Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Rich get Richer

It hasn't been confirmed yet, but word on the street is that MLB and DirecTV are close to announcing a 7 year, $700 million dollar agreement where the ONLY way a fan can purchase the MLB Extra Innings package is through DirecTV.

I understand baseball is a business. And the objective of any business is to make a profit. But, according to everything you read, that objective is already being met. Last year, most teams posted record revenues, attendance was up, ratings, etc... Just take a look at some of the money being tossed around this off season: Soriano gets $136 from the Cubs, Zito and the Giants, Gary Freaking Matthews getting $50 million from the Angels. Even the Red Sox hopped on board the insanity bus, giving Daisuke Matsuzaka, a man who has thrown exactly 0 pitches in MLB, over $50 million dollars. That does not even take into account the $40 plus million they forked over just for the right to TALK to him about playing for Boston.

I'm not some guy who gripes about how much athletes and owners make: Somebody offered me $100 million dollars to do something, sign me up. And I'm all for the owners putting a little in their pockets. But for MLB to basically say "Screw You" to every fan that buys the package through something other than DirecTV is asinine. I LOVE baseball. And anyone else who spends $150 dollars to watch the games does too. And MLB could care less.

I'll give you an analogy: My daughter Ciera, is the most precious thing I have in this world. From the day she was born, she has been Daddy's girl. I read the stories at night, I say the prayers and tuck her in at bedtime, and I'm always the one she comes to when she falls and skins her knee. I walk her into school every day, all the way to class, and she kisses me good bye on the cheek in front of all her class. Yeah, I know it'll change one day, but I hope we can always be close.

I love her more than I can put into words, and I'm sure any Dad would feel the same way. So lets say one day, when she is ready to get married (when she is 40 preferably) she calls me up and tells me: "Dad, I appreciate all you've done for me over the years, how loyal and protective of me you were, how you always told me you loved me when you left the house, but if you want to come to the wedding, you have to suddenly become really rich and be a member of the "I'm a Rich Knob Country Club" and buy a Bentley."

MLB is essentially telling all the loyal fans who buy the extra innings package (you think the band wagon jumpers are gonna shell out $150 bucks a year?) Thanks. We appreciate you devoting so much time and effort to watching our games. Now go take a flying leap. You spend $150 dollars, we just got $700 million. Who cares if you are upset?

They don't care about the fact my daughter is mad at me for 6 months because I'm monopolizing the main TV while she wants to watch "The Suite Life of Zac and Cody" for the one millionth time. Or that I've kept us from going out to eat for over an hour because the dad gum Sunday day game has gone into extra innings. Or that during the west coast trips I wake up for 10 days strait looking like Rocky the Raccoon because I'm working on 3 1/2 hours of sleep. They could give a flip that my wife has me sleeping on the couch and going to marriage counseling because, her words, "You are OBSESSED with the Red Sox, and our marriage is falling apart."

OK, the last one I made up, but you get the point. Once again, the everyday fan is getting squeezed, while the Man just lines his pockets. And I'm disgusted with the whole thing.

By the way, I went and talked to the DirecTV folks today about when they can come hook me up.

I'm disgusted, but I'm also obsessed, remember?


Matt said...

Dude, it's insane, but it's big business. It's like my beloved NHL forcing an entire uniform change on every player, all so they can pocket large change from Reebok. It's crazy. It's nuts. But it's money, and the world runs on it.

You're going to let Ciera get married? Caroline is joining a convent.

Tex said...

Wait...Ted, your brothers daughters' name is Caroline? WoooT!! You do know they sing "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway right?

Back to the know my opinion...I'll just go back to the old way I watched the Sox. I get in my private chat room with some eastcoasters and they give me a play by play. I use my imagination and imagine Papi popping one over the Monster.

Business is business MY ASS! Business is A Monopoly more like it!

JET said...

Great post Ted, way to get the word out! You're the modern day equivalent of the American Colonists dumping tea into the harbor. You never know what can happen until you try.

Stacy said...

I'm all for capitalism and every person doing the best they can financially (legally and ethically). That being said, someone needs to recognize the effects of a deal like this on crazed and obsessed fans (such as you.)

I pity the boy that tries to date Ciera. He has no idea what he'll be up against.

By the way, did Direct TV hook you up yet?

Kaylee said...

It is insane but i watch it on the internet anyway

Ted D said...

Yeah, Tex, Matt's little girl is named Caroline. She is adorable: thank the Lord she favors her Mom! And yep: I knew about Sweet Caroline at the games. And Tex, baby Trot's middle name is Matthew! Like I said, we are close.

JET, thanks for stopping by. Just call me Paul Revere. Stacy, you got that right: Pity the poor boy. And hi to you Kaylee. Hop you are doing OK

Kaylee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaylee said...

I am better but now I broke my hand and nose playing baseball in PE CLASS:( I am starting to have second thoughts about liking baseball:D

kelly said...

Don't be draggin' Daisuke into this one, Ted. ;) That's just the market, there. He was the best FA pitcher available--they went big on the posting fee because it let them go lower on the contract. I'd FAR rather have him than Zito.

I'm not in favor of the DirecTV monopoly by any means, but it's no exactly an unusual business practice. For example, Aramark owns the concessions monopoly at Fenway. They bid for the service, and they won. If DirecTV wants to expand their market, it makes plenty of sense for them to bid top dollar on an exclusive contract (as with the NFL). And, similarly, it makes sense for MLB to accept.

That said, I think--I hope--that this will enliven the legal issues that a few legislators were trying to raise about the NFL deal.

I have cable: I won't be getting a dish. I'll just keep making do with for my not-quite-as-beloved-as-the-Sox Padres... and Bellhorn, Arroyo and Gonzo on the Reds...

Ted D said...

Kelly, you are a woman of your word: you said you would visit and you did! I understand the business side Kelly: I'm really more just aggravated about switching everything around than anything!

Kaylee said...

"It is insane but i watch it on the internet anyway"

because i watch to many teams=) but the sox are my favorite:)