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Former MLB commish Fay Vincent talks about Fehr's negotiating style

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01-02-2013, 02:52 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
His tactics? The NHL has been an innocent bystander in this affair then?


Not at all, I was just commenting on his role specifically. I think the NHL could have easily offerred a proposal something similar to this current one a while ago, and Bettman's run home crying to mommy response to every rejection is part of the reason these talks have been dragged out for so long. On the flip side of that coin it seems obvious that Fehr's goal from day one was to use the drop-dead date for maximum leverage, so even if the league had offered a proposal similar to this one months ago, I still believe Fehr would have rejected it and waited until closer to that deadline to start legitimately negotiating off of the league's offer(s).

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01-02-2013, 02:56 PM
  #52
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I'm sorry you want the players to consent to fix the horrible cap system that the owners shoved down the players throats and then a 24% rollback for desert?
What part of the word "unsustainable" are you having trouble understanding here?

If the players need to eat a loss compared to the prior CBA in order to make the league more viable long term, it'd hardly be the first time ownership demanded that of a union -- or got it. Right now it's that, or miss a season entirely and get a 100% rollback -- 0% of all of the HRR that is not being generated. You tell me which is the better deal.

The ownership has the leverage right now. The PA only has cancelling the season in its arsenal right now, and if they do that, it's the definition of a Pyrrhic victory. The only reason there is not hockey right now is that the players are actually stupid enough to weigh the option of preventing a season from taking place and having no HRR to take their cut out of rather than accepting.

Believe me, even if the players accept the ownership proposal lock, stock and barrel, it won't make the players poor or threaten their ability to feed themselves. I find any concern over the plight of the poor disenfranchised player who makes a league minimum of 6 figures just a bit less interesting than the survival and viability of the majority of the league's markets. To the point that the only time the Union even interests me is when it might threaten to strike over making, still millions, but less millions than before. I dunno, you might disagree.

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Some teams are not doing well, some team are doing great. The difference could be the result of the owners economic model, it could be that the teams that are in the red are simply running their business poorly.
... and it could be that this doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does. If a team that's running itself poorly can't make the cap floor without losing money, bearing in mind that it's a freaking floor, then we have a problem anyway.

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The first possibility derives from the owners previous choice, the second is not the pas problem.
I'm not convinced that whose fault or problem it is is a useful avenue of discussion. The system is what it is, the question is how do you get it from what it is to what it needs to be. If the PA doesn't want to make itself part of the solution, then it's going to be part of the problem.

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So they went from 70% HRR to 57 to somewhere around fifty and you think the owners are going to stop there?
By your own dogma, isn't that the union's problem? And not the owners'? If the union can't get the owners to give up more revenue than that, why blame the owners? if they're going to be cutthroat, the fact that they're completely failing even to cut any particular throat at all at the moment just reflects even worse on PA leadership.

They're better off being conciliatory with ownership and taking the "partnership" malarkey to heart. Because the more they make this lockout a winner take all game, the more obvious it is to a lot of us that they aren't the winner.

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01-02-2013, 02:59 PM
  #53
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I think this entire notion that either side is supposed to care about the game to a substantial degree beyond their legitimate financial stake in said game is quite humorous.

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01-02-2013, 03:00 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Tkachuk4MVP View Post
Not at all, I was just commenting on his role specifically. I think the NHL could have easily offerred a proposal something similar to this current one a while ago, and Bettman's run home crying to mommy response to every rejection is part of the reason these talks have been dragged out for so long. On the flip side of that coin it seems obvious that Fehr's goal from day one was to use the drop-dead date for maximum leverage, so even if the league had offered a proposal similar to this one months ago, I still believe Fehr would have rejected it and waited until closer to that deadline to start legitimately negotiating off of the league's offer(s).
So the complaint about fehr is he trying to do what he was hired to do to the best of his ability? Fehr only needs to please one master, the pa. If they don't like him they can dump him. That fans don't like fear ( or think that he embodies all the reasons why there is no hockey) is immaterial.

