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thedirtyone

Should baseball contract?

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I honestly think it should, but that is just my opinion.  Bring it down to 28 or 24 i say.  It could help improve teams by not dilluting the talent level, and possibly with fewer teams, less games for people to chose to attend meaning higher attendance?

I know most probably won't agree with me, but who would you contract if baseball got rid of some teams?

I think a good idea would be like a college poll in a way.  Take into affect wins, tv ratings, attendance, and some other stuff, and after 5 years which teams were at the bottom would get contracted or something

<side note>  Which pro logo do you think deserves an upgrade?

MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, other?

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i think the only team that should be contracted is tampa bay....terrible ownership and no fan base = disaster. i also think the schedule should be pared down to 154 games and interleague play should be demolished.

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I would choose relocation over contraction with several markets wanting teams its better to give them a chance then to take a team away just because of no fan base.

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Frankly, I'm dead-set AGAINST contraction... particularly in MLB. It's simply an excuse for owners who can't get their finances in order to cash-in on a quick buy-out, while other owners are rewarded with a suddenly empty market to which they can threaten to move their teams. Meanwhile, fans of the suddenly non-existant team are left holding the emotional bag.

The dilution of talent argument is a bogus one. The talent pool of available baseball players is certainly larger than the talent pool of, say, available American-style football players... and the MLB roster size is smaller than that of rosters in the NFL. The sport can draw players from a sizeable international pool... a pool that has been in development in some parts of the world (i.e. Latin America and the Carribean) far longer than any of the other so-called "Big Four" sports' globalization efforts. As an example, owners didn't really start to explore the opportunity of bringing Asia's top quality players to the MLB stage until the past decade was under way. Their needs to be a greater commitment of time and resources made to developing players from other parts of the globe, as well as in our inner cities.

The true stumbling block in Major League Baseball is that of the owners unwillingness to address the sport's primary problem: THEMSELVES! Until MLB's owners are willing to sit down and seriously discuss the merits of far-reaching NFL-style revenue sharing, as well as hammering out the details of a "hard" salary cap with the MLB Players' Association, the "National Pastime" is going to continue its slide into financial oblivion... particularly for the so-called small market clubs. Why? Because, more than their counterparts in any of the other "Big Four" sports, MLB owners are willing to "pick-over the bones" of their weaker colleagues. And this from a sport that has the audacity to claim that it is a single business entity deserving of an anti-trust exemption! What a crock!  One thing that the NFL (at least since Pete Rozelle) has always been cognizant of, is the importance of building their COLLECTIVE business for the long-term rather than looking to make the INDIVIDUAL quick buck. MLB needs to acquire some of that long-term vision... and it doesn't require folding 2-6 clubs to do so.

Case in point. MLB's problems in Montreal are not a new development. They've been growing exponentially for more than a decade. However, MLB has dragged its feet with regard to finding a solution. If MLB had the vision of the NFL, baseball's owners would have recognized that the long-term viability of the Expos was worth every club investing in. Their would have been a vehicle in place, like the NFL's stadium assistance plan, that would have used pooled MLB revenues to help the Expos' owners in getting a new downtown ballpark constructed. Just like the NFL plan, the Expos' owners would have foregone a "piece" of the future revenue-sharing "pie" in exchange for this loan. However, instead of having a system in place which would support such an effort to help a league member help himself, MLB owners find themselves equal partners in owning and running the Expos for... how long?

The idea of contraction may seem good to some of you fans out there... until, that is, the day MLB's "Contraction Committee" comes knocking on your favorite team's door. That's when the wailing and gnashing of teeth begins. It would be far better for MLB to make a sincere effort to put in place a system that insures the viability of ALL its member clubs.

Better yet, strip them of that anti-trust exemption, really put their feet to the fire financially... and see just how quickly they forge an operating plan that's closer to the NFL's visionary template than the antiquated system they're currently struggling under.

Brian in Boston

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And what about when the Major League locker room has players speaking 4 different languages and teammates can't even communicate without the use of translators?  Baseball is America's past time, and adding the influence of foreign players whom fans can't pronounce their names certainly couldn't help the league.  Baseball's biggest enemy is a schedule that's just too long.  They're not going to get attendance or high TV ratings because missing one game simply just doesn't matter.  And baseball games are to just too slow paced for alot of sports fans to enjoy.

Personally, I like watching playoff baseball, and that's about the extent of it because that's when games matter.

I think baseball should cut it's schedule down to something in the range of 80-100 games.  And they could play every other day or have the occasional 2 day rest.  Then they could cut the starting pitchers down to 3.

Because right now, owners are using baseball as an excuse to cash in on the fact that some people might like to go out and take their kid out to the game to show them what they grew up with.

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Probably the best thing baseball can do is to cut the games, but a lot of teams (Boston, San Fran, Arizona as examples) Sell out every game anyway.  It woudl be a huge loss for them.

I would much perfer a 24 team league, that seems like the perfect number, and no wild card of course.

Interleague play is the main reason the all-star game doesn't matter anymore.

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I'm all for shortening the schedual, but it will never happen. No team will be willing to cut back on the number of home games they have and lose all that revenue. It would be a big strain on their payroll, especially for teams with smaller fanbases. Fewer people coming means fewer dollars, and with contracts getting bigger, not a real viable idea for the future

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I am in favor of relocation over contraction.  I am so surprised that MLB would even consider the issue of contraction because to fold a franchise is to admit that they have a product that nobody wants.  Regardless of economic factors, real or imaginary, some community and/or owner is going to be willing to pay what it takes and do what it takes to support a team.  I really think the contraction card was played to see who would come to the table to try to "rescue" distressed franchises.

And I also agree with those of you who say that baseball won't reduce its schedule because of the loss of potential revenue that would result from it.  It's the same reason why there are so few day baseball games, especially during the week and during the World Series (when there are none anymore, even on weekends).  Because you can't put as many butts in seats during the day than you can at night and because college football is so pervasive on TV during the fall (thank you GOD!!) the whole World Series is played at night.  I am old enough to remember watching World Series games during the day and I for one miss it.

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I stand squarely beside BinB on all but one issue: a salary cap. If MLB were to institute a proper revenue sharing plan, there would, in my opinion, be any need for a salary cap.

You could still play 162 games in fewer weeks if every team played one day/night double header every other or every fourth Sunday. I know fans hate day/nights because of the split admission, but it would be a way to pare down the duration of the season.

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Perosnally I think having 30 teams is just too much.Its the same problem the NHL had. they went expansion nuts, and now are stuck with a bunch of stupid little teams noone cares about. So contraction for incredibly struggling teams may just be a good idea, but they could also consider relocation to places that have wanted MLB teams for a while, ie. washington and portland.

I would like having 24 teams but i really doubt thatll happen, contracting 6 teams because because the fan bases(even if very little) of 6 cities would be outraged.

as for the issue surrounding the schedule. heres the thing:it makes the rich richer(more packed houses) and the poor poorer(more empty seats, less interest). its a real pickle, but i think theyll keep it at 162.

the only teams i think that should be considered contracted is montreal, and tampa bay(and before this succesfull season), florida

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InTheEnd88...

I don't know what I find more baffling: the absolutely mind-boggling xenophobia/racism inherent in your comments, or the fact that it's taken more than four hours for somebody to take you to task for them?

Since you're so keen on keeping MLB's locker rooms so "pure", maybe we ought to turn back the clock to the 1930s and ask the African-American players to form their own league? What's next... replacing the players' caps with white hoods?

Call me naive, but I find the National Pastime's modern ethnic diversity to be a charming reflection of America's "Melting Pot" history.

Brian in Boston

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I don't know what I find more baffling: the absolutely mind-boggling xenophobia/racism inherent in your comments, or the fact that it's taken more than four hours for somebody to take you to task for them?

I wonder if he feels the same way about all the foreigners in hockey? Perhaps they're too pasty white for his liking.

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Getting back on topic...

I think contraction was a ruse by Bud Selig & Co., and that you (a) won't see it once the current labor deal expires after the 2006 season, nor (B) will even see it threatened during the next labor negotiations.  Relocation of certain clubs is the answer (Montreal to Washington, etc.)

Oddly enough, a regular season return to 154 games is something Donald Fehr and Bud Selig are talking about for the next labor deal.  It'd be tied to either (a) adding a 5th playoff team per league, and/or (B) making the divisional series best-of-seven.

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I think a 154 game season would be a good idea and making the Divisipm Series best of 7 is a great idea. I think best of 5 series are a thing of the past in all playoff series in NBA, NHL and MLB should be best of 7. One round should not be differnet then the others.

I also propose making things harder for the Wild Card Teams, by giving them onl Game 3 and 4 at home while 1, 2, 5, 6, & 7 are at the Division Winner.

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Call my comments racist if you want... but it's true.

And let's not forget, America's great melting pot history also included the Gentlemen's agreement which disallowed the immigration of Japanese.  Shut up with the history of America in terms of how Americans are going to react to modern day sports.  Bottomline, Americans sports fans generally don't care about baseball and making the game less American isn't going to help.

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InTheEnd88...

You're right... it's true! Your comments ARE racist.

Oh, and as for America's history having included racist incidents (i.e. the "Gentlemen's Agreement"), I'll readily admit that this is so. However, simply because these incidents have occurred in our past, am I to understand that your theory is that this gives us the right to repeat them in the present? To have engaged in racism in the past is a sign of ignorance; to repeat the folly in the present is a sign of fear, cowardice and hate.

Don't lecture me on the history of racism in the United States. After all, you're the one who advocates booting the foreign-born players out of Major League Baseball.

Brian in Boston

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I have no problems with foreign players in MLB or NHL However, I do agree there should be an effort to have them learn English. In fact I think that goes for all of a society. Any foreigner who chooses to live here should respect our laws, and come here leagally with all the legal paper work, and this also means having to adjust to our languish.  This cuts both ways as if an American chooses to live in France he should have to learn French. Its just the way things oughta go.

If you are at home with firends and family speaking your native tongue is one thing. However when you are around co-workers, or serving customer, or with your teamates you should be able to communicate freely and easily.

Besides these teams are all rich enough that they could offer English classes to all non-english players. While, those who need it should take it.

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wow, Brian in Boston.  Thanks for putting words in my mouth.  I don't remember saying we should kick out all foriegn born players... nor did I say we should eliminate the ability for foreign born players to come to America to play baseball.  I simply meant that we shouldn't go out of our way to get foreign born players.

To call my comments racist, you must first understand the definition of 'racism'... which you obviously don't.  Racism is defined as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race"... did I EVER say that whites were better than foreign born players.  If so, please point out an example because i sure as hell can't find one.  Of the four major sports, take a look at the 2 least popular of them.  NHL and MLB.  The two most popular, the NFL and NBA.  Note how the two most popular, have big following in the NCAA ranks, as well.  Is that merely a coincidence?  Or is that proof that fans like sports in which they can follow players even before they're pro's so they atleast understand who their team took in the 2nd round with the 13th pick?

If a fan doesn't know crap about a teams players, why should he care about the team?  Once you start adding tons and tons of foreign born players to a team, it can mess with team chemistry.

Now, by noting the trends of American Sports fans, am I being racist?  if so, go to hell... you're opinion is meaning-less to me so stop pretending as though I actually care.  You're just arguing for the sake of arguing and in this case, that argument is clouded by your own stupidity.

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InTheEnd88...

Putting words in your mouth? No. Reading between the lines of your narrow-minded, bigoted statements. ABSOLUTELY!

I love how xenophobic, hate-mongers revel in hiding behind dictionary definitions of racism and their own EXACT quotes. Did you ever EXACTLY say that whites were better than foreign born players? Did you ever EXACTLY call for kicking out ALL foreign-born players? Did you ever EXACTLY say that "racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race"? No, no and no. However, you DID make a point of saying (and I quote):

* "Baseball is America's past time and adding the influence of foreign players whom fans can't pronounce their names certainly couldn't help the league."

Ooooohhhhh... we'd better watch out for those insidious foreign players and the evil influence that they'll wield over our American pastime. By the way, I don't mean to alarm you, but most of the sports fan that I know are more than capable of pronouncing the names of foreign-born players. Maybe, instead of rushing right out, grabbing a dictionary and looking up the definition of racism when someone calls you out on a bigoted remark that you've made, you should purchase - and spend some time with - a Major League Baseball media guide. Most of them have a guide to pronouncing players names right in them. Not just the foreign-born players, either. Some of the "Americans" have tongue-twister names as well. You know, like Mark Grudzielanek or Justin Duchscherer. But I guess it's okay, because they were born in the United States, right?

* "And what about when the Major League locker room has players speaking 4 different languages and teammates can't even communicate without the use of translators?"

Talk about jumping to an exaggeratedly erroneous conclusion. Do you honestly believe that the inability of MLB players to communicate with each other in the locker room- specifically, as a result of language differences - is as prevalent as your statement makes it out to be? I'm not denying that foreign-born players experience difficulties with the English language upon first arriving on the MLB scene. I'm not denying that MLB teams hire interpreters to make the transition a bit easier for these players. However, the vast majority of foreign-born players in MLB are bilingual and can, in fact, communicate with American-born players quite readily. I'm speaking from my experience as a former sports journalist. I can count on one hand the number of times that I had any difficulty whatsoever in interviewing a foreign-born ballplayer... and that was over the course of my entire 12-year career. I don't know what sort of "Tower of Babel", multi-lingual mess you happen to think a major-league clubhouse is, but I can assure you that you're WAY off-base.

* "Once you start adding tons and tons of foreign born players to a team, it can mess with team chemistry."

No, there's nothing the least bit xenophobic/racist about that remark. I mean, it's a given that it's the foreign-born players who screw with a ballclub's chemistry. I don't imagine that there are any American-born players who are "clubhouse lawyers", arrogant @$$holes, loudmouthed trouble-makers or selfish prima-donnas, right? Unless I'm mistaken, the Florida Marlins had a dozen-or-so foreign-born players on their 40-man roster this year. Wow! I bet that you're amazed they were able to win the World Series with all of the tension that those Latino ballplayers must have brought into the clubhouse, huh?

* "... making the game less American isn't going to help."

Yeah... that sure sounds as though you're open-minded with regard to the contributions that foreign-born players can bring to MLB.

* "I simply meant that we shouldn't go out of our way to get foreign born players."

Right. We should just wait for them to show-up at Spring Training of their own volition. I mean, if they want to play America's Pastime so damn bad, let them prove it by coming and begging for a job. Sounds fair, right?

In conclusion, you aren't being racist by "noting the trends of American Sports fans". Frankly, the "trends" you point to (i.e. the greater popularity of the NFL and NBA vs. the relative lack of interest in MLB and the NHL) are nothing more than hollow justifications meant to draw attention away from your petty, small-minded bigotry.

Rather, you're being racist - at the very least intolerant and ignorant - when you make assenine statements like those I've quoted here. Do you deny that these quotes can be attributed to you? Have you got some clever method of explaining them away? They seem to be pretty clear.

Arguing for the sake of arguing? Hardly. I'm simply pointing out the blatherings of an intolerant mind.

Brian in Boston

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