The Mainboard MLB Lockout Thread

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PedroKsBambino

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You seem to suggest that the rise in player salaries since the MLB playoffs were first expanded is at least partially attributable to the expansion. The massive growth in league revenues since the playoffs were expanded in 1969, 1994, and 2012; the explosion in entrainment-industry compensation in general over that time; the identification of sports as a means to reach sizable audiences in the streaming era; and the simple effect of 50 years of inflation seem to me to have contributed much more to the growth of player salaries than increasing the number of teams that make the playoffs each year.

I’m not sure what empirical evidence exists for the effects of expanded playoff slots on team payroll. In this Baseball Prospectus article, Jonathan Judge offers up something that feels more like conventional wisdom but may well be rooted in somebody’s research: “Likewise, ownership continues to propose an expanded postseason. Under the current regime, players understandably see this as a mechanism for owners to spend less money on player salaries, and get to the postseason anyway.”

At very least, that article tells us that the players, and someone who writes intelligently about the game, are far from convinced that expanding the playoffs will lead to higher payrolls.
I suggested nothing of the kind. I agree all those factors are part of the growth of salaries and of revenues, of course.

What I noted is the converse (expanding playoffs is bad for players) has zero support and is contrary to both basic economics and the data we have (which I agree with you is imperfect). I don't know who Jonathan Judge is or why I should care what he thinks (though, I'd note the idea in that article that they should share more revenue is not at all new, and is a core premise of NFL and NBA CBAs which neither side has really bought into for MLB); I would note there remains zero evidence for that hypotheses and the data we have is not consistent with it. Could it be true that owners will change their behavior? Sure---but as we look at the last round of playoff expansion did we see more teams acting to compete (for example, acquiring players at deadline) or fewer? My recollection is it is very much the former.

There are a lot of posts in this thread that start with the premise whatever owners want is bad for players; as I've said, I get the cynicism and over the course of baseball history the owners have been very bad actors. But that does not mean that every element of the negotation is bad for the players, and there are many posts which seem to conflate those two things. If the actual negotiators think that way (which I believe is quite unlikely) there will be no baseball this year. What I think is more likely is the players and owners each recognize there are some separate interests and some shared ones and that they are trying to solve for that by giving away things that are value-creating for both (like more playoffs) in exchange for things that are much more valuable or only valuable to one side (changes to arb rules, free agency, caps/taxes, etc.) That is pretty much how all complex negotiations reach a resolution and there's little reason to think otherwise in this case, imo.
 
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Max Power

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Player salaries have stagnated since the introduction of the second wild card. What data do you have that shows that adding more playoff teams is good for player salaries? I'd like to see it. Intuitively, if you no longer need to win 95 games to get into the playoffs, you're not going to be pressed to build a team that can win 95 games. You settle for 88 and hope luck is on your side.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Is it that simple, though? Teams are placing more of an emphasis on younger players, and younger players are cheaper. Spending more money doesn’t always equal a better chance of winning when that money is spent inefficiently on FA. You can win now without being a top payroll team; look at the Braves, Rays; even the Astros payroll was only 7th in baseball. I get your point but I’m not sure the addition of the second wild card is a significant factor.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Player salaries have stagnated since the introduction of the second wild card. What data do you have that shows that adding more playoff teams is good for player salaries? I'd like to see it. Intuitively, if you no longer need to win 95 games to get into the playoffs, you're not going to be pressed to build a team that can win 95 games. You settle for 88 and hope luck is on your side.
What’s the data that suggests any team acts like the above?

To your question, though this is all easily googleable before you post, the second wild card was added in 2012. Here is the average MLB salary by year: https://www.statista.com/statistics/236213/mean-salaray-of-players-in-majpr-league-baseball/

Depending on which data set you look at, the average player salary is up between 15-30% since the introduction of the second wild card. That is not 'stagnation.' I haven't claimed those have a strong causal relation, but the data is not consistent with your hypothesis.
 
