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Boras: MLB owners are crying wolf


JTrea81

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The point about baseball having a judicially-created antitrust exemption is, in my opinion, totally overrated. Someone please explain to me how that exemption has put the baseball owners in a more advantageous position today than the owners of football or baskeball teams. Maybe it meant something at the time of the Kuhn v. Flood decision, but Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr succeeded in pretty much vitiating any practical effect of that ruling, by creating one of the strongest unions in the world and one that has pretty much gone undefeated in court over the last 38 years in every other respect.

Do you think that the seemingly more lax position other leagues take towards franchise movement, compared to baseball, is influenced by the lack of an anti-trust exemption? It's hard to imagine, say, the Marlins owner backing up Mayflower trucks to Land Shark Stadium and taking his stuff to the Meadowlands. Or a baseball version of Al Davis existing.

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The point about baseball having a judicially-created antitrust exemption is, in my opinion, totally overrated. Someone please explain to me how that exemption has put the baseball owners in a more advantageous position today than the owners of football or baskeball teams. Maybe it meant something at the time of the Kuhn v. Flood decision, but Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr succeeded in pretty much vitiating any practical effect of that ruling, by creating one of the strongest unions in the world and one that has pretty much gone undefeated in court over the last 38 years in every other respect.

Al Davis can pick up the Raiders and move them wherever he wants whenever he wants. MLB owners can't to that, MLB can take the franchise.

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Those are perfectly fine arguments and opinions, but there's almost zero chance MLB is going to open their books, willingly or not.

The upside of doing what Boras wants is getting to tell Boras "gotchya!" One of many downsides is millions of fans and writers and wannabe GMs screaming, JTrea-style, every time their team turns a 5 cent profit.

And Congress has shown absolutely no inclination to change the laws.

This is all a moot point.

I basically agree with you. But it's only moot because people who could change it are not predisposed to do so. They could be, they're just not. So, for all practical purposes, you're right. I was just saying that I thought Frobby was being too dismissive about it, blowing it off as just rhetoric, that's all.

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You have to love Boras. He can basically just keep repeating this until it becomes the truth.

Scott Boras said business has been brisk for him on Opening Day of the free agent season.

Boras told FOXSports.com that he's already fielded offers for eight players.

"This is a very healthy industry," he said. "A lot of teams are trying to get better.

"Every club has the wherewithal to sign premium free agents, because of the money they receive from central baseball and revenue sharing."

Boras declined to say which players received the offers, but he said interest has been strong in reliever Mike Gonzalez and third baseman Adrian Beltre.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10357594

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“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.’’

Does he mean MLB's economics, or the US economy? Because if he thinks the national economy is better, then Scott Boras just went to #1 of my list of arrogant and clueless idiots who are completely out of touch with 99.9% of America. Of course, he was already somewhere in my Top 10 on that list, so it's not like he had far to go to reach the top. :rolleyes:

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More on the war of words between Boras and Manfred, this time getting Bill Madden from the NY Daily News involved:

Now on to Manfred, the Pirates and Boras. It seems this past week, Boras and Manfred got into a little hissing match over a column I wrote back in August which reported that the Pirates received a total of $75 million in revenue sharing and central fund monies (shared national TV, marketing, licensing, MLB Network and WEB site revenue) before they sold their first ticket.

Unbeknownst to me, Boras, with whom I have not exactly enjoyed a warm and fuzzy relationship through the years, threw those figures out last week, only to have Manfred, baseball's VP of Labor Relations, fire back, saying: "He completely made those figures up," adding that the Avenging Agent was living "in a fantasy land." Manford also told Foxsports.com's Ken Rosenthal that "no one club is getting $80 or $90 million in combined revenue sharing and Central Baseball funds," even though the Florida Marlins, in fact, got $40 million from each, to top all teams with $80 million., according to my sources This prompted Boras to counter: "There is factual merit to the facts Madden reported and that is why Rob didn't address it in August. Why did it take him three months to comment on it?"

In the meantime, Pirates President Frank Coonelly insisted that the $35 million Central Fund figure Boras is using is "inaccurate" - and to that I must confess Coonelly is right. When I first reported the $75 million booty the Pirates received, I broke it down to $35 million in central fund monies and $40 revenue sharing. In fact, it was just the opposite, but the bottom line is, it still adds up to $75 million. And here is another figure Coonelly will probably want to refute: According to my sources, the Pirates were one of the teams to make a profit this year - approximately $14 million, which is not bad for a team with 99 losses and 17 straight losing seasons. What we do know is Pirates chairman Bob Nutting is not re-investing his revenue sharing in payroll, although there are disturbing rumors in Pittsburgh that he's using the Pirates' money to subsidize the hemorrhaging at his Seven Springs Ski Resort in Champion, Pa. If Coonelly and Manfred continue to insist that these figures my buddy Boras and I are putting out are a bunch of hooey, all they have to do to prove us wrong is show us their ledger. It would be the first time MLB ever showed anyone its books.

So MLB teams are getting $40 million apparently from the Central Fund instead of $35 million.

The Marlins getting $80 million in MLB welfare and yet they say they aren't able to afford their players, is downright horrible. Some owners should be forced to sell their teams by MLB. That is just plain ridiculous.

Baseball needs to be cleaned up for sure, only it's the owners not the players that are enhancing their performance...

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More on the war of words between Boras and Manfred, this time getting Bill Madden from the NY Daily News involved:

So MLB teams are getting $40 million apparently from the Central Fund instead of $35 million.

The Marlins getting $80 million in MLB welfare and yet they say they aren't able to afford their players, is downright horrible. Some owners should be forced to sell their teams by MLB. That is just plain ridiculous.

Baseball needs to be cleaned up for sure, only it's the owners not the players that are enhancing their performance...

The Marlins are contributing $155 million to build a new stadium in Miami in an effort to ensure the team's long-term future in S Florida. That might explain where a lot of that $80 million is going.

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More on the war of words between Boras and Manfred, this time getting Bill Madden from the NY Daily News involved:

So MLB teams are getting $40 million apparently from the Central Fund instead of $35 million.

The Marlins getting $80 million in MLB welfare and yet they say they aren't able to afford their players, is downright horrible. Some owners should be forced to sell their teams by MLB. That is just plain ridiculous.

Baseball needs to be cleaned up for sure, only it's the owners not the players that are enhancing their performance...

So if we were to assume those revenue sharing numbers were accurate the Pirates payroll could have gone up to $62m if they put every penny of that profit into payroll. The question I would pose, is why would it make sense for the Pirates to do that? They still wouldn't compete in a division where three of the teams they are competing with would have payrolls that are still anywhere from 50% higher to well over 100% higher. Seems like it would be a stupid thing to do, no?

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So if we were to assume those revenue sharing numbers were accurate the Pirates payroll could have gone up to $62m if they put every penny of that profit into payroll. The question I would pose, is why would it make sense for the Pirates to do that? They still wouldn't compete in a division where three of the teams they are competing with would have payrolls that are still anywhere from 50% higher to well over 100% higher. Seems like it would be a stupid thing to do, no?

Add the $14 million to the 75 in the combined revenue sharing and Central Fund money and you get $89 million extra the Pirates could have spent.

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Add the $14 million to the 75 in the combined revenue sharing and Central Fund money and you get $89 million extra the Pirates could have spent.

Um, no. Those revenue sharing monies are revenues for the organization. Subtract Expenses from those revenues to get a profit/loss. If the Pirates made a $14m profit last year they could have spent an additional $14m not an additional $89m. Without that $75m the team would have lost $61m.

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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.

I don't understand how fans can get high and mighty over the payroll issues in baseball. We don't know how any of the MLB organizations balance their budgets. We know team payrolls (for some reason - not because we have a right to know what the players make) but we don't know all the other lines in the budget. And why should we expect the MLB owners to continue operating in debt and underpay their senior executives and themselves? The people in those roles in other industries make a ton of money, why not baseball execs?

This is a business, first and foremost. Smart business does all it can to ensure a profit and ensure future profits. Smart business owners also don't spend personal money on the business if at all possible. We all want to see winners, but you CANNOT expect MLB owners to ignore these principles when running their organizations.

That said, we want to see winners, and the owners do, too - winning teams draw more fans, meaning more revenue. The melding of smart business and wanting to see winners brings the following to the forefront...

But what's more relevant to the Orioles is that they're acting in a reasonable, responsible manner for a team in their place in the success cycle. Who cares what everyone else is doing, since they're spending according to the team's best interest (or close enough).

See this bit from a recent BP chat:

R.A.Wagman (Toronto): Shawn - do you think it may be easier for some franchises do devote more energies into bringing more people into the stands, creating excitement in marketing the game itself and using funds generated from that to building an improved team, than it would be to build a winner without the fan base and hope the fans follow afterward?

Shawn Hoffman: Bill James always said that the only two things that bring people to the ballpark are a good team and free stuff. I don't think you can grow gate revenues purely through marketing; if you have a bad team and you want to stock up on cash for when you have a contender, it almost has to come through cost cuts, and this is the model we've been seeing more and more: field a low-cost team, save money, use some of the excess in the draft and internationally, and use the rest on player payroll when your team is actually in contention.

That's the Orioles' plan almost to a tee. It's the standard way of doing business for a team like the Orioles.

Yes, it would be nice if the Orioles had a Roman Abramowitz-type benefactor willing to lose $millions to satisfy his ego. But we all know that's ridiculous, and Bud and the other owners wouldn't sign off on someone like that anyway.

What Bill James spelled out, which is what the Orioles are doing, is exactly what the Orioles should be doing, IMO.

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More on the war of words between Boras and Manfred, this time getting Bill Madden from the NY Daily News involved:

So MLB teams are getting $40 million apparently from the Central Fund instead of $35 million.

The Marlins getting $80 million in MLB welfare and yet they say they aren't able to afford their players, is downright horrible. Some owners should be forced to sell their teams by MLB. That is just plain ridiculous.

Baseball needs to be cleaned up for sure, only it's the owners not the players that are enhancing their performance...

The way baseball is set up reminds me of the movie The Producers.

Build a loser and get rich!!

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