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  • I’m confused about the part where the Lightning haven’t built a following. They’ve sold the building out for seven straight years and that includes games where there are no visiting fans in the building, like Anaheim or whoever. The only reason visiting fans turn out now is because they can gobble up seats on StubHub... and that’s a problem everywhere. Yeah the Hawks fans showed up pretty big in 2015, but go watch the 2013 Finals and see how many of them were in Boston’s arena for the clincher.

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    • Bolthed, I don’t disagree that the Rays have lousy ownership. Namoli put the team behind the 8 ball. Sternberg is a douche. He has a knack for saying the wrong thing in every situation.

      But where I disagree is that the economic system in baseball means that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that an owner can do to field a consistent winner absent investing and losing millions every year or constantly being in rebuild mode like the Rays.

      You bring up the Lightning trading players as a comparable. I believe I began this discussion (either here or discord) by saying the Ray’s trade was a stupid way to build a fan base. But whereas the Lightning are largely able to remain competitive because of a salary cap, baseball has no such protection. The Yankees and Red Sox can buy success. Remember, the Rays invested the big bucks getting Jose Canseco. They ended up trading him to the Yankees where he was a pinch hitter and reserve. Until there is a salary cap, the Rays are screwed - especially being in that division. Where I defend Sternberg is that he has done remarkably well given the financial considerations and division he is in.

      The Lightning won in 04 without a cap for one simple reason. Davidson hated the Red Wings owner. He was willing to spend any amount to fuck over Ilitch. After he made his point, he sold the team.

      The Bulls broke up an NBA championship team, got rid of the best player in the history of the game, the best coach in the game and another top 50 player of all time to try and show that they could build a championship on their own. Pretty comparable to what we watched the Rays do. At least the Rays remain competitive.
      Last edited by Donnie D; 01-02-2021, 01:28 PM.
      “Every man who has stepped foot on the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly — a task simpler than rocket science.”

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      • Originally posted by Donnie D View Post
        Bolthed, I don’t disagree that the Rays have lousy ownership. Namoli put the team behind the 8 ball. Sternberg is a douche. He has a knack for saying the wrong thing in every situation.

        But where I disagree is that the economic system in baseball means that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that an owner can do to field a consistent winner absent investing and losing millions every year or constantly being in rebuild mode like the Rays.

        You bring up the Lightning trading players as a comparable. I believe I began this discussion (either here or discord) by saying the Ray’s trade was a stupid way to build a fan base. But whereas the Lightning are largely able to remain competitive because of a salary cap, baseball has no such protection. The Yankees and Red Sox can buy success. Remember, the Rays invested the big bucks getting Jose Canseco. They ended up trading him to the Yankees where he was a pinch hitter and reserve. Until there is a salary cap, the Rays are screwed - especially being in that division. Where I defend Sternberg is that he has done remarkably well given the financial considerations and division he is in.

        The Lightning won in 04 without a cap for one simple reason. Davidson hated the Red Wings owner. He was willing to spend any amount to fuck over Ilitch. After he made his point, he sold the team.

        The Bulls broke up an NBA championship team, got rid of the best player in the history of the game, the best coach in the game and another top 50 player of all time to try and show that they could build a championship on their own. Pretty comparable to what we watched the Rays do. At least the Rays remain competitive.
        What on earth, you're bringing up Jose Canseco? That was decades ago, with a different ownership. You are way, way, way out of touch with what is going on over at 1 Tropicana Dr.

        Baseball has revenue sharing. The Rays made 264 million in revenue in 2019 with a 52 million dollar payroll. Sternberg paid 200 million for the Rays and the team is worth north of 1 billion right now. The yield on that investment is staggering. The amount of money the Rays are making and their valuation is the reason Vinik can't touch the team.

        No owner who cared about the fans would propose the Montreal deal. From what was discussed, he'd sell half of his stake in the team at 500 million, and use some of that to build a stadium as a sort of down payment to increase its value, just like flipping a house. He'd then likely sell off his remaining stake and leave the fans and players to deal with the aftermath while pocketing his substantial profits.

