OT An [MLB] owner's word - The cautionary tale of Jeff Loria
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11-14-2012, 03:14 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Orleans
Originally Posted by
Ha, we've been dealing with this for 20 years in Pittsburgh with the pirates.
Pirates, marlins, Astros, padres, royals, rays, etc. All great examples of how a league propped up on revenue sharing kills its integrity, parity, and competitive spirit. Revenue sharing essentially removes the incentive to try or work hard for many owners. Just like welfare does to people. There's no incentive to try harder, compete, or spend more to make more, if youre guaranteed a profit before the year even starts.
How does this have anything to do with revenue sharing? For starters, revenue sharing has to be spent on payroll or player development (I.E., your scouts, scouting operations budget + Player Payroll has to be above your RS cheque).
The entire thesis of your argument breaks down to the chicken/egg argument: Are you poor because you suck at running a team, or do you suck at running a team because you are poor?
With revenue sharing, teams like Baltimore, Oakland, Cincinnati, Tampa Bay and Minnesota -- all of whom HAD bargain-basement payrolls - were able to put money into scouting and signing draft picks and make the playoffs recently.
KC and Pittsburgh simply didn't do a good job in scouting, signing draft picks and developing enough talent. Pittsburgh's got some talent now. KC's getting better with a new GM. Their window is smaller (like the teams above).
The Astros -- a big market team -- had an expensive payroll, lots of playoff berths and are rebuilding. Just like plenty of teams have done. Their horribleness now is the byproduct of getting old and rebuilding, and doing it with a GM who tried to take shortcuts and never toredown completely to rebuild from scratch. So then they had to tear down again, with less talent then before to replenish their system with. They are by no means a poor franchise.
Cleveland, Toronto, Baltimore San Diego and Oakland had big payrolls and success in the 90s. Then they tore down.
Detroit swung between small payroll and sucking (almost set the MLB loss record) to spending and winning.
About 25 of 30 teams making the World Series in the past 20 years, and about 25 of 30 teams have also been top 10 in payroll in that span.
Originally Posted by
The Rays? I don't know how long they were bad for but I wouldn't say they're bad now. I'd say that whatever pains Rays fans have gone through have been quelled by management embracing the opportunity to draft wisely in order to get big talent at a great value.
And they've been good the last 4-5 years without spending a lot.
Originally Posted by
I disagree with most of this. The financial framework of MLB is broken right now, so the incentive to actually put revenue sharing money into the team does not exist. There's no salary floor, so there's no mandate to allocate money into the payroll. But there's also no chance of a small-market team suddenly rising up and becoming a contending team over a number of years, which means that there'd simply be a lot of wasted money year after year trying to maybe get one shot at the playoffs before sinking back into mediocrity.
There is incentive to put revenue sharing money into the team. It's required. There is incentive to turn things around and win. You can't look at it in a vacuum, you have to look at a 6-9 year general framework and see how the cyclical nature of sports works.
There IS a chance a small-market team suddenly rises up and becomes a contending team. FIVE TEAMS have done it in the last TWO SEASONS (CIN, BAL, OAK, TB, MIL). Oakland DEAD LAST in payroll and beat the big spending Rangers and Angels to win the West this year.
Here's how it's done:
You suck and draft high.
You make a couple trades, sending guys who are gonna be expensive and don't help you while you're sucking for prospects. (Owner doesn't make money, but doesn't lose a lot because expenses and revenue are both down).
Now the draft picks and prospects form a core that matures together. That young corp blossoms. (the team starts to contend, but makes little in payroll, so the owners make a profit as the stands start to fill)
You add some veterans to the young corps using that profit. (You make a lot of money, because the stands are full, the team is good, and your payroll is average)
Now the team becomes expensive, because the players hit free agency. If you are smart, you trade some soon-to-be expensive guys for players who are almost ready to blossom and get another year of average salary contenders. If you can't you sell off your assets to jump start the process of rebuilding (you make money this year because everyone bought season tickets after last year's success).
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
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