The fate of Baseball in the US

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by JediTre11, Jun 3, 2002.

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  1. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    I know this topic seems a little trivial compared to the social effects of nuclear fision and fusion, but its a topic with some interesting aspects.

    I assume that some of you have heard of the problems Major League Baseball is facing. If not then go look it up, its rather difficult to summarize without using a monter post that no really enjoys reading.

    Perhaps here.

    I'll get straight to the point.

    How do you think the problem should be solved? Profit sharing? Salary regulations including a cap and a minimum? New leadership? What would happen if the players strike again?

    Before I get into spending time on a response tp my own topic I'd like to observe the interest level of this post.
  2. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
  3. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    I do not think there is a huge problem. The big problem, in my mind, is that the owners are trying to maximize the amount of money they can make, at the expense of the game.

    All this talk of profit-sharing and contraction and 60/40 rules are NOT about competitive balence. There never has been competitive balence, and baseball has been vibrant and interesting. These issues are about trying to gain leverage over players in salary negotiations and getting taxpayers to finance stadiums for them to earn money from.


    Bud Selig is lying, distorting, and pulling a sham. I would hate for the player's to strike, and am not generally 'pro-union', but in this case I side with them.
  4. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    The players don't have much choice (and that's the truth), other than going along with whatever the owners want. Unlike the NFL, which has a group of respected owners and a long history of innovation, and unlike the NBA, which has a powerful and respected commissioner, MLB has owners who are filled with greed, incompetence and contempt for the players.

    Who would you trust.... Forbes Magazine, or Bud Selig and MLB?

    Selig would have you choose MLB over Forbes.

    Right.
  5. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    The NBA and NFL players unions got destroyed by the owners, which is why they have salary caps and the owners basically print money.

    Baseball owners would like that, but the MLBPA has a lot more muscle.
  6. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    I think that some of the complaints from clubs like Philly and Kansas city need to be addressed. Certainly a club in Kansas can't expect to draw the same kind of revenue that New York does. So how can they be expected to compete when a large part of winning is having good players and good players cost money. Perhaps a salary cap is a bad idea, but I don't see anything wrong with a fixed amount or even a small percentage from the winning teams goes to fund the improvment of the losing teams. Wouldn't this make baseball more competative?
  7. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    It means less money for the players, and they won't have that.
  8. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    Not if the shared profits comes out of the owners pocket. And so what if the players get less money. I'm not gonna cry if ten million a year gets cut out of someones salary.
  9. PowerfulJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2000
    star 4
    Being a Brewer fan (go ahead let the ridiculing begin) I'm pretty much at the heart of the matter. Bud still basically owns the team(his daughter owns it), we're a small market, and they just built a new stadium here(beautiful in my opinion) however it's going to set the record for the biggest dropoff in attendence from 1 year to the next because nobody on God's green earth wants to see the garbage on the field. And the All-Star game is here this year and it may be boycotted by the players, which would suck because we were supposed to have it in 1999 but stadium funding issues stopped building of the stadium and it wasn't completed by then, then we were supposed to have in 2000 but then we had a huge accident in which a crane collapsed into the stadium therefore delaying it once again.

    Here EVERYBODY is pissed at then Selig family and we want them out of baseball as soon as possible.

    IF they do strike they BETTER come back with a Salary Cap, if they don't, baseball will become a 2nd tier sport compared to the others. If they strike period DROVES of people won't come back to baseball. If they strike again you can bet I won't be going to 10-15 games a year, they'll be lucky if I go to one but I love the actual sport too much to go away completely I'll still follow it but not as intensely. Hell, they haven't even begun the strike yet and people here have already had it. If a strike happens, baseball will be essentially dead here in Milwaukee, and it's almost forgotten now.(this being a Packer state and the Bucks have always been the states 2nd favorite team)


    Thanks Bud, thanks players, and thanks to you owners, you've fuc*ed up the sport of baseball, give yourselves a pat on the back.
  10. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    Why should Philly complain? They're in the 4th largest media market in the nation, and their team recieves money from Cleveland and Seattle, who play in smaller cities. That's a JOKE.


