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Do you think there is rampant collusion in baseball?


Pedro Cerrano

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On a slow day at the office I wanted to see what people thought. Do you guys believe that owners and GM types often talk amongst each other in "private" about what sort of offers they are prepared to make for a player?

Do you think that certain agents talk with certain representatives of teams about a player while they are still under contract with another team?

It's obviously impossible to monitor 100% and after reading Tony's article which discussed, in part, the 1987 Minnesota Twins, I got to wondering.

In this day and age, with all the mediums of communication that are available, I think it would be very easy to break rules and never get caught.

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Interesting question.

Big difference between 1987 and today is the availability of information. 1987 saw backroom deals and phone calls b/w owners. Today, you have so many internet sites out there that breakdown the dollar value of players.

To me, players and agents are crying foul, but collusion is not the reason

  • Execs are far smarter and can more accurately value the worth of a player.
  • Many "bad" deals are bloating the market and have left teams risk-averse to long-term deals to veterans
  • Agents and players live in an alternate reality where they are not exposed to general America. It's a recession for goodness sake. Baseball saw salaries increase at practically the same pace as the housing market. They should be lucky that their "bust" was a maintaining of salary levels, and not the pull-backs seen in most industries.
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Here is the problem with collusion: every single person involved has to agree to and stick to a plan.

In 1987, there were four fewer teams, much lower amounts of money involved, and a much more (for lack of a better term) incestuous network of baseball people. And the owners still got caught.

Even though communications may be easier now, the rest of those changes makes things that much more difficult.

Its easier to get the Yankees on board, for example, when they are only spending and earning a couple million more than most teams as opposed to several times more now.

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No, but I hope they are. The salaries are idiotic and something has to be done.

I'm sorry, but that's just ignorant.

You're hoping, for example, that the Baltimore Orioles would go in on a pact with all the other MLB teams and agree to NOT pursue FA talent and NOT make themselves better?

IMO, it's the biggest offense in the history of the game, aside from the color barrier. You've got the Black Sox and Pete Rose, those stories are probably bigger and sexier...but when owners collude together and refuse to make their product better, that's a serious offense.

I can't actually believe that someone would hope that the owners are colluding together.

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I'm sorry, but that's just ignorant.

You're hoping, for example, that the Baltimore Orioles would go in on a pact with all the other MLB teams and agree to NOT pursue FA talent and NOT make themselves better?

IMO, it's the biggest offense in the history of the game, aside from the color barrier. You've got the Black Sox and Pete Rose, those stories are probably bigger and sexier...but when owners collude together and refuse to make their product better, that's a serious offense.

I can't actually believe that someone would hope that the owners are colluding together.

Curt Flood RULES! This may seem to be above and beyond the pale, but he really was the "voice crying out from the wilderness". Really. Slaves.... > then real whole human beings. ;)

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No, but I hope they are. The salaries are idiotic and something has to be done.

And just my other point...

Player X signs for X million dollars. He is then WORTH X million dollars! His contract says so. Your perception of it means NOTHING! He is not a teacher or fireman or machinist or Stock Broker or McDonald's employee... he is among the world's best baseball players. A distinction that he should DAMN WELL be paid DAMN WELL for. ;)

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