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01-02-2013, 03:14 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
So the complaint about fehr is he trying to do what he was hired to do to the best of his ability? Fehr only needs to please one master, the pa. If they don't like him they can dump him. That fans don't like fear ( or think that he embodies all the reasons why there is no hockey) is immaterial.


Read my original post in this thread, I said it shouldn't be a surprise that Fehr's main goal is to get his constituency as much money as possible. What I get upset about is the players and pro-PA people trying to sell this idea that he is doing this for the good of the game (see: Pavs' quote in that article).


Also, if he gets a deal anywhere close to what he could've gotten already but at the cost of a half season or more's worth of salary, then I'd argue he's done a pretty poor job.

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01-02-2013, 03:27 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Tkachuk4MVP View Post
Read my original post in this thread, I said it shouldn't be a surprise that Fehr's main goal is to get his constituency as much money as possible. What I get upset about is the players and pro-PA people trying to sell this idea that he is doing this for the good of the game (see: Pavs' quote in that article).


Also, if he gets a deal anywhere close to what he could've gotten already but at the cost of a half season or more's worth of salary, then I'd argue he's done a pretty poor job.
When your opponent is pulling out the "We care so much about hockey" card (see: lying to win over the support of the public) it would be quite foolish to come out yourself and admit that you don't care all that much, even if you're being honest.

Warm, cuddly and insincere > cold, unconcerned and honest.

You combat lying by lying louder.

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01-02-2013, 03:30 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Tkachuk4MVP View Post
Not at all, I was just commenting on his role specifically. I think the NHL could have easily offerred a proposal something similar to this current one a while ago, and Bettman's run home crying to mommy response to every rejection is part of the reason these talks have been dragged out for so long. On the flip side of that coin it seems obvious that Fehr's goal from day one was to use the drop-dead date for maximum leverage, so even if the league had offered a proposal similar to this one months ago, I still believe Fehr would have rejected it and waited until closer to that deadline to start legitimately negotiating off of the league's offer(s).
Honestly, I believe the PA got the heaviest hitter they could possibly find. There's a very good reason (and justification, from their side) in doing so when you consider the negotiating strategy adopted by Bettman, and developed by Proskauer-Rose. You don't go to a gunfight armed with a stick.

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Originally Posted by Powdered Toast Man View Post
I think this entire notion that either side is supposed to care about the game to a substantial degree beyond their legitimate financial stake in said game is quite humorous.
It appeals to fans, who of course, do care about the game. I'm sure there are players and owners who legitimately 'love' the game and hope for its success. That doesn't mean however that either group will turn the NHL into a charity. As you pointed out, there are very legitimate financial stakes at hand.

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01-02-2013, 03:50 PM
  #58
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Who cares? Why should the great franchises be dragged down so that the crappy franchises get to win? The Tigers don't spend near as much as the Yankees but they beat them in the playoffs. The notion that leagues can't be competitive without a salary cap is a falsehood perpetuated by fat cat owners who want to get fatter. In the NFL the same teams dominate and the traditionally crappy teams are still crappy. The only thing the cap does is lowers overall quality.
So wrong!! The Patriots were a crap team at one time. The 49ers are finally becoming a good team again after years of poor play preceded by years of great play. The Cowboys? Once great, but now not so much.

Remember the Miami Dolphins of the late '60s and early '70s?

The NFL gives every franchise a legit shot at becoming great for an extended period of time. MLB does not offer every franchise the same opportunity.

I understand your frustration with the salary cap. Your franchise's management team hasn't made very good moves and the team's win/loss record reflects those decisions, just as it should.

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01-02-2013, 03:53 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
It may be a misnomer, or perhaps misleading, to even couch it in those terms. "To care" is an emotional description. If you use in the sense of a "caretaker", then it's a bit more clear, in that he's the caretaker of the union (and its interests) and the commissioner is the caretaker of the league.

