The fate of Baseball in the US

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

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  1. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
  2. Darth Scooby Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 1999
    star 4
    Look, you can talk all you want about this era and that era, but the simple fact is, Babe Ruth was and will continue to be the greatest player ever. Don't believe me, check out here:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/ruthba01.shtml

    He not only was the greatest hitter ever, but he would have made the hall of fame as a pitcher. Until Barry or Junior or A-Rod or any other pretenders can show me their pitching skill (94-46 with a 2.28 ERA plus 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA in WS play), they've got nothing. As to Mays, Aaron, Williams, the same goes for them. Ruth hit .342 for christ's sake!! He didn't just hit HRs, he did everything.

    Like Red Seven said (although he is too much of a seamhead for me ;), it's not even close.
  3. PowerfulJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2000
    star 4
    Anyway back to the financial issue. Yes I do agree that bad team=bad management TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. You bring up the A's, they have on of the best farm systems in baseball. And to simplify the reason why there should be a salary cap.

    During the A-Rod chase, do you REALLY think the Milwaukees and the Kansas Citys had a chance? Of course not. And to say Seattle is a small market is sort of a falsehood, don't forget all the viewership they have in Japan.
  4. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    Coming from a Seattlite, the baseball market is huge here. Everyone, and I mean everyone checks the score. I love living in a new baseball town.

    Now for my impression of a monkey with a wrench. I'm sure we all have more than two bits on this topic. What of the roids? Should they be banned?

    I say yes, absolutely, and not just in baseball. Some say that will lessen the competition. Make the game to hard to break records like 61 in a season. They should ban roids like the olympics. Records still get broken every two-four years.

    They should ban them for another reason. These ballplayers are role models. It would be naive and more to think they don't have an influence on the choices of college and high school level players.
  5. PowerfulJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2000
    star 4
    They're tainting the game. They're hurting people. And they're hurting the past. I'm all for testing.
  6. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    Players aren't even using steroids. They're using testosterone and human growth hormone, which are very very very difficult to test.

    Player testing is a bargaining chip, and an issue the players union is going to have to look at in terms of public relations and member health.


    Anyone remember how lousy the revenues and crowds were in Seattle and Atlanta a decade ago? Market size is determined from the SIZE of the MARKET, not how enthusiastic the baseball fans may be.
  7. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Actually, a decade is no longer enough for Atlanta. Used to be that you just took 10 years and you ended up in the midst of Atlanta's dark decade of the 80s (minus 1982), but now it stretches back into their dominance when they were in the old West division.

  8. Vaderbait Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2001
    star 6
    Well, I'll tell you this:

    1) Without salary caps, I have no respect for anyone with any job relating to baseball.

    2) It isn't a competitive sport, it gets boring when the Yankees are one of the best teams every year.

    3) It may not be as bad as it seems, but other sports are blowing baseball out of the water right now.
  9. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    I'm sorry. I was under the impression that customer satisfaction with a product (such as a baseball game) had an effect on the market.
  10. Darth Scooby Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 1999
    star 4
    JediTre - yes and no. Sure, customer satisfaction goes a long way towards getting people interested and in the seats. But, it doesn't always translate into dollars. Like I said, the major revenue stream in baseball is local media income. Teams in major markets will always have the advantage when it comes to this money. Even if a small market team is generating local rating 3x that of a large market team, the overall viewership and ad revenue being brought in is still going to be less. Therefore, the rights to broadcast will be less.

    And yes, Seattle was not doing so well a decade ago. But they got hot using sme decent talent evaluators (ok, so drafting junior was kinda a no brainer). However, they were basically one season away from going down the crapper, until they pulled out a miracle in 95. That's what got them Safeco. But between 95 and 99, they were dumping salary, starting with Tino and continuing through Johnson and Griffey. Safeco got them an increased revenue stream, Ichiro got them a large and unique fan base, Olerud decided to go home. So, Seattle is a rather unique situation, not really one that can be emulated too easily.

    As for Atlanta, Turner already had a ton of dough coming in through his superstation, so while Atlanta isn't a "large market" comparred to NY and LA, it has a large audience.

    As to steroids and other enhancing drugs, it's just another in a long list of things that cause the numbers of today to be looked at with a bit of a wary eye. Overexpansion (never should have added 4 teams in the 90's), diminishing strike zone, super wound baseballs, etc... All these things add up to big problems with numbers.

