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Zulgad: Is MLB really making return about dollars and cents?

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#81 Sconnie

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 10:09 AM

For employees, union dues are not "paying for something they already get for free". It's more like insurance premiums or attorney's fees than anything else. The purpose of a collective bargaining agreement is not to punish anyone. CBA's are simply the spelling out of provisions agreed to by both sides and of action to be taken if either side does not abide by the agreement. It benefits both management and employees to have this in place.

agreed, just like attorneys fees and insurance premiums.

Workers enter into CBAs because they have to, because the employers didn’t abide by their agreement, just like hiring a lawyer to sue someone who didn’t abide by their agreement.

If I agree to sell a car to you for $5, and then change the price to $6, I acted in bad faith and you have the right to sue me. If I’m an employer and I act in bad faith, you can sue me individually or you can organize to enforce contractual agreement.

If I offer to sell you a car for $5, and you hand me the $5 and I hand you the keys and title, why would you hire a lawyer?

Why did the players enter into a CBA with the league? Because the players never were allowed free agency or received raises from the early 1900s to the 1960s. The owners acted in bad faith and the union worked as it was supposed to.

#82 yarnivek1972

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 04:38 PM

I love statements like “players earn millions for playing a game”. That isn’t true.

They are paid millions because their unique skill allows them to generate millions and billions in revenue. Just like the unique skill of Bill Gates to see the demand for his products and services have earned him billions.

People in a free market society are compensated based on the revenue they produce with their labor input.
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#83 The Wise One

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 06:30 PM

 


If organizations treated their employees the way they should, fair pay, fair hours, quality and safe work environment, etc, then why would workers choose to forego a portion of their pay in union dues? Why would they pay for something they already get for free?

 

Pretty pie in the sky expectations.Not that it can't happen, not to say it doesn't happen in small groups. Look at history, It was rarely true

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#84 Sconnie

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 07:42 PM

Pretty pie in the sky expectations. Not that it can't happen, not to say it doesn't happen in small groups. Look at history, It was rarely true

There is a reason labor organizes, no?

But I believe part of the decline in unionization in the private sector is due to greater mobility. If people don’t like how their employer treats them, they leave. Therefore employers have been forced by competition to provide better, pay, environment, benefits, etc to attract and retain workers.

Where this doesn’t/hasn’t worked, is Monopsony and Cartels (like sports). There’s no where else for the workers to go. They have no real choice but to abide by the rules of the owners and league.

#85 old nurse

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 04:29 AM

 

These kinds of revenue increases are anticipated and payroll budgets are adjusted accordingly. IE Arizona signing Greinke after landing their TV deal. There are many other examples but they pale in comparison to simply looking at the increase in MLB salaries as compared to any other industry in the United States over the past 25 years.

 

It's not like MLB had trouble attracting players in 1995 when the average salary was $1.1M. According to this Forbes article, the average salary in 1995 was 1,110,766.Adjusted for inflation using this online toolthat would equate to $1,621,718.Players earned an average of 4.4M in 2017 which is 270% of the rate paid in 1995 after adjusting for inflation. 

The average increase in the valuation of  a team versus the increase in player pay over the same time period? Another perspective is If you look at operating income there would would be a 400% + increase over the last 10 years. People who make a few million versus 30 people who make billions


#86 Major League Ready

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 07:17 AM

 

I love statements like “players earn millions for playing a game”. That isn’t true.

They are paid millions because their unique skill allows them to generate millions and billions in revenue. Just like the unique skill of Bill Gates to see the demand for his products and services have earned him billions.

People in a free market society are compensated based on the revenue they produce with their labor input.

 

Regardless of how much revenue it generates. They are still playing a game. Sure, they work hard on their game. I work hard on my golf game. It's fun. Short of the people who inherited wealth, the people whop accumulate the wealth consistent with a MLB owner work extremely hard. Anyone here who has had bottom line responsibility for a 9-figure business or even an executive position worked very hard for that success doing things a lot less fun than playing baseball.

 

The point is they would play that game for an eight of what they are being paid because there is not an alternative for them that would pay better. That's also how a free economy works. If the owners were all as greedy as some of you make them to be, they could insist on making double what they are now. Sure the players could strike and the owners could find replacements. If Cole were a free agent with this new reality, would he refuse to go back to work for $200M instead of $300M and go get a job? MLB owners could definitely increase profitability within the limitations of anti-trust laws if they really wanted to do so. 

 

Let's compare relative greed during the pandemic. If owners, took the stance of players, they would be looking to make their normal 12% bottom line. Without looking it up, I think the average team makes a little over $40M year. Obviously, that not even remotely possible. Most business would have laid-off most of their employees. MLB owners have been very good to their employees so far.

