Simply Follow The Money Honey
Just as in the silly season with the PGA Tour where they have their non-sensical and end of season tournaments that’s merely another way for the Tour players to pad their already burgeoning bank accounts the same thing applies to MLB (baseball) as prospective restricted and free agents look to cement their bank accounts also. However whereas golf has a wealth of corporate sponsors eager to have their names associated with the sport although the game’s biggest draw _ Tiger Woods has fallen from grace somewhat ,the sport as such still resonates with the fans whenever he’s on the golf course wielding his clubs and not wielding it in the direction of some buxom nubile young female.
Slide show for your perusal .
Baseball for its part and its hierarchy would have us believe that the game is and has always been in a healthy financial state. Well if the comings and goings of the game’s front office executives are anything to go by then the false bravado of Allan ‘Bud’ Selig and his office are merely a means to an end that’s been filled with false claims. Consider the plight of the AL East champions the Tampa Bay Rays and the very fact that the organization led by principal partner Stuart Sternberg and GM Andrew Friedman will now have to gut the team merely in order to remain competitive this upcoming season. It has already stated that many of its high paid players on this past season’s roster won’t be offered new contracts unless it’s within the team’s best interest and financial capabilities. Furthermore Sternberg and the organization are in the midst of an acrimonious fight with the city of St Petersburg ,Florida and whether or not they will remain a tenant of Tropicana Field or simply move elsewhere within or outside the state of Florida. The lease for the team doesn’t run out until 2025 but at the same time they’re seeking to have a new facility built that will be fan friendly and said to not at the taxpayers’ expense as the monies for such a venue would be simply raised through the state’s bed tax that essentially is derived of revenue charged to tourists from out of state and internationally who make use of the hotel lodgings. Much of that is true but the caveat here also is that many municipalities also look to issue bonds or increase certain taxes as a way and means of meeting any perspective shortfalls that come into being.
In the current economic climate where within the state of Florida unemployment is at an extremely high rate and comparable to the national average if not already exceeding that figure of 9.6 % nationally . It would be seen as political suicide in some circles if any county or municipality would be looking to seek to take such a course of action , especially given the fact that statewide and city wide many governments are now cutting their budgets and laying off employees. Now in the midst of this all , teams that are or on the cusp of hemorrhaging red ink as to their bottom lines are being asked to do whatever they can to try and retain their star players at whatever the prevailing cost might be . In the case of the Tampa Bay Rays and Carl Crawford their talented All Star , that would amount to offering the player a multi year contract paying in excess of $15 million a year . Something of which a team whose payroll of the 2010 season was slightly above $71 million that would put the Rays in the bottom third in the pay-scale of the thirty major league teams. Clearly where tightening of the team’s pockets to offer Crawford anything in excess of that figure ($15 million) would put a severe dent in their expenditure given their current financial position.
What I’ve failed to understand is the continued reticence of the league hierarchy and that of the owners to rein the escalating salaries within the game . OK so the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players’ Association) doesn’t feel it necessary to have a hard salary cap within the game and nor does it appear that Commissioner Bud Selig is willing to address this matter head on and it would seem clear that they’re prepared for the status quo to remain the same. However his rather asinine notion that the league mandated tax revenue sharing scheme aids abets those teams whose revenues aren’t as great as the big market teams to my determination is somewhat ridiculous ! Simply look at how teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates , Florida Marlins, Kansas City Royals have merely finagled their way into surreptitiously enlivening the riches of their executives without ever really spending that money to strengthen their rosters ? Much to the amazement of a number of fans we’ve come to learn that in the case of the Marlins and Pirates they’ve not been thoroughly forthcoming as to their profitability and how they’ve actually been spending the monies that they’ve been the recipients of via the league’s tax sharing revenue scheme. Food for thought and at the same time another one of the reasons why MLB as an organization ought to be more transparent in their business operations. There are those who may well feel that it’s not in the fans or public’s interest as to how a baseball franchise conducts its business but I’d preface this by saying that any private enterprise that’s in receipt of taxpayers monies are and should be open to close public scrutiny. Simply put, when franchises such as the New York Mets and New York Yankees have been in receipt of taxpayers funds in order to build their resplendent stadiums such Citi Field and Yankees Stadium then I do believe that there’s a reason to raise some suspicion as to the direction that the game of baseball is heading in.
At the forefront of the postseason negotiations for the free agents on the market is the impending contract negotiations between Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees. Both sides it would appear to be at an impasse and it has been rumored that the player seeks a five year contract extension in excess of $100 million (average of $20 million per year). The Yankees led by principal managing partner Hal Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman have countered with a three year $45 million offer to the five time winning World Series championship player. Considering that Jeter has been the face of the organization since his career began with the New York Yankees. Throughout that time he has been the vocal and systematic leader of the team . Leading by example, his teammates have followed erstwhile in his every footstep , albeit that Alexander Rodriguez seems to be something of anathema to that very thought . The New York Yankees with their vast financial resources are able to parlay their success by being able to buy whatever they want whenever they want. And in doing so even when there’s been a costly failure as in such instances with Hideki Irabu , Carl Pavano and Randy Johnson . Simply put, while the Yankees roar on to even further success and financial profitability the minnows of the baseball world are left in their wake and rear view mirror. Makes one kind of wonder how the likes of the Pittsburgh Pirates , Marlins and Oakland Athletics can even try to contend and compete against the might of Yankees as a financial and competitive behemoth.
There will undoubtedly come a time when the game of baseball will have to look at its financial stability . Continually we’re made aware that it’s a multi billion dollar sports enterprise that has the fans yearning for the game with an aggregate 250 million fans attending games each season. Somehow that doesn’t seem to resonate when in excess of 70% of the teams within baseball can barely eke out a profit without some assistance from the league hierarchy. Does that really seem like a sport that is in a healthy financial state to you ? I’m wondering when Selig and his minions might come around to explaining that to the fans rather than berating state and municipal officials when they’re unwilling to build vast edifices for a number of ballclubs around the league. Is anyone of the belief that the residents of New York City were totally compliant and willing to pay for the stadiums built for both the New York Mets and Yankees ? Mayor Michael Bloomberg may well have felt that both venues would bring about an economic boost to the his city and that it’d be to the benefit of the residents there. Then someone please explain to how it is that many of the residents there are hardly able to afford the expense of attending those games even with a downturn in the economy ? I heard the excuses that much of that was down to the naivete shown by both owners respectively. My own thought is that is was all down the avarice of the Wilpons and Steinbrenners respectively !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
At this juncture I will close out this topic by saying that the money and the trail it creates is one where we never truly get to see what the real ramifications are when the teams themselves aren’t prepared to be honest in their endeavors. Think that Selig has ever had that in mind at any time as the commissioner ? If anything what thoughts do you have as it concerns how things manifest themselves when it comes to the offseason and the free agency market ? Chime in with a comment as you’d deem fit ?
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Alan aka tophatal …………….. 🙂
Playboy alum and reality tv star Brande Roderick
Pink Floyd ……… “Money”