Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter





Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    43,492

    Commissioner downplays tanking trend thatís threatening MLB

    Joel Sherman@Joelsherman1

    https://nyp.st/2Hpm1mg I spoke to Commissioner Manfred about having 7 teams on at least 106-loss trajectory ó and added my thoughts including on Jeter/Gumbel #Marlins and #Reds firing manager

    WOW!

    Rob Manfred is not blind. He sees the serial losing by what feels like more teams at one time than perhaps any other season.

    What Manfred will not buy is that the ďphenomenonĒ ó his word in a phone call with The Post ó reflects serial tanking and, thus, needs activist intervention by the commissioner after three weeks of information.

    The weekend concluded with seven teams on pace to lose at least 106 games. Since the advent of the 162-game schedule in the early 1960s, multiple teams have lost at least 106 games five times with the high being three in 2002.

    ďI think it is too early to say that [there is a massive problem that needs addressing],Ē Manfred said Monday afternoon. ďI really think it is too early to say that. In that group of seven, you have interesting situations that are not indicative of systemic problems over the long haul.Ē

    Manfred noted members of the dismal seven do not fit the parameters of a tanking team. The Padres, for example, signed Eric Hosmer to the largest free-agent pact of the offseason ($144 million). The Orioles signed Alex Cobb to the third-largest pitching deal ($57 million). Manfred felt the Royals were mimicking a familiar down cycle after a successful run. The White Sox, conversely, are going through growing pains of a youth movement.

    ďThe reality is we have very few teamsí owners who would tolerate several years of losing to get better,Ē Manfred said. In conjunction, Manfred said seven teams would not tank simultaneously because of ďthe limiting possibilitiesĒ of actually getting the first draft pick in that scenario.

    Manfred said that his 25 years in the game inform him that the best way to address competitive balance is more of the same ó find ways to ďget enough resourcesĒ to low-revenue, small-market and poor-performing teams. And he has not moved off of that based on anything that has occurred yet.

    Nevertheless, Manfred also explained the obvious ó his office is constantly following trend lines. And while the sky is not falling yet, I would still keep an eye on the sky.

    Because many teams that project non-contention have embraced the benefits of getting worse rather than better ó saving money, gaining better draft position and securing greater financial draft and international pools.

    I hate this trend and, yet, if I ran each of the 30 teams, more would have followed this path in the offseason. For example, I thought the Orioles should have broken down further rather than invest in Cobb. The same was true for the Rangers and Mike Minor.

    The Astros/Cubs blueprint is seductive. But the real ďlimiting possibilitiesĒ are here because all the teams that follow this plan are not going to have similar success. We saw fallout last week when the Reds fired manager Bryan Price. It is possible Price was a good pitching coach who was not a good manager. But even if he was the best manager ever, he was not winning with this talent level.

    Front offices are purposefully failing to assemble the best teams. Then when that goes awry and, for example, criticism rises and attendance sinks, the scapegoat feels like it is going to be a manager who a) had little influence on acquiring the talent and b) is more often following the mandates of the front office to run games.

    No team this year has gone to the extremes of the Marlins in stripping down.

    In a contentious back-and-forth to be aired Tuesday on HBOís ďReal Sports,Ē Bryant Gumbel asked Marlins CEO Derek Jeter about tanking. Jeter reacts angrily that his team is trying to win every game. And I believe that is true. No one is telling manager Don Mattingly not to win. This is not about games. This is about the season.

    The Marlins lacked strengths to win last year besides a brilliant outfield ó and Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich were traded, as was Dee Gordon. Not much immediate help came in those deals or in free agency. Hence, no individual game needs to be tanked. The losses will flow naturally. If you take away everyoneís pens, you donít have to tell them they canít write.

    But here is the thing ó Jeter and his new ownership group probably did what is individually right for the Marlins, whether he has articulated it well or whether they have done it well notwithstanding. From where the Marlins stood as last season concluded in comparison to the rest of the sport, they were best off trying to get their finances in order and begin a phase of young talent acquisition that is right for the future but horrible for now.

