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Revisiting the Commissioner's Blue Ribbon Panel

Thursday, March 24, 2005

For Christmas, I was given a book written by former American League President, Gene Budig: "The Inside Pitch ... and More: Baseball's Business and the Public Trust." However, at the time I was busy re-reading books 3-5 of the Harry Potter series, so I didn't get to it over winter break. In January, school ensued and the book was assigned to collect dust on my shelf.

Well, last week was Spring break for me, and I finally finished "The Smartest Guys in the Room" a book about Enron I had been laboring through for an accounting class. So, to celebrate, I picked up Budig's book.

Right now, I'm only about half way through, but the book is decent. Unfortunately, it doesn't go into a lot of detail in the subjects it covers. This is disappointing because Budig is certainly in a position to provide that detail.

Half way through the book, Budig covers the economic difficulties baseball faced in the late 90's. Where I left off, Budig is informing his reader how the Commissioner's Blue Ribbon Panel on Baseball Economics was instrumental in the eventual solution to some of baseball's economic woes.

The report (.pdf 638K) had several conclusions, but the most striking was this: From 1995 - 1999 no team with a payroll in the lower half of baseball won a playoff game. Furthermore, teams in the upper quartile of payrolls won every single World Series game.


The panel's report was issued mid-summer in 2000 and caused quite a stir. Of course, a quick peak at the history books shows that in 2000 - 2004, teams in the lowest quartile won 11 LDS games, and 1 LCS game. (Athletics & Twins)

Now, with the 2005 season dawning, I figure its time to revisit the Blue Ribbon Report. Over the coming weeks, I'll be examining some of the findings from 2000 to see how they would have changed after another five years. As I complete my review, some of my work will be posted on the front page as daily posts, but the master plan is to put together a comprehensive write-up as one of the business of baseball papers you can find off to the left.

In the meantime, I am assigning a little homework. Download The report (.pdf 638K), and (re-)read it.

March 24, 2005 Record: 12-11, Box, HoHoKam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#23 Chicago Cubs 5
Oakland Athletics 2

March 23, 2005 Record: 11-11, Box, Tucson AZ
ST#22 Chicago Cubs 11
Arizona Diamondbacks 6

March 22, 2005 Record: 10-11, Box, HoHoKam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#21 Chicago Cubs 5
Milwaukee Brewers 4

March 21, 2005 Record: 9-11, Box, Suprise AZ
ST#20 Chicago Cubs 5
Kansas City Royals 12
Posted by Byron at March 24, 2005 11:15 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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1 Comment

I just thought I'd add an interesting statistic to the information on the Blue Ribbon Report. I'm actually doing a paper on baseball's competitive balance issues and discovered that the Florida Marlins ranked 26th in payroll when they won the World Series in 2003. So, that'd add an addition 3 LDS wins, 4 LCS wins, and 4 WS wins to the total of 11 LDS and 1 LCS posted earlier.

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