August 05, 2002

Bud Selig insists the Twins' 17-game AL Central lead is an "aberration": and suggests a new stadium to solve their financial woes--woes which Selig claimed would render the Twins unable to compete this season. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball plans to celebrate its most aberrant moments at this year's World Series.

posted by kjh to baseball at 11:46 PM - 6 comments

When in danger, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout. For some reason this Heinlein gem came to mind reading this story; it seems so evocative of the owners' strategy. Ha, and just for fun, this one is germane to the topic as well: There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back, for their private benefit. Now, I'm not really a Heinlein fan, but both of these quotes seem tailor-made for MLB.

posted by alex_reno at 12:29 AM on August 06, 2002

Arrrghh... New stadiums do not hold as consistent source of new revenue by themselves. Winning teams build revenue, and the money can be spent on continuing to build winning teams. I'm sick of Bud Selig's anti-marketing campaign. Does he really look at the sport and say "You know, I think we can make this all work, if we convince 2/3 of the fans that their teams have no chance"? From a Baseball Prospectus article from August 1: (link) "Bud Selig is the game's public figurehead, and he lies constantly. He lied to Congress. He'll say things that are so ludicrous ("teams won't make payrolls!") that his own lawyer has to come out and contradict him the next day. ... His lies aren't even good lies. Selig doesn't tell his wife she looks good in that dress before they head out to parties; he'll tell her they can't afford that dress, and that even if it was the most flattering dress in the world, there's no way she'd be able to compete with the other women who will be at the party, who are way more luminous than she is. "

posted by nath at 03:05 AM on August 06, 2002

New stadiums do not hold as consistent source of new revenue by themselves. Winning teams build revenue, and the money can be spent on continuing to build winning teams. The Atlanta Braves anyone? In their miserable years, they made the least money in MLB. Now, after years of winning, they continue to produce enough money to sow back into the team (say, trading for a Gary Sheffield). I only hope they will be able to sign both Maddux and Glavine for a couple more years.

posted by trox at 07:55 AM on August 06, 2002

Trox: To play devil's advocate for a moment, isn't your fear about signing Maddux and Glavine a sign that there are money troubles in baseball? After all, the Braves are the most consistently successful team in baseball, they have a new stadium, and they have a terrific TV deal. If they're in any danger of losing Maddux or Glavine, how can any team keep its roster together? Personally, I'm content to let Bud Selig prove his worst-case scenarios true. If Major League Baseball wants to alienate its fans every few years with a strike and lots of poor-me posturing, let 'em. I just wish there was a way for a rival league to get started in some baseball-hungry cities, which was discussed for a while during the last strike.

posted by rcade at 09:58 AM on August 06, 2002

racde: The reason the Braves are going to lose Glavine and Maddux (both to the Yankess, probably and hopefully) is because of AOL/TW's accounting shenanigans. It's great to have a team that draws well, even with a low payroll, and provides free programming to your shitty stations.

posted by djacobs at 10:12 AM on August 06, 2002

In another article, BP makes a (brief) case that teams that show they're trying to win received a boost in attendance, as everyone's favorite candidates for contraction demonstrate, before and after the trades for Floyd and Colon:                                 Average Att.      Median Att. Expos, Not Trying        8,429               6,091 Expos, Trying             14,064             13,402 So, of course, they traded away Floyd, because if MLB wants to contract the Expos, they can't be showing any signs of being a viable team... so let's trade Floyd to the team whose owners already owe Bud a favor for rigging the sale of the team to them. But then, why would Montreal need prospects if they were "definitely" going to be contracted? Baseball needs a commissioner who can act independently of the owners before things will start to turn around.

posted by nath at 01:50 PM on August 06, 2002

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