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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

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Disgusting

At least I watched my World Champions come through the farm system.

But we signed Gary Majewski, so that pretty much cancels out the Teixeira acquisition.

And yet they're still probably not the best team in their own division...

What a joke of an economic system.

Am I the only one that doesn't get disgusted by this? They make a lot of money and spend a lot of money. Brings them some success some times, and not so much other times. Who cares?

Back in the 70s, the A's owner Charlie Finley tried to trade away his whole team for cash because he was getting ready to sell the team. Then Commissioner Bowie Kuhn stepped in and blocked the deals on the grounds that they were against the best interest in baseball. Bud Selig should do the same here.

Saying that all these signings don't guarantee a championship is like saying that using steroids isn't cheating because it doesn't guarantee that you'll be a good player. It's a lazy and intellectually dishonest argument, which just ignores the real issue. It's not about guaranteeing a championship; it's about conferring a huge competitive advantage against everyone else.

BAP: Ok, so you want to implement a salary cap then. The Players Association will never agree to it because the fact is the game makes tons of money right now, and limiting salaries means more money in the pockets of owners and less in the pockets of people actually providing the entertainment.

It's a business. Competitive advantage exists in the business world- in fact, it's how capitalism works. I understand it's not a total business environment, and it's not governed completely by free markets, but I'd be interested to hear your solution that isn't either unfair to players or unfair to teams who are successful (i.e., the Yankees).

BAP: There's no doubt that the game is rigged, that the big market teams that maximize their investment will win more games than teams that don't. There are some teams that will never be able to compete because of their small markets and those teams ought to be eliminated. But owners seem quite happy with the way the game is now, they're making more money than ever before and the fans don't seem to mind. Thus, nothing will change.

This makes me sick. I understand its business and some teams have more money than others, but the yankees are out of control. The fact that their payroll is way over 200 mil is ridiculous. As much as I hope the Phils repeat, I hope even more that any team OTHER than the Yanks win the crown.

I also have a hard time getting disgusted about this. the Yankees play by the same rules everyone else does. they're not cheating or finding loopholes, they're just willing to spend a ton of money.

now, if MLB wants to institute some kind of salary cap (which has its own disadvantages and advantages, as seen in the NBA or NFL) or make a more aggressive revenue sharing program, then do that. but I don't see how it's fair to penalize the Yankees after the fact just because they have money and other teams don't.

and FWIW, I despise the Yankees as a team, and I've rooted against them ever since I was a kid in Allentown and all the bandwagon jumpers were wearing the NY instead of the P. doesn't mean they're doing anything wrong with this.

clout: But owners seem quite happy with the way the game is now, they're making more money than ever before and the fans don't seem to mind. Thus, nothing will change.

You are correct...until the fans stop showing up in the small markets, nothing will change. And that's why pro football is now America's pastime, and not baseball.

on a less serious note, this seems more prescient every day.

The Yankees pay a big luxury tax and pay a whole lot in revenue sharing. But people just want to say, no you're not allowed to spend money on your product, because you're too successful at making money?

Yes, it's a competitive advantage, but find me a solution that isn't completely unfair to either players or a team just because it's successful. I agree with AE that I just can't get disgusted about this. Who cares? At least Teixeira is out of the NL. We should be happy about that.

So does this take the Yankees out of the Ryan Howard running or will he just be their DH at 10 years, $200 million?

I am pretty sure that Forbes reported that the Yankees were the only team in the league to NOT make profit the last two seasons.

So I'm not sure how long they can keep doing this. But the Steinbrenners are crazy about having the best players in the league, so i doubt they'll ever stop.

What a shock...the Yankees overpay for a free-agent.

What's their luxury tax going to be next year...$50 million? $60 million?

Majewski is not a bad Value Village roll of the dice. Before he wrecked his arm, he was a solid reliever. He'll be 29 this season and it's his second season since arm surgery, which usually when you get a bounce back (like Dotel last year). He's far more likely to help the team than Koplove and if he regains 100% of his pre-surgery stuff he'll be an upgrade over Condrey.

i'm more curious who's going to be packing the new yankee stadium after the first few weeks of the season. a healthy chunk of their ticket base (wall st, etc.) is out of work or at reduced comp. who is going to shell out $200,000 for season tix? what company's are going to justify millions for luxury boxes given the sad state of corporate america? i'm probably wrong, but i wouldn't be surprised if the yanks face some economic blowback. i kinda hope so...

The 2008 Phillies were better against lefthanded pitching:

vs RHP .757 OPS 140 HR 3842 AB
vs LHP .801 OPS 74 HR 1667 AB

Johan Santana faced the Phillies 5 times. How can you obsess over Ibanez's struggles vs LHP while dismissing his performance against Johan Santana?

