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SOX ADDICT '73
02-20-2005, 12:03 AM
While I personally couldn't care less whether hockey is played this year or not, if baseball were to ever again cancel even part of a season, I'd have to be placed on 24-hour suicide watch. What is the current situation between MLB owners and the Players Association? One hears words thrown around like "collective bargaining agreement," but what does it all mean? How soon before we have to worry about a repeat of 1994?

nccwsfan
02-20-2005, 12:06 AM
I believe the current CBA expires at the end of the 2006 season. I imagine that steroid testing and improving the disparity between haves and have-nots will be the subjects du jour.

Cubbiesuck13
02-20-2005, 12:14 AM
I listened to Betman when he announced the end of the season and the thing that makes the most sense is that when this is all said and done the problem will be resolved. MLB is not so lucky. There is no cap and there is no decent steroid policy in place yet there was no World Series in 94. We also held our breaths into the last hour a few years ago and yet there is still the problems that are not resolved. MLB sucks. Too bad baseball is so good.

SoxSpeed22
02-20-2005, 12:38 AM
I listened to Betman when he announced the end of the season and the thing that makes the most sense is that when this is all said and done the problem will be resolved. MLB is not so lucky. There is no cap and there is no decent steroid policy in place yet there was no World Series in 94. We also held our breaths into the last hour a few years ago and yet there is still the problems that are not resolved. MLB sucks. Too bad baseball is so good.The last little flicker the NHL had is dead. The next CBA will have steroid testing and a CAP. The NHLPA and owners could not agree on this, so it's over.

Cubbiesuck13
02-20-2005, 12:43 AM
The last little flicker the NHL had is dead. The next CBA will have steroid testing and a CAP. The NHLPA and owners could not agree on this, so it's over.

Over for this year. Next year (or whenever they play again) all of the issues will be resolved. NHL cannot afford two strikes. MLB can. And the next MLB CBA will not have a steroid policy that is on par with the NFL or a Cap without major resistance.

samram
02-20-2005, 12:47 AM
The last little flicker the NHL had is dead. The next CBA will have steroid testing and a CAP. The NHLPA and owners could not agree on this, so it's over.

If you're saying that the next MLB CBA will have a cap, there will be a very extended work stoppage. The MLBPA is the strongest union in pro sports, if not in the US. Look how long it took for them to budge in any minor way on steroid testing (yes, the owners share blame).

SOX ADDICT '73
02-20-2005, 12:52 AM
Things have gotten so out of hand with baseball salaries, I don't see how they could ever institute a cap that everyone could live with. Not when you currently have some teams with a $40,000 payroll and others with $140,000. I'd like to see one, so guys like Steinbrenner could be prevented from simply outbidding everybody on free agents, but I doubt it will happen.

ChiSoxRowand
02-20-2005, 12:59 AM
The thing about the MLB CBA is I think the TV contract with FOX expires after the 2006 season. MLB will not want to have a work stoppage the year their TV deal expires. They got better steroid testing this year and they are not going to get a salary cap. Those will probably the big issues, and maybe contraction. The NBA CBA expires after this year, they were talking with David Stern about it on TNT today and he said they will start having talks this spring. I'm not sure what the really big issues will be, the NBA already has a cap. I heard Stern wants to put an age limit in, which needs to be done.

SOX ADDICT '73
02-20-2005, 01:04 AM
Those will probably the big issues, and maybe contraction.

Do you think we can still convince them to contract the Twins?

nccwsfan
02-20-2005, 07:55 AM
If you're saying that the next MLB CBA will have a cap, there will be a very extended work stoppage. The MLBPA is the strongest union in pro sports, if not in the US. Look how long it took for them to budge in any minor way on steroid testing (yes, the owners share blame).

