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baseball strike

i had this long post about my feeling on the baseball strike thought out, and i'm having a hard time putting them down. i wanted to do a bunch of research ot back up my position. see, i think it's asinine for preofessional sports players to make as much money as they do. i wanted to look up just *how much* money they were asking for, which i know is for one at least one hundred thousand more dollars a year, base. at least one of the points i wanted to make was that i bet i could find 200 guys who would gladly play baseball for HALF of the RAISE they are asking for. my other point of disgust came when the NPR story mentioned unions. why don't we have unions for people who really need them? like retail workers???

so i wanted to look up the census, and find out what percentage of americans make what baseball players make, and what percentage make below that. i wanted to look up if there are any professional softball teams and how much money the female players make which i am sure would be a shocking comparison. but i got lazy, and then, i had a really interesting conversation with painkiller about it, and he pointed one thing out to me, that made me remember everything is relative, and brought up a few more salient points. so, i appreciate that the managers and owners of the team make staggering amounts of money, and the players are seeing a relatively small amount of it, a paltry amoount in comparison. (that is what he pointed out, btw.) however, it still disgusts me that they make so much money. it simply disgusts me more that the fatcats make that much MORE money.

oh i forgot to say... i wonder where all the money comes from. dann said it was television and advertising, i hope i am not misquoting him. i just wonder, are the fans spending all this money and not supporting the players? hrm.

i apprectiate any and all input from actual baseball fans. or people who know about stuff like this.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
summer_queen
Aug. 15th, 2002 10:00 am (UTC)
I look at it as a simple matter of supply and demand. If the fanbase wasn't there to support the teams, then merchandising and advertising wouldn't pull in a thing. Without a sizable fanbase, there'd be less money, smaller salaries and fewer teams. When players outlive their demand, they find themselves demoted. Or, if the team negotiated poorly, they're stuck with an overinflated salary for a waning player. I wager the latter happens a fair amount. The hazards of long-term contracts. We're already seeing that teams are losing money or going bankrupt, though the league is loathe to let them fold (Minnesota and Montreal, I believe it is?).

There's a structure in place that doles out the television contract money among the teams, in the interest of not screwing a team over because it's in a bad television market. Though beyond that, I don't know specifics. I can't recall if baseball's instituted a salary cap yet or not.

As for the relationship between the owners and the players union ... Major League Baseball is, in essence, a monopoly employer. Yes, the players could go play in the Dominican Republic, or in Japan. But not for the money they make here, and, obviously, not by living in this country. This tends to put me on the side of the players, even when they seem childish and demanding.

Do I begrudge them the money they make? Yes and no. I feel that part and parcel of being a fan of capitalism is accepting that there will be inequities in the system. I don't personally think sports stars deserve that much money, but a whole lot of *someones* out there do (even if indirectly, by supporting the advertisers), or they wouldn't be making the astronomical sums (in basketball, in particular) they do. But I sure as heck don't begrudge them for taking advantage of a lifestyle that's open to them. Were it open to me, I'd've been all over it, and every bit as protective of it as they are.
cmdrhobbes
Aug. 15th, 2002 10:52 am (UTC)
From what I understand, there is no structure in place at all for revenue sharing as you describe. I think that perhaps the players union is lobbying for this, so that all players have a shot at big money, instead of just the Yankees.

The cable contract for Cleveland, I have heard, is something in the area of $10 million. The cable contract for the New York Yankees is around $60 million. That's paid to the team, and the owner gets most of that. Then there's concession sales (and we all know those are overpriced), and ticket sales. And advertising in the stadium.

There is no salary cap, the owners want it, the players union doesn't.

There you have it.
summer_queen
Aug. 15th, 2002 11:01 am (UTC)
From what I understand, there is no structure in place at all for revenue sharing as you describe. I think that perhaps the players union is lobbying for this, so that all players have a shot at big money, instead of just the Yankees.

Apparently national contracts are divvied up between the teams, while local revenue goes to the local team. Found a good column on baseball's finances here, Baseball's Hidden War Chest, where I found a quote to that effect:

"Once my column was published, MLB's Manfred finally explained to me that most of the money from WTBS is classified as national broadcast revenue, which is split among 30 teams, rather than local revenue retained by the Braves."
snidegrrl
Aug. 19th, 2002 09:11 am (UTC)
After listening to some more NPR, I came to understand that they have special protection from monopoly laws. I guess that was intended to preserve the national pasttime and not have scary competing leagues like, for example, the short-lived "XFL" some of you may remember. The editorialist I was listening to was saying that something fundamental in baseball needs to change and it sounded like he was being reasonable about it. I guess I'm doing my own part in that I never spend money to go to baseball games (almost never) and if I did, it would be to go to see like, the Bowie Baysox or something.

...a whole lot of *someones* out there do (even if indirectly, by supporting the advertisers), or they wouldn't be making the astronomical sums (in basketball, in particular) they do. But I sure as heck don't begrudge them for taking advantage of a lifestyle that's open to them.

I don't really agree with this... I don't feel like the money HAS to be taken just because it's there. As stated, I'm really NOT a very good capitalist.
summer_queen
Aug. 19th, 2002 09:15 am (UTC)
I'm curious. What are your feelings about movie stars making upwards of $20M a movie? Similar?
snidegrrl
Aug. 19th, 2002 09:33 am (UTC)
Absolutely... Whenever I think of someone making 20 million a year, I think of someone in a sweat shop somewhere making 20 cents an hour.

I do know that this is ridiculously hypocritical and that the actuality of fixing a world where this happens is slim to none, but in addition to be wackily socialist, I'm wackily idealistic.
captain_boots
Aug. 15th, 2002 11:03 am (UTC)
yeah, my opinion is fairly straightforward on this issue. We're a capitalist society so I don't find anything wrong exactly with the setup. However, that does not remove my annoyance at all of the whining from both sides in the matter, nor does it remove my sadness at how much cash people are willing to throw at these whining people. The owners continually raise ticket prices and food prices. I think the League has a say in merchandising prices, but those are nuts too.

One thing that really disgusts me is something that generally disgusts me about many of these fights I've seen. There are some teams in financial trouble and 2 in particular would have already folded if the League hadn't helped them out. I think it's the Expos that draw about 8,000 per game or some horrible figure like that. Yet the unions insist that moving the team or removing teams from the system is bad. Bah.

I haven't even watched a baseball game in years and probably decades. (on TV that is. I only barely remember the last game I actually attended) The only merchandise I have ever bought was as a gift for a friend in the UK. Thus, my take on it is that if someone really wants to surrender their hard-earned money to support these packs of spoiled brats that's their business. I will waste my cash in other ways and be happier for it. I will be highly amused if they do strike. ;) It'd be neat to see a revival of local softball (or baseball) leagues. If it's "America's Game" maybe the average American should actually play it more.

(I try to be nice, but I never succeed with regards to 'professional' sports)
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