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Thursday, March 18, 2010


This will also give opportunity to keeping Herndon around a bit to test him and hope that LAA doesn't want him back. And really, I could care less about the Lidge or Romero missing the 1st week or so of the season. It's not like Howard and Utley being out of the lineup.

But how can we beat the Nats without him?

I don't think Lidge beung a week or so late to start the season is at all bad.
Let him get his stuff together in FLA in extended spring training and let Madson get some early season closer exposure.
What would be bad would be if the closer job was in limbo again at crunch time in Sept. and Oct.

Not to revive the discussion from the last thread, but this post from curt bears repeating since it is almost never acknowledged on Beerleaguer:

"It cracks me up that people imagine that teams "budget" so that there is enough "profit" each month or year so that the owners can afford bread and milk. Sports teams are capital investments, tax shelters and vanity projects, and not necessarily in that order. Anyone needing an income can't afford to play."

Annual income is irrelevant to baseball teams. They are not a business in the traditional sense. They are investment vehicles with a payoff that comes when it is sold. Because they are a monopoly, that investment never goes down, only up.

It cracks me up when people with Hendrick's or Bombay Sapphire gin tastes try to act like they are getting served Seagrams Dry at the bar instead of the actual Tanqueray or Beefeater they are really being served.

Lidge on the ZoZone says
" I think our team can cover just about anybody at any position for a week or two. That's the fortunate part of being on a team as good as us."
Man, thats a feeling we don't feel every year .

Oh and MPN, I'll have a Makers Mark if you're pouring.

Dead right, clout, curt.

Major props to JW for writing that last post...someone has got to say it.

From the last thread~

Dan in Philly. I wasn't specifically talking about a large stadium such as the Vet etc. I merely suggested that a stadium with a slightly larger capacity than 43K would help, say 46-48K.

When you win like the Phils have been you probably would have no trouble filling the extra seats. The question then becomes would the extra revenue generated by the extra ticket sales etc. cover the additional cost to operate a slightly larger stadium?

I understand why they put a cap on season ticket sales. It's to allow non-season ticket holders to buy any avalable tickets to games. I realize these types of problems affect most teams. I know there are limits to what can be done. But even if the team was sold to Comcast, how do we know payroll would be increased if and when necessary? We don't.

A lot a people are probably not able financially to go to games anymore. They are being priced right out of it. Think of it. What would the great players such as Mays, Mantle, Schmidt, Aaron, and tons of others earn today if they were playing and in their primes?

In order to bring fiscal sanity back to the game, some drastic things have to occur. No more $250 million contracts to A-Rod or 160 million for Manny. But then the owners get sued for collusion. So then what? There are only so many ways to teams' to increase revenues and something has to give.

It is true that owners make money on the appreciation of the franchises and that for a lot of owners they are useful tax vehicles. It's for that reason that cries for a salary cap are misplaced--that would be taking money out of players' hands and put back into the billionaire's pockets. I don't begrudge players any money, and they should get as much as they can.

That said, the team absolutely can and should win with a 140 million dollar payroll, and I have no problem if that's the limit. Fans of most teams in baseball would laugh about us calling our ownership cheap right now. They've raised payroll every year, as revenues have grown, as you would hope they would. Not sure what there is to complain about.

If there's complaints about not signing FAs in their 30s to long-term deals, well, let me just throw out there that there is some baseball justification for that as well.

We'll likely go into the season with the 3rd highest payroll in baseball behind Boston and NYY and still people complain about payroll.

****But even if the team was sold to Comcast, how do we know payroll would be increased if and when necessary? We don't.

If anyone thinks payroll would go up under a Comcast ownership, they're insane. A huge corporation buying a team as an investment is not very likely to raise costs like that. It never happens. Ask the Braves how their payroll went after Ted Turner sold out to Time Warner or the Jays under Rogers Communications.

NEPP: I'm not sure JW, and certainly not myself, are complaining about this season's payroll. Speaking for myself, my complaint is about misunderstanding how the business of baseball works and what the true value of a franchise is in terms of the owners' profit.

So I will clash from time to time with lapdog, knee-jerk defenders of everything management does financially (like yourself) especially when those lapdogs use total spending as their benchmark as opposed to what the accrued capital gain is for ownership.

That said, I do agree with Jack that you ought to be able to maintain a winner with a $140 million payroll at this moment in time. I also think if you've accrued hundreds of millions of dollars in profit on your investment -- and can expect hundreds more over the next few years -- you probably should spread the wealth a bit by keeping your best players.

A copy of Robb Report would probably be helpful when making predictions about the Phillies future. If some really nice new yachts or jets are coming out soon, you can forget about re-signing Werth.

In the 1990's everyone wanted Comcast to buy the Phillies.

