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View Full Version : Free Agency has ruined baseball


broker3d
11-26-2004, 07:39 PM
Typically, no always, the best baseball teams are built by the teams with the most money. What sense does that make. The best teams should be built based on who drafts best, who puts the pieces in place properly, and who develops their players best. Not this new monetary method. We may have a payroll near 80 million and we are still considered cheap.

What ever happened to the days when baseball was great to follow, like back in the 1970's with the Cincinnati Reds and the big red machine. Back when you grew up with the team and knew all the players. Now you can't grow up rooting for a certain player on your favorite team because he eventually will be traded for money reasons or go to the highest bidder. No loyalty. I think FA is a major reason why kids don't follow baseball like they used to. They can't keep track who is on their team. Kids can't hang find their favorite player on their team and follow him.

Hell you even have to rush your prospects to the bigs because of what they are being paid so you can get something out of them before they are free to go to the highest bidder.

I just can't stand FA. I miss the days of building a team based upon player development and scouting. Bring back the good old days.

DumpJerry
11-26-2004, 07:51 PM
I agree fully. Free agency with no salary cap is the death of the sport. I did a posting recently where I pointed out that fans are cheering for a concept of a team, not the actual team. We need more people like Frank Thomas in baseball, stars who don't leave their team and are closely identified with their team.

One step in the right direction would be a salary cap on the signing of free agents from other teams, no limit on the salaries for FA's from your own team. This will create a strong incentive for FA's to stay put.

Daver
11-26-2004, 08:13 PM
The only purpose a salary cap serves is to guarantee the owners profit margin.

munchman33
11-26-2004, 08:19 PM
The only purpose a salary cap serves is to guarantee the owners profit margin.
Daver I will agree with you that a salary cap would definately ensure most owners make a pretty hefty profit. But it would also bring a newfound competitive balance and, eventually, the rebirth of baseball in America.

PaleHoseGeorge
11-26-2004, 08:27 PM
Daver I will agree with you that a salary cap would definately ensure most owners make a pretty hefty profit. But it would also bring a newfound competitive balance and, eventually, the rebirth of baseball in America. Competitive balance like baseball had back in the 1950's when virtually every championship was decided within the city limits of NYC? Do you mean that sort of competitive balance?
:?:

The Yankees had players like Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra, and not one of them was paid even one-tenth what a mediocre Grade-B free agent will earn next season.

Lip Man 1
11-26-2004, 09:41 PM
Let's see since free agency began before the start of the 1976 season the Reds, Yankees, Pirates, Phillies, Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles, Tigers, Royals, Mets, Twins, A's, Blue Jays, Braves, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Angels and Red Sox have won World Series'

Yep free agency has been bad for baseball!

Just because the White Sox, as PHG has so beautifully expressed it, are to 'cheap, timid and stupid,' to take advantage of their situation as a franchise in the 3rd largest market in America, doesn't mean the concept is bad.

Lip

RKMeibalane
11-26-2004, 09:53 PM
Let's see since free agency began before the start of the 1976 season the Reds, Yankees, Pirates, Phillies, Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles, Tigers, Royals, Mets, Twins, A's, Blue Jays, Braves, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Angels and Red Sox have won World Series'

Yep free agency has been bad for baseball!

Just because the White Sox, as PHG has so beautifully expressed it, are to 'cheap, timid and stupid,' to take advantage of their situation as a franchise in the 3rd largest market in America, doesn't mean the concept is bad.

Lip
I agree. I would even go so far as to say that if free-agency didn't exist, the White Sox would still be a mediocre franchise, because they would find some other way to pinch pennies and control their spending habits.

:reinsy

"And it would still be ALL YOUR FAULT!"

Brian26
11-26-2004, 11:11 PM
No loyalty. I think FA is a major reason why kids don't follow baseball like they used to. They can't keep track who is on their team. Kids can't hang find their favorite player on their team and follow him.
I'm not so sure about this. It'd be nice to see some statistics on player movement in the past, say, 10 years compared to 40 years ago. I often hear that excuse- there's too much player movement. This might be true on the lower end (say players #20-25 on the roster), but I don't necessarily think there's so much turnover with the big stars that you can't keep track of things- and not necessarily more turnover than 30 or 40 yrs ago. You still have your players that stick with teams for more than 10 years (Frank Thomas, Sosa, Ripken). And other players may switch teams once or twice in their career. Hey- how many teams was Joe Morgan on? Tony Perez? Even Pete Rose switched teams several times.

TornLabrum
11-26-2004, 11:42 PM
I'm not so sure about this. It'd be nice to see some statistics on player movement in the past, say, 10 years compared to 40 years ago. I often hear that excuse- there's too much player movement. This might be true on the lower end (say players #20-25 on the roster), but I don't necessarily think there's so much turnover with the big stars that you can't keep track of things- and not necessarily more turnover than 30 or 40 yrs ago. You still have your players that stick with teams for more than 10 years (Frank Thomas, Sosa, Ripken). And other players may switch teams once or twice in their career. Hey- how many teams was Joe Morgan on? Tony Perez? Even Pete Rose switched teams several times.
What there is today is more player-initiated player movement. Back in the so-called good old days, all player movement was initiated by the owners since the players were bound for life by the reserve clause while the owners could dump the players either by trading them, placing them on waivers, or invoking the "ten-day clause," which gave them the right to release any player on ten days notice.

jabrch
11-27-2004, 12:28 AM
A salary cap would only help if it came with a salary floor, and a NFL style revenue sharing plan. None of this is going to happen any time soon - the players don't want it and the owners don't want it.

StillMissOzzie
11-27-2004, 01:10 AM
The only purpose a salary cap serves is to guarantee the owners profit margin.
Daver, you've stated your position on a salary cap many times, so I'll repeat mine as well. I couldn't care less whether King George made $400M instead of $300M because of a salary cap, if it served to restore some competitive balance.

As Mark Twain said (or was credited with saying, anyhow), there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. The most telling statistic IMHO is the high correlation between payroll size and playoff contention. Nothing is certain, so don't say "What about the 2004 Yankees?", as you still have to play the games, but the high correlation is there none the less.

SMO
:gulp:

TDog
11-27-2004, 01:22 AM
If owners had a choice between eliminating free agency and arbitration, I'm sure they would do away with arbitration. Free agency (in theory -- there were years in the '80s when collusion no doubt helped the Twins and Royals get to the World Series) lets the market decide what players will be paid. Arbitration often awards contracts that players wouldn't be able to get in a free market. Bill Veeck (who "rented" players he said up front he wouldn't be able to sign and had trouble making a much smaller payroll) said the problem was "the high price of mediocrity."

Of course, since the beginning of the free-agency era, lots of teams have failed miserably with large payrolls.

illinibk
11-27-2004, 01:25 AM
...Back in the so-called good old days, all player movement was initiated by the owners since the players were bound for life by the reserve clause while the owners could dump the players either by trading them, placing them on waivers, or invoking the "ten-day clause," which gave them the right to release any player on ten days notice.
I have no objections to MLB going back to those clauses, but I realize that will never ever happen.

A salary cap would only help if it came with a salary floor, and a NFL style revenue sharing plan. None of this is going to happen any time soon - the players don't want it and the owners don't want it.
I am glad that won't happen. IMO, there is too much player turnover in the NFL, too many moves made for salary purposes only. It makes it difficult for me as a fan to give a damn about the NFL and for me to really root for a particular team because it will be rooting solely for the name, not for the players as well.

illinibk
11-27-2004, 01:27 AM
Of course, since the beginning of the free-agency era, lots of teams have failed miserably with large payrolls.
*cough* Cubs *cough*

munchman33
11-27-2004, 02:02 AM
The most telling statistic IMHO is the high correlation between payroll size and playoff contention. Nothing is certain, so don't say "What about the 2004 Yankees?", as you still have to play the games, but the high correlation is there none the less.

You think sound reasoning is going to get through to these guys? I laugh at you. :rolling:

Their hatred runs deep. No amount of reason or truth will convince them of anything except that no matter what the circumstances, Jerry is to blame. Honestly, I don't know what half these guys would do if we ever:

1. Won a World Series (would they celebrate or use it as an example of Reinsdorf's unfair business practices).

2. Got a new owner who "spends money" and "tries to win" (because current management certainly isn't interested in that) and still continued losing, showing them that big spending can be incredibly disasterous, especially for a team whose fans don't come out until the second half and only in winning seasons.

surfdudes
11-27-2004, 09:15 AM
A salary cap would only help if it came with a salary floor, and a NFL style revenue sharing plan. None of this is going to happen any time soon - the players don't want it and the owners don't want it.
This is great as long as Ballclubs recieving the revenue sharing money actually put it back into their team... Ican think of an owner that would cry poverty, then pocket the money without trying to upgrade and compete. Steinbrenner will be paying a luxery tax greater than probably half the ballclubs payrolls, yet the teams at the bottom of the league do not seem to be getting more competitive.........

PaleHoseGeorge
11-27-2004, 09:25 AM
This is great as long as Ballclubs recieving the revenue sharing money actually put it back into their team... Ican think of an owner that would cry poverty, then pocket the money without trying to upgrade and compete. Steinbrenner will be paying a luxery tax greater than probably half the ballclubs payrolls, yet the teams at the bottom of the league do not seem to be getting more competitive......... You know, if Steinbrenner has to keep giving money to the Milwaukee Brewers, the least Bud Selig could do is offer him an equity interest in the franchise.
:wink:

Now that I think about it, maybe that's the answer. Everytime a team receives a welfare check from the league office, that portion of the team's ownership transfers to MLB. After 5-10 years of welfare checks all these sad sack owners will be dictated to by the league office how to run their clubs. They will either sell or abdicate their authority over the club.

The reasoning is clear. If you need welfare from MLB to run your club, you can't be trusted to make your own decisions to improve the club.

Maybe MLB could move the Brewers to Puerto Rico.
:cool:

:tool
"Once I collect my bundle, you can do whatever you want to this horse**** town!"

jabrch
11-27-2004, 11:22 AM
This is great as long as Ballclubs recieving the revenue sharing money actually put it back into their team... Ican think of an owner that would cry poverty, then pocket the money without trying to upgrade and compete. Steinbrenner will be paying a luxery tax greater than probably half the ballclubs payrolls, yet the teams at the bottom of the league do not seem to be getting more competitive.........


Hence, a salary floor....

dcb33
11-27-2004, 11:40 AM
Hence, a salary floor....A salary floor would be a bad idea becuase it will artificially inflate players salaries and cause ticket prices for everyone to further climb, which could end up proving ruinous for the small market teams it was trying to help.

johnny_mostil
11-27-2004, 11:48 AM
I have no objections to MLB going back to those clauses, but I realize that will never ever happen.
Those clauses are illegal, always were, and never should have been allowed to be enforced. Self-renewing contracts signed under duress?

The CBA replaces those will a carefully structured reserve clause.

jabrch
11-27-2004, 12:07 PM
A salary floor would be a bad idea becuase it will artificially inflate players salaries and cause ticket prices for everyone to further climb, which could end up proving ruinous for the small market teams it was trying to help.


Wouldn't that depend on where the floor is set? If the floor is set to factor in the revenue sharing and the team's financial pictures - it wouldn't necesarily be as bad as you are painting it out to be....

oldcomiskey
11-27-2004, 01:00 PM
Typically, no always, the best baseball teams are built by the teams with the most money. What sense does that make. The best teams should be built based on who drafts best, who puts the pieces in place properly, and who develops their players best. Not this new monetary method. We may have a payroll near 80 million and we are still considered cheap.

What ever happened to the days when baseball was great to follow, like back in the 1970's with the Cincinnati Reds and the big red machine. Back when you grew up with the team and knew all the players. Now you can't grow up rooting for a certain player on your favorite team because he eventually will be traded for money reasons or go to the highest bidder. No loyalty. I think FA is a major reason why kids don't follow baseball like they used to. They can't keep track who is on their team. Kids can't hang find their favorite player on their team and follow him.

Hell you even have to rush your prospects to the bigs because of what they are being paid so you can get something out of them before they are free to go to the highest bidder.

I just can't stand FA. I miss the days of building a team based upon player development and scouting. Bring back the good old days.

the thing wrong about that arguement is if the players dont make the money the owners make it all and I dont watch the Sox wondering what JR is doing. and I think it has helped some and hurt some. I feel the same way about the DH too

dcb33
11-27-2004, 02:40 PM
Wouldn't that depend on where the floor is set? If the floor is set to factor in the revenue sharing and the team's financial pictures - it wouldn't necesarily be as bad as you are painting it out to be....In theory a floor would work, depending on how socialistic you wanted to be with your revenue sharing. The problem with a floor is that there is a limited pool of MLB-calibur talent out there, and if you set a floor, that will only drive up players salaries, the cost of which will be absorbed by fans in the form of higher ticket prices. Of course you would offset that by creating a cap, but then MLB would become the NFL, and I don't want to see that happen.

dcb33
11-27-2004, 02:42 PM
Typically, no always, the best baseball teams are built by the teams with the most money. What sense does that make. The best teams should be built based on who drafts best, who puts the pieces in place properly, and who develops their players best. Not this new monetary method. We may have a payroll near 80 million and we are still considered cheap.

What ever happened to the days when baseball was great to follow, like back in the 1970's with the Cincinnati Reds and the big red machine. Back when you grew up with the team and knew all the players. Now you can't grow up rooting for a certain player on your favorite team because he eventually will be traded for money reasons or go to the highest bidder. No loyalty. I think FA is a major reason why kids don't follow baseball like they used to. They can't keep track who is on their team. Kids can't hang find their favorite player on their team and follow him.

Hell you even have to rush your prospects to the bigs because of what they are being paid so you can get something out of them before they are free to go to the highest bidder.

I just can't stand FA. I miss the days of building a team based upon player development and scouting. Bring back the good old days.
So what? Are you going to tell us next that capitailism has ruined America, the 2002 Angels and 2003 Marlins didn't exist, and that kids are too stupid to follow who plays on what teams?

Lip Man 1
11-27-2004, 02:58 PM
Munchman says: "No amount of reason or truth will convince them of anything except that no matter what the circumstances, Jerry is to blame. Honestly, I don't know what half these guys would do if we ever:

1. Won a World Series (would they celebrate or use it as an example of Reinsdorf's unfair business practices).

2. Got a new owner who "spends money" and "tries to win" (because current management certainly isn't interested in that) and still continued losing, showing them that big spending can be incredibly disasterous, especially for a team whose fans don't come out until the second half and only in winning seasons."

Munch we know one thing for sure...as long as Uncle Jerry continues to ruin this franchise we won't ever have to even consider the first possibility. As far as the second, I'd LOVE to see an owner try that philosophy. It's clear the Sox 'fiscal responsibility' mantra has done NOTHING but lose market share to the Cubs every year.

Munchman---charter member of the ****...watching his pocket book even better then he does!

Remember it's not about wins and losses....it's about the size of the profits!

Munch something you and the other **** will NEVER understand is that sports isn't about profit shares, dividens and tax write offs...it's about winning and losing period.

If you want to make money with your millions much better ways are the stock market, municiple bonds and T notes. If that what a sports franchise owner wants to do, he should sell out and take that money and invest it into a business venture which will give him a better return.

Owners in sports to make money are plain goofy.

Lip

dcb33
11-27-2004, 03:00 PM
Munchman says: "No amount of reason or truth will convince them of anything except that no matter what the circumstances, Jerry is to blame. Honestly, I don't know what half these guys would do if we ever:

1. Won a World Series (would they celebrate or use it as an example of Reinsdorf's unfair business practices).

2. Got a new owner who "spends money" and "tries to win" (because current management certainly isn't interested in that) and still continued losing, showing them that big spending can be incredibly disasterous, especially for a team whose fans don't come out until the second half and only in winning seasons."

Munch we know one thing for sure...as long as Uncle Jerry continues to ruin this franchise we won't ever have to even consider the first possibility. As far as the second, I'd LOVE to see an owner try that philosophy. It's clear the Sox 'fiscal responsibility' mantra has done NOTHING but lose market share to the Cubs every year.

Munchman---charter member of the ****...watching his pocket book even better then he does!

Remember it's not about wins and losses....it's about the size of the profits!

Munch something you and the other **** will NEVER understand is that sports isn't about profit shares, dividens and tax write offs...it's about winning and losing period.

If you want to make money with your millions much better ways are the stock market, municiple bonds and T notes. If that what a sports franchise owner wants to do, he should sell out and take that money and invest it into a business venture which will give him a better return.

Owners in sports to make money are plain goofy.

Lip
What does **** stand for? Friends of Uncle Jerry?

Lip Man 1
11-27-2004, 03:17 PM
Bingo.


Lip

munchman33
11-27-2004, 04:39 PM
Owners in sports to make money are plain goofy.
Lip
While I wish that were the truth, you're kidding yourself if you think there's actually any owner in any of the major sports whose first, if not only, guiding force is to turn a large profit.

Daver
11-27-2004, 06:44 PM
If owners had a choice between eliminating free agency and arbitration, I'm sure they would do away with arbitration. Free agency (in theory -- there were years in the '80s when collusion no doubt helped the Twins and Royals get to the World Series) lets the market decide what players will be paid. Arbitration often awards contracts that players wouldn't be able to get in a free market. Bill Veeck (who "rented" players he said up front he wouldn't be able to sign and had trouble making a much smaller payroll) said the problem was "the high price of mediocrity."

Of course, since the beginning of the free-agency era, lots of teams have failed miserably with large payrolls.
The players did not want arbitration in the first place, and never asked for it. Arbitration was the idea of the owners, and insisted on by them, that was the final straw for Charles O'Finley, he saw the writing on the wall and promptly sold the oft traveled Oakland A's.

PaleHoseGeorge
11-27-2004, 06:52 PM
The players did not want arbitration in the first place, and never asked for it. Arbitration was the idea of the owners, and insisted on by them, that was the final straw for Charles O'Finley, he saw the writing on the wall and promptly sold the oft traveled Oakland A's.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the ballclub ALWAYS have the option of releasing a ballplayer rather than granting salary arbitration? Aren't the fights between MLB and the MLBPA over arbitration eligibility rather than the practice of arbitration per se? (The owners want to increase service time before a player is eligible, while the union wants the status quo.)

If the Sox didn't want to go to salary arbitration with Jon Garland, couldn't they release him as a free agent? Couldn't they re-sign him afterwards, too?

I believe the owners are crying crocodile tears about salary arbitration. They're getting a good deal compared to the alternative already available to them, namely refusing to tender an offer.

Daver
11-27-2004, 07:10 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the ballclub ALWAYS have the option of releasing a ballplayer rather than granting salary arbitration? Aren't the fights between MLB and the MLBPA over arbitration eligibility rather than the practice of arbitration per se? (The owners want to increase service time before a player is eligible, while the union wants the status quo.)

If the Sox didn't want to go to salary arbitration with Jon Garland, couldn't they release him as a free agent? Couldn't they re-sign him afterwards, too?

I believe the owners are crying crocodile tears about salary arbitration. They're getting a good deal compared to the alternative already available to them, namely refusing to tender an offer.
Jon Garland does not have the service time in to qualify for FA. He could have taken the Sox offer on a contract or have his contract decided by an arbitor. Mark Buerhle lost money by refusing the Sox contract offer a few years ago.

StillMissOzzie
11-27-2004, 11:29 PM
There already is a salary floor, albeit a very low one. The MLB minimum wage is now something like $330,000, multiplied by 25 = $8.25M

SMO
:gulp:

jabrch
11-28-2004, 01:57 AM
There already is a salary floor, albeit a very low one. The MLB minimum wage is now something like $330,000, multiplied by 25 = $8.25M

SMO
:gulp:

ok...technically yes....

But I was thinking more of a total floor - not a floor based on the sum of the minimums... A floor of 30/50/70...whatever...but a floor that all owners must spend to even out the cap that owners may not exceed.

TDog
11-28-2004, 02:36 AM
The players did not want arbitration in the first place, and never asked for it. Arbitration was the idea of the owners, and insisted on by them, that was the final straw for Charles O'Finley, he saw the writing on the wall and promptly sold the oft traveled Oakland A's.
You're right. To some it seemed like a great idea. Management thought it would help teams retain players they developed. They didn't realize that arbititors would obligating teams to pay players free-agent money.

Free agency has changed substantially since the begining, when teams held a draft to designate which players they could negotiate with, and up to five teams were allowed to declare they would not pursue any free agents.

SouthSide_HitMen
11-28-2004, 03:37 AM
There already is a salary floor, albeit a very low one. The MLB minimum wage is now something like $330,000, multiplied by 25 = $8.25M

SMO
:gulp:
:reinsy I haven't liked an idea this much since I talked Bud into contracting the Minnesota Twins.

:dollarbill: Trust me Jerry - it works great!!!

:reinsy Plus I have just the right marketing campaign for an "up and coming team" of 25 players at the league minimum and best of all it has already been paid for.

White Sox Major League Baseball - "Through Thick & Thin, Thick & Thin."

PaleHoseGeorge
11-28-2004, 09:22 AM
Jon Garland does not have the service time in to qualify for FA. He could have taken the Sox offer on a contract or have his contract decided by an arbitor. Mark Buerhle lost money by refusing the Sox contract offer a few years ago.
Okay, but just suppose Jon Garland threw 3 no-hitters enroute to a 3-15 record with a 6.51 ERA, and the usual b.s. about "that's just the way I pitch." It's winter and under the existing eligibility rules he files for salary arbitration.

Don't the Sox have a choice? Maybe the Sox figure Garland is going to ask for the moon and stars (based on the 3 no-hitters) and get a fat salary increase from the arbitrator. But based on his general suckiness and lousy attitude, the Sox come to the conclusion he isn't really worth jack, not even the counter-offer they would need to make in arbitration to keep Garland from getting the moon and stars.

Couldn't the Sox just say "screw you" and let Garland go, free to sign with whatever team wants him? And having taken this step, couldn't the Sox bid on Garland just like any other team WITHOUT the arbitrator deciding what inflated price Garland is truly worth?

Isn't the arbitrator in essence nothing but a surrogate for a true open market on Garland's talent? And aren't the players like Garland always making less in arbitration than they could get on the open market if only they were eligible for free agency?

Aren't the owners crying crocodile tears about how they get ripped off in salary arbitration?
:wink:

voodoochile
11-28-2004, 09:49 AM
While I wish that were the truth, you're kidding yourself if you think there's actually any owner in any of the major sports whose first, if not only, guiding force is to turn a large profit.
And they all have as the value of their puchase has increased. In JR's case that number is 12-fold in 24 years - or an average return of 50%/year on their initial purchase. I realize it doesn't work that way and that a dollar today is worth WELL less than a dollar in 1980, but certainly it can be looked at in that simplistic fashion on one level.

Parrothead
11-28-2004, 09:58 AM
You're right. To some it seemed like a great idea. Management thought it would help teams retain players they developed. They didn't realize that arbititors would obligating teams to pay players free-agent money.
The problem with arbitration is not that the players have it but that the arbitrator has to award either number the teams offer or the players asking price. If the arbitrator was able to give a number inbetween I think that would be better.

voodoochile
11-28-2004, 10:01 AM
Okay, but just suppose Jon Garland threw 3 no-hitters enroute to a 3-15 record with a 6.51 ERA, and the usual b.s. about "that's just the way I pitch." It's winter and under the existing eligibility rules he files for salary arbitration.

Don't the Sox have a choice? Maybe the Sox figure Garland is going to ask for the moon and stars (based on the 3 no-hitters) and get a fat salary increase from the arbitrator. But based on his general suckiness and lousy attitude, the Sox come to the conclusion he isn't really worth jack, not even the counter-offer they would need to make in arbitration to keep Garland from getting the moon and stars.

Couldn't the Sox just say "screw you" and let Garland go, free to sign with whatever team wants him? And having taken this step, couldn't the Sox bid on Garland just like any other team WITHOUT the arbitrator deciding what inflated price Garland is truly worth?

Isn't the arbitrator in essence nothing but a surrogate for a true open market on Garland's talent? And aren't the players like Garland always making less in arbitration than they could get on the open market if only they were eligible for free agency?

Aren't the owners crying crocodile tears about how they get ripped off in salary arbitration?
:wink:
I thought it was up to the owners to offer arbitration. If a team doesn't offer arbitration than they cannot offer a FA contract until after 5/1 of the following year - this is to prevent the owners from not offering anything and then lowballing the FA offer. If you don't offer arbitration there is a good chance you lose the player. If you offer arbitration and the player turns it down, then you get compensation picks. If you don't offer it, you don't get the picks.

Arbitration offers from the owners have to be at least 80% of the previous year's salary level and arbitratiors will choose the number that best reflects ALL aspects of a player's worth to the team.

In your example, the arbitrator might reason that since everytime he wins, he throws a no-hitter, he has huge attendance drawing potential and thus is worth more. The arbitrator is also not bound by MLB salaries exclusively and can look for examples in other sports - though for the most part the biggest MLB salaries are much higher than in other sports due to salary caps and max salaries.

Hey, there's an idea. Instead of a salary cap, impose a maximum salary for varying FA's - like the NBA (I can hear the booing now).:bandance:

Parrothead
11-28-2004, 10:13 AM
Hey, there's an idea. Instead of a salary cap, impose a maximum salary for varying FA's - like the NBA (I can hear the booing now).:bandance:
I like it.:rolleyes:

munchman33
11-28-2004, 10:47 AM
Instead of a salary cap, impose a maximum salary for varying FA's - like the NBA (I can hear the booing now).:bandance:
You, sir, are a king amongst men. King amongst men.

idseer
11-28-2004, 10:57 AM
even tho it's not what the original poster had in mind when they titled this thread .... i'd like to suggest the title is still accurate .... at least from a fans perspective.

as a fan, free agency has caused two things to happen that never happened before it.

1. you never had to worry about a player (ala magglio or say pirates' barry bonds) walking away from the team. your star usually stayed your star. not that they couldn't be traded. obviously they were, but you knew you'd get something very good in return. not just some money and/or a crap draft pick.
some teams would still be doormats but the reasons would have been mismanagement ... not financial. even pittsburg or kc could become champs.
today the odds are so very much against these teams from ever standing a chance.

2. it wouldn't cost several hundred dollars to take you family to a game.
no doubt prices would have still climbed, but nothing like what they are now.
i believe players salaries would certainly have increased anyway (if owners wanted the best athletes they'd have to pay to keep them from playing other sports). but they wouldn't be the outragious salaries you have today.

these 2 things have contributed greatly to ruin the game i used to know.

munchman33
11-28-2004, 10:59 AM
2. it wouldn't cost several hundred dollars to take you family to a game.
no doubt prices would have still climbed, but nothing like what they are now.
i believe players salaries would certainly have increased anyway (if owners wanted the best athletes they'd have to pay to keep them from playing other sports). but they wouldn't be the outragious salaries you have today.


Don't be so sure. If people are willing to pay it, prices will always go up.

idseer
11-28-2004, 11:05 AM
Don't be so sure. If people are willing to pay it, prices will always go up. doesn't it stand to reason that an owner couldn't justify today's prices if their team had a total salary of $10 million?

Daver
11-28-2004, 11:23 AM
Okay, but just suppose Jon Garland threw 3 no-hitters enroute to a 3-15 record with a 6.51 ERA, and the usual b.s. about "that's just the way I pitch." It's winter and under the existing eligibility rules he files for salary arbitration.

Don't the Sox have a choice? Maybe the Sox figure Garland is going to ask for the moon and stars (based on the 3 no-hitters) and get a fat salary increase from the arbitrator. But based on his general suckiness and lousy attitude, the Sox come to the conclusion he isn't really worth jack, not even the counter-offer they would need to make in arbitration to keep Garland from getting the moon and stars.

Couldn't the Sox just say "screw you" and let Garland go, free to sign with whatever team wants him? And having taken this step, couldn't the Sox bid on Garland just like any other team WITHOUT the arbitrator deciding what inflated price Garland is truly worth?

Isn't the arbitrator in essence nothing but a surrogate for a true open market on Garland's talent? And aren't the players like Garland always making less in arbitration than they could get on the open market if only they were eligible for free agency?

Aren't the owners crying crocodile tears about how they get ripped off in salary arbitration?
:wink:
The team always holds the upper hand, because a player can be placed on waivers for unconditional release at any time. In Garlands particular case using the example you set, he could be non'tendered, which would make him a free agent, but the non-tendering team can not offer him a contract until after May 1st of the following year.

Daver
11-28-2004, 11:25 AM
doesn't it stand to reason that an owner couldn't justify today's prices if their team had a total salary of $10 million?
No, because salary does not set ticket prices, ticket prices are based on what the market will bear. Did the Brewers drop their ticket prices last season when they cut their payroll in half?

idseer
11-28-2004, 11:55 AM
No, because salary does not set ticket prices, ticket prices are based on what the market will bear. Did the Brewers drop their ticket prices last season when they cut their payroll in half?
salaries don't set ticket prices per se BUT with salaries at only one tenth what they are now ... i believe it would be a very big factor.

voodoochile
11-28-2004, 12:01 PM
doesn't it stand to reason that an owner couldn't justify today's prices if their team had a total salary of $10 million?
LOL! Yeah, they will be sure to get right on that ticket price rollback when salarys drop to that level.

No, not even close. It would come to be how it stacks up against other entertainment choices. Take the 2 kids and the wife to dinner at McDonald's and a movie and you will spend close to $70 including popcorn, candy and soda at the theater.

Baseball will be higher than those prices always - longer entertainment, more to see and do, live action, etc. It will never drop below $100/family of 4 to see a baseball game on average, no matter how low salarys are.

It's not driven by costs, but by demand. The Sox - as an after thought in this town had no problem drawing 2M fans last year at the current prices. Why would they reduce them?

idseer
11-28-2004, 12:05 PM
LOL! Yeah, they will be sure to get right on that ticket price rollback when salarys drop to that level.

No, not even close. It would come to be how it stacks up against other entertainment choices. Take the 2 kids and the wife to dinner at McDonald's and a movie and you will spend close to $70 including popcorn, candy and soda at the theater.

Baseball will be higher than those prices always - longer entertainment, more to see and do, live action, etc. It will never drop below $100/family of 4 to see a baseball game on average, no matter how low salarys are.

It's not driven by costs, but by demand. The Sox - as an after thought in this town had no problem drawing 2M fans last year at the current prices. Why would they reduce them?
i disagree. all sports prices started to soar when baseball salaries went thru the roof. i think it is the root of todays prices in sports. everything, tv contracts etc. are due to these over-infalted salaries.
everything would be higher ... but not nearly as high as it is now .... in my opinion.

voodoochile
11-28-2004, 12:09 PM
i disagree. all sports prices started to soar when baseball salaries went thru the roof. i think it is the root of todays prices in sports. everything, tv contracts etc. are due to these over-infalted salaries.
everything would be higher ... but not nearly as high as it is now .... in my opinion.
What did a movie ticket cost in 1990?

A Car?

A house?

Is attendance higher (league wide) now than it was then? Didn't baseball just finish another record setting attendance year?

Daver
11-28-2004, 12:13 PM
i disagree. all sports prices started to soar when baseball salaries went thru the roof. i think it is the root of todays prices in sports. everything, tv contracts etc. are due to these over-infalted salaries.
everything would be higher ... but not nearly as high as it is now .... in my opinion.
The NFL started their ticket price climb after they broke the players union and got rigid salary control for their league.

TornLabrum
11-28-2004, 12:49 PM
i disagree. all sports prices started to soar when baseball salaries went thru the roof. i think it is the root of todays prices in sports. everything, tv contracts etc. are due to these over-infalted salaries.
everything would be higher ... but not nearly as high as it is now .... in my opinion.
Prices also started to soar when big money started coming in from the TV networks. I think you're confusing cause and effect here.

Parrothead
11-28-2004, 01:22 PM
Is attendance higher (league wide) now than it was then? Didn't baseball just finish another record setting attendance year?
Attendance is higher due to the new stadiums. Wait until everyone has thier new stadium and you will see attendence fall just as they have in most cities with one.

bigfoot
11-28-2004, 03:55 PM
Prices also started to soar when big money started coming in from the TV networks. I think you're confusing cause and effect here.
Ding, ding , ding.....we have a winner!

idseer
11-28-2004, 08:52 PM
What did a movie ticket cost in 1990?

A Car?

A house?

Is attendance higher (league wide) now than it was then? Didn't baseball just finish another record setting attendance year?
well show me some stats then. what DID a ticket cost in 1965 vs a car/house?
what percentage did has the ticket gone up comapred to the car/house?

i never said prices wouldn't be higher. i KNOW everything goes up. my point was the AMOUNT everything has gone up. i say it's less if free agency doesn't exist (tho to tell the truth i believe it was inevitable that free agency would have occured sooner or later.)

lip,
you point about tv revenues. i believe they were deprived in large part based on salaries of players. owners expenses would have been much lower and therefore they would not have demanded as much from the networks. they get what the get now BECAUSE of the need to pay players salaries amongst other things.
i don't think i'm confusing anything.

idseer
11-28-2004, 08:53 PM
Ding, ding , ding.....we have a winner!
as an aside ....
i really hate this kind of post. as if the poster is the judge and has made some kind of ruling from on high. you've added nothing yet act supreme.
quit it.

idseer
11-28-2004, 08:57 PM
The NFL started their ticket price climb after they broke the players union and got rigid salary control for their league.
i wish i could find some kind of time scale as to these events.
i'm quite sure that before free agency in baseball NO one was making the kind of money i'm talking about. it was only directly after free agency in baseball that salaries in all other sports started the same kind of upward spiral. you think this was just coincidence?

Ol' No. 2
11-28-2004, 11:26 PM
And they all have as the value of their puchase has increased. In JR's case that number is 12-fold in 24 years - or an average return of 50%/year on their initial purchase. I realize it doesn't work that way and that a dollar today is worth WELL less than a dollar in 1980, but certainly it can be looked at in that simplistic fashion on one level.First of all, through the magic of compounding, it's not anywhere close to 50% per year. It's actually a bit over 10% per year. You might also want to check to see what a dollar invested in the stock market at the same time would be worth. At a much lower risk.

voodoochile
11-29-2004, 08:50 AM
First of all, through the magic of compounding, it's not anywhere close to 50% per year. It's actually a bit over 10% per year. You might also want to check to see what a dollar invested in the stock market at the same time would be worth. At a much lower risk.
Yes, and I acknowledged that much in my post, but the fact is that this franchise has increased in value roughly $240M over 24 years on an initial investment of $20M.

Simplistically that averages out to $10M return per year which is 50% of $20M.

I understand the financial aspects that make that MUCH too simple an explanation.

One of the other posters here did some analysis last year and pointed out that the value increase is comparable to the increase in the DJIA over the same period of time. They thought that made it an average investment. I think that is bad math. The DJIA has far exceeded most people's ROI expectations since 1980 and has blown all other simple investment strategies (save well placed real estate) out of the water during this stretch of time.

In addition, I completely and utterly disagree with your "lower risk" assessment. Owning a profesional sports franchise has proven to be about as low a risk investment as you can have from a capital increase perspective.

Finally, this is still strictly the capital increase we are talking about. As the linked Forbes article in another thread showed, the Sox were making handsome yearly profits for most of JR's early run as CEO. In the early 90's those profits were running $15+M a year for several years running and even now the team is running no worse than break even and that is strictly based on what resources can be proven to be linked to the team. If there is any hidden revenue (ownership in the concession company, parking revenue, etc), those numbers could be much higher.

