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December 20, 2008

It's the economy, Scott!

Mark Teixeira might want to get his contract done by Christmas to get the negotiations out of the way so he can enjoy the holidays with his family, but Scott Boras should want to get it out of the way for an even more important reason than that.

The global economic crisis really hasn't hit baseball all that hard yet, not when MLB just reported that gross revenues have risen to $6.5 billion (or an average of almost $202 million per team), but the harsh reality of a customer base with far less spending power will soon become apparent as season-ticket renewals come due in January and teams start finalizing next season's sponsorship agreements.

I don't know if any other teams are going to be pulling out of the bidding, but the bad economy might be the reason that Boras hasn't seen the kind of offers he was counting on. The best offer out there is thought to be from the Washington Nationals, though nobody seems to have a clue what it is. The Orioles are believed to have offered a seven-year deal worth up to $150 million, and the Angels have announced that they've made an eight-year offer. The Angels have not revealed their bid, but a baseball exec I talked to earlier today thinks that -- at best -- the total value is only slightly more than $160 million.

Local bad economic news: If you doubt that baseball teams are going to feel the effects of the economic downturn, I'm hearing that the Orioles recently notified game-day employees that they are downsizing their stadium staff for the upcoming season and will need many of them only for the higher-attendance games.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 5:30 PM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

If they don't sign Teixeira, there aren't going to be many higher-attendance games once you get past the Yankees and Red Sox. You've got to think the stadium staffers are rooting extra hard for the Orioles to pull off the stunner.

Scott Boros is one of the main reasons why salaries are way up. If he ever thinks of lowering his salary demands then maybe families can afford to go to a game. In this day and age the way the economy is nobody is going to waste their paycheck to go to any games unless you make a lot of money.

That's the sad reality of things right now Schmuck. Boras I think is a little overconfident in his dealings with the teams right now negotiating for Texiera. If I remember correctly he did the same thing with A-Rods new deal that A-Rod himself had to pretty much save with the Yankees because Boras had no clue he was pretty much sabotaging it.

Come the new year the payroll's/money in the bank will be pretty set and teams will know exactly what's within their means and what is not.

your stat about gross for the mlb teams (202 million avg) reminded me of a fact i heard about the yanks earning a billion a year - is that right?

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Pete's reply: That might be a little high, but they are head and shoulders above everybody else.

Good perspective on the coming year, Peter. A lot of people don't think U.S. money is worth anything and all this bailing out of majorly screwed up institutions has yet to trickle down to the bedrock citizens who could barely afford a family night at the ballpark in flush times. This season will be interesting, for sure.

Yep, fire the little guy.... How about cutting the deadweight in the FO, as in Flanagan. I'm quite sure the duties of being Angelos's puppet can be handled by someone else.

if we cant get tex wy not dunn for DH huff first base and two good pitchers like garland and lowe might be cheaper and fill the seats

The stat you quote about MLB Gross probably does not include revenue from subsidiary businesses, like the YES Network, which puts the Yankees over the head and shoulders of the guy standing on the shoulders of the guy who is already taller than everybody else. It probably doesn't take into account the net worth of the assets, which with the new stadium will continue to be among the most valued (if not the #1) professional sports organizations in the USA.

I still think the Mark Teixeira thing is a battle of chicken between Boras and AM that can only be resolved by Teixeira himself. I don't blame Boras for anything that's wrong in baseball any more than I blame a vigorous defense attorney or union labor negotiator for doing his/her job. It's all about checks and balances in this country and you play the game as hard as you can.

Too bad Boras doesn't represent HS English teachers! (LOL)

ml

Baseball needs a wakeup call. I hope it gets it without the game we love going down the tubes. What if MLB one day needs a bailout? If no one shows up next season and no one buys stuff, it will.

Hello Mr. Schmuck,
A few things, If the Orioles sign Tex, and the economy continues its nasty fall, do you supposed Mr. A would apply for the first bail out in Baseball? Probably get it. I agreed with the majority of the bloggers here that the team needs to sign Teixeira. The fans have waited much too long for a giant step forward. I am glad D-Cab went to the NL, I believe chin music may be more important there.
I have been going to spring training for the last 8 years. Do we know where we will be going next year?

Pete -

I believe you are correct in your assessment of the Tex waiting game. A lot of folks here wasnt to demonize Boras for his negotiating skills, but let's face it, MLB has allowed this to happen. It's not Boras's fault he capitalized on this. And isn't it his job to get the best deal for his client?

Pete, remember Larry Bird's agent? I think it was Bob Wolfe? Does that sound right? anyway, the reason I b ring that name up, is that Larry's agent impressed upon him the importance of giving back to the community after signing a lucrative contract. I heard Larry talking about that once in a interview. Seems like we need more agents in the game like that.

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Pete's reply: That's not all that unusual. Ron Shapiro, here in Baltimore, always insisted his clients allotted a chunk of their big contracts to local charities and community organizations.

If Tex doesn't sign with the Orioles, he is a complete liar. You mean to tell me that making a few extra million when you're already making 20million is that big of a difference yet, you can be back home? If Tex signs elsewhere, playing in Bmore means nothing to him. He has a chance to be a hero to Baltimore, to baseball, to children. This is how he would be introduced... Mark Teixeria who chose to make a few dollars less so that he could return home playing first base. What a great story it would be. However, I dont have the faith in these money grubbers anymore. Know what, if owners choose to play ball with Borass, more power to them. Though I hate the Sox, I applaud John Henry. Happy Hoildays everyone!

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Pete's reply: In fairness to Tex, I don't remember seeing him quoted as ever saying he wanted to sign with the O's. I believe he was quoted a while back as saying that playing for his hometown team would be a dream come true. By your definition, if he didn't agree to sign with the O's for a buck a year, he'd be a liar.

peter i don't think scott boras is worried about the economy. i have been reading on mlb.com today that the yankees are monitoring the tex saga. according to article the yankees have not made any offers to boras yet,but you can bet they will make one. all scott boras is looking for is 18 to 20 plus million dollar payday when tex decides on where he wants to play. also according to the article boras called the yankees about a week ago concering tex.

If Angelos doesn't sign Texiera, he should just sell the damn team. Tired of losing, tired of his excuses, tired of his failed ownership model, I can't stand him. He stands for losing and running a crown jewel of baseball into the ground!!
Unless there is a salary cap, he can't compete....He made the cheapest offer to Texiera. What does that equal= loser!!

Pete,
Was the economy the reason the upper deck was empty for a good part of last year? Soon they will put a tarp on the left-field upper deck seats like they do in Miami.

according to mlb.com the angels have pulled their offer to texieria off the table.

The Angels are out of the bidding! This is huge. We have to get this done before the YankSox pounce. Then get Looper & Redding and I'll be back at the ballpark this season for sure!

funny, 160 million? and you cant get Nick or B-Rob extensions.. hmm.. or find pitching.. hmmm.. sounds like that all eggs in one basket thing to me..

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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