visa credit card for students philippines visa credit card instant approval interest free transfer credit cards australia o interest credit cards balance transfer good credit card apr rates track icici credit card application status online transfer credit card balance to someone else poor credit loans credit card cash advances explained anz platinum card review cfib credit card rate chart amazon storing credit card information best visa credit cards with rewards list of ge capital retail bank credit cards recurring credit card authorization form intuit guaranteed cash loans for bad credit marriott premier credit card uk pay jcpenney credit card with gift card bad credit loans no fees upfront pay barclay credit card bill online virgin pay as you go credit card credit card bank of america payment best cash rewards credit card 2012 online loan application south africa how do i redeem icici credit card reward points walmart mastercard credit card american express platinum credit card wiki bank of america credit card travel insurance paypal credit card processing time pc credit card number rbc cathay pacific visa platinum card balance transfer credit cards for average credit rating hdfc credit card interest rate details land bank visa card rewards points delta skymiles credit card deal capital one credit card services login hdfc bank loan against credit card interest rate credit union credit card consolidation loan instant virtual credit cards interest free credit cards for 24 months best way to get approved for a credit card with bad credit nationwide credit card offers for existing customers starwood preferred guest credit card offer best 0 intro apr credit cards three contract credit limit icici credit card offers on mobiles bank of america world mastercard credit card with worldpoints rewards and paypass how to create apple id without giving credit card details marriott credit card authorization forms accept credit cards online square hbc mastercard contact zero percent balance transfer credit cards chase british airways credit card capital 1 credit card payment address citicard aadvantage credit card login american airlines aadvantage credit card login department store credit cards usa capital one secured card credit limit increase uk walmart credit card login canada free credit card icons set city bank credit card payment statement amazon chase credit card services get a virtual credit card instantly credit score needed for a best buy credit card wells fargo business credit card cash advance make a discover credit card payment best indian credit card to use in usa best credit card offers usa bad credit loans direct lenders canada chase credit card cash advance pin permohonan credit card bank rakyat hdfc credit card approval process which credit card offers no balance transfer fee credit card fees for small business apply online credit card axis bank credit card balance transfer calculator excel how do i get a credit card machine 0 balance transfer and purchase credit cards sbi credit card application form online best rewards credit cards with no annual fee where can i buy a visa prepaid credit card chase 2 cash back credit card best airline rewards credit cards 2011 balance transfer credit cards canada belk credit card requirements title loans online texas when was the first credit card issued in the united states i want to apply for a hsbc credit card can you get cashback on a walmart credit card visa credit cards for students delta credit card reward miles best secured credit cards to rebuild credit 2011 united chase credit card payments mbna credit card canada phone number apply for discover card with bad credit direct cash advance lenders online us credit card chase credit card travel notification icici credit card credit card deal quick and easy payday loans bad credit mastercard credit card uk cherry credits cards price how do i pay jcpenney credit card online low rate credit card australia can i get a capital one credit card after bankruptcy discover student credit cards review citibank credit card apply online in india the best credit card to have now low rate credit card balance transfer australia short term loan bad credit history how to get approved for a credit card with no credit history velocity rewards credit card comparison sample dispute letter to credit card company international credit card indian railways getting my first credit card uk southwest credit card promotion 2 free flights icici credit card settlement noc credit card application no credit history staples business credit card application status air miles canada credit cards comparison how do i get a business credit card if i have bad credit gap visa credit card customer service phone number college student credit cards with bad credit best international credit cards for students jetstar credit card fees can you refinance auto loan with bad credit biller code for commonwealth bank credit cards low rate credit card westpac is it easy to apply for a walmart credit card all of these are types of credit except credit cards.installment loans.mortgages.bonds hdfc credit card customer care phone number bangalore air mile credit cards canada mastercard prepaid card payday lenders uk 2012 credit cards with no application fee for bad credit master credit card mobile credit card processing for blackberry torch easy store credit card to apply for how can i apply for payoneer mastercard credit card number and cvv number apply for credit card hsbc bank unsecured credit card bad credit ok unsecured credit card bad credit guaranteed approval capital advance payday loans visa credit card applications instant approval chase credit card virtual account numbers what is credit card security code mastercard prepaid visa credit card offers anz debit visa card disney visa card holder discounts capital one small business credit card rewards online virtual terminal credit card processing uk toys r us gold card free iphone credit card processing virgin atlantic american express mbna credit card login discover credit card car loans credit cards 0 interest on purchases credit cards with no credit checks instant approval 0 balance transfer no fee credit card offers american express credit card approval process credit card number and cvv generator pay best buy credit card online prepaid credit cards walmart paypal old navy visa card login halifax visa card protection best credit card processing for very small