What? Are you kidding me? Are you actually asking San Francisco Giant fans to cheer for the Los Angeles Dodgers throughout the 2013 MLB playoffs? Tell us your medication has run out or maybe you're overdoing it with a great new Mezcal. And that none of this is true.
Cheering for the Dodgers goes against the genetic code of any righteous San Francisco Giants fan. We'd rather spend our summer vacation on the Santa Monica pier eating Dodger Dogs, writing birthday cards to Tommy Lasorda.
But wait just a minute. This is all about money and forcing the Giants ownership to spend some of it.
Let's everyone grab a bottle of Trumer Pils, take a good long swig and sit down on the couch with some cornnuts. Then take another minute to think about the bigger picture.
For years the San Francisco Giants front office and ownership group have tried to sell the same bullcrap story at the start of every season to Giants fans and the media: "Hey, we're just a small market baseball team that can't afford to spend as much money as the rich teams on player salaries. We, you know, have a budget".
The Giants are hoping everyone will understand when they don't sign the players they need because there's a "budget limit " each year. Because, like, that's all the money they have to spare. Right?
The San Francisco Giants are 6th out of 30 MLB teams in yearly revenue, with $262 million coming in in 2012. They're one of only four teams that own their own baseball park and all the revenue that goes with that. And the $30 million yearly mortgage on AT&T Park will be paid off in several years. The Giants are also developing land use deals on property they own next to AT&T Park that will result in enormous future residential and commercial revenue for the team.
In addition, like every other franchise in baseball the Giants get $60 million dollars each year in national media and revenue sharing from Major League Baseball simply for owning a team. Then there's the local radio and TV revenue, plus a potential boatload of post season money, and you have a lot of extra frosting on a very large cake.
So when the Giants announce their player payroll "budget" each year, what they're really doing is letting the ownership group know exactly how much profit they'll all be getting at the end of the season. Which is fine. I get that people are in business to make money, not donate it.
But understand, that payroll "budget" is something they pull out of the dark recesses of their hindquarters each and every season. It has nothing to do with how much money the franchise is able to spend signing players each season.
So here's my point.
What the Giants, and probably a lot of other MLB owners, want more than anything else in the 2013 playoffs is for low payroll teams like Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, or Oakland to do well. What the San Francisco Giants don't want is for big payroll teams like Los Angeles or Boston to do well.
That way Giants' ownership can say, "Well it just goes to show you, spending a lot of money on players doesn't work. It's all about having a great minor league system and bringing young players up."
Which justifies the Giants keeping their payroll down and signing cheap marginal players in the hope they accidently do well.
Owners looking to spend less love it when fans look down on big spending ball clubs and talk nasty about those teams trying to "buy" a World Series. But as we've seen over the years, that tired idea of rich teams "buying" a World Series is a myth. Otherwise either the Yankees, the Angels, Philadelphia, or the Texas Rangers would win the Series every year. And, as it turns out, they don't.
Here's something else that's not true: the San Francisco Giants don't have a "great" minor league organization developing great young players as an alternative to spending money. San Francisco's minor league system is rated at the bottom third of all 30 MLB teams.
To recap: the Giants don't want to spend money on getting the players they need to win, and they have been terrible at developing and bringing up young position players through their minor league system. A double threat.
So back to my traitorous lead: Go Dodgers, and make it harder for the Giants front office not to spend some of that money they're printing every year.no comments