I have seen Comcast in action with your 3, 4, 5, 76ers and Flyers. If that is an example of big company ownership, I think I will stick to the current ownership.

NEPP, I don't think they're complaining about the payroll (OK, maybe soem of them are), but I think they are merely "encouraging" the Phillies t find some way to re-sign Werth.

Since team ownership and profits are being discussed in this thread, it's alos fair to point out that the Phillies DO own 33.3% of Comcast SportsNet:

(I'll ass-u-me Wikipedia is accurate.)

So, based on that, I'd wager a guess that they see a not insubstantial sum of money flow from that operation, and not just from the Phillies' broadcasts. CSN carries a lot of "Paid Programming" (infomercials), so I'm sure the Phillies get some slice of those revenues too.

Keep in mind that because of the longer season the Phillies broadcast more games on CSN than any other team. And the ratings jumped through the roof last season, up 24.3%.

Link :

The Phillies' TV viewership is higher than all but 2 teams, and I'll bet you can guess who: NYY and BOS. (Yes, higher than the Mets and Cubs).

So, there are not only ticket sales, but increased ad' revenue also.

No one but the FO knows what the cash flow from TV is down at the Zen, but it is not small.

But remember, this is new territory for Bill Giles & Co. They've never had it so good, so it may take a while for them to realize that if they keep a contender on the field, their revenues may be permanently higher.

It amy take some getting used to for them.

Now, I am in no way apologizing for them.

I remember how Giles and the other owners, through mismanagement - "sorry Bill, John, there is no other way to charcterize it" - ran the franchise down about as far as it could go. And they may be psycologially scarred by the fallout and drop in revenues from 13 LOSING SEASONS IN 14 YEARS.

"But Bill, let me remind you: You were running the team - not us - so IT WAS YOUR FAULT!"

It may very well be that payroll is being set at an arbitrary number. They may be able to re-sign Werth AND Howard and extend Rollins in 2012.

But they're the only ones who know this.

Hopefully, they'll make the right blend of baseball and financial decisions that will allow them to stay competitive and keep the turnstiles spinning and the TVs set to CSN.

Maybe, just maybe, they finally realize they're in a position to possibly become the #1 sports franchise in Philly.

As far as TV revenues are concerned, the Phisl were watched by an average of 210,000 households (HH) in 2009.

With the average HH at 2.6 people, that's a potential audience of 500,000+. Given that not every person in the house was watching, that still probably translates into 300-350,000 viewers. Add that to the 43,000 at the Zen, and almost 1 out of 10 people in the Philly area were either at the game or watching the Phillies when they were on TV.

That's pretty substantial.

Only those with Comcast could watch every game shown - Not all have Comcast

MPN, if you're pouring hte Makers, I'll take one, too.

No surprise that Lidge is looking a little behind. Hopefully, it works out like '08 and he hits the ground running sometime later in the month of April. I think Madson's the right call to take hte ball in Lidge's stead at this stage. He has a strong track record with this team, even if his work in the last inning has been less than stellar. I'd be loath to throw Baez into that role out of the chute based solely on the grounds htat "he's done it before." I'd like to see what he's got, first.

As for Herndon, if they hold onto him past opening day, they may still offer him back when Lidge returns. Typically, guys like him are hidden on the roster and used sparingly and/or in low leverage situations. I think it's going to be tough to carry a guy like that all year. If he sticks, it will be because he's pitching well and contributing.

fljerry, I understand that. The viewership number that's in the link I posted does not differentiate on which cable system people watched the game, but I'd wager a guess that the number is fairly accurate.

Bottom line: Phillies viewership is up, and thus, so are advertizing and team revenues.

Hugh, I knew we had to have something in common besides the Phils. Maker's is the bourbon of choice in these parts. Nothing better than a highball glass filled with ice and Maker's. ;-)

awh - I prefer mine neat but, I'll take it that way, too. As a matter of fact, it's quitting time. Might stop at my favorite spot and enjoy one while I watch the basketball scores roll by and my brackets crumble to dust.

Oh, and on topic.....I'm on record already.

They should hold Lidge back as long as it takes for him to get healthy, even if he misses the first two months. Romero too.

This team is good enough to stay in in the hunt until they return.....IMHO.

Tanqueray has a very distinctive taste in comparison to other brands of Gin. And yes I can tell the difference.

Sean - I hate gin. And, you've got red on you.

then stop wasting your taste buds, sean...

and drink bluecoat or junipero...

tanqueray is the miller lite of gins, son....

This date in Phillies History . . .
1955 - Phils purchase contract of right hander Dave Cole from the Cubs. On learning of the transaction, Cole remarks "That's too bad. They're the only team I can beat." He's right. In only 7 appearances with the Phils, Cole fails to record a win, finishing out his career in the high minors.


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