The Mainboard MLB Lockout Thread

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geoduck no quahog

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I'd love to see Japan open up a new "Americas" League this year. Every player agrees to stay with the Japanese version of their former team. All games at 10:00 AM. Grab that TV money.
 

jon abbey

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I think that all just points to the owners not being serious in these negotiations, throwing in a bunch of new issues at the last minute while not conceding much on the major issues under discussion.
 

BringBackMo

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Larger bases?? Where did that come from? Why??
Can’t remember if they actually tried this one in the minors but I think the idea is that it would encourage more basestealing by slightly reducing the distance between the bags, and I think maybe be safer, too, because it gives fielders more area to cover the bag without being in the path of the runner.
 

BringBackMo

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Looks like they did implement it in AAA last year.
https://www.mlb.com/news/baseball-rule-changes-tested-in-minor-leagues-in-2021


LARGER BASES (ALL TRIPLE-A LEAGUES)
Just as 90 feet from base to base is the big league standard, so is the size of the base itself. Each side is 15 inches long.
But the Triple-A bases this year will be 18 inches square and will be composed of a material that is expected to perform better in wet conditions. (This applies to first, second and third base. Home plate remains the same size as ever.)
The subtle increase in size provides more room for players to operate around the bases, reducing the odds of the kinds of collisions that have caused foot and ankle injuries in the past. And the more grippy surface could potentially prevent injuries such as the knee issue Bryce Harper suffered in 2017, when he slipped on a wet first-base bag in rainy conditions.
This change also slightly decreases the distance between bases. While the impact is likely modest, the three inches would theoretically lead to more ground balls and bunts getting beat out at first base and, perhaps, more successful stolen-base attempts, thereby increasing both base traffic and action.
 

OCD SS

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I'm honestly curious where the players come down on these conditions. I do have a hard time seeing rules changes for the betterment & growth of the game turned into a negotiating point by either side. To me it would make sense to negotiate these separately so they're not tied to economic issues (obviously on field rules would be different than things like divisional alignment and expanded playoffs).
 

moondog80

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I'm honestly curious where the players come down on these conditions. I do have a hard time seeing rules changes for the betterment & growth of the game turned into a negotiating point by either side. To me it would make sense to negotiate these separately so they're not tied to economic issues (obviously on field rules would be different than things like divisional alignment and expanded playoffs).
There's zero chance that even 1% of the disagreement is based in those issues.
 

OCD SS

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There's zero chance that even 1% of the disagreement is based in those issues.
I realize that; it's not my point, although I may have conflated & confused 2 different ones...

As per the discussion on the shift, I'm curious about where the players stand on these rule changes and how they would impact the game they play.

I would also like to see the on field rules, that should not have a larger monetary impact, separated from true economic concerns of bargaining (maybe in a tiny baby step towards a true partnership describe by Jon Abbey earlier in this thread). The issue that maybe straddles the line the most is the universal DH, and that seems like the something everyone wants (if we ignore the league trying to argue it's a benefit to the players by creating jobs, which didn't go anywhere).
 

jon abbey

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I think all of those were mostly brought up as distractions at the last minute to try to cloud that the owners were never actually serious about trying to agree on a somewhat fair deal, they are trying to break the union (I guess? It's so dumb). I can't find a confirmation on a quick look but I'm pretty sure the two sides agreed months ago to discuss the on field rule changes separately, until MLB broached them again at the last minute.
 

Murderer's Crow

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It feels like this is way too personal for the players. “We were ready for it!” Well, it kind of sounds like you did exactly what the owners are doing, which is plant your feet and hold your ground until someone blinks again. Except now the owners have more leverage every day because players are losing salary.

I’m sorry I know the players are more right than the owners but neither of them actually gives a hoot about the fans. That Anthony Rizzo “this is for the future fans” stuff. Alright, hero.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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When MLB minimum salaries lag NHL salaries by $180k, even though it takes baseball players longer to reach the top level, something’s seriously wrong. There’s a reason why employees form unions. It’s to keep employers from constantly screwing them. We can’t watch the sport because the players are so elite at what they do, and then begrudge them their attempt to get paid commensurately for being elite.

In other words, f*ck the owners.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I’m sure owners would give the players a higher minimum salary, like in the NHL, in exchange for maximum salaries and hard cap, like in the NHL.
 

OCD SS

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I think all of those were mostly brought up as distractions at the last minute to try to cloud that the owners were never actually serious about trying to agree on a somewhat fair deal, they are trying to break the union (I guess? It's so dumb). I can't find a confirmation on a quick look but I'm pretty sure the two sides agreed months ago to discuss the on field rule changes separately, until MLB broached them again at the last minute.
Yeah, I have to agree. Manfred himself was the one who said that rule changes wouldn't be part of these negotiations. I suppose they could also be part of the smokescreen, where MLB is saying "See, things are going so well, we can discuss this stuff as well and get it all in under our deadline!" before turning around to blame the players for changing their minds (I guess as a PR move).

I am curious as to where the players stand on some of these issues. These are areas that I would tend to agree with ownership and think that they would be changes that would improve the game.
 

BaseballJones

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I don't understand how this world works. It's a financial level I'll never be at, and cannot comprehend. I agree 100% - from what I've read - that the owners share the vast bulk of the blame here. They're billionaires squabbling over what amounts to rounding errors for them. They're willing to put the sport at risk in order to save what is for them a pittance individually.

I can't comprehend the players either though. And this is simply borne out of my inability to imagine life at that level of income. Ownership is wealthier than the workers. That's true everywhere. But I can't grasp being someone like Max Scherzer and being unhappy with the system. I can't imagine being Christian Vazquez and being unhappy with the system. Vazquez is a decent player who is in the last year of a 3-year, $20.3 million contract. TWENTY POINT THREE MILLION DOLLARS.

Again, it's all in my inability to comprehend what that figure IS. A guy who is 31 years old, with that kind of money. And willing to not play (and not get paid) unless he and his fellow players get more.

Presently, league minimum is $600,000. MLB is offering $615,000. The players want $715,000. I totally get why the players want $715,000. But, I mean, $615,000 a year is an incredible amount of money. Again, this is a ME problem, insofar as I cannot fathom making that kind of money, so therefore I can't imagine not being happy with that kind of money. What's the average age of a MLB rookie? 24 years old? Something like that? The average 24 year old in the US is making just under $35,000 a year. These guys are making 17x that. I get that they have unique skills and nobody pays big dollars to see Bob Smith manage a laundromat. I get it. The ballplayers deserve what they're making. But man, for the life of me, I can't imagine being willing to let the sport die on the vine because you won't budge from your demand of increasing the minimum salary to $715,000.

So this post is sounding like I'm blaming the players. I'm really not. I'm on their side in this. I think the owners aren't even negotiating in good faith. I'm just pointing out that the dollar figures being thrown around here are incomprehensible to me, and it boggles my mind to see that both sides are willing to let the ship sink, when both sides are making huge dollars from the sport.
 

BringBackMo

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I don’t believe in mascots
I don’t believe in Ichiro
I don’t believe in wild cards
I don’t believe in RBI
I don’t believe in lockouts
I don’t believe in MLB
I don’t believe in Manfred
I don’t believe in Henry
I don’t believe in BATNA
I don’t believe in EBIDA
I don’t believe in Red Sox

I just believe in me—Mo(oh) and me
That‘s reality

The dream is over
And what can I say?
The dream is over
 

kfoss99

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Presently, league minimum is $600,000. MLB is offering $615,000. The players want $715,000. I totally get why the players want $715,000. But, I mean, $615,000 a year is an incredible amount of money. Again, this is a ME problem, insofar as I cannot fathom making that kind of money, so therefore I can't imagine not being happy with that kind of money. What's the average age of a MLB rookie? 24 years old? Something like that? The average 24 year old in the US is making just under $35,000 a year. These guys are making 17x that. I get that they have unique skills and nobody pays big dollars to see Bob Smith manage a laundromat. I get it. The ballplayers deserve what they're making. But man, for the life of me, I can't imagine being willing to let the sport die on the vine because you won't budge from your demand of increasing the minimum salary to $715,000.
Raising the league minimum from $600,000 to $615,000 is only a 2.5% increase. That's not coming close to keeping up with inflation. That offer is prima facie ridiculous. The raise to $715,000 is ~19%. That seems fair and good on the MLPA looking after their lowest paid members.
 

BaseballJones

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Raising the league minimum from $600,000 to $615,000 is only a 2.5% increase. That's not coming close to keeping up with inflation. That offer is prima facie ridiculous. The raise to $715,000 is ~19%. That seems fair and good on the MLPA looking after their lowest paid members.
I understand. I'm in favor of them getting the raise. I think the owners aren't dealing in good faith. I think they're penny pinching to a ridiculous level.

I also can't understand the players being willing to have the sport STOP - and thus their paychecks stop - over that. Because as I pointed out, they're still making gobs of money.

But again, this is a ME problem. I personally just can't understand being unhappy making $615,000 as, say, a 24 year old, when the average 24 year old in the US is making $35,000.
 

Captaincoop

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I understand. I'm in favor of them getting the raise. I think the owners aren't dealing in good faith. I think they're penny pinching to a ridiculous level.

I also can't understand the players being willing to have the sport STOP - and thus their paychecks stop - over that. Because as I pointed out, they're still making gobs of money.

But again, this is a ME problem. I personally just can't understand being unhappy making $615,000 as, say, a 24 year old, when the average 24 year old in the US is making $35,000.
You're hitting on why I don't care who is right. They're all screwing over the people who make the players rich and the owners richer - us.

This isn't about feeding families or keeping up with inflation. When you make $30m a year - or even $600k a year - you don't feel inflation.

There are no good guys in this thing. They all benefit from our totally irrational love of the game, and they're willing to toy with that for a little more. Gross all around.
 

johnnywayback

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You're hitting on why I don't care who is right. They're all screwing over the people who make the players rich and the owners richer - us.

This isn't about feeding families or keeping up with inflation. When you make $30m a year - or even $600k a year - you don't feel inflation.

There are no good guys in this thing. They all benefit from our totally irrational love of the game, and they're willing to toy with that for a little more. Gross all around.
For the players, it's not about "a little more." It's about a blatantly unfair division of resources between management and labor: revenues are soaring, teams are getting richer, and players are being treated as fungible when they're the ones who make the game possible. This is their only opportunity to level the playing field and ownership won't even engage substantively on the major issues.
 

shaggydog2000

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You're hitting on why I don't care who is right. They're all screwing over the people who make the players rich and the owners richer - us.

This isn't about feeding families or keeping up with inflation. When you make $30m a year - or even $600k a year - you don't feel inflation.

There are no good guys in this thing. They all benefit from our totally irrational love of the game, and they're willing to toy with that for a little more. Gross all around.
And we are not seeing the negotiations. We are seeing the staged theater the sides and their hand picked media members want us to see for effect. It's all nonsense meant to make us take sides when in the end this is a business deal getting done over billions of dollars, not a good vs evil story.
 

JimD

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But again, this is a ME problem. I personally just can't understand being unhappy making $615,000 as, say, a 24 year old, when the average 24 year old in the US is making $35,000.
Because they are the very best in the world at their craft and deserve to be paid accordingly, but ...

The owners benefit from a system which pays minor leaguers shit wages and severely limits the ability of those players who do rise to the major leagues to earn a fair wage during much of their peak earning years, despite....

The owners rolling in money thanks to broadcast deals, sponsors, publicly-financed stadiums and soaring franchise values.

No disrespect intended, but if you or your kid was a player who reached the majors, and you knew everything you had put into your journey to get there, there is no way you would have a 'I'm just happy to be here!' mindset and gladly take whatever minimum wage MLB deemed you worthy of. You just wouldn't, and you'd be right to feel that way.
 

Captaincoop

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For the players, it's not about "a little more." It's about a blatantly unfair division of resources between management and labor: revenues are soaring, teams are getting richer, and players are being treated as fungible when they're the ones who make the game possible. This is their only opportunity to level the playing field and ownership won't even engage substantively on the major issues.
Unfair? I went to college, then law school. I live a great life with kids and a house in a nice neighborhood. Kevin Plawecki, fungible backup catcher, makes more than anyone I know. In most cases by like 10x.

The players who truly can't be replaced, who we actually pay to see, make tens of millions a year. They put their services on a fairly open market across 30 teams and get paid royally. I really don't care if the last guy on the roster, who could be replaced by anyone without me noticing, makes 615,000 dollars a year or 655,000 a year. I also don't care which set of rich people gets 70% and which gets 30% of the giant pie that I helped bake for them.

At the end of this, I also don't care if the owners give in and let the players have what they want, or if they completely break the union like the NFL did. Either way, they will all be wealthy and we will have baseball back.
 

johnnywayback

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Unfair? I went to college, then law school. I live a great life with kids and a house in a nice neighborhood. Kevin Plawecki, fungible backup catcher, makes more than anyone I know. In most cases by like 10x.

The players who truly can't be replaced, who we actually pay to see, make tens of millions a year. They put their services on a fairly open market across 30 teams and get paid royally. I really don't care if the last guy on the roster, who could be replaced by anyone without me noticing, makes 615,000 dollars a year or 655,000 a year. I also don't care which set of rich people gets 70% and which gets 30% of the giant pie that I helped bake for them.

At the end of this, I also don't care if the owners give in and let the players have what they want, or if they completely break the union like the NFL did. Either way, they will all be wealthy and we will have baseball back.
So in your eyes there's an amount of money you can be making where you lose your moral authority to bargain for what you see as fair treatment? As long as Kevin Plawecki makes $600,000, he should just accept whatever terms the owners who are raking in billions based on his labor care to dictate? How much money would Plawecki have to make for you to be comfortable with the elimination of free agency? Pensions? Guarantees of adequate facilities? Health insurance?
 

BaseballJones

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Because they are the very best in the world at their craft and deserve to be paid accordingly,
Of course. I agree with this. I've said they deserve the raise.

but ...

The owners benefit from a system which pays minor leaguers shit wages and severely limits the ability of those players who do rise to the major leagues to earn a fair wage during much of their peak earning years, despite....

The owners rolling in money thanks to broadcast deals, sponsors, publicly-financed stadiums and soaring franchise values.
I agree here too. The minor league pay scale is abhorrent.

No disrespect intended, but if you or your kid was a player who reached the majors, and you knew everything you had put into your journey to get there, there is no way you would have a 'I'm just happy to be here!' mindset and gladly take whatever minimum wage MLB deemed you worthy of. You just wouldn't, and you'd be right to feel that way.
Hmmmm...I don't know about that. You are making assumptions about me that I don't think you have the right to make. Well, I guess you have the "right", but, well, you're wrong. You don't know me well enough to know my view of money, so I'll lay it out for you.

I'm 100% in favor of anyone making as much as they can, if that's what they desire. I'm also not really a materialist, in that I am very happy to have a modest income. My goal in life is some form of happiness - I know I can't have it all, and so I have modest expectations for what makes me happy. I want a good family. I want a job that I enjoy and that helps me live out what I think my purpose is. I want to do well at whatever I do. I am perfectly happy living a modest lifestyle. I work in one of the largest companies in the world in my industry, and serve in regional and national leadership. 30+ years of experience. But because my industry is ministry, I make less than what my 24-year old son working in data analysis for a major health care company makes. Good for him. I'm thrilled for him. But I'm very happy with my situation because for me, it's not about the money, truly. I could "take my talents", as LeBron puts it, and my experience, somewhere else and make north of $200k easy.

So for me, the idea of making $615,000 as a 24 year old rookie, playing the game of baseball, is a pretty glorious thing. If my kid made it that far and was making that kind of money, I certainly wouldn't complain about it. I'd be THRILLED for him, that he achieved this dream, gets to play MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, and is pulling in that kind of dough for his efforts.

Of course, if he wanted to earn more, I'd support him in that desire. But I wouldn't want him to be willing to see the entire sport burned to the ground because he wasn't happy with $615,000 and instead demanded $715,000.

But this is why I said at the outset that this is a ME problem. These people are not ME. It's hard for ME to wrap my head around this. I don't begrudge anyone looking to make more money. I just can't fathom anyone - owners or players - but especially the players, because these owners can afford to lose the sport (generally sports team owners have all kinds of other massive revenue streams to fall back on) while many/most players can't - being willing to see the game die for the sake of what amounts to a small amount of money per individual (given their economic status...obviously it's a lot of money to ME).
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Kind of difficult to comment on recent history when there's been just one season that would be semi close as a comp to your suggestion. I never claimed that 162 game schedule (BTW I'm not stuck on 162) would prevent it. It is my opinion that if you add more teams to the playoff picture and drastically reduce the regular season schedule there is a greater opportunity for more than 6 teams to have the best six records in either division. I'll be happy to let any math experts here look into it and If I'm wrong, that's fine. This isn't a hill that I'm going to die on, it's an opinion. FWIW, I'm not seeing a whole lot of folks saying that nothing about the game should change. What I am seeing is a lot of discussion about various levels of change. From universal DH, to playoff formats, to banning the shift, length of game, extra innings, added double headers, length of schedule, service time and compensation issues, etc... I think we'd be hard pressed to find anyone who's not open to some sort of change.
The discussion has moved on, but I'll just clarify that my "recent history" comment was backed up by some (not very deep) research - I looked at the standings on August 1 each of the last six years, not counting 2020 for obvious reasons. 8/1 seemed like an approximate point where most teams have played 110 games, so it seemed like a reasonable approximation of what I was going for. There was only one season in that sample where they'd need a tiebreaker to figure out the 6th-best team in a league. Now, there's an obvious limit to my study, which is that teams haven't always played the same number of games by an arbitrary date on the calendar. But, for the most part, it wasn't super-close. Also, most of the teams who wound up at or near the top of the standings were already there by 8/1. There were a few cases, though, where a team sneaked in to the top six and then wound up doing well in the playoffs. This happened in 2021 with the Braves. To me, though, the Braves' experience reinforces the pointlessness of playing 162 games when all that really matters is a few weeks in October.

To the second point, fair - to be clear, I'm in favor of all of the proposed rule changes, and I'd probably go further in a few cases. I'd keep the Manfred rules that everyone else hates, too, like 7-inning DHs and the ghost runners in extras.
 

Rwillh11

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Unfair? I went to college, then law school. I live a great life with kids and a house in a nice neighborhood. Kevin Plawecki, fungible backup catcher, makes more than anyone I know. In most cases by like 10x.
How about: Kevin Plawecki, one of the 30-40 best in the world at his very specialized position, in a very profitable industry, makes more than anyone i know.
 

Average Game James

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Unfair? I went to college, then law school. I live a great life with kids and a house in a nice neighborhood. Kevin Plawecki, fungible backup catcher, makes more than anyone I know. In most cases by like 10x.

The players who truly can't be replaced, who we actually pay to see, make tens of millions a year. They put their services on a fairly open market across 30 teams and get paid royally. I really don't care if the last guy on the roster, who could be replaced by anyone without me noticing, makes 615,000 dollars a year or 655,000 a year. I also don't care which set of rich people gets 70% and which gets 30% of the giant pie that I helped bake for them.

At the end of this, I also don't care if the owners give in and let the players have what they want, or if they completely break the union like the NFL did. Either way, they will all be wealthy and we will have baseball back.
Look, I’m not saying feel sorry for a bunch of mostly rich baseball players… but there are drawbacks to the deal you skip over. Let’s say that after law school you got drafted to a firm anywhere in the country you didn’t get to pick where you’d get moved around the country while working for much less than minimum wage for several years before hopefully getting promoted. Once this happens, the firm bills you out to clients at a partner rate while paying you like a first year associate (even as some lawyers hired from outside the firm get many multiples of this for the same level of work). Only after 6 years do you get some control over where you work and for how much. Except the average law career is only 5.5 years, so you might never get that chance.

An MLB player that plays 4 years in the minors then 3 years at the current league minimum makes about $1.75 million over 7 years, or about $251k per year. It’s good money, for sure, but we’re hardly talking generational wealth. Taking a stand on the minimum salary really feels like the easiest thing to get behind as a fan.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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How about: Kevin Plawecki, one of the 30-40 best in the world at his very specialized position, in a very profitable industry, makes more than anyone i know.
Addendum: he has a limited window in which he can make any money at all capitalizing on his very specialized position. It's not really comparable to a more "regular" job that someone can do for 30-40+ years if they so desire. He may make 10x what a highly educated lawyer with a wife and kids makes, but he's only got the opportunity to do that in a short time. He can't be a back-up catcher in the major leagues when he's 50. Lawyers can still be lawyers, though.
 

ehaz

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Unfair? I went to college, then law school. I live a great life with kids and a house in a nice neighborhood. Kevin Plawecki, fungible backup catcher, makes more than anyone I know. In most cases by like 10x.

The players who truly can't be replaced, who we actually pay to see, make tens of millions a year. They put their services on a fairly open market across 30 teams and get paid royally. I really don't care if the last guy on the roster, who could be replaced by anyone without me noticing, makes 615,000 dollars a year or 655,000 a year. I also don't care which set of rich people gets 70% and which gets 30% of the giant pie that I helped bake for them.

At the end of this, I also don't care if the owners give in and let the players have what they want, or if they completely break the union like the NFL did. Either way, they will all be wealthy and we will have baseball back.
I'm fine with missing 30 regular season games in April and May if it means the union wins some concessions. $700k is a lot of money, sure, but there is a very significant contingent of AAAA players who don't spend enough time on the Major League roster to even see a third of that salary in a season. These are often guys who were drafted in late rounds, get a small signing bonus and then spend 8 years in the minors making minimum wage or less. To those players, who if they're lucky, spend bits and pieces of maybe three seasons on the active roster over their careers, that raise is not insignificant. Most won't turn into stars, or even regular back-ups like Kevin Plawecki, but professional baseball would be objectively worse off without them. MLB players get paid an insane amount of money - there's no arguing that. But there's not another professional sport in the US where it takes ~5 years from draft day to actually make it to the big leagues for the lucky few who do. And the vast majority of those players will never spend enough time in the league to reach free agency.

It would be one thing to say they should just take the deal if revenues were stagnant or decreasing, but I'm not sure the owner's deal even tracks inflation let alone is tied in away to rising revenues and franchise values.
 

lexrageorge

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...

So for me, the idea of making $615,000 as a 24 year old rookie, playing the game of baseball, is a pretty glorious thing. If my kid made it that far and was making that kind of money, I certainly wouldn't complain about it. I'd be THRILLED for him, that he achieved this dream, gets to play MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, and is pulling in that kind of dough for his efforts.

Of course, if he wanted to earn more, I'd support him in that desire. But I wouldn't want him to be willing to see the entire sport burned to the ground because he wasn't happy with $615,000 and instead demanded $715,000.

But this is why I said at the outset that this is a ME problem. These people are not ME. It's hard for ME to wrap my head around this. I don't begrudge anyone looking to make more money. I just can't fathom anyone - owners or players - but especially the players, because these owners can afford to lose the sport (generally sports team owners have all kinds of other massive revenue streams to fall back on) while many/most players can't - being willing to see the game die for the sake of what amounts to a small amount of money per individual (given their economic status...obviously it's a lot of money to ME).
One thing to keep in mind that there are many major leaguers that roll through and make that $615K for a couple of years and then never play again. Then there are many that play maybe 4 or 5 years, make a lifetime earnings of a couple to a few million, and then never play again.

Sure, there are many people that would love to make that kind of money. But, when they are done playing, the paychecks stop when they are in their late 20's or early 30's. Sure, there may be future opportunities in coaching, etc., but those pay a pittance compared to what they made as a player. For every Mookie Betts or Scherzer, there are at least 10 players that are in this "fungible" boat that make good coin for a few years, but hardly enough to retire on given the fact that they will still need to eat for for the next 50 or 60 years. And that is not even getting into the lifestyle issues, the people that the player either needs or feels obliged to support, agent fees, taxes, etc.

So, there are a lot of players that would love to have that extra $100K in their rookie seasons, and a chance to make some real money on the open market before their skills start to decline. And when they see the owners pocketing a greater and greater share of that pie, I can understand why they take action now when it is truly the only lever they have to work with.
 

BaseballJones

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Addendum: he has a limited window in which he can make any money at all capitalizing on his very specialized position. It's not really comparable to a more "regular" job that someone can do for 30-40+ years if they so desire. He may make 10x what a highly educated lawyer with a wife and kids makes, but he's only got the opportunity to do that in a short time. He can't be a back-up catcher in the major leagues when he's 50. Lawyers can still be lawyers, though.
All true. But let's say he ends up with a 5 year career, making league minimum (in reality, he's already been in the majors 7 years so he's way better than the average player) each of those years. Take out taxes (~$180,000 in federal, and say $20,000 in state), and he's looking at a 5 year haul of roughly $400,000 x 5 = $2 million.

Obviously he's going to have lots of expenses. But as a major league player, he's also going to have lots of other things covered. Travel expenses, food (the team feeds him every day he's at the ballpark), clothing (not all his clothes, obviously, but they provide all the clothes he will need for WORK). That's a lot of expenses out of the way. If he's smart about managing his money, he can probably walk away from those five years with $1 million still in the bank. And then his career is over. But his WORK LIFE is not over. Baseball opens up all kinds of opportunities for him that aren't available to other people. Having "major league baseball player" on your resumé carries a lot of weight. He could get involved in broadcasting, writing, public speaking. He could get any number of other regular jobs, but he's already got $1 million in the bank. How many 29 year olds have a million in the bank already, and have something like this on their resumé? Not that many. His talents have not only allowed him to play a sport for a living for 5 years (in this scenario), but they've put him in a GREAT position to make money for the rest of his life.

So yeah, his sports window is short, and in this scenario he couldn't "retire" and do nothing for work again - he doesn't make that much money. But he could, you know, become a lawyer. He could do any number of other awesome things that regular people do. But with a massive financial head start.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
17,768
One thing to keep in mind that there are many major leaguers that roll through and make that $615K for a couple of years and then never play again. Then there are many that play maybe 4 or 5 years, make a lifetime earnings of a couple to a few million, and then never play again.

Sure, there are many people that would love to make that kind of money. But, when they are done playing, the paychecks stop when they are in their late 20's or early 30's. Sure, there may be future opportunities in coaching, etc., but those pay a pittance compared to what they made as a player. For every Mookie Betts or Scherzer, there are at least 10 players that are in this "fungible" boat that make good coin for a few years, but hardly enough to retire on given the fact that they will still need to eat for for the next 50 or 60 years. And that is not even getting into the lifestyle issues, the people that the player either needs or feels obliged to support, agent fees, taxes, etc.

So, there are a lot of players that would love to have that extra $100K in their rookie seasons, and a chance to make some real money on the open market before their skills start to decline. And when they see the owners pocketing a greater and greater share of that pie, I can understand why they take action now when it is truly the only lever they have to work with.
Yep, I get it. Kind of responded to this in my previous post just above this one, but to a different poster.

Look, I'm on the players' side here. My only point is that given where *I* am coming from, it's all unfathomable amounts of money to ME, so it's hard for me to imagine any of them - players or owners - being willing to gut the sport over this.
 

johnnywayback

Member
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Aug 8, 2004
1,344
Yep, I get it. Kind of responded to this in my previous post just above this one, but to a different poster.

Look, I'm on the players' side here. My only point is that given where *I* am coming from, it's all unfathomable amounts of money to ME, so it's hard for me to imagine any of them - players or owners - being willing to gut the sport over this.
Well, if it helps, the players aren't the ones deciding not to play baseball right now. That's the owners. They could lift the lockout anytime and the players would show up in uniform and ready to rock and roll.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
17,768
Well, if it helps, the players aren't the ones deciding not to play baseball right now. That's the owners. They could lift the lockout anytime and the players would show up in uniform and ready to rock and roll.
I get that it's a lockout and not a strike. But would the players would accept the status quo? Because if the owners just lifted the lockout, that's what they'd have, right?
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Sep 12, 2003
12,766
South Boston
Unfair? I went to college, then law school. I live a great life with kids and a house in a nice neighborhood. Kevin Plawecki, fungible backup catcher, makes more than anyone I know. In most cases by like 10x.

The players who truly can't be replaced, who we actually pay to see, make tens of millions a year. They put their services on a fairly open market across 30 teams and get paid royally. I really don't care if the last guy on the roster, who could be replaced by anyone without me noticing, makes 615,000 dollars a year or 655,000 a year. I also don't care which set of rich people gets 70% and which gets 30% of the giant pie that I helped bake for them.

At the end of this, I also don't care if the owners give in and let the players have what they want, or if they completely break the union like the NFL did. Either way, they will all be wealthy and we will have baseball back.
If you were in the .21% of your field (which, I am guessing you are not) and 70 million people were coming out to pay $33.00 for a chance to see your profession litigate and television was willing to pay your profession 1.6 billion dollars to show you guys in the courtroom...yea...you would deserve more money.

These are the best 1,000 or so baseball players in the world. Kevin Plawecki is 10x better at his preferred profession than anyone you or I know, probably more.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
4,261
from the wilds of western ma
Well, if it helps, the players aren't the ones deciding not to play baseball right now. That's the owners. They could lift the lockout anytime and the players would show up in uniform and ready to rock and roll.
It is amazing how many times I have to make this point when discussing this with people away from here. They have come to conflate any work stoppage with a strike. "Both sides are greedy", blah, blah, blah. The owners are willing to cripple the sport, and deny their fans the game they love, in order to break the MLBPA. As you rightly note, the players would be in camp tomorrow if the lockout was somehow magically lifted, and the CBA reverted to 2021 terms.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Mar 26, 2005
26,758
So in your eyes there's an amount of money you can be making where you lose your moral authority to bargain for what you see as fair treatment? As long as Kevin Plawecki makes $600,000, he should just accept whatever terms the owners who are raking in billions based on his labor care to dictate? How much money would Plawecki have to make for you to be comfortable with the elimination of free agency? Pensions? Guarantees of adequate facilities? Health insurance?
I've stated my position a few times but IMO, players can bargain for whatever they want. When people start talking about "moral authority," that's when things get hairy and if one side starts talking about "moral authority," that's when it's pretty clear that the two sides are going to have difficulty coming to an agreement.

The simplest way to put this is that the players want a better deal than the last CBA - not hugely but they want something better. The owners want a worse deal on the grounds that the last deal was too rich. I don't think it's a morality issue. It's just negotiations.

My personal opinion is that the players definitely should have traded a lower CBT cap for increased Super 2 participation, a salary floor, and higher minimum salaries (which, ironically, is similar to the NBA CBA and framework of the owners' initial proposal) but I guess I understand why a substantial number of players - many of whom probably think that they are going to be stars some day - don't want that.

The owners have caved in the past so maybe they do again. I guess the players are counting on this.

So yeah, his sports window is short, and in this scenario he couldn't "retire" and do nothing for work again - he doesn't make that much money. But he could, you know, become a lawyer. He could do any number of other awesome things that regular people do. But with a massive financial head start.
Not that this has a lot to do with the actual negotiations, but getting to the Show is an achievement from which people can get compensated way beyond their playing years. Broadcasting, autographs, training, coaching, etc. - doors open for major leaguers.
 

johnnywayback

Member
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Aug 8, 2004
1,344
I get that it's a lockout and not a strike. But would the players would accept the status quo? Because if the owners just lifted the lockout, that's what they'd have, right?
I don't know that that would be a durable equilibrium, but if your feelings on who's in the right are tied up in your frustration about the season being delayed, it's worth noting that only one side is delaying the season. If owners lifted the lockout, it wouldn't magically achieve labor peace, but it would mean baseball.
 

Rwillh11

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Apr 23, 2010
191
Yep, I get it. Kind of responded to this in my previous post just above this one, but to a different poster.

