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jklm
10-22-2001, 03:51 PM
Anonymous "highly-placed baseball executive"... Do you believe this??

http://www.southam.com/windsorstar/sports/011022/3649.html

The Montreal Expos' days are numbered.

For the first time since the creation of the American League in 1901, major league baseball is planning to contract by two teams next season.

According to a highly-placed baseball executive, league officials will announce after the World Series that the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins will fold.

"You can call it speculation if you want, but you'd be right," the official said.

"We're paying (major league baseball) the owner of Montreal and the owner of Florida to fold their teams. Then we'll have a dispersal draft."

The only question remaining is whether Expos owner Jeffrey Loria will take his money and buy the Tampa Devil Rays and assume that operation or buy Tampa and turn the Expos into the Devil Rays and fold the current Tampa organization.

The Florida ownership group, headed by John Henry, is considering the same scenario involving Anaheim. It would buy out the current Angels' owners, the Disney Corporation and turn the Marlins into the Angels.

With its bottom line sagging, Disney is trying to unload both the Angels and the NHL's Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

"It hasn't been decided which way they'll go, but there won't be teams in Montreal or Florida," the executive said. "It'll make for better baseball with only 28 teams."

The foldings will also make for some divisional re-alignments because both Montreal and Florida play in the National League East.

"You could move Pittsburgh into the East because there are six teams in the Central Division," the executive pointed out. "It'll balance out the leagues because the American League only has 14 teams."

A dispersal draft will be held later this fall with the teams picking in reverse order of the regular-season standings.

Soxheads
10-22-2001, 03:57 PM
Would high level players such as guerreo be up for draft too?

Jerry_Manuel
10-22-2001, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by Soxheads
Would high lever players such as guerreo be up for draft too?

Well the article said:
"Tampa and turn the Expos into the Devil Rays and fold the current Tampa organization. "

So if the Devil Rays get bought out and the Expos become the D-rays then no he won't be. If this doesn't happen then yes he would be available. But that's just how I see it, perhaps George or Randar could shed some more light on the subject.

Soxheads
10-22-2001, 04:04 PM
So either way we will probably play the Expos in some shape or form next year.

Jerry_Manuel
10-22-2001, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Soxheads
So either way we will probably play the Expos in some shape or form next year.

Well maybe not, if the Marlins become the Angels and the Expos become the D-rays in some form then there will be some sort of division realignment.

danman31
10-22-2001, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by jklm
A dispersal draft will be held later this fall with the teams picking in reverse order of the regular-season standings.

Dang it! Why did we have to make that run for .500?!! Oh well at least the Flubs would be picking below us if this happens.
Boy, did they pick a year to turn it around. :)

Soxheads
10-22-2001, 04:11 PM
How is the realignment going to go?

Jerry_Manuel
10-22-2001, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by Soxheads
How is the realignment going to go?

Well the article said:
It hasn't been decided which way they'll go, but there won't be teams in Montreal or Florida," the executive said. "It'll make for better baseball with only 28 teams."

The foldings will also make for some divisional re-alignments because both Montreal and Florida play in the National League East.

"You could move Pittsburgh into the East because there are six teams in the Central Division," the executive pointed out. "It'll balance out the leagues because the American League only has 14 teams."

Soxheads
10-22-2001, 04:15 PM
Yes, but we all know Selig dosen't like simple realignment.

Jerry_Manuel
10-22-2001, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by Soxheads
Yes, but we all know Selig dosen't like simple realignment.

Ah yes I can see it now.

The 2002 AL Central

Sox
Tribe
Mets
Dodgers
Seattle
Boston


:tool
Sounds like a good idea.

Soxheads
10-22-2001, 04:19 PM
Instead of the Mets he'd put the Cubs.

jklm
10-22-2001, 04:26 PM
I don't really believe the article because if MLB were going to (or seriously considered to) fold two clubs, they would leak the information to more "prestigious" baseball writers like, yes, Gammons.

Any how, just for fun, we would have the 15th pick if a draft is to be held (and if the draft order is based on this year's record)

Two observations:

1. Baltimore/Texas/NYMets/Boston will pick before us (and the Twins/A's!)

2. If the dispersal draft order is determined by the teams' record the last, say, 4 years, the Cubs will... :)

Pit/TB/Bal/KC/Cin/Det/Mil/Col/Tex/Ana/SD/Tor/NYM/Bos/
CHW/Min/Phi/LA/CHC/Atl/SF/Cle/Arz/STL/Hou/NYY/Oak/Sea

PaleHoseGeorge
10-22-2001, 04:47 PM
I'll believe it when I see it. There are so many problems involved with doing this, it is little wonder it hasn't been attempted in over 100 years.

