Open Discussion: Week of February 20, 2022

Day 82 of Manfred’s lockout.  Meetings are scheduled all week with hopes of a March 1st start date for major league spring training.  The first week of Grapefruit League games has already been banged

Whatever happens, the minicamp will continue for another week.  Followed by the start of minor league spring training on March 2nd.  I hope settling the one doesn’t disrupt the other.

The Phillies announced the signing of Josh Ockimey to a minor league contract.  He’s a 26-year-old left-handed batter who plays first base.  He’ll provide depth at Reading.

This is the courtesy thread for comments and discussion about the Phillies and other BASEBALL topics.

Rosters and Stuff

Key Dates:

  • December 1, 2021: CBA expires
  • December 2, 2021: Manfred locks out players
  • TBA: Minor League spring training reporting date (probably mid-to-late February)
  • April 5, 2022: Lehigh Valley season opener at home v. Columbus
  • April 8, 2022:  Clearwater season opener at home v. Fort Myers
  • April 8, 2022:  Jersey Shore season opener at home v. Aberdeen
  • April 8, 2022:  Reading season opener at home v. Somerset


2/14/2022 – 1B Josh Ockimey assigned to Reading
2/14/2022 – Phillies signed free agent 1B Josh Ockimey to an MiLB contract

219 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 20, 2022

    1. You read my mind, Denny. I love hard throwers coming out of the BP, but I’m also a big believer in sprinkling in different looks. McHugh’s (flying saucer) SL is the kind of pitch opposing batters don’t see a lot of late in games. McHugh, or even Sergio Romo (a cheaper option who throws that same kind of spinner) make a ton of sense for the Phillies.

    2. When I looked at McHugh’s stats, I wondered why would a guy with numbers this good still be available. Then I looked at his transactions log and saw 2-3 trips to the IL with low back strain and arm fatigue. Then I looked at his game logs. He never threw on back-to-back days and rarely if ever threw with a day’s rest (once that I could see). I might sign him at the right price but would be wary of his injury record. A reliever who needs at least two days rest between appearances is a luxury that a good bullpen can afford, but maybe not a bullpen that needs all arms ready almost every game.

      1. Agree………I really do not think Dave D and Sam Fuld will go the Matt Klentak route and hope for relief arms that appear to regain health again…..and in their mid-30s.
        Big money spent on Tommy Hunter and David Robertson, along Pat Neshek absences due to re-occurring arm issues, were some of the reasons for the poor relief metrics the team experienced over the last 4/5 years.

  1. The college baseball season got under way this weekend. With the Phillies picking at 1-17, I’ll be monitoring some of the more highly ranked bats to see if any of them suffer through rough seasons that could slide them down the board. This weekend, most of the top draft eligible bats got off to slow starts.

    * Brock Jones … went just 2 for 8 (both singles). The Standford CFer also had 3 BBs & 2 Ks in a series with Cal St. Fullerton.

    * Chase DeLauter … really struggled vs Florida State. The 6’5″/230 lb James Madison OFer went 3 for 14 (1 double) over the weekend. To make matters worse for the LHH JMU star, he K’d 8 times. He struck out in all five PA vs FSU’s Parker Messick and Bryce Hubbart. Messick and Hubbart are both top two round pitchers for this year’s draft so scouts really focused on those ABs.

    * Brooks Lee … saw his Cal Poly squad lose 2 of 3 to Washington. The switch-hitting SS totaled only 3 singles in 11 ABs. He also walked twice and knocked in a run via a sac fly.

    * Jace Jung … saw action vs Michigan, Auburn, and Michigan as Texas Tech took part in the State Farm College Baseball Showdown. The Red Raiders 2Bman managed just 2 singles in 9 ABs. He also added 3 BBs, 1 HBP, and 4 Ks.

    * Gavin Cross … went 2 for 3 (triple) vs UNC Asheville (not a good team) on Friday night. Unfortunately, Cross injured his wrist during the game, and DNP on Saturday or Sunday.

    Speaking of slow starts

    Jud Fabian … started this season the way he ended last season (not hitting well). The toolsy CFer went 1 for 9 (double), 3 BBs, 1 HBP, 3 Ks vs lowly Liberty. Fabian went in the second round of last year’s draft. He’ll be under a lot of pressure to go as high this summer.

    One kid I’m excited to see this season is Josh Hood. I’ve been a believer (and have been posting about him) since his Freshman All-American 2019 season at UPenn. Unfortunately, the pandemic has pretty much derailed his career since then. The Ivy League cancelled their 2021 season (in addition to shutting down early in 2020). I was hoping Brian Barber would take him with a day two pick last summer. He didn’t. The Red Sox took a flier on the (get ready for it …) Vineland IFer in the 20th round. Hood said, “no” to Boston’s offer, and transferred to NC State. This weekend, the new Wolfpack 3Bman debuted with a splash: 6 for 13 (4 doubles), 1 BB, 0 K vs Evansville. I expect Hood to spend the season climbing draft boards.


    BTW … another kid I’ve been looking forward to following this season is Seth Halvorsen. He was the only kid to turn down the Phillies after being picked (19th round) last summer. The 6’2″/225 lb hard throwing RHP transferred from Missouri to Tennesse after the draft. Unfortunately for Halvorsen, he’s going to miss the first couple of months to this season with a fracture in his throwing arm.

  2. They beat .500 last year and will beat it by more this season. They are a ways from threatening 90 wins, but I think they can win 85-87.

  3. Do you wonder what the players are doing? My friend Stick posted this photo taken in Clearwater Beach yesterday.

  4. Consider the source, but according to Mark Feinsand’s online “MLB report” today the MLB has withdrawn its proposals to reduce the number of minor league players and also the proposal to limit the number of in-season waiver requests, however MLB has set (or is continuing with, IDK) a deadline of February 28th for an agreement. The “or else” appears to be the season starting on time.

    1. They won’t start on time. How can they come to an agreement when they only talk every other week. Heck I think there was a time of 6 weeks when nothing happened at all.

      1. absolutely! NEVER been any sense of urgency displayed. The owners aren’t dumb, and they definitely have a huge financial stake in the outcome. Very mysterious

  5. Good Matt Gelb article today. I’m enjoying the articles on minor leaguers that are only being written because of the lock out. Mattingly seems to be putting his fingerprints on everything which is good.

    1. My prediction, LHP Miller breaks camp with the Phillies.. We have no LHP with his stuff in the system… Healthy; he goes North..

  6. Murray, I agree. I am really high on Rojas, and I have enjoyed reading all the prospect stories. Of course, it also has me not wanting to give any of them up in a trade! I think Rojas and Erik Miller and Griff McGarry are all going to have big seasons. Then Hinkie puts them in some trade and I get depressed! But, seriously, now Rojas is on my ” I am not trading them at all list, with Stott and Painter and Abel. Not that DD listens to me.

    1. matt13….your ‘no trade list’ grows exponentially each week.
      Your prospect philosphy… and Dave D’s philosophy probably does not mesh well.

      1. LOL, Romus! You are correct. I used to be on the other side of that issue. When we could get Cliff Lee and Doc, I wanted to trade anyone. Now, I want something good coming from the farm, and I know we have to get better at it. I don’t have the same feeling about Laureano or Bryan Reynolds that I did Lee and Doc. I am probably not correct, but I read about Rojas and see videos, and I dream of him manning CF for us for years. Abel and Painter at the top of the SR. I don’t know which is the right way to go, but fully acknowledge that DD will be much less inclined than I am to hold onto certain players. I just hope we are left with some we can dream on.

        1. I’m sorry to say that someone has to play CF for us this year and that someone is not on our team yet. That will require a trade. Who goes will depend on the quality of who we’re getting back. I don’t want an expensive guy who can field but not hit. As Jason Stark wrote, there will be lots to do in a short period of time once the lockout ends. Personally I’d like Bryant on a big deal plus Conforto on a one year deal. Then sign another big bullpen arm or two and find a cheap option to play CF and a 6th SP. Then they could rotate the DH every day through Hoskins, Bohm, Harper and Bryant with Conforto playing both corners. He and Bryant could both play CF in a pinch but not on a regular basis. Vierling can too and I think he’ll be on the club too. Time will tell.

  7. Watched Rojas hit against a pitching machine today. Appeared to me he had some uppercut in his swing as Gelb alluded to in his article today. He hit a lot of balls hard including a couple that looked like they cleared the fence. Ethan Wilson was hitting in the group with Rojas and he also had a good session.

  8. By a strange coincidence, Lauber in Inquirer has an intriguing piece on our other CF prospect, Yhoswar Garcia. That he is no shrinking violet is apparent in this quote:

    ““I consider myself a guy that has the five tools, but I think I actually have a sixth tool,” he said through a team translator last week at the Phillies’ spring-training facility. “I believe I play the game in a very intelligent way. I think about things a lot. I try to stay strong mentally. I like to be a leader as well.”

    1. He looked good when he finally got in the field but then got hurt soon after. He has lots of the same upside as Rojas. Our system needs to develop these guys.

  9. Talks going to occur daily until end of month. This is obnoxious. Just get it hammered out instead of seeing what each side gives up each day in small increments. #greed

    1. Yes, very good. Finally, the some write-ups that rank these guys higher than the other publications and, frankly (and really surprisingly), none of these sources are discussing Stott’s incredible plate discipline which gives him even more value than they are recognizing.

    1. Stings me too. Won’t hurt until he makes the show. Still not sure he will be an impact player but time will tell.

  10. .

    18. Mike Trout finishes his career with the Philadelphia Phillies

    There is nothing I want more than to see Trout start and finish his career with the Angels, and perhaps he will. However, often in sports, a superstar wants to return home to finish their career. Trout was born in Vineland, N.J., and attended Millville Senior High. He’s a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan. He’s signed to a lucrative contract through 2030, when he’ll be 38 years old. But I’m predicting he somehow finds his way to Philadelphia in 2029, and finishes his Hall of Fame career with a Phillies “P” on the front of his jersey.

    1. There is that probability it could happen, along with the fact at 37-years old, he may be at first base if that happens.

  11. 4 days to reach an agreement or games will be cancelled. I think there will be about a 140 game season. Reasonable people could have settled this months ago. A $700,000 minimum salary compromise for instance. One compromise. The only real issues should be a lottery for draft picks, and the parameters of the CBT. No longer lose a draft pick and compromise on the amount. A 14 team Playoff pays for all the compromises.

    1. I think you’re zeroing in on the wrong negotiation contention right now. The major league minimum is a bargaining chip. The MLB could up it to $800k and shrug it off; that extra cost is a drop in the bucket compared to what they lose by cancelling games.

      What is NOT a small issue, though, is service time manipulation. I’m not in the room, but I’d bet just about any amount of money that that’s the main hangup at this point. The MLB will do anything it can to retain exclusive (cheap) rights to players for as long as possible. The player’s association is dead set on earlier arbitration. There’s no compromise to be had there. One side is getting their way and the other isn’t.

      Personally I’d rather the season gets cancelled altogether than see the MLBPA bend on this one. And I don’t say that lightly. Baseball is a huge part of my life, but this is way more important. Especially when you consider that a non-insignificant number of the players who are held in the minors longer than they need to be are suffering through poverty because of it. There’s already a ridiculously small window of opportunity for these young men to make money. Pay them what they’re worth.

      1. I don’t disagree here, these young players need to make as much as they can as most will not be elite players and get a large FA contract.

        However, it won’t solve the issue with cheap teams. If they have to pay more for their cheaper players, so be it, but more players will likely not be getting second contracts.

        Elite players will get paid, no matter what. But raising the team salary minimum should have been the way to go.The MLBPA is so focused on say Juan Soto getting a $500M deal when the focus should have been on the Guardians, Pirates, Orioles, paying an extra $40M in salary per year.

      2. I believe the owners could go that route….but I only see it under one condition…a hard cap be established….MLBPA has not agreed to that in the past and may not in the future. IMO, MLBPA wants their cake and wants to eat also.

  12. Dan, you may be correct, I don’t know. I have not gotten the sense that service time manipulation is the biggest sticking point. I am in no way dismissing it’s importance, I just haven’t felt there could not be a compromise there. The whole idea of manipulating service time is wrong, I just don’t see that as keeping an agreement from happening. I don’t know the money involved. Again, you may be right. I also don’t think the Players’ Association has done enough to protect minor leaguers period, but that’s another issue.

  13. Personally I could care less what the final agreement looks like, I just want to see baseball played. I’ve said all along that it will take financial pain for both sides to get an agreement done. That means the loss of games and money, too many games to be made up. I predict an agreement by late March and the loss of all April baseball. 140 game season.

    1. Murray, I think there’s a good chance you’re right – that April is going to be partially or fully lost.

      I also could care less who wins, but I think the biggest issues are the arb issues (especially the bonus pool) and the CBT. Everything else is a series of bargaining chips, especially the minimum wage. The owners have a hell of a lot of leverage, however. When the players don’t have income for a month or more, they feel it and an urgency develops. The owners much less so, especially since their expenses are lower with no ball being played.

  14. catch, I always lean towards the players, but my completely honest point of view is that I want what benefits our Phillies. That is no loss of draft picks for signing a FA and a higher CBT rate, as high as we can get it.

    1. matt13……i do notice the owners seem to be willing to give in to some proposals, be it baby steps….for example ‘service time manipulation’…MLB increased the incentive for teams to keep their best prospects in the majors, offering them two draft picks within the player’s first three years if he finishes in the top three in Cy Young, Rookie of the Year or MVP voting. Previously, the league had offered one extra draft pick per player within his first three years….thinking back the Cubs would have received an extra draft pick after Kris Bryant won Rookie of the Year in 2015 and another pick the next year, when he was the NL MVP. But that would have happened only if Bryant had been credited with a full year of service time. He ended up being about 10 days short in 2015 as the Cubs broke camp with him in the minors.

          1. rocco … Roman Quinn is still available. Roman and Romus at the top of your lineup would be pretty awesome.

            1. While looking for his TV remote, Quinn was just put on IL pulling muscle trying to get update on talks. Sorry he is out.

  15. Liberty Media (who owns the Braves and must release their financial #s because they are a publicly traded entity) reported 568M dollars in revenue in 2021. The club’s payroll was 145M dollars.
    Good luck with the owners getting the players to agree to a new deal before Monday.

      1. Hinkie, I also read a story in MLBTR. So, they have released a $568M Revenue #, and a $104M OIBDA, operating income before debt and amortization. Payroll was $145M. So, $319M in operating expenses after Payroll but before debt? Can you or someone with more of a finance background by me explain that to me? $319M in operating expenses seems a little high? That was sarcasm. Do their executives make $200M of that?

        1. Freddie Freeman should have a good case to be back in Atlanta with that profit margin….if in reality it is that high.

        2. matt13……the club still has a total of $900M in debt.
          Of course that would be paid over an extended period of time and factored into the amortization process.
          “Liberty Media also disclosed that the Braves carried debt of $700 million as of Dec. 31, down from $721 million three months earlier. The debt stems largely from borrowing associated with construction of Truist Park, The Battery and a spring-training facility in North Port, Fla. The second phase of The Battery “is nearing an on-time and on-budget completion” with an expected cost of $200 million, Liberty said”

          But to yuor point, they would seem to have made enough …to include a $6M revenue stream per game….to have a higher payroll….plus my understanding their season ticket pre-season sales are exploding.

    1. I agree that the teams aren’t getting squeezed financially but there are some counterpoints to those numbers.

      1. Roster costs are just one aspect of the overall operating costs for the organization so they didn’t net the difference.
      2. The Braves won the WS so I suspect their 2021 revenue was higher than normal as a result.
      3. They also just recently moved to a new stadium so they no doubt received a financial boost from that move that would not be common across all teams.

      Again, I’m not crying poor for ownership because they are most definitely not but I also think the players feel they’ve been on the losing end of the last couple of deals and are trying to significantly move the bar in the other direction in one big gulp.

      1. If owners have better/worse sounding numbers to support their side, they can always open their books.

  16. Hinkie, I don’t think that anyone believes that the Owners are in tough financial straits. Now, there is probably going to be a 14 team Playoff, more revenue, and uniform advertising, more revenue, and the offers have been in increments of pennies on the dollar. I don’t see an agreement by Monday, and I don’t see an agreement by April 1. Atlanta is going to have a PR nightmare when they lose Freddie Freeman.

  17. The owners say the season will not start on time if by Monday there is no settlement. Sounds to me that the owners are trying to pin the delay on the players as to say it was the players who would not accept a deal so it is their fault. While the billionaires and the millionaires argue about how they can get richer, the ballpark workers and fans get the shaft.

    Padres are desperately trying to get rid of Hosmer’s contract (4 years at 15M a year). He would definitely better the defense and would be good for 15-20 HRs a season. Of course, the SD would have to include a couple of quality minor league players for a team like the Phillies to accept such a deal. Do we have any takers here on Phuture Phillies?

    1. Hosmer will be picked up by the Giants along with some nice prospects and will go on to have two unexpected career years.

    2. No. Hosmer has a bad contract, his production is dropping, and he can only play 1b. If you are looking to take on a bad contract as a way to get additional prospects at least look for a player that will fill a spot the Phillies need help like CF/LF or pitching.

  18. ciada, a few years ago, that is exactly what I wanted us to do. The way the Braves got Touki Toussaint, as the price to take on a bad contract. Klentak never played that games, a big mistake, I believe. But, now, I want us to use whatever Cap space we have to do better than Hosmer.

  19. Prepare for some world class gaslighting on Monday from the owners/Manfred on how they did everything they could to start the season on time. I’m developing a seething hatred for Manfred.

      1. I’d be interested to know how the ultimate deal will address issues with inflation and the real significant possibility of a recession. The current CPI is running close to 8 percent, and would be 15 percent based on how the CPI was calculated back in 1980. There is no mention of inflation or recession considerations in the media. We’re very close to significant stagflation. With the cost of MLB games very high for an average family, a recession could seriously reduce the gate. From the players perspective 10 percent inflation annually will affect the value of long term contracts.

      2. Hinkie……I wonder if there will also be some type of a ‘ floor’ when it comes to team payrolls.

        1. Romus … I don’t think so. Owners want to attach a hard cap to any floor. Players aren’t interested in that.

        2. I am not as into the talks as you guys, But i see what players make, There retirement., money from merchandise sales. and wonder why isnt that enough? i Know they are elite talents, but making millions of dollars and being able to never work after playing to me is unreal, What these guys make is amazing, Even the subs making at least 580 thousand a yr, and up, Could you imagine telling a billionaire owned company you want , a 50 percent of his profits, you would be fired, Better minor league conditions i understand . But the players are never satisfied

          1. rocco….you do make some fair points.
            And virtually everyone agrees, the .players, management and the union…minor leaguers are the ones who get the raw end of the deal.
            Woefully under-paid, with a large failure rate.

          2. rocco, I think the players are asking for quite a bit less than 50% of the profits. The league revenue has grown a great deal in the last 5 years, while the average players’ salary has gone down. I understand we are talking about salaries that are much higher than what you and I make, but the game brings in the money it does to watch the players, not watch John Middleton write a check, or hear Jerry Reinsdorf say something dumb.

  20. I don’t know what the minimum numbers of players are to field a minor league team. Certainly more than 9, right? On good minor league teams there are probably at least 5 players that have a chance to play in the “bigs” on most throughout all the leagues, what, maybe 1 or 2, meaning that there are a lot of people who will never have MLB benefits or salaries but help make the system work. I’d like to dream that this contractual effort is about helping at least a portion of them and not just the small minority that may actually make it, at least briefly, to the major leagues.

      1. I now tend to think the same thing. The union is caving on some pretty significant issues. And, sure, the owners say regular season games will be cancelled if there’s no deal by today, but I think the real deadline is probably toward the end of this week. As annoying as all of this has been, and without commenting on who is right and who is wrong on the merits of the contract, MLB was, in my opinion, correct to start the lock-out and force the parties to resolve their differences. Obviously, it still hasn’t happened yet, but I agree it’s the right thing to do even if some portion of the season is lost.

        Now, the worst thing about all of this is that, in typical MLB/MLBPA fashion, all the parties are focused on is how to carve up the pie. Nobody is focused on the pie itself. The pie needs a lot of improvement. Big time.

      2. Today’s deadline means pretty much nothing. Manfred picked the end of February as the drop date for a full season as a way to pressure the players. The players have their own hammer: if there isn’t a 162 game schedule, they won’t agree to expanded playoffs in 2022. The owners already have a TV deal in place with ESPN for the extra round of postseason baseball. They don’t want to feel the union’s hammer. The players, meanwhile, have a war chest to help pay players through a work stoppage. The union receives a good chunk of money every year from Topps, Bowman, etc. for the right to use the players images on baseball cards. The union holds that money to be used to pay players in case of a work stoppage. So players will get checks whether the season starts on time or not.

  21. I have no problem picking a side in this. There is no excuse for the Pirates to receive revenue sharing and send out a team with a $50M payroll. I think the minimum should be $750,000 and that won’t hurt the owners a bit. I don’t think the high revenue should should be forced to Cap their payrolls. Pick a number between the two sides, and over that pays 10% to a fund that helps support Minor League players. It’s not a competitive balance tax anyway. It doesn’t do a thing to force the lower revenue teams to pay more on salaries. Lose the loss of a draft pick, and simply give a pick to the team losing the FA. The “poor owners”, their return is a 14 team Playoff and ads on jerseys, that will bring in a great deal more money.

    1. Yeah, people see the players as asking for money and think, “how greedy for millionaires to ask for more money” but don’t consider that the ML minimum hasn’t even increased to keep up with inflation. So, essentially, young players are being paid less now than they were 10 years ago even though the league keeps increasing its profits year-over-year (with exceptions for Covid stuff).

      Plus the owners want to enact what is, in essence, a hard cap on player salaries. Which, again, will likely not take into account inflation. So they want to take larger portions of the profit from both sides of the spectrum.

      I’m not saying baseball players should make millions of dollars a year. But what I am saying is that if the market determines that they are worth that, then they should be compensated accordingly. The owners provide something tangible to the league, but their contributions have not increased over time (or at least, not as much as the players’ have). So there’s no reason I can think of that the owners should be the ones who continue to get larger chunks of the profits. And if anyone thinks that’s not true, ask how many times in the past decade you’ve seen owners on commercials or doing charity work or whatever in the name of MLB. It happens, sure. But there’s a reason they want Bryce or Trout as the face of the league instead of Middleton even though the former two will likely be completely out of baseball within the next 15 years whereas Middleton will be involved for life. Players are expected to do more and more both in terms of performance and their availability to the press, fans, etc. There’s no reason why their wages outside of the top few FAs should be more-or-less stagnant.

      Personally, I’d be fine with a hard cap if the owners were forced to spend a (large) percentage of their profits on the minor league systems, stadium improvements, and worker bonuses (and said workers would not include anyone making over, say, 100K a year. So just regular people like concession workers and cleaners and such). Ironically, that investment in their product would probably lead to even GREATER profits, but we all know neither side would be willing to make that deal.

      My last comment is that my biggest reason for hoping that the players “win” these negotiations is that it would likely lead to more people unionizing. Probably not minor leaguers (although I can hope…), but maybe stadium workers. Then the money could start going to the people who genuinely need it.

      1. Dan K…… quite a few stadium workers (game day) are part-timers …and many are retired i e. ushers, the walking-thru-the stands concession guys and the like. Not so sure they will want to be unionized.
        And the clubs FTE’s…maybe 150/200 per club…..probably earn a salary on a average, around $55K yearly, and I do not see them wanting to be unionized either.
        The 30 owners with all the employees, who all support the product they offer, run a fairly large company.

        The players are not employees of the team, or the company…but are contractors, on specific timed contracts, and there are 40 of them per team.
        Now of these ‘contractors’-players…..well over 400 ( or 1/3rd of the rank and file) make over a $1m per yr.

        My point…….before everyone bashes the owners…..they do have responsibility to hundreds of employees, many with families, that earn far less than the players they are all hired to support.

        And IMO…..I believe the MLBPA does not have the total support of all their rank and file. Those players earning double-digit millions in salary a, with over 5/6 years in the league, tow the union line because they are required.
        And I have always thought there should be a ‘hard cap’, like other professional sport leagues…..the MLBPA rejects that….along with changing the ‘guaranteed’ contract mechanism that is currently in place.

        1. I’m aware that the owners pay for a lot of non-player personnel. I’m also aware that a large portion of them are part-time. But being part-time only helps the owners, really. If anything, those people stand to gain the most from a union. As for the retirees not wanting to be in a union, I understand that. But it’s not about them. It’s about helping their fellows and co-workers. Same with the higher paid players. It’s not that they follow the MLBPA’s instructions for their own benefit, necessarily. It’s because it helps their friends and fellow players. That’s the whole point. The best of the best are gonna get paid no matter what. So if they can help out the other guys, and all the guys that come after them, they should (and are currently). They may be unhappy that they’re missing pay checks. But they also don’t need those pay checks. They have money. They have the union to help them out if they run out. For the vast majority of these guys, it’s not about making every dollar they can. It’s just about being compensated fairly.

          Also, they aren’t contractors. They’re the product. You can say, “But the Phillies are still the Phillies even if none of the players are MLB players.” And that’s partly true. But look at their revenue (or even just ticket sales) when they’re good versus when they’re bad. And when they’re bad, they’re still fielding extremely good players; just not the best of the best. Imagine those sales with minor league players. The difference between the Phillies with MLB players versus without is ASTRONOMICAL. So again… why are the owners the ones benefiting the most?

          And I’ll state again, I’d be fine with a hard cap. But only if there was a guarantee that the owners wouldn’t just pocket the extra money they’d save. However we all know that they would never sign off on something that prevented that, because that’s exactly what they want. They’ll milk baseball for all it’s worth and not care about the product or the consumer. If it will make them more money, they’ll do it. Now I’m not saying they’d completely kill baseball, because that would mean their money stops accumulating. But they’ll certainly push the boundaries. They talk about speeding up the game, but they won’t do it at the expense of ad revenue. They want more playoff teams not for competitive reasons, but to make more money. And why exactly do uniforms need sponsor patches? At least the player’s unions has concerns about the well-being of more than a couple people in mind (and some of their concerns are health-related, let’s remember). If the owners make more money, that doesn’t mean anything for their various employees. If it did, this would all be a moot point. Their entire goal is to make as much money as possible while spending as little as possible.

          So yeah. I’m not in favor of athletes being multi-millionaires. But if I have to choose between them or the owners, I’ll go with the athletes. I wish there was a third option, but c’est la vie.

  22. In the good news department, Mick Abel ranks #20 on Fangraphs’ top prospect list, and the #3 SP. Shane Baz was ahead of him and Grayson Rodriguez was ranked the #1 and # 3 overall.

  23. Some college baseball (draft) news: (with the caveat that you should always draft the BPA …) I’ve been hoping for a college LHP for the Phillies at 1-17 this summer. That demographic would fit in nicely with Brian Barber’s previous top picks. Mick Abel (20 YO) and Andrew Painter (turns 20 in a few weeks) are both RH throwers with TOR ceilings. IMO, it just makes a whole lot of sense to complete that pitching stable with a high-end college aged south paw. Probably the top two college lefties are sidelined this season recovering with TJ. Alabama’s Connor Prielipp and UConn’s Reggie Crawford could have been top 5 overall picks, but might now be available for the Phillies in the middle of the first.

    * Hunter Barco … is healthy, and is off to an incredible 2022. The 6’5″/230 lb Florida LHP used a 4-pitch mix to dominate Georgia State Friday night (6.0 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 12 K). Barco has now totaled 12 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 23 K over two starts this season.

    A few other college “lefties” are also off to strong 2022 debuts, and are all possibilities at 1-17.

    * Parker Messick … physically resembles Ryan Weathers. The FSU hurler is short and stout (6’0″/235). Messick has a 4-pitch mix that includes a 91-95 MPH FB, CB, SL, and CH. He Ks many and BBs few. In 2022, he’s totaled 12.2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 24 K.

    * Bryce Hubbart … is Messick’s teammate at FSU. The 6’0″/185 lefty features a low 90s FB and a pretty good CH, but he dominates with his wicked spinning CB. Like Messick, Hubbart has high K #s and very low BB #s. This season, he’s tallied 11 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 22 K. In addition, Hubbart was probably the best pitcher on the Cape last summer (31 IP, 3 ER, 14 H, 8 BB, 45 K).

  24. Some college baseball (draft) news: (with the caveat that you should always draft the BPA …) I’ve been hoping for a college LHP for the Phillies at 1-17 this summer. That demographic would fit in nicely with Brian Barber’s previous top picks. Mick Abel (20 YO) and Andrew Painter (turns 20 in a few weeks) are both RH throwers with TOR ceilings. IMO, it just makes a whole lot of sense to complete that pitching stable with a high-end college aged south paw. Probably the top two college lefties are sidelined this season recovering with TJ. Alabama’s Connor Prielipp and UConn’s Reggie Crawford could have been top 5 overall picks, but might now be available for the Phillies in the middle of the first.

    * Hunter Barco … is healthy, and is off to an incredible 2022. The 6’5″/230 lb Florida LHP used a 4-pitch mix to dominated Georgia State Friday night (6.0 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 12 K). Barco has now totaled 12 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 23 K over two starts this season.

    A few other college “lefties” are also off to strong 2022 debuts, and are all possibilities at 1-17.

    * Parker Messick … physically resembles Ryan Weathers. The FSU hurler is short and stout (6’0″/235). Messick has a 4-pitch mix that includes a 91-95 MPH FB, CB, SL, and CH. He Ks many and BBs few. In 2022, he’s totaled 12.2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 24 K.

    1. * Bryce Hubbart … is Messick’s teammate at FSU. The 6’0″/185 lefty features a low 90s FB, a pretty good CH, but he dominates with his wicked spinning CB. Like Messick, Hubbart has high K #s and very low BB #s. This season, He’s tallied 11 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 22 K. In addition, Hubbart was probably the best pitcher on the Cape last summer (31 IP, 3 ER, 14 H, 8 BB, 45 K).

      Cooper Hjerpe … is Oregon State’s Friday night starter, and one of my favorites for this summer’s draft. The 6’2″/200 thrower is armed with a low 90s FB, plus SL, and CH. Hitters have all kinds of problems picking up the ball because of Hjerpe’s funky delivery. This year, the Beaver’s ace is 11.0 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 5 BB, 17 K.

  25. Anyone else see Bryce Harper’s Instagram page today with him wearing a Japanese League jersey?? The players are so sick of this one day good cop, next day bad cop routine by the Manfred/owners.. One of two things is happening; there is either a massive split within the owners on how to proceed so no agreement or 2). they want to burn the system down just to kill the union..

    Baseball is delayed this year… Manfred is a loser and here we go..

  26. Derek Jeter leaves the Marlins, and not only as CEO, but as a shareholder, from what I read. It appears he was going to have an additional $15M to spend after the lockout, and during the course of these empty negotiations, the $15M disappeared. That, IMO, is a pretty substantial development, and I wonder if Jeter’s move has anything to do with the league negotiations.

  27. Sounds like a deal should get done later today (start season on time).
    CBT probably 225M
    Pre arb bonus pool probably ~30M
    Minimum salary probably 700K

    1. ….and maybe a 14- team play-offs……which the majority of players would want, IMO ….and the MLBPA wants to use as leverage.

      1. 14 team playoffs? Seriously? This is not much of an incentive for teams to spend. Teams could still have a $60M payroll and sneak into the playoffs.

        And when will the WS end? In December? And bad weather is a staple of the northeast in November. There could be a boatload of postponed playoff games.

      2. I am sort of on the fence with this, but I don’t think the players want this because they don’t get paid particularly well for the postseason (players are paid salaries by their teams for the regular season work – the postseason is a different pay structure), especially in comparison with what the higher paid players usually get paid. The playoffs are where the owners make out like bandits so they want more of that. Apparently, the expansion of the playoffs alone will add another $100 million in TV revenues for the owners (not to mention added stadium and related revenues for the teams who are playing in those games).

        1. This is true. From the recently expired CBA:

          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
          (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.

          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%
          Distribution of the Players’ pool shall be made to the Players within 30
          days after the completion of the World Series, unless for good cause
          the Parties agree to extend the period.

          D. Guarantee of Pool
          (1) To the extent, if any, that the Players’ pool provides a total of
          less than $4,608,000 for the World Series winner, the amount to be
          distributed to such winner shall be increased to $4,608,000. To the
          extent, if any, that the Players’ pool provides a total of less than
          $3,072,000 for the World Series loser, the amount to be distributed
          to such loser shall be increased to $3,072,000.
          (2) To the extent, if any, that the Players’ pool provides a total of
          less than $3,072,000 for both League Championship Series losers
          ($1,536,000 each), the amount to be distributed to such losers shall
          be increased to $3,072,000 ($1,536,000 each).
          (3) To the extent, if any, that the Players’ pool provides a total of
          less than $1,664,000 ($416,000 each) for the Division Series losers,
          the total amount to be distributed to such Division Series losers shall
          be increased to $1,664,000 ($416,000 each).
          (4) To the extent, if any, that the Players’ pool provides a total of
          less than $384,000 ($192,000 each) for the Wild Card Losers, the
          total amount to be distributed to such Wild Card Losers shall be
          increased to $384,000 ($192,000 each).
          (5) If, during the term of this Agreement, the Clubs raise World
          Series ticket prices, the guarantees set forth in the 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.

          As you can see, the players got none of the TV revenue generated from the playoffs. The only divergence from this during the life of the CBA (5 years) was in 2020 when the league and players negotiated a 16-team wild card round with best-of-three series. I believe the players got a portion of the TV revenue for the extra wild card games but not the original WC game and the division, league, and world series games.

      3. I believe players ….especially the stars who made their money….want that WS glamor and excitement.
        The chance for a ring….or two in some cases.
        The younger ones….they go along for the ride on the wave.
        They already established the protocol for a 14-team play-off in 2020.
        The first three play-off games (best of three) are played all in the best team’s home park. And from what I have read from beat guys, that beats the current wild-card one game play-off

        1. I’m talking about the Players as in the Union, not individual guys. Most I’m sure want this in the abstract or are fine with it. The Union, however, views this as a boon to owners, so they either want their pound of flesh for that concession now, or, if they don’t get it, they want to hold off approving it until the next CBA, so they have another bargaining chip available to them in the future.

          1. IMO, the rank and file go along with whatever the Union dictates, though only because of the need to remain in solidarity.
            When close to 230 players make $5M or more (close to 20%) of the 1200 union membership, there will be quite a few who may not agree with the stance Tony Clark and union makes…..but will acquiesce.
            Agree…….sure it is more revenue for the teams with the added play-off teams. and the union can use this as r future bargaining chip for leverage..
            Everything is about compromise.

            1. Comments coming from the today’s meetings suggest things have gone backwards and MLB is ready to make a “final offer” which isn’t good because, apparently, the sides remain far apart on many issues. This could get quite a bit worse if they don’t reach agreement here in the next day or so. It’s unreal how tone deaf these sides are to the fans the current situation in this country.

  28. First time I have felt any optimism, at all, that a deal gets done that does not impact the start of the season. I think that Hinkie’s compromise is the framework for a deal. 12 team Playoff and about a $225M CBT, with no enhanced penalties, which had been a big sticking point. I have no problem with a 12 team Playoff, and another $15M helps us. I am more than ready to see the Hot Stove start and no longer have to read about CBA talk instead of how Dave Dombrowski makes us a Playoff team.

  29. The season might be just fine with 120 games. Certainly for a long, long time it was 154 games. This “deadline” seems quite arbitrary, almost a contrived pressure tactic, to me. When Tony Clark asks me for my opinion – fair warning, that is what I am going to say!

    1. The March 1 deadline was a little arbitrary, but it was a soft deadline. Still, players really do need 3 to 4 weeks to get ready (especially pitchers – building pitch counts is a real thing), so if the deal isn’t done in the next few days, regular season games will be jeopardized.

      1. Players are already pitching and taking live ABs down here in FL. I’m sure the same thing is happening in AZ as well. I don’t think it will take that long for players to be ready

        1. I’m not making up the 4 weeks thing. There’s been a lot of discussion about that. They can push it a bit, but it’s pretty much widely acknowledged that 3 weeks is definitely not enough time.

        2. The only players taking part in organized baseball workouts in Florida and Arizona are players NOT on the 40-man roster, players who were invited to a pre-spring training minicamp. The group includes young prospects, recently signed non-roster invites (all relief pitchers in the Phillies’ case – Bedrosian, Bellatti, Cyr, Dohy, Gatto, Kelly, Newberry), and players who would be classified as NRIs from within the organization (once again all relief pitchers at the Phillies’ minicamp (Duron, Evankio, Leverett, Marconi, Ogle, Seelinger, Singer), as well as some catchers (Iser, Matera, Friscia), infielders (Guthrie, Guzman, Stokes, Hall), and an outfielder (Kroon)).

          The remaining 38 campers are all under 23 except for Stott, Zabrinsky, Wynne, A. Schultz, Blake Brown, Erik Miller. Rehabbing infielder Wendell Rijo took part in baseball activities yesterday.

  30. A 14 team playoff, even 12, is more like a tournament. The NHL gets away with it because of the nature of ice hockey’s upped intensity, yet rendering their regular season mostly irrelevant. Both sides of the CBA are feeling the squeeze, despite posturing. The Phillies will likely make the playoffs, if only by default. They’re clearly the 2nd best roster in the NL east (not buying the NYMess), and realistically within range of Atlanta. But with so many teams in the hunt, finishing 1st in any division should have even greater advantages. Anyway, glad to hear some headway is being made in talks. The negotiation games are a bore a$$ and an insult to baseball fans.

  31. So much for my earlier optimism. The “best and final” offer from the League will be rejected by the Players’ Assoc. I expect this to be viewed by both parties as insulting, and talks will break off for a period of time, while the start of the Season gets delayed.

  32. Personally, I don’t care, I’m done with this BS. You guys on PP have been a lot of fun and Jim thanks for putting up with all our crap and staying the course over the years. Just sick of this millionaires battling billionaires while the serfs pay the bills. Time to say goodbye, love you all!

  33. Like John Middleton’s money, I was stoooopid to take John Heyman’s tweets seriously. The owners tried to spin things positively last night in an effort to make the players look bad if they didn’t cave today.

  34. Very sorry to see you go, Skeet! The first 2 Series have been cancelled. That’s not nearly enough to move either side. Is losing a month? 2 Months? April has 27 scheduled Phils’ games, I believe. Is losing 27 games enough? I have no idea, but there is no reason a deal should not have been made, except for the greed of the Owners. Sorry, the revenue has gone significantly up while the average player’s salary has gone down over the past 5 years. A 12 game Playoff and the Ads on uniforms is expecting to generate an additional $250M. The Owners offered the players pennies on the dollar. This is on the League. Manfred promised them a better deal than the last CBA, and that was the crux of the whole problem.

  35. More time and money to spend on the 1 2 3 4 5 Sixers…..10 9 8 76ers….bye bye baseball

  36. So let me get this straight, Manfred thinks for now only two series will be cancelled in April? The MLBPA is going to take this to July 4th…That’s billions lost..That was my comment three weeks ago.. If the MLB wants to start earlier, fire Manfred and bring in a person to negotiate who cares about the fans… When I hear the talking heads on MLB.TV or Sirruis say “well both sides are to blame.” Yeah, 95% owners 5% MLBPA.. HORRIBLE for the game of baseball.. I’m so P’ off tonight..

  37. Anyone interested, Jeff Passan authored an excellent explanation of how we got here for ESPN readers yesterday. They have it open, and free for all to read.

    1. … and here are the differences between the two sides.

      1. For me …

        CBT of 225/230/235/240/245M
        Pre-arb bonus pool of 30M
        Minimums at 720/740/760/780/800 thousand

        … sounds like a fair compromise.

  38. MLBPA’s most recent CBT proposal (MLB’s most recent in parenths for comparison):

    2022: $238m (220)
    2023: $244m (220)
    2024: $250m (220)
    2025: $256m (224)
    2026: $263m (230)

    if this is the deal breaker for the MLBPA….sorry….but I side with the owners on this.
    If the owners are willing to make the necessary concessions for minimum wages and also arb time issues, then the threshold would seem to be a good place for MLBPA concession.
    I would think logically, MLBPA would want a ‘floor’ payroll for every team.
    Further they refuse to accept a hard cap….though the other pro leagues have something to that effect…NFL/NHL and the NBA has a somewhat modified version of it with the ‘super max’ deals..

    1. I agree, I’m not sure why the MLBPA is pushing for larger CBT when only 3 teams had an opening day payroll of over $200M. The elite players are going to get paid, no matter what sport. If their main goal is to have more players getting paid, increase the floor and keep the number at $220M. Not only that, if teams are more competitive, they might spend more which should be the main goal all along. I don’t understand how having the Dodgers spend $220M and the Orioles spending $40M is good for anybody.

      1. Exactly…a floor should be a no-brainer… theory, many of the young players and end of the roster role- players will get more of the pie.
        I do not understand Clark and the MLBPA sometimes.

      2. Teams wont go over 200 million because some are trying to leave some wiggle room to add players later without incurring the tax. Raise the top and some teams will spend more. The floor should be at least 100 million.

  39. I totally blame the Owners, so in case I am wrong, can someone please explain to me how the minimum salary can be any impediment to a deal? The difference is miniscule, and won’t hurt even the “poor” owners a little bit. Make the pre-Arb bonus pool $50M, that’s about half way. That isn’t per team, it’s the whole league. CBT, start it at $225, go to $245. There’s a deal. Someone smarter than me please tell me how the Owners cannot live with a deal like that, when in return, they get a 12 game Playoff, already a deal with ESPN in place, and revenue from ads on uniforms. Way more than the cost of the deal I just proposed. The CBT doesn’t even affect the owners who won’t spend, they can keep paying $50M for their teams. It was never about competitiveness from the get go.

    1. Plain and simple, MLB is trying to keep costs low for the owners because the competive balance is out the window. If you’re in the division with the Dodgers, how can you as an owner compete with their deep pockets. Short version, you can’t. So you keep costs low, lose a boatload of games, and collect your profit. There’s no competition here. Imagine if the NFL didn’t have a cap, Jerry Jones would likely be the Dodgers. He would outspend anybody and everybody. Is that good for the game? Not really, but that’s what baseball is right now. Sure, a team can get lucky like the Royals but for the most part, you know which teams have the best odds of winning the WS. Mostly the ones with the deepest pockets who are willing to spend.

      Are the owners at fault for the lockout? Yes.

      Are the owners trying to screw over the players? Yes, but the game is changing. The players are complaining about replacing older talent with younger talent. Guess what, that happens in the NFL all the time. And giving a large contract to a 30 year old usually doesn’t end well. The analytics bear that out. So the players asking for more minimum salary is the right move, but they should have been asking for a higher floor. And they should have dangled lowering the CBT. In the end, I believe more total money would be spent on players overall. But the MLBPA is hung up on Juan Soto getting his $500M contract. And this draft lottery won’t do much to entice owners to spend. Hard to believe that the Pirates will spend money because of the lottery. The Pirates will keep their low spending, have one of the best odds in the lottery, and live with the consequences. If I was the Pirates owner, that’s what I would do. If I can’t compete with the Dodgers, at least I’ll get my profit.

  40. Not sure if anyone listened to Harold Reynold touch on this but he seems to think the MLB gave pretty much everything the MLBPA wanted for the younger players and it’s the superstars who are holding this up. I tend to agree with him. He laid out the argument fairly well.

    1. I agree Eric

      I don’t side with the players. There is no risk for them. Their contracts are guaranteed so they get paid no matter what. They don’t really employ anyone they get to stick all the money they make straight into their pockets or invest it whatever….essentially they are going to hoard their generational wealth for their kids their grandkids and so on.

      They also get an unbelievable benefits and pension package the average American would kill for and as you’re thinking about that pension remember they aren’t retiring at 65

      Sure a few of them will set up their mickey mouse foundations make their appearances do some good but let’s face it they aren’t giving away but a fraction of their wealth.

      I have no love for owners but most of them built successful businesses employed probably hundreds if not thousands of folks along the way. They should make money and they should make more than the players frankly.

      No one ever talks about the tens of millions they dole out and get nothing for. And quite honestly I don’t think they make as much as people think after you dilute revenues with the costs of running a franchise. Most of their wealth is in the forward valuation of the franchise and whatever businesses they still maintain.

      I’m also tired of any player that tries to distance themselves from the $ but stating this is labor vs. employer as it they can compare themselves to a Septa Bus Driver. Just get over yourselves already.

      1. You complain about the players generational wealth yet the majority of the owners only own their teams because of their own generational wealth, not because they are “successful business owners”. The owners constantly screw over the cities with stadium deals, barely pay the majority of their workers by making them part time, and refuse to open the books because it would be insane how much they make. Any idiot could run a baseball team in this environment but only the best can play the game at this level. Honestly it’s a joke that anyone could take the side of billionaires on anything because it’s not possible to become one with morals.

        1. Nope not complaining about the players generational wealth….good for them and good for owners to be able to pay it out…

          as for morals…really you want to go there? As if all players are the moral equivalent of St. Mark

          1. Yeah a ton of players are terrible people, no argument there. But all owners are. It is literally impossible to be a good person if you have a billion dollars. I don’t think you quite fathom how much a billion dollars is. 1 million seconds equals 11 days, 1 billion seconds equal 31 years. It’s stupid amounts of money. Billionaires are the level of greed that destroys societies. The only proof you need is that none of the owners are willing to open the books to show how much the make.

            Should the players be payed less, of course, you shouldn’t be able to make hundreds of millions playing a game. But do they deserve less of a percentage of the revenue, no way, they are literally the only reason we go to watch. Tickets should be cheaper, cities shouldn’t pay for stadiums, other employees should be taken care of at a reasonable rate, but then I guess that wouldn’t be good business.

            1. I agree Rom, listening to people argue over who is good and bad based on how much money they Kaye is laughable compare to what us going in the Ukraine.
              Have a good night friend.

  41. I think Reynolds is wrong, Eric. The PA gave up on shortening the time to FA, a big deal. They gave up on adding Super Two %, there is still the ability to manipulate service time, and there is still a big gap in the pre-Arb bonus pool. A $700K minimum salary hurts the League not at all, and in return the teams make millions from ads and the 12 team Playoff, which is a huge win for the league. The % of $ to the players for those 2 big revenue items is minimal. And, the Luxury Tax gap is clearly ripe for a compromise. If we look at who gains the most, it’s ownership. Minor increases for the players, huge gains for the owners, and there still wasn’t a deal.

    1. Agree with Matt. I would direct some of you to the Jeff Passan article I linked above.
      From that ESPN piece:

      * “Player pay has decreased for four consecutive years, even as industry revenues grew and franchise values soared and the would-be stewards of the game pleaded to anyone who would listen that owning a baseball team isn’t a particularly profitable venture. Players’ service time has been manipulated to keep them from free agency and salary arbitration. The luxury tax, instituted to discourage runaway spending, has morphed into a de facto salary cap, and too many teams are nowhere near it anyway, instead gutting their rosters and slashing their payrolls because the game’s rules incentivize losing. The commissioner has called the World Series trophy a “piece of metal,” and the league has awarded the team that did the best job curtailing arbitration salaries a replica championship belt.”

      * “over the previous two collective-bargaining agreements, the CBT threshold rose about 18% while industry revenues grew by at least 40%. They saw that in 2018, long before COVID existed, their average salaries went down — as they did again in 2019 and 2020 and 2021, even as the biggest deals in the sport were growing and $300 million-plus guaranteed contracts were no longer outliers. They saw franchise values exploding to the point that in 2021, Forbes estimated, the 30 MLB teams were worth a combined $55.28 billion. Ten years ago, only two collective-bargaining agreements earlier, their combined valuations were $15.68 billion.”

      I respect everyone’s opinion here, but I disagree with a lot of you. I cannot stand behind the side that has a history of neglecting minor leaguers (pay them peanuts/force most of them to live in poverty). I cannot stand behind the side that refuses to open their books, yet claims owning a team is not a profitable venture. As a Phillies fan, I’m not all right with a CBT that would sit at 220/220/220/224/230M. I doubt John Middleton (and the Bucks) are even ok with those levels.

      1. The Passan article was incredible. I felt as if I were reading the Wall Street Journal, not an ESPN article. As between the two sides here, I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that the players are “more right” than the owners. Perhaps a lot more right and I certainly can understand their incredible distrust of the owners, who are, and always have been, as loathsome a group of owners as exist in North American sports. And, while the players union has been described, perhaps accurately, as the most powerful union in America, it appears clear that the owners are slowly, but surely, trying to wrest control and power away from them. You could feel in December that this was not going to be an easy process and that, finally, both sides are far enough from the 1994-95 disaster that they are ready to risk the P.R. and economic disaster that strike brought to the sport.

        As fan, sure, I’m exhausted and angered by this, although, sooner or later, this will pass. It HAS to pass or they won’t have a sport and everyone will lose. That said, and Jim Salisbury now says it again and again, this dumb ass lockout doesn’t solve the biggest problems with the sport, which is the boring, long games and style of play that even dedicated baseball fans cannot endure. NOBODY wants to stay up until 11 p.m. on a Tuesday watching a tedious Phillies/Marlines game in mid-June. I certainly don’t . The biggest losers here are not the players or the owners, but the fans and the sport and that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon. One day, these stubborn, greedy owners and furious players will wake up and their sport will be in such serious decline that the pie they fight over will be much smaller or growing stale.

        1. Manfred mentioned the pitch clock and banning the shift. If it wasn’t agreed to it sounded like it will be…

      2. Hinkie the minors are not forced labor camps and quite honestly poverty is relative. Here in this country we really don’t know what poverty is…

        We have such a tendency to be so myopic and so spoiled

        This isn’t Marie Antoinette saying let them eat cake c’mon

          1. If players survive MiLB, they deserve to be well compensated. Fans aren’t buying tickets or watching games on TV to see billionaire owners. Players are the game. If a guy can’t make money owning a MLB team, put it up for sale. Cash out (he’s going to make a huge profit), and let someone buy it who can afford to field a competitive team.
            BTW … the Padres went over the LT last year. They’re in the same small market/revenue sharing/competitive balance draft pick receiving category as the Pirates, Orioles, Rays, Reds, Guardians, etc. How can the Padres spend, and those other smaller (even mid-market) franchises can’t?

            1. DMAR – please stop already. This is below a subsistence level of income. It’s big time food stamp territory. Should minor league players, who at least need to be fed well and train, be required to obtain food stamps?!!! Really? It’s horrible and inexcusable. And the fact that these kids who have nothing have to pay their own way in spring training with money they don’t have is beyond outrageous and I hope to God they stick it to the MLB in their pending law suit and get big time damages. I have 100 percent turned against the owners here.

          2. Sorry to answer a question with questions but if they aren’t livable how do they survive? Why do they do it if they are not forced to do it? Certainly they could take their career choice in a different direction right?

            Are they not being fed and housed? I’m not being facetious I really don’t know.

            Let’s suppose these kids wanted to become doctors…What would they be paid to go to school to get into that profession?

            Any well paying profession requires a certain level of dedication and sacrifice does it not?

            1. DMAR … you said poverty is relative. I’ll ask again … IYO, is $6,800 per year poverty level for anyone (young? old? athlete? doctor?)?

              BTW … you don’t have to answer that. We all know the answer.

              Also … it’s 2022. Even internships in most/maybe all professions pay way more than what professional MiLB players make.

            2. A medical resident making $64K would seemingly be great money for a 24 y/o right out of college yes…

              But prior to getting to that stage they had to do 4 years and then what? Also what is the average amount of debt a medical resident has

              Even still it makes my point stronger. Go to school to become a doctor your odds of becoming successful at that have to be much better than a MLB ballplayer

              And like I said if you are perceived to have some semblance of talent to make it all the way to the MLB Jhailyn Ortiz you likely pocketed $4 million dollars so who cares what your MiLB salary is.

            3. @Hinke

              When I joined the military (my choice no draft) I knew what I was getting myself into. We made peanuts but we didn’t worry about food and we didn’t worry about shelter or uniforms or healthcare

              Not sure why you keep wanting to present your argument as if these kids are the Uyghurs making sneakers for Nike

              They are all free to go and do something else

            4. DMAR … so it’s a take-it or leave-it situation? MiLB players should just deal with the poverty wages, or hit the road/find another job. In your world, the sport would wither on the vine and die over the next decade.
              How about MLB owners simply open their books, and show everyone what a financial strain it is to operate a franchise?

            5. I always enjoy your opinions,DMAR. I just don’t agree with this one.
              If you want to argue that owners are fair to MLB players … fine, have at it. But (I’m sorry) in no universe can you reasonably argue that MLB treats MiLB players fairly.

            6. Likewise Hinkie this is not adversarial by any means though it may appear that way. This is two gentleman with differing opinions having a discussion of thoughts and ideas.

              I used to go to Trenton Thunder games quite a bit. $11 was the cost of a ticket. I might suggest they give everyone buying a ticket the option to pay more if they like and that would go into a fund for the MiLB players that need it most.

              I consider myself very fortunate at this stage of my life. It wasn’t always that way. When my wife and I started having kids things were tough. Plenty of Ramen noodle dinners for us.

              A lot of perseverance hard work and quite a bit of luck has made it so i could easily pay $22 for that $11 ticket today… if I knew the extra $11 would go to the players.

              Kind of like the Airplane Drink pad. It gives you a choice of how much you want to add for a tip.

            7. FYI – thanks for the residence information. Now I won’t have to ask my daughter what she will be making next year.

          3. How many of those guys received signing bonuses of $50K $100k or more? Again I don’t know

            I do know that many of the franchises have invested well in the DR to provide dorms, education and so on for these young aspiring ball players.

            1. For every Mickey Moniak, I can name you a dozen Ranger Saurez’s (signed for 25-thousand) or Billy Sullivan’s (signed for 20-thousand). Just because some kids have some money in their bank accounts, doesn’t make it all right for the majority to be eating ramen soup twice a day, and living eight guys to a hotel room.

              And … yes … just recently MLB relented, and agreed to provide housing to minor leaguers. But the point is MLB owners have a long history of greed.

            2. How many minor league players have gone to two to four years of college to get paid $6,800 a year? How many players in the minor leagues have as you say pocketed $4 million? I think you will find that the latter is a very small number compared to the former.

            3. Greed please don’t try me on that argument or try to limit it to just baseball owners.

              Greed persists in every walk of life and you know it. And yes I am as disgusted by greed as much as you are.

              The difference is I would be more disgusted by those who stand to compel someone to give away something that is rightfully theirs.

              and lastly and I’ll let you have the last word maybe the MLB is right to contract MiLB. As you said there are very few MMs and Jhailyn Ortiz’s. And we should not boohoo for Ranger LOL his Net Worth is over $1 mil


          4. Agreed. The standard for how minor leaguers should be treated and compensated isn’t pre-Napoleonic France or the Dominican Republic – it’s the fair and legitimate treatment of workers in America, particularly those who are seasonal and have to travel for their job. I am disgusted by how they are treated. It’s not okay for them to be receiving poverty wages, especially when the Billionaire owners fight for more of their ever-growing pie. And, you know, I’m a capitalist, but this is repulsive.

            1. I’m just trying to understand how bad these MiLB players have it. You take a number like $6,800 and throw it out there to be some bombastic statement on poverty. Its quite cheeky really.

              These kids don’t want for much unless things have changed drastically since the late 90’s when I/the company I worked for helped promote the Thunder.

              Also we’re not talking about at least in the low minors kids having 3-4 mouths to feed. if we are and these kids are sub 20 y/o we have another problem.

          5. The kid who lives next door to me would never have made it to triple a if his parents didnt pay his apartment and travel, bought him a car, and send him money, H is mom told me its his dream and i cant let him not try

  42. It’s simple, if you own a business your in it to make as much money as you can. You try to take care of your employees but that is an individuals decision and the risk is on you.
    If your a player it is the same, you just have to earn it and at sine pint you start a new career if you can’t invest enough.
    The people who always loose are fans. It’s time for me to step away. I will go to the minors games if prices don’t get crazy.
    Enjoy everyone. I’ll pop in from time to time ti see how you are doing.

  43. Here is my distinction Rem, between your business owner analogy and MLB. If you own a successful business, then that is, most often, predicated on a product or technology or service that you create or produce or provide. Baseball gets its revenues from the players that play the game. TV revenues are what they are not because John Middleton or Hal Steinbrenner do a single thing. This isn’t a situation where the Owners should take care of the players out of the goodness of their hearts. They should take care of the players because they depend on the players to have that multi Billion dollar asset. These owners got in it to Win, and reap the glory of winning. They made their money elsewhere or they inherited it.

    1. I’m also absolutely ashamed and appalled that people have the opinion that business owners should think of taking care of employees as a secondary consideration.

      What? How can anyone seriously say that? Taking care of your employees should be priority number one (tied with taking care of your customers). Even if you don’t value the happiness of relative strangers all that highly, multiple studies have shown that happy employees lead to higher productivity and revenues. People who value profits over employees are very firmly in the “got mine, f you category” and are short-sighted to say the least. Take care of your employees and customers and they’ll take care of you. Part of taking care of your employees means paying them a fair, COMPETITIVE wage. The MLB’s legal monopoly prevents the competition part, and the players don’t feel like their pay is fair (especially the young guys). And how about the customers. Is anyone here under the impression that the owners are taking care of us? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

      Oh, and before anyone says (or thinks) that I don’t know what I’m talking about with running a business, I certainly do. My parents have owned their business for a long time and I see what its like daily. In fact, it hasn’t even been a month since my dad approached me about taking a bigger role when my mom retires and even taking over entirely when he eventually retires. Now they’re certainly not millionaires, but they do pretty well. And its largely because they treat their customers like friends, and their employees like family (even the ones who aren’t literally family).

      I really don’t understand where sympathy for owners comes from at all. Even if you hate players for making millions, that means you should loathe owners for making billions. And I don’t want to hear any of that, “he earned it the hard way.” No one earns a billion dollars the hard way. No one can physically work hard enough to make a billion dollars. You know how much you need to be paid to earn even $100M in a year? Based on the average full-time hours of a US employee, that would be over 55 THOUSAND DOLLARS AN HOUR. And that’s “just” for $100M a year. Many billionaires’ wealth increases drastically more than that every year. Can someone point me to any single job that’s worth $55,000 an hour? Because I’d love to work 3 hours a year and then be done, personally. Maybe throw in a couple extra hours to donate to charity.

      Also, while we’re talking about animosity… why do so many people seem to resent that the players are young? Is it because there’s the impression that they haven’t worked hard to earn their money? Because they work unbelievably hard. Or is it just that you think young people are entitled? If it’s that, I gotta tell you; as a relatively young guy myself… I’m getting pretty tired of my generation and the ones after me getting shafted over and over again. And it’s not even just the two economic disasters in my life time, a new plague, multiple wars, and now possibly WW3. In our country, there have been multiple SERIOUS attempts at removing worker protection laws in recent years. I was told all my life to just work hard and go to school and that would lead to a good job. Except it doesn’t. Kids are told to go 50-250 THOUSAND dollars of debt to get a degree… and then they’re told to work minimum wage (which has stagnated, by the way) to work their way up the ladder. Only they don’t work their way up the ladder, they get raises that don’t even match inflation. They get told that their work isn’t worth being able to afford food and rent, but if they don’t do it they’re just lazy. I’m personally lucky in that I don’t have any debt. I am able to keep my costs down to such a degree that I can save money. But almost every one of my friends and so many of the younger people I know are just struggling every day to no be hungry or homeless and its exhausting. I know a lot of readers are here are older than I am; many older by a significant amount. And I truly respect your opinions, your views, and your perspectives. But I have to ask… how many of you are still working. Better yet, how many of you have had to job search recently or had to go (back) to school? For those who are past that, please consider MY perspective. These billionaires may employ hundreds, maybe even thousands of people. But they aren’t taking care of them. They aren’t doing their employees some kind of favor. They’re exploiting them. And they’re trying to exploit the players. It may seem ridiculous to think that anyone making a million dollars in a year can be exploited, but they absolutely can. These people (the owners and those like them) aren’t interested in anything other than profits and to get those profits they’ll take and take and take until someone stops them from taking anymore. The issue is… there are so few people willing to stop them. The union isn’t trying to get as much money as possible right now. What they’re doing is trying to stop the owners from taking more and more every year. This isn’t about this year or one player. It’s about every year. It’s about protecting the young guys and the players we don’t even know yet. It’s about fairness and treating your employees well.

      So I beg you guys. If you don’t want to support the players, that’s fine. I get it. It’s hard to feel sympathy for millionaires. But don’t try to vilify them or support the owners. The owners are quite literally the people that have made life for so many people I know miserable. They’re the ones who pay politicians to strip worker’s protections, or to filibuster bills that increase minimum wage. They’re the ones that steal money (sometimes quite literally) from the average person, and then buy their way out of consequences. They’re the ones that have caused so much uncertainty about my future and the future of our country that I’m not even comfortable having children of my own.

      Anyways, sorry for the rant. I hope you all can find a fun new hobby to fill the void left by MLB for as long as it takes (or even permanently if that makes your lives better). And hopefully we can all still enjoy watching the farm players grow into the next generation of stars.

      1. Ya Dan, I hope you didn’t take my comment as supporting the concept that employers should take care of their employees as secondary. I was just trying to say that the whole thing from my interest in baseball is simple. I’m out
        All the best!

    2. Matt, however yuu want to look at it is fine, my pint wasn’t to argue. I just can’t support whatever hi call what’s going on anymore. Take care.

    3. Matt, however yuu want to look at it is fine, my pint wasn’t to argue. I just can’t support whatever hi call what’s going on anymore. Take care.

  44. The poster child for service time manipulation has pocketed $63 million; is a FA at 29 and likely to get more than $150-$175 contract if not more when this all ends

    1. DMAR……that is a fair point.
      I believe the Cubs’ fans did not mind having KB for an additional year, and able to move him for assets at the trade deadline…….say vs the Nats fans who saw Bryce Harper leave after his minimal service time for free agency was up and leave at the age of 26.

      My point…people clamor reduce service time…let players go into free agency sooner…..until it is your super-star who says adios to that city and pursues greener pastures.

      Charlie Finley, original owner of the As…may have it best 50 years ago….when he proposed to MLB, have every player become a free agent after a one year contract……players would not want that, since a one year slump means disaster.

      On a side note…..IMO, Manfred wants to get the Rule 4 to a similar design as the NFL draft……only draft collegian players after they have been in college for a certain amount of years……his minor league contraction seems to be headed in that direction. Players come in at 20 or 21 years old, more emotionally and physically mature, experienced and dedicated to their profession.

      1. I was wondering the other day using Jhailyn as an example does he walk around camp and go through his seasons feeling bad or guilty he got $4 million to come in and try his hand at baseball?

        How much of that does he share with the less talented around him. Should he be compelled to do so. At least for those that are performing better than he is right?

        1. Another long overdue item…an international draft.
          Players forced owners to not have it ….the almost 30% of the Latin caucus of MLB players were going to strike if it were implemented. That is when Bud Selig was the commissioner.
          There are inequities in MLB…and that could be one that could be easily rectified.

  45. Anyone concerned that as a regular series get canceled, it affects the races because the playing schedule will not be equal in # of games against similar competitors?

    1. Denny……Phillies in Houston cancelled …dang…..I was hoping for an away sweep!
      That may be a benefit for the Fightins’

  46. From watching free agency, it’s hard to believe that the players salaries are going down (I read the article that they are going down by around 4%) . . . And if they are, good, it’s insane for players to make 40m and get that regardless if they play or not or if they perform or not. Again, I’m more so on Harold Reynold side or at least agree with his points he made yesterday.
    Oh and the people who are commenting (not on here) that Manfred was smiling, give me a break, do people really think he wanted to cancel games? Of course he didn’t and of course he isn’t happy about all this.

    I also believe the minors should be cut a bit. And I think that’s a good move for some of the players. The ones who just aren’t good enough to ever make it and struggle thru years in the minors are wasting prime working years of their life. They are at a disadvantage when they finally decide to hang it up. It would also bring up the level of competition. Cut the player pool and take that money from the cut pool to spread around so the ones who have a shot (or a better shot) can make more.

  47. Some factoids
    — players’ dues… $85 per day during the 2021 season.
    —average salary is $4.2M on 2021 opening day from the start of the previous full season in 2019.

  48. If it should wither on a vine so be it. Anyone here old enough to remember Gimbels, Wanamakers and a plethora of other retail establishments now defunct.

    Listen to young people talk about how disruption is a good thing. We’re going to disrupt this industry with AI so you can get your latte in 1 min 30 seconds instead of 2 min. How much they love their Amazon and hate their Walmart. I love the folk who’s hearts bleed for minimum wage to increase yet won’t pay a few dollars more to support a small business.

    Have you ever used Uber? DoorDash?

    Consumers out number billionaires yet consumers do more to suppress wages than any lot of billionaires. In fact billionaires likely wouldn’t exist if consumers weren’t such greedy ba$tards themselves.

    Half of the people that I meet that go on rants about billionaires are lazy unimaginative unwilling to work hard and unwilling to take any risks to improve their fortunes so I pay them no mind.

    The other half are tethered to needing a new Iphone each and every time one comes out or like I said above they won’t pay a dime more to support a small business thus they create the so called monsters they hate.

    John Middleton is a Billionaire why? Because he took his dad’s pretty successful cigar store online and there were plenty of people out there too lazy to get off their arses to drive to their local cigar guy and buy in person. Novel

    You me we put people out of work everyday carelessly. And like Tony Montana said we need guys like him billionaires to point the finger at so we can feel better about ourselves like we hold some moral high ground.

    1. You have a very real hatred for young people and it’s concerning.

      Have you considered that the people who don’t support small businesses are doing so because they make minimum wage and can’t AFFORD to spend the extra money? Did you know it’s cheaper to live off of McDonald’s than it is to live off of meals made from groceries? To even come close, you’d have to buy potatoes and/or rice with no/very little protein or seasonings. So are you suggesting someone should eat plan rice rather than a burger and a fries every day for a year?

      Increases in minimum wage actually increase spending in the economy because workers having more money means they’re willing to spend it more often. And did you know that increasing minimum wage actually has a ridiculously small impact on product prices? Take, for example, the Big Mac. McD’s in Denmark pays their workers a base of about $20 per hour (plus benefits, by the way). The cost of the Big Mac? Depending on who you ask it’s either more expensive by about 27 cents (NY Times), or CHEAPER by 76 cents (The Economist). Meanwhile they have no problems increasing the price by over a dollar here in the states due to inflation (but conveniently leaving inflation out of their calculation for employee wages).

      Have you ever worked in an Amazon warehouse? I have. For over a year, in fact. And no, I wasn’t fired for being lazy. I quit because their pay structure was criminal and their treatment of workers quite literally led to hospitalizations. I hate Amazon with a passion. But I don’t condemn people for still using them. They protect their customers and, in many cases, have monopolized products/services. There are quite literally things that you can’t NOT buy from Amazon; even if you buy on another website they still get their cut. And it’s not the average person’s responsibility to hold Amazon accountable anyways. It’s supposed to be the job of politicians and law enforcement. Did you know that discussing wages with your co-workers is protected by law? Did you also know that Amazon monitors their employees and fires them when they do it (or when they try to unionize, or basically just do anything that would lead to workers protecting themselves)? They get away with it because they make it almost impossible for workers to prove anything. And the ones who can get swept under the rug with their billions of dollars in hush money. Amazon quite literally breaks laws, but the people in power don’t hold them accountable for it. And you’re blaming the people who are just trying to put food on the table? Do you want a literal revolution? Because, historically, that’s the only way the working class can fight back against oligarchs. Are you really suggesting that the younger generation kills and gets killed just so they can be paid fairly?

      By the way, I work full time. I’m not in poverty. I, on average, get a new phone every 8 years (never an iPhone, for what it’s worth). I shop local whenever possible (I’m even ordering dinner from a local restaurant tonight; try to do so once a week). I donate to charity, I help out my friends and family, whenever possible, and if we’re being honest I don’t particularly care about money. I work a job that pays less because it makes me less beholden to people I find repugnant. I’m letting you know all of this so that you understand when I tell you… it’s not about any of that. The hatred for billionaires comes from their treatment of people and their blatant disregard of the world around them. Did you know that recently Jeff Bezos had a super yacht built? But wait, that’s not the ridiculous part. It’s actually the largest yacht on the planet. Still not the ridiculous part (although I really wish it were…). But I won’t keep you in suspense anymore; it’s so big that it can’t fit under the historic bridge that it needs to travel past to get out to sea? The solution? He wants to pay to dismantle the HISTORIC BRIDGE. Not the yacht. The bridge. Could you imagine someone building a car in the Washington monument only to find out it won’t fit through the door, and then having the AUDACITY to suggest taking sledge hammers to the wall to get the car out?

      That’s what we’re talking about here. Billionaires aren’t just disconnected from the average worker; they just straight up ignore the rules we’ve set in place as a society. They do quite literally whatever they want, and if they would face consequences they either buy their way out of trouble or just straight up pay to change the rules.

      Now personally, I’m not perfect. I know that, and I won’t pretend I’m anything close to it. But I would NEVER put someone’s life at risk just to make more money. Even if they were a stranger. I hope you wouldn’t either. Yet we have literal proof that these billionaires not only WOULD do that, but actually do it. That is where the vitriol comes from. That’s why younger people hate them. It’s not because we need a boogeyman; it’s because they are a boogeyman. They steal, destroy, and kill in the name of money and we’re expected to just be okay with it? Nah.

      As it relates to players, again I don’t have much sympathy for millionaires. But it’s not the millionaires I’m supporting; it’s the union. Unions are one of the few ways in this country to increase working conditions and wages. So yeah, I’m on that side. The union isn’t just representing those guys making millions of dollars. They also represent the guys making the minimum. And I get it, you think that’s a lot too. But the owners are trying to make it less and less. This isn’t about making as much as possible for the players. It’s about preventing the owners from taking more and more. Because eventually, they would take everything. And the more you let them take, the harder it becomes to stop them.

      1. Dank…..”I hate Amazon with a passion.”….assume that also goes for Jeff Bezos, who last I heard, will not let Alabama Amazon workers unionize.

        1. Absolutely. And it’s not just Alabama. I’ve got horror stories from right here in the Philadelphia area. The only people who can attempt to organize a union at Amazon are the ones who don’t work there. If they even THINK you’re trying to unionize, they’ll fire you.

          The GM of the one I worked out straight up lied about his own father’s death just to convince workers unions were bad (I can relate the actual story he told us if people are interested and Jim doesn’t mind). Oh, and if you’re wondering how I know he lied (other than the obvious hyperbole of the story), someone went to the press and a reporter researched how his dad actually died.

          Can you even imagine leveraging your late father’s memory in service of a corporation? I felt the need to apologize to the poor man’s grave myself.

          1. I can understand your feeling
            Not sure how often, but assume more than one time, for a person to reach that billionaire standing…..they may have been ruthless from within their industry, in their quest

          2. Living in the South and prospering without unions because Steel manufacturing was killed by the U
            Union in the north no comment but that.

            1. If that was your only comment you may have wanted to do some research. Steel manufacturing (and working) is still very much alive and well in the north. In fact, of the top 10 steel companies in the US (as measured by number of employees), only one of them is below the Mason Dixon line.

              Unless you want to lay claim to Pittsburgh, CA as southern in which case you can have two. But I feel like people in CA are probably unionized.

      2. “You have a very real hatred for young people and it’s concerning.”

        No Dan I don’t but if we can have a serious discussion I have a deep concern for our youth. Heck even for my generation folks born 1969 and later. Most of us really are spoiled and take what we have for granted.

        In actuality I love young people. My oldest son just turned 30 bought his house 3 years ago on a Union Job. He’s certainly doing better than I was at his age but then also he isn’t having to feed a family of 5.

        My middle son is 29 and in Kuwait City in the Army. I’m extremely proud of him.

        And my youngest son 26 bought his first home back in October. Completely on his own no help from anyone. Well his Uncle Sam and those tax incentives or payouts helped a lot with the down payment.

        I don’t want to hang out with Jeff Bezos. I don’t want to hang out with JM. Frankly they are not my people. I prefer to hang out with my friend Bjorn who was born in Trinidad and came to this country when he was 6.

        He his mom and dad, two aunts an uncle 2 sisters and 2 cousins lived in a 2 bedroom apartment in Yonkers until he was 10. His mom and dad worked their butts off to get their RNs and by the time he was in HS his parents moved them down to PA bought a big house and were each pulling over a six figure income back in the early 2000s when that was really a lot of money.

        So no I don’t hate young people. I really don’t hate anybody. Well I do find it tough to stomach whiners and spoiled brats or just people in general that aren’t thankful for what they have.

        Its funny you talk and I mean really talk to people here from other countries and they don’t do a lot whining or complaining they simply put their heads down and work. They really do look at us as spoiled lazy or just plain out of touch with reality.

        1. I’m glad your sons are doing so well, I really am. But I’m here to tell you that is not the norm.

          My parents bought their current house when I was in elementary school and my oldest brother was about to go to college. So they were in the middle of paying for private (catholic) education for 4 kids and preparing to pay for college for 3 of them in the next 5 years (it didn’t work out that way, fortunately, because 3 of u got substantial scholarships and the other decided to just go straight into the work force). Now that same oldest brother is an engineer who is married to an engineer. They make a LOT of money. They bought a house before they had their two kids (or their cat). I tell you all this so you have perspective on what I say next: their house is half the size of my parent’s and cost just as much if not more (when accounting for inflation). It’s partly due to location, but mostly because money just doesn’t go as far as it used to.

          My dad paid for his college tuition with one job. If I didn’t have a scholarship, I couldn’t have paid for mine with 3. I didn’t go to Harvard, I went to TEMPLE. Temple is a public university if you weren’t aware. I was out of state, sure, but that still means that in-state students couldn’t possible afford tuition on a single job.

          Oh my friends from high school, a decent chunk own their own houses. But the thing is… my high school was full of well-off families. Of my friends from college and life after school? Zero. Zero friends who own a home. They all rent. They rent because they can’t save enough money after rent, food, utilities, insurance, et. al. to have enough collateral for a mortgage. They can’t save enough money to GET A LOAN.

          And it’s only been getting worse. Price of food is going up, gas is ridiculous, and rent is the worst of all. Private companies are out-bidding real people for houses. Which is fine for those selling… but those companies don’t sell the houses to people. They rent them, or turn them into apartment complexes. So there’s fewer and fewer houses for the younger generations to buy, leaving renting as the only option. And the cost of renting goes up faster than wages. Plus renting means you don’t have any equity.

          And remember that tuition I mentioned earlier? A lot of people (thankfully not me) had to take out loans to pay for it. Wanna guess how many young people are paying student loans in the US? Almost a third of those who went to college. Almost one out of three YOUNG ADULTS are tens of thousands of dollars in debt before they can even start working full time. You wanna know how long they’ll be paying off those loans? Some of them literally forever. As of this year, people age FIFTY to SIXTY ONE owe a total of $281B. People who traditionally would be thinking about retirement haven’t even wiped out their student loan debts.

          I respect the hell out of people who work hard to make a life for themselves. But every year the cards get stacked against young people more and more. A high school diploma doesn’t even get you an interview anymore. A college education is more than 3 times more expensive than for the previous generation. Minimum wage doesn’t increase. Inflation causes the cost of living to continue rising. Buying houses is a dream for the upper class rather than the common family. And people are basically beholden to employers for healthcare.

          Now since I know you’re thinking about this based on your son’s service; no, military service should not be a consideration for paying for education. I have nothing bad to say about those who serve; I’m personally an Eagle Scout, and I am not exaggerating when I say 90% of the guys from my troop enlisted. Even my best friend is currently in the Navy. I am also absolutely NOT saying to take away that perk from enlisting. However, I am saying it should absolutely not be the main reason people enlist. There should be multiple, viable ways for someone to pay for tuition. But currently the options are 1) be rich, 2) go in debt, or 3) join the military. That’s not okay. Oh, and as a recipient of the largest scholarship that Temple offered at the time (which was not a full ride, but it was significant)… scholarships are also not a viable way to pay for it anymore. There’s a reason so many poor black families focus on sports over doing well academically. You’re more likely to get a full ride from football than you are from getting straight A’s.

          Yes, things could be worse. And immigrants are certainly grateful for a better standard of living. However, people only immigrate somewhere because it is (or has the potential to be) better than where they came from. Of course the people who came here from worse places will say it’s better. But you know who isn’t immigrating? People from other first-world countries. By country, immigrants to the US are from Mexico (25%), China (6%), India (2%), and Phillipines (2%). All of Europe and Canada combined for under 13%. And of those, they’re mostly highly educated and here for jobs. And you wanna know the real kicker? The US now has more Mexican immigrants returning to Mexico than coming in from Mexico. That says to me that we’ve gotten to the point where people who have been to both countries think they’re better off in Mexico. That’s saying something.

          And as for Europe and Canada and the like; do you talk to them at all? Because I’ve got friends in both Canada and various parts of Europe (mostly Germany, but also some in the UK, France, Spain, Poland, etc.). You wanna know what they think? Of the ones who have visited, they all agree the US is beautiful and there’s so many cool things to see and do. But they can’t imagine living in a place that so blatantly ignores glaring issues for the general population. Now my Canadian friends are slightly more sympathetic because they share some of our issues (rent, for example, is absolutely horrible in Canada as well). But they also think they’d be way worse off here than in Canada. And having lived abroad briefly… I agree. It was way easier to live in Canada and Germany than it has been to live here. Personally, if it weren’t for my family being here, I would have moved years ago.

          Now all of this is to say, we agree that athletes making millions of dollars is a problem. But they aren’t the CAUSE of the problem, they are the RESULT. The cause is the owners. It is the owners who have turned baseball into a multi-billion dollar enterprise by selling ads, selling naming rights, increasing ticket prices, merchandising EVERYTHING (including CANCER), and so on. I don’t want athletes to be millionaires. But I DO want someone to stop the owners from taking more and more every year, and the MLBPA is at least trying to do that. They can’t represent everyone, but at least it’s something. Because never forget: if the owners could get away with paying players nothing, they would. And with that saved money of free labor… they would keep it. And they would continue to monetize the game, even to its detriment. For all the flaws that the MLBPA has, at the very least they care about the game and its players. The owners care only for the money and they’ll take it any way they can.

  49. With some games being cancelled, the luxury tax threshold will be harder to exceed. Phillies could theoretically spend more now to fill out team.

    1. I am sure whatever happens will be pro-rated so none of this helps the Phillies vs the CBT.

    2. Unfortunately, number of games played doesn’t come into the calculus for the CBT. The numbers are calculated by AAV, and if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the owners count a pro-rated portion of the contract as the full contract.

      So Wheeler won’t ACTUALLY be given his $26M this year, but his AAV is still $23.6M because he WOULD have been paid it if the year wasn’t shortened.

      So basically the Phils will only spend more if the CBT is raised.

      1. Won’t count as service time either, potentially robbing a small set of players from free agency.

          1. Anyway, go Sixers!!! Still looking forward to a full year of the minors too. Alms for the poor!

            1. Man this is the worst. Not only is baseball my favorite by a large margin, my second favorite is hockey and I don’t care about the NBA at all. If the internet wasn’t around I’d be going clinically insane.

              So I’ve got baseball in a lockout, the Flyers being historically bad, and my brother (who is a huge Sixers fan) living it up with a championship contender.

            2. Lent started today…..and so correct…alms for the poor.
              And though I would like to see a settlement soon between the owners and union,
              I am fixated and immersed now in the pain, suffering and death that is happening to those poor people of Ukraine.
              The baseball issues seem so irrelevant….a distraction for lack of a better word.

  50. Romus, so true. Spent a half hour typing a farewell to MLB, then turned on the tv……baseball is irrelevant. What a sad time!

  51. 800 THOUSAND, That is chump change to Romus, so be nice to him, its hard for him to understand us poor people

    1. In fact, he reads from a script that is prepared for him and the other personalities at MLB. See this link for the owners’ water carriers.

      At their best, they try to “both sides” a situation. For instance, they try to blame the lockout on both sides for not reaching an agreement, when the lockout is solely on the owners.

      You know this is true. You’ve all seen these guys try to do this as well as other language that identifies them as the owners’ lackeys.

      Look at how they used Heyman to get all your hopes up when there was never a chance that a deal would be reached at the eleventh hour.

      There are a lot of good writers out there who are reporting accurately. I told you who I trust a month ago. But, anything you hear on MLB TV or from the MLB Insiders you have to be skeptical about.

          1. Yes. The lockout is solely on the owners. The players didn’t shut the game down.

            Eric … until the owners agree to open their books to illuminate their contention that owning a team isn’t as profitable as we all think it is, I’ll choose to believe practically nothing they say.

            BTW … If you’re a Phillies fan, how can you be in favor of CBT levels of 220M for 2022, 2023, and 2024? Like I posted the other day (above), It’s highly doubtful John Middleton is even in favor of that.

            1. Is anyone watching the workouts at the complex? Any updates? Any games between minor leaguers? Interested more in prospects than the talks because one is real the other is frustrating. Just getting tired of the situation and spring is here, I might just go outside enjoy the sunshine and get ready for football.

            2. Denny … you’re right.
              Yesterday/last night, I watched the NFL combine (Eagles have three first round picks), and I’m watching every 76er game (Harden has been unreal). I’m a huge baseball/Phillies fan so I’ll be back when they finally reach a new CBA. But … MLB is going to lose a lot of casual fans if this lockout lasts too long.

            3. When this started, I really could care less who was more right, the players or the owners (when I say “more right” I assume that nobody here is entirely right or wrong), I just wanted the dispute to be resolved with a DH in the NL and more CBT space. I also said that I was glad the owners forced the issue because you really cannot have a situation where the season starts and then is lost like 1994. I still believe this is correct – let’s get it done now and salvage whatever part of the season we can (there WILL be a season this year – if there isn’t the ramifications will be disastrous for all parties).

              But as this has gone on and I’ve observed the position of the sides and read what the commentators have written, I definitely think the players are more right. For teams and revenues to be skyrocketing, for the owners to remain as secretive as they have while successfully reducing player payments , is pretty damning. Yeah, something is not right and I agree that the players have absolutely no reason to trust the owners. All they can do is model the league revenue stream and expenditures and reverse engineer the profits using, of course, team values as one check on their numbers.

              Still, it irks me that the fans are put last and I don’t see both sides attacking the fundamental problems of the game, so that does piss me off a lot.

            4. First off, obviously the owners were the ones who locked out the players, that’s not what I meant and you know that. I meant coming to an agreement wasn’t solely on the owners.
              And I’m of the thinking that if you can’t build a championship team with a 200m payroll, thats the organizations fault, they obviously didn’t develop talent to go with the 200m or are hitting on the wrong FA. One of those is an absolute fact with the Phillies. And please don’t question “if you’re a Phillies fan”.

            5. It’s not a matter of “building a championship team with a 200M payroll”. It’s a matter of what a fair CBT looks like in regards to league revenues. There’s something wrong when player pay has decreased for four consecutive years, even as industry revenues have grown (and will grow exponentially in the next couple of years as MLB does more deals with Facebook, Youtube, and betting sites [Draft Kings, etc]) .
              I know sports is unlike most other professions … but … I’m having a hard time coming up with another line of work where employees don’t at least get a cost of living increase.
              Again … if owners are really hurting financially, prove it by opening the books. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. The true health of the sport and it’s franchises is/are too robust for the players or fans to know the truth.

          1. According to reporting from Andy Martino (and others), there is a small group of hard line owners who are tanking the negotiations. The Angels, Tigers, Reds, and DBacks are four clubs who didn’t want the CBT to go even go higher than the current 210M figure (even as the league continues to grow revenues). There are a handful of other owners who will vote “no” on a CBA with a LT any higher than 220M. 23 owners have to “yes” to a CBA offer.
            So for all of the owner apologists (you know who you are) … the majority of MLB owners don’t even see things your way.

            1. And I’ll repeat what I said yesterday (?) … if this small group of owners can’t handle a growing CBT (even as league revenues grow), they need to cash out. Sell your team (for a huge profit), to a guy/girl/group who with the financial might to compete in today’s MLB. If the small market SD Padres can spend >210M, what’s stopping every other club?

  52. This is all on the owners. I agree with Hinkie’s point about owners needing to cash out if they don’t want to spend money. Another thing that irks me, is teams that refuse to spend money. See TB, Pitt, AZ, etc. YOU’RE A BILLIONAIRE!!! You shouldn’t have a payroll less than 75m, you should be building your own stadiums, not on the backs of the fans, and you should be taking care of your minor leaguers. Rant over. I miss baseball.

  53. MLBTR wrote that some owners wanted to count meal stipends toward the luxury cap. Does anyone here recall how much MLB players get for meal money on the road?

  54. Arte Moreno should be embarrassed. He’s had Mike Trout, yet his organization does one stupid thing after another. I agree with Hinkie. If it only took a majority, not 23 votes, a deal would have already been reached. If you cannot afford to ne a Major League owner, sell the team. Maybe the guy in Cinci can buy himself a Minor League team to play with? This is on the owners. It doesn’t matter if they can’t win with a $200M payroll, the object has never been competitive balance. It has always been limiting players’ salaries. I also agree with Catch. All I wanted was no loss of draft pick for signing a FA, and the LT to go up to $225M in the first year. That puts no team out of business. The minimum needs to go up as well. It hasn’t even matched inflation.

    1. Yeah, matt. Arte Moreno and the Ilich family have spent near the CBT many different years (I believe Moreno has even gone over it before). For the Angels and Tigers, this is just a matter of pure greed, or an attempt to break the union.

    2. My God Moreno gave Rendon $240 million… Maybe the biggest “Huh” was Josh Hamilton for $125 million dollars…

    3. If they cared about competitive balance there would be a salary floor, which would overall increase spending on player salaries, but help even them out some more. I can’t believe there isn’t a lot of anger with owners who have to share their profit with other teams either.

  55. I don’t know if the founder, Mile Ilitch is still alive, but in his time he would have spent whatever he could to win. I don’t know anything about Castellini, the Reds’ owner. And, I think the Dbacks are a Limited Partnership with a guy named Kendrick, who I also know nothing about. But, if their names are out here, I think it has been leaked by the owners who want to make a deal. Or, I am engaging in more wishful thinking!

    1. Yes. Most owners know this offer is ridiculous, and they’re leaking the info in an effort to put pressure on the cheapskates who are tanking the negotiaions so we can get back to the business of playing baseball.

      1. Perhaps the 8 or 9 small market owners, who currently are blocking the agreement, may want more of a percentage of the revenue sharing pot from the large market teams. There may be another sub-negotiations going on among the owners.

        1. Romus, that’s an outstanding point. It’s tempting to look at the owners as a unified force (of evil). Sure, they all want to grow revenues and hold down player salaries, but aside from that, they have as many differences as they have commonalities. I am sure there are a whole bunch of owners who are not making quite as much money (places like Pittsburgh and Kansas City) and they are worried as hell (as they should be) that guys like Steven Cohen will just be able to buy the pennant year after year and do not care that much if they have to bust through the CBT to do so. So, yeah, they have to figure things out amongst themselves as much as they need to bargain with the union.

          1. Yeah…did not think of Steve Cohen’s financial stature among the owners
            Cohen probably does scare more than a few.
            The vote to get him into the ‘boys club’ was not as overwhelming in favor for him, as he wanted.

  56. It is comical to think that Moreno is afraid of Steve Cohen, but there is jealousy amongst Billionaires just like the rest of the world. But, I find it ridiculous that $225 vs $210M as a LT is really going to hurt any of the owners.

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