Overturning the Call Wouldn’t Change Much

by Shaun

Would it change anything, besides some pages in a baseball’s official record book, if Bud Selig decided to overturn umpire Jim Joyce’s missed call that costs Detroit’s Armando Galarraga a perfect game?  Is it worth it if it doesn’t change anything besides some pages in the official record book?

Galarraga is more famous now than he would have been had he pitched the perfect game.   Think about how much attention Dallas Braden got for his perfect game or Mark Buehrle last season.   Ken Griffey Jr., the greatest all-around centerfielder since Willie Mays retired on the same day as Galarraga’s would-be perfect game and Galarraga and Joyce are getting more attention.

Baseball fans remember things like this as much as they remember perfect games.  How many of the 20 pitchers who pitched a perfect game can you name?  How many can you name from before you started watching baseball?  But most baseball fans can tell you what Harvey Haddix is famous for.  Many know that Dave Stieb had two no-hitters broken up with two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning and another perfect game broken up with two outs in the ninth before finally pitching a no-hitter in 1990.

If baseball fans, the only people in the world who would care about such things anyway, are going to remember Galarraga for the perfect game that wasn’t even without overturning a call, why do it?  So baseball can set the president that if fans, media personalities and politicians cause enough of an uproar, a bad call can be changed if the correct call would have resulted in the final out of the game?

If the call is changed, is Jim Joyce really off the hook or do people still remember him as an umpire that almost costs a pitcher a perfect game until the commissioner stepped in?  It seems baseball fans are going to remember the uproar and the bad call and Jim Joyce no matter what Selig does.  So what’s the point?

What about the official record?  Is it worth it for Selig to change the ruling in order to add Galarraga’s name to the official record of pitchers who’ve thrown perfect games?  By that reasoning, why not review every game in which the umpire or something else costs a player or a team the would-be last out?  Why not change every statistic in the official record affected by those circumstances?

The stories combined with statistics are much more interesting and important than black and white statistics in a record book.  Everyone knows, for instance, Barry Bonds homerun records aren’t the same as Henry Aaron or Babe Ruth’s homeruns.  Bud Selig doesn’t need to make some kind of ruling for people to realize that.  Ford Frick didn’t need to put an asterisk next to Roger Maris’ 1961 homerun total.  Every baseball fan knows he played more games than Ruth and every baseball fan can look up the homerun rates of each player.

In fact, if Selig changes the call it would take away something from the story.  Right now it’s a perfect game that wasn’t because of a bad call.  If Selig changes the call it’s just another perfect game (to the degree there can be just another perfect game).  If Selig changes the call, it’s possible that the whole situation gets brushed under the rug until another bad call comes up.

For practical purposes, this call could also lead to better things for baseball.  Baseball needs a system in which umpires are better evaluated and held accountable for their actions.  A missed call should count against umpires and whether an umpire stays in the majors should depend on his successes and failures, just like players.  I don’t know that there is a mechanism in place allowing any of the powers-that-be to send an umpire to the minors or release an umpire from his duties.  Isn’t it odd to demand a certain level of performance from players and not demand it from umpires, at least not to an appropriate degree?

Another discussion this brings up is replay.  Why not use replay more?  Why not on replays that can be done rather quickly?  Have an umpire in a replay booth somewhere that can immediately tell an umpire on the field if he is wrong so that the call can be corrected in a timely manner.  There is usually a fairly significant break in the action from a time a play is dead until the next pitch.  With today’s technology especially, it shouldn’t be that difficult to instill replay on select plays.

Baseball needs significant changes regarding umpires and possibly replay.  Hopefully this one play can lead to these necessary changes.  But Bud Selig changing the call after the fact does nothing.  It doesn’t take Jim Joyce off the hook, as he still made a bad call.  It doesn’t change the perception of the way Galarraga pitched, as he’s more famous now than he would have been without the bad call.  And it’s not worth changing the call for the sake of the official record, as this story will live in baseball fans’ memories more so than what’s written in a record book.

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204 Responses to “Overturning the Call Wouldn’t Change Much”

  1. Hossrex Says:

    There was never more than a 0% chance of the call being reversed.

    You do understand that, right?

    Why right the article with the pretense that it’s a possibility?

  2. Hossrex Says:

    Wow. Reading around a few other places, there really are a lot of people screaming for the call to be reversed, and blaming… of all people… Bud Selig for this not being a perfect game.

    Here’s some user comments from the Peter Gammons article on the subject.

    “I seems very obvious and there is consensus among everyone that I have talked to regarding the Galarraga perfect game, Selig is an idiot.”

    “”Joyce may have robbed Galarraga of his place in history,” No, Selig did.”

    “Mr. Selig insists in reminding us what he is made of, and why the next MLB Commissioner will reverse this call (unless we fans for Selig to do it). Let’s email Mr. Selig and request his to overturn the call. Let’s call/write the MLB Players Association and ask them to stand beside one of their own (I already did it). Let’s call/write the managers and players. Please, let us do something so Justice can prevail in this case.”

    “I can see no reason why the decision should not be reversed. Yes, it was a judgement call, but Mr. Joyce admitted that his judgement was wrong. This does not mean that we have to use instant replay on balls and strikes. A Perfect Game is a once in a lifetime occurrance, if the pitcher is very good…and very lucky. It is a pity that Mr. Galarraga will probably never have this opportunity again, and Mr. Joyce will go down in baseball history as the guy who cost a young man his perfect game. Mr. Selig, for heaven’s sake, do the right thing for once. It won’t set a precedent as this is certainly a special case.”

    “Fact #1 – Galarraga threw a perfect game. Fact #2 – The whole world knows it. Fact #3 – Over the years that make up the history of baseball, nearly 1/2 million games have been played. Until the other day, only 20 people have ever thrown the perfect game. Observation: It’s all kinds of cool how the people involved have shown compassion towards one another, but the fact remains that Galarraga is getting the brown end of the stick. He earned the 21st perfect game in the history of the sport. Give it to him. Is the institution of baseball so big, and hardened that it can’t bend to make this right? I hope not.”

    “I’m glad everybody was civil but let’s not let that obscure the fact that a perfect game was pitched. The commisioner should be able to override the decision while stating that this is not a precedent for instant replay but just the right thing to do. It is the right thing to do in this most special circumstance.”

    Those aren’t really even a random assortment.

    That’s all but two of the comments from the first page, and I got bored (and disheartened) after I had to read what I had.

    None of those people are baseball fans.

    None of those people understand how baseball works.

    All of those people are pussy’s.

  3. Chuck Says:

    “I don’t know that there is a mechanism in place allowing any of the powers-that-be to send an umpire to the minors or release an umpire from his duties. Isn’t it odd to demand a certain level of performance from players and not demand it from umpires, at least not to an appropriate degree?”

    Herein lies the rub.

    There isn’t.

    Tenured umpires cannot be fired, they cannot be sent to the minor leagues, they can’t even be sent to their rooms without dinner.

    This is the problem.

    It is not instant replay.

    Baseball screwed itself with the umpires union a few years ago and they are paying the price for their stupidity.

    Instant replay won’t fix bad umpiring, because bad umpiring will still exist.

    Only an idiot would suggest instant replay.

    What, four hour games aren’t long enough, now you want them to be six hours?

    Great.

  4. Brautigan Says:

    “Overturning the call wouldn’t change much”, oh yes it would. It would cause a precedent that would be like a moving rules target. We can do without that. Imagine, George Brett’s pine tar homerun would count now.

    Would Merkle still have his 1908 boner?

  5. Chuck Says:

    “Would Merkle still have his 1908 boner?”

    Do you want to exhume him and check?

  6. Hossrex Says:

    I don’t mind the instant replay as it stands now, but by the time you start using instant replay on situations like the Galaraga game, you start getting to an area where the replay will be used as gamesmanship.

    Need an extra few minutes for your reliever? WHOOPS! CLOSE PLAY! REPLAY!

    Want to rattle the opposing pitcher? CLOSE PLAY! REPLAY! Now he’s standing on the mound for five minutes picking his nose, losing his focus.

    There will never be an instant replay that would have helped in the “perfect” game.

    Chuck: “Tenured umpires cannot be fired, they cannot be sent to the minor leagues, they can’t even be sent to their rooms without dinner.

    Sure they can… it would just result in a union wide strike… which… I don’t really see the downside of.

    If during the off season, every unionized major, and minor, league umpire were fired, meaning all those umpires could ever hope to do would be highschool, college, and overseas games… wanna take bets how many would quit the union, and come crawling back to MLB? Only this time with the ability to hold them accountable.

    Reagan had the balls to fire the airtraffic controllers… a terrible job with a ridiculous amount of education required… but Bud refuses to do anything about the umpires… a cushy job that only spans six months of the year, with a six week vacation INSIDE that six months, without any requirement of formal education.

    I’m getting tired of this “the umpires get 95% of the calls correct” nonsense you constantly hear on television.

    The only way that could be true is if you counted swinging strikes, and lazy popflys in that percentage. Sure. I’ll grant that 90% of given situations will have an easy call, and the umpires general get it right.

    In the ten percent situations however? When it isn’t an easy call?

    Might as well flip a damn coin.

    I’m getting tired of seeing umpires who obviously make the call half way through the play. Did the shortstop field it cleanly, and make a good throw? Out. Regardless of the actual play. Did the second baseman bobble the transition before firing to first on the double play? Safe. Regardless of the actual play.

  7. Hossrex Says:

    Braut: “Imagine, George Brett’s pine tar homerun would count now.”

    There’s a difference between an umpire who doesn’t know the rules, and an umpire who gets a simple call wrong.

  8. Chuck Says:

    “There’s a difference between an umpire who doesn’t know the rules”

    The call, and ruling, on Brett’s “homer” was actually correct.

    For the same reason Selig wouldn’t overturn Joyce’s call, MLB approved Kansas City’s protest because they didn’t want to open a fustercluck of bogus protests and appeals.

  9. Chuck Says:

    “If during the off season, every unionized major, and minor, league umpire were fired, meaning all those umpires could ever hope to do would be highschool, college, and overseas games… wanna take bets how many would quit the union, and come crawling back to MLB? Only this time with the ability to hold them accountable.”

    They tried it once, in 1999, and it backfired on them so bad there’s no way they’d do it again.

  10. Hossrex Says:

    I’m aware that the Brett situation should have been overturned. There was never anywhere in the rulebook that says a player should be called out, and his hit ruled an out, if his pinetar was too high on the bat. The rule simply called for the bat to be removed if the tar was higher on the bat than the length of home plate.

    Billy Martin went out and flat out lied to the umpire who was too stupid to check, and Brett was called out, then ejected.

    That’s night and day different from an umpire making a safe/out call.

  11. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “They tried it once, in 1999, and it backfired on them so bad there’s no way they’d do it again.”

    How did it backfire?

    I’m aware of the situation, and I’m aware that they rehired all but a handful of the umpires… but what was the problem?

  12. Chuck Says:

    http://roadsidephotos.sabr.org/baseball/99-3umps.htm

  13. Hossrex Says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhh… I misunderstood you.

    Yeah, the umpires got totally smacked down.

    That’s what I’m saying though… why doesn’t baseball just fire them all (or hell… wait till the contract is up, whatever).

    I guess at this point I’d settle for ANYthing over nothing… but I fear Bud just doesn’t care about the ever declining quality of officiating, which is startling considering that it was never all that good.

    Any umpire that antagonizes a player during a “disagreement” should be suspended. Like police officers, they should be held to a higher standard when it comes to behavior, since it’s THEM who’re supposed to be setting the tone of the attitudes.

  14. Shaun Says:

    “Only an idiot would suggest instant replay.”

    Wow. That’s a little harsh.

    I see nothing wrong with replay if it’s done the way I suggest. You have an umpire in a replay booth that can quickly overturn an incorrect call and signal down on to the field. Seems pretty easy with technology to do that. The whole process takes about 2-3 minutes, at most. Obviously you don’t do it on balls and strikes and things of that sort. And the umpire in the replay booth only signals down for calls that are obviously incorrect.

    I see nothing wrong with doing this in addition to holding umpires more accountable–better evaluation, the ability to send umpires to the minors or fire bad umpires (like Bill Hahn).

  15. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “I see nothing wrong with doing this

    Except for waiting after almost every play for the booth umpire to give the go-ahead to continue play?

    You haven’t thought this out.

    You CAN NOT use instant replay on every play. For it to expand beyond what it is now would require some sort of limited system like football, and that just isn’t baseball.

    Doesn’t seem like it would be a problem?

    Two words.

    Tony LaRussa.

    He’ll ruin a good thing every time.

  16. Lefty33 Says:

    “The whole process takes about 2-3 minutes, at most.”

    Never going to happen as long as Bud is Commish.

    And unless you get some kind of activist guy like Costas or Mike Greenburg, which will never happen, to be Commish after Bud it still won’t happen.

    Baseball has got a major problem with game length due to TV and due to guys like LaRussa, Torre, and Girardi making eight pitching changes a night that will only be made worse by adding more replay.

    Bud won’t allow more replay and also as others have said replay is not really the problem.

    Bud needs to demand that Cowgirl Joe and the umpires union re-open their contract after this season and not wait until after 2014 when it is up to introduce greater disciplinary, grading, and performance measures.

  17. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “The whole process takes about 2-3 minutes, at most.”

    And by the time you do it ten times in a game, you’ve added a half hour of commercial free time to the game.

  18. Patrick Says:

    As much as I hate to say it, the NFL gets a lot more right these days than they used to. Checks and balances can be a good system. I wish the NFL would include pass interference as a challengable call.

    Baseball will have some sort of instant replay within the next couple seasons because if this game, IMO.

  19. Hossrex Says:

    Patrick: “Baseball will have some sort of instant replay within the next couple seasons because if this game, IMO.”

    Short of balls and strikes, this example is the biggest type of call which just CAN’T be reviewable in baseball.

    It may lead to expanded instant replay, but like the absurd requirement that basecoaches wear helmets, because a minor league basecoach died from being hit in the neck… the resultant action wont be the sort which would have prevented the initial problem.

  20. Raul Says:

    http://www.explosm.net/comics/1963/

  21. Chuck Says:

    “Wow. That’s a little harsh.”

    No, it’s not.

    The problem is solved by having better umpires. If Jim Joyce even for a second thought he could get banished to the Florida State League I GUARANTEE you he doesn’t blow that call.

    What ramifications to bad umpires suffer? MLB has successfully screwed themselves in negotiations with the umpires union by essentially making the worst umpire equal to the best.

    Why should umpires care?

    And yet you and some other soapbox bloggers think instant replay is going to solve the problem?

    Not only will it not solve anything, it will make things worse.

  22. Patrick Says:

    Hossrex, I agree that it’s exactly the kind of play that CAN’T be reviewed if the game is to keep it’s integrity. That may seem contradictory, but it’s not. I doubt that is going to stop anyone from implementing instant replay though.

    I just learned that 3 different politicians are petitioning for a perfect game, and one (a senator I think?) is introducing a bill to change the scoring to a perfecto, which is what I would hope he’s focused on with nothing more important going on.

    I think Joyce just blew the call, but I can’t imagine what went on in his head. Like a fielder in a critical situation, Joyce should’ve previewed all of the possible scenarios and been ready to call “out” on that play.

    Maybe he has a contrary personality? Where is Jimmy Scott when you need him?

    Really, what’s unbelievable, is there has technically been 3 perfect games in the first 2 months.

  23. Hossrex Says:

    Patrick: “I just learned that 3 different politicians are petitioning for a perfect game, and one (a senator I think?) is introducing a bill to change the scoring to a perfecto, which is what I would hope he’s focused on with nothing more important going on.”

    That makes me nauseous.

  24. Dean M Says:

    A few years ago did any of you think a review of home run balls was ever going to be instituted? Instant replay in some form (more than likely patterned after the NFL) is coming. And I’d be in favor of the one or two red flags a game variety. The Twins were screwed in an extra inning game this week because of a blown call as well.

  25. Dean M Says:

    “Short of balls and strikes, this example is the biggest type of call which just CAN’T be reviewable in baseball.”

    I don’t understand how that is so. This would seem to be the “perfect” application of a review rule.

  26. Hossrex Says:

    Dean M: “I don’t understand how that is so. This would seem to be the “perfect” application of a review rule.”

    I’m not sure if you’ve ever done this before… but you should try watching a baseball game sometime.

    After you’d done that, get back to us with how many close plays there are at first base.

    How often do you go to instant replay? When the umpires think they might have made a mistake? That’ll never happen on field. When the manager thinks they made a mistake? That opens the door for Tony LaRussa to send every game into four hour territory (just like he did in the late 80’s with his bullpen antics).

