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Cap'n Piranha

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Everything posted by Cap'n Piranha

  1. Mauer was also a native Minnesotan and the Twins were just about to move into Target Field, which the public had been convinced to subsidize, in large part, because the Twins claimed they needed the additional revenues to keep their own players. Those two aspects are not in play when it comes to Buxton.
  2. The only concern I have with keeping the in-market and out-of-market separate is that it could create blackouts for people living in a market other than the team they want to watch--for example, me living in Seattle. When I used MLB.TV this year, I could watch every Twins game--except for when they played the Mariners, regardless of where the game was played. As such, streamlining to simply have one service, one cost (at least as concerns MLB) simply makes the most sense. At some point, the regional cable channel will disappear anyways, so why not get ahead of it now? I like the idea of partnering with the NBA and NHL, and could see a program where you subscribe to one sport for $120, 2 sports for $200, and all 3 for $240. Each league keeps 100% of the revenue when they're the single sport, 50% when they're one of two, and 33% when one of three. Maybe you start with a feature that allows you to get a discount in return for only seeing teams from one market (say for $160), in order to help people transition from the RCNs, and then eliminate that in 5-10 years. If you can get even 30M "All Three" subscribers (which is not even 25% of the total US), that would be $7.2B in revenue.
  3. Agreed. I have no problem with MLB doing more. I'm simply stating that the problem exists for reasons beyond "MLB is purposefully paying MiLB players less than what they need to live". A league of MiLB players who universally make good decisions with the current level of MiLB pay will be better off in 3 years than a league making double the money they are know, but not making good financial decisions.
  4. Not sure how there are leaps in my logic. There seems to be a consensus that MiLB players are struggling only because of lack of pay. I pointed out that the very first example given in the article that kicked off this entire thread is struggling because he blew through $200k in 3 years--clearly irresponsible spending. My line about many MiLB players is based on my understanding that the financial situation of that one player is not unique. He is being paid the same amount as every other player, and is struggling, despite research I did which showed responsible budgeting would render that moot. Therefore, if a majority of MiLB players are struggling, and could stop struggling with better financial decisions, that's the answer. If we accept that MiLB players are a microcosm of our current society (and why wouldn't we), and find that most of them are financially irresponsible, why would we not apply that learning to society at large? Said number isn't the minimum amount needed to survive--it's one institutions guess at it. I guarantee there are many many people living in this country for less than $26k, and many of them are probably quite happier than people making far more. Asking a healthy 18-24 year old to not take a 5 month vacation doesn't seem like a huge ask to me. Where is it written that everyone is guaranteed the freedom from living paycheck to paycheck?
  5. I'm not comparing HR workers at tech companies. Purposefully. Because HR workers is one job within a larger industry, and is not the same job as salesman or SDE, much like baseball player is one job within a larger industry, and is not the same job as hockey or basketball player. A great HR rep at Microsoft will likely be a great HR rep at Google, but probably won't be even a passable salesperson or SDE at Microsoft. The same theory applies to minor league professional athletes--a great player for the Wichita Wind Surge would likely be a great player for the Rocket City Trash Pandas, but probably wouldn't be even a passable hockey or basketball player for the Iowa Wild/Wolves. That is the correlation that makes my comparison wholly relevant. In two industries, where different positions within both of those industries have little to no crossover, why would a set in one industry be considered peers, but the other set wouldn't be? So you did, I missed that. My apologies. This paragraph is completely out of line. I absolutely resent your hateful and attacking words here, and would expect more from someone who's been here for as long as you have. I have no contempt, and do not see them as idiots--I see them as kids lacking a fundamental skill to thrive in the modern world, and wish to see that rectified so they may live happier, healthier lives. What I am is wise enough to understand that people who are bad with money do not become good with money simply because they have more of it. Therefore, I believe I am more compassionate than you, as I want these kids to be better set up for the next 50 years of their life, regardless of how long their career in baseball lasts. Your solution is simply to throw a few thousand extra dollars at them, and then promptly cease caring about them the moment they no longer play professional baseball. It's the same "compassion" that thinks giving heroin users clean needles will somehow help them get off heroin.
