This page is under frequent
Last revised:December 20,
The Future of Baseball
(and the Red Sox)
By David Nevard
Will Baseball change its economic structure? Impact: 5 years
our Table of Baseball markets, with Population,
Attendance, Revenue, and Payroll
The Yankees are winning the pennant every year, while other teams are heading
towards bankruptcy. This happened in the 1950’s and baseball solved the
problem by expanding into new markets and instituting the amateur draft.Expansion
has probably gone as far as it can under the current rules. The only cities
left are too small to support a team without revenue sharing. Territorial
veto power prevents teams from relocating into the New York metro area
(which could probably support 2 or 3 more) or the Washington DC area.
In fact, Baseball owners have already voted to eliminate two franchises,
though they haven't said which two.
Questions about contraction
from The Diamond Angle
Expanding into current markets (i.e.increased market penetration) by building
new stadiums worked in Cleveland and Baltimore. But it doesn’t seem so
successful in Detroit and Pittsburgh.
High signing bonuses are slowly killing the amateur draft as a “leveler”
of franchises. Poorer teams do not bother to draft the best players because
they can’t afford to pay them. This would probably also apply to any palyers
taken in a "contraction" draft.
of the Commisioner's Blue Ribbon Panel (July 2000)
paid any attention to the Commissioner's Blue Ribbon Panel
Will baseball go on strike? Impact: 2 years
The last baseball strike had an immediate impact on two seasons – 1994
and 1995. One season had no ending (which may have doomed the Montreal
Expos, the best team of 1994), and the other had no beginning (which helped
the Red Sox, who did well in the 1995 scramble for unsigned players).
Baseball Fans driven crazy. Impact: Indefinite
II. The Red Sox
Will the Red Sox build a new stadium this decade? Impact: 20 years
A new stadium will not be built while JRY Corp.
controls the Red Sox; John Harrington’s stadium plan failed to attract
bank financing because of the uncertainties of building in the Fenway neighborhood.
New owners may try to build in Fenway, South Boston, East Boston, or the
suburbs. Another choice is to rebuild the current Fenway Park. A third
choice is to stay with the current stadium. Baseball stadiums are traditionally
built in waves, having to do with economic climate and architectural innovations.
The current wave is nearing its end, as the economy turns toward recession
and some teams are learning that new ballparks won’t automatically turn
them into winners.
The stadium decision could have a large impact on the ballclub, either
way. A new stadium might make the team rich and successful (Cleveland);
the stadium might be filled with people but an economic failure (Toronto);
or the Sox might lose the loyalty of the traditionalists and tourists who
make up a large part of their live audience.
Who will buy the Red Sox? Impact: 10 years
JRY Corp’s majority interest in the Red Sox will
most likely be sold within the next year. There are currently six groups
bidding for the Red Sox. The variables here are many. New owners might
invest heavily or very little. They might prefer building a strong farm
system or they may want to sign free agents. Meddlers or laid-back? You
can never tell until they get in there.
Winners : John Henry, owner of the Florida
Marlins, Tom "Roseanne" Werner, TV Producer & Les Otten, Ski Resort
Owner. Werner, who used to own the Padres, favors renovating Fenway Park,
as does Larry Lucchino, who will be brought in to run the baseball operation.
BOSTON (BHS) In baseball's first merger in
over a hundred years, Florida Marlins owner John Henry has purchased the
Boston Red Sox. "We've decided to go with mergers instead of contraction,"
said Henry. "The new team will be called the MarSox, or possibly the Redfish.
We haven't decided yet. We're not sure what city we'll play in or which
league we'll be in. These details will all be decided by Bud... I mean,
my buddies, the other owners."
The Red Sox are valued at $700 million, while
the Marlins are valued at -$3,000. The Marlins play in a football stadium
that was named after a company that went bankrupt two years ago. "Florida
seems like the obvious choice to locate the team," said one industry insider.
"I mean it's warm, you can get a tan all year long. Plus you have jai alai
down there, and good golf courses."
John Henry made his fortune as a steel-drivin'
man. It was as a little baby, sitting on his mother's knee, that he first
got the idea that he could drive railroad spikes faster than any steam-powered
machine. His first test of this theory came in [continued on page 43]
Frank McCourt, Real Estate developer. Owns land in South Boston, wants
to build stadium there.
Charles Dolan, Cable Television mogul. Brother of Indians owner.
Aramark Corp, Concessionaire. Already a limited partner in Red Sox
Jeremy Jacobs, Concessionaire. Owns Bruins & Fleet Center.
Joseph O'Donnell, Concessionaire & Steve Karp, Real Estate Developer.
Karp was once involved with the Patriots.
Miles Prentice, New York Lawyer.
Who will be Red Sox General Manager? Impact: 3 years
There are apparently some scenarios where new owners
will buy the Red Sox and keep Dan Duquette as General Manager, either as
an interim GM or with a new contract.
Will the team be sold before the 2002 season? Impact: 2 years
If the team is not sold by early December 2001 then
winter meeting deals and free agent signings (if any) will be made by a
lame duck administration, and a new team might not take shape until 2003.
sold December 20.
Who will be Red Sox field manager? Impact: 2 years
Joe Kerrigan has two more years to go on his contract
– a “golden parachute” from Duquette. He has so far not proved himself
competent to manage a major league baseball team.