Progressivism

John Henry has some extremely compelling ideas on how to restore "competitive balance" to MLB. That is, they are compelling if you buy into the idea that "competitive balance" needs restoring.  Click through this link for more details, there is a lot of fodder for discussion over at the Globe. The key tenet of Henry's structure for restoration of such balance is a progressive payroll tax in lieu of revenue sharing. We haven't decided how we feel about this, but it seems, on the surface, to be quite reasonable: Owners aren't penalized because of the strengths of their market or the popularity of their team, they are only taxed on what they decide to devote to talent.  This only works in concert with our own favorite (and, we think essential) component of Henry's proposal: a minimum payroll requirement to any team receiving money from contributing clubs.  No pocketing of the dough by the wastrel clubs, which is likely what happens in some form with the current structure.

Discuss in the comments.

(h/t krueg)

42 comments… add one

  • Convenient that he uses the size of the metropolitan market rather than the size of the media market. How many other teams have five states to themselves?

    Jeff December 2, 2009, 1:26 pm
  • Is this where I write something about z0MG SOACILISM!!1@@!@

    Beth December 2, 2009, 1:57 pm
  • “Convenient that he uses the size of the metropolitan market rather than the size of the media market. How many other teams have five states to themselves?”
    This was among the first things i noticed from this article as well. I do agree with some of the suggestions he makes though. But he lumps the mets and the yankees in a group that his team should be in as well…

    sam-YF December 2, 2009, 2:37 pm
  • ..but his market isn’t even in the Top 15!!! ;)

    krueg December 2, 2009, 3:02 pm
  • “Convenient that he uses the size of the metropolitan market rather than the size of the media market. How many other teams have five states to themselves?”
    Valid, but also consider the populations of Conn, NH, Vt and Maine. Pretty low. Those states and Mass have 22 Congressional seats ( based on population). NY and NJ combined have 42 for the Mets and Yanks. (I have no idea how eastern PA might factor into this.)
    I also have no idea what it might mean for teams such as the Cardinals, who own most of Missouri, southern Illinois, E.
    Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas, as well as teams like Seattle and Arizona.
    Definitely agree that the floor in the crucial component.
    And I also would expect that YFs would hate the idea given that it would mean an end to the formula that has worked so well for them and against others for 30+ years.

    I'mBillMcNeal December 2, 2009, 10:41 pm
  • Also, Yanks’ WS video by MLB is $13 + free shipping right now at http://www.ebay.com/deals.

    I'mBillMcNeal December 2, 2009, 10:44 pm
  • Yeah, the “five states” argument doesn’t hold much water, given the size of the states. And part of Connecticut — the most populous part, at that — is clearly part of the New York market.
    I am not of the opinion that baseball is so competitively imbalanced that something needs to change. One multiple World Series winner since 2000, with winners as varied as the Yankees, Marlins, Cardinals, Phillies. Meanwhile, big-spending teams have missed the postseason entirely, including this year’s Mariners, Tigers and Mets.
    I agree that the one idea that should be implemented, regardless of whether there are any other changes to the way the sport’s finances are structured, is a minimum payroll requirement. That’s certainly not beneficial to the Sox and Yankees, who feast off the periodic firesales of the teams that take their money and choose not to spend it, but it would be better for the game as a whole.

    Paul SF December 2, 2009, 11:14 pm
  • Purely in regards to a minimum floor:
    Terrible idea. The Marlins have put up a contending team almost every season while spending very little. Why should they be punished?

