Doug's Business of Baseball Weblog:
To May 2003 Entries
April 29, 2003: The Quirks of Perks: Player Contracts Can Run Gamut. LINK
An entertaining look at some of MLB's most unusual contract clauses. But how could the author forget Charlie Kerfeld's 1987 deal with the Houston Astros? #37 signed for a salary of $110,037.37 plus 37 boxes of Jell-O.
April 28, 2003: Braves An Indicator of Baseball's Declining Attendance. LINK
A highlight from the latest sky-is-falling AP account:
"It's expensive," Leanne Schneider said, her [three] kids munching on hot dogs and snacks. "You bring a family and it costs $40 to feed them. More like $50. It's at least $10 apiece for a hot dog.
"We come at least once a year. If it were less expensive, we would come more often. The kids love it. It's a real treat."
Um...how about feeding the kids before the game, or bringing a small cooler? Why, when writing their regular baseball-ticket-prices-are-too-high whines, do reporters feel compelled to include the cost of food and drink, too?
The Schneiders might also want to check the Braves' promotional schedule. For 55 home games, the Braves offer a package including four upper-level reserved seats, four hot dogs, four soft drinks, a parking pass, and a program for $49. As a quick comparison, movietickets.com shows that a family of four (two adults, two children) would pay $26 (not counting service charges) to see Chicago tomorrow night at Atlanta's AMC Parkway Pointe 15 Theatres. When the cost of refreshments is included, most Braves' home games are actually cheaper family outings than a night at the local movieplex.
The writer also falls into the trap of saying that Andruw Jones "contributes to the high prices with his $90 million contract," and doesn't realize that this is the Brewers' third, not second, year in Miller Park. Other than that, he did a fine job...
April 27, 2003: Talkin' Baseball - With Three Economists and a Lawyer. LINK
A report from the April 25 Brookings Institution forum on baseball economics, written by a special contributor, business reporter Warren Corbett. Thanks, Mr. Corbett, for letting me post this on my site.
I'm going to create a new section of this site for guest submissions. If you've written something you believe may be of interest to readers of Doug's Business of Baseball Pages, let me know. If I think its subject matter and quality are appropriate, I'll either post it here or link to it, if it's already posted elsewhere on the Web.
April 25, 2003: Bye, Bye Bud? (BaseballProspectus.com - subscribers only) LINK
I explain why I don't think Bud will be stepping down on December 31, 2006, when his term expires.
April 24, 2003: Commissioner Does Not Intend to Seek New Term. LINK
This guy should be happy. Personally, I'll believe it when I see it. (Longer article coming soon to baseballprospectus.com.)
April 24, 2003: The Over/Under All Stars. LINK
Nice idea, questionable execution.
Forbes has created its own All-Overpaid and All-Underpaid teams of major league players. The lists are interesting...but unfortunately, instead of relying on a recognized metric of player performance -- On Base Plus Slugging, Clay Davenport's Equivalent Runs/Equivalent Average, Keith Woolner's Value Over Replacement, Bill James' Win Shares, or several others -- Forbes invented its own measurements that make little sense.
For position players, the Forbes Total Production Number (FTPN) equals (TB + (0.75 x BB) - (0.2 x K)/(AB + BB)). The FTPN is better than some formulas I've seen. The denominator closely approximates plate appearances, which is good; the numerator recognizes both power and walks, while properly excluding RBI and other team-dependent stats. But why bother creating a new formula -- particularly one which ignores park effects -- when others are widely available?
And where on earth does the penalty for strikeouts come from? Using the Forbes formula, a batter who strikes out four times, instead of grounding or popping out, has more than offset the value of a walk. Five strikeouts, as opposed to other outs, neutralize the value of a single. There is no empirical support for such a penalty. Strikeouts look bad, but they're no worse than popups at advancing runners -- and at least they avoid the double-play risk of ground balls.
For pitchers, the Forbes Pitching Efficiency Number (FPEN) equals Wins divided by ERA. Wins are the quintessential team-dependent pitching statistic. A starter with a 3.50 ERA on the 2003 Tigers might well finish 5-20, while the same pitcher on the 2003 Yankees could go 20-5. ERA is already denominated in runs: a simple measure of pitching efficiency would be (League ERA - park-adjusted pitcher ERA) x Innings Pitched.
April 22, 2003: Selig: Angels' Low Price Not Bad Sign. LINK
In 1999, Disney put the Anaheim Angels on the market for a reported asking price of $300 million. Commissioner Selig reacted by telling Murray Chass of the New York Times: "I am very concerned about the Disney sale. Here's Disney, one of the great entertainment companies in the world. The fact that they're selling is a matter of concern." The Commissioner continued, "There's a reason we've had the stunning turnover we've had since 1990-91. It's the deeper economic issues that are forcing it."
But the Magic New CBA seems to have solved all of these problems. Last April Donald Watkins (remember him?) offered $250 million for the Angels. Since then the Angels have won a World Series, have raised their ticket prices 35% -- and have been sold for $180 million. The Commissioner's not concerned. "This is the beginning of the first year [of the new CBA]. One of my jobs is to increase asset value and, I assure you, we will do that."
Oh? I'd wager a considerable sum of money that franchise values will appreciate much more slowly over the next few years than over the past 10. In 1992 the average major league club was worth about $109 million, according to Michael Ozanian of Financial World. Ozanian, who moved to Forbes after the collapse of Financial World, estimated that the value of the average club rose to $194 million by 1997 and $295 million by 2002, up 171% in 10 years. To match this growth, the average club would have to be worth $525 million in 2007, $800 million by 2012. I don't think so...
April 21, 2003: Low Season Ticket Base Has Brewers Concerned. LINK
The Brewers drew 2.8 million in 2001, their first year at Miller Park. Last year, even with the All-Star Game in town, attendance fell to 1,969,000. For 2003 season ticket sales are down another 30%, from 11,004 to between 7,000 and 8,000.
The new-stadium honeymoon doesn't last as long as it used to. And with the Brewers carrying one of the majors' highest debt loads, things could get very ugly in MLB's smallest market if Milwaukee's farm system doesn't turn around ASAP. Help may be on the way, though: Baseball America now ranks the Brewers 16th in minor league talent, after four straight years in the bottom five.
April 21, 2003: April 2003 Boston Baseball: The Sox and the New CBA. LINK
My take on the new CBA for Boston Baseball, the Red Sox' unofficial magazine/scorecard. From Boston's perspective, the good news is that it will bring the Yankees closer to the Red Sox. The bad news is that it will also bring the Blue Jays, Orioles and Devil Rays closer to the Red Sox.
Since the current divisional alignment was adopted in 1998, the AL East has finished in the same order every season. This has to change one of these years -- but for 2003, I'm picking Yankees-Red Sox-Blue Jays-Orioles-Devil Rays yet again.
April 16, 2003: Moreno Reportedly Reaches Agreement to Buy Angels. LINK
The prospective purchaser, Arizona advertising magnate Arturo Moreno, is worth an estimated $940 million, according to Forbes. Moreno, who formerly owned a minority interest in the Arizona Diamondbacks, would become MLB's first Hispanic owner.
The reported $180 million price sounds like a bargain, too. As I've previously noted, even if one arbitrarily assigns two-thirds of the greater Los Angeles market to the Dodgers and one-third to the Angels, Anaheim's share would be roughly the size of metropolitan Dallas or Detroit. Disney paid $147 million for the Angels, contributed most of the money for a 1998 overhaul of their ballpark, and built the team from perennial mediocrity to the 2002 World Series title. That should be worth more than a $33 million profit on the sale.
At least Disney's venture into MLB won't end as badly as CBS's. CBS paid $13.2 million for the Yankees in 1964, the year they won their fifth straight AL pennant. Two years later the Yankees finished last. When CBS sold them to George Steinbrenner's group in 1973, the $10 million purchase price was less than Bud Selig's group had paid to move the bankrupt Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee in 1970. Since then the Yankees have appreciated approximately 8,500%.
April 16, 2003: Media Have No Right to Twins Documents, Appeals Court Says. LINK
A Minnesota appellate court has affirmed a lower court ruling that the press has no statutory right of access to MLB and Minnesota Twins financial documents produced to the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission during the Commission's lawsuit to block the proposed contraction of the Twins.
As much as I'd like for those documents to become public, I think the court got this one right. Open-records laws properly give the public access to documents voluntarily given to government agencies, but they shouldn't apply to documents produced pursuant to a confidentiality stipulation in response to a subpoena.
April 16, 2003: M's: Profit Report Off. LINK
Seattle Mariners' CEO Howard Lincoln dismissed as "nuts" Forbes' estimate that the Mariners earned $23.3 million in 2002, saying the true figure was $10.7 million.
Apparently auditioning for the Commissionership should it become vacant, Lincoln accused Forbes of fabricating its annual estimates. "It's disappointing when you have an article that is so completely baseless, and yet they just keep putting this stuff out. Maybe they think that people are easily fooled."
A Tacoma columnist noted that the Mariners' reported $10.7 million profit would rise to $20.7 million if calculated according to the formula the Mariners are required to use in their dealings with the stadium authority.
April 16, 2003: Stadium District Raising Roof Over Latest Glitch. LINK
The Miller Park stadium district and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of America are embroiled in litigation over defects in Milwaukee's pivoting stadium roof. During the offseason, the pivot system was repaired at a cost of $5 million; now, four of the 10 motors that power the system have failed prematurely.
According to Mitsubishi the retractable roof, originally budgeted at $46 million, wound up costing $133 million. If the roof had been privately financed, the Brewers would have to draw more than 500,000 additional fans each year just to cover the interest on its construction. I don't think so...
April 15, 2003: MLB Warming Up to Puerto Rico. LINK
Thom Loverro of the Washington Times has identified MLB's next marketing strategy: allowing clubs to auction their "home" games to the highest bidder.
"It appears commissioner Bud Selig has found a new method to infuse cash into financially strapped clubs and also to serve as a new leverage hammer for those remaining franchises looking to have new ballparks built for them. His solution is simply to sublease home dates to foreign promoters who will pay outrageous amounts to bring 10 or 20 major league games to their homeland."
Other clubs are apparently willing to move some of their home games to San Juan if they can receive the same $350,000/game guarantee given the Expos. That's not surprising: over an 81-game home season, that guarantee would total $28,350,000, which is more than seven clubs' 2001 home gate receipts. This guarantee would doubtless be reduced as the novelty wears off, but even at a lower figure the Marlins or Devil Rays would certainly generate more revenue if they could shift the occasional midweek series to Puerto Rico.
But why stop there? If maximizing short-term revenue is MLB's only goal -- and under Bud Selig, it too often seems to be -- why not turn the 2004 Expos into the Nomads? Regular season games could compete with Dinosaur Classic Rock Acts from Hell for bookings at state fairs, local festivals, and the like.
Or MLB could get a grip, sell the Expos to a real owner and bring in a real Commissioner. As a friend once observed, Bud Selig's management style is just what you'd expect from a former car dealer: obsessively focused on short-term fixes at the expense of any kind of long-range business strategy. (Remember his radical realignment proposal?) In the meantime, local stadium authorities would be wise to review their leases.
April 11, 2003: HOF Prez Fires Back in Bull Durham Fiasco. LINK
Dale Petroskey's comments, and his official statement, suggest that he's a liar as well as a weasel.
Petroskey now claims he was misunderstood: he canceled the Hall's showing of Bull Durham to keep politics out of the event. "Given the track record of Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, and the timing – with our troops committed in Iraq – a strong possibility existed that they could have used The Hall of Fame as a backdrop for their views."
That concern didn't stop Petroskey from inviting Robbins and Susan Sarandon to a special "15th Anniversary of Bull Durham" showing several months after the pair had publicly condemned George W. Bush's threats to invade Iraq. Petroskey had no reason to believe they would use the event as an excuse to air their political views, and could easily have distanced the Hall from their remarks had they done so. Instead, Petroskey pre-emptively disinvited them. Unwilling to stop there, speaking in his official capacity as President of the Hall of Fame, he publicly suggested that their dissent over the war in Iraq could endanger the lives of American soldiers. That's an awfully strange way of keeping the Hall out of politics.
Even worse from the Hall's perspective, Petroskey is personally responsible for every bit of the unfavorable publicity his actions and remarks have received. His original comments were made in a private letter to Robbins and Sarandon on Monday, April 7. The matter could have ended there. If two days later, the Hall had announced that unspecified "scheduling conflicts" had forced the cancellation of the Bull Durham screening, no one would have blinked. Instead Petroskey sent a copy of the letter to the Associated Press, thereby guaranteeing the very result he now claims to have been trying to prevent. For that act alone, he deserves to be fired.
When Tim Robbins donated his Bull Durham uniform to the Hall of Fame in June 1999, the Hall issued a press release thanking the "internationally renowned film star" for his generosity. The Hall was happy to promote his scheduled appearance in April in the most recent mailing to the "Friends of the Hall of Fame." Even after Petroskey questioned his patriotism and blind-sided him by releasing his letter to the press, Robbins talked to the media while wearing a Hall of Fame shirt and urged fans to visit Cooperstown. He's a far better ambassador for the Hall than Petroskey will ever be.
April 11, 2003: Authors Tygiel, Kahn Join Protest Against Hall of Fame President Petroskey. LINK
The Baseball Hall of Fame is a very conservative institution. Unfortunately for its president, Dale Petroskey, that's "conservative" in the Old Money social sense of its benefactors the Clark family, not "conservative" in the 21st century political sense. The last thing the Hall of Fame wants is to find itself embroiled in a partisan dispute.
Sometimes, as in the case of Pete Rose, that can't be avoided. But when its President unilaterally decides to impose his own ideology on the Hall by canceling a previously scheduled event because of his distaste for the honorees' political views -- views which were well known at the time the event was originally scheduled -- that's a self-inflicted wound which will only heal when its cause is removed from the premises.
Major League Baseball quickly distanced itself from Petroskey. Condemnation has come not just from the national press, including the Seattle Times, Hartford Courant, Chicago Sun-Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and AP national baseball writer Jim Litke, but also the local press, including the Albany Times Union and Troy Record.
And it's coming from nationally known baseball writers with long-standing ties to the Hall. Roger Kahn wrote:
Mr. Dale Petroskey, President
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Cooperstown, NY 13326
The great judge, Learned Hand, has written: "The community is in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy and where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent."
By canceling the Hall of Fame anniversary celebration of "Bull Durham" for political reasons, you are, far from supporting our troops, defying the noblest of the American spirit. You are choking freedom of dissent. How ironic. In theory, at least, we have been fighting this war to give Iraqis freedom of dissent. But here you, through the great institution you head, have moved to rob Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Ron Shelton of that very freedom.
In support of the American right to dissent, I have no choice but to cancel my August speaking appearance at the Hall in behalf of my new book, October Men.
Renowned historian Jules Tygiel was even more pointed:
As the holder of a lifetime membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, someone whose personal papers currently reside in the library at the Hall of Fame, and the author of the introductory sections (including those on patriotism and nationalism) to the Hall of Fame publication, Baseball As America: Seeing Ourselves Through Our National Game, I wish to strongly protest your imperious decision to cancel the commemoration of the anniversary of Bull Durham in Cooperstown, due to the opposition to the Iraq war voiced by its stars Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.
The presidency of the Baseball Hall of Fame is, in effect, a sacred trust. By politicizing the Hall of Fame, you have violated that trust. Your position does not give you the right to impose your own political views on the events at the Hall to the exclusion of all others. One must assume that if people who protest American military actions are not welcome at the Hall of Fame, then Abraham Lincoln who opposed the Mexican War, Mark Twain who opposed the Spanish-American and Philippine Wars, and Martin Luther King, Jr., who opposed the war in Vietnam would not be welcome at the Baseball Hall of Fame. I also must assume that this letter jeopardizes my own future relationship with the Hall.
You write of Sarandon and Robbins, "We believe your very public criticism of President Bush at this important -- and sensitive -- time in our nation's history helps undermine the U.S. position, which ultimately could put our troops in even more danger. As an institution, we stand behind our President and our troops in this conflict." How was this institutional position arrived at? Were the employees or trustees polled? Were the people who pay dues to the organization asked? Were those enshrined consulted? Or is this the fiat of one person, yourself? Since when does the Hall of Fame take a position on political issues or voice open support for political figures and why is the opinion of the head a baseball museum more valid or valued than those of other public figures, like movie stars? I doubt very much that the expressed opinions of two celebrities "put our troops in danger." But actions like yours place our basic constitutional rights in dire jeopardy and disqualify you from representing the American national pastime. If you cannot see clear to reverse your position, then hopefully you will have the decency to resign.
PROFESSOR OF HISTORY
SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY
Thanks to Messrs. Tygiel and Kahn for allowing me to reprint their letters here.
Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Dale.
April 10, 2003: Forbes Says Bombers Most Valuable Franchise. LINK
In equally surprising news, the sun is expected to rise in the east tomorrow.
Forbes values the Yankees at $849 million, up 13% in 2002. That's over $350 million more than the second most valuable franchise, the crosstown Mets, who are worth $498 million according to Forbes. The Cubs and Twins posted the largest gains in percentage terms, while Bud's Brewers lost 14% of their value.