    Dean M: “I’d be in favor of the one or two red flags a game variety.”

    So what if the Tigers had used both flags before the ninth inning last night?

    That’s not only FUCKING STUPID, it doesn’t address the problem at hand.

  27. Dean M Says:

    “I’m not sure if you’ve ever done this before… but you should try watching a baseball game sometime.”

    Oh I forgot…you’re the one who “watches the games”…and apparently thinks he’s the only one who does.

    “So what if the Tigers had used both flags before the ninth inning last night?”

    Well, I guess then they’d be screwed…kind of like Galarraga is now…

  28. Hossrex Says:

    Dean M: “Oh I forgot…you’re the one who “watches the games”…and apparently thinks he’s the only one who does.”

    Well, if you wouldn’t say things that make it sound like you’ve never watched a game, I wouldn’t accuse you of never having watched a game.

    Dean M: “Well, I guess then they’d be screwed…kind of like Galarraga is now…

    I’d rather screw Galaraga out of a perfect game, then screw up baseball.

    Chuck is right. The answer is accountability in officiating, not allowing Tony LaRussa to use the instant replay as a strategy.

  29. Chuck Says:

    What difference does it make?

    Milt Pappas lost a perfect game with two outs in the ninth on a walk..Bruce Froemming was the umpire and he laughed at Pappas because he intentionally called a strike a ball.

    Mike Mussina lost a perfect game in the ninth inning on a single by Carl Everett, the pitch prior was a strike which was called a ball.

    How come EVERYONE else is crying about it…except Galarraga?

  30. Dean M Says:

    “Well, if you wouldn’t say things that make it sound like you’ve never watched a game, I wouldn’t accuse you of never having watched a game.”

    I’m going to watch another one right now. I’ll tell ‘em Hoss sent me. They’ll know who that is, right?

  31. Hossrex Says:

    Dean M: “I’m going to watch another one right now. I’ll tell ‘em Hoss sent me. They’ll know who that is, right?”

    Hey, stop saying things that make it sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about, and people might not accuse you of not knowing what you’re talking about.

    No amount of snotty comebacks are going to change that.

    But when you go to watch it, keep Tony LaRussa in mind. Watch how many times he’d bring the game to a screeching halt because of a close play at first.

  32. Dean M Says:

    “Hey, stop saying things that make it sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about, and people might not accuse you of not knowing what you’re talking about.”

    So I take it they won’t know who you are. I suspected as much.

    “No amount of snotty comebacks are going to change that.”

    But I got a million of ‘em. lulz…you still say “lulz”?

  33. Dean M Says:

    “But when you go to watch it, keep Tony LaRussa in mind. Watch how many times he’d bring the game to a screeching halt because of a close play at first.”

    Only once or twice, because that’s all the review chances I’m suggesting.

  34. Hossrex Says:

    Dean: “So I take it they won’t know who you are. I suspected as much.”

    Is that supposed to be a joke?

    Dean: “lulz…you still say “lulz”?”

    lulz… you don’t?

    Dean: “Only once or twice, because that’s all the review chances I’m suggesting.”

    Which solves nothing then.

  35. JohnBowen Says:

    No replay system is perfect.

    Look at football. You have most close-call type plays covered, but false starts/offsides are never reviewable even though some times the wrong guy acts first. Pass interference is another example. And don’t get me started on the no-call facemask on Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Wildcard game this past January.

    Actually, go ahead, get me started. Aaron Rodgers had just played his guts out, bringing the Pack down from 3 TD’s down as late as the 3rd quarter to tie the game. And then in overtime, he gets facemasked on a fumble and the ref just ignores it, so the Cardinals win the game. Bull. Shit. That’s what it was.

    Anyway, where on Earth will you draw the line with baseball?

    It’s about as good as it’s gonna get.

    I get it for homeruns. Homers are the most important plays possible, so if there’s a question about where the ball hit (and remember there’s 30 different sets of ground rules), you wanna get those right.

    But every close grounder, every stolen base attempt? Come on. Keep the games at 3 hours. Deal with the human element.

    I will agree with Shaun on Galaragga’s fame though. People have stopped talking about Mike Witt’s perfect game, as well as Kenny Rogers’s. And ten years from now, Dallas Braden will be a footnote in history. But people are going to be talking about this game for a long time to come.

  36. Chuck Says:

    “And ten years from now, Dallas Braden will be a footnote in history.”

    He’s already a footnote.

  37. Hossrex Says:

    Dallas Braden? You mean that guy who yelled at Arod?

  38. Dean M Says:

    Good reasoned response JohnB. Some on this site think it more important (and maybe somehow more convincing, although I can’t for the life of me understand how) to respond to a differing opinion with arrogant, belittling comments. I wasn’t blessed with the same know-it-all gene myself.

    And I know no replay system is perfect. All I would expect from it is a little improvement on blatantly missed calls, which are always going to occur as long as you have the human element, no matter how much you raise the level of umpire accountability.

  39. Hossrex Says:

    Dean: “Some on this site think it more important (and maybe somehow more convincing, although I can’t for the life of me understand how) to respond to a differing opinion with arrogant, belittling comments. I wasn’t blessed with the same know-it-all gene myself.”

    Oh shut the hell up. You’re a complete dick, and the fact that you might actually not know it is utterly pathetic.

  40. Dean M Says:

    Hoss I’ll not waste my time responding. Your “pathetic” posts speak for themselves.

  41. Hossrex Says:

    Hey, I know how I am.

    Why don’t you?

  42. Danny Boy Says:

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this yet, but I think it’s amazing how this ump fked up on the play and cost the guy the perfecto. At least fk up and call the guy out when he’s safe and give the guy a place in history lol. Gotta love MLB umps!

  43. Mike Felber Says:

    I can see either argument, yet it seems worth it to have some errors not overturned & shore up umpiring, since implementing more replay situations seems likely to be a cure is worse than the disease conundrum. Though I believe Joyce would have acted the same whatever the system, & is properly contrite.

    Why do any of you need to stress how “dumb” someones’ idea is? Or make a seemingly sarcastic comment about whether you ever watched a game? All can say the same thing respectfully. Inevitably it results in a non-peaceful, & usually lowering situation. Extreme statements divide & obscure the real cleverness of the intemperate & name callers in other contexts.

  44. Shaun Says:

    “Except for waiting after almost every play for the booth umpire to give the go-ahead to continue play?”

    Fair point. But I think you do it on close plays like they do with homeruns. Umpires don’t wait for every homerun to be cleared by replay.

    I think baseball should use technology. Don’t require all the umpires to go off the field to look at replays. Think about it. How many times do you see a close play at home where the replay shows that the ump clearly made a bad call and you see the replay before the next pitch is thrown? These are the kinds of plays I’m talking about.

    I think maybe you have the replay umpire decide which plays get review because he’s not part of the play and he judges that it’s a close enough play to warrant replay. You don’t give any replay power to the managers.

    I think one could argue that this may actually help speed up the game, if employed correctly. How long do the most heated arguments on key calls take? Arguments slow down the game as much as replaying calls that are worthy of an argument.

    But I also think you fix the whole umpire-evaluation process and give an authority more power to demote and fire bad umpires. I agree that this has to be done along with instant replay because no one wants instant replay to be used as a crutch for bad umpiring.

  45. Dean M Says:

    “I think one could argue that this may actually help speed up the game, if employed correctly. How long do the most heated arguments on key calls take? Arguments slow down the game as much as replaying calls that are worthy of an argument.”

    Excellent point Shaun. I hadn’t thought of that. That aspect (and admittedly maybe that aspect alone) makes it even more viable for baseball than football. After all, extended rhubarbs that lengthen games had never been a part of football, and yet they instituted their review rule.

  46. Mike Felber Says:

    Sounds convincing.

  47. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “Fair point. But I think you do it on close plays like they do with homeruns. Umpires don’t wait for every homerun to be cleared by replay.”

    How many questionable boundary plays are there in relation to the number of close plays at first base?

    It’s not even close.

    You’re talking about once per week (the Dodgers have been part of two or three boundary reviews this year), versus at least one every two innings.

    Shaun: “How many times do you see a close play at home where the replay shows that the ump clearly made a bad call and you see the replay before the next pitch is thrown?

    Because what we really want is to implement instant replay, and then make the umpires rush through the process.

    Shaun: “I think maybe you have the replay umpire decide which plays get review because he’s not part of the play and he judges that it’s a close enough play to warrant replay.”

    One Umpire to rule them all, One Umpire to find them,
    One Umpire to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

    Shaun: “I think one could argue that this may actually help speed up the game, if employed correctly. How long do the most heated arguments on key calls take? Arguments slow down the game as much as replaying calls that are worthy of an argument.”

    Because if there’s one thing that would have kept Bobby Cox from arguing, it’s the comforting thought that a computer said he was wrong.

    Unless automatic ejections follow disputing a replay call, your point is moot, and I don’t see it being an auto eject.

    Shaun: “But I also think you fix the whole umpire-evaluation process and give an authority more power to demote and fire bad umpires. I agree that this has to be done along with instant replay because no one wants instant replay to be used as a crutch for bad umpiring.”

    Why not? Under your scenario, the umpiring staff are just a crew of Captain Dunsels anyway. Powerless, toothless, and utterly without the REQUIREMENT of being accurate, since the call will just be overturned if it’s wrong anyway.

    What? Are you saying it didn’t occur to you that what you propose might upset umpires? Huh? It shouldn’t matter you say?

    Well. No.

    It shouldn’t matter.

    Whaddya wanna bet it DOES matter though?

    Imagine what you do for a living. Imagine your boss hires a person to stand behind you, and watch everything you do, just so he can point out when you’ve made a mistake, at which point he immediately steps in and finishes the task for you, while you watch in shame, and your coworkers points and laugh.

    Imagine you have a position of authority at your job. Imagine your boss hires a person just to second guess every managerial decision you make.

    Will the job get done better? I mean, all that person is doing it waiting for you to screw up, and then he fixes the mistake. No problem, right?

    Except… that’s not how human beings work.

    You’re mistaking the umpires on the field with the computers that aide in replay.

    Dean: “Excellent point Shaun. I hadn’t thought of that. That aspect (and admittedly maybe that aspect alone) makes it even more viable for baseball than football. After all, extended rhubarbs that lengthen games had never been a part of football, and yet they instituted their review rule.”

    Which would you rather watch?

    1: A heated argument between the umpire and manager?

    or…

    2: Everyone on the field standing around picking their nose for a few minutes, while Joe Morgan talks about how awesome he was, and how the Big Red Machine couldn’t have done it without him?

    There are “delays of game”, and there are “delays of game”.

  48. Shaun Says:

    “You’re talking about once per week (the Dodgers have been part of two or three boundary reviews this year), versus at least one every two innings.”

    Hossrex, I don’t think it’s that many. How many plays do you see managers argue or yell obscenities from the dugout?

    “One Umpire to rule them all, One Umpire to find them,
    One Umpire to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

    One umpire decides balls and strikes. One umpire decides plays at first. Why not?

    “Because if there’s one thing that would have kept Bobby Cox from arguing, it’s the comforting thought that a computer said he was wrong.”

    Who said anything about a computer? You have an experienced umpire looking at a slowed-down version of the play on the field.

    “Why not? Under your scenario, the umpiring staff are just a crew of Captain Dunsels anyway. Powerless, toothless, and utterly without the REQUIREMENT of being accurate, since the call will just be overturned if it’s wrong anyway.”

    MLB has to change the evaluation, demotion, firing process before or at the same time they implement replay. That way umpires still have incentives to make correct calls, like getting demoted or working postseason games or maybe even paying umpires based on performance.

    Hey, Hossrex. How would you like people keeping statistics on how many successes and failures you have while working your job? How would you like people watching you, booing and heckling if you do something wrong? See how comparing regular jobs to entertainment/performing jobs doesn’t really work?

    “There are ‘delays of game’, and there are ‘delays of game’.”

    First of all, I’d rather see the correct call on the field. If my team is playing an important game or even if I’m watching two random teams in an important game, I’d rather not see bad calls stand if it can be helped. Certainly there are plays where it can’t be helped but there are plays where it can be helped.

    Second, I’m imagining a scenario where there is a close play, the ump on the field makes a call, while we’re waiting on the next pitch the umpire upstairs has looked at the play a few times and sees that it’s a bad call. He sends a signal down on the field and that’s that. The default is for the umpires on the field to keep the game going unless they get a signal from the booth. Every once in a while the booth ump will get a play he has to look at over and over. But a lot of times the booth ump will be able to tell what the call should have been rather quickly. Again, how many times do they show replays in between plays during TV broadcast and we can tell rather quickly whether the ump made or didn’t make the right call?

  49. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “Hossrex, I don’t think it’s that many. How many plays do you see managers argue or yell obscenities from the dugout?”

    So we only do instant replay when the managers flip a shit?

    How many blown calls do you see per game on the basepaths? It’s at least three. The managers pick their battles, and don’t argue every call, because the game CAN’T work that way.

    However… if a manager thought he could get a replay review by arguing?

    You’d see it. EVERY. TIME.

    Shaun: “One umpire decides balls and strikes. One umpire decides plays at first. Why not?”

    Because you’re talking about an umpire that stands above both of those situations, and has the ultimate authority over the others.

    Shaun: “Who said anything about a computer? You have an experienced umpire looking at a slowed-down version of the play on the field.”

    *sigh*

    It was a reference to how old people don’t understand (or trust) new technology.

    And… for the record… yeah, a computer would be involved.

    Shaun: “MLB has to change the evaluation, demotion, firing process before or at the same time they implement replay. That way umpires still have incentives to make correct calls, like getting demoted or working postseason games or maybe even paying umpires based on performance.

    You’re missing the point. You’re turning the job into monkey work. Regardless of who you get to do the job, it would be emasculating, and regardless of whether that SHOULD impact the performance of the officials, it WOULD.

    Shaun: “Hey, Hossrex. How would you like people keeping statistics on how many successes and failures you have while working your job? How would you like people watching you, booing and heckling if you do something wrong? See how comparing regular jobs to entertainment/performing jobs doesn’t really work? “

    Except we don’t keep statistics about umpires?

    Except there’s a difference between petty insults (“booing and heckling”), and stripping someone of their authority?

    Shaun: “Second, I’m imagining a scenario where there is a close play, the ump on the field makes a call, while we’re waiting on the next pitch the umpire upstairs has looked at the play a few times and sees that it’s a bad call. He sends a signal down on the field and that’s that. The default is for the umpires on the field to keep the game going unless they get a signal from the booth. Every once in a while the booth ump will get a play he has to look at over and over. But a lot of times the booth ump will be able to tell what the call should have been rather quickly. Again, how many times do they show replays in between plays during TV broadcast and we can tell rather quickly whether the ump made or didn’t make the right call?

    Ummmm… okay. We’re just going around in circles here.

    It wont happen, so whatever.

  50. Mike Felber Says:

    We have worked our way around to some good arguments on both sides, & sloughed off the bause. Not too shabby gentleman…

  51. Mike Felber Says:

    Duhhhh…abuse, not base, ab use,cause, base cause, original sin, pause, special sauce-menopause-gauze-bawls ball use or anything abstruse.

  52. Chuck Says:

    Fix the quality of umpiring, and you fix the need for instant replay.

    It REALLY shouldn’t be this difficult.

  53. Lefty33 Says:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5262731

    Look guys here’s the story that matters.

    Bud in his own way is saying that on his watch expanded replay is DOA.

  54. Lefty33 Says:

    Also in several media outlets yesterday Bud said that in talking with people around Baseball he has so far encountered almost no one who wants expanded replay.

    He feels that he’s changed the game enough in his 18 years as Commish and that he’s not going to have a knee-jerk reaction over a few fringe writers and blogs.

    So like I said guys, under Bud’s watch expanded replay is not coming.

    And the likelihood is that Bud’s successor will be another tool of the owners, like they always are, and that means another good ‘ol boy who will be a traditionalist.

    You guys are fools (the ones arguing for it or if you think it’s going to happen) if you think MLB is going to have NFL-style replay anytime soon.

    Not needed and not happening.

  55. Shaun Says:

    “Fix the quality of umpiring, and you fix the need for instant replay.

    “It REALLY shouldn’t be this difficult.”

    I don’t think so. I just heard Hunter Wendelstadt say in an interview that umpires are 98 percent right on the basepaths and a little over 97 percent right with balls and strikes. The quality of umpiring seems to be fine, overall. But MLB should strive for perfection and try to avoid bad calls in key situations (like playoff games and perfect games) when they can.

