pick in the free agent draft but that is probably 3-4 years away at best and there may be no great 3b options. The teams have money but how do they buy players to improve? Rule 5 draft? Waiver wire? Trade other talent or minor league players for a big league player? Go into the free agent market, looking for a 3bman? Asian and Latin markets?

The league could punish them by fining them for not competing but they would then have less money for player development and acquisition and again how could they spend it? This story will play out in other cities. Colorado will have it this off season with Trevor Story. The Braves might have it with Freddie Freeman and soon with Austin Riley.
   37. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 17, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#6053302)
There is little or no evidence teams are tanking to get a better draft position. There are incentives to have a cheap team. There has been a divergence in team records, with a greater spread between the haves and have nots. But I don't think draft position is anywhere near the top reason for that.

So, what exact problem are we trying to solve? Team record divergence? Teams trading away assets in the middle of seasons where they feel they can't win? Teams playing cheap young players and not higher priced older players?
   38. Karl from NY Posted: November 17, 2021 at 02:30 PM (#6053311)
Any solution needs to take into account that the players themselves probably care very little about the team's draft position.

Heck, they might even care the other way. Would you want to help your team draft a #1 pick that will be in line to contend for your job?
   39. villageidiom Posted: November 17, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6053316)
So, what exact problem are we trying to solve? Team record divergence? Teams trading away assets in the middle of seasons where they feel they can't win? Teams playing cheap young players and not higher priced older players?
Lack of stuff to write about in the offseason while the CBA is being negotiated.
   40. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: November 17, 2021 at 03:34 PM (#6053321)
Some of the ideas I see on this are wild. One thing people need to remember, is that it's important the draft still serve some element of its parity function. You still have to find a way for the draft to funnel better future players to teams that are bad in the present.

The way some of these ideas lay out, a small market team that has a run of bad luck would be buried for a decade.
   41. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 17, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6053324)
and don't waste money when you don't realistically have a chance.


It was one of BPro's favorite themes.

even if it just makes your 80-win team into an 85-win team


A five win player isn't mediocre, he's a star. And, as you say, once you have 85 wins, you have a chance. (Although maybe not enough of a chance to be worth investing in a five-win player. Manny Machado is a five win player, and he makes $32/year.)

The revenue-to-wins curve climbs slowly until the "you make the playoffs" range, and then it jumps. If you want more teams to try to compete each year, you need to find a way to give the lower end of that curve a steeper slope. Distributing revenue sharing monies on the basis of a team's winning percentage would do it, but then more teams are going to compete against each other for players, driving up salaries. Which is exactly what ownership wants to avoid. A realistic solution needs to give more value to marginal wins below the 88-90 range, without raising total costs spent on salary. But the only mechanisms that could do that would be things like salary caps, which would not be accepted by the players.*

*And they'd have to be wickedly complicated anyway. It couldn't just be a team cap, because then either the Dodgers blow way past it, or it doesn't constrain the Pirates' spending.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 17, 2021 at 04:27 PM (#6053334)

A five win player isn't mediocre, he's a star. And, as you say, once you have 85 wins, you have a chance. (Although maybe not enough of a chance to be worth investing in a five-win player. Manny Machado is a five win player, and he makes $32/year.)

Yep, that's what I was saying. Don't waste money on mediocrities. Do spend money on good players even if it doesn't make you an immediate contender.
   43. Zach Posted: November 17, 2021 at 04:33 PM (#6053339)
and don't waste money when you don't realistically have a chance.

It was one of BPro's favorite themes.


I hated that attitude at BPro, and I hate it just as much now. Good ballplayers are fun to watch! 162 games is a long season!

Making a bad team mediocre improves the enjoyment level tremendously. The 74 win Royals were out of contention almost all year, but they were far more enjoyable than some of the 60 win iterations I've suffered through.
   44. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 17, 2021 at 05:49 PM (#6053348)
I think a salary floor solves most of the stated problems. But, obviously, the owners do not want a salary floor. They like being able to go super cheap and Scrooge McDuck in that sweet shared revenue.
   45. Jay Z Posted: November 17, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6053367)
I hated that attitude at BPro, and I hate it just as much now. Good ballplayers are fun to watch! 162 games is a long season!

Making a bad team mediocre improves the enjoyment level tremendously. The 74 win Royals were out of contention almost all year, but they were far more enjoyable than some of the 60 win iterations I've suffered through.


Certainly. The worst Brewers team I ever saw, 2002, won 56 games and was mostly unwatchable. 75 win teams are far better and have far more good players, can be quite enjoyable. We only have so many seasons to watch, why not enjoy each game? Nothing wrong with winning any game today.

But the opposite attitude, that championships are the only thing that matters, has been decades if not centuries in the making. Of course now, with 10 playoff teams, with 100 win teams becoming more common, the "superteams" are getting forgotten if they don't win it all. So maybe that attitude will change some, to appreciate the daily game, even if it doesn't lead to a ring.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: November 17, 2021 at 08:36 PM (#6053375)
I think a salary floor solves most of the stated problems. But, obviously, the owners do not want a salary floor. They like being able to go super cheap and Scrooge McDuck in that sweet shared revenue.


The owners absolutely want a salary floor if it means a hard cap. Both are just bad ideas with the way that the contract system is structured. You can't really do a salary floor when many teams best players are under pre-arbitration years or arbitration years. Salary floor/cap requires more revenue sharing, a lower cap by about 30 mil than it is right now, and a restructuring of the entire first 6 years of salary (or at least how it shows up in a cap/floor situation)

There really is no reasonable way to do a hard cap/floor with the current arbitration system and control. And to be honest, as a fan of any team, the current system allows the team to get the most value out of actually developing players. I like and agree with most of the way the system works (not a fan of the super two--- used to be a good thing--- but it's become an easy exploit now, actually managing to do the exact opposite of it's intent) But the bare bones of the system is what a fan would want, you draft a player, watch him develop for three or so years in the minor, get hyped big time, see him show up and know that the team is going to have this star player that they developed for a sustained run. This is all a good thing. The issue is there is some exploitation going on with the system that ruins players potential career (most recently you can look at Tommy Pham for an example of this)

I agree with people, I don't see any reason to be a fan of a tanking team, and I hated the concept that bpro and others pushed that it made sense, yes it makes financial sense, but outside of completely amoral individuals, there is no reason that finance should be the only reason for anything. I fully support a reasonable system that rewards teams for trying. Whether it's a lottery based upon your final standings out of the post season or something else, that is all fine and dandy, but MLB's locked in draft rule, while once a good thing, is probably not the best thing for the sport going forward.
   47. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 18, 2021 at 07:51 AM (#6053398)
I am not arguing for a salary floor, and sure if it means a cap as well the owners would take it. But in theory, a salary floor does address most of the complaints. I just don't think the complaints need fixing for the most part.
   48. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 18, 2021 at 11:09 AM (#6053414)
There is a salary floor, it's just a very low and sort-of-complicated one.
   49. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 18, 2021 at 11:16 AM (#6053417)
#48. Fair. To matter in addressing the complaints the de facto salary floor could be raised. But won't be, for reasons outlined above.
   50. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 18, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6053425)
I hated that attitude at BPro, and I hate it just as much now.

Could you imagine the uproar if players adopted that attitude? "Don't play hard if your team sucks."

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