These guys are swimming in Ben Franklins and some fans are actually convinced they aren't making a dime...:rolleyes:

Ol' No. 2
11-29-2004, 10:36 AM
Yes, and I acknowledged that much in my post, but the fact is that this franchise has increased in value roughly $240M over 24 years on an initial investment of $20M.

Simplistically that averages out to $10M return per year which is 50% of $20M.

I understand the financial aspects that make that MUCH too simple an explanation.

One of the other posters here did some analysis last year and pointed out that the value increase is comparable to the increase in the DJIA over the same period of time. They thought that made it an average investment. I think that is bad math. The DJIA has far exceeded most people's ROI expectations since 1980 and has blown all other simple investment strategies (save well placed real estate) out of the water during this stretch of time.

In addition, I completely and utterly disagree with your "lower risk" assessment. Owning a profesional sports franchise has proven to be about as low a risk investment as you can have from a capital increase perspective.

Finally, this is still strictly the capital increase we are talking about. As the linked Forbes article in another thread showed, the Sox were making handsome yearly profits for most of JR's early run as CEO. In the early 90's those profits were running $15+M a year for several years running and even now the team is running no worse than break even and that is strictly based on what resources can be proven to be linked to the team. If there is any hidden revenue (ownership in the concession company, parking revenue, etc), those numbers could be much higher.

These guys are swimming in Ben Franklins and some fans are actually convinced they aren't making a dime...:rolleyes:There are a number of other sports teams who are not so well managed who do lose money. While owning a sports team may be lower risk than owning certain stocks, I could also point out that these higher-risk investments generally come with much higher returns than the DJIA. Compared to a broad-based portfolio, like a DJIA index fund, owning a baseball team is not a low risk proposition. And while teams do make a profit, one also gets dividends from stocks. Looking at the last several years, the Sox are generally just about break-even, with the exception of 2003, which is an obvious outlier due to the extra revenues from the All-Star game. Also, a 10% annualized return on investement is actually a pretty modest return. Reinsdorf made his money in real estate, and you can count on the fact that he made a much higher than 10% return on those investments.

Ultimately, capital growth and return on investment is meaningless by itself. It has to be compared to available alternatives. There's absolutely no question in my mind that JR could have made a lot more money investing in real estate than investing in the White Sox.

Some people will continue to believe that they've raking in huge amounts of cash which they hide in a room in the basement somewhere. Some will continue to believe in second gunman on the grassy knoll. You can believe whatever you want. But the available facts just don't support it.

munchman33
11-29-2004, 10:40 AM
There are a number of other sports teams who are not so well managed who do lose money. While owning a sports team may be lower risk than owning certain stocks, I could also point out that these higher-risk investments generally come with much higher returns than the DJIA. Compared to a broad-based portfolio, like a DJIA index fund, owning a baseball team is not a low risk proposition. And while teams do make a profit, one also gets dividends from stocks. Looking at the last several years, the Sox are generally just about break-even, with the exception of 2003, which is an obvious outlier due to the extra revenues from the All-Star game. Also, a 10% annualized return on investement is actually a pretty modest return. Reinsdorf made his money in real estate, and you can count on the fact that he made a much higher than 10% return on those investments.

Ultimately, capital growth and return on investment is meaningless by itself. It has to be compared to available alternatives. There's absolutely no question in my mind that JR could have made a lot more money investing in real estate than investing in the White Sox.

Some people will continue to believe that they've raking in huge amounts of cash which they hide in a room in the basement somewhere. Some will continue to believe in second gunman on the grassy knoll. You can believe whatever you want. But the available facts just don't support it.
Great post. But without an understanding of how business really works, most people are just going to disregard your post as trolling and call you a ****.

Lip Man 1
11-29-2004, 12:53 PM
Munch:

And you really understand how business works because?

Ever read The Lords Of The Realm by Pulitzer Prize winner John Helyar? He's the business / sports reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (This establishes his credentials)

You might find interesting the story about what happened when the owners let the independent accountant from Stanford examine their books during the 1994 labor impasse and what that accountant found.

Maybe that's how business 'really works.'

****.....not willing or able to grasp reality.

Lip

munchman33
11-29-2004, 01:22 PM
Munch:

And you really understand how business works because?

Ever read The Lords Of The Realm by Pulitzer Prize winner John Helyar? He's the business / sports reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (This establishes his credentials)

You might find interesting the story about what happened when the owners let the independent accountant from Stanford examine their books during the 1994 labor impasse and what that accountant found.

Maybe that's how business 'really works.'

****.....not willing or able to grasp reality.


Lip
I have read the book. Why even bring up a book that finishes before the end of the labor stoppage?

Anyway, Helyar's point was to show how the players union and the commissioner constantly made it impossible for the owners to run the business normally and turn any kind of profit.

PaleHoseGeorge
11-29-2004, 01:36 PM
I have read the book. Why even bring up a book that finishes before the end of the labor stoppage?

Anyway, Helyar's point was to show how the players union and the commissioner constantly made it impossible for the owners to run the business normally and turn any kind of profit. You read the book and this is the conclusion you've drawn about Helyar's point? The union and commissioner constantly made it impossible for the owners to run the business normally and turn any kind of profit???

Can I ask you what you believe the title of the book is supposed to mean, Lords of the Realm? Are you seriously suggesting Helyar believes the owners are the Lords of the Realm, or poking fun at them for behaving like they were?

This reminds me of the kid in my high school English class who read Animal Farm and reached the conclusion some animals truly are more equal than others. Some people have serious reading comprehension issues.

:o:

munchman33
11-29-2004, 02:22 PM
You read the book and this is the conclusion you've drawn about Helyar's point? The union and commissioner constantly made it impossible for the owners to run the business normally and turn any kind of profit???

Can I ask you what you believe the title of the book is supposed to mean, Lords of the Realm? Are you seriously suggesting Helyar believes the owners are the Lords of the Realm, or poking fun at them for behaving like they were?

This reminds me of the kid in my high school English class who read Animal Farm and reached the conclusion some pigs truly are more equal than others. Some people have serious reading comprehension issues.

