Shame On Us

The trust fund pukes hire people ten times smarter than themselves, in this case the stat heads, to figure out how to get as much money out of our wallets as possible by giving us the sports – entertainment product we want and therefore deserve. In the case of baseball it reflects a value system which glorifies championships by spitting on the relative smaller success of real life like trying to make a positive contribution to our families and those around us even if it can’t be a championship one, and 82 – 80 baseball teams, while ignoring the shamefulness of not even trying to not be terrible.

In 2006 Nate Silver calculated the value of wins to a team’s revenue and showed that a team’s 90th win was worth six times as much as its 78th — and that, in fact, until a team surpasses 80 victories, there is almost no value in winning additional games at all. So if you can’t win over 80 you might as well cut the shit out of your payroll and lose a 100.

In fact, you better do it. All the other trust fund pukes have had this pointed out to them by their stat head minions, and if you don’t the competitive disadvantage will get you the worst of all worlds – a losing team that loses money.

The article below relates some of the background of how this came to be. It starts out by telling how Branch Rickey did something similar with the Pirates in the 50’s, famously telling home run champion Ralph Kiner before trading him “son we can finish last without you”. When it took too long for the Pirates to reap the benefits of his strategy he was forced out of the game his reputation tarnished, while today’s teardown artists are certified geniuses.

And of course it fucking works. See Astros, Royals, Cubs.

Now comes my favorite part in putting together these posts, finding appropriate eye candy. I’m glad it’s going to take a while.

I’ve been looking for something which reflects the spirit of the poor people who periodically pass through my alley looking for usable discarded couches, salable metal scraps etc. I don’t think poor single men do this often, I think these guys are mostly family men trying to improve the lives of their families. That’s the sort of real life small victory that baseball should remember. Not a lot of luck but here’s what I got.

Is that you Slappy?


Is this your trailor?

82 – 80 is much better than 80 – 82 but here’s what even a 80 – 82 year can include. Doesn’t look like it needs a teardown to me.

That’s right Gator, don’t spend one penny on those damn thieving feesh, but don’t lose out on the pleasures of this summer. Remember silly mortal, we’re only allowed so many of them.

9 thoughts on “Shame On Us

  1. Well, some of my favorite times going to Astros games was when they were a losing franchise. The tickets could be gotten cheaply, parking and food prices went down a bit commensurately, and you could upgrade seats almost at will.

    Not that I don’t love them winning; I do. But there are pleasures to be found in any day at the ballpark.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree. But the flip side is, every penny you spend on those losing days at the ballpark is encouragement to the owners to go on not giving a flying fark at a rolling donut about the fan base. The only way to smack billionaires upside the head is to smack them with their own wallets.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Unfortunately that will only get us half there. Baseball needs to de incentivize what has become a necessary competitive tactic for all but the richest teams. The article mentions that back in the thirties only the teams finishing in the upper quarter of their division received revenue sharing. Today it works mostly the opposite. In addition tanking teams get higher draft picks, comp picks and get to treat the season like an extended spring training, giving AAA prospects extended looks and MLB experience.

        But unless we fans start throwing dishes this won’t happen because it simultaneously depresses the market value of veteran players.


      2. I will readily concede the point with your franchise OG. I never felt there was malice in the losing for the Astros in the late ’90’s or around 2010. It was more ineptitude, which is somewhat forgettable.

        Particularly when you can get a twelve year old grandson into the game for free.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I have similar memories of sparsely attended games at the old Metrodome. However in those days the Twins weren’t bad because a smart front office was following a long term good plan, but because a stupid front office was following a bad plan. Cheap tickets, no lines at the concessions, being able to move into better empty seats after the start of the game, sure there were pleasures to be had even with the losing, but only as long as you knew the Twins, not just the players but the organization however bad were trying their best.


  2. It’ll be very interesting—should things get that far—to see how many teams can be “sustained” by using such tactics. It will certainly be a brave new world order (ahem) in MLB by then. For instance, I believe mathematically this tank-to-bank strategy cannot result in every team winning a championship (see Oakland A’s via “Moneyball”). So who will try to hang around and just be competitive and who will tank regularly? It sure doesn’t sound appealing to me as a fan but it would be different and thereby interesting.


  3. The whole issue reminds me of business plans. In MLB, bad front office management fires field management, trades away best players, drafts poorly, gets fired by ownership. Front office management does not look at this as failing twice, but as keeping job for an extra thee years.

    This is a strategy popularized in business, in which CEOs fail miserably, fire 10,000 hardworking individuals (who are clearly not responsible for the abject failure) in a “restructuring” of the corporation, and retain the CEO chair for another three years. Oh yes, in business the failure ruins the stock, hurting 100,000 hardworking investors (but not the seriously [nine figure] wealthy – they got the word through underground sources to sell out months earlier) but yielding such paltry performance targets that the CEO is granted inconceivable numbers of shares as the company rebuilds from a disaster that was totally avoidable in the first place!

    That’s the Devil’s joke in the 10,000 and the 100,000, The Devil’s joke on the rest of us? We then elect the failed businessman POTUS!


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