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Smell-A-Vision Replaces Television In one
2002-07-17 16:26
by Mike Carminati

Smell-A-Vision Replaces Television

In one of the more ridiculous headlines that I have had the pleasure to read,-Astros owner says he'll quit if inequities aren't resolved- Astos owner Drayton McLane professes his intention to quit baseball if the competitive balance inequities are not fixed by the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

I have clearly said that there has to be a solution when we sign the new agreement -- whether it's signed in two months or two years. There has to be a new system. Otherwise, there's no point in me staying in.

McLane seems confused as to who is in his division: "Here we are trying to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves, and all those teams have payrolls of $90 million or better." I guess he has to use other NL teams to make his point because if the teams in his division are used, according to ESPN their salaries are not far afield of the Astros:

Cubs $75,690,833 (ranked 12th in MLB)
Cardinals $74,098,267 (13)
Astros $63,448,417 (14)
Brewers $50,287,833 (21)
Reds $45,050,390 (23)
Pirates $42,323,598 (24)

The Astros are ranked 14th in baseball about $4 million dollars below the major-league average ($67,445,549.80). They have a larger team salary than the Reds who are ahead of them and almost as large as division-leading St. Louis. They overspent ($7.67 million) on the ever-average Shane Reynolds, are overpaying ($5.5M) for one-year wonder Richard Hidalgo, are paying $6.15 million for two journeyman catchers, and are paying a million each to Orlando Merced, Brian L. Hunter, and T.J. Mathews to sit on their bench.

Currently, the Astos trail nine teams in the NL. Of those nine teams, three (Expos, Marlins, and Reds) have lower salaries. The Astros can be angry to certain degree because they have spent more money per win ($1,442,009.48, 8th in the league) then the league average ($1,409,994.03), but not much more and it is due to the poor decisions that they have made. For comparison, the Expos, Reds, Marlins, and Pirates are all under $1 million per win. On the flip side of the coin, The Mets are paying over $2 million per win and the Cubs are close on their tail.

I guess money has gotten tighter without the choice Enron stadium-naming deal. There was one other note of interest:

McLane's message is one he's hearing from a lot of owners, baseball commissioner Bud Selig said.

I thought that the owners were not allowed to discuss these issues even amonsgt themselves. I guess speaking to uncle Bud is OK. Selig's only reaction to McLane's statements was one of sympathy instead of anger at breaking the gag rule. It makes one ponder. Maybe not.

It seems that we are going to get these daily doom-and-gloom sessions until the end of the season or there is a strike, at which point we'll get them hourly.

. . .

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