MLB Premier League
I started a “discussion” on a sports site called Fannation about the so-called small market teams, (which are small revenue teams), and the large market teams (large revenue). I wanted to get rid of ten of the present thirty teams in MLB. Not really contract them, per se, but by using the way British soccer is formed, create a Premier League and then three lower tier leagues. Unfortunately, I was careless, had a brain freeze, and did not really think the whole scenario out properly and absurdly eliminated both Chicago teams among other inanities and suffered the wrath of the “contributors” to the discussion in no uncertain or very kind terms.
Be that as it may I still believe the idea has merit and will now proceed to outline in a more clear, well processed and precise form.
First, the teams that would remain in the Premier league and why:
Both New York teams, Yankees and Mets: Because frankly New York can support both team easily and both teams have relatively strong owners in place already. In fact, New York easily at one time supported three teams in its immediate metropolitan area. Both teams have brand spanking new shiny coliseums in place that can produce the necessary revenues for acquiring and paying talent and sustaining their teams as a viable financial entity. And both teams have marketability and a large following nationally, especially the Yankees.
Both Chicago teams: As with New York, each team is financially stable and has in place venues that can sustain creating future revenues for the acquisition of and payment to talent. The White Sox have a relatively new stadium that has been “fixed” so that it is able to create and sustain revenues. And, the Cubs under their new ownership are about to embark upon a total remodeling and modernization of Wrigley so that it will be updated with all the necessary amenities a team needs to create and sustain revenues for its future marketability. Each also has relatively stable and financially sound owners in place, also.
Both Los Angeles teams: As with the previous four teams, these two teams have good sound nucleuses in place and have venues that can either sustain future earnings to keep the teams sound on the field as well as financially. The one caveat is the ownership situation with the Dodgers but the Angels owner seems to be very stable and able to meet his debt obligations on a timely and reasonable basis.
The next team to be admitted to the Premier MLB is Seattle: Seattle with its Nintendo ownership is in a comfortable place financially to meet any monetary obligations. It also has a built in marketability that appeals to the heavy Asian demographic on the Pacific coast. Seattle until only recently, has been on the plus side in its ledgers. And even its recent losses have still been relatively in the low millions, which is essentially in an economic sense, a wash.
Boston: Fenway like Wrigley is a strong venue that has been, and can be in the future, remodeled with the necessary amenities and seating to create and sustain revenues for the team to remain strong financially and on the field. The fans of the Red Sox are widespread, dedicated, and tenacious in their loyalty and support of their hometown nine.
Philadelphia: With a relatively new fan friendly venue in Citizen’s Bank Park going nowhere, and its recent string of success in the NL East bolstering what was already a large and loyal fanbase, this team and organization have the tools to be successful and consistently competitive both in the ledgers and on the diamond.
St Louis, San Francisco and Baltimore: Each of these teams has it negatives but overall each also exists in a strong and sustaining market that can supply the necessary revenues to put a competitive team on the field.
So far seven teams have filled each division of this new Premier league, the AL and the NL.
The next eight teams are very open to debate but are in specific order in my opinion: Minnesota, Atlanta, Cleveland, Washington, San Diego, Colorado, Cincinnati and Houston. Why these eight teams and not some others? For these reasons: Each team had reported, according to Forbes, double digit operating income near or over $20 million. Each team has established itself in its market area. And each team has a viable financial owner in place.
The two divisions, the AL and the NL, would then be:
|NY Yankees||NY Mets|
|Boston Red Sox||LA Dodgers|
|LA Angles||Chicago Cubs|
|Chicago White Sox||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Seattle Mariners||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Minnesota Twins||San Francisco Giants|
|Cleveland Indians||Houston Astros|
|Washington Nationals||San Diego Padres|
|Baltimore Orioles||Atlanta Braves|
|Cincinnati Reds||Colorado Rockies|
Now remember there are other tiers or leagues that will be in place that can earn their way into the Premier league when ever an opening becomes available because of a team that is in the Premier League not staying strong on the field or competitively and finishing as one of the last three teams.
A short synopsis and history lesson is necessary: The English football league system is a set of interconnected leagues for club football (soccer) in England. The system has a format with promotion and relegation between leagues at different levels, and allows even the smallest club to dream of rising to the very top of the system. In England there are over 140 leagues, containing over 480 divisions. However, I am not even thinking of advocating such an unwieldy system, so bear with me here.