    It is just that the more teams you have making that decision, you begin to head toward critical mass and real problems.

    Manfred did not seem ready to alter the draft or make any other seismic alterations after three weeks. But it is three weeks that has seven teams ó whether they are all-out tankers or not ó heading toward a collective bad place that threatens to take the sport with them.


    "You don't know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Southeast Asia
    Posts
    3,339
    Tanking, or whatever you choose to call it, is the inevitable by-product of baseball becoming a business as well as the game once known as America's national pastime.

    Old bastards like me still cherish the traditional side of the game, while the modern thinking stat jockeys enjoy the numbers crunching side of the game. Either way you like it, the traditional side of the game is still there, but the number crunching side of the game is here to stay. Business is business.

    Spiraling salaries won't stop soon, losing teams and smaller market teams need to stay competitive, and this is what baseball has become. If teams need to 'tank' to rebuild, re-tool, or re-gain their competitiveness, then so be it. Both the Cubs and Astros have shown total rebuilds can be a successful plan, and even then there's no guarantees.

    And as a side note, I'm happy to see the recent pushovers of the league starting to get competitive again. Atlanta, Philly, Minnesota and the A's to an extent, Angels, Jays playing well (for now), et al. Now if the O's and Reds would just get their act together...
    "They throw the ball, I hit it. They hit the ball, I catch it." - Willie Mays

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    52,435
    Quote Originally Posted by #24 View Post
    Tanking, or whatever you choose to call it, is the inevitable by-product of baseball becoming a business as well as the game once known as America's national pastime.

    Old bastards like me still cherish the traditional side of the game, while the modern thinking stat jockeys enjoy the numbers crunching side of the game. Either way you like it, the traditional side of the game is still there, but the number crunching side of the game is here to stay. Business is business.

    Spiraling salaries won't stop soon, losing teams and smaller market teams need to stay competitive, and this is what baseball has become. If teams need to 'tank' to rebuild, re-tool, or re-gain their competitiveness, then so be it. Both the Cubs and Astros have shown total rebuilds can be a successful plan, and even then there's no guarantees.

    And as a side note, I'm happy to see the recent pushovers of the league starting to get competitive again. Atlanta, Philly, Minnesota and the A's to an extent, Angels, Jays playing well (for now), et al. Now if the O's and Reds would just get their act together...
    Well this isn't a baseball issue, so I don't really understand the "traditional vs stat jockey" portion of the conversation. In every sport, teams seem to be wising up to the fact that being in the middle does nothing for you. If you suck, you get better picks. If you're good, you get a chance at a championship. If you are in the middle? You have neither.

    In the end, I don't think there's a good solution. Draft lotteries just artificially prop up already pretty-good teams, and I don't agree that sucky teams should be punished in a draft which is purposefully set up to give the best talent to the teams who need it the most. If your team is tanking, it's hard being a fan, but then simply don't go to the games, don't spend your money. Easy as that. I know it sucks in the years (I watched my Cubs tank for four years). I know it's boring. But it's kind of just par for the course.
    We're From Philadelphia


    We. Fight.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    Posts
    15,833
    Here is the only problem with "tanking" in MLB: You are talking about a draft where it is not a guarantee that the #1 overall pick will even make the Major Leagues. Plus, you could always draft someone and they refuse to sign with you.
    PSD's Muhammad Wilkerson!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Baseball Heaven
    Posts
    2,051
    While the Cubs and Astros are the current gold standard for tanking/rebuilding while stocking up draft picks, it is much more difficult to accomplish your goal if half dozen or more teams are doing it too at the same time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    53,859
    Quote Originally Posted by 1908_Cubs View Post
    Well this isn't a baseball issue, so I don't really understand the "traditional vs stat jockey" portion of the conversation. In every sport, teams seem to be wising up to the fact that being in the middle does nothing for you. If you suck, you get better picks. If you're good, you get a chance at a championship. If you are in the middle? You have neither.