    www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=26805004 December 3, 2009, 12:41 am
  • The Sox’s actual market is much higher than 16th, which is the point. The Sox certainly didn’t create massive amounts of revenue from a small market – they have a near-complete monopoly on New England, which is also one of the wealthiest per-capita markets in America. It’s not as big a media market as New York, of course, even with the Yankees ‘sharing’ with the Mets, but it’s certainly up there.
    Let’s not actually try to make the Red Sox or their market out to be small, or even middle-market. It’s just not. It’s John Henry, douchey and smarmy as always, trying (and failing) to brag that the Red Sox do so much more with less. It’s too bad he had to try to do that, because some of his other points are spot-on, especially the part about minimum payrolls.
    Another idea I heard, and liked, was a minimum payroll tax threshold. Why simply tax the teams that spend a lot on payroll? Why not tax the teams that DON’T spend on payroll? If they’re taking in more money than they’re spending simply from MLB revenue sharing, they should be taxed, and taxed heavily, just like the teams (team?) that go over the maximum payroll tax threshold. I wonder how often we’d see the Marlins trade away their arbitration-eligible players then, when Loria suddenly doesn’t have nearly as much dough solely from other baseball teams lining his pockets?

    AndrewYF December 3, 2009, 1:09 am
  • “Valid, but also consider the populations of Conn, NH, Vt and Maine. Pretty low. Those states and Mass have 22 Congressional seats ( based on population). NY and NJ combined have 42 for the Mets and Yanks.”
    This is a really misleading way of analyzing this. The entire states of NJ and NY arent yankees and mets fans. Southern NJ are phillies fans and much of upstate NY are Sox and Indians fans. Just the same, not all of CT is Sox country either.
    It is certainly fair to say IMO that the sox have one of the largest pools of fans to draw from of any team. Southern Cali and Chicago are the only two other places that rival it and they all have multiple teams. Regardless of how you want to break it down, they certainly arent in the middle as far as fan base goes as Henry’s statement about the 15th largest media market is concerned. The sox have lots of fans and sell lots of advertising, this helps their team more than almost every team in baseball. I dont think this point really be argued.

    sam-YF December 3, 2009, 1:09 am
  • I like parts of Henry’s proposal, superficially at this point, because it eliminates the shadow games that are played by both the payees of revenue sharing money and the recipients. Since revenue is no longer taxed, there is no reason to argue over where the Yankees (or the Sox) are hiding their profits, whether in YES, NESN, or elsewhere. And owners like Steinbrenner and Henry, are no longer “punished” because they risked buying large market teams that have both more upside and downside. Instead, the teams are progressively taxed on their payrolls, de-linking their shared money and simplifying the system. If the Sox decide to spend no money on payroll, pay no tax, and clear more profit, then it would follow that the team performance would suffer and fans might flee – it has happend before and will happen again regardless of current popularity. So they are still incentivized to spend, even with a tax. But the minimum payroll floor needs to be a part of any revised system in this ilk, if any money flows to lower-tier clubs it MUST be spent on players. Otherwise, the sharing should be stopped. It should be non-negotiable in any system like this, the minimum.
    I advocated for a minimum floor before this current revenue sharing setup, and I think it is by far Henry’s best idea within his larger complex of ideas. But it is inextricably linked to sharing – with sharing there must be a minimum floor, teams should not be allowed to pocket the money like they do today.

    SF December 3, 2009, 7:53 am
  • “…I am not of the opinion that baseball is so competitively imbalanced that something needs to change. One multiple World Series winner since 2000, with winners as varied as the Yankees, Marlins, Cardinals, Phillies….”
    you’re right paul, and you can add in the teams that didn’t win a ws, but have been competetive, like the twins, and rockies, who are both well down on the list of payroll, and are smaller market teams…frankly, this takes some of the steam out of the overall argument, and makes henry’s comments seem like a simple knee-jerk reaction to the yankees winning the series after their spending binge last offseason…it has a little of that “evil empire”, and bemoan the tiny market teams like mine, ring to it…those sentiments [if not the words], both emotional, and clearly hyperbolic, betray his objectivity on the subject…having said that, he does have a valid point…if the teams making and spending the most money get punished for it, why not the scrooges who don’t invest in the product and therefore are just as guilty of creating the so-called competitive imbalance problem…the minimum floor should be at least the amount received from revenue sharing and luxury tax, plus some reasonable percentage over that, just to keep them honest…if you don’t meet that spending target, you forfeit the difference back into the system…bet you’d see them spend it then…i’m sure i sound defensive about my team, which is the one doing all the spending, and therefore contributing the most to the system by the way, but i thought the spending=winning myth has been debunked at least as many times as the yankees haven’t won…

    dc December 3, 2009, 8:28 am
  • “The Sox’s actual market is much higher than 16th, which is the point. The Sox certainly didn’t create massive amounts of revenue from a small market – they have a near-complete monopoly on New England, which is also one of the wealthiest per-capita markets in America.”
    That was exactly my point. But as Bill nicely points out, the number of Congressional districts would be a fine alternative (since they’re proportional to population). I’d love to see a list of how many districts each team “owns” or splits. The Red Sox will be at the top of that list.
    To that point, how would Henry react if another team wanted to move to the Boston market? I don’t think he’d be so progressive.
    One thing I will disagree with Bill on: The Yankees won’t be hurt by any new agreement. Not even one that institutes a salary cap. Money always finds its way around rules.
    ” Instead, the teams are progressively taxed on their payrolls, de-linking their shared money and simplifying the system.”
    This is the best idea offered.

    Jeff December 3, 2009, 9:48 am
  • “spending=winning myth”
    It isn’t a myth, dc. Spending increases a team’s chances of winning greatly. There are always outliers. But outliers are exactly that: outliers.
    Of course, teams run well can win intermittently, but if Ownership does not spend to retain talent who would otherwise walk to wealthier clubs (like the Sox have done with some players, and the Yankees did with a guy like Posada), then that success is always fleeting. Spending money and winning are linked. Looking at money spent and whether or not a team won a championship is a false measure of connection, in my opinion.

    SF December 3, 2009, 10:08 am
  • “This is a really misleading way of analyzing this. The entire states of NJ and NY arent yankees and mets fans. Southern NJ are phillies fans and much of upstate NY are Sox and Indians fans. Just the same, not all of CT is Sox country either.”
    Sam, here’s my problem. What IS an objective way to analyze a team’s fan demo?
    Take me, for example. I live in the Chicago suburbs. I hate the Cubs and peripherally watch the White Sox. I’m a lifelong midwesterner and I’ve never lived in New England. I root for the Red Sox because they were my dad’s team – he was born in Boston and grew up in Connecticut.
    We are such a transient nation that I’m not sure there is an accurate way to measure a team’s fan base. We know anecdotally, for example, that there are large pockets of Yankee, Red Sox and even Cubs (God knows why) fans coast to coast.
    So it would seem best to look at the local market potential, wouldn’t it? (And I sure as hell wouldn’t know the breakdown of the NY/NJ/PA area.)
    But make no mistake, NESN does make a lot of money for Henry.
    Also, Sam, St. Louis has huge market potential, much of it historical. Back before the team moves to Cali and expansion, St. Louis was the farthest west and south. The Cards owned a HUGE chunk of the South and had minor league teams all over the place. The Braves, Royals and Rangers have not really eaten into that regional presence.
    Andrew, nobody is trying to suggest the Red Sox market is small. It’s not. They might have less potential, population-wise, in New England than other teams, which would make them a potentially mid-market team, and that, I think is Henry’s argument. But they have great penetration, so it’s a big market.
    Jeff:
    “To that point, how would Henry react if another team wanted to move to the Boston market? I don’t think he’d be so progressive.”
    This won’t happen. So it’s irrelevant.
    “One thing I will disagree with Bill on: The Yankees won’t be hurt by any new agreement. Not even one that institutes a salary cap. Money always finds its way around rules.”
    I never said or implied this.
    Sorry I’m all over the place. I’m at work.

    I'mBillMcNeal December 3, 2009, 10:55 am
  • I am not even sure why Henry’s comment about Boston being the 16th biggest market is even relevant to the discussion of his policy suggestions. It is superficial to the subject, and semantic, more to make the Sox seem like a small market club than they are. I think we can all common-sensically push that aside as posturing. But it doesn’t really affect what he is proposing, which protects any team from having revenue poached by other, supposedly needier clubs and then pocketed.
    In the end Henry is simply proposing that sharing be based on payroll and not revenue, and that any money that is shared be based on a progressive payroll tax and that the shared money must be spent on payroll itself, by a receiving team. It raises the payroll floor for smaller, less flush teams and could help them potentially retain talent, which in turn might improve their own revenues. I am skeptical of “trickle down” effects, but in this case if a floor is established and the money that is shared is mandated to be spent then it might have a real impact, particularly in the retention of near-arb ready and arb-ready talent.
    For me, it may be less about “competitive balance” and more about helping (mandating?) small clubs retain talent who otherwise might move sooner. That would be good for the game, to have exciting young players in smaller markets stay with their clubs for longer tenures.

    SF December 3, 2009, 11:11 am
  • “…I am not even sure why Henry’s comment about Boston being the 16th biggest market is even relevant to the discussion of his policy suggestions….”
    exactly sf…i wonder why he even brought it up in the first place if it wasn’t to make the point about the economic distance he wants everyone to believe exists between his team [and teams "like" his] and the yankees and mets, for example…
    “…It isn’t a myth, dc. Spending increases a team’s chances of winning greatly….”
    but it doesn’t guarantee it sf, and that’s the myth that explodes when you examine the recent winners…paul pointed that out in his comments…sure, the yankees have won twice in the last 10 years, but the team with the 16th largest market has won twice as well…every other year had a different winner…other free-spending teams didn’t make the playoffs at all this year…sure looks like parity to me…i’m not saying that some tinkering of the system isn’t in order, specifically with regard to the scrooges that pocket money intended to help restore some balance in payroll expenditures…i just think the timing for this argument by henry is interesting, that’s all…

    dc December 3, 2009, 11:50 am
  • “I am not even sure why Henry’s comment about Boston being the 16th biggest market is even relevant to the discussion of his policy suggestions.”
    Its relevant to the discussion of his comment on the whole not necessarily the policy suggestions he makes. To those reading without a SF-bias (and i mean this in the best possible way i realize there is a YF-bias in my reading) the comments that are intertwined within the sound policy suggestions strike a tone of sour grapes to a degree. The overall tone sounds a bit like “we are a small market team but we are so smart and good at what we do we can keep up with the big dogs.” I think its worth discussing in addition to the MLB finance policy discussion.
    IBM- I agree its very hard to quantitate a teams fanbase. Thats why I objected to the use of the congressional districting as a means of doing so. The bottom line for both the yankees and the red sox is that their fanbase does not have geographical boundies and therein lies their true financial might. They both pull revenues from around the country and not many other teams can say this (maybe the cubs and dodgers). This fact reinforces the silliness of Henry noting the size of their TV market.

    sam-YF December 3, 2009, 12:08 pm
  • *that should be a mid-market team not small market team

    sam-YF December 3, 2009, 12:09 pm
  • and i don’t see how replacing revenue-sharing with a more punitive payroll tax will dissuade teams like the yankees, and yes the red sox, from using their financial might to try to put the best players in front of their adoring, and high-paying fans…they’ll do the math and spend accordingly if it means getting the next tex or dice-k…

    dc December 3, 2009, 12:15 pm
  • “I am not even sure why Henry’s comment about Boston being the 16th biggest market is even relevant to the discussion of his policy suggestions.”
    Ask him. He brought it up in the context of that discussion. The problem is, it’s a misrepresentation in favor of his biases.
    His general argument stands on its own. He didn’t need to misrepresent anything.

    Jeff December 3, 2009, 1:38 pm
  • The canard about Boston being a small market seems to get trotted out by every Red Sox owner. I’d rather it be done in this sanctimonious way, where the owner is still spending tons of money and winning World Championships, than the way John Harrington and the Yawkey Trust did until close to the end of their run (when they began splurging in an effort to “win one for Yawkey” before they sold the team), which was to say Boston was a small market and use it as an excuse not to spend enough money.

    Paul SF December 3, 2009, 3:16 pm
  • Ask him. He brought it up in the context of that discussion. The problem is, it’s a misrepresentation in favor of his biases.
    His general argument stands on its own. He didn’t need to misrepresent anything.

    Like I said in that original comment, I think we can all dismiss it as posturing, it was not really necessary. Regardless, like you say, his argument stands on its own and his posturing shouldn’t muddy up the fact that he has some strong ideas.

    SF December 3, 2009, 5:46 pm
  • “…I think we can all dismiss it as posturing, it was not really necessary. Regardless, like you say, his argument stands on its own and his posturing shouldn’t muddy up the fact that he has some strong ideas….”
    well, normally i’d say ok, no foul, sf…but this has become the mindset for the red sox fans and management…it smacks of excuses and whining…the bitching started with last year’s free agent binge by the yankees, and it continues this offseason…part of me thinks that henry is bracing the sox fans for an austere approach to their transition…the “posturing” as you refer to it is old, tired, and becoming a joke…it’s insincerity tends to diminish whatever point he’s trying to make…it’s not muddy at all…it’s crystal clear…

    dc December 3, 2009, 6:16 pm
  • “Thats why I objected to the use of the congressional districting as a means of doing so.”
    I acknowledge that it might not be the best method. It was the best I could conjure without doing actual math. I wasn’t going to add up the actual population of each state. But I don’t necessarily agree that it’s completely irrelevant. Those districts are based on population, which would give an indication of market potential. Yes, we know that not everyone in those markets is a fans of the hometown team. But penetration isn’t 100 percent, either.
    “This fact reinforces the silliness of Henry noting the size of their TV market.”
    Is it silly? I am willing to concede that Henry probably makes more from NESN than most other teams make through their cable packages. But I fail to believe there is no truth to his assertion. Frankly, I don’t even know how the media market rankings are determined. Would those same rankings suggest that the White Sox are in a larger media market? If they do, they should. There are more people in the eight Illinois counties and the 2-3 counties in NW Indiana that make up the Greater Chicago Area than live in all of New England. So, although more of those folks are probably Cubs fans than White Sox fans, it’s still true.
    Look, everyone.
    Let’s stop nit-picking Henry’s words and discuss the overall concept. Yeah, he rationalized a few things. We can all agree on that. But the argument doesn’t hinge on whether the Red Sox are in the 16th-largest media market.

    I'mBillMcNeal December 3, 2009, 6:44 pm
  • “…Let’s stop nit-picking Henry’s words and discuss the overall concept….”
    it’s not “nit-picking”…those are his words…he deliberately tried to characterize the sox situation in a favorable light compared to the bad boys from new york…yankess and mets…my sticking point bill isn’t so much that he’s dishonest about it, it’s that he didn’t raise this as an issue until his red sox started losing and the yankees started winning…he gets no points for the “concept”…it ain’t original, we’ve all talked about it here…

    dc December 3, 2009, 7:12 pm
  • my sticking point bill isn’t so much that he’s dishonest about it, it’s that he didn’t raise this as an issue until his red sox started losing and the yankees started winning
    This is patently false and even a thirty second Google search would have shown you that. Here is one of the first results of my first five-second search, from 2006, after the Sox beat the Yanks in 2004 and before the Yanks won anything again:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2333455
    There is likely a lot more from Henry out there, he’s not unverbal.

