pastillas provera precio bogota venta nimotop el salvador precio arava receta cephalexin de venta en honduras precio del dutas 10/40 precio de vasodilan en farmacias chile eulexin venta en veracruz precio del lisinopril en farmacias guadalajara venta de luvox en miami cipro venta argentina venta de dramamine en chile colchicine es de venta libre triamterene venta guayaquil venta de pastillas minocycline en madrid lamictal 500 eritromicina tabletas para que sirve precio desyrel en españa luvox 500 eritromicina tabletas para que sirve precio mycelex g 600 venta lexapro puerto montt vermox junior precio colombia imiquimod valtrex precio españa duo cipro inyectable precio argentina costo de prinivil inyectable moduretic precio y presentacion costo del uroxatral en paraguay desyrel venta en guatemala cytoxan precio farmacias del ahorro pastillas abortivas diclofenac precio peru ejemplos de plendil de venta nolvadex 30 precio costo de ponstel en lima fluconazole tabletas dapoxetine precio prednisone d tabletas para que sirve floxin precio por pastilla que precio tiene la depo glucotrol xl en colombia mestinon ecuador venta calmador finast precio precio del prandin en peru venlor precio sin receta venta de coumadin en farmacias de panama precio del generico de peni large dapoxetine precio lima venta de elimite generico en argentina que precio tienen las pastillas omnicef en guatemala venta de indocin original en mexico venta nexium puerto ordaz lipotrexate venta buenos aires amantadine tabletas posologia el precio del liponexol en argentina prevacid tabletas para que es cuando salio ala venta la hydrochlorothiazide venta de trileptal misoprostol en chile depo retin a precio en ecuador precio del erythromycin suspension entocort venta en santiago himcolin precio rd precio del shampoo atorlip en mexico es legal la venta de gyne lotrimin en ecuador pristiq crema precio ecuador venta pastillas lopid venezuela venta de pastillas cozaar en lima avodart venta en santa cruz bolivia es legal la venta de coreg en ecuador avana y orden del derecho precio del duo mentat baclofen venta en venezuela precio de pastilla isoniazid detrol precio venezuela 2012 costo de la caja de grifulvin v venta de actonel en arica precio de aldactone peru diovan generico precio farmacias cuando salio ala venta la chloramphenicol unisom precio nicaragua digoxin de venta en tijuana acticin jurídicos documentados precio venta de pastillas zoloft en barcelona pastillas avapro venta en medellin venta de emsam en playa del carmen xeloda precio colombia ibague tinidazole precio en españa glucovance 800 precio colombia calan 20 precio tinidazole e precio el prandin es de venta libre en argentina yahoo micronase precio colombia tofranil suspension precio mexico ejemplos de aciclovir de venta venta de bactroban en gdl precio del elimite 160 comprar naltrexone generico online barato precio elimite crema venezuela meclizine pastilla venta furosemide venta en antofagasta venta de pariet en valledupar rosuvastatin para nebulizar costo venta de fluoxetine en medellin precio pastilla synthroid precio ponstel chile sildalis precio en farmacias guadalajara venta pastillas pamelor lima venta de norvasc en nuevo laredo chloroquine plus precio vantin precio comercial venta pristiq sin receta nexium compositum suspension precio precio del lukol en farmacias españolas pilex tabletas fuego triamterene tabletas para fuegos labiales dramamine argentina es de venta libre precio de la depo suprax en colombia venta de effexor xr en farmacias en chile precio de las duetact precio del minomycin ac 2.5 precio de prandin en andorra precio de pastillas xenical en tijuana hyzaar de comercio compra venta pariet guayaquil precio genérico de ciplox feldene tabletas de 500 precio de la pasta acticin en colombia precio del medicamento sinemet venta de viramune en san miguel el salvador venta de lady era en chile sin receta aricept guatemala precio beconase aq f precio keflex argentina es de venta libre costo del isoniazid en paraguay fucidin precio chile cual es el precio de cafergot d precio de cleocin gel oros 60 que precio tiene el kemadrin en farmacias del ahorro venta de pastillas betnovate en maracaibo venta de beconase aq generico en españa precio del vermox en mexico 2014 venta de zebeta en valencia estado carabobo erexor uruguay precio precio del cystone en peru shallaki venta en cali pastillas zoloft precio argentina dapoxetine venta argentina cleocin venta arequipa venta libre de endep en buenos aires claritin precio en colombia bucaramanga precio silvitra shampoo precio de plendil en venezuela nexium orden de compra go ginseng tabletas dispersables precio del floxin suspension precio de zantac jarabe venta shatavari en puerto rico accutane inyectable precio plendil precio 2013 venezuela feldene precio en cartagena imiquimod (diarex) precio en venezuela geriforte tabletas precio venezuela precio de plavix infantil betnovate tabletas precio chile para que es el azulfidine tabletas venta de lady era en maracay el precio de vasotec precio de las pastillas benfotiamine en venezuela bentyl vademecum precio precio del effexor xr 320 venta de oxytrol en iquique 2013 precio del proscar en argentina 2013 aristocort pastillas precio chile urispas tabletas presentaciones venta de valtrex en monterrey sin receta para que sirve el cozaar f tabletas precio de inderal crema arimidex genérico en méxico lamisil dm compuesto jarabe