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Per Gammons: "Orioles culture... back to reality."

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No, I am not assuming that.

MASN is owned by the O's limited partnership and the Lerners. O's limited partnership consists of 4 known owners. PA, Clancy estate, Clancy's ex-wife, and the comic book guy. 30% of the O's (maybe more because the buying group of the O's in 1993 consisted of 12) are owned by 3 people other then PA. So you throw Lerner in the mix on MASN and PA has rights to only 50% of MASN profits.

In 2012 the MASN deal with the O's and Nats reset and there is legal battle ongoing about what is fair market value for the Nats tv money and the O's tv money. This problem was well known since 2007. Both sides ignored in until last year. It's still not resolved. So no money is gonna be spent and I don't think any money lined the pocket of the owners for the last 4 years due to this reset.

Problem here.. DC DMA includes Hagerstown. What about Champaign, South Bend and Rockford? There is a huge gap when you start actually accounting correctly. Hell, WGN which carries the Cubs and White Soxs (some games) is a National tv station, basically all of us pay for it. Is MASN national? Nope, it's RSN. Hell, I get YES and Dodgers games part of my sports package, but I don't get MASN. I have to buy Extra Innings which that revenue is split between the teams evenly.

So you can huff and puff all you want but O's are small market team on a RSN. They aren't rolling in money and neither is ownership. It's the teams with National access that are. You know the Cubs, Yankees, and Dodgers.

Until MASN is sold to a national broadcaster like Fox, Time Warner or NBC, not a lot of TV money is going to the O's via MASN. That's the reality.

Look at privately run tv deal by RSN vs RSN run by Comcast, Time Warner, NBC or Fox. And you tell me seriously the O's are anything but small market.

Cubs are reportedly paid $60m annually between their deal with WGN and their Comcast SportsNet Deal...source.

They don't get a piece of WGN national tv cable dues because they don't own any of WGN. Now they do own a piece of ComcastSportsNet Chicago.

20%...White Sox owner has a 40% stake. Source

Cubs are currently in the process of dumping WGN which is a leverage move to get their rights fees bumped up either from WGN or another source.

Correct, Hagerstown is absolutely part of the DC DMA - because DMA's aren't built to be only city-specific, they oftentimes branch out well beyond the direct metro area.

But I also didn't count Charlotte, Harrisburg (two medium sized-DMAs) or the Norfolks, Newport News, of the area etc that aren't in the DC DMA and they are small-mid size as well.

And all those cable subscribers are kicking in every month to Angelos/Os group who own the biggest chunk of all of MASN.

The Os are a large market team with MASN.

Nobody in their right mind is saying the Os are Yankees/Dodgers large. I'm not sure anybody ever has on here. I certainly haven't. But they ain't small.

Baltimore on its own is without question a small market.

But the MASN deal created a wide wide wide wide indentured viewership for millions of people who could care less about the O's, but still kick back every month to them. It's the greatest buffer against terrible attendance.

It's a numbers game. We can suck every year - attendance can go down the toilet.

Angelos can cry poverty, cash a rev share check, keep the MASN profits off the Os books with the low TV fees thus keeping the small market myth alive.

And he can keep making money hand over fist.

To see how this is done see this article regarding the Dodgers' RSN deal softening their rev share hit: Source.

Keep a big chunk of your profits in your RSN and not the team = RSN as a separate business entity = Profits not part of team's books = less team profits = less rev share liability (or in the case of the Os the ability to reap rev share money).

The really interesting scenario to reference your post is what happens when Angelos IS forced to pay the Os a higher tv fee when the Nats get it.

He won't be able to do the Angelos accounting shuffle. My guess when that comes to pass is we'll see the same ol' same ol'. We just saw each team get $25m-ish more each year in the national tv deal and STILL we are crying poor.

So my guess is we will still be an impoverished team who can't afford top international amateurs or posting fees for premium Japanese players...or more scouts...or more legit free agents.

We'll just be doggypaddling in this murky water between needing to rebuild or invest in established veterans to move us forward. The appearance of being "competitive" play.

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Market sizes aren't even close when you actually consider areas around Chicago that aren't counted as a TV market but have tv viewership. As I posted before.. Champaign, Rockford, South Bend just hour or two down road from Chicago, which I considers Chicagoland area. Then 70 games of the Cubs are broadcasted on WGN. Cubs tv deals are about $60m and that's before MLB payout for TV. So Cubs bring in close to $100m in TV money. O's are $50m behind them.

A

Not really. He sunk a lot of his earning from his earlier cases in buying the O's. Or do you think he magically was given the Orioles? His major work since has been doing big cases for the State of Maryland where his fee would have been fixed and not a % of payout. His other civil cases, the law firm actually foots the bill until settlement. So a $1 billion payout might actually bring $100m to the firm after all said and done. That $100m ends up paying for future costs in cases. If it didn't he'd be a 1 trick pony.

So Angelo's wealth is built in ownership of the O's and MASN of that roughly 71% of the O's is his and 50% of MASN is his. His other assets aren't very liquid either. You know, home, law firm.. So when someone says PA is worth $1 billion or more. Doesn't mean he has $500m sitting in his bank account. Rather his assets are worth that.

People also forget PA spent money in the mid and late 90's on the O's competing with the Yankees payroll. O's payroll from the time he bought them in 1993 to 1996 jumped from under $30m to $50m. 1996-1998 jumped by another $20m. Then jumped another $10m in 1999. Problem is.. if the O's had $130m payroll today, they'd be running a deficit. So O's probably ran a deficit in the spend years of yore, cause HTS wasn't bringing in a lot of TV revenue, ticket prices were cheap and so was the food. Angelos put $20m a team he just bought to make them a contender, then poured another $20m by 1998. $40m in 5 years on a club. Hell, 2012- 2013 was the same way. O's payroll increased by $25m between 2012-2013.

So the O's had $100m payroll. Could they be at $110-115m? Absolutely. But not making the playoffs last year hurt their chances of that this year. PA puts money in the team if its winning. O's players screwed the pooch for us last year. Starting with Johnson to Hammel to Wieters. Blame them. Blame them for their supbar playing. Not PA. Lasts year team was a playoff team on paper. All they had to do is pitch and hit what they career statistics were. But Hammel took a dump, Wieters took a dump and Miggy and Chen were lost. Tillman, Machado, Davis and Jones carried that team.

Please provide proof that PA puts money into the team if it's winning. I can provide proof that he does not (see offseason 2012/13).

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I am very excited Johnson is gone. Money spent or not. He ended our season in August against a team we should have swept.

So you prefer a complete unknown at closer (Hunter, for instance) who has poor splits against LHH over someone who has been a known solid reliever (for the most part) over the last 5-6 years?

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I am very excited Johnson is gone. Money spent or not. He ended our season in August against a team we should have swept.

I could've swore we were 1 game back of the WC with two weeks to go. But, if you say the season was over in August, what can I say?

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Correct, Hagerstown is absolutely part of the DC DMA - because DMA's aren't built to be only city-specific, they oftentimes branch out well beyond the direct metro area.

But I also didn't count Charlotte, Harrisburg (two medium sized-DMAs) or the Norfolks, Newport News, of the area etc that aren't in the DC DMA and they are small-mid size as well.

For what it's worth, there was a lawsuit between MASN and Time Warner in which MASN was trying to force Time Warner to carry MASN in certain parts of North Carolina. Time Warner presented evidence that their customers had very little interest in the Orioles or the Nationals, and the courts ultimately sided with Time Warner. Here's a pretty good article about it:

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/59035/the-baseball-blackout-in-north-carolina-continues

So, just because the O's have TV rights in a certain territory doesn't necessarily mean MASN can force all the cable companies to carry their service.

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I could've swore we were 1 game back of the WC with two weeks to go. But, if you say the season was over in August, what can I say?

The season was over in August because that "fact" supports his argument that we are better off without Johnson and saving $10M to spend on absolutely nothing. C'mon wariole, get with the program.

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The season was over in August because that "fact" supports his argument that we are better off without Johnson and saving $10M to spend on absolutely nothing. C'mon wariole, get with the program.

The idea of trading Johnson so we'd have $10 mm to "reallocate" was fine. The problem is that it's now been 24 days since that trade, we haven't used the money yet, and our options for using it to good effect have dwindled.

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Perhaps someone else is clear on this (I am not). I've read that cable companies pay MASN one network fee but are fed games for two teams. If that's true, it seems the team with the larger audience is losing out bigtime. Does anyone know how this works?

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Perhaps someone else is clear on this (I am not). I've read that cable companies pay MASN one network fee but are fed games for two teams. If that's true, it seems the team with the larger audience is losing out bigtime. Does anyone know how this works?

I believe what you wrote is true, but I don't think either team has a much bigger audience than the other. The O's have a bigger share of the Baltimore market than the Nats do of the DC market, but the DC market is much bigger so they are roughly the same in terms of total households.

Through July 5, Baltimore Orioles games on MASN, MASN2 and Channel 13/WJZ were averaging a 6.04 household rating in the Baltimore market, up 33 percent from the same point in 2012.

The stats from Sports Business Journal indicate the Orioles had the third-biggest increase in local TV ratings to that point.

Washington Nationals games on MASN, MASN2 and Channel 9/WUSA were averaging a 2.86 household rating in the Washington, D.C., market, up 28 percent from the same point last season.

The Orioles' bump gave them the sixth-highest local rating in Major League Baseball, while the Nationals ranked 19th.

Interestingly, as Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post pointed out, the two teams' local audiences are close in size.

Orioles broadcasts in the Baltimore market were averaging about 66,000 homes, while Nats games in the larger D.C. market were averaging about 67,000 homes.

http://www.pressboxonline.com/story/10479/tv-ratings-for-orioles-nationals-improving-from-2012

I believe the Orioles do better in the DC market than the Nats do in the Baltimore market, due to the fact that many DC area fans rooted for the Orioles before the Nats moved to DC. I have no idea what happens once you get outside the Baltimore-DC area and into the rest of MASN's territory.

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I believe what you wrote is true, but I don't think either team has a much bigger audience than the other. The O's have a bigger share of the Baltimore market than the Nats do of the DC market, but the DC market is much bigger so they are roughly the same in terms of total households.

http://www.pressboxonline.com/story/10479/tv-ratings-for-orioles-nationals-improving-from-2012

I believe the Orioles do better in the DC market than the Nats do in the Baltimore market, due to the fact that many DC area fans rooted for the Orioles before the Nats moved to DC. I have no idea what happens once you get outside the Baltimore-DC area and into the rest of MASN's territory.

No doubt both teams' games should be carried in the two metro areas. I suspect that it is outside the metro areas where the real difference lies. Here in St. Pete, we get Fox Sports and Sun Sports. Each day, one carries the Rays and the other the Marlins. They switch up, so it's not always the same, but it's two networks.

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The season was over in August because that "fact" supports his argument that we are better off without Johnson and saving $10M to spend on absolutely nothing. C'mon wariole, get with the program.

Or it supports my position because dropping 3 STRAIGHT games against the Dbacks, 2 of them from Jim Johnson blowing saves took us from being .5 games back in WC on September 20th to fighting for a spot a 2.5 games back.

Then throw on the early season blown saves 3 in May and 1 in June and July that included giving 5 runs up against the Rays, 2 against Yankees, 1 against the Indians and Blue Jays..

And that's how you end up out of a race in September. 9 blown saves, 8 loses. 6.5 games back at the end of the season. That's why Jim Johnson had to go and the season was over after the Dback series.

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Or it supports my position because dropping 3 STRAIGHT games against the Dbacks, 2 of them from Jim Johnson blowing saves took us from being .5 games back in WC on September 20th to fighting for a spot a 2.5 games back.

Then throw on the early season blown saves 3 in May and 1 in June and July that included giving 5 runs up against the Rays, 2 against Yankees, 1 against the Indians and Blue Jays..

And that's how you end up out of a race in September. 9 blown saves, 8 loses. 6.5 games back at the end of the season. That's why Jim Johnson had to go and the season was over after the Dback series.

