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#21 sdangus

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 08:03 PM

 

Articles like this remind me of why I deal with a nagging nausea about the game I fell in love with back in 1961 as a small child, this over my stern father's objection and his disdain for us lazy, idle types who created a drain on the nation's GDP by twittering away the hours on frivolous entertainment.

 

The man died unhappy. I continue to rebel. But it gets harder and harder to savor it.

 

Any day I want, I can pop into a coffee shop after hopping out of a vehicle 75% of my fellow citizens can't afford. Shell out for a $5 latte and read an article like this from an expensive device, enjoying subscriptions to a number of media sources. I can afford to do something 95% of Americans can't afford to do, which is to order $65 tickets to a game while munching on a $14 cheeseburger with those fancy fries in the tony restaurant next to the stadium. A place whose revenues and profits are inextricably tied to those of the baseball club and to the tax burdens of all. I can go home later and settle in to watch MLB.com because I can afford $150 per month for cable TV if I want.

 

My point is this: if we could magically pare revenues that flow into your average baseball enterprise by 50%, the whole complex, intertwined shebang would still represent an anguishing, wretched excess, simply because it's become the exclusive domain of those among us who merely flinch at the $9 price of a stadium beer.

 

For me personally, I couldn't give a rat's *ss about the players getting their "fair share" of the pie. I'd like them all to make 10% of what they do to be honest. There's no mystery in the unassailable fact that baseball's appeal has deadened for many. I snuck off to Met Stadium occasionally. My paper route money allowed me to do something some of my other classmates could't do. These days, I've made a painful choice to avoid most of what the supporters of stadium bills describe as a boon to GDP, including trips to Target Field. It's silly, I know.

 

Will the industry rue the day when the remaining fans hit their clearing price? My own millennial kids have cut the cord with both baseball and Comcast and moved on. They never had the kind of connection that I had with Zoilo, Camilo, Cesar, Kitty, and Harmon. I was in the financial services business my entire career, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how cable deals get better and how baseball franchises continue to appreciably increase in value from here on out. Who can afford this mess?

 

The greed is suffocating. Owners, players, businesses, and fans alike.

 


#22 sdangus

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 08:13 PM

I agree with 'birdwatcher'. The greed on both sides is forcing more and more people out of the ability to afford to attend or even watch games. Why are we as fans so stupid that we allowed the owners and the greedy players the opportunity to pick our pockets to the degree they do? I mean really, players making $35million a year. Teams worth $2-3 Billion. WE did that. WE allowed it to happen. I am from the same generation as 'birdwatcher' it seems, and it makes me sick as well.


#23 TheLeviathan

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 09:04 PM

This seems related.

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#24 Vanimal46

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 09:39 PM

This seems related.


This article speaks to my soul as a fan... It's dumbfounding to say this about a competitive sport, but it's true in MLB. There is more competition to lose games than there is to win.

There isn't a better time to make win now moves than right now for a team stuck in a purgatory of mediocrity.
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#25 biggentleben

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:08 PM

 

Minor league baseball players are no different than aspiring artists, musical performers, actors/actresses and many other professions. Or for that matter insurance salesmen or real estate agents. You get payed for your performance, pure and simple. The better you perform, the more opportunities you get, and the more earning power you achieve. 

In the long run, it isn't a whole lot different than most jobs. You start out at the bottom and work your way up.

I realize that most minor league ball players don't earn enough to live on. But that is the reason most of them work in the off season. Most can't make it on talent alone. They have to WANT it. 

 

It's very, very different. Teams require hours out of their minor leaguers to put in certain amount of time, yet on average, a player at the complex level earns less than your average food service worker - and significantly less.

 

No one is saying that every minor league player should be paid millions. I'm not sure where you get your information, but most minor leaguers aren't able to work in the offseason as they are required by their teams to be at certain workouts, often sent to overseas leagues, and subject to being traded all offseason and having to start a relationship with a new organization.

 

One minor league "lifer" recently made the major league 40-man, and it was the first year that he said he'd be able to show an income over $30K. He'd spent almost a decade in the minor leagues, working all the way up to AAA. If you're okay with that staying the same, that's all well and good, but I'd rather see those players forced to alter their lives for a decade rewarded for it.

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#26 biggentleben

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:10 PM

 

This article speaks to my soul as a fan... It's dumbfounding to say this about a competitive sport, but it's true in MLB. There is more competition to lose games than there is to win.

