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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 Amazinz » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:08 pm

BronXBombers51 wrote:Is there actually a way to ensure that the small market teams put the money from revenue sharing back into the team? I'm not sure how it's possible to facilitate that.

I doubt it Bronx because teams could invest back into the team a lot of different ways (scouting in the D.R., for instance).
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby Matthias » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:10 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
Matthias wrote:Trading spitballs about what financial measure is a better metric for the NFL vs MLB is basically a fruitless exercise. You were kvetching earlier in the thread about comparing the broadcast of a best-of-7 championship versus the broadcast of a one-and-done and now you're trying to compare metrics which are riddled with much more in the way of systematic bias.

At the end of the day, whether or not you choose to accept it, football has replaced baseball in the minds of the American public as the preeminent sport. I think the best objective evidence of this is the same-to-same comparison of WS viewership versus SB viewership but there's tons of anecdotal evidence as well. Perhaps this is due to football's parity; perhaps this is due to the nature of the game and changing viewership; I'm not sure. But saying more people went to baseball games than football games last year doesn't really move any argument along.

And neither does saying football has replaced baseball in the minds of Americans as the preeminent sport. That's based almost exclusively on one poll asking people what their favorite sport is. It does not tell how many people follow each sport, or what the intensity of that interest is, or many other things. A more complete discussion--what you seem to regard as spitballing--would recognize numerous other parts of this issue. For example, polls often represent what people like to say rather than how they actually behave. People's behavior, as measured by revenue and attendance, for example, tells another or different part of the story. TV ratings tells another part of the story. Web page hits or fantasy sport participation might tell another part of the story.

I would argue that getting deeper into these types of issuse is the ONLY thing that moves the issue along, rather than debating hypotheticals that have no basis in reality.

No, it's not based off of one poll. It's more based off of my overall impression. What sort of coverage do the respective sports get? How closely do people follow it? How much are the two discussed at the water cooler? How much do people seem to care about the playoffs? How popular are their respective fantasy sports? None of these are definitive and most aren't objective, but it's not just looking at one poll. But by one poll, I assume you mean the Harris poll that shows a decline in baseball as the self-identified favorite sport from 23% to 14% while football rose from 24% to 33%? I'm familiar with the concept of revealed preferences (I do have an Econ degree from the University of Chicago, the preeminent school for Econ in the country, after all) but I would be curious as to why you think the poll would become more skewed over time. Even if you assume that people don't necessarily tell pollsters what they necessarily believe, you're further assuming that somehow people are changing how they are dealing with that bias.

Lastly, more information does help move the conversation along, but snippets or outtakes without a context can do more to mislead than they can to enlighten. If you want to keep hammering away at the revenue number, you have to make adjustments for the fact that:
a) baseball has increased its number of franchises, thus increasing its overall revenue without any relationship to an increase of passion of existing fans;
b) baseball has underwent an enormous stretch of new ballparks, both blowing up attendance numbers as well as revenue both on the quantity and price axis (as people come to see the new ballpark and as the prices get increased). However, that again does not mean that there is an increased interest in baseball. All it means is that there is increased interest in new ballparks and that baseball is becoming more efficient at extracting maximum value from its top-end consumer by maximizing revenues from premier seats and skyboxes.
c) the increased commodization of ballparks, both in naming rights as well as increased on-field advertising and marketing. Again, this is something that inflates revenue but which may or may not have anything to do with baseball's underlying popularity shifts. It might if baseball had been trying these things before and were unable to obtain anyone interested, but it might not if baseball had simply untapped revenue sources.

All in all, to simply lay out: baseball revenues are up more than football's and baseball attendance is up. Therefore, baseball is more popular than the NFL is a very poor analysis, if you even want to call it such. If you had data on things like web hits or fantasy leagues, which would be more indicative of baseball's mind share among the populous, that would be much more on point.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:29 pm

Matthias wrote:
No, it's not based off of one poll. It's more based off of my overall impression. What sort of coverage do the respective sports get? How closely do people follow it? How much are the two discussed at the water cooler? How much do people seem to care about the playoffs? How popular are their respective fantasy sports? None of these are definitive and most aren't objective, but it's not just looking at one poll. But by one poll, I assume you mean the Harris poll that shows a decline in baseball as the self-identified favorite sport from 23% to 14% while football rose from 24% to 33%? I'm familiar with the concept of revealed preferences (I do have an Econ degree from the University of Chicago, the preeminent school for Econ in the country, after all) but I would be curious as to why you think the poll would become more skewed over time. Even if you assume that people don't necessarily tell pollsters what they necessarily believe, you're further assuming that somehow people are changing how they are dealing with that bias.