To the extent that each man does or does not "care" about things emotionally is completely beside the point to what they're both being paid to do, and thus their fiduciary responsibilities.
"Care" isn't necessarily emotional, but to clarify, I didn't want to use it in an emotional sense.

To put it another way, Fehr's job duties do not include any consideration for the health of the league or the sport in general with the exception of where those items detriment his ability to maximize what he can deliver to the players.

I think this is important because it's the attitude the players back, which makes some of their marketing / individual comments grating to myself as a fan. Of course the players want to maximize their return, but the comments and marketing about Bettman trying to ruin the game / just wanting to play / etc come off as disingenuous when their own representation is concerned with nothing else other than maximizing player return, even if that means drawing negotiations out until the last minute at the expense of dropping games.

Bad marketing.

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01-02-2013, 03:55 PM
  #60
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Well, Vincent and Fehr are right.

It's not up to the union to make the NHL fix its problem.

If anything, the more the union wins, the more desperate the owners will be to cooperate to fix the league's true economic problem.
Or, the more likely the owners will be to find better locations for franchises.

Or, if the owners can't cooperate to save their game, the more likely it is teams will fold.
MOD

Fehr has already gone after owners for collusion, it says it in the story, so how you haven't figured this one out after being told OVER AND OVER.... Mod...


Last edited by Killion: 01-02-2013 at 04:00 PM. Reason: ya, enuff. Stahp plz.
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01-02-2013, 03:57 PM
  #61
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What part of the word "unsustainable" are you having trouble understanding here?

If the players need to eat a loss compared to the prior CBA in order to make the league more viable long term, it'd hardly be the first time ownership demanded that of a union -- or got it. Right now it's that, or miss a season entirely and get a 100% rollback -- 0% of all of the HRR that is not being generated. You tell me which is the better deal.

The ownership has the leverage right now. The PA only has cancelling the season in its arsenal right now, and if they do that, it's the definition of a Pyrrhic victory. The only reason there is not hockey right now is that the players are actually stupid enough to weigh the option of preventing a season from taking place and having no HRR to take their cut out of rather than accepting.

Believe me, even if the players accept the ownership proposal lock, stock and barrel, it won't make the players poor or threaten their ability to feed themselves. I find any concern over the plight of the poor disenfranchised player who makes a league minimum of 6 figures just a bit less interesting than the survival and viability of the majority of the league's markets. To the point that the only time the Union even interests me is when it might threaten to strike over making, still millions, but less millions than before. I dunno, you might disagree.



... and it could be that this doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does. If a team that's running itself poorly can't make the cap floor without losing money, bearing in mind that it's a freaking floor, then we have a problem anyway.



I'm not convinced that whose fault or problem it is is a useful avenue of discussion. The system is what it is, the question is how do you get it from what it is to what it needs to be. If the PA doesn't want to make itself part of the solution, then it's going to be part of the problem.



By your own dogma, isn't that the union's problem? And not the owners'? If the union can't get the owners to give up more revenue than that, why blame the owners? if they're going to be cutthroat, the fact that they're completely failing even to cut any particular throat at all at the moment just reflects even worse on PA leadership.

They're better off being conciliatory with ownership and taking the "partnership" malarkey to heart. Because the more they make this lockout a winner take all game, the more obvious it is to a lot of us that they aren't the winner.

So your argument is that the players are stupid because they don't do what you think they should?

Teams are only untenable in their current situations. Change the situation and it becomes tenable. Move the predators to QC, you think they stay 18th in average ticket prices? You think they have any revenue problems? But we can't ask the owners to solve their own problems when they have the ATM, I'm sorry, the PA at their disposal.

What you seem to be advocating is that teams in bad struggling markets get to continue to be poorly run or stay in crappy markets because they can always make it up on the back end from players but not in any substantial way from well run markets. And the reason for why these teams under preform, well its because of those no good markets that actually and passionately care at the aggregated level about the game up north who rub their hands at the thought of the death of crappy market teams.

