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hold2dibber
02-13-2002, 05:12 PM
Below is a link to an article about hearings before Congress today concerning baseball.

http://sns.chicagosports.com/sports/nationworld/ats-ap_sports10feb13.story?coll=sns%2Dsports%2Dheadlin es

The most remarkable revelation, IMO, is the fact that both the owners and the players are considering instituting a "competitive balance draft" in which the teams with the 8 worst cummulative records over the prior 3 years get to choose players from the teams with the 8 best cummulative records over the prior 3 years. This is probably the most hair-brained, inane, moronic idea to which I have ever had the displeasure of being subjected. The collective bargaining agreement needs to be amended to allow for all teams to compete on relatively level financial ground -- but this propsoed draft doesn't do that. Instead, it punishes the smart and well run organizations and rewards the idiots. If the A's or the Twins put together a great team on a shoe-string budget, they can be gutted by the idiots in Baltimore and L.A. who can't do anything right. It might restore some competitive balance, but would be extremely unfair. If they institute such a draft and the Sox lose, for instance, a Corwin Malone or a Matt Guerrier to Baltimore merely because Baltimore is run by incredible idiots, I'd lose my lunch. Can't these sh*t-for-brains who run this sport do anything right?

Daver
02-13-2002, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber


Can't these sh*t-for-brains who run this sport do anything right?

Based on their track record for the past ten years the answer would be no.

czalgosz
02-13-2002, 06:04 PM
I've heard about that idea before - about a year or so ago. Your critique of it is correct - it completely negates any motivation to build up a good system. If they're resurrecting it now, they're bigger idiots than even I thought.

SoxRulecubsdrool
02-13-2002, 06:12 PM
:chunks





Who came up with that idea? The Devil Rays!

PaleHoseGeorge
02-13-2002, 07:39 PM
I'm surprised to hear the owners talking common sense on the what is and is not achievable in labor negotiations. This is definitely a first for these guys. Kudos to them!

If you want competitive balance (and everyone agrees that's the goal), then fairly distributing talent is the key. The salary taxes didn't do anything but prop up cheapskates like Loria and Pohlad who simply pocketed the money rather than improve their teams.

The redistribution draft has some pluses, assuming it is set up properly. For example, the players drafted must get paid a competitive salary and remain part of the team that drafted them for at least three years. This would prevent a cheapskate from acquiring a quality player, then turning around and trading him for cash or other considerations.

The draft must allow teams to protect their best players from the draft, similar to the NFL's "franchise player" designation. These players, by definition, must be the top-paid players in the game.

I would need to hear more specifics before I called them idiots for implementing such a plan.

Spiff
02-13-2002, 10:46 PM
What is so hard about a salary cap and/or revenue sharing? Is it what you were talking about where the cheap owners would pocket the money?

Even the Clippers are starting to win and Sterling is just like that.

I don't see how if it has worked for the three other major sports it wouldn't work in baseball. Would it just be impossible to get the players to agree to it?

Somebody enlighten me please. :smile:

danman31
02-13-2002, 10:47 PM
I have no clue why baSebAll wouLd wAnt to do that. They aRe crazY, but it's not the first time we've said that. CrAzy People shouldn't run leagues/ I personally don't know what they should do though.

bjmarte
02-13-2002, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by danman31
I have no clue why baSebAll wouLd wAnt to do that. They aRe crazY, but it's not the first time we've said that. CrAzy People shouldn't run leagues/ I personally don't know what they should do though.

LOL, nicely done :smile:

danman31
02-14-2002, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by bjmarte
LOL, nicely done :smile:
Thanks. It took me a while to find something for cap, but it was worth it.

hold2dibber
02-14-2002, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
I'm surprised to hear the owners talking common sense on the what is and is not achievable in labor negotiations. This is definitely a first for these guys. Kudos to them!

If you want competitive balance (and everyone agrees that's the goal), then fairly distributing talent is the key. The salary taxes didn't do anything but prop up cheapskates like Loria and Pohlad who simply pocketed the money rather than improve their teams.

The redistribution draft has some pluses, assuming it is set up properly. For example, the players drafted must get paid a competitive salary and remain part of the team that drafted them for at least three years. This would prevent a cheapskate from acquiring a quality player, then turning around and trading him for cash or other considerations.

The draft must allow teams to protect their best players from the draft, similar to the NFL's "franchise player" designation. These players, by definition, must be the top-paid players in the game.

