PDA

View Full Version : Pirates players openly questioning franchise's direction


kittle42
07-01-2009, 01:28 PM
And I say it's about time. Man, are the Pirates a pathetic organization:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4299138

VeeckAsInWreck
07-01-2009, 02:02 PM
It almost makes you wonder if the team is being run by Rachel Phelps.

http://www.filmdope.com/Gallery/ActorsW/18325-11894.gif

LITTLE NELL
07-01-2009, 03:10 PM
Baseball needs to address the situation with small market teams. Except for a rare season (Rays-07), teams like the Pirates, Royals and Reds are not going to able to compete with teams like the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox. I don't have an answer except for some other kind of revenue sharing other than the tax MLB imposes on team salaries. Small market teams are never going to be able to sign high profile free agents. I would love to see salary caps but the union will fight that.

VeeckAsInWreck
07-01-2009, 03:23 PM
You're never going to see a salary cap. The odds are better that the NL adopts the DH before you ever see a salary cap.

The real reason the Pirates suck is because they are being mismanaged. Look at small market teams like the Twins and Marlins. They don't go out and get the pricey free agents, they just know how to develop players.

Lip Man 1
07-01-2009, 03:24 PM
Nell:

A salary cap won't do a thing to increase certain owners willingness to spend nor increase their desire to win.

Smaller market teams are getting plenty of support. But there is no law that even says these teams have to spend revenue sharing money on improving their clubs. The commissioner can step in if he feels it isn't being used properly but Proud To Be Your Bud would never do that.

When you have Carl Linder the Reds owner tell the Cincinnati newspapers that he ordered his G.M. to cut payroll because the opening of the new stadium would mean less revenue sharing money, when you have the late Carl Pohland (Twins), one of the ten richest men on the planet, agree to fold his team rather then build a stadium out of his own money, when you have David Glass (Royals) heir to the Wal-Mart fortune refuse to do a lot to improve his club, sorry...I have no sympathy for those guys.

In fact we have an indication of where owners stand on the issue of how you spend this money. This is from my interview with Phil Rogers of the Tribune in 2002 during the talk of another labor impasse:

ML: Revenue sharing and competitive balance were the central issues in this discussion but the agreement makes no provisions that teams have to spend revenue sharing money on players. What safeguards are there that owners will try to get better?

PR: "There isn’t a minimum payroll requirement because the union objected to having one, the owners tried to get one put in. That being said, it has recently come out that clubs who get revenue sharing money must file a report every year to the commissioner’s office detailing where and how that money was spent. The commissioner then has the power, if he doesn’t like where the money is going, to levy substantial fines on teams. The money has to be spent on things like player salaries, adding minor league teams or stadium improvement."

ML: Then how does that square with published accounts quoting Jerry Reinsdorf as saying in the owners ratification meeting, that teams should use that money towards reducing operating debt rather then going to player acquisitions or salaries?

PR: "I’ve seen that story. All I can tell you is that I was at that meeting and all reporters were outside the conference room. I know that when I’ve tried to get comments from owners afterwards in these kind of situations, they were always tight lipped. I can’t vouch for the veracity of that story. Assuming that comment was made, I don’t think reducing team debt would fall under the guidelines of where revenue sharing money has to go, therefore the commissioner would get involved to stop it."



Lip

Craig Grebeck
07-01-2009, 05:36 PM
A salary floor may be as helpful as a salary cap, though I think both are faulty ideas.

TheVulture
07-01-2009, 05:53 PM
Except for a rare season (Rays-07), teams like the Pirates, Royals and Reds are not going to able to compete with teams like the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox.

The Twins, Indians and Cardinals don't seem to be having much of a problem. Oakland, the smallest market in the AL West, has eight 1st place and five 2nd place finishes since '88. They've stunk the last couple years, but averaged 95 wins from 2000-2006.

Yeah, they're at disadvantage in one sense, but let's face it, these teams are primarily this bad this consistently due to poor management. Its not like big market teams like the Cubs, Mariners, Rangers, Astros, Phillies, Padres etc. have been dominating their leagues over the last 20 years, either. Even the Dodgers, pretty successful, but not dominating the NL, other than this year. The previous 4 years only 2 games over .500. Look at the Mets. .480 winning percentage over the course of their franchise history.

Huisj
07-01-2009, 06:26 PM
A salary floor may be as helpful as a salary cap, though I think both are faulty ideas.

A salary floor would cause some really weird things to happen. If a team needed to rebuild, would they have to just go out and throw dumb money at some lousy free agent to get them to come just so they would meet the salary floor? Or would they be forced to negotiate premature bigger deals on their young players before they were necessarily worthy of such a contract? That could almost make the situation worse.

Red Barchetta
07-01-2009, 07:28 PM
Baseball needs to address the situation with small market teams. Except for a rare season (Rays-07), teams like the Pirates, Royals and Reds are not going to able to compete with teams like the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox. I don't have an answer except for some other kind of revenue sharing other than the tax MLB imposes on team salaries. Small market teams are never going to be able to sign high profile free agents. I would love to see salary caps but the union will fight that.

What I find interesting is that the teams you mentioned (Pirates, Royals and Reds) all had good teams in the 70s/80s when I was growing up. I remember the Pirates used to kick the crap out of the Cubs on a regular basis. Cincy had "The Big Red Machine" and the Royals had George Brett and had a few Western Division titles.

Obviously, the growth of the free agent market led currently by the Yankees, Red Sox and (gulp) Cubs have hurt. However as the Cubs and Yankees both prove, money alone is not enough.

Malgar 12
07-01-2009, 09:18 PM
Baseball needs to address the situation with small market teams. Except for a rare season (Rays-07), teams like the Pirates, Royals and Reds are not going to able to compete with teams like the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox. I don't have an answer except for some other kind of revenue sharing other than the tax MLB imposes on team salaries. Small market teams are never going to be able to sign high profile free agents. I would love to see salary caps but the union will fight that.

The anti-trust exemption artificially inflates the value of large market teams. There is no rational reason that two teams have a birthright to the entire NY metropolitan area. Since NY could probably support two more teams, it could be argued that each team in NY has twice as much revenue as they should.

AZChiSoxFan
07-02-2009, 11:40 AM
Nell:


When you have Carl Linder the Reds owner tell the Cincinnati newspapers that he ordered his G.M. to cut payroll because the opening of the new stadium would mean less revenue sharing money, when you have the late Carl Pohland (Twins), one of the ten richest men on the planet, agree to fold his team rather then build a stadium out of his own money, when you have David Glass (Royals) heir to the Wal-Mart fortune refuse to do a lot to improve his club, sorry...I have no sympathy for those guys.


Lip, I'm not here to defend David Glass, as he certainly has enough money to make the Royals competitive. However, it's not accurate to state that he is the heir to the WM fortune. The heirs are the Walton's kids.

Lip Man 1
07-02-2009, 12:17 PM
AZ:

I'm only restating what I have read in The Lords of the Realm by Pulitzer Prize winning business author John Helyar.

Lip

tstrike2000
07-02-2009, 12:43 PM
A salary floor may be as helpful as a salary cap, though I think both are faulty ideas.

Then how would you propose to close the gap in team salaries between a big market and small market team?

doublem23
07-02-2009, 01:21 PM
A salary floor would cause some really weird things to happen. If a team needed to rebuild, would they have to just go out and throw dumb money at some lousy free agent to get them to come just so they would meet the salary floor? Or would they be forced to negotiate premature bigger deals on their young players before they were necessarily worthy of such a contract? That could almost make the situation worse.

Yeah, it's way better now when these teams just dump their players before they reach free agency.

doublem23
07-02-2009, 01:21 PM
Then how would you propose to close the gap in team salaries between a big market and small market team?

Things are fine the way they are? :dunno:

Parrothead
07-02-2009, 02:43 PM
Then how would you propose to close the gap in team salaries between a big market and small market team?

Revenue share all money generated by all teams from merchandising and tv revenue. All the money goes into one pot and gets split equally. If something does not happen teams will have to be cut. The Pirates have the best stadium in baseball and can't draw flies due to they can't keep anyone because the keep getting out bid.

AZChiSoxFan
07-02-2009, 02:46 PM
AZ:

I'm only restating what I have read in The Lords of the Realm by Pulitzer Prize winning business author John Helyar.

Lip

Well, he may have simply been using the term to mean that Glass made a Brinks truck load of money during his time at WM. However, we're talking about a public company, so the "heirs" are the shareholders. The largest shareholders are the surviving children of Sam and Helen Walton. To be sure, Glass owns a boatload of shares. However, to state that he is "the heir to the WM fortune" implies that he is the biggest shareholder and that is not true, regardless of what a prize winning author says.

AZChiSoxFan
07-02-2009, 02:54 PM
Glass was president and CEO of Walmart from '84-'92. He was terminated after a horribly handled interview with Dateline NBC in which he was confronted with evidence that some of the "Made in USA" products sold at Walmart were actually made overseas using child labor. It was a major black eye for the company.

I would be seriously surprised if Mr. Glass is inheriting anything from Sam Walton.

????? Not sure where you are getting your information but it's not at all accurate. H. Lee Scott was the third CEO of WM and he didn't take over until the year 2000. Glass was the 2nd CEO of WM, and he had that job from 1988 to 2000. Even after he stepped down in the year 2000, he was still very much active in the company for another few years, keeping an office at the HQ in Bentonville, AR and regularly working at the office, most of the time. Glass was not terminated. He "retired" on his own terms in the year 2000. I put that in quotes because, like I said, he was still active in the company for quite some time after that.

ron_j_galt
07-02-2009, 03:11 PM
Baseball needs to address the situation with small market teams. Except for a rare season (Rays-07), teams like the Pirates, Royals and Reds are not going to able to compete with teams like the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox. I don't have an answer except for some other kind of revenue sharing other than the tax MLB imposes on team salaries. Small market teams are never going to be able to sign high profile free agents. I would love to see salary caps but the union will fight that.

The trouble with the typical groupings is that the small-market teams that allegedly can't compete are always Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and the like. Strangely, people lately leave out the team with the smallest market, which is 215-187 since 2007, coming off a playoff appearance, has a decent shot at returning, and with a 37,886 per-game attendance currently ranks eighth. These are the MLB urban areas with the smallest populations:

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA 3,344,813
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA 3,229,878
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA 3,001,072
St. Louis, MO-IL MSA 2,816,710
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA 2,733,761
Baltimore-Towson, MD 2,667,117
Denver-Aurora, CO MSA 2,506,626
Pittsburgh, PA MSA 2,351,192
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN MSA 2,155,137
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH MSA 2,088,291
Kansas City, MO-KS MSA 2,002,047
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 1,549,308

Even adding Madison makes Milwaukee roughly the same population as the other markets. The Pirates passed on Matt Wieters over $3.5 million. The Royals have $6.4 million committed next year to Kyle Farnsworth and Willie Bloomquist, and another $12 million for Jose Guillen. What exactly will it take to start blaming the Pirates and Royals' management for the majority of the Pirates and Royals' problems?

Lip Man 1
07-02-2009, 03:49 PM
Parrot:

I believe MLB already equally shares all merchandising revenue and national TV contract money.

Lip

TomBradley72
07-02-2009, 04:58 PM
I can't disagree with the need for MLB to continue to work to level the playing field when it comes to revenue sharing, but the Pirates have no one to blame but themselves...sheer incompetence at player selection/development and trades,etc.

MisterB
07-02-2009, 05:39 PM
????? Not sure where you are getting your information but it's not at all accurate. H. Lee Scott was the third CEO of WM and he didn't take over until the year 2000. Glass was the 2nd CEO of WM, and he had that job from 1988 to 2000. Even after he stepped down in the year 2000, he was still very much active in the company for another few years, keeping an office at the HQ in Bentonville, AR and regularly working at the office, most of the time. Glass was not terminated. He "retired" on his own terms in the year 2000. I put that in quotes because, like I said, he was still active in the company for quite some time after that.

You're right. Boy, did I just fail reading comprehension. :redface:

Kindly ignore my previous ill-informed post.

tstrike2000
07-02-2009, 06:09 PM
Things are fine the way they are? :dunno:

Maybe. Ultimately, Pirates management will have to learn how to keep mlb level talent and put a decent product on the field for things to matter anyway instead of the piss in the wind philosophy they seem to go by.

Craig Grebeck
07-02-2009, 08:07 PM
Maybe. Ultimately, Pirates management will have to learn how to keep mlb level talent and put a decent product on the field for things to matter anyway instead of the piss in the wind philosophy they seem to go by.
I agree with dubs. Things are fine the way they are. Savvy front offices can succeed, regardless of financial constraints.

thedudeabides
07-02-2009, 08:56 PM
I agree with dubs. Things are fine the way they are. Savvy front offices can succeed, regardless of financial constraints.

It's been proven time and time again. I don't have any confidence the Pirates could be successful given an $80-90 million dollar payroll, the way they've been run.

Parrothead
07-03-2009, 08:14 AM
Parrot:

I believe MLB already equally shares all merchandising revenue and national TV contract money.

