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Doug Pappas 

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12-09

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The CBA on Steroids
by
Doug Pappas

05-17

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Ticket Price Survey
by
Doug Pappas

05-11

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Ticket Price Survey
by
Doug Pappas

05-06

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Ticket Price Survey
by
Doug Pappas

04-30

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Ticket Price Survey
by
Doug Pappas

04-27

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Ticket Price Survey
by
Doug Pappas

04-21

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Fixing The Fan Cost Index
by
Doug Pappas

04-12

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Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins
by
Doug Pappas

04-06

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Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins
by
Doug Pappas

04-01

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Yankees' Stadium Dilemma
by
Doug Pappas

03-16

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Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins
by
Doug Pappas

03-09

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Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins
by
Doug Pappas

12-19

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The A-Rod Negotiations
by
Doug Pappas

11-21

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The Danys Baez Situation
by
Doug Pappas

10-06

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Marginal Dollars Per Win, 2003
by
Doug Pappas

09-29

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Predicting the Playoffs
by
Doug Pappas

07-17

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On the Mendoza Line
by
Doug Pappas

06-11

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The New CBA, Part II
by
Doug Pappas

06-03

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The New CBA, Part I
by
Doug Pappas

05-09

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The New CBA
by
Doug Pappas

04-25

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Bye Bye, Bud?
by
Doug Pappas

04-01

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Selig Yes, Zimbalist No
by
Doug Pappas

03-31

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As Seen In The New York Times Magazine
by
Doug Pappas

03-21

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Cognitive Dissonance
by
Doug Pappas

03-11

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Surveying the Authors
by
Doug Pappas

03-04

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Surveying the Authors
by
Doug Pappas

02-19

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Prospectus Feature: Where Does the Money Go?: Taking a Look at Major League Payrolls
by
Doug Pappas

01-22

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Prospectus Feature: The Midsummer Classic: Making it More Than Just an Exhibition Game
by
Doug Pappas

12-20

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Franchise Location
by
Doug Pappas

08-16

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Bridging the Gap
by
Doug Pappas

07-10

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DuPuy Disinforms
by
Doug Pappas

07-10

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DuPuy Disinforms
by
Doug Pappas

04-26

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Friday Afternoon with Bud
by
Doug Pappas

04-26

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Friday Afternoon with Bud
by
Doug Pappas

04-03

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Prospectus Feature: The Numbers (Part Eight): MLB vs. Forbes
by
Doug Pappas

04-03

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The Numbers (Part Eight)
by
Doug Pappas

03-20

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March Madness
by
Doug Pappas

03-20

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March Madness
by
Doug Pappas

03-13

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Prospectus Feature: The Numbers (Part Seven): Interest-ing
by
Doug Pappas

03-13

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The Numbers (Part Seven)
by
Doug Pappas

02-04

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The Numbers (Part Six)
by
Doug Pappas

01-24

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The Numbers (Part Five)
by
Doug Pappas

01-12

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The Numbers (Part Four)
by
Doug Pappas

12-20

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The Numbers (Part Three)
by
Doug Pappas

12-12

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The Numbers (Part Two)
by
Doug Pappas

12-07

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The Numbers (Part One)
by
Doug Pappas

<< Previous Author Entries Next Author Entries >>

March 11, 2003 12:00 am

Surveying the Authors

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Doug Pappas

In the first part of this survey, BP authors were asked to comment about the game off the field--labor, economics and the Expos. The final survey question asked our respondents to take the Bud Selig Prediction Test.

Read the full article...

March 4, 2003 12:00 am

Surveying the Authors

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Doug Pappas

For the past seven years, I've surveyed the members of the Society For American Baseball Research's Business of Baseball Committee about issues relating to baseball labor and economics, publishing the results and a cross-section of the comments in the winter issue of the Committee's quarterly newsletter. With a new CBA in place and the Expos still in limbo, I decided to survey my fellow Prospectus writers, too. Unlike the usual Prospectus roundtable, no one saw or commented on anyone else's answers. BP writers who responded to the survey included Jeffrey Bower, Will Carroll, Gary Huckabay, Rany Jazayerli, Jonah Keri, Doug Pappas, Joe Sheehan, Nate Silver and Derek Zumsteg. As you'll see, our views are far from monolithic.