Have to agree with you- although it would be in the best interests of the game to have a salary floor/salary cap it will just not happen. The MLBPA is too strong and you're easily looking at a multiyear work stoppage followed by litigation.

pearso66
02-20-2005, 10:37 AM
I'd think if there was to be a cap in baseball, it would have to be something like 100 mil. All but like 3-5 teams are under that already, and they'd just have to give a grace period to those who were over to get back under. I think that's the only way to get the MLBPA to agree to a cap, is to make it a high one. It wont effect most teams, but it will stop the ones that spend a ton from just throwing money around. It will also effect contracts like that of A-rod

Daver
02-20-2005, 10:54 AM
Have to agree with you- although it would be in the best interests of the game to have a salary floor/salary cap it will just not happen.

The only purpose a salary cap serves is a guarantee on the owners profit.

vance
02-20-2005, 11:23 AM
Personally, I don't think MLB will suffer the same fate of the NHL. I also don't think you'll see a salary cap in baseball, but likely a continuation of the current system with a tax of payroll over a certain amount. Likely, the owners will try to lower the tax ceiling and increase the penalties for violators. The owners will use contraction as a bargaining chip as well.

The NHL's work stoppage was not surprising. Many teams were losing money and they could not continue under the current system. For some teams a year off will help their books more than playing. The NHL owners could take a hard-line stance and know it was the only way.

Baseball is profitable. Even the teams that cry poor are making money. (Look at what the Brewers just sold for.) This profitability leads the owners to nearly always make concessions.

The league that could be headed the way of NHL is not MLB, but the NBA. Their CBA is nearly up and the players likely will want to do away with the cap and the owners will want to strengthen it. Of course, I'd likely miss the NBA about as much as I miss the NHL which is almost nil.

Kogs35
02-20-2005, 11:59 AM
mlb is hated in washington dc (in the senate and the house), if they do not keep the steriod policy they agreed to or even a better one in the next cba im sure john mccain will have a field day going off at bud light. im sure john has no problem getting rid of there anti trust exemptions. baseball has alot on the line in there next cba

Ol' No. 2
02-20-2005, 12:05 PM
Have to agree with you- although it would be in the best interests of the game to have a salary floor/salary cap it will just not happen. The MLBPA is too strong and you're easily looking at a multiyear work stoppage followed by litigation.A cap without a floor just puts more money into the pockets of the owners. It will not make the league more competitive since the owners that have low payrolls now will just lower their payrolls some more. The NFL found that out and that's why they have a floor.

A cap/floor system works only if most of the revenue is shared and all teams have about the same resources. If you instituted an NFL-style cap/floor, the minimum would have to be about $55M. How are teams like KC, Pittsburgh and Minnesota going to raise their payroll to those levels without more revenue sharing?

Lip Man 1
02-20-2005, 01:49 PM
After 2006 things could get very contentious and difficult.

The feeling among many MLB players is that due to public opinion they 'gave' up a lot in order to head off a shut down in August 2002. They feel that owners simply took those concessions and laughed all the way to the bank.

My feeling is that they are going to want their due after 2006. The current CBA still has not changed the dynamics of the game...the have's still make the post season at a tremendously improved rate over the 'have not's.' And when you have owners like Carl Linder of the Reds making his comments to the Cincinnati newspapers in the Winter before the opening of the new stadium...that doesn't help matters...neither do the comments of Royals owner David Glass.

The sense is that there are many owners out there, 'deliberately' not improving their teams in order to collect more revenue sharing money which then they are taking home to the bank.

The MLBPA is going to want this addressed.

Plus remember the MLBPA (again in order to appear conciliatory) agreed to drop any legal actions against any contractions to clubs after the current CBA expires. I personally feel contraction was not an idle threat by the owners and you'll see it again after 2006.

It would be in the owners best interest since new markets are few and far between now, to contract a team or two (those that can't extort new stadiums paid for by taxpayers) in order to threaten those that remain to bow down and build. Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Oakland right now would head my list of teams that could be gone.

Those are just two areas right off the top of my head...others could be the size of the tax paid by teams with payrolls over 100 million and the All Star Game being tied to the World Series.

