Re: Owner's Strike Gathering Steam
posted at 4/7/2013 10:37 AM EDT
In response to maxbialystock's comment:
In Ken Burns's magnificent series, Baseball, the narrator points out that before Curt Flood broke the reserve clause the average player earned 7 times the salary of the average fan. Afterward, it was 7 x 7 (50 times as much), and today players make even more.
MLB, however, is still profitable despite some of those insane salary packages, the worst of which is clearly A-Rod's with the Yankees. Thanks to Curt Flood and the MLBPA and all those agents, the players are simply getting a bigger share of the profits.
The ongoing problem for MLB is ensuring the small market teams remain viable. Thus the luxury tax which seems to be having some effect, most notably on the Yankees and the Red Sox. Last year was a fascinating example of how one big money club, the Sox, saw the need to dump both salary and less than stellar performance/leadership, and how another, the Dodgers, had a compelling need to make a big splash with big salaries (and hopefully some talent). Jury is still out on that one, but I think the Sox made the right move.
Meanwhile teams like Oakland, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa, etc, etc must continue to find ways to do more with less--more performance, less salary. I mention the Athletics, Twins, and Rays because by and large they have done very well with relatively small salary bases. Oakland in particular seems to have benefitted from what amounts to Red Sox castoffs--Crisp, Lowrie, and Reddick.
Nice post, Max. And yes I understand the OP was a joke. To carry this a bit further on a more serious note, we can always debate which came first, the higher salaries or the higher ticket prices.
I'm a believer in the free market system so I believe the higher ticket prices would have come along whether the players were getting the big salaries or not. Part of the free market system is charging for a product 'what the market will bear' and the Boston market will obviously bear the prices they're charging - as long as the Sox continue to put a quality product on the field. Whether the Boston market would bear a high enough ticket price to support a poorer quality team is yet to be determined.
I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I somewhat agree with him. (You know what they say about blind squirrels and acorns. )
It takes at least two people to collude so if the owners decided independently to stop paying the higher salaries those salaries would end, and without collusion. I'm sure the owners would like to do that but they rightfully don't trust one another enough to try it!