  6. Oh for sure, I wasn't trying to peg a FA-only value of WAR, simply stating that teams should assume $4M/1 WAR is the going rate across the entire roster, and adjust their win expectancy and payroll capacity accordingly. That is, a team that wants to win 95 games, but is only approved for a $130M payroll will need to overdeliver, whether by signing FAs who outperform their contract, or having multiple pre-FA players performing at 1 WAR or more. Apply this to the Twins and the Buxton scenario--I don't think you can reasonably expect more than 4 WAR/yr from him, giving the injury risk (he certainly could provide 7-8 WAR if healthy for 150 games). Therefore, if you need to pay Buxton $20M next year, but you only get 2 WAR due to injuries and some decline, do you have 3 guys on rookie contracts who can produce between them 4 WAR?
  7. I think there's merit here--if the FO wants to give someone a $40M contract, do they anticipate being able to get 10 WAR over the course of that contract? If no, it's an inefficient way to acquire WAR. That said, if you have no choice but to overspend to acquire WAR (like the 2022 Twins and the shortstop position), it can still be an acceptable method, provided you have a clear roadmap on which pre-arb/arb-1 players will be able to offset that player getting $6M-$8M/WAR.
  8. I think you're only looking at hitters--I pulled all hitters, and filtered out anyone with less than 0 WAR, and got 664. The same methodology for pitchers shows 495.6 WAR. If you include all players, even those with negative WAR (who need to be included, as they were still paid), it goes to 572.1 for hitters and 430.1 for pitchers.
  9. They are paid a living wage. It should not be hard for any MiLB player to make $28k a year (when at least $20k comes from the team), which would allow them to bring home $2k per month. That is more than sufficient for an individual to live on, unless they are making poor financial decisions, and spending above their means. If they are indeed spending above their means, increasing their pay is unlikely to yield no increase in spending, and therefore the issue of MiLB players not having enough money to care for themselves is not abated. Are you arguing that an annual income above MIT's living wage threshold, and more than twice the federal poverty level is not a living wage?
  10. So you're not going to answer my question. I presume that's because you don't think the three people I listed are peers. If you did, it would seem very easy to remain consistent, and simply state "yes, any three people working in the same industry are peers". As such, I will proceed by asking--if 3 people all working as white collar tech employees are not peers, why are 3 people working in the professional sports industry, despite having different skillset requirements, considered peers? The level of gymnastics you are undertaking in order to avoid answering a simple yes/no question asked multiple times is what is truly astonishing. To your re-quote; you've been arguing, vociferously, and despite multiple data-driven demonstrations to the contrary, that MiLB players are not paid enough, and have not, for even one word, allowed for the possibility that a MiLB player in financial hardship might be there because of poor decision making. As such, it is easy to infer that you believe the problem lies with MLB owners, and will allow for no other explanation. Since you'd made no references to the MLBPA in this thread before that quote, and I don't bother to catalog poster's opinions (as I mentioned), it is perfectly reasonable to assume your only bone of contention on this issue is with the owners. You'll notice that since you mentioned your belief that both the owners and MLBPA could do more, I haven't referenced that point again. The links that you, Mike, Van, and others have posted have been outdated, irrelevant, or lacking anything beyond anecdotal data (which is on occasion simply inaccurate), and as such, are in no way persuasive to me or anyone else who is capable of producing a budget. An MiLB player at the A level will make $19,975 per year from the team (see breakout below). If they make $8,500 more from October through February, which is an average of $1,700 a month, which would require a 40 hour job that pays only about $10/hr, the take home pay monthly, even living in tax-heavy CA is over $2k a month. That's $500 on rent, $500 on food, $500 on bills, and $500 for anything else. None of that is hypothetical--it is all incredibly achievable for just about any MiLB player. Your continued refusal to even consider this is baffling to me. Why is it so important to you to disregard actual numbers? $4,025 during the 5 weeks of spring training ($115/day times 35 days). This is the amount paid by the Rays for someone living in the team hotel--other organizations pay more, as quoted in the article I posted in the response to Kirby $15,950 during the 22 week regular season ($500/wk times 22 weeks, plus $25/day for 66 days--road per diem)
