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 Post subject: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:22 am 
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Hello all.

From time to time, I come on here and start the salary cap discussion. Should MLB have one? Does it NEED one? Since the Yankees had their nice Teixera, Sabathia, Burnett binge, I have seen the topic come up a lot lately--some owners (Milwaukee's---can't remember the guy's name) and writers have been mentioning it. I have always been of the mindset that Major League Baseball would probably be a little better off with a salary cap, but it does fine without one. So, I am going to mention a few points just to see what everyone thinks:

1.) I love when people say "Look at football then look at baseball and tell me baseball doesn't need a salary cap. Look at the different teams that win every year in football then look at how the same 2 teams win every year in baseball."

Is that true? I see competitive balance as fairly equal between both the NFL and MLB. Living in Pittsburgh with the abysmal Pirates, it is easy for us to miss the fact that most years, going into the season, the vast majority of fans have reason believe their team can do well that year. In the last 9 World Series, we have seen 8 different champs. If we go back to 1998, 10 different teams have claimed the 11 National League Pennants in that time. Among the teams that haven't won the pennant-the big spending Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Most of football's success comes from its unbelievable tv contract--which stems from a few built in advantages such as a short schedule where 100% of games can be carried on national tv, thus fairly spreading all revenue equally to the 32 teams.

2.) But the small market teams can't keep their stars. Yes, that is true. Small market teams do have a hard time keeping their star players. But people often see too much of a connection between star players and winning. Just look at the Yankees. The Scott Broscius (sp?), Paul O'Neill, Bernie Williams Yankees were a multi-championship team. When those guys retired they replaced them with high priced guys like A-Rod, Giambi and Matsui. Sure they won a lot of games, but it never added to much. Yeah, those recent Yankee teams made some runs--and lost to well rounded teams like the Grady Sizemore-led Indians, the Verlander-led Tigers and this years Tampa Bay Rays. Teams that didn't have all-stars at every position.

I am not saying that I like seeing all the superstars go to a handful of teams. But, it seems like just as many homegrown teams with one or two stars are competing in October as the teams that spend spend spend. The Detroit Tigers are the perfect example. The 2006 team came out of nowhere (with a few big stars, I admit) and won the A.L. Pennant. The 2007 team added payroll and missed the playoffs. The 2008 team was one of the top 2 or 3 payroll teams in the league, and had one of the worst win-loss records.

3.) MOST IMPORTANT- I am not arguing against the salary cap at all. But, I feel I have made a strong enough argument for why the game is perfectly healthy as it is. The reason I am saying this is because when people talk about implementing a salary cap, they seem to think it is as easy as "as soon as the owners get off their lazy butts, this thing will be done."

Well, it isn't that simple. Do people not understand that what stands between the current system and a salary cap is the most powerful union in the country? Donald Fehr will never allow it. Whoever his eventual successor is will never allow it. And the black-eye of the 1994 strike proved that MLB can't afford to miss a season the way the NHL did a few years back. Sure, the owners could stand up to the union, but nobody would be there when they game returned. The NHL's small but intense fan base knew the league had real problems and was willing to give them a lockout to fix the problems. I know I didn't stay away from the NHL when it came back. But MLB, with its larger, more broad fan base will not receive that same treatment.


To sum up, I feel the benefits of a salary cap would be outweighed by the huge cost to get one. Baseball, flaws and all is fine as it is.




But, as Dennis Miller used to say "That's just my opinion, I could be wrong."


What do you all think?

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2008 World Series. Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia. I am so sick of seeing the same teams succeed in baseball every year!

Formerly "The_Tracy_Turnaround"


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:53 am 
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It would be nice to see a salary cap in baseball but without a workstoppage first i don't really see it happening anytime soon just because of how much it would hurt the game.The teams that are the highest salary teams right now would be the most affected by it.I just don't think the game is stable enough to see the big market teams go through what would be nothing short of a depression because of the costs that they would have to cut.
Being a fan of the Pirates it would be a dream to me to see this happen but i don't think baseball is concerned with fans in areas like Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Miami, and other small market areas enough to hurt their big market businesses like both New York teams , Boston , and chicago.
One of those teams draws as many fans and rating as all three of the teams i named combined.


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:19 pm 
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For a second forget about the unlevel playing field created by these fifthy rich teams.
Does anyone share the concern for fans being able to see the stars play in person? When the Pirates finally got the Yankees in Pittsburgh last year, they sold out very early. Why? Not because we thought the Pirates could beat them, but because the A-Rod, Jeter, and company were going to be playing here. There certainly is something to be said for seeing the greatest players of today play. Since they are primarily in the AL, small market NL fans are not only deprived of winning games but also seeing the best.

Ask a young kid if he wants to see the Pirates or see A-Rod. There will be no question. No salary cap, no spreading the wealth, no young fans and soon no game. Even the Yankees should understand that concept.

Defend it all you want, the game is dying. A solution must come soon to save baseball from itself.

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2011 Will Be Our Year -- well make that 2012 (just saying) So it looks like 2013 now - how long must this go on!
THIS IS IT-- NO MORE STREAK!!! *** Finally*** Time to win it in 2014


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:39 pm 
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No, that's where you're wrong. The game isn't dying, Major League Baseball is dying. The small independent leagues like the Atlantic League, Frontier League, American Association, etc are doing just fine.

Yes, Major League Baseball has plenty of problems. They're starting to have the same problem soccer in America is having. Kids play the game when they're 12, but when they're 32 they're watching the NFL and the NBA. Baseball has become a game that's more fun to play than to watch. That has nothing to do with the salary cap.

Besides, when you really start talking about a salary cap, it has to be a two way discussion between the players and the owners. Both sides have to take an interest in the future of their business. Going back to the auto industry failure, labor has become so powerful there that they've helped to created some very messy financial problems that the industry has to dig out from under before they can move forward. In baseball, the Player's Union has become to powerful that they can leverage the owners. All of the owners could some out tomorrow and announce they've decided to put a salary cap in the next CBA, but they'd be countered by the threat of a strike by the Player's Union. The union knows that nobody is going to PNC Park, Dodger Stadium, or Camden Yards to watch replacement players, especially at the prices teams charge to see the games.

No, it's going to take something major to wake up the sport. The Marlins folding is an example. A team has to announce that it can't make payroll and it will have to fold. Once those 25 Major League jobs and countless minor league jobs get cut from the books, the players will understand what's at stake and will agree to something.


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:57 pm 
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How exactly is Major League Baseball dying? The game set attendance records in 2006 and 2007, with over 76,000,000 people attending its games. In 2008, it didn't top the record, but 24 teams averaged over 25,000 per game despite a weak economy (I do expect attendance to drop this year because of the economy). Go to a game in a "small market" city like Cleveland and tell me those fans think they can't compete. I think the fact that the Yankees are spending this money during a huge recession is part of why this talk has come up again. Sure, they hate the money-grubbing Yankees, but they buy tickets knowing they have a chance to see a winner.

As for being able to keep star players, don't tell me the Pirates can't afford theirs. People always talk about Barry Bonds. First, that was 14 years ago. Second, what home grown stars have the Pirates seen go in free agency in recent years? The answer--nobody, because they haven't produced any real talent in the last 14 years. And when they finally get good players who want to play here (Bay and Nady) they trade them for peanuts.

Sure kids want to see stars, but they would return in droves if the Pirates were to build a winner around one or two good players, which any team could afford to do. Again, I go back to Cleveland. I went to a game there in 2006 and what did I see? I didn't see Jeter or Big Papi jerseys, I saw thousands of little kids in Sizemore and Hafner jerseys. Those guys aren't world famous superstars, but the kids in their city love them because they help their team win.

I still go back to my original point. Is it worth the damage it would take (losing an entire season or more) to implement a salary cap? My opinion is "no."

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2008 World Series. Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia. I am so sick of seeing the same teams succeed in baseball every year!

Formerly "The_Tracy_Turnaround"


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:59 pm 
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Not only is baseball not dying, but the current system is set up exactly the way MLB wants it, the playing field tilted towards the big market, high profile teams. The last thing MLB wants is a dominant Pirates or KC team, and its certainly the last thing Fox or ESPN wants. As the more successful franchises go, so goes the industry, which stinks if youre a Bucs or KC or Marlins fan. But all the teams are making their money, those teams are run by businessmen not fans, so the reality of a Cap is right up there with "do you think we'll be able to sign Pujols when hes a free agent"?


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:24 pm 
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The Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Dodgers, etc will always be on TV no matter what their record is. More people will tune in to a Red Sox/Yankees game to decide third place in the AL East than will tune it for a Reds/Pirates tilt that decides first place in the NL Central. You know it as well as I do, the relative success of the big market teams doesn't matter to TV execs who's own fortunes have been less than rosy in the last few years.

Those attendance marks you cite are certainly great for sellouts in Boston and Chicago, but don't look as good when there are 4000 people in PNC for a Wednesday night game versus the Nationals.

Instead of talking about inflated attendance numbers, let's talk about TV ratings. Or maybe we shouldn't since the TV ratings paint a totally different picture than the inflated attendance numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:15 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:

Those attendance marks you cite are certainly great for sellouts in Boston and Chicago, but don't look as good when there are 4000 people in PNC for a Wednesday night game versus the Nationals.



Yes, but 24 teams drew over 2 million in '08. Are there 24 teams in Boston, NY, Chicago and LA? If the Pirates want to draw more fans, the Pirates need to do something about it.

_________________
2008 World Series. Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia. I am so sick of seeing the same teams succeed in baseball every year!

Formerly "The_Tracy_Turnaround"


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:29 pm 
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Welfare_Fraud wrote:
Jeremy wrote:

Those attendance marks you cite are certainly great for sellouts in Boston and Chicago, but don't look as good when there are 4000 people in PNC for a Wednesday night game versus the Nationals.



Yes, but 24 teams drew over 2 million in '08. Are there 24 teams in Boston, NY, Chicago and LA? If the Pirates want to draw more fans, the Pirates need to do something about it.


The Devil Rays were one of baseball's best teams, yet they had one of the worst attendance numbers.

Besides, attendance means nothing if the TV ratings keep sucking. But it's easier to ignore facts that don't fit with your theory than to address the fact that baseball is losing fans.


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:16 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
The Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Dodgers, etc will always be on TV no matter what their record is. More people will tune in to a Red Sox/Yankees game to decide third place in the AL East than will tune it for a Reds/Pirates tilt that decides first place in the NL Central.


And thats the point. At some point in the season, even Fox and ESPN will have to cover the smaller market teams doing well, and thats their ratings killing nightmare. And thats why they are perfectly content to leave the current system in place.


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:04 pm 
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Kingston wrote:
Jeremy wrote:
The Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Dodgers, etc will always be on TV no matter what their record is. More people will tune in to a Red Sox/Yankees game to decide third place in the AL East than will tune it for a Reds/Pirates tilt that decides first place in the NL Central.


And thats the point. At some point in the season, even Fox and ESPN will have to cover the smaller market teams doing well, and thats their ratings killing nightmare. And thats why they are perfectly content to leave the current system in place.



What are the four biggest baseball towns in the United States? New York, LA, Boston, and Chicago. That's why the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, etc are always on TV, because they have the biggest fan bases. It's not hard math. The Steelers are on TV all the time because they have a huge fan base, same thing with Green Bay.

Teams get on TV because people want to watch them, not because of some vast network conspiracy. Although I will grant you that ESPN and Fox are bad for the sport. I wish they had gone with Versus.


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:44 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
Kingston wrote:
Jeremy wrote:
The Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Dodgers, etc will always be on TV no matter what their record is. More people will tune in to a Red Sox/Yankees game to decide third place in the AL East than will tune it for a Reds/Pirates tilt that decides first place in the NL Central.


And thats the point. At some point in the season, even Fox and ESPN will have to cover the smaller market teams doing well, and thats their ratings killing nightmare. And thats why they are perfectly content to leave the current system in place.



What are the four biggest baseball towns in the United States? New York, LA, Boston, and Chicago. That's why the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, etc are always on TV, because they have the biggest fan bases. It's not hard math. The Steelers are on TV all the time because they have a huge fan base, same thing with Green Bay.

Teams get on TV because people want to watch them, not because of some vast network conspiracy. Although I will grant you that ESPN and Fox are bad for the sport. I wish they had gone with Versus.


Well, I wouldnt call it a network conspiracy as much as a clear preference which leads to an unwillingness for change. Again, we share the point that no one wants to watch the small market teams, so if thats what the networks are stuck with come playoff time its a ratings dropoff and financial disappointment.


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:59 pm 
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Again, I'm torn on the small market teams point because you can look at the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packer which are small markets but are usually two of the biggest brands in the NFL.

But they accomplished that with winning. At the end of the day, teams build fan bases with winning. If the D Rays win two or three more seasons, they'll have an underground fan base like the Boston Dirt Dogs or Dodgers Blue.


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:21 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
Again, I'm torn on the small market teams point because you can look at the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packer which are small markets but are usually two of the biggest brands in the NFL.

But they accomplished that with winning. At the end of the day, teams build fan bases with winning. If the D Rays win two or three more seasons, they'll have an underground fan base like the Boston Dirt Dogs or Dodgers Blue.


Id say the Steelers and Packers are more than just successful franchises. They are icons of football, if you can attribute that characterization to an organization. Its gonna take the Rays more than a few successful seasons to achieve that sort of status, and no amount of success guarantees it, that romantic attachment between a country and a team. I dont know why baseball doesnt have its own version of the Packers, they just dont. Not the Cards or Reds. Perhaps its because the fan base is smart enough to understand that, unlike in football, the economics of the game make rooting for these teams a fools errand in the long run.

Y'know, what Im saying about the networks, this is something that is openly talked about. Laughed about. And its always linked to the NBA revival when the Lakers kept playing the Celts. Nothing sends shivers down a networks spine like the idea of a small market post season. So why would they encourage change?


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:42 am 
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Teams that win have larger fan bases who wants to go out of their way to become a fan of a team that hasnt had a winning season in 15 years?

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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:37 pm 
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Argue forever about stats for attendance or TV ratings. To understand how bad baseball has become go to your local pub. It's at these watering holes that you can clearly see the direction of baseball in America.

At mine almost no one wants to watch the Pirates (maybe10%) are willing to glance at the TV while a game is on. Almost everyone knows that the Yankees and Sox have all the stars and have taken the fun out of it for fans. My guess is that outside those few cities, a very small and increasingly small number of people care.

I have six siblings and they and their kids, some of whom have their own kids, show no interest at all in baseball, while they all like football, pro and college, and many follow hockey (especially the younger ones). I have one nephew who like me is a pirate fan out of at least 20 others.

There is the best measure of the future of baseball. Almost no one cares anymore. Blame it on losing, or anything else you want. The simple truth is that the game is too slow and most teams don't have an equal chance of winning. Not so true in other sports.

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2011 Will Be Our Year -- well make that 2012 (just saying) So it looks like 2013 now - how long must this go on!
THIS IS IT-- NO MORE STREAK!!! *** Finally*** Time to win it in 2014


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:12 pm 
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Football is such a stupid sport. There's zero thinking involved in it. The players simply do what they're told to do. It's gotten so bad in college football that players look over to the sidelines before the snap to see what play their coaches want to run.

The only two teams I can stand to watch are the Steelers and Colts. I watch the Steelers because they're my childhood favorite and watch the Colts because Peyton Manning is the smartest player in all of football.

The worst is college football. College football fans might be the dumbest people in all of sports.


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:10 am 
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Substitute2 wrote:
Argue forever about stats for attendance or TV ratings. To understand how bad baseball has become go to your local pub. It's at these watering holes that you can clearly see the direction of baseball in America.

At mine almost no one wants to watch the Pirates (maybe10%) are willing to glance at the TV while a game is on. Almost everyone knows that the Yankees and Sox have all the stars and have taken the fun out of it for fans. My guess is that outside those few cities, a very small and increasingly small number of people care.
.


Since people at the watering holes in Pittsburgh (a city with a terrible baseball team) don't want to watch baseball the sport has become bad as a whole? Huh?

In the past 3 years, I have been to games in Detroit, Philly and Cleveland and I can tell you, the atmosphere at those ballparks was electric. I would compare the experience of those games closer to a Steelers or Pens game than that of a Pirate game. People in other cities care deeply about their baseball teams.

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2008 World Series. Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia. I am so sick of seeing the same teams succeed in baseball every year!

Formerly "The_Tracy_Turnaround"


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:37 am 
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Welfare_Fraud wrote:
Substitute2 wrote:
Argue forever about stats for attendance or TV ratings. To understand how bad baseball has become go to your local pub. It's at these watering holes that you can clearly see the direction of baseball in America.

At mine almost no one wants to watch the Pirates (maybe10%) are willing to glance at the TV while a game is on. Almost everyone knows that the Yankees and Sox have all the stars and have taken the fun out of it for fans. My guess is that outside those few cities, a very small and increasingly small number of people care.
.


Since people at the watering holes in Pittsburgh (a city with a terrible baseball team) don't want to watch baseball the sport has become bad as a whole? Huh?

In the past 3 years, I have been to games in Detroit, Philly and Cleveland and I can tell you, the atmosphere at those ballparks was electric. I would compare the experience of those games closer to a Steelers or Pens game than that of a Pirate game. People in other cities care deeply about their baseball teams.


well ive been to both cleveland and pittsburgh and its not that the fans that attend the games don't care its the people that don't bother to attend cause we can't win that affects this arguement.
I went to all the games in the yankees series last year and it was amazing cause there was something to care about.It was better than any Indians game ive ever attended


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 Post subject: Re: If I may, I'd like to start the salary cap discussion again.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:22 am 
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So the basis of the argument is that games are better when the team is better.

We all know that Pittsburgh is a pro town through and through. The fans are better educated and understand more about their sport. That means that they embrace winners. If the Pirates are winning and are a factor in the NL Central or Wild Card race, then the fans will come out.


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