 

Owners are not asking for terms that would off-set some losses if they go back to playing. Most likely, those losses would be increased even under the terms they have proposed. If they pay full contracts their losses would be even greater. There is a big difference between making less than taking $100M out of you pocket.


#87 ewen21

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 07:29 AM

 

EXACTLY. I'm not pitching (no pun intended) for either side. 

The insistence that one must pick a side on this issue is tired.Why do I h have to defend the owners if I rip the players for being idiots?


#88 ewen21

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 08:39 AM

 

 It is illogical that if you are not on the player's side on this that you are not on the owner's side. 

I can't say it enough times.Stop coming at me with the owners this the owners that.Sell it to someone else because I don't care.I don't care if the owners make ten trillion dollars every time they inhale.I am sick of the players thinking they are entitled to more than they already have.I am not a baseball owners fan.I am a baseball fan.Stop advocating for the players.They have a union, lawyers and agents working for them.

 

1. The players have seen their salaries increase by over 500% in since 1990

2. They have guaranteed contracts even if they play like garbage

3. Millions of baseball fans have lost their jobs, have no income and would like to watch baseball again

4. Millions of baseball fans also "risk their lives" every time they go to work (if they are lucky to still have a job)

 

Enough.

 

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#89 Sconnie

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 08:42 AM

Regardless of how much revenue it generates. They are still playing a game. Sure, they work hard on their game. I work hard on my golf game. It's fun. Short of the people who inherited wealth, the people whop accumulate the wealth consistent with a MLB owner work extremely hard. Anyone here who has had bottom line responsibility for a 9-figure business or even an executive position worked very hard for that success doing things a lot less fun than playing baseball.

The point is they would play that game for an eight of what they are being paid because there is not an alternative for them that would pay better. That's also how a free economy works. If the owners were all as greedy as some of you make them to be, they could insist on making double what they are now. Sure the players could strike and the owners could find replacements. If Cole were a free agent with this new reality, would he refuse to go back to work for $200M instead of $300M and go get a job? MLB owners could definitely increase profitability within the limitations of anti-trust laws if they really wanted to do so.


This is exactly why the players unionized. Prior to ‘76 players were not allowed free agency and with the antitrust exemption players wages were depressed artificially. It’s never been a free economy.


Why do people who perform a service for entertainment deserve a different valuation than people who do not? Supply and demand are still a part of the entertainment market, no?

Putting aside specifics, people who work at Disney world and put on the Cinderella costume did get laid off, 100k of them. Should those people just shrug their shoulders and say, “well, dressing up like Cinderella isn’t important, I’ll just take one for the team, the Disney Family needs to make more money”.

Heck no.

As a shareholder, that was the right thing to do, but for those individuals it was not. Now as Disney recalls workers, may have challenges as workers will identify risk with their job that they didn’t in the past. Both with contact with the public and future layoffs.

It’s a market decision for both the employee and employer, not an economic one. Economics is a factor, but the market sets the rate.

#90 ewen21

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 09:02 AM

 

This is exactly why the players unionized. Prior to ‘76 players were not allowed free agency and with the antitrust exemption players wages were depressed artificially. It’s never been a free economy.


 

Who cares about prior to 1976?Prior to 1976 I was still wearing bellbottom jeans and most of the people here weren't even born.I also don't see any parallel between baseball and people working at Disney.Any veteran ballplayer with more than a few years in should be fine taking a half salary this year.The league minimum is $555,000 for a year of service.They also get a $100 dollars a day in cash to feed themselves.There are Disney employees that don't even make the meal money players get in a week.I couldn't quote your analogy because it was too offensive to me.

 

There is no logical reason why athletes and entertainers should make as much as they do.It is beyond absurd at this point and to take the stance trolls like Snell and Harper took is disgraceful against the current backdrop.

 

I am done with this discussion.  


#91 laloesch

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 09:10 AM

I appreciate your perspective, and I worded my statement poorly.
If organizations treated their employees the way they should, fair pay, fair hours, quality and safe work environment, etc, then why would workers choose to forego a portion of their pay in union dues? Why would they pay for something they already get for free?
If management fails to do their job, they earn a unionized workforce to leverage collective bargaining to earn what every human deserves in employment.



No worries. Yes i agree. But there comes a point where an organization and it's union become bigger then their own shoes and lose perspective on their roots.I'm not gonna play one side or the other because i'm sure their is blame on both sides for what has taken place so far in negotiations.