:o:
Helyar did chronicle the many mistakes made by owners over the year, and did note the problem of escalating salaries was brought upon by the owners themselves. But he certainly doesn't downplay the roles the players union or the commissioner (who he ironically notes should be working for the owners best interests, yet rarely does) play in all of this. He also called the advent of the players union the single largest problem for owners trying to run their franchises "like a business" and points out that nobody can own a major league franchise with the intent to make money, because its simply not possible (a generalization he makes).

voodoochile
11-29-2004, 05:07 PM
There are a number of other sports teams who are not so well managed who do lose money. While owning a sports team may be lower risk than owning certain stocks, I could also point out that these higher-risk investments generally come with much higher returns than the DJIA. Compared to a broad-based portfolio, like a DJIA index fund, owning a baseball team is not a low risk proposition. And while teams do make a profit, one also gets dividends from stocks. Looking at the last several years, the Sox are generally just about break-even, with the exception of 2003, which is an obvious outlier due to the extra revenues from the All-Star game. Also, a 10% annualized return on investement is actually a pretty modest return. Reinsdorf made his money in real estate, and you can count on the fact that he made a much higher than 10% return on those investments.

Ultimately, capital growth and return on investment is meaningless by itself. It has to be compared to available alternatives. There's absolutely no question in my mind that JR could have made a lot more money investing in real estate than investing in the White Sox.

Some people will continue to believe that they've raking in huge amounts of cash which they hide in a room in the basement somewhere. Some will continue to believe in second gunman on the grassy knoll. You can believe whatever you want. But the available facts just don't support it.
Okay, so maybe in the last 10 years the Sox operational profit has been negligible. Prior to that, it was ridiculous, running close to 100%/year on initial investment money for half a decade straight according to Forbes.

Prior to that, I don't have data.

That also precludes the idea that the Sox would sell at a premium and that the current SS development will have no effect on their revenue, profits and capital value. I'm not saying the comparison is exactly accurate, but remember the Redskins sale? The BoSox sale? Both of those teams sold at a 50% premium above book value because of their location and tradition. The Sox may not have the same tradition as those teams, but they certainly have as good a location for anyone with a pair of marketing braincells in their head.

I realize that I put the figure of $260M on the table for their worth, but I would be shocked if JR et al couldn't get $350-400M for the team if they seriously started looking for a buyer. I realize I have nothing to back that up but my opinion too...

Lip Man 1
11-29-2004, 08:54 PM
Munch:

I suggest you read the book again. The copy I have is through the 1994 labor impasse.

And you failed to touch upon my point. That being that when the Stanford economics professor, an independent judge, approved by BOTH the union and owners examined the books, he found that the majority of MLB teams were making large profits, 'cooking' the books and pointed out specific ways they were not reporting or were short changing profits.

The owners naturally were furious that they were shown to be the lying pond scum that all rational people suspected.

But feel free to keep blaming the union and the players for the troubles in baseball and specifically with the Sox organization. I need a good laugh. :rolleyes:

Lip

TheBull19
11-30-2004, 05:09 AM
He also called the advent of the players union the single largest problem for owners trying to run their franchises "like a business" and points out that nobody can own a major league franchise with the intent to make money, because its simply not possible (a generalization he makes).A sports franchise cannot be compared to other businesses in a capitalist society, due to the fact it is a closed market. In the real world, any one can open a new business and will succeed based on the quality of their product, efficiency, pricing and what-not, and compete with existing companies with similar products. There is no such competition in the world of professional sports, therefore, it cannot be compared to a capitalist economic system to begin with.

TheBull19
11-30-2004, 05:43 AM
Ultimately, capital growth and return on investment is meaningless by itself. It has to be compared to available alternatives. There's absolutely no question in my mind that JR could have made a lot more money investing in real estate than investing in the White Sox.

Some people will continue to believe that they've raking in huge amounts of cash which they hide in a room in the basement somewhere. Some will continue to believe in second gunman on the grassy knoll. You can believe whatever you want. But the available facts just don't support it.What's the difference in investing in a professional sports club and real estate? I'd guess the value of a sports franchise has risen at a higher rate than real estate over the last 20 years. Reinsdorf's group bought the Sox for 20 million in '81 and now its estimated value is 230 million. If there were bidding for the team, that amount would undoubtedly increase, especially when you consider the naming rights for the stadium alone were sold at 30% of the team's supposed value.

And if you honestly believe these folks are just sitting on something worth hundreds of millions of dollars, dishing out some hundred million in operating expenses a year, without making serious loot, you're nuts. You're right, though, unscrupulous businessmen cooking books is unheard of, you'd have to be a wacko conspiracy theorist to think someone of Reinsdorf's standing would do something like that.

Ol' No. 2
11-30-2004, 10:12 AM
What's the difference in investing in a professional sports club and real estate? I'd guess the value of a sports franchise has risen at a higher rate than real estate over the last 20 years. Reinsdorf's group bought the Sox for 20 million in '81 and now its estimated value is 230 million. If there were bidding for the team, that amount would undoubtedly increase, especially when you consider the naming rights for the stadium alone were sold at 30% of the team's supposed value.

And if you honestly believe these folks are just sitting on something worth hundreds of millions of dollars, dishing out some hundred million in operating expenses a year, without making serious loot, you're nuts. You're right, though, unscrupulous businessmen cooking books is unheard of, you'd have to be a wacko conspiracy theorist to think someone of Reinsdorf's standing would do something like that.If you'd guess that the value of a sports franchise has risen at a higher rate than real estate over the last 20 years, you'd be guessing dead wrong. As I pointed out earlier, the appreciation in the value of the Sox over the period Reinsdorf has owned the team is only a bit over 10% per year, and is no better than the DJIA. Which means you could get the same return on your money as he has with less risk. Hardly a windfall.

What naming rights has to do with it I can't imagine, especially since NONE of that money went to the Sox. All of it went to stadium improvements, and the stadium is owned by ISFA.

JKryl
12-06-2004, 03:50 PM
I like it.:rolleyes:
Good luck trying to negotiate it into the next MLB contract.