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allmanbro

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Two issues where I am very pro player:

1 Minimum Salary. Think about someone who toils for years in the minor leagues. Makes it to the big leagues at 24-25, which is an incredible accomplishment, lasts say three and a half years, and then goes back to minors for a bit and ends up out of baseball. What's the total earnings there? $2Million? Seems way low to me. In the NBA and the NFL most players are just on the roster from the beginning of their pro career. Not so much in baseball.

2. Earlier arbitration. Seems to me that I've heard 1000 times that the best deals for owners are players under the initial team control and the worst deals tend to be high-priced free agents. So if I were the MLBPA I'd be worried those FA deals might diminish with time and that it makes sense to improve the income earlier in the deal. If giving the next Betts/Pujols more money at age 24 means there will be less money to give them at age 38 that seems like a sound practice for all sides.

Very late reply to this comment, but this is, I think, the right view. If I were in charge, this would be the goal: MLB players get a total percentage cut of league revenue that is a bit higher than now, but it's fine if it's not tremendously so. The goal would be to spread it more equitably among the players. That means both the things you say: the $2mill minimum salary is basically what I proposed at some point a few month ago. This, in effect, sets a salary floor. It doesn't influence competitive balance the same way an actual floor does, but It's arguably better; it doesn't encourage the Pirates to overpay for a Kole Calhoun type just to add payroll in the absence of a real plan to win. But if the prearb/arb guys are making more relative to FAs than they are now, prospects are less valuable. We see less tanking and fewer Mookie/Lindor type trades. I think it's a more just system for the players, and it's better for the game.

But, of course, it will never happen.

Edit: worth noting that things like the MLBPA pension do redistribute money some, but the structure of payrolls could do it more.
 

IpswichSox

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A challenge with a $2 million minimum salary is that small-market teams would object for obvious reasons and it also would adversely impact large-market teams such as Boston, which forced to compensate for higher minimum salaries would necessarily spend less (to avoid CBT penalties) in free agency -- and the players wouldn't like that.
 

allmanbro

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A challenge with a $2 million minimum salary is that small-market teams would object for obvious reasons and it also would adversely impact large-market teams such as Boston, which forced to compensate for higher minimum salaries would necessarily spend less (to avoid CBT penalties) in free agency -- and the players wouldn't like that.
I see shrinking FA contracts as part of the point. That is part of changing the prospect valuation for teams, and also encouraging competitive balance.

In the short/medium term, though, it definitely causes problems if the minimum salary goes up substantially and teams still have to pay existing contracts. I figure there are ways around that though.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I can’t seem to get to the market watch article, but I’m not sure comparing to the S&P 500 is the best marker. Wouldn’t owners have access to higher yields through public offerings, etc. that the average investor does not?
 

cantor44

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A challenge with a $2 million minimum salary is that small-market teams would object for obvious reasons and it also would adversely impact large-market teams such as Boston, which forced to compensate for higher minimum salaries would necessarily spend less (to avoid CBT penalties) in free agency -- and the players wouldn't like that.
Not mention the fact that player's unions often advocate for the best interest of its superstars' capacity to get the most money possible. It seems counterintuitive to me, for a labor union to do that, rather than look out for its "average" members, but we're a culture in thralls of status and celebrity. That is, the players themselves don't push for this, though it seems to me that they should.
 

InsideTheParker

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I can’t seem to get to the market watch article, but I’m not sure comparing to the S&P 500 is the best marker. Wouldn’t owners have access to higher yields through public offerings, etc. that the average investor does not?
You mean like with Madoff? (Fred Wilpon's is a cautionary tale.) Anyway, the S&P 500 is the usual comparison. Every once in a while, I have trouble accessing MarketWatch, and then I can get in again.
 

Spelunker

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I can’t seem to get to the market watch article, but I’m not sure comparing to the S&P 500 is the best marker. Wouldn’t owners have access to higher yields through public offerings, etc. that the average investor does not?
A lot more risk. Of which there is basically zero in owning a US sports franchise.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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A lot more risk. Of which there is basically zero in owning a US sports franchise.
Yup. Frank McCourt bought the Dodgers in 2004 for $430 million. He sold eight years later for $2 billion. He was a shitty owner, declared bankruptcy, and still came out ahead in the end.
 

OCD SS

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Very late reply to this comment, but this is, I think, the right view. If I were in charge, this would be the goal: MLB players get a total percentage cut of league revenue that is a bit higher than now, but it's fine if it's not tremendously so. The goal would be to spread it more equitably among the players. That means both the things you say: the $2mill minimum salary is basically what I proposed at some point a few month ago. This, in effect, sets a salary floor. It doesn't influence competitive balance the same way an actual floor does, but It's arguably better; it doesn't encourage the Pirates to overpay for a Kole Calhoun type just to add payroll in the absence of a real plan to win. But if the prearb/arb guys are making more relative to FAs than they are now, prospects are less valuable. We see less tanking and fewer Mookie/Lindor type trades. I think it's a more just system for the players, and it's better for the game.

But, of course, it will never happen.

Edit: worth noting that things like the MLBPA pension do redistribute money some, but the structure of payrolls could do it more.
The MLBPA took the tack that "a rising tide lifts all boats", so without a salary cap this would eventually bring up the middle class of free agents, but it only works if teams are trying to be competitive, which many are not. The rise in value to teams of pre-arb players coincides with them replacing free agents who cost $21M for 3 years.

What we're seeing in MLB's proposals now is entrenching profit margins at the lowest levels of competition (basically ensuring the profits of teams that don't want to spend any money like the Rays, Pirates or Indians) and the players can see that without making major structural changes, the way to increase owner spending is free some teams from artificial constraints, while also forcing teams to pay more for young players. In theory this would push competitive teams to upgrade their spending on marginal wins.

I also think it's worth noting that the total amount of money under discussion is 4% for MLB revenues (per Joe Sheehan). So if the owners were to just accede to the players' last offer, that is how much their total hit would be. Since the players have taken the major structural changes off the table, it's worth pointing out that the reason we don't have baseball is over a pretty minor amount of money compared to the sport's revenues.
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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I also think it's worth noting that the total amount of money under discussion is 4% for MLB revenues (per Joe Sheehan). So if the owners were to just accede to the players' last offer, that is how much their total hit would be. Since the players have taken the major structural changes off the table, it's worth pointing out that the reason we don't have baseball is over a pretty minor amount of money compared to the sport's revenues.
If this is Joe Sheehan's calculation - https://www.joesheehan.com/2022/02/the-joe-sheehan-newsletter-february-14.html - then it appears to be light. Maybe I missed it but my quick read didn't see the calculations take into account the payroll floor nor - more importantly - the expanded Super 2 proposal.

This article - https://blogs.fangraphs.com/a-super-two-compensation-update/ - looked at the economic impact of the Super 2 proposal and estimated that if all second years players were allowed into arbitration (an early player proposal IIRC), it would cost the owners an extra $110M. The obvious problem for the owners is that this money escalates because future arbitration awards are based on the higher base salary.

One other point that mucks up the negotiations is that owners in both the NBA and MLB have figured out that if their team does not have a chance at winning the championship, there is almost no point in trying to win. Losing brings more profits and better draft position, and fans seem to at minimum accept it and for some of them even encourage it. A minimum payroll in the MLB isn't going to fix this issue any more than it did in the NBA. We've batted some ideas around in the Baseball is Broken thread but one fundamental issue that I don't think either side is really addressing is that teams are no longer incentivized to win. Which IMO really brings down the product unless a person happens to be associated with one of the handful of teams that is trying to win.
 

koufax32

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If this is Joe Sheehan's calculation - https://www.joesheehan.com/2022/02/the-joe-sheehan-newsletter-february-14.html - then it appears to be light. Maybe I missed it but my quick read didn't see the calculations take into account the payroll floor nor - more importantly - the expanded Super 2 proposal.

This article - https://blogs.fangraphs.com/a-super-two-compensation-update/ - looked at the economic impact of the Super 2 proposal and estimated that if all second years players were allowed into arbitration (an early player proposal IIRC), it would cost the owners an extra $110M. The obvious problem for the owners is that this money escalates because future arbitration awards are based on the higher base salary.

One other point that mucks up the negotiations is that owners in both the NBA and MLB have figured out that if their team does not have a chance at winning the championship, there is almost no point in trying to win. Losing brings more profits and better draft position, and fans seem to at minimum accept it and for some of them even encourage it. A minimum payroll in the MLB isn't going to fix this issue any more than it did in the NBA. We've batted some ideas around in the Baseball is Broken thread but one fundamental issue that I don't think either side is really addressing is that teams are no longer incentivized to win. Which IMO really brings down the product unless a person happens to be associated with one of the handful of teams that is trying to win.
Agreed on your last point. The NBA has proven that a draft lottery system does nothing to dissuade tanking.
I’ve thought about the following for my fantasy football league: the teams that miss the playoffs are place in order of finish for the draft. So if there are 12 teams in, the team that just barely missed the postseason on the last day gets the #1 pick. The team that lost 105 games gets pick #18. Even teams out of the race have something to play for and the fans have something to cheer for.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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What if the draft order was just completely random, and had no connection to regular season performance? Or, tied to performance over several years? Or perhaps revenue sharing is reduced for those teams not meeting a certain win % over a period of time? Just spitballing but if you want teams to field competitive teams, it needs to be incentivized. Right now, it’s better for a team to win 60 games than it is for them to win 80.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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What if the draft order was just completely random, and had no connection to regular season performance? Or, tied to performance over several years? Or perhaps revenue sharing is reduced for those teams not meeting a certain win % over a period of time? Just spitballing but if you want teams to field competitive teams, it needs to be incentivized. Right now, it’s better for a team to win 60 games than it is for them to win 80.
Leagues are trying to promote parity.

The solution that I suggested was to give the teams just out of the playoffs additional luxury tax monies. Corollaries of this that might benefit all would be to allow those teams to sign a veteran to a contract that would not be counted towards the luxury tax. Alternatively, give the teams closest to a playoff spot an extra compensatory pick. The trick is to give teams an incentive to win because right now, the incentives are to lose.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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Yeah that makes sense. I guess my thought is that some teams would approach each season much differently if there wasn’t a guarantee that a lousy season resulted in the best draft picks. I think decoupling the draft from major league performance could lead to more parity and more effort into trying to compete every year but I’m sure there’s potential unintended consequences.
 

jon abbey

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There are always a lot of assumptions from every perspective that spending money makes your team better, and it's really not that clearcut in recent years. What is a much bigger issue than draft order (IMO) is doing a better job coupling salaries to performance, and to their credit, the MLBPA does seem to be at least trying to do that this time. The example I used of Shin-Soo Choo to kick off the Baseball Is Broken (off the field) thread in 2018 is still a very good one, and I can update it now with final numbers now that his career seems over:

Cleveland: 21.7 WAR in 685 games (age 23-29). Was paid $10M total.
Texas: 8.6 WAR in 799 games (age 31-37). Was paid $130M total.

He did not have a seven figure salary until his age 28 season, at which point he had already achieved about half his career bWAR (16.2, 34.6 career). This is why teams like TB and OAK can do what they do, trading pretty much everyone 3-5 years into their career, and still field competitive teams.
 

snowmanny

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There are always a lot of assumptions from every perspective that spending money makes your team better, and it's really not that clearcut in recent years. What is a much bigger issue than draft order (IMO) is doing a better job coupling salaries to performance, and to their credit, the MLBPA does seem to be at least trying to do that this time. The example I used of Shin-Soo Choo to kick off the Baseball Is Broken (off the field) thread in 2018 is still a very good one, and I can update it now with final numbers now that his career seems over:

Cleveland: 21.7 WAR in 685 games (age 23-29). Was paid $10M total.
Texas: 8.6 WAR in 799 games (age 31-37). Was paid $130M total.

He did not have a seven figure salary until his age 28 season, at which point he had already achieved about half his career bWAR (16.2, 34.6 career). This is why teams like TB and OAK can do what they do, trading pretty much everyone 3-5 years into their career, and still field competitive teams.
Which is why if the MLBPA is basing their negotiating stance on maximizing revenue to players in free agency at the expense of maximizing revenue starting from day 1 of a player's career, they are making a mistake. They are essentially gambling on teams either being indifferent to money or remaining stupid.
 

VORP Speed

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There are always a lot of assumptions from every perspective that spending money makes your team better, and it's really not that clearcut in recent years…….This is why teams like TB and OAK can do what they do, trading pretty much everyone 3-5 years into their career, and still field competitive teams.
Shhh!
 

Marceline

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Leagues are trying to promote parity.

The solution that I suggested was to give the teams just out of the playoffs additional luxury tax monies. Corollaries of this that might benefit all would be to allow those teams to sign a veteran to a contract that would not be counted towards the luxury tax. Alternatively, give the teams closest to a playoff spot an extra compensatory pick. The trick is to give teams an incentive to win because right now, the incentives are to lose.
This wouldn't do anything because most of those teams are nowhere near close to the luxury tax threshold anyway. If a team has a $100m payroll it doesn't matter if they can have another $30m excluded from the luxury tax or not.
 

jon abbey

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Which is why if the MLBPA is basing their negotiating stance on maximizing revenue to players in free agency at the expense of maximizing revenue starting from day 1 of a player's career, they are making a mistake. They are essentially gambling on teams either being indifferent to money or remaining stupid.
And they are hurting most of those players (the non-superstars) and in some cases ending their careers a few years early, but we've been over this a lot. It does seem like the MLBPA at least grasps this this time around, they certainly did not in the previous CBA negotiations.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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This wouldn't do anything because most of those teams are nowhere near close to the luxury tax threshold anyway. If a team has a $100m payroll it doesn't matter if they can have another $30m excluded from the luxury tax or not.
good point. then giving some draft compensation to teams that are just outside of the playoffs might be something teams want to play for.
 

Ale Xander

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What about a draft order in reverse efficiency? The more you spend on salary per regular season win, the earlier you draft.
 

scottyno

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What about a draft order in reverse efficiency? The more you spend on salary per regular season win, the earlier you draft.
Yes give the Dodgers and Yankees another way to get better by being able to essentially buy better draft picks, makes a ton of sense
 

lexrageorge

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Agreed on your last point. The NBA has proven that a draft lottery system does nothing to dissuade tanking.
I’ve thought about the following for my fantasy football league: the teams that miss the playoffs are place in order of finish for the draft. So if there are 12 teams in, the team that just barely missed the postseason on the last day gets the #1 pick. The team that lost 105 games gets pick #18. Even teams out of the race have something to play for and the fans have something to cheer for.
In the original NBA draft lottery, every non-playoff team had the same chance. Worked OK to stop tanking until the "wrong" team (Orlando) netted the first pick 2 years in a row.

MLB could do something similar to the original NBA system, as long as fans and owners and media types could deal with the fact that the "wrong" team could win the first pick.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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In the original NBA draft lottery, every non-playoff team had the same chance. Worked OK to stop tanking until the "wrong" team (Orlando) netted the first pick 2 years in a row.

MLB could do something similar to the original NBA system, as long as fans and owners and media types could deal with the fact that the "wrong" team could win the first pick.
I forget where I heard it, but the best draft order proposal I've heard is to take the teams that miss the playoffs, then order them by record post-trade-deadline. So the team with the best record from August 1 on who doesn't make the post-season gets the #1 pick. Rewards teams for hustling and playing hard in the second half and perhaps makes September more competitive for everyone as well. Less chance of a contending team getting a boost by quirk of the schedule giving them 6 games in the last two weeks against a team playing its AAA lineup.
 

Murderer's Crow

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There are always a lot of assumptions from every perspective that spending money makes your team better, and it's really not that clearcut in recent years. What is a much bigger issue than draft order (IMO) is doing a better job coupling salaries to performance, and to their credit, the MLBPA does seem to be at least trying to do that this time. The example I used of Shin-Soo Choo to kick off the Baseball Is Broken (off the field) thread in 2018 is still a very good one, and I can update it now with final numbers now that his career seems over:

Cleveland: 21.7 WAR in 685 games (age 23-29). Was paid $10M total.
Texas: 8.6 WAR in 799 games (age 31-37). Was paid $130M total.