There are 11 lefthanded starting pitchers in the National League. Johan Santana is by far the best and the one we face most often. He also happens to be our rival's greatest hope against us. If Ibanez's performance against Santana is not relevant, define relevance.

from forbes (article dated april 2008): in 2007 the Yanks operating income was -47.1 million.

The most profitable team? The washington nationals with 43.7 mil.

I can't imagine losing close to $50mil a year consistently for a long period of time. It'll have to die out sooner or later right?

yankees were (-47.1 mil)

I agree about Majewski. He's not a bad depth signing on a minor league deal incase there is an injury to the bullpen.

bap: So we should have one man(Bud Selig) arbitrarily decide when a team is spending too much? When it has crossed the line into conferring too big of a competitive advantage?

And I'm sure you think the Phillies "greedy" FO should spend more money on the team... but wouldn't that just be unfair to the Pirates, who have less than $50 mil at their disposal every year?

that does not count merchandise - world wide...the YES network etc...the yanks in no way lost money

The Baesball team of the Yankees lost that money. Not the TV station that they own, and all the other marketing income that they bring in. The Yankees owners make tons of money each year, this is why this franchise is worth more then any other team.
Also any season ticket holder for the Yanks should demand that they spend this much on their team since they pay so much for season tickets.

Majewski...Majewski...

Wasn't there a Charles Bronson film about him? Bio-pic, maybe?

Who cares that the Yankees signed Mark Texieria? Yes they spend a lot of money but they can. Baseball needs a minimum % of revenue spending cap more than they need a salary cap. Teams like the Marlins and Pirates make money they just don't invest that back into the team. IMO, the TEx signing is the first real impact signing of the Yankees. Sabathia is good but he is only a half-season removed from being knocked around by the American League, and he was rode like a horse down the stretch in the NL and was bad again in the playoffs.

Burnett is a .500 pitcher career-wise except for this past season and is a huge injury risk.

Kudos to Nats management though for going 9/180 on Mark. I don't think it makes them a contender or anything but it could have been the type of move that shows interest to their fans. Even just pursuing it as long as they did makes it look like they tried. A line-up with Milledge, Zimmerman, and Tex though would've had a puncher's chance in a number of games.

Clout: Who was carrying the flag on Majewski last week?

Brian G.: That "slippery slope" argument doesn't work for me. It's like saying the line between political fund-raising and bribery is gray; therefore, bribery shouldn't be a crime.

Yes, the commissioner should (and does) have the power to block moves that are clearly against the best interest of baseball. That power exists and it shouln't be exercised veyr often. But there are times when it should be and this is one of those times.

There are certainly ambiguities in deciding where to draw the line between letting teams spend as they wish and preserving the integrity of the game. But that does not mean that the line shouldn't be drawn somewhere. Frankly, I was pretty close to thinking the line should be drawn after the Burnett signing. Now I believe we're well beyond the line.

bap: Are you serious? You actually think the Comissioner should have stepped in and not allowed the Yankees to sign Teixeira? You realize that punishes not only the Yankees, but Teixiera as well, right? So you'd be telling Mark Teixiera: "sorry you thought you were getting a free market deal, actually we're gonna go ahead and use you as an example, while every other player of the last ten years was allowed to cash in." And this would be fair, how exactly?

Tex and Boras would sue MLB in an instant and they would, and should, win.

BAP's argument-like most of his are- is insane

And, yes, Brian G., I DO think/wish the Phillies would spend more money. But wishing that the largest monopoly market team in baseball would have a payroll higher than 13th out of 30 teams is not exactly inconsistent with thinking that it is bad for baseball to have a single team buying up every top player on the market with a payroll that is more than double that of any other team in baseball.

There is a luxury tax system in place to prevent/deter teams from doing exactly what the Yankees are doing this off-season. That luxury tax clearly isn't deterring them at all. They lost gobs of money last year and they will lose gobs of money this year. What does Hank Steinbrenner care? He's a spoiled little brat whose father's net worth is in the billions.

Yeah, like Bud is known for doing the right thing....

It's going to sweet when the Phils beat the Yank$ in the 2009 World Series.

Phils in 5.

jack/truth: So you think it is just fine for the competitive balance in baseball that one team can buy up literally all the top players on the FA market?

And please . . . don't give me this lawsuit hogwash. What would the grounds for that lawsuit be? Professional sports leagues are allowed to set up rules which ensure a competitive balance in their league, and sometimes those rules interfere with an individual player's freedom of movement.

I'd certainly be more upset about this if it was the Mets doing it.