According to Wikipedia:
“At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal for the establishment of a new league was tabled that would bring more money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the game’s top-flight clubs, established the basic principles for setting up the FA Premier League. The newly formed top division would have commercial independence from the Football Association and the Football League, giving the FA Premier League license to negotiate its own broadcast and sponsorship agreements.
In 1992 the First Division clubs resigned from the Football League en masse and on 27 May 1992 the FA Premier League was formed as a limited company working out of an office at the Football Association’s then headquarters in Lancaster Gate. This meant a break-up of the 104-year-old Football League that had operated until then with four divisions; the Premier League would operate with a single division and the Football League with three. There was no change in competition format; the same number of teams competed in the top flight, and promotion and relegation between the Premier League and the new First Division remained on the same terms as between the old First and Second Divisions.”
Now, my proposal is this: Disband MLB as it is presently constituted and reform thusly: One Premier Major Baseball League (Premier MBL) comprised of the twenty teams above and then using the remaining ten MLB teams and the existing Triple A and Double A minor leagues create a lower level of three leagues with twenty teams in each league.
Each year the following process would then take place: The three teams that finish at the bottom of the Premier MBL at the end of the season will be relegated to the next lower league and these teams will be replaced by three teams which are promoted from the next level of play. The top two teams in the next division automatically earn advancement into the Premier League while the next four teams have a double elimination playoff for the third spot. This process is repeated down through the other leagues.
This way allows any team who can earn its way into the Premier League a window of opportunity.
Television contracts would be negotiated by the incorporated Premier MBL and revenues divided equally by all the teams. Luxury suite and venue revenues such as concessions and sponsorships/advertising would be kept by each teams’ ownership consortium.
The season would be 154 games with mandatory Sunday doubleheaders. The Premier League playoff would consist of the top four teams playing the best of seven series in a two-two-two-one format. . There would be no days off between games within each set of games but there would be an off day for travel between each set of games.
There would be no revenue sharing outside of the shared TV money. Free agency would remain intact.
Baseball as it currently exists in the present MLB structure is becoming anachronistic. The days of the old system, where small revenue/market teams could exist primarily because of the reserve clause in MLB is no longer viable. Baseball as it is now, with its partial reserve clause in place, and its socialized business system of the rich teams giving to the so-called poor teams has become a hindrance to MLB teams as a business and as a sport. The system I propose will allow any team to earn its way into the Premier league and compete for the top rank or championship of that league. It is by far a more sporting concept and it is still a system where an owner can get exactly what he is seeking from owning a team: immense ego gratification if his team wins and a sizeable contribution to his bank account or bottom line.
The three lower tiers would look something like this: (these are all presently existing teams)
|Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3|
|Kansas City Royals||Pittsburgh Pirates||Rochester Red Wings||Portland Beavers||Carolina Mudcats||Binghamton Mets|
|Arizona D’backs||Toronto Blue Jays||Charlotte Knights||Tacoma Rainiers||Chattanooga Lookouts||New Hampshire Fisher Cats|
|Texas Rangers||Detroit Tigers||Durham Bulls||Fresno Grizzlies||Huntsville Stars||Portland Sea Dogs|
|Oakland Athletics||Florida Marlins||Gwinnet Braves||Sacramento River Rats||Tennessee Smokies||Reading Phillies|
|Indianapolis Indians||Milwaukee Brewers||Norfolk Tides||Round Rock Express||Birmingham Barons||Trenton Thunder|
|Louisville Bats||Tampa Bay Rays||Scranton Yankees||Oklahoma City Red Hawks||Jacksonville Suns||Akron Aeros|
|Colorado Springs Sky Sox||Buffalo Bisons||Syracuse Chiefs||Albuquerque Isotopes||Mississippi Braves||Altoona Curve|
|Las Vegas 51s||Syracuse Chiefs||Columbus Clippers||Omaha Royals||Mobile Bay Bears||Bowie Baysox|
|Reno Aces||Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs||New Orleans Zephyrs||Memphis Red Birds||Montgomery Biscuits||Erie SeaWolves|
|Salt Lake Bees||Pawtucket Red Sox||Nashville Sounds||Iowa (Des Moines) Cubs||West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx||Richmond Flying Squirrels|
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