Lip

vance
02-20-2005, 01:55 PM
Contraction definitely will be used as a bargaining chip. As part of the current agreement, the owners agreed to postpone contraction and the players agreed not to attempt to block it after the 2006 season. My guess, is that the owners will use it. Eliminating two teams would take a lot of money away from the PA in terms of lost jobs. The dispersion of talent would also likely cause a drop in salaries of the middle range players.

In exchange for taking contraction off the table, the players likely will agree to continue the luxury tax experiment. The biggest concerns will be over the level and percentage for the tax.

Daver
02-20-2005, 02:06 PM
The MLBPA is going to want a rather large concession for allowing the CBA to be altered this year to change the drug testing policy, I would guess that the concession will be contraction.

The so-called "Luxury Tax" has done nothing to improve competetive balance, and never will, I can see this being a sticking point to negotiations as well.

vance
02-20-2005, 02:29 PM
The MLBPA is going to want a rather large concession for allowing the CBA to be altered this year to change the drug testing policy, I would guess that the concession will be contraction.

The so-called "Luxury Tax" has done nothing to improve competetive balance, and never will, I can see this being a sticking point to negotiations as well.

I disagree here. The change in the drug testing was done because enough of the players realized the cloud they would play under if it wasn't. They also feared legislation which would force their hand. My guess is that the players decided they needed to appear in favor of testing or else face even more public scrutiny.

SOX ADDICT '73
02-20-2005, 02:33 PM
How about some scenarios here: Are we looking at a potential strike during the 2006 season? A lockout before 2007? Is Donald Fehr still the guy calling the shots for the PA? I still remember one headline from 1994: "Baseball has nothing to fear but Fehr himself."

Ol' No. 2
02-20-2005, 02:39 PM
After 2006 things could get very contentious and difficult.

The feeling among many MLB players is that due to public opinion they 'gave' up a lot in order to head off a shut down in August 2002. They feel that owners simply took those concessions and laughed all the way to the bank.

My feeling is that they are going to want their due after 2006. The current CBA still has not changed the dynamics of the game...the have's still make the post season at a tremendously improved rate over the 'have not's.' And when you have owners like Carl Linder of the Reds making his comments to the Cincinnati newspapers in the Winter before the opening of the new stadium...that doesn't help matters...neither do the comments of Royals owner David Glass.

The sense is that there are many owners out there, 'deliberately' not improving their teams in order to collect more revenue sharing money which then then are taking home to the bank.

The MLBPA is going to want this addressed.

Plus remember the MLBPA (again in order to appear conciliatory) agreed to drop any legal actions against any contractions to clubs after the current CBA expires. I personally feel contraction was not an idle threat by the owners and you'll see it again after 2006.

It would be in the owners best interest since new markets are few and far between now, to contract a team or two (those that can't extort new stadiums paid for by taxpayers) in order to threaten those that remain to bow down and build. Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Oakland right now would head my list of teams that could be gone.

Those are just two areas right off the top of my head...others could be the size of the tax paid by teams with payrolls over 100 million and the All Star Game being tied to the World Series.

LipI agree that MLB will continue to use the specter of contraction to threaten recalcitrant local govenments to pony up the dough for taxpayer-financed stadia. They'll also revive it as a threat leading up to the CBA negotiation. Those are its main purposes - as a threat. But I also say that it will never happen. The costs of buying out two teams far exceed the economic benefits.

I also agree that some teams are pocketing the extra revenues instead of spending them on improving their teams. In this sense, Steinbrenner has a right to be mad. A payroll floor is the obvious solution, but the union fought that idea in the last CBA negotiations.

The advantage of the haves is no larger than it was 15 years ago, and as I've said many times before, is nowhere near as large as most people assume. There have always been haves and have-nots. Connie Mack had to sell off his best players in the 1930's because he was broke. And there will always be haves and have-nots unless baseball agrees to share a lot more revenue than they do now, and I don't see that happening.

One of the dynamics of baseball salaries that has changed recently is that while the average salary is increasing, the median has been steady or even decreasing. So the big salaries that make the news gives the impression of skyrocketing payrolls, but the typical player isn't getting any of this and is actually somewhat worse off than they were 5 years ago. If they decide to flex their muscles, you could see a change in the attitude of the union. A payroll floor would benefit the rank-and-file a lot more than the superstars, and it may have a chance to pass, but it would have to be pretty low without more revenue sharing.

Daver
02-20-2005, 02:45 PM
I agree that MLB will continue to use the specter of contraction to threaten recalcitrant local govenments to pony up the dough for taxpayer-financed stadia. They'll also revive it as a threat leading up to the CBA negotiation. Those are its main purposes - as a threat. But I also say that it will never happen. The costs of buying out two teams far exceed the economic benefits.

I also agree that some teams are pocketing the extra revenues instead of spending them on improving their teams. In this sense, Steinbrenner has a right to be mad. A payroll floor is the obvious solution, but the union fought that idea in the last CBA negotiations.

The advantage of the haves is no larger than it was 15 years ago, and as I've said many times before, is nowhere near as large as most people assume. There have always been haves and have-nots. Connie Mack had to sell off his best players in the 1930's because he was broke. And there will always be haves and have-nots unless baseball agrees to share a lot more revenue than they do now, and I don't see that happening.

One of the dynamics of baseball salaries that has changed recently is that while the average salary is increasing, the median has been steady or even decreasing. So the big salaries that make the news gives the impression of skyrocketing payrolls, but the typical player isn't getting any of this and is actually somewhat worse off than they were 5 years ago. If they decide to flex their muscles, you could see a change in the attitude of the union. A payroll floor would benefit the rank-and-file a lot more than the superstars, and it may have a chance to pass, but it would have to be pretty low without more revenue sharing.

The MLBPA were not the only ones that balked at a salary floor, about a third of the owners do not want one either, for obvious reasons.

Daver
02-20-2005, 02:51 PM
I disagree here. The change in the drug testing was done because enough of the players realized the cloud they would play under if it wasn't. They also feared legislation which would force their hand. My guess is that the players decided they needed to appear in favor of testing or else face even more public scrutiny.

Legislation for what?

Since when does the U.S. senate have the authority to dictate how someone runs their business?

The change to the CBA was brought on because of pressure from the court of public opinion, plain and simple, and that is not going to stop the MLBPA from seeking a large concession from the owners. It was an unprecednted move to alter the CBA like that, and it was not done without careful consideration, you can bet Don Fehr is already working on his gameplan for 2006 already.

Ol' No. 2
02-20-2005, 03:33 PM
Legislation for what?

Since when does the U.S. senate have the authority to dictate how someone runs their business?

The change to the CBA was brought on because of pressure from the court of public opinion, plain and simple, and that is not going to stop the MLBPA from seeking a large concession from the owners. It was an unprecednted move to alter the CBA like that, and it was not done without careful consideration, you can bet Don Fehr is already working on his gameplan for 2006 already.I'm sure Fehr will try to use this as leverage. He'll try anything he can. But I also don't think it's going to get him much since it's really not much of a concession. Everyone knows that they really didn't have much of a choice in the matter.

nccwsfan
02-20-2005, 03:38 PM
A cap without a floor just puts more money into the pockets of the owners. It will not make the league more competitive since the owners that have low payrolls now will just lower their payrolls some more. The NFL found that out and that's why they have a floor.

A cap/floor system works only if most of the revenue is shared and all teams have about the same resources. If you instituted an NFL-style cap/floor, the minimum would have to be about $55M. How are teams like KC, Pittsburgh and Minnesota going to raise their payroll to those levels without more revenue sharing?

I should have added that to the post- an NFL type system where there is a salary floor/salary cap AND revenue sharing. All pie in the sky, but if there was a miracle development where MLB would adopt the NFL system it would be the greatest thing for the league. When all 30 teams have a shot to win the World Series in April you'll have 30 markets interested in the product. Right now good baseball cities like Pittsburgh, KC, etc. are playing the games to fill out the schedule, and that's just not right.

