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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:25 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Willton wrote:
Why is that bad? If $2.2M is the going rate for Duke's services, in that $2.2M is the value that Duke provides a team, why is it wrong to pay him that?

I think Sub's point is that even though the going rate is $2.2 million, Duke does not provide that value in return for the salary.

It is akin to housing prices between 2000 and 2005. Those prices increased ridiculously, so that the "market value" for a 2-bedroom, 2-bath was $500,000. Okay ... that was the price, but the actual value was waaaaay below that. Once the market corrected, a lot of property owners were stuck with a $450,000 mortgage on a property worth $300,000.

The same is true with Duke, if he continues to go 5-14 with an ERA above 4.75. He may have a "market value" of $2.2 million, due to arbitration and the salaries paid to better pitchers, but that type of performance can be replaced by a guy picked up off the scrap heap for the minimum.

Well if that's the case, then the Pirates do not have to pay Duke anything and can non-tender him if they so choose. Nobody is forcing the Pirates to pay Duke $2.2M; they are doing so willingly to attain his services. If the Pirates are overpaying Duke and not receiving enough value in return, that is not the fault of the market; that is the fault of the Pirates. I would hope that a Major League Baseball organization would be a little bit more sophisticated than the people who got caught up in the housing bubble after it burst.

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:06 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Well if that's the case, then the Pirates do not have to pay Duke anything and can non-tender him if they so choose.

Uhhh, true, but what does that have to do with Duke's true worth?

Willton wrote:
I would hope that a Major League Baseball organization would be a little bit more sophisticated than the people who got caught up in the housing bubble after it burst.

The Pirates are in no better position for negotiating a better deal than were people looking for a home at the top of the market. Both were forced to pay more than the actual value for the asset, due to market conditions. But that does not demonstrate that the asset had a value equal to or greater than the market price; it merely shows that the market price is elevated beyond the asset's value, and that anybody who wants to acquire the asset will be forced to pay greater than value for the asset.

The situation that the Pirates face is the following: They need to have enough starting pitchers on the roster to accommodate 162 games, doubleheaders, injuries, poor performance, etc. To do that, they will have to overpay for the 5th and 6th starters - the value imparted by those players is below their market price.

But the Pirates - and other teams - really have little or no choice, apart from pitching a guy who is not good enough to win the job without considering contract price.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:17 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Bucfan wrote:
Willton wrote:
Why is that bad? If $2.2M is the going rate for Duke's services, in that $2.2M is the value that Duke provides a team, why is it wrong to pay him that?

I think Sub's point is that even though the going rate is $2.2 million, Duke does not provide that value in return for the salary.

It is akin to housing prices between 2000 and 2005. Those prices increased ridiculously, so that the "market value" for a 2-bedroom, 2-bath was $500,000. Okay ... that was the price, but the actual value was waaaaay below that. Once the market corrected, a lot of property owners were stuck with a $450,000 mortgage on a property worth $300,000.

The same is true with Duke, if he continues to go 5-14 with an ERA above 4.75. He may have a "market value" of $2.2 million, due to arbitration and the salaries paid to better pitchers, but that type of performance can be replaced by a guy picked up off the scrap heap for the minimum.

Well if that's the case, then the Pirates do not have to pay Duke anything and can non-tender him if they so choose. Nobody is forcing the Pirates to pay Duke $2.2M; they are doing so willingly to attain his services. If the Pirates are overpaying Duke and not receiving enough value in return, that is not the fault of the market; that is the fault of the Pirates. I would hope that a Major League Baseball organization would be a little bit more sophisticated than the people who got caught up in the housing bubble after it burst.


It most certainly is the fault of the market. The market has dictated that a large percentage of teams can't even entertain the possibility of signing the top free agents. Then you see teams like the Pirates spending the money they do have on guys like Duke or middle relievers. I disagree that you could replace Duke with something off the scrap heap. Mainly because he had that one really good year and as an owner, GM, manager you are hoping he can find that again. You could definitely get someone to go 5-14 with a 4.80 ERA but you would expect that out of them. With Duke you know there is/was more there. And so you say, well 2.2 mill is worth the gamble. But the fact is the salary scale in MLB is OUT OF CONTROL. It may be the going rate, and it may be the team's choice, but it shouldn't be a 2 million dollar choice. That is my point.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:21 pm 
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estrago wrote:
The owners have always been at fault. They could break the players and their union...but every time they have had a chance to do so, the owners have caved in.


Agreed. And it is especially disturbing to see the small market owners shrivel up and whimper away without a fight. The owners could take control of the game and get it back to a good place for everyone but they are afraid of losing it in the process.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:23 pm 
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I wonder if theyre talking about baseball over on any Real Estate message boards.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:33 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
It most certainly is the fault of the market. The market has dictated that a large percentage of teams can't even entertain the possibility of signing the top free agents. Then you see teams like the Pirates spending the money they do have on guys like Duke or middle relievers. I disagree that you could replace Duke with something off the scrap heap.

My point was that 5-14 with a 4.82 ERA is garbage-heap productivity. But Duke has the ability to produce better results. He can pitch 200 innings, and put together an ERA below 4.50.

That is better than a guy off the junk heap. However, if he throws like he did in 2007, or the second half of 2008 (1-8 with an ERA of 5.42 after the All-Star break), then he is not worth keeping on the roster. Seriously, a retread would be better than that.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Kingston wrote:
I wonder if theyre talking about baseball over on any Real Estate message boards.


Probably. Heaven knows, there is no good news in the real estate market ...


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:46 pm 
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You people are much better at expressing my thoughts then I am. Wilton, I don't want to leave you with the impression that the Pirate management did anything wrong in Zack's case. I was simply stating my thoughts that the whole salary structure is as others have said just out of control.

I want him on the staff and would be disappointed if they had just released him. I agree with the argument that the owners need to change the whole system so that we can compete. Failing that, we are doing exactly the correct thing in this building program. That doesn't preclude making the argument to iomprove the league, does it?

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:49 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Kingston wrote:
I wonder if theyre talking about baseball over on any Real Estate message boards.


Probably. Heaven knows, there is no good news in the real estate market ...


Huntington claims to have a plan for this, too.

He asks for patience, says hes going to stick to new, inexpensive housing, and refuses to appease the base by going after expensive properties or aging foreclosures.

Personally, I think hes having a nervous breakdown.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Kingston wrote:
I wonder if theyre talking about baseball over on any Real Estate message boards.


Probably. Heaven knows, there is no good news in the real estate market ...


That depends on which side of the supply/demand side you are on. It is a great time to be a buyer....prices and interest rates are very very low.

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:50 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
It most certainly is the fault of the market. The market has dictated that a large percentage of teams can't even entertain the possibility of signing the top free agents. Then you see teams like the Pirates spending the money they do have on guys like Duke or middle relievers. I disagree that you could replace Duke with something off the scrap heap.

My point was that 5-14 with a 4.82 ERA is garbage-heap productivity. But Duke has the ability to produce better results. He can pitch 200 innings, and put together an ERA below 4.50.

That is better than a guy off the junk heap. However, if he throws like he did in 2007, or the second half of 2008 (1-8 with an ERA of 5.42 after the All-Star break), then he is not worth keeping on the roster. Seriously, a retread would be better than that.


I completely agree on Duke. I think his days may be numbered. It certainly looks like he was just a flash in the pan that first year. With each passing year it looks like he isn't going to "find it" again, even though Jim Tracy said if you do it once you can do it. Hard to believe anything that guy said could be wrong! :shock:

However....have you seen the scrap heap lately??? Maybe we shop at different heaps, but the guys I'm thinking of can't get guys out AT ALL. For some reason I have a picture of Byung Yung Kim in my mind....


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:38 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Probably. Heaven knows, there is no good news in the real estate market ...


Yes there is. Pittsburgh. Seriously Bf.

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:51 am 
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So let me ask those who think the salary structure is out of control a question...

Let's say player salaries are slashed to whatever it is you think is an appropriate value (which, actually, I'd like to know what you think a "fair" going rate for a #5 starter should be, just to know how far out of line you think things are). But for the sake of argument, I'll say $1 mil. Will you sleep better at night knowing that Bob Nutting has an extra $1.2 mil in his pocket instead of Zach Duke? Presumably, he'd have a lot more because salaries across the board are cut and you would be able to field a competitive team for a lot less. I'd rather the players benefit financially from the success of major league baseball than the owners benefit even more than they already do.

Or, do you think that the owners would choose to lower ticket prices, etc? I sure don't.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:28 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
However....have you seen the scrap heap lately??? Maybe we shop at different heaps, but the guys I'm thinking of can't get guys out AT ALL. For some reason I have a picture of Byung Yung Kim in my mind....


I was thinking of players like Ryan Dempster and Todd Ritchie.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:21 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
However....have you seen the scrap heap lately??? Maybe we shop at different heaps, but the guys I'm thinking of can't get guys out AT ALL. For some reason I have a picture of Byung Yung Kim in my mind....


I was thinking of players like Ryan Dempster and Todd Ritchie.


Dempster was an All Star last year right? He is hardly on the scrap heap. Now Todd Ritchie, he was definitely a diamond in the rough. And I'm not denying you can't find a guy like that on the heap. But for every Ritchie out there I'm willing to bet there are 2 or 3 Kim's....


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:23 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
Dempster was an All Star last year right? He is hardly on the scrap heap....

He was at one point.

November 4, 2003: Released by the Cincinnati Reds.

January 21, 2004: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/dempsry01.shtml


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:45 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
Dempster was an All Star last year right? He is hardly on the scrap heap....

He was at one point.

November 4, 2003: Released by the Cincinnati Reds.

January 21, 2004: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/dempsry01.shtml


Yea, I knew that. Wasn't thinking. And as I said you can definitely find diamonds in the rough out there. Although I think it is much harder to do these days.


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:53 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
Bucfan wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
Dempster was an All Star last year right? He is hardly on the scrap heap....

He was at one point.

November 4, 2003: Released by the Cincinnati Reds.

January 21, 2004: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/dempsry01.shtml


Yea, I knew that. Wasn't thinking. And as I said you can definitely find diamonds in the rough out there. Although I think it is much harder to do these days.


Harder, still, to get them to come to Pittsburgh once you think you may have found one (D Cabrera)


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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:49 am 
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Piratefan13 wrote:
There is a faction that whines about Nutting not paying for players... so why are 4 of our core guys locked up with quality deals?

The same faction would be whining if the four core guys weren't locked up. They whine because the Pirates are rebuilding, and they'd be whining if the Pirates had failed to rebuild.

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 Post subject: Re: Salaries
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:54 am 
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PirateParrot wrote:
Don't want to speak for Sub here, but I think this is a perfect indication of how out of control the system(contracts) is now. Not just Duke, but in general.

You can roll out whatever stats you guys want. We all know that it is pretty accurate to state that Duke was terrible in a third of his starts last year. And yes, I know that so are most #5 starters in the league. Which is why I think the point is that maybe not Duke himself, but ALL the guys like him are getting paid way to much.

BBF, I get your point that in the current system his pay is normal. But God, where else can you be below average(well below in some cases) and earn 2.2 million dollars and get that kind of pay increase?

I would love to see how these guys would have dealt with the old, old, old days when most guys were on one year deals and got paid the next year based on the previous year...

You have a bit of a false premise there. Duke IS a below average major league pitcher, absolutely. But you forget that even the very worst major league pitcher is better than 99.9% of the world. He's one of the 300 best at what he does in the entire world. You can't just grab a guy off the street to replace him, like you can at McDonald's.

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