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  • Local Man Angrier at Millionaires than Billionaires


    RandBalls Stu

    “It’s just not right,” said the cornfed rube.

    Image courtesy of © Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    The owners of Major League Baseball locked out the players just after midnight on Thursday morning, ensuring baseball’s first work stoppage in over a quarter century. And Shad Browne knows who to blame.

    “These players are greedy and entitled, I’m sick of ‘em,” said the Fairmont landscaper. “They get paid money to play a game and sometimes you’ve gotta take a stand.”

    The owners, wealthier than the players by a monstrous degree and living lives of unimaginable luxury, do not receive the same level of disdain from Browne.

    “Lotta these owners are entrepreneurs who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps to make their money,” said Browne incorrectly. “Meanwhile, the modern player just takes a day off when they feel like it. The way I see it, you don’t play, you don’t get paid.”

    Browne, who took PTO last Monday because the Vikings lost and he was “super hungover,” said he sees a lot of himself in owners, despite this being remarkably untrue.

    “They’re just trying to run a business same as anyone else,” he said with the steady resolve that only the deeply ignorant possess. “I guess I’d just like to see a little more gratitude and a little less attitude from the millennial generation.”

    Browne, who used the word “meritocracy” in reference to a country where you don’t have to work a day in your life if your great-granddad sold mustard gas to Kaiser Wilhelm, dismissed the notion that the owners should take some of the blame for instigating the lockout they instigated.

    “At the end of the day, they’ve got a business to run,” said Browne, for whom the concept of generational wealth has never so much as registered for one second of one day. “If the players can’t handle that, they can get a job just like anyone else.

    “It’s just not right,” said the cornfed rube.

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    Seems to me that the article is saying that if you don't think like RandBalls Stu you are an ignorant rube.  Just kidding.........sort of.  I accept that I am in the minority here, but I can see Browne's point.  The owners may be filthy rich and out of touch with you and I, but they are trying to run a business.  Aren't the players the first to say that sure, it's a game, but it is business for them in the financial realm and the union sure considers this business.  The difference is that the owners put the money out on the table when they purchase the franchise, and take the financial risks every year to either make a profit or lose money.  The players receive money from the first day they sign a contract to the last paycheck of their career; they put no money into the business or the team they are playing for.  The players on major league rosters are paid very well for their services.  What I would like to see is the minor league players get a crap ton more than they are getting now.  They keep the organization running just as much as the major leaguers do, and should be rewarded as well.  But if you or I were to shell out more than a billion dollars to buy a team, we would want to have control over our business too.  The players have to remember they are employees; they are not partners.  If they want to be partners they need to pony up the investment.  Other than that, I do hope they get better benefits, especially the minor leaguers.  

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    Thanks for the ridiculous article.  I'm not sure if I should take this as a real story or something made up in jest.  Personally, I'm disgusted by both sides.  Millionaires vs. Billionaires who can't figure out how to divvy up multi-billions of dollars.  There is no reason the new CBA should not have been hammered out before it gets to this point.  The only people hurt by lockouts and strikes are the fans.  Because you know when it's all said and done both sides will still be millionaires and billionaires.  After the '94' cancellation of the WS, I was so disgusted, it took me over two years to get back to watching MLB. Eventually, I came back because I love the game. But as I get older,  I can take more enjoyment from town ball.  The disparity in the game is the real problem.  Players making 600K/yr on the same field as players making 30 or 40M/yr?  It's laughable.  And teams like the Yankees and Dodgers able to spend double on players vs. the small market teams?  To me this is grand stupidity.  But even then, I can overlook it all when the umpire says:  "Play Ball"!

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    33 minutes ago, Mark G said:

    Seems to me that the article is saying that if you don't think like RandBalls Stu you are an ignorant rube.  Just kidding.........sort of.  I accept that I am in the minority here, but I can see Browne's point.  The owners may be filthy rich and out of touch with you and I, but they are trying to run a business.  Aren't the players the first to say that sure, it's a game, but it is business for them in the financial realm and the union sure considers this business.  The difference is that the owners put the money out on the table when they purchase the franchise, and take the financial risks every year to either make a profit or lose money.  The players receive money from the first day they sign a contract to the last paycheck of their career; they put no money into the business or the team they are playing for.  The players on major league rosters are paid very well for their services.  What I would like to see is the minor league players get a crap ton more than they are getting now.  They keep the organization running just as much as the major leaguers do, and should be rewarded as well.  But if you or I were to shell out more than a billion dollars to buy a team, we would want to have control over our business too.  The players have to remember they are employees; they are not partners.  If they want to be partners they need to pony up the investment.  Other than that, I do hope they get better benefits, especially the minor leaguers.  