I would need to hear more specifics before I called them idiots for implementing such a plan.

I must respectfully disagree, PHG. You say the key to competitive balance is fairly distributing talent. But I don't think that should be the goal (although the proposed draft would accomplish just that). The goal should be to give every team an equal opportunity to obtain talent. It should be up to each team to use its own creativity, ingenuity and hard work to use that ability to identify and retain talent. Competitive balance means (or should mean) equal opportunity, NOT equal talent. The salary taxes have worked because (a) they're not big enough, and (b) there is no minimum payroll. The small market teams that get $ from the big market teams should be forced to use that money for player salaries. That, and not a draft of the sort bein bandied about, would put each team on equal footing and allow the best and brightest organizations to make a go of it, regardless of their local revenues (so, for example, the A's could stay together, or the Pirates of the early '90s could stay together). Under the competative draft model, teams like those -- that already have to trade or lose to free agency their stars -- would have just another means by which their best players could be plucked away.

PaleHoseGeorge
02-14-2002, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
I must respectfully disagree, PHG. You say the key to competitive balance is fairly distributing talent. But I don't think that should be the goal (although the proposed draft would accomplish just that). The goal should be to give every team an equal opportunity to obtain talent. It should be up to each team to use its own creativity, ingenuity and hard work to use that ability to identify and retain talent. Competitive balance means (or should mean) equal opportunity, NOT equal talent. The salary taxes have worked because (a) they're not big enough, and (b) there is no minimum payroll. The small market teams that get $ from the big market teams should be forced to use that money for player salaries. That, and not a draft of the sort bein bandied about, would put each team on equal footing and allow the best and brightest organizations to make a go of it, regardless of their local revenues (so, for example, the A's could stay together, or the Pirates of the early '90s could stay together). Under the competative draft model, teams like those -- that already have to trade or lose to free agency their stars -- would have just another means by which their best players could be plucked away.

I wouldn't rule out the value of the redistribution draft unless I knew the specifics. The fact they are talking about averaging three years worth of results and redistributing across 8 bottom teams from just 8 top teams (leaving nearly half in the middle unaffected) is sufficient to prevent teams from tanking games (to gain players) or necessarily losing their competitive advantage (from being too successful). I reserve the right to change my opinion if the specifics are punitive to top teams or fail to address competitive balance.

As for salary caps and luxury taxes, those would be great ideas if MLB was faced with a lie-down union like the NFLPA, the NBAPA, or even the NHLPA. Baseball owners tried to extract similar concessions from their players in 1994-95 and failed miserably in the process. That will be the case in any labor stoppage this time, too (IMO).

It's only recently that the owners began offering proposals that have a chance in hell of being agreed to in collective bargaining with the players. That's all I was applauding--the notion that the owners finally have a grip on reality--the first time in at least 35 years. I'll wait to pass judgment on the actual plan they and the players agree to.

Daver
02-14-2002, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


I wouldn't rule out the value of the redistribution draft unless I knew the specifics. The fact they are talking about averaging three years worth of results and redistributing across 8 bottom teams from just 8 top teams (leaving nearly half in the middle unaffected) is sufficient to prevent teams from tanking games (to gain players) or necessarily losing their competitive advantage (from being too successful). I reserve the right to change my opinion if the specifics are punitive to top teams or fail to address competitive balance.

As for salary caps and luxury taxes, those would be great ideas if MLB was faced with a lie-down union like the NFLPA, the NBAPA, or even the NHLPA. Baseball owners tried to extract similar concessions from their players in 1994-95 and failed miserably in the process. That will be the case in any labor stoppage this time, too (IMO).

It's only recently that the owners began offering proposals that have a chance in hell of being agreed to in collective bargaining with the players. That's all I was applauding--the notion that the owners finally have a grip on reality--the first time in at least 35 years. I'll wait to pass judgment on the actual plan they and the players agree to.

The NFLPA lost all its power when the NFL owners did what the baseball owners are afraid to do,Start the season without their striking players,and not showing any interest in bringing them back unless it was on their terms,and thus was born the NFL salary cap.

czalgosz
02-14-2002, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by daver


The NFLPA lost all its power when the NFL owners did what the baseball owners are afraid to do,Start the season without their striking players,and not showing any interest in bringing them back unless it was on their terms,and thus was born the NFL salary cap.