    SF December 3, 2009, 7:44 pm
  • In fact, as far back as 2004, AFTER the Sox won the Series (and won the ALCS over some other team I for some reason cannot place), Henry advocated for the strong CBT that was in place at the time, perhaps naively. It seems like Henry has come to the realization that the smaller clubs are simply not spending the money they receive from the larger clubs and he is sick of paying them to line their pockets. Can anyone blame him?
    The concepts he proposes now are in line with extricating the shared dollars from revenue, just as he stated in that article, way back in 2004. The accusation that his just popped into his head because the Yankees won the Series or that he has been silent is just completely inaccurate.
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2004-12-27-luxury-tax_x.htm?POE=SPOISVA

    SF December 3, 2009, 7:56 pm
  • nobody’s disputing the validity of his proposal on face value sf, just that it’s not original, and the timing of his latest revisit is odd…it’s not new for other teams/fans to want to pummel the yankees for making more and spending more…that’s why it’s been so delicious for them when the yankees lose…you know, the big choke, early playoff exits, and all…tasty stuff…the fact that he specifically mentions the yankees and the mets, while oddly leaving his own team out of that, and in fact, inaccurately portraying his own team as a smaller fish, is intellectually dishonest…you may not want us to nitpick, but it is part of the overall context of his argument, and therefore not easily dismissed…

    dc December 3, 2009, 10:10 pm
  • Apparently those links didn’t contain enough facts to convince you that you live in a fantasyland where John Henry times airing his issues with revenue sharing to Yankee success.
    He does this just about every year. He did it when he bought into Nascar. He did it in a 2007 interview with Amalie Benjamin of the Globe (no link as I am posting from a mobile device). He airs these complaints regularly. This year he has actually proposed something and it is worth discussing on the merits.

    SF December 3, 2009, 10:33 pm
  • “which was to say Boston was a small market and use it as an excuse not to spend enough money.”
    Of course, one could say that the latest iteration of that is the “Yankees spend too much money and the Red Sox just can’t keep up” line, which is silly in and of itself. The Red Sox can easily choose to go the extra mile on a free agent the Yankees want. They just choose not to, and it gives those profit margins a nice boost as they reduce payroll.

    AndrewYF December 3, 2009, 11:30 pm
  • Of course, one could say that the latest iteration of that is the “Yankees spend too much money and the Red Sox just can’t keep up” line, which is silly in and of itself.
    One could say that, but then one would be ignoring the reality that no team can catch up with the Yankees in spending.
    The Yanks have spent $1.45 billion on free agents in the last 10 years, most in baseball. The Red Sox are third, with $651 million. So, Andrew, your argument is the Sox “can easily choose” to more than double the amount of money they spend in free agency? That’s ridiculous.
    We’ve had this argument before, and you’re just as wrong now as you were then. Just because the Sox have a lot of money to spend, and actually spend it liberally, does not put them in the same universe as the Yankees — because no team is in the same universe as the Yankees. I remain confused as to why so many Yankee fans are so defensive about this. It’s reality. I’ve dealt with it. So should you.

    Paul SF December 4, 2009, 7:47 am
  • thanks andrew, i hope your comment is more convincing than mine that the guy’s motives are somewhat questionable…his distortion of the red sox position in baseball’s economic heirarchy suggests that it is he that is living in the fantasyland that sf referred to…a world where he tries to convince the fans that the less fortunate teams, like his, cannot hope to keep up with the free-wheeling swashbucklers like the yanks and mets [who he specifically mentions, by the way]…perhaps sf is right, and the timing of these latest henry musings, which i’ll agree are worthy of consideration if not original, have nothing to do with the yankees spending $400 kazillion, or whatever it was, to secure the best 3 free agents, then going out and actually winning the whole thing…just like him mentioning a need to fix the system came on the heels of his plunge into nascar was probably just a coincidence…right…but, as you point out, the other not so subtle message to walk away with should be a huge red flag for sox fans: henry wants to keep all the money he makes [maybe to fund his nascar interests], while continuing to restrict, if not reduce even, what he invests in the team’s payroll…in yer face scott boras!…and if teams like the yankees and mets don’t follow along, well by golly, they’ll do so at their own peril, a heftier fine, er tax…it’s hard to argue with success, and the sox have won twice doing it their way…he could have just come out and said, “we still need a better method to provide for competitive balance…and oh, by the way, we won’t be making any big free agent splashes in the near future…i want to keep my money, and our way seems to be working out just fine”…instead of putting it at the feet of the yankees and mets, he could have said, as one of the big fish, i will be engaging some of the other big fish to see if we can come up with a system that will accomplish the goal, that the teams, the union, and fans can support…how the shared money is acquired is not the big issue with regard to competitive balance, it’s forcing the teams that receive that money, regardless of the source, to use it the way it was intended…

