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February 3, 2010

Bisciotti takes a swing at the Yankees

Clearly, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is a proponent of the NFL salary cap, and took a light-hearted shot at the Yankees during today's big news conference for their inability to totally dominate Major League Baseball with their huge revenue and payroll advantage over the other 29 teams.

"It certainly doesn't show up in the standings," Bisciotti said. "If I'm a Yankees fan, I'm upset we're not winning 130 games with the roster that they have and the money that they pay out. I think it's a disgrace they only beat the average team by 10 games in the standings with three times the money. I'd fire that GM. You don't need a GM. All you have to do is buy the last Cy Young Award winner every year."

That left me with no choice but to ask him afterward if he thought baseball should impose an NFL-style salary cap, something the baseball owners have wanted to do for decades, but have never been able to overcome union opposition.

"I think the genie's out of the bottle,'' Bisciotti said, pointing out that the huge value of the Yankees franchise is based on the current economic system and nobody is going to impose a new system that might damage the value of the top revenue-producing teams. "There's just no way of solving it."

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 4:31 PM | | Comments (66)
Categories: Just baseball, Just football


"I'd fire that GM. You don't need a GM. All you have to do is buy the last Cy Young Award winner every year."

I've been saying the same thing about Brian Cashman for years. And I still believe that the Yanks looked up Cashman in the Yellow Pages and called him to offer him the job, just because they thought it would be funny to have a GM named Cash Man.

It really is embarrassing that it took the Yankees nine years to win another World Series after beating the Mets in 2000.

I think baseball salaries ought to be limited, on average, to $100,000 over the average salary of police, fire fighters, and public school teachers.

A few stars, like Roy Halliday or Alex Pujols could make a million, but this would be limited to one or two exceptional stars per team.

Instead of taking a swipe at the Skanks SB shoulda asked Greedy Petey how many more 100's of Millions of dollars he has to save b4 going all in on an elite FA

He still hasnt gotten an ace since being outbid by the Skanks for MUssina. We havent had a true clean- up hitter in a decade.

Oh thats right, aces and clean up hitters cost too much money

Salsry cap will never happen and money isnt the problem for the orioles, its the willingness to spend thats lacking. The money is there.

The Os are content to make a tidy profit while giving the appearence of trying to compete for the avg fan

Baltimore Orioles, home of a 13 yr losing streak and the lowest payroll in the AL-- Woo hoo

logiopath, the problem with that model is that just because you limit player salary, doesn't mean the owners will lower their profit margins to compensate. It just means the owners will be making a bazillion dollars profit. Players Union would never, EVER allow that scenerio.

As Biscotti said, the genie is out of the bottle. You'd literally have to give billions in compensation to the top earning teams just to get talks going. Not going to happen, to baseball and the Orioles detriment. Only way would be if all of baseball franchises values dropped simultaniously.

You are right-players have a right to the profits, and before Curt Flood challenged the reserve clause, owners like William Wrigley were busy buying their private fiefdoms (like Wrigley buying Catalina Island).

On the other hand, the players and agents have become, in many senses, like our government. These folks throw these ridiculous amounts of money around; the owners cough up the exponentially high cash, and the players make CEO money for playing a kid's game.

The point is that players salaries in all major pro sports (including NCAA D-1 Hoops and F-Ball)are out of whack and out of touch, sort of like Congress. How can we, as fans, stand for this?

I mean, talking about Jeremy Guthrie "settling" for "only" 3 million a year?

I'm a teacher, and I have to settle for a pre-negotiated salary, which is paid to others of my education and experience range. I can augment that some by earning additional course credits, or by my PT gig at a local university. But come-on . . .


I think Baseball should be realigned by payroll, and, of course the Orioles would be in the same division as the other losers such as Pittsburgh and Kansas City. Save for a few aberrations like the Mets, you can almost align the 32 teams by payroll, which corresponds to won loss record in 2009.

Of Course, rebuilding through the farm system, like the Orioles are attempting to do keeps the payroll down through natural selection.

As Andy Macphail is demonstrating, it is a long, long process with no guaranteed outcome. The alternative is to spend money and sign quality FA's to compete but that was not why Macphail was hired by Peter Angelos.

Angelos needed somebody with a name rep to watch his back while he immersed himself in his favorite pursuit...class action litigation. Saint Joseph's Hospital is currently in the Mad Litigator's crosshairs.

What an absolute moron.

