Tag: Partners MLB

MLB Adds Second Wild-Card Team: 5 Reasons Baseball Made a Huge Mistake

According to reports from the NY Post, MLB is planning to add one wild-card team to the postseason format in each league.

These new wild cards will face off with the standard AL/NL wild-card teams in a one-game playoff to determine who officially moves onto ALDS play.

There are many pros and cons to this concept, but I am finding a hard time focusing on the positives. This piece will go over some of the main gripes with the second wild card in general, the one-game format and the motives behind the decision.

Feel free to comment and let me know how you feel on both MLB’s idea and the article, and I look forward to hearing from you.

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MLB Power Rankings: Cliff Lee and the 13 Most Lopsided Trades Since 1990

As the MLB season heads into the dog days of summer, we all sit in anticipation to see what big names will be moved at the deadline.

Will the New York Yankees get their top of the line pitcher? Will the Milwaukee Brewers make another surprising splash like they did in acquiring C.C. Sabathia in 2008?

We will find out soon.

At this point, we can just sit back and hold out hope that our respective teams can keep winning ballgames—pleading that they are in position to make a bold move at the deadline.

On the other hand, it doesn’t always work out as planned—as no one wants to be on the losing end of a bad deal.

We’ve seen many lopsided deals over the last 20 years—although in most cases it takes years to determine the winner.

Here are the 13 Most Lopsided Deals Since 1990.

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Ranking MLB’s Most Valuable Teams

Mike Ozanian is a senior editor at Forbes, and this is a guest column for Bleacher Report.

Baseball has emerged from the recession with a big bang.

The average MLB franchise is now worth $523 million, an all-time high and 7% more than last year. All of the league’s teams rose in value except for three: the New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians. The increase in team values is the result of greater revenue for teams playing in new stadiums, like the New York Yankees (up 6% in value to $1.7 billion) and Minnesota Twins (up 21% to $491 million) as well as the Florida Marlins (up 13% to $360 million), who are scheduled to move into their new stadium in 2012.

Strong attendance and local television ratings boosted the values for teams like the Philadelphia Phillies (up 13% to $609 million) and Cincinnati Reds (up 13% to $375 million). The Yankees are baseball’s most valuable team for the 14th straight year (since Forbes began valuing franchises in 1998). The gap between the Yankees and No. 2 Baltimore in 1998 was 12%. Today the Yankees are 86% more valuable than No. 2 Boston.

The top 10 MLB teams:

#1 New York Yankees: $1.7 billion

#2 Boston Red Sox: $912 million

#3 Los Angeles Dodgers: $800 million

#4 Chicago Cubs: $773 million

#5 New York Mets: $747 million

#6 Philadelphia Phillies: $609 million

#7 San Francisco Giants: $563 million

#8 Texas Rangers: $561 million

#9 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: $554 million

#10 Chicago White Sox: $526 million


Yankee Global Enterprises is a three-engine money-making machine. The baseball team generated $325 million in revenue from regular-season tickets and luxury suites in 2010. Sponsorship revenue at the stadium is $85 million annually thanks to deals with PepsiCo, Bank of America, MasterCard, Delta Air Lines and others.

The YES Network, the team’s 34%-owned regional sports channel, is the most profitable RSN in the country and had over $400 million in revenue last year. The Yankees own a stake in Legends Hospitality Management, which manages stadiums, and generates $25 million in operating income. The enterprise value for the Yankees, YES and Legends is $5.1 billion.

Another big winner was the Texas Rangers (up 25%, to $561 million). Ray Davis and Bob Simpson bought the team, the lease to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and some nearby real estate from Tom Hicks in a bankruptcy court auction for $593 million in July. Not only are the Rangers, which needed assistance from MLB to meet payroll last season, much better capitalized (the new owners infused the team with $225 million of equity), the team also has a new, richer cable deal. It signed a 20-year TV deal with Fox Sports Southwest that is expected to pay more than $1.5 billion over the life of the contract. The afterglow of the team’s first World Series appearance in October will also boost sponsorship and ticket revenues this year.

A year ago baseball teams were still fretting about the recession and what it might mean for attendance. Yet 73 million fans showed up at the ballpark last summer, which was the sixth highest total of all-time and down just 0.4% from 2009. Twenty teams drew at least 2 million fans, while nine teams topped the 3 million mark, led by the Yankees at 3.8 million. An overall improvement in the economy and better lending conditions boosted the average multiple of revenues that teams are valued at slightly to 2.5.

Overall, revenue for baseball’s 30 teams increased 4%, to $6.1 billion. Total operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) fell 5%, to $494 million as rising stadium (rent and operating costs) and team (marketing and player development) expenses ate into profits.

The most profitable team was the San Diego Padres, which had an operating income of $37 million in 2010. The team’s attendance surged by 200,000 at Petco Park as the Padres finished just two games behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. The Padres managed to post a 90-72 record despite a payroll of just $38 million, which was the lowest in baseball. The Padres also benefited from a revenue-sharing check of more than $30 million.

