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View Full Version : Here's A Problem Selig SHOULD Be Examining


Lip Man 1
03-13-2005, 12:09 PM
From Sunday's Phil Rogers column in the Tribune:

"Now at least one team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, admits it has been using the increased revenue-sharing money to pay down debt, rather than build up the roster."

Why do I mention this? Flashback to Phil's 2002 interview with WSI:

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

PR: "There isnít a minimum payroll requirement because the union objected to having one, the owners tried to get one put in. That being said, it has recently come out that clubs who get revenue sharing money must file a report every year to the commissionerís office detailing where and how that money was spent. The commissioner then has the power, if he doesnít like where the money is going, to levy substantial fines on teams. The money has to be spent on things like player salaries, adding minor league teams or stadium improvement."

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

PR: "Iíve seen that story. All I can tell you is that I was at that meeting and all reporters were outside the conference room. I know that when Iíve tried to get comments from owners afterwards in these kind of situations, they were always tight lipped. I canít vouch for the veracity of that story. Assuming that comment was made, I donít think reducing team debt would fall under the guidelines of where revenue sharing money has to go, therefore the commissioner would get involved to stop it."

The Pirates have admitted to misusing revenue sharing money...where are ya Bud?

Lip

cubhater
03-13-2005, 12:39 PM
:tool

Well you see, ummmm, the Pirates are one of those teams who really don't need revenue sharing since publically financed, state-of-the-art stadiums are the best way to achieve financial solvency in this day and age of baseball. Everyone knows this. I'd love to elaborate but I'm busy thinking of ways to avoid Congressional questions this week.

mdep524
03-13-2005, 12:55 PM
:tool
Actually, I feel the best way to deal with this situation is to allow the Pirates to trade Jason Bay and Oliver Perez to the Cubs for David Kelton. Everyone's a winner, just like the last time these two team dealt!

illinibk
03-13-2005, 12:58 PM
:tool

Well you see, ummmm, the Pirates are one of those teams who really don't need revenue sharing since publically financed, state-of-the-art stadiums are the best way to achieve financial solvency in this day and age of baseball. Everyone knows this. I'd love to elaborate but I'm busy thinking of ways to avoid Congressional questions this week.
Well played.

Lip Man 1
03-13-2005, 08:49 PM
Just one more reason why the next CBA is going to be long, bloody and result in games being cancelled.

Lip

ewokpelts
03-13-2005, 10:56 PM
:tool


we're so outraged, we gave the pirates thier second all star game in 12 years....

Ol' No. 2
03-13-2005, 11:01 PM
Just one more reason why the next CBA is going to be long, bloody and result in games being cancelled.

LipWhy do I get the feeling you said the same thing before the last CBA?:wink:

Lip Man 1
03-13-2005, 11:09 PM
As a matter of fact I did. Public pressure forced the MLBPA into concessions they normally wouldn't have made in an effort to show fans they were reasonable and willing to try to keep the game going.

After this revelation, the fact that they can no longer contest any contraction issues, the fact that in the middle of a CBA they allowed the drug testing rules changes, the fact that MLB had a conflict of interest with the Expos and this so called revenue sharing (legal welfare...) has done nothing to help the 'have not's' compete or even keep their stars (i.e. Oakland) while said owners are taking their money to the local bank instead of spending it on players, you can be sure Fehr won't make that same mistake again.

Daver knows the CBA in detail and if I'm not mistaken he feels the same way. We'll see.

Lip

ewokpelts
03-14-2005, 12:23 AM
As a matter of fact I did. Public pressure forced the MLBPA into concessions they normally wouldn't have made in an effort to show fans they were reasonable and willing to try to keep the game going.

After this revelation, the fact that they can no longer contest any contraction issues, the fact that in the middle of a CBA they allowed the drug testing rules changes, the fact that MLB had a conflict of interest with the Expos and this so called revenue sharing (legal welfare...) has done nothing to help the 'have not's' compete or even keep their stars (i.e. Oakland) while said owners are taking their money to the local bank instead of spending it on players, you can be sure Fehr won't make that same mistake again.