    dc December 4, 2009, 8:10 am
  • My problem is with Sox fans who see the Yankee spending and think the Sox will always lose with free agents if the Yankees are in too. 2007 showed me that obviously wasn’t the case. The Sox payroll in 2007 was $143M. In 2009 it was $121M.
    Maybe the Sox couldn’t have signed Teixeira if they offered him $20M to $30M more. But they certainly could have afforded that.

    Jeff December 4, 2009, 9:34 am
  • The Yanks have spent $1.45 billion on free agents in the last 10 years, most in baseball. The Red Sox are third, with $651 million. So, Andrew, your argument is the Sox “can easily choose” to more than double the amount of money they spend in free agency? That’s ridiculous.
    We’ve had this argument before, and you’re just as wrong now as you were then. Just because the Sox have a lot of money to spend, and actually spend it liberally, does not put them in the same universe as the Yankees — because no team is in the same universe as the Yankees. I remain confused as to why so many Yankee fans are so defensive about this. It’s reality. I’ve dealt with it. So should you.”
    But isn’t this your opinion and no more factual than what you are railing against? I mean, do you KNOW for a fact what the Sox ownership COULD actually spend? Do you know for a fact that your ownership group does EVERYTHING they possibly can to win? I can say with certainty mine does.
    If we YF’s are defensive, you SF’s are naive. I’ve dealt with it. So should you.

    krueg December 4, 2009, 9:57 am
  • I didn’t say the Sox could or should keep up with the total Yankee spending. But to whine about every single free agent they don’t get because the Yankees get him is not correct either. The Sox could easily choose to put all their eggs in the basket of a free agent the Yankees want, and get him. They choose not to. They chose not to with Teixeira, and it’s cost them so much already.
    Of course, John Henry probably loves that the Yankees always get their man. It provides a fantastic excuse for the extra profit he makes as the Red Sox continue to reduce payroll at the same time they raise ticket prices.

    AndrewYF December 4, 2009, 9:57 am
  • and it’s cost them so much already
    This is hyperbole, utterly.

    SF December 4, 2009, 11:02 am
  • Henry, throughout the years, is pretty consistent: he does NOT want to share his revenues. He doesn’t think the Steinbrenners should share their revenue either. dc is (sort of) correct with this phrase, at least: “henry wants to keep all the money he makes”. More accurately, I think, Henry wants to “keep all the money he decides he wants to keep”. If he decides to spend nothing on payroll, then he may keep more money in the short term, but hurt his team’s revenue in the long term. Conversely, if he decides to spend money on payroll in order to improve the team because he feels that will generate more revenue, then he will pay progressively for that spending. In return for that contribution, Henry doesn’t want the non-spenders to pocket the money.
    Whether a scheme like this “works” depends on what your definition of “works” is. If it is to level the playing field for every team, then that is naive. But that doesn’t seem to be anyone’s presumption. For me, if a payroll floor allows teams to retain talent and build a better squad along with better connections to young fans through added continuity (and even this might be a naive expectation on my part) then I am all for it.
    I think there should be a payroll minimum even if there is NO change to the system, frankly.