business pay off credit card debt planner online payday loan lenders reviews icici instant credit card charges personal loan with bad credit and no job standard chartered credit card customer care toll free credit cards applications online india loan shop online payday loans credit card number verification online best credit card deal uk zero percent interest credit card offers activate my ge credit card online accept credit card payments mobile rbs credit card services contact address secured credit card bad credit bank of america does capital one have a prepaid credit card credit card business process diagram apply for staples business credit card pay standard chartered credit card bill axs post office credit card travel money best credit card apps for iphone 4 chase credit card balance transfers offers visa credit card application instant approval amex credit card promotions philippines natwest student credit card after graduation company credit card policy free online cash loans no paperwork home depot canada consumer credit card credit card payoff calculator uk best buy credit card customer service phone number top 5 credit card issuers uk walmart credit card status online airline credit card promotions unsecured bad credit personal loans instant decision find pre approved credit card offers how to get a credit card today and use it today free government credit card debt relief mastercard credit cards for fair credit credit card numbers generator with security code online cash advance payday loans credit card frauds rbi secured credit cards for bad credits credit card reader app for iphone uk hdfc credit card limit information best 0 credit cards usa best credit card for rewards canada credit card numbers list with csc best new credit cards offers staples credit card business walmart credit card application status online visa unsecured credit cards for bad credit credit card reward offers 2012 best us credit card to use in canada which credit card for balance transfers quick cash loans for unemployed how to set up credit card payments on ebay barnes and noble credit card information stolen the best credit card in the world hdfc gold credit card travel offers wells fargo credit card payment plan credit card rate increase letter consumer credit card protection act 2009 new direct payday loan lenders uk credit card rewards canada capital one prepaid credit cards coast capital credit card login westpac black credit card review chase credit card promotions 2013 credit card machine hire south africa guaranteed credit cards australia hdfc credit card statement credit cards with low interest rates for students hudson bay company lost credit card apply for credit card instant decision hsbc online credit cards average us personal credit card debt cash advance online columbus ohio credit card debt relief programs legitimate wells fargo unsecured credit card reviews icici virtual credit card india payday loan uk direct lender canadian credit cards with travel medical insurance difference between hbc credit card and hbc mastercard hdfc credit card payment online through hdfc debit card average credit card rate uk alaska airlines bank of america credit card customer service getting a credit card best first time credit card for students manhattan standard chartered credit card customer care number how to pay hdfc master credit card bill cash advance credit card fees chase lowest interest rate credit card canada virtual credit card business model business credit cards best rewards programs halifax clarity credit card foreign exchange rate short term loans online uk how do i get a credit card if i have no credit score secured no credit check credit cards how to apply for a mastercard prepaid prada credit card holder easiest credit card to get in canada 2012 prepaid gift credit cards with no fees hsbc gold credit card promo best rated travel credit cards 2012 student credit card bad or no credit how to get verified on paypal without a bank account or credit card business credit limit calculator hdfc offer credit card holder using prepaid visa credit card online citibank credit card business best no fee transfer balance credit cards credit card machine for taxi cab halifax student credit card online apple iphone 4 credit card swipe ?3000 loan bad credit instant decision online credit card payment calculator excel real credit card numbers with cvv and expiration date 2013 register halifax credit card online miles and more credit card switzerland are visa debit gift cards reloadable credit card charges abroad nationwide advantages of accepting credit cards online credit cards after bankruptcy discharge 2013 what bank offers credit cards for bad credit best american airlines credit card 2012 travel reward credit cards for average credit how do cash advances on credit cards work free virtual credit card usa discover credit card payment sam;s club hdfc credit card help desk chennai icici instant credit card statement online loans with monthly payments in canada mastercard credit card number example reputable direct cash advance lenders how to calculate interest charges on credit card balance walmart and international credit cards sample visa credit card number format pay icici credit card bill online through other bank who has the best student credit cards sear credit card pay bill how to get approved for a credit card with little or no credit pc financial credit card balance how do i remove credit cards from ebay dbs black card amex corporate credit cards definition citibank platinum credit card review india best buy credit card apply in store credit card visa number hacked can i use discover credit card in canada best site to compare credit cards chase sapphire credit card interest rates best balance transfer credit cards australia 2012 applying for a secured credit card with bad credit american airlines credit card 50000 miles best credit cards rewards 2012 mbna credit card canada instant approval credit cards with very bad credit history free online credit card payment processing business credit card offers prepaid visa cards that can be used internationally set credit limit virgin mobile how to get the best credit card rate payday loans no credit check guaranteed acceptance compare icici platinum and titanium credit cards simmons first credit card limit hsbc best buy credit card login test credit card number generator credit cards for bad credit no processing fee