    My father in law is a member of BBWAA and votes for HOF induction each year, and we've talked about the trouble he's going to have in the future determining the value of numbers. It's already happened somewhat in the save area, where things have changed drastically over the past 15 years (thanks Tony). You look at the guys today who have already surpassed greats like GOssage and Fingers, yet shouldn't be HOF material.
  11. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    Even if a small market team is generating local rating 3x that of a large market team, the overall viewership and ad revenue being brought in is still going to be less. Therefore, the rights to broadcast will be less.

    ::Light flicks on:: Oh...I get it now. Now why didn't someone say this in the first place!?!? Better yet why didn't I think of it?

  12. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Overexpansion (never should have added 4 teams in the 90's

    Hey now... Diamondbacks were a good choice. Part of the financial problems that you may want to refer to as a counterpoint stem from the owners hiking the already-exhorbitant entrance fee, as well as handicapping them for the first several years in regards to revenue sharing. It's a good market here, and helped lead to a memorable World Series. There's a strong fan base here, and with a championship (and a contending team in all but the first season) in the books, there's a tradition that has already begun.

    The Rockies started out okay, but I think Coors Field and the altitude will keep them from ever winning consistently. Florida made bad decisions and the market there isn't too good, and the same goes for Tampa Bay. Why on earth they decided to expand further in an area that has already shown major problems is beyond my ability to understand.

  13. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    expansion was a bad idea. Those four teams mean that there are about forty pitchers spread throughout mlb that shouldnt be in the majors. Relocating a team to arizona would have been a better choice.
  14. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Relocating a team to arizona would have been a better choice

    In theory perhaps, but we did not want another relocated team here. We wanted a team of our own again (like the Suns).
  15. Porkins in a Speedo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 5
    i highly recommend Bob Costas' book Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball. the man knows what he is talking about and has some great ideas. :)
  16. WindexedStormtrooper Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2001
    star 4
    I know it goes without saying, but if there is another strike/lockout, MLB is done. Absolutely finished. When and if they came back, they'd be down there with arena football and roller derby.
  17. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    Bob Costas is a blowhard. He doesn't understand half of what is going on.


    "My father in law is a member of BBWAA and votes for HOF induction each year, and we've talked about the trouble he's going to have in the future determining the value of numbers."

    Awesome!
    Problems with numbers? What is important is comparing them vs. their eras, NOT across eras.

    Did you know that the late 1920's was actually a HIGHER offense era than today? Less homeruns, but more hits. Things always change in baseball, for myriad reasons. You can try to stop the change, or deal with it rationally.
  18. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    Jayson stark's column on espn.com



    Monday, June 10

    You don't hear NBA complaining

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By Jayson Stark
    ESPN.com


    As we're typing these words, over in another sport, the Lakers are one win from announcing their latest parade route. That's three in a row if you're counting parade routes at home.

    Funny, isn't it, that we still haven't heard one word from anyone in the NBA, complaining that the Lakers are ruining a once-great sport?


    OK, we know what you're thinking. You're thinking: "Wait. Isn't this supposed to be a column about baseball?" Well, you're right. This is a column about baseball. But watching the Lakers makes us think about the Yankees -- and about the differences between life in one sport and life in another.

    It's about time baseball started doing more to sell everything that's right about its sport instead of everything that's wrong. The NBA has problems, too. It just doesn't turn them into a national marketing campaign.


    Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer and lead labor negotiator, was gracious enough to visit us on the ESPN campus the other day. Here's what he said when the topic turned to MLB's favorite rallying cry -- competitive balance:


    "Having one team in the World Series every year," DuPuy said, "is not competitive balance."


    He was talking, of course, about the Yankees, a team that has made it to four straight World Series and won three of them. We don't deny that there's some truth in DuPuy's words. But like so much else in life, the good and the evil in the Yankees' run of greatness is in the perception.


    So we asked DuPuy what the difference was between the dominance of the Lakers in one sport and the dominance of the Yankees in our sport.


    He mentioned at one point that "more people were rooting for Sacramento" in the Western Conference finals than were rooting for the Lakers. We observed that undoubtedly, more people were rooting for the A's, Mariners and Diamondbacks last year, too.


    DuPuy mentioned at another point how close the Lakers had come to losing to the Kings. We observed that the A's almost beat the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs two years in a row.


