Re: I love what the Sox are doing with most of the $12 seats....
posted at 2/2/2012 11:40 PM EST
In Response to Re: I love what the Sox are doing with most of the $12 seats....
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: I love what the Sox are doing with most of the $12 seats.... : I can see your point of view, but I respectfully disagree. The Ace Ticket revenue stream helps drive up, and keep ticket prices up. The Sox will NEVER have to adjust due to less demand because they have the backing of a business buying, I'd guess, tens of thousands of tickets every season, if not 6 figures. TB doesn't need the revenue to compete, they do it through intelligent drafting and player development, then grabbing the occasional aging bat (Pena, Damon) for cheap dollars to fill out the roster. "The Sox need money to compete" is a myth. They don't. The Yankess having the most money to spend hasn't made them the best team over the past 10 years, so why measure our success against theirs? Is it really ONLY about winning? I'd like to think we haven't turned into a nation of Al Davis-like fans. It USED to also be about"how you play the game". Quite frankly, how the Sox management plays it disgusts me. They do not care even the slightest about the average fan, they care about the bottom line, period. If they could be more profitable while winning 60 games a year, I can almost guarantee they wouldn't try to win any more than that. 'Businessmen' are killing the soul and original intent of these sports.
Posted by ma6dragon9[/QUOTE]
I do want to disagree on some points, such as that the Sox management does not care about winning. Turning a profit with a 60-win team is clearly not their goal. That business model has been shown to be effective by the Marlins, who are one of the most profitable teams in MLB over the last few years despite having minimal success between the lines. Which team of those two franchises has had far more success in every possible way except profit?
The Red Sox do try to win, or at least compete for a title (which is all a fan can really ask for) through heavy spending and keeping up with their money machine rival. They aren’t bringing in multimillion dollar free agents like Lackey, Drew, Crawford, Clement, Lugo, Foulke, etc. or throwing around mega-extensions such as Gonzalez and monster posting fees like Daisuke for the purpose of increasing the bottom line at the expense of winning. Their business plan seems to be “we make more money when we win.” As fans, we don’t care about their profit, but at least their methods of getting there agree with our wants (which is why it works). Not every player works out, but that is part of the nature of free agency, which involves bringing in players who are typically over 30 and have a minimum of 6 years of wear and tear at the MLB level.
The Rays are a smartly run franchise, but it is interesting that people see them as being bargain hunters and good drafters and don’t equate that with caring about the bottom line, yet the free-spending Sox, who have dropped about $1billion on player salaries over the past 10 years, as being the financially-conscious team. If either of these two teams is driven solely by finances, it is clearly not Boston.
The problem with how the Sox have operated is that historically, using free agency to build a team is a short term solution at best. At some point, you have a roster filled with aging, expensive players who cannot contribute at the same level they were capable of prior to signing. And this is where financial limitations kick in. However, fans would prefer the team continue digging their way out of the hole the same way they got into it – by throwing more money around - because perception is that spending heavily = effort. And that has never been more evident than this offseason, where the team has a payroll north of $170mill, and fans are repeatedly decrying ownership as cheap. This will still be the second highest payroll in MLB – one thing ownership is not is “cheap.” However, even the most generous of ownerships does have to show some sort of restraint, because repeatedly tossing money does not necessarily make for a better team; the only guarantee is a more expensive one. Even the Yankees haven’t been tossing around contracts the way they used to, and have resorted to smarter methods to try to improve their team.
If there was ever an offseason to not spend, this was it. If there was ever an offseason to look around other rosters to find players and bring some of the out-of-control spending back in line, this was it. Even I thought Ortiz should go and Papelbon return. But what is a better Closer/DH/RF combination – Papelbon, Reddick and, say, Vlad Guerrero? Or Bailey, Ortiz and Sweeney? What is the drop off from Papelbon to Bailey – one blown save? Two? Maybe not even. Will that really change the number of wins? (Bear in mind, not all blown saves are losses.) If those two are even, Ortiz and Sweeney should easily out-produce Guerrero and Reddick. And the cost is roughly the same, except now this team doesn’t have $14mill tied up for 4 years in a guy who gets 3 outs with a 3 run lead. And the one mega-salary (Ortiz) they do have could be gone by 2013. I did advocate Youkilis to DH, but replacing Guerrero with any of the available third basemen (Blake, Betemit, Kouzmanoff) doesn’t necessarily make this team better, given they would be replacing Ortiz. It might have worked as there should be a defensive improvement and the potential of a prolonged season for Youkilis, although Betemit is a step down defensively and a horrible all-around option. (Along these lines, an Ortiz/Michael Young swap does make sense for both teams, but it’s doubtful the Sox want the additional $16mill for a 37yo third baseman on the books for 2013.)
That is being smarter, exactly what people credit the Rays for doing with Damon or Pena. But when the Rays do it, we respect it and laud the way they run their team. When the Sox do it, they apparently only care about the bottom line and we call out their cheapness…