Tommy attends a panel marking the 40th anniversary of the 1972 strike and returns with tales of the Players Association’s past.
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.
[Just after midnight Eastern time Friday morning, the Prospectus staff starts discussing the coming agreement]
Derek Zumsteg: It appears that if the owners gave in right now, just said “sure, we’ll take your last offer”, they’d have won more in this negotiation than in any previous one since free agency. Why did the players move so far? Are they that afraid of the NLRB and implementation? Do they believe that if they give in this time, they’ll be able to win it back in four years when it’s apparent none of this did any good for competitive balance?
In 1994, I never did believe there was going to be a strike. I was wrong, of course, and in the process of being wrong learned a lot about labor relations, economics, and how those things apply to baseball.