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Maury Brown
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Maury Brown
(29778)
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I'll keep this short: I love everything about this article. Love, <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/maury_brown">Maury Brown</a> (BP alum from "The Good Old Days")

 
Maury Brown
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Zach, just wanted to say this is a great article

 
Maury Brown
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I'm shocked Bosch buckled. MLB's lawsuit is one of the weakest I've ever seen.

 
Maury Brown
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Yep. Which is why this could turn into small fish adding credibility to Bosch's sworn testimony. I'm sure MLBPA preaching, "Hold ranks"

 
Maury Brown
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Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner today issued the following statement regarding ESPN’s Biogenesis report. “The Players Association has been in regular contact with the Commissioner’s Office regarding the Biogenesis investigation. They are in the process of interviewing players and every player has been or will be represented by an attorney from the Players Association. The Commissioner’s Office has assured us that no decisions regarding discipline have been made or will be made until those interviews are completed. It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged those investigations. The Players Association has every interest in both defending the rights of players and in defending the integrity of our joint program. We trust that the Commissioner’s Office shares these interests.”

 
Maury Brown
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This is fair. I was speaking to April but it's possible that regardless of the weather, it would stack up as such.

 
Maury Brown
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Remember, the league went away from turnstile counts to "paid attendance" in the '90s. This was done when tickets sold counted against revenue-sharing. I've written about this prior, but a club that sees solid offseason season ticket sales can see fairly high paid attendance announced with actual butts in the seats being low. This can happen when offseason expectations are high but when the season starts the team does not meet those expectations. The Blue Jays certainly fit that description early in the season.

 
Maury Brown
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Well, if I had said that Braun was using steroids in the piece, you might have got me there. The details about Braun were about how MLB was none too pleased about losing the case and how they'd like to aggressively go after the players, the providers, and everyone else in the case. He was mentioned in the Biogenesis documentation. And, if you want to get technical, all the documentation is nothing more than scribbles. That's the point of why if the case is allowed to proceed it will allow for discovery via subpoena.

 
Maury Brown
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For those wondering, yes I will be doing part two of my attendance predictions after running the AL prior. This story was too timely to pass on.

 
Maury Brown
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I will say this... if BP wants to give me the computing horsepower to plug in the season schedule tied to PECOTA, add the promo schedule, and look at outcomes for standing projections by month, I could get a handle on it. Attendance ebbs and flows. Predictive modeling would need adjustments if a team is flat or up out of the gate and out of the ASG break. I'd probably need to adjust for "bandwagon" factor with some clubs, while others (Rays, Marlins, Astros) might not see noticeable changes regardless of performance.

 
Maury Brown
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Well, if it's that "easy" we should also add change in schedule, day of the week, promo schedule, and projected weather forecasts. I don't see being able to completely quantify to that extent. If it were truly "easy" we'd be seeing articles each season as such.

 
Maury Brown
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Before anyone jumps on it, there is of course a date wrong/typo here in the article that will be fixed. Of course the Mariners did not have the best attendance in the league in 2011. It was 2001.

 
Maury Brown
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I'll be interested to see what analysis comes out of the raw data I'm providing. I didn't want to risk missing deadline but totals by position by service time was something I was looking to sneak in. There were no heavy outliers this year (Posey's deal and Fowler's gaudy filing number the exception), so it was really a pretty good class to use for general comping.

 
Maury Brown
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Maury Brown
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Thanks much. I was mentioning yesterday about the Miller quote... You never know how an interview will go. Every last one of them I did with Miller were extraordinaire. Thanks again for the kind comments.

 
Maury Brown
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Dexter's filing number was insane. That was fun to try and get around.

 
Maury Brown
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Fair enough. But, I'd like to hear from Crane (or for that matter Loria) as to why their clubs are bleeding red in the markets they exist in. By population, Houston is the fourth largest market in the U.S. By DMA, it ranks 10th. But, in doing further research, here's some data that supports Crane.... The lease payment on Minute Maid Park is $3.4 M, paid semi-annually to the Authority (two payments of $1.7M).... The Tenant (Houston Astros) is responsible for all costs associated with the operations of the "Leased Premises and Concession Improvements"... The Tenant is responsible for the following: (a) “Perform all Maintenance and all Capital Repairs, or cause the performance of all Maintenance and all Capital Repairs, necessary to keep and maintain the Leased Premises and Concession Improvements in a First Class Condition and in a manner reasonably consistent with other Comparable Facilities; and (b) Maintain and keep, or cause to be maintained and kept, the Leased Premises and Concession Improvements in a clean, neat and orderly condition given the nature and use of the Leased Premises and Concession Improvements.”

 
Maury Brown
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This is a great question. The SBJ article simply says that MLBAM revenues in 2011 were at $685 million. It does not specify with net of expenses. This would hold true of other streams, as well. The estimates on MLBP and revenue sharing were based on the leaked financial docs for the Marlins and Rays. I was conservative in my estimates because of factors such as you mention. For others reading, this is not an exacting set of numbers. Unless the Astros and MLB are willing to release financial figures (you may all sit down and have a good laugh on that one), this is a case of using available figures to derive a balanced look at the streams that are available to clubs, such as the Astros. One thing to mention... No one has asked Crane just how deep the losses have been. The question becomes, how did a club get so far out of skew that the massive cuts that have taken place doesn't absorb any costs. If the Astros are the model, then 90% of the league would be running in the red and we all know that's simply not the case.

 
Maury Brown
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I have been told more than once that the "bad feelings" thing is overblown. Remember, what's occurring is a case for the players of a big raise as opposed to a bigger raise. Even when the player loses, he wins.

 
Maury Brown
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Let me just say, that this was an incredibly enjoyable exercise and I hope BP makes this an annual series.