    The Brewers don't suck becuase they don't have money. They suck becuase they make bad baseball decisions (who to draft, who to spend money on, how to play, etc) and they don't invest enough into their product. Look at Cleveland; solid investment, smart contracts and good scouting and baseball decisions brought that team from Major League to the '97 series and perrenial 90's powerhouse. Ditto Seattle. Look at freaking Oakland...they have a crap stadium, poor fan support, make little revenue...but they have most of the best players locked up long-term, and have won more than 90 games for a few years now.


    IF there is a salary cap, the money goes STRAIGHT into the owners pockets. Will the fans see any of that? No, of course not! Ticket prices, just like any commercial price, are not related to costs, but are related to what people will pay for them!


    I'll tell you, ARod is worth just about every penny he gets from Texas. He's that good. What really kills the KC's and Pittsburghs of the world is the medium-size contracts they give to stiffs. KC traded a few of their superstars away because they 'couldn't afford them', then turned around and gave the same amount of money to 3 free agents. Free agents who were not worth the money. FA that performed about as well as a minimum salary minor leaguer could have performed. Lower revenue make it HARDER for KC, but it's bad baseball decisions that KILL them. And once they start losing, with the current revenue sharing program, there is no incentive to spend more on your team, since you'll get revenue from other clubs no matter what. In fact, the worse you do and the less you spend, the MORE money you'll get. The incentive structure is all wrong.
  11. weezer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 6
    I think Baseball's problems are great and many. :(

    One of the biggest IMO is the degradation of the game in order to bring in bigger crowds. Other professional sports have made the rules more difficult to compensate for the advances in power and training yet baseball movies in the other direction.

    Frankly I wish they would just scrap the MLB and start something else. One thing that I think would actually help MLB is more College ball games on TV. Sounds odd but I think lots of people enjoy the love of the games that you see in college and that sometimes rubs off one the Pros.
  12. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    red Seven , you just summed it up the best, bad teams are the result of bad management, not b/c they dont have $$$$
  13. JangoFettClone Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2002
    star 4
    I think baseball should lock it up.

    No more expansion teams.
    Teams that draw in less than 5,000 per game
    on average should lose their teams to another city.
    No more FL teams.
    Pass a league rule testing for steroids.
    Ban those steroid freaks from the sport and hall of fame.

    I do agree with Red-Seven in that bad teams are usually the result of bad management and not money. Look at the Rockies. That's a team that still draws in crowds of 30,000 + a game and they were in last place in the West. They fired Buddy Bell and now they are up to 3rd or 4th in the West. Management makes all the difference.
  14. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    bad teams are the result of bad management, not b/c they dont have $$$$

    Spoken like a true Yankee fan.

    No, it's a combination of both. The Royals don't have the money to compete at a high level, whether they have good or bad management. They haven't been good since John Schuerholz left for Atlanta. That's partly because they haven't been managed well (on all levels), and partly because they simply don't have the funds to compete. The same can be said for many other teams.
  15. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    Of course both are factors. IF the Royals develop into a powerhouse through the draft and smart decisions, and dramatically increase their fanbase, they will still never eclipse the Yankees and a handful of other teams in financial resources. However, contrary to popular belief, this is NOT a new issue. It's not even worse than in the past...if anything, I'd argue that there is more competive balence now than in most places of baseball's past.

    As I said, limited financial resources make things difficult. But they are NOT a death knell. Intelligent managing can build success, and people in Seattle and Cleveland support winning teams. The financial barrier towards building a wildcard contender is not enormous, and can propel a franchise into perpetual contention (I will admit that financing a World Champion tends to be more difficult, but looking at toronto and some of the teams that the Yankees played, not impossible). Bad management combined with poor resources are a death sentence. Bad management alone can kill a franchise with large resources, if left unchecked (see the Phillies for the past 80 years, or the path the O's are treading). Good management and poor resources can always compete.

    Frankly, I don't believe that teams are going bankrupt. Why? Look at the franchise selling prices. Businesses that hemorrage money do not increase in value at that rate.

    Finally, contraction is a sham. A sham whose purpose is to be able to stick a gun to taxpayer's heads and demand public financing for stadia. The SF Giants built their own stadium...why shouldn't other owners? If the Twins are contracted, it is so that the next time a team and MLB say that a team 'needs' public financing for a stadium, there is a credible threat to use as extortion. Also, the owners can then raise more money in establishing an expansion team.

    There is nothing wrong with the Expos system that can't be solved by a move to DC.