Thanks to more than $400 million sent from high-revenue to low-revenue teams, several teams with low attendance were able to post operating profits of at least $10 million. Among them: the Pittsburgh Pirates ($25 million), Kansas City Royals ($10 million), Oakland Athletics ($23 million) and Marlins ($20 million).

Only three teams had a negative operating income in 2010: the Detroit Tigers (-$29 million), Mets (-$6 million) and Boston Red Sox (-$1 million), which collectively spent $475 million on players (including benefits and bonuses). Each ranked among the top six biggest spenders last year, but the Mets and Red Sox own stakes in regional sports networks, which offset any losses on the diamond.

Bad news in baseball? Two marquee franchises, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mets, are suffocating from debt and legal issues. The Dodgers, owned by Frank McCourt and his estranged wife Jamie, have $433 million of debt, while the Mets, owned by Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, owe creditors $450 million. Both teams are begging lenders for more money and are looking for investors.

The Dodgers and Mets problems could seep into the rest of the MLB. The Mets’ overall revenue fell 13% last year thanks to a 25% drop in gate receipts. The Dodgers’ total revenue was flat. Problems among big-market teams caused baseball’s revenue-sharing pool to shrink last season for the first time since the new sharing system was put in place in 2002. Low-revenue teams divvied up $404 million compared to $433 million in 2009, with the Yankees writing the biggest check of $119 million. The Mets’ revenue is expected to fall further in 2011, which could dent revenue-sharing even more.

Kurt Badenhausen and Christina Settimi of Forbes.com also contributed to this story.

See the Full List Ranking MLB’s Most Valuable Teams

Plus, check out more great content from Forbes.com:

MLB’s Highest Paid Players

NBA’s Most Valuable Teams

NBA’s Highest Paid Players

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Stats to John Thorn: Farewell to Me? Farewell to You!

John Thorn, official historian for Major League Baseball, wrote a three-part article titled “Farewell to Stats” last week. Stats happens to be a close friend of mine, so she asked me to publish this rebuttal on her behalf—MT

No one wants to be dumped publicly, especially after a 30-year relationship. So I was shocked when John Thorn aired the dirty laundry of our relationship in his Bleacher Report columns last week. Hell hath no fury like a set of abstract mathematical principles scorned, and I believe it’s important for sports fans to know both sides of the story. John can’t break up with me, because I broke up with him first.

When I met John in the mid 1980s, I had not yet blossomed. I was still awkward and unsure of myself, unaccepted by the sports community. Those were heady days, when John and Pete Palmer and Bill James realized my full potential, turning a guttersnipe into a full-fledged citizen of the sports world. I became a subject of fascination, even obsession.

Boys growing up in the 1980s had two passions: Madonna and me. Runs Created, Total Average, The Hidden Game of Baseball…I get a thrill just thinking of all the wild things we did. We were revolutionaries! We changed the world!

Now John wants to cast me off as just a jilted lover, tossed aside so he can chase floozies like Folklore and Tall Tales. John wrote that he thinks of my charms “not as indices of merit but as artifacts of play to which story adheres.” In other words, he loves me, but he’s not in love with me. Fine. The fact is that I outgrew him long ago.

Over the years, the good times got away from us. I get sad when I see a player’s pinch-hitting OPS against lefties with runners in scoring position flash on the screen. “That’s not what I am all about!” I gasp. But part of growing up is accepting your flaws.

I have so much to offer, like VORP and BABIP in baseball and DVOA in football. You just have to overlook the excesses, like real-time fantasy results for middle relievers and goofballs who think they can measure an offensive lineman’s performance to three decimal places by watching television tape.

Despite a few missteps, I matured and grew over the decades. While I still have the utmost affection for John, he was just a darling little fellow toiling away with his encyclopedias while I conquered television, the Internet and the world.

I guess John grew too focused on my faults and lost sight of my beauty. A lot of long-term relationships end that way. But I was hoping for a quiet separation, not a Bleacher Report divorce. I don’t appreciate being called “something of a fetish,” especially by someone who knows me as intimately as he does.

For the record, no one coveted my OPS or Range Factor until John and the boys polished them up and displayed them to the world.

And the “shrunken head” remark was a low blow. We all get a little wrinkly with age. To express our relationship in terms John can understand (unnecessarily complicated literary references), Pygmalion has grown to resent his statue, Higgins to feel contempt for Eliza and the Dreamgirls have outgrown the guy Eddie Murphy played in that movie Dreamgirls.

Here’s what saddens me most, John. I understand your need to see other people or pursue other research styles. We always had an open relationship. No one way of looking at sports—or the world—can fulfill anyone. I always worked well with stories and folklore: I helped to tell the tales, explain the setting, fill in the gaps and, most importantly, separate fact from fiction from fantasy.