  11. You're right, we shouldn't use anecdotes in analysis. Therefore, all the stories told by players in any article on how bad MiLB pay is should be rejected and left unheeded. MLB does not underpay them, unless your definition of underpaid is any individual who works for an entity that could pay them more without losing solvency. If that's true, most people in America who don't work for themselves are probably underpaid. As has been broken down innumerable times on this thread, MiLB players are paid a sufficient amount to live reasonably, unless they don't plan to supplement their MiLB pay during the offseason. If that's the case, I would ask if there is any other profession where people don't work for 5 months out of the year, and still make enough money from their employer to live. Nor are players forced to have 2 people per room--in the example I quoted, 4 players could rent a 4 bedroom house in Madison, AL (home of the Rocket City Trash Pandas) for $300-$400 each, putting them well below the 30% of income threshold. Keeping meals under $5 is also not that hard, especially if you are rooming with people, and receiving $25 in per diem every day you are on the road--in A ball, that's just under $5k. With that thrown in, a player who plays 22 weeks in A ball (the whole season) will make approximately $16k a year. To hit $26,225 for the year (MIT's minimum livable wage), they need only make $342.50/week in the other 30 weeks. Find a job that pays $10/hr, work it 40 hours for 26 weeks, and you have 6 weeks with no need to work you can use in March/April for Spring Training (which ignores that players get per diems and meals during spring training--the article below quotes the Rays at $115 as a minimum if staying at the team hotel, with 2 meals provided daily). Finally, if you're able to put money into savings, you are by definition not living paycheck to paycheck. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/how-much-is-a-minor-league-spring-training-stipend-it-depends-on-the-team/
  12. Which is why only 1.9% of hourly workers make the minimum wage--it's not designed for someone to live on, and is not what MiLB players are paid (unless you are saying MiLB players spend 8.5 hours every day of the week doing team-related activities, or 9.75 hours 6 days a week. If a player shows up 4 hours before a game starts, they could lift for an hour, watch vidoe for an hour, take 30 minutes of BP, and 30 minutes of fielding practice, and unless the game went 4+ hours, they still wouldn't meet that threshold). As for your articles; The first is from a guy drafted in 2013, and according to fangraphs has not played since 2017. Therefore his experiences are largely not germane to the debate around conditions in 2021. He also has some inaccuracies, like claiming a bus ride from Grand Rapids, MI to Bowling Green, KY is 10 hours (google maps pegs it at 490 miles, needing just over 7 hours to complete. I'm sure they take breaks, but do they really take 3 hours worth?) The second is from 2014, and was written by a guy who last played MiLB ball in 2011. As such, also not germane to a discussion of the current state of MiLB. The third has been debated extensively by myself and Leviathan. Suffice it to say, it is not surprising that 10 or 23 people would make more on an individual basis than 100-150. Because skills important in baseball (swinging a bat, throwing a pitch, sliding, etc.) are not important in basketball, where the skills (shooting a 3 pointer, jumping high) are not important in hockey, where the skills (skating, handling an object on the ground) are not important in baseball, those 3 leagues are not analagous. The fourth is the article that started this whole thread, and prove my central thesis in it's very first paragrpah--an individual was forced to live in bad conditions because he managed to spend the take-home portion of his $400k bonus in only 3 years. Had he saved that, and only used $15k a year to supplement his salary (say an extra $400 a month for rent, food, and other bills/entertainment), he could have lived perfectly reasonably for 10-12 years. The article also claims another player playing for San Bernardino can't cover rent on his $1,600/month salary. Leaving aside that he would have to have a 20% effective tax rate for that income figure to be true (his rate would actually be 14.5%, assuming he made $500 every week of the year, not just during the season), a quick rent.com search finds 35 4 bedroom properties in San Bernardino that rent for $3k a month or less, meaning if he is paying more than $700-$900 in rent, it's because he is making poor decisions. Even if he was insistent on living alone, there are 10 properties in SB for 1 bedroom and $1k or less in rent. As you can see, all of the articles you found are either outdated, inapplicable, or actually prove the point I'm trying to make--MiLB pay is not great, and I certainly would not be upset of MLB increased it, but nor is it predatory or unfair, and those struggling could often look squarely at themselves as the reason for their financial hardship. Is that last part true for all MiLB players? Undoubtedly no, but I would venture to guess that if every MiLB player had their finances reviewed by a financially literate individual, more would fall in the irresponsible category than the "not paid enough to live" category.
