We have a new addtion to the RT this week. Everyone please welcome Sandy B to the group. Hopefully she will provide new insights to the discussions. Welcome aboard Sandy. This week we take a look at Billy Hamilton’s slow start, Revenue Sharing, Live or TV games, TV rights, and should smaller market teams move to larger metros for success.
1. There will always be times when your favorite team, if they are the small market variety, just can’t compete for the services of a top paid Free Agent. How would you feel if they MOVED to a larger city to make more revenue?
ARCHIE: Being a Braves fan, I have watched them go from very small finances to rich finances and back now to a medium financed team. The Atlanta market has steadily increased but not the team finances. However, with the media outlets available now, I can enjoy watching them every game in my living room so I don’t have to jump in a car and drive to Atlanta. Having said that, I am a Braves fan not just Atlanta. I would follow them if they moved; as long as they don’t move to the American League.
JOE: If, I were a person who lived in a small market metropolitan area I would feel screwed. I would be angry that my team had to move just so they could supposedly make more money and be “competitive” in the free agent market. That’s me and the way I look at my team… or, I should say the team I root for very passionately. I think most serious fans of baseball, if, they live in a metropolitan area that has a team and they root for that home team, then, on some level, they have a personal and emotional attachment to that team. And, on some level, due to that emotional investment, will feel cheated that “their” team abandoned them.
STEPHAN: Well my favorite team is in a medium sized market, Atlanta. While they will never be able to compete with the likes of Boston, Los Angeles, or New York in a revenue type scenario. They have proved that they can build a strong enough team to make runs at championships. I for one, would not like to see the Braves move out of Atlanta for a larger market.
SANDY: My teams are in LA and Boston, but I would think that I’d be okay with them moving because I could still root for them where ever they play. Not actually living in any market where I could go to a game every day may play a part in my decision. If you’re just a fan who likes going to games it probably wouldn’t matter, but a die-hard fan might be upset.
2. Should the TV rights and airing of games be totally controlled by MLB Network?
ARCHIE: Hell to the no. Baseball is the one sport that should be aired locally without MLB restrictions.
JOE: I don’t know and I’m not sure. I have never thought about this. My initial feeling is “no”.
I have a bad feeling about placing anything totally in the control of MLB. Why? Because, everything is all about the money and seeing how much they can gouge out of the fans. Pretty soon baseball will price itself out of the reach of the working man (if, it hasn’t done so already) and it will only be available to those making thirty dollars or more an hour. How much does it cost for a family of four to go to a game now? In some cities $250 or $350? What’s a MLB package gonna cost me just so I can watch the games? And, can we get blood from a stone?
STEPHAN: I am torn between this one. On one hand I think that the networks such as Fox, ESPN, WGN, and all the other major networks should be able to choose what kind of programming they have and what games they should put on. It is there network. However, MLB should have some say on what games should be on. The more they can sell their product, the more money they are going to make.
SANDY: No, I think no one should have a monopoly on any part of the industry. I know its all about money, but I’d like to see local networks be able to air some games; Seems like there are too many restrictions on in-market/out of market games.
3. If you could choose any seat in the stadium would you rather watch a game live at the stadium or in the comfort of your own home?
ARCHIE:I guess I am one of the few that at every MLB game I have ever been to live there is always someone that tried to ruin the day. I usually have either a drunken overbearing turd in back of me spilling shit everywhere or an obnoxious fan of the other team spouting his pathetic rhetoric too loudly next to me. And then there was the occasional sick bastard either with a bad case of flatulence or puking in the aisle. So for me, I will take my games at home now.
JOE: I will use Yankee Stadium as my example to answer this question: If I can sit Field level or the next level, which is listed as the Main level, and, between home plate and slightly down the outfield lines, then “Yes”. I would also sit in what used to be called the Loge level, and, is now labeled the Terrace level, which is slightly above and over the Main level BUT only in the first two or three rows of seats. Anything else and the vision lines suck.
STEPHAN: Well I love going to baseball games live, and visiting the stadiums. There is nothing like going to a game, kick back with a cold one, and enjoy the scenery and hopefully a good game. I can never get in to the game while watching at home, even when there is a great game on. I still need to be doing something else.
SANDY: That’s 2 fold for me, I like the ambiance at the stadium, but at home I can yell at the TV and tell players they stink when they screw up without starting a riot. Plus getting out of the stadium is a pain.
4. Does revenue sharing work in MLB?
ARCHIE: Only for the owners. It has never made the teams equally competitive like the intent. At the least the intent that was sold to the fans. IMO, the intent was to keep smaller market owners happy.
JOE: Yeah, sort of. I’m of the opinion the money is always there for the owners and the truth about revenue sharing is that it’s sort of a farce… I think all the owners cook their books one way or the other. But, if it’s used to improve the product on the field, as it’s supposed to be used per the rules, then it can work. But, if it goes into the pockets then it fails to meet its objective. But with all the money MLB makes through all of its present enterprises and how it’s divvied up between all the owners, I’m not sure revenue sharing is even needed.
STEPHAN: I would say that it works, but with everything, there are flaws that need to be worked out. You have teams that can compete for titles, such as Oakland, Tampa, and Pittsburgh. But teams like the Cardinals, Yankees, and Red Sox are always going to be able to out bid for a top star to potentially put them over the top.
SANDY: I say no since it seems like the same teams are usually good and the bad one always bad. There doesn’t seem to be enough of the revenue to make a big difference, plus there is no rule that a team has to use the money on getting better players.
5. Through five games Billy Hamilton the speedster for the Reds has an OBP of .077. Is his speed worth the move to the Majors or is he going to be a bust?
ARCHIE: The most important stat for a speedster is OBP. IF you are not getting on base, you can’t steal or put pressure on the defense. Given that he hit at all the other levels I think he can figure it out in the Bigs as well.
JOE: If, all the man has to offer is speed and the ability to steal a base, or, go from first to third to home but he can’t get on base to use that attribute, then what is all that speed gonna do for his team? Absolutely nothing. But, if he maintains that OBP he will be a bust regardless if he has speed or not.
STEPHAN: Hey Billy Hamilton, on the off chance you are reading this. BUNT EVERY TIME YOU ARE AT BAT. This kid is quick, very quick. But he is lacking plate discipline and has a lot of work to do. I think he has the potential to be good, not great, but will be able to at least contribute to his team.
SANDY: I think speed is only useful if you get on base, its also hard to predict what any individual will do, currently he should not be in the majors, because he can’t hit, so what good is his speed.
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