I just have a difficult time empathizing with players and owners making millions upon millions of profits all coming from you and I and our hard won wages. Part of the reason our cable bills and county taxes are so high is money being directly funneled to sports teams.
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#92 Sconnie

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 09:15 AM

Who cares about prior to 1976? Prior to 1976 I was still wearing bellbottom jeans and most of the people here weren't even born. I also don't see any parallel between baseball and people working at Disney. Any veteran ballplayer with more than a few years in should be fine taking a half salary this year. The league minimum is $555,000 for a year of service. They also get a $100 dollars a day in cash to feed themselves. There are Disney employees that don't even make the meal money players get in a week. I couldn't quote your analogy because it was too offensive to me.

There is no logical reason why athletes and entertainers should make as much as they do. It is beyond absurd at this point and to take the stance trolls like Snell and Harper took is disgraceful against the current backdrop.

I am done with this discussion.

because there is one CBA in baseball and minor leaguers make Disney worker money. 99% of entertainers work at dinner theatres and theme parks for close minimum wage. But we keep hearing this idea that it’s not important. Importance and value are separate concepts.

Also because history is how we got here, and how “we” make decisions today will have ramifications for events in 2060, just like the decisions made in 1976 have ramifications for negotiations today. We’re making history right now.

#93 laloesch

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 09:19 AM

Pretty much this, but even more so the players fail to see the big picture because of this "umma get mine!" mentality and it just won't play in the general population. Maybe with some stat heads and baseball addicts (which I am). Baseball might stand to get a huge shot in the arm by coming back and taking their salary loss just like millions and millions of Americans have. Public opinion and support would give them much more leverage than fighting for their dollars now.

To me this debate has nothing to do with rich vs. wealthy. It has to do with the players (once again) not getting it. A small fraction of baseball fanatics are going to get behind the players and that is what is happening here as I expected. The larger portion of society isn't going to and the people who are casual fans (and there are a lot of those) won't either.

Again, average player salaries have increased by over 500% over the last 20 years. How long is that supposed to continue? Forever? And let's be clear about this. The money has come out of our pockets. The more demands the players make and the more they get the more we are going to spend to watch baseball. I am not interested in spending any more money. There needs to be a correction in player salaries because it is totally stupid at this point.

I think it comes down to how far are they willing to push each other. Are they really gonna push it to the brink? It could very well reach a point where the owners just say screw it and shut down for good this season. They are not gonna lose 10's of millions of dollars for charity. It's a business and people need to realize that. That said both sides need to be humble in order to salavage the situation or they might lose some of the marginally profitable franchises forever.
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#94 Sconnie

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 11:17 AM

I think it comes down to how far are they willing to push each other. Are they really gonna push it to the brink? It could very well reach a point where the owners just say screw it and shut down for good this season. They are not gonna lose 10's of millions of dollars for charity. It's a business and people need to realize that. That said both sides need to be humble in order to salavage the situation or they might lose some of the marginally profitable franchises forever.

agreed, To this and MLR’s point, worst case scenario is a number of teams can’t absorb losses and the league destabilizes. Second worst is a lock out that turns off an already weakened (monetarily) fan base.

Negotiating between players and owners a stop gap solution is the best way for the league to survive.

But it’s not the players “fault”, it’s no one’s. Owners should be more prepared with cash reserves than the average player, who spent 6 years making peanuts and just over the last few years started making more money than most of us ever will, or the much more vast population of minor leaguers who are laid off, who make almost nothing.

#95 ashbury

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 03:59 PM

There is no logical reason why athletes and entertainers should make as much as they do. 

If anything good comes out of this pandemic, it would be a dawning realization that market economics do not define anything bigger or more meaningful than a market equilibrium. We need a new economic theory that goes beyond mere free markets, or capitalism, or socialism, and covers important cases like how to put an economy on "Pause" for a few months (IMO, it has to start with bankers being part of the pause), and how to deal with a new world that requires fewer workers than ever before ("work or don't eat" should be passe by now), and the impact of higher and higher leverage over markets ("you didn't build that" infuriated those who benefit from this leverage), while not forgetting that market forces don't magically go away just because one wishes them to (health care, etc).

 

But, I digress. Back here in the real world, athletes and entertainers are the engine for very large revenues, based on a limited supply. People find what they do to be of value, in the free market sense at least. If ticket prices from the box office were lowered, smart guys would buy up the tickets and resell them to you if you're willing to outbid others. In other words, the money is there for the taking - who should get it? The scalpers? The team owners? The players?
 

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#96 BD57

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 04:56 PM

 

No players are saying otherwise. They agreed to a pro-rated salary. During those discussions, Scott Boras said the owners agreed to these conditions with the possibility of no fans in the stands. The owners backed out of the agreement. That’s what this is about.

"pro-rated salaries" would be an easy "fix" if all aspects of the season were "pro-rated" - such as, for example, "attendance at games" . . . but it doesn't sound like that's going to happen.

 

If there's no fans in the seats, then you don't have a truly "pro-rated" season.

 

While it sucks all the way around, this season - if there is one - is a "one-off" . . . figure out a way to get through it.

 

As for the health risks - based upon what we now know, the players parents and grandparents might be at some significant risk, there might be some team personnel who have some risk, there may even be a player here or there who has some real risk, but, by & large, the players won't have significant risk.

 

No, I don't want any of them to get it - not the players, not anyone around them, not their families . . . still, this stuff isn't "The Andromeda Strain."

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#97 DocBauer

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 05:18 PM

I've stayed out of this conversation the last week or so for various reasons. The fact that an offer is actually being discussed and there is a real chance for baseball being played...though I haven't found exact details...lead me to catch up on this thread and comment. Again, I take no sides here. I have offered, and will offer, comment and opinion that could lead someone to believe that I indeed am on either side of the aisle. That is not the case. I simply try to look at the work, this situation, as logically as I can.

First, while a few players have made some comments that I can only describe as outrageous considering society and the world as a whole right now, attempting to attribute those comments and opinions to all players is also very wrong and outrageous.

Second, while the players will not make as much $ with baseball in 2020, they will not lose money. Unless they are mortgaged to the hip, in which case something is better than nothing. I have also objected to the arguement that they have to earn ever dollar they can as their career is so short. Every player has the ability to invest, seek out expert advice, and then find something else to do with their life after they are done playing, even if it doesn't involve earning hundreds of thousands or millions of $.

Thirdly, unlike the very old days of MLB, owners don't make a living/income from MLB. Until or unless they sell a franchise years down the road,the vast majority of owners may make money, but it is their other businesses that support their life and their families, albeit in a way none of us can understand or comprehend. So no-one should feel sorry for owners losing money in 2020 or suddenly hitting the skids. But at the same time, said owners are probably losing money in their other investments, and that's a very real thing in our society/world.

Why should we care? Maybe we shouldn't. Maybe it's not important. But we as fans, and the players who are paid by the owners, and the milb players, and the hot dog and beer guy who is hoping baseball comes back AT LEAST in 2021 to some sense of normalcy, we might care about the future of the game beyond 2020 and how stable it is.

Fourth, and part of point 3 as well as point 2, simple logic and intelligence should make it clear the owners ARE going to lose $ in 2020 regardless. Now, even without fans, there are some teams like N.Y. or L.A., etc, that might not due to media deals, merchandising and pure nation wide support. And maybe this profit sharing idea helps mitigate the losses of Minnesota, K.C. And others. I don't know the details. And while the financial numbers posted here by others in very intelligent arguments may not be 100% spot on, there seems to be a general truth to what is presented.

But is it so far fetched to believe the owners are willing to take a loss on their MLB franchises, mitigated by a new agreement, for the health of their sport for 2021 and beyond? Again, ego and fun is the reason these billionaires own these franchises. They spend massive amounts of $ to purchase these franchises and see profit from them, absolutely, but don't enjoy any huge payday until years later if and when they sell said franchise. The context is absurdly different, but still similar to any of us making an investment over time and cashing in years down the road.

In conclusion, it is up to both sides to find a solution that works for 2020, not just financially but logistically. If anyone wants to sit out and not play due to health concerns, I believe they have that right to do so. They forfeit their salary, but they should not be chastised or blackmailed from playing again. That crosses a line, financially, morally and legally I don't think anyone is really prepared to deal with.

Salary cap with a floor...something other sports have...be damned. BOTH SIDES have a lot to lose and so much to gain! And I'm not just talking about making $ or losing less. I'm talking about the health of the sport in 2021 and beyond, especially with another labor deal pending. It's easy to be flippant and say blow it all up, but that is just not practical for anyone involved.

Now, to me, the onus is on management at this juncture. And I don't just mean for 2020. Just be smart and act in good faith. There is greed and want from both sides. But maybe this is the perfect time for 20 owners, approximately, to show some backbone and step up to the plate...yes, an obvious pun...and challenge the other 10 owners, with or without Manfred, and look at the good of the future of the game. Cap, no cap, if you're willing to share more equitably for 2020 between yourselves, and the players, then why can't you do so going forward?

If the basic financial floor of MLB going forward was more balanced, the game grows as more teams can compete year to year. You're telling me that doesn't pique the interest of fans and TV watchers everywhere and gate receipts? Remember, there are watchers, listeners, beer and dog consumers, and jersey/hat purchasing fans across this country besides L.A. and N.Y. and Boston and Chicago.

I'm talking about long term investment in the sport itself. You're telling me there is no market for "game of the week" between the Dodgers and the Padres if both teams are competitive? ALL the various networks thrive on viewership. Point is, growing the sport. Perfect time for the owners to step forward for the good of the league and make it stronger. The players could only benefit with further growth as well.
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#98 old nurse

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 05:40 AM

 

I can't say it enough times.Stop coming at me with the owners this the owners that.Sell it to someone else because I don't care.I don't care if the owners make ten trillion dollars every time they inhale.I am sick of the players thinking they are entitled to more than they already have.I am not a baseball owners fan.I am a baseball fan.Stop advocating for the players.They have a union, lawyers and agents working for them.

 

1. The players have seen their salaries increase by over 500% in since 1990

2. They have guaranteed contracts even if they play like garbage

3. Millions of baseball fans have lost their jobs, have no income and would like to watch baseball again

4. Millions of baseball fans also "risk their lives" every time they go to work (if they are lucky to still have a job)

 

Enough.

I am one of those people at risk every day I work.  I don't really care if the owners lose a little money. For this year even they can still make money. Expanded playoffs will bring back more than enough money. The owners will find a way. Some star in an effort to make money will find a way with the owners to have fans for the playoffs and make people money virus or not. With the players they are still going to have a risk albeit not likely to be a lethal one. You, and others, begrudge the entertainers making money for providing you entertainment. That is what it is. The wealth of the country has shifted in the same manner for the owners. The teams will be fine in the short run as well as the long run. The Wilpons couldn't even bankrupt the Mets


#99 old nurse

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 05:50 AM

 

Regardless of how much revenue it generates. They are still playing a game. Sure, they work hard on their game. I work hard on my golf game. It's fun. Short of the people who inherited wealth, the people whop accumulate the wealth consistent with a MLB owner work extremely hard. Anyone here who has had bottom line responsibility for a 9-figure business or even an executive position worked very hard for that success doing things a lot less fun than playing baseball.

 

The point is they would play that game for an eight of what they are being paid because there is not an alternative for them that would pay better. That's also how a free economy works. If the owners were all as greedy as some of you make them to be, they could insist on making double what they are now. Sure the players could strike and the owners could find replacements. If Cole were a free agent with this new reality, would he refuse to go back to work for $200M instead of $300M and go get a job? MLB owners could definitely increase profitability within the limitations of anti-trust laws if they really wanted to do so. 

 

Let's compare relative greed during the pandemic. If owners, took the stance of players, they would be looking to make their normal 12% bottom line. Without looking it up, I think the average team makes a little over $40M year. Obviously, that not even remotely possible. Most business would have laid-off most of their employees. MLB owners have been very good to their employees so far.

 

Owners are not asking for terms that would off-set some losses if they go back to playing. Most likely, those losses would be increased even under the terms they have proposed. If they pay full contracts their losses would be even greater. There is a big difference between making less than taking $100M out of you pocket.

The players agreed to pro rated salaries. The owners will find ways to make profits. Relative greed? The prices for things over the years, facility funding throughout baseball shows you where the money manipulation has come. As there is nothing definitive set on how the playoffs work, the owners will find a way to make money.


#100 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 06:48 AM

 

Regardless of how much revenue it generates. They are still playing a game. Sure, they work hard on their game. I work hard on my golf game. It's fun. Short of the people who inherited wealth, the people whop accumulate the wealth consistent with a MLB owner work extremely hard. Anyone here who has had bottom line responsibility for a 9-figure business or even an executive position worked very hard for that success doing things a lot less fun than playing baseball.

 

The point is they would play that game for an eight of what they are being paid because there is not an alternative for them that would pay better. That's also how a free economy works. If the owners were all as greedy as some of you make them to be, they could insist on making double what they are now. Sure the players could strike and the owners could find replacements. If Cole were a free agent with this new reality, would he refuse to go back to work for $200M instead of $300M and go get a job? MLB owners could definitely increase profitability within the limitations of anti-trust laws if they really wanted to do so. 

 

Let's compare relative greed during the pandemic. If owners, took the stance of players, they would be looking to make their normal 12% bottom line. Without looking it up, I think the average team makes a little over $40M year. Obviously, that not even remotely possible. Most business would have laid-off most of their employees. MLB owners have been very good to their employees so far.

 

Owners are not asking for terms that would off-set some losses if they go back to playing. Most likely, those losses would be increased even under the terms they have proposed. If they pay full contracts their losses would be even greater. There is a big difference between making less than taking $100M out of you pocket.

 

There is nothing "free market" about player wages. 

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