TDog
02-20-2005, 04:26 PM
Legislation for what?

Since when does the U.S. senate have the authority to dictate how someone runs their business?...

Congress could take away baseball's antitrust exemption.

Baseball will not have a salary cap. The NBA union doesn't want one. The only reason the NFL has one if because the players know they can be replaced.

TornLabrum
02-20-2005, 04:43 PM
Since when does the U.S. senate have the authority to dictate how someone runs their business?

When that business is exempt from anti-trust legislation.

Daver
02-20-2005, 06:51 PM
When that business is exempt from anti-trust legislation.

I would like to see the U.S. Senate actually try and get enough votes to repeal MLB's anti trust exemption.

I'm sure Fehr will try to use this as leverage. He'll try anything he can. But I also don't think it's going to get him much since it's really not much of a concession. Everyone knows that they really didn't have much of a choice in the matter.

The fact that the court of public opinion was not on their side does not mean that they will use the fact that they were willing to do it as a means of getting a concession form MLB for it.

I still think the major problem that exists going ionto the next bargaining session is the fact that the concessions the MLBPA gave up in the last round have done absolutely nothing in terms of improving competetive balance, they are going to want a repeal of the so called "Luxury Tax"

PaleHoseGeorge
02-21-2005, 09:18 AM
If more extensive revenue sharing were to take place, a cap would not really be necessary, since teams would not be able to spend enormous sums on payrolls if they didn't have it. You'd mainly just need the floor to keep teams from pocketing their revenue sharing money.

I suppose a payroll FLOOR has some value to competitive balance, but there is a very simple reason why it will never be implemented: certain MLB owners would be driven out of the game. Their fellow members of the ownership fraternity won't do this to their brothers. They'll instead wage a labor war for a payroll ceiling (or luxury tax, or whatever name you want to give it).

The owners are all about making more money and a payroll CEILING is the most effective way to achieve their goal. A payroll ceiling does nothing but line the owners' pockets. Competitive balance has nothing to do with it!

Don't believe the owners' crocodile tears about competitive balance. There are countless ways for the owners to address this problem without placing the burden on players salaries. They simply want to make more money for themselves.

The owners are entitled to whine all they want. It doesn't mean we as fans should be stupid enough to agree with them.

nccwsfan
02-21-2005, 09:27 AM
Don't believe the owners' crocodile tears about competitive balance. There are countless ways for the owners to address this problem without placing the burden on players salaries. They simply want to make more money for themselves.

The owners are entitled to whine all they want. It doesn't mean we as fans should be stupid enough to agree with them.

Aside from across the board revenue sharing, how could MLB close the gap enough where the Yankees payroll isn't 2, 3, 5, 8x higher than the have nots? I agree that a salary cap w/o a floor is designed to line owners' pockets, but everyone who watches this has to see that there isn't a level playing field.

I'm a baseball guy first and foremost, but wouldn't you agree that the NFL model is what all sports leagues are striving for? Every organization in the NFL has a chance to be successful in a short period of time, and the truly bad organizations (AZ Cardinals) will remain bad.

PaleHoseGeorge
02-21-2005, 11:51 AM
I'm a baseball guy first and foremost, but wouldn't you agree that the NFL model is what all sports leagues are striving for? Every organization in the NFL has a chance to be successful in a short period of time, and the truly bad organizations (AZ Cardinals) will remain bad.

Look, if you want to have an intelligent discussion about this subject I'm more than willing to engage you. However we've already beaten to death all the reasons why it's just plain stupid to compare the NFL's "competitive balance" with the need for MLB revenue sharing. It's bull****. I'm not wasting my time to explain this for the millionth time.

You want MLB revenue sharing? Make your case. However the NFL analogy has too many holes to discuss at any intelligent level.

