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Paulwny
01-04-2003, 01:37 PM
By RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer

January 4, 2003, 2:52 AM EST


NEW YORK -- In a possible prelude to another collusion case against baseball owners, the players' association has asked agents to keep detailed records of negotiations involving free agents.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/wire/sns-ap-bbo-collusion0104jan03,0,3623112.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2 Dbaseball%2Dheadlines

TornLabrum
01-04-2003, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Paulwny
By RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer

January 4, 2003, 2:52 AM EST


NEW YORK -- In a possible prelude to another collusion case against baseball owners, the players' association has asked agents to keep detailed records of negotiations involving free agents.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/wire/sns-ap-bbo-collusion0104jan03,0,3623112.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2 Dbaseball%2Dheadlines

Interesting. Just under a month ago a former Sox player said the following when asked if he thought there might be collusion going on this year:

"It wouldn't surprise me at all. They've done it before."

SI1020
01-04-2003, 02:57 PM
When we were debating the CBA in this forum I admitted that PHG and Daver "schooled" me on the issue. They were simply more informed and knowledgeable than I was at the time. That should be one of the better aspects of these internet forums, to educate yourself on a variety of topics. So at the risk of opening up a new (or old) can of worms let me ask a question. Should it be ruled "collusion" if some of the owners decide that they just don't want to pay what some of the players want them to pay? Isn't that in itself artificially distorting supply and demand? I know we have a frugal owner who would be reluctant to sign players no matter what.

Brian26
01-04-2003, 03:04 PM
The very nature of the new CBA makes this argument different than the '85 collusion case. The owners now have a reason to not offer the high-end salaries per the luxury tax. There was no luxury tax in '85. Interesting topic and maybe a bit of grey area here.

voodoochile
01-04-2003, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by SI1020
When we were debating the CBA in this forum I admitted that PHG and Daver "schooled" me on the issue. They were simply more informed and knowledgeable than I was at the time. That should be one of the better aspects of these internet forums, to educate yourself on a variety of topics. So at the risk of opening up a new (or old) can of worms let me ask a question. Should it be ruled "collusion" if some of the owners decide that they just don't want to pay what some of the players want them to pay? Isn't that in itself artificially distorting supply and demand? I know we have a frugal owner who would be reluctant to sign players no matter what.

The people distorting supply and demand are the actual providers of that demand. Provided each of them is acting independently and only spending what they truly can afford and not working in consort to artificially drive the prices down there is no collusion. Wouldn't surprise me if there was some nudge nudge wink wink stuff going on, but I doubt the owners are stupid enough to leave a paper trail. What do you think the owners meetings are really all about?

But, if they are actually dumb enough to leave evidence to be found then they deserve what they get. I wonder if JR's comments about using the money to pay down debt could be construed as a message from Bud in a court of law. Was that the signal they were all waiting for to reduce costs and not spend the money on players? I know Pohlad is going to pocket the majority of his money. He did it before and is currently upset that he wasn't allowed to cash out when given the chance. You think he is going to pump tons of cash back into a franchise he wishes was dead you should take a look at this bridge I have for sale...

Dadawg_77
01-04-2003, 03:10 PM
MBL owners wanted to prevent players from going into contract talks together, like Joe DiMaggio and Whitey Ford did (Joey though backstabed Ford when he accepted the Yankees offer). Thus the collusion clause in the CBA, which says owners and player may not act in concert when negotiating with each other. So the question is whether or not owners won't pay it whether or not the owners are working together so they don't play.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-04-2003, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by SI1020
.... Should it be ruled "collusion" if some of the owners decide that they just don't want to pay what some of the players want them to pay? Isn't that in itself artificially distorting supply and demand? I know we have a frugal owner who would be reluctant to sign players no matter what.

It is not collusion if individual owners independently decide not to bid on free agent players. This was not the case back in the 80's, when meetings held by the commissioner and attended by the owners and their GM's where the ways and means to hold down the bidding for the players' services were discussed. MLB was talking collective action against the spirit of the collective bargaining agreement they signed with the MLBPA.

A federal labor arbitrator found the commissioner (Ueberroth), the owners, the GM's, and their lawyers, all guilty of collusion--not once, not twice, but three times! He awarded simple damages to the affected ballplayers (e.g. guys like MVP Andre Dawson who literally handed Cubs GM Dallas Green a signed contract with no dollar figure filled in).

Had any of us been found guilty in similar anti-trust circumstances, we would have been slapped with punitive damages for treble the amount the judge found us guilty of taking. The law is meant to serve as a deterrent; it's not enough simply to return the money. Otherwise it would be like a bankrobber getting off simply by giving back the money he stole.

The owners paid no punitive damages because they have an exemption from U.S. anti-trust laws (thanks to Chief Justice Holmes who ruled baseball a "pastime", not interstate commerce). Since then, the MLBPA has since gotten language added to the CBA explicitly stating the MLB must pay treble damages with regards to anti-trust matters involving labor issues.

I doubt the owners are dumb enough to blatantly collude like they did 15 years ago. However, nobody ever got rich betting on the smarts of this group. I wouldn't be surprised if the MLBPA builds a convincing case against them, forcing MLB into court and probably a settlement.

Are the owners dumb enough to get caught a fourth time? I wouldn't bet against it.

Daver
01-04-2003, 11:46 PM
I doubt the owners are dumb enough to blatantly collude like they did 15 years ago. However, nobody ever got rich betting on the smarts of this group. I wouldn't be surprised if the MLBPA builds a convincing case against them, forcing MLB into court and probably a settlement.

I think they would have a very hard time proving collusion for this offseason,the pattern for spending was made last offseason,when very little was done in the FA market,and guys like Barry Bonds and Brett Boone chose to accept arbittration because there was no market for them,yet there was no call for a collusion conspiracy.

The MLBPA did this to themselves by agreeing to salary constraints in the new CBA,they agreed to a deal that was going to hurt the middle class players,Jim Thome and Tom Glavine were able to land big contracts as the top players,but middle of the road guys like Ismael Valdes and James Baldwin will be lucky to sign for below the money they played for last year,because of the new CBA,the owners would rather gamble with young ,cheap talent than spend on older proven talent to avoid growing their payroll.The fact that baseball contracts,unlike those in the NFL,are guaranteed compounds the situation.

This is one of the reasons why there will be another threat of a work stoppage in MLB four years from now,the players will realize that they agreed to a deal that gave the owners an excuse NOT to spend,and has also done nothing to correct the competetive balance within the game,and they will want to demand a repeal of the luxury tax in the next CBA.

And so goes the soap opera that is Major League Baseball.

ma-gaga
01-04-2003, 11:58 PM
Pandora's Box is open. The owners have revenue sharing in the books throughout the new CBA. Don't expect that to disappear.

I guess we'll see what happens in the next 4 years. If 4 different teams win the WS, and 16-18 different teams make the playoffs, the CBA will be deemed a success and we can expect more revenue sharing and luxury taxes.

If the Yankees buy the next 4, then I have no clue what'll happen. Probably more revenue sharing and luxury taxes... :smile: When all is said and done, I really don't have a HUGE problem with taxing the Yankees/Braves to help the Brewers/Royals.

They'll just put in a minimum team salary to appease the players union. why not, they've already caved in theory on the 'salary cap' er uh luxury tax, why not get a little more.

They'd (players union) be better served by increasing the minimum salaries 3 fold. There's the people that are getting 'screwed', the minimum salary typed.

WhiteSoxWinner
01-05-2003, 03:50 AM
The interesting thing that has not been brought up in this thread is the insurance issue. In prior years a guy could be signed for $10 million a season over 6 season and the announced amount of the contract was $60 million. The $60 million made fans and reporters questions the sanity of MLB owners.

However, now I argue that insurance company, like Lloyds of London and other outfits, are no longer willing to ensure contracts greater than 3 years. As such, it only makes sense that guys are getting similar offers from teams. No one wants to go longer than 3 years, and the money has to be relatively similar, varying only within a $1 million range.

