Selig stepping down in 2012

Celebrating a Halladay weekend
Sabathia beloved in his former hometown

Via some guy at MLBTR with the same name as me, commissioner Bud Selig is reportedly going to step down from the position he’s held since 1992 after his contract expires in 2012. However, the CBA expires a year before that, so Selig’s fingerprints will be all over the new agreement.

I know Bud doesn’t have the best rapport with fans, but I feel that bashing him has kinda become the cool thing to do. Has he made some blunders? Sure, but we all have. By no means am I a Selig apologist, but the Wild Card, interleague play, and revenue sharing have all been extremely successful. And yes, say what you will about the drug testing policy, but the system in place now is the best you’ll find outside of international competition. The game is in a far better place right now than it was 10 or 20 years ago.

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Celebrating a Halladay weekend
Sabathia beloved in his former hometown
  • Evil Empire

    Selig was overall a very good commish from what I’ve seen. The Mitchell Report was a travesty that ruined the good name of many HOF quality players, so that sucks, but he seems to have done a good job putting out the fires and ensuring that the sport never took a real revenue hit from it (and really quite the opposite since the home run pandemonium of the mid 1990s through mid 2000s really redeemed the sport from the strike). That’s really what matters the most, he’s made this sport a shitload of money and that’s what is ultimately the true measure of his tenure from a bottom-line standpoint.

    Continuing to block Rose’s HOF eligibility is another really dick move by Bud. At this point, have some mercy for the man and some respect for his positive contributions to baseball.

    This isn’t really news though, that he is retiring in 2012. He’s made that clear for a while now I think. I know he talked about it at length on a recent Bob Costas interview on the MLB Network.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      The sport didn’t take a hit after the Mitchell Report, because the fans didn’t care. Fans aren’t stupid. The fans knew in their heart that players wern’t getting this big and strong naturally. If they didn’t, then they were naive. Seelig made the whole PED issue worse than it had to be. Having turned in an incomplete, half-assed report,loose on the public, was the absolute worse thing he did in his tenure.

      • Evil Empire

        Completely agree. Does he have any accountability in the leak of “the list”?

        The parties responsible for that blunder need to be repeatedly punched in the face.

      • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

        “Fans aren’t stupid.”

        Bold.

        • awolowo

          You’re stupid, you’re a fan.

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    I agree about the wild card and interleague play, but I don’t think Revenue Sharing has been too successful when there are teams like the pirates, marlins, royals, etc who pocket that money instead of spending it on their team. I’d like the next one to force teams to spend that money, since a salary cap isn’t going to work (at least for a while).

    Also, I think it is ridiculous that the NL Central has 6 teams, while the AL West has 4, even that stuff out already.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      They can’t even the divisions and leagues out. One league needs to have 16 teams, the other 14, you can’t do 15 and 15. Otherwise someone is off every night, unless you fully implement interleague.

      • Johan Iz My Brohan

        good point, forgot about that.

      • Evil Empire

        This will be fun to figure out the next time an expansion comes around.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          I’m guessing they’d expand to Portland and Charlotte, sticking them in the AL West and AL Central, respectively.

          I can’t see Vegas, too much potential for bad news.

          • Johan Iz My Brohan

            New Orleans is where it’s at.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              There’s already a Triple-A team there, though. They could always relocate them though, AAA franchises are easier to move.

              • Evil Empire

                Any idea when the next expansion might be? I don’t see it happening any time soon but really, I have no clue.

                Within the next 10 years?

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                  No idea. When was the last expansion before the Rockies and Marlins, the 70’s? So a 20-yr wait isn’t unprecedented. Of course the economy is screwing things up now.

                  An expansion draft would be the bomb diggity, from a blogging perspective.

                • Evil Empire

                  Would you care to explain how an expansion draft works, exactly? Do the new teams have the pick of rule 5 guys and like, own the amateur draft or something?

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                  The way the last two expansion drafts have worked is that each team was allowed to protect 15 total players in their organization, majors and minors. Players from the last two amateur drafts were also ineligible for the expansion draft.

                  Team end up protecting their best young players. The Yanks would block Joba, Hughes, Robertson, Montero, etc. No expansion team would take on A-Rod and his $30M salary, so there’s no need to protect him.

                • RobC

                  MIke
                  are teams srequired to protect plaers with no trade clauses? hense ARod

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                  You’re right, I forgot about that RobC. Teams are also allowed to protect a certain number of additional players after each round.

              • sciorsci

                There’s not already AAA teams in Portland and Charlotte?

                Based on Triple-A attendance numbers, Sacramento deserves serious consideration for an AL West franchise.

          • Evil Empire

            That all makes sense. Perhaps NOLA is another potential expansion city?

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          Screw expansion, there needs to be contraction.

          • Don

            I agree on contraction.

            I have been having that debate with my buddies for years.

            Florida cannot/will not support 2 teams and decisions will have to be made on KC and/or Oakland.

            I always thought Portland and Las Vegas would be logical destinations for relocation if MLB went that route, but the economies in both of the cities and Oregon and Nevada are terrible right now. It will probably remain so for the foreseeable future, so I cant see the local govts getting behind funding projects for a baseball team.

            If there is relocation in the future, MLB should target NOLA as mentioned above in addition to Nashville and San Antonio. If California can support 4 teams (I dont count the A’s), there is no reason Texas cant support 3 of their own.

            • JMK aka The Overshare

              I’d think Charlotte would have some appeal, as well. New Orleans is starting to recoup much of the population they lost after Katrina. Unfortunately, I’m still unsure if that city is really able to support baseball anywhere in the near future. Their tax base is really low, basic services aren’t guaranteed in a decent part of the city, and basic infrastructure needs would trump any baseball stadium happening. I can’t imagine the funding would be there.

              San Antonio makes the most sense, and I think Nashville could be a consideration, as well. Vegas and Portland, as you mentioned, have biiiig problems. All that being said, I’d prefer contraction. Get rid of KC, Oakland, Florida Marlins and figure out a way to physically move PNC out of Pittsburgh.

              • JMK aka The Overshare

                Fuck it. Get rid of Tampa, Cincinnati, and Toronto while you’re at it. Relocate one or two to viable markets (if they exist).

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  I agree about Tampa and Toronto, but not Cincy. If Cicny has a halfway decent team it can be a good baseball town.

                • Renny Baseball

                  What’s the logic for contraction of Toronto? Good organization, they spend money on players, and won 87 games I believe in ’06.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  They spend so much money on players that they’re trying to trade away the best pitcher in Blue Jays’ history.

                  Their stadium is always empty.

                  Just get baseball out of Canada.

                • Renny Baseball

                  Also, same question for Oakland and KC? Lack of won-loss success should not be determinative. Both teams have good, though more distant histories of WS/playoff success and great players. This past year, Oakland had great arms and look like a promising competitive team that is maybe still a year or two away. KC has a good core nucleus of 2-3 great players. Don’t know about their attendance records and whether or not they are profitable, I suspect not, though revenue sharing has evened the score somewhat.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  Oakland is fine, no need to get basebal out of Oakland. KC has to go.

                • Let’s Talk About TEX Baby

                  There are too many teams as is. Better to relocate some of the teams in bad markets to places like Portland and Vegas. MLB would do best in markets that don’t have NFL teams to compete with.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  I just think that KC doesn’t make sense as a baseball market.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            A dispersion draft would be even more awesome than an expansion draft.

            “With the first pick of the 2010 Dispersion Draft, the Washington Nationals select Joe Mauer, catcher, formerly of the Minnesota Twins.”

            “With the second pick of the 2010 Dispersion Draft, the Baltimore Orioles select Hanley Ramirez, shortstop, formerly of the Florida Marlins.”

            And so on…

            • Don

              Always dreamed of that as well Mike.

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              Screw it. Let every player be a free agent.

              • Don

                Even though the national media would be all over baseball, as usual, and paint the picture of a fading sport.

                Baseball could be out in front on something for once and recognize with a dwindling economy it will be better a strong league of 28, rather than keep around a couple of weak links.

                Plus, think about how it would improve the pitching scarcity issue that is often discussed.

                • Andy in Sunny Daytona

                  For any business to successfully survive, there has to be some fiscal fat trimming. Goodbye Oakland and Tampa. No new stadium deals on the horizon, so you have to go.

            • tremont

              What do you guys think of moving a team to North Jersey? Obviously it would be a distant third in the metro area, but I think it could operate as mid-market squad with an $80 to $100 mill payroll. MSG would kill for some summer programming. They would host 9 games a year with one NY team and 3 with the other. That’s 12 built-in sell outs every year. It’s a big improvement over Tampa/KC/Oakland.

              • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                That would kick ass.

      • JM

        Or there can be an expansion of 2 more teams… But that probably won’t happen for a while if it even does ever happen.

  • Ban Bud

    He made some of his very wealthy cronies even wealthier, and saved baseball from George Steinbrenner keeping his profits. He must be a good guy – Carl Pohlad didn’t give illegal under-the-table loans to just anybody.

    • Tom Zig

      ohhh hit-and-run…nice tactic

  • JohnnyC

    And he only sold his interest in the Brewers after the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin threatened to investigate the rather shadowy details of the financing and construction of Miller Park. No stranger to the concept of conflict of interest, he is also the man who dissuaded George Bush from seeking the commissionership, citing, of course, the dubious situation of an owner becoming commissioner. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • Crazy Eyes Killa

    I dislike Bud for his handling of the steroid era. I also think if he’s going to step down a year later, he might as well let people who will be around, particularly his successor, handle the CBA.

  • Manimal
  • Zack

    The biggest issue I have with Bud is the AS game determining home field advantage. I understand what he was trying to do, but you just cant do something just because you feel you need change.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Yeah, it sucks, but in the end it hasn’t matter. All of the WS since that change have been pretty one sided, even this year. The only games Philly won were the game Cliff Lee pitched and Chase Utley hit two homers, and they almost blew one of those.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        How about having Spring Training records determine the World Series home field? Is that random enough for baseball?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          I prefer something similar to Groundhogs Day. If Bill Murray wakes up with Margaret Kelley next to him, then the AL gets homefield. If not, the NL gets it, but only if he has a movie coming out.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      They should just make it the team with the best record.

    • Bob Stone

      I agree that it is totally irresponsible and just downright wrong for a new commssioner to be inaugurated with the previous commssioner’s multi-year CBA hanging around his/her neck.

      An alternative is to pre-appoint a successor, appoint that person Chief Negotiator (unless a poor negotiator is the best choice) with a vote/veto on the new CBA. At least they are invested and have responsibility/accountability for the environment in which they will preside.

    • JM

      It should just be best record and that’s it. Otherwise, there’s going to be domination periods that will have one league have home-field for a decade or so. That’s just dumb.

      • Bob Stone

        Totally agree. And I don’t care if someone says that won’t work because one team had a tougher schedule/league than the other. Too Bad. Best season record gets home field advantage . . . PERIOD.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Agreed.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Wait a minute, I already wrote that before you!

          • Bob Stone

            lol

    • tremont

      I don’t think it’s any worse than alternating home field every year, regardless of the strength of the leagues. I propose a 3 part formula to determine home field… 1) Team with better record. 2) League with better record in interleague play. 3) League that won the All-Star Game. The team with 2 of those 3 in their favor gets home field.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Nah. What if you had the better record by 10 games and dominated interleague, but because your league lost the ASG and interleague play the other team gets homefield? Too many variables. Best record and fuck the rest.

      • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

        This is exactly right. Sure, the All-Star game is an arbitrary determinant, but for whatever team happens to make it to the Series from each league, so is the alternation. The former at least makes one night a year more interesting than it would otherwise be.

        If the same two teams were playing each other in the Series for stretches of 3+ years in a row, then alternating years would be more ‘fair’. As it is, it’s like a coin toss, but without the drama.

  • RobC

    will any commmish stand up to the TV networks?
    Playoff games should start no later than 7:30pm home team time

    • JM

      +1

      • RobC

        what does +1 mean?

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Congratulations, you just earned a point. JM liked your comment!

    • Bob Stone

      Definitely agree but it won’t happen unless the new commish can sell ownership on accepting lower revenues for the playoff broadcast rights.

    • Chris

      You want to commish to stand up to TV networks so that fewer people can watch the games? One of the goals of the commish to expand the fanbase, and part of that is ensuring that as many people as possible can/will watch the games on TV. I’m not an expert in TV ratings, but if this TV schedule results in the highest possible TV ratings then it’s doing it’s job and is the right thing to do.

  • Bob Stone

    A lot of people have made good arguments for contraction that I believe make more sense than those of the expansionistas, given the current environment.

    A couple of issues/questions. If the collective ownerhship/comomissioner decide on and vote for contraction of (for argument’s sake) two teams. The owners of those two teams object vigorously and can’t be bought off. Can the collective force them out?

    The second issue is supply and demand. A dispersion draft makes more players available to fewer teams resulting in lower AAV contracts and more out of work players. Will that cause a cry of collusion from the MLBPLA, espcially if it is a forced contraction?

    • Bob Stone

      *MLBPA

    • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Nobody has made a good argument for why contraction is necessary or would be beneficial to baseball. It’s just a fashionable idea to some people because some people like the idea of getting rid of the smaller-market teams, but if MLB is stronger than it has ever been and the teams are making more money than they’ve ever made, there’s no reason to contract. The only arguments I’ve heard are myopic, unrealistic and unsubstantiated.

      • Don

        Throwing around big words doesnt make your argument better than someone else’s, especially on a baseball forum.

        Ive figured out the EDPs on this site use this technique to bully opposing viewpoints.

        The viewpoint is that Oakland and KC do not have the ownership wiling to spend enough money to keep them competitive on a consistent basis. Plus, their fan base either through years of losing their best players to trade/free agency and consistent losing seasons have become so jaded that they no longer support the team.

        Discussing contraction is a viable solution to solving multiple minor issues within the game. A solution such as this would improve the game overall for the future.

        One must acknowledge that the changing US economy will be a factor in how sports teams/leagues operate and in a way we have not seen before.

        • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          And nothing you said is a valid argument for taking MLB teams away from their cities.

          Oakland’s ownership isn’t willing to spend enough to keep them competitive on a consistent basis? You mean the same organization that made the playoffs 5 times during the 2000s?

          You’re overreacting to the woes of a couple of smaller-market teams and misrepresenting short-term failure as a reason to contract those organizations.

          It’s easy for us, as Yankees fans, to sit back and talk about contracting MLB teams in other cities, but imagine how you’d feel about this issue if you were a baseball fan in Kansas City or Oakland. I found the move of the Seattle NBA franchise to Oklahoma City disgusting – cities/markets develop relationships with their sports franchises and I think everything should be done to keep franchises in their home cities whenever possible.

          In order to prove that contraction is a valid option you first have to identify a solvable problem and then present a plan and explain why that plan would solve that problem. The teams in Oakland and Kansas City can win, and MLB is in better financial shape than it has ever been. What’s the problem we’re solving here by stealing MLB franchises from their home cities, and how are we solving it?

          (What’s an EDP?)

          • Don

            Of course they can win, I dont think people want them contracted because they cant win.

            Its about fan support. The A’s had large swaths of empty seats for some of those playoff games you mention.

            The Royals’ fan support, like the Blue Jays’ (who I dont think should be contracted), simply never recovered after the last strike.

            • Don

              The A’s have no where to build a new stadium in a state that is flat broke. The Giants are blocking them from going to San Jose, the Fremont deal fell through, and there have been no further developments with surrounding locations.

              Their attendance has precipitously dropped despite being competitive ever since the team lost Giambi and Tejada, then traded Hudson and Mulder. I cannot prove a direct correlation, but most who follow the A’s would say that was the line of delineation for the fan base.

              The Royals simply have terrible fan support. They have only finished higher than 25th in attendance once in the last ten years. For this same reason, I believe Tampa needs to be considered as well if attendance doesnt improve there over time while the team remains competitive.

              Contracting two teams would improve the overall talent pool, reduce overall payroll (As mentioned above) which is always a concern amongst “small market” teams, and allow for teams getting luxury taxes to select from a pool of money with less takers.

            • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              “Its about fan support. The A’s had large swaths of empty seats for some of those playoff games you mention.”

              This is just false. The last time the A’s were in the playoffs was in 2006. Capacity in their stadium that season was listed at 34,077. Here’s the attendance for the ALCS games in Oakland that season, followed by the percent of full capacity:

              Game 1 – 35,655/105%
              Game 2 – 36,168/106%

              If they win, the fans will come. There have been plenty of studies done (see: Horowitz – If You Play Well They Will Come—and Vice Versa: Bidirectional Causality in Major-League Baseball; and Noll: Attendance and Price Setting, among many others) to confirm for us something very intuitive and simple – if you build a winning team and provide a winning experience, fans will buy tickets to your games and watch your team on television and buy jerseys and hats and videos of your triumphs.

              • Don

                How many fans does Oakland Alameda actually hold?

                It is not the number the A’s have decided they will open because they simply cannot draw enough to make it worth opening the rest of the stadium.

                The A’s closed the third deck of their stadium in 2006.