All those egos....how are you going to build chemistry on a team where everyone is always counting their money? Still, I'm glad the Phils won it this year because the Yankees (because they spend SO MUCH MONEY) are going to win the next 5 WS.

SEASON=OVER until 2014.

bap: And a Yankees fan could argue that you wishing the Phils would spend more money because of their market size is consistent with them wanting their team to spend more money considering the size of their market, and how much money they make in tv and merchandising, etc.

Once again, you realize that your making an argument that gives more money to the owners, and less to the players, right? You want MLB to force that 180 million back into the Steinbrenners' pockets, and force Mark Teixiera to play somewhere else, or for less money? That's blatantly unfair.

bap: No, an appropriate analogy would've been letting President Bush(one man) arbitrarily decide during the election season when Obama's enormous fundraising advantage conferred too big an advantage for him that it was distorting the election process. I'm fairly certain you would've been against that.

And you keep asserting that this is "clearly" against the best interest of baseball, but I don't know how clear that is. More people pay attention when the Yankees are good. Them being the evil empire drives interest in the game. That's certainly a good thing. Yes, the Yankees (and Red Sox.. and Phillies for that matter) have a competitive advantage by being able to spend more than other teams, but the Yankees also haven't won the World Series in 8 years, so it's not like all the intrigue is being stripped away. Entertaining and competitive games are still played every year.

"What would the grounds for that lawsuit be? Professional sports leagues are allowed to set up rules which ensure a competitive balance in their league, and sometimes those rules interfere with an individual player's freedom of movement."

1. The "leagues" don't set the rules by themselves, they bargain with a players' union.

2. Say a lawsuit was out of the picture, congrats on ending the 2009 season via players' strike Commissioner BAP.

And the Phillies payroll wasn't 13th, it was 10th(sorry, the Thome money counts), with only Detroit and Seattle teams that you could say they should be spending more than.

In other not surprising news...
Mets Deep In Negotiations With Lowe
By Tim Dierkes [December 23 at 4:21pm CST]
According to Yahoo's Gordon Edes, the Mets are deep in negotiations with free agent starter Derek Lowe. However, the Mets have yet to make an offer.

Brian G: Now, the Lowe-Mets possible deal actually affects us. I hope the Commish steps in and blocks it. Totally unfair to everyone.

Also, BAP will now officially be known as the Commish.

MLB should be embarrassed. New York Yankees fans should be embarrassed. With that being said, I look forward to the end of September when the Yankees fail to make the playoffs, AGAIN.

baxter: Two things that may shock you:

1. hitters numbers vs. individual pitchers tend to fluctuate wildly year to year.

2. The Phillies numbers vs. LHP last year may have something to do with Pat Burrell's .952 OPS, which was second only to Jayson Werth.

Again, it's great that Ibanez has had good numbers vs. Santana and I hope your favorite player leads the Phillies to another World Championship as you seem to think he will. But my point is this: You would be hard pressed to find something more miniscule in relevance to the Phillies success in 2009 than Ibanez numbers vs. Santana. Your harping on this point is equal in its stupidity to someone saying that Ibanez is a bum because he didn't hit Barry Zito.

Funny. The NBA has a salary cap and there have been no lawsuits. The NFL has a salary cap and there have been no lawsuits. These leagues both concluded that it's better for competitive balance to prevent one team from buying up all the top players. But God forbid I suggest that it's bad for the sport when the same thing happens in baseball.

While we're letting the Yankees acquire all the most expensive FAs, let's just do away with professional sports drafts too. After all, the draft is a serious restriction on players' freedom of movement. And let's also declare Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels & Shane Victorino free agents. It's not fair that they are forced to play for the Phillies rather than being permitted to sell their services to the highest bidder.

bap: You're not being criticized for suggesting a salary cap. I'm not particularly against a salary cap in baseball. You're being criticized for (1) ignoring that the NBA and NFL salary caps were part of agreements made by the leagues with their respective players' unions and (2) suggesting Bud Selig should arbitrarily be allowed to decide when one team's spending gives it too much of a competitive advantage... actually, now I'm going to criticize you for (3) creating the strawman that anyone here has actually argued that all restriction on player movement should be eliminated.

I wouldn't base any argument on the NBA's salary system. It's a joke.

It's good in a way to see the Yanks become even more of a traveling All Star team...they play the Mets 6 times every year and recently they've been really mediocre in the early months of the season when they play the SUBWAY SERIES!!

The Players Union would probably live with a salary cap as long as a salary floor was implemented. I think I read somewhere that teams like Florida spend less on players than they get from revenue sharing alone.