    Point of clarification: Carl Pohlad purchased the Twins for $32 million. Jim Pohlad only had to be born. The highest priced sale of an MLB franchise ever was $845 million. Purchasing an MLB team for a billion hasn’t happened.

    meanwhile the average minor leaguer earns $25k per year and leaves minor league baseball in debt because the team doesn’t pay for their offseason training of travel. The league looks to be paying for minor league in season housing, which is a step in the right direction, but still holds on to the absolutely dreadful minor league salaries.

    the point here is, players invest into the sport too. Time, sweat equity, putting a good product on the field are just as valuable as the logo on the hat and what actually make the game a sport for us to watch.

    Everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie. I don’t fault the players for wanting a bigger piece of it, anymore than the owners, but the MLB and Manfred really bother me most.

    Manfred should be looking out for the sport as a whole more than he does. He clearly understands that a company with too high of a profit margin ultimately loses out because it creates openings for additional competition. He and the league protects the margins through litigation and hiding the books rather than investing back into the league assets. By improving the broadcast strategy and paying more players (including minor leaguer’) the league can grow faster and maintain or grow it’s talents to stave off competition.

    this shouldn’t be millionaires vs billionaires. It’s Manfred vs Us the fans.

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    1 hour ago, Mark G said:

    Seems to me that the article is saying that if you don't think like RandBalls Stu you are an ignorant rube.  Just kidding.........sort of.  I accept that I am in the minority here, but I can see Browne's point.  The owners may be filthy rich and out of touch with you and I, but they are trying to run a business.  Aren't the players the first to say that sure, it's a game, but it is business for them in the financial realm and the union sure considers this business.  The difference is that the owners put the money out on the table when they purchase the franchise, and take the financial risks every year to either make a profit or lose money.  The players receive money from the first day they sign a contract to the last paycheck of their career; they put no money into the business or the team they are playing for.  The players on major league rosters are paid very well for their services.  What I would like to see is the minor league players get a crap ton more than they are getting now.  They keep the organization running just as much as the major leaguers do, and should be rewarded as well.  But if you or I were to shell out more than a billion dollars to buy a team, we would want to have control over our business too.  The players have to remember they are employees; they are not partners.  If they want to be partners they need to pony up the investment.  Other than that, I do hope they get better benefits, especially the minor leaguers.  

    "The difference is that the owners put the money out on the table when they purchase the franchise, and take the financial risks every year to either make a profit or lose money."

    The next time an owner loses money from owning a major league baseball team in a season will absolutely be the first time that has ever happened to any owner in the history of major league baseball.

     

    They aren't putting their money on the line as a risk for profit or loss. They are owning a team, and determining if their profit each year is either massive or MASSIVE. There is no risk to their fortune at all. 

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    1 hour ago, HrbieFan said:

    Have any of the owners taken a salary like Scherzer? 

    Haha no of course not.

    Billionaires borrow against their massive equity holdings in order to pay 0% tax.  Meanwhile their holdings increase in value drastically, and eventually they hand them down to their children without anyone ever paying taxes on the gains.

    What kind of silly billionaire would take a salary and have to pay taxes like the rest of us rubes?

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    The media and MLB want to make this about the 50 players making an exorbitant amount of money.  There are 30 teams with 40-man rosters.  We can pick nits with that number, but 1200 is a big number!  Only the few big-market owners can pay those 50 in an attempt to fill the seats and "buy" championships.  MLB is putting a put a few multi-millionaires on the fields, but for years, younger and younger players are being brought up, not ready for the bigs (not trained in the minors) and the owners pay them less over time. There's an incredible amount of greed in today's game - and in the end, it's the FANS who bear the brunt at the ticket office.  

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    17 minutes ago, Cory Engelhardt said:

    "The difference is that the owners put the money out on the table when they purchase the franchise, and take the financial risks every year to either make a profit or lose money."

    The next time an owner loses money from owning a major league baseball team in a season will absolutely be the first time that has ever happened to any owner in the history of major league baseball.

     

    They aren't putting their money on the line as a risk for profit or loss. They are owning a team, and determining if their profit each year is either massive or MASSIVE. There is no risk to their fortune at all. 

    Could you please clarify the idea that no owner in history has ever lost money?  Are you talking about capital gains at the end of their ownership?  Or individual seasons, which is what I was referring to.  The Twins, for instance have lost quite a bit of money the last two years running, but the value of the franchise is probably gaining in that same period.  Just because a franchise increases in value over time doesn't mean individual franchises don't take a financial hit when the losses pile up.  Risk to the individual owners overall wealth wasn't my point at all; it was about the franchise and the profit and loss that determines the financial health of the business, just like any other business.

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    1 hour ago, Sconnie said:

    Point of clarification: Carl Pohlad purchased the Twins for $32 million. Jim Pohlad only had to be born. The highest priced sale of an MLB franchise ever was $845 million. Purchasing an MLB team for a billion hasn’t happened.

    meanwhile the average minor leaguer earns $25k per year and leaves minor league baseball in debt because the team doesn’t pay for their offseason training of travel. The league looks to be paying for minor league in season housing, which is a step in the right direction, but still holds on to the absolutely dreadful minor league salaries.

    the point here is, players invest into the sport too. Time, sweat equity, putting a good product on the field are just as valuable as the logo on the hat and what actually make the game a sport for us to watch.

    Everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie. I don’t fault the players for wanting a bigger piece of it, anymore than the owners, but the MLB and Manfred really bother me most.

    Manfred should be looking out for the sport as a whole more than he does. He clearly understands that a company with too high of a profit margin ultimately loses out because it creates openings for additional competition. He and the league protects the margins through litigation and hiding the books rather than investing back into the league assets. By improving the broadcast strategy and paying more players (including minor leaguer’) the league can grow faster and maintain or grow it’s talents to stave off competition.

    this shouldn’t be millionaires vs billionaires. It’s Manfred vs Us the fans.

    I guess I was referring to current franchise values, not the value when ownership groups or individuals bought the team(s) years or decades ago.  Just at a glance on Google the Statista,com site states the value of the teams are 5.25 billion for the highest and 990 million for the lowest, hence the casual term about the owners putting a billion dollars down.  As for the players investment, I have sweated and worked in my jobs over my life pretty close to most athletes, so I guess to me that is the "investment" every employee makes in a job they take, and to the players this is a job; they are an employee.  They put nothing financially into the team or the business; they receive pay, and it varies from player to player and MLB to MILB.  I stand by my wish that minor league players are compensated considerably more than presently, but the major leaguers are paid just fine as it is.  

    I guess the main point I look at is the same as any other business or job.  The employees don't put their money on the line; they get paid for their services/labor.  They are not partners with owners/management, they work for them and pro athletes have long since lost sight of that.  I have been in 5 unions over my life and understand them quite well.  This union genuinely believes they control the overall business, and if that was ever actually achieved I shudder to think what kind of business it would turn out to be.  Every business needs investors, and the investors protecting their investment keeps the business afloat.  The owners being decent employers, on the other hand is a whole new post.  Bottom line is, I don't side with the owners necessarily, I understand the overall concept.  I have never believed the players do.  

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    2 hours ago, Mark G said:

    the owners put the money out on the table when they purchase the franchise, and take the financial risks every year to either make a profit or lose money.

    The owners are a cartel with a monopoly guaranteed by the federal government. The teams themselves are a legal way to shelter income so it can avoid taxes. A tax shelter is not a financial risk. Did you know those huge player contracts are considered assets that can be depreciated as well as being deducted as a business expense?

    The players are well paid because they're media stars who produce at least 162 3-hour episodes of some of the highest rated shows on television every year. Union actors getting paid scale make more for 3 hours of TV than the pro-rated MLB minimum salary.

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    3 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

    The owners are a cartel with a monopoly guaranteed by the federal government. The teams themselves are a legal way to shelter income so it can avoid taxes. A tax shelter is not a financial risk. Did you know those huge player contracts are considered assets that can be depreciated as well as being deducted as a business expense?

    The players are well paid because they're media stars who produce at least 162 3-hour episodes of some of the highest rated shows on television every year. Union actors getting paid scale make more for 3 hours of TV than the pro-rated MLB minimum salary.

    All of that is completely true, but it doesn't alter the point(s) I was attempting to make.  The players, like the actors, are employees.  Unless anyone invests actual cash into a business they work for/in, they work there; they do not control the day to day operations.  Executive producers/investors do.  Team owners/ownership groups do.  This union believes they do.  It just can't work with this kind of enterprise.  Personally, I don't look at this as billionaires and millionaires; I look at it as a business with ownership and employees.  Yes, the leagues get an antitrust exemption; it is what makes it baseball as we know it and Congress saw to that long ago.  And the franchises use their assets the same way other conglomerates do.  Doesn't change the situation with this union negotiation, or this lockout.  I don't side with the owners, I understand the difference between ownership/management and employee, and the union apparently lost sight of that decades ago.  And unless they regain that sight this will likely not end well, because the owners aren't going to give the keys to the store to the employees.  I don't have to like that to understand it.  

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    26 minutes ago, Mark G said:

    All of that is completely true, but it doesn't alter the point(s) I was attempting to make.  The players, like the actors, are employees.  Unless anyone invests actual cash into a business they work for/in, they work there; they do not control the day to day operations.  Executive producers/investors do.  Team owners/ownership groups do.  This union believes they do.  It just can't work with this kind of enterprise.  Personally, I don't look at this as billionaires and millionaires; I look at it as a business with ownership and employees.  Yes, the leagues get an antitrust exemption; it is what makes it baseball as we know it and Congress saw to that long ago.  And the franchises use their assets the same way other conglomerates do.  Doesn't change the situation with this union negotiation, or this lockout.  I don't side with the owners, I understand the difference between ownership/management and employee, and the union apparently lost sight of that decades ago.  And unless they regain that sight this will likely not end well, because the owners aren't going to give the keys to the store to the employees.  I don't have to like that to understand it.  

    What point are you trying to make? Are you advocating for the players to change their lever/strategy?

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    2 hours ago, Sconnie said:

    Point of clarification: Carl Pohlad purchased the Twins for $32 million. Jim Pohlad only had to be born.

    The Pohlad's, by many accounts, have been good citizens. Nevertheless, Carl paid $5 million down to Calvin Griffith and the remainder in $5 million per year payments. MLB approves who can buy. It is a closed club as Mark Cuban found out. The owners do invest their profits back into their team on occasion but also manage to have the public pay for their stadiums. The owners would laugh at being restricted to a lifetime earnings of any player much less needing to go through the work necessary to reach those levels. I'm not against the owners making big money but their pride in keeping such tight control over the players is a little weird. They could agree to share revenues at a level of near 55% for the players and still make bank. There was a poll a number of years ago and the gist of it was that 75% of the population believed they would reach the upper 1% in wealth through their hard work. This explains why common people often support the uber wealthy over the working class or as Bob Dylan would say, "Everyone sees there self walking around with no one else". 

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    2 hours ago, DJL44 said:

    However, unlike actors, they're not allowed to start their own production company and create their own entertainment company. The anti-trust exemption prevents the players from creating a competing league.

    No, it does not.

     

    Anyone is free to start a professional baseball league. 

     

    Baseball's antintrust exemption allows for fixing minor league salaries and league control over franchise relocation. 

     

    It does not prevent establishment of competition.

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    2 hours ago, Sconnie said:

    What point are you trying to make? Are you advocating for the players to change their lever/strategy?

    I am simply saying that the players are not partners with the owners; they are employees, and need to bargain in that capacity.  Just like any other union.  It does not mean I side with the owners, I simply acknowledge the difference between owners of a business and the employees of said business, and the players are not going to convince the owners to let them become partners.  Just bargain wages and benefits, like any other union, and go back to work.  It doesn't matter if we think the owners are butt heads, they own the business and it is pointless to think otherwise.  Get the best you can in a contract and don't pretend you are partners, or you just won't play ball.  The owners are not going to be the losers here, only the players and the fans.  The sooner all of us, including the players, acknowledge that the sooner we get back to the game.  

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    10 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

    No, it does not.

     

    Anyone is free to start a professional baseball league. 

     

    Baseball's antintrust exemption allows for fixing minor league salaries and league control over franchise relocation. 

     

    It does not prevent establishment of competition.

    Correct - Monopsony protection, not Monopoly protection. However the monopsony in effect becomes a monopoly when the control of the buy to set the purchase price from a single cartel in the draft and rookie contract rates drives out competitive leagues. In effect, it's a monopsony of baseball players, and a monopoly of baseball games. But yeah Monopsony is relevant to the labor dispute

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    1 hour ago, USAFChief said:

    Hollywood Salaries Revealed: Who Makes What on the Lot and on Location – The Hollywood Reporter

    "Newcomers can expect to earn just $15,000 to $20,000 per episode on a network or cable series."

    That's for a 1/2 hour or 1 hour episode. MLB minimum is $3500 a game.

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    7 hours ago, Sconnie said:

    Point of clarification: Carl Pohlad purchased the Twins for $32 million. Jim Pohlad only had to be born. The highest priced sale of an MLB franchise ever was $845 million. Purchasing an MLB team for a billion hasn’t happened.

    Steve Cohen bought the Mets for $2.475 billion. The Guggenheim Group paid $2.15 billion for the Dodgers in 2012. The Mariners were bought for $1.3 billion in 2016. Jeter and his group paid $1.2 billion for the Marlins. John Sherman and his group bought the Royals for $1 billion in 2020.

    I agree with the general idea of you post, but there have been multiple MLB teams purchased for over a billion.

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    6 hours ago, Mark G said:

     As for the players investment, I have sweated and worked in my jobs over my life pretty close to most athletes, so I guess to me that is the "investment" every employee makes in a job they take, and to the players this is a job; they are an employee.  They put nothing financially into the team or the business; they receive pay, and it varies from player to player and MLB to MILB.  I stand by my wish that minor league players are compensated considerably more than presently, but the major leaguers are paid just fine as it is.  

     

    The players are not just employees like you and me. The players are also the product. The fans are paying for the players. That's the product we're buying. I think that changes the equation quite a bit.

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    5 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

    The players are not just employees like you and me. The players are also the product. The fans are paying for the players. That's the product we're buying. I think that changes the equation quite a bit.

    A few people have watched me work through the years, but they didn't stay long and they never paid to watch.

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