    SF December 4, 2009, 11:08 am
  • They choose not to. They chose not to with Teixeira, and it’s cost them so much already.
    Yes, the Red Sox under Theo Epstein have chosen not to spend 20 percent of their payroll on one player. If they would only choose to do this, they might finally be able to reach the playoffs as often as — and win more World Series than — the Yankees.
    Andrew, you do seem to enjoy littering this blog with logical fallacies. Please start showing some intellectual fortitude and stop leaping to conclusions. The assumption in the other thread that the Sox would draft a player who they did not draft, and the assumption that the Yankees would not have outspent the Red Sox for a player who had already decided to sign in New York are equivalent in their utter, absolute, obvious falseness.
    I mean, do you KNOW for a fact what the Sox ownership COULD actually spend?
    No, of course not. But is your contention that the Boston media market is just as large as New York’s? That Boston has more fans than New York? A larger stadium? A TV network that draws significantly more viewers and advertising revenue? A hidden revenue stream that John Henry is keeping only for himself?
    There are reasonable assumptions, and there are unreasonable assumptions. It is reasonable to assume, based on our knowledge of the two teams, that the Red Sox are unable to match the Yankees in spending. It is, therefore, unreasonable to assume that they are choosing to let the Yankees have any free agent they want.
    If we YF’s are defensive, you SF’s are naive. I’ve dealt with it. So should you.
    Oh, I see what you did there. How can I compete with that?

    Paul SF December 5, 2009, 10:27 am
  • I really don’t understand how it’s ‘leaping to conclusions’ to simply state the fact that the Red Sox set a value for Teixeira that they CHOSE not to budge from. That’s exactly the way they’ve operated for years. To jump to the conclusion that the Red Sox simply gave up because the Yankees were going to sign him anyway is so much more conjecture than what I am saying. And is it really leaping to conclusions to say that not signing Teixeira helped the Yankees and cost the Red Sox significantly? Really?
    It seems to me, Paul, and SF, that you two need the intellectual fortitude more than I. The Red Sox make mistakes, (yes, they do) like any other team. Not signing Teixeira looks to me like a big one. I guess you can debate whether or not Teixeira truly meant to sign with the Red Sox or was simply stringing them along, but we’ll never really know his true intentions. What we do know, for an undisputable fact, is that Teixeira represented a very large amount of the win differential between the Yankees and Red Sox last year. What I’m assuming, and what is much more logical and less jump-to-conclusiony than whatever you’re trying to say, is that the Red Sox could have had him, but chose not to.

    AndrewYF December 5, 2009, 11:04 am
  • “A hidden revenue stream that John Henry is keeping only for himself?”
    Maybe?
    “There are reasonable assumptions, and there are unreasonable assumptions. It is reasonable to assume, based on our knowledge of the two teams, that the Red Sox are unable to match the Yankees in spending.”
    Again, says you. And just because you say it o over and over and over and over and over doesn’t make it NECESSARILY true. As you admitted:
    “No, of course not.”
    So, I say again. How can you post as if everyone else is SO wrong, when you yourself admit you really don’t have the “intellectual fortitude” you expect others to show? This is your opinion, period. Granted it’s widely held and possibly supported by circumstantial evidence but still, your opinion.

    krueg December 5, 2009, 11:16 am
  • this debate is as comical as it is pointless…truth is, we don’t know how much each team has to spend, we also agree that spending doesn’t equal winning, although i’d agree with sf that it enhances your odds…it’s a reasonable assumption that the yanks probably have more money than the sox, but that doesn’t mean the sox can’t cough up another couple of million once in awhile to grab a guy away from the yanks…this assertion from a team who coughed up $50m just to talk to a pitcher…its silly, and hypocritical…if the sox management needs to continue to propagate the myth that they can’t compete payroll-wise with the yanks on a case by case basis, and the fans swallow it, then i can’t argue with the strategy…winning a couple of times has given them some good faith with the fans relative to their methods…but frankly, my advice to henry would be to get up off his a$$, join the 21st century, and invest in a new ballpark with a bunch of luxury boxes, and start milking that dice-k foreign market revenue cow we heard so much about, and quit bitching about what the yanks do with their money…i still say that’s what this is about…punishing the yanks for spending money for the fans…let’s face it, no matter what the sources of the shared mlb money are, they are not going to shrink the pool…so deriving the funds exclusively from a payroll penalty, while leaving revenue alone, will hurt guess who the most?…henry’s not even subtle about it…

    dc December 5, 2009, 12:41 pm

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: