Baseball’s saga/drama/soap opera continued this week as the owners rejected the players’ proposal last Sunday and stated that they wouldn’t be making a counter offer. Three days later, the Presidents of Baseball Operations for Milwaukee and Cincinnati both expressed optimism that an agreement would be reached.
At least, the leaks to the media have source names this time.
Soon after the Ops guys (Dick Williams, Reds and David Stearns, Brewers) expressed their optimism, I posted a lengthy comment in last week’s Open Discussion pointing out that the owners shorter regular season was pretty much designed to screw the players out of salary while garnering as much profit for them selves from post season TV revenues that only benefit the owners. (If you missed it, I’ll post the whole comment at the very end of this article rather than insert it here. It includes supporting excerpts from the CBA.)
There was a time several years ago when I thought that baseball players were overpaid for playing a game. But, I have come to accept that they negotiated their share of the baseball dollar through many hard fought negotiations. They are entitled to all they have received through these negotiations. I think they should be careful to not take a step backward before the next CBA. They should never give anything to the owners. If sticking to their guns means no baseball this season, then so be it.
Some recent discussion has centered on whether or not the owners should open the books to verify their claim that they are losing money. Whether or not it happens, the precedent has already been established.
After CBA-5 expired in December of 1984 and during the negotiations for CBA-6 in March of 1986, the owners’ chief negotiator (Lee McPhail) claimed the organizations were losing money. Don Fehr, the head of the union (following one year of Ken Moffett who followed Marvin Miller) got the owners to open the books. Per the existing CBA, a statement of loss by the owners required them to make the financial data available to the union. The owners turned over their documentation.
The union hired an economics professor from Stanford who proved the owners’ claims of losses were from cooked books. Their claim of a $66 million loss was proven to be a $24 million profit.
I wouldn’t expect the owners to make that mistake again. Especially when all you have to do is make a statement on the internet. After all, “If it’s on the internet, it’s true”.
I cruised by the Complex Wednesday. I saw about a dozen-and-a-half players on one of the fields at Joe DiMaggio Park. I could make out maybe Kyle Young. I drove over to Spectrum Field and walked up to the West Gate to check out the perfectly manicured field. Sigh. Then I drove over to the Complex to talk to a friend who is a security guard there. The sky opened up with a deluge that never let up. After a half hour, I abandoned the visit, neither getting to talk to my friend or seeing the boys walk back from DiMaggio.
Jim Salisbury reported that 27 players had been released last week, but only 25 transactions made it to the transactions logs. I have a very good idea who the other two are. I believe they’ve already been notified. But, I won’t post their transactions until I can get a second confirming source.
It was finally announced last week that Seranthony Dominguez will need TJ surgery. His PRP injection and follow-up rehab didn’t work. I heard this a while ago, but Dominguez was in the DR and couldn’t fly back for an earlier operation date due to international travel restrictions.
I saw that someone questioned why wouldn’t Dominguez have the surgery earlier. Fact is, the Phillies prefer to forgo an operation until other avenues are explored and attempted. This delay was an organizational decision not the player’s decision. In fact, I’ve heard of a couple other minor league pitchers who had TJ surgery against the organization’s wishes.
I hope everyone continues to be well. This is the end of the third month of my self-imposed quarantine. I promised my wife I would shave and let her cut my hair on the 12th. I’m a hairy mess and I think she’s going to hold me to the promise. If you’ve met me at the Complex, you wouldn’t recognize me now without my signature straw hat. When wearing a baseball cap, the few people who’ve seen me didn’t recognize me. I might post a photo before I get sheared. I also expect to swing by the Complex again this week.
I’ve published a Draft Discussion that includes a draft tracker. I suggest that we take our draft talk there.
This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.
- May 26, 2020 – Owners present latest proposal to players
- May 31, 2020 – MLBPA counters with their own proposal
- May 31, 2020 – Owners reject players’ proposal
- June 10-11, 2020 – Amateur Draft
- June 14, 2020 – Teams can begin to sign non-drafted players
- July 2, 2020 – January 15, 2021 – Start of the international signing period
- 5/29/2020 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs released LHP Aaron Brown
- 5/29/2020 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs released LHP Junior Tejada
- 5/29/2020 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs released LHP Brandon Leibrandt
- 5/29/2020 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs released 3B Ali Castillo
- 5/29/2020 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs released 3B T.J. Rivera
- 5/29/2020 – Reading Fightin Phils released RHP Carlos Bustamante
- 5/29/2020 – Reading Fightin Phils released RHP Sandro Rosario
- 5/29/2020 – Reading Fightin Phils released RHP Tyler Hallead
- 5/29/2020 – Clearwater Threshers released C Willie Estrada
- 5/29/2020 – Clearwater Threshers released RHP Waylon Richardson
- 5/29/2020 – Clearwater Threshers released RF Ben Aklinski
- 5/29/2020 – Clearwater Threshers released RHP Michael Gomez
- 5/29/2020 – Lakewood BlueClaws released SS Raul Rivas
- 5/29/2020 – Lakewood BlueClaws released 2B Hunter Stovall
- 5/29/2020 – GCL Phillies East released RHP Brian Auerbach
- 5/29/2020 – GCL Phillies East released C Juan Mendez
- 5/29/2020 – GCL Phillies West released OF Jordan McArdle
- 5/29/2020 – DSL Phillies Red released RHP Joan Hernandez
- 5/29/2020 – DSL Phillies Red released SS Raibently Mercalina
- 5/29/2020 – DSL Phillies Red released RHP Cristofer Adames
- 5/29/2020 – DSL Phillies Red released LHP Daivin Perez
- 5/29/2020 – DSL Phillies White released LHP Alberto Torres
- 5/29/2020 – DSL Phillies White released LHP Nathanael Bido
- 5/29/2020 – DSL Phillies White released LHP Camilo Hinestroza
- 5/29/2020 – DSL Phillies White released RHP Raul Mendoza
- 5/15/2020 – OF Felix Reyes assigned to DSL White
- 5/15/2020 – RHP Edgar Zuniga assigned to DSL White
- 5/15/2020 – SS Erick Barria assigned to DSL White
- 5/15/2020 – Jose Palacio released (2/18/20)
- 5/15/2020 – Victor Alfonso released (2/17/20)
- 5/15/2020 – Norman Anciani released (2/18/20)
- 5/15/2020 – Fausto Pediet released (2/18/20)
- 5/15/2020 – Luis Vegas released (2/18/20)
- 5/07/2020 – RHP Jason Lott assigned to GCL Phillies East
Comment from June 4th
Yesterday, the owners rejected the players’ proposal for starting the season. They also stated that they have no intention of offering a counter proposal.
Later in the day, two team executives, Dick Williams (Reds’ President of Baseball Ops) and David Stearns (Brewers President of Baseball Ops) made optimistic comments. One stated that he believed an agreement was “very close”, and the other stating “I firmly believe we are going to have baseball this season”.
The latest,biggest stumbling block is the length of the season.
Keep in mind that the owners want to pro-rate the season on the number of games. A shorter season means two-thirds of the players receive no compensation past the last day of the regular season. A 48-54 game season saves the owners a lot of money.
Even an expanded post-season is only going to add four more teams. Over half of the players will still be taking big cuts.
Now, we’ve seen it reported that baseball makes most of its TV revenue in the post season. An expanded playoff format is expected to increase television revenue from $777,000,000 to $1,000,000,000.
Does any of that make it to the players? Lets see how the post-season bonus pools are set up. This is directly from the current CBA. Article X.
ARTICLE X—World Series, League Championship Series, Division Series, and Wild Card Game Players’ Pool
A. Creation of Pool
One Players’ pool shall be created from the World Series, the two League Championship Series, the four Division Series, and the two Wild Card games. Contributions shall be made into the pool as follows:
(1) 60% of the total gate receipts from the first 4 World Series games;
(2) 60% of the total gate receipts from the first 4 games of each League Championship Series;
(3) 60% of the total gate receipts from the first 3 games
(4 if the Division Series is expanded to the best of 7 games) of each Division Series; and (4) 50% of the total gate receipts from each Wild Card Game after deducting the traveling expenses of the visiting Clubs (up to a maximum of $100,000 per Club) from the total gate.
The pool created from the gate receipts above are distributed as follows.
B. Distribution of Pool
The Players’pool shall be distributed to the Players, by Club, as follows:
World Series Winner……………………………..36%
World Series Loser……………………………….24%
League Championship Series Losers (2)…24%
Division Series Losers (4)………………………13%
Wild Card Losers (2)……………………………….3%
The pools are guaranteed to be no lower than an agreed upon amount.
D. Guarantee of Pool
(1) World Series Winner: $4,608,000; World Series Loser $3,072,000
(2) League Championship Series Losers: $3,072,000 ($1,536,000 each)
the amount to be distributed to such losers shall be increased to $3,072,000 ($1,536,000 each). (3) Division Series Losers: $1,664,000 ($416,000 each)
(4) Wild Card Losers: $384,000 ($192,000 each)
(5) If, during the term of this Agreement, the Clubs raise World Series ticket prices, the guarantees set forth above paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4) shall be increased a pro rata amount, such amount established by averaging the percentage increase of a box seat ticket and the percentage increase of a reserved seat ticket and increasing each guarantee by such percentage.
So, gate receipts need to provide the $21,248,000 needed to create all the players’ shares pools.
But, what about the post-season TV revenue? I can find no direct to players post-season TV revenue stream. So, of course the players would rather play more regular season games. It doesn’t benefit most of them to play a short season with expanded playoffs.
(Note: The only mention I could find regarding TV revenue was as part of the revenue sharing among the teams, and that didn’t include post-season. I’m would think that their “Central Revenue” portion of their revenue sharing includes regular season TV revenue and that these monies are used to pay salaries. But, it looks like post-season TV revenue might be completely separate.)