The owners can expect to be sued in every city where a stadium lease arrangement was signed. They can also expect competing offers from outside ownership groups to be made, and becoming defendants to further litigation if those offers aren't accepted.

Are the owners REALLY losing money? This is where the rubber hits the road. If those franchises are as worthless as the baseball owners claim they are, nobody will step in to buy them. OTOH, if they collude to disband franchises that outside investors wanted to buy, they are in a world of trouble. Forget about realignment talk. A court injunction would certainly prevent anything from happening in the near-future (i.e., in time for the 2002 season).

For all the trouble the White Sox are supposedly in, Reinsdorf bought the team for a piddly $20 million in 1981. The franchise would fetch five- to ten-times that today. Franchise values are going UP, not down.

This looks suspiciously like a ruse for labor negotiations. Let's see if any media outlet larger than the Windsor Star picks up the story.

Jerry_Manuel
10-22-2001, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Let's see if any media outlet larger than the Windsor Star picks up the story.

You mean like the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune?

Randar68
10-22-2001, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
I'll believe it when I see it. There are so many problems involved with doing this, it is little wonder it hasn't been attempted in over 100 years.

The owners can expect to be sued in every city where a stadium lease arrangement was signed. They can also expect competing offers from outside ownership groups to be made, and becoming defendants to further litigation if those offers aren't accepted.

Are the owners REALLY losing money? This is where the rubber hits the road. If those franchises are as worthless as the baseball owners claim they are, nobody will step in to buy them. OTOH, if they collude to disband franchises that outside investors wanted to buy, they are in a world of trouble. Forget about realignment talk. A court injunction would certainly prevent anything from happening in the near-future (i.e., in time for the 2002 season).

For all the trouble the White Sox are supposedly in, Reinsdorf bought the team for a piddly $20 million in 1981. The franchise would fetch five- to ten-times that today. Franchise values are going UP, not down.

This looks suspiciously like a ruse for labor negotiations. Let's see if any media outlet larger than the Windsor Star picks up the story.


Well, I'm not as cynical about the possibilities as George is. I am not 100% on all the legal issues that would be involved, but here are reasons why it will happen, IMO, and the difficulties that could prevent it...

For:
1) MLBPA has no say
2) Ownership is clearly divided on revenue sharing ideas
3) 2 teams that have minimal support
4) the Marlins lease from Florida is up in the next couple years, and it is in a multipurpose stadium
5) Nobody in Montreal would notice if baseball left
6) 2 fewer teams to split TV and broadcast $$$ with gives a little more dough, annually to the poorer teams.
7) Both franchises would likely be bought out for higher than market value, considering each's fan, stadium, and success situations
8) neither Arizona nor Tampa can contest a re-alignment of their teams up to the start of the 2002 season, as per their contracts and agreements when joining MLB...

Against:
1) Obvious difficulties in a dispersal draft (ie. would best players be picked first, due to their salaries and poor teams picking high?)
2) Legal issues of which I may be unaware
3) Dissolving or un-affiliation with a total of 12 minor league teams and the equivalent # of players...
4) Re-alignment issues, as teams other than Arizona have to accept their move...




anyone come up with some more????

longshot7
10-22-2001, 05:51 PM
As for legitimate news sources, I did hear Gammons talking about this plan on Dan Patrick today. The question really though is "Why not fold the Rays?" and keep a team in Miami. From a money standpoint, it is a bigger market - even though there are stadium difficulties.

And Randar, the Arizona/Tampa realignment clause only lasted for two years. It expired at the beginning of this season.

Paulwny
10-22-2001, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by Randar68



7) Both franchises would likely be bought out for higher than market value, considering each's fan, stadium, and success situations


As Randar stated, the MLB owners will have to buy these teams. What happens if an owner won't sell or if an ownner wants to move this team to another city? This could get very messy, "See you in court".

Randar68
10-22-2001, 06:37 PM
As Randar stated, the MLB owners will have to buy these teams. What happens if an owner won't sell or if an ownner wants to move this team to another city? This could get very messy, "See you in court".

well, here's a couple scenarios

1) Team won't sell, owners tell that team they will never allow it to move or essentially succeed in it's current market, and forces the owner to be bought out.
2) Team is reluctant to leave but the owners agree to help facilitate the buying of another team on the block, such as Anahiem or Tampa...
3) Both teams agree to sell to the league for higher than market value...

