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Old 08-02-2002, 01:43 PM   #1
Vinny
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Default Scariest Aspect of the Strike

This year is special in baseball for many reasons. The once invincible Yankees are now vulnerable thanks firstly to a broken bat single by Luis Gonzalez last November, and secondly to a deterioration of the nucleus of a team that has consistently overachieved in the playoffs and world series (I am talking about the exit of Tino Martinez, Scott Brosius, and Paul O'Neill. Their best players? No. But these guys could be counted on in October.) Meanwhile, the team leading the AL Central almost didn't exist thanks to plans of contraction that were thankfully postponed before the season. Talk about incentive. Bud Selig may spontaneously combust if the Twins reach the World Series. Then there is the battle for supremacy between the usual big market teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Braves) and the competing small market teams (Oakland, Minnesota). Then there's the comedy of watching teams with big payrolls and even bigger loss columns (Ah, Texas.) So the impending drama that true baseball fans are looking forward to for the first time in a VERY long time (when was the last time the Yankees winning wasn't a forgone conclusion?) may be prematurely cut off by a strike over how much millionaires get paid by billionaires. Maddening? You bet, especially for baseball purists--who want to look past Alex Rodriguez's dreadfully selfish decision to leave arguably the best team in the American League to play for a dismal Texas squad that just happens to play in a hitters' park (as opposed to pitcher friendly Safeco) for a yacht full of money--and see the evolution of the shortstop and how great a player Arod is. Purists, who wish that Jason Giambi had stayed with his brother, wife, and family in underdog Oakland with the best pitching staff on the planet instead of relocating himself, minus the sideburns and dignity, to the Bronx for a similar-sized yacht full of money (and that Yankee promise of rings.) Yeah, us purists will be quite bothered by the idea that after suffering years of Steinbrenner domination and expansion, we finally get a year brimming with storylines, underdogs, and most of all, hope, that Selig, Fehr, owners, and players will yank the rug out from underneath us all sending us into a state of confusion and dejection. That's right, dejection. The fans opinion just is not important.

But here's the scariest part.

If they do strike, and the season dissipates, you'll come back. Sure, you'll spend months playing William Wallace by denying baseball's importance in your life, claiming that it has caused irreparable damage. But you will come back. The owners know it. The players know it. And the conglomerates know it. You're hooked, and you'll be back. That's why a strike is a possibility in such a year (Did I mention we are not even a year removed from September 11?) You're opinion does not matter.
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Old 08-02-2002, 02:12 PM   #2
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I didn't realize last year's GW RBI was hit via a broken bat!! Wowzers!

Anywho... I had a thread in the Other Sports Blitz forum titled "Sept.11 changes nothing" -- I think I posted it like a month and a half after "it" happened and already people were talking about football games being "wars," the MLB complaining of money woes, etc., etc., etc. It changes nothing. I enjoy watching the MLB playoffs -- the atmosphere is the best out of any of the 4 major playoffs.. there's just that excitement and tension you can't find in any other sport at any other time of the year.

There are a lot of positives for this season but we said that at the end of the playoffs last year and StupidSelig went on his little bout for attention...
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Old 08-02-2002, 02:50 PM   #3
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I agree with you Vinny. I am a baseball purist, but I would come back. Im hooked. But it would make me angry.
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Old 08-02-2002, 03:40 PM   #4
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It took me a couple of years to become a fan of the major leaguers after the strike of 1994. I'm not sure how I'd react to a strike at this time. I know that baseball has problems that must be solved and if it takes a strike to do so, so be it. I hope it doesn't, though.
Vinny, its nice to hear another articulate voice here. Welcome to the baseball board.
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Old 08-02-2002, 06:21 PM   #5
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Why don't you ask someone in New York City if September 11th changed nothing, Lee?
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Old 08-03-2002, 01:02 AM   #6
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I'm saying in the sporting community, it didn't change anything, Ricky.
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Old 08-03-2002, 03:33 AM   #7
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A few points, Vinny. First, don't fall for all the myths and outright falsehoods that are being circulated out there, mostly by the owners' side.

For example, you cite the Braves as a big market team. Really? According to the 2000 Census figures, Atlanta had a population of 416,474, making it the 39th largest city in the United States! (Ted Turner is rolling in money of course, but that's a totally separate issue).

Indeed, the whole "competitive balance" thing is another myth: In the last 23 full seasons before the Reserve Clause was invalidated - 1952 through 1975, not counting the strike-shortened 1972 season - the average gap between the teams with the best and worst records in each league was 40.8 games in the American League and 40.4 in the National. In the 23 non-strike seasons played under the free-agent system - 1976 through 2001, omitting 1981, 1994 and 1995 - the averages are 39.2 in the AL and 35.5 in the NL! (Don't feel bad though; I bought into this one myself until someone "straightened me out" so to speak - on the MLB Fans Strike Message Board of all places!)