BP writers who responded to the survey included Jeffrey Bower, Will Carroll, Gary Huckabay, Rany Jazayerli, Jonah Keri, Doug Pappas, Joe Sheehan, Nate Silver and Derek Zumsteg. As you'll see, our views are far from monolithic.

Read the full article...

Whenever "competitive balance" is debated, the debaters inevitably turn to published information about team payrolls to support their positions. This sounds straightforward. Unfortunately, "team payroll" is a fluid concept. The four most widely reported measures each use different methods and can lead to different conclusions.

Whenever "competitive balance" is debated, the debaters inevitably turn to published information about team payrolls to support their positions. This sounds straightforward... but unfortunately, "team payroll" is a fluid concept. The four most widely reported measures each use different methods and can lead to different conclusions.

The four measures are (1) the Opening Day payrolls reported by the AP and USA Today a week or so into the season; (2) the August 31 payrolls reported by MLB after the season; (3) the August 31 average team salaries reported by the MLBPA after the season; and (4) the luxury tax payrolls reported by MLB after the season.

The first three have a lot in common. Each begins with the salary of every player on a club's 25-man roster, or its major league disabled list, as of the stated date. Each computes each player's base salary in the same way: the actual amount he is paid during the season, plus a pro-rated share of his signing bonus and the discounted present value of any part of his salary which is deferred to a future year. Each has a common flaw: by taking a snapshot of the roster as of a specific date, it ignores the effect of midseason player moves.

The MLBPA's formula has a more serious flaw which renders it essentially useless for meaningful team-to-team comparison. Its averaging method involves dividing the club's total payroll by the number of players on its roster-plus-DL. However, the size of the disabled list varies widely from team to team. In 2002 just 26 players were used to compute the Kansas City and Oakland averages, while San Diego's average was based on a 36-man roster. Thus while the August 31 payrolls for Oakland and San Diego were virtually identical, Oakland's reported average was $450,000 higher. Given the other information available, that's an unacceptable variance.

Here are each club's 2002 payrolls as computed by the three other methods:

Opening Day Aug. 31 Luxury Tax Team Payroll Payroll Difference Payroll Difference Anaheim Angels $ 61,721,667 $ 62,757,041 $ 1,035,374 $ 69,449,444 $ 7,727,777 Arizona Diamondbacks $102,820,000 $103,528,877 $ 708,877 $106,590,086 $ 3,770,086 Atlanta Braves $ 93,470,367 $ 93,786,065 $ 315,698 $103,035,498 $ 9,565,131 Baltimore Orioles $ 60,493,487 $ 56,504,685 ($ 3,988,802) $ 64,351,025 $ 3,857,538 Boston Red Sox $108,366,060 $110,249,535 $ 1,883,475 $106,060,766 ($ 2,305,294) Chicago Cubs $ 75,690,833 $ 74,950,543 ($ 740,290) $ 81,104,031 $ 5,413,198 Chicago White Sox $ 57,052,833 $ 54,534,084 ($ 2,518,749) $ 57,800,783 $ 747,950 Cincinnati Reds $ 45,050,390 $ 46,310,698 $ 1,260,308 $ 54,663,420 $ 9,613,030 Cleveland Indians $ 78,909,448 $ 74,888,365 ($ 4,021,083) $ 82,693,915 $ 3,784,467 Colorado Rockies $ 56,851,043 $ 56,509,185 ($ 341,858) $ 72,300,867 $15,449,824 Detroit Tigers $ 55,048,000 $ 54,390,870 ($ 657,130) $ 67,589,693 $12,541,693 Florida Marlins $ 41,979,917 $ 40,822,536 ($ 1,157,381) $ 45,369,104 $ 3,389,187 Houston Astros $ 63,448,417 $ 65,412,960 $ 1,964,543 $ 74,384,060 $10,935,643 Kansas City Royals $ 47,257,000 $ 49,362,709 $ 2,105,709 $ 50,973,807 $ 3,716,807 Los Angeles Dodgers $ 94,850,952 $101,504,889 $ 6,653,937 $112,274,884 $17,423,932 Milwaukee Brewers $ 50,287,333 $ 49,259,130 ($ 1,028,203) $ 50,455,737 $ 168,404 Minnesota Twins $ 40,225,000 $ 41,309,031 $ 1,084,031 $ 45,931,954 $ 5,706,954 Montreal Expos $ 38,670,500 $ 37,901,032 ($ 769,468) $ 35,814,751 ($ 2,855,749) New York Mets $ 94,633,593 $ 94,395,575 ($ 238,018) $102,182,193 $ 7,548,600 New York Yankees $125,928,583 $133,429,757 $ 7,500,992 $167,592,745 $41,664,162 Oakland Athletics $ 39,679,746 $ 41,942,665 $ 2,262,919 $ 58,143,776 $18,464,030 Philadelphia Phillies $ 57,955,000 $ 59,593,741 $ 1,638,741 $ 64,505,697 $ 6,550,697 Pittsburgh Pirates $ 42,323,598 $ 46,059,984 $ 3,736,386 $ 55,967,080 $13,643,482 St. Louis Cardinals $ 74,098,267 $ 76,227,801 $ 2,129,534 $ 88,378,549 $14,280,282 San Diego Padres $ 41,425,000 $ 41,791,170 $ 366,170 $ 57,943,130 $16,518,130 San Francisco Giants $ 78,299,835 $ 78,426,572 $ 126,737 $ 88,488,058 $10,188,223 Seattle Mariners $ 80,282,668 $ 86,084,710 $ 5,802,432 $ 92,310,287 $12,027,619 Tampa Bay Devil Rays $ 34,380,000 $ 34,728,540 $ 348,540 $ 36,249,505 $ 1,869,505 Texas Rangers $105,302,124 $106,915,180 $ 1,613,056 $122,887,987 $17,585,863 Toronto Blue Jays $ 76,864,333 $ 66,814,971 ($10,049,762) $ 58,963,374 ($17,900,959)