    In the end, I don't think there's a good solution. Draft lotteries just artificially prop up already pretty-good teams, and I don't agree that sucky teams should be punished in a draft which is purposefully set up to give the best talent to the teams who need it the most. If your team is tanking, it's hard being a fan, but then simply don't go to the games, don't spend your money. Easy as that. I know it sucks in the years (I watched my Cubs tank for four years). I know it's boring. But it's kind of just par for the course.
    All of this.

    Teams have been rebuilding in baseball for a long time. And it doesn't do them any good to work harder and dumber and finish in the middle.

    It's good to have cycles in the sport. It's less interesting when teams spend 20 years straight on top or at the bottom. And in baseball, the teams that have been great for 20 years in a row (Cardinals and Yankees basically) are very well ran and were awful in the early 90's. Yankees basically drafted 5 hall of famers during their rebuild, and the Cardinals found the generations greatest player in the 13th round, and did a good job surrounding him. And the teams that have sucked (Pirates, Royals, Padres) have either been poorly ran, or seen some success with their consistent high draft picks eventually panning out.

    It's good for the team to have these cycles.

    Btw, I realize people will point out the financial differences of these organizations. That's a different discussion, but one of the reasons those three teams have such poor financials is because of how poorly they've been ran for 20+ years. The Cardinals and Royals basically have the same market, difference is the consistently of one team being much better than the other (and some history on their side of loyalty).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    53,859
    Quote Originally Posted by RamOG View Post
    While the Cubs and Astros are the current gold standard for tanking/rebuilding while stocking up draft picks, it is much more difficult to accomplish your goal if half dozen or more teams are doing it too at the same time.
    Also, completely this.


    You could probably throw the Nationals in there as well, who landed Harper and Strasburg in back to back drafts, and then added good free agent signings after.

    The Reds have been tanking for what, 5 straight years? They've even had the number 2 overall pick the last two years. I don't see them turning it around really any time soon.

    And they have the White Sox, Marlins and Royals all vying for a top pick next year. And other teams considering selling off at the deadline, like Tampa, San Diego, Texas, Baltimore etc. But even then, we aren't even talking about a third of the league.

    The risk when you rebuild is it taking too long. If you are tanking, and you miss on a few picks and trades....you are stuck for a long time, and start to lose fan interest.

    Cubs, Braves, and Phillies fans didn't mind waiting. They have historically loyal fans and the rebuild was relatively short and a quick bounce back up. All the fans knew it was a 2-5 year process, and it literally took that long. So fans didn't mind.

    But the Reds starting to rebuild in 2014, and the pieces aren't there for it change anytime soon....you have fans who start to forget about the organization if it doesn't start to turn around.



    My opinion, it's not an issue.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,844
    ignore.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    You could probably throw the Nationals in there as well, who landed Harper and Strasburg in back to back drafts, and then added good free agent signings after.
    Did the Nationals really tank?
    I think they just sucked.

    As a fan it does suck to know your team isn't too going to be competitive for a few years, but at least, ideally, you can see them acquiring talent for the future. Which, it would seem, is better than watching your team be meh and not doing anything to get substantially better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    Posts
    15,833
    Quote Originally Posted by 1908_Cubs View Post
    Well this isn't a baseball issue, so I don't really understand the "traditional vs stat jockey" portion of the conversation. In every sport, teams seem to be wising up to the fact that being in the middle does nothing for you. If you suck, you get better picks. If you're good, you get a chance at a championship. If you are in the middle? You have neither.