He did not have a seven figure salary until his age 28 season, at which point he had already achieved about half his career bWAR (16.2, 34.6 career). This is why teams like TB and OAK can do what they do, trading pretty much everyone 3-5 years into their career, and still field competitive teams.
They can also do that because their fans aren't attached to pretty much any of their players. So, it's obviously feasible to field playoff caliber teams but it's not yet proven you can attract fans to watch your super low payroll team.
 

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Which is why if the MLBPA is basing their negotiating stance on maximizing revenue to players in free agency at the expense of maximizing revenue starting from day 1 of a player's career, they are making a mistake. They are essentially gambling on teams either being indifferent to money or remaining stupid.
I think one of the reasons the MLBPA have been willing to add limits on non union spending (the draft, international) and subsequently got rolled in the last negotiation , is that they have assumed that teams would maintain their spending, and more if that would go union members if that was the only spending opportunity. They assumed that teams would assess draft picks with the same value they did, and would be OK loosing picks to spend on free agents. Teams did a much harsher cost/ benefit analysis and the players are only now catching up to how team view their labor spending.
 

jon abbey

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They can also do that because their fans aren't attached to pretty much any of their players. So, it's obviously feasible to field playoff caliber teams but it's not yet proven you can attract fans to watch your super low payroll team.
Well, those two teams specifically are in awful stadium situations too, so it’s more complicated than that. COL doesn’t spend money, are maybe the worst run organization in MLB, and outdrew both the Red Sox and Yankees last year:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/attendance
 

koufax32

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Well, those two teams specifically are in awful stadium situations too, so it’s more complicated than that. COL doesn’t spend money, are maybe the worst run organization in MLB, and outdrew both the Red Sox and Yankees last year:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/attendance
I’ve heard from everyone who’s been (Coors Field) that it’s an absolutely beautiful and fantastic place to watch a game. Pretty cheap too. So yeah, that seems to line up.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The point is taken, but it’s not really fair to compare attendance for 2021 considering that teams were operating on different rules for maximum capacity. In 2019, the Rockies did slightly outdraw the Sox but were well below the Yankees, for example.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I’ve heard from everyone who’s been (Coors Field) that it’s an absolutely beautiful and fantastic place to watch a game. Pretty cheap too. So yeah, that seems to line up.
I can agree with this. I’ve been to 26 different parks and Coors Field is top five easily.
 

Murderer's Crow

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I really love stadiums in great locations. It's not that I don't love how Fenway and Wrigley are built around the stadium and create an experience for the fans, but the thing I love about Coors is that the bars and restaurants were not reliant on revenue from the ballpark. It was just really awesome and convenient.

It's honestly my biggest issue with Yankee Stadium. I don't care that it takes an hour to get there, I care that you really just have Stan's and nothing else.
 

PseuFighter

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There’s a decent amount around Yankee Stadium now, or at least there was when I was last there a few years ago. Yankee Tavern is a pretty good dive. Billy’s is across the street from the stadium and has good outdoor space. There’s also breweries / fancy beer places up that way now too (e.g. Bronx Draft House).

My legit favorite place to hang out was this unmarked bodega (“La Bodega” on Gerard between 160 and 161) with a backyard beer garden sorta atmosphere. Pretty sure it’s not licensed, but you could grab an egg and cheese and a case of beer and hang out back with a bunch of people before a day game. It was actually awesome. Just gotta know where to look up there.

edit: here’s La Bodega, it’s the best — View: https://youtu.be/HCIfyzPBt4Y
 
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Phil Plantier

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What’s the data that suggests any team acts like the above?

To your question, though this is all easily googleable before you post, the second wild card was added in 2012. Here is the average MLB salary by year: https://www.statista.com/statistics/236213/mean-salaray-of-players-in-majpr-league-baseball/

Depending on which data set you look at, the average player salary is up between 15-30% since the introduction of the second wild card. That is not 'stagnation.' I haven't claimed those have a strong causal relation, but the data is not consistent with your hypothesis.
Two annoyances with this:

1. This looks at average, not median, salary. I only found an unsourced, annoying website, but it looks like the median salary is around 1.5 million, while the average is 4.5 million. Comparing the median salary over time makes more sense, since the huge free agent contracts pull the average up.