There isn't a better time to make win now moves than right now for a team stuck in a purgatory of mediocrity.

 

It's also why the Braves signing guys for one-year deals makes a ton of sense right now...add for 2019, don't take away any of the depth in the system that has you primed for years of competitiveness...

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#27 Vanimal46

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:15 PM

It's also why the Braves signing guys for one-year deals makes a ton of sense right now...add for 2019, don't take away any of the depth in the system that has you primed for years of competitiveness...


Definitely. The core is in place, now they can surround Freeman, Acuna, etc. with legitimate talent.

If I were in the Braves' shoes I'd also sacrifice a little bit of the farm for the pitching talent available for trade. I don't recall an off-season in recent memory where legitimate top of the rotation talent are on the trade block. Fans can argue where pitchers like Bumgarner & Thor fit into the rotation, but they're a hell of a lot better than the usual back of the rotation arms on the trade block in past years.

#28 biggentleben

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:27 PM

 

Definitely. The core is in place, now they can surround Freeman, Acuna, etc. with legitimate talent.

If I were in the Braves' shoes I'd also sacrifice a little bit of the farm for the pitching talent available for trade. I don't recall an off-season in recent memory where legitimate top of the rotation talent are on the trade block. Fans can argue where pitchers like Bumgarner & Thor fit into the rotation, but they're a hell of a lot better than the usual back of the rotation arms on the trade block in past years.

 

Bumgarner fits well with their plan to get guys who could get qualifying offers next fall as well. With the loss of IFA money, extra picks are going to be very valuable, which is why I could see them putting in extra players to acquire a CBA pick along with someone like Greinke or a Cleveland starter or even if they make a move for Domingo Santana with Milwaukee.

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#29 jkcarew

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:58 PM

 

No one's going to break rank-and-file to pay their minor leaguers more until the league enforces it, and there's absolutely money in the game to do so.

The minor league player's predicament is at least 50% the fault of the players union.The rank and file could have made minor league player pay/benefits a negotiating priority in previous collective bargaining sessions...and have repeatedly refused to do that.The greed has been quite evident on both sides through the years.

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#30 kab21

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 10:34 PM

 

On this issue, Jeff Passan's piece at Yahoo today is incredibly good and worth the read...

 

https://sports.yahoo...-035527945.html

 

The incredible thing to me is the amount of money spent on lobbying by MLB. It's been estimated that to bring the salary of every minor league player employed in the game to at least $100K, it would cost an additional $8 million (and that's if NONE of the minor league players are on 40-man rosters, which so many are, so there's likely additional savings, but I digress...). That's total throughout the entire league, not for each team. Yet, there's $3.7 million directly from the league donated to Congress over the last 17 years, let alone what owners privately gave, to ensure minor league players were underpaid in the spending bill provision tacked into this spring's spending bill in Congress.

 

Some of this gets into a blurry off-topic/baseball mixture, but the money is definitely around for MLB and individual teams to do much more for their players.

Those numbers just don't add up at all. Teams have at least 150 MiLB players x 30 teams. And if you were only talking about full season ball then there are close to a 100 players/team. 

Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

Offseason (noun) - a time to propose trades assuming opposing GM's can't do the same basic analysis


#31 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 06:13 AM

Those numbers just don't add up at all. Teams have at least 150 MiLB players x 30 teams. And if you were only talking about full season ball then there are close to a 100 players/team.


100 players x $80k (currently average 20k)= $8M per team. Ben seems to have the math right, he just incorrectly thinks that total is league wide, when it should be per team.

Edited by Mr. Brooks, 30 November 2018 - 06:16 AM.


#32 Kevin

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 07:09 AM

One minor league "lifer" recently made the major league 40-man, and it was the first year that he said he'd be able to show an income over $30K. He'd spent almost a decade in the minor leagues, working all the way up to AAA. If you're okay with that staying the same, that's all well and good, but I'd rather see those players forced to alter their lives for a decade rewarded for it.

But they're not forced to alter their lives.They sign contracts that they are not forced to sign.

I think minor league players are underpaid but they're not forced in to it.

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#33 kab21

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 08:35 AM

 

100 players x $80k (currently average 20k)= $8M per team. Ben seems to have the math right, he just incorrectly thinks that total is league wide, when it should be per team.

That was what my napkin math was showing. 8M is a pretty significant expense for a team. I think they could certainly increase the pay though. Perhaps doubling (an extra 2M/team) would be huge for the MiLB players and be somewhat manageable for the team.

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Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

Offseason (noun) - a time to propose trades assuming opposing GM's can't do the same basic analysis


#34 Tomj14

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 08:45 AM

 

That was what my napkin math was showing. 8M is a pretty significant expense for a team. I think they could certainly increase the pay though. Perhaps doubling (an extra 2M/team) would be huge for the MiLB players and be somewhat manageable for the team.

The teams will recoup that money somehow, remember the teams don't pay the salaries the fans do. Adding 8 million in payroll would raise the tickets of the major league games by about a dollar give or take.


#35 Mike Sixel

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 09:54 AM

If your business can only survive by paying wages so low people can't live, then you need a new business model. I know not everyone agrees, but it seems to work pretty well in every Western country but this one....

 

Minor league players are under paid. In addition to how low their wages are, they aren't paid for spring training, or extended, or any time like that. They have to pay for their own equipment. I'm assuming most here aren't paying for their desk, work computer, and other equipment every year. I'd pay every player in A+ or above some number, say, 50K, plus food. In A and lower, I'd give them free housing and food and some smaller pay number. And, an equipment allowance. And I don't mean 1 meal a day.....

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#36 rdehring

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 10:03 AM

 

On this issue, Jeff Passan's piece at Yahoo today is incredibly good and worth the read...

 

https://sports.yahoo...-035527945.html

 

The incredible thing to me is the amount of money spent on lobbying by MLB. It's been estimated that to bring the salary of every minor league player employed in the game to at least $100K, it would cost an additional $8 million (and that's if NONE of the minor league players are on 40-man rosters, which so many are, so there's likely additional savings, but I digress...). That's total throughout the entire league, not for each team. Yet, there's $3.7 million directly from the league donated to Congress over the last 17 years, let alone what owners privately gave, to ensure minor league players were underpaid in the spending bill provision tacked into this spring's spending bill in Congress.

 

Some of this gets into a blurry off-topic/baseball mixture, but the money is definitely around for MLB and individual teams to do much more for their players.

I am all for increased salaries for minor league players.But I believe your estimate of $8 million for all of baseball is not accurate.

 

The Twins have almost 200 minor league players throughout their organization...with at least 180 not on the 40-man roster.About a hundred of these are in the lower levels (DSL, GCL, and Appy League) where I expect they earn $15,000 or less per year.To bring all of those to $100,000 would cost at least $8,500,000 (100*$85,000) for the Twins only. And that doesn't include all of their four full season teams, which would add several more million.

 

I understand all the arguments saying this is like an apprenticeship and the cost of making it to the big leagues.Still doesn't mean these kids should be under the poverty line, however.Would be fantastic if these kids in the rookie leagues got at least $25,000 with reasonable raises for all the full-season teams with perhaps a $50,000 minimum.That would probably cost the Twins a couple million dollars a year and I for one think it is something the Twins and baseball should consider.


#37 biggentleben

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 06:52 PM

 

Those numbers just don't add up at all. Teams have at least 150 MiLB players x 30 teams. And if you were only talking about full season ball then there are close to a 100 players/team. 

 

It's ADDITIONAL $8 million, not $8 million total.

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#38 biggentleben

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 06:54 PM

 

100 players x $80k (currently average 20k)= $8M per team. Ben seems to have the math right, he just incorrectly thinks that total is league wide, when it should be per team.

 

No, it's additional. There are multiple minor leaguers who are on 40-man rosters and make that much already in each org, plus you are taking the difference for each player to $100K, not pure $100K on each player.

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#39 biggentleben

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 06:57 PM

 

But they're not forced to alter their lives.They sign contracts that they are not forced to sign.

I think minor league players are underpaid but they're not forced in to it.

 

In many cases, the player is providing for his family out of the country. They aren't forced to sign the contracts, but there is often some tremendous misleading by the teams about what they'll be providing and paying for in the training between seasons.

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#40 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 07:19 PM

No, it's additional. There are multiple minor leaguers who are on 40-man rosters and make that much already in each org, plus you are taking the difference for each player to $100K, not pure $100K on each player.


My math reflects those things.
There is no way it's only $8 million across the whole league.
$8 million across the whole league would only be about 3k per player.
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