Read the full article...

Last week, Major League Baseball's owners unanimously approved Commissioner Bud Selig's proposal to give the league that wins the All-Star Game home field advantage in the World Series.

Last week, Major League Baseball's owners unanimously approved Commissioner Bud Selig's proposal to give the league that wins the All-Star Game home field advantage in the World Series. In the official release announcing the vote, Selig proclaimed, "This change is designed to re-energize and give greater meaning to the All-Star Game."

This wasn't a problem before 1997. Until then, the All-Star Game had plenty of meaning. It was the only time before the World Series when AL and NL players competed against one another. However, in yet another Selig-era obsession with the short-term "fix," the owners not only wore out the novelty of interleague play in short order, but took the bloom off their own midsummer showcase by scheduling all those interleague games within three weeks of the All-Star Game. MLB's antitrust exemption might protect the league from a lot of things, but it doesn't protect it from the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The move will surely be applauded by Fox, which has TV rights to the next three All-Star Games. And MLB's current proposal could improve the quality of the game, especially if players from contending teams appreciate the impact of a win.

Still, the move has been met with considerable skepticism from the players. As NL player representative Tom Glavine told the New York Times: "It's an exhibition game. That's how it's approached. What other games do we play where we have the starting pitchers wearing microphones? If you want to do that, it's going to be hard for players to have the mentality that this is a win-at-all-cost game." As the MLBPA must approve the proposed change before it takes effect, Glavine's comments suggest that the issue is far from resolved.

Home field advantage in the World Series has never been more important. Consider:

Read the full article...

December 20, 2002 6:42 pm

Franchise Location

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Doug Pappas

Major League Baseball's governing documents aren't intended for public consumption..

Major League Baseball's governing documents aren't intended for public consumption. But when I recently spent two quality hours with a 1999 edition of the Major League Agreement and Major League Rules, I took detailed notes of certain key provisions. I don't think any of these sections have been amended since then.

Orioles' owner Peter Angelos has repeatedly warned MLB against moving the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C. or northern Virginia. But can he stop the move? That may depend on where the club would play.

Read the full article...

August 16, 2002 12:00 am

Bridging the Gap

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Doug Pappas

The owners' current offer calls for all clubs to share 50% of their local revenues, and for high-payroll clubs to pay an additional "luxury tax" of 50% on the portion of payrolls over $98 million. The players oppose the luxury tax and have proposed revenue sharing at a level of 22.5%, with a higher percentage of the shared money going to the lower-revenue clubs.

If, as the owners insist, the combination of revenue sharing and a luxury tax is necessary to improve competitive balance, then a key question to ask is whether their proposal will actually improve competitive balance. It won't. A fundamental flaw in the owners' revenue sharing formula almost guarantees that if adopted, it would increase the number of teams that "can't compete."

Read the full article...

July 10, 2002 9:01 pm

DuPuy Disinforms

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Doug Pappas

Fact: DuPuy exaggerated MLB's operating losses by at least 22%.

The Baseball America website features transcripts of lengthy interviews with the protagonists in the current labor dispute: Bob DuPuy, MLB's president and chief operating officer, and MLBPA head Don Fehr. Editor Alan Schwarz sat down with each man for an hour, asking tough questions and following up as appropriate. Each transcript runs over 6,500 words.

Unfortunately, not all of those words are accurate. While both men used the interview as a forum for presenting their positions to the public, one went further. DuPuy made several unambiguously false statements about the economics of Major League Baseball.

Read the full article...

July 10, 2002 12:00 am

DuPuy Disinforms

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Doug Pappas

The Baseball America website features transcripts of lengthy interviews with the protagonists in the current labor dispute: Bob DuPuy, MLB's president and chief operating officer, and MLBPA head Don Fehr. Editor Alan Schwarz sat down with each man for an hour, asking tough questions and following up as appropriate. Each transcript runs over 6,500 words. Unfortunately, not all of those words are accurate. While both men used the interview as a forum for presenting their positions to the public, one went further. DuPuy made several unambiguously false statements about the economics of Major League Baseball.

Unfortunately, not all of those words are accurate. While both men used the interview as a forum for presenting their positions to the public, one went further. DuPuy made several unambiguously false statements about the economics of Major League Baseball.

DuPuy: "[R]emember, 65 cents of every dollar that's generated right now goes to player salaries."

Read the full article...

Selig insisted that liabilities under the 60/40 rule have always included the value of salaries for future years, and any suggestion to the contrary was "just bullshit."

Something about this column struck a nerve at Major League Baseball. Two days after it was posted, Rich Levin, MLB's Senior Vice President-Public Relations, called the SABR office to get my phone number. Two hours later, an efficient-sounding woman left a voice mail in which she said that Commissioner Bud Selig wanted to speak to me. She invited me to call him back at his office in Milwaukee.

What the heck, it was a slow day at work. I grabbed a pad and pen.

Read the full article...

What the heck, it was a slow day at work. I grabbed a pad and pen.

When I called back, my experience was a lot like Rob Neyer's. I felt like a student being lectured by an insecure professor for disagreeing with the thesis of his latest book. The commissioner explained that while he's thick-skinned and had grown accustomed to invective, I was simply wrong about numerous key facts. He spent the next 40 minutes itemizing them, starting at the top of the article and working his way down.

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Add Forbes to the ever-growing list of those who don't believe MLB's cries of poverty.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

Add Forbes to the ever-growing list of those who don't believe MLB's cries of poverty.

The April 15 issue of Forbes contains the magazine's annual survey of MLB's finances. Michael Ozanian has been compiling these surveys since 1991, first for the now-defunct Financial World and since 1998 for Forbes.

Forbes, based on 2001 performance the average Major League Baseball franchise is now worth $286 million, an increase of 10% since 2000. Moreover, the present owners of MLB clubs have seen the value of their investments appreciate an average of 12% a year. These are hardly the hallmarks of an industry in dire financial straits.

While MLB claims operating losses of $232 million in 2001, Forbes estimates that the 30 teams turned a collective profit of $76.7 million. That's a difference of more than $10 million per team.

Here's how the Forbes numbers compare to MLB's (all figures net of revenue sharing payments):







Read the full article...

Add Forbes to the ever-growing list of those who don't believe MLB's cries of poverty.

The April 15 issue of Forbes contains the magazine's annual survey of MLB's finances. Michael Ozanian has been compiling these surveys since 1991, first for the now-defunct Financial World and since 1998 for Forbes. Forbes, based on 2001 performance the average Major League Baseball franchise is now worth $286 million, an increase of 10% since 2000. Moreover, the present owners of MLB clubs have seen the value of their investments appreciate an average of 12% a year. These are hardly the hallmarks of an industry in dire financial straits.

Read the full article...

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