                • Don

                  Thursday, October 2, 2003 at NetworkAssoc (Oakland Athletics)

                  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
                  – – – – – – – – – – – –
                  Boston Red Sox 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1
                  Oakland Athletics 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 5 6 0

                  PITCHERS: BOS – Wakefield, Embree (7), Williamson (8)
                  OAK – Zito, Bradford (8), Foulke (9)

                  WP – Barry Zito
                  LP – Tim Wakefield
                  SAVE – none

                  HOME RUNS: BOS – none
                  OAK – none

                  ATTENDANCE: 36,305

                  That is 14,000 less people than they had the previous night.

                • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  According to this page, capacity prior to 2006 was 48,219. The last time the A’s were in the playoffs prior to 2006 (prior to the tarp), the attendance was as follows:

                  Game 1 – 50,606/105%
                  Game 2 – 36,305/75%
                  Game 5 – 49,397/102%

                  Game 2 was on a weekday and I would assume Game 2 was a day game, thus explaining the abnormally low, by Oakland standards, attendance that day. So you’ve got one day that shows low playoff attendance, and every other day shows better than full capacity playoff attendance. That’s a clear rebuttal of your statement.

                  And I also don’t agree with your argument that if they can only draw about 35,000 fans for a game that means the market isn’t viable for MLB baseball. If it’s good enough on the north side of Chicago and in Boston, I think it’s good enough in Oakland.

                • Don

                  So youre comparing Wrigley and Fenway to Oakland Alameda, and at the same time the Boston and Chicago markets for baseball to Oakland’s.

                  Not sure you want to go there.

                  As for Game 2 in 2003 being anomaly, I dont believe that is correct considering the fans’ performance in 2002…

                  Series Games

                  Game 1 / Box Score and Play-By-Play

                  Tuesday, October 1, 2002 at NetworkAssoc (Oakland Athletics)

                  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
                  – – – – – – – – – – – –
                  Minnesota Twins 0 1 2 0 0 3 1 0 0 7 13 3
                  Oakland Athletics 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 12 0

                  PITCHERS: MIN – Radke, Santana (6), Romero (7), Guardado (9)
                  OAK – Hudson, Lilly (6), Lidle (7), Rincon (8), Mecir (9)

                  WP – Brad Radke
                  LP – Ted Lilly
                  SAVE – Eddie Guardado

                  HOME RUNS: MIN – Koskie, Mientkiewicz
                  OAK – none

                  ATTENDANCE: 34,853

                  Game 2 / Box Score and Play-By-Play

                  Wednesday, October 2, 2002 at NetworkAssoc (Oakland Athletics)

                  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
                  – – – – – – – – – – – –
                  Minnesota Twins 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 7 1
                  Oakland Athletics 3 0 0 5 1 0 0 0 x 9 14 0

                  PITCHERS: MIN – Mays, Fiore (4), Lohse (6), Hawkins (8)
                  OAK – Mulder, Bradford (7), Koch (9)

                  WP – Mark Mulder
                  LP – Joe Mays
                  SAVE – none

                  HOME RUNS: MIN – Guzman
                  OAK – Chavez

                  ATTENDANCE: 31,953

                  Remember this is before the closing of the third deck.

                • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Congratulations. You’ve finally dug back far enough, 7 years in the past and 4 playoff series back, to find a series in which the A’s didn’t fill their stadium to capacity (or beyond).

                  The comparison to Boston/Chicago clearly wasn’t meant to compare the size of the fan bases. What I think was pretty clear from my comment was that if you’re going to say a team/market isn’t viable if their stadium only fits about 35,000 fans, then you have to explain why there are so many perfectly viable, healthy markets with stadiums that seat about 35,000 fans.

                  Whatever, I think this conversation has run its course and I’m not interested in continuing. I do, however, think it would be decent of you to respond to this comment. I didn’t appreciate the accusations you tossed in my direction in your first comment in this conversation.

              • Ed

                I’m guessing he’s thinking about the covered upper deck.

                I have no idea why the A’s did that, but they’ve eliminated a large portion of the seating.

                • Don

                  Yes the deck they closed because they simply cannot draw enough to validate opening it anymore.

                  Thats a helluva healthy franchise. Imagine if Billy Beane ever left.

                • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  How many baseball teams do you think have stadiums that hold 50,000+? There’s is absolutely nothing about having a stadium that holds a capacity of about 35,000 that affects the viability of an MLB franchise or market. That’s just an invalid argument.

                • Don

                  Of course not, except when the team is desperate to build a stadium elsewhere and cant find a location that will work for them.

                • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “Yes the deck they closed because they simply cannot draw enough to validate opening it anymore.
                  Thats a helluva healthy franchise. Imagine if Billy Beane ever left.”

                  Yes, the A’s lowered the capacity of their home stadium. So did the following teams. Should any of these teams be contracted? Is this evidence these markets aren’t viable for MLB?

                  Philadelphia (62,382 to 43,647)
                  Pittsburgh (47,971 to 38,496)
                  Cincinnati (52,952 to 42,271)
                  New York NL (55,601 to 42,000)
                  Baltimore (54,000 to 48,190)
                  Cleveland (74,400 to 43,405)
                  San Diego (47,972 to 42,500)
                  San Francisco (57,546 to 41,600)

                  I could go on but that list is already long enough and I think we all get the point. Every team that moves into a new stadium moves into a new stadium with a lower capacity than its old home. Thus, lowering the capacity of one’s home stadium is an invalid argument for why a team should be contracted.

                  And the A’s didn’t lower their stadium’s capacity because they couldn’t fill the stadium. They chose to lower the capacity of their stadium because they apparently thought they might be able to artificially ramp up demand for tickets by creating more scarcity in the ticket market (something that’s been done by just about every other team that has lowered their home stadium’s capacity), and I’d assume they also save some money by not having to operate the top level of the stadium (no need to open concessions, provide security, pay utility bills, etc.). That doesn’t mean the Oakland market isn’t a viable MLB market or that the A’s should be contracted.

                  In order to show that a team should be contracted, you have to show that that team’s existence isn’t economically or competitively viable (i.e. the team can’t exist, economically, and can’t compete, baseball-wise) and that baseball would be better off without that team. The Oakland A’s are clearly viable – they’ve been in the playoffs 5 times in the 2000s, and their attendance figures are just fine in years when the team is competitive. They’re not situated in the best market and they’re not the strongest franchise, but their market is certainly viable enough and they have clearly been competitive enough to survive.

                  The bar for contraction has to be set high, we’re talking about taking away a beloved part of a market’s civic identity here. Will a franchise in Oakland ever enjoy the advantages a franchise in New York, or any other more affluent and larger market than Oakland, will enjoy? Of course not. But that’s not a valid reason why the Oakland market isn’t a viable MLB market. Oakland might not be the best MLB market, but that doesn’t mean it deserves to have its MLB team ripped away from it.

                • Don

                  You’re missing the point. All of those teams reduced the size of their stadiums when moving from one stadium to another.

                  The A’s massively reduced their occupancy in the same stadium and CANNOT find a place to build a new stadium.

                  That is what makes Oakland a poor baseball market. It appears the SF Metro area can only support one team consistently both in terms of fans and dollars towards investing in the infrastructure and new stadium needed to relocate within another area of NoCal.

                  If they cannot compete economically in their current stadium, which is why the owner has been searching for a new city to build a new stadium, and cannot find a location to build a new stadium, then there are 2 options:

                  1) Move out of state.
                  2) Be contracted by MLB.

                  I support both.

        • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          PS: As far as your accusations of bullying, etc… Bob’s a big boy and he comments here often, I think he can defend his own arguments and he knows I’m not trying to bully him. In my response I explained why I think the contraction arguments are invalid – because, to quote myself, “if MLB is stronger than it has ever been and the teams are making more money than they’ve ever made, there’s no reason to contract.” The only person here who is trying to discount someone else’s argument by attacking the way that comment was made is you, not me. I’ll also note that the only person here who addressed a person instead of addressing a comment/idea was you, not me.

          • Bob Stone

            I definitely didn’t feel bullied or intimidated by the Congressman. We have had heated discussions a few times and it’s always an interesting discourse.

            I think the Congressman misinterpreted my remarks or perhaps I wasn’t clear. I was saying that the Contractionistas made a few, more logical arguments than the Expansionistas IN THIS THREAD.

            Then I go on to state some problems with the Contractionistas position. I was actually posing some issues that make contraction very difficult. I certainly didn’t list all the pros and cons. On the other side of the coin, I think expansion in this economic environment is suicidal.

            Mostly though . . . I was curious to know if it is possible for a majority of owners vote to shut down a franchise in the face of strong opposition of the owners, fans and city???? I really don’t know the answer.

            I DON’T WANT CONTRACTION. Look at how the Twins have recovered from being very close to contraction.

            • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Thanks, Bob. I didn’t think anything in my comment was insulting or personal or bullying, and since we’ve been involved in discussions here before I didn’t think you’d feel attacked by my comment. I appreciate your speaking up to say so.

              I didn’t misunderstand though, I knew what you meant. And my response was that I disagree and don’t think the “Contractionistas” have made any valid or persuasive arguments in this thread.

              By the way… Back on-topic… This is a very good point that people need to consider very strongly:

              “Look at how the Twins have recovered from being very close to contraction.”

              This is what I was getting at, above, when I said people are “overreacting to the woes of a couple of smaller-market teams and misrepresenting short-term failure as a reason to contract those organizations.” The Oakland A’s have had a lot of success recently, we can’t react to one or two years of failure and suddenly talk about contracting them. The Royals (and MLB) have a pretty decent amount of history in Kansas City and have a beautiful stadium. If they could get a decent management team in there and put together some decent seasons, people would be holding them up as an example of small market success in the Heartland, much like they do with the Twins (who, as Bob noted, were one of the teams we used to talk about contracting). People need to keep this stuff in perspective and not allow themselves to be swayed by short-term struggles.

              • Bob Stone

                You always post well thought out arguments articulately supported by logic and facts (unlike some other commenters here).

                I am always pleased when one of my comments on the site starts a lengthy and intelligent conversation (and I don’t mean just throwing out controversial statements that creates mindless “Alex Gonzalez” type insulting/ranting/bashing).

                In over twenty comments spanning five and half hours, no one “got” my argument, or everyone just chose to ignore it. My comment was a hypothetical scenario followed by two questions:

                “A couple of issues/questions. If the collective ownerhship/commissioner decide on and vote for contraction of (for argument’s sake) two teams. The owners of those two teams object vigorously and can’t be bought off. Can the collective force them out?

                The second issue is supply and demand. A dispersion draft makes more players available to fewer teams resulting in lower AAV contracts and more out of work players. Will that cause a cry of collusion from the MLBPA, espcially if it is a forced contraction?”

                I would still love to know if their is an answer to my first question or if it is an unknown.

                I also find it amusingly illogical and internally inconsistent that some of the same commenters that favor contraction also favor moving the playoff games to an earlier time slot which will reduce MLB revenue and fan viewership.

        • Ed

          So your argument is you don’t like the way the ownership of the A’s and Royals run their teams, therefore they don’t deserve to exist?

          If you want support for contraction, you need to justify that those teams cannot compete regardless of ownership, or that their existence somehow harms other teams in a way that is best solved by eliminating these teams.

          Considering the A’s were extremely competitive for the first half of the decade, they clearly can be competitive. The Royals have clearly been run incompetently for a long time, so it’s hard to say what good management would be able to accomplish there.

          I have no idea how their existence would hurt other teams, as the teams near them have managed to do well. You might be able to make that argument in Florida, as neither team there has been able to accumulate a large fanbase, but I don’t see that argument applying here.

          One must acknowledge that the changing US economy will be a factor in how sports teams/leagues operate and in a way we have not seen before.

          Sure, a change in the economy is likely to influence the operations of large businesses. I’m assuming that line is supposed to mean you’ve put thought into the issue – care to share those thoughts?

    • sciorsci

      Contraction isn’t happening. Period. There’s no way the MLBPA signs off on it, due to the loss of 7% of their jobs, and we all know how things go when the MLBPA disagrees with the owners and the commissioner.

  • Russell NY

    Identity theft is a huge problem Jim.

  • crapula

    Wild Card and interleague still suck and he’s still way too enamored of them.

    If there is anything I’d really like to change are the amount of interleague during the regular season. I hate it so much.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      I disagree. I like both the wildcard and interleague.

      Wildcard does need to be altered, however. My idea:

      The 2 teams in each league with the best records outside of division leaders square off in a 1 game playoff, of the 2 the team with the better record gets homefield. Whoever wins the 1 game playoff moves on to the regular playoffs.

      • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        What problem are you solving with that plan, and how are you solving it?

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          The problem is that I think wildcard teams need to be penalized more. In a five game series the disadvantage is minimum. So now they need to win a one game playoff as well, which has so many variables I think that it’s a considerable disadvnatage. Also, teams wold have to use their Ace pitchers, meaning they couldn’t pitch them in game 1 of the DS.

          It has the added benefit of keeping the fanbases of the fringe-but-out teams, like the Marlins, interested n their teams late in the season.

          • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I hear where you’re coming from, but I don’t think your plan really accomplishes your goals. Here’s why:

            “The problem is that I think wildcard teams need to be penalized more. In a five game series the disadvantage is minimum.”
            But making them play a play-in game doesn’t alter the fairness of the 5 game divisional series. Your plan does penalize the wild-card contenders in a sense, but it doesn’t do enough, if anything, about the real problem (and I agree this is a problem) – that the WC team should be at more of a disadvantage in the divisional series than the 5-game format provides. I guess the WC team will have less rest prior to the divisional series than they’re opponent will have, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily a disadvantage. They’ll use their ace pitchers if they can, but it’s certainly not a fait accompli that things will work out that way. I think you’re making it a bit tougher to get into the playoffs as the wild card, but not enough to put the wild card team at a disadvantage once they’re in the playoffs.

            As far as keeping the fans of more teams involved in the playoff chase… Yeah, I guess that’s true. It won’t happen ever season, but there will be seasons in which more teams will be involved in the playoff chase under your plan.

            I’m not sure what the solution is, but I do agree the system isn’t ideal as it currently stands. The last time I worked on a solution of my own I wound up describing a total re-haul in which MLB adopts a relegation system with all kinds of structural changes, so I’ll spare everybody.

            • Bob Stone

              A few weeks ago I posted a solution to one playoff “problem”: The shortness of a 5 game series. It allows luck disproportionately influence the result (ie a less talented team getting hot and winning only three games).

              I propose making the DS a 7 games series. Start the season 7 to ten days earlier with early season games ALL played in warm climates or domed stadia venues.

              I would push this concept as far as it would reasonably stretch to even lengthen the LS and WS (the WS used to be best of 9 and best of 11). That elminates a lot of the luck of a “hot “team. It doesn’t cost the owners regular season game revenue and increases post season revenue. It also gives us fans MORE BASEBALL!

              • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                Nah, I don’t think you should make it any longer than seven games for each.

                • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I also don’t think I’d like to see series longer than 7 games, but I think the divisional series fix might work. I agree that the 5-game series is the problem, it levels the playing field too much.

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    The Wild Card and interleague are great, and if Selig had stepped down ten years ago, I would probably remember him fondly. Those are still the biggest changes he’s presided over, so I suppose his tenure should still be seen as a good one, but I’ll be glad to see him go.

    He did an inexcusable job with steroids. Revenue sharing, the WBC, even smaller things like televising the draft are all great ideas that he executed so terribly as to make them worse than not doing them at all.

    Good riddance.

    • sciorsci

      Also, can we stop the “interleague is great” nonsense? Interleague play sucks. It’s become fairly boring and routine – the novelty has worn off – and all it does is further unbalance the schedule. Truthfully, I was exiled to being closest to an NL city (Denver) that wasn’t within even a short flight of any AL locations, and though the one series every six years that I would have a shot to see the Bombers firsthand was a nice luxury, it was really unnecessary. Interleague play is done.

  • bottom line

    Selig had had hands in Yankee pockets for years.

    Anyone who ever heard him in conversation with other small market owners knows that suppression of the Yankees has always been central to his agenda. The luxury tax and revenue sharing were both imposed towards that end, just as the amateiur draft was way back in the 60s (before Selig, of course. Seilig also allowed John Henry to win the Red Sox with an inferior bid — in return for his support on such matters. This is really the rot of an unholy alliance between the Commissioner’s office and the Yankees’ arch rival.

    I guess the bonhomie of a championship has put Yankee fans in such good spirits they are willing to forgive the choirmaster of the whining “small market” chorus.

  • bottom line

    root, not rot.

  • http://steves steve s

    Bud has run the Commissioner’s office as his private fiefdom for years and has made more money doing that than he ever made owning the Brewers or selling used cars. You don’t get in the fraternity of owners unless you’re a friend of Bud’s. Just go back a few years ago and Google the stories of how Bud scewed a group of investors led by Reggie Jackson who offered more money to buy the A’s but the team instead went to Bud’s old fraternity brother Lew Woolf.

  • JackISBACK

    2012 Thanksgiving Party at MY PLACE!!! WHOOOOOOOOO

    I think Selig gets bashed a bit too much because he honestly looks like someone managing a deli shop than MLB. He isn’t exactly presentable, which dilutes the vision of him to the fans. While some of the ideas he has come up with are good, it always seems to lag behind its time, so instead of getting credit for it, he gets blasted for not implementing it before.