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Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

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Who does more harm?

The Cheapies.
20
53%
The Spendies.
18
47%
 
Total votes : 38

Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby mak1277 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:25 pm

First off, I am a Pirates fan.

I am going to buck the trend a little here. I have absolutely no problem with what the Yankees, Red Sox and other "spendies" are doing. The bigger issue to me is the teams that aren't spending. That said, the real "problem" with this whole argument is that there is no one absolute goal for each team owner. Owning a baseball team is not like running a business. Running a business you have one primary goal (making money) that overrides every other goal you might pursue. It's nowhere near that simple in the context of owning a pro sports franchise.

Are you the kind of owner that wants to win at all costs (Steinbrenner)?
Are you the kind of owner that wants a toy...wants to be identified as a team owner (Dan Snyder, Mark Cuban)?
Are you the kind of owner that only cares about turning a profit (Nuttings, perhaps)?

From a business perspective, I read on BP one time that the best economic model for a baseball team is to come up just short of the playoffs (taken into consideration ticket revenues balanced by payroll). Don't have the exact link or reference, but the point was that winning a title isn't necessarily the best business decision.

As a fan, it's frustrating to see my team be uncompetetive and spending so little money. But I don't blame the Yankees for the Pirates failures...that's ridiculous. I'd MUCH rather have the Pirates with the top payroll in the league and being competetive every year. Believe me.

Ultimately, I don't think either end of the spectrum truly hurts the game. At the height of baseball's popularity, the Yankees were winning loads of championships and had a head start (name recognition) towards signing any player they wanted. The fact is that for all the hand wringing about competetive balance, people are just as happy in general if the Yanks and Red Sox are good every year.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby noseeum » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:09 pm

Matthias wrote:
noseeum wrote:It's detrimental to baseball because their team stinks. And when their team stinks, no one wants to watch them. Like the Padres right now. They're going down to $40 million and looking to dump Peavy because the owner's getting divorced? That impacts the revenue of the entire NL. If the Padres stink, thei'r games will have lower attendance and ratings, including their away games. That's bad for all of baseball.

The counter-argument to this (and I'm not sniping; just trying to forward the discussion) is that if the Yankees load up on CC and Burnett and bolster their offense, they've made the Jays and the Orioles stink by relation. Last year, Baltimore was an over .500 team (46-43) if you take out the games against their own division. But they finished 28 1/2 games back and in the cellar in the AL East. And that just dampens enthusiasm for their team.

So the Padres owner being a skin-flint ruins the attendance of the games that the Padres are involved in but the super-spending teams binging on the talent (and if they had a farm system that was just as good as everyone else's) ruins the attendance of all sorts of games that they're not involved in.

Thoughts?


I disagree with the counter argument. That's a fallacy. The Yankees have made themselves better. They haven't made anyone else worse. You can't pin that on them. That's just an excuse of losing owners. The only people that made the Blue Jays worse are the Blue Jays.

Each team should always be trying to get better. Those that aren't are bad for the league. Those that are are good for the league, no matter how they go about doing it.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby Neato Torpedo » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:01 pm

noseeum wrote:
Matthias wrote:
noseeum wrote:It's detrimental to baseball because their team stinks. And when their team stinks, no one wants to watch them. Like the Padres right now. They're going down to $40 million and looking to dump Peavy because the owner's getting divorced? That impacts the revenue of the entire NL. If the Padres stink, thei'r games will have lower attendance and ratings, including their away games. That's bad for all of baseball.

The counter-argument to this (and I'm not sniping; just trying to forward the discussion) is that if the Yankees load up on CC and Burnett and bolster their offense, they've made the Jays and the Orioles stink by relation. Last year, Baltimore was an over .500 team (46-43) if you take out the games against their own division. But they finished 28 1/2 games back and in the cellar in the AL East. And that just dampens enthusiasm for their team.

So the Padres owner being a skin-flint ruins the attendance of the games that the Padres are involved in but the super-spending teams binging on the talent (and if they had a farm system that was just as good as everyone else's) ruins the attendance of all sorts of games that they're not involved in.

Thoughts?


I disagree with the counter argument. That's a fallacy. The Yankees have made themselves better. They haven't made anyone else worse. You can't pin that on them. That's just an excuse of losing owners. The only people that made the Blue Jays worse are the Blue Jays.

Each team should always be trying to get better. Those that aren't are bad for the league. Those that are are good for the league, no matter how they go about doing it.

So the Yankees and Red Sox winning more has NOTHING to do with the Orioles and Blue Jays losing more? :-? Interesting. Also, the second half of your post made zero sense at all. I understand your point but your wording/grammar made it hard.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby noseeum » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:00 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:
noseeum wrote:
Matthias wrote:The counter-argument to this (and I'm not sniping; just trying to forward the discussion) is that if the Yankees load up on CC and Burnett and bolster their offense, they've made the Jays and the Orioles stink by relation. Last year, Baltimore was an over .500 team (46-43) if you take out the games against their own division. But they finished 28 1/2 games back and in the cellar in the AL East. And that just dampens enthusiasm for their team.

