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Fixing Baseball without a salary cap

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Postby stabone76 » Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:05 pm

LBJackal wrote:
stabone76 wrote:
LBJackal wrote:Good idea about adding more teams to areas that can support them. The problem is the owners will never agree. Ever. Not gonna happen. Why would they say "yeah sure, put a few teams in my area because we have too many fans".? It would definately create more parity, but it will NOT happen. They're having a hard enough time getting a team in DC because of Seattle.

For that reason, their should be a hard salary cap put in place. It's not the capitalist way, but baseball shouldn't be about capitalism. Of course the owners will make as much as they can within the rules of the game, which is what George is doing and I don't blame him, but putting a hard cap and floor in place would create a lot of parity. Baseball would be more enjoyable, the owners would still be making money, and the players would have to deal with getting only $10-15M as opposed to $25M. Boo hoo. I son't see the risk involved fopr the players. They get guaranteed money. Owners don't neccesarily get paid, soemtimes they end up in the red. As long as the minimum salary is hunderds of thousands of dollars, I have no sympathy for the players. They play baseball for a living and get paid more than doctors and the President.

So I see 2 options that would work if put in place:

1) Salary cap - MLBPA won't agree because they wouldn't be making enough money

2) Put teams in cities that can support a lot of teams - owners won't agree, they'll lose too much revenue

I don't see a solution that will work, but a salary cap is most likely.
WOW our first disagreement. I think the owners DESERVE the money they make, they put up all hte possible loss. they are the only people that may lose money.


Did you not read this:

I don't see the risk involved for the players. They get guaranteed money. Owners don't neccesarily get paid, soemtimes they end up in the red. As long as the minimum salary is hunderds of thousands of dollars, I have no sympathy for the players.
SRY, our first disput settled.....oops for me.. i was wrong agian... (thats TWICE TODAY, three times if you talk to mygirlfriend)
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expansion instead of contraction

Postby wrveres » Mon Feb 16, 2004 5:23 am

Expansion instead of Contraction is what MLB needs. But first we need a commish with a vision ... buds eyes are ownly partially open.

In order for this to work. MLB must first do a few not so simple things .. but there is no reason why it can't work.
ok first off, Realignment ..

North East
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles

South East
Atlanta Braves
Florida Marlins
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Houston Astros
New Orleans Expos ( or a southern state, maybe VA.)

North Central
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia Phillies
Minnesota Twins

South Central
St. Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds
Texas Rangers
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers

North West :-o
Seattle
Colorado
San Fransisco
Kansas City
Milwaukee Brewers

South West
Anaheim Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres
Las Vegas A's (also must be kept in a south western local, maybe Mexico)



Second decision is the DH. Stay or Go? Personally I say go, I think the two year trial is up, plus there is the added benefit of saving a few million every season for the stupid position. But I am also a realist, and understand that the Union would never let this fly. So the DH stays.

Third is Relocation. New Orleans is an ideal market for the Expos. Finding an owner is another thing. A stadium quite another. Virgina seems to be the front runner though. Oakland, I am sorry, but you do not support your team. Why? I have no fricking clue but 'tis a shame. The A's would thrive in either Vegas (which is very doable, even with the gambling) or Portland. Let Oakland keep the Raiders though! Why they chose to support those criminals over the A's is beyond me.

Fourth is a schedule. Having all teams now playing by the same rules, (the DH) we can now create rivalries. If the Yanks/Sox history has shown us anything, is that rivalries sell. All teams would begin the season much as they do now, in an unbalnced schedule. They would play within their division to begin the season and to end the season. April and September! They would play each team 3 home and 3 away. Thats 48 Games against within the division, with each team seeing its rival 12 times. Teams would then play against their Northern/Southern oponents a total of 6 times. 3 away and 3 home. Ideally this would be towards the end of summer right before teams start to face there conference rivals. From them end of April till the end of July teams would then play against the other 20 teams. 2 home and 2 away. Currently Baseball is set up in a way that NL fans can't really see AL stars and visa-versa. I understand interleague has tried to fix this, but if I knew the Rangers were coming every year for at least two games. I'd go. I'd love to see Chan Ho Park Pitch again. Why should I as a fan be deprived of watching stars perform? Ok basically what I have done now is set up a very fair, balanced schedule where every team plays every team .... every year.

April .. your division... 24 games
May, June, July ... the other 20 teams .. 80 games
August .. North/South rivalries 30 games
Sep .. Your division .. 24 games
Thats a 158 games schedule.

