If It's Not True, Pretend That It Is
Barry Rozner of Chicago's Daily Herald goes off on a rant about payroll disparity and how only the big city teams with the bloated payrolls qualify, which sounds all well and good until you realize that none of it is true.
Level playing field? Not in your baseball lifetimeSeven different champions in seven seasons. Sounds pretty level to me. In comparison, the NFL the "ultimate parity league" have, since the Yankees beat the Mets in the 2000 World Series to begin that seven team run, seen 50% of their championships go to one franchise, the New England Patriots. The NFL has near full revenue sharing and a salary cap. I guess there must be more to it than payroll, huh?
NEW YORK — Only in Gotham can you find a team truly worth a billion dollars.Ok, I am imagining this. My guess is that they wouldn't invest that much unless they thought they'd get a return on that investment, but hey, what do I know, I don't write for the Daily Herald.
And it’s clear from the early returns that the Cubs won’t fetch that price.
At least not yet.
But imagine a group of local businessmen/Cubs fans buying the club and paying, say, $700 million to $800 million for the team, give or take a few bucks, with a sweet broadcast deal thrown into the package.
There are some who believe that could happen any day now, but we’re inclined to think ownership will continue to drive the price higher and create a bidding war.There are some who think that man never walked on the moon and that OJ was innocent. It's lazy writing to say "there are some who say" without mentioning who those some are, and then to refute those nameless hordes with a "we're inclined to believe" as if Barry Rozner is not a man, but a collective mind of experts. Example: there are some who say that Barry Rozner is a big jackass, but we're inclined to believe he is many jackasses.
Still, whether it’s this year or next, it’s likely to happen, and if it does, imagine further a Cubs team willing to spend $200 million on payroll to win.Yes, it would be truly awful of ownership to invest their profits into the team instead of pocketing it. Man what a bunch of jerks!
That would put them in the rarified air that belongs only to the Yankees and now the Red Sox, who were willing to spend more than $100 million alone on a hurler who has yet to throw a North American pitch in anger.
And nowhere in the last week — since owners began spending like drunken Steinbrenners — have you heard Bud Selig proclaim that the game is perfect, that anyone can win at any time, and that the days of the Haves vs. the Have-nots are over.
Indeed, Selig tries only to sell such fiction around the time of the All-Star Game, when it’s true there is parity in the game.
Wait, so is Bud Selig supposed to make a weekly address that "everything is fine"? Rozner would probably have purchased this invention:
The reason Selig doesn't preach balance is because he's always been an owner for small markets (since he and his daughter have owned the Milwaukee Brewers for the better part of the last few decades) and doesn't complain when owners of those franchises line their pockets with revenue sharing. To admit that there is some competitive balance would be to undermine the "dire need" for a new stadium for every franchise owner wanting a community to pay to buy him a new toy.
Homer: Here's my "Everything's O.K." alarm! (loud piercing alarm)
This will sound every three seconds, unless something isn't
Marge: Turn it off, Homer!
Homer: It can't be turned off! [alarm fizzles out] But it, uh,
does break easily.
Other than that, his “perfect’’ system seems quite broken, as there is no level playing field, and there is no competitive balance.Seven champions in the last seven years.
Certainly not when it comes to purchasing free agents or making the playoffs.Again, I'm no Bud Selig fan, but why exactly should Selig be making statements "since the collective bargaining agreement" about parity? I'm truly at a loss to figure out why Rozner keeps saying that Selig hasn't made a statement since some arbitrary time about a situation that hasn't changed.
That is reserved for the richest of the rich, and you’ll notice you have not heard a word from Selig since he bragged about the new collective bargaining agreement being signed without a work stoppage.
The playoffs are not reserved for the "richest of the rich." But let's use facts rather than hyperbole to prove it:
Top 10 2006 Payrolls and their results playoff teams in bold:
That's three out of the top ten.
- New York Yankees
- Boston Red Sox
- Angels of Whatever City You Choose
- Chicago White Sox
- New York Mets
- Chicago Cubs
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Houston Astros
- Atlanta Braves
- San Francisco Giants
Well, congratulations for not killing the game again.Hey dude, that is actually a big deal that there will be no work stoppage for the forseeable future and no acrimonius, dragged out negotiations full of threats and timetables. That is a very big deal, as it's pretty much unprecedented in the history of the sport. However I suppose Selig's time would have been better served giving speeches about competitive balance.
The truth is there was no work stoppage because the big-market owners are making money hand over fist, and the players couldn’t be more pleased.I know this won't make and sense to Barry Rozner, but ALL teams are making money hand over fist. Remember the Brewers I mentioned before? Small market team, right? Well a few years ago they were the most profitable team in baseball: "Figures released by major league baseball show that the Milwaukee Brewers were baseball's most profitable club, after revenue sharing, in 2001. Without revenue sharing, the Brewers were the fourth-most profitable team." That hasn't changed. The Brewers are still making money:
Ok, back to Rozner's Ramblings:
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has said his profit for 2005 was about $4.5 million. That’s much lower than the Forbes estimate, but the magazine does not take into account taxes, depreciation and interest payments. A newly purchased franchise like the Brewers can claim millions in phantom depreciation on ballplayers, a tax break not allowed to any other industry. As for interest payments, that reflects borrowed money, not money an owner actually put up to buy a team.
The long and short of it is the Brewers are doing very well. Though the team ranks 26th of 30 franchises in total revenue, its profit is high because its expenses are low. That would reflect two factors: a very favorable stadium deal, with the public paying for more of the costs than most cities, and a player payroll that is one of the lowest in the league. This raises an obvious question: Given how generous the taxpayers have been, why is the Brewers payroll so low?