        Why are continuing to defend the way Sternberg conducts business?

        Did you make up the Davidson thing? The Bulls did not get "rid of the best player in the history of the game", Jordan injured his finger and retired. Phil Jackson left on his own after the team got too old and talent depleted to sustain itself, the Bulls did not voluntarily jettison these guys.

        It's nothing like what the Rays have done, stop rewriting history to fit a narrative where this owner who doesn't give a damn about you, isn't a money grubbing jackass. He is not just a douche, he is scalping money from this franchise in a way that no ownership group dares try to do to their fanbase because they know they'd be run out of town.
        If no government system will guarantee a utopia, then our best choice is to look for the least exploitive one

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        • Yeah, Schmitzy. We are BFFs again! 😆

          Seriously, DD, you don’t understand baseball. It’s OK. But small-market teams and mid-market teams (which is what I think the Rays could and should become since this is the ELEVENTH biggest media market and $tu is about to bank an obscene amount of money on the local TV rights deal) win the World Series with regularity. And the Rays front office is super smart. Imagine what they could do with a paltry $50 million more in payroll to fill in the cracks? They’d be a fucking juggernaut with their farm system and their organizational coaching staff. And do you know where an extra $50 million a year in payroll would put them? Still in the bottom of the sport. It’s a fuckin travesty.

          $tu is just a Wall Street grifter trying to sell the yokels on a monorail (stadium) and then flip the team for a gazillion. Fortunately, villainous scumbag Jeffrey Loria already broke American sports by being a colossal garbage monster of an owner, and after he hijacked Miami-Dade and the state of Florida, no one will ever publicly finance a stadium ever again. You need to educate yourself on this sordid tale: https://sabr.org/bioproj/topic/miami...rship-history/

          Read the part about Loria and then read the part about Marlins Park. Sternberg is a plague on Tampa Bay. We are not the problem.
          “Could I had posted cite a site?” — WWW dot Trump makes you dumb dot RU

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          • If no government system will guarantee a utopia, then our best choice is to look for the least exploitive one

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            • Originally posted by Donnie D View Post
              Remember, the Rays invested the big bucks getting Jose Canseco. They ended up trading him to the Yankees where he was a pinch hitter and reserve.
              BTW, the Rays signed Canseco to a $2 million per year contract, which was the average salary for a MLB player in 1999/2000. Not a "big bucks" contract. Sadly, that would put him amongst the Rays highest paid players today. The Rays have two players who make above league average and they are both being shopped....
              If no government system will guarantee a utopia, then our best choice is to look for the least exploitive one

              Comment


              • The sHit Show is also ancient history. Just not a relevant example of anything other than the Rays previous owner and GM being bad at everything they did (but at least they tried the approach of adding some payroll). This isn’t an insult, but calling the Rays a farm team for the big-market franchises is what a casual observer would think. It’s a way more complex situation with significant societal, economic, marketing, corporate, demographic, geographic and cultural aspects which have little to do with actual baseball. Take it from a fan who was born and raised here, knows the area’s history and worked closely with pro sports organizations ... Sternberg doesn’t give a shit about us or this region. He just wants the revenue streams that other owners have without doing fuck all to get there. No one will be surprised if he heartlessly packs this franchise up and moves it in the dead of night. And if Tampa Bay were smart, we’d start publicizing how much his ownership suppresses and turns off fan and business investment and makes us look bad (way worse than we are, I’d argue). He’s holding the team hostage and trying to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from this community. Unless he suddenly does a 180 and takes a few hundred thousand of the (estimated) BILLION in local TV money (that he already has or is soon to finalize) and leads the way to a new stadium, he is a true villain and should be called out as such.
                “Could I had posted cite a site?” — WWW dot Trump makes you dumb dot RU

                Comment


                • No I did not make up the Davidson thing. He was in a feud with Ilitch. And as a friend who knew both very well told me, there’s nothing nastier than 2 rich people who hate each other. Davidson wanted to starve out Ilitch on concerts by have 2 spots where they could play. You want Tampa? Then also book at the Palace. He also dedicated everything to beat Ilitch’s beloved Red Wings. He did and from what I’ve been told lorded it over him until he died.