    Whew.
  16. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    I agree with KnightWriter. It has to be a combination. Some teams buy their way past bad management. I really don't Torre is that good of a manager. The Yankees really don't even need a manager. There is just to much talent/money in the team to call it good management.

    As far as scraping baseball goes...that is so typical. The year Seattle is gonna win it all and everyone wants to scrap it.

    And I don't think A-Rod is worth the money. He was replaced all to easily. If he was worth that much someone in Seattle would miss him and I assure you, no one does. And a whole lot of good hes done for the worst team in the West.

    But I'm not bitter. I just wish Mike Cameron would learn how to swing a bat. And the fact about baseball is, if a team has the money to replace a half player like MC, then they will do so. As long as some teams have larger markets, they will have an advantage over other teams in negotiations.

  17. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I just wish Mike Cameron would learn how to swing a bat

    I guess if you can hit four home runs while not knowing how to swing a bat, you can do just about anything :).

    I would have to say that Torre is a good manager, and by now has an instinctive feel for his players and New York in general. All teams need a manager (or coach), no matter how talented they are.
  18. KansasNavy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2001
    star 4
    Somewhere along the way, they forgot the basic principal of a business: customer service.
  19. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    Off topic: We're not talking about the Bench coach, we're talking about the General Manager. Contrary to your opinion, I happen to think that the Yankees are VERY well run at the player aquisition level. They obtain high OBP + SLG players, and develop enough talent in their minor leagues to contribute (JEter, Williams, Soriano, etc) and to trade away to plug holes in pennant races. I hate the Yankees, and it ticks me off to see them spending money well. I wish they were run by Syd Thrift instead.

    And ARod is head and shoulders above all other shortstops offensively. His offense contribution above the positional average made him an immensely valuable player last year, and he's young and will have this level of performance in seeming perpetuity (or <shudder> better). I thought the Mariners did VERY well to spend the Arod $25 million on several other players, plugging holes and improving the team. They got some real bargains (Ichiro is giving them production well over his salary). But, the fact remains that he is the 2nd or 3rd most valuable hitter in baseball right now. Bonds is #1 (if I have to discuss this, you're not worth my time), and Arod is with Sosa; Sosa is definitely a better hitter, but he is also a RF, where it is easier to replace hitters with good run-producers. Given age, position, track record and performance, I can't think of another player that should have a larger contract.
  20. Senator Dzrekpo Amegnran Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 1999
    star 3
    Being a Kansas City Royals fan (grew up in Kansas City), I have to say that I'm a strong believer in a salary cap and some system revenue sharing (possibly similar to the way NCAA football conferences split their television contracts). Why? Simply put, in the long run, a team with a $35 million payroll can't compete with teams boasting a $110 million payroll. Sure, almost any team can beat almost any other team any given day, but that's one game and not a season. It's way past time to level the playing field.

    KC traded a few of their superstars away because they 'couldn't afford them', then turned around and gave the same amount of money to 3 free agents. Free agents who were not worth the money. FA that performed about as well as a minimum salary minor leaguer could have performed. Lower revenue make it HARDER for KC, but it's bad baseball decisions that KILL them.


    The Royals getting Jermaine Dye from the Braves (for Michael Tucker) was an incredibly good deal. However, a couple years later, Dye had to be traded away simply because his contract was up at the end of the season. The reasoning? It's better to get something (i.e. a couple of marginal players) in the course of a below .500 season that it is to simply let Dye go as a free agent at the end of the year. It was the same thing with Johnny Damon. The Royals did have the foresight to sign Mike Sweeney to a longer contract (albeit with an escape clause), but, more than likely, he'll bolt at the end of that.

    The Royals are still mostly a home-grown team with a few "stopgap" free agents (i.e. Chuck Knoblauch).

    I agree with your assessment that a large part of the Royals' problem lies in bad choices. I submit, however, that those bad decisions are as much influenced by the market and the uneven nature of baseball revenue as it is the foresight of the Royals' front office.

    IF the Royals develop into a powerhouse through the draft and smart decisions, and dramatically increase their fanbase, they will still never eclipse the Yankees and a handful of other teams in financial resources. However, contrary to popular belief, this is NOT a new issue.