    In the end, I don't think there's a good solution. Draft lotteries just artificially prop up already pretty-good teams, and I don't agree that sucky teams should be punished in a draft which is purposefully set up to give the best talent to the teams who need it the most. If your team is tanking, it's hard being a fan, but then simply don't go to the games, don't spend your money. Easy as that. I know it sucks in the years (I watched my Cubs tank for four years). I know it's boring. But it's kind of just par for the course.
    Here is the problem with that: How many times do we hear "signability" when it comes to some of these top players in the MLB Draft as the main reason for their slipping down the board? If you want the MLB Draft to reward the bad teams with top players, you need to start figuring out ways in order to truly make that happen. I am a huge believer that if a player is drafted in the first 3 rounds of the MLB Draft, there is a set rookie wage contract that player gets in his first deal (similar to what the NFL does).
    PSD's Muhammad Wilkerson!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Modesto
    Posts
    1,584
    Baseball is the only sport where team income is based on team performance and LOCAL TV deals, other sports teams can tank for draft spots and still keep revenues in a profitable margin, in baseball poor on filed performance affects the gate and add /tv revenue for most teams. There is only an economic incentive to not over spend or over commit to contracts during a rebuild.

    The best way to increase team income in baseball is butts in seats and eyes on TV and ears on radio.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    30,417
    Baseball is not really a tanking sport. Even in the best case scenarios, elite level talent take 3 years to make the major league level from the time they are drafted. In most cases, even longer. Its not like the NBA or NFL where higher end talent go from college straight to starting a professional sport. Now, sure, you can do what the Marlins did and unload all your best players for young talent but if the Marlins went into tank mode, they would still need 3, 4, or 5 years before they were competitive. That said, wasn't that happening already with a history of teams rebuilding?

    I mean if rebuilding is all of a sudden tanking then sure, teams tank every year usually around the deadline.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    52,435
    Quote Originally Posted by ccugrad1 View Post
    Here is the problem with that: How many times do we hear "signability" when it comes to some of these top players in the MLB Draft as the main reason for their slipping down the board? If you want the MLB Draft to reward the bad teams with top players, you need to start figuring out ways in order to truly make that happen. I am a huge believer that if a player is drafted in the first 3 rounds of the MLB Draft, there is a set rookie wage contract that player gets in his first deal (similar to what the NFL does).
    Now a days? Not many. There was a time and a place where that was the case. But let me ask you this, with the new CBA and the new way that teams are basically slotted into paying X amount...how many times has the "best" talent not gone in the, say, top-3? The last "signability" issue was Mark Appel...and well...that turned out gangbusters. There will always be some guys who slide from the mid-15's until later...but they're not really the talent we should be worried about. Teams have used this to their advantage. I think we forget that the Astros chose that guy Carlos Correa so they could get him under slot and then drafted McCullers JR with their next pick. Now that worked out gangbusters. Without the sarcastic tone.

    There was an issue with this in the past when teams could spend whatever on the draft. That's basically gone now. Now, that doesn't mean we may not see a team be "cheap" or take a player to save slot money (aka the Astros and Correa), but we also have to remember that in the sport of baseball and the way the draft is set up...there's a lot of variability in the player. I believe the 2nd best player taken with the number 1 overall draft pick based on WAR or HR's was something like Pat Burrell for a long while. I mean...Pat ****ing Burrell (speaking of which, if you haven't googled the Pat the Bat stories, do that right now. They're great). If you don't have a generational type talent there that's obvious (Bryce Harper), many times one guy is basically good as the next.
    Last edited by 1908_Cubs; 04-25-2018 at 05:42 PM.
    We're From Philadelphia


    We. Fight.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    10,038
    Yea, most signability issues donít really seem to be tied to certain teams anymore anyway. Itís more about guys wanting more money than they are slotted for it predicted to get. Unless Iíve been missing some, I donít see a lot of instances where a guy is saying Iím not signing with X team anyways. So I donít see the draft as a problem with ďtanking.Ē

    Like others have said, winning a couple extra games really doesnít do much for teams. Fans are going to get sick of mediocrity anyways. Iíve been a fan of the bucks for many years, and I know itís a different sport, but they spent many years fighting as hard as they could to sneak into the playoffs only to get crushed. Fans quit going to games for that as well. Seeing you team finish around or just below .500 isnít fun if it happens like 6 straight years with no hope of moving up.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    The Boogie Down
    Posts
    95,384
    Hence why they need a salary bottom. Itís a sad thing for these teams to do nothing to improve their teams specially when most parks were build by tax payers.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •