Friday, May 15, 2009

Only two things you need from Shinin's piece

Here they are:

"The most important factor, way above any other, is the team's
competitiveness on the playing field. When you don't have that, it's
difficult, no matter how good the market or the stadium, to be a
successful draw. Once [the Nationals] turn the corner in terms of
competitive strength, I see them being a very successful franchise."

Exactly.  Please go into your archives and read the same stories about the Capitals three years ago.  They were a serious candidate for contraction. Now, the #2 draw in the city.  Again, large media market + high median income= successful franchise.  And, to all those imbiciles who say baseball won't work in Washington, please pray tell where would it work better?  Portland?  Las Vegas?  Mexico City?  Where. give me a city.  Put a 100 loss team in Portland and they would earn enough at the gate to pay the clubhouse attendant.

However, summing up the Nationals' health, the magazine wrote: "The
owners of the Washington Nationals have badly botched the job thus far
of trying to successfully bring Major League Baseball to the nation's
capital for the third time. Blame the Lerner family, who bought the
team in 2006 for $450 million and dominate the ownership group.
Managing Principal Owner Theodore Lerner and the four other family
members who are principal owners furnish one of the league's lowest
payrolls despite a new, taxpayer-financed stadium."

OK, once again we have to go over the whole taxpayer financed thing again.  Did the Lerners ever have the option of building a privately financed stadium?  No.  If JKC couldn't do it then it ain't never gonna happen.

So, since the DC government realized what a massive patronage machine a stadium would be, they wanted to control the graft themselves.

I ask the Forbes writer (and all the other whiners about taxpayer financed stadiums), Do the Nats (or any other team) play their games there for free?  Does the city get rent payments?  A cut of concessions?  Taxes on parking and businesses in the area.  Metro ridership increases.  Whether it was a godd investment is a seperate matter.  (The answer is no of course since any "investment" the governemnt makes is de facto a bad decision)

Furrthermore, having a taxpayer financed stadium isn't necessarly an advantage. If you think it is, ask Jerry Moyes as he tries to get out of the terrible 30 year lease he had to sign to get his hockey rink in Phoenix.  Say right now the Nationals had a major problem with the stadium.  What leverage do they have to put their ballpark right?  None.  If the city decides to blow them off, all they can do is withhold rent.  And we already see how much that is a PR loser.

Forbes magazine reported last month that the Nationals turned the second-largest profit in baseball last year: $42.6 million.
Payroll isn't any higher this year than last.  So that 35% drop is all out of the profit.  THe Lerner's aren't dumping their own millions in . . . yet.

So, stop with all the they can't sign Strassburg stuff.

They can and will.  In fact, they can pay more than just about every other team in baseball.  Look at new Yankee Stadium.  Think they are paying for that $200m payroll with those attendence figures?  Nope.  Boston maybe but they aren't the type to take a chance like signing an unproven pitcher to a huge contact.  Matsusaka WAS proven, the Japanese leagues are about AA quality and he was dominent there. 

Boras is out to get the biggest contract he can.  And Washington is the place where that is going to happen.

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