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Boras: MLB owners are crying wolf


JTrea81

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I can't believe I actually agree with Scott Boras here but he makes some good points in this Boston Globe article:

There’s more talk about cutting than ever.

But Scott Boras doesn’t buy it.

“We heard a lot last year about the impending doom of the economics of baseball, and they had another record year of revenues, $6 billion again this year, and the economy is better,’’ said the game’s most prominent agent. “So the real truth of baseball right now is a lot of teams are starting to identify their ownerships from the following perspective: that they have an ownership that’s going to pay off their debt by getting the revenue sharing and money they’re getting from central baseball - $80 million-$90 million a year - and they’re going to turn around and draw 1.5-2 million, make $40 or $50 a head. All of a sudden, they’re sitting there with $200 million in revenues and they’re spending $50 million, $60 million, $70 million on players. Those are obviously owners that are going to have to be looked at.’’

According to Boras, baseball revenues have increased from $1 billion to more than $6 billion since 1990.

“We’ve seen a number of teams that are just sitting back,’’ he said. “We have clubs who aren’t successful getting $80 million before they ever sell a ticket. The question is always going to be, in the end, what are they doing with that money? For most of them, they’re paying off their debt to purchase the franchise. So they become owners, debt-free, but they have not done a lot to contribute to the success of the game.

“The fans have to look at it and realize that kind of revenue is available. The other part of it is I think we’ve proven time and time again that investment in players produces revenue streams and success points for franchises. Even in an economy where many businesses are struggling, in our industry, as I said last year, we’ve been able to keep revenues at a record level.’’

Which is why Boras believes owners aren’t giving their fans much to root for.

“While that growth was going on - which is phenomenal growth - every offseason there were statements by teams that the industry was headed south,’’ he said. “Go back and look at the quotes and who’s making them. If I’m a fan, I really have to question it and look at the history of my franchise and the others and evaluate what commitment each franchise is making.

“Some are doing a good job of it. Some are making decisions going forward, and there are others basically using our industry as a method for acquiring hundreds of millions of dollars in assets on the backs of the industry.’’

Boras might as well be directly speaking to Peter Angelos who time and time again has been saying the economics of baseball have been getting out of hand. With the money that they are getting from MLB and revenue sharing, there is no excuse for some of the low payrolls that we are seeing in baseball from certain teams, the Orioles included.

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I'll never understand your obsession with spending money.

Because the money is more than likely there to spend.

Moose would you rather see Angelos and his ownership group pocket the money or would you rather see it spent on improving the Orioles?

I'd be willing to wager a years pay that the Orioles aren't spending all the money to improve the organization that they could be at this point.

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I'll never understand your obsession with spending money.

Well, it can, and if spent wisely will, lead to winning more quickly and continuously. Do you not want either of those?

Do you think the Orioles are dedicated to winning if they don't use their resources to win?

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“We’ve seen a number of teams that are just sitting back,’’ he said. “We have clubs who aren’t successful getting $80 million before they ever sell a ticket. The question is always going to be, in the end, what are they doing with that money? For most of them, they’re paying off their debt to purchase the franchise. So they become owners, debt-free, but they have not done a lot to contribute to the success of the game.

I don't think this is completely fair.

Why should owners of sports franchises be held to different standards than owners of other businesses? If an owner can recoup his initial investment in buying the team and make some money going forward, why shouldn't he? I don't see why owners should be expected to put all revenue into payroll and not benefit at all from the team's earnings.

Of course nobody wants to see owners pocket all of the earnings, not put it back in the team, and not fairly compensate the players. I don't think anyone would argue that the players aren't being fairly compensated already though. Boras is basically playing the "rich owners against underpaid players" card which is ridiculous since the players are hardly underpaid.

Boras is also simplifying things to fit his agenda - - team's have a lot of necessary expenses other than payroll that they have to cover. It isn't like you can say that a team has X amount of revenues and their payroll is Y, so the owner must be pocketing the rest.

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Consider the source. No matter what the fiscal realities are, Boras is going to want every team spending more on player salaries than they are now.
This is what it is. On this issue Boras' credibility must be questioned because of the built in bias. Numbers can be made to say anything. I'm not saying Boras is wrong, but he does have motivation to promote a specific result.
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I'd be willing to wager a years pay that the Orioles aren't spending all the money to improve the organization that they could be at this point.

If you are taking a one year view, absolutely you are correct. If there were a lot of quality players willing to sign one year contracts I'd love to see us spend more. What I don't want and what I can't understand why you seem to want is the team to commit all kinds of money in long term contracts so that the Orioles are committed to paying players mega money well beyond their peak years. Possibly putting the team in a position where they have to let some of the players they develop walk because too many of their resources are tied up in bad contracts.

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JTrea can listen to Boras all he wants. The truth of the matter is that SOMEBODY needs to take a stand against baseball players, that's right, grown men playing a child's game, making 25 MILLION dollars a year while doctors and teachers and policemen and firefighters can barely make enough to care for their families. Trea, you want Angelos to spend like Steinbrenner? You keep on wishing that, and in 10 years MLB will be DEAD! Somebody needs to finally take a stand. If that's Angelos, and the owners of the Royals, Pirates, Twins, etc, then so be it. But I will support that stand 100%. JTrea, you take Boras' side and wish for baseball's death. I for one will not follow you over that cliff!

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Because the money is more than likely there to spend.

Moose would you rather see Angelos and his ownership group pocket the money or would you rather see it spent on improving the Orioles?

I'd be willing to wager a years pay that the Orioles aren't spending all the money to improve the organization that they could be at this point.

It's been awhile since I've taken business ethics in college but I don't think the owners can just "pocket the money" that the Orioles make. I'm pretty sure Angelos can't just keep all the profits to himself. It's not as sinister as you make it out to believe.

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It's been awhile since I've taken business ethics in college but I don't think the owners can just "pocket the money" that the Orioles make. I'm pretty sure Angelos can't just keep all the profits to himself. It's not as sinister as you make it out to believe.
The owner of a business can't keep his profits? Hmmm.
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OK...Scott Boras wants more money spent on (his) free agents. Got it.

JTrea wants the Orioles to spend more money...not always sure on what, but he wants the Orioles to spend more. Got it.

Dog bites man again...

Look, I'm all for the Orioles buying nice furniture and drapes and all...after they've finished building the house! The time for spending is coming. I'm just not convinced it's arrived yet.

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The system has been set up with incentives that more-or-less force most teams to act the way they act. The revenue sharing system is poorly designed if your main goal is to have most teams spend the most money. It's mainly designed to keep payrolls low, since (for most teams) it's much, much, much less risky to make a small profit with a low payroll than it is to spend $100s of millions on players and only recoup that money if you have great success on the field and at the box office.

The owners wanted this, they've always wanted this. They've successfully separated winning from making a profit. They've basically taken performance out of the equation.

Don't blame Angelos for a system that he didn't design. Maybe he had a small hand in it, but most of the owners want things setup such that on-field failure doesn't significantly impact the bottom line. If you were an owner, wouldn't you?

JTrea can listen to Boras all he wants. The truth of the matter is that SOMEBODY needs to take a stand against baseball players, that's right, grown men playing a child's game, making 25 MILLION dollars a year while doctors and teachers and policemen and firefighters can barely make enough to care for their families. Trea, you want Angelos to spend like Steinbrenner? You keep on wishing that, and in 10 years MLB will be DEAD! Somebody needs to finally take a stand. If that's Angelos, and the owners of the Royals, Pirates, Twins, etc, then so be it. But I will support that stand 100%. JTrea, you take Boras' side and wish for baseball's death. I for one will not follow you over that cliff!

That was an strange rant. The owners are making a nice profit, the players are doing well, and the fans are coming to games in record or near-record numbers. Sure, Trea is probably out of his mind in thinking that the Orioles could ramp up payroll to $120M+ tomorrow with almost no impact. But as I said above, the system is set up to incentivize small payrolls. Owners have every incentive to cut costs and cry poor. Carl Pohlad actually offered his team up for contraction if he could make a buck off of it.

As for ther rest of that stuff, you're basically just yelling at capitalism. Millions of people are willing to pay a lot of money to watch ballplayers. Someone will profit from that, and I don't see why they shouldn't. If I came up with something that millions of people wanted to pay me for I certainly wouldn't want someone telling me I couldn't because it might reflect poorly on how society pays teacher or firefighters.

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