  13. Either you're reading comprehension is abysmal, or you are purposefully being obtuse. I wasn't asking if minor league athletes are peers, as we both know where each other stands on that question. I'm asking if a salesperson at Google, and HR rep at Amazon, and an SDE at Google are peers, as they are all white collar tech professionals. It's an easy question to answer, when you're not actively avoiding conceding a point in a debate. I don't pretend to know the historical positions of posters on any subjects--as such, your assertion that I'm somehow ascribing opinions to you is ridiculous. I've stated my position very clearly, and yet it doesn't seem to be registering for you, so I'll break it down simply, in hopes you'll be able to understand; I have no qualms against MLB deciding to pay it's MiLB players more, but doing that will not be a universal fix for players, since some (potentially most) are in the position they're in due to financial irresponsibility. As MLB pays above minimum wage, there is no legal obligation for MLB to increase pay. Further, the fact that no team is willing to pay a (relatively) small amount to increase standards for their players suggests no team believes enhanced living conditions is a significant factor in improving performance of MiLB players. If the rooms full of Ivy League graduates at teams such as the Rays, A's, and Twins, who need to find as many cheap advantages as they can to compete, don't believe increased benefits/pay for MiLB is a worthwhile investment in future performance, are you prepared to say you know better than they on how to maximize the operations of a professional baseball organization? Employers pay more than they are legally required to for employees when they believe the return from having (theoretically) happier, more talented, and more motivated employees outstrips the cost. We can all agree that MLB teams would prefer to have their players performing at their best, so from these two points, we can logically conclude that MLB teams do not believe the return on increased pay for MiLB players is worth it. Since the increased pay is (again, relatively) small, it stands to reason MLB teams believe the return to be even smaller. If you would like to respond directly to anything I've actually said, I would love to hear your thoughts. Otherwise I think I will pass on further condescension and evasion from your end.
  14. Generally speaking, MLB players post about 1,000 WAR a year, according to Fangraphs, so with MLB total salaries in the $4B range, 1 WAR is worth about $4M. If there is 1,000 WAR posted, then that's 33ish WAR per team, which means a team with 0 WAR (that is, every pitch thrown and plate appearance taken is done by a replacement level player), would win 58 games. From there it follows that if a team spends $120M at the average 1 WAR/$4M rate, they will win 88 games. For a team to win 95 games while spending at average efficiency, they will need to spend $148M. Since it is unlikely the Twins will spend that much, that means for the Twins to return to competitiveness, they will need to be more efficient than that $4M/WAR threshold. As such, for every FA deal the Twins complete where they don't anticipate hitting that mark, they have to complete another deal below that threshold, or get production from pre-Arb 2 players.
  15. And the salesperson, HR rep, and SDE are white collar tech employees. I repeat; are they peers? Simply restating your original, unsupported point while pontificating on the perceived foolishness of those debating you does nothing to make it stronger. It rather makes you seem irascible and stubborn. For the millionth time, which has yet to be refuted by anyone on this thread, any MiLB player who has no option but to live 3 to a room and eat nothing but ramen is doing so because they made or are making bad financial decisions. An MilB player who is paid $500 a week during the season, and $300 outside of it will be quite capable of paying $75-$100 a week for food--hardly ramen or starve level, especially when you consider that during the season players get an average of $75 incremental a week in per diem ($25 a day or $150 a week when on the road, divided by 2). A player could therefore put $150 a week towards food, and if he pools with 1-3 roommates, would very easily be able to afford nutritious, filling meals, 3 times a day. If a player is forced to eat ramen or go hungry, it is in all likelihood because they did not allocate their resources wisely, and spent more than they can afford elsewhere. I am not opposed to pay increases for MiLB players. Far from it. I just want to be honest about the situation, which is that those players in desperate straits are not universally, and probably not even primarily , there due to malevolent parsimony from MLB owners. Failure to acknowledge that reality will lead to suggestions that will not correct the situation, such as the belief that endowing spendthrifts with additional income will somehow cure their budgetary shortcomings. Can you at least acknowledge that, or are you so committed to your vitriol for owners that you are blinded to truth?
  16. So I take it you don't want to link to it. Seems like something so ubiquitous would be easy to produce. I am completely against the practice that players not get paid for Spring Training, whether MiLB or MLB. I would have no problem supporting a lawsuit that sought to change that practice. At bare minimum, all expenses should be covered, but even that I think is unfair. If an employer requires you to take an action you otherwise would not take, they should pay you for it. Players are required to pay for their own training? Does this mean the Twins are charging their MiLB players for offseason access to equipment and staff in Fort Myers? If they're not going to the complex, but rather staying in the town of the MiLB team they played on, are they also being charged for access to that facility? I don't know why it's so hard to understand--outside of major cities (which almost every MiLB team is), rent is fairly affordable. Nearly any player paying more than $300/$400 a month for rent is making a poor financial decision, and renting a place above their means--not because they don't have a choice, but because they do. If a player pays $400 a month in rent for 12 months, and needs to stay below the 30% threshold, they need to make $1,333 a month, or $16k a year, which equates to $10.25 an hour at 30 hours a week. That is not a high bar for a healthy 18-24 year old with presumably no personal red flags to clear. That's not even mentioning the mid/high 5-6 figure bonuses most players get, and the possibility that parents could assist as well. MiLB players are paid enough to live in the United States of 2021. Pretending otherwise is not in keeping with logic or reality. The minimum wage is germane because it is a calculation of what someone needs to earn in order to meet their basic needs. The debate on whether employees are owed a wage that provides beyond that is for a different time and place.
  17. No gymnastics whatsoever, you asserted that NBA/NHL/MLB minor league players are peers, and offered no rationale for that characterization whatsoever. I therefore reject it categorically, until such time as you see fit to explain why individuals in completely different professions, which require completely different skillsets, are somehow peers. My assumption is that the tie you are using in your mind to bind them is their participation in the larger professional sports industry, which is why I responded with my example of 3 different professions, all working within the larger tech industry. If an MiLB player, an AHL player, and a G league player are peers because of their participation in the sports industry, why aren't a salesperson at Microsoft, an HR rep at Amazon, and an SDE at Google peers? They're all part of the tech industry, and we can therefore call Microsoft greedy for not paying their salesperson as much as Google pays their SDE, right?
  18. Well done throwing the word privilege in. Your virtue-signaling quota for the day has been met! The main reason people earning above the poverty line live below the poverty line is because they make poor financial decisions. As I and Bean have demonstrated, MiLB players are earning above the poverty line, therefore if they find themselves incapable of living above that line, it is because they are not making good financial decisions. That doesn't make them bad people, but it does mean giving them more money won't fix the problem. People who make bad financial decisions don't suddenly start making good financial decisions once their pay hits a certain level. It's why so many professional athletes, who make much much more than MiLB players are broke within 3 years of the gamechecks stopping. The pay for MiLB players is certainly not extravagant, but it is also assuredly above minimum wage. At the Federal minimum wage of $7.25, assuming anything over 40 hours a week is paid at time-and-a-half, a player would have to spend 59 hours on baseball activities a week to hit $500 at minimum wage. For those at AAA earning $700 a week, that increases to 77 hours a week. Do we really think MiLB players are spending 8.5 to 11 hours a day every day at the park? There's your data; care to provide any links to anything that refutes that? If not, please be intellectually honest, and admit that your stance is that MiLB players should be paid more because the owners can afford it, not that MiLB players are somehow unable to live on what they're being paid.
  19. For the same reason millionaire players get a pass from those who want to blame the owners. If every player set aside 1% of their post-tax pay (for a player at the minimum, assuming 50% taxes, which is almost assuredly high, that's $17 a game), $40M could be provided to MiLB players annually, which would be an additional $11.5k a year, per player. Or, MLB players could allow MiLB players into their union as junior members, and negotiate increased pay on their behalf. If the owners are greedy, and don't want to reduce their income for MiLB players, then certainly the MLBPA is full of greedy people who don't want to reduce their income for MiLB players either.
  20. This could easily be worked around. The Rays could give all of their players jobs in the organization during the offseason, or open a restaurant staffed exclusively by their MiLB players and be fine operating at a loss, or require sponsors to take a couple of Rays players as paid interns. The only reason an MLB team like the Rays or A's isn't paying MiLB players more (whether directly or indirectly) is because they are not convinced that the investment is worth it.
  21. I said if. If the vast majority of MiLB players can't survive on what they're being paid, then financial illiteracy is an issue, and unless you're saying that MLB deliberately seeks out financially illterate individuals to play in MiLB (making MiLB players not representatuve of society at large), the presumption is therefore that the young people in our society are not equipped to be financially literate upon graduating from HS/College. If that is the case, it is hardly MLB's issue to solve--it's all of us who should be asking why our education system has failed so massively at preparing our youth for life. 25k annually, for a single person, is nowhere close to check to check, unless the person is living beyond their means. That individual could spend $500/mo on rent, $500/mo on food, $500/mo on other bills, and still have $500 left for anything else they want. Will it be a luxurious existence? No. But no one owes anyone a luxurious existence.
  22. Actually, that article you posted ignores several things. For one, baseball players, basketball players, and hockey players are no longer peers, when it comes to the point in their lives where professional organziations pay them to play. Jose Miranda would not be able to go play for the Iowa Wolves or Wild tomorrow, nor would any of those players (with maybe one exception every few years) be able to join a Twins MiLB team. As such, NBA/NHL/MLB minor leaguers are no more peers than salespeople, HR representatives and software engineers working in the tech industry are. Second, the NBA and NHL each have only one level of minor leagues, compared to baseball's 4 "official" levels (there are still complex and academy teams, and I'm sure those players aren't playing for free). If MLB dissolved Low A, High A, and AA, I'm sure the weekly salary for AAA players would increase to $5k-$6k a month, and be largely inline with the G League and AHL. Likewise, if the NBA and NHL added 3 levels of minor leagues, I'm guessing the pay for the currently existing leagues would go down substantially. Third, MiLB rosters are larger than either the G League or AHL. It's a lot easier to guarantee $7k a month when you only have to do that for 10 guys, as opposed to 28. This isn't to say MLB owners couldn't do it, just to point out that it's an easier threshold to achieve for NBA owners (in fact, if both rosters are being paid minimum salaries, an MLB owner will pay more to his 28 AAA players than the NBA owner will to his 10).
  23. I don't think anyone here is ripping minor league players. I see people pointing out that MiLB does not pay poverty wages (which you know, hence why you put quotation marks around the word poverty), and saying that if players are living in their car, and struggling to get enough food to eat, it is probably because they make poor financial decisions, and therefore giving them more money won't help matters. If we truly want to help the minor league players, directing them to be fiscally responsible is the best way to do that, not giving them more money that could quite possibly be squandered. If you want proof, look no further than the individual who led off the ESPN story--he received a $400k signing bonus, and in 3 years, it was gone. Do we really think that upping his salary would have prevented him from living as he was "forced" to do? In fact, I am very empathetic and compassionate, which is why I don't think throwing money at someone is helpful, but often detrimental. Often the empathetic and compassionate thing to do is let people understand the consequences of their poor decisions, and then offer them your hand to help them up.
  24. Half of minor league players are paid at least $600/wk. The other half are 16.7% below that threshold.
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