Tomorrow marks the 7th anniversary of this here blog. Seven years! That’s an amazing amount of time to have nothing happen. Regardless, the blog has been a great learning experience for me, and based on the many positive emails I get, for the readers as well. Since we nothing concrete to go on, this week calls for a series of “what-if” posts. The first one was Monday’s examination of a hypothetical group buying the A’s from Lew Wolff. Today’s post is about the word I hate talking about, contraction. It’s not an idea that has legs at the moment. If the A’s and Rays continue to stagnate money-wise at their current homes, it’s something that could become a wedge issue when the next CBA negotiations come around in 2016.
If MLB were to attempt contraction, they’d run into myriad issues, from a difficult-to-break lease at Tropicana Field to MLBPA complaining about lost jobs (or at least salary) to potentially huge PR and legal muck. If MLB were to move forward on the path towards cutting down the leagues to 28 teams, it’s important to understand what the potential economic impacts are. To that end, I’ve put together a simple table showing lost direct revenues and jobs. I’ve not gone so far as to claim indirect economic loss, because I don’t know enough about the specific economic models of the various major and minor league franchises to make such a claim. Even so, you might find that the figures are staggering.
Thursday marks Day 1096 of the MLB panel counter, the three year anniversary of the “Blue Ribbon Commission” as so many of you like to call it. I had gone back into my archives to find a specific date on which Commissioner Selig may have convened the panel – no such luck. Absent such a date, I chose to line it up with the Ides of March. So there you have it. Happy Anniversary Week!