calculate credit card interest per month smartphone credit card terminal natwest black credit card terms and conditions tesco clubcard credit card online how to increase credit card limit chase credit cards for low income earners with bad credit how to get free real credit card numbers what credit card has low interest rates payday loans no fees no credit checks department store credit cards credit score visa debit card application form pdf icici credit card customer care number nagpur sbi debit visa card registration hsbc credit card balance transfer deals horizon credit card number rbs credit card services address barclays credit card cash advance charges santander paypal credit card login starwood preferred guest credit card bonus points visa credit card fraud insurance visa credit card canada wikipedia standard chartered credit card customer care number noida online payday loan lenders no brokers how to consolidate credit card debt how to apply credit card maybank kwik fill / red apple credit card application mbna launches new rate for life credit card hdfc bank credit card login hsbc credit card offers sri lanka credit card settlement letter frisco tx credit card machines uk citibank credit cards apply online india what is balance transfer in sbi credit card get free virtual prepaid credit card fast payday loans direct lender loan with bad credit and no job i need to get a credit card fast virtual international credit card india can you use prepaid visa credit cards online capital 1 credit card sign in credit card travel points offers american airlines platinum credit card benefits best 0 purchase credit cards citibank credit card application online in india sites like magnum cash advance walmart credit card phone number canada best points credit card canada 2011 best 0 apr credit cards balance transfers pay best buy rewards credit card online standard chartered singapore student credit card sears citibank credit card online login hbc zellers credit card login get a credit card with bad credit score sbi mastercard debit card credit card search engine uk compare credit card rates south africa priceline credit card review 2013 reduce credit card interest rates uk is it easy to apply for target credit card virgin credit card contact details hdfc gold credit card application form credit card promotions hong kong real fake credit card numbers cvv2 credit card comparison site malaysia negotiating with credit card companies to reduce debt uk walmart credit card canada customer service best 0 balance transfer no fee easy to get unsecured credit cards no deposit can you use visa prepaid credit cards online sbi credit card offers on flight booking 2013 citibank credit card application form sample credit card rewards best value tesco online credit card helpline visa debit cards wikipedia citibank transfer credit card balance how to calculate credit card interest charges should i use my tesco credit card abroad types of hdfc credit cards in india credit limit citi student cards tesco prepaid credit card ireland get credit card bad credit rating best bad credit personal loans credit card no credit check canada business credit cards with bad personal credit bank of america credit cards customer service united mileage plus credit card comparison standard bank british airways credit card easy department store credit cards to apply for free virtual credit card to verify paypal using student loans to pay off credit card debt uk credit card market analysis bank of america credit card processing fees credit cards - compare credit card offers at creditcards.com paypal virtual credit card generator comenity pay lane bryant credit card short term cash loans for unemployed cash loans uk no bank account can;t pay sallie mae student loans credit card points miles blog sbi credit card online payment link good secured credit cards to rebuild credit chase bad credit credit card fake credit card number and cvv generator hsbc discover credit card apply for american express credit card uk is closing a credit card account bad for your credit score my black card visa apple support credit card declined how to get a rbc visa debit card bank of america travel rewards credit cards business loans based on credit card sales low limit credit cards canada chevron credit card complaints credit card number generator with security code and expiration date what;s the best credit card for bad credit calculate credit card interest on balance small business and credit cards how to negotiate with credit card companies to payoff home depot credit card services customer service personal loan bad credit instant decision best 0 balance transfer credit cards 2013 capital one credit card login to pay bill chase wireless credit card machines mbna credit card canada credit cards with no credit check needed what rental car company accepts prepaid credit cards walmart visa debit gift card rewards credit cards uk credit card applications pdf citi american airlines credit card credit card services online natwest bank of ireland credit card balance transfers interest free balance transfer credit card australia hdfc credit card application status by reference number hdfc gold credit card eligibility criteria chase credit card travel rewards what is the best credit card for bad or no credit using visa debit cards in india instant online cash loans in cape town benefits of paying off credit card debt citibank mastercard credit card login 0 credit cards for bad credit tips on how to pay off credit card debt 0 credit cards transfer balance secured visa credit cards canada college student no credit credit card credit card interest free offers credit card interest charges refund balance transfer credit card offers westpac how to get lower interest rates on credit cards canada best buy credit card login hrs prepaid credit card in canada holiday inn express credit card authorization form best cashback credit card for gas best cashback credit card on the market can you get a secured credit card with bad credit credit card offers for students with no credit hdfc credit cards online apply best travel credit card uk american airlines credit card no annual fee marriott reward credit card difference between secured and unsecured credit card apply for citibank credit card india sbi platinum credit card credit limit nilson report credit card fraud
Home Biz of Baseball - Interviews Lemke and Brown Discuss The Biz of Sports (Again)