2. That does not seem to be adjusted for inflation. If not, 20% over 10 years is actually stagnant, of we use constant dollars.

I expected more from statista, tbh.
 

Harry Hooper

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From McAdam's latest:

One new dynamic for this week's sessions is the presence of several owners in the talks, including Red Sox principal owner John Henry. Henry is part of the owners' Labor Policy Committee and is seen as something of a dove on labor issues -- more interested in getting a deal in place than keeping the owners' boot on the union's neck. (For that role, the owners still have Dick Monfort, chairman of the committee and a known hard-liner when it comes to dealing with the union).

Can Henry insert a more moderate voice into the talks? While Monfort and others want to win the negotiations for small-market teams, Henry represents the concerns of big-market teams who, for the most part, are OK with the status quo and are more interested in getting the game back on the field than they are in crippling the union.

In the past, there's been a sharp division among big- and small-market owners when it comes to labor, and the union has exploited that gulf in past collective bargaining agreements. To date, the owners have been more unified -- publicly, at least -- but with time running out to start the season on time, perhaps more conciliatory voices will start to be heard.
 

Murderer's Crow

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There’s a decent amount around Yankee Stadium now, or at least there was when I was last there a few years ago. Yankee Tavern is a pretty good dive. Billy’s is across the street from the stadium and has good outdoor space. There’s also breweries / fancy beer places up that way now too (e.g. Bronx Draft House).

My legit favorite place to hang out was this unmarked bodega (“La Bodega” on Gerard between 160 and 161) with a backyard beer garden sorta atmosphere. Pretty sure it’s not licensed, but you could grab an egg and cheese and a case of beer and hang out back with a bunch of people before a day game. It was actually awesome. Just gotta know where to look up there.

edit: here’s La Bodega, it’s the best — View: https://youtu.be/HCIfyzPBt4Y
Thanks for the tips. I guess what I'm implying is that you won't find yourself enjoying the South Bronx for any other reason besides Yankees games.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I don't think it matters much either way, but this was initially reported and then corrected that he had attended a few previously.
Interesting. I still don't see that correction anywhere but as you said it doesn't really matter. I'm also wondering if there's a distinction between attending in person versus over video.

Thanks for correction.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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The McAdam piece crystalized an issue that I did not fully appreciate and probably should have -- that in some ways this is a three-way negotiation. Or maybe two and a half since when push comes to shove I assume the owners will be unified regardless of what is going on behind the scenes. I don't have much of a contribution to this excellent thread, other than to say that between the cancellation of the early spring training games and the complication that I hadn't really focused on that is highlighted in McAdam's piece, it's really hard to stay optimistic here.
 

jon abbey

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The reporting around these negotiations is especially piecemeal, with some writers carrying water for MLB, others for Boras (hello Mr Heyman), and the whole thing being somewhat private to begin with, so it's even more difficult than usual to get a bead on what's actually going on.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I’m actually fairly optimistic; they are meeting frequently which is a good sign. I don’t think cancelling some spring training games is especially significant at all. If they suddenly top talking, then it will be concerning.
 

Hank Scorpio

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While I think the MLBPA’s the cap from $210M to $245M (and eventually $275M) is maybe a bit much, it’s probably closer to “about right” than the owner’s proposal of a $3M increase with tougher penalties.

I’d rather see the cap increase to around what the MLBPA is asking for, institute a salary floor, keep draft pick compensation, and force teams to use revenue sharing dollars to better their team within two or three years or be forced to forfeit it with interest. I’d also like to see a hard cap placed on per annum value of player contracts that varies with inflation and the current salary cap, say $40-50M/yr… I’m fine with a $275M salary cap if it makes middle tier free agents great again, but not if it just means now guys like Mike Trout are going to get $80M a year and mediocre but serviceable guys get 1/$5 sometime in March, if they are lucky.

If that’s a problem for players, then open the door to some sort of mutual marketing rights on the player’s and team’s name/image or whatever.
 
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