So the Padres owner being a skin-flint ruins the attendance of the games that the Padres are involved in but the super-spending teams binging on the talent (and if they had a farm system that was just as good as everyone else's) ruins the attendance of all sorts of games that they're not involved in.

Thoughts?


I disagree with the counter argument. That's a fallacy. The Yankees have made themselves better. They haven't made anyone else worse. You can't pin that on them. That's just an excuse of losing owners. The only people that made the Blue Jays worse are the Blue Jays.

Each team should always be trying to get better. Those that aren't are bad for the league. Those that are are good for the league, no matter how they go about doing it.

So the Yankees and Red Sox winning more has NOTHING to do with the Orioles and Blue Jays losing more? :-? Interesting. Also, the second half of your post made zero sense at all. I understand your point but your wording/grammar made it hard.


It impacts their record, but it does not impact the quality of their team.

The point is, it's wrong to think baseball is better served by the Yankees choosing to not be as good as they can be. Sure, if there's a salary cap they'll have to live with it, but when there's not a cap, they have every right to do what they're doing. I would go further and say they have an obligation to do it. They must use all of their resources to get better, and they must continue to try to build their resources. This is a competition. You can't be purposely holding yourself back "for the good of the league" or whatever. It just doesn't work that way. I mean, just think of it. Cashman and Hal saying, "You know, we COULD sign CC. We can definitely afford him. But nah. We should pass on him. That just wouldn't be fair to the Brewers."

RE my other comment, it must have made SOME sense since you understood it! :-D But I agree, I could have worded things more clearly. May as well leave it now though. To be more clear: Teams that don't try to get better are bad for the league. Teams that do try to get better are good for the league, no matter how they go about doing it (as long as it's allowed in the rules, that is).
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby Matthias » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:31 am

noseeum wrote:It impacts their record, but it does not impact the quality of their team.

The point is, it's wrong to think baseball is better served by the Yankees choosing to not be as good as they can be. Sure, if there's a salary cap they'll have to live with it, but when there's not a cap, they have every right to do what they're doing. I would go further and say they have an obligation to do it. They must use all of their resources to get better, and they must continue to try to build their resources. This is a competition. You can't be purposely holding yourself back "for the good of the league" or whatever. It just doesn't work that way. I mean, just think of it. Cashman and Hal saying, "You know, we COULD sign CC. We can definitely afford him. But nah. We should pass on him. That just wouldn't be fair to the Brewers."

Here, though, you're confusing two things which should be distinct: the first is what negative impact (if any) the Yankees' spending have on the rest of the league and the second is what sort of duty they have to the league and their own franchise to mitigate that. I agree with you that their sole duty is to their franchise and, by extension, their fans. But that doesn't necessarily mean that what they're doing is good for everyone else. Basically, in economic terms they're generating an externality and I'm just wondering if that is a negative one and, if so, if it is more negative than the one generated by a team that decides to pull back payroll for whatever reason.

Also, in a closed system, I don't know if saying that you're negatively impacting the Orioles' record versus negatively impacting the Orioles as a team is really a meaningful distinction. If, on fantasy draft day, I get 2 picks a round to everyone else's 1, all I'm able to do is improve my team. But everyone else's chances to win just significantly decreased (assuming bravely that I'm not a complete idiot with my picks). I haven't altered their teams at all, but I've still impacted their probabilities, their perceived chances to win, and possibly their interest in the league.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby noseeum » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:54 am

Matthias wrote:
noseeum wrote:It impacts their record, but it does not impact the quality of their team.

The point is, it's wrong to think baseball is better served by the Yankees choosing to not be as good as they can be. Sure, if there's a salary cap they'll have to live with it, but when there's not a cap, they have every right to do what they're doing. I would go further and say they have an obligation to do it. They must use all of their resources to get better, and they must continue to try to build their resources. This is a competition. You can't be purposely holding yourself back "for the good of the league" or whatever. It just doesn't work that way. I mean, just think of it. Cashman and Hal saying, "You know, we COULD sign CC. We can definitely afford him. But nah. We should pass on him. That just wouldn't be fair to the Brewers."

Here, though, you're confusing two things which should be distinct: the first is what negative impact (if any) the Yankees' spending have on the rest of the league and the second is what sort of duty they have to the league and their own franchise to mitigate that. I agree with you that their sole duty is to their franchise and, by extension, their fans. But that doesn't necessarily mean that what they're doing is good for everyone else. Basically, in economic terms they're generating an externality and I'm just wondering if that is a negative one and, if so, if it is more negative than the one generated by a team that decides to pull back payroll for whatever reason.

Also, in a closed system, I don't know if saying that you're negatively impacting the Orioles' record versus negatively impacting the Orioles as a team is really a meaningful distinction. If, on fantasy draft day, I get 2 picks a round to everyone else's 1, all I'm able to do is improve my team. But everyone else's chances to win just significantly decreased (assuming bravely that I'm not a complete idiot with my picks). I haven't altered their teams at all, but I've still impacted their probabilities, their perceived chances to win, and possibly their interest in the league.