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 652 guests online

Atom RSS

Lemke and Brown Discuss The Biz of Sports (Again) PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 1
PoorBest 
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 01 December 2009 16:40

Lemke and Brown

Washington Times sports business reporter Tim Lemke and I had such a good time doing this in June, we decided to do it again.

With 2009 nearing an end, Lemke and I decided to discuss some of the stories that have occured over the last 6 months.

The economy is still king for those that track the business of sports (well, business, period, for that matter), but there has been a lot of other topics, namely how labor agreements in the major U.S. sports leagues will be expiring in 2011 and how the economy is playing a hand in how those negotiations are playing out. There's also the matter of how reporting on sports has changed (Lemke asks about beat writers), Mark McGwire and how he addresses (if at all) the media on steroid us, whether there should be a salary cap in MLB, what the major sports biz stories of 2010 might be, and a heck of a lot more.

The interview took place over a period of 2 weeks, just as the MLB season was coming to a close. You can read this interview on the Washington Times website, as well. And applicable excerpts are published on the Business of Sports Network family of sites.

Select Read More to see the interview with Tim Lemke and Maury Brown

Maury Brown: So, Tim, the Yankees have now won their 27th World Series, and since then, there's been a chorus from mainstream and alternative media for a salary cap in Major League Baseball. I covered this in a column, but to me, the reasons for not having a salary cap are numerous. For one, MLB has the least amount going to player salaries, compared to its capped brothers in the Big 4 sports. Am I off here?

Tim Lemke: Well, I don't necessarily disagree with your analysis, but I do think that baseball has a least a public relations problem on its hands when it comes to the salary cap issue. There is just no escaping the perception that the Yankees went out and bought themselves a championship. They went and got the three main free agents this offseason, and they probably wouldn't have won the title without them. Yes, their payroll actually went down this year, but they are one of only a few teams capable of pulling off that kind of offseason spending.

It's true that league pays its players less overall, but in a strange way, I think the spending by the Red Sox, Yankees and a few other big-market clubs actually depresses spending by other franchises. If I'm the Reds with a payroll of $75 million and I see the Yankees spend $200 million on payroll, what impact, really would another $20 million or $30 million in free agent spending make? But if the Yankees are capped at $120 million, the Reds might be able to rationalize some additional spending since they aren't so far behind.

The Yankees are good for baseball. We saw that in the TV ratings for the postseason, they fill opposing stadiums and they bring in a lot of revenue which is then shared amongst all clubs. But with their news stadium, the YES network and the size of their market, they have a revenue advantage that is enormous, and they don't seem to be deterred by the luxury tax.

I'm not sure I advocate a cap, because I don't think it's a league-wide problem as much as a Yankees problem. They operate on a different stratosphere than everyone else. Whether the league can create a system designed to keep a single team in check is questionable, but I wouldn't mind a luxury tax with additional teeth, or system that calls for greater redistribution of local income.

MB: Well, that's the conundrum, isn't it? The Yankees have been thumbing their nose at the Luxury Tax since it was put in place, so you either work at it there, or you get more calls for a salary cap.

But, a salary cap seems a far off notion. Fans look at the NFL and NBA and try to apply it to MLB, and they're really different animals. There's so much weighted toward local revenues on baseball's side that trying to get a cap and floor in place would be exceptionally difficult.

It's academic, however. There have been not one, but two work stoppages over owners' attempts at a salary cap. Selig and Co. aren't going to risk that at this stage.

And besides, as we're seeing the NFL and the NBA, a salary cap doesn't mean bliss. It seems that the NFL has submitted their economic proposal to the NFLPA, with the two main planks being a rookie pay scale, and owners asking for exemptions for expense credits. The latter is interesting in that the premise is owners are asking that expenses for things like stadium development, marketing costs and security costs are deducted as "expense credits". That would lower the amount that the players have in the "revenue pie" to collect from. Maybe it's me, but this seems a difficult issue for the players to want to take on. I haven't seen the details, but let's say it's a blanket deal -- no adjustment by franchise. Why would a player for the Redskins want to help pay for a new Chargers or Niners stadium? Can you imagine asking Redskins players to help Jerry Jones build the new Cowboys Stadium?

TL: This issue of stadium costs has been something owners have been complaining about for a while. Their argument is that league revenues increase from new stadiums, and a good chunk of that money is passed on to players. Which is not a terribly unreasonable stance, except that owners clearly benefit more from that increased money. And certainly, it's a tough sell asking players to help fund stadiums for rival teams.

I'm not sure how I feel about this expense credit concept. If I'm DeMaurice Smith, I might consider calling the owners' bluff and accept the idea, under the knowledge that new stadium construction will be limited or even non-existent during the length of this upcoming CBA. If the credits apply to new construction and not existing debt, then you're talking about four new stadiums, at most. There's Minnesota, San Fran, San Diego, and maybe this new one in Los Angeles. What are the odds they all get built in the next five years? Slim, I'd say, especially if the economy continues the way it is. The devil will be in the details, but my sense is that the union can accept the expense credit concept without a ton of financial risk. The important thing will be to see what else they can get the owners to relent on in return.

In any case, I don't see this being enough of a sticking point to cause a lockout. I am actually quite optimistic that a deal will get done without a work stoppage, because neither side is really asking for a major sea change. Every other work stoppage we've seen has involved one side asking for major structural reforms, and that's not really the case here. It's just that you've had some heightened rhetoric and the threat of this uncapped year that has made the situation seem dire.

What's your sense of whether a work stoppage will happen in the NFL?

MB: As an outsider, I could see DeMaurice Smith making every effort to make a statement to the players that he means business when it comes to representing them. Whether that pushes the matter to a work stoppage will most likely depend on how much heel digging there is on either side. There’s an awful lot of pressure on management’s side to achieve a level playing field among the ownership ranks. You look at revenue potential of new Cowboy Stadium, with the likes of the 2010 NBA All-Star Game likely pulling in 80,000 fans… that’s a lot of revenue for a non-NFL related event.

I look at the NFL (or any other league with a CBA expiring): the likelihood of a work stoppage is always higher in tough economic times. When the money is flowing freely, there is a relative state of contentment between owners and players. When times are tough, belt tightening always raises suspicions with the player unions as the owners refuse to open their books to them. At the very least, I think there’s a very good chance that we’ll see an uncapped year in 2010 for the NFL.

Speaking of player unions, there’s a whole lot of upheaval going on right now in North American sports leagues. You have not only DeMaurice Smith taking over for the late Gene Upshaw, but Donald Fehr is stepping aside after serving as MLBPA Executive Director since December 1983, and the NHLPA is in complete disarray since Paul Kelly’s firing. With so many CBAs expiring in 2011, do you see much changing with all that is going on with labor’s side?

TL: Here's how I gauge each league's labor situation:

NFL: May go to uncapped year, but sanity will prevail and they will strike a deal that isn't too different from the one they have now, maybe slightly more favorable for owners.
NHL: Despite the total chaos in the union, players will realize that the current economic system has worked to get the league back on steady footing, and no one will want to upset the apple cart. Commissioner Bettman had hinted at trying to cut down on super-long contracts, but seems to have softened a bit on that based on some statements I've seen.
NBA: This is the one league that might benefit from a stoppage, because it's the most out-of-whack when it comes to how much certain players make and the overall financial health of franchises. Commissioner Stern will happily take a season off if it means restoring sanity to things. You have a lot of mediocre players making a lot of money, and a lot of teams bleeding cash. In the end, I bet we see some sort of stoppage, probably a brief one, that results in a pay scale that allows for more money for superstars and less for middle-of-the-road guys.
MLB: There are a number of issues on the table, and I'm very curious to see whether we end up with a worldwide draft and/or rookie pay scale. And I'd like to see what kinds of adjustments there are to revenue sharing and the luxury tax. I don't see the union making major concessions, though. Michael Weiner is a protege of Don Fehr, who was a protege of Marvin Miller. The last thing he's going to want to do is come off as weak.

Of course, steroids is always an issue when it comes to baseball. It does seem like Commissioner Selig takes a bit of an unfair beating on the issue. But you know this is going to come up again when Mark McGwire walks into spring training as a coach for the Cardinals. What do you think McGwire will say, if anything?

MB: I don’t see how McGwire can avoid not saying anything now that he’s the hitting instructor for the Cardinals. He’s going to get asked about it repeatedly as long as he chooses to be an active part of the organization. And, when you think about it, he should say something. He’s not in danger of perjuring himself due to the vagueness of his comments to Congress, and if he did use PEDs and decides to say as much, as we’ve seen with Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi, the public is pretty much willing to forgive and forget for the most part. Look at Andy Pettitte: Here he is the starter for the deciding game in this year’s World Series, and there was hardly a whisper about his hGH use.

For the most part, I think the public has grown weary of the whole “steroids in baseball” topic. Is it me, or has the topic mostly been fueled by the media?

TL: No question, people are sick of the steroids issue. And I think most writers are as well. The problem is that for a long time, things kept happening that were impossible to ignore. You had several of the game's biggest stars, some of whom were breaking timeless records, tied to PED's. Then you had Congressional hearings. Then the Mitchell Report. Then Roger Clemens challenging the Mitchell Report. Then Clemens and Brian McNamee before Congress.

I think that's one of the reasons why there was a backlash against Selena Roberts when she published her book about Alex Rodriguez. Yeah, it was a significant revelation that he took PED's, but most people were sort of ready for the issue to die at that point. And that's why, as you point out, the issue garnered hardly a mention during the postseason.

When it comes to baseball, I think we're at a point now that testing is strong enough that we can have a reasonable idea of who is cheating and who isn't. At the very least, the attitude toward PED's has changed so that young players coming into the league don't have the attitude that's acceptable. As for what players did in the past, we'll never know precisely who took what and when. But we know there was an era when steroids and PEDs were widely used, and we can take that into account as we evaluate players from an historical perspective. Everyone will have their own opinion on how to do that, but that's ok.

As for McGwire, I would like to see him address the issue in the way that Andy Pettite did. Unfortunately, his steroid use may have been more widespread and harder to explain away. But people are willing to forgive and move on if there's a proper amount of candor.

MB: On MLB, I have to bring up some old history that could not be more important. At the baseball winter meetings, former MLBPA executive director Marvin Miller gets yet another shot at the Hall of Fame. Love him or hate him, it seems unconscionable that Miller is not already in the Hall. The advent of free agency, salary arbitration… basically, labor rights for the players, and their ascension into power were all during Miller’s watch. Do you think it’s time, and do you think it will happen?

TL: Should it happen and will it happen are two different things. I do think there's a general feeling among fans and writers that Miller deserves to be in. If the criteria is "contributions to the game" he's a slam dunk. But there are so many people inside of baseball that see him as the root of all evil. I think it's key that Bud Selig recently came out in support of Miller. And if you look at the 12-member electorate that will review the special executives/pioneers ballot, it's somewhat favorable. You have two of the smarter Hall of Fame players in Robin Roberts and Tom Seaver, plus a few smart writers in Rick Hummel, Hal McCoy and Phil Pepe. Yes, there are a few old execs on there too, with David Glass, Bill DeWit and Bill Giles. But my sense is that Miller has a good, though not great, shot at getting elected. Nine votes will do it, and I say he gets exactly nine. But that's just a guess.