That if one teams plan for growth entails the equivalent of buying lotto tickets, it can retrtospectively ask the PA to buy back all of the non winning tickets.
If you want these markets to not look so crappy compared to traditional markets the answer is to make the crappy markets less crappy, not the good markets more crappy.

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01-02-2013, 04:00 PM
  #62
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Honestly, I think he's right. The union cannot take care of the NHL because they cannot make the decisions about team locations, spending, league strategy. That indeed is the commissioner's job. The owners will firstly worry about their own team, and how that team fits into the collective. Just like Fehr, their primary concern isn't "the game" or "growing the game" per se, it's taking care of the team they just acquired. The commissioner is that one person that can herd that breed of cat.

I could not agree more. I do not understand why fans believe it's Fehr's responsibilty to support hockeys "best interests."

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01-02-2013, 04:05 PM
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So why are the players constantly crying about wanting to be treated like partners?

The union has been very disingenuous. They don't care a whit about the health of the game.

drop that pretext or be judged upon it.
They are not partners, they are employees.

Well some people believe the players are cattle.

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01-02-2013, 04:22 PM
  #64
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It would be like Fehr representing the Wall Street traders to get higher bonuses. If this isnt clear, who ultimately pays the prices? A lot of union guys pretend to be the working class heroes but are just capitalists in another form.
Except the wall street traders lost billions, while hockey generated billions. Every buisness is a struggle between owners and labor. It's not like he's championing players as the common man, he championing them as being entitled to a good portion of the revenue they generate through their labor, which is what everyone wants regardless of employeer.

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01-02-2013, 04:55 PM
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i think some people just dont think things through. fehr was hired by the players to do exactly what he is doing. make every attempt to break the owners. if they wanted a friendly cba, they could have kept kelley.

dont blame fehr. blame anyone that thought fehr was there for an early agreement and blame the players for wanted in major fight. if you want to blame someone.

its not fehr. i said this many times after fehr was hired that was not going to be much hockey coming and got a lot of grief. fehr is there to win. most of the players dont care if they play nhl games this season and want to win..

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01-02-2013, 05:22 PM
  #66
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Fehr has already gone after owners for collusion, it says it in the story, so how you haven't figured this one out after being told OVER AND OVER.... Mod...
I feel like you're throwing insults around.

When did Fehr go after owners for Collusion? In 1988? 1987?

When the owners ACTUALLY COLLUDED?

The problem is that too many people on hfboards are ignorant about collusions.

Collusion isn't owners a majority of owners deciding not to do something that is economically unwise to a majority of owners.

Collusion is owners making an agreement with each other outside of the CBA.

If 24 of 30 teams don't want to pay anyone $10M, 24 of 30 teams don't have to.

That's not collusion.

And you need to quit pretending it is.

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01-02-2013, 05:40 PM
  #67
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i think some people just dont think things through. fehr was hired by the players to do exactly what he is doing. make every attempt to break the owners. if they wanted a friendly cba, they could have kept kelley.

dont blame fehr. blame anyone that thought fehr was there for an early agreement and blame the players for wanted in major fight. if you want to blame someone.

its not fehr. i said this many times after fehr was hired that was not going to be much hockey coming and got a lot of grief. fehr is there to win. most of the players dont care if they play nhl games this season and want to win..
I think most players do want to play. However some hardliners may not and most of the armchair media Fehr fans would love for this to go on forever.

Jeff Blair-who I didn't recognize at first as he no longer has that squirrel /hairpiece/weird hairdo or whatever it was on his head; said this afternoon on Sportsnet that he thinks Fehr should keep it shut down and go after Bettmans' job.

When reminded that many players would lose money and careers that they would never get back. he said"I don't care-its not my money!".

He also said that he thought an MLB type system would be best for the NHL and would lead the parade if some teams went bankrupt. That this would also cost union jobs seems not to matter to him.