Fifth is revenue sharing. Ideally under this plan, Attendence would increase even in the worst markets like Pittsburgh, as they could go and see all the teams when the come to town. I understand that they wouldn't always sell out, but I truly believe ther would be an attendence boost. MLB truly needs to market is stars better, especially nationally, but more on that later. There is no reason why there shouldn't be a 50/50 gate recipts, concession reciepts, televsion revenue split!! Everything right down the middle. It takes two teams to play a game! This will obviouslly give money to the Pirates of the world when they visit New York, but it will also put people in the seats in Pittsburgh when New York comes to town.

Sixth is pay to play. MLB owners shot themselves in the foot one to many times! Ask Tom Hicks, as he just paid Alex Rodriguez 47.5 million per year, for three years worth of last place baseball. But these men are not stupid, not all of them anyways. Foot wounds do heal. Owners have learned that long term contracts are not the way to go. Only a few contracts given out this off season were in excess of 3 total years, which is good. They are healing. But only a few of those contracts were performance based.
3 year performanced based contracts with buyout options for each year should be the flavor of choice in the huge FA market during the winter of 2004. Have MLB and the MLBPA sit down and figure out the price of a HR, single what ever. Base it on Seligs new stupid stat, I forget what he calls it, sorry. Whatever, just set up a flat rate. Make a single worth a grand, or base it on plate appearances
it doesn't matter. The player would then get his base salary, say 2 mill plus last years performance.

So now we have a balanced schedule, one that creates division rivals that are in close prox to each other. The reason this is imortant is because people will travel. CHC/CWS would sell out all the time. ANA/LA would too, just to name a few. And we have balance on the reciepts, giving more money to the smaller market teams. We also have incentive based contracts. We just created our "First Division"!!

MLBs biggest assest is in its youth. Its young stars. As was pointed out before, Euro soccer has two divisions! Well MLB has Four!!! They just do a chitty job of marketing them. Instead of "Working-Agreements" with these minor league clubs, Each Team should have one AAA club that they own. Instead of farming them out to Boise, keep them at home. The Minor league team would play in an exact opposite of the Major league team as far as schedule. All 158 games. Obvioussly these tickets would be reduced, but you have also just created competition, and a second source of revenue. And you as the owner are getting both sources of revenue. They don't have to be the same team name, they would need to be unique from a marketing perspective, but youth sells. People would easily flock to the stadium for 5.00 a seat to see the future stars. Model it after the "First Division" Financially and schedule wise, and it will create rivalries too ....

wow this is getting long ....

Lastly, AA and A teams should be organized and owned by MLB also. AA ball should stay in the smaller communities but modeled in a way to create rivalries, but A ball should be played in South America, but thats a whole other thread. :-D

as far as financing the expansion instead of contraction. MLB should "Tax" every organaization from every revenue stream, Majors and Minors, to help the 'poor' owners purchase the Minor league teams. Make the tax at 3% and make it expire in 50 years.

I have more but i'll stop here ..

Thoughts so far ?
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Postby wrveres » Mon Feb 16, 2004 5:44 am

ooops forgot Playoffs ...

All series would be 7 games. Each divisional winner .. 6 teams plus the next two teams overall, based upon win / loss records. Minor league playoffs wold be the exact same way as the first division. Imagine the financial windwall if the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Rain both make the playoffs .. ;-D But ideally you could have MLB playoffs chases going on in 20 different cities. First division and second division playoffs, won't matter over time. Soon the minor leagues would have there own TV contract. Ideally on MLB TV ....

expansion intstead of contraction ..... ;-D it'll create tons of new revenue
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Postby Mookie4ever » Mon Feb 16, 2004 9:05 am

Excellent Wveres - I really like your ideas, you have obviously put a lot of time and thought into it.

I particularly like the idea of realignment creating de facto first and second divisions. I consider this to be a realistic compromise because the tiered system I suggested doesn't have a hope in hell of being adopted.

Here are some random thoughts as I sit here (before having my second coffee mind you) this morning:

Why revenue sharing? Lets distinguish revenue from profits. One team can make a profit where another team would end up with a deficit getting the same revenue. Some of this is attributable to salary or good business sense but other factors are overhead expenses beyond the owner's control. Some owners also do not maximize the revenue generating potential of their teams - these owners should not be rewarded with revenue sharing.

My thought is that each territory has its own revenue generating potential. MLB should readjust territories so that each team has a territory with an equal revenue generating potential. This would mean more teams in NYC (maybe move the Expos or As in) and fewer teams in the midwest.

This would have the extra benefits of allowing more fans to enjoy live baseball and creating even better rivalries (2 NY teams in the AL!).

So instead of revenue sharing we share revenue generating territory and allow the owners to generate (or lose) their own revenue and create whatever profit they can with the territory they are given.

I do not like the pay for play idea. Winning the game has to be the main concern - it is a team sport after all. We might also end up with outrageous situations that teams may not be able to afford their players during the season because they are too successful. Just look at the Pitt Penguins, reduced to sending players down to the minors so that they do not meet performance bonuses in their contracts.