Daver knows the CBA in detail and if I'm not mistaken he feels the same way. We'll see.

Lip
have nots like the 2002 angels and 2003 marlins? also, the contraction clause was agreed IN THE CURRENT CBA....i'm sure most player contracts signed between 2002 and now gurantee pay even if thier team gets contracted.
Gene
Gene

Lip Man 1
03-14-2005, 01:50 AM
Gene:

The 2002 Angels had a payroll of near 65 million dollars. Not exactly 'have not' is it?

And the fact of the matter is that contracts are not guaranteed in the event teams are folded. If a player isn't picked up in a dispersal draft he gets whatever is agreed to in his deal... it could be as much as the MLB minimum and it's see you later. Not every member of say the Devil Rays and the A's are going to find big league employment will they?

My point is that it was agreed to but will still stick in the craw of the MLBPA if the MLB owners decide to go through with their threat from 2002 and nail two teams. That's a loss of 48 jobs. The union agreed to it but that doesn't mean they'll like it and it could cause a general sense of anger.

Lip

ewokpelts
03-14-2005, 02:28 AM
Gene:

The 2002 Angels had a payroll of near 65 million dollars. Not exactly 'have not' is it?

And the fact of the matter is that contracts are not guaranteed in the event teams are folded. If a player isn't picked up in a dispersal draft he gets whatever is agreed to in his deal... it could be as much as the MLB minimum and it's see you later. Not every member of say the Devil Rays and the A's are going to find big league employment will they?

My point is that it was agreed to but will still stick in the craw of the MLBPA if the MLB owners decide to go through with their threat from 2002 and nail two teams. That's a loss of 48 jobs. The union agreed to it but that doesn't mean they'll like it and it could cause a general sense of anger.

Lip
How much of that 65 million was for Mo Vaughn? As well as other rejects that they still had to pay for?
Gene

p.s. the team that beat the great Dusty Baker's Giants was mostly kids and mid-level veterans.

Ol' No. 2
03-14-2005, 09:03 AM
As a matter of fact I did. Public pressure forced the MLBPA into concessions they normally wouldn't have made in an effort to show fans they were reasonable and willing to try to keep the game going.

After this revelation, the fact that they can no longer contest any contraction issues, the fact that in the middle of a CBA they allowed the drug testing rules changes, the fact that MLB had a conflict of interest with the Expos and this so called revenue sharing (legal welfare...) has done nothing to help the 'have not's' compete or even keep their stars (i.e. Oakland) while said owners are taking their money to the local bank instead of spending it on players, you can be sure Fehr won't make that same mistake again.

Daver knows the CBA in detail and if I'm not mistaken he feels the same way. We'll see.

LipI'm not going to get into the issue of whether the have-nots can compete, mainly because I agree with your main premise that teams do not seem to be using the revenue sharing money on the things they're supposed to be doing. But the players have only themselves to blame, here. They're the ones who opposed a salary floor, which would have pretty effectively forced teams to spend the revenue sharing money on payroll. I think this situation is pretty fluid, and I wouldn't make any predictions on what will happen in 2 months, let alone 2 years.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-14-2005, 10:38 AM
...But the players have only themselves to blame, here. They're the ones who opposed a salary floor, which would have pretty effectively forced teams to spend the revenue sharing money on payroll. I think this situation is pretty fluid, and I wouldn't make any predictions on what will happen in 2 months, let alone 2 years.

Be VERY CAREFUL about the credibility of anything you're told by either side during negotiations. By definition ANYTHING shared publicly by either side is simply posturing. For all we know, neither the owners or players were very interested in a salary floor.

Instead, look at the final contract. The reason there is no salary floor in the CBA is the same reason there is no meaningful testing for steroids: NEITHER SIDE was much interested in negotiating for it.