                  I heard the story from 2 people. One a good friend who made his money running arenas (was also the first commissioner of MLS). The second from the former financial director of the Indiana Pacers.
                  “Every man who has stepped foot on the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly — a task simpler than rocket science.”

                  Comment


                  • I’ll stop. But to summarize.

                    The Rays ownership past and present has been a shit show. (I think we agree)
                    The Rays have been incredibly successful on the playing field (The facts bear this out)
                    The recent trades including trading a former Cy Young winner to save money is not a way to build a fan base. (I think we agree again)
                    The team has not been supported by the local fans (attendance bears this out)
                    The ownerships missteps contributed to this lack of support (to what extent is debatable)
                    The economic system in baseball with its lack of a salary cap puts all small market teams at an economic disadvantage (see the results throughout the league)
                    The Tampa area consists of a large percentage of transplants who retain their allegiance to their former “home town” teams (Do you really dispute this?)
                    The large number of transplants prevent all Tampa sports teams from receiving the undying loyalty that exists in other similarly sized communities for their teams.
                    Where we disagree is that I recognize the fact that ownership has been able to be successful as a small market team despite the inherent economic disadvantages of being located in a small market. You want them to spend more.


                    “Every man who has stepped foot on the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly — a task simpler than rocket science.”

                    Comment


                    • This isn’t a negotiation for either of our (stubborn) opinions, but we do agree on most of this.

                      The Rays are only a small-market team because it fits $tu’s narrative of the woe-is-me, I’ve-done-everything-right owner. The Bucs and Bolts spend right up to the cap. Do you think the Rays would spend to the cap if there was one?

                      Yes, the system is rigged for teams in large metropolitan areas. Yes, the Rays have succeeded with a lower payroll more than almost any team in baseball history. But you cannot dispute that we are the 11th largest media market. Just a few years ago we were 16th. I think it was just one or two years ago that we were 14th. Can you spot the trend? Can you see why the commissioner doesn’t want to just abandon Tampa Bay?

                      Heres the only thing I think we really disagree on — Sternberg is a scumbag villain wielding the success of his brilliant front office as a cudgel while doing nothing else to build a fanbase other than producing these hollow mirages of young prospect-laden Triple-A all-star teams in order to bilk the low- and middle-income people of this community into forking over a sweetheart deal on a new stadium so that he can make even more obscene money and still not increase payroll out of the sport’s cellar, because where’s the fun in winning with payroll or even a mixed approach if you can’t also be regarded as the smartest guys in the club?

                      Whew! Mother of all run-on sentences!

                      But I hope you and others get the point. We have to turn around this narrative that it’s entirely the fans’ fault or else the scumbag villain will move somewhere somehow.
                      Last edited by Bolthed; 01-03-2021, 10:59 AM.
                      “Could I had posted cite a site?” — WWW dot Trump makes you dumb dot RU

                      Comment


                      • I’m not so sure that we disagree on what you think we disagree on.

                        But while the size of the TV market is factually accurate, it doesn’t accurately reflect the fan base given the number of transplants. When you deduct those folks, we are a small market team.
                        “Every man who has stepped foot on the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly — a task simpler than rocket science.”

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Donnie D View Post
                          No I did not make up the Davidson thing. He was in a feud with Ilitch. And as a friend who knew both very well told me, there’s nothing nastier than 2 rich people who hate each other. Davidson wanted to starve out Ilitch on concerts by have 2 spots where they could play. You want Tampa? Then also book at the Palace. He also dedicated everything to beat Ilitch’s beloved Red Wings. He did and from what I’ve been told lorded it over him until he died.

