Archive for the ‘Bud Selig’ Category

In Major League baseball, there is no salary cap, nor is there a minimum salary a team must spend on their payroll. The contract the owners give out is all guaranteed money.  Now why do you think the big market teams are quite upset about having to pay the small market teams ?

Well, the big market teams spend to compete because they are expected to do so with the  financial resources they have at their fingertips. However what is happening is the small market teams are going out to dinner on the big  market teams tab, and buying the cheapest item on the menu, and writing off the most expensive item on the menu to get reimbursed with. The Yankees owner Hank Sterinbrenner is clearly livid over this practice:

Steinbrenner revealed the team contributed about $130 million between revenue sharing and luxury tax, the most of any team in the league and the most, according to Steinbrenner that the team has ever had to contribute. A few days ago, Sox CEO Larry Lucchino indicated the team contributed $86 million. This is obviously a sore subject for the Yankees and Red Sox.

Now, one of the biggest complaints of the Rays bumbling previous owner Vince Namoli is that he walked around with a fat wallet. It seems the Sternberg ownership walks around with the same type of wallets. But, The intent of the collective bargaining process was allowing for home grown players contracts from getting prohibitive before reaching free agency. The players were to take reasonable pay bumps in accordance of improved performance on the diamond. Instead, what we witnessed this off season from Rays was taking a moderate valued contract in Matt Garza and selling it for future dollars.

I can see why teams do not want to pay to help the other teams in general.  We have seen this in the marketplace even where we want to pay for our own healthcare and not be subject to paying for your neighbors.  It’s obvious the owners had already gone to the commissioner  and slapped the Marlins on the wrist for not spending their revenue sharing dollars on payroll. The result was Dan Uggla spent one year extra in Florida before they deemed him too expensive.

It was a speed bump on the radar and eventually the big market teams will come in greater numbers and show they are serious. Selig can only stall them so long.

In his latest installment, N.Y. Daily News baseball columnist Bill Madden wonders if Bud Selig will be a lame duck commissioner with the ownership problems facing baseball. The Mets, Dodgers,, Rays, and A’s are featured and this is what he says about the Tampa Bay Rays.

Meanwhile, just as vexing – and pressing – for Selig are the Tampa Bay and Oakland situations. Tampa Bay owner Stuart Sternberg has said emphatically the Rays can not survive long-term at Tropicana Field in downtown St. Petersburg, despite an ironclad lease that binds them to the dome until 2027. He goes on to say there is no way the Rays will still be in Tropicana in 2027. But where will they be? Between the absence of any more major league-ready cities for which to re-locate, the adament stance of the city fathers of St. Petersburg regarding the lease, and the depressed economy in Florida that would seem to preclude a taxpayer-paid ballpark on the I-4 corridor east of Tampa (where most people agree is the most viable site), the Rays appear captives. After averaging just 23,000 fans – 22nd out of 30 MLB teams – last year, Sternberg cut the payroll of $72 million by nearly $20 million with the jetissoning of shortstop Jason Bartlett and righthander Matt Garza and the free-agent departures of Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. To his credit, GM Andrew Friedman received eight legitimate highly-regarded prospects in the respective trades of Bartlett to the San Diego Padres and Garza to the Chicago Cubs and, with 10 picks in the first two rounds of next June’s amateur draft, he’s positioned the Rays to remain competitive for years to come. What a pity their fan base can’t support them.

I am one who thinks that the economic situation in Florida has a lot to due with the attendance numbers. It’s not so much the fans lack of support as the Rays have some of the best radio and TV numbers. I think moving to a new location won’t make that much of a difference. As we have seen with Marlins, the ownership groups just don’t have the consistent revenue streams that the big markets do. We have seen salary purging right after the Marlins won the world series. This is no different than what the Rays are faced with. They will have to let popular players walk. The Rays did turn a slight profit here the past few years. But, do you own a team to make a slight profit or to win a championship? In this case ownership will continue to work on the model that put a winner on field on a regular basis. However, the fans suffer as their favorite players won’t be around as long as they would like them to be.