Friday, November 2, 2007

Financial Craziness...

So, building on Rus' (Chris - Is it Rus' or Rus's ?) posting about A-Rod, it has come out that he was seeking a contract from the Yankees worth approximately $350 Million. Those numbers are astounding. I can't really begin to think in terms like that, but more and more, large numbers (maybe not this large, but still) are becoming more accepted. For instance, Jason Spezza recently got a contract extension for 7 years $49 Million. If you are like 98% of the people reading this, you are wondering. Who the heck is Jason Spezza? He's a center for the Ottawa Senators. That's right. Professional hockey players are still getting contracts that get them in excess of $7 million per year. At first, I thought Ah, well the Sens have Spezza locked up until 2015. Great for them.

Then, the reality of that hit me. I see half empty buildings on game night every time I turn on a hockey game. If I can find it on TV at all. Where is this revenue coming from? Aren't the owners just going back to doing business the same way they were before the lockout?

Baseball, specifically the Yankees (yes I know.. and the Red Sox now..) can afford to do this, but for how long will it remain lucrative to sign free agents in this manner as salaries climb higher and higher? And without results (except for the Sox - go Red Sox).

I was glad to see Dallas not over-spend for a free agent who would likely under-deliver, but I wished they would have at least signed some scoring help. I wonder what the going rate is for a 30 goal scorer is anymore?


rus said...

There is no questions that baseball has the most screwed up financial set up of the major sports. In each of the other sports the real key to success is to have smart people evaluating talent and smart people working the cap. In baseball, a few teams have financial power that the rest of the teams only dream of. People talk about parity in baseball and oh, the Rockies have like the 26th ranked payroll and they made the World Series. The fact of the matter is that Yankees and Red Sox have won 6 of the last 12 World Series. They both have smart people making sure that they have good talent coming up, but they have the ability to over spend their mistakes. The Yankees give a dumb contract to Carl Pavano and instead of hamstringing them, they can still sign Andy Pettite and Roger Clemens. The Rangers screw up with Chan Ho Park and it kills them for years. They need to level the playing field. The advantage that the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, and Cubs, etc get is ridiculous. It kills the competive balance of the sport and makes the game worse. Read T.R. Sullivan's discussion of this. He gives a list of 10 problems with baseball.

Chris said...

Rus, I agree with everything you said except for one thing. The Park signing should not have killed the Rangers for years. The Rangers play in MLB's fifth largest market - what killed the Rangers was Hicks severely cutting back on the payroll. The financial disparity does put some teams at a serious disadvantage, but Texas should not be one of those teams.

Texas stinks because they have consistently made bad decisions. I knew the day Park signed that deal it was a bad move. All you had to do was compare his ERA at Dodger Stadium to his ERA on the road to know he would be ineffective in Arlington.

Hopefully the decision making is improving, but I'm still not convinced. As for money, Hicks needs to start spending more of it. He needs to figure out that there is a middle ground in between having a much too low payroll and signing players to record deals. Given baseball's current market, the Rangers should have a payroll around $120 million, well above the current level. Rangers fans are getting ripped off.

rus said...

I completely 110% agree with you concerning the Rangers. I've said over and over the problems with the Rangers stem from one person, Tom Hicks. Either he is unwilling or unable to do what it takes to win. It's not about how much you spend, it's how wisely you spend and the Rangers haven't wisely spent in years. I guess I used a bad example in that comment. My point is that the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, etc, can out-spend their mistakes while other teams can't.

RyanB said...

Here's an astounding comment...PJ you goofball get on Facebook already! :P Ryan...yes the Ryan you are thinking of