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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:30 pm 
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My contribution relative to your post, above, J_C is the following:

(1) Those of us who heard and read DK for years in the 1990's know that he HATED any reference to Pittsburgh as a small market team. He wrote several articles about how Pittsburgh was the 16th or some-such highest populated city in the nation, how it had a larger population than several cities that had successful NFL teams, etc. I can state for an absolute fact that DK vehemently disagreed with the term "small market" as applied to Pittsburgh.

(2) As to Pittsburgh vs. Milwaukee, you note that the Pirates generate MORE local television revenues than do the Brewers, and the big difference is ticket prices and fan attendance, which is directly related to the team's play. Fair enough - but the team's play and its stockpile of quality young talent is much better today than five years ago, a point you note in passing by observing that the Buccos have had good attendance the past two seasons with "mediocre" teams. So are we in agreement the team is on the right path?

As soon as the revenues reflect that fact, the payroll will increase - as evidenced by the past two seasons. Again, can we agree the team is on the right path?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
As soon as the revenues reflect that fact, the payroll will increase - as evidenced by the past two seasons. Again, can we agree the team is on the right path?


Sure, Bucfan, we can agree on that. But market size does not determine revenue, which is what sisyphus suggested in his St. Louis comparison. Market size merely puts a ceiling on revenue. And over the last 20 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have done a very poor job maximizing the revenue that is available to them in the Pittsburgh market, particularly compared to similarly-sized markets (Cleveland, Cincy, Milwaukee, etc.). On that, I believe we can agree.

Are the Pirates doing better? Yes. Can they do much better than they are now? Absolutely. The insanity of the local television deal the Pirates signed with Root Sports is more evident every day (the Padres are getting more than double what the Pirates are getting, despite playing in a smaller market that suffers far lower viewership). Why did the Pirates sign such a long deal? Hopefully, the team can renegotiate the deal and get more revenue.

My overarching point is that "market size" should not be used as an excuse for the Pirates spending less on major league payroll than the Reds or Brewers or Indians. The Pirates play in a market comparable to those played in by those teams. If properly managed, the Pirates should be able to spend as much, or more, on players than those teams do. Right?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Pittsburgh is a small market, its even mentioned in NHL and NFL discussions on the topic. So how is DK the only one right if the MLB, NHL and the NFL and all its media outlets consider Pittsburgh a small market. In baseball talk, Pittsburgh is repeatedly refered to as a small market, by everyone, just not DK.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:03 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Sisyphus -- please look up the word "strawman." It does not mean what you think it means.

"The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position."

My argument is that Pittsburgh is one of the smallest markets in MLB. You argue that other markets are of similar size. That has nothing to do with my argument. I KNOW what a strawman argument is. I've seen enough of them over the years.

J_C_Steel wrote:
You interjected yourself into this thread with the following (rather offensive) post:

sisyphus wrote:
Bullshit. There are precisely FOUR major league teams residing in markets smaller than Pittsburgh, unless I missed one. Of those four, Cincinnati and Cleveland both draw on other markets that put them far ahead of Pittsburgh. In what world is ranking 26th out of thirty in market size anything other than a small market?


Profanity aside, you attempted to make the point that Pittsburgh is a small market because it is ranked 26th out of 30 in market size.

I patiently responded by making the following salient points (none of them "strawmen"): (1) relative size is more pertinent to the debate than rankings, and (2) your rankings may not be the consensus. I provided two other ranking matrices.

My rankings come from the Census Bureau. I'll stick with that. And changing the subject to relative market size is most certainly irrelevant to my point. And I'm sorry to tell you that the relative market sizes of a few teams have no bearing on my statement that Pittsburgh is one of the smallest markets in baseball. It is. "Cincinnati is about the same size" does not change that.

J_C_Steel wrote:
You responded as follows:

sisyphus wrote:
The point that DK has always made is that Pittsburgh is not a SMALL MARKET. He's wrong. It is a small market.


Ah, so your "point" was that DK says Pittsburgh is not a small market for baseball. Interesting.

I happened to prove you wrong on this point by providing a link to an article (actual evidence!) by DK in which he acknowledges that Pittsburgh is one of the five smallest markets in Major League Baseball. Here's that link again:

http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sp ... z2JxLt9JK1

If it makes you feel better, I'll say that DK has once admitted that Pittsburgh was a small market. I've been reading him for years, and going back to his days blogging at the PG he has rarely failed to take a poster to task for calling Pittsburgh a small market.

J_C_Steel wrote:
I also made the following points to support my argument, and DK's argument, that Pittsburgh's market size is comparable to teams within its division, as well as Cleveland (again, none of them "strawmen"):

Which does not address statement at all. You can insist that this is not a strawman argument until you're blue in the face; the market sizes of St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Cleveland have nothing at all to do with what I've said. Nothing.

J_C_Steel wrote:
(1) the Pirates get excellent local television ratings, increasing its market value,

Now you change the argument to market value. If you would like to do that, why not base it on revenue? I don't think you'd care to do that, though, because the teams in the cities you name have access to various revenue sources that the Pirates don't have.

J_C_Steel wrote:
(2) Pittsburgh baseball market also extends into Ohio, down into West Virginia (Morgantown and Charleston are decent markets), and across the state into Harrisburg,

Harrisburg has a population of 49,673. Morgantown has a population of 29,660. Charleston has a population of 51,400.

Columbus has a population of 787,033. Louisville has a population of 741,096.

Harrisburg is 203 miles from Pittsburgh. Charleston is 228 miles from Pittsburgh.

Columbus is 107 miles from Cincinnati. Louisville is 99 miles from Cincinnati.

Want to tell me again how Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are similar markets? They're not similar. They're not even comparable.

J_C_Steel wrote:
and (3) given the relative similarities in population and the factors noted in points (1) and (2), Pittsburgh is in a comparable market to Cincy, St. Louis, and Milwaukee.

The last, conclusory point is not a strawman, but rather mine and DK's point ALL ALONG. Whether you describe Pittsburgh as a "small market" or not is immaterial. That's a term. That's rhetoric. And with respect to DK, it's misleading -- he acknowledges in the above-linked article that Pittsburgh is in one of the five smallest markets in MLB. Ultimately, in sports, what matters is relative market size and value, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in a baseball market of comparable size to teams in its own division that have done a far better job at creating a good baseball product (Cincy, Milwaukee, St. Louis).

Untrue. What matters is revenue. If you'd care to change the subject to revenue, I'd love to hear your arguments. They'd have to be even less credible than your comparison of Pittsburgh to Cincinnati.

J_C_Steel wrote:
Finally, you make two points at the end of your post that reveal a stunning lack of economic understanding. You say I should "tote up the revenues" and then ask "in the case of St. Louis especially, do you really want to compare their revenues with Pittsburgh's?". With these statements, you are equating market size to the ability to gather revenue.

You have that exactly wrong. I'm not equating market size to revenue. On the contrary, I'm pointing that the teams mentioned have a lot more money to spend than the Pirates, even if I conceded that their markets were similar, which they most certainly are not.

J_C_Steel wrote:
This is classic false equivocation. As anyone versed in rudimentary economics will tell you, sisyphus, market size does not determine revenue; rather, market size caps revenue.

In other words, market size sets a ceiling over which a team cannot go because of population limits. But it is up to teams to maximize their revenue within their market. That is how the Milwaukee Brewers, which reside in a market only 2/3 the size of Pittsburgh's, are able to gain enough revenue to support far higher payrolls than the Pirates. The Brewers, despite receiving less local television revenue than even the Pirates, drew more than 3 million fans in 2011 and more than 2.8 million in 2012. How? Better personnel decisions, better marketing, better team.


All true, but they also have access to revenue streams that the Pirates do not, such as parking.

J_C_Steel wrote:
The point that DK makes, and that I also make, is that the Pirates are doing a lousy job of maximizing the revenue within their market.

The point that I have been making is that the Pirates reside in one of the smallest markets in MLB. I know you don't want to argue about that, but it's what I have been saying all along.

J_C_Steel wrote:
The market itself, while in the bottom tier of baseball, is comparable to the markets for teams in its division that have tasted significant success. And the last two seasons have proven that Pittsburgh, as a sports crazy town, would put "butts in seats" for even a mediocre team. I want to see the Pirates maximize their revenue within their market and rise to the level of their division competitors.

I hope you enjoyed this economic lesson. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

I hope you enjoyed my English lesson, and will henceforth recognize a strawman argument when you use one.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:45 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
My argument is that Pittsburgh is one of the smallest markets in MLB. You argue that other markets are of similar size. That has nothing to do with my argument. I KNOW what a strawman argument is. I've seen enough of them over the years.


Your argument is a strawman. I'm NOT arguing that Pittsburgh is NOT one of the smallest markets in MLB. It is. I acknowledge that. DK acknowledges it. Hence, you've constructed a strawman against which to argue.

If the whole of your argument is that Pittsburgh is one of the smallest markets in MLB, then we agree and need not discuss it further. DK agrees as well, as I note in the column to which I provided a link. The end.

sisyphus wrote:
My rankings come from the Census Bureau. I'll stick with that. And changing the subject to relative market size is most certainly irrelevant to my point.


Your "point" is factual and not worth discussing. It's not controversial. It's not interesting. Everyone agrees.

MY point is far more interesting and actually involves robust discussion of the CONSEQUENCES of Pittsburgh existing in a smaller baseball market. That's why I presented, you know, things like "facts" and "arguments" to better explain my point.

sisyphus wrote:
And I'm sorry to tell you that the relative market sizes of a few teams have no bearing on my statement that Pittsburgh is one of the smallest markets in baseball. It is. "Cincinnati is about the same size" does not change that.


You're right. But no one is saying that Pittsburgh ISN'T one of the smallest markets in baseball. It is. You've constructed a strawman, my friend. Since you have so much experience with them, I'm sure you recognize it now.

sisyphus wrote:
If it makes you feel better, I'll say that DK has once admitted that Pittsburgh was a small market.


Whether he says it once or a hundred times doesn't matter. DK acknowledged that Pittsburgh is one of the five smallest markets in MLB. Period. So if you're still arguing with someone about how Pittsburgh is a small market in MLB, you're talking to yourself. No one is disputing that.

sisyphus wrote:
Which does not address statement at all. You can insist that this is not a strawman argument until you're blue in the face; the market sizes of St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Cleveland have nothing at all to do with what I've said. Nothing.


Right! Because your statement is bland, uninteresting, and noncontroversial. No one is arguing the opposite. So you can argue with yourself until you're blue in the face; everyone acknowledges (DK and I included) that Pittsburgh is one of the five smallest markets in MLB.

sisyphus wrote:
Want to tell me again how Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are similar markets? They're not similar. They're not even comparable.


Yes they are, and Pittsburgh is likely the stronger market. First, Columbus is not full of Reds fans. It's split amongst Reds, Indians, and, yes, even Pirates fans. So you can't wholesale include Columbus as part of Cincy's market. Second, Pittsburgh's significant corporate presence (including the headquarters of Alcoa, Heinz, Bayer (North American HQ), FreeMarkets, K&L Gates, Reed Smith, and UPMC) allows the city to receive disproportionately large corporate support for its sports teams relative to its market size. Cincinnati does not have nearly the corporate footprint that Pittsburgh does. Third, the incredible enthusiasm for watching sports on television in Pittsburgh makes it a better local television market than Cincy. So there you go.

sisyphus wrote:
Untrue. What matters is revenue. If you'd care to change the subject to revenue, I'd love to hear your arguments. They'd have to be even less credible than your comparison of Pittsburgh to Cincinnati.


Revenue depends on how well-run your organization is, and does NOT depend on market size. Period. So if the Pirates are suffering from a revenue perspective, it is NOT because of the Pittsburgh market. Period.

sisyphus wrote:
You have that exactly wrong. I'm not equating market size to revenue. On the contrary, I'm pointing that the teams mentioned have a lot more money to spend than the Pirates, even if I conceded that their markets were similar, which they most certainly are not.


Why do they have a lot more money to spend than the Pirates, sisyphus? Is it because they are better-run than the PBC? If so, then you're proving my point, which is that market size does not determine revenue and it is up to those managing teams to maximize their revenue within their market.

sisyphus wrote:
All true, but they also have access to revenue streams that the Pirates do not, such as parking.


Why is that, sisyphus? Is that because of a deal that Pirates' management made with the Pittsburgh Sports & Exhibition Authority? Is that the fault of Pittsburgh's market size? Didn't think so.

sisyphus wrote:
The point that I have been making is that the Pirates reside in one of the smallest markets in MLB. I know you don't want to argue about that, but it's what I have been saying all along.


Your "point" is pointless. A more worthy discussion may be had about how the PBC can best maximize its revenue to compete with teams in similarly-sized markets.

sisyphus wrote:
I hope you enjoyed my English lesson, and will henceforth recognize a strawman argument when you use one.


Thanks. I do recognize strawmen, including the one you constructed to argue against.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:03 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Second, the Pittsburgh baseball market also extends into Ohio, down into West Virginia (Morgantown and Charleston are decent markets), and across the state into Harrisburg.

Just in passing - having lived in the Harrisburg area for more than 25 years, I can assure you that there is little/no interest in the Pirates here. Phillies dominate, then the Nats, with the O's and Bucs behind. The fact that the Harrisburg cable company carries Root Sports has everything to do with the Penguins, and nothing whatsoever to do with the Bucs.

Carry on......


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Scrap Iron wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Second, the Pittsburgh baseball market also extends into Ohio, down into West Virginia (Morgantown and Charleston are decent markets), and across the state into Harrisburg.

Just in passing - having lived in the Harrisburg area for more than 25 years, I can assure you that there is little/no interest in the Pirates here. Phillies dominate, then the Nats, with the O's and Bucs behind. The fact that the Harrisburg cable company carries Root Sports has everything to do with the Penguins, and nothing whatsoever to do with the Bucs.

Carry on......


I've read that the ratings for Root Sports Bucs' games in the area are actually pretty good. My law school roommate hails from Mechanicsburg (home of Bret Michaels!) and claims that there are a goodly number of Pirates' fans in the area. Maybe they mostly stay indoors.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:01 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Scrap Iron wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Second, the Pittsburgh baseball market also extends into Ohio, down into West Virginia (Morgantown and Charleston are decent markets), and across the state into Harrisburg.

Just in passing - having lived in the Harrisburg area for more than 25 years, I can assure you that there is little/no interest in the Pirates here. Phillies dominate, then the Nats, with the O's and Bucs behind. The fact that the Harrisburg cable company carries Root Sports has everything to do with the Penguins, and nothing whatsoever to do with the Bucs.

Carry on......


I've read that the ratings for Root Sports Bucs' games in the area are actually pretty good. My law school roommate hails from Mechanicsburg (home of Bret Michaels!) and claims that there are a goodly number of Pirates' fans in the area. Maybe they mostly stay indoors.

We pretty much fly under the radar, for sure.....when I wear my Pirate hat I mostly draw guffaws or - worse yet - sympathy (I'm sure it has nothing to do with how I look....:) )


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:04 pm 
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Scrap Iron wrote:
We pretty much fly under the radar, for sure.....when I wear my Pirate hat I mostly draw guffaws or - worse yet - sympathy (I'm sure it has nothing to do with how I look....:) )

I'm over here in Orioles territory and I get nothing but sympathy. Well, until this year when the O's finally broke their 14 season losing streak.... Now, they're just gloating...


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:25 pm 
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I'm in Carlisle, PA (next to Mechanicsburg and 20 miles south of Harrisburg) and there are more Bucs fans than you'd think. Pleased as all hell that we get Root.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:37 pm 
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RoxyChar wrote:
I'm in Carlisle, PA (next to Mechanicsburg and 20 miles south of Harrisburg) and there are more Bucs fans than you'd think. Pleased as all hell that we get Root.

Not sayin' there aren't a good number of Buc fans here - there are. My only point is that I think it would be a stretch to consider the Harrisburg area part of the Pittsburgh market (though I suppose one could say that since Root is here, it technically is - but that would truly be a technicality).


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 Post subject: Re: I'm curious
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:48 pm 
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Scrap Iron wrote:
RoxyChar wrote:
I'm in Carlisle, PA (next to Mechanicsburg and 20 miles south of Harrisburg) and there are more Bucs fans than you'd think. Pleased as all hell that we get Root.

Not sayin' there aren't a good number of Buc fans here - there are. My only point is that I think it would be a stretch to consider the Harrisburg area part of the Pittsburgh market (though I suppose one could say that since Root is here, it technically is - but that would truly be a technicality).


Heck, I am even farther away (Scranton) and we are in the Pirates TV market.

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