Lastly, more information does help move the conversation along, but snippets or outtakes without a context can do more to mislead than they can to enlighten. If you want to keep hammering away at the revenue number, you have to make adjustments for the fact that:
a) baseball has increased its number of franchises, thus increasing its overall revenue without any relationship to an increase of passion of existing fans;
b) baseball has underwent an enormous stretch of new ballparks, both blowing up attendance numbers as well as revenue both on the quantity and price axis (as people come to see the new ballpark and as the prices get increased). However, that again does not mean that there is an increased interest in baseball. All it means is that there is increased interest in new ballparks and that baseball is becoming more efficient at extracting maximum value from its top-end consumer by maximizing revenues from premier seats and skyboxes.
c) the increased commodization of ballparks, both in naming rights as well as increased on-field advertising and marketing. Again, this is something that inflates revenue but which may or may not have anything to do with baseball's underlying popularity shifts. It might if baseball had been trying these things before and were unable to obtain anyone interested, but it might not if baseball had simply untapped revenue sources.

All in all, to simply lay out: baseball revenues are up more than football's and baseball attendance is up. Therefore, baseball is more popular than the NFL is a very poor analysis, if you even want to call it such. If you had data on things like web hits or fantasy leagues, which would be more indicative of baseball's mind share among the populous, that would be much more on point.


You misunderstand my points. It's neither that the poll is skewed or has changed over time, but that it is only one data point on one dimension of a sport's "popularity", however you want to define that concept. Someone else could argue that the best measure of a sport's "popularity" is its total attendance, and by that measure baseball trounces football. A third person could argue that people's willingness to pay measured through total revenue would be the best measure, and by that one the two sports are virtually identical in "popularity".

Further, your points on revenue are misguided in some respects. Increases in the number of franchises and the subsequent revenue gain are a sign of a sport's ability to capitalizing on its growing popularity. There's no reason to discount that in the assessment. Similarly, stadia and naming rights represent additional signs of a sport's popularity, from both the public sector and the private corporate sector. Government bodies generally try to avoid unpopular moves, and private sponsors generally try to align themselves with popular trends. Thus, I don't see any reason why they are not part of the equation of understanding a sport's popularity. They may not be the best representative of the typical fan's vies of the sport, but, as I've said, there are many aspects to popularity.

I fail to see how my "analysis" of baseball's popularity, based at least on objective data like what people spend their dollars and time on, is poorer than your analysis, which relies primarily on what you describe as "your overall impression" based on such highly scientific measures like who you spoke to at the water cooler yesterday.

Let me know when you get to your fourth degree in economics, and have 20 years experience teaching it...like me. Not that I think credentialing matters more than the quality of thought expressed in your analysis.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:34 pm

kab21 wrote:I can understand why there is a desire to compare the NFL and the MLB, but they are very different. Starting with gauranteed contracts vs non-gauranteed contracts. Or that the MLB has 6 yrs of cost controlled years for a player, this is a huge advantage to parity. Smart teams are able to buyout an additional 1-2 yrs of FA (except with Scott Boras). The player development system is dramatically different.

If anything I would like the MLB to move closer to the NBA with a soft salary cap enforced by a luxury tax that had more bite. I think only one team other than the Yankees has paid the luxury tax limit and it was a very small amount (I might be wrong though). I would also like there to be a non-mandatory salary floor that disqualified a team from revenue sharing. If you aren't spending the revenue sharing money you shouldn't get it. That's the whole point of revenue sharing is to enable the smaller market teams to be able to compete. Overall I don't think the system is that bad. Sure you can complain about the Royals and Pirates being bad forever, but so have the Lions. It's not because they don't have enough money, but because they have made bad decisions.