                          I heard the story from 2 people. One a good friend who made his money running arenas (was also the first commissioner of MLS). The second from the former financial director of the Indiana Pacers.
                          I'm not sure what you mean here, Illtch owned the Red Wings, Davidson owned the Vipers and the Pistons before purchasing the Bolts. How could purchasing the Bolts interfere with Illtch's concert revenues and fuck them over? Seems like an odd choice to own a team in different conference if Davidson wanted to "beat" the Red Wings. Let's be generous and say that winning the Cup accomplished that, that does not support why he wanted to sell the team. PS&E began liquidating everything once Davidson got old and sick. The COO of PS&E blamed the sale on the tax burdens of inheriting the Bolts for the Davidson family, which is why they jettisoned everything as quickly as they could before Bill passed.
                          If no government system will guarantee a utopia, then our best choice is to look for the least exploitive one

                          Comment


                          • They had competing arenas. Davidson owned the Palace of Auburn Hills. Ilitch operated the Joe Louis Arena. They were in direct competition for events. By having Tampa and the Palace, Davidson was able to negotiate concerts in both venues giving him an advantage over the Joe. I think they also fought over Davidson's desire to have one arena with both tenants, but I don't know that for sure.

                            I always felt the acquisition of the arena in Tampa was Davidsons motive in purchasing the Lightning. I used to say Davidson wanted to buy the Ice Palace, the hockey team just came with it. I never felt he had any interest in the team, but was grateful that he made the team a winner despite having no financial motive for doing so. I was corrected by both people who said that he didn't spend money on the Lightning out of the goodness of his heart. He hated Ilitch and wanted to beat him at his own sport. The reason he was willing to lose money on the Lightning was his deep hatred for Ilitch. When I asked then why he was selling, the comment was "He accomplished what he set out to do."

                            I have no first hand knowledge, so dismiss it if you like. But I trust my friend. He was the one who told me that Leiweike was leaving the lightning to become NFL president 3 weeks before the announcement. He knew because Leiweike called him looking for housing in New York. That turned out to be accurate.
                            Last edited by Donnie D; 01-03-2021, 01:01 PM.
                            “Every man who has stepped foot on the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly — a task simpler than rocket science.”

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by RSchmitz View Post

                              I'm not sure what you mean here, Illtch owned the Red Wings, Davidson owned the Vipers and the Pistons before purchasing the Bolts. How could purchasing the Bolts interfere with Illtch's concert revenues and fuck them over? Seems like an odd choice to own a team in different conference if Davidson wanted to "beat" the Red Wings. Let's be generous and say that winning the Cup accomplished that, that does not support why he wanted to sell the team. PS&E began liquidating everything once Davidson got old and sick. The COO of PS&E blamed the sale on the tax burdens of inheriting the Bolts for the Davidson family, which is why they jettisoned everything as quickly as they could before Bill passed.
                              "Sure, you can play at the ice palace. But we need to make a double deal. You play the ice palace, and then the palace of auburn hills when you head to detroit."

                              "We were actually looking at Joe Louis Arena."

                              "Sorry, it's a both or none deal here."

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Donnie D View Post
                                They had competing arenas. Davidson owned the Palace of Auburn Hills. Ilitch owned the Joe Louis Arena. They were in direct competition for events. By having Tampa and the Palace, Davidson was able to negotiate concerts in both venues giving him an advantage over the Joe. I think they also fought over Davidson's desire to have one arena with both tenants, but I don't know that for sure.

                                I always felt the acquisition of the arena in Tampa was Davidsons motive in purchasing the Lightning. I used to say Davidson wanted to buy the Ice Palace, the hockey team just came with it. I never felt he had any interest in the team, but was grateful that he made the team a winner despite having no financial motive for doing so. I was corrected by both people who said that he didn't spend money on the Lightning out of the goodness of his heart. He hated Ilitch and wanted to beat him at his own sport. The reason he was willing to lose money on the Lightning was his deep hatred for Ilitch. When I asked then why he was selling, the comment was "He accomplished what he set out to do."

                                I have no first hand knowledge, so dismiss it if you like. But I trust my friend. He was the one who told me that Leiweike was leaving the lightning to become NFL president 3 weeks before the announcement. He knew because Leiweike called him looking for housing in New York. That turned out to be accurate.
                                I actually think that is the motivation for most who would want to own the lightning now. It's been a few years so no idea if it's still true, but there was a time the forum held more events than any other arena in the country. Thats a ton of extra revenue.

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