A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Why it Doesn’t Always Pay to Try to Buy a World Series

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 10, 2012

I’m not looking any of the following up, so if I make mistakes feel free to call me on it. This is all just my opinion and I’m basing it off the way I recall free agency to work across all three major sports: Baseball, basketball and football. And no, I don’t consider hockey a major sport. It’s a majorly boring sport, but that’s a topic for another time. Every year that hockey strikes is my favorite year in hockey…….

And now, to the point of this thread…..

We all know that spending money doesn’t guarantee you a world series. The Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball every year and they’ve won 1 world series in the last 12 seasons. That’s not a sweet win percentage. The last few years their team payroll has been a little over 200 million. For the upcoming 2013 season, they have vowed to get their payroll under the luxury tax ceiling which I think is in the 185 (millions) areas (I told you, I’m not looking anything up tonight).  The Dodgers are expected to have a 2013 payroll in the neighborhood of 235 million dollars—and that’s assuming they do nothing else this winter and that is not a sound assumption to take. The Dodgers are making the Yankees look like penny pinching pussies.

Will it work? Sure, it COULD work. But we saw what happened last season when they tried to buy the series with a 250 million dollar add-on and the Giants countered with assuming the remaining 2 milllion of Marco Scutaro’s lil’ deal.

At some point, if you have no budget, it’s just a matter of time before you buy the right combination of players who come together and win a world series. But there is nothing to say that LA has put together the right team until they actually go out and win a world series. An infinite number of things can happen over the course of a season that can and will derail a team’s ultimate goal in baseball……

The thing about baseball though, and I’ve always said this, is that it’s idiotic to pay for the back of a player’s baseball card. That’s just time served. Baseball is a little different than other sports in that you have to wait 6 full years of service time at the big league level (or on the 40 man roster) before you get to take advantage of the bounty offered to unrestricted free agents. Up until then, players are mostly affordable.

You know what the average career of a major league baseball player is? It’s 5.6 years. Now, I didn’t look that up, I read it earlier today. I also read that only 10% of all drafted minor league players ever make it to the big leagues but that’s a discussion for another time. If the average career is 5.6 years and you don’t become a free agent until 6 full years served, you can start to see why so many big money free agents fail to ever live up to the contracts they sign. ESPECIALLY with steroid use on the decline, the days of the elite productive baseball player playing into his mid to late 30’s (at an elite level) is pretty much gone. And yet that’s exactly the time that most mlb players make all their money………

So if you’re 30 (or around there) and you finally hit your service time to get paid the big bucks in free agency, that is precisely the time that I would steer clear of you—especially if you’re a pitcher but really there isn’t a ball player on the planet that I could ever see wanting my team to sign to 8-10 year mega deal. Even a 6 year deal like the one Cain got makes me cringe but I’m not sweatin’ that because there are always exceptions to a rule and I love Matt Cain and we basically HAD to sign either Timmy or Cainer to a long term deal to anchor our pitching staff. I’m ecstatic that it was Cainer and not Tinny. But I could see the last few years of the Cain deal turning incredibly ugly. Whatever, if you’re going to have a 140 million dollar payroll, some guys are gonna get overpaid and if we win multiple world series’ I really don’t care……

The Dodgers can pick up A-Gone and Beckett and Carl Crawford and they can sign Grienke to a mega deal and sign whoever else they want. All those guys are on the back end of their career (and by *back end* I mean AT BEST on the last 50% of their career—possibly much lower than that). I don’t give a single fuck about what the back of your baseball card says. It’s not even remotely pertinent to what you are going to do in the future. That’s why I always think it’s funny when bloggers start trotting out career numbers. Why should I care about what a player did in the prime of his career? When the slide starts, if you don’t turn to performance enhancing drugs, you are simply not going to keep playing at the level you once did.

In baseball, almost across the board, you get paid for what you DID, not what you’re going to do. Owners don’t understand this or they don’t care, I’m not sure which. They’re making gobs of money, it’s probably that they just don’t care.

Until the Dodgers actually win a world series I don’t care either……

44 Responses

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  1. PawlieKokonuts said, on December 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Do I get nervous when the Dodgers ratchet up the money? Well, I used to. When they missed the postseason last year, that was soooo sweet. Spend all you want. It’s no guarantee of anything. Does it help? Sort of. Maybe. Only partly. I wish we could play them tonight.

    • Bozo said, on December 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      “I wish we could play them tonight.” Agreed!
      Although at this point, I’d go crazy for a game with the Padres.

  2. Macdog said, on December 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Paul’s POTD sums it up quite nicely.

    It’s amazing how the Yanks have sort of become the Braves, making the playoffs every year only to fall short. Their obscenely high payroll, though, just about guarantees they make the playoffs, having missed out only once since ’95. And when they did miss out in 2008, they responded by doling out a few hundred million to Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira and won the WS. This must be the model L.A. is going to emulate: collect big stars and beat the crap out of the low-budget teams like the Yanks always do to pile up enough wins and all but guarantee a trip to the playoffs every year.

  3. unca_chuck said, on December 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Building a team to reach the playoffs and building a team to win in the playoffs is 2 entirely different things.

    Let’s hope the Dogs flail around for a while before imploding from all the old dead contracts.

  4. PawlieKokonuts said, on December 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I can’t quite articulate this right, but isn’t the Dodgers’ spending spree something like the real estate bubble before 2008? When easy money like that sounds too good to be true, it’s usually — wait for it — too good to be true.

  5. Bozo said, on December 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    With the money LA just made on the FOX deal, they could buy the Getty Mansion, level it, make it into a parking lot and not feel a thing.

  6. Flavor said, on December 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I’ve posted this video before, but fast forward this video to 4:55. THAT is what the Dodgers are doing right now. The 6 minute mark is funny, too…….

  7. Flavor said, on December 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    So I sent him/Santa Anita this email in response and here is his/their response:
    Dec 9 (1 day ago)

    to DJLoo
    Dear *Anita*—
    Loo is one of my top 100 favorite people in the world and if you don’t count my 3-D world, he might be my most favorite person. I am quite inclined to believe your email to be a joke that my old blogger buddy is playing on me. But I’ve re-posted this email in the main thread of my blog to let the other Flappers decide what they think.
    I’m not good at reading sarcasm or jokes via email so I really don’t know what to make of your email. I can’t believe my main man DJLoo would stay silent while we won the WS again and continue to fly low during my daily *DJLoo Retro Posts of the Day* that I search for every morning at 5am and then upload at the blog.
    Maybe he’s just sitting back laughing at all of us wondering where he has been and if that’s true, I think that’s a little f-ed up. He has always been a critical part of the blog, it’s normal for the regulars to wonder what happened to him.
    Kind regards,
    Craig ”

    6:31 PM (2 hours ago)

    to me
    Hi again!! I’m glad you’re a real person, Flavor. You seem upset. Is this for me or do you want me to read it to DJ? Were supposed to be going to a Christmas party next week. I honestly don’t understand alot of it. He had me answer you immediately the other day because I thought he really cared. Believe me he’s ok and is definitely not going blind or anything bad like that. but I know things don’t always read well compared to when they’re spoken so maybe it’s my fault. Did he do something wrong that I don’t know about? I can’t say I know everything he does.”

    I’m starting to face the fact that Loo might be clinically insane. At the very least,it’s getting very *Soph-like* (Flavor Note)

  8. ewisco said, on December 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    It must be hard for Anita to deal with a guy going insane. how does she know about soph?

  9. unca_chuck said, on December 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    That reply makes little sense. That one sounds more Loo-ish.

    If Anita reads the email to Loo, they can’t go to the Christmas party? And clinically insane/Soph?


    • zumiee said, on December 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      I’m assuming the last sentence was BF’s thoughts on the situation.

  10. zumiee said, on December 10, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    BF, you make the point Nate Silver makes in one of the chapters of his book. He developed his own algorithm for trying to predict players’ career numbers. It’s called PECOTA, and I don’t know much about it. He only talks a little about it in the book; but one of the things he says is that players tend to peak physically in their late 20s, at just about the same time they are typically eligible for free agency, so therefore a lot of times teams pay big money for a player who will be in decline. Pretty much what you said.
    When he left Baseball Prospectus, he actually sold the rights to PECOTA to them, which is kind of interesting.

    • James said, on December 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      I think the basic analysis predates NS:


      • zumiee said, on December 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

        “Like the old saying goes, it isn’t what you don’t know that does you harm, it’s what you know that’s wrong.”

        That’s a similar idea to Colbert’s “truthiness.” Truthiness is believing something is true because it sounds like it should be true. But the problem is that a lot of things are counter-intuitive. A lot of science is counter-intuitive. A certain amount of things in baseball are counter-intuitive. I played a little bit of tournament chess for a while. A lot of chess is counter-intuitive. If you want to be a good chess player, it’s a process of breaking a lot of bad habits as a player.

  11. Flavor said, on December 11, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Zumiee is correct, the last sentence is something I wrote.

    • ewisco said, on December 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

      I knew that. I was just busting.

  12. Bozo said, on December 11, 2012 at 6:58 am

    As the Loo Turns. So my question now is, where’s Ted?

    • Flavor said, on December 11, 2012 at 7:08 am

      I’ll always be his biggest fan, but I’m done with whatever weird game Loo is playing—my fault for sending him an email. He’s welcome back any time he wants to come back. Now, back to the BBOTD…… 🙂

  13. blade3colorado said, on December 11, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Twin, if you are around – I sent you an email. Thanks . . .

  14. dirtnrocksnomo said, on December 11, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I am more worried about the Nationals.

  15. willedav said, on December 11, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Hey Blade I’d sent you a note about the Jose st. football coach on the previous thread. One other ad for this guy is the fact that he has been around football in the state and should be able to recruit here. There are plenty of good HS programs and players in NorCal and the Sac/Joaquin section. While a lot of the best kids would turn their nose up at coming to San Jose, they might look forward to a chance to play at a big time school/facilities in Pac 12.
    Not to mention, as bad as Buffs were, chance to play right away.

    • blade3colorado said, on December 11, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Yes, thank you Willie, I saw that. Also, your point about recruiting is spot on . . . One of the major problems at CU is the fact that they usually get shutout on Texas and California recruits (the good ones anyway). His connection to the California area may improve that. The other major problem at CU are the facilities which haven’t been updated since the mid-90’s. Consequently, they are rated the worst in the Pac 12. At his introduction yesterday – he came off as knowledgeable and very, very confident and quite comfortable in front of the media (imagine that would translate well in front of his players too). Conversely, Embry was very tentative and seemed to be learning as he went. In short, he had no business being a head coach, albeit, a good guy that was set up for failure, e.g., CU only gave him a $750k annual contract. Hilarious.

  16. paulinasia said, on December 11, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I still believe that Anita is real. Then again, I was very late realizing that Santa Claus wasn’t, and I was also two years behind my friends and peers going through puberty. Awkward early high school years, but I caught up quickly once all was said and done. No, Craig, it was a good idea contacting Loo. But you had to know that the results would likely be unpredictable or at least ambiguous. And why not. “Anita” should post here on the blog. At some point, we would know the extent of credibility of this Loo situation. Yo, Loo…. come forth thyself and make it known that it is you…… :-p Meanwhile, the off season looms interminably with the Giants’ work mostly done, leaving us to be entertained and/or puzzled by what the other teams are doing as they try to even come close to what the Giants have done the last few years. Leaders of the pack, our SF Giants…

  17. twinfan1 said, on December 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Tough to justify a 37 YO for 3 years based on the “what you’re going to do” theory…anyway, I’ll think about the Dodgers again when I make my usual “homer” prediction when the season is ready to start.
    As a general note, we’ve all noted how the postseason is a crapshoot. Getting there year after year is what keeps up fan, TV deal, and sponsor interest. The Yankees have absoluely been successful with their spending.

    • Flavor said, on December 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

      actually, you’re wrong about that, at least if you talk to a Yankee fan (of who I know many). They consider 11 of the last 12 years to be failures………

      • Macdog said, on December 11, 2012 at 10:17 am

        There’s some truth to that, since for many the Yankees’ season doesn’t really start until October. Not that there aren’t some highlights to enjoy along the way, but it’s such an inevitability that the Yanks are going to make the playoffs — and usually as the division champ — that there’s very little drama to their regular season.

      • twinfan1 said, on December 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm

        Well, revenues tell the story more than fan grousing.

  18. wswin said, on December 11, 2012 at 10:25 am

    One evaluator told ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that the Giants are still a better team than the Dodgers despite Los Angeles’ aggressive spending. The Dodgers have questions on the left side of the infield and might be vulnerable against left-handed pitching, Olney writes.

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#hWYtZv8vZZQa0Tbl.99

    • blade3colorado said, on December 11, 2012 at 11:57 am

      I think you have the wrong link wswin . . . that’s about the Tigers and Porcello, Sanchez, etc.

      • wswin said, on December 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm

        they linked it… you have to scroll down

  19. Macdog said, on December 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Something I’ve been meaning to share:

    Last week a co-worker who votes for the AP Male Athlete of the Year (along with Female AOY and top 10 stories) asked for our input. These were the choices:

    Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Rory McIlroy, Eli Manning, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Miguel Cabrera, Andy Murray, Oscar Pistorius, Anthony Davis, R.A. Dickey.

    Right away, I noticed there was a someone most conspicuous by his absence. So given the choice of a write-in candidate at the end, I put in Buster Posey. Not even on the list? That’s outrageous.

    This brings to mind something else. I’m sure some of you saw SI picked LeBron James for Sportsman of the Year. OK, I get it. Best hoops player on the planet. Finally won a ring (although it took a 2nd try after his 3-man cabal failed to win the title over a less talented but much-more determined Dallas team). And I’m sure he’s a charitable guy who helps little old ladies across the street when not making annoying cell phone commercials.

    But why not Buster? He already has more titles than King James, and he came back from a horrific injury to win the NL MVP while leading the Giants to another WS. Plus, he’s the leader-by-example type who lets his play speak for itself. Unfortunately, I guess his story doesn’t quite resonate with the powers-that-be at SI like the overexposed LeBron’s does.

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on December 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Supposedly L James is a huge a-hole once the lights go out. I agree with you though Posey should at least get some mention on that list. His narrative of horrendous injury to MVP is pretty compelling.

  20. unca_chuck said, on December 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    SI has been Bron Bron’s biggest supporter since middle school.

  21. unca_chuck said, on December 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    wswin, here’s the link, but I don’t pay for espn+ or whatever their pay site is.


  22. blade3colorado said, on December 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I don’t have “ESPN Insider” either (or as we call it on the other side of the railroad tracks – Outsider.” Anywho, I like this line from the column part I was able to read, “In the seven months since the new Dodgers ownership has been in place, it has spent $650 million, or about the same as Frank McCourt spent over six seasons, from 2006-11.” Now, that strikes me as fucking hilarious. 🙂

  23. snarkk said, on December 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Hey baby, your chauffeur has a funky hat…

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on December 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Someone should have told Zito it was the American Country Awards NOT the American Hipster Awards.

  24. Alleykat said, on December 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    You can buy some Super Bowls if you have Eddie D as yout owner.He took full advanage of the non-exisit salary cap in the 80’s early 90’s.Need a Fred Dean,Deion Sanders,Ken Norton etc etc etc,no problem with Eddie and his fat wallet.

  25. unca_chuck said, on December 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Fred Dean was a trade . . . and the FA binge brought about by Policy/Clark in the late 90s wreaked havoc on the team til around 2005 . . .

  26. unca_chuck said, on December 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Why the Dodgers aren’t worried about the luxury tax. They get a ton of extra revenue sharing money.


    • snarkk said, on December 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      If you read all of this story, you realize even more what a putz Selig is, and how he is making an effort to undermine the competitive nature of the game. If you didn’t like the Dodgers before reading this, you will now. If you didn’t like them before, you’ll like them even less now. This is totally bogus. Other big market owners should be either PO’d that this is happening, or they’ll want to do the same thing…

      • unca_chuck said, on December 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

        Yeah. everyone else should be saying, where’s our deal? Why are the Dogs getting a sweet deal at the expense of the rest of us?

        Brother Bug looking out for the new owners . . . what a fucking crock of shit.

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