I would say that the "sign quality free agents" method comes with the same lack of guarantee... you can spend millions on a guy and he could tank too (Pavano, Albert Belle, Zito, Kevin Brown, Mike Hampton, etc...) Spending money doesn't equal success. The Marlins won games without a big payroll, the A's and Twins are almost always in contention with middle of the road payrolls. What you need to do is build your team from the ground up and then sprinkle in the right guys. I just don't think Andy thought there was anyone out there this offseason that would put us in contention for the division and didn't want to overpay for someone to come to Baltimore... As was said in "Field of Dreams", if you build it, they will come. Free agents will come here because they want to play for this team. Good team management and fiscal responsibility are what makes teams good for more than a year. I think that if we are patient, the fruits of Andy's labor for the last 2 seasons will be seen... then we can add the finishing touches... Just an opinion.

Tony P in AZ,

Tony, Andy Macphail deserves an A+ for rebuilding the farm system which surely was in sorry shape as the entire organization as a result of Peter Angelos' meddling.

I think Macphail also deserves and F for improving the talent level at the major League level since he got here. The pure rebuilders think it is a zero sum game and they worship at the temple of not signing any name FA's, until the time is "right" whenever the hell that is. I say it is not a zero sum game and the fans deserve a competitive team while the experiment goes forward. Keep rebuilding, but get the Major league team in a postion to compete now{or last year}

The way I see it, Macphail's approach is that the team will keep on sucking until it no longer sucks. At that time he will add name FA's. The problem with that is the team may suck for a long time without adding proven talent.

Reminds me of Curly Joe of the Three Stooges who said "If at first you don't SUCKceed, keep on sucking till you do SUCKceed."


Love the stooges reference...big fan...

I see your point about improving the major league team, but at the same time, no one is coming here without being overwhelmed by the offer, especially when they have offers from teams in divisions where they don't have to compete with the Yanks Sox and the current Rays. If I am a big name free agent, I don't want to be the only proven player on a team who has to contend with those teams for a division title. We have to improve the foundation of the club so that it is an attractive place to come and play. We need to prove that they arms are as good as people think they are going to be. We need to prove that Wieters and Jones can protect someone in a line-up. That is what is going to be important to see this year: Improvement from the foundation of this team. I know everyone has tried to put a timeline on this team, but the fact of the matter is, this is year 3 of a MAJOR renovation.
Living in Arizona, I have witnessed what can happen when a team builds itself from the core. The Cardinals were the laughing-stock of the NFL until they started making better personel moves. They are now a pretty solid organization. I see a lot of similarities in the two teams. I know the sports are different and the salary cap is in play for the NFL, but the story is very close to the same. What we need is to find a "Kurt Warner" type to galvinize this team and teach them how to win. I think this year will be the tipping point as to how successful "The Plan" is. The kids play the way they are projected to, I think we will see the team add the type of players to take us to the next level. If I didn't truly believe this, I couldn't be a fan.
By the way, it is nice to have a civilized conversation about the subject without having it deteriorate into a playground argument. Thanks!

Hey Tony P,

The NFL may soon go way way of MLB if a new agreement cannot be reached. The NFL has a very unique compensation and draft structure that allows teams to go from 4 and 12 to 12 and four in two years.

Unfortunately that is not the case with MLB. I yearn for days of the Reserve Clause, no matter how unfair, that allowed teams to develop talent through the farm system and keep it until they decided to trade it. Teams had twice the farm teams that they do today. The steroid era created artificial records and an artificial salary structure that cannot be walked back.

Tony P I think that professional sports, just like the federal budget will inevitably reach a tipping point... a laffer curve if you will. But until that time those franchises who have the money and spend it in copious amounts in a focused fashion are more likely to win.

logiopath-- you said:

I'm a teacher, and I have to settle for a pre-negotiated salary, which is paid to others of my education and experience range. I can augment that some by earning additional course credits, or by my PT gig at a local university. But come-on . . .

Well- what's your point? that players are overpaid? economics says otherwise. no one pays to watch you teach, to watch police, firemen etc. Its because their talents aren't as rare. That's not a swipe at you or police, etc. Its just a fact.

If you are upset with your "pre-negotiated salary" you should hire the MLB Players Union!

Jason C, I used to think like you. Putting it all on Angelos, all our years of losing. And there's no doubt- Angelos is not a great owner and has made big mistakes. However, what about the other 23 teams in baseball that don't compete? What if the O's had one of the top salaries in baseball? There'd still be all those teams that don't. The average salary in baseball is about $80Million. The O's are at $65M. The Yankees are at $200M. Even if Angelos brought it up, there's all those teams that just don't have the revnue that the big market teams bring in. The top free agents every season go to 6 teams in baseball while the other 24 sign mediocrity. All 6 of those teams have something in common; huge media markets which generate huge money. The media industry has revolutionized since 2000 and this is why we see the HUGE gaps now. Rich owners like Angelos and others could spend more, but they aint gonna be able to spend close to the $135M average of those 6 teams that make so much more money. Jason C, its common rational sense what's going on right now in this sport. Take a business class!

Well, people do pay to see me teach, at least at the college level.

On the other hand, I used to work in CA, and the negotiations and salaries are somewhat more robust than in MD.
At that point you are right, the market has literally priced itself out of jobs, as many districts are set for big layoffs.

However, the ball players shifted the market baseline, so tto speak.

My point is that if you look at the "bubbles" in the U. S. economies, then sports is a microcasm. In other words, the bubble will burst, and we will all be saying that the players make too much.


they're not really paying to see you, they just want that piece of paper :-)

Anyway, i doubt the bubble bursts. Entertainers (thats what they really are) have always been paid higher than the general population.

I, however, am resigned to the fact that I will always work 60 hours a week for a middle class salary, then come home and watch some overpaid prick like Bonds hit homers while I munch on cheetos

Yeah, Ben, you admit my point.

We make a fraction of the $$$ as these athletes, and all we can do is watch Direct TV or Comcast, both of whom pay endorsement fees to rich athletes; we fit the bill through our user fees.

And all we have left is $2.79 for a bag of Cheetos.

You've added to my inadequate sense of self-worth.

you're welcome

Actually, the headline Oriole fans would very much prefer is: Angelos takes a swing at the Yankees.

All I know is, if SB owned the Orioles, he wouldn't be sitting on a 12, going on 13 year losing streak. He just wouldn't allow it to happen. And everyone knows it!

The Orioles had had MLB's highest payroll in 1998...and finished 4th in the AL East, 35 games out of first place. Even in 2001 the Orioles were only $9M behind the Yankees. WHat ia amazing is the Oriole payroll is less than wha it was in 1998 after years of profits.

If they realign by payroll, there is no incentive for an owner like Angelos who makes a significant profit to re-invest in his product.

Payroll is not everything. Until last year, check out the WS winners last decade.

2001 Diamondbacks - 8th highest payroll
2002 Angels - 15th highest payroll
2003 Marlins - 6th lowest payroll (only the Indians, Padres, Brewers, Royals, and Rays had a lower payroll)**
2005 White Sox - 13th highest payroll
2006 Cardinals - 11th highest payroll
2008 Phillies - 12th highest payroll

Could you imagine the Orioles having a press conference after the season with Peter and John Angelos and Andy MacPhail? And take questions for 50 minutes? That would almost be worth paying to see. Could you imagine the tension in the room?

The nature of baseball and football as sports -- keeping the finance side out of it for the moment -- are so different from each other. Both are team sports by design. However, one is based on a choreography of events that makes it truly a team sport. The other comes down to a one versus one situation that blossoms on occasion into a choreography -- mostly on defense.

If there were only 50 good baseball players total, Bisciotti's "jab" at the Yankees might make some sense. The truth is even a perennial losing team like the Orioles usually has 15-20 good players.

What the Orioles lack are difference makers. There is where there are maybe 30-50 of those type of players.

Those players (a) bat only 4-5 times in a game, get a hit every three times up, hit a HR every fourth or fifth game, (b) pitch every fifth game, or (c) pitch one inning only when a lead has been established. That is compared to a good player who (a) may get one or two fewer hits per week, may go an extra 4-5 games without a HR, (b) yields an extra run per every other start while going an inning less, or (c) blows an extra save or two per month.

The difference is more slight because a baseball team doesn't have a Peyton Manning or a Ray Lewis participating in half of all plays in every game.

Therefore, Bisciotti's comment about the Yankees "should be winning 130 games" shows he really doesn't get baseball at all.

While the argument can be (and was) made that an NFL team can go from 4-12 to 12-4 (and vice versa, by the way) in one year, the fact is the MLB equivalent (41-121 or 121-41) has only happened a couple handful of times historically. That is the nature of the two sports, not the salary cap.

A salary cap in baseball could make a difference, but I'm not so sure it would make an NFL difference. The small markets would have to spend money. The not-so-small markets that choose to be frugal would have to spend money.

For a cap to work in baseball at a fundamental level, a team may be restricted to $125M but the huge caveat would be every team would have to spend at least $85M. That spread would be a heck of a lot tighter than it currently is but it would also be greater than the current state of the NFL cap.

Furthermore, the teams who would be squawking would not be the Yankees, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox or Cardinals. It would be the Royals, Marlins, D-Backs and Rays.

Remember, the Yankees (and other teams) not only pay the salaries they obligate themselves to, they also pay a so-called luxury tax. Every year. And what do the teams receiving the tax do with the extra windfall? Hmmm.

While Law Offices of Peter Angelos and no partners have been woefully short as baseball owners (no pun intended), I'm not so sure Steve Bisciotti would be an ideal baseball alternative if the comment was meant to be serious.

The Ravens have plenty to worry about as they have holes to fill and age-defying veterans who may realize their mortality sooner rather than later. The capless year and impending lock-out are the side dishes that should keep one's focus from straying to other folks' problems.

Hey, Stevie. I'm a Yankee hater, but don't point fingers. Last year they raised ticket prices, but they moved into a new palace. You my friend raised ticket prices in the midst of a recession! Here you are a member of a club featuring the biggest financial whores in sports (NFL), and you want to point fingers at other whores in another sport. Wow, the hypocrisy is overwhelming! I want to see what you and the other 31 bandits bring to the table in this next CBA. You whores don't have Gene Upshaw in your back pocket to sell the NFLPA down the river. You are now up against formidable opponents, who are in the player's corner. Put your money were your mouth is Stevie, let's see what part you'll play in this. Don't point fingers Stevie, cause it ain't very nice and you get many pointed back your way

Bisciotti should take his own advice and fire his own GM. He is completely incompetent. Best player available is the easiest, safest way to draft. You don't win if you don't risk. Anybody can draft the best available player. You don't need a GM for that.

And lastly, start paying some money for wide receivers who can play. Don't be a cheapskate like Peter Angelos.

There's no way a cop, teacher, etc. Deserve anything close to say drew brees. Do people pay to see a cop do nothing but bust some teenagers? No. Law enforcement is a complete joke. ATLEAST players are entertaining. Plus, sorry the Yankees put the money they make into the team or for another good cause, I don't see the ravens donating a cent to Haiti..what a joke.

There's no way a cop, teacher, etc. Deserve anything close to say drew brees. Do people pay to see a cop do nothing but bust some teenagers? No. Law enforcement is a complete joke. ATLEAST players are entertaining. Plus, sorry the Yankees put the money they make into the team or for another good cause, I don't see the ravens donating a cent to Haiti..what a joke.

I agree with SB's basic point that the Yankees are not well managed. I have often thought about how scary they would be if they had someone who could really take full advantage of their assets.

If I ran the Yankees, I would offer 25% more salary and 50% less length of contract to elite free agents. The Yankees don't need to match other teams in length of contract if they blow the competition away in salary. This will penalize them more in luxary tax, but money is not really their problem. A bigger potential problem is commitment to players no longer elite at their position.

Take the Tex signing for example. I believe that for the last 25% of his contract, he will no longer be in the top 3 first basemen in the American League. Theoretically, he then blocks the Yankees ability to go after free agents who would be in the top 3.

More money for less years is a great strategy when you have significantly more money.

I agree with SB's basic point that the Yankees are not well managed. I have often thought about how scary they would be if they had someone who could really take full advantage of their assets.

If I ran the Yankees, I would offer 25% more salary and 50% less length of contract to elite free agents. The Yankees don't need to match other teams in length of contract if they blow the competition away in salary. This will penalize them more in luxary tax, but money is not really their problem. A bigger potential problem is commitment to players no longer elite at their position.

Take the Tex signing for example. I believe that for the last 25% of his contract, he will no longer be in the top 3 first basemen in the American League. Theoretically, he then blocks the Yankees ability to go after free agents who would be in the top 3.

More money for less years is a great strategy when you have significantly more money.

Major league baseball might as well give the Yankees, Cubs, Angels, and Mets four outs per inning. There is no difference between that and an unlimited payroll.

Some really interesting points. Matt, you might feel different about the police or fire dept once you've been mugged or your house is on fire...

One point I do want to make about pay roll. What McPhail seems loath to do at this point is tie up money in a longterm deals. I think he's spent some where around 33m dollars this off season. But Gonzalez is the only guy that got a quarenteed second year.

There was a discussion the other day on here between Gil, Wayne, and some others about what moves that they would have prefered to see Andy make. When you get down to looking at it, McPhail made the moves that he could make to improve this year's team while still retaining maxium flexibility next off season.

What he's spent the first 2 yrs' doing is unloading bad contracts, doesn't seem inclined to add any right now.

In almost every case the guys that Gil and Wayne wanted would have required
multi-yeared deals, even if they were only 2 or 3 yr deals.

Cashman's problem will be when he gets to the back end of those contracts he handed out last off season. It's the out years in lucrative longterm deals that even the richest teams in baseball struggle with.

That's one reason it took the Yanks so long to get back to the top.
The struggled with some really bad contracts that they handed out when they thought they were just a move or 2 away from another series.

Bay and Holliday may be worth their money this year, will they still be that elite player that Gil talks about teams needing at 35 or 37 yrs old?

If he remains healthy Weiters will be a greater impact hitter then either of this year's big FA's inside of 4 years. I sure wouldn't want to bet money that Bay or Holliday will be on the same team in that time. And neither will be batting cleanup.

That's my point about either guy, nice complimentry players on a winning team, neither guy's a money guy that you build a team around.

When a team is in a rebuilding mode in baseball, retaining flexibility is of the greatest importance. Last fall, Bell was the third baseman of the future here. Tejada comes over and hits & fields well at third, Bell could get packaged in a trade for another peice and Tejada could be around for a few years.

And a young and rising team needs young pitchers by the bucket full. Why? Wally Bunker? Who's Walley Bunker? He was the guy that was going to be the O's ace when he and Jim Palmer came up together. Sore arm, godd bye Wally...

A wealth of young pitchers can also put a team in postion to make a deal for a hitter like the O's did for Frank Robinson. They traded their Ace, Stu Miller, cause they had younger pitchers to replace him.
What they didn't have was that impact hitter to plug in with Boog and Brooks.

Gil, the reserve clause is never coming back. I think baseball should consider something akin to the franchise player clause in football. Give a team the right to retain a player if he is paid the avg. salary of the 5 highest players at his position.

Top players would still get top money to stay with the teams that developed them, but teams wouldn't be saddled with 8 yr deals. It's a thought.

Baseball and football are so different as sports. A left tackle gives up a sack and he's a bum, a left fielder goes 1 for4, but hits a 3 run HR and he's a hero. The LF'er might of saw 20 some pitches and quessed right on one, the left tackle could have dominated his guy all night and got beat once and he's in the dog house....

Good Points All, Mountain Fan,

It's good to have someone on the board in my age peer group. I can tell because of some of the names that throw out like Stu Miller.

I don't think that Laroche, Kouzmanoff and maybe a Rich Harden or a Randy Wolf would have broken the bank. I think we have all beaten the Matt Holliday scenario to death and it was a moot point annyhow because he was never on Macphail's radar screen, nor was Jason Bay.

It all depends on what different fans expectations are. In my opinion, Macaphail could have quickly improved the quality of the talent level on the field while continuing to rebuild. I want to see a winning team now. Not necessarily a contender, but a team that can win 82 games and not finish the season 40 games out.

You and others are more patient and figure that eventually the rebuilding plan will yield a winning record.

I can see both sides of the argument and that is why I have taken a position more in the middle.

I think the average fan agrees with me based on the falling attendance numbers. I don't think, however, that the average fan has followed every move Macphail has made since June 2, 2007, and given it an anal exam like we do on the board.

By the way, the Orioles traded Milt Pappas and a player that they had just picked up from the A's, Harry{Suitcase} Simpson for Frank Robinson. Simpson never put on an Orioles uniform as this deal was done following the 1965 season. If you remember when The Reds traded Robinson to the Orioles, Bill Dewitt, the Reds GM said that Frank was "an old 30".

i love bisciotti even more after hearing about him taking on the yankees! go get 'm steve!


Great point! The press conference with the Oriole boys however, would be softball heaven....

Ushers would be collecting Oriole press credentials (from those who asked hardball questions) at the exits.

Anyone on here criticizing SB or the Ravens organization really need to craw back into your geek holes. One team plays meaningful games, while the other one is the laughing stock of baseball.

Now go find your jim palmer briefs and your faded oriole pajama's and practice your oriole jingle......

Bisciotti’s comments, and many of the replies in this forum, show a complete lack of understanding of how baseball works. For starters, you simply can not go out and sign the CY Young every year because they seldom become free agents (where any CY Youngs available this year)? Secondly, unlike football, baseball has guaranteed contracts, which means you have to pay the top stars well beyond the marginal value that they provide. The commenter who suggested the Yankees shouldn’t offer long-term deals to top stars is living in a fantasy world. If the Yankees tried that approach, someone else would wind up with the players.

The ultimate irony in Bisciotti’s comments is that his league is on the brink of a shut down because the NFL owners are crying poverty over the current NFL salary cap format. Maybe he should try to fix his own business before criticizing one that is more successful than his?


You think maybe he was exaggerating a little in order to make a point? Are you serious? No really, you were being serious?

And as for the NFL negotiations... This is what pro leagues do when contracts expire. At least they'll attempt to continue to get it right while baseball continues to be the joke of all professional sports.

Please see my 9:58 post!


.... Seriously?

The underlying point had nothing to do with entertainment value, but instead social contribution or value.

In terms of contributing to society, most people would agree that law enforcement, teachers, even trashmen, make a far greater contribution to our society than baseball and football players do (through their professions, at least).

We all understand the economics of it all - demand for entertainment is high, supply of exceptionally talented and entertaining people is low, hence big salaries. But that's the 'economics in a vacuum' model.

And the point has always been that if salaries in important jobs - like teaching, police work and law enforcement - were relatively competitive with the business 'vacuum' world, we might end up with halfway decent teachers/police/etc.

To view economics through the ridiculous lens that is solely supply of labor and demand for it, is worthless.

WOW...most of you Baltimore fans are pretty miserable, huh? Those of you that blame the Yankess for your own teams woes are really sad. Blame your Owner and GM for being incompetant. More teams have won championships in baseball over the last 20 years than any other professional sport. With that in mind, it really just sounds like a bunch of Baltimore sour grapes to me...

if i lived in a dump like baltimore, i'd probably try and blame the yanks too. so sad...


I don't recall seeing your name on the board before but I can assure you that the vast majority of the fans who post here know what the problem is and was with the franchise, and it's not the Yankees.

Our owner sincerely appreciates the attendance and financial support that he recieves from the Red Sox and Yankee fans when your teams play in Camnden Yards. He raises ticket prices on those days in your honor because he knows that the fans from up North have deep pockets just like the franchises.

He needs that support because he spends most of his profits on class action litigation, depositions and pre trial discovery and cannot afford to pay big money to free agents like your owner can.

Wow. At least you Baltimore natives are taking the craphole that you live in in stride.

haha what up krueg? I came here from RAB.

Forget about the Yankees -- Bisciotti doesn't understand the first thing about baseball. What an ass.

logiopath, if you're going to limit salaries of ballplayers, then I say let's also make autograph seeking illegal, outlaw reporters in the locker room, and ban all talk shows...outrageous, you say? Un-American? Well, so is trying to stifle people from earning what the market will bear...

You want pro athletes to give up their salaries, what are YOU willing to sacrifice in return?

There is a solution:
New Division

LA Dodgers
LA Angels


Agree with virtually everything you said. The Free Agents available and the years and money required are serious concerns for a team like the O's in rebuilding mode.


LaRoach can't hit lefties, Atkins can. Kous cost the A's 3 prospects and I'm not sure he's a better bat than Miggy...obviously better leather. Harden, yeah, that would have been nice...but there are risks in him and maybe he's better not being an Oriole. And Randy Wolf....well, we'll have to disagree on that.

Aside from that, I get your point about improving the team while rebuilding. And your right. Although, isn't that what this off season brought...Miggy, Millwood, and Atkins are all vets that have improved the O's going into this year.

As for the Bay's and Hollidays of the world, for the O's it would have meant beating the offers they received and I'm kinda happy that Andy passed on those possibly crippling contracts (crippling meaning 2-3 years in, I think the production of each player falls below the value of the contracts.)

2 comments. 1, how convenient that SB makes this kinda comment the year before the NFL has an uncapped year. Posturing to the fact that yet another Baltimore owner won't spend his money? Maybe... and hey SB maybe you should focus on how your team will be watching the game in Miami from their couches as opposed to commenting on a team that just won their sport's championship...

Hi Paulie,

Atkins couldn't hit anybody last year and Laroche's numbers have been pretty consistent for a numbers of years. Atkins numbers have declined every year since 2006, then fell off the map last year. I'm not sure what Macphail is expecting out of him, but we could reasonably expect 25 Home Runs and 80 RBI's from Laroche based on what he has been doing. There are plausible reasons to think that Atkins may be done.

As far as Kouzmmanoff is concerned, we know you have to give up something to get something, and that is not in Macphails' DNA right now. I am anxiuos to see how Tejada takes to third base. I wonder if he will be as good defensively as Mora was.

I think we would have been a lot stronger going into 2010 with Millwood and one more proven starter. There will be injuries and ineffectiveness with the current crop of pitchers and a little insurance would have been nice.

