Thursday, October 30, 2008

Big Deal Palace Up and Running - Red Sox

Sorry for the long delay, but it took some time to get the new and improved Big Deal Palace up and running. I've finally got the internet and a TV at home, so watch out I may up my production to 2 times a month. I'll try to come back with a few posts in the next week on various topics. Today I'll take on the Red Sox:

While I know my comrade on this blog has been very critical of the Sox "buying" players and points to the Rays success as proving that you can overcome the Big Bad Money Taking Big Market Team by developing talent. While the Rays success illustrates small market teams can compete, it doesn't make the Red Sox model obsolete or even bad. Unless you are a communist (and after this upcoming election we will all likely live in a socialist/communist society like Sweden, but that is a rant for another time and likely violates one of our rules about alienating people), you have to admire the way the Red Sox and Yankees take the revenues from running a successful team and put that money to making the team more successful. Boose's comments would lead one to a "wind fall talent tax" where the teams who generate enough interest to be profitable give some of their players to stupid teams like the Reds who overpay bad people and refuse to pay to keep talented people around (Adam Dunn). If this blog stands for anything (aside from getting dusty baker fired), it stands for capitalism and against socialism.

Boston does have the luxury of making more mistakes since they have an unlimited payroll, but that is because year in and year out they put a product on the field people are willing to pay for. They have found a way to maximize revenues by selling monster seats, pink hats and keeping their old stadium in decent shape. They have consistently paid for top players and even developed some talented players. Since they are willing to keep players around once they become good at baseball rather than sell them for more prospects (who they will get rid of when they get good at baseball), Boston has been able to create cult heroes that fans love (Manny, Nomar, Big Papi & Pedro).

Lets analyze why they have more money and point out the fundamental flaw in small market teams complaint that they just don't have the money to compete (basically assuming that those with money did nothing to deserve it). While metro boston is larger than metro cincy (~4mm vs 2mm), it isn't like Cincy is some sleepy Podunk tiny town. Cincy also doesn't need to support a hockey and basketball team, so it the Reds and Bengals (who don't seem like they will draw many people for years). There is a large enough population to support a baseball team (see 1970s and 80s). The reds stadium (which was paid for by taxpayers and not ownership) has luxury boxes, while Fenway doesn't, so technically is capable of producing more revenue. Cincy is a baseball town and the team was extremely popular in the 1970s when the team was good, so you can't argue Boston has more "history" or a better historical fan base. Cincinnati had the first professional baseball team and also has won a few more championships than Boston, so that excuse doesn't work either. National TV contracts are split, so all those boston-new york games on espn, Cincy sees some of that revenue. Boston has their own tv station (NESN) and is able to get all the revenue from that, but if demand were there Cincy could do the same thing.

So basically we can't hate Boston for "buying" world championships, because they have no built in advantage over Cincy as it relates to generating revenue (same cannot be said for NY, LA or Chicago which are much bigger cities). You can hate Boston for many things (the cold weather, Barney Frank, the fake sox fans who came out of nowhere over the past two years, the slightly overweight women of Cambridge), but hating them for buying championships is just hating success. Instead of saying the sox put a good product on the field, which can win titles every season because they have money, it would be more apt to say The Sox have money because they put a good product on the field and are competitive every game.

The Reds need to take a look at the Sox business model and find a way to put a good team on the field every season, quit rebuilding all the time and let the fans know you plan to make long term commitments to good players, find other ways to generate revenue and learn how to evaluate talent properly. A good start to all of this would be to get rid of Dusty Baker and find a competent manager and GM, who understand that a computer is not scary and it isn't a sin to allow statistical facts about a players ability to color your gut judgement about that players ability.

We have made this the quest of the blog, but i think gotten off track as our team went down and others succeeded. It is time to right the ship and make sure our single focus as it relates to baseball (we will continue to comment on all things non-baseball. Trust me there will be a full season recap of RR/RR Challenge this year as it is amazing) is to educate the good people out there about how to take a once very proud franchise that could dominate an entire decade back to the front of the MLB pack. The first step in that goal is firing Dusty Baker.

Viva La Revolution

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