precio cual es el precio del lasuna clozaril precio en durango costo de las pastillas diclofenac gel en ecuador precio de zyprexa en similares venta libre de abilify en santa cruz venta de celexa en slp chloramphenicol venta argentina bactroban costo en farmacias del ahorro kemadrin oros precio el salvador venta de pastillas keflex en argentina clozaril venta en la paz bolivia prinivil costo en argentina venta de diarex en españa venta de pastillas motilium en chile precio robaxin colombia cleocin gel tabletas como tomarlas precio del procardia en bolivia dramamine venta barranquilla cuando baja el precio de la fosamax farmacias del ahorro precio de eldepryl precio de geriforte cr precio del naltrexone 80 pastillas aricept de venta en quito venta de eldepryl en trujillo peru venta de florinef en sincelejo venta de aspirin en cali colombia glucovance precio colombia bogota venta de pastillas benicar en buenos aires venta de zestoretic en arequipa peru precio de capsulas flomax el precio del arimidex en argentina precio del actonel tabletas luvox 500 bayer precio strattera lazar precio vantin venta en cuenca ecuador precio actual del lasix en venezuela uroxatral precio en argentina 2012 allegra generico a muy buen precio nexium precio 2012 venezuela ginette 35 venta en temuco precio de midamor spray nasal cuanto es el precio de cleocin lioresal precio perú ceftin flas precio chile venta de lukol en lima peru 2012 fluconazole tabletas de confido precio furosemide uruguay precio venta cialis sin receta precio de benfotiamine tabletas en chile oxytrol precio farmacia del ahorro crema neurontin precio en venezuela protonix venta en argentina precio venta de minocycline en playa del carmen valtrex venta en farmacias chile effexor xr plus precio zaditor precio 2013 venezuela nociones de orden clases nicotinell humanos precio del elimite en colombia 2011 vantin 500 bayer precio cefixime mas barato en españa precio olanzapine ecuador precio actual de fincar en venezuela cozaar venta venezuela precio de seroflo en farmacias san pablo precio stromectol generico mexico precio del ampicillin 160 venta de dutas en nuevo laredo toprol xl precio en cucuta venta de aricept en peru nitrofurantoin bayer precio españa exelon tabletas para q sirve avodart precio monterrey venta pastillas amitriptyline chile venta de pastillas rumalaya en san luis potosi remeron venta en morelia venta pastillas valtrex lima precio de adalat en honduras betnovate de venta en farmacias del ahorro venta vermox sin receta precio de zyprexa oros venta de hydrochlorothiazide en el estado de mexico venta de pastillas tadacip en tijuana venta de pastillas anacin quito calan mejor precio precio de apcalis sx en farmacias benavides suhagra precio en farmacias del ahorro cipro presentacion tabletas costo de pastillas abortivas retin a precio de pomada ceftin precio del v gel en argentina 2012 cada cuanto se toma el vasodilan tabletas venta de pastillas reminyl en caracas precio de la geriforte en farmacias en mexico venta de combivent en peru precio kamagra pastillas venezuela reminyl venta en farmacias df terramycin generico venta en españa cual es el precio del medicamento baclofen precio del medicamento propranolol en mexico robaxin crema precio duo alesse inyectable precio venta de pastillas temovate en usa costo de pastillas exelon tadapox y minoxidil precio donde comprar buspar y precio cefixime venta en usa venta de noroxin online argentina cleocin gel maracay venta precio de zaditor en farmacias similares diltiazem via oral precio decadron que se consideran venta pletal et de venta libre en colombia prograf venta salvador compuesto de panmycin tabletas nolvadex pastillas venta venezuela dilantin tabletas nombre comercial precio del minocycline en colombia 2014 comprar nizagara al mejor precio super avana venta en farmacias lima toradol panama venta precio del tadapox 500 emsam urgentes que requieren orden previa y prorroga del fiscal pastillas glucotrol xl precio guatemala precio de prilosec 10 10 venta de pastillas eurax en barcelona shuddha guggulu precio argentina 2014 methotrexate precio en similares liv 52 flas precio arimidex tabletas para q sirve precio aproximado de pastillas peni large serophene precio generico mexico precio de cozaar en argentina 2013 levlen misoprostol precio argentina precio de la periactin en el salvador serophene flas precio chile que precio tiene las pastillas levothroid en mexico furosemide 500 eritromicina tabletas para que sirve aciphex jarabe antitusivo precio betapace precio farmacias similares precio del adalat en farmacias de españa probalan 24 hs precio accutane costo en farmacias del ahorro que precio tiene el sominex en peru para que sirve el zestoretic tabletas actonel tabletas reacciones secundarias precio de prevacid 500 top avana pomada precio en venezuela precio del flexisyn en lima peru costo de plaquenil 1 cual es el slim tea de venta libre precio de oxytrol f venta evista en costa rica forzest cuve precio cual es el precio de procardia tabletas venta de innopran xl cusco peru venta de paroxetine en chiriqui venta de singulair en chihuahua precio advair diskus aerosol que precio tienen las pastillas oxytrol venta de diltiazem en pachuca comprar doxycycline en línea tadapox es de venta libre en ecuador donde comprar augmentin barato y seguro venta de pastillas lariam en guanajuato lisinopril misoprostol precio colombia venta de keppra en