Lastly is the tax. I thought that you guys voted Bush Jr. in for less government and not more! lol

MLB is not qualified to spend our money. It would after all be a tax paid by the fans.

All in all I think that your proposal is a good one (its certainly better than what's in place now) - but who knows how I will feel after I have my second coffee.

btw Wveres - can you get to work on solving the middle-east? thanks
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Postby mikcou » Mon Feb 16, 2004 9:11 am

kentx12 wrote:The only way to restore competative balance in baseball is a cap. A max and a minimum. If the bottom spending teams wouldn't want to do that then they should be sold or moved.


I agree :-) ;-D
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Re: expansion instead of contraction

Postby Arlo » Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:14 pm

wrveres wrote:Thoughts so far ?

Great thoughts. ;-D

Just a question: why New Orleans and Las Vegas?
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Re: expansion instead of contraction

Postby KPucks » Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:20 pm

Arlo wrote:
wrveres wrote:Thoughts so far ?

Great thoughts. ;-D

Just a question: why New Orleans and Las Vegas?


Because are there any better places to party all night after a game? :-D
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Re: expansion instead of contraction

Postby Arlo » Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:27 pm

KPucks wrote:
Arlo wrote:
wrveres wrote:Thoughts so far ?

Great thoughts. ;-D

Just a question: why New Orleans and Las Vegas?


Because are there any better places to party all night after a game? :-D

Ok, that works. :-)
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Postby lesgrant » Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:54 pm

All of these solutions to the league are really solutions to neutralize the Yankees. Aside from the Yankees of late, MLB does have parity.

It seems that wrveres would rather go to Mars and back in order to fix one team’s wagon. While his ideas are wildly imaginative, expansion, re-alignment and schedule reform isn’t going to happen, especially just to slow down the Yankees. Moreover any comparison to the other major sports leagues is a waste of time. The financial structure of baseball is too de-centralized to even attempt any of the things other leagues have done to improve parity.

What it all comes down to is the fact that most owners would rather pocket their profits instead of putting them back onto the field. Then they cry poverty (even though not a single owner is willing to open up their books for an independent audit) and vilify Steinbrenner for spending what they don’t want to spend. And of course fans parrot their owners and the media.

The only way that your team will be able to compete with the Yankees is if your fans stay at home and boycott your franchise until they sign some top tier talent. The Mets’ fans did just that and it resulted in the signing of Piazza (and others), eventually leading to a NL championship. Even though they lost to the Yanks in the WS, their franchise took a huge step forward.

They are in a rebuilding phase now. But that beats many of those teams out there who never had anything to rebuild in the first place.

It’s about accountability. Hold your owners responsible instead of reinventing the wheel to cover up for their greed and indifference towards the game.
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Postby ramble2 » Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:33 pm

lesgrant wrote:What it all comes down to is the fact that most owners would rather pocket their profits instead of putting them back onto the field. Then they cry poverty (even though not a single owner is willing to open up their books for an independent audit) and vilify Steinbrenner for spending what they don’t want to spend. And of course fans parrot their owners and the media.

The only way that your team will be able to compete with the Yankees is if your fans stay at home and boycott your franchise until they sign some top tier talent. The Mets’ fans did just that and it resulted in the signing of Piazza (and others), eventually leading to a NL championship. Even though they lost to the Yanks in the WS, their franchise took a huge step forward.


I agree to an extent that some owners don't invest properly in their team. But that only describes a tiny majority of teams. The Yankees are a team that re-invest their money back into payroll and team development. But you are ignoring three facts: 1. Not all teams have equal revenue; 2. Baseball is structured in such a way that local revenue stays with local teams; 3. Local revenue is driven primarily by market size. Oakland's market is a fraction of the Yankees. Even if both teams were run equally efficiently and marketed equally effectively, there will be a huge differential in revenue produced.

I've mentioned this in other posts, but it's worth repeating. If you own a baseball team, it ought to be viewed first as an investment, and only secondly as a source of income. The real (monetary) payoff of owning a baseball team is when you sell it. MLB teams tend to be very good investments. Good owners ought to be willing to put most of their revenue back into the team to increase it's worth. It might even be worth putting in more money than is being generated in revenue, if you can get that money back.

But there is a limit. Very few people, even baseball owners, could afford to pay $20-$30 million more a year than is being generated. The problem is that there is easily this much discrepancy in revenue between teams. Personally, I'd like to see more aggressive sharing of local revenue. Teams with good management and committed owners will be rewarded. The problems of a salary cap are avoided. Large-market teams will still generate higher revenues, but the discrepancy won't be as great. Sharing local revenue is also fair, given that no team can exist without the other teams to play.

Nothing like this is going to happen until Bud is gone. Bud has too many conflicts of interest and not enough trust to make this happen.
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