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View Full Version : Struggling Teams: Management or Market?



misterd
02-04-2009, 04:03 PM
OK, we know there a number of teams (Royals, Marlins, Rays, Pirates, Brewers,etc) that are having trouble and have been for some time.

My question, for those who know the teams well, do you blame the market (bad fans, low revenue) or mismanagement for the team's predicament? Do you believe the problem can be solved if someone in the front office had a clue, or is there really no way out so long as the team remains where it is?

(Note: Obviously the answers will differ for each team, and for most or all both factors will be in play)

redbird89
02-04-2009, 05:42 PM
I think part of it is management. If owners just put revenue sharing in their pocket, then that hurts the team. The market may not be great, but the owners need to put the revenue sharing to use. I think some owners just refuse to invest in their team.

brewersfan729
02-04-2009, 06:10 PM
The Brewers have spent all of their revenue sharing money since our new owner took over. We were at $90 million in payroll last year and our owner pretty much broke even. It's the market (smallest in MLB) and TV contract (one of, if not the worst in baseball thanks to Wendy Selig.)

mnrlgry
02-04-2009, 06:27 PM
More then either of those two, it's the rising player salary costs and the amount of money it takes to field a competitive team.

That said, management and market of course have an effect on revenues. Bad management will screw everything up, from the farm system to not being able to sign a diamond in the rough or having bad contracts to players who dont produce.

Ticket sales are important but won't make or break a team like they do in the NHL. But a large fan base is necessary in the sense that you need a big fan base to generate high TV ratings, get a big stadium naming sponsorship, in stadium AD revenue and luxury box revenue. Without fan support a team will have a hard time getting their cities to support new stadiums. But with old stadiums some teams are having trouble making money, thus they can't field a competitive enough team and get stuck in a cycle of mediocrity.

It would be great if all teams could have a farm system like the Marlins but we know that the smartest baseball minds can't be on every team and there isn't enough pure baseball talent for every team to be competitive with a good farm system alone.

The MLB needs a salary cap, after that we can see who is truly being screwed by a bad fan base or bad management. You can already tell who needs to be moved from bad fan support. Bad management should take care of itself as well (firings).

Gigantes4Life
02-04-2009, 08:47 PM
The Rays are struggling?

Grenadine
02-04-2009, 08:58 PM
The Brewers have spent all of their revenue sharing money since our new owner took over. We were at $90 million in payroll last year and our owner pretty much broke even. It's the market (smallest in MLB) and TV contract (one of, if not the worst in baseball thanks to Wendy Selig.)

Yup, the Brewers are trying their best but there are just too many limitations because of the market.

misterd
02-04-2009, 10:07 PM
The Rays are struggling?

Looking at the Rays' history, last year was a fluke, and will remain so until they do it again. And I have no idea how much their on field success translated into financial gain, especially over the long term.

whitesoxfan83
02-04-2009, 11:09 PM
it depends on the situation

the marlins its the fans fault

the pirates its the owners fault

whitesoxfan83
02-04-2009, 11:09 PM
but what i know for sure is its not the yanks or red sox fault

leiasgoldbikini
02-04-2009, 11:57 PM
More then either of those two, it's the rising player salary costs and the amount of money it takes to field a competitive team.

Not true. That might be the reason that fewer small market teams retain free agents, but a competitive team can be fielded on a budget.

"That said, management and market of course have an effect on revenues. Bad management will screw everything up, from the farm system to not being able to sign a diamond in the rough or having bad contracts to players who dont produce."

Of course management and market have an effect on revenue, but revenue isn't the determining factor for competitiveness.

"But with old stadiums some teams are having trouble making money, thus they can't field a competitive enough team and get stuck in a cycle of mediocrity. "

Teams are mediocre because of how they spend their money, not because of how much money they spend. The Pirates would not be competitive with a $150 Mil team salary.

"The MLB needs a salary cap, after that we can see who is truly being screwed by a bad fan base or bad management. You can already tell who needs to be moved from bad fan support. Bad management should take care of itself as well (firings)."

A salary cap screws the very teams that you want to protect.

By instituting a salary cap you also institute a salary floor. But with a cap you remove revenue sharing. You are now asking small market teams to make HIGHER minimum expenditures with LESS MONEY.

The draft becomes a joke because any kid worth drafting will simply demand a $4-5 Mil signing bonus and price themselves out of small market contention. But big market clubs will have lots of money because they didn't blow it all on free agents. Farm teams, small market teams best way to compete, become almost the exclusive domain of big market teams. Same thing for Latin and Asian players.

The salary demands of the club make it impossible or impractical to spend money on player development and scouting.

Even if the MLBPA would allow a salary cap, and they won't, a cap is the death of baseball as we know it.

