The week that was
Jim Rodriguez: Some MLB teams have no chance in hell
What do Major League Baseball and World Wrestling Entertainment have in common? For a disturbing number of teams, the entrance music to WWE boss “Mr. McMahon” is a perfect description of the 2018 season: “No Chance in Hell.”
Clubs like the Marlins and Pirates will be playing out the string as early as Opening Day.
What must it feel like for a fan in Miami or Pittsburgh to know that your squad has no chance? I’m not talking winning a World Series or the division or squeezing in as the second Wild Card. Shoot, I’m not even talking about finishing above 500.
I thought revenue sharing was suppose to eliminate this kind of purging of a franchise. The luxury tax was installed to prevent the big clubs from spending smaller teams out of contention. Yet, I still see the Yankees trading for the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, Giancarlo Stanton, all the while taking on his quarter billion dollar salary.
Are the big spenders just smarter? Do they have better owners?
Disney recently bought BAMTech, Major League Baseball’s interactive and internet company for 1.58 billion dollars. As a result, each franchise is getting a check for a cool $50 million bucks this season.
The Marlins are using that money plus a scandalous payroll slash, to turn a profit. Not to win. Not to get better. But to make a profit. Another generation in south Florida gets to root for the visiting team at Marlins Park.
The butterfly effect is that players that remain on the team now want out. Christian Yelich’s agent says the relationship between his client and the Marlins is “irretrievably broken.” Whoa.
Josh Harrison said he wants out of Pittsburgh after the club traded their best pitcher, Gerrit Cole, and face of the franchise, Andrew McCutchen. Trying building a fan base on that foundation.
Clubs like the Marlins and Pirates will point to World Series titles in Chicago and Houston as the endgame. Yet for cities like Miami, Tampa, Oakland and now Pittsburgh the World Series is not realistic. It’s a sham. Teams are trying to catch lightning in bottle as opposed to building long term success. That’s like saying your retirement plans are winning the lottery. Good luck with that.
The lasting legacy of former Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria, is not winning a World Series. It’s exposing the cold, soul crushing reality of the business of baseball. Loria openly questioned having a $100 million dollar payroll for a fourth place team. So after years and years of mediocrity, Loria sold the franchise for $1.6 billon dollars. His original investment was $30 million dollars.
That’s the real blueprint. That’s what Derek Jeter is trying to do in Miami.
This is on MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred. This game is hard enough when you’re actually trying to win. It’s a shameful spectacle when you’re not trying to win.
Good luck you guys. Plenty of good seats available.
You can listen to my radio show, The Sports Bosses , weekdays at 10am ET on SBNation Radio. Follow me on Twitter @mediarodriguez