I play an important role, but nobody believes I should play the only role. You know darn well it doesn’t have to be an either-or. You can have all of us. Stats, legendary tales, word etymologies, weird literary references…we make very happy sister wives. If you don’t want me involved, it will ultimately hurt you much more than it does me.

Soon, you will come crawling back. Your job demands it. It’s easy to say “good riddance” and wax philosophical in the first carefree days after you get over a relationship, but soon life intervenes. You are an official historian, and a historian cannot afford to ignore solid evidence from the past. I am as solid as you can get.

You will be chasing down information about Wee Davy Force or some other 1870s ballplayer, looking to place a particular player into a precise location and a specific date, and you will come face to face with me in my simplest form: the newspaper box score.

You’ll struggle to explain the significance of some player or event to a wider audience, and when Spencer and Joyce fail you, I will be there to tell a story your audience can understand: 1,029 games, a .402 batting average, a 252-65 record. You will realize that I have always been a dutiful companion: helpful, trustworthy, flexible, relatable, relatively low-maintenance, yet surprisingly deep and nuanced.

Do not worry about me. I will be fine until you come to your senses. The sports world is full of people who love me and treat me well. I will get over this public betrayal. If you need to talk, you know where to find me: Nate Silver’s house. 

Michael Tanier is a senior writer for Football Outsiders, a regular contributor at The New York Times and NBCSports.com and the author of The Philly Fan Code, due in stores and downloads this summer. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Rumors: Ranking the Biggest Needs of All 30 Teams

The 2011 season of Major League Baseball is at hand.  In about two weeks, pitchers and catchers will report to spring training, signifying the beginning of the 2011 baseball year.  From now until March 31, each team has an equal chance of winning the World Series.

However, each team also has a glaring weakness.  Here is a list of every MLB team’s need going into spring training:

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MLB Predictions: Chris Carpenter to the Yankees and 50 Bold Predictions for 2011

With football season coming to a close, many sports fans now turn their attention to the sunny beacon of hope that is spring training.

Even at this early stage of the season, it is always fun to pick who will win the major awards and which teams will be playing in October, but the following goes one further, not only picking those things, but also making some more player-specific predictions for all 30 teams.

So here are my 50 bold predictions for the 2011 season, because when you predict 50 things, you’re bound to be correct on at least a few of them, right?

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Baseball Hall of Fame: The 25 Best Current Players With No Shot at Cooperstown

The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2011 inducted two very different, yet (in my mind) two very deserving players. Roberto Alomar was perhaps the premier all-around player of our time, and Bert Blyleven was a strikeout machine who could at least keep his team in games, even if they didn’t get the win.

While the Class of 2012 will likely be empty, there are many active players who seem like sure things when their time comes. Albert Pujols, Roy Halladay, and Joe Mauer are examples of players who will probably have no trouble.

There are a few borderline cases as well, such as Andy Pettitte or Jim Thome (though 10 years ago, he’d have been in on the first ballot)

The following are 25 great players who are either great now or on the tail end of their careers. Unfortunately for them though, they will not be a part of the Hall of Fame for various reasons unless the Hall goes crazy like they did in the late 1960s/early 1970s (the inductions of Rube Marquard, Jesse Haines and Paul Waner really hurt the Hall).

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MLB Rankings: Omar Vizquel and The 10 Best Defensive Shortstops in MLB History

Shortstops are rarely known for their offensive prowess.

Instead, they are generally known for their defense. They play a position that sees more scorchers than any other and a team benefits greatly from having a sure-handed player there. 

This is a list for the men who played the position the best, who sat in there and took countless bad hops to the chest just to record an out. 

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MLB Power Rankings: Ranking the Best Hitting, Pitching Prospect for All 30 Teams

The battle for prospect supremacy is on.

And not just who’s the top overall player. Or the top overall hitter. Or the top pitcher.

Rather, I think it would be more entertaining to try to rank the top hitter-pitcher duos in each organization, starting from the bottom and working our way up to the very, very best that the minor league system has to offer.

Taking into account, of course, level of play, ceiling/potential, injury history and any position (starter-reliever) issues.

So, let’s check it out, the best hitting/pitching combinations in the minor leagues, ranked from 30th to first.


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MLB Power Rankings: Ranking the Projected Outfields of All 30 Teams

When you think about the most important positions on a baseball field, what comes to mind? The starting pitcher is the one who gets his name in the paper before the game. The catcher calls the shots, a corner infielder anchors the lineup and the closer pumps his fist when the game is won.

Outfielders don’t get much glory. Patrolling the big green is a thankless effort.

In an attempt to help shine some light on these deserving players, I humbly present my power rankings of the 30 Major League Baseball teams’ outfields.

I based the rankings on my best guesses for who each team’s three Opening Day outfielders would be, not bench depth or up-and-coming prospects.

Read on, and be sure to tell me who I got wrong! 

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