Selig’s “Rigged” Game–Following the Profit

Major League Baseball had a great promotional “storyline,” until Tampa, Pittsburgh, and Oakland were eliminated from Bud Selig’s Post-season tournament; it was a terrific line of horse manure:  Those scrappy, underdog teams, the Pirates and Athletics, managing—against all odds—to win their Division titles.  Wow!  What a great All-American phony load of bullshit.

Pittsburgh [$66,289,524] almost overcame St. Louis [$116,702,085], despite the Cardinals nearly 2-to-1 advantage in talent expenditures.  Wasn’t that exciting!

Oakland [$68,577,000] took Detroit [$149,046,844], who had an even larger funding advantage to a final game.  How cool was that!

But the underbelly of MLB’s happy horseshit “scrappy underdog” storyline is that the odds are blatantly stacked, the playing field is not level, and, any accountant or odds-maker would conclude that the “game is fixed.”

Find your Post-season teams here:

RICHIE RICH FRANCHISES:

  • New York Yankees $228,995,945
    • Los Angeles Dodgers $216,302,909
  • Philadelphia $159,578,214
    • Boston $158,967,286
    • Detroit $149,046,844
  • San Francisco $142,180,333
  • Los Angeles Angels $142,165,250
  • Texas $127,197,575
  • Chicago White Sox $124,065,277
  • Toronto $118,244,039
    • St. Louis $116,702,085

SCRAPPY UNDERDOG FRANCHISES:

  • Oakland $68,577,000
  • Pittsburgh $66,289,524
  • Tampa Bay $57,030,272

Yes, Bud, we know about your ineffectual “luxury tax”– the limit stays at $178 million through the 2013 season, then rises to $189 million for the three seasons after that.  And the money is given to the poorer teams in the smaller markets to create equity.

But, as always, Bud was unwilling to go full speed ahead on a real solution and has obsequiously rendered a half-fast fix. The Richie Rich teams bitch about the onerous “tax,” although they don’t feel any pain; they are raking in more millions through their new cable contracts.  They complain that franchises like Kansas City are not spending their tax boons on talent, but just pocketing the cash.

1 billy-beane copyMoneyball, the book and the movie, revealed the “secret” method that the Oakland Athletics had employed:  they focused in a single stat, On Base Percentage, to outsmart their Richie Rich owners.

It made a great movie:  The poor Athletics, thanks to the brilliance of GM Billy Beane, had overcome the huge financial advantage of the rich teams by being much smarter with less money.  The Athletics won the Western Division Title in the American League two years in a row.

Despite all the money that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim spent $142,165,250 on Pujols [10 yrs/$240M] and Hamilton [5 yrs/$133M] his team—spending $142,165,250 could not beat Oakland, spending less than half that amount, $68,577,000.

Commissioner Bud is such a stickler for not allowing any player to have an unfair advantage over the others by using “Performance Enhancing Drugs,” but he hypocritically turns a blind eye to the blatant unfairness of MLB’s  salary budgets; Bud’s salary is also out of parity with the other Commissioners [NHL: $7.5 million, NFL: $10.9M, MLB $18.4 million]; yes, Bud is being paid more than the other two combined to smile and follow orders.

Focus on the Performance Enhancing Drugs; ignore the Performance Enhancing Dollars, Bud.

In 1994, the NFL, the most financially successful business in professional sports, instituted a salary cap; it is an agreement between the league and players that places a limit on the amount of money a team can spend on salaries for players.  It is called a “hard cap,” because no team is allowed to exceed the cap limit for any reason.  [Thus, no “luxury tax” escape clause for the richest owners.]

Until MLB adopts a similar system, there will be no “fairness” or parity and the rigged system will continue to allow the Richie Rich franchises to “win” and beat the “small market” franchises by simply outspending them nearly 2-to-1.

Bud says A-Rod is guilty of “cheating,” trying to get an unfair advantage over other players by using drugs to enhance his performance, but he runs a rigged game that allows Rodriguez to be paid more than the entire Astros team.

Solution?

  1. Immediately institute and NFL-type salary cap.

  2. Hold a “Fairness Draft,” where the poor teams select a few players from the rich teams’ rosters.

  3. Use the Green Bay Packers’ ownership model; let the fans, at large, own MLB teams.

The game of baseball has been kidnapped by the rich One-Percenters; like the country, it has been corporatised and turned into a business, where profit is the first, and only, commandment.

It’s time for the fans to take back the game.

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SOURCE:  http://deadspin.com/2013-payrolls-and-salaries-for-every-mlb-team-462765594

Here’s the list of total team payrolls (the figure is the adjusted payroll, which takes into account cash received in trades, prorated signing bonuses, and other tweaks):

  • New York Yankees $228,995,945
  • Los Angeles Dodgers $216,302,909
  • Philadelphia $159,578,214
  • Boston $158,967,286
  • Detroit $149,046,844
  • San Francisco $142,180,333
  • Los Angeles Angels $142,165,250
  • Texas $127,197,575
  • Chicago White Sox $124,065,277
  • Toronto $118,244,039
  • St. Louis $116,702,085
  • Washington $112,431,770
  • Cincinnati $110,565,728
  • Chicago Cubs $104,150,726
  • Baltimore $91,793,333
  • Milwaukee $91,003,366
  • Arizona $90,158,500
  • Atlanta $89,288,193
  • New York Mets $88,877,033
  • Seattle $84,295,952
  • Cleveland $82,517,300
  • Kansas City $80,491,725
  • Minnesota $75,562,500
  • Colorado $75,449,071
  • San Diego $71,689,900
  • Oakland $68,577,000
  • Pittsburgh $66,289,524
  • Tampa Bay $57,030,272
  • Miami $39,621,900
  • Houston $24,328,538

Takeaways: A-Rod will make more than the Astros. The Dodgers will likely pass the Yankees for the top spot next year. Miami cut its payroll from last season by more than 60 percent. The Blue Jays will field $37 million worth of Marlins. Arizona’s highest-paid player is a setup guy. Among the NL favorites, the Braves, Nationals, and Reds all show the importance of home-grown pitching—while the Giants have reached the phase where they’ve had to pay top-dollar to keep their aces.

 

Topics: Bud Selig, Competitive Balance, Parity, Salary Cap

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  • krinks

    I bet to differ. St Louis is the class of MLB this year and it isn’t because of money. Adam Wainright, Joe Kelly, and Michael Wacha who make a combined $13 mil this year, dominated this year down the stretch when it counted and knocked out my Buccos. The Pirates are paying AJ Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez more than this.

    Look at the Yankees and Phillies. They are carrying some seriously old and expensive dead weight. The Pirates swept Detroit and took 4 of 5 from St Louis. They lost their ability to hit with RISP. That is why they lost. Money didn’t make them lose.