MLB doesn't need a salary cap to fix the payroll disparity. It just needs to do a few very simple things:

1. Move baseball out of Florida. It's painfully obvious that no one cares about the Rays or the Marlins, despite their success.

1a. Move the Rays to the Meadowlands to break up the New York/Boston market. Isn't it obvious that something needs to be done when the three biggest spenders are all within a 150 miles of each other?

1b. Move the Marlins to Portland, San Antonio or Las Vegas.

2. Contract the Nationals. Baseball has already failed twice in DC. Why would it succeed now?

3. Contract the Royals. What is their market, exactly? Kaufman Stadium's capacity is north of 40,000 and they've never drawn more than 30,500 on average. They've only drawn 20,000+ on average three times since 1995. KC is a much smaller market than Portland, Sacramento and San Antonio, and it's not growing nearly as much as those three.

4. Move the Athletics to San Jose, away from the Giants and out of the Oakland Coliseum.

5. Realignment...

AL East
- Boston
- New York
- Toronto
- Jersey (Rays)

AL Central
- Detroit
- Cleveland
- Minnesota
- Chicago

AL West
- San Jose (A's)
- Portland (Marlins)
- Anaheim
- Texas
- Seattle

NL East
- Baltimore
- Atlanta
- Philadelphia
- New York
- Pittsburgh

NL Central
- St. Louis
- Chicago
- Milwaukee
- Cincinnati
- Houston

NL West
- Los Angeles
- Colorado
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Arizona

Wow... That evolved into more than just a payroll disparity fix. I like it though. Thoughts?

Looking over that again...

Maybe flip the O's and the Jays.


I dont need to take a business class to know that we shouldnt be outpennt by the KC friggin Royals

You are an apologist and a wanna be spin doctor. No matter how hard you try, u can never convince me that the Houston Astros can afford 40 million more per yr on the O's

If you've taken a business class than you must understand that the reason that the Os are profitable is not becasue of good performance but rather an unwillingness to invest in the team

These apologists never give up in their futile attempts to make excuses, too bad the numbers are not on their side

WE cant spend with the Yanks and Sux ok maybe, but we cant compete with the Royals and Reds??!! give me a break

Seriously cant take u seriously

Hey all of you NY scumbags/Yankee fans bashing Baltimore. Let me ask you - why do you live and or come here? What? Because you piece of crap city is too expensive? Because you can't find a job there? Shut up. If your piece of crap city was so great, you'd live there. And if your stadium was so great, it wouldn't cost $3,000 for a good seat. We're sick and tired of you NY/Boston/NE scumbags moving down here. Go move to $hitsburgh or Philly.

The New York market supported the Dodgers, Giants and the Yankees when NY was far smaller. At TB the Rays are already trying to survive on old NY'ers anyway.

KC already lost the A's.

Washington already lost the Twins and the Senators. The great mistake in DC was locating on the Southeast side of the city. They wanted it there to create another urban renewal like Pollin did with the Phone Booth.

But where their stadium is located they are fighting for the same fans located between Baltimore and DC that have the choice to go to an O's game. If one of these teams breaks out a winner, the other starves.

Meanwhile they ignored the Northern VA market which is one of the fastest growing areas of the country. The gridlock around DC is so bad N VA fans are complaining of a 2 hr trip to the stadium and no parking.

The DC team should have been accross the river in VA. To late for that now.

Your plan is slightly similar to baseball's contraction plans back in the 90's. Two more seasons of this kind of economy and baseball maybe talking contraction again for real.

Jason C,

I agree with most of your points. However, for one, I don't consider myself to be an apologist; more of one who believes in reality and parity. No doubt, the O's and 23 other teams hoard a lot of money (although a big point of mine is that they still don't generate as much as the BIG 6). However, what is truly great about the NFL is the FORCED even-level playing ground. Plus, there's a floor; all teams have to spend at least a certain amount too. Of course, this may all not be the case the next couple years, but I know they will come to a solid agreement. And I'm pretty sure the NBA and NHL have decent parity as well. But MLB for some reason doesn't. Ok, maybe lightning strikes and Angelos starts spending more. But my concern is the other 23 owners. I put it on MLB for having a business where one team can be allowed to spend $200M and another team is allowed to spend $35M!? By the way, at least the Royals, Astros, and Reds don't have to play 19 games each year against the Yankees and Red Sox!

i think steve is right on...major
league baseball should realign the
teams based on market size not be in the same league...the mid size markets should be in still another league and the small markets
in the final league. as long as teams
have the $$$'s based on market size they will spend $$$'s to build winners.

i think steve is right on...major
league baseball should realign the
teams based on market size not be in the same league...the mid size markets should be in still another league and the small markets
in the final league. as long as teams
have the $$$'s based on market size they will spend $$$'s to build winners.

