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but does Gordon continue to see time after Furcal returns?
Speaking of that Indians AAA team in Columbus led by Kipnis and Chisenhall: they are a best in MiLB 21-5 and on a 13 game win streak. that's 41-13 combined for the top 2 Indians clubs.
after reading this, and then following your exchange with Luke, it seems to me that you put in place a number of assumptions to start off with that took me quite a while to shake. Now that I have, I'm not sure I can necessarily agree with your thesis.
Expanding the playoff picture, and keeping all else equal, would be a boon to owners in aggregate, as at least another, say, 6-10 teams will stay in the playoff picture longer, and sell more seats later into the season.
You're assuming that more teams than not decide to chase these playoff spots, and that the 'cost of chasing' is equal or greater than resulting revenue. I'm not saying that is wrong, but I don't see anything proving it right. I have nothing to hang my hat on.
What I would and could hang my hat on is Luke common sense approach that the owners, by and large, are good businessmen and would spend up to where it's profitable to do so.
The reason, if I may offer opinion, why the teams with 86+ wins spend more, is that they could spend to begin with, and that's why they have 86+ wins. They are large market, and have in many cases have owners with egos that risk spending past profitability.
As you expand into the next tier - the 6-12 "new entrants" now vying for spots 9-12 in the proposed playoff structure - you're seeing less large market, less ego and more business oriented owners. I think it's a dubious assumption to say these teams will be 'chasing' these revenues past what makes sense.
Further, in this part of the MLB pack, a mid-pack AL team is likely to realize their chances of knocking off Texas, NYY, and BOS, then Philly are quite low. I'd guess many would be content with sitting back and enjoying the revenue of a playoff race that usually ended in early July, now going into late Aug...