Thread: MLB News

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Baseball has been on a downhill plunge ever since the tanking teams discovered they could still make money. And the reason they can is the TV revenue, local and national.

But even that golden goose can be killed, and is being killed, by the declining popularity of baseball. Don't the owners care?

They are doing a great job of seeming not to care. Is that because the people who own teams now have so much money that they can afford not to care? It really doesn't matter to them if the baseball side of their holdings increases their net worth. The fun is the combat with the players, the fun of winning that battle, not the one on the field, which 29 winning-obsessed zillionaires are going to lose each year, no matter what.

Anyway, that's one of my theories.

Alex Patton Alex

Another point on the prevention of tanking.  The players seem concerned about deterring it while the owners don't.  And I get why, as tanking teams don't wanna "waste" revenue on player salaries in a tanking year.  That is why they invest revenue in facilities, advanced analytics, developing young players, etc.  Anything but player salaries.

And for me, the effect mimics the anti-dumping/anti-tanking debates many of us have had in roto leagues over the years.  In discussions regarding our home league, Texpope and I have always agreed that with respect to tanking, the difference between Roto and MLB is that MLB owners feel the need to put "butts in seats," while Roto owners have no such need.  But maybe that distinction is fading in recent years, as media revenues have soared and stadium revenues make up a smaller share of the pie?  And maybe the ironic result is that MLB tanking mimics Roto tanking more each year? 

MLB mimicking Roto, and not vice-versa.  Funny.

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX

Better said, Eugene.  That is why you are an attorney and I'm not.  Nonetheless, it seems to me that the players are now attempting to advance the discussions while the owners appear to remain content with talking past the players.  Even the owners' supposed moves toward player positions are paltry (tiny minimum salary bumps, draft pick lottery of only 3 teams, microscopic CBT threshhold increases) or come with poison pills (universal free agency at age X, regardless of service time). 

To me the owners are basically saying that they like the previous CBA and don't intend on making any real concessions or dropping any demands.  But I am admittedly on the players' side in this.  Do you have that same sense?

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX

Not to be pedantic, but concessions are when you give up something you already have. Withdrawing a proposal that was getting no traction with the other side when you have higher priorities is not a concession. It's merely withdrawing a proposal.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed

So the players actually proposed some concessions today.  So far as I can tell, the owners have not yet done so.  And Evan Drellich of the Athletic isn't hopeful about any changes from the owners anytime soon.  He notes that all previous concession proposals have been linked to poison pills.  Here is his summary:

"The players’ stated goal, which they’ve trumpeted for years, is to make substantive gains. Not to merely move money around in a redistribution from one segment of their constituency to another, such as old players to young. Now, at this point, the players are still undoubtedly asking for more than they will ultimately receive, and likely, even expect to receive. But the players feel they haven’t received much of anything. MLB is saying it won’t touch key areas where changes can add up to big dollars very quickly: time to free agency, time to arbitration and revenue sharing."

They will meet again tomorrow.  I am curious to see the reaction from owners.

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX

The good news: they met.

The bad news: there were a lot of empty chairs.

https://nypost.com/2022/01/13/mlb-lockout-players-underwhelmed-by-leagues-proposal/

Alex Patton Alex
Jan 14

If you are right, Eugene -- and I don't doubt that you are -- he absolutely belongs at the bargaining table. On the owners' side.

Alex Patton Alex
Jan 8

The same Jim Bowden who traded players without disclosing their medical conditions and was investigated by the FBI for theft of signing bonuses from international players and subsequently hasn't gotten a job in baseball?

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 8