Ol' No. 2
02-21-2005, 01:14 PM
I suppose a payroll FLOOR has some value to competitive balance, but there is a very simple reason why it will never be implemented: certain MLB owners would be driven out of the game. Their fellow members of the ownership fraternity won't do this to their brothers. They'll instead wage a labor war for a payroll ceiling (or luxury tax, or whatever name you want to give it).

The owners are all about making more money and a payroll CEILING is the most effective way to achieve their goal. A payroll ceiling does nothing but line the owners' pockets. Competitive balance has nothing to do with it!

Don't believe the owners' crocodile tears about competitive balance. There are countless ways for the owners to address this problem without placing the burden on players salaries. They simply want to make more money for themselves.

The owners are entitled to whine all they want. It doesn't mean we as fans should be stupid enough to agree with them.I think those owners most in favor of a floor must be those paying the most in revenue sharing. They frequently complain (rightfully so) that the teams getting lots of revenue sharing money are just pocketing it instead of reinvesting it in their teams. I believe it's possible to set the floor so that it will force teams receiving revenue sharing to spend it on their teams without bankrupting them. I think it may be easier to convince the owners to accept a payroll floor than it is to convince the MLBPA, who view it as the first step toward a cap.

PaleHoseGeorge
02-21-2005, 01:34 PM
...I believe it's possible to set the floor so that it will force teams receiving revenue sharing to spend it on their teams without bankrupting them. I think it may be easier to convince the owners to accept a payroll floor than it is to convince the MLBPA, who view it as the first step toward a cap.

Yes, I've stated earlier that the owners can address competitive balance in many different ways and a salary floor is one of them. But you said it yourself: the MLBPA sees a salary floor as the first step towards the owners imposing a salary cap. Given the unmitigated disaster that MLB has made with its labor policies, I can't say I blame them at all.

It will be a cold day in hell before the owners ever agree to a salary floor without extracting a salary cap from the MLBPA, too. The union rightly recognizes that the owners will "pay" for the salary floor by lining their pockets with money transferred out of the players' pocket and into the owners' by the salary cap. The union is not stupid.

We fans can have competitive balance with nothing more than the owners agreeing to a floor. Instead the owners want more money, i.e. a cap. And thus the ongoing fight with the MLBPA continues...

nccwsfan
02-21-2005, 08:26 PM
Look, if you want to have an intelligent discussion about this subject I'm more than willing to engage you. However we've already beaten to death all the reasons why it's just plain stupid to compare the NFL's "competitive balance" with the need for MLB revenue sharing. It's bull****. I'm not wasting my time to explain this for the millionth time.

You want MLB revenue sharing? Make your case. However the NFL analogy has too many holes to discuss at any intelligent level.

PHG,
I don't want to elaborate on something you've probably heard many times here- this is just my 1st time discussing it on WSI and was interested in the subject. I'm fine with letting it be...:cool:

My quick point- if you were to ask the casual sports fan in a small market like KC, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, etc. whether they feel more optimistic about their NFL team or MLB team, I would imagine that most would say NFL in a landslide. Optimism creates interest, and the NFL promotes optimism amongst their franchises, whereas MLB makes it a lot harder.

I'll leave it at that, and the debate will no doubt continue for years to come...

PaleHoseGeorge
02-21-2005, 08:41 PM
....My quick point- if you were to ask the casual sports fan in a small market like KC, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, etc. whether they feel more optimistic about their NFL team or MLB team, I would imagine that most would say NFL in a landslide. Optimism creates interest, and the NFL promotes optimism amongst their franchises, whereas MLB makes it a lot harder....

There is no doubt the NFL offers small market optimism, but fans of these teams are completely delusional if they think salary caps are making their football team more competitive. Anything can happen because the season is a pathetic 16 games long, W-L records are meaningless because everyone plays a different schedule, everyone is grouped in the middle because weak teams are deliberately scheduled to play weak teams while strong teams play strong teams, etcetera etcetera etcetera...

If MLB had a 16 game schedule and did the same things as the NFL, I guarantee small market baseball fans would be optimistic too -- with or without revenue sharing or salary caps.

That's it in a nutshell.
:cool: