This column isn’t about Bud. It’s about Tuesday’s USA Today feature, What’s the Problem with Baseball?” and its companion, “Ten Ways to Improve Baseball.” In the same week that USA Today won praise from Time for its journalism, it published a pair of articles which would embarrass a small-town weekly. These articles were built around the results of a Gallup Poll conducted from June 27-29. The complete results of this survey, with historical data for context, are available from the Gallup Web site. Comparing USA Today’s breathless hyping of baseball’s “problems” to the actual data shows how authors Peter Barzilai and John Follaco selectively reported the results that supported their conclusion.
Continuing his series on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Doug Pappas looks at the ins and outs of MLB scheduling.
Doug Pappas starts his series on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement today with a look at Articles I-IV. Over the next few weeks he’ll explore some of the key clauses in the CBA as well as some of the most important changes made in this latest edition.
Although the owners and players shook hands on a new collective bargaining agreement last August 30, the final version of the CBA was not published until this week. The eight-month delay becomes easier to understand when one looks at the document. The table of contents alone runs 11 pages; counting the attachments, the CBA itself is 223 pages long.
Over the next few months I’ll be writing a series of articles about the new CBA. These articles will walk through the document from beginning to end, translating the key points from legalese to English and discussing them in the context of past agreements.
Yesterday, Commissioner Bud Selig announced his intention to retire when his current five-year term expires on December 31, 2006. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Selig claims never to have wanted the Commissionership. Less than a month after becoming Acting Commissioner on September 9, 1992–after leading the insurgency which forced his predecessor Fay Vincent to resign in midterm–Selig told Hal Bodley of USA Today that he planned to remain in office “two to four months.” In December 1992, he assured Claire Smith of the New York Times that he had “zero interest in the job.”
Doug Pappas takes Andrew Zimbalist to task for his latest ill-informed sputtering on baseball, and praises Commissioner Bud Selig’s efforts to save the game.
Last year, I introduced a new measure of a team’s efficiency: marginal dollars per marginal win. An article by Michael Lewis in the March 30 New York Times Magazine excerpted from his forthcoming Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, used my analysis to illustrate how Oakland gets so much more performance than other teams out of its low payroll.
Commissioner Bud Selig recently extolled Major League Baseball’s place in the daily lives of millions of fans. This public affection for the game came just a day after the public finally learned the extent of MLB’s cold-blooded plot to take the game away from many of those fans.
Last spring, MLB settled its lawsuit with the Minnesota Twins’ landlord within days after being ordered to produce sensitive internal documents relating to contraction. Some of these documents have now been leaked to the press. As this Newsday article, and others like it, show, just months after MLB’s hand-picked Blue Ribbon Economic Panel had concluded that contraction was unnecessary, high-ranking MLB executives had begun a yearlong process of identifying which teams should be killed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Major League Baseball’s governing documents aren’t intended for public consumption..
Even though a strike date has now been set, the MLBPA’s decision to postpone setting a strike date earlier this week suggests that unlike in 1994, the owners and players are at least speaking the same language. The biggest, and probably only, stumbling block to an agreement is the parties’ split over revenue sharing and…
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:
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.