There are also differences between the nature of the games that allowed NFL owners to sit through a strike. Football fans showed during those "scab games" that they want to watch football, and they really don't care what product is on the field. When picketing players watched NFL games sell out despite having nobodies on the field, they knew they were beaten.

That tactic simply wouldn't work in baseball. Casual football fans know the sport but not the players. Casual baseball fans know the players but not the sport. And casual fans simply wouldn't go to see the games if Sammy Sosa or Barry Bonds (or whoever the star of the team is) is on strike.

But another key difference between the sports makes it so that a salary cap (or other redistribution of talent) wouldn't work in baseball. In the NFL and NBA, colleges do 99% of the development work for the teams. Players are expected to show up right after they are drafted and make an impact at the top level. If they don't, they're gone, because the team has no investment in first-year players, other than their signing bonus. Then, if the cap makes it so that the player leaves via free-agency - no big loss - just structure your next draft around replacing that guy.

In baseball, things work differently. Even the top prospects are still developed by the team that drafted them, spending time in their minor-league system and getting ready for the big-time. If a salary cap exists at the big-league level, it kills the incentive to have a good minor-league system. You'll spend years developing promising young players only to have them leave because even if you wanted to keep them, the cap forces you to make them leave.
If I was an owner, and a cap was put in place, I'd cut all funding to scouting and player development, cut my minor-league teams to league minimum, and make my draft picks based on who would sign cheap. Then I'd go cruise around scavenging good teams' free agents that they can't sign due to the Cap. Fortunately for baseball as a whole, the MLBPA would never allow such a cap to happen.

The idea of a "competitive balance" draft is more scary, because the Union wouldn't necessarily stop it, and it rewards bad organizations, such as the Royals, Devil Rays, and Twins, while punishing good organizations, like the A's and Mariners and Cardinals, who would lose players that they can't replace. Meanwhile, nothing happens to teams like the Diamondbacks and Yankees, because almost all of their talent is already at the big-league level, and they can easily replace anybody lost to such a draft via free-agent pickups.

All the owners have to do is increase revenue-sharing while putting a salary floor in place, and it would increase competitive balance. But that would mean that player salaries wouldn't go down, which is what the owners are really after here.

PaleHoseGeorge
02-14-2002, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by daver
The NFLPA lost all its power when the NFL owners did what the baseball owners are afraid to do,Start the season without their striking players,and not showing any interest in bringing them back unless it was on their terms,and thus was born the NFL salary cap.

MLB owners intended to start the 1995 season with replacement players. However, months earlier, the MLBPA had filed an unfair labor practice charge against the owners. The National Labor Relations Board agreed with the union's contention that MLB had not engaged in good faith negotiations (namely, they intended all along to impose their own salary cap system) and went to a circuit judge to get an injunction against the owners.

The judge ruled for the players the last week of March, making the owners liable for treble damages to the players for any negative effects of imposing their salary cap system. The union immediately ended their strike, and the owners and their lawyers folded like a cheap lawn chair.

They fired all their replacement players (who, BTW, got paid nothing in severance) and invited the MLBPA players back into camp. It would be two more seasons (November, 1996) before they finally agreed to the CBA that ended last October.

The MLBPA has some real teeth, something the NFLPA, NBAPA, and NHLPA don't have. That's why baseball players are paid as well as they are. Don't think for a minute all the other professional sports athletes aren't green with envy, too.

czalgosz
02-14-2002, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge



The MLBPA has some real teeth, something the NFLPA, NBAPA, and NHLPA don't have. That's why baseball players are paid as well as they are. Don't think for a minute all the other professional sports athletes aren't green with envy, too.

The NBA was able to successfully demonstrate to their players' union that they were hemmorhaging money back in the '80s, and that the whole league would soon go out of business if some sort of salary control wasn't put in place. Which is why, I suppose, that the MLB owners are trying a similar tactic right now. Only the efforts by MLB to show that they are losing money are so clumsy and ham-handed it almost looks like they are trying to lose the argument.

I guess it makes a weird kind of sense that they would try to claim that they are losing money. That's the only way that they can justify reducing payroll while also raising ticket and concession prices.

It's fairly obvious that the owners don't really give a damn about competitive balance. Aside from a few years from the mid-80s to the strike, there was never competitive balance in baseball. If the owners were concerned about it, they would have done something a long time ago. What this really is about is trying to break the union. But you're right, George, this union looks unbreakable. I really don't see how the owners are going to succeed here.