Milnertime
02-05-2009, 12:02 AM
Looking at the Rays' history, last year was a fluke, and will remain so until they do it again. And I have no idea how much their on field success translated into financial gain, especially over the long term.
You mean their history of pretty strong drafts and good player development?

Management got them to where they are now, not the market in TB.

And like was said in earlier posts.....it's possible to field a competitive team on a smaller budget. Just look at the Twins year in and year out.

tooch
02-05-2009, 12:02 AM
OK, we know there a number of teams (Royals, Marlins, Rays, Pirates, Brewers,etc) that are having trouble and have been for some time.

My question, for those who know the teams well, do you blame the market (bad fans, low revenue) or mismanagement for the team's predicament? Do you believe the problem can be solved if someone in the front office had a clue, or is there really no way out so long as the team remains where it is?

(Note: Obviously the answers will differ for each team, and for most or all both factors will be in play)

The marlins arent having trouble, they are a young team that contended for the divsion last year and will do so this year, i dont think they should be in the category. i would be the nats in there and not the marlins

misterd
02-05-2009, 12:52 AM
Again, this is not about on-field play. This is about financial solvency. We keep hearing there are all these teams losing money hand over fist, competetive or not.

whitesoxfan83
02-05-2009, 12:55 AM
Again, this is not about on-field play. This is about financial solvency. We keep hearing there are all these teams losing money hand over fist, competetive or not.

alright well if they are competitive in their divisions or are WS contenders and they still arent selling...well that would be the fans fault

if they aren't competitive in their divisions and are never playoff contenders that would be a management problem

and the fact is alot of these teams get money from big payroll teams to combat this apparent money loss...

REGular
02-05-2009, 01:34 AM
As a Marlins fan I'd like to believe it's mismanagement on the previous owners (Huizenga & then Henry) that really led to this team's demise.
First, Huizenga guts a WS team.
Then the peeps that buy it off him have to rent Dolphins stadium from the guy and get a ridiculously crummy deal where they get none of the profits from concessions & parking & the like.

It will take a while for the fan base that bought into the franchise to turn around their perception.

After winning the WS again in 2003 the Front Office increased the payroll 2 years later with the addition of Carlos Delgado and locking up cornerstones like Lowell & Castillo to long-term deals.
However, even then the Marlins weren't making real money and the FO decided they could field a competitive team at a fraction of the cost.

And they did - winning seasons 4 of the last 6 years.
How many of those bottom-feeders can claim that???

So again, I think it's the fault of previous ownership leaving an extremely sour taste in fans mouths.
Hopefully this FO will show a commitment to players, as they did by locking up Hanley with a long-term deal, and by breaking ground on their new stadium (which won't be ready for another 3 years) they will show the fans that this is a different team running the operations and people will buy back in.

It's an exciting, young club and they have had consistent "success" since this FO has been on the scene.

elithu
02-05-2009, 02:27 AM
Again, this is not about on-field play. This is about financial solvency. We keep hearing there are all these teams losing money hand over fist, competetive or not.

Dbacks should be honorable mentions in this category. Im not sure what the overall numbers are exactly, but when you're forced to layoff employees thats never a good sign.
The problems here come from both sides...The previous mgmt group was able to gain early success and field a winning product by offering high dollar deferred contracts. At the time it was a good idea: spend money to build a fanbase by winning and in turn make more money. Obviously that failed. So now the new owners are left to clean up the mess, but have certainly added to it along the way. Like for instance: in 06 they throw Gonzo out with the trash sending fans into a furor; in 07 after a surprise season - to make up for 06, they give $30M dollars to eric byrnes, destroying our hopes of seeing carlos quentin or carlos gonzalez. Because people like tooch love his messy hair, and the way he flops around the outfield like a suffocating goldfish, and how he dives futilely into first base after he has grounded out yet again, and spends more time on his tv show than getting ready for the season so he can blow out both hammies. Now in 08/09 mgmt has tossed Randy Johnson, botched a Webb extension and a lot of fans, ppl tooch hasnt met yet, are becoming skeptical again. With ticket sales certain to be affected by the economy this summer, the Dbacks front office had better hope for a few breakout performances from some of their prospects, because if they are busts we could be looking at some lean years here in AZ.

mnrlgry
02-05-2009, 04:29 AM
Again, this is not about on-field play. This is about financial solvency. We keep hearing there are all these teams losing money hand over fist, competetive or not.

Where have you heard that teams are losing money hand over fist???

Most teams are breaking even.

The problem here is that these teams that just break even are still fielding a payroll 2-4 times smaller then that of the largest payrolls in the MLB.

The whole salary cap argument IS-NOT about getting these teams to make more money, it's about getting the whole MLB's salary to a point where "breaking even" for your average teams also means that they have a top tier salary out there. There should not be teams breaking even who whose year end salary is only 20-40% of the largest salary in baseball.