I understand what you're saying, but my view is that that kind of thinking can not be tolerated in a competitive environment. It's not only tolerated in baseball, it's encouraged, and I never understand why. You never hear about this in the NBA, where the cap is so flexible that the star player on a team can make ridiculous amounts of money. You never heard the Milwaukee Bucks complaining about Jordan getting $30 million a year. I think the negative impact of trying to address the "negative externality" would be greater than demanding that all other teams find some way to accept the fact that their competitors will continually try to improve.

NFL seems to have the strictest cap lately, and IMO, the quality of play has suffered. There are no teams like the 90s Cowboys or 49ers anymore. Competitive balance is fine, but if it's accomplished by bringing down the top instead of raising up the bottom, I think the game suffers. And in the end it doesn't work. How did the Pats go undefeated last year, and then the Titans almost did this year? The Titans? I think the overall mediocrity of NFL teams has caused the NFL to be so coach focused now. If you have the right coach, you can win games. If you don't, you stink. I'd rather my sports be player focused.

I would disagree with your "closed system" point. Fantasy baseball is a closed system, but real baseball isn't. Teams are now searching the entire globe for players. There are many under utilized sources of talent. Take for example Pittsburgh signing the first Indian player last month. There's another billion people to throw into the prospect pool!

You could argue that each individual player constitutes a "closed system". There's only one CC. But you have to remember there's only one David Price as well. And look at Tampa Bay vs. NYY. Tampa Bay made a concerted effort to develop through the draft. They now have a playoff contending team that's very young and a fully stocked farm system. Each time Tampa got extra picks and drafted a David Price, they took that player away from the Yankees. There's really no difference between Price and CC. It's one player that one team acquired somehow, and now no one else has access to that player.

One more data point to add to this discussion. The average career length for a major leaguer is 5.6 years. Players are locked up for 6 years. Interesting, huh? In order to last past your lock up date, you have to be an above average player. If you aren't, they'll dump you for another under paid rookie. I can't find the median, but it's reportedly significantly lower than the average, which makes sense because one guy playing for 20 years will schew the data by a decent amount. I mention this because to me, the impact of free agent salaries has to be fairly muted when more than half of players never make it to free agency.

Thoughts?
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby J35J » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:17 pm

noseeum wrote: I think the overall mediocrity of NFL teams has caused the NFL to be so coach focused now. If you have the right coach, you can win games. If you don't, you stink. I'd rather my sports be player focused.

NFL will ALWAYS be coach focused and baseball will ALWAYS be player focused....thats just the nature of the games.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby noseeum » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:41 pm

J35J wrote:
noseeum wrote: I think the overall mediocrity of NFL teams has caused the NFL to be so coach focused now. If you have the right coach, you can win games. If you don't, you stink. I'd rather my sports be player focused.

NFL will ALWAYS be coach focused and baseball will ALWAYS be player focused....thats just the nature of the games.


Don't you feel like it's gotten a lot more so lately though? Yes, Bill Walsh and Seifert were great coaches, but Montana, Young, Rice, Craig, Haley, Sanders, etc. etc. were all great players. How many hall of famers are on the Pats championship teams? Brady. Anyone else?
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby Amazinz » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:18 pm

The game of football is not suffering. We are talking about the most popular game in the U.S. The game that dethroned baseball as America's pasttime. The game where the average team worth is $1 billion dollars (over twice as much as the average MLB team according to Forbes). The NFL is doing something right. You can call it mediocrity if you want but the masses have spoken and they like parity. :-B
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby Matthias » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:50 pm

Noseeum, when you say that kind of thinking cannot be tolerated in a competitive environment, I think you're thinking again from the perspective of the individual franchises. And there, I agree with you: they have to want to win. But when you're structuring the environment and considering on how to arrange the environment in which they compete, it is fair to consider what sort of balance you're creating and what your ultimate good is. I'm not so sure that the Yankees have a Lee Iacocca relationship to the MLB: what is good for the Yankees is good for baseball and what is good for baseball is good for the Yankees.

I've heard kvetching before about how the NFL prohibits dynasties nowadays, but I'd stack up a couple of the New England squads from the past few years against the 49ers of the 80's or the Cowboys of the 90's. And fundamentally, football now is about management of franchises, not built-in competitive advantages. If you manage your franchise well (Patriots) you do well. If you manage your franchise poorly (Lions) you suck eggs. That's really all you can ask for out of a competitive system.

You have a fair point on career length and free agency. You're right: if there was no pre-arbitration period and no arbitration period and it was just an open market from the get-go, it would be worse than it is. These restrictions on player options do serve to level, somewhat, the competitive balance. However, if everyone had an equally good protected-talent pool and equally good player development, then the teams that can bolster their lineup with the proven stars should win a majority of the time. And even when a team like Tampa does win, the fan base is so apathetic that their stadium was only 53% full for the season.
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