I am relatively sure that Arizona can be moved because when the team entered the league, it was assumed there would be a huge realignment coming to even out the number of teams in each league and to help redistribute the teams geographically....

I am 90% sure that Arizona at least had a clause saying it could not block a league ordered move from the NL to AL West...

PaleHoseGeorge
10-22-2001, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Against:
1) Obvious difficulties in a dispersal draft (ie. would best players be picked first, due to their salaries and poor teams picking high?)
2) Legal issues of which I may be unaware
3) Dissolving or un-affiliation with a total of 12 minor league teams and the equivalent # of players...
4) Re-alignment issues, as teams other than Arizona have to accept their move...

anyone come up with some more????

Against:
5) Any outside group that offers a competing bid will have a serious case against MLB and the current owner.
6) George Steinbrenner and assorted other owners can't be expected to willingly accept the legal and financial liabilities from such a risky move. They're doing just fine with the status quo.
7) MLB risks a Supreme Court test case on their anti-trust exemption. Unlike Kuhn vs. Flood, this one would be a class action involving at least several municipal, county, and state governments, and the fans in those markets.
8) The real financial liabilities the owners would shoulder far outweigh the potential financial benefits they receive. The big winners are the owners of the Expos, D-Rays, Marlins, etc. They get their money, and virtually none of the legal jeopardy.

LongDistanceFan
10-22-2001, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by Randar68


well, here's a couple scenarios

1) Team won't sell, owners tell that team they will never allow it to move or essentially succeed in it's current market, and forces the owner to be bought out.
2) Team is reluctant to leave but the owners agree to help facilitate the buying of another team on the block, such as Anahiem or Tampa...
3) Both teams agree to sell to the league for higher than market value...

I am relatively sure that Arizona can be moved because when the team entered the league, it was assumed there would be a huge realignment coming to even out the number of teams in each league and to help redistribute the teams geographically....

I am 90% sure that Arizona at least had a clause saying it could not block a league ordered move from the NL to AL West... doesn't the union have a say in this?

PaleHoseGeorge
10-22-2001, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by LongDistanceFan
doesn't the union have a say in this?

To my knowledge, there is nothing in baseball's CBA that specifies the number of jobs MLB guarantees to the MLBPA. Without that language, the MLBPA wouldn't have much of a case.

Of course the MLBPA might be frightened into getting that language added to the next CBA. And the owners can expect to get something of value from the MLBPA for agreeing to it. That's why this whole topic smacks of nothing more than a bargaining chip. The current CBA ends after the World Series.

Paulwny
10-22-2001, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


. That's why this whole topic smacks of nothing more than a bargaining chip.

Totally agree, give and take.

Soxheads
10-22-2001, 07:49 PM
Wow, this is just really confusing.

Jerry_Manuel
10-22-2001, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by Soxheads
Wow, this is just really confusing.

Soxheads this is only speculation wait till they actually try and do something and watch the fireworks.

Soxheads
10-22-2001, 07:57 PM
Yes, I know, but I feel like I'm back in algebra class with everything conflicting.

dougs78
10-22-2001, 10:17 PM
To tell you the truth I kind of hope they do contract. I think it would be interesting to see the results. I went to a montreal game this summer and that is not baseball up there. Thinking only as a fan of the white sox, my biggest concern would be dividing the players evenly. I mean there is a huge drop off from 1-3 to 4-10 and 10-?, etc. as far as drafting players off these teams. To have the middle to late pick, how much would it even help your team? it would probably affect the minor leauges in a bigger way for these teams. And as someone posted earlier, what about the salaries? Would a team like the twins honestly take Cliff Floyd over a younger, cheaper player if they had a high pick considering their financial implications?
Also, can you really 'reward' a team like texas for their horrendous play? that hardly seems fair either.

Nellie_Fox
10-22-2001, 11:55 PM
The St. Paul Pioneer Press had a blurb today saying the rumor was that the Twinks would be "contracted." But I just checked the online version to see if the story was there, and they now have the Expos Marlins story running.

ma-gaga
10-23-2001, 08:29 AM
The Twinkies are a target for contraction. No doubt in my mind, if Selig wants to make an example of a team, the Twins are primed. The only thing that is saving them, is that this year they were competetive and they had an attendance increase of something like 40% to 50% more fans. The difference was astounding.

