How Low Can You Go?


There is no one player who receives the lowest salary playing baseball in The Show. However, as of the 2016 Major League Baseball season, the minimum salary for players on a Major League roster is $507,500. This salary is negotiated as part of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, or CBA. It is a raise of $7,500 compared to the 2014 season. The average salary in the Major Leagues is $4,250,000.

In the world of millions, Clayton Kershaw was the highest paid player in The Show in 2016 with a whopping $32 million salary. He also earned an addition $800,000 in performance incentives and endorsement deals. David Price came in second with $30 million. He also earned an addition $600,000 in performance incentives and endorsement deals. Both were starting pitchers. There is a major difference of salary between divisions, teams and positions. Certain positions, such as first base or starting pitcher, are usually better paid, due to the important role they are considered to have in the game. Josh Hamilton was #3 with a salary of $28.41 million. He also earned an addition $160,000 in performance incentives and endorsement deals. He was followed by Miguel Cabrera who earned $28 million. He also earned an addition $2 million in performance incentives and endorsement deals. Rounding out the top five was Cabrera’s teammate, Justin Verlander who got $28 million. He also earned an addition $600,000 in performance incentives and endorsement deals.

Who do you think was worth the money he earned in that group?

#6 was Yoenis Cespedes who earned $27.5 million. He also earned an addition $600,000 in performance incentives and endorsement deals. #7, Felix Hernandez who had a salary of $25.86 million. #8T was Ryan Howard who had a salary of $25 million. He also earned an addition $600,000 in performance incentives and endorsement deals. Albert Pujols who also earned $25 million (he also earned an addition $2 million in performance incentives and endorsement deals.) along with CC Sabathia, made up the trio of the $25 Million Dollar Club. Sabathia also earned an addition $700,000 in performance incentives and endorsement deals.

Who do you think was worth the money he earned in that group?

#11 is the $24 Million Dollar Club consisting of three players, Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano (He also earned an addition $3 million in performance incentives and endorsement deals.) and Zach Greinke. #14 was ‘Joe Mauer who earned $23 million followed by #15T Cole Hamels who had a salary of $22.5 million along with Mark Teixeira who earned the same..

Who do you think was worth the money he earned in that group?

#17 was Justin Upton with a salary of $22.13 million followed by three men who earned $22 million dollars in the season. They were Hanley Ramirez, Masahiro Tanaka and Jose Reyes.

Who do you think was worth the money he earned in that group?

Rounding out the Top 24 in earnings, ##20 was Adrian Gonzales with a salary of $21.86 million. #21 was Carl Crawford who earned $21.81 million. #22, Matt Kemp drew $21.5 million dollars while #23 was Jacob Elisbury who earned $21.14 million dollars. #25 was James Shields who had a salary of $21 million.

Who do you think was worth the money he earned in that group?

Baseball is big business. Major League Baseball had gate receipts in excess of $2.5 billion in 2016 (while attendance reached $73.16, down from 2015’s 73.76 million. See previous story for other team attendance and revenues for 2016). Therefore the ‘Stars’ will earn now only top billing but top salaries. But have you taken a look at who was making the most this past year? Many were near or toward the end of their careers.

Here are the 2016 projected MLB Team Payroll on Opening Day:

New York Yankees $224.85 million
Los Angeles Dodgers $ 221.29 million
Detroit Tigers $194.88 million
Boston Red Sox $188.55 million
Texas Rangers $186.04 million
San Francisco Giants $172.25 million
Chicago Cubs $154.58 million
Baltimore Orioles $145.58 million
St. Louis Cardinals $143.05 million
Seattle Mariners $141.68 million
Washington Nationals $141.68 million
Toronto Blue Jays $138.7 million
Los Angeles Angels $137.25 million
New York Mets $133.89 million
Kansas City Royals $131.49 million
Chicago White Sox $112.99 million
Colorado Rockies $112.65 million
Minnesota Twins $105.33 million
San Diego Padres $101.42 million
Pittsburgh Pirates $99.05 million
Houston Astros $94.89 million
Cincinnati Reds $89.96 million
Arizona Diamondbacks $89.26 million
Oakland Athletics #86.81 million
Philadelphia Phillies $83.98 million
Miami Marlins $76.41 million
Cleveland Indians $74.31 million
Milwaukee Brewers $69.28 million
Atlanta Braves $69.01 million
Tampa Bay Rays $57.1 million

While all of this looks somewhat bizarre, as few of the teams who are spending less than $90 million will actually make the playoffs (as Cleveland is in a class all by itself with one of the lowest payrolls yet with some of the best young players in the game) who do you think will be the most profitable team this coming season?

If you said the Toronto Blue Jays, you are probably correct as they are Canada’s team with a huge daily television audience dwarfing all others (again, see previous article).

We are now only a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training. It soon will be time to

Play Ball!

What An Ivan December


On the second day of December, Adam Walker was claimed by the Orioles.
The Pigsville Nine had just claimed him.
Two days earlier for a
Partridge in a Miller Park pear tree.

Again on the second day of December, Chris Carter was released
Adam Walker claimed by Orioles,
But we have a partridge in a Miller Park pear tree.

On the third day of December, we got rid of Geltz and Goforth.
We just outrighted them.
Adam Walker claimed by Orioles…
Chris Carter was released…
But we have a partridge in a Miller Park pear tree.

On the sixth day of December Tyler Thornburg was traded,
Geltz and Goforth outrighted…
Adam Walker claimed by Orioles,
Chris Carter released…
But we have a partridge in a Miller Park pear tree.

On the eighth day of December, Caleb Smith is traded.
Tyler Thornburg was traded…
Geltz and Goforth outrighted…
Adam Walker claimed by Orioles….
Chris Carter released…
But we have a partridge in a Miller Park pear tree.

On the ninth day of December, Phil Bickford got suspended…for the second time.
Tyler Thornburg was traded…
Geltz and Goforth outrighted…
Adam Walker claimed by Orioles…
Chris Carter released…
Caleb Smith traded…
But we have a partridge in a Miller Park pear tree.

On the tenth day of December, Miguel Diaz was lost in Rule 5 draft.
Phil Bickford got suspended…for the second time…
Tyler Thornburg was traded…
Geltz and Goforth outrighted…
Adam Walker claimed by Orioles…
Chris Carter released…
Caleb Smith traded…
But we have a partridge in a Miller Park pear tree.

On the thirteenth day of December, Martin Maldonado was traded.
Miguel Diaz was lost in Rule 5 draft…
Phil Bickford got suspended…for the second time…
Tyler Thornburg was traded…
Geltz and Goforth outrighted…
Adam Walker claimed by Orioles…
Chris Carter released…
Caleb Smith traded…
But we have a partridge in a Miller Park pear tree.

With all of this activity, so what did Cream City get?
Got nothing for Geltz and Goforth…
Got nothing for Miguel Diaz…
Got nothing for Phil Bickford…
Got nothing for Adam Walker…
Got nothing for Chris Carter, the National League’s Home Run Champion in 2016…
Got Travis Shaw for Tyler Thornburg…
Got nothing for Caleb Smith…
Got Jett Bandy for Martin Maldonado…
Signed Ivan De Jesus…
Signed Tommy Milone…
Signed Eric Sogard….
Signed Andy Oliver…
Resigned Hiram Borgos…
But we got Ivan De Jesus Jr.

We got Ivan De Jesus Jr….
We now got Ivan De Jesus Jr…
And we have a partridge in a Miller Park pear Tree.

That is a perfect Ivan December.

Programs Here! Can’t Tell The Players Without A Program.


Sadly, no more. There are no more hawkers in the stadiums shouting out, ‘Programs. Programs Here! Can’t Tell The Players Without A Program.’ It is a sound that has passed, like coins dropping in a coin operated telephone in a telephone booth or the ring of a landline phone in the home.

This year, the fans of the Cream City ball club could use the sound of the program hawker. For the money-pinching owners of Pigsville’s Nine, most fans will have trouble knowing who’s on first, what’s on second or I don’t knows on third.

For the record, the first baseman is Eric Thames. ‘Who?’ Eric Thames. Elig temjeuneun nugu-ibnikka? (‘에릭 템즈는 누구입니까?’). He’ll make $4,000,000 and is taking over for Chris Carter who made $2.5 million last season but was headed for arbitration which could have earned him $8+ million. After all, he was the National League Home Run champion. Thus, in the Brewers way of thinking, they saved $4+ million. You have to understand Brewer thinking. They save $4 million and gained 30 points in a batting average. Yet that is all hypothetical because Mr. Thames has been hitting against Korean baseball league pitching for the last three years. 오 좋은! Wow!
At second will be Jonathan Villar. ‘What?’ He is taking over from Scooter. Villar’s salary will be $512,900.
At third will be Travis Shaw. ‘I don’t know’. Shaw? He will earn $515,000.
At shortstop will be Orlando Arcia. ‘I don’t give a damn’ will earn $507,500.
In left will be one of the few we know…Ryan Braun, if he isn’t traded in the next couple of months before he reaches his ability to block any trade starting in late May, when he becomes a 10-year veteran who has spent his past five seasons with his current team. He will earn $20 million.
In center, Keon Broxton. ‘Hit like the second half of last season’ will earn $508,500.
In right, Domingo Santana. ‘Don’t Get Hurt Santana’ will earn $513,800.
Catching will be Andrew Susac. Not ‘today’. But this season, Susac, who replaced Maldonado who replaced Lucroy, will be making $507,500.

Compared to last year’s starting lineup, this year’s projected edition will save approximately $4.5 million less than last year. In fact, according to SPOTRAC, the Milwaukee Brewers will have the third lowest 25 man roster salary in the entire Major League. It is estimated that the team salary will be $41.175 million. Watch out, San Diego and Tampa. Milwaukee is coming after your cheap crown.

They have traded away one of the best catchers in baseball for somebody. They have traded away a veteran third baseman for somebody. They have released the National League’s home run champion for nobody.

If they trade away Braun, they will fly by the San Diego and Tampa and threaten the Salt Lake City Bees for salary.

What an accomplishment.

The Cream City Nine’s owner, who has never won a pennant much less a World Series title, will threaten most of the top Major League owners in profit. He knows that the Milwaukee fans will pack the stadium for Tiddlywinks. OK. That may be a stretch, but ‘program hawkers’ will be needed. Perhaps they can have a ‘Tiddlywinks Night’ to introduce all of the new faces.

We’ll be watching, Mr. Attanasio. We’ll be watching.

Play Ball!

#watchingattanasio

Five Hundred and Fifty Million Divided By $1.5 Billion Equals What?


The average daily television viewership for baseball during the regular season averages approximately 3,394,000 viewers. Most of this is watched on local regional cable networks which bring America’s pastime day after day, night after night, April through the first weekend of October. In total, not including the games televised on MLB, ESPN, FSN1 or FOX, the average Major League Baseball Team has between 19,000 viewers (Oakland A’s season average) and 929,000 viewers for the Toronto Blue Jays. The mean average is approximately 113,113 viewers per evening for the home team. Actually, only seven teams draw above that line while many of the rest are well below that mark. But the point is, there are a lot of people watching baseball daily in North America in the summer.

While Oakland, Milwaukee and San Diego are at the bottom of the viewership barrel, all with under 30,000 average daily viewership, Toronto, the Mets, Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Tigers, Giants, Royals, Indians, Rangers, Cardinals and Mariners all draw above 100,000 per game, with the Mets above 200,000 per game. 3,394,000 viewers on a daily basis is a lot of eyeballs. More importantly, these are loyal eyeballs watching horsehide meet hickory day in, day out.

So what’s it cost to reach these people?

For those who are in the game of reaching masses to get their product and/or service in front of their target audience, they spend $9,796,296.30 per day to reach 3,394,000 viewers multiple times per game. This past year. But with long term contracts expanding into as much as 30 years, the cost per thousand will drop dramatically. And remember, these are all visual rights fees, not just TV but also digital/mobile.

What sponsors are banking on is the ‘live’ value of television in the 21st Century. Most know that ‘live’ events are like gold in a day when viewers have many ways of watching their events. But what does it mean to take a gamble like this long term with one medium that is decreasing viewership year after year in a new digital/mobile age?

To a baseball fan, MLB provides all of the action and stats one could dream about. This is a league that has a commanding lead in digital/mobile live events useage. For instance, if Ryan Braun comes to bat with a runner on first and second with one out in his second time against Jake Arrieta, as a fan you can get the statistical history of both the hitter and the batter in this situation. Knowing full well that Braun has faced Arrieta 18 times this season, walking 3 times, striking out 3 times and 7 hits, he has 2 home runs and 7 RBI. The chances of Braun getting a hit are good, he is batting .309 with runners in scoring position batting in the 3rd position with an OPS of .917. Arrieta will probably throw a sinker on the first pitch, low and away for a strike. But with Braun 0-1, he is hot, having a .488 BA with an impossible 1.482 OPS. Playing ONs-ONs, you bet your quarter on #8.

So, television rights are not the only investment sponsors are paying for now. It also includes digital/mobile sponsorship within those rights fees. And that bodes well for them deep into their contract.

Let’s take a look back 30 years ago. In 1986, the average ticket price was $10.18. The television revenue was $527 million. In 2016, the average ticket price was $31. What is interesting about this is that the price of a ticket is 3x what it was 30 years ago. The television rights fees are 3x what they were 30 years ago. So…it assumes that in 2046, the ticket price will be 3x what it is today which would mean that it would cost $93 per ticket on average in 2046. And, the television rights fees would remain at $1.587 billion. In 1986, MLB was paid $141 million with an attendance of 47,506,203. In 2016, the collective MLB package for all-visual viewership rights fees (that includes digital/mobile/TV) was $12.4 billion with an estimated 1.01 billion viewership. If everything is 3x what it is today in 2146, the TV rights fees will remain the same for whatever the growth in the sport will be.

Here is a complete look at each individual team in 2016, TV Ratings, average TV Ave/Gm viewership, 2015 Regular season rating, home and away attendance, +/- 2015 attendance, time of game, total attendance, 2016 TV Revenue per team, TV deal per team, start and end date of TV contract per team, Club ownership of TV deal, MLB’s Central Fund and the 2016 cost for 2 people to attend a game per club. Enjoy.
2016-mlb-tv-ratings-attendance-tv-reveune

So, what does all this show us?

The rich get richer and can afford the best players. The poor get poorer but make their owners a ton of money.

Play Ball!

The Curious Travels Of Mr Carter


He is a huge man. The soon to be 30 year old is 6’4″ and near 250 lbs. When he comes to the batter’s box, his shadow precedes him to plate nearly as soon as he steps out of the dugout. Nearly everyone looks up to him. He is massive. And his power is impressive. It is not often that opposing players come out to view the other team’s batting practice. But they do to see Mr Carter pound ball after ball into the stands.

In his seven years in the Big Leagues, he has hit 150 home runs in 688 games. That means that 21.8% of the games in which he bats, the ball leaves the yard. In fan terms that means he lofts one each series. Wow!

The home run has always been the ‘hit of choice’ for the fans since Babe recreated baseball in the ’20s. In 2.503 games, the ‘Sultan of Swat’ banged 714 home runs. For the stat geeks, that a lofty 28.5% of the games he played in, the crowd stood and cheered for another home run.

No. Mr. Carter is no Babe Ruth. The problem is Mr. Carter is on his way to another team. It will be is fourth team in eight years. And he is the National League Home Run Champion. Yet the lowly Milwaukee Brewers don’t want to pay for such power and gave him his papers. They are replacing him with a Korean League first baseman.

Why?

Mr. Carter strikes out a lot. He has led the league in strike outs twice, including this past season. He has struck out 875 times in 688 games (that’s 1.27/game). Fans do not like strike outs. He did that 206 times last season, setting a Brewers’ record. Babe did that less than 1 per game (0.82/game).

In Milwaukee, there is a legacy of great first baseman. From George Scott to Cecil Cooper, Richie Sexson to Prince Fielder, this is the standard of excellence any first baseman in Cream City has to measure up to.

Prince 998 games 230 home runs 656 RBI 779 KOs .929 OPS (7 years)
Sexson 534 games 133 home runs 398 RBI 528 KOs .902 OPS (4 years)
Cooper 1490 games 241 home runs 944 RBI 721 KOs .809 OPS (11 years)
Scott 782 games 115 home runs 463 RBI 529 KOs .798 OPS (5 years)

69 Minchner 140 games 25 home runs 78 RBI 69 KOs .829 OPS
70 Hegan 148 games 11 home runs 52 RBI 116 KOs .701 OPS
71 Briggs 125 games 21 home runs 59 RBI 79 KOs .845 OPS
72 Scott 152 games 20 home runs 88 RBI 130 KOs .746 OPS
73 Scott 158 games 24 home runs 107 RBI 94 KOs .858 OPS
74 Scott 158 games 17 home runs 82 RBI 90 KOs .777 OPS
75 Scott 158 games 38 home runs 109 RBI 97 KOs .857 OPS
76 Scott 156 games 18 home runs 77 RBI 118 KOs .748 OPS
77 Cooper 160 games 20 home runs 78 RBI 110 KOs .789 OPS
78 Cooper 107 games 13 home runs 54 RBI 72 KOs .833 OPS
79 Cooper 150 games 24 home runs 106 RBI 77 KOs .872 OPS
80 Cooper 153 games 25 home runs 122 RBI 42 KOs .926 OPS
81 Cooper 106 games 12 home runs 60 RBI 30 KOs .858 OPS
82 Cooper 155 games 32 home runs 121 RBI 53 KOs .870 OPS
83 Cooper 160 games 30 home runs 126 RBI 63 KOs .849 OPS
84 Cooper 148 games 11 home runs 67 RBI 59 KOs .693 OPS
85 Cooper 154 games 16 home runs 99 RBI 77 KOs .779 OPS
86 Cooper 134 games 12 home runs 75 RBI 87 KOs .682 OPS
87 Brock 141 games 13 home runs 85 RBI 63 KOs .809 OPS
88 Brock 115 games 6 home runs 50 RBI 48 KOs .649 OPS
89 Brock 107 games 12 home runs 52 RBI 49 KOs .750 OPS
90 Brock 127 games 7 home runs 50 RBI 45 KOs .692 OPS
91 Stubbs 103 games 11 home runs 38 RBI 71 KOs .641 OPS
92 Stubbs 92 games 9 home runs 42 RBI 68 KOs .665 OPS
93 Jaha 153 games 19 home runs 70 RBI 109 KOs .753 OPS
94 Jaha 89 games 12 home runs 34 RBI 75 KOs .412 OPS
95 Jaha 88 games 20 home runs 65 RBI 66 KOs .968 OPS
96 Jaha 148 games 30 home runs 118 RBI 118 KOs .941 OPS
97 Nilsson 156 games 20 home runs 81 RBI 88 KOs .798 OPS
98 Jaha 73 games 7 home runs 38 RBI 66 KOs .709 OPS
99 Loretta 153 games 5 home runs 67 RBI 59 KOs .744 OPS
00 Sexson 57 games 14 home runs 47 RBI 63 KOs .957 OPS
01 Sexson 158 games 45 home runs 125 RBI 60 KOs .889 OPS
02 Sexson 157 games 29 home runs 102 RBI 136 KOs .867 OPS
03 Sexson 162 games 45 home runs 124 RBI 151 KOs .927 OPS
04 Overbay 159 games 16 home runs 87 RBI 128 KOs .863 OPS
05 Overbay 158 games 19 home runs 72 RBI 98 KOs .816 OPS
06 Fielder 157 games 28 home runs 81 RBI 125 KOs .831 OPS
07 Fielder 158 games 50 home runs 119 RBI 121 KOs 1.013 OPS
08 Fielder 159 games 34 home runs 102 RBI 132 KOs .879 OPS
09 Fielder 162 games 46 home runs 141 RBI 138 KOs 1.014 OPS
10 Fielder 161 games 32 home runs 83 RBI 138 KOs .871 OPS
11 Fielder 162 games 38 home runs 120 RBI 106 KOs .981 OPS
12 Hart 149 games 30 home runs 83 RBI 151 KOs .841 OPS
13 Francisco 89 games 13 home runs 32 RBI 95 KOs .733 OPS
14 Reynolds 130 games 22 home runs 45 RBI 122 KOs .681 OPS
15 Lind 149 games 20 home runs 87 RBI 100 KOs .820 OPS
16 Carter 160 games 41 home runs 94 RBI 206 KOs .821 OPS

The Cream City Nine was at its best when it had a great first baseman. Both Cooper and Fielder led their teams to the post season. Both were the heart of their teams.

With Mr Carter moving on, this team is looking for their heart once again.

Play Ball!

Cubs ‘America’s Team’

It was on a cold evening in Wrigley Field on Sunday, October 30, 2016, that established once and for all that baseball rules and that the team from the Friendly Confines rules the sporting interest in America. As the North Siders provided all of the excitement in trying to stay alive against the Cleveland Indians, as they faced elimination in Game 5 of the 2016 World Series, the audience of America tuned in.

On Sunday evening, the Chicago Cubs vs the Cleveland Indians drew an estimated average 21.539 million viewers who stayed with the game from beginning until the end when Chapman came in and locked down their second win of this World Series. What is significant about this was that at the very same time, on a competing broadcast network, the team that called themselves ‘America’s Team’ were out drawn by the Cubs as Dallas could only muster an estimated average 16.825 million viewers. That represented a difference in favor of baseball of 4.714 million viewers.

And it wasn’t as if the football game was a blow out. Not to offend the magnificent Cleveland Indians, but a close game featuring the Cubbies for the first time in a World Series since 1945 with the possibility of winning the Series for the first time in over 100 years, overwhelmed the football game which was a tight game featuring two of the better teams in the NFL this season.

While pro football seems like it is slipping a bit with massive overexposure, baseball with the Cubs and Indians are revitalizing America’s youth. Proof? It pulled in a 6.3 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic vs only 6.1 rating for football which featured two teams with big fan bases. And, couldn’t Philadelphia vs Dallas for the divisional lead prevail?

No!

Sunday was baseball’s night. But in truth, it was placing the crown of ‘America’s Team’ squarely on the shoulders of those lovable Cubbies from the North Side of the City that Works.

Play Ball!