It's the contract that matters, not all the bull**** they say during negotiations. This is a point that baseball media barnacles like Phil Rogers simply don't understand because they've never negotiated a deal any larger than the purchase price of their own house.
:cool:

Mickster
03-14-2005, 10:43 AM
Be VERY CAREFUL about the credibility of anything you're told by either side during negotiations. By definition ANYTHING shared publicly by either side is simply posturing. For all we know, neither the owners or players were very interested in a salary floor.

Instead, look at the final contract. The reason there is no salary floor in the CBA is the same reason there is no meaningful testing for steroids: NEITHER SIDE was much interested in negotiating for it.

It's the contract that matters, not all the bull**** they say during negotiations. This a point that baseball media barnicles like Phil Rogers simply don't understand because they've never negotiated a deal any larger than the purchase price of their own house.
:cool:

Well said! :thumbsup:

Ol' No. 2
03-14-2005, 10:54 AM
Be VERY CAREFUL about the credibility of anything you're told by either side during negotiations. By definition ANYTHING shared publicly by either side is simply posturing. For all we know, neither the owners or players were very interested in a salary floor.

Instead, look at the final contract. The reason there is no salary floor in the CBA is the same reason there is no meaningful testing for steroids: NEITHER SIDE was much interested in negotiating for it.

It's the contract that matters, not all the bull**** they say during negotiations. This a point that baseball media barnicles like Phil Rogers simply don't understand because they've never negotiated a deal any larger than the purchase price of their own house.
:cool:Good point. They do tend to put up straw men that they know the other side is opposed to just to try to get concessions in exchange for dropping the straw man. Personally, I think contraction also falls into that category. But it's not hard to imagine that teams paying large sums in revenue sharing for the purposes of increasing competitive balance would be rather miffed if the teams collecting these sums just put it in their pockets. Steinbrenner has been rather outspoken in this regard, and I'm sure there are others. I would think that ownership would be rather divided on the subject along obvious lines.

Mohoney
03-14-2005, 11:52 AM
It's the contract that matters, not all the bull**** they say during negotiations. This a point that baseball media barnicles like Phil Rogers simply don't understand because they've never negotiated a deal any larger than the purchase price of their own house.
:cool:

Yes, but how can we expect sportswriters to be experts in finance when they're not even experts about sports?

gosox41
03-14-2005, 12:34 PM
Gene:

The 2002 Angels had a payroll of near 65 million dollars. Not exactly 'have not' is it?

And the fact of the matter is that contracts are not guaranteed in the event teams are folded. If a player isn't picked up in a dispersal draft he gets whatever is agreed to in his deal... it could be as much as the MLB minimum and it's see you later. Not every member of say the Devil Rays and the A's are going to find big league employment will they?

My point is that it was agreed to but will still stick in the craw of the MLBPA if the MLB owners decide to go through with their threat from 2002 and nail two teams. That's a loss of 48 jobs. The union agreed to it but that doesn't mean they'll like it and it could cause a general sense of anger.

Lip

So the Sox are going to have a payroll in the $70-72 mill range this year. Does this mean they fall in the h'haves' category?


Bob

gosox41
03-14-2005, 12:37 PM
I'm not going to get into the issue of whether the have-nots can compete, mainly because I agree with your main premise that teams do not seem to be using the revenue sharing money on the things they're supposed to be doing. But the players have only themselves to blame, here. They're the ones who opposed a salary floor, which would have pretty effectively forced teams to spend the revenue sharing money on payroll. I think this situation is pretty fluid, and I wouldn't make any predictions on what will happen in 2 months, let alone 2 years.

I thought there was some sort of debt rule that the teams had to meet. Also interesting to point out that the Pirates have debt that needs to be paid off. I thought all teams were cash cows.


Bob

Lip Man 1
03-14-2005, 12:57 PM
Bob:

The market has changed since 2002. The standards then are different for the 'have's' then now.

At one time the Sox were a 'have' franchise just watch the PBS documentary 'The Trouble With Baseball' that aired in April 1993.

