Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baseball Ethics

Over at Northsidebaseball.com, a Cubs fan started a thread called "Burying the Brewers." He states:

With the Brewers operating at a loss this season monetarily, we have an interesting opportunity to bury this franchise for years to come if we can dominate them in the next season. My understanding is that the Brewers are about 10m in the hole without playoff revenue. In Sabathia, Sheets, and Gagne, they have about 25 mil coming off the books. However, 10m to pay off this years shortfall plus another 10m off to return to a financially feasible payroll gives you a Brewers roster with ~5m to play with and Yovanni Gallardo instead of Sheets and Sabathia. This ignores the talk about picking up Cameron's option, as well. If we can hammer the Brew Crew from the playoffs this season, we may completely remove them from competitive consideration for several years to come. Its worth it to play 110% against them, isn't it?We will have an easier time making the postseason in the future if we can fight only the cards instead of both teams each year. Would you start all your horses to try and kill them off?

I'm not sure if he's completely right on his numbers, but it raises some interesting questions. Obviously, I see nothing wrong with the Cubs bringing out all of their big guns on us when they come up to Miller Park this weekend. But what if they forfeited, or "took a dive" in their series against the Mets? Is there anything preventing them from doing so? It wouldn't be for gambling reasons like the Black Sox, but it would be for financial reasons, as the poster notes. What do you guys think?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a scary thing to think about. They already have the playoffs and home field advantage clinched. Their final two series are against the two teams fighting for the wild card. They can basically pick their play-off oponent if they want, or hit a division rival financially.

E.S.K. said...

It's interesting, but how does the poster plan on getting the Cubs to exert 110% of their effort? Wouldn't that leave them, quite literally, dead come playoffs?

DannyNoonan said...

I agree on that. And that fact can keep that end of the equation under control. But why not exert 1% effort against the Mets? if the Cubs drop the next 3 to the Mets, we're out and they're in the same position they were before.

DannyNoonan said...

We'd lose playoff revenue and potentially be a weaker team for it next year.

PaulNoonan said...

That's the problem. The Cubs really have to hold back at least 2 of their best pitchers to be playoff ready, so there's only so much they can do. And as long as their best players play against the Mets, I think they'll play hard. Baseball players are a habitual, superstitious lot. I suspect that playing bad on purpose would get into a few of their heads, or at least, the worry of it would get into their heads.

Plus, there are some probably bad assumptions in here. Can the Brewers only operate at a loss for one season? I doubt it. Are they doomed with a lower payroll? I doubt that too. It's not like we've got nothing in the minors. Our weakest postions are 3rd, second, and Catcher, and we actually do have some propsect thatmay improve those positions.

Plus anything that would increase the Cubs chances of an early playoff exit would hurt their bottom line more.

Tracker said...

Branyan. Yes. We are saved.

PaulNoonan said...

Where is this wonderful Branyan news?

PaulNoonan said...

Ah, from the JS Mailbag with Tom and Anthony:

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=797643


Q: Diego of West Allis - A lot of people want to know...how did Branyan fare this weekend in the games he played in AZ? Will he be available for play this week? His bat would be a welcome addition to the (injury depleted) arsenal.

A: Brewers Mailbag - We won't know until Tuesday. I'm guessing Branyan will rejoin the team and be activated, at least to pinch-hit, unless he had a physical setback after playing.

Rod said...

The assumption is faulty to begin with, they are assuming that the Brewers didn't make money in the previous seasons when they had much lower payroll and better than expected attendance and didn't make a decision to lose money this year to take a shot at the playoffs. Additionally it assumes that the Brewers don't have a way of increasing revenues which is not true since they just entered into a major marketing contract with Harley plus they are in a poor tv contract which I believe expires in 2 years. Plus my understanding is that the Brewers will break about even this year due to their attendance record.

tracker said...

9-23-08
Milwaukee Brewers
Reinstated INF Russell Branyan and RHP Yovani Gallardo from the 15-day disabled list.

I have seen it with mine own eyes.

tracker said...

game on, muthafuccckkkaaaassssss....

E.S.K. said...

Haudricourt is guessing that Gallardo might START one of the next two games.

Holy shit

PaulNoonan said...

I don't know what to think of that. And with all of the high-leverage innings sure to come over the next 6 days, I'm not sure if it's better for he AND the team to put him in the pen.

E, I e-mailed you too, but do you mind putting up the OT tonight?

PaulNoonan said...

Never mind, the deed is done.

E.S.K. said...

sorry, sitting in class yet again

E.S.K. said...

oh, and you gotta hit me on gmail.

I think we should set up Brewed Sports email accounts