Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

A's Set Team Record, Mariners Desperate For Runs, Giants Win, Bud's in NY

Barry Zito did what he does best, win ball games. The A’s won their fifteenth in a row and moved 4 1/2 games ahead of the Mariners and 4 ahead of Anaheim.

The Twins and Mariners play Thursday with lefty Jamie Moyer, the best the Mariners have on the hill, matching up with tricky Rick Reed.

The Mariners don’t hit and the Angels are wilting under the weight of injuries and a tired bull pen. All parts of the game that the A’s are immune to right now.

The Angels play the pesky Devil Rays. Tanyon Sturtze who looked like a good bet for 20 losses two weeks ago all of a sudden is 3-13. Kevin Appier needs to give his team eight innings, the Anaheim bull pen is running on fumes, blowing the lead and the game Wednesday night to Tampa Bay 8-5 in ten painful innings.

The Giants try to sweep the Rockies behind Livan Hernandez. With Mike Hampton on the mound for the Rocks, get out the calculator to add up the runs that will be scored Thursday in Coors Field.

And Bud is in NY. I’ll look at his dilemma.

Click below for the true story.The owners and players have been arguing how to divide the money ever since they realized that they could put a fence around field and charge admission. That was in 1860.

The owners have backed the players into a corner. Baseball is a multi billion dollar industry, the players are the assets of this business. They are entitled to their share of the gross, they comprise the product sold, to wit: participants in the baseball games which the fans pay to see either in person or via electronic media.

The owners have the “plantation philosophy,” that is they will tell the players what is good for them, how much money to make, and if they object to this largess, the players become ingrates in the owners minds.

It is amazing that the owners trash the players and their motives. Can you think of any other business where the owner degrades his product? How about the owners telling the fans that certain teams don’t have a prayer to win the pennant or be entertaining? What other business would tell the customer that the product is no good?

The owners have told the players to take the owners offer. If the players don’t take the offer, then the owners will put new rules into place this winter. This is no way to negotiate. It isn’t even take it or leave it, it’s take it now or we’ll stick it to you later in December.

The only recourse for the players is to create economic havoc for the owners (strike) to get them to honestly negotiate.

Competitive balance is a buzz word for the owners. It sounds good, but there is no guarantee that the revenue sharing money will be used for salaries. All that the owners have offered is that the money will go to small market clubs without any guarantees how it will be used.

They say trust us. They must be delusional if they think the players will trust them.

When the strike does occur Friday it will be interesting to see how many owners will want to hold the company line. Bud Selig has a group of owners in his corner, when the going gets tough we’ll see how many owners want to hold out.

If the controlling owners are still influenced by the idiot in San Diego (he told the competitive athletes he didn’t think they have the nerve to strike) and the Drayton McLane’s of the world, it could be a long month.

If the moderates stand up, take control, and tell Selig what they want to do, then things will settle more quickly.

We won’t know that until the owners are pushed through the strike process.

The players want to make a deal, the owners are holding up this negotiation and you can take that to the bank.

The owners plan will effectively set a salary cap. Now, in and of itself this may not be a bad idea for baseball, but don’t hide behind all the rhetoric of luxury taxes, revenue sharing and competitive balance, what it all means is that the top seven teams or so, will not want to spend as much money as they have before and that will keep salaries down, even if revenue goes higher.

Don Fehr isn’t stupid, that’s a salary cap any way you want to look at it.

The owners should just come clean and say what they are tryng to do.

The public’s wrath currently directed at the players is misplaced. The owners are the ones holding up the deal.

This deal needs some guarantees that the money will be used for salaries, until that happens Don Fehr will not sign off on any proposal without a fight.

Make no mistake about it, the owners want control of the plantation again, just like they had for the first 75 years of the twentieth century.

They know what’s good for the players.

Sorry fans, that’s the real truth.


1 Anonymous { 08.29.02 at 1:55 pm }


Thanks for some honest words about what is going on. Most of the media seems so focused on the average major league salary that they seem to forget that this is mostly about dividing up the sports’ revenues. Only a fool would think that lower player salaries would lead to lower ticket prices. It will only lead to larger owner profits. The players have been forced into this strike. People keep pointing toward basketball and football for the “right” way to organize the