Forbes reports an average 2002 operating loss of $1.3 million/team, or about $40 million for MLB as a whole. At one extreme, the Mariners earned $23.3 million net of revenue sharing; at the other, the Rangers lost $24.5 million. The average franchise value rose 3%, to $295 million. The Forbes valuations are here; the accompanying article can be found here. I've also updated my spreadsheet with Financial World and Forbes figures from 1990-2002.
April 9, 2003: Hall Cancels 'Bull' Ceremony, Cites Actors' Anti-War Views. LINK
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. should reassign its President, Dale Petroskey, to a job whose duties include cleaning the Hall's bathrooms after an outbreak of food poisoning among visiting schoolchildren.
Several months ago the Hall announced plans to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the movie Bull Durham with a special screening and an appearance by two of its stars, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. Today Mr. Petroskey canceled the screening, asserting that the stars' "very public criticism of President Bush at this important -- and sensitive -- time in our nation's history helps undermine the U.S. position...[and] ultimately could put our troops in even more danger."
The stars' antiwar views were hardly a secret. They were protesting a possible war against Saddam Hussein last October. Both have long been active in a host of liberal causes, "very publicly criticizing President Bush" dozens of times before and after his inauguration. That didn't stop the Hall from inviting them for an entirely non-political event. Nor should it have.
But to the contemptible Mr. Petroskey, once the President has decided to send troops into a foreign country, any vocal dissent from that policy is tantamount to endangering those troops and giving aid and comfort to America's enemies. There is no more "un-American activity" than equating dissent with disloyalty, and anyone unable or unwilling to draw this distinction doesn't deserve to live in a country that elects its government.
[Update: Robbins' response throws Petroskey's rhetoric right back at him: "You invoke patriotism and use words like 'freedom' in an attempt to intimidate and bully. In doing so, you dishonor the words 'patriotism' and 'freedom' and dishonor the men and women who have fought wars to keep this nation a place where one can freely express their opinions without fear of reprisal or punishment."]
For several years I've been a "Friend of the Hall of Fame." I've lobbied relatives to donate some of my great-uncle's memorabilia to the Hall. No longer. I will continue to use the Hall's invaluable Library, but so long as Dale Petroskey remains in a position of authority the Hall will never see another dime from me, and I'll do everything in my power to dissuade others from donating money or artifacts.
Click here to tell the Hall what you think of its President.
April 9, 2003: Kiner Speaks Out Against Rose Enshrinement. LINK
I've grown up with Ralph Kiner. A Hall of Fame slugger and an original New York Mets broadcaster, the 80-year-old Kiner still broadcasts several dozen games per year. The occasional malaprops are well worth enduring to hear some of Kiner's stories. No other active broadcaster was coached by Honus Wagner or battled Branch Rickey to avoid having his salary cut after his seventh consecutive NL home run title (prompting the immortal Rickey line, "We could have finished last without you").
Here Kiner goes straight to the real issue. "Every player who has ever played, especially since the Black Sox World Series in 1919, has been told there can't be gambling. ... Pete Rose is the guy who didn't back up the integrity of the game."
Pete Rose entered a major league clubhouse more than 4,000 times as a player or manager. Every single one of those times, he passed a prominent warning that the penalty for betting on one's own team is permanent ineligibility. Unlike many of his defenders, Rose has never whined that the penalty is too severe. His only defense has been that he never bet on baseball, notwithstanding that he willingly accepted permanent ineligibility and waited a decade before petitioning for reinstatement.
For more than thirteen years, Rose has painted himself as the injured innocent, cast out from the game he loves by an evil system even though he did nothing wrong. Now Rose is apparently willing to admit that he did bet on baseball. Incredibly, Commissioner Selig seems willing to consider reinstating Rose if he admits to being a gambler and a congenital liar.
On the other hand, the next item suggests that perhaps Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame deserve one another.
April 8, 2003: Baseball, not players, receives tax break from Puerto Rico. LINK
ESPN.com's Darren Rovell notes that Puerto Rico's brand new 20% income tax on the income major league players earn during their days on the island is only the latest, and largest, of the special "jock taxes."
As the taxes paid to Puerto Rico will earn a foreign tax credit against the players' obligations to the U.S. and Canada, the financial effect will be minimal, but as these taxes spread to more jurisdictions, keeping track of them is an administrative nightmare for the players and their accountants.