But your pulling statistics to support your argument. As wariole pointed out, after taking the first two games of the Red Sox series, we were one game out.

Johnson struggled this year, but to suggest that he is the reason we did not make the playoffs is silly. The inability for the starting rotation to string together good starts and go deep into games, Markakis' terrible second half, and the struggles of our bullpen were also all causes of the downfall. You just choose to point to Johnson because as a closer, he is under more or a microscope.

As I said before, trading Johnson was a smart move (and as Frobby correctly pointed out) ONLY if that $10M is reinvested into making the team better.

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Hammel did pitch to his career statistics last year. Nearly a match across the board. The problem is this organization was trying to pawn him off as an Ace when in a normal year he is a #4/#5 at best.

The team won in 2012. Why didn't he put any money in?

He did remember...players got raises!

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Or it supports my position because dropping 3 STRAIGHT games against the Dbacks, 2 of them from Jim Johnson blowing saves took us from being .5 games back in WC on September 20th to fighting for a spot a 2.5 games back.

Then throw on the early season blown saves 3 in May and 1 in June and July that included giving 5 runs up against the Rays, 2 against Yankees, 1 against the Indians and Blue Jays..

And that's how you end up out of a race in September. 9 blown saves, 8 loses. 6.5 games back at the end of the season. That's why Jim Johnson had to go and the season was over after the Dback series.

Everyone knows Jim Johnson played a role in the Orioles not making the playoffs. But as I've said 100 times at least, every closer is going to blow some games. Johnson's 84.7% save rate was a bit below league average for a closer. When you are asked to close 59 games, you can expect 6-7 blown saves from a league average closer. Look around the league:

Holland 94%

Janssen 94%

Nathan 93%

Balfour 93%

Benoit 92%

Frieri 90%

Perkins 90%

Uehara 88%

Rivera 86%

Johnson 85%

Veras 84%

Perez 83%

Reed 83%

Wilhelmsen 83%

Rodney 82%

The save rate for the entire group was 88%. Apply that to 59 save opportunities, and you get 52 saves, 7 blown saves. So, JJ was 2 saves below average, and 5 below the most elite guys, if you consider the number of opportunities he had. Neither would have been enough to get us into the playoffs.

Another way to look at it: JJ closed the season with 11 saves in 11 opportunities, and yet the Orioles went 17-19 in that stretch. They had their opportuinities, but didn't take advantage. It's a team game, and JJ gets some of the blame for the O's missing the playoffs, but so do lots of other guys.

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Everyone knows Jim Johnson played a role in the Orioles not making the playoffs. But as I've said 100 times at least, every closer is going to blow some games. Johnson's 84.7% save rate was a bit below league average for a closer. When you are asked to close 59 games, you can expect 6-7 blown saves from a league average closer. Look around the league:

Holland 94%

Janssen 94%

Nathan 93%

Balfour 93%

Benoit 92%

Frieri 90%

Perkins 90%

Uehara 88%

Rivera 86%

Johnson 85%

Veras 84%

Perez 83%

Reed 83%

Wilhelmsen 83%

Rodney 82%

The save rate for the entire group was 88%. Apply that to 59 save opportunities, and you get 52 saves, 7 blown saves. So, JJ was 2 saves below average, and 5 below the most elite guys, if you consider the number of opportunities he had. Neither would have been enough to get us into the playoffs.

Another way to look at it: JJ closed the season with 11 saves in 11 opportunities, and yet the Orioles went 17-19 in that stretch. They had their opportuinities, but didn't take advantage. It's a team game, and JJ gets some of the blame for the O's missing the playoffs, but so do lots of other guys.

Excellent post as usual.

I look at the closer role much like a quarterback in football. They take more blame when the team loses, however, because of the save rule they get more credit when the team wins. As such, I don't think he was worth the 11 million price tag that he was due to make this season. It's unfortunate that the Balfour signing did not work out. It made a lot of sense from a salary and roster standpoint. We'll have to see how JJ's salary is "re-allocated."

Edited by russ snyder

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