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Cleveland Indians & MLB

Payroll and Winning

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Payroll and Winning

Unread postby Jennifer » Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:12 pm

I'm slowly complying a bunch of info that related to financial issues such as payroll relationship to winning and revenues. The table below was complied just before the All-Star break and the salary info was based on USA Today's payrolls:

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Unread postby Jennifer » Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:14 pm

Here is another one sorted by division:

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Unread postby Jennifer » Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:19 pm

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Yellow highlight indicates the team made the playoffs.
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Unread postby Jennifer » Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:23 pm

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The average gate receipts in 2005 were close to $56 million. This is just part of the attendance revenue story because fans spend money at games on things like food, beverages, scorecards, baseball caps and so forth. This number is quite difficult to estimate because not only do you need to know the average spend but you need to know the numbers of "no shows." The below link provides info on average ticket prices, prices of representative items and the infamous FCI (Fan Cost Index):

http://www.teammarketing.com/fci.cfm
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:55 am

Excellent research Jennifer.

Looks like the teams that spend a lot of money ($85M+ in payroll) make the playoffs at a much higher rate (is this really a surprise?). On average, in the last five years 5 teams in the Top 10 in payroll make the playoffs, while 3 teams in the remaining 20 make it.

I know there are people for and against a salary cap in baseball, but it is clear that the teams with money have a much greater advantage in reaching the postseason. Sure, you do have your exceptions like the A’s and Twins every year, or the Marlins…..but overall there is a an extreme disadvantage to just about any team not spending in the Top 10 in payroll. The Indians certainly cannot afford an $85M payroll….as well as over half the teams in MLB.
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Salary Cap

Unread postby johnnyo » Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:04 am

Until MLB starts sharing revenues ala the NFL, small-market clubs who don't generate as much revenue are going to stay in the basement.
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Unread postby furls » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:22 pm

I am not sure if MLB will care to share revenue to a greater extent until a significant portion of the small market teams begin to resemble the expos. I think this is actually beginning to happen. Right now you are starting to see a rather apathetic response in small market cities to winning and I believe that this really is the first sign of the potential demise of baseball in some smaller markets.

How many years will the Royals have to suck donkey balls before the fans could care less that they even exist? At a certain point people will not come to see them regardless of how good they are. Remember the Indians last year? THey were one of the best teams in baseball, but they still were not drawing. Granted this could and in part is due to external factors including local economy and competing entertainment events, but it still says a lot.
Last edited by furls on Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Jennifer » Sat Aug 12, 2006 6:17 pm

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Unread postby swerb » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:20 pm

Great info Jennifer. And welcome to the boards.
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Unread postby pup » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:20 am

So you really think the Tribe is in the playoff hunt if they had spent $16 mil more to get to Detroit's level? Who were they supposed to acquire last off-season that would have made this team that much better?
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Good point

Unread postby shin-soo choo » Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:48 pm

Pup wrote:So you really think the Tribe is in the playoff hunt if they had spent $16 mil more to get to Detroit's level? Who were they supposed to acquire last off-season that would have made this team that much better?


I agree with you... there are some things that the Tribe front office just couldn't predict, e.g. the poor bullpen turnaround from last year.

That being said, I'd like it if the front office stuck with their offseason plans now and then. Last offseason, Shapiro talked about acquiring a corner outfielder or first baseman with power. Instead, they downgraded the corner outfield by trading away an offensive spark in Coco Crisp. Not only did this move, I believe, hurt the team chemistry, but it also acquired for us a third baseman who had been dumped by the reputable Braves front office, as well as Boston's. This obviously didn't send out a positive message to fans (many thought they were going to rebuild again, which is now apparent). The next mistake was letting Brandon Phillips go after he had an impressive spring. What was so difficult about sending Ramon Vazquez down to the minors, and then recalling him if Phillips didn't pan out? The third mistake was acquiring Hector Luna in the trade for Ronnie Belliard. In a team whose defense has been horrible all year, why would Shapiro go after a second baseman who has a track record of poor defense? In fact, not even counting mental lapses, he has made three or four errors, mostly costly, already.

I like the acquisition of Choo, as well as Asdrubal Cabrera. At least Shapiro realized his mistakes and is trying to make up for them with young talent. I still see a major problem for next year, though, with a logjam in both the outfield (Blake, Sizemore, Michaels, Gutierrez, Choo) and catcher/first base (Martinez, Shoppach, Garko, Blake).

Hopefully, they can shore up the bullpen this offseason by acquiring a vet closer who has a reliable track record (please, not Octavio Dotel). I also hope they can acquire a proper four hitter. Not to slam Vic Martinez, but he just doesn't have enough power to hit fourth in that lineup. Hafner could, but Wedge decides to hit him third. I'd rather see Sizemore hit third, Hafner fourth, and Victor fifth. To lead off, Wedge could use Joe Inglett. Hopefully this won't be a concern next year after the Indians acquire Alfonso Soriano in the offseason...
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Unread postby pup » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:36 am

Instead, they downgraded the corner outfield by trading away an offensive spark in Coco Crisp. Not only did this move, I believe, hurt the team chemistry, but it also acquired for us a third baseman who had been dumped by the reputable Braves front office, as well as Boston's.


Coco Crisp is still only a 4th outfielder, and they were able to acquire one of the top prospects at a position of need for the organization. Marte has not quite been as advertised, but he has shown that the longer he is at a level, he makes the adjustment and I believe that will continue at the major league level. Shapiro actaully has a good relationship with some people in the Braves org. and they recommended making the move. Remember they traded Marte to Boston for Edgar Renteria, so it's not like they had given up on him. Plus he was blocked by Chipper in Atl.

They did not acquire Marte to rebuild. He was brought in to step into a smaller role within a strong core of guys and be protected by hitting down in the order out of the gates in 2007.

Brandon Phillips was a HUGE mistake. Agreed. That is directly on the guy with the funny mustache though, not Shapiro.

Luna might be a hack, but as the utility guy, and faced with the decision between him and Vasquez, I think it was a pretty easy choice. Inglett will start the year as the 2nd basemen and be spelled against some tough lefties by Luna.

The outfield next year should shape up with Saint Grady, Choo, and Carlos Lee/Alfonso Soriano. The infield is really a guessing game at this point, but Blake will probably not be around (unless they use FA money on a front of the rotation stud) and Victor will get about 80% of the starts at 1B and catch a couple of games. When he catches or gets a day off Garko plays 1st and Shoppach is our starting catcher.
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Unread postby rigs » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:21 am

Do I think an extra 16m would make the Indians competitive?

Maybe, maybe not...
but not spending the extra 16m assures that they are not... :wink:
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Unread postby pup » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:40 am

It didn't in 2005 :wink:

It hasn't for Minnesota or Oakland in 2006.

If they had spent $16 million on AJ Burnett and BJ Ryan, yet were allowed to play with the worst fundamentals of any team in the modern era, they might be 2 games better. On the other hand, playing the game with good fundamentals and a manager with a clue could have made up 8 games (worst case).
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Unread postby furls » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:27 pm

This verifiies something that I have been saying for a while and gets to the crux of the 16m debate:

Spending money does not assure a winning team (HELLO CUBS), but not spending money almost certainly assures you of not winning.

Read that slow because there is a difference.
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