And Now For A Word

Friday, March 21 2003 @ 02:26 AM EST

Contributed by: Anonymous

The baseball content on just improved dramatically with the latest column by Darren Rovell:

A very good columnist who writes about the business of sport, and baseball in particular, he hasn't succumbed to laziness or poor research in his latest effort (please note the plethora of quotes from good sources like Dave Dombrowski, president and GM of the Detroit Tigers; Jerry Colangelo, managing partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks; and Larry Baer, executive VP of the San Francisco Giants). Rovell appears to be, based on what I've read of his work so far, an acceptable mainstream writer delving into the same material so ably analyzed by Doug Pappas (at Baseball Primer and SABR).

This time around, Rovell seizes upon the remarkable public comments by Oakland A's owner Steve Schott, who (ridiculously) undermined the new CBA by claiming that the revenue sharing system doesn't permit the A's to resign reigning AL-MVP shortstop Miguel Tejada. While I personally believe there are sound business reasons not to give Tejada a long-term contract--the A's have some very good MI prospects in the upper minors, and the best player on the left side of their infield might well be Eric Chavez--Major League Baseball should fine Schott for his remarks.

More importantly, Rovell goes on to ask the important question of what the small-market clubs are actually doing with the transferred money. A hard salary-cap floor was not negotiated in the Agreement, so the clubs aren't forced to spend a set amount on their ML rosters. While at first blush this may seem very inequitable, there are some good reasons why intelligent management would be throwing good money after bad depending on where their club is situated in their success cycle. (For more on this imprtant concept, see Jonah Keri's work at Baseball Primer)
Equally, the Oakland A's and Minnesota Twins are examples 1 and 1A for not tying high payroll expenditures with postseason success.