    No, but the nature of the baseball "free market" is different. It was widely spoken that, when Cal Ripken Jr and Tony Gwynn retired, we'd never again see two players of that caliber play out their entire career with a single team. I think that's true. The personality of the players have changed. The spiraling salaries in baseball have made virtually everyone mercenaries; hired bats and arms. How do you control that trend? A salary cap. Don't necessarily limit the amout of money a player can make, but limit the amount a team can spend. This will proportionately affect league salaries, and bring us back to the way baseball was twenty or so years ago; a free market for players, but a sensible one. This would encourage players to stay with their teams more than they're encouraged to today (because they won't be offered $20 million as opposed to $3 million), but the opportunity for movement will still be there. Incentives will still be there, albeit not as obscene.

    That's what baseball needs: a sensible salary cap that will discourage mega-contracts. If that's in place, perhaps revenue-sharing becomes a secondary issue.

    SDA
  21. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    Baseball has always been this way, even during baseball's suppossed golden era, the sport was dominated by the three NY teams. This is not a new issue. In the 50's the KC Athletics were pretty much a glorified farm team whose best players were traded to the Yankees on a regular basis.
    And as a Yankee fan i am sick of the complaining going around. Year after year teams spend large amounts of money and fail to even have a winning record(The orioles the dodgers and the mets to name a few).
    Good teams are built by good scouting and good GM's. Sorry to pick on the Royals but they tend to have lousy picks in the draft, they pick really athletic players who are not Baseball players. They also have not had a good pitcher develop in their organization since Kevin Appier.


    If money were the soul reason for championships than why have we not seen winners come out of LA in 14 years(the Angels havent even made the playoffs in 18 yrs), Chi in 86 yrs(even longer for the Cubbies), Boston in 85 yrs or Philly in 22 yrs? The reason is you cant just win by spending money, look at TX.

    The Yankees found this out the hardway in the 1980's.

    If people want to complain about teams buiying their championships, go yell at Arizona or Florida.
  22. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    Agreed, Bonds is the best hitter in the league. Give him a few more years and he'll be the best ever.

    A-Rod has the potential to be the best shortstop ever. He is certainly Hall of Fame material. I'm just saying that he was very easily replaced. And replaced well. Carlos Guillen is on the verge of a monster season very soon if not this year. I guess there is only so much you can do as a ballplayer. What is the difference between a 10 million dollar player and a 25 million...honestly is one man worth 15 million more than another?
  23. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    If people want to complain about teams buiying their championships, go yell at Arizona or Florida

    If picking up other teams' unwanted players (Counsell, Bautista, Gonzalez among others) and turning them into key components of a championship team is "buying a championship," I hope a lot of other teams buy championships too.

    It's a combination of things. It's not just money, because the Orioles, Dodgers and other teams have blown millions upon millions of dollars, and that's part of bad management. But other teams simply do not have the resources to *both* sign free agents and keep all the players they developed.
  24. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    Yes and their resources come from there fans. Do i complain about how expensive everything tickets are in NYC? No, b/c they put a winning product on the field.
    And as far as the D'Backs go, none of these players were free agents:Johnson, Womack, Grace, Bell, Finley, Stotlemyer or Wiliams.


    And my point was that teams like th eO's and the dodgers dont win b/c of bad management. If a city cannot support a good baseball team than they dont deserve to have a major league franchise.

    It really is too bad it cant work like the Premier League in England with the top two second teir clubs being promoted and the bottom two premier clubs being demoted.
    Than I would not have to suffer through watching th eD rAys or the Royals
  25. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    The Yankees have a huge amount of resources to take from. They have the money to sign anyone they wish. However, they also have excellent management that knows what to do with their money.

    Johnson, Womack, Grace, Bell, Finley, Stotlemyer or Wiliams.

    So will they be buying a championship this year?

    Grace is on the bench mostly now, Bell is injured and likely done, and ditto for Stottlemyre and Williams. Instead, it's Junior Spivey, Danny Bautista, Craig Counsell, Carlos Guillen, Quintin McCracken, Durazo, BK Kim, and Gonzalez who are doing most of the work. All were either unwanted or brought up through the Arizona system. Only Johnson, Schilling and Finley came through the money kind of free agency. The Tigers actually paid the Diamondbacks to take Gonzalez off their hands.

    It's both about good management and resources. The Diamondbacks have excellent management, as do the Yankees. Other teams with more resources continue to fail, and it's usually about management. For the teams without the resources to truly compete, no amount of great managing will change the fact that they don't have enough to compete for an extended period of time (as in years).

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