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  • Small Market Teams

    http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/snow52480/135089
    A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz. ~Humphrey Bogart

  • #2
    Oh, for pity's sake! Competitive balance is better than it's been at nearly any time in baseball history.

    The only team in baseball never to make the playoffs is the Devil Rays.

    The only teams that have not made the playoffs within the last 10 years are the Royals, the Reds, the Pirates, the Nationals/Expos, the Blue Jays... and of course the Devil Rays That means 24 teams have at least played a Division Series since 1998.

    14 teams have gone to the World Series at least once in the last decade.

    This is as balanced as you're going to get.

    If your team still can't catch the bus it needs to look inward for a cause rather than blaming the league for not propping it up in the days of revenue sharing and the wild card..

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Imgran View Post
      Oh, for pity's sake! Competitive balance is better than it's been at nearly any time in baseball history.

      The only team in baseball never to make the playoffs is the Devil Rays.

      The only teams that have not made the playoffs within the last 10 years are the Royals, the Reds, the Pirates, the Nationals/Expos, the Blue Jays... and of course the Devil Rays That means 24 teams have at least played a Division Series since 1998.

      14 teams have gone to the World Series at least once in the last decade.

      This is as balanced as you're going to get.

      If your team still can't catch the bus it needs to look inward for a cause rather than blaming the league for not propping it up in the days of revenue sharing and the wild card..
      ...said the fan of the team with the $150 million payroll.

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      • #4
        And that changes the fact that 4/5 of baseball has made the playoffs in the last 10 years exactly... how?

        Look, the Rays are doing the right things to take the dunce cap off, but if you want to play the victim card and scream competitive disadvantage when the vast majority of baseball seems to be able to figure out how to get to the playoffs don't be surprised if people aren't all that sympathetic.

        Heck, among the 6 also-rans, 3 of them had great showings in the 1990's, that'd be Pittsburgh, Cincinatti, and Toronto. If you guys, plus the Royals and the Nationals, can't figure out how to get over the hump, that's not our fault. Heck, anything the Marlins can do you guys sure as heck should be able to figure out.

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        • #5
          And how many of those other teams were in the AL East? Even if we spent $80 million, don't you think it is that much harder for the Rays to jump over the Yankees and Red Sox, just to even have a chance at the wild card? Of course it's easier in the Central, where everyone has taken a turn at winning the division except the Royals. Put the others in the AL East and have them play the Sox and Yanks 38 times out of 162, plus an always solid Toronto team, and let's see how many of those 24 division series teams make the playoffs.

          The Marlins had an owner who in some years was willing to spend big bucks so the county would build him a new stadium. When they resisted (because of all the transplants from up North who won't back the home teams), he stripped the team down to bare bones...twice. You've benefited quite well with some of their players, in Beckett and Lowell (though you did give up a lot in turns out in Hanley Ramirez).

          The Rays plan is to be competitive and successful consistently from year to year, and not follow the Marlins business plan of 100 wins one year, win a World Series, strip the team down to AA players and win 55 the next year. 2008 is the year the plan begins. The Rays goal this year is to be .500 and in 2009 and beyond to compete for wild cards and eventually division titles. After suffering this long for success, we can be patient a little longer...
          Last edited by raysnbran; 02-12-2008, 05:54 PM.
          Please visit http://sportsfeedia.com/ for the latest RSS feed updates on all your favorite sports and teams (my son created it and is the owner )

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          • #6
            Go look up how much the Giants and White Sox spent to grace the bottom of their respective divisions. And how much the Mets spent this year to miss the playoffs entirely. Money alone is not everything. Boston and New York are lucky enough to have smart GM's who built up their respective farms, and a big market intelligently run is always going to be a juggernaut. But you'll notice that the Sox managed to finish third back in '06. Nothing is insurmountable.

            BTW -- among the teams to reach the playoffs in the last 10 years was the Orioles. Think about it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Imgran View Post
              BTW -- among the teams to reach the playoffs in the last 10 years was the Orioles. Think about it.
              The Orioles were the last AL East team not playing in New York or Boston to make the playoffs. The year?

              1997

              In this ca$h is king, unbalanced schedule, interleague world, The Yankee$ have not missed the playoffs, and the Red $ox haven't failed to make the trip often.
              4 5 (7) 8 20 22 33 42 (44)

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              • #8
                If cash was king the Royals would never have had their heydays in the 70's and 80's. There is nothing that Boston is doing now that Baltimore and Toronto have not done in the past -- the only team I feel particularly sorry for is Tampa.

                The Sox-Yankees stranglehold on the East was only really an artifact for about 5 or 6 years. Between 1996 and 2000 the Sox were deep in the middle of the pack as the Clemens/Boggs/Greenwell generation hit the end of the line or moved on. For the most part the "dominance" had more to do with weak Toronto, Baltimore and Tampa teams than strong Boston and New York ones. Toronto's been flittering between 75 and 85 wins for years now as they try to decide whether they're really willing to compromise their principles enough to try and buy a title, Angelos has been Angelos for a decade, and the Rays simply haven't been able/willing/competent enough to develop a solid pitching core and keep them in Tampa until they stole Kazmir.
                Last edited by Imgran; 03-15-2008, 06:42 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Imgran View Post
                  If cash was king the Royals would never have had their heydays in the 70's and 80's.
                  This is irrelevant to the present-day situation, where cash is king, and the Yankees can just pay to gloss over all the mistakes they have made, and STILL make the playoffs every year.

                  I'm not one for picking on the Yankees because they are the Yankees, but I don't believe the balance is as good as it could be. Yes, the teams at the bottom have themselves to blame to an extent, but they still can't always sign top prospects and keep them from leaving at FA, much less go out and buy a top FA. It's that piece that is really distorting the game, because the Yankees and Red Sox and a couple other teams at the top have pushed up the prices for every kind of FA with over-the-top contracts. Signing even relatively average players now for 5 or 7 years takes the better ones off the market for longer, and so teams have to overspend to get the next level of guy.

                  Meanwhile, remarking that only one team hasn't made the playoffs because a couple had one appearance in the early 80s or whatnot isn't really germane to the situation we see today.
                  :cap:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Imgran View Post
                    Go look up how much the Giants and White Sox spent to grace the bottom of their respective divisions. And how much the Mets spent this year to miss the playoffs entirely. Money alone is not everything.
                    Of course money isn't everything. And of course there will always be some badly-run, expensive losing teams. That proves nothing about anything.

                    Originally posted by Imgran View Post
                    BTW -- among the teams to reach the playoffs in the last 10 years was the Orioles. Think about it.
                    Think about what?

                    The Orioles have had some high payrolls too (though not quite in the Yankee zone)... for a few years, they were moderately successful with those payrolls, and for a few more they were really bad. See above.
                    Last edited by Pere; 03-16-2008, 08:24 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Imgran View Post
                      If your team still can't catch the bus it needs to look inward for a cause rather than blaming the league for not propping it up in the days of revenue sharing and the wild card..
                      Actually, I would argue that it's the "small market" teams which are currently "propping up" the "big market" ones, by allowing the the big teams to keep such an overwhelming share of the profits from broadcasting games which require two teams, plus a league context, to occur.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spark240 View Post
                        Actually, I would argue that it's the "small market" teams which are currently "propping up" the "big market" ones, by allowing the the big teams to keep such an overwhelming share of the profits from broadcasting games which require two teams, plus a league context, to occur.
                        Actually all teams are required to put 34% of their local revenue (local broadcasting) into a pool. The payouts are split evenly among all 30 teams.

                        ---A simple example using the Red Sox and Rays as the only two teams in ML ball, Boston's 34% of local revenue is 35M and the Rays part is 15M for a total of 50M which split evenly would have 25M returning to each franchise. In effect the Rays would gain 10M while the Sox "donate" 10M for the good of baseball. ----

                        So really in a sense the "propping up" would actually be in reverse, the big market teams by their greater contribution to the shared pool are transferring local revenue their team earned to the small market teams.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Silver Blaze View Post
                          This is irrelevant to the present-day situation, where cash is king, and the Yankees can just pay to gloss over all the mistakes they have made, and STILL make the playoffs every year.

                          I'm not one for picking on the Yankees because they are the Yankees, but I don't believe the balance is as good as it could be.
                          I disagree. Without total baseball Communism I can't really think of anything we could do that would be fundamentally different. Some teams are always going to make more than other teams and some owners are always going to be willing to spend more than others. When big spenders have good GM's you get dynasties, when they have bad GM's you have the San Francisco Giants. But you have to pay to play in this league and there's really only so much you can do to tweak that in the name of competitive balance. And at some point a team that can't compete financially where it is should probably be moved anyway.

                          The only thing that would actually ameliorate the problems you're bringing up would be a 50M salary cap, and you'd sure as heck never get that through the Players' Union.

                          Yes, the teams at the bottom have themselves to blame to an extent, but they still can't always sign top prospects and keep them from leaving at FA, much less go out and buy a top FA.
                          I'd be more sympathetic if the Twins and Athletics hadn't just made the playoffs in 2006 despite having to cope with exactly this issue. The question that's really before us is whether the smaller market squads all have the resources required to put together a run like that if they work really hard on it. The Brewers just got close enough to prove that it was possible, but for the Royals, Pirates and Rays the jury is definitely out. One thing a big market team definitely DOES have over a small market team is a much greater ability to weather problems that crop up in the roster -- but 2006 proved even that wasn't insurmoutable.

                          It's that piece that is really distorting the game, because the Yankees and Red Sox and a couple other teams at the top have pushed up the prices for every kind of FA with over-the-top contracts. Signing even relatively average players now for 5 or 7 years takes the better ones off the market for longer, and so teams have to overspend to get the next level of guy.
                          Actually, the Giants, Brewers and Royals have done as much over the years as the Yankees have. Yankee contracts largely get ignored in the broader picture, but contracts to the likes of Zito, Meche, Gagne, et al tend to set the market by ensuring that superior talents want more money than they got. It's teams desperate enough to pay top dollar for second teir talent that really stretch the market, not the ones paying top money for top talent.

                          As for retaining talent, Tampa's proving right now that it can do it when it wants to. I can't think of a lot of Rays that got away who were worth keeping to be honest with you.

                          Meanwhile, remarking that only one team hasn't made the playoffs because a couple had one appearance in the early 80s or whatnot isn't really germane to the situation we see today.
                          Actually I think everyone but Tampa has made the playoffs since the last expansion. I remain unconvinced that baseball is actually feasible in Tampa, and they've been 2 years away from contending since the day their club was founded. That said, for the next couple years with Shields and Kazmir on the squad you've probably got as good a chance as you're ever going to get.
                          Last edited by Imgran; 03-16-2008, 06:59 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hack_Miller View Post
                            So really in a sense the "propping up" would actually be in reverse, the big market teams by their greater contribution to the shared pool are transferring local revenue their team earned to the small market teams.
                            The big teams did not earn that money by themselves. The Yankees and Red Sox cannot make their big profits without their opponents and their league context.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dude, we're talking about local media revenue. An argument that you need the other team in order to make money probably works against teams with poor attendance and nonexistent fan interest, and both Florida squads qualify.

                              If interest in the other team = media revenue for both teams we'd probably make more money on average per game without the weakest of the markets and share the games that would have been played there around in markets that actually show some evidence of caring about baseball.
                              Last edited by Imgran; 03-16-2008, 05:12 PM.

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