You'll be in Indianapolis to cover those winter meetings, so I look forward to reading your dispatch from there. It will be interesting to see how many traditional reporters will be there. I'm sure you saw the numbers of papers that didn't send anyone to the World Series. Some big names missing. We sent two, because we still think it's important to have a presence at big events. But there seems to be a growing question of the value of having reporters present at games when there is so much available to fans in the form of replays, highlights and social media. At the very least, the "game story" is something that many folks believe will go the way of the Dodo.

I'm curious, as someone who digests baseball for a living, what value you place on the traditional game story. What role should beat writers play in this day and age?

MB: I’m a firm believer in viewing sports through as many prisms as possible. I’d like to believe I’m an unbiased soul, but the truth is, we all have our perspectives, and leaning on just that one view is, in my mind, awfully limiting. So, the beat writers are still of value, and provide a great service to the sports news public; each writer is likely to cover at least one aspect of the game that another may not have.
Where there is concern is the blurring between reporting and being a columnist. You used to always be able to count on The Associated Press to offer up content that was about as unbiased as you could get, and other outlets strove to meet that benchmark. Now, I’m not so sure. With the blogsphere becoming a competitive platform, traditional media has asked reporters to report, but also provide opinion within online companion blogs. I’m not saying this is good or bad (I’m certainly guilty of this style), I’m simply saying it creates camps of one opinion or the other. Media has always had some form of bias, but the lines have become far clearer over the last decade or so. With beat writers offering up their opinions on the likes of Twitter, it makes it harder for me to read the straight reporting and not start see hints of the writer’s opinion surface. So, what winds up happening (at least for me) is reading game stories from multiple sources to try and get as broad a picture as possible from differing perspectives while holding on to what I have viewed or listened to.

As we’re winding this conversation down, I have to ask: Beyond the economy, what has been the biggest sports business story of 2009? In no particular order, I’d say the sale of the Cubs, the opening of Cowboy Stadium, Manny and A-Rod’s involvement in PEDs, Vick getting out of prison and being picked up by the Eagles… just the tip of the iceberg.

TL: I was about to write "the economy" and then realized you said "beyond the economy." So now you're making me think, here. We had some big stories, but some of the ones you mention also fizzled out very quickly. I guess I'd go with the revelations about Manny and A-Rod. Those are two of the biggest names in baseball, and I think their link to PED's told us once and for all that no one can be perceived as clean. With A-Rod, there was a belief that he was clean because he was simply a great athlete from a young age and that he never got that bulked up. And with Manny, there was a feeling he was too aloof and lazy to care about dealing with a steroid regimen. The revelations about these two players kind of put a stamp on things and in an odd way allowed people to move on from the steroid era.

Manny's suspension also served as a demonstration to people that baseball was serious about cleaning up the game. Keep in mind that he did not test positive for a performance enhancer, but a substance people believe is used to bring back the loss of testosterone after a steroid cycle. But that was enough under baseball's system, even in the absence of a positive test for steroids themselves.

Last question: What will be the big story for 2010?

MB: Now’s the time to say, “economy.” Yes, there has been talk of pulling out of the recession, but its effects are going to be hanging over all of sports for two, maybe three years. The downturn in the economy influences everything from ticket prices, to free agent signings, sponsorship agreements, television… the gamut.

But, that’s the easy way out – the easy thing to point out –let’s get into some other areas.

You have to start with the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. That ties into the economy. Will be interesting to see how television advertisers approach their spending on the games, and how attendance is.  If the NFL goes into an uncapped season, it will be one of the biggest stories for next season.  In terms of MLB, the sale of the Texas Rangers is out there. How much, if any, equity Tom Hicks retains will be closely watched. But, for pure juiciness, the nasty divorce proceedings between Frank and Jamie McCourt will be watched closely by not only sports media but the likes of TMZ. The only thing attached to that is the fate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The other stories, close to home for those in the D.C. area will be whether Stephen Strasburg is called up by the Nationals and how that influences attendance for them, and finally, will Dan Snyder’s meddling ways continue to sour one of the great fan bases in all of U.S. sports in the Redskins.

And just think… that’s just what we can see on the horizon. Imagine what will jump out of nowhere.


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF FOOTBALL)

(THE BIZ OF HOCKEY)

(THE BIZ OF BASKETBALL)

(SPORTS BASH)


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter Twitter

FacebookFollow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?