    Obviously it doesn’t make sense to use replay on every play. And it doesn’t make sense to use replay yet not improve the evaluation and reward/”punishment” process. That’s the difficult part: Figuring out how to use it so that it improves the game.

    I don’t think improving the umpiring is going to absolve the possibility of another Jim Joyce situation or the situations that happened during last year’s playoffs, etc.

    “Look guys here’s the story that matters.

    “Bud in his own way is saying that on his watch expanded replay is DOA.”

    You’re right, Lefty33. We can’t have a philosophical discussion about expanded replay because Selig says it’s DOA on his watch. Let’s all stop.

  56. Dean M Says:

    “2: Everyone on the field standing around picking their nose for a few minutes, while Joe Morgan talks about how awesome he was, and how the Big Red Machine couldn’t have done it without him?”

    I like Joe Morgan…

  57. Marty Says:

    “Would it change anything, besides some pages in a baseball’s official record book”

    I stopped reading at the end of that clause. FJM 4 life.

  58. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “I just heard Hunter Wendelstadt say in an interview that umpires are 98 percent right on the basepaths and a little over 97 percent right with balls and strikes. The quality of umpiring seems to be fine, overall.”

    Gah…

    Ka…

    Je…

    Fe…

    WHAT?!

    Let me paraphrase: “I just heard an umpire in an interview saying that umpires all had 12 inch penises. The size of umpires penises seems to be fine, overall.”

    WHAT!?! An umpire said that umpires are doing a good job?!? WELL! CASE CLOSED!

    Wanna know what’s included in those percentages (which I even find dubious AFTER this is taken into account)?

    Swinging strikes. Balls in the dirt. Foul ball strikes back into the crowd.

    Out calls at first base where the throw beats the runner by 20 feet. Lazy pop-fly outs.

    All the routine stuff. You know why those plays are called routine, right? Because they’re NINETY NINE PERCENT OF THE GAME.

    Toss out those worthless data points, examine only the tough calls, and I’d be VERY surprised if umpires are any better than 50/50. A coin flip.

    Dean M: “I like Joe Morgan…”

    I’m sure you do Dean. I’m sure you do.

  59. Chuck Says:

    I’ve heard two interviews over the past two days or so, one with Vince Scully and one with Barry Larkin, saying there are too many teams in baseball, that the last round of expansion has diluted the game to a point they won’t recover. With baseball (Scully mentioned other sports too) being now a more specialized game, talent in young players isn’t being fully developed and that there are now 100 players in the majors who are no better than Triple A caliber.

    I agree 1000% with that, and have said that for years, but one thing Larkin said caught my attention.

    Extra teams means extra players, it also means there are now a dozen MINOR LEAGUE UMPIRES in the major leagues.

    I really never thought of that, but it’s true. Every team has three or four players on its roster who have no business wearing a ML uniform (and drawing a ML paycheck), but the trickle down effect of expansion isn’t just limited to the quality of play.

  60. Lefty33 Says:

    “You’re right, Lefty33. We can’t have a philosophical discussion about expanded replay because Selig says it’s DOA on his watch. Let’s all stop.”

    I’m not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t have philosophical debate about anything Shaun.

    What I am saying is two things:

    1. IMHO, expanded replay is not needed, and short of getting anti-trust exemption threat pressure from Congress, it’s not coming anytime soon.

    Baseball moves in geologic years in getting things done. You’re not going to get Bud to get all the owners, the players union, and the umpires union on board for something like this in less than 5-10 years unless outside pressure is applied.

    Do I think more replay will come eventually? Yes, but maybe it’s implemented in something around 2020?

    2. The fact is that in the article I posted earlier Bud said it’s done. So for the people who posted in this thread that they think more replay is coming soon the answer is, it’s not coming anytime soon.

  61. Raul Says:

    Sports like Hockey, Football and Basketball are different from Baseball.

    In Baseball, almost always, the focus of everything that happens is around where the baseball is.

    That’s not the case in Football, Basketball and Hockey. There are a lot more moving parts in those sports, and the rules in those sports change all the time. In Football, the rules change from year to year almost and the referees have a lot of different things to look at. Review makes sense in those sports.

    In Baseball, Replay would help, but I’m not sure we need a lot of it. It makes sense on homers and maybe fair/foul calls, but I think the Umpires do a relatively good job on those calls anyway. The biggest debate seems to come on strike/balls (and that’s not getting reviewed ever) and safe/out calls.

    So what are we going to do? Review every slide into 2nd base? Take the excitement out of every time a catcher picks up a bunt and guns it to 1st to nail the runner by a half-step?

    Baseball thrives on the human element of the game. I don’t think we need more Replay.

    I think we need about 4-6 less teams, and I could go back to 2 division leagues. And since we can’t relegate teams to the minors like they do in soccer, maybe we can relegate umpires to AA.

    What do they say? Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story?
    Well I don’t mind letting a mistake get in the way of a good baseball story. But that’s just me.

  62. Hossrex Says:

    Watching the Lakers Celts game right now. It’s the last two minutes of the game, and in the two minutes since I turned it on (real minutes, not game minutes), there have so far been three uses of instant replay. Really saps out the pace/energy of the game.

    I could handle losing six teams, and restructuring to four six team divisions. Lose the entire concept of the “league”, and have teams organized geographically. “North West”, “North East”, “South West”, and “South East”. Cut the season back to 160 games, and expand the “Division Series” to seven games. The best two teams from each division makes the playoffs (giving the name “division series” a literal meaning finally), and have the team that won the division guaranteed homefield advantage.

    Play each division rival 14 times (70 games), and 5 games against each out of division team (90 games).

    Almost perfectly balanced schedule, slightly expanded post season, and an increased level of talent across the board.

    Don’t get me wrong though… none of that will ever happen for a million reasons I fully understand (players union grievance, each team losing a home game, the Yankees and the Red Sox playing each other too early in the post season… etc etc etc).

    Sure would be nice though.

  63. John Says:

    Contracting 6 teams seems like a sweet idea if you’re a Dodger or Yankee fan and you have nothing to worry about.

    I guess as a brew crew fan I have nothing to worry about as long as Bud’s around…but still the kid in me would never wanna deprive other kids of their favorite baseball team because their management sucked or something.

    The next move will definitely be an expansion to 32 teams and hopefully then we get two divisions per league with two wc’s.

  64. Hossrex Says:

    Toronto, Florida, Seattle, Colorado, Washington, and Texas.

    The combined fanbase of 35 people will get over it. Three of those teams are so close to another team that they probably shouldn’t have gotten expansions/moves in the first place, one is in freaking Canada, and who really cares about Seattle or Colorado?

  65. Hossrex Says:

    Toronto, Florida, Seattle, Colorado, Washington, and Texas.

    The combined fanbase of 35 people will get over it. Three of those teams are so close to another team that they probably shouldn’t have gotten expansions/moves in the first place, one is in freaking Canada, and who really cares about Seattle or Colorado?

    Combined those six teams drew about 11.8 million last year… or… about the same as the combined attendance for the Yankees, Phillies, and Dodgers.

    Florida averaged around 18 thousand per game last year… imagine what they’d draw if they didn’t have about ten home games against each the Mets and the Phillies (almost a full quarter of their home games are against strong draws).

  66. Patrick Says:

    Raul, is right. We don’t need replay. Umpires and their mistakes are part of the baseball fabric. If we had replay, we would lose the classic manager-ump showdowns.

    No more Low Pinella running on the field throwing F-bombs and bases. Just throw the red flag Lou. I’d miss that, though I’m sure there are a lot of people more civilized than I am who wouldn’t.

    I haven’t watched a Hockey game since their strike. Do they still have protracted fights on the ice? I used to love them too.

    In today’s episode of “Tear up Hossrex’s Last Thought Before Bedtime”, I will point out that Toronto, Seattle, Florida, Colorado, Washington and Texas averaged 2 million fans each.

    -In the 120 seasons of the Pittsburgh Pirates, they’ve had only three 2M fan seasons.

    -The 1946-1950 Yankees were the first team to draw 2M but the next time the Yankees accomplished it was 1976.

    -The LA Dodgers were the first NL team to draw 2M, 1959, their second year in LA.

    -The Mets were the second NL team and they did it as a last place team in 1964, nearly doubling the AL pennant winning Yankees. Amazing. Leave it to NY to appreciate Ed Kranepool more than Mickey Mantle. St. Louis was the third NL team, 1967.

    -In 12 seasons, Arizona has averaged 2.7M!

    -The 1968 Detroit Tigers were the second AL team to draw 2M followed by the 1977 Redsox, who passed the mark for the first time in their 77 year history.

    My point is, averaging 2M fans is a huge amount historically. If you can get 25,000 people to show up 81 times a year, you would never consider going out of business (contraction).

  67. Hossrex Says:

    Patrick: “In today’s episode of “Tear up Hossrex’s Last Thought Before Bedtime”, I will point out that Toronto, Seattle, Florida, Colorado, Washington and Texas averaged 2 million fans each.”

    1: Today’s baseball environment is not “history”. If anything, we’re at a historic HIGH. Your logic would be like a person today deciding to give their child a nickle per week for allowance, but insisting that he first milk the cows, help churn the butter, fix his mothers bustle, and water the horses. That historically how things are done.

    2: I was taking the history of each team into consideration. The teams I chose were all historically insignificant teams with a mere three world titles between them (with both Marlins championships being wildcard flukes), just 5 World Series APPEARANCES between them… fully half the teams I listed have never been to the world series, one of them has never even played in the League Championship series, and the other only has one post season appearance since their inception in 1969. Of course you’d be able to find SOME defense of EVERY team. I never said otherwise. However, when the smallest draw in the National League still pulls in almost a million and a half… you’re being incredibly dishonest by making 2 million some special number.

  68. John Says:

    Hoss,

    They have four World Titles between them. Toronto’s repeat and the two by Florida, which were really fun runs to watch – hardly flukes. The 97 WS was a great underdog story, and the first WS I ever watched.

    I wonder how noticeable the change in quality of game-play would be though…whether it would just be subtle nuances that Chuck would notice or whether it result in genuinely crisper games day-in and day-out. Obviously phasing out the 150 worst players will improve overall quality, I just don’t know whether or not 99% of fans would notice. My sense is that it wouldn’t be worth taking away all enjoyment for those 12 million folks.

  69. Chuck Says:

    So, we’re going to contract bad teams who don’t draw fans?

    Let’s be revolutionary and contract good teams who don’t draw fans.

    THAT is a sign of a fanbase who doesn’t give a shit and is undeserving of a team.

    Sorry, Patrick, but you’re beloved Rays are first to go.

    And just to show you I’m not just breaking your chops, Arizona is second.

  70. Patrick Says:

    Two million fans was a big deal when I was a kid. The fact that it’s common these days doesn’t reduce the significance of two million people going through the gates.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/attend.shtml

    That’s the BR attendance/ballpark page for current teams. I thought it was fun browsing but there may be something wrong with me.

    I see I missed the Milwaukee Braves in my 2 million club. In their second year (1954) out of Boston, and with rookie Henry Aaron, they began a streak of 4 straight two million fan seasons.

    I never knew that the Milwaukee Braves never had a losing season. In 13 seasons, they were 256 games over .500, or 87-67 per season. How did Milwaukee lose that team?

  71. Hossrex Says:

    Patrick: “Two million fans was a big deal when I was a kid.”

    How were Alexander Cartwright and Abner Doubleday?

    Patrick: “The fact that it’s common these days doesn’t reduce the significance of two million people going through the gates.”

    Actually it does. In every way.

    Today the United States population is around 308 million. The first year of the American League, the United States population was 77 million people.

    In 1960 the US population was around 180 million… barely more than half of what it is today. There are twice as many people now, and you’re still holding to attendance numbers that were “impressive” back then?

    Just because a number used to be impressive, doesn’t mean it will always hold any significance.

  72. Patrick Says:

    OK Hoss, I understand the proportions, but 2 million customers is still outstanding today, regardless whether it’s hamburgers or fans.

  73. Hossrex Says:

    11 out of 16 National League teams drew better than 2 million last year.

    Let’s put that into perspective.

    If we’re going to call something impressive even though 11/16ths (or the top 69 percentile) of all National League teams do it… let’s see what the 11th best record in the National League was for 2009.

    San Diego. 75 wins, 87 losses.

    2,128,765 attendance was good for 11th.
    75 and 87 was good for 11th.

    You call that outstanding?

    You and I have different estimations of what makes something “outstanding”.

    Are you arguing this point because you don’t want to admit you’re wrong… are you arguing this point because you don’t realize you’re wrong… or do you simply find something that all but 5 out of 16 NL teams accomplish to be genuinely “outstanding” (an all but 3 drew at least 1.8 million, which isn’t a whole world away).

    Compare that to 1960 (no insult intended, but I’m estimating that was the “when you were a child” to which you previously referred).

    In the entire National League, only the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 93,000 capacity Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum drew over two million (2,253,887).

    One team (the top 13 percentile).

    In that same year, the bottom team of the top 69 percentile were the St. Louis Cardinals with attendance for the year being 1,096,632 people.

    The worst draw in baseball that year? The Cincinnati Reds with a draw of 663,486. Given the Dodgers AVERAGE attendance for the 2009 season (the biggest National League draw), 46,440 people (AVERAGE), it would have taken just a hair over 14 (FOURTEEN) games for the 2009 Dodgers to outdraw the 1960 Reds.

    In 2009, the National League drew *about* 41 million people.
    In 1960, the National League drew *about* 10.7 million people.

    There are twice as many National League teams now, so lets double the 1960 total.

    2009: 41 million
    1960: 21.4 million

    Almost twice as many people per capita went to National League games in 2009 than 1960.

    How about we break it down to average attendance per National League game?

    2009: *about* 32 thousand people PER GAME.
    1960: *about* 17 thousand people PER GAME.

    Should I continue finding data points to demonstrate that drawing 2 million people today not only isn’t outstanding… not only isn’t it impressive… it isn’t even particularly good.

    (Resources used: Baseballreference.com and a calculator)

  74. Hossrex Says:

    Awwwww… Patrick posted today… but didn’t reply to this. :(

    I was eagerly awaiting his response.

  75. Patrick Says:

    Hoss, I didn’t see your post.

    “Almost twice as many people per capita went to National League games in 2009 than 1960.”

    That’s the part that I find impressive.

    The per game attendance totals would demonstrate that it correlates with the rise in population but don’t forget that as the population doubled, the amount of teams doubled, so in the equation those factors cancel out. So it’s still a net gain ratio of 32:17…….Idiot! :-)

    I’ve never had the problem of admiting I was wrong, but I don’t think I am in this instance. I think all 32 teams are making tons of money and it’s due largely to the teams drawing 2 million or more (and I know, TV and marketing rights). I know Tampa and Pittsburgh would kill to draw 2 million.

    Oh, btw…..put it this way, I was still a kid in the late 70’s….. That’s pathetic I would put it that way…….. In 25 years I’ll probably start saying “years young”.

  76. Hossrex Says:

    Patrick: “Idiot!

    Patrick: “all 32 teams”

    Sure sucks when someone ducks all reasonable points, and focuses on an innocent mistake, eh?

    IDIOT!

  77. Patrick Says:

    Hoss, I don’t get what reasonable points I ducked and I think you know that I was kidding you with the idiot comment.

    With revenue sharing, all 32 teams turn a huge profit. They may not show all of it but that’s because they deduct all of their Lear Jet rides and their champagne and caviar.

  78. John Says:

    Patrick:

    Reread Hossrex’s last point again.

  79. Patrick Says:

    o shit, oops! Idiot! That settles 2 things in my mind. I’m getting senile and there SHOULD be 32 teams. LOL, (insert embarrassment symbol)

    Thanks John, I consider it a friend that points out you have a booger hanging from your nose.

  80. Patrick Says:

    Down goes Patrick! Down goes Patrick!

  81. Hossrex Says:

    I wouldn’t normally have called you out on the 32 teams thing.

    I make stupid mistakes like that all the time.

    I just hate it when someone calls someone on mistakes like that, which is why I found it ironic that you made that mistake just after insulting me for a similar mistake.

  82. Hossrex Says:

    By the way… I agree.

    There should either be FAR less teams than there are now… or 32. 30 is the second stupidest place to stop expansion (31 would be stupider).

    They either should retract back to 16 teams (four 4 team divisions with no wildcard… or two 8 team divisions with a wildcard if people insist… but I’m not a fan), 24 teams (six 4 team divisions in two leagues, with one wildcard per league), or just go all the way and expand to 32 (four 4 team divisions PER league with no wildcard).

    Six teams in the NL central, and four teams in the AL west is just terrible. It’s unfair to BOTH divisions in different ways, depending on whether the division is strong or weak (if there were ever a time when the Angels, the A’s, and the Mariners could pull it together in the same year, Texas would be SCREWED).

  83. Shaun Says:

    I think there is plenty of talent to go around and make the game entertaining, even if there were more teams.

    Also, does it matter to the health of the game overall that the Rays are only drawing 22,301 fans per game? I don’t know that there is an easy way to answer that. The Rays can still win in a great division even with low attendance figures, so I’m not so sure it is an issue.

    So why contract teams, even if it were plausible?

    The best thing baseball could do is make the Royals’ and Orioles’ owners or front offices smarter. But there aren’t a lot of people with enough money to own a baseball franchise and those people that can afford to own a baseball franchise are going to make the front office hires they want to make. So what can anyone do?

  84. John Says:

    No problemo Patty. I’m with you. One more expansion and then stop. Pretty much forever.

  85. Lefty33 Says:

    “Also, does it matter to the health of the game overall that the Rays are only drawing 22,301 fans per game?”

    Of course it does.

    When the Rays can’t resign most of the FA’s that they have coming up because they can’t afford a “big market” payroll due to having poor revenue streams, then yes it’s bad for the game.

    I mean Carl Crawford is basically already Yankee in 2011.

    Next year is good and bad for the Rays. The payroll is about 70 million this year. Next year they don’t have a lot under contract currently, but they also have the beginnings of a lot of arbitration eligible players the next 2-3 years.

    To me the math doesn’t work that with drawing only 20,000-ish per game that this team is going to spend $100+ million dollars and keep the current group together.

    They will have to fire sale like the Marlins, A’s and other teams did who couldn’t afford to keep their teams together and teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies will be waiting to pick up the pieces.

    “So why contract teams, even if it were plausible?”

    Because certain markets/cities have shrunk in the last thirty years and truthfully can no longer support a major league franchise.

    Like Pittsburgh for example. Their population has shrunk; I forget the exact number, somewhere around 30-40% in the last thirty years.

    In a city where most of the residents are not exactly wealthy to begin with and then you throw a 40% population decrease in the mix as well, it doesn’t matter how well the Pirates play because it is almost demographically impossible that they could draw 3 million.

    The Pirates have only drawn 2 million three times since 1891.

    MLB could lose the Pirates and Royals tomorrow and no one would care.

    “I think there is plenty of talent to go around and make the game entertaining, even if there were more teams.”

    When guys like Eric Bruntlett can still get a paycheck for playing professional baseball, although he is finally back in AAA this year, you have too many teams.

    The talent, especially the pitching, is watered-down to the point of just about every team having one if not two guys who would have been lucky to have pitched in AAA twenty years ago let alone making The Show.

    Expansion sucks.

  86. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, the Rays are contending now. And they will be letting Crawford walk as he likely starts the decline phase of his career. And they will call up Desmond Jennings as he’s ready to take off as a major leaguer.

    It’s worse for the Rays that they are only drawing 22,301 fans per game this season than it otherwise would be but I’m not so sure it’s done much to damage the overall health of the game.

    If it were plausible, should the fact that a team can’t draw 2 million fans make it a candidate for contraction? I honestly don’t know the answer and I don’t know that there is an easy one. If a city has some semblance of a fan base and the system is structured so that smart front offices can win even with lesser resources than other teams (see Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Cincinnati this season), why contract?

    I do think baseball needs to have a better revenue distribution system in place. For example the Yankees need to somehow share more revenue with the teams they are playing because without those teams the Yankees wouldn’t be entertaining. Yankees inter-squad games probably wouldn’t be all that fun to watch 162 times. I think MLB has made great strides in this area but probably hasn’t gone far enough.

    In fairness, the Yankees’ argument is that other teams should put the revenue they share back in to their teams instead of sitting on it or using it for something else. Maybe a salary floor is the answer but I’m not sure most owners would go for that.

    “The talent, especially the pitching, is watered-down to the point of just about every team having one if not two guys who would have been lucky to have pitched in AAA twenty years ago let alone making The Show.”

    We hear this argument whenever there’s expansion or talk of expansion. But how can you prove this on either side?

    It’s actually counter to logic to say such a thing. The population of the U.S. is larger, baseball is drawing players from more countries, technology has made it easier for scouts and others to travel and spread the word about talent.

    The argument for a shrinking talent pool is often not based in logic. How do we know that there weren’t more players of the same level of an Eric Bruntlett twenty years ago? How do we know that a lot of the mediocre pitchers today wouldn’t have easily been major leaguers 20 years ago? Those are not easy things to determine.

  87. Shaun Says:

    Also, front offices in general are smarter than they were 20 years ago. They know better now than ever what skills lead to wins. A front office is better now thank 20 years ago at knowing which players belong in the big leagues and which players don’t.

  88. Lefty33 Says:

    “Also, front offices in general are smarter than they were 20 years ago. They know better now than ever what skills lead to wins. A front office is better now thank 20 years ago at knowing which players belong in the big leagues and which players don’t”

    Have you actually seen the teams that the Pirates and Royals have put on the field for the last fifteen years?

    Not exactly the smartest choices. And if you search you can find plenty of other teams who either drafted poorly, traded poorly, evaluated talent poorly and don’t have the revenue streams necessary to keep the team together even if they did everything right.

    “How do we know that there weren’t more players of the same level of an Eric Bruntlett twenty years ago?”

    As usual Shaun, if you were watching baseball then and saw the level talent that made The Show and the level that makes The Show now in terms of pitching it’s pathetic in some cases.

    Twenty years ago guys who did not deserve to make it, didn’t make it. Expansion has made it so that players who would have rightfully spent their whole career in AA or AAA can now make some decent bucks playing in the Bigs.

    Shaun if the LOOGY would have existed twenty years ago I probably would have had a great shot at the at a short major league career. But it didn’t happen and I was rightfully kept down where I belonged.

    I judge it by knowing the pitchers that I played with and I saw advance and seeing some of the guys on rosters today and trust me Shaun it’s worse it almost all cases.

    “Maybe a salary floor is the answer but I’m not sure most owners would go for that.”

    Who’s to say that the Yankees want to pay more luxury tax and increase their revenue sharing? At some point no doubt soon they will kick up their own stink that if teams can’t survive without all this free money then maybe that team shouldn’t exist.

    “If it were plausible, should the fact that a team can’t draw 2 million fans make it a candidate for contraction?”

    Yes because in the case of Pittsburgh they don’t have enough of a fan base to draw from to ever put enough butts in the seats.
    Teams that get more money from revenue sharing from other teams than from their own sources clearly cannot exist long-term in today’s MLB economy.

    Tampa will be like the Pirates of the early 90’s. The Pirates were really good for a few years with Bonds and Bonilla because they drafted very well and got lucky. But when all their stars came to FA they either got traded or left for more $$$$ because the Pirates couldn’t afford it.

    Check out where Tampa will be in about 3 years. I doubt anywhere near first and the Yankees or Red Sox will have bought another division title and the Pirates and Royals will still be in last place with AAA talent on the field and their best drafted players on other teams.

  89. Chuck Says:

    “Also, front offices in general are smarter than they were 20 years ago.”

    Financially, or business wise, yes. From a baseball standpoint, no.

    Pick up your local newspaper or watch CNN and you’ll see stories almost daily of local or national businesses going belly up with part of the blame going to the hiring of a CEO who knew business but didn’t understand his product.

    I don’t like playing the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” game with draft picks because no one is a guarantee, and if a team picks a guy who turns out to be a piece of shit just because of money, then they deserve it anyway.

    The Pirates were also known for running a bare bones scouting staff, thankfully, they’ve seen the light and now have better, ML caliber players throughout their system.

    Gone are the days of drafting someone just for the sake of saving 500 grand.

  90. Shaun Says:

    I still think teams are generally better at evaluating talent than they were in the past. In the past I think we saw more teams with front offices like the Pirates and Royals but it was hard to notice because those type front offices were more the norm than the exceptions.

    “Twenty years ago guys who did not deserve to make it, didn’t make it. Expansion has made it so that players who would have rightfully spent their whole career in AA or AAA can now make some decent bucks playing in the Bigs.”

    I don’t see any evidence of that and the logic would seem to be the opposite. MLB is drawing from a larger pool of talent than in the past. There is more talent coming from outside the U.S., it’s easier because of transportation and communication technology for scouts to find the best baseball players and spread the word to their teams, etc. All these things more than make up for the fact that there are more teams.

    Twenty years ago, if you were the exact same pitcher, maybe you would have been in the majors. The problem is people are bigger, stronger, quicker and faster again because of medical technology, what we now know about diet and exercise that we didn’t know then, etc. So that’s another tricky part of the equation.

    “Who’s to say that the Yankees want to pay more luxury tax and increase their revenue sharing? At some point no doubt soon they will kick up their own stink that if teams can’t survive without all this free money then maybe that team shouldn’t exist.”

    The Yankees already complain about teams getting what the Yankees feel is their money. And with the current system, I don’t think there is a team that can’t survive.

    The problem is that the Yankees are in a sports league so they are nothing without opponents. So baseball should find an even better way to split the revenues of a Yankees-Royals game than a luxury tax. If the Yankees play the Royals, the two teams should more evenly share gate revenue, local TV revenue, local radio revenue; maybe not 50-50 but baseball needs to do a better job of splitting those revenues because I guarantee not as many people would watch the Yankees if they were in a league by themselves.

    “Yes because in the case of Pittsburgh they don’t have enough of a fan base to draw from to ever put enough butts in the seats.”

    My question was, does that matter? The Braves often have a ton of empty seats during weekday games, especially during school nights, but nobody brings the Braves up with the Pirates and Rays.

    As soon as a team truly can’t exist, an owner and MLB will move that team. But under the current system even the worst-drawing teams are not in danger any time soon.

    “Tampa will be like the Pirates of the early 90’s. The Pirates were really good for a few years with Bonds and Bonilla because they drafted very well and got lucky. But when all their stars came to FA they either got traded or left for more $$$$ because the Pirates couldn’t afford it.”

    Well, it depends on if Tampa stays smart and gets a little luck along the way. The Pirates aren’t bad because they can’t afford to contend. How many people thought the Twins couldn’t afford to contend (and should have been contracted)? How many people thought the Rays couldn’t afford to contend. The Pirates are bad because their front office hasn’t been smart enough.

    “Check out where Tampa will be in about 3 years. I doubt anywhere near first and the Yankees or Red Sox will have bought another division title and the Pirates and Royals will still be in last place with AAA talent on the field and their best drafted players on other teams.”

    This is essentially what a lot of people were saying 1998-2007. People were saying the Rays could never contend because the Yankees and Red Sox will buy the division forever. It didn’t happen.

    Now, there is certainly a problem. Again, that problem is inappropriate revenue distribution. While it’s not a horrible system now and the issue is overblown, it’s still a problem. Teams like the Rays, no matter how smart, are going to have more ups and downs than teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels. A better revenue distribution system could help.

    But don’t believe that teams like the Pirates and Orioles can’t contend because of money. They can. Maybe not as often as the Yankees and Red Sox but they can contend, even under the current system.

  91. Chuck Says:

    ” The population of the U.S. is larger, baseball is drawing players from more countries..”

    Well, speaking just for Arizona, the population has almost doubled in the twenty years I’ve lived here, with 90% being retirees and drug smugglers.

    Not many future ML players in that group, wouldn’t you say?

    Shaun, Raul’s better qualified to answer this question than I am because his uncle is a scout in the Dominican republic, but you’re opinion of how things work regarding international players is a myth.

    It’s like a sweat shop. Things have gotten so bad and out of control Bud Selig formed an International reform committee headed by Sandy Alderson. I’ve been telling you all for a year now that beginning in 2012 or so, the draft will cease to exist as we know it, and the current process for acquiring international players will be no longer.

  92. Shaun Says:

    “Pick up your local newspaper or watch CNN and you’ll see stories almost daily of local or national businesses going belly up with part of the blame going to the hiring of a CEO who knew business but didn’t understand his product.”

    What does this have to do with any of my points? This has nothing to do with baseball front offices generally being smarter than they were 20 years ago.

    “The Pirates were also known for running a bare bones scouting staff, thankfully, they’ve seen the light and now have better, ML caliber players throughout their system.”

    You just proved my point. The Pirates haven’t had a winning season and it has more to do with their front office than their finances.

  93. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, last I checked, baseball doesn’t draw players only from Arizona, so what’s your point about retirees and drug smugglers?

    Also, what does all that about international scouting, sweat shops and the draft no longer existing have to do with MLB drawing more talent from outside the U.S. than from year’s past?

    We get it, you know more than everybody about scouting. Now how about actually addressing the points I’m making instead of proving to everyone that you know more than them about whether the draft is going to exist.

  94. Chuck Says:

    “But don’t believe that teams like the Pirates and Orioles can’t contend because of money”

    And yet, that is exactly why they don’t.

    Mark Teixeira’s from Baltimore, yet he signed with New York?

    CC Sabathia’s from Couthern California and had pretty competetive offers from both the Dodgers and Angels, yet he signed with New York?

    Name a significant, Type A free agent who has signed with the Pirates in the last fifteen years?

    I agree teams should be held accountable for their revenue cuts. There are a number of teams, the Pirates being one of them, whose cut of revenue sharing and merchandising is more than their entire payrolls, yet they claim financial hardships?

    The Diamondbacks have a $75 million payroll this season, with over $19 million being paid to two players who won’t play a single game this year, Eric Byrnes and Brandon Webb.

    Bad teams are bad for one reason, and one reason only.

    Money.

  95. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, the Rays, Twins and Reds seem to be doing just fine without Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia.

    Money is certainly a contributing factor as to why teams are good or bad. But there are lots of others. Many overstate the impact money has on whether a team can contend or not.

    Anyone who says bad teams are bad only because of money are mistaken, just like anyone who says money isn’t a factor at all is mistaken. The truth is money is just one factor.

  96. Chuck Says:

    “The Pirates haven’t had a winning season and it has more to do with their front office than their finances.”

    And who controls the finances, the janitorial department?

    “What does this have to do with any of my points? This has nothing to do with baseball front offices generally being smarter than they were 20 years ago.”

    Of course it does, you’re just not smart enought to make the connection.

    (The last sentence also counts as my response to post #93).

  97. Lefty33 Says:

    “My question was, does that matter? The Braves often have a ton of empty seats during weekday games, especially during school nights, but nobody brings the Braves up with the Pirates and Rays.”

    The Braves still draw more than a Million fans a season more than the Pirates.

    The combined area population in Pittsburgh is 2.5 million people. The combined area population of Atlanta is 5.79 million people. Both are based on 2008 US Census data estimates.

    The Braves draw more, have a larger market from which to draw from and clearly will draw fans when they are good as evidenced by them drawing over three million from ’97-00.

    The Pirates, aside from ’90-91 and then just barely, couldn’t draw two million fans then and then they played in Three Rivers which had twice the capacity currently of PNC.

    It matters because, to put it simply, there are not enough people in the Pittsburgh market presently for them to even draw what the Braves drew last year let alone what the Braves drew ten years ago.

    I do not want a MLB where you have teams that subsist off the revenues that other teams make and from the merchandise revenue that other teams generate.

    It’s the same reason why MLB never suggests moving a team to MT, ND, SD, and ID. They do not have a sufficient population base to sell enough tickets and they would have none of revenue streams that large city teams have because they wouldn’t be in a large media market.

    The team would have to subsist on the dole of revenue sharing and luxury tax.

    If MLB wouldn’t be so caught up in history and if it didn’t move in geologic time with decisions, the Pirates would have been moved ten years ago.

  98. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, isn’t it obvious that if the Rays can contend in the AL East and the Twins can be more or less a perennial contender, that the Pirates could contend in the NL Central if their baseball people had made smarter decisions. Money is only one factor as to why they haven’t made better baseball decisions; and it’s hard to use that as the primary excuse when the Rays, Twins and Reds are doing what they are doing.

  99. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, the problem is that baseball doesn’t distribute their revenue appropriately, as far as I know. Again, if the Yankees and Pirates play a game at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees get a disproportionate amount of the revenue earned for that game, as far as I know. Sure, the Yankees probably deserve more of the revenue because people are coming to see the Yankees and their stadium and watching their network or listening to the radio station that they have a contract with. But the Pirates should get closer to 50 percent than they do because the Yankees wouldn’t be entertaining without playing in a league with the Pirates and Royals and all the other teams they play against.

  100. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, I agree with you that a luxury tax is just a band-aid, and revenue “sharing” is not what baseball needs. What baseball needs is to hand the revenue to the earners. Not to beat a dead horse but the Royals are responsible for a good portion of the revenue earned during a Royals-Yankees game.

  101. Lefty33 Says:

    Shaun, the Rays have caught lightening in a bottle with their excellent draft picks.

    When these players are eligible for FA and arbitration and the Rays can’t sign them, check back to see how great the Rays are.

    They will follow the trail of the A’s, Pirates, and Marlins (Twice).

    People in Florida do not care about MLB that is not of the Spring Training variety.

    Notice how both teams in Florida don’t draw whether they win or lose?

    The Rays cannot and will not pony up for a $100-$125 million dollar payroll in 2012.

  102. Chuck Says:

    So, the Pirates go to New York for a three game series. The Yanks average about 30,000 per home game, but since no one wants to see the Pirates, the Yanks average 20,000 for the series.

    Why should the Yankees PAY PIttsburgh for being responsieble for the equivalent of one less gate?

    Say the Yankees go to PIttsburgh. The Pirates average 15,000 per home game, the Yankees get three sell outs totalling 150,000.

    Under your brilliant plan Shaun the Yankees would make more money than the Pirates.

    Genius, pure genius.

  103. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, regarding population, how big is big enough? Pittsburgh’s metro area ranked 22nd in population in 2009, obviously well within the top 30.

    And what is MLB going to do, keep moving teams every year based on the latest census data? If your metro area isn’t in the top 30, you’re gone?

    Also, shouldn’t we look at every team’s most recent winning season(s) so we are comparing apples to apples. A bad team in a fairly large city may not draw the same number of fans as a good team in a small city. The 1990 Pirates outdrew the 1990 Yankees.

    Also, shouldn’t we look at TV, radio and merchandising in addition to tickets sold to games?

    Also, baseball should consider what it does to the overall MLB brand if they move a team that has been in that city since 1882 or since 1900 or since whenever. Again, sports leagues and sports franchises are different from other types of businesses. Each team isn’t wholly a separate business. The health of the league affects individual teams and vice versa.

    All these factors make things more complex than just being of the opinion that baseball should contract small-city teams or teams that don’t draw well.

  104. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, what I’m saying is if the Yankees play the Pirates, the Pirates and Yankees should more evenly split all the revenue from ticket sales, TV and radio. It probably shouldn’t be 50/50 but baseball should do a better job of splitting up that revenue; and they should do that will every team that comes through New York. So if Pittsburgh brings less revenue to a Pirate-Yankee game than the Red Sox bring to a Red Sox-Yankee game, they are taking less but the revenue is still move evenly split than it is under the current system.

  105. Chuck Says:

    If they had as many top draft picks over the past ten yeas as have the Rays, the Bad News Bears would contend in the AL East.

    Matter of fact, considering just how much talent the Rays have had at their disposal during that time, one could say they’ve UNDERachieved.

  106. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, the Yankees are not giving the Pirates anything. If two teams play, they are simply more evenly splitting what the two teams bring in by people watching the game in person, on TV or listening on the radio.

  107. Shaun Says:

    “If they had as many top draft picks over the past ten yeas as have the Rays, the Bad News Bears would contend in the AL East.”

    That doesn’t have much to do with why the Pirates haven’t been able to contend since 1992, except that it points out the fact that the Pirates have done a bad job with drafting, player development and quite possibly other baseball decisions. It also points out that money is not the primary reason the Pirates aren’t contending because if the Rays can contend the Pirates should be able to as well; neither team has money.

  108. Lefty33 Says:

    “It also points out that money is not the primary reason the Pirates aren’t contending because if the Rays can contend the Pirates should be able to as well; neither team has money.”

    I agree with you Shaun on the fact that if the Pirates would have drafted as well as the Rays then eventually they should have seen some bump of decency.

    But in the end it doesn’t matter because the Pirates would never have been able to sign anyone long term the same as the Rays won’t.

  109. Lefty33 Says:

    “And what is MLB going to do, keep moving teams every year based on the latest census data? If your metro area isn’t in the top 30, you’re gone?”

    No Shaun, but in certain cases it becomes painfully obvious that a city can no longer support a team be it either economically or just through shear apathy.

    And then the team should be allowed to move to somewhere that will support it or it should be contracted.

    “Also, shouldn’t we look at TV, radio and merchandising in addition to tickets sold to games?”

    No because the Pirates bring nothing to the table in any of those areas.

    “The 1990 Pirates outdrew the 1990 Yankees.”

    Yes because the Yankees blew and the Pirates we’re actually very good.

    The city of Pittsburgh since 1990 has lost somewhere between 10-20% of its population since then.

    “Also, baseball should consider what it does to the overall MLB brand if they move a team that has been in that city since 1882 or since 1900 or since whenever.”

    The good of the many outweighs the good of the few or the one.

  110. Shaun Says:

    “But in the end it doesn’t matter because the Pirates would never have been able to sign anyone long term the same as the Rays won’t.”

    So what? The Rays never signed anybody long term yet they have been very good for the last three seasons, including this one.

    True, some teams can’t afford big free agent contracts but in many cases this is actually helpful because those teams aren’t stuck overpaying for players past their primes. It’s also true this makes it hard for those teams because they can’t fill in their gaps by overpaying for a free agent here or there. But overall it’s probably just as helpful as it is harmful to those teams.

    Lefty33, if Pittsburgh started winning, I think they would be no worse than at least a few other cities with teams. Again, they are well within the top 30 in metro population.

    Yes, in 1990 the Yankees “blew” and the Pirates were very good. But isn’t that the point? Winning is a big factor in attendance. If and when the Pirates start to contend, they will not look like a contraction-worthy team.

  111. Chuck Says:

    Sorry, but the population drop in Pittsburgh doesn’t have anything to do with things, just like the 30% unemployment rate in Detroit doesn’t.

    The only way to get Steelers tickets is to have them willed to you.

    The Penguins are drawing more now than they did ten years ago.

    Put a good product on the field and the Pirates will sell out every night too.

  112. Chuck Says:

    ” The Rays never signed anybody long term yet they have been very good for the last three seasons, including this one”

    Evan Longoria?

    The Rays have never had anyone WORTHY of a long term deal until now.

    The fact they are willing to let the face of their franchise walk after this season, likely taking the defending AL HR champ with him shows the Rays are just as hamstrung to a budget as are the other “smal-market” teams and their success the past few seasons has been the result of multiple “good guesses” in the draft.

  113. Lefty33 Says:

    “Put a good product on the field and the Pirates will sell out every night too.”

    No way Chuck.

    Pittsburgh is 100% a football town. Baseball is very much an afterthought.

    You also can’t compare the Steelers to the Pirates.

    First there are only eight home games, for now, and they are all treated as events.
    A Wednesday night game with the Pirates playing the Nationals is not exactly as compelling or comparable.

    Second I will guarantee you that most people who go to Steelers games do not reside in the Pittsburgh area. People drive hundreds of miles for Football. My one neighbor got his season tickets in the 80’s and he drives cross-state for all the home games. He would never dream of driving cross-state for a Pirates game.

    Baseball is much more a locals sports due to the number of games.

    In 1990 when the Pirates were good they still were only 13th out of 26 teams in attendance.

    “The Penguins are drawing more now than they did ten years ago.”

    Penguins were 17h out of 30 in the NHL in attendance this year. (17,078)

    In 2001 they were 15th out of 30 in attendance. (16,277)

    800 more than ten years ago, wow.

    And that’s after winning a Stanley Cup and arguably having the best player in Hockey.

    Sorry Chuck but you are wrong that population has no bearing.

    You can’t have a city lose almost 50% of its population in 50 years and think that it will have no bearing on attendance to sporting events.

    It does matter.

  114. Raul Says:

    The Pittsburgh Pirates have been turning a profit for several years.

  115. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, Lefty, I see your point.

    I mean, here we are talking about a good team who can’t draw dog shit, if it applies to Tampa then I guess it applies to Pittsburgh too.

    Anyone who drives 20 hours roundtrip to watch a football game is a retard.

  116. Lefty33 Says:

    “Anyone who drives 20 hours roundtrip to watch a football game is a retard.”

    Amen

  117. Patrick Says:

    There are a lot of potential fans in Tampa that can’t afford to go to games right now. So much of the reason is that the construction has dried up. Now with the hole in the ocean ruining the Gulf, we’re going to be on life support soon.

    If the Rays weren’t good, I think we’d lose them….. We might anyway.

    Maybe we DO need a new stadium and then they can’t leave? Isn’t Tampa too big to fail? Print up some more of that Monopoly money and put the stadium right on the oily shores. When the Rays win, we can torch the bay!

  118. Lefty33 Says:

    “Isn’t Tampa too big to fail? Print up some more of that Monopoly money and put the stadium right on the oily shores. When the Rays win, we can torch the bay!”

    LOL!!

  119. Shaun Says:

    “The fact they are willing to let the face of their franchise walk after this season, likely taking the defending AL HR champ with him shows the Rays are just as hamstrung to a budget as are the other “smal-market” teams and their success the past few seasons has been the result of multiple “good guesses” in the draft.”

    Yes, the Rays are hamstrung to a budget, but my point is that excuse only goes so far. Sure, money is a valid excuse to explain why the Pirates haven’t been perennial contenders but it doesn’t completely explain why they haven’t finished above .500 since the Bonds years while teams like the Rays and Twins have had at least a few years of success. In the Twins’ case it’s more or less perennial success.

    The Rays success isn’t only about “good guesses” in the draft. It’s about knowing which players to draft, it’s about player development, it’s about knowing which players to spend money on and which players to avoid spending money on and how much to spend and not spend. Yes, luck is a factor as it is with building any great team. Yes, they’ve made some mistakes (Pat Burrell comes to mind). But they’ve clearly done a better job than other “small” city teams like the Pirates and Royals and better than many “larger” city teams like the Orioles and Dodgers; and it’s not all because of money and good guesses…it’s also about having people that know what they are doing in the front office.

  120. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, it’s somewhat deceiving to just look at attendance figures. Of course smaller cities are going to draw fewer fans. That doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t support a major league team.

    You said when the Pirates were good they were 13th out of 26th in attendance in 1990. But where did their metro population rank?

    If they were in the top 26 in metro population in 1990 and their attendance rank was noticeably higher than their population rank, it’s a fine city for major league baseball.

  121. Raul Says:

    When a franchise consistently turns a profit (I’m looking at you, Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates) yet fails to put a winning product on the field, that’s just terrible.

  122. Patrick Says:

    Shaun, the Rays are good not because they knew which players to draft. They’ve had a bunch of misses in the draft. Also, most of their key players were drafted or obtained by the Naimoli regime. Longoria, Shields, Crawford, Zobrist, Upton, Niemann, Davis and Navarro, all from Naimoli I believe.

    The reason they’re good is they’ve had so many first, second and third overall picks. They hit on about half of them, which isn’t great but it adds up when you’re last for over 10 years. Those guys are in their prime but in 3 years or less the Rays will probably stink again.

    Friedman has added Barlett, Garza, Price and Pena. All four have been good but it’s important to note that he exposed Pena to waivers and only brought him back when the immortal Greg Norton went down with a hammy on the last day of spring training.

  123. Chuck Says:

    “It’s about knowing which players to draft”

    You want to explain Tim Beckham then?

    Shaun, if the Orioles or Royals or Pirates had as many top picks as the Rays they would be successful as well.

    “it’s also about having people that know what they are doing in the front office.”

    You clearly don’t understand how blanket a statement that is.

  124. Lefty33 Says:

    “But where did their metro population rank?”

    The city of Pittsburgh has shrunk by at least 9.5% the last five census counts and I’m sure that this year will make six.

    Atlanta, since you brought it up yesterday, is now at an all-time high for population.

    It’s pretty easy to see what part of the problem is.

    Add to it that the Pittsburgh area is not exactly affluent and you get a core reason as to why the Pirates and Penguins are not supported well whether they win or lose.

    “it’s a fine city for major league baseball.”

    At the AAA level. Ever been there Shaun? One word for you. Depressing.

    The city doesn’t support baseball, the last two owners have more or less run the team into the ground. How much more do you really want MLB to give that team or any other team?

    When is enough, enough? If a team can’t put something together with the ludicrous level of support already being provided than they should be moved or contracted.

  125. Shaun Says:

    Patrick and Chuck, I’m not denying that the Rays are good because they were bad for so long and had the top pick lots of times over the past 10 years. But the Rays also know not to sign players to as many bad deals as the Orioles and Royals do and to trust their player development instead of trading for or signing mediocre or past-their-prime players or both.

    For example, the Orioles could have lost 88 games in 2005 without Javy Lopez and Sammy Sosa. Fill those spots with cheaper players or with youth rather than by overspending on has-beens. Also, trade players like Melvin Mora and Miguel Tejada when they have some value, even if you don’t think you are getting exactly fair value. Maybe what you get turns into something because they aren’t doing much for you.

    The Rays just didn’t make those sorts of mistakes. It’s not that the Rays didn’t make any mistakes; every team does. It’s that the Rays didn’t make as many mistakes as teams like the Orioles and Royals. They learned their lesson from their own franchise history. Acquiring players like Canseco, McGriff and Boggs isn’t going to cut it.

    “You want to explain Tim Beckham then?”

    No team can be perfect in the draft or in signing players or in developing players. Obviously that’s the goal but even the best-run organizations are going to have hits and misses.

  126. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, the things that matter most is Pittsburgh’s metro area being somewhere around top 30 and, when they are good, their attendance ranks higher than their population rank relative to other major league cities.

    “The city doesn’t support baseball, the last two owners have more or less run the team into the ground. How much more do you really want MLB to give that team or any other team?”

    Exactly. The problems with the Pirates started at the top. If they had the same level of management as the Twins, Rays or even the Reds, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    “When is enough, enough? If a team can’t put something together with the ludicrous level of support already being provided than they should be moved or contracted.”

    The thing is winning would give them that support and that will only happen when management does a better job. If they won, their attendance ranking would outpace their population ranking relative to other major league teams.

  127. Lefty33 Says:

    “The thing is winning would give them that support and that will only happen when management does a better job.”

    No Shaun what matters is that even when the Pirates won the WS in ‘79 they still were 10th out of 12 NL teams in attendance.

    The year they opened PNC in ’01 they were 11th out of 16. And the year in ’02 they were 13th out of 16.

    So let’s see, in their most successful season in the last 31 years they’re attendance was better than only two teams in the NL.

    They open a new ballpark and still finish in the bottom third and then the bottom fourth.

    Like I said Shaun, the team doesn’t draw whether they are good or not.

    Keep on scratchin’.

  128. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, your patronizing of the Pirates, Orioles, et al, while building up the Rays is an indirect reflection of your belief sabermetrics have something to do with everything.

    They don’t.

    Oakland has had arguably the two worst ownership groups of the past 15 years and despite being the poster child franchise regarding sabermetrics they’e pretty much sucked of late.

    If sabermetrics meant anything, the A’s would have had a lot more postseason appearnces than they do.

  129. Shaun Says:

    You convenient left off their most recent successful seasons, the early 1990’s, when they certainly did not rank near the bottom.

    Lefty33, they draw fine relative to their population. They don’t draw relative to teams in bigger cities when those teams are good, but there only so many big cities.

    I think your argument is that teams in lower-population cities shouldn’t exist or should move to cities with higher populations. I agree with that to some degree but at what level is population too low? It would seem Pittsburgh isn’t at that level yet because they still rank in the top 30 in population among U.S. metro areas.

    Should the number of teams in the majors depend on population? Again, I think it should to some degree but you have to draw the line somewhere reasonable. You can’t have teams in only New York, LA, Chicago, Arlington, Philadelphia, Houston, Miami, Washington and Atlanta. Again the Pittsburgh metro area ranked 22nd in population last year. That’s ahead of Cincinnati, Cleveland and Kansas City. Do you also think those teams should move?

    Population, while it should be a major factor, isn’t the only factor. You have to consider whether the city has a park, how much trouble it would be to move a team or contract a team, etc.

    The problem here is you are looking at attendance relative to every other team rather than attendance relative to population. Also, it seems you are not fully taking into account attendance relative to team performance.

    The Pirates in the early 1990’s (the last time they were a good team) ranked in the middle of the pack in attendance. Where did their metro area rank in population? My guess it was somewhere near the bottom among cities with major league teams. So middle of the pack in attendance would seem reasonable. What is good enough? Does Pittsburgh, when they are good, have to rank in the top 3 or 4 in attendance? Or should baseball only have teams in huge cities? If so, where do you draw the line to define “huge city”?