maracay 2012 cual es el robaxin de venta libre venta de micardis en guayaquil ginseng tabletas dosificacion tetracycline crema generico precio go bactroban tabletas dispersables zantac en farmacias del ahorro costo glucotrol xl compuesto tabletas precio de diflucan inyectable ejemplos de naltrexone de venta bayer kamagra precio calmador levitra precio kytril precio honduras cual es el precio de la pastilla flonase venta npxl generico particular antabuse venta farmacias guatemala prograf precio madrid vermox nombre genérico y comercial omnicef plus generico precio precio de cleocin difenhidramina venta de norvasc en la paz bolivia benzac crema que precio tiene venta de minocin en españa sin receta pastillas zovirax precio 2011 precio de colospa en mexico que precio tiene la crema decadron en mexico precio de lukol en farmacias chilenas ampicillin venta en maracay estado aragua dosificacion del celexa tabletas azulfidine venta en medellin colombia venta vasodilan trujillo peru pamelor de venta en tijuana gyne lotrimin precio similares trimox tabletas para que sirve prilosec precio argentina 2013 cholestoplex precio en venezuela precio tadapox original españa kemadrin junior precio colombia coreg de venta en estados unidos precio de la pasta neurontin en colombia venta silagra tunja abilify es de venta libre en colombia costo de pastilla de clonidine pastillas stromectol precio en panama vasodilan d tabletas precio herpes labial hydrea tabletas precio del metformin en mexico comprar endep buen precio el precio de la antabuse en la farmacia shallaki pastillas precio en panama cymbalta aerosol precio precio benemid chile venta de decadron en venezuela 2012 acerpes micronase precio precio de las pastillas pyridium costo dipyridamole ecuador inyeccion anticonceptiva depo nitrofurantoin precio aciphex venta libre bogota precio de la grifulvin v en panama cyklokapron generico el mas barato venta de pastillas wellbutrin peru furosemide tabletas masticables ginette 35 presentacion y precio en venezuela precio de npxl en farmacias del ecuador venta de benzac en anzoategui micardis para que sirve tabletas cytotec venta en estados unidos clozaril nicaragua venta venta de torsemide en maracay venta de pastillas allegra peru venta de pastillas paxil en guadalajara jalisco comprar nootropil tabletas zyrtec precio estados unidos precio de retin a difenhidramina venta de pastillas venlor en usa premarin en comprimidos precio promethazine en crema precio en venezuela venta de elavil piura benadryl 100 25 precio benicar ovulos precio españa venta de nexium en puebla 2013 olanzapine venta en hermosillo caverta venta en ica venta hoodia generico particular venta de imitrex en capital federal argentina costo de adalat tabletas venta de pastillas zyprexa en cochabamba fosamax presentacion y precio en venezuela buscar clindamycin generica barato precio de pastilla hoodia en chile costo de la pastilla benemid en venezuela venta de motrin en new york cual es el precio de las pastillas prograf venta mentat generico particular serpina precio en barranquilla cholestoplex tabletas modo de uso venta de ralista en huancayo diclofenac gel flas precio chile ralista en el salvador precio venta de metoclopramide en farmacias similares protonix de venta en cuenca remeron tabletas niños venta de bystolic en sogamoso pastilla metformin precio ecuador pastillas meclizine precio argentina bayer reminyl precio precio de depo fincar en chile prometrium de venta en honduras erexor generico precio en farmacias digoxin precio en farmacias guadalajara topamax crema precio en españa precio de la inyeccion depo elimite en mexico top avana f tabletas precio zyprexa venta en estados unidos lipotrexate de compra y venta que no se consideran comerciales mobic precio farmacia del ahorro mexico venta de pastillas cafergot en puerto rico venta de pastillas premarin en el salvador isoniazid precio en argentina 2013 prinivil que precio tiene en mexico precio de sarafem en panama el precio del amantadine en mexico phexin precio 2014 precio maxalt quito ecuador farmacia online venta tulsi sleep venta de prandin por internet en argentina benzac venta libre en argentina crema flonase precio en venezuela anuncios venta de zyban eldepryl precio en argentina 2012 para que es el amantadine tabletas pariet precio en el mercado venta de tricor en mendoza argentina venta pastillas haldol venta de pastillas flexisyn en venezuela feldene precio colombiano epivir hbv precio en farmacia en españa slimex venta online españa venta beconase aq puerto montt precio de la pastilla zanaflex en colombia antiinflamatorio tegretol precio venta de triamcinolone en monterrey precio de benicar 1 en peru el kemadrin es de venta libre en la argentina precio de pastillas prinivil en venezuela precio de valtrex 1 en mexico pastillas para abortar finpecia precio colombia venta de coumadin en puerto rico flonase precio bucaramanga januvia precio farmacias similares beconase aq potasico generico precio venta de septilin en tepic strattera crema precio uruguay venta de requip santa marta sinemet (200μg misoprostol) precio viagra de venta en nicaragua para que sirve el medicamento sildalis tabletas venta de probalan en tacna precio de la pastilla del entocort yasmin generico precio venta de pastillas ginette 35 en honduras
Home Pete Toms LWIB: Whither The Amateur Draft? Don Fehr Comments on "Vets vs. Kids", and Minor Leagues See Good Attendance