Your average salary for elite players are increasing exponentially while profits are going down in most markets. The Marlins or Royals are not the Yankee's or Red Sox AAAA farm system teams, they and every one else in baseball deserve to keep their elite talent while still being a solvent business.

The NFL is the most popular and profitable sport in America because of the parity in it, a salary cap would be good for baseball.


The popularity of baseball also effects future talent. The facts show that high school baseball, while much cheaper then football, is less popular and over 95% of full college scholarships go to football these days because of the lower popularity. Even among minorites and low income families the more expensive football is still vastly more popular. Multi-sport kids from high school who get recruited for both sports go to a school for football over 85% of the time, because scholarships are full and most football coaches will not let their players also play baseball.

In 50 years when our kids are old do you want the national past time to be football or baseball? At the rate baseball is going, football is going to be vastly more popular and considered the true American sport. Then not only will the Pirates, Royals or Marlins be in trouble, but the Yankees and Red Sox will be as well.

leiasgoldbikini
02-05-2009, 10:38 AM
Where have you heard that teams are losing money hand over fist???

Most teams are breaking even.

The problem here is that these teams that just break even are still fielding a payroll 2-4 times smaller then that of the largest payrolls in the MLB.

The whole salary cap argument IS-NOT about getting these teams to make more money, it's about getting the whole MLB's salary to a point where "breaking even" for your average teams also means that they have a top tier salary out there. There should not be teams breaking even who whose year end salary is only 20-40% of the largest salary in baseball.

Your average salary for elite players are increasing exponentially while profits are going down in most markets. The Marlins or Royals are not the Yankee's or Red Sox AAAA farm system teams, they and every one else in baseball deserve to keep their elite talent while still being a solvent business.

The NFL is the most popular and profitable sport in America because of the parity in it, a salary cap would be good for baseball.


The popularity of baseball also effects future talent. The facts show that high school baseball, while much cheaper then football, is less popular and over 95% of full college scholarships go to football these days because of the lower popularity. Even among minorites and low income families the more expensive football is still vastly more popular. Multi-sport kids from high school who get recruited for both sports go to a school for football over 85% of the time, because scholarships are full and most football coaches will not let their players also play baseball.

In 50 years when our kids are old do you want the national past time to be football or baseball? At the rate baseball is going, football is going to be vastly more popular and considered the true American sport. Then not only will the Pirates, Royals or Marlins be in trouble, but the Yankees and Red Sox will be as well.

The whole salary cap argument should only come into play when it has been thoroughly demonstrated that a WELL RUN club has NO CHANCE to be competitive because of escalating player salaries. There's no other case for it. Period. Getting small market teams to have a "top tier salary" is no argument at all. MLB is not a charity for baseball players.

The number of scholarships also might have something to do with it. Div I schools offer 85 football scholarships with the vast majority being full rides. Football has enough scholarships to give a full ride to THE ENTIRE traveling team and a good percentage of the practice squad. Many college athletes receive significant financial aid by being on the football team that NEVER play in a single game during their entire college career.

The same Div I schools offer 12 baseball scholarships, meaning that if every scholarship was offered as 1/2, a full baseball team can still only barely be fielded with financial aid.

1980`s BaBy
02-05-2009, 01:36 PM
Where have you heard that teams are losing money hand over fist???

Most teams are breaking even.

The problem here is that these teams that just break even are still fielding a payroll 2-4 times smaller then that of the largest payrolls in the MLB.

The whole salary cap argument IS-NOT about getting these teams to make more money, it's about getting the whole MLB's salary to a point where "breaking even" for your average teams also means that they have a top tier salary out there. There should not be teams breaking even who whose year end salary is only 20-40% of the largest salary in baseball.


Your average salary for elite players are increasing exponentially while profits are going down in most markets. The Marlins or Royals are not the Yankee's or Red Sox AAAA farm system teams, they and every one else in baseball deserve to keep their elite talent while still being a solvent business.

The NFL is the most popular and profitable sport in America because of the parity in it, a salary cap would be good for baseball.


The popularity of baseball also effects future talent. The facts show that high school baseball, while much cheaper then football, is less popular and over 95% of full college scholarships go to football these days because of the lower popularity. Even among minorites and low income families the more expensive football is still vastly more popular. Multi-sport kids from high school who get recruited for both sports go to a school for football over 85% of the time, because scholarships are full and most football coaches will not let their players also play baseball.

In 50 years when our kids are old do you want the national past time to be football or baseball? At the rate baseball is going, football is going to be vastly more popular and considered the true American sport. Then not only will the Pirates, Royals or Marlins be in trouble, but the Yankees and Red Sox will be as well.

Football is the all American Sport and although i love Baseball, Football is the better overall game. Kids choice to play football because its more flashy. Most kids especially minorities fine baseball dull and boring, ignoring the fact that baseball players make more money and have longer careers.

donnie23
02-05-2009, 01:53 PM
"The NFL is the most popular and profitable sport in America because of the parity in it, a salary cap would be good for baseball."