  130. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, when have I brought up sabermetrics?

    It’s pretty simple. The Rays are good in perhaps the worst situation (in terms of attendance, ballpark, fan interest) in baseball while the Orioles, Pirates and Royals are not.

    The money and luck excuse only goes so far. If the Rays can be good, why can’t the Orioles, Royals and Pirates at least come close to contending?

    The Rays’ success has has nothing to do with sabermetrics, per se. We don’t even need to talk about sabermetrics. The Rays’ success has a lot to do with their organization knowing what they are doing (and that includes their scouts). If the Orioles, Royals and Pirates’ organizations knew what they were doing; there is no reason they can’t at least come somewhat close to contending. That’s the bottom line.

  131. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, with another strawman. No one has said sabermetrics have to do with everything. What I’m arguing is that the Rays and Twins have had success mostly because their organizations have been smarter and have done a better job than the Pirates’, Royals’ and Orioles’ organizations. Money and luck is a convenient cop-out for those other organizations but the bottom line is they are just not as smart nor do they do as good a job as the Rays’ organization.

  132. Shaun Says:

    The bottom line is if the Rays and Twins can have some success there is absolutely no excuse for the Pirates, Royals and Orioles. I can’t believe that is even a debatable point. It’s really not, except for a few on this site who want to twist the debate into something about sabermetrics or something. It really has nothing to do with it except that maybe the Rays or Twins use sabermetric principles, but maybe they don’t. Whether they do or they don’t, the bottom line is, their front office, their scouts, anyone they have working on player evaluations are smarter and have done a better job than their counterparts in the Pirates, Royals and Orioles organizations. That is not debatable unless you are trying to change the argument into something else because you want to take the opportunity to have a separate debate.

  133. Lefty33 Says:

    “You convenient left off their most recent successful seasons, the early 1990’s, when they certainly did not rank near the bottom.”

    The Pirates in the last fifty years have been above the fiftieth percentile in NL attendance five times.

    In ’82 when they were a winning team at 84-78 they finished last in the NL in attendance.

    “I think your argument is that teams in lower-population cities shouldn’t exist or should move to cities with higher populations.”

    When did I say that?

    Please see post #97.

    My Latin is a bit rusty but, satis est satis.

  134. Chuck Says:

    “You convenient left off their most recent successful seasons, the early 1990’s, when they certainly did not rank near the bottom.”

    Considering Billy Beane didn’t become GM until after the 1997 season, why would you think the “early 1990’s” should be mentioned?

    “Chuck, when have I brought up sabermetrics?”

    Sabermetrics are the basis of every comment you’ve made on this site.

  135. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, I think you are confused. The early 1990’s was in reference to the Pirates, not the A’s.

    Also, try scrolling through and seeing who mentioned sabermetrics first, you or me. You are the one trying to make this an argument over the merits of sabermetrics. My argument has nothing to do with sabermetrics. My argument is that the reason the Rays and Twins have had more success than the Orioles, Pirates and Royals is mostly because the Rays and Twins have had smarter front offices than the O’s, Pirates and Royals; and it’s more because of that than money or luck. You can’t dispute that so you decided to make this a debate about sabermetrics when no one has brought up sabermetrics except for you in trying to change the debate.

    Lefty33, the Pirates were not always last in attendance when they had success. Again, in the early 1990’s they were in the middle of the pack in attendance and their city’s metro area probably had one of the lowest populations of any major league team, even then. Of course that alone doesn’t mean they shouldn’t or should have a major league team; but you seem to be ignoring too much population relative to attendance.

  136. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, by the way, I’m including scouts in their when I say “front office.” I should make that clear in case you want to get technical with my semantics and again think I’m necessarily talking only about sabermetrics when I say “front office.”

  137. Patrick Says:

    Shaun, I don’t want to get into this too far, but 90% of the players who contribute are from Vince Naimoli, not Friedman. Friedman only has one player that he drafted on the ML roster. It drives me nuts when I hear how smart Friedman is. Jaso and Brignac are also Naimoli acquisitions.

    Friedman lost Josh Hamilton for nothing. Zippo. He traded a solid ML starter (Edwin Jackson) for a career minor league OF (Joyce). He made Pat Burrell their highest paid player. He thought a Kapler/Gross platoon made sense in RF to defend their title. He traded Kazmir for Rodriguez, which has turned out OK but hardly a stroke of genius. The Delmon Young for Bartlett/Garza along with the no-brainer signing of Price remain his only bright spots. I guess you can add hiring Joe Maddon to that list because.

    Naimoli was a whipping boy here in Tampa but he was just about to start winning when he got canned and Friedman has taken his glory. It’s a Tampa thing. Gruden did it to Dungy too.

  138. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, I think you are confused. The early 1990’s was in reference to the Pirates, not the A’s.”

    Yeah, I kinda figured after I saw Lefty’s response.

  139. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty33, the Pirates were not always last in attendance when they had success.”

    Shaun, the Pirates have had several seasons in their history where they were a .500 team or better and were deep in the lower-half of NL attendance.

    You seem to be ignoring: The Pirates in the last fifty years have been above the fiftieth percentile in NL attendance five times.

    In ‘76, ‘77, ‘78, ‘79 their combined winning percentage was 57.8% and out of 12 teams they finished 8th, 8th, and 11th, 10th.

    10th out of 12 teams in a year they won the WS. Show me another team/market that inept. It may be out there, and if it is please show me.

    Even from ‘90-’92 they were 6th, 8th, and 7th out of 12.

    Even then not in the top half.

    God forbid I’m still alive and posting on this site in a few years, but I will make you whatever wager you want that in 2015 the Pirates are still the worst team in the NL, they are still are in the bottom two or three in attendance, they still have not had a winning season, and it won’t make a difference who the GM or owner is.

    The team still won’t draw and even if they would catch lightening in a bottle like the Rays currently have, they will still be forced to trade away their starts of the day.

    (Just like the Rays will be doing.)

  140. Shaun Says:

    Patrick, I’m not getting into who is smarter and who’s more responsible for the Rays’ success, the current GM or the former. My argument has nothing to do with that. My argument is that the Rays (and Twins) have been smarter and better-run than the Pirates, Orioles, Royals (and probably quite a few other teams). It has more to do with the way the Rays and Twins were/are run compared to the Pirates, O’s and Royals than it does with money or luck.

    I will get in to one move since you brought it up, do you really blame the Rays for getting rid of Josh Hamilton? I mean, we all know what he was. I’m glad he’s turned it around but is that really a move that we can look back on and say it was bad? My guess is most of the teams in the majors would have given up on Hamilton at some point in that situation. I don’t think that can count against them. But I honestly would have to look much deeper to comment on who is most responsible for the Rays’ recent success. That’s not what my argument is about.

  141. Hossrex Says:

    Lefty: “I will make you whatever wager you want that in 2015 the Pirates are still the worst team in the NL, they are still are in the bottom two or three in attendance, they still have not had a winning season”

    The funniest part about that to me is regardless of whatever rhetoric someone might use to suppose that the Pirates might be good some time down the road… there isn’t a person on the planet who would take that bet.

  142. Chuck Says:

    Pirates called up Pedro Alvarez today, you know, the guy the Rays passed on?

    LOL..

  143. Patrick Says:

    I definitly blame them for losing Hamilton. He was the first pick of the Rule 5 draft (Cubs and sold to the Reds in a pre-draft deal). He was still basically a kid and had been sober for almost a couple of years and he looked great.

    I couldn’t believe that the Rays exposed Hamilton just when they were about to get rewarded for sticking with him. All they had to do was put him on the major league roster or cut him at the end of spring. As it were, he tore it up in the spring and was starting for the Reds in April.

    The Rays escape way too much critism on how they handled Hamilton. They nurtured an allstar CF through his tough times and then gave him away.

  144. Brautigan Says:

    ……and the Reds traded him a year later. Why would the Rays be culpable but not the Reds?

  145. Chuck Says:

    Because the Reds got something back tangible, and they didn’t spend any money on Hamilton, either as a player or through his rehab.

  146. Chuck Says:

    See, Shaun, even people who write for a living aren’t exempt from temporary lapses in intelligence.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/joe_sheehan/06/16/pitchers.luck/index.html?eref=sihp

  147. Patrick Says:

    Chuck, amen.

  148. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, not sure what Sheehan’s article has to do with the fact that the Pirates, Royals and Orioles can’t use money or luck as their primary excuse for losing for so long? Again, your anti-sabermetric rants can’t save you from the fact that the Pirates, Royals and Orioles are more poorly run than the Rays and Twins. You can try to change this to a debate about stats and sabermetrics and Joe Sheehan, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are wrong that the Rays’ and Twins’ success is all about luck and the Pirates’ and Royals’ lack of success is all about money.

  149. Shaun Says:

    Funny how the Rays have all the sudden become the poster boys for sabermetrics, in Chuck’s mind simply because he wants to change the argument from the Rays’ success meaning fewer excuses for the Pirates to a debate on sabermetrics.

  150. Shaun Says:

    Bottom line, again, is the Rays and Twins are better run than the Pirates and Royals; the money excuse doesn’t work and the Pirates and if it’s all about luck Royals shouldn’t have gotten lucky by now and at least been somewhat good within the last 15 years. We can debate the merits of sabermetrics elsewhere but this is the issue at hand. Changing the debate doesn’t change the facts.

  151. brautigan Says:

    Possibly Chuck, but Volquez and Danny Herrera were not exactly Red’s fan idea of a good trade at the time. (of course, the following season, it sure looked like a win-win trade……)

  152. Raul Says:

    The Pirates consistently turn a profit. They don’t spend money on the team, and in all likelihood, haven’t drafted/signed certain players because of it.

    The Royals have a combination of little money, bad management, some poor draft picks, and all around bad luck.

    Tampa Bay has been good for 2.5 years. To say they’re a well-run team is a little premature.

    BTW – The Royals’ 1st round draft picks
    2000 – Mike Stodolka
    2001 – Colt Griffin
    2002 – Zack Greinke
    2003 – Chris Lubanski
    2004 – Billy Butler, Matt Campbell, JP Howell
    2005 – Alex Gordon
    2006 – Luke Hochevar
    2007 – Mike Moustakas
    2008 – Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery
    2009 – Aaron Crow
    2010 – Christian Colon

  153. Shaun Says:

    Raul, Tampa Bay has been good for 2.5 years and how many years have the Pirates and Royals been good over the last 15 years? Whether you think the Rays are well-run or not, you have to think they are better run than the Royals and Pirates.

    To set up their success the Rays stockpiled young players that showed promise and didn’t blow money on mediocre vets.

    The Pirates (at least before the new regime) traded useful players for guys like Matt Morris, Xavier Nady and Shawn Chacon, when it would have been better to trade those same players for younger players and hope at least some of those younger players would develop into something. Getting nothing almost would have been better for the Pirates than Morris, Nady and Chacon.

    Look at the Royals roster. They actually acquired Jason Kendall, Yuniesky Betancourt, Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, and of course, Gil Meche and Kyle Farnsworth. What’s the point? They could be bad without those players and contracts.

    Some of those players would be okay roll players to fill in some gaps once the team is ready to contend. But to acquire that many veteran, roll-player types?

    The Royals also have decided to play yo-yo with Alex Gordon’s career. Do they think he’s ready for the majors or not? Do they think he’s a thirdbaseman or a leftfielder? Either keep him in the minors until you are sure what you want to do or stick him in the major league lineup everyday for longer than a couple of months.

    I’m not sure if Gordon is going to be a poor, good or great major leaguer. But what do the Royals have to lose? Why not give him some semblance of a chance instead of playing yo-yo with him.

  154. Hossrex Says:

    The Rays are good because of a perfect storm of quality draft picks, highlighted by David Price (first overall 2007), B.J. Upton (second overall 2002), and Evan Longoria (third overall 2006).

    If you think sabermetrics had anything to do with choosing those three players (and the HANDFUL of other talented players who went slightly lower in the draft), you don’t understand how drafting works. If you think it’s normal to get three superstars first round over a six year period, you don’t understand how to draft works.

    The Rays are the luckiest sons of bitches in 25 years.

  155. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, the hardest part in debating with you sometimes is remembering English isn’t your first language.

    There are sabermetric undertones on every comment you’ve ever made on this site…because you know nothing else.

    You have no earthly idea of how a major league organization is run. You’re guessing.

    Your belief the Rays are a better run organization comes from your opinion the Rays are more sabermetrically advanced than the others.

    If you deny that statement, you are only fooling yourself, because you can’t fool any of us.

    Sherman’s article wasn’t an attempt at changing the subject or a shot at sabermetrics.

    It was a shot at you.

  156. Shaun Says:

    Hossrex, I have not argued that sabermetrics did or did not have anything to do with the Rays success, first of all.

    Second, the Rays got lucky in the draft, certainly. They wouldn’t be as good as they’ve been the past 2 1/2 years without luck. But that doesn’t change the fact that they are better run than the Pirates, Royals, Orioles and some other teams.

    When is the last time the Rays traded mediocre vets for more mediocre vets when they could have gotten equal value out of cheaper and/or younger players? Pat Burrell is the only one that comes to mind over the last 3 or 4 years.

    With some luck the Rays are currently one of the best teams in baseball. But even without luck, sure they probably wouldn’t be as good, but I don’t think the Rays would be as bad as the Pirates, Royals or Orioles.

  157. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, it’s not about whether the Rays use or don’t use sabermetrics. It’s about some teams are better run than others, no matter what methods they use. The Rays and Twins are clearly better run than the Royals and Pirates (at least the Pirates under the old regime).

    Let’s go to a team that we are pretty certain does not use sabermetrics: the Phillies. Look at them compared to the Orioles. The bottom line is that the Phillies are better run than the Orioles. It has nothing to do with sabermetrics or money or luck and everything to do with their front office (that includes scouts and any other talent-evaluators). The same arguments I’m making about the Rays versus the Pirates or Royals I would make about the Phillies versus the Orioles. My argument has nothing to do with sabermetrics, per se. It has everything to do with the fact that any team can at least come close to contending with a quality front office; and money and luck only go so far as excuses. You can’t dispute that and you still want to argue with me because of you dislike me so you have to try to turn this into a debate on sabermetrics and a debate on what the “undertones” are of my comments. The truth is you have nowhere else to go so you want to turn the debate into one about sabermetrics and you want to essentially call me names instead of admitting that some teams are just better run than others. Who in their right mind wouldn’t think that some teams are run better than others? Someone who simply wants to argue for the sake of arguing and someone who wants to use it as an opportunity to bash sabermetrics. Well, bash away and say all you want about me. Sabermetrics nor I have nothing to do with the fact that the Phillies and Rays are better run than the Orioles, Royals and Pirates.

  158. Shaun Says:

    Chuck’s biases against me personally are so strong that he can’t even admit that some teams are better run than others. That is what is keeping this site from taking off and likely a big reason why it’s not longer on the baseball-reference.com page: Petty arguments when there is really no argument to be had, simply because some people have a bias against sabermetrics or a bias against certain individuals.

  159. Chuck Says:

    Why admit the obvious, Shaun?

    You act like you discovered that fact, whereas the rest of us understand the obviousness of the statement to the point we consider it irrelevant.

    How do you know it wasn’t Dugout Central’s decision to come off the BR page?

    Doesn’t say much for their decision to replace dc with mlbtraderumors, does it?

    MLBTrade Rumors defines petty

  160. Hossrex Says:

    The pirates are run like shit. No argument there.

    The Royals and O’s though haven’t done anything particularly more stupid than the Rays.

    What Chuck is trying to explain to you is that you don’t have any particular knowledge about how front office baseball works, so what you’re doing is looking at a teams success and saying “that team is run well”, while looking at another teams failure and saying “that team is run poorly.”

    It’s so much more complicated than that, which is why no one is giving you any particular credence.

  161. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, here is a quote from you: “Bad teams are bad for one reason, and one reason only. Money.”

    Not true and apparently it’s not obvious to you that it’s not true. Bad teams are bad for multiple reasons and mostly it’s because of bad management. Otherwise the Orioles would have had more success and the Rays and Twins would have less.

    Another quote from you: “the Rays are just as hamstrung to a budget as are the other “small-market” teams and their success the past few seasons has been the result of multiple ‘good guesses’ in the draft.”

    Again not true. Yes, good fortune with drafted players is a reason the Rays are good. But they also haven’t made as many dumb moves as lots of other teams and have been more efficient with the money they have than lots of other teams. That doesn’t mean all their moves have been perfect and they are always efficient with their money. Their moves over the last 4-5 years have just been better and they’ve been more efficient than lots of other teams.

  162. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “That is what is keeping this site from taking off and likely a big reason why it’s not longer on the baseball-reference.com page: Petty arguments when there is really no argument to be had, simply because some people have a bias against sabermetrics or a bias against certain individuals.”

    And what is it that makes Shaun say that?

    Shaun: “Chuck’s biases against me personally are so strong that he can’t even admit that some teams are better run than others.

    Shaun calls the rest of us out for being petty… while insisting that Chuck admit that “some teams are better run than others”, and refusing to let the point drop until Chuck “admit” that?

    What a fascinating little person you are Shaun.

    Next time you get on your high horse, and throw around arrogance like a monkey with poo, you should probably make sure you’re standing on something a little more solid.

  163. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “Another quote from you: “the Rays are just as hamstrung to a budget as are the other “small-market” teams and their success the past few seasons has been the result of multiple ‘good guesses’ in the draft.”

    Again not true.”

    Sure it is.

    Shaun: “good fortune with drafted players is a reason the Rays are good. But they also haven’t made as many dumb moves as lots of other teams

    Because they’ve had good fortune in the draft, they haven’t recently had the “opportunity” to make bad decisions. Bad decisions are what teams make when they don’t get lucky in the draft, and are forced to go out on a limb making bad trades.

    You’re acting like if Pittsburgh, Baltimore, or Kansas City had drafted Longoria they’d have traded him for a journeyman outfielder and a lefty one out guy.

  164. Shaun Says:

    “The Royals and O’s though haven’t done anything particularly more stupid than the Rays.”

    Are you serious? Yes, I’m certain there are moves the Rays have made that look as bad as moves the Royals and O’s have made. But on balance, do you actually think the Royals and O’s haven’t done less stupid things than the Rays?

    Again, look at the Royals roster and all the mediocre players they actually traded for or signed to a contract.

    Look at the Orioles. They are just now starting to show some signs of life after devoting payroll dollars to Javy Lopez, Sammy Sosa, not selling high on players like Tejada, Mora and Brian Roberts, etc.

    I honestly see what you are saying: Results don’t necessarily tell the story. And I agree to a certain extent. But when a team hasn’t had a winning season since Boyz II Men were topping the charts, that means they aren’t well run…or when you look at a team and see that they are paying Jason Kendall over $4 million and that is not an unusual move or they traded Rajai Davis for Matt Morris and that’s not an unusual move.

  165. Chuck Says:

    The RAys are 19th in attendance out of 30 teams and are going to let two of their best players walk after this season and they’e not hamstrung by a budget?

    Shaun, you are a fucking idiot.

    Do us all a favor and jump off a building.

  166. Shaun Says:

    “You’re acting like if Pittsburgh, Baltimore, or Kansas City had drafted Longoria they’d have traded him for a journeyman outfielder and a lefty one out guy.”

    Hossrex, if those teams drafted a player like Longoria, they wouldn’t be able to surround him with anything. Pittsburgh and Baltimore have gotten better as of late, I must say.

    Kansas City would probably give him two months in the majors, if he’s slumping they would send him down and keep calling him up and sending him down until they finally decide they want him to learn a new position…and even after he has proven himself they would refuse to give him any sort of real chance to succeed in the majors. In the meantime they would overpay for lots of mediocre-to-bad veteran players and insert them into their lineup everyday.

  167. Shaun Says:

    “The RAys are 19th in attendance out of 30 teams and are going to let two of their best players walk after this season and they’e not hamstrung by a budget?”

    You misunderstand. I didn’t say they weren’t hamstrung by a budget. I’m saying teams that are hamstrung by a budget can still have at least a winning season or two since 1992. The money excuse only goes so far. Yes, it’s a factor but make better baseball decisions and a team can win.

    Look at the teams that play in small cities, dreary cities and/or don’t draw well yet have had more success that the Pirates and Royals since the last time the Pirates and Royals were relevant: Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Oakland, Milwaukee

    Again, the “woe-is-me, we have no money” excuse only goes so far.

  168. Shaun Says:

    Money is a reason why the Rays probably can’t contend for 15-20 consecutive seasons like the Yankee and Red Sox probably will. Luck is a reason the Rays have a shot at two 95-plus-win seasons in three years. But money and luck aren’t the primary reasons they are much better than the Pirates, Royals and Orioles have been in a long time. Money and luck aren’t the primary reasons the Pirates, Royals and Orioles have been terrible for a long time. That’s about their front offices (that includes anyone who evaluates players and makes baseball decisions).

  169. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “Yes, I’m certain there are moves the Rays have made that look as bad as moves the Royals and O’s have made. But on balance, do you actually think the Royals and O’s haven’t done less stupid things than the Rays?”

    You’d think you’d have been able to name a few, instead of simply acting incredulous.

    You’re still looking at success and seeing “well run”, while looking at failure and seeing “poorly run.”

    It’s incredible just how much more complicated it is than that.

    Shaun: “not selling high on players like Tejada”

    So… what… they should have traded him earlier? While he was still good?

    You’re complaining about a team being poorly run… and you’re upset that they didn’t trade one of their good players?

    Do you even read what you write?

    What if they trade him after 2006, and he goes somewhere else to win the MVP?

    What would you be saying about that hypothetical trade?

    You really don’t understand what I’m trying to say?

    You’re looking at the results, with the clarity of hindsight, and Monday morning quarterbacking yourself into looking like (so you think) a genius. That’s not how it works.

    You can’t look at a trade that didn’t work and say it was a sign the team is poorly run, just like you can’t look at a trade that you think should have happened but didn’t, and complain about it.

    Believe it or not, General Managers don’t know the outcome of their trades before they’re made, and regardless of how you spin your response to this, the criticisms you’re levying against them come with the baggage that you DO know the outcome.

    Let me give you a hypothetical example.

    Matty Kemp and James Loney for Mark Texiera. The Dodgers get the power hitting first baseman they need, while the Yankees get the all around future superstar outfielder Matt Kemp, a player to fill in at first base until Pujols comes onto the market, all the while shedding some payroll to afford The Machine.

    Would that be a good trade?

    General managers would have to weigh the possibilities, their needs, and the public reaction to such a deal without any more information than I’ve provided.

    What you’re doing is coming in two years after the fact, looking at Matt Kemp who’s bought into his own hype and sucked it up in the Bronx, looked at an Albert Pujols who never seriously considered leaving St. Louis, and saw a Mark Texiera who won an MVP in Los Angeles. At that point, of course it was a bad trade for the Yankees.

    But wait…

    That’s now what happened!

    It turns out that Texiera was an old 30, and never picked things back up after his slow start to 2010. Matt Kemp on the otherhand went on to set the record for most consecutive 30-30 seasons, while winning a gold glove each year. Pujols is enticed to leave the mid-west after seeing Brian Cashman’s impressive ability to write zero’s, and the Yankees win the next four consecutive world series’, challenging the late 90’s dynasty as the greatest baseball team of the last 40 years. That’s an AWESOME trade for the Yankees, and since you have nothing to lose, and NO WAY TO LOSE by looking at the deal after the fact, and placing a value judgment on it, you safely say it was a smart deal for the Yankees.

    So.

    Which team is better run based on that trade? The Yankees, or the Dodgers?

    The answer?

    THERE ISN’T ENOUGH INFORMATION TO BASE A DECISION.

    You can’t simply look at results.

  170. Chuck Says:

    It’s been clear for a long time Shaun you don’t understand bseball.

    It is now clear you don’t understand business.

  171. Shaun Says:

    Hossrex, in 2004 the Orioles lost 84 games after a big offseason, acquiring Tejada, Javy Lopez, Rafael Palmeiro. Okay, maybe it’s a fluke year. In 2005 they lose 88 games. In 2006 they lose 92 games. At a certain point when you are consistently losing and what you have isn’t working and is old, a front office should sell high on their veteran players for youth in hopes that at least a few young players will turn in to something. The Orioles could have been a bad team all those years without paying for all those veteran players.

    The Pirates traded Rajai Davis for Matt Morris when they weren’t going anywhere and certainly Matt Morris wasn’t going to help them.

    Look at their trade deadline deals in 2006 alone: They give up Sean Casey, Roberto Hernandez, Craig Wilson and Kip Wells; they get Xavier Nady, Shawn Chacon, Jesse Chavez and Brian Rogers. Not that those players could bring in anything great but Xavier Nady and Shawn Chacon? At least take a flier on a young player that could turn into something instead of players you know are mediocre vets.

    With the Royals, they actually gave contracts to or traded for (i.e., they wanted) Jason Kendall, Rick Ankiel, Scott Podsednik, Yuniesky Betancourt, Gil Meche and Kyle Farnsworth.

    You have three teams that are already bad yet they decide to devote payroll or trade players or keep veterans when they could lose with youth or at least cheaper players. If I were a Royals fan, I’d had rather seen them play Bryan Pena everyday than give Kendall the contract they gave him.

  172. Shaun Says:

    Tell me how all this is no different than what teams like the Rays or Twins have done over the past few seasons:

    In 2004 the Orioles lost 84 games after a big offseason, acquiring Tejada, Javy Lopez, Rafael Palmeiro. Okay, maybe it’s a fluke year. In 2005 they lose 88 games. In 2006 they lose 92 games. At a certain point when you are consistently losing and what you have isn’t working and is old, a front office should sell high on their veteran players for youth in hopes that at least a few young players will turn in to something. The Orioles could have been a bad team all those years without paying for all those veteran players.

    The Pirates traded Rajai Davis for Matt Morris when they weren’t going anywhere and certainly Matt Morris wasn’t going to help them.

    Look at their trade deadline deals in 2006 alone: They give up Sean Casey, Roberto Hernandez, Craig Wilson and Kip Wells; they get Xavier Nady, Shawn Chacon, Jesse Chavez and Brian Rogers. Not that those players could bring in anything great but Xavier Nady and Shawn Chacon? At least take a flier on a young player that could turn into something instead of players you know are mediocre vets.

    With the Royals, they actually gave contracts to or traded for (i.e., they wanted) Jason Kendall, Rick Ankiel, Scott Podsednik, Yuniesky Betancourt, Gil Meche and Kyle Farnsworth.

  173. Raul Says:

    Well, some decently talented players have come out of Kansas City over the years, even when they were mediocre and bad as a team.

    Zack Greinke
    Johnny Damon
    Carlos Beltran
    Mike Sweeney
    Joakim Soria
    Raul Ibanez
    Jermaine Dye
    Jeff Montgomery

    Not all of them were signed or drafted by KC, but someone there knew what they were doing. They simply didn’t have the money to lure big free agents there and to keep the good players they did have.

    I don’t know how a team’s operations really work. And I guess you could say KC has traded for and gotten some mediocre players, but it doesn’t seem like KC blew it in any trades. All the good players they had that left KC weren’t going to sign there anyway. Kinda hard to criticize them for that. Now if you want to criticize them for draft picks…well…that’s different…and more complicated.

  174. Brautigan Says:

    Shaun: There would have to worse GM’s to trade a “prospect” for Roberto Hernandez, Sean Casey, Craig Wilson, or Kip Wells. If you have a 46th round draft pick struggling in low A, maybe, but you will not get a useful prospect with any of the aforementioned players.

    That is a poor argument and needs to be retired ASAP.

  175. Shaun Says:

    Raul, of course I don’t criticize them for having players like Greinke, Damon, Beltran, etc. I criticize them for actually giving up money or players for guys like Jason Kendall, Rick Ankiel, Scott Podsednik, Yuniesky Betancourt, Gil Meche and Kyle Farnsworth when they are already a bad team. Seriously, did anyone expect these players to make the Royals contenders? So why bother? If a team is going to spend money, a) spend it on good players or b) go with younger and cheaper players and save the money until you are ready to actually contend.

  176. Shaun Says:

    Brautigan, I would rather have that 46th round pick struggling in low A than Matt Morris, Shawn Chacon and Xavier Nady when my team hasn’t won as many as 80 games since 1992. When your team is bad it’s better to get virtually nothing except a player’s contract off your books than it is to trade a mediocre vet that won’t be here if and when you contend for another mediocre vet that won’t be here if and when you contend. The Pirates basically just tried to rebuild in 2007 with mediocre vets. That’s no way to rebuild. Mediocre vets are fine when you need to fill holes on a contending team or if you want to take a chance they’ll relive some of their previous glory but not when you are a 90-loss team.

  177. Shaun Says:

    Brautigan, did the Pirates really gain any more from acquiring Chacon, Morris, Nady, Roberts and Chavez than they would have if they had gotten four or five non-prospects? At least there is a slim chance those non-prospects turn into something that can help you if and when you are ready to compete. And even if you don’t, you shed some payroll and roster space.

  178. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “At a certain point when you are consistently losing and what you have isn’t working and is old, a front office should sell high on their veteran players for youth in hopes that at least a few young players will turn in to something.

    Wow.

    Two things.

    1: That’s exactly what Pittsburgh does which makes them “poorly run”.

    2: You still didn’t say what your opinion of that hypothetical trade would have been if they had traded “high” on Tejada, and he’d went to Houston to win the MVP, while Baltimore went on to lose 93 games.

    Shaun: “The Pirates traded Rajai Davis for Matt Morris when they weren’t going anywhere and certainly Matt Morris wasn’t going to help them.”

    What would your opinion of that trade have been if Morris went on to win the Cy in 2008?

    See.

    For your opinion to mean a DAMN THING about whether a trade was a good idea or not, it MUST INHERENTLY BE INDEPENDENT OF THE RESULT. If Matt Morris had been effective for Pittsburgh, your opinion would have been entirely different. You would be lauding the front office for recognizing a veteran talent who had struggled for a couple years, but had the tools to get past the difficulties.

    Shaun: “Not that those players could bring in anything great but Xavier Nady and Shawn Chacon? At least take a flier on a young player that could turn into something instead of players you know are mediocre vets.”

    Nine times out of ten, when dealing with minor league talent, you’re not going to get a player as good as Xavier Nady… and trust me… I’m not high on Xavier Nady.

  179. Shaun Says:

    It seems the argument from folks like Chuck is that money forces the Pirates and Royals to build their teams around players like Chacon, Morris, Nady, Kendall, Podsednik, Ankiel, Betancourt, Meche, Farnsworth, etc. Money does not force a team into wasting roster spots and resources on bad-to-mediocre, overpaid players.

    Here’s a thought: Spend money on better scouting and player development and/or save the money for if and when you are ready to contend. If you are going to lose, don’t lose with mediocre vets that are more expensive than young players or journeyman types.

  180. Hossrex Says:

    I’d say giving perennially injured, and never all that good, 29 year old Carlos Pena a chance to be the full time DH in 2007 (after playing a COMBINED 97 games in the two previous seasons) was a pretty boneheaded move by Tampa.

    But… oh look. It worked out.

    By your logic, that would have been a smart move by the front office… because it worked out.

    That’s exactly the sort of deal you’re saying complaining about KC and Pittsburgh making.

  181. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “Here’s a thought: Spend money on better scouting and player development and/or save the money for if and when you are ready to contend. If you are going to lose, don’t lose with mediocre vets that are more expensive than young players or journeyman types.”

    Do you even know why the 2008 Rays team was such a big deal?

    BECAUSE THAT SHIT JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN.

    Yet it happens once, and since the result was positive, you’re saying it’s the model all teams should use.

    It’d be like going to Vegas, putting a million dollars down on #7 at the roulette table… and when your number comes up, telling everyone that the best strategy to win in Vegas is to bet #7 on the roulette table.

    I mean… if you’re going to lose, don’t lose by working a regular job 40 hours per week, lose by making outlandish longshot bets!

  182. Shaun Says:

    1: That’s exactly what Pittsburgh does which makes them “poorly run”.

    No. Pittsburgh was run poorly when they traded relatively expensive and mediocre vets for more relatively expensive and mediocre vets. Now they are doing the right things by attempting to stockpile with young players and cheap players.

    2: You still didn’t say what your opinion of that hypothetical trade would have been if they had traded “high” on Tejada, and he’d went to Houston to win the MVP, while Baltimore went on to lose 93 games.

    That’s the point. In 2006 he was 32-years-old and the Orioles lost 92 games after losing 91, 88 and 84 games the previous three seasons. They should have known the odds of him winning an MVP award or being any better than he was in 2004-2006 were extremely low and they should have traded him when they had a chance to get something. If they had traded him and he’d won an MVP, it would be so far against the odds, the Orioles shouldn’t have been criticized. You said yourself, a GM can’t know how a trade is going to turn out before he makes it. He has to go on what is likely. And Miguel Tejada clearly wasn’t likely to be any better than he was from 2004-2006.