Players should take a look at just how little their welfare really means to some of these media types who claim to be in their corner.

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01-02-2013, 05:45 PM
  #68
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http://www.mercurynews.com/sharks/ci...-making-an-nhl

Sharks beat writer gets story from MLB side of how Fehr negotiates.
Sounds like a beaten man. May he rest in peace!


And here some people often complain that with the parity objective and the Salary Cap, that it's the League which is more left wing,... while the fight for higher salaries for the players should be based on supply and demand in which players should get payed as high as the demand allows. Sounds all very upsidedown from how the former MLB commish describes it.

Perhaps the old commish has Stockholm syndrome.

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01-02-2013, 06:04 PM
  #69
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Vincent thinks baseball made a good deal?

They created a system of have's and have not's that will collapse once their TV money gets reduced. Attendance in small markets is suffering in MLB due to Fehr's tactics. I definitely will not support the NHL if it goes the same way.
Baseball was a much different sport though. Look at the '97 Marlins, and my '01 Diamondbacks!

Hell, riding in my car with my dad driving, always listening to Gambo and Ash(Phoenix sports talk radio). They had Curt Schilling on, and was talking about how the players liked the current setup. OF COURSE THEY DID! There was no limit to contracts, no sharing of revenue. So the big teams with the money were able to spend as much as they wanted on players, while other small market teams that didn't draw, were stuck spending a certain amount in hopes they could still turn a profit while putting a contender on the field!

Baseball might not have the best deal out there with their players, but it's a hell of a lot better for fans in smaller market teams now than it was before. Look at the Yankees, they want to cut back spending because they are tired of paying the luxury tax! While it might not get another team to spend more, it makes them spend less, and hopefully the parity in the league will improve over time.

I think the baseball deal was a step in the right direction, but it wasn't enough. Fehr failed as far as I'm concerned. The biggest problem with the MLB and other leagues, is their TV deals are much much much better than the NHL. NHL has not as much money to deal with.

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01-02-2013, 06:18 PM
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What part of the word "unsustainable" are you having trouble understanding here?

If the players need to eat a loss compared to the prior CBA in order to make the league more viable long term, it'd hardly be the first time ownership demanded that of a union -- or got it. Right now it's that, or miss a season entirely and get a 100% rollback -- 0% of all of the HRR that is not being generated. You tell me which is the better deal.

The ownership has the leverage right now. The PA only has cancelling the season in its arsenal right now, and if they do that, it's the definition of a Pyrrhic victory. The only reason there is not hockey right now is that the players are actually stupid enough to weigh the option of preventing a season from taking place and having no HRR to take their cut out of rather than accepting.

Believe me, even if the players accept the ownership proposal lock, stock and barrel, it won't make the players poor or threaten their ability to feed themselves. I find any concern over the plight of the poor disenfranchised player who makes a league minimum of 6 figures just a bit less interesting than the survival and viability of the majority of the league's markets. To the point that the only time the Union even interests me is when it might threaten to strike over making, still millions, but less millions than before. I dunno, you might disagree.

... and it could be that this doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does. If a team that's running itself poorly can't make the cap floor without losing money, bearing in mind that it's a freaking floor, then we have a problem anyway.

I'm not convinced that whose fault or problem it is is a useful avenue of discussion. The system is what it is, the question is how do you get it from what it is to what it needs to be. If the PA doesn't want to make itself part of the solution, then it's going to be part of the problem.
The NHL bills itself - if not explicitly, then certainly implicitly - as the world's greatest hockey league because it has the world's greatest hockey players. These aren't plugs that can be trained in two weeks and replaced on the factory floor. They've essentially trained all their lives. The quality of the players directly determines the quality of the product, which in professional sports is a clear driver of revenue.

Owners can't get around the fact - no matter how much some would like - that sports is a talent-driven business. That's what Vincent was driving at. You can't make those kind of employees continually bear the brunt of cost-cutting. It doesn't matter that they already make huge salaries - if they are the ones driving revenue, they should get a huge share of the reward.


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01-02-2013, 06:26 PM
  #71
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Players should take a look at just how little their welfare really means to some of these media types who claim to be in their corner.
Right. They should pay attention to idiots in the media who say things just to get a rise out of people, get twitter followers, and UVs

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01-02-2013, 06:33 PM
  #72
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Right. They should pay attention to idiots in the media who say things just to get a rise out of people, get twitter followers, and UVs
Not a problem, a lot of them are the same people.

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01-02-2013, 06:43 PM
  #73
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Sounds like a beaten man. May he rest in peace!


And here some people often complain that with the parity objective and the Salary Cap, that it's the League which is more left wing,... while the fight for higher salaries for the players should be based on supply and demand in which players should get payed as high as the demand allows. Sounds all very upsidedown from how the former MLB commish describes it.

Perhaps the old commish has Stockholm syndrome.
Who is advocating that the players should dump the cap as a primary objective? This threat was just to keep the owners honest, if they wanted to not use the previous CBA as a starting point unilaterally define from where discussion would begin the pa said that if you don't want to start with the last CBA, you cant do it selectively and we will consider dumping cost certainty.

It has nothing to do with left or right wing.

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01-02-2013, 06:46 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by KINGS17 View Post
Local ratings in selected markets. Take a look at ratings in Houston, San Diego, and other small markets. The amount of time MLB has left to be rolling in dough is highly debateable.
There's a fundamental lack of understanding of the economics of baseball around here, which probably makes sense on a hockey forum.

The Padres that you mention, just sold for 800 million and actually have a rather large TV deal. The other factor is the very high value of the MLBAM property, which is a pretty big money maker and pushing the value of franchises even further.

Padres and Astros (who also just sold for a very pretty penny) are on a down period for sure but within the last decade they were players, especially the Astros who had a pretty big payroll and a consistently competitive team.

The demise of baseball TV wise gets overstated, it's clearly a regional sport but despite the national ratings, they still just signed massive national TV deals all around. Regionally, it's massive, a bit cyclical but the value of the property is massive right now sports are extremely valuable for a variety of reasons and baseball provides much more content than any other sport in NA.

Baseball's biggest positive right now may be that they've been SO far ahead of all the other sports when it comes to new mediums.

Their revenue sharing is quite strong. There are a very issues that need to be touched up and the days of being a national powerhouse are gone. I'd surmise that it's not because of the apparent decline in popularity but more so because of the number of games combined with the access every fan has now. When I was growing up, national games were must watch TV because I hardly got to watch baseball, now I watch my favorite team play essentially on demand with MLB.tv and the national games are relatively unimportant to me. It's become far more regionalized, hard to say that's a bad thing when you see the monetary value right now and what's going on with the local TV money and MLB advanced media properties.

Attendance is strong and not just in big markets. There's problematic markets, like in any sport but right now attendance is a strength, not an issue.

Also, FWIW, the luxury does seem to be scaring teams like the Yankees and Red Sox back to the back, especially with the middle of the pack spending more and more. The local TV money, the national TV money and the MLBAM money makes sure every team has money to spend. The growth of the middle class the last 5-7 years in baseball has been astounding. The issue right now is more of a floor related issue than a ceiling related issue. A handful of teams pocketing revenue sharing money and making a huge profit. You'd probably be stunned to see the kinds of profits the Marlins or teams like that have made the last decade. There's no doubt there's issues/.

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01-02-2013, 07:35 PM
  #75
du5566*
 
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The PA was well aware of the leagues struggles and assumed like everyone else that the NHL would attack the 57% revenue share the players had been recieving as well as attempting to lower the cap. So the players went out and hired Fehr to give them the best possible chance of keeping as much of what they won in the last negotiations as possible. I understand the hiring I just don't respect the decision given everything Fehr stands for and how much another work stoppage would hurt the league.

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