Put a winning team on the field, and the fans will come. :)

duke of dorwood
10-23-2001, 09:19 AM
There will still be some outcry for expanding rosters due to the loss of jobs.

Randar68
10-23-2001, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


Against:
5) Any outside group that offers a competing bid will have a serious case against MLB and the current owner.
6) George Steinbrenner and assorted other owners can't be expected to willingly accept the legal and financial liabilities from such a risky move. They're doing just fine with the status quo.
7) MLB risks a Supreme Court test case on their anti-trust exemption. Unlike Kuhn vs. Flood, this one would be a class action involving at least several municipal, county, and state governments, and the fans in those markets.
8) The real financial liabilities the owners would shoulder far outweigh the potential financial benefits they receive. The big winners are the owners of the Expos, D-Rays, Marlins, etc. They get their money, and virtually none of the legal jeopardy.

If the owner of a franchise is offered and accepts a buyout from the central organization, what legal course of action does anyone else have? Miami: stadium is leased and was built for the Dolphins, as long as the current contract is paid or settled, I can't see a legal basis for any action on the part of the municipality or fans, no different than moving a team, IMO. IN Montreal, Hell, the municipality might be willing to pay them to leave! I would guess they could make more money tearing that stadium down, and selling the land, than they do having a baseball team in it!

Neither Montreal or Florida has 1) supported their teams, 2) made any effort to help fund a baseball-only/new facility, 3) Has any course of action that exeeds that of a team moving

The legal action that would be of most concern is the Supreme Court looking at an anti-trust case, however, with a republican Supreme Court, can you honestly say they would rule against big business when a precedence has already been set and it is such a hazy-area anyways???




And, no, the CBA does not support any recourse for the players or MLBPA if the league were to decide to contract, no guarantee of added roster spots, nothing, and as this is essentially the last big thing the owners can hang over the heads of the MLBPA, I doubt they would give it up without the MLBPA making HUGE concessions such as a salary cap...

IMO, I see them contracting, and using expanding the rosters to 26 or 27 active and making a 42-man roster, and using that as a bargaining tool, as the last thing the MLBPA wants is fewer jobs...

longshot7
10-23-2001, 09:57 PM
So assuming it happens, (and let's play what if here)
if we had the #1 pick, who would we take?

Vlad Guerrero
Josh Beckett
Jose Vidro
Cliff Floyd
Ryan Dempster
etc...

I don't know, I like Beckett

duke of dorwood
10-23-2001, 10:12 PM
Definately Beckett.

Pete Ward
10-24-2001, 07:40 AM
So assuming it happens, (and let's play what if here)
if we had the #1 pick, who would we take?

Vlad Guerrero
Josh Beckett
Jose Vidro
Cliff Floyd
Ryan Dempster

Vlad in a heartbeat... that guy is greatness. Hell, take him and trade him if you want... but take the best player available.

Even if Im the Twins I take the best player available regardless of the salary situation. I can always trade the player for something that better fits my economic needs.

I wonder what happens to all the minor leaguers for those 2 teams? Another dispersal draft for minor leaguers or all in 1 draft?

Dadawg_77
10-24-2001, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by Randar68


If the owner of a franchise is offered and accepts a buyout from the central organization, what legal course of action does anyone else have? Miami: stadium is leased and was built for the Dolphins, as long as the current contract is paid or settled, I can't see a legal basis for any action on the part of the municipality or fans, no different than moving a team, IMO. IN Montreal, Hell, the municipality might be willing to pay them to leave! I would guess they could make more money tearing that stadium down, and selling the land, than they do having a baseball team in it!

Neither Montreal or Florida has 1) supported their teams, 2) made any effort to help fund a baseball-only/new facility, 3) Has any course of action that exeeds that of a team moving

The legal action that would be of most concern is the Supreme Court looking at an anti-trust case, however, with a republican Supreme Court, can you honestly say they would rule against big business when a precedence has already been set and it is such a hazy-area anyways???




And, no, the CBA does not support any recourse for the players or MLBPA if the league were to decide to contract, no guarantee of added roster spots, nothing, and as this is essentially the last big thing the owners can hang over the heads of the MLBPA, I doubt they would give it up without the MLBPA making HUGE concessions such as a salary cap...

IMO, I see them contracting, and using expanding the rosters to 26 or 27 active and making a 42-man roster, and using that as a bargaining tool, as the last thing the MLBPA wants is fewer jobs...

