Saturday, September 26, 2015

There is No Rays vs. Braves Tug-of-War

While the Braves may not have cleared their Spring Training pitch with MLB, there is no threat of them ultimately doing anything the league doesn't want them to do (i.e. move in on Rays' turf without permission).

That's because MLB isn't 30 different privately-owned teams.  Remember that pesky antitrust exemption?  In the eyes of the law, it's one single business entity.

MLB can restrict relocation like it did when the Giants wanted to move to St. Pete.  It can kick business owners out of their own ballparks like it did with Marge Schott.  And it can certainly control where its teams spend their springs.

So even if the Rays had no idea the Braves wanted to move Spring Training to any county with available tax dollars up for grabs Pinellas County, nothing will happen without MLB's approval.  That is, nothing except a big boost of leverage for the Rays in their stadium campaign.

Stu Sternberg definitely owes John Schuerholz a beer at the next owners' meetings...

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  1. You mean "(Pransky) antitrust exemption", lol...
    Though it sounds like your against leagues being able to do what they want with their teams, one would believe that it makes complete sense for leagues to control & approve teams decisions when it involves possible detriment to the league. They can't have bad apples in their bunch, because it has a carry over effects for other teams. Basically you can't have only 30 teams, and have some pulling a North Korea-like approach by moving a team to Brooksville, with a run down ballpark, while having a payroll of only 5-10 million, and drawing only 5-10k in attendance just because you can. It's bad business...

    1. Leagues maintain monopolies. Monopolies generally aren't in consumers' best interests.

      If each team functioned as its own business, any city could in theory put together a publicly-owned team and compete in the league. Taxpayers could share in profits and maybe the league would be designed around great competition first, rather than profits first and competition second.

      Maybe MLB run the way European soccer leagues are run (with penalties for poor on-field performers) would be a good thing?

    2. It doesn't matter, teams will always try to make as much as possible. Do think the Packers which is "publicly-owned" cares? They charge the 10th highest tix priced, and have the highest paid player in the league. Besides, I rather have an owner like Rooney's or Craft running my team then the "public"...
      So the taxpayers own the team, and get profits, but an owner is shunned when he does it?
      Plus, "penalties for poor" is communism...