Even the matter of Yankee domination becoming more chronic since free agency was introduced turns out to be a fallacy: On two separate occasions prior to 1976 the Yankees won the World Series more than three times in a row - four straight from 1936 through 1939, and five straight from 1949 through 1953. Since 1976, no team - the Yankees, or anyone else for that matter - has won more than three consecutive World Series championships.

While I certainly understand everyone's frustration at what is apparently about to happen again in baseball, fans should not allow themselves to be led around by the nose by Bud Selig and his very powerful propaganda machine.
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Old 08-03-2002, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony
For example, you cite the Braves as a big market team. Really? According to the 2000 Census figures, Atlanta had a population of 416,474, making it the 39th largest city in the United States! (Ted Turner is rolling in money of course, but that's a totally separate issue).
You can't discount that the Braves are a big-market team -- granted, the city population is low but the metropolitan area has 4,112,200 inhabitants -- making it a top five or six city in the U.S.
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Old 08-03-2002, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marc

You can't discount that the Braves are a big-market team -- granted, the city population is low but the metropolitan area has 4,112,200 inhabitants -- making it a top five or six city in the U.S.

This article might help clear up a lot of misconceptions about "market size" and the like:

http://www.salon.com/news/sports/col...ike/index.html
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Old 08-03-2002, 11:59 AM   #10
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Regardless of what that nearly-bankrupt site says, I think that market size should be based on surrounding area size, as well. It's not like the only people who go to games and support the team are people from the inner-city. Most people live in the suburbs, same way here in New Jersey. I may be technically off, but that's how I feel it should be.
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Old 08-03-2002, 02:50 PM   #11
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I tend to agree with Marc on that point. The Braves fan base exceeds Atlanta into most of the southeast. That's a pretty big market. But another thing is, they're willing to spend the money to win and have the great talent evaluators, even though they are feelng the money crunch too.

As for coming back to the game. Yes I will, I'm a baseball diehard. As for the casual fan, I don't know.
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Old 08-03-2002, 11:41 PM   #12
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The Braves have a pretty good fan base across the country because of TBS.
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Old 08-04-2002, 02:47 AM   #13
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The point is that Selig & Co. turn the "market size" tap on and off as it suits their selfish purposes: Until the Mariners got their new stadium Seattle was a "small market" - now all of a sudden it's a "large market." Same with Cleveland, and Baltimore too.

If the Selig faction truly cared about "competitive balance," then why aren't they out there clamoring for a salary cap plus a wage floor instead of a phony "luxury tax" and no wage floor - especially when this would give them the total support of probably 90 per cent of the fan base?

Selig and his allies among the owners are nothing more than the sports world's version of lazy, shiftless bums panhandling on the street - total parasites who want to grub money off of the people who rightfully earned it. They are as hypocritical as an undertaker trying to look sad at a $500,000 funeral.
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Old 08-04-2002, 01:06 PM   #14
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I meant more in terms of payroll, Anthony. The Braves spend the money.

Also, with the Yankees domination, I mean the 90's - present. As I pointed out in my post, the Yankees had a core that you could count on every year to get the job done. That core is greatly removed. I was not referring to teams back to the 70's.

Maybe you missed my point. Two teams almost got contracted. One of them could win a world series. The Yankees are no longer a guarantee. The Sox have a chance. The A's and Angels have a chance. It's a refreshingly great season. Hence, my point, if there is a strike, it will hurt us all, but we will be back.

Hope this clears up your confusion, Anthony.
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Old 08-05-2002, 03:03 AM   #15
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Now I see where you're coming from, Vinny, but it's just like you said about an owner willing to spend the money to make his team a contender - the team itself could be in Fairbanks, Alaska, but if the owner opened his checkbook at will and signed the best players the team would still be a success on the field. So population, in and of itself, has nothing to do with it. The reason the Selig faction is attempting to define everything in terms of "big markets" vs. "small markets" is so that they can stir up envy and resentment against the big cities, particularly New York.

And I've never been in favor of contraction - and as far as the Yankees go, you can't pick and choose little patches of time within one particular era to prove a point. There are only two hard-and-fast "eras" in baseball where this topic is concerned: Everything before 1976, and from 1976 to the present, because the Reserve Clause was declared illegal in federal court in December of 1975.

Well anyway, I "weighed in" with my "official" solution to baseball's woes a long time ago. The "finished product" can be viewed on the following web page:

http://www.fantasyindex.com/Reader111601.html

Last edited by Anthony; 08-05-2002 at 03:09 AM.
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