Who owns the Marlins and Expos? Is it a public corporation or individual/partnership? If it is a public corporation somone could sue the current ownership that it isn't acting in the best interest of the shareholders by folding the team. I'm not sure what legal action could be taken vs a individual/parternship unless there was illeagal discrimination. And I'm sure this wouldn't be the case in this matter.

Also I have no idea about Canadain Law and how it effects the Expos folding.

I sure the lease contract for the stadiums have an exit cluase which will need to be fullied to would take care of and legal from the owners of the stadiums. As for the fan, I don't believe they have any legal ground to base a lawsuit.

Also in players to pick you forgot Vasquez(sp?), out of the two teams I think he is the best pitcher.

Dadawg_77
10-24-2001, 09:55 AM
From ESPN story on it in regrads to Labor issues

Owners have not discussed contraction with the Major League Baseball Players
Association, according to Gene Orza, the union's No. 2 official. The union maintains
that contraction is subject to collective bargaining and that owners can't eliminate teams
without the permission of the players' association.

The story also say "No decisions have been made on anything," Selig said Monday.

Dadawg_77
10-24-2001, 10:00 AM
Here is a thought out of left field...
The Diamondbacks have lost alot of money the past few years. Last year the ownership partners needed to pony up cash just to keep the ball club afloat. And there has been specualtion that the club would run out of cash soon and would ended up in chapter 11. Is there anyway that MLB get Diamondbacks to fold, after playing maybe winning the Series to prove a point, then let Jerry buy another team to move to Zona? Just a thought from left field

Randar68
10-24-2001, 10:42 AM
Here is a thought out of left field...

The D-backs have a new partially publically funded stadium, they ain't going anywhere....

Paulwny
10-24-2001, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Here is a thought out of left field...
The Diamondbacks have lost alot of money the past few years. Last year the ownership partners needed to pony up cash just to keep the ball club afloat. And there has been specualtion that the club would run out of cash soon and would ended up in chapter 11. Is there anyway that MLB get Diamondbacks to fold, after playing maybe winning the Series to prove a point, then let Jerry buy another team to move to Zona? Just a thought from left field

To obtain a mlb franchise they don't receive tv revenue for the first 5 yrs. Agree with Randar, they're not going anywhere.

NUCatsFan
10-24-2001, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
From ESPN story on it in regrads to Labor issues

Owners have not discussed contraction with the Major League Baseball Players
Association, according to Gene Orza, the union's No. 2 official. The union maintains
that contraction is subject to collective bargaining and that owners can't eliminate teams
without the permission of the players' association.

The story also say "No decisions have been made on anything," Selig said Monday.

Convenient that the CBA expires shortly after the World Series, though.

MiamiSpartan
10-24-2001, 01:16 PM
From what I'm hearing, John Henry, the current owner of the Marlins, would end up owning the Angels if this happens. Dade County is still not giving up on a stadium deal, tho, and although it is pretty unlikely given the post 9/11 economy, I think it could happen in a few years. At that point, it would make sense to move the Rays across the state, since the South Florida market (Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties) are a bigger TV market than the Tampa Bay area. Plus Tampa has never drawn well, even in it's first year. The Marlins drew very well until Wayne gutted the team after the 97 Series. Frankly, I don't know too many markets that would still support a team that had gone through that.
I think the majority of baseball fans down here finished mourning the loss of the Marlins years ago. The final nail was when they took the All-Star game away from Miami last year. People down here are sick of baseball and the way it has been running. Hard to believe the Marlins are the only other team that has won the Series during the Yankees' latest run...

Joel Perez
10-24-2001, 01:41 PM
I could see it now...baseball players on strike just to save their jobs. Gee, who would've thunk it?

I could see the Expos, Twins, and Marlins all fold, and dispersal drafts happening. But with the CBA and the posts that have already been said, there's not much more for me to add except that if it does happen, then the Sox have a way to get to the upper echelon teams finally without having to trade anyone away for a top-flight all star.

I'm wondering something...think about the teams that might be contracted...who is a free agent this year on those teams worth pursuing? I can't think of one right now.

It'll be interesting how this would impact the Sox. If the Sox want to help out their young rotation, or help out with another bat, or how it'll affect their lineup.

For example: say for instance that if Vladimir Guerrero is somehow in this so-called dispersal draft and picked up by the Sox. How/for what will they trade players like Carlos Lee, or Aaron Rowand, or anyone else? Will Frank Thomas still be here (probably so)? And what of the pitching?

Just my $.02