    DuPuy then conceded, "I don't think there's anything wrong with the Yankees being good. And our system (in the owners' current labor proposal) won't stop the Yankees from being good. But it would be nice if somone like Oakland would stop them once in a while."


    We won't even get into the fact that the Yankees would have to pay $100 million a year in revenue sharing and luxury taxes under that proposal. Just think for a moment how close Oakland actually came to stopping them just eight months ago. All right, let's all recite together: "If Jeremy Giambi had only slid ..."


    Finally, DuPuy went to his NBA payroll chart and announced that the Lakers were 12th in the league in payroll this year. Which is true. But they were sixth and fourth the previous two years. And this is basketball, where two stars can dominate every game and allow you to play the Three Stooges at the other three spots and still win.


    Still, DuPuy says -- with indisputable accuracy -- that except for three teams (the Knicks, Trail Blazers and Nets), the NBA's cap has produced a "flat" payroll chart. And that's great for their owners' bottom lines -- but does it mean that NBA system has produced more competitive balance than baseball?

    Heck, no. As our colleague, Darren Rovell, has pointed out on our Sports Business page, it's produced far less competitive balance.


    In the NBA, 22 of the last 23 finals have featured at least one team from the four largest cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston). The NBA system also has consistently churned out dynasties or mini-dynasties. In the last 20 years, only six franchises have won an NBA title -- and five of them either won at least two in a row or went to back-to-back finals.


    The NBA system also has given us some of the worst teams in modern
  19. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I will only say that in the NBA, management is what makes or breaks teams, not money. Because of the salary cap, everyone's on somewhat of an equal footing. Well-managed teams succeed.
  20. Vader Fett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 4
    Bob Costas is a blowhard. He doesn't understand half of what is going on.

    [face_plain]
    did you even both to read his book? and i suppose your ideas are better?
  21. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    What the article is trying to say is that there is less of a competitive balance in basketball than baseball despite the salary cap.

    Even with a salary cap, you cant prevent teams from spending more money on, scouts(international especially), gm's, coaches and managers which all are key to a successful franchise.
  22. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Good point, Sleazo. Some teams are good at getting those elements in place, and others are not. All you've got to do usually is look at the standings to know.
  23. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    International scouting is very important and will continue to increase in importance what with the new talent markets we are uncovering in asia.
    Teams with money can afford to have scouts all over the world. This gives them a good jump on the ir competitors.

    This is one of the reasons that makes me believe that a salary cap is not the answer.
  24. Darth Scooby Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 1999
    star 4
    Comparing baseball and basketball is apples and oranges. Like the man said, 2 great players can dominate with adequate role players. Doesn't happen in baseball (the Yankess won 4 WS in 5 years and one of their best players, Bernie Williams, was absolute crap in every one of them - think that could happen in basketball?). Better to compare to football, where a salary cap has created a competitive balance that has produced different champions in each of the last 4 seasons. Gone are the days of long dynasties. Hope springs eternal for every team, regardless of location.

    No, baseball is still unbalanced in the long run. And I believe he's incorrect about depth not playing a part in the playoffs. When you need to have situational relief in a tense moment during the crucial 7th and 8th innings, depth counts. When you need to take the bat out a pinch hitter's hands because the opposing manager has switched pitchers after he is announced, depth counts. Late inning defensive replacements? Depth. Above average 5th starter in bullpen for quality middle relief? Depth.

    I still go back to one thing: it's all about the benjamins. If you can afford to not only pay players twice what the other teams can, but also to pamper them like they were roman emperors, you'll get them 9 out of 10 times.

    If a salary cap is not to your liking, then at least there should be revenue sharing. Split the gates 60-40, or maybe 65-35. After all, those big market teams don't take the field on their own, right?

    Finally, a word about fiscal restraint. It doesn't work. When last the owners got together and created a de facto cap, they were shot down by an arbitrator screaming collusion and it cost them a few billion dollars. Personally, I think this was the real driving force behind expansion - to recoup some of that lost revenue.

    Red Seven - I know it's really how you compare players within their own era, but many people don't see that. In addition, with the specific example of relief pitching, the use of these pitchers has drastically changed over the last 15 years. That's what hurts.
  25. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Depth certainly does count, as you said. It was a major factor in the Diamondbacks (and Yankees over the years) being able to win the Series.
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