It focused on the differences between two franchises, the Sox (have according to the documentary) and the Milwaukee Brewers (have nots). It quoted Eddie Einhorn as voicing objections to revenue sharing because the Sox owners 'bought the Chicago market, not Pittsburgh or Cincinnati.' It also noted from John Helyar's book The Lords Of The Realm that the 'Sox were the second most profitable franchise in baseball in 1991.'

It seems like a long time ago. That's what wasting opportunities on the field, alienating your fan base and making disasterous PR decisions can do to a franchise in 12 short years. Although two of those disasters, the 94 labor impasse and the White Flag Deal were staggering in their impact.

I'm curious though what are your thoughts on the Pirates not spending revenue sharing money where it is supposed to be spent? And the fact that Selig hasn't stepped in contrary to Phil's comments to WSI in August 2002?

The Pirates have debt because they built a new ballpark (with state funds...not their own) then refused to spend the money needed to put a major league caliber team in it. Pirate fans, not being stupid, avoided it like the plaque after the first year. Bad ownership can run any business into debt. The responsibility for success or failure in any business lies directly with ownership.

Basically it's not that baseball is in trouble, as you imply, it's that individual ownership of certain franchise is staggeringly dumb, petty, vindictive and cheap.

Have that kind of ownership and the fans will make you pay. As a certain owner of a South Side American League franchise has learned the hard way.

Lip

gosox41
03-14-2005, 03:11 PM
Bob:

The market has changed since 2002. The standards then are different for the 'have's' then now.

At one time the Sox were a 'have' franchise just watch the PBS documentary 'The Trouble With Baseball' that aired in April 1993.

It focused on the differences between two franchises, the Sox (have according to the documentary) and the Milwaukee Brewers (have nots). It quoted Eddie Einhorn as voicing objections to revenue sharing because the Sox owners 'bought the Chicago market, not Pittsburgh or Cincinnati.' It also noted from John Helyar's book The Lords Of The Realm that the 'Sox were the second most profitable franchise in baseball in 1991.'

It seems like a long time ago. That's what wasting opportunities on the field, alienating your fan base and making disasterous PR decisions can do to a franchise in 12 short years. Although two of those disasters, the 94 labor impasse and the White Flag Deal were staggering in their impact.

I'm curious though what are your thoughts on the Pirates not spending revenue sharing money where it is supposed to be spent? And the fact that Selig hasn't stepped in contrary to Phil's comments to WSI in August 2002?

The Pirates have debt because they built a new ballpark (with state funds...not their own) then refused to spend the money needed to put a major league caliber team in it. Pirate fans, not being stupid, avoided it like the plaque after the first year. Bad ownership can run any business into debt. The responsibility for success or failure in any business lies directly with ownership.

Basically it's not that baseball is in trouble, as you imply, it's that individual ownership of certain franchise is staggeringly dumb, petty, vindictive and cheap.

Have that kind of ownership and the fans will make you pay. As a certain owner of a South Side American League franchise has learned the hard way.

Lip

Lip,

I love getting you going.:D:

In 2001 the Sox opened the season with a $64 mill. payroll. Were they a have or have not back then? If a $65 mill payroll in 2002 made a team a 'have' then does $1 mill. make that much of a difference from the year before.

The issue of whether the standards have changed betwen 2002 and 2005 can be interpreted in different ways. The rate of salary increase in 2003 and 2004 was at a lower rate then previous years (2005 wasn't the case) yet the Sox increased payroll both years. The Sox also increase payroll another 10% for '05.


And reread your paragraph about the Pirates. You basically said the Pirates have debt because they built a new ballaprk with state funds, not their own. So if that's the case, how do the Pirates National League BallClub have debt from building the new ballpark? According to you the state paid for it. The state may have debt.

The Pirates may have debt from previous years of bad management. And as far as I'm concernved I'd rather see the Pirates (or any other team with too much debt) fold for various reasons.