Look, I'm on the players' side here. My only point is that given where *I* am coming from, it's all unfathomable amounts of money to ME, so it's hard for me to imagine any of them - players or owners - being willing to gut the sport over this.
How else would you ever get concessions as a player, if you are not willing to "gut the sport" or at least credibly threaten to do so?

edit - if players aren't willing to do so, what is to stop the owners from holding salaries down indefinitely, or even cutting salaries in the future?
 

snowmanny

Member
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Dec 8, 2005
13,770
But again, this is a ME problem. I personally just can't understand being unhappy making $615,000 as, say, a 24 year old, when the average 24 year old in the US is making $35,000.
I don’t know. If someone signs out of high school and gives up a college scholarship and works incredibly hard and does really really well in the minor leagues..like top 5%....and makes the major leagues....and plays a couple of years in the majors...and makes a couple million dollars but is in and out of the majors and minors and out if baseball at 29...was that all that great? The average 24 year old isn’t incredibly good at an incredibly competitive job that brings in billions of dollars to the industry.
 

Captaincoop

Member
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Jul 16, 2005
13,455
Santa Monica, CA
If you were in the .21% of your field (which, I am guessing you are not) and 70 million people were coming out to pay $33.00 for a chance to see your profession litigate and television was willing to pay your profession 1.6 billion dollars to show you guys in the courtroom...yea...you would deserve more money.

These are the best 1,000 or so baseball players in the world. Kevin Plawecki is 10x better at his preferred profession than anyone you or I know, probably more.
There are 50 guys - maybe 100 if we're really generous - that have any impact on overall interest in MLB. If MLB came back next year with all of the star players, but all the Kevin Plaweckis were replaced with college players or semi pro players, very few fans would notice the difference.

Kevin Plawecki (boy, I wish I picked an example that was easier to type) should probably not be willing to miss games and jeopardize any MLB fans over his "plight". The game could very easily move right on without him, without anyone noticing he was gone.

Neither, I wouldn't think, should the superstars, who are benefiting from bidding wars that get bigger year after year.

So if this is mostly about minimum salary players who are just breaking in or who are just hanging on, and whether they make $600k or $700k...yeah sorry, I truly don't care. That's not a moral issue to me, it's business.

I just continue to be pissed at the players, owners, and most of all Manfred, for not reaching a deal. They all stand on the shoulders of 150 years of players, owners, writers, and others who built the fan base and they don't give half a fuck about it.
 

JOBU

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Sep 22, 2021
3,634
Unfair? I went to college, then law school. I live a great life with kids and a house in a nice neighborhood. Kevin Plawecki, fungible backup catcher, makes more than anyone I know. In most cases by like 10x.

The players who truly can't be replaced, who we actually pay to see, make tens of millions a year. They put their services on a fairly open market across 30 teams and get paid royally. I really don't care if the last guy on the roster, who could be replaced by anyone without me noticing, makes 615,000 dollars a year or 655,000 a year. I also don't care which set of rich people gets 70% and which gets 30% of the giant pie that I helped bake for them.

At the end of this, I also don't care if the owners give in and let the players have what they want, or if they completely break the union like the NFL did. Either way, they will all be wealthy and we will have baseball back.
I’m glad you worked hard to get to your place in life. I did too. 4 years of college. Many more gaining experience. It took me about 18 years to finally hit my “pay day” so-to-speak. I’m a 38 year old male and have about 27 years before retirement hits. It took me awhile to get to the point I’m at in my life. People that work hard should be rewarded… yay capitalism.

MLB players work hard too… well at least most of them do. They also have a god given talent that you and me both would probably kill for. No one is paying hundreds of dollars to watch me work and perform my craft. If you tune into NESN on any of 162 nights from April-September you won’t see me on there doing my job.

I get paid what I’m worth, the market demand for my skill. I understand that. It’s my lot in life… it’s a very good life. I don’t get paid what I think I’m worth or what I want (I wish I did but that’s not how the world works).

I will always fight on the side for the worker. MLBPA vs MLB is no different. The average MLB salary is down almost 5% from 2 years ago. Just under 5 million. That’s a lot of money. The median salary is 1.5 million. Players at the top push the average way up. $40 million a year type guys. No one is arguing that those guys need more money. This is about the guy that might be in the league for a year or two and spend most of his life in the minors and be out of the game by the time he’s 30. The career minor leaguer that might sniff the show for a cup of coffee here and there. How much will that player make in his career? A few million? Maybe? Then he has to live the last 50 years of his life off that. Doable for sure but not exactly the high life. It’s about guys becoming eligible for a larger contract earlier to try and maximize their prime financially.

These are all things I don’t have to worry about. I get to work until I’m 65. We all have a window to maximize our career earnings. Mine is 40 plus years. Ball players don’t have that luxury. What is the average length of the mlb career? The lucky ones probably get 10 years.

How much money would you want to get paid if you had to retire by the time you’re 30? I would certainly want more. I would have had to retire 8 years ago and in reality I’m just getting started.

Pay the players. Fuck the owners.

edit: a bunch of people made the point sooner and better than me while I took my time to write my post and enjoy a cup of coffee.

edit 2: I am generally anti-union but I do make exceptions.
 
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