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MLB Cutting 42 Minor League Franchises

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I also agree with Buddha's point that whether you like the US model or the European model, it largely is personal preference.  I don't know as that one is inherently better than another.

The end result is the vast majority of the talent aggregates to the top league in either set-up and the best teams have the best players.

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28 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Well, the PCL was independent and in the 20s and 30s was damn near close to MLB caliber.  The Baltimore Orioles came up with Babe Ruth and Lefty Grove (along with some other good MLB players) over a 6-7 year span or something.  They sold both off because they couldn't become a MLB team and that was how minor league teams made (real) money prior to being owned by a MLB team.  Had there been a relegation path, the Baltimore Orioles absolutely would have retained Ruth and Grove in the drive to become a MLB team, and they would have realized it.

My point being it is hard for you to see it working with minor league talent because the current system in the US ensures top talent gets funneled up to a pre-existing MLB team.  By and large, all the best players are there now, and if not, it is a temporary situation, like an aging player on a big contract not released yet or a kid kept down for service time reasons.

However, if minor league teams were truly independent and had some level of financial stability to access and develop young talent, a clever org in Louisville or Indianapolis or Tallahassee or San Antonio could put together a young squad and break through.  And young players would be more prone to sign with such a club if a relegation path existed.

But I don't think the comparison to the PCL in the pre televsion age is applicable. The money follows ratings which follows population. You have two ways to do it. If the league signs the TV contract, both the league and the broadcaster will demand the teams in the largest markets are never relegated and always have top players. I don't see any way around that economic imperative. Or take the current MLB situation where TV money is largely local. Now you still have a situation where only the largest markets can afford top players. The best teams and players are going end up in the largest markets - again you could never relegate NY or Chi or LA. So that is kind of a monkey wrench in a relegation system.

The only way around it would be cut the top league down to where you have multi-million metro areas in the second tier, but then the economics would force expansion right back to where we are. That's how we got to where we are. What would change those economic imperatives? The economics have produced the current system which optimizes revenue. Unless team economics change I don't see a different system emerging in the US.

TL,DR version: The mudhens could never afford Justin Verlander.

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Money can buy talent.  It is a major part of the reason the same 6 teams or so compete for the Premier League title every season.  It would be foolish to suggest otherwise.

But the converse is true as well - if a team has talent, it can make money independent of where it happens to play.

A good second division team would not have a hard time attracting young talent in the hypothetical, especially if the athlete thinks their path is more blocked by the best MLB option available to them.  Also, there is no guarantee that the MLB team pursuing him will be a MLB team in 4 years time or whatever his timetable is.

So, from my perspective, the relegation system discussion hinges on young player acquisition.  That is the only way for a team to be sustainably good absent having i don't care levels of money.  If the system allowed all professional teams reasonable access to young talent year in and year out, I see no reason why a minor league team with great management couldn't be a solid major league in 10-12 years time.

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An analogy could be the limiting of athletic scholarships to D1 colleges.  As top programs as less able to lock up talent, mid majors have grown increasingly competitive.  If they cut them further, mids would become more competitive still.

Same would happen with professional baseball.  And it absolutely is harder on the lower level teams.  But if you come up with the right 3 or 4 guys, your fortunes can change rapidly.

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9 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

An analogy could be the limiting of athletic scholarships to D1 colleges.  As top programs as less able to lock up talent, mid majors have grown increasingly competitive.

Same would happen with professional baseball.

but you seem to assume that there some power (like the NCAA) that could prevent the largest/richest cites in the country from outbidding smaller ones for top franchising rights, players and all the rest, and I don't see one, or why one would ever exist. Whose interest would it be in? Certainly not the players, the players want to play where the money is. Not the owners, they want to put their team where the most fans with the most money are. Not the fans, the largest number of fans is served by keeping the top tier teams in the largest metro areas. 

Maybe split the question: Are there some favorable competitive aspects to muli-tier leagues with 'relegation'? Sure, I can see certain aspects. Is it even remotely possible in the US sports economic system? I doubt it.

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I assume no such thing.  I am fully aware that money and power aggregates.

It is much, much easier for the New York Yankees to land a top prospect in the hypothetical than the Indianapolis Clowns.

But presuming the draft were abolished, and presuming there were some rules in place on how much a team can spend on prospects annually, I see no reason to think something like the 40th best team in the country presently couldn't make their way up to #10-15 in a 10 year window provided they had objectively good management, objectively good development staff, and adequate funding to retain their developed talent.

That is all I am saying.

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6 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I would think that the potential problem with relegation in baseball is that there are so few really good hitters and pitchers that the gulf between AAA and the majors is too big. I don't believe the best AAA team in America could play 400 ball in MLB. Or IOW, the worst MLB teams may deserve to be bumped down, but you are still not going to find anything close to a better team in the minors to take their place.

Not to mention the bigger issue that those AAA teams have played owned by the major league club. How do you think Detoit is gonna feel about Erie playing in AAA against the major league team. Or how will the Rays will feel about their Durham team paying against not only themselves but those still in development playing against major leaguers.  

Relegation also favors those big market teams at the top. Your tired of Boston and New York now, try relegation

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2 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Well, the PCL was independent and in the 20s and 30s was damn near close to MLB caliber.  The Baltimore Orioles came up with Babe Ruth and Lefty Grove (along with some other good MLB players) over a 6-7 year span or something.  They sold both off because they couldn't become a MLB team and that was how minor league teams made (real) money prior to being owned by a MLB team.  Had there been a relegation path, the Baltimore Orioles absolutely would have retained Ruth and Grove in the drive to become a MLB team, and they would have realized it.  ****, it is entirely possible they would have won a World Series.

I disagere with the end of this. Even those Baltimore was in first place they drew around 100 per game and their owner was broke. He sold Ruth because he was desperate moving to major league wasn't going to solve their financial woes. 

Same thing happens in relegation. Teams sell off/transfer any decent younger players to bigger teams for the financial windfall. Everyone would basically become a feeder to the Yankees. 

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On 6/7/2020 at 10:16 AM, tiger337 said:

I don't understand putting half the teams in the playoffs (yeah, I know it's for money).   I don't see how it's smarter than promotion/relegation other than the money.  I like the idea of seeing the best teams rewarded and the worst teams struggling to avoid punishment.  

I don't understand putting half of the teams in the playoffs either, from a purely competitive standpoint.  I don't care much about the economics of it.

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29 minutes ago, Casimir said:

I don't understand putting half of the teams in the playoffs either, from a purely competitive standpoint.  I don't care much about the economics of it.

Yeah, I understand everything is done for money, but I don't judge things by how much money MLB makes.  Sports is entertainment.  If something they do makes the game less entertaining for me, I am not going to like it.  

I don't really want promotion/relegation either.  I think the set up they had last year was OK.  The play-in game is too gimmicky for my liking, but I can live with it.  There are things I would fix in the game, but adding six playoff teams to an already crowded field is not one of them

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On 6/8/2020 at 2:59 PM, tiger337 said:

Yeah, I understand everything is done for money, but I don't judge things by how much money MLB makes.  Sports is entertainment.  If something they do makes the game less entertaining for me, I am not going to like it.  

I don't really want promotion/relegation either.  I think the set up they had last year was OK.  The play-in game is too gimmicky for my liking, but I can live with it.  There are things I would fix in the game, but adding six playoff teams to an already crowded field is not one of them

I don't like the idea of adding more teams to the postseason either.  I think I could somewhat understand it for this season given the circumstances (although I don't think it will happen at all now), but wouldn't want it to last.

Heck, I would like to see MLB take this opportunity to realign geographically.  East & West, or go ahead and keep the American & National names for the two leagues, that's fine.  Or even just go one league with 3 or 5 or 6 divisions.  Take the division winners, add in the next best records to get to 8 total, and that's the playoff field.

I would now anticipate expansion sooner rather later.  I can see the owners going with the short term pay in fees.  I had thought they would need to wait for Oakland and Tampa to get their stadium issues figured out first, but I suspect they just ignore that now for the monetary carrot of 2 more teams.  They've been flirting with Montreal and I think Charlotte has been a desirable destination for a while.  Maybe realignment happens then?

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On 6/7/2020 at 4:46 PM, Keepleyland2 said:

Not to mention the bigger issue that those AAA teams have played owned by the major league club. How do you think Detoit is gonna feel about Erie playing in AAA against the major league team. Or how will the Rays will feel about their Durham team paying against not only themselves but those still in development playing against major leaguers.  

Relegation also favors those big market teams at the top. Your tired of Boston and New York now, try relegation

If they truly adopted relegation (they won't), the Erie team or Toledo team or whatever would not be owned by the Tigers.

Which brings another issue, namely player development.

Good soccer players, by and large, can make top flight clubs by their early 20, if not sooner.  If a club doesn't see a prospective athlete contributing to the A side in the foreseeable future, typically they will loan or sell the athlete to a lesser side at a pretty young age.

Baseball players take much longer to develop.  So where are young athletes developing in the relegation model?   On low level teams who then sell players to MLB teams?  On loan to lesser teams?  Or would MLB teams have U20, U22, U24 clubs of athletes they retain but are not playing in relegation leagues?

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11 hours ago, Casimir said:

I don't like the idea of adding more teams to the postseason either.  I think I could somewhat understand it for this season given the circumstances (although I don't think it will happen at all now), but wouldn't want it to last.

Heck, I would like to see MLB take this opportunity to realign geographically.  East & West, or go ahead and keep the American & National names for the two leagues, that's fine.  Or even just go one league with 3 or 5 or 6 divisions.  Take the division winners, add in the next best records to get to 8 total, and that's the playoff field.

I would now anticipate expansion sooner rather later.  I can see the owners going with the short term pay in fees.  I had thought they would need to wait for Oakland and Tampa to get their stadium issues figured out first, but I suspect they just ignore that now for the monetary carrot of 2 more teams.  They've been flirting with Montreal and I think Charlotte has been a desirable destination for a while.  Maybe realignment happens then?

I think 8 teams in the playoffs is OK.  10 is acceptable even though I think play-in games are lame.  14 goes above my threshold.  I remember when they first went to 8 teams.  I didn't like it a lot, but it seemed reasonable and something I could get used to.  14 changes the landscape too much for me and I can't imagine ever liking it.  I expect to be following the game in a different way.  I always figured when they messed up MLB by putting too many teams in the playoffs, I would take more time to watch minor league ball, but they've destroyed that at the same time.  Not a good year.  

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On 6/7/2020 at 10:16 AM, tiger337 said:

I don't understand putting half the teams in the playoffs (yeah, I know it's for money).   I don't see how it's smarter than promotion/relegation other than the money.  I like the idea of seeing the best teams rewarded and the worst teams struggling to avoid punishment.  

We could have game 7 of the World Series on Christmas Day. If it snows, just use a yellow ball. 😆😆

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I’m sure the Oakland A’s may still have a few in storage somewhere

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the thing that i find disappointing in american sports is that there is nothing for being the best team that season.  your "reward" is getting one extra home game in playoff rounds.  and then youre punished by getting a low draft pick.

in europe, the best team is the champion.  every year.

there are plenty of ways the american set up is better than the european one, but that is one area where they have us beat.

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i would argue that the draft is actually one of the better inventions in american sports.  its an exciting event that gives the worst teams a chance to get better.

the restrictions on player movement in america have helped the parity and competitiveness much more than in europe, where the big teams buy all the good players every year and its only a battle between as little as 3 (spain, germany) or as many as 5 (england) every year.  or just 1 of your france.  2 in italy if youre lucky.

to digress just a little more, youre seeing in college football what has happened in european soccer.  with everyone focused solely on the playoff, all the best players are being sucked up by 4 or 5 schools.  same thing in europe with everyone focused on the champs league only a handful of teams get the best players (the ones with the champs league - and oil shieks- money).

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52 minutes ago, Buddha said:

the thing that i find disappointing in american sports is that there is nothing for being the best team that season.  your "reward" is getting one extra home game in playoff rounds.  and then youre punished by getting a low draft pick.

in europe, the best team is the champion.  every year.

there are plenty of ways the american set up is better than the european one, but that is one area where they have us beat.

Ding ding.

Its going to be gross when MLB expands to 32 teams and goes to 4 team divisions and one of the division leaders finishes below .500 and makes the playoffs.  Won't happen you say?  Someone was on track to do this before.

image.png.ef2bbabb2b8a478f256b1c83714b1407.png

That's where we were in 1994 when everything ground to a halt.  Heck, not only was Texas below .500, but they were below the winning percentages of every team in the other 2 divisions.

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All you have to do is look at Chas' simulation and you can see with 14 teams in the playoffs, there will be multiple crap teams vying for playoff spots.  

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Which is what they want.

2/3 of the teams or more with a reasonable chance at the play-offs to goose interest / attendance.

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19 hours ago, tiger337 said:

All you have to do is look at Chas' simulation and you can see with 14 teams in the playoffs, there will be multiple crap teams vying for playoff spots.  

Just to be a peckerhead, I hope the WS is between two terrible below .500 teams that get lucky in the playoffs.  Of course, this is if they can figure out a way get a season in to begin with.

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11 minutes ago, Casimir said:

Just to be a peckerhead, I hope the WS is between two terrible below .500 teams that get lucky in the playoffs.  Of course, this is if they can figure out a way get a season in to begin with.

TBH, If its NY/LA do you think TPTB will care if they got there playing 480 ball?

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2 hours ago, Casimir said:

Just to be a peckerhead, I hope the WS is between two terrible below .500 teams that get lucky in the playoffs.  Of course, this is if they can figure out a way get a season in to begin with.

It will be fun watching the media and fans talk about how the two below .500 World Series teams deserve to be there because they wanted it more and know how to win when it counts.  

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2 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

TBH, If its NY/LA do you think TPTB will care if they got there playing 480 ball?

What does TPTB mean?

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5 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

What does TPTB mean?

sorry

TPTB = The Powers That Be

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