Note to RichieHebner, BD commenter -- I know we've gone at it, but I respect you and what you say. My only gripe was that you seemed to say the same thing over and over, regardless of what Huntington/Coonelly said or did.
RichieHebner wrote that the Pirates were Coonelly's and MLB's petri dish. That they were going to try to win on the cheap. I can't figure out how to search the archives or I'd quote him directly. The point, I think, was something along the lines of, if not breaking the union, at least gaining greater control back from it. With that in mind, I present the following from a story in the Tribune-Review. I think the petri dish experimenting and union-controlling has already begun:
"The sport is not necessarily a loser for owners, though. According to Forbes, Major League Baseball's profits increased 7.7 percent last year to $5.5 billion. The magazine estimates the average team is worth $472 million, a one-year hike of 9.5 percent...
Where is all that money going? Not necessarily to the players. According to Forbes, player costs in Major League Baseball (salaries, bonuses and benefits) have fallen over the past five years from 66 percent of revenue to 56 percent."
I think RichieHebner might be right, but the idea of holding costs down is not unique to the Pirates or Coonelly, apparently. I think the union will have to stop crying collusion if the owners can convince the media (or maybe the courts) that they are not colluding, more of them are simply growing their own and not involving themselves in suicidal bidding wars.
If the union can be convinced of that, they might become more interested in a salary cap of sorts. Salary caps mean salary floors. In the NFL, the players are guaranteed, I believe, 70% of revenues. If baseball players are only getting 56%, they'll want a bigger piece of the pie. But it might have to be on the owners terms, or at least at the control of the owners.
Just so I'm (hopefully) clear, I brought RichieHebner up because I think he's right, and since I've been vociferous with my arguments with him, I wanted to set it straight that it wasn't because of what he was saying.