Finally, a force outside of baseball has said enough of these multi-year ridiculous deals forcing owners back to some sort of reality.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-05-2003, 10:17 AM
Why would insurance companies care? They only pay out if a player gets injured. Those costs are built into the premiums they charge all the teams seeking insurance.

What's happened to make the risks greater today than they were 10 years ago? Are players more susceptible to injuries? Salary inflation alone wouldn't effect their willingness to insure. The premiums go up with the price of the contract. The proportional cost differences are negligible.

I can't recall reading anything about insurance costs affecting players' salaries.

34rancher
01-05-2003, 10:36 AM
Can we as fans then claim collusion since the ticket price goes up every year, despite the economy (and the product) going down? I mean when the Cubs, along with others charge more for "Certain" teams, isn't that collusion against the other teams, since visiting teams get part of the gate receipts? I want my cake and be able to eat it too.

gosox41
01-05-2003, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Why would insurance companies care? They only pay out if a player gets injured. Those costs are built into the premiums they charge all the teams seeking insurance.

What's happened to make the risks greater today than they were 10 years ago? Are players more susceptible to injuries? Salary inflation alone wouldn't effect their willingness to insure. The premiums go up with the price of the contract. The proportional cost differences are negligible.

I can't recall reading anything about insurance costs affecting players' salaries.

I've read that insurance premiums have sky rocketed while the coveraege gets skimpier. For example, the Phillies have insurance on Thome's contract. But because Thome has a history of back problems, the insurance won't cover that type of injury if it ends his career. The Phillies hope Thome's most injured part holds up over the length of the contract or else it does them no good.

Bob

voodoochile
01-05-2003, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Why would insurance companies care? They only pay out if a player gets injured. Those costs are built into the premiums they charge all the teams seeking insurance.

What's happened to make the risks greater today than they were 10 years ago? Are players more susceptible to injuries? Salary inflation alone wouldn't effect their willingness to insure. The premiums go up with the price of the contract. The proportional cost differences are negligible.

I can't recall reading anything about insurance costs affecting players' salaries.

Since 9-11 insurance costs everywhere have skyrocketed and there is talk of a federal bailout in the near future. It isn't that baseball players have become bigger risks, it is that insurance carriers are up to their necks in redink and other nastiness and won't take the risks on getting burned on long contracts high value contracts.

MarkEdward
01-05-2003, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga

I guess we'll see what happens in the next 4 years. If 4 different teams win the WS, and 16-18 different teams make the playoffs, the CBA will be deemed a success and we can expect more revenue sharing and luxury taxes.


If this happened, the owners would have a hard time getting more revenue sharing and luxury tax rates passed.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-05-2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Since 9-11 insurance costs everywhere have skyrocketed and there is talk of a federal bailout in the near future. It isn't that baseball players have become bigger risks, it is that insurance carriers are up to their necks in redink and other nastiness and won't take the risks on getting burned on long contracts high value contracts.

Okay. Thanks for the explanation.

What you describe is a crisis across everyone's insurance, not just baseball's. If salaries aren't escalating, it figures the owners had nothing to do with it.

:gulp:

voodoochile
01-05-2003, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Okay. Thanks for the explanation.

What you describe is a crisis across everyone's insurance, not just baseball's. If salaries aren't escalating, it figures the owners had nothing to do with it.

:gulp:

Correct, there is a paradiagm shift happening in the insurance industry as a whole...

Man, I just love those business catch phrases....

Dadawg_77
01-05-2003, 07:56 PM
The actuary tables basically say the risk of the issuing insurance isn't worth it for contracts over three years. This fact, decreases in the stock market, and major recent pay out have force the insurance industry to get tighter. As a side note, not sure a federal bailout will do anything, since most of the major insurance companies are European.

ESPN had a couple of stories on this.

Daver
01-05-2003, 08:18 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77


ESPN had a couple of stories on this.

I posted the link to one of the stories,but this is a moot point.

The MLBPA set themselves up for this,plain and simple,you can argue the points of insurance and everything else,but the fact remains the players agreed to what they have now,and they have to live with what they did to themselves.