Playing the Skansk and Sux, the apologists love blaming them for everything

Funny thing is, they are the only teams we sell out against anymore. Strangely, they werent such a debilliating factor when OPark still drew 3.9 mil fans when the Os were still interested in trying to compete


They have to, after all they play the Sux and skanks-- makes sense

I absolutly hate the a baltimore fan all the way...but heres the truth... i WISH we had owners like the yankees. Lets be honest, who doesnt want an owner buying the best players out there to win? Id sure as hell like to say I have a chance every year to win, instead of hoping we dont fall last in the A.L east again. We can blame everyone starting with the yankees and going to boston..but the truth is there doing something and were not

Baltimore, is cow town with idiot owners.
You people need to grow up. Your owners are cheap and you will never win. Get use to losing. Yankee fans are laughing at you, as well they should. Get a life and move on!
Orioloose, Ravenous suck and close by Wizzards are going nowhere!


I will be the first to admit that I do not consult with elite American athletes. However, I do have clients with whom I consult who play professional basketball in Europe. Some are Americans, some are Europeans, none of whom will probably play in the NBA, though some of the Americans have played in the NBA.

That said, if I project what I know from these athletes onto those with elite talent (I have consulted with elite talents in other professions), I am certain that a 28 year old would rather have a 4 year contract at 25% more salary than an 8 year contract. They would consider an opportunity to get at the open market at 32 an advantage, in addition to receiving the 25% higher salary. No one who is both elite and in their 20's thinks that their talents and earning potential will decrease any time soon. only need to hit the submit butoon once, you a-hole. So you don't like Ray Lewis as the face of our franchise. Guess you'd prefer Doc Gooden, Strawberry, Giambi, Damon.....people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.


I'm sure that is true, it's just the whole argument that the Yankees should win the title every year because of the money is ridiculous. It's an advantage for sure, but tell that to the other smaller market teams that have won championships. The O's are just a horribly run franchise, it has nothing to do with the Yankees except than when you are in the same division and put together a bad team, you are going to get punished by the Yankees and yes, even the Sox.

And no, you haven't seen me post here before, I was directed to the article from a Yankee site. I do hope to visit Camden at some point, I've heard great things about it.

Hi krueg,

You'll enjoy Camnden Yards because it will seem like a home game for you. The Red Sox and Yankee fans literally take over the park. The Red Sox fans call it Fenway park South.

As an Oriole fan since I was a kid in the 50's and 60's it makes me sick to my stomach to see what our idiot owner has done to the franchsie.

Angelos tried to keep the Nats out of Washington because he didn't want to have to put money into his franchise and compete with a team in his backyard. Once he lost that battle he hired Andy Macphail in June 2007 to perpetrate yet another scam on the fans called" rebuilding".

Going into his fourth year now Macphail has failed to add any top flight talent to the major league roster and has no intention of spending any real money, surely under Angelos direction. The poor fans that are left are grasping at any straw of hope and many are so beaten down that they think 70 wins this year should result in a parade.

See you and 45,000 of your friends at the yard.

Memo to fans: If you keep shelling out ridiculous amounts of money to see these egomaniacs, you have no right to blast their salaries. Let them play in front of empty stadiums or as in the case of the movie The Replacements, cardboard cutouts of "fans to make it appear to be a sellout on TV.

I'd rather pay 9 bucks for standing room to watch the Orioles play than $75 for nosebleeds to watch the Ravens. Oh, and I forgot to add on the Ravens PSL money grab too.

Yo' Stevie, is it any different than spending all that money on a fat lazy slob like T FIZZLE Suggs, and a has been like Ray Lewis? What has it got you? Still waiting for that Ring Stevie? Apparently the players aren't the only ones who whine, cry, and complain all the time. The Yankees will win another Ring before you ever do Stevie. As will the Steelers. *LMAO*

TruthBeTold- There will be plenty of room for you in standing room at Orioles games.

At least by PSL value has increased by 350%!!! I can sell my games tickets for a profit most weeks if I choose to. Supply and demand and the Orioles have no demand.

Two weeks ago I attended Orioles Fanfare at the Baltimore Convention Center and had a blast however I have one question that should have been asked. Where was Peter Angelos?

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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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