UGH. No caps. No floors. Revenue sharing, if there is no other way to make relatively equivalent market opportunities, is a reasonable way to level the playing field. The best revenue sharing arrangements would bear no relationship to payroll, but would share league generated revenues in ways to offset natural market advantages. Caps and floors simply add unnecessary distortions, resulting in bizarre and arcane player decisions and contract structures.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby J35J » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:36 pm

Wow, I'd love to have baseball be the mainstream, most popular sport...but thats not the case anymore. I'm suprised this is even a debate. :-?
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:50 pm

Amazinz wrote:
You're making the assumption that the MLB players' union creates a higher cost structure for the MLB than the NFL players' union creates for the NFL. This is something we do not know. What we do know is that in the area where the union has the largest affect on cost structure (labor costs) the cost structure is comparable.

My problem with it is that I think baseball has some dark days looming on the horizon. The interest in baseball seems to be dwindling with each generation here in the U.S. The international market is offsetting it to some degree but not enough in my opinion. This is not entirely the fault of baseball's system. Attention spans seem to be dwindling with each generation as well. I don't think that making the Pirates or Royals good teams matters for the long term health of baseball but I do think that creating the perception of parity would go a long way toward reinvigorating the fan bases of many teams. This would be a good thing for the long term health of the game.


First of all, what you have compared is player salary costs, not even compensation or total labor costs. So, you cannot even say that labor costs--broadly including development costs, pension and benefit costs, and other factors--are comparable.

Second, even if they are, this fails to recognize that unions impose other costs that show up in the costs of the business. For example, if baseball's tougher union results in high negotiating and contracting costs, this shows up in the team's administrative and front office costs, not player salary costs.

We could go into an extended analysis of comparative costs, but consider this. Sport A and Sport B have very similar annual revenues. Sport's A fanchises have much higher valuations, which are simply an expression of the profitability potential of an organization. What does that tell you about Sport A's costs?

Yes, there is then a lot to detail on whether or not that is related to costs connected to the different union structures, but I think I'd join most economists in hypothesizing that an industry with a much more independent and active union is likely to face higher costs in several forms.

As for the dark days you see, I'd say what's the evidence? Baseball just had two record years for attendance and revenues. The minor leagues have had a humongous increased in their attendance and revenues. Internationally, baseball is trouncing football in popularity. In contrast to your view, I see baseball in very healthy shape. Furthermore, I wonder where the perception of parity comes from. Baseball has had incredible parity over the last several years. Give me the reality of parity, rather than some false perception of it.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:52 pm

J35J wrote:Wow, I'd love to have baseball be the mainstream, most popular sport...but thats not the case anymore. I'm suprised this is even a debate. :-?


Define what you mean by popular.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby kab21 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:02 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
UGH. No caps. No floors. Revenue sharing, if there is no other way to make relatively equivalent market opportunities, is a reasonable way to level the playing field. The best revenue sharing arrangements would bear no relationship to payroll, but would share league generated revenues in ways to offset natural market advantages. Caps and floors simply add unnecessary distortions, resulting in bizarre and arcane player decisions and contract structures.


I'm in favor of soft caps and soft floors not a hard cap like the NFL. If you want to exceed it then you'll contribute more to revenue sharing (like the luxury tax). If you don't want to spend any money then you shouldn't get revenue sharing.

Spending money can be quantified by some combo of MLB salaries, draft bonuses and intl bonuses. There are other ways to spend money and improve your team (improve MiLB facilities and coaching as one example) but those 3 make up most of the costs and ways to improve a team.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby Yoda » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:14 pm

This is not realistic but if you contract to 20 teams then the quality of the game will go way up. Also reduce the number of games and charge more per game so they are more meaningful. And no guaranteed contracts. I'll bet people will watch it more.
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Re: Who does more harm: the Steinbrenners or the Lorias?

Postby J35J » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:23 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
J35J wrote:Wow, I'd love to have baseball be the mainstream, most popular sport...but thats not the case anymore. I'm suprised this is even a debate. :-?


Define what you mean by popular.


Well, whatever you guys are talking about. The favorite sport between NFL and MLB in the publics eye.
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