They've had the highest payroll for the past 7 seasons without winning it all. Why is this signing all of a sudden the death knell of baseball as we know it?

Mets will have added K-Rod, Putz, Lowe & Green to their pitching staff, nothing to their offense. I think they need another outfielder, which they'll probably get.

Bullpen is much better, rotation is better.

Phillies replace Burrell with Ibanez and re-sign Moyer & Eyre and add Paulino and Mayberry. They need a good righty OF bat off the bench. Don't know if they'll get one.

Should be an interesting season.

The NBA salary cap system is a joke, because they combined guaranteed contracts with it (which MLB also has), which means that teams are constantly trying to trade bad contracts in order to get out from under salary cap hell. There's also a key difference: MLB teams make far more money than NBA teams, meaning they have more money to spend.

The NFL is great for fans, but horrible for players. Their salaries are limited by the salary cap, and their contracts aren't gauranteed. No pro sports union in their right mind would agree to the deal that the NFLPA has, and certainly not one as powerful as the MLBPA.

This signing isn't really that big of a deal, in my opinion, Tex with Atlanta never seemed like the kind of player that Howard is, in that he can single handidly change the game. I know all the stat heads think tex is the best or second best 1st basemen in the league, but did he ever really have the impact in Atlanta against the Phils?

Regardless, I don't thing the Yankees have even increased their payroll much from last year, even with these three big signings. They had about, what, $75M come off the payroll? I'm going by memory, but didn't Giambi@20M, Mussina@15M, Pettite@15M, Pavano@10M, Abreu@15 all come off the books?

Yo, new thread

ironpigs.wordpress.com
go ironpigs

How do you think Manny Ramirez is feeling about being represented by Scott Boras right now? He stands in line behind Texeira and then watches Boras send Texeira to one of his few viable landing spots. At this point, who else but the Dodgers is in the mix? The Angels have publicly said he is not coming there.

If Boras can get 4 yr / 80+ million for him at this point, he will be earning every cent of his commission.

manny ramirez will be a met

The NBA is the worst example to use for a salary cap. It's so restrictive and complicated that they had to create numerous exemptions and exceptions so teams could sign new players. Then the teams simply started cheating, so there's really little or no cap. (The most recent example I believe was players 'retiring' so their contracts were voided, and then they would 'unretire' to sign with a new team for a lesser deal, beating the cap.)
The real problem is that rosters are so small that signing one big superstar contract can make or break your franchise for years.

The NFL cap is much more disciplined and in fact rewards teams that manage their cap well. As far as the players go, the real money is in the guaranteed signing bonus more than the salary itself. The league thrives on it's impact players and stars, so they get the real $$. For the rest of the players, they're interchangeable and their careers are so short that it's not worth fighting over a salary structure except for that signing bonus.

If MLB instituted a salary cap, they should include a salary 'floor' (minimum). If no direct cap, they could still implement some alternatives. For example, no team can have a payroll more than twice (pick a multiple) the lowest payroll team. Another might be something like no team can increase their payroll by more than a certain percent (20%, for example) over the previous season if they were in the top 10 in payroll the previous season, while teams listed in the bottom 10 might be required to increase their payroll by a minimum % (20% again) from the previous season (or lose revenue-sharing money).
These things can be negotiated by owners and players and does not limit individual player salaries. It does provide some minimal lever for balance.


The NBA is the worst example to use for a salary cap. It's so restrictive and complicated that they had to create numerous exemptions and exceptions so teams could sign new players. Then the teams simply started cheating, so there's really little or no cap. (The most recent example I believe was players 'retiring' so their contracts were voided, and then they would 'unretire' to sign with a new team for a lesser deal, beating the cap.)
The real problem is that rosters are so small that signing one big superstar contract can make or break your franchise for years.

The NFL cap is much more disciplined and in fact rewards teams that manage their cap well. As far as the players go, the real money is in the guaranteed signing bonus more than the salary itself. The league thrives on it's impact players and stars, so they get the real $$. For the rest of the players, they're interchangeable and their careers are so short that it's not worth fighting over a salary structure except for that signing bonus.

If MLB instituted a salary cap, they should include a salary 'floor' (minimum). If no direct cap, they could still implement some alternatives. For example, no team can have a payroll more than twice (pick a multiple) the lowest payroll team. Another might be something like no team can increase their payroll by more than a certain percent (20%, for example) over the previous season if they were in the top 10 in payroll the previous season, while teams listed in the bottom 10 might be required to increase their payroll by a minimum % (20% again) from the previous season (or lose revenue-sharing money).
These things can be negotiated by owners and players and does not limit individual player salaries. It does provide some minimal lever for balance.


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