There is Parity in football? 43 superbowls. PITT 6, DAL 5, SF 5. 3 teams have 16 superbowls. 9% of teams have 37% of championships. You can't force parity. If there was a cap in baseball they would also put in a floor and reduce revenue sharing. This would cripple small markets. It's not going to happen. Owners and management are the reason for the systetm's problems

AsfanSince99
02-05-2009, 02:07 PM
Looking at the Rays' history, last year was a fluke, and will remain so until they do it again. And I have no idea how much their on field success translated into financial gain, especially over the long term.

How can you have a fluke 162 game season in the tough AL EAST?

That may be possible in one of the weaker divisions, but getting to the WS in that div was no fluke.

Yanks#1fan
02-05-2009, 02:22 PM
OK, we know there a number of teams (Royals, Marlins, Rays, Pirates, Brewers,etc) that are having trouble and have been for some time.

My question, for those who know the teams well, do you blame the market (bad fans, low revenue) or mismanagement for the team's predicament? Do you believe the problem can be solved if someone in the front office had a clue, or is there really no way out so long as the team remains where it is?

(Note: Obviously the answers will differ for each team, and for most or all both factors will be in play)

Blame upper management....With revenue sharing and the luxury tax incepted, it's obvious that they are putting it into their pockets and not into their own teams.....

hotpotato1092
02-05-2009, 02:33 PM
Management, it's been proven that small market teams can win, it's also been proven that teams with bad management never wins.

misterd
02-05-2009, 03:20 PM
Where have you heard that teams are losing money hand over fist???

Most teams are breaking even.



Never said most, and I'm not sure how many are. I just keep hearing about these supposed teams that about to go under/need to move/can never compete because of fiscal problems. I was hopping someone would provide a clearer delineation as to which teams those are, and why they are struggling.

For example, I look at Miami and Pittsburg, and I don't think of those as small cities. I see no reason why the fanbase should not be able to support a competetive team, so I tend to assume management is the issue, but then I don't live in those areas or pay much attention to those teams, so really its all supposition.

misterd
02-05-2009, 03:22 PM
How can you have a fluke 162 game season in the tough AL EAST?

That may be possible in one of the weaker divisions, but getting to the WS in that div was no fluke.


It is not uncommon for a team to go from worst, to first, and they drop to the middle of the pack (or lower) after that.

This is not in any way a prediction, but it is in my nature to be a skeptic of a one time occurance, and I am not willing to mark down the Rays as a perennial contender until they do it at least one more time.

mnrlgry
02-05-2009, 06:26 PM
"The NFL is the most popular and profitable sport in America because of the parity in it, a salary cap would be good for baseball."

There is Parity in football? 43 superbowls. PITT 6, DAL 5, SF 5. 3 teams have 16 superbowls. 9% of teams have 37% of championships. You can't force parity. If there was a cap in baseball they would also put in a floor and reduce revenue sharing. This would cripple small markets. It's not going to happen. Owners and management are the reason for the systetm's problems

There has not always been a salary cap in football.

Look at the playoff teams, Indianapolis, San Diego, Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Arizona.

Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Chicago, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay

See the difference there?? The NFL had one large market team and the MLB had 6 of 8.



For example, I look at Miami and Pittsburg, and I don't think of those as small cities. I see no reason why the fanbase should not be able to support a competetive team, so I tend to assume management is the issue, but then I don't live in those areas or pay much attention to those teams, so really its all supposition.


There will always be teams with a horrible fan base and the two florida teams should be moved. Heck, all sport teams in florida are horribly supported no matter what the sport.

For every Marlins/Rays team there's teams with good fan bases such as Arizona, Atlanta, Colorado, Houston, San Deigo that get screwed when their elite players come up for their first big contract.



The whole salary cap argument should only come into play when it has been thoroughly demonstrated that a WELL RUN club has NO CHANCE to be competitive because of escalating player salaries. There's no other case for it. Period. Getting small market teams to have a "top tier salary" is no argument at all. MLB is not a charity for baseball players.

Come on, this is a logic fallacy. Look at what the Yankees and Red Sox do every year, do you have to worry about being at the bottom of your division? No? You know why? It's because of your enormous payroll that makes you instantly competitive.

For every badly run club there's five others that can only rely on their farm system for talent, how good is the Yankee's farm system doing these days? Think if you had to field a team that was 75% players from your farm and the rest were middle relievers or cheap starters to fill out the team. Then when you finally got an elite player come up through you system he left in a few years because your team cannot compete for his salary.

The bottom line is that the teams with the largest payrolls are always competitive and have the competitive edge. This is driving fans away from baseball in droves and eventually be bad for ALL of baseball, the Yankees included.