Florida Fire Sale

The Miami Marlins have gone from extreme buyers to extreme sellers in the span of seven months. In December, the Marlins reeled in Jose Reyes, Mark Burhele and Heath Bell  and apparently came close to getting Albert Pujols to join them.  Now, they have traded Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, Anibal Sanchez to Detroit  and are reportedly on the verge of trading their ace, Josh Johnson.

The problem is, Miami ownership just opened a new $1.2-billion stadium.  This was supposed to be a new era in South Florida baseball.  Now, the Marlins are breaking apart their team, just like they did in 1998 and 2004.  Though those breakups came after World Series victories.

Sure, the team is lousy this year and underachieving.  And yes, attendance isn’t what they hoped for, but they are still drawing more than 10,000 fans more than they did last year.  Now, the Marlins are showing the South Florida market once again not to trust them.  We’ve heard about Jeffrey Loria pocketing revenue sharing money and other examples of his bad behavior.  Bud Selig says it is the “golden age” of baseball, but that seems to refer to the fact that the owners and players are making plenty of gold while the fans pay higher and higher ticket prices.  Sooner or later, fans everywhere are going to say enough.

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  • blmeanie  On July 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I’m saying it now. All sports. Sorry, even when the product is good it is gouging at it’s best. I know the argument, “don’t go”. I took my five kids plus a boyfriend (not mine, my daughter’s) and my wife to a game last month. With parking, 8 seats in the outfield, 2nd level, hot dogs, drinks, etc. I was out about $350.

    Bear in mind it was 108 degrees at first pitch, we had a blast!

    I don’t have the players trying to make as much as they can or the owners trying to make a profit. I have a problem that most comes from TV contracts and that is what has made the players salaries explode. One game a year, I know, 5 kids is the reason it is so high. Got it. Even going with a buddy from work puts me out 50-60 as there is more beer drinking than with the family. And that is with mediocre seats.

    I looked up salaries, of 844 ML players (dl and active) the average salary is $3.4m = $2.9B all in. Extrapolating average attendance figures, my estimate of total ML attendance this year is 76.4m. If the average ticket price is $27 that is $2.1B in gate revenue. I would estimate that the average fan spends about $10 in concessions. This I estimated low because of no-shows bringing the average down. that is another $764m, so $2.8B in gate+concessions (without parking and memorabilia).

    $2.9B, $2.8B…whatever it takes…

    So how about this. Lower the average player salary to ONLY $2.6m by not paying chumps huge contracts. That takes a need of $764m out of the pool which happens to translate to $10 less per avg ticket.

    With $10 avg less per ticket, more people would likely come to games (adding to the pool) buy concessions and park their cars (adding to the pool).

    My night at the game would have ONLY been $270. Heck, I would have had another hot dog if that had been the case.

    sorry, rant over

    • nysportsfanatic  On July 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Excellent rant and I totally agree. Don’t forget the $700 million MLB earns each year from its National TV deal (which is expiring this year and reportedly could jump to $1.5 billion or so.) That’s $50 million per team if they get $1.5 billion! Throw in local TV, radio, licensing deals and you have to be everyone is turning a healthy profit except for us.

      And don’t get me started on taxpayer-funded ballparks.

  • blmeanie  On July 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    link to some pictures from that game I went to

    • nysportsfanatic  On July 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Nice shots, how did you get the ones in the batter’s box? They look really good.

      • blmeanie  On July 25, 2012 at 9:07 pm

        left the family, walked literally half way around the stadium, came up a tunnel to the right of the screen and stood in the tunnel with the zoom lens. Got frustrated with people walking in front of me and stopping while I had camera in position to shoot. I don’t mind walking through my point of view because I was temporary. Then a lady stops and starts trying to chat me up about the camera, whether I like it, WHILE I’m shooting Chipper freakn Jones in maybe the only game I will go to this year (he’s retiring, did you hear?).

        Might go next week to a game without family. Wish I had this camera when Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux were playing here.

      • nysportsfanatic  On July 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm

        Impressive that you didn’t need a tripod. Great work!

  • blmeanie  On July 26, 2012 at 7:03 am

    back in the old days I had a good camera before they were common and loved sports photography. Lost touch with it over the years but bought a decent digital slr camera this spring and have been having fun with it out on the lake as well as events like the braves game. For that shot, had the shutter speed cranked up knowing I wanted to catch/freeze the moment as well as not having a tripod.

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