I want a floor on salaries. Have no problem with it at all.

Wasn't it the players who didn't?

I know teams have to meet certain debt to equity ratios issued from Selig and maybe that's why he hasn't gone after them about not raising payroll. I don't know. Neither do you. Maybe once these are met he will force Pittsburgh to spend. We'll see.


Bob

Daver
03-14-2005, 03:15 PM
Good point. They do tend to put up straw men that they know the other side is opposed to just to try to get concessions in exchange for dropping the straw man. Personally, I think contraction also falls into that category. But it's not hard to imagine that teams paying large sums in revenue sharing for the purposes of increasing competitive balance would be rather miffed if the teams collecting these sums just put it in their pockets. Steinbrenner has been rather outspoken in this regard, and I'm sure there are others. I would think that ownership would be rather divided on the subject along obvious lines.

George Steinbrenner refused to sign off on the last CBA, going as far as to bring in a specialist in anti trust law to seek a way to file suit against MLB.

MisterB
03-14-2005, 05:00 PM
The 2002 Angels had a payroll of near 65 million dollars. Not exactly 'have not' is it?

That Payroll was good enough for 15th out of 30 teams and literally half as much as the Yankees spent (and only $4M more than the Sox spent that year).

Lip Man 1
03-14-2005, 08:30 PM
Mister:

That's a far cry from what the Expos or Tampa were spending wasn't it? The Angels most definately were not a 'have not' franchise especially the market they were in.

Bob, The Pirates have debt because even though the state spent money building the park, Pittsburgh still has bills to pay, salaries for the players and management, the cost of lighting, maintaining and upkeep on the field as well as paying scouts, the minor league system etc.

They are in debt because after the first year fans stayed away in droves. They are taking a bath because they can't draw flies with three day old garbage, they can't draw flies because they have garbage on the field and the fans are sick of it.

Sounds like another example of the business axiom...'to make money you have to spend money.'

Put a good team on the field and they'll draw fans who'll spend money. Eventually that debt will be paid off if they put together a contending team for a few years and start drawing two or two and a half million.

It's not quantum mechanics or rocket science Bob despite what you think.

Lip

gosox41
03-15-2005, 11:27 AM
Mister:

That's a far cry from what the Expos or Tampa were spending wasn't it? The Angels most definately were not a 'have not' franchise especially the market they were in.

Bob, The Pirates have debt because even though the state spent money building the park, Pittsburgh still has bills to pay, salaries for the players and management, the cost of lighting, maintaining and upkeep on the field as well as paying scouts, the minor league system etc.

They are in debt because after the first year fans stayed away in droves. They are taking a bath because they can't draw flies with three day old garbage, they can't draw flies because they have garbage on the field and the fans are sick of it.

Sounds like another example of the business axiom...'to make money you have to spend money.'

Put a good team on the field and they'll draw fans who'll spend money. Eventually that debt will be paid off if they put together a contending team for a few years and start drawing two or two and a half million.

It's not quantum mechanics or rocket science Bob despite what you think.

Lip

So basically the Pirates have debt from running the day to day operations of a baseball team. Novel concept. No kidding it's not rocket science. But you've come out before and said that teams are making money hand over fist. Now you believe this one is in debt. Go figure. Bu I'm sure there's info in this situation that you or I do not know.

As I said before, if the Pirates can't pay their bills, let them fold.



Bob

Hangar18
03-15-2005, 12:01 PM
So basically the Pirates have debt from running the day to day operations of a baseball team. Novel concept. No kidding it's not rocket science. But you've come out before and said that teams are making money hand over fist. Now you believe this one is in debt. Go figure. Bu I'm sure there's info in this situation that you or I do not know.

As I said before, if the Pirates can't pay their bills, let them fold.



Bob

they have a TERRIBLE FARM SYSTEM, and of the good players they
do Develop, they GIVE THEM AWAY and get nothing in return,
compounding the problems they have. FOLD THEM, agreed