Lip

Yes, they do I believe but I am talking about local tv too. it will never happen tho. way too much disparity between teams in this arena.

voodoochile
07-03-2009, 11:04 AM
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA 3,344,813
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA 3,229,878
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA 3,001,072
St. Louis, MO-IL MSA 2,816,710
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA 2,733,761
Baltimore-Towson, MD 2,667,117
Denver-Aurora, CO MSA 2,506,626
Pittsburgh, PA MSA 2,351,192
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN MSA 2,155,137
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH MSA 2,088,291
Kansas City, MO-KS MSA 2,002,047
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 1,549,308

I agree with dubs. Things are fine the way they are. Savvy front offices can succeed, regardless of financial constraints.

Indeed...

Just look at that list...

Seattle turned itself into a winner by getting and developing good young talent in the 90's and spending enough on FA to win a bunch and went from an also ran in a part of the country that doesn't give a crap about baseball to one of the more successful organizations in MLB.

We all know the Twinkies have had success at least on a divisional level. They've won and won consistently on a low budget.

San Diego made the WS in the late 90's and made the playoffs twice in the 90's.

St Louis - just won a WS a few years ago and consistently makes a playoff run year in and year out.

Tampa - new to the scene but seem to be following a winning prescription.

Colorado/Denver - Won a pennant a few years ago

Milwaukee - struggled for a long time, but recently changed out their front office and have suddenly become a player in the NLC at the least. May break the glass ceiling and make the playoffs this year.

Cleveland - had a great run in the 80's and early 90's but have made some poor decisions recently. Bet too much on the farm and it cost them. But when they were winning and spending to win, they had ~490 straight sellouts and the sky was the limit.

The rest of these teams - especially Baltimore and Pittsburgh deserve no sympathy. Any team can win if they hire good front office people. Yes, money helps, but if you are willing to accept perpetual mediocrity or not replace people who suck at their job then your direction deserves to be questioned. The Pirates have been doing this crap for years. They want to succeed they need to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Oblong
07-03-2009, 11:12 AM
The problem is that there's two ways to measure success. Business success and on the field success. Some owners may pay lip service to on the field success but if their making money and their stakeholders are happy then they may just be willing to not worry so much about whether they win or lose. It goes back to my distrust of the financial situation of the owners as they portray it. The risk of trying to win by having a high payroll may not be worth it to some of these guys. They're content to roll in mediocrity on the field and let the cash flow in. It stinks for their fans.

Pittsburgh and Baltimore are the two top teams that I just forget about sometimes. They're never competitive and rarely have any players worth following. At least with some perpetually bad teams there's good prospects coming up that excite me as a baseball geek.

Parrothead
07-03-2009, 11:19 AM
Indeed...

Just look at that list...

Seattle turned itself into a winner by getting and developing good young talent in the 90's and spending enough on FA to win a bunch and went from an also ran in a part of the country that doesn't give a crap about baseball to one of the more successful organizations in MLB.

We all know the Twinkies have had success at least on a divisional level. They've won and won consistently on a low budget.

San Diego made the WS in the late 90's and made the playoffs twice in the 90's.

St Louis - just won a WS a few years ago and consistently makes a playoff run year in and year out.

Tampa - new to the scene but seem to be following a winning prescription.

Colorado/Denver - Won a pennant a few years ago

Milwaukee - struggled for a long time, but recently changed out their front office and have suddenly become a player in the NLC at the least. May break the glass ceiling and make the playoffs this year.

Cleveland - had a great run in the 80's and early 90's but have made some poor decisions recently. Bet too much on the farm and it cost them. But when they were winning and spending to win, they had ~490 straight sellouts and the sky was the limit.

The rest of these teams - especially Baltimore and Pittsburgh deserve no sympathy. Any team can win if they hire good front office people. Yes, money helps, but if you are willing to accept perpetual mediocrity or not replace people who suck at their job then your direction deserves to be questioned. The Pirates have been doing this crap for years. They want to succeed they need to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

And how many of the above teams were able to keep the key guys on those teams ? Not many due to the Yankees, Boston and Atlanta ect.. offering way more money to the guys.

voodoochile
07-03-2009, 11:20 AM
The problem is that there's two ways to measure success. Business success and on the field success. Some owners may pay lip service to on the field success but if their making money and their stakeholders are happy then they may just be willing to not worry so much about whether they win or lose. It goes back to my distrust of the financial situation of the owners as they portray it. The risk of trying to win by having a high payroll may not be worth it to some of these guys. They're content to roll in mediocrity on the field and let the cash flow in. It stinks for their fans.