Most states credit players for the income taxes they pay to other states, so these "jock taxes" generally redistribute liabilities rather than increasing them. Illinois doesn't. In fact, Rovell explains that the aggressive Illinois tax authorities not only refuse to credit tax payments to other states, but tax all players on Chicago teams as Illinois residents regardless of their offseason home. Scott Radinsky and Sammy Sosa have both sued over the practice.
April 7, 2003: Baseball Attendance Drops in First Week. LINK
According to MLB, attendance fell 9.8% from the opening week of the 2002 season. Most of this is attributable to a different mix of teams opening at home -- when the opening games of the 2003 season are compared to the first home games played by the same teams last year, attendance is off only 2.7% -- and the rest is almost certainly a function of the weather.
All across the Northeast and Upper Midwest, teams played games under conditions which half a century ago would have meant automatic postponements for "cold" or "wet grounds." These games would have been made up as part of July or August doubleheaders. Nowadays, the scheduled doubleheader is virtually extinct and even the make-up doubleheader is to be avoided if at all possible.
One of the reasons is financial. Across the majors, attendance has risen to the point that clubs would much rather play two separate-admission games than entice patrons with the promise of two games for the price of one.
Another is the combination of expansion and changes in the schedule. Pre-expansion, every club played 22 games against each of its seven rivals. Forty years ago they played 18 against each of their nine rivals. After the adoption of divisional play in 1969, clubs played 18 games against each of their five divisional rivals, 12 against each of the six clubs in the other division. Nowadays, an NL club divides its 162 games among 18 or 19 opponents per year, most of whom come to town only once a year. When the Mets opened at Shea Stadium against the Cubs, playing three games in temperatures that never rose above 45 degrees, it was Chicago's only visit to Shea Stadium this year. Any postponement would either have to be played as a one-game makeup whenever both clubs were free, or moved to Wrigley Field when the Mets play there in September. Under the circumstances, it's not surprising that the games go on even when everyone in the stands and on the field would prefer to be elsewhere.
April 3, 2003: Opening Day payroll information released. LINK
The average salary of $2,555,476 is 7.2% higher than the 2002 Opening Day average, but the median continues to drop: $800,000 this year, down from $900,000 in 2002 and $975,000 in 2000.
If the Yankees had simply maintained their 2002 payroll, they'd have been $9 million ahead of anyone else. Instead they spent another $24 million, bringing their total to $149.7 million. The Yankees and the second-place Mets are the only clubs on pace to pay a luxury tax.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Devil Rays' $19,930,000 payroll is the lowest since the 2000 Twins. Tampa Bay is spending less than half as much as any other club. After two straight 100-win seasons, Oakland's payroll has risen all the way to 23rd in the majors. The world champion Angels are 12th.
I've updated my master payroll spreadsheet with 2003 Opening Day average and total payrolls.
April 2, 2003: Selig says new economics aided Angels' title run LINK
Honoring the Angels last night, Commissioner Selig declared, "They were the first club that won because of changes in our system. Without revenue sharing, there is no way they would have kept that club together."
I had my little April Fool's joke -- was this his? The 2002 season was played under the same CBA which Bud spent a year and a half condemning as inadequate to allow "small market" clubs to compete.
Moreover, the Angels' revenue-sharing windfall illustrates a fundamental problem with MLB's approach to revenue sharing. The 2001 Angels, located in MLB's second largest market and owned and operated by one of the world's leading entertainment companies, received $9.6 million in revenue sharing money. Even if the Dodgers are arbitrarily assigned two-thirds of the greater Los Angeles market, Anaheim's share is the size of metro Dallas or Detroit, more than twice the size of metro Denver or St. Louis -- yet the Rockies and Cardinals wound up subsidizing the Angels. A revenue-sharing formula focused entirely on revenue rewards inefficient or inept large-market clubs while punishing well-run organizations who get the most out of their smaller territories.
April 1, 2003: The Oregon "Athlete Tax" Bill LINK
If this passes and MLB comes to Portland, every player whose club visits Portland would owe Oregon income tax on his salary for the days spent in Oregon. The bill would also require the state Department of Revenue to estimate the amount of tax likely to be collected, as well as the amount necessary to cover debt service on $150 million of stadium bonds, and to collect any deficiency from the guarantors of the bonds.
April 1, 2003: Selig Yes, Zimbalist No (BaseballProspectus.com) LINK
I review Andrew Zimbalist's May the Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy as though my review would double as a writing sample for a job application to MLB.
February 23-March 31, 2003
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