    “What would your opinion of that trade have been if Morris went on to win the Cy in 2008?”

    Again, the odds of that happening were so unlikely that the Giants couldn’t have been blamed for making that trade. As you say, whether the trade was good or bad doesn’t depend on the results (i.e., whether Morris bucks the odds and wins a Cy Young).

    Just trying to follow your advice and evaluate these hypothetical trades independent of your hypothetical results.

    “Nine times out of ten, when dealing with minor league talent, you’re not going to get a player as good as Xavier Nady… and trust me… I’m not high on Xavier Nady.”

    Right. But they Pirates weren’t just trading players, they were trading contracts. Sometimes you take a lesser player if the players’ involved contracts are advantages to you. In other words, I’m not trading Oliver Perez (the 2006 version) and Roberto Hernandez for 27-year-old, league-average player making over $2 million with the possibility of that going up at least a couple more million in a couple of years.

  183. Shaun Says:

    I’d say giving perennially injured, and never all that good, 29 year old Carlos Pena a chance to be the full time DH in 2007 (after playing a COMBINED 97 games in the two previous seasons) was a pretty boneheaded move by Tampa.

    Nope. You are completely ignoring that teams acquire players and contracts, not just players. The Rays paid Pena $800,000 in 2007. Even if he didn’t work out, they didn’t lose much (relative to what ballplayers make).

    Yet it happens once, and since the result was positive, you’re saying it’s the model all teams should use.

    All teams should spend their resources wisely. Even if the RESULTS are not there, that’s all a team can do is spend their resources wisely. Not selling high on players Miguel Tejada when he’s 32-years-old and when your team hasn’t sniffed contention in 9 years is not being wise and efficient with what you have.

    If the Rays had stayed mediocre or bad with the moves they’ve made over the last 3 or 4 years, they’d still be better run than the Pirates or Royals or Orioles because their front office did all they could do, they were wise and efficient with their resources. That’s the first step. Being wise and efficient with resources doesn’t guarantee success but being unwise and inefficient goes a long way toward guaranteeing no success.

  184. Hossrex Says:

    Miguel Tejada’s 2004, 2005, 2006 stats:

    2004: .311/.360/.534 34 home runs, 40 doubles, 203 hits
    2005: .304/.349/.515 26 home runs, 50 doubles, 199 hits
    2006: .330/.379/.498 24 home runs, 37 doubles, 214 hits

    *rolls eyes*

    Yeah. It was SUUUUUUUUURE obvious that he was going to fall off the table in 2007.

    Bill DeWitt says hi.

  185. Shaun Says:

    Hossrex, when did I say he was going to “fall off the table” in 2007?

    I said he wasn’t like to be any better than he was in 2004-2006 and the Orioles were still finishing 4th or 3rd at best with him. At 32, he wasn’t likely to be around if the Orioles ever turned into a good team so they should have traded him when he had some trade value.

    You don’t avoid trading guys because of what they did at ages 30-32 and because they might win an unlikely MVP Award when your team stinks. I’d rather stink with a younger, cheaper player or at least a cheaper player than count on a 32-year-old to keep playing at his current level in hopes that I can use whatever resources I have left to build a contender around him.

  186. Hossrex Says:

    What Shaun says when he thinks people aren’t paying attention to what he said less than an hour ago:

    Shaun: “You are completely ignoring that teams acquire players and contracts, not just players. The Rays paid Pena $800,000 in 2007. Even if he didn’t work out, they didn’t lose much (relative to what ballplayers make).”

    What we all remember Shaun having said, because we’re not morons:

    Shaun: “Money does not force a team into wasting roster spots and resources on bad-to-mediocre, overpaid players.”

    Shaun: “even if you don’t, you shed some payroll and roster space.

    I guess roster spots are only important if it’s a point YOU’RE trying to make?

    Shaun: “All teams should spend their resources wisely.”

    Which you’re suggesting means they should take crap shoot after crap shoot after crap shoot on players who’ve you’ve admitted don’t work out to Major League average nine times out of ten.

    Shaun: “Not selling high on players Miguel Tejada when he’s 32-years-old and when your team hasn’t sniffed contention in 9 years is not being wise and efficient with what you have.”

    But trading your only good player after he’d had three remarkably consistent, remarkably GOOD years WOULD have been wise and efficient?

    Nonsense.

    Shaun: “If the Rays had stayed mediocre or bad with the moves they’ve made over the last 3 or 4 years, they’d still be better run than the Pirates or Royals or Orioles

    Perhaps… but you wouldn’t be sitting there praising them for being so well managed if they’d maintained their ignominious streak of 5th place finishes (of their first ten years in the league, their highlight was a 4th place finish thanks to Toronto dropping 94).

    Shaun: “they were wise and efficient with their resources.”

    And by that you mean they didn’t trade away young players who were good instantly, and were so cheap as to be basically free.

    Given the luck Tampa has had with the draft, it would have been actively DIFFICULT for their front office to screw up (at least until the players not locked up long term get too expensive).

    Shaun: “Being wise and efficient with resources doesn’t guarantee success but being unwise and inefficient goes a long way toward guaranteeing no success.”

    And again… by “wise and efficient”, you mean that teams should focus on young player after young player, rolling the dice over and over again, until they recapture the magic of the 2008 Rays… a team which was so impressive because it was so unlikely.

    Huh?

  187. Shaun Says:

    Hossrex, basically you don’t trade or avoid making trades based on unlikely hypotheticals (like Tejada winning an MVP after age 32 or Matt Morris winning a Cy Young). You make trades based on what is likely, based on where your team is and based on contracts of players involved.

  188. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “he wasn’t like to be any better than he was in 2004-2006 and the Orioles were still finishing 4th or 3rd at best with him. At 32, he wasn’t likely to be around if the Orioles ever turned into a good team so they should have traded him when he had some trade value.

    lol… this’ll be fun.

    The year? 2007. The man? Carlos Pena. The salary? Eight hundred thousand dollars. The production? .282/.411/.627, OPS+ 172, 46 home runs, top ten MVP finish, with a silver slugger to top of off.

    How did the Rays do that year?

    66-96, 5th place, and THIRTY GAMES out of first place.

    Logically, what should the Rays do?

    As you said, “he wasn’t likely to be around if the *Rays* ever turned into a good team, so they should have traded him when he had some trade value.”

    Its. The. Exact. Same. Thing.

    Should Tampa have traded Pena for a handful of double A players?

  189. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “basically you don’t trade or avoid making trades based on unlikely hypotheticals

    I agree. Which is why you don’t trade away your best player just because you’re struggling.

  190. Shaun Says:

    “I guess roster spots are only important if it’s a point YOU’RE trying to make?”

    If Pena was bad, the Rays could just cut him or designate him for assignment or something. Roster space wasn’t an issue.

    Which you’re suggesting means they should take crap shoot after crap shoot after crap shoot on players who’ve you’ve admitted don’t work out to Major League average nine times out of ten.

    A team should get the best players and best contracts for its situation. Trading mediocre vets for more mediocre vets is not wise when your teams hasn’t been in contention in 15 years. In that case you’d rather trade mediocre vets for essentially nothing than trade them for more mediocre vets.

    “But trading your only good player after he’d had three remarkably consistent, remarkably GOOD years WOULD have been wise and efficient?”

    Yes, because you shouldn’t trade or not trade based on what players did but what they are likely to do. Also, if you haven’t come close to winning anything when he was remarkably good, why keep him around when he is not likely to get any better? Unless you know you’ve got a ton of great prospects coming up that can turn your franchise around or you know you can sign all the best free agents in the coming off-season.

    Perhaps… but you wouldn’t be sitting there praising them for being so well managed if they’d maintained their ignominious streak of 5th place finishes (of their first ten years in the league, their highlight was a 4th place finish thanks to Toronto dropping 94).

    Right. Results do matter at least some. The point of the game is to win, isn’t it? I agree that results aren’t everything. A team can make all the right moves and still not win. But at the same time results do matter and the Rays deserve some credit for winning a pennant in ‘08, having a solid team in ‘09 and winning a lot this season.

    And by that you mean they didn’t trade away young players who were good instantly, and were so cheap as to be basically free.

    Right. They also limited their bad moves. They didn’t get trigger happy when they thought they might contend and go out overpay or over-trade for players to the degree that some other teams do.

    And again… by “wise and efficient”, you mean that teams should focus on young player after young player, rolling the dice over and over again, until they recapture the magic of the 2008 Rays… a team which was so impressive because it was so unlikely.

    Again, a team should get the best players and best contracts for its situation. No where did I say a team should focus on young player after young player until they recapture the magic of the ‘08 Rays. If your team has been consistently bad or mediocre and you have some older yet useful players, you should probably try trading those players for cheaper and/or younger players. If you’ve been a consistently bad team for years, you probably shouldn’t waste a great deal of your resources on mediocre players, especially ones past their primes. Every situation is different.

  191. Raul Says:

    Ok.

    So, aside from the Pittsburgh Pirates cashing in on tremendous talent and signing them all to long-term “Evan Longoria-esque” bargain contracts….what are they supposed to do? I mean if they’re not going to spend money….???

  192. Shaun Says:

    Hossrex, if the Rays could have gotten a better, cheaper player, they absolutely should have traded Pena. But he was still relatively young and relatively cheap for his production, so they thought he could be around when they were ready to contend. The Orioles were in a different position in 2006. The Rays were loaded with young talent and they knew it.

    And I didn’t say trade Tejada for a handful of Double-A players (if by that you mean non-prospects). Tejada was the type of player the Orioles could have somewhat reloaded with in a trade. That’s different from the players the Pirates traded. If the Rays could have “loaded up” by trading Pena, they absolutely should have done it.

    I agree. Which is why you don’t trade away your best player just because you’re struggling.

    You do if your best player is 32, expensive, and your franchise shows no signs of contending anytime soon.

  193. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “A team should get the best players and best contracts for its situation.”

    As simple as that, eh?

    You’d think Pittsburgh or Kansas City would have thought of that.

    Shaun: “you shouldn’t trade or not trade based on what players did but what they are likely to do.”

    Miguel Tejada’s 2004, 2005, 2006 stats:

    2004: .311/.360/.534 34 home runs, 40 doubles, 203 hits
    2005: .304/.349/.515 26 home runs, 50 doubles, 199 hits
    2006: .330/.379/.498 24 home runs, 37 doubles, 214 hits

    What do you think he was likely to do in 2007?

    Shaun: “if you haven’t come close to winning anything when he was remarkably good, why keep him around when he is not likely to get any better?

    Because he was a good baseball player, and good baseball players help to win baseball games?

    Shaun: “Unless you know you’ve got a ton of great prospects coming up that can turn your franchise around or you know you can sign all the best free agents in the coming off-season.”

    As simple as that, eh?

    Shaun: “The point of the game is to win, isn’t it?”

    Yup. It is.

    That’s not what we were talking about, but yes. The point of the game is to win.

    Shaun: “They also limited their bad moves.”

    Yup. They didn’t trade away Longoria, Upton, or Price for a sack of potatoes.

    There isn’t a team in baseball that WOULD have done that… but you’re right.

    Shaun: “They didn’t get trigger happy when they thought they might contend and go out overpay or over-trade for players to the degree that some other teams do.”

    Because they couldn’t afford to.

    Shaun: “a team should get the best players and best contracts for its situation.”

    If it were as simple as you’re making it out to be, why does any team ever fail?

    You’re basically saying “why doesn’t Kansas City just make smart decisions?”

    You honestly believe that if you were the owner/president/General Manager of Pittsburgh, they’d finish above .500 next year, don’t you.

  194. Shaun Says:

    So, aside from the Pittsburgh Pirates cashing in on tremendous talent and signing them all to long-term “Evan Longoria-esque” bargain contracts….what are they supposed to do? I mean if they’re not going to spend money….???

    The Pirates are actually doing a decent job under the new regime. They are stockpiling as much young talent as they can. And they are filling the rest of their roster with cheap players that have a slight chance to be somewhat useful to another team in a trade.

  195. Hossrex Says:

    Geez Shaun… it’s not even worth it anymore.

  196. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “The Pirates are actually doing a decent job under the new regime.”

    23 and 42, 12.5 games back of a weak division. Twice as many regular players batting below .200 as are batting above .300. One pitcher with an ERA under 4, and their second lowest ERA is 4.95. 15th out of 16 teams in the offensive “slash stats.” 15th out of 16 in team ERA. Worst record in the National League.

    I guess at least I can’t blame you for being result based in that opinion.

  197. Shaun Says:

    You’d think Pittsburgh or Kansas City would have thought of that.

    There is a difference between a team thinking it’s getting the best players and best contracts for its situation and a team actually doing it.

    What do you think he was likely to do in 2007?

    Around .300/.355/.500, without looking up what he did…and what do you know, he did worse the next three years.

    Because he was a good baseball player, and good baseball players help to win baseball games?

    Right, but getting good baseball players, while obviously huge, isn’t the only consideration for a major league franchise. They also have to consider contracts, age of players, if their franchise can contend now or 3 or 5 or 10 years down the road, etc. Wouldn’t baseball be so much more simple if teams only had to worry about whether a guy is a good player or a bad player and how good or bad he is.

    “That’s not what we were talking about, but yes. The point of the game is to win.

    Well, we were talking about results and how teams and front offices and trades should be evaluated; and results (winning and losing) should matter.

    Because they couldn’t afford to.

    Well, I don’t know. I mean look at some of the moves they made in their early days. Also the Pirates and Royals find a way to make bad moves with less money than most teams.

    You’re basically saying “why doesn’t Kansas City just make smart decisions?”

    Sort of. Except I’m sure they think they are making smart decision, at least before they make them.

    You honestly believe that if you were the owner/president/General Manager of Pittsburgh, they’d finish above .500 next year, don’t you.

    Nope. Pittsburgh is doing a decent job under their new regime. I’m certain I would do much worse. I would guess Pittsburgh’s current front office as a whole is smarter than 99 percent of visitors to Dugout Central.

  198. Shaun Says:

    I guess at least I can’t blame you for being result based in that opinion.

    Exactly. What has Pittsburgh done under the new regime? They’ve finally traded away their older players that had some trade value (like Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez and Nate McLouth), they’ve drafted better, they’ve stockpiled young players and filled in with cheap players. It will take a while for the results to show up.

  199. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, here is a quote from you: “Bad teams are bad for one reason, and one reason only. Money.
    Not true and apparently it’s not obvious to you that it’s not true.”

    Then why has every comment you’ve made in the last three hours have money, or finances, or contracts as the focal point to what you are trying to explain?

    Pittsburgh and Kansas City get stuck with Shawn Chacon and Kyle Farnsworth because they can’t afford Cliff Lee and John Lackey.

    That has everything to do with money.

    If money wasn’t an issue then Mark Teixeira would have signed with Washington, CC Sabathia would be a Dodger, and Carl Crawford wouldn’t be approaching free agency.

  200. Shaun Says:

    “Then why has every comment you’ve made in the last three hours have money, or finances, or contracts as the focal point to what you are trying to explain?”

    Because money and contracts matter but that’s different from saying money is the the one and only reason bad teams are bad.

    Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Texas are all doing just fine without Cliff Lee, John Lackey, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia. Why? Because they know that there are better players out there and they’ve drafted and developed better players who make less money than Chacon and Farnsworth.

  201. Shaun Says:

    In other words Chuck, the alternative to Teixeira, Sabathia, Crawford, Lee and Lackey shouldn’t be Chacon and Farnsworth. There are better players out there that could be had for less money than Chacon, Farnsworth, Ankiel, Kendall, etc. For example, the alternative to Crawford is not going to be Scott Podsednik but Desmond Jennings. And even if it wasn’t Desmond Jennings, it sure wouldn’t be Scott Podsednik.

  202. Shaun Says:

    …and that is why the Rays are better run than the Royals.

  203. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “There is a difference between a team thinking it’s getting the best players and best contracts for its situation and a team actually doing it.”

    I don’t remember ever reading someone say something that explained why they were wrong.

  204. Shaun Says:

    Hossrex, can you specify who “someone” and “they” are? I’m honestly just trying to understand what you are trying to say.

    I’m assuming you want an explanation as to why it was wrong for the Royals to sign Podsednik, Kendall, Farnsworth, etc? If that’s it, the reason is the Royals could have gotten similar or close to similar contributions for a lot less money. These signing are fine if these guys are roll-players on a good team but they shouldn’t have key rolls on a horrible team.

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