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LWIB: Whither The Amateur Draft? Don Fehr Comments on "Vets vs. Kids", and Minor Leagues See Good Attendance PDF Print E-mail
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Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 15 June 2009 15:04
Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in LWIB, why hasn’t the amateur draft been abolished? Donald Fehr comments on the controversy over escalating signing bonuses in the amateur draft and miscellaneous updates concerning MiLB.

WHITHER THE AMATEUR DRAFT?

LWIB last week reviewed the issues being debated in light of the (then) impending Rule 4 amateur draft. Amongst them, speculation concerning the size of Stephen Strasburg’s soon to be demands, the merits of allowing the trading of draft picks, the ineffectiveness of slot recommendations, why clubs are increasing investments in young talent and the public dissatisfaction expressed by some veteran players over the growing compensation being awarded to new draftees.

This past week saw a continuance of the debate. Ed Price, in a column titled “How to Fix the Draft? Eliminate it” wrote.

Unfortunately, there are still problems with it. And unfortunately, I believe the best way to fix the problems isn't a worldwide draft or a draft with tradable picks.

It's no draft at all.

David Pinto made the case for the abolition of the amateur draft.

International players are free agents, and that seems to work just fine. Let teams sign whomever they like in a fixed period of time. The Yankees can’t sign everybody. Teams like Washington might be able to sign two or three very good players for the price a better team pays for Straburg. That’s what teams like Pittsburgh and Washington need, a way to get many good players onto their roster.

Abolish the draft, and let these amateurs sign for what the market will bear. Then we can stop having these idiotic discussions about what’s wrong with the draft. The draft is just wrong, period.

Rob Neyer responded to Mr. Pinto’s post.

The real problem is that nobody really knows what would happen if the draft were abolished.... Humans are conservative by nature, and baseball men are really conservative. They like the draft, in part, because it's what they know.

But is it only “conservative baseball men” who support the amateur draft?  The draft is often criticized for unfairly limiting the bargaining power of the drafted players. Kevin Goldstein speculated LWIB that if Stephen Strasburg were a free agent he would command at least $100 million instead of the $20 – $30 million Mr. Goldstein believes Strasburg will eventually settle for. So, if the amateur draft (in all of the “big 4” leagues) is anti competitive, a restraint of trade, violates antitrust laws and restricts labour movement, why don’t the PAs challenge the practice in the courts? After all, didn’t MLB lose it’s right to employ the reserve clause over thirty years ago? Andrew Zimbalist explains in May the Best Team Win.

Labor unions by their very nature are combinations in restraint of trade: a union forces an employer to bargain with a group of workers rather than with individual workers. Labor unions thus would violate the Sherman Act of 1890. The Clayton Act of 1914, however, explicitly exempts labor unions from the provisions of the Sherman Act. This is known as the statutory exemption. The so-called non-statutory exemption evolved not from legislation but from court decisions. It holds that trade unions can exchange (in arm’s- length bargaining) free labor market rights for other benefits. Thus, by union shop precepts, a trade union can bargain over general conditions for entering the shop. Player drafts fit this category. Under the non-statutory exemption, a player’s union can bargain away competition among teams over amateurs entering the major leagues directly in exchange for other desiderata in the collective bargaining contract.

Joel Maxcy , at his “Sports Labor Relations” blog, recently reflected on Maurice Clarett’s failed challenge to the NFL’s rule that restricts the draft to players at least three years removed from high school. The NFLPA sided with the league in the case (draft eligibility requirements are set in collaboration with players unions) which was concluded by a ruling that is widely perceived to be strongly pro labour.  

In the instance of sports leagues, players represented by the union, and club owners represented by the management negotiating team, forgo individual antitrust protection for the sake of advancing the collective bargaining process. Conventional features negotiated under current sport league collective bargaining agreements, including restrictions on open labor markets such as rookie drafts and salary caps, are typically decreed anticompetitive and proscribed by antitrust law. Yet these restrictions are legal under labor law, and are exactly the issues around which labor negotiations in sports center. The negotiation process is doubtless better facilitated by their removal from antitrust scrutiny.

President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, is one of three judges who ruled on the Clarett case. Judge Sotomayor supported her ruling in favour of the NFL; "That's what unions do every day — protect people in the union from those not in the union," “Why is this case different?”

Professor Victor Matheson argued at The Sports Economist blog that the non-statutory exemption  contributes significantly to the goal of competitive balance in pro sports leagues.

It is certainly the case that the non-statutory labor exemption to the antitrust laws places rookies and draft picks at a huge disadvantage when it comes to salary negotiations. While we are fond of talking about how the reserve clause in the major sports leagues died with the advent of free agency, in fact the reserve clause is alive and well today. It's just that it is only applied to players in the first few years of their career. Of course, given the relatively short careers of most professional athletes, the current reserve clause rules may cover a typical athlete's entire career.

That being said, let's not be too hard on the non-statutory labor exemption. Without this judicial understanding of the labor laws, most of the league rules put in place to promote competitive balance would be under constant threat of antitrust litigation. Without a union's consent, the reverse order draft, salary caps, luxury tax, roster limits, etc., all of which are the result of individual teams coming together and conspiring to limit player compensation, would clearly be, if not per se violations of the antitrust laws, at least subject to significant scrutiny under the rule of reason.

Without the ability to negotiate in good faith without the threat of impending antitrust action, it is unclear how modern sports leagues would be able to function efficiently, at least in terms of promoting competitive balance.

Again from The Sports Economist, Professor Phil Miller blogs about an Eriq Gardner piece in Slate that argues the NFLPA is to blame (or praise?) for preserving the NFL draft.

John Palmer (Eclectecon) sends this fascinating Slate piece by Eriq Gardner about the history of NFL draft along.

In 1968, the Washington Redskins used their first-round pick (12th overall) on Smith, an All-American defensive back from the University of Oregon. The rookie signed with the team for $50,000, and his unremarkable first season culminated in a career-ending neck injury during Week 14. Smith seemed destined for quick obscurity. Then he sued the NFL.

Two years after his retirement, Smith went before a judge and asserted that the draft constituted an unreasonable restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Had it not been for the draft, he argued, he would have been able to negotiate a more lucrative contract for his one year as a professional. And he demanded that the NFL make up the difference.

The case succeeded at the district court, securing $276,000 in treble damages for Smith, and he won again when the league appealed. In 1977, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled the "draft inescapably forces each seller of football services to deal with one, and only one buyer, robbing the seller, as in any monopsonistic market, of any real bargaining power."

Gardner notes that it looked like the Smith had the case won. But the NFL knew that it could effectively get an exemption from the Sherman Act if the players' union would agree to it. How did it get the union to agree to it?

Keep in mind that any collective bargaining relationship is composed of three groups: the employer, the unionized workers, and the union leadership. One of the interesting things about the NFLPA is that the leadership is largely composed of senior union workers, and Gardner argues that it is this arrangement that has led to the draft being kept.

The union's leadership is determined by seniority, with the upper echelon composed of veterans whose financial stakes conflict with those of the rookies. For example, take the way that draftees are paid by their assigned teams. According to the current collective-bargaining agreement, each club is allotted a set amount of "rookie pool money" to sign its draft picks. (Here's last year's breakdown of pool money.) It benefits the veteran players who run the union to keep that pool small: Since the NFL maintains a hard cap on the total amount of money distributed to players throughout the league, less money for rookies means more for the old-timers.

AND

...In other words, those who wish to challenge the NFL draft in the post-Yazoo Smith era should think hard about their target. It's not the league. It's the union.

Finally, should MLB get out of the business of minor league baseball? Is there a more efficient model for recruiting and developing players for MLB? MLB is concerned about rapidly escalating inflation in both the international free agent market and amateur draft. In January, The Biz of Baseball reported that clubs are investing, on average, $20 million a year on player development. Meanwhile, as discussed in the aforementioned Biz of Baseball report, business in minor league baseball (both affiliated and independent) has been booming. The last words to Andrew Zimbalist, again from “May the Best Team Win.”

Further, if minor leaguers did not “belong” to a particular major league club, then it is likely that competitive balance among major league teams would improve. Major league clubs would draft players out of the minors, not out of college or high school. These players would be more developed and their potential talent level more knowable. The reverse-order draft would confer a larger advantage on the low-finishing teams than does the present amateur draft.  

Select Read More to see comments by Donald Fehr on  "Vets vs. Kids", as well as Minor League News including an increase in attendance

DONALD FEHR COMMENTS ON VETS VS. KIDS

LWIB last week reported that some veteran players (Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Torii Hunter) had publicly expressed their concerns over the escalating signing bonuses being awarded in the amateur draft. The saturation coverage of Stephen Strasburg bringing much attention to the subject. LWIB saw some baseball pundits siding with the veteran players over these concerns.

Michael Rosenberg:

But having a slotting system should mean more to the owners than not having one means to the players. We're talking about competitive balance and the fate of a dozen or so small-market teams. How much will the major leaguers fight so that unproven amateurs can get big money?

Jeff Fletcher:

One of these days the major league players in the union are going to realize: "Hey, all that money going to amateur kids could be going to us!"

And that would be good for the big-league teams and for the current big-league players.

Liz Mullen reported that NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and his MLBPA peer Donald Fehr both recently addressed the increasingly high profile topic of rookie compensation.

While there is growing pressure from the NFL, as well as some in the sports media, for the NFL Players Association to accept a rookie wage scale, new NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith questioned last week why the players were being asked about the issue when it was one created by the owners.

“The owners sign the checks,” Smith said, in a speech before the Sports Lawyers Association in Chicago last week. “The owners decide how much [players] are going to be paid. …”

AND

MLB Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr, speaking immediately after Smith on the rookie wage scale issue, said, “One of the things you have to be wary of, when you talk about the issues that were just raised, is in collective bargaining generally, and sports is certainly no exception to this, very often people will look, on the other side, will look for wedge issues.”

Fehr said the “classic example of a wedge issue” is one in which one group in a union is told another group is getting too much money “and you should all go and squabble with one another.”

“Now I don’t know if that is involved in this circumstance here, but on this side of the table we are all very conscious of such issues and where the instigation of raising such an issue comes from. If it comes from the players’ side, you don’t have to worry about it, because it will come with a proposed solution.”

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS FROM MiLB

Despite the recession, MiLB reports that attendance in May was very strong, practically on par with last season’s record setting figures. Brian Borawski commented, “I’ve talked about this before, but I thought Minor League Baseball would hold steady despite the rough economic times. People are looking for bargains for the whole family, and you can’t get a better one than a minor league game.” LWIB has not seen 09 attendance figures for the independent minor leagues but a May report in Baseball America speculated that this could be a challenging season.

"I've been around this industry for 30 years and I've not run across people worrying this much," Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee said.

AND

“I think this in many ways could be the toughest year for independent baseball," Can-Am League and American Association commissioner Miles Wolff said.

Longer term, in March Will Lingo wrote about the end of the new ballpark construction boom (120 new baseball stadiums in the past 25 years) and how it might impact on the business of minor league baseball.  

“What will be interesting to watch is how both the economic and construction slowdown will affect attendance. New markets and new ballparks have driven minor league attendance to records year after year, with more than 43 million fans overall last season.”

The owner of the Winston-Salem Dash is asking for more public money to complete construction of a new, unfinished stadium scheduled to open next season. Laura Graff, “Billy Prim, the owner of the single-A Winston-Salem Dash, said yesterday that the collapse of his business partnership with team co-owner Andrew "Flip" Filipowski and the global credit crisis have made it impossible for him to borrow enough money from private sources to finish the stadium.” Josh Levanthal provided some context.

If the Winston-Salem city council approves Billy Prim’s request for $15.7 million to complete construction on a 5,500-seat downtown ballpark, the overall price tag for project will rise to $40.1 million.

That would make it the most expensive Class A facility ever built. The current Class A leader is Great Lakes’ Dow Diamond, which opened in 2007 for $34 million.

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Six teams opened new ballparks this season, with only three topping the $40 million mark (all Triple-A facilities):

Triple-A Columbus ($56 million), Triple-A Gwinnett (estimated $40 million, likely total $60 million), Triple-A Reno ($50 million), high Class A Charlotte ($27 million), low Class A Bowling Green ($28 million), low Class A Fort Wayne ($30.6 million).

It’s important to remember that Triple-A ballparks usually seat around 10,000 fans; Double-A facilities 6-7,000; Class A between 4-5,500.

For many years the Buffalo Bisons benefited from being the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The Indians consistently fielded very competitive teams in Buffalo and attendance was consistently robust.This off season the Indians were enticed to move their AAA affiliate to Columbus where a brand new stadium awaited. The Mets eagerly moved their AAA affiliate from New Orleans to Buffalo and both affiliate and parent club had high expectations for the 09 season. Mike Harrington reported LWIB that the new partnership has so far yielded disappointing results, with attendance “..down 1,400 tickets per game compared with last year." More from Mr. Harrington’s report.

The Bisons unveiled a new logo, new uniforms, a new name for the ballpark and an expanded statewide television schedule that includes 37 games—highlighted by five that will receive national exposure on SportsNet New York, the Mets' flagship station. The Buffalo franchise once sold a million tickets in six straight seasons, yet an excitement that had not existed in many years followed the franchise all offseason.

But then the season began.

A city that had grown accustomed to winning baseball has endured an utter disaster in the Mets' first year as the parent club. The Bisons lost 11 of their first 12 games, started 2-17 and were fighting to avoid having the worst record in the minor leagues.

They're also trying to avoid losing 100 games—a rare feat in a 144-game schedule—for the first time since 1931.

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The top affiliate of the Indians since 1995, Buffalo fans had grown accustomed to winning. Cleveland stocked nine playoff teams in its 14 years as parent organization, and the Bisons won the final American Association championship in 1997, as well as International League titles in 1998 and 2004.

In fact, the only losing season Cleveland had in Buffalo was its 66-77 mark in 2008. Even then, the Indians had one foot out the door as they looked forward to their new partnership with Columbus.

Mets officials are quoted in the piece acknowledging the disappointing performance of their AAA affiliate and have responded by recently signing veterans Wily Mo Pena, Javier Valentin and Mike Lamb to boost the club’s on (and off) field performance.


Pete Toms is an author for The Biz of Baseball and a staff member of the Business of Sports Network. He can be contacted at \n This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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