Pittsburgh and Baltimore are the two top teams that I just forget about sometimes. They're never competitive and rarely have any players worth following. At least with some perpetually bad teams there's good prospects coming up that excite me as a baseball geek.

Actually, Baltimore has consistently spent well, they just spend it on the wrong people. That team needs a front office makeover desperately.

I know you can personally speak for the effects a big chunk of cash thrown at good players can have on a franchise and its fanbase. I'm sure the Tigers being "back on the map" since 2006 is cool and exciting even if it hasn't led to the ultimate goal. Feeling like you've got no chance before the season begins (especially in a division as historically mediocre as the ALC) sucks.

Oblong
07-03-2009, 11:39 AM
Feeling like you've got no chance before the season begins (especially in a division as historically mediocre as the ALC) sucks.

Spot on. As a season ticket holder since the 1990s I forgot about what it was like to just go to the games to have fun and not have so much invested in whether they won or lost.

For all of 2006 and for most of 2007, the Tigers were in a pennant race. Watching the scoreboard and worrying about every win or loss was something we did at every game. It was stressful In late 2007 once it was obvious Cleveland would win the division we were at a game and I turned to my buddy and said "This is what the games used to be like. It's not as much fun. What do we do now? Just sit here and watch?"

ChiSoxGirl
07-03-2009, 04:52 PM
Spot on. As a season ticket holder since the 1990s I forgot about what it was like to just go to the games to have fun and not have so much invested in whether they won or lost.

For all of 2006 and for most of 2007, the Tigers were in a pennant race. Watching the scoreboard and worrying about every win or loss was something we did at every game. It was stressful In late 2007 once it was obvious Cleveland would win the division we were at a game and I turned to my buddy and said "This is what the games used to be like. It's not as much fun. What do we do now? Just sit here and watch?"

We were in a similar spot, except it was all of 2005 and 2006 for us. Then 2007 rolled around and we had that horrendous 72-90 season. During most of the games I attended that season, I remember asking my friends the same question you asked yours.

Having been a Sox fan since 1989, a decent amount of seasons have been winning ones. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be a Sox fan back in the 1920s and 1930s when winning seasons were an anomaly. Although, I do remember the mid-late 90s... those years were not good.

TommyJohn
07-03-2009, 07:13 PM
We were in a similar spot, except it was all of 2005 and 2006 for us. Then 2007 rolled around and we had that horrendous 72-90 season. During most of the games I attended that season, I remember asking my friends the same question you asked yours.

Having been a Sox fan since 1989, a decent amount of seasons have been winning ones. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be a Sox fan back in the 1920s and 1930s when winning seasons were an anomaly. Although, I do remember the mid-late 90s... those years were not good.The Bill Veeck years were not much fun either, although I was a kid and had no concept back then of just how bad the team was. The worst fan era for me was 1986-89. Those teams were out of contention almost from the word go. Then there was the added stress of 1988, when I was sure that the team was moving and I was priming myself to be an Indians fan. Never for one minute did I believe that they would be in Chicago in 1989. Also, I was a ballpark vendor in those years, and lousy teams + lousy attendance = not a lot of money being made.

TornLabrum
07-04-2009, 12:54 AM
The Bill Veeck years were not much fun either, although I was a kid and had no concept back then of just how bad the team was. The worst fan era for me was 1986-89. Those teams were out of contention almost from the word go. Then there was the added stress of 1988, when I was sure that the team was moving and I was priming myself to be an Indians fan. Never for one minute did I believe that they would be in Chicago in 1989. Also, I was a ballpark vendor in those years, and lousy teams + lousy attendance = not a lot of money being made.

It's obvious that you weren't around during 1968-1970. Those teams made the Veeck teams all look like the '27 Yankees.

TommyJohn
07-04-2009, 09:27 AM
It's obvious that you weren't around during 1968-1970. Those teams made the Veeck teams all look like the '27 Yankees.I was a babe in 1969-70, so I don't remember those teams. That is a good thing, I'm sure.

TornLabrum
07-04-2009, 10:01 AM
I was a babe in 1969-70, so I don't remember those teams. That is a good thing, I'm sure.

I still remember a quote that appeared in the Sun-Times during spring training in 1970 from manager Don Gutteridge, "You remember 'Spahn and Sain and pray for rain'? With us it'll be 'Horlen and John and then we get bombed.'"