 
Maury Brown
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No, I think the number was reasonable. It's important to note that both the MLBPA and 245 Park review filing numbers very closely and make recommendations. A side in a case does not have to follow the recommendation, but there's reasons why the sides provide it.... If you're a small agency that's never done a salary arb hearing, you run the risk of filing a figure that can be way outside what is realistic. Remember, there's nothing to stop an agent from filing far over the relative comp for a player, but in doing so you run the risk of getting killed at hearing. The mid-point serves its purpose for settlements, which is why there are so few cases that go to hearing. In this series of mock hearings, you're not arguing the mid-point as the panel rules on one figure or the other, there is no middle ground.

 
Maury Brown
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This happens more often than you might think. In fact, last year there were 8 mid-point settlements: Robert Andino ($1,300,000) Daniel Bard ($1,612,500) David Ortiz ($14,575,000) Shaun Marcum ($7,725,000) Brett Gardner ($2,800,000) Hunter Pence ($10,400,000) Casey McGehee ($2,537,500) Jason Motte ($1,950,000)

 
Maury Brown
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I've done probably a dozen mock arb comps. This one was tough as Scherzer clearly was the tops in his service class by starting pitcher. You make the best of what you have and run with it. Still... Remember, a key factor is not always whether a player is better or worse by statistical merit, rather whether a salary sought or offered is reasonable. That's my argument.

 
Maury Brown
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As to WHIP... It can be used, but you risk shooting up valuable time in a hearing if you get an arbitrator that is not versed in a statistical category.

 
Maury Brown
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Hardest case I've done.

 
Maury Brown
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If you ask MLB, they'll tell you all net local revenue (which this TV $ is) is counted for revenue sharing purposes. But, due the the bankruptcy agreement, it is capped. It's something that's piling more economic disparity in this new environment in which the Dodgers are already getting this massive revenue boost over everyone else.

 
Maury Brown
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The Players Association has been very closely monitoring the Marlins. As noted in 2010 they were found to be using revenue-sharing $ improperly. The league, PA, and begrudgingly, the Marlins, released a statement that basically took Loria and Samson out behind the woodshed. The result was the Josh Johnson extension. I'm not at a location where I have CBA in front of me but to qualify for revenue-sharing clubs have to meet certain payroll numbers compared to net local revenue. Prior to Escobar moving, with cash considerations, player payroll was right on the very edge of that at approx $43 million. That would seem to mean something is still brewing with the club. As to the number of players, they will meet. What we've all discovered is that the Marlins are very good at exploiting the system.

Dec 05, 2012 11:26 AM on Just Visiting
 
Maury Brown
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Well, it is Stan. He's legendary for being able to avoid that type of thing. He's well aware of the label, "Stan speak."

 
Maury Brown
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Jaffe and I have had a good coversation this AM on the plaque graphic, which I got from CNN/Money several years ago... The convo is the line "resulting in free agency in 1977." This isn't quite right. I brought up Jim "Catfish" Hunter's arbitration case with the A's in 1974 that resulted in FA. Jay brought up Reggie in 1976. We both agreed to split the difference and said the Messersmith/McNally (Seitz ruling) is really the beginning of FA as we know it today. That was 1975.

 
Maury Brown
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No. This is not considered salary. It is negotiated "shares" of postseason revenue not counted. Now, the gate revenues the owners pull in for the postseason, does. So, 40% of the first four World Series games gate money does count as revenues toward revenue sharing.

 
Maury Brown
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Yep, Richard. That's exactly what happened.

 
Maury Brown
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The league has approved the trade. As I outlined, this should have come as no surprise.

 
Maury Brown
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Maury Brown
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This is the problem with this topic... I did nearly 5,000 words on it, and could have pumped another 5K into doing Top 20. There are places like Indy, Salt Lake City, Orlando, etc. that could easily come into the conversation. But, I stuck with the markets that had done some legwork in the past as that info helps for any potential looks now. I mentioned in the article, but as a matter of disclosure, I worked on the MLB to Portland effort in 2000-01. While the data that we game to MLB is there (and is a heck of a head start), the landscape has changed greatly. For one, ballpark sites have nearly all dried up. One, near the Rose Quarter, actually looks better now than it did originally as trolley access is now there, and it looks like a convention center hotel is (finally) going to happen. But, the costs of getting a stadium have increased dramatically, and while the city tried to blunt that by saying they could go without a roof, I don't buy that. All the small markets that one discusses needs to have a roof, unless you're talking a locale in the southwest or south of the US border. The league and the owners are always going to try and avoid having a revenue-sharing taker. In that, walk-up at the gate becomes paramount. If you are in a location where the weather is adverse (and, Portland, you have that in the Spring), then you have to have a retractable roof.

 
Maury Brown
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On those asking about why Vancouver, Canada didn't make the list... For those that have been watching the stadium game in the US, leagues prefer if the public picks up all or most of the costs. This is something that, rightly or wrongly, plays directly into the notion of bringing more MLB back to Canada. The Expos made my list, really, due to one factor: the Expos history and the fact that you could use the Big Owe as an interim facility. But, Montreal is a big long shot in any effort... I went with it because, really, every market out there is a long shot; there's dilution. In other words, MLB isn't going to be keen on going into small-to-mid- markets, nor grapple with international politics or the exchange rate when it doesn't go in the same direction as the US (remember, players have to be paid in US dollars). But, back to Vancouver, while this is from 2011, the issue holds true. From the Winnipeg Free Press: Generally, public dollars [in Canada] have gone to build sports facilities for non-professional events such as the Olympics, but some money has gone to buildings used by professional teams. According to an Edmonton Journal article, 24 out of 30 NHL arenas were built with some public money, substantial amounts in some cases. The average cost of an arena was $165 million and the public paid about 43 per cent of the cost. In seven cities, the majority American, the public paid 100 per cent of costs. It should be noted that arenas are less expensive to develop than ballparks (especially when a roof is in play, and in Vancouver, you have to really consider that). I love Vancouver, BC as a market. I don't see them viable for political reasons. Bash me on Montreal... I still pine for the Expos.

 
Maury Brown
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Geoff Young reminds me that the Padres and Rockies also played in Monterrey in 1996

 
Maury Brown
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MLS was difficult for me to factor. I was tempted to just stick to the Big-4, but in some markets, MLS is a big force (see Seattle, Portland, etc).

 
Maury Brown
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The issue with Mexico City is travel distance. The union and league have negotiated how far players have to travel and Mexico City is too far. Exhibition games? Yes. Regular season games? No.

 
Maury Brown
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While I'm for the "more $, less years" method in some of the deals out there, allocating $25M in AAV would skew so much pay to one resource.... I can only think of 2-3 clubs that could pull it off. That doesn't mean they're interested, that just means they could pull it off.

 
Maury Brown
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Maury Brown
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Sam, the formula's in Excel and associated AAV numbers are being addressed. Thanks for the catch

 
Maury Brown
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This certainly added, although with the election the exception, each year bumps into NCAAF

 
Maury Brown
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Awesome. For those that don't know, I have more than a passing fancy for AC/DC. http://www.facebook.com/ShootToThrillAnAcdcTribute

 
Maury Brown
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Cot's. I always try to keep it here in the family.

 
Maury Brown
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In case you didn't know... the Giants and Tigers have played each other in interleague six times in the last five years. They have never faced each other in a World Series

 
Maury Brown
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Planned on this for the comments... I'll likely post the payroll and ranking of WS teams for at least the last decade. Something anadotal to chew on... Look at where the Blue Jays and Royals ranked when they last won the World Series.

 
Maury Brown
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Maury Brown
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Team Marketing Report does something every year

 
Maury Brown
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Hi R.A., Average attendance for ATL was 29,878 in 2012, compared to 30,037 in 2011, a decrease of 0.53%. The table looks correct to me.

 
Maury Brown
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It should be noted, Bloomberg is adement about the media rights being capped at just over $84 million. The question I have (and will be discussing with them) is how this below jibes with capped: “All up-front cash payments and all annual rights fees shall be subject to revenue-sharing under normal principles.”

 
Maury Brown
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Now... Let's see if Billy's (stuff) works in the postseason.

 
Maury Brown
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Thanks on this. I was beginning to think I was the only one.

 
Maury Brown
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The most sound comment on the article, yet. I salute you

 
Maury Brown
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"Pissed?" I don't understand it, but this is not something I am "pissed" about. And, I'm fine with the article. It's not an entirely objective topic, and I know it. To not cover the topic here at BP would have been to not cover a high-profile issue.

 
Maury Brown
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I don't know if it was "vague"... “One of my rules of managing is I try to do what’s best today, with an eye on tomorrow,” he explained. “And what’s best for Strasburg is looking ahead in his future, and if all the reports that I get is the best thing we can do is after 160 innings shut him down… “That’s what we did with Jordan Zimmerman last year, although we were in third place, so it’s a little bit different this year. It’s the same deal: You do what’s best for the player, not only today but for the long haul.” To the rest of your comments... Good points.

 
Maury Brown
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September is not the issue, it's October. That's what the focus has been. He *could* absolutely be one of the premiere pitchers over the next 5+ years, maybe longer. But, I get back to that thing... I haven't heard word out of the Nats camp that currently there is anything medical. Davey said he wasn't "crisp" which can happen to both healthy and unhealthy pitchers. I guess I'm asking this... Should limits be set across the board? Do each player respond identically? Should you look at the Zimmerman shutdown in a season where the team wasn't contending and say, "We will apply identical rules"? I'm reasonable. Give me a compelling argument and at the middle of next season, if it all lines up in the "could" department, I'll offer up a mea culpa.

 
Maury Brown
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The innings limit was said by Davey Johnson based on Zimmerman. So, it was said. Why say anything? That's what's most confusing. Said it in article, but if you follow the league, silence is almost always preferred. As to the Lannan comment... If you're "happy" about the move, you're basically saying at this point and this time, Lannan is a better option than Strasburg. On his last two starts... Well, Friday was a stinker. No doubt there. His previous start? A win. Pitched 6, 2H, 1BB, 9Ks... How is that "bad"?

 
Maury Brown
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Let me ask the quorum... who's better, Strasburg or Lannan?

 
Maury Brown
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The Zimmerman shutdown made sense... the Nationals were out of contention. This is different.

 
Maury Brown
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And yet, I don't see any comment on his principled statement. Why set arbitrary numbers ? Why have pitch counts? Why not just monitor performance?

 
Maury Brown
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Maury Brown
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Kevin, I've always admired you. Always will. I hope to see you (again) at the Baseball Winter Meetings. First beer is on me.

Aug 31, 2012 3:23 PM on Goodbye to the Internet
 
Maury Brown
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Much thanks.

 
Maury Brown
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The purple is club option money

 
Maury Brown
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Hmmm... Well, it DOES appear my math is off... or rather, I got a formula screwed up in Excel. Here's the reworked data:

 
Maury Brown
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Stupid Maury and his iPhone fat fingering.... "Luxury Tax"

 
Maury Brown
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Yeah, I don't see either being needed or happening. There is the Kuxury Tax at the top, the minimum salary at the bottom, and clear language now on how revenue-sharing is to be used. You're not going to be seeing trades like this often.

 
Maury Brown
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You don't run up payroll. You also don't strip it to the bone. There are happy mediums.

 
Maury Brown
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I'm up too early... that's the use of revenue-sharing.... But... The league has always frowned upon using TV money to pay down debt. See the Rangers, Dodgers as examples (Hicks, McCourt were blocked).

 
Maury Brown
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I don't think you're seeing the Cubs getting into payroll that is at the bottom of the food chain. And, I don't see the Cubs doing so with lucrative RSN money that wasn't there prior. Read the last paragraph... it's 3 years into a 5 year rebuilding that is likely to be much longer.

 
Maury Brown
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It's against the CBA, for one thing

 
Maury Brown
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No, the meeting is of interest. I'm simply saying that there should be no expectation on movement around the A's to San Jose issue for the upcoming meetings. I'd expect the issue to be unresolved by season's end. Now, what happens in the off-season...? I've given up trying to predict when it's all said and done.

 
Maury Brown
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Oh, for those scoring at home, relocation is nearly as difficult as contraction.... unless the league purchases a club, ala the Expos

 
Maury Brown
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Fisher's info came via press release, which just landed in my in-box. Remember, this year the pricing model changed, which has greatly impacted downloads. If live streams are up, revenues should not be negative impacted as MLB.TV subs will have increased, as well. Now about those nasty blackouts... Below is the press release: MLB Advanced Media, L.P. (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, today announced that its MLB.com At Bat 12 application surpassed the five million download mark this past Saturday, achieving the milestone for the first time in a single season and just five months after its launch on February 29. In 2011, At Bat saw 3.9 million total downloads.   Additionally, baseball fans have watched more than 21 million live video streams via At Bat 12 on supported iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets. The total live video consumption also represents a new single season record for At Bat, roughly 20% greater than last year’s season-ending total and spurred in part by a daily average 120% greater than 2011.   MLB.TV Premium subscribers get At Bat 12 for free on supported iOS and Android devices. Fans also can subscribe to MLB.com At Bat 12 for the one-time seasonal fee of $9.99 on all available platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7) or iPhone and iPad users have the option of a $2.99 per month fee with a monthly recurring billing option.

 
Maury Brown
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Some food for thought via Eric Fisher of the SportsBusiness Journal/Daily: More big numbers for MLBAM. Current version of At Bat mobile app now at 5M downloads. All of last year did 3.9M, all of '10 was 2.1M.... MLBAM also has served 24 pct more live mobile video streams than all of last year, with more than a third of this season still to go.

 
Maury Brown
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Maury Brown
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Oh, and a football field is the perfect size for theater aspect HD systems.

 
Maury Brown
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I would add this: there's little doubting that the NFL has taken a massive chunk out of interest in MLB. Ratings and total viewership numbers have skyrocketed by comparison. Pace of the game, it's ability to be well defined by time (I.e. you know within a close proximity when games will end) and fact that games aren't played daily, a sign that society has more competing interests than even 20 yrs ago, play into the growth of NFL and decline of MLB

 
Maury Brown
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More importantly Tom, there needs to be a means by which to account for changes in media landscape. There has been a massive shift, even since 2002, by which additional entertainment options compete with television media (Netflix, computer gaming, league-owned sports channels, horizontal offerings by networks, continued expansion of cable/satillite operators). We should go offline. There would need to be several variables and a means to normalizing data to allow for a true understanding of ratings against the environment. You know my email address.

 
Maury Brown
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I'd also add this: ASG does not conflict with other Big-4 sports programming. At this point, NFL, NBA, NHL in slumber.

 
Maury Brown
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If you have a method by which to adjust for regional alignment, I'm dying to see it

 
Maury Brown
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I'd say this is a possible variable. But, it would really be in the context of core fans. With ratings, you're trying to gauge interest to average fan. I don't know if the intensity factor is something that is considered. The exception would be if we had a "Pete Rose charging home" type scenario. That would get played (likely repeatedly) on Sportscenter, which could slingshot into the following seasob's ASG ratings.

 
Maury Brown
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Tom, I'd also add that while Game 1 is certainly a good barometer, you add other variables in such as how teams are geographically. A NYM/NYY or LAA/LAD series chokes ratings due to proximity. In other words, in some senses I would advocate that the ASG, while not perfect, actually works as a decent control group. Its format spans all clubs and therefore its interest should not ebb and flow based on the "teams" partisipating.

 
Maury Brown
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That would be an article for after this year's World Series

 
Maury Brown
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Posting fee is not considered part of total player payroll. It is, for all intents and purposes, an administrative cost.

 
Maury Brown
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Broadcast rights have exploded. It's a domino effect. Try this... ACC deal is a $3.6 billion deal over the next 15 years. Start there... look at the NFL... look at the industry. Now... When is MLB's national broadcast deals up for renewal? End of 2013. Do the math. It's coming.

 
Maury Brown
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Why are they growing? More than a few factors... Deals were often brokered based upon what was seen as current value, without accounting for market inflation. But, for MLB what really started moving the needle at such an incredible rate has been the deals around college sports that has caused the realignments we've seen. Thanks for the subscription. This one was free, but I get what you're saying. This assist in getting closer to root of growth?

 
Maury Brown
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On salaries... A good study (no, I have not done it) is the increase in the percentage being allocated to a single player against total player payroll and whether those deals are increasing. As one veteran exec said to me, "It's not AAV that's bothersome, it's AAV over these lengthy contracts."

 
Maury Brown
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Here's the rate at which the average salary has grown going back to to 2003: 3% -2% 7% 9% 4% 4% 2% 1% Salaries are running a lower rate than the increase in revenues coming in.

 
Maury Brown
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I seriously doubt that a TUE would be granted for marijuana. But... it's not out of the realm of possibility.

 
Maury Brown
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For those wondering, I addressed Bill's question as part of my chat. Maury Brown Chat Transcript (5/29/12)

 
Maury Brown
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Thanks. This one was a bit longer than I wanted. Next week, I'll dive into stuff like the Luxury Tax on total player payroll, and likly revenue-sharing. Wooo exciting, eh?

 
Maury Brown
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By the way, pop on over at 3pm ET to my chat today here on BP if you want to discuss this article or anything else, for that matter

 
Maury Brown
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I agree, but will say this: The pain of 1994-95 enabled the league and PA to get where they are today. When you look at how the relationship is between say the NFL and the NFLPA, baseball is light years ahead.

 
Maury Brown
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It's substantial, especially when the deal was when it was up for renewal that EI would be carried only by DirecTV. Cable operators pitched a fit as did consumers. The sly workaround was for MLB to say, "Fine, but you need to also carry MLB Network on the basic tier or close it. They all howled but with DISH the exception, all the biggies bent. It's a very large reason why MLBN is now deemed to be seen by approx 69 million households.

 
Maury Brown
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Not at the moment. The addition of the 5 seeds to the playoffs along with luxury tax in draft will cause average salary to increase slightly ahead of this year (if memory serves, 4% based on MLBPA figures).

 
Maury Brown
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Trout is certainly up there

 
Maury Brown
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So very true. So very scary.

 
Maury Brown
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The league informs me that in these packages where free tickets are "given away" they are counted as paid attendance and are really seen as a "discount" not "free". So... The paid attendance numbers for the Nationals include those "free" tickets.

 
Maury Brown
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A reminder... Link to the source data is provided within the article.

 
Maury Brown
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I was contacted by the Mariners today regarding the article. They have no issues with it, but wanted to inform that through president Chuck Armstrong they stated that they are unequivocally not on the market. Yes they read all of the first paragraph but as the story has been picked up by other news organizations, they wanted to make it clear that "not for sale" was understood.

 
Maury Brown
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Thanks on that, Derek.

 
Maury Brown
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On the timing.... If the Mariners came up for sale (a big "if"), earliest would be toward the end of the year. Dodgers and Padres in play. Have to stagger sales. Don't want to flood the market.

 
Maury Brown
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Thanks on this! Editors notified

 
Maury Brown
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The table has been updated. Rank Diff fixed. Apologies on that

 
Maury Brown
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It's happening (somewhat) now with the Yankees. I allude to this when I said, "Yes, there will be some watering down at the top (this has already started; the Yankees’ $197,962,289 payroll for 2012 marks the first time that the Bronx Bombers have been under $200 million since 2007), but by and large, many will see sizeable growth."

 
Maury Brown
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Yeah, I can explain it... I somehow got the formula wrong. I have an update into editors to update the table. As an example, Phillies should see rank diff as 1. Red Sox -1, etc.

 
Maury Brown
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I note this in the article, but USA Today's numbers don't account for deferred compensation, and that's something the Mets have done a bit of. Biggest thing for the Mets right now is the gate. It's killed them for three seasons running and they need to get that flipped around. It's very early in the season but early returns based on good weather and winning have helped. I don't think that's sustainable, but I'm sure the club will take what they've been getting as opposed to rain and losing.

 
Maury Brown
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I'm dying to see structure of Votto deal. AAV is a crazy $22.5M. But, hearing the deal is backloaded. He also has a limited no-trade clause. I hate heavily back-loaded deals. There will be flexibility near-term but if PECOTA holds its muster long-range, Votto becomes almost unmoveable. This is what long-term deals are starting to look like: value in early years, and eat money at the tail end. In conversation after conversation with front office execs, this is the concern: have to give the deals to compete in FA space or wrap up talent with these type of deals at the risk of having large sums go to a player at the end of their career where there is increased risk. For the Reds, it's even more critical because of limited revenues.

Apr 03, 2012 10:01 AM on 12 Years For Joey Votto
 
Maury Brown
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Thanks very much. BP has been a great supporter. I'm very lucky to be working with such great people. I wish you well in all your efforts and keep the faith.

 
Maury Brown
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The value in Johnson is exceptionally high. Read between the lines in this passage from Selig's statement today: “I believe that a man of Magic’s remarkable stature and experience can play an integral role for one of the game’s most historic franchises, in a city where he is revered. Major League Baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities, and Magic Johnson is a living embodiment of so many of the ideals that are vital to our game and its future." Magic has said that he's leaving the baseball matters to Kasten. But, he'd be active in luring free agents to the Dodgers. You ask yourself: as a competitive athlete, if you sit down with the likes of Magic Johnson, you're going to listen. He's been there. He's iconic to other athletes. That will pay dividends. Also, think of this thread: Dodgers... Jackie Robinson... Magic Johnson... Robinson broke the color barrier with the Dodgers, as Johnson does with the club now. Go back and read (closely) that last sentence of Selig's quote.

 
Maury Brown
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Yep. Yep. Yep. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out (RSN or rights deal without FOX or TWC as partners). On ticket prices... Not so sure you see a massive uptick, at least initially. Johnson understands how the situation has been with not only McCourt, but prior when News Corp. owned the club. Variable ticket pricing? Maybe. If luxury seating is somehow added in (although, McCourt went there early on in his ownership), then maybe you see a solid increase there. It's all going to be interesting to watch over the next 12-18 months.

 
Maury Brown
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Yeah, this is a concern. But, in relationship to say the Astros sale, the structure shouldn't be considered the same. The TV deal will infuse $ into the organziation for player payroll and upgrades to Dodgers Stadium. That, in turn, should boost the gate, which increases revenues that way. Are they going to be debt free overnight? Certainly not, but many clubs are under debt and function very well. See the Phillies as a good example.

 
Maury Brown
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Welcome aboard. Thanks for the kind words on the article!

 
Maury Brown
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I hit on this in the article: McCourt and members of the purchasing group, including Johnson, will also be forming a joint venture that will acquire the Chavez Ravine property, parking lots and all, for an additional $150 million. The parties in the deal for the land would mutually agree to any development, with Johnson being able to veto any plans, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times.

 
Maury Brown
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No. I'm saying that trying to determine gate is a moving target. "Paid attendance" is easy enough to track. But, the gate has become difficult to determine. Secondary sales allow for the originating sale to be moved across into a second stream. What isn't reported (often) is that clubs make money coming and going via service fees through the likes of StubHub. That's a separate matter from what I'm discussing, but it comes back to that thing... Determining gate revenue can really only come from some inside source. Determining it now has become very difficult.

 
Maury Brown
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Agreed, with a caveat... The max price is likely to not exceed $1.6-$1.8 billion. The price will go down if the parking lots are not let go by McCourt. If McCourt retains control of the parking lots, sale price is likely to be $1.1 billion.

 
Maury Brown
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If I had the coin laying around for such a thing, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. They're a great investment. Even with McCourt driving the Dodgers into insane amounts of debt, he's likely to make $300-$400 million in profit.

 
Maury Brown
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Maury Brown
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I wish to second Jay's comments. While there has been a gap in-between my stints here, Steven edited my very technical pieces as part of the back-of-the-book essays for the 2006 Annual. He made is far, far better than what I submitted. I also am glad to say that he, KG, and Ferrin are (were?) the best time on the radio. Steven needled me this last Friday when I (as I have been known to do) wasn't exactly concise on answering a question about added revenues for the league with the added playoff teams this year. It got a good chuckle out of all of us. Was glad that I got to do a segment on MLB Network Radio with the three at the Winter Meetings, as well. I'm sad in knowing that I wished I had had the opportunity to do that face-to-face with Steven sooner. Best of luck.

Mar 04, 2012 10:06 PM on The Final Broadside
 
Maury Brown
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Said privately, but it's worth repeating... Great to hear this news, Ben. Also, great to have John back in the fold.

 
Maury Brown
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When he had the opportunity to ship the specimen, and didn't, that was when the chain of custody was broken. The protocol was broken then. It's that simple.

 
Maury Brown
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There's some conflicting conversation going on, and sInce I created it with the article, let me get back to the core. It is irrefutable that the custody chain protocol was broken. It is not a technicality. It is a breach. None of that explains away what the outcome of the test was/is. Carroll has said you might get an anomaly that *could* provide an adverse outcome. If Braun's ratio was below 4:1 and then --poof-- it jumps to 20:1, and there were two other samples treated identically, logic dictates like behavior would occur with those specimens. So to repeat: custody-chain broken. Causes results to become questionable. Das ruling is correct. What I cannot get my head wrapped around is how he busted the threshold by 16 points in some fashion outside of having something in his system. All I'm searching for is a logical explanation to that.

 
Maury Brown
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Statement released by Dino Laurenzi: http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/140745823.html

 
Maury Brown
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I have written at least 3 stories on the confidentiality aspect. From Dec 12: Leak Nearly as Bad as Positive PED Test in Ryan Braun Case

 
Maury Brown
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Reports said Braun backed out of that offer

 
Maury Brown
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No. I'm saying that the positive is difficult to explain away. The protocol was broken. That's irrefutable. And in that, you are correct. If the sample was not tampered with. And , if science cannot account for something where his sample would go from a T/E ratio under the threshold to a ratio far beyond the it, there are questions as to how that happens

 
Maury Brown
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A quick reminder... Adam caught an error in the article. I'd be lying if I said it was my first. Those that are interested in seeing the source data for the article, a spreadsheet (in .xls and .csv) is available for download, at no charge. The premise is simple: many baseball minds are better than one. The hope is other research will come out of releasing my research this year. It can be downloaded here: Salary details for the 142 players in salary arbitration The spreadsheet (or CSV file) is broken into these categories: Player DOB Age Throws/Bats Team Position Uni # 2011 Major League Service Time (MLST) Arb Status (is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. eligble) Super Two? (is the player a Super Two) Signed (Date signed) Filed? (Filed, Exchanged figures) Action (Avoided, Extension, Hearing outcome) Player Ask figure Club Offer figure Diff between ask and offer Mid-point between ask and offer 2011 Salary 2012 Salary (subsequent salary for each year in multi-yr deals) % (+/-) from '11-'12 salary mid (+/-) based on club # Increase ('11 to '12) in terms of dollars Term (Length of contract) Total contract dollars Annual Average Value (AAV) Details (player notes on performance, bonus info, etc)

 
Maury Brown
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It is an error. The percentage of increase is correct. The numbers are wrong (I inadvertently cited his 2012 and 2013 numbers, not 2011 and 2012). Should read this: "For the 16 first-time infielders, the increase was 226 percent. Pablo Sandoval saw the largest increase (540 percent) of the group, going from $500,000 in 2011 to $3.2 million in 2012 as part of his three-year, $17.5 million extension". Thanks for catching that. Fix is being made to the article. Best, Maury

 
Maury Brown
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Thanks very much. Still very much in a case in flux. Hard making definitive predictions on this one. Erring on the side of Sterling for the moment. "Tenuous" is a mild understatement.

 
Maury Brown
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That would be an emphatic "hell yes"

 
Maury Brown
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Bill Shea (who writes for Crane's Detroit and is someone I respect highly) talked with me about the piece on the Tigers. You're correct in that diversification helps divert such a calamity from happening with the Tigers. My comment in the piece is speaking to how well protected some clubs are compared to others. For Sterling, even if not tied to Picard, the $ flowing in from Madoff would have dried up. In other words, with owners having different business interests (and the economy more volitile than 5 or 6 years ago) the chances for hard swings in outside revenues become more pronounced.

 
Maury Brown
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Then there were 16... Kershaw and Dodgers agree to a 2/$19M deal. $500K signing bonus. $7.5M in '12, $11M in '13

 
Maury Brown
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Players that are free agent eligible can be offered salary arbitration. There are normally 2 or 3 each year that accept. Ortiz is one of those players this year. He took them up knowing that he'd be guaranteed a deal this year and in Boston. In other words safe money over gambling in FA.

 
Maury Brown
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I don't as that info is not released.

 
Maury Brown
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"Their 2011 salary total..." Nice typo, Maury

 
Maury Brown
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Making a case as to how important salary arbitration is in the overall for some clubs... The Padres had 11 players in salary arb this year: John Baker Luke Gregerson Chase Headley Nick Hundley Dustin Moseley Carlos Quentin Clayton Richard Tim Stauffer Joe Thatcher William Venable Edinson Volquez There 2011 salary total was $13,501,000. For 2012, these players will now be paid $27,050,500. Opening Day payroll for the Padres last year was $45,869,140. The 2011 salaries accounted for 29% of the total. Those players now would account for 59% of the total if Opening Day 2011 player payroll were to remain static. Salary arbitration matters... big time for many clubs.

 
Maury Brown
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Thanks!! I got a question around Ortiz. Here's some numbers around his case. He's a free agent that was offered, and accepted salary arbitration. His Major League Service Time (MLST) through the 2011 season was 13.048. Ortiz is seeking $16,500,000 while the Red Sox have offered $12,650,000. The mid-point is $14,575,000 and he earned $12,500,000 last season. If they're still negotiating (and from all I have heard, they are -- there is no deal, yet), it's around that mid-point number.

 
Maury Brown
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All... on the "controlling interest" comments... I inadvertently wrote as such in an early draft (clearly Reinsdorf and Illitch, and Wolff are owners across leagues). My apologies regarding that. The article has been updated.

 
Maury Brown
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I love all of these, but (unsurprisingly), I'm fond of Steven's very good take on Rickey. All the "Robinson" fact and lore often overshadows the fact that Rickey was a miser of epic proportion. Well done.

 
Maury Brown
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Thanks, Russell!

 
Maury Brown
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Hard to find. Wish I had the info for all clubs

 
Maury Brown
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See if you can find comments about whether Selig felt he knew about steroids when they engulfed the sport. The answer will be no. What I'm saying is, "How did everybody miss this? Why wasn't it headed off at the pass?" The steroid issue by the league is either, A) reactive; B) Late in getting serious on the matter because the feeling was the PA would heel dig on the matter, or; C) All of the above. I'm opting for "C", with a side of, "Selig, please say you saw it transpiring, and wished you had done more at the time." That's all.

Jan 16, 2012 7:03 PM on Bud Selig's To-Do List
 
Maury Brown
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The players wanted it to allow for a balanced schedule.

Jan 16, 2012 6:31 AM on Bud Selig's To-Do List
 
Maury Brown
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I understand your sediment sans #5. Not a doggone thing MLB could do about it. It's the design of the game and changes to society that have the NFL as king in terms of popularity.

Jan 16, 2012 5:59 AM on Bud Selig's To-Do List
 
Maury Brown
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It's official.

 
Maury Brown
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In terms of trustee snatching up Mets, % of ballpark, no. It is a looming issue, however, for Sterling. In the end, it's about whether they knowingly profited through Madoff. It will be a matter of how much does Sterling have to pay. So, no direct connection, but certainly an in-direct hit on Sterling which impacts the Mets. I just read what I wrote... that make sense?

 
Maury Brown
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Should have done the "$750-$800 million" in new paragraph. Not debt. Value in a sale

 
Maury Brown
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Well, if it's the Dodgers or Mets, then yes, it's the Dodgers. But that aside, if I'm not buying the Dodgers, I'm interested in the Mets. The ballpark is a good reason. There are still write-offs to be had, but it's newness is an asset, not a liability. It's also "New York" the largest market with the largest opportunity for sponsorships and solid TV $. Lastly, it's been an underutilized brand. Sure, the Citigroup naming rights deal is incredible, but there's opportunity if you think about the Mets, not now. Not even next year. But in the 5-10 year timeframe, they could be worth a chunck. Biggest issue? Debt. Mountains of it. $750-$800 million in a sale. More, if auctioned (means they go bankrupt).

 
Maury Brown
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I would. Going to make someone a mint one day. And no, I'm not talking the Wilpons

 
Maury Brown
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Olney tweets today that Bud, indeed, is getting an extension.

 
Maury Brown
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I'm sure you meant to say that when this current labor agreements expires it will be 21 years of labor peace. Bud gets a nod, but you really need to thank Rob Manfred and Mike Weiner. Those guys have been doing the heavy lifting on the labor front for some time.

 
Maury Brown
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I think they'd be larger problems. I wrote of this on Biz of Baseball, but McCourt was never MLB's first choice. He was foisted onto the league, more or less, by FOX. Who's To Blame for Frank McCourt Owning the Dodgers

 
Maury Brown
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Truth!!!

 
Maury Brown
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I can't see it. I have to (keep on) believing Marvin gets in. Sad thing is, I fear it will be posthumously. I suspect Marvin will get in before Bud, but I hope it happens when both alive. Neither are spring chickens these days

 
Maury Brown
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The Mets situation is bad. I suspect the way Selig will deal with it will be to let the banks be the bad guys. He won't push Sterling out, but won't stop the banks from doing so, either. Thanks for the kind words on the article. Great to be back with BP.

 
Maury Brown
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Pardon typos, folks... replying via iPhone

 
Maury Brown
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Difference (as noted in bullet points)... Pujols takes a cut in pay ($4M less in '12 than in '11) and doesn't see same pay as '11 until '13, hence the large escalation. In terms of comparing Pujols to Bobby B. difference iliad deferred payment with Mets. Not so with Angeks and Pujols. Also, tail end escalates slightly with adjust for market and inflation escalation. Now, all that said, if it too much pay at the end of the contract when he's in the throes of decline? One would say, yes. Maybe emphatically so. The justification is in value -- on and off the field -- up front. I think it's bad form, but in terms of dollars available, plus ability to bring in Wilson it makes better sense than the Reyes deal. I didn't put in the article, but more than one has wondered that with the back-loading, the SEC investigation, etc. it's almost as if Loria is priming the pump to sell. Value of the Marlins may never be higher than over the next couple of years.

 
Maury Brown
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To all those commenting about me returning to BP, a heartfelt thanks. Lots to write about these days. Would look for quite a bit on new CBA when final details are released. Once again, thanks!

 
Maury Brown
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Not dumb, at all. In fact, I need to look into this. Initially reported as $254M, but could have changed, or totals up due to other factors.

 
Maury Brown
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"Is there any evidence that there is $20-30mm in sponsorship money resulting from the Darvish signing?" In speaking to someone that was involved at the highest levels of the Rangers front office, the answer is, yes.

 
Maury Brown
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Peter, television has always allowed the Yankees and Red Sox to have competitive advantage. Now, depending on the market, deals reached with RSNs that clubs don't own tip the scale. Look at what's happening NCAAF and how it's being completely restructured into super conferences... it's television at play. To answer your question, I'm afraid the answer is probably yes.

 
Maury Brown
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One of the more difficult problems in MLB has been how the use of revenue-sharing dollars is spent. There have been tweaks to the model in an attempt to, not thwart spending, but incentivize low revenue-makers to do more in the free agency space as more centralized money has become available. The posting system is outside of all of that. It's design clearly prevents low-revenue makers from competing. But, the Rangers TV may change things more than expected. The large deals will, in fact, trickle to low-revenue makers as deals with RSNs are considered net local revenues, and therefore part of the revenue-sharing equation. I'd watch, however... what will always happen is what I call behavioral spending -- a case where a rapid influx of revenues makes owners spend differently (read: aggressively) when they otherwise wouldn't. The Marlins are a good example. I expect the Dodgers to do so when new ownership takes over, and the same for the Mariners in 2017 when their TV deal comes up for renewal. Money that lands rapidly can change strategy overnight. Just ask the Texas Rangers.

 
Maury Brown
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Best damn on article on BP in years, which says a hell of a lot. Kudos.

Jun 24, 2011 6:53 AM on Los Angeles' Ashes
 
Maury Brown
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Hey Jeff, I am not sure what this whole "Cot's" thing is about. Do I sling between trees? And, why would anyone obsess over contract data? I mean, really.... you'd have to be sick in the head to do that day in and day out year after year. Guess I should get into this whole "contract" thing, huh? Now, all that aside, it's great to see you here at BP. A very welcome addition. BP gets a huge win in this deal. I look forward to the searchable version with baited breath.

 
Maury Brown
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Nate... Joe.... (Will?)... BP will remain, but jeez it will seem odd without you here, Joe. Was an honor to work with you. All the best in where ever the road leads. -- Maury

 
Maury Brown
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Nah. Didn't miss. Long story, but haven't been in SABR since '06.

Nov 26, 2009 10:58 PM on Open Issues
 
Maury Brown
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Just got word that Colletti will be speaking at the SMWW conference Will and I are at, as well. See link in Will's post.

Nov 25, 2009 10:37 PM on Open Issues
 
Maury Brown
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On the 400-500.... "On average, 450 - 550 jobs are posted annually at the Job Fair." Thinking of the meetings being in Indy, travel.... 400-500 doesn't seem out of the question.

Nov 25, 2009 6:32 PM on Open Issues
 
Maury Brown
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Well, there is the Job Fair, which is beneficial if you are looking to get your foot in the door. There is, however, competition (400-500 vying for job openings). As the primer article mentions, you have to be approved to get into the Trade Show, and have creds for MLB media's room where there is regular access to GMs, presidents, and managers. For those thinking of going that are of an alternative media ilk, and have never gone, you have to be credentialed on three different fronts for the major activities: MLB media room (MLB credentialed) Trade Show - (MiLB credentialed) Job Fair - (PEBO credentialed)

Nov 25, 2009 5:37 PM on Open Issues
 
Maury Brown
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Who's going, Christina? Let me know so we can hook up.

Nov 25, 2009 2:53 PM on Open Issues
 
Maury Brown
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While a lot are not traveling to Indy this year (it is, after all, Indianapolis in December), social networking is making who is going a lot more fun. As Will mentioned, I'll be there, and am speaking at the Baseball Career Conference (although, somehow, they have Will and I on separate panels). Here's a primer on the winter meetings, if you have never gone.

Nov 25, 2009 2:52 PM on Open Issues
 
Maury Brown
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Kevin, Something to consider... In the NFL, a top draft pick has an exceptionally high percentage of starting the year after being drafted. The NBA is a bit less so, but most are starters the season after being drafted. Baseball is a different animal, as you well know. The jump from collegiate or pro is an exceptional reach. Some high picks never make the show. Now, all that said, I think you can put an egg timer on when Strasburg gets called up (read: Sept.). The only way I can see him being held back is to keep him from being arb eligible as early as possible. So, it's the mindset, not in practice with Strasburg. After all, it seems fair to say that there would be a feeding frenzy to pick him up at 6/$30M if he were on the FA market.

Jun 12, 2009 9:13 PM on 2001 in review
 
Maury Brown
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On that topic... Looking at the data, 51 players in this year\'s arb class earned between $380K (last year\'s minimum salary) and $500k, or 46 percent of the 111 players that filed. For fun, I went back and flipped through John Helyar\'s seminal book, \"Lords of the Realm\" to see how the owners reacted to salary arbitration coming into the mix back in 1973 went over. Before 1973, players were offered a contract by the clubs they played for, and it was a matter of “take it, or leave it.” In an attempt to challenge the Reserve Clause, as well as leverage higher salaries in this system, players began conducting holdouts on contract renewals. The owners, and then commissioner Bowie Kuhn, realizing the wolves were at the door, opted to allow salary arbitration as a way of stopping the holdouts, and rationalized that in the long run, stop free agency. Only Charlie Finley of the A’s and Dick Meyers of the Cardinals voted in opposition of salary arbitration. “We’ll be the nation’s biggest assholes if we do this,” Finley said at the time. “You can’t win. You’ll have guys with no baseball background setting salaries. You’ll have a system that drives up the average salary every year. Give them anything they want, but don’t give them [salary] arbitration.” Meyers, who had experience in arbitration, said it more darkly, “This will be baseball’s ruin.”

 
Maury Brown
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Speaking of Eric Davis... Will, get a picture of the back of his velvet jacket. If not, I will as he\'s now over at the Trade Show.

Dec 09, 2008 6:11 PM on All Over the Place
 
Maury Brown
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Thanks, Bob, for pointing out the Excel gaff on the ticket prices at Fenway. The sentence should read: \"To place that in perspective, the average price for a ticket at Fenway has jumped from $44.56 in 2005 to $48.40 in 2008, an increase of 8.6 percent...\"

Dec 06, 2008 10:31 AM on MLB Meets the Recession