March 03, 2011

Red Sox Owner Was Fined $500,000: Boston Red Sox owner John Henry revealed that in 2009 he was fined $500,000 by the league's disciplinary officials for publicly criticizing Major League Baseball's revenue sharing rules. Henry told the Boston Globe that seven "chronically uncompetitive teams" had received over $1 billion and he asked, "Who except these teams, can think this is a good idea?" He said this week of the fine, "The large markets aren't allowed to give their opinions. I made statements which turned out to be true, or at least there were various documents that were leaked after that."

posted by rcade to baseball at 08:21 AM - 7 comments

So in ~2013 we'll find out how much the Steinbrenners were fined over their comments?

posted by feloniousmonk at 12:09 PM on March 03, 2011

I have nothing useful to say about this, but this frosts my balls. Not as much as it probably does John Henry the next time he runs into his döppleganger Bud Selig.

posted by yerfatma at 12:10 PM on March 03, 2011

I wonder if English football will give Henry a taste for promotion/relegation? Protecting perpetual losers seems so un-American from my perspective...

posted by rodgerd at 01:20 PM on March 03, 2011

I would love to see relegation in MLB. It's probably the only major American sports league that has anything approaching the right structure for it.

I can't see the small market teams, or even the mid-market teams going for it though. It's hard to imagine the Pirates playing their way back into the majors, and I think pretty much everyone who talks about relegation has them in mind.

posted by feloniousmonk at 04:47 PM on March 03, 2011

I would love to see relegation in MLB. It's probably the only major American sports league that has anything approaching the right structure for it.

feloniousmonk, I actually wrote an article about that very subject yesterday on another website. As a matter of fact, it was John Henry's revelations along with Hank Steinbrenner's comments that gave me the inspiration. I wanted to begin a dialogue here on SpoFi about it citing my article but I never heard back from the moderators on whether or not it was ok to do so.

Basically, I made the argument that a relegation model might incentive some of these tight wad owner to actually spend some money, while maybe rewarding some of the better minor league owners. I think that with very minor modifications, relegation could be implemented very easily within baseball. As far as small & mid market teams opposing, I think some may, but some might actually welcome the opportunity to drop to a lower level where they might be more competitive and have an easier time putting fans in the stands.

If you're interested in reading my thoughts, check them out here. Moderators, if I am violating any guidelines, I apologize and please feel free to remove the link. I'm not looking to self promote but I would like to get people's feedback on this specific subject.

posted by crqri at 08:56 PM on March 03, 2011

I think that's a worthy post, crqri; this site used to have a way of posting columns, not sure if that exists.

Relegation seems interesting, but I think it would make more sense to scrap revenue sharing and have two leagues like they do today (AL and NL) but aligned by last year's results. This way, the Pirates and Royals and others can fight each other for the pennant. In a way this happens today: the AL East is a behemoth division while the AL West is weaker, but still gives those teams a chance to make the playoffs.

I think the difficulty with relegating would be the infrastructure of minor league teams not able to be a ML franchise, the incredible resistance of owners and fans, and the players union- if you were a player on a crap team, do you switch teams, or are you penalized by not getting to play in the ML? If you just hop to a promoted minor league team, won't that team be just as bad against the MLB teams?

But a form of relegating where the two leagues are shuffled every winter could work. I'm curious if that would cause a large market to tank a year on purpose to slash payroll, and toss it into next year when they drop to the lower league.

I think the solution is akin to the NFL/NBA where there is revenue sharing towards a salary pool only: every team can use it or not, but they have the same max, and any they don't spend goes to the MLBPA to do with as they wish. The MLBPA would negotiate total payroll as a % of revenue across the league, so the players would feel they weren't being Comiskey'ed, and the teams and fans would see a payroll parity and incentive to be competitive.

posted by hincandenza at 09:11 PM on March 03, 2011

every team can use it or not, but they have the same max

If I am understanding this correctly, there is no way the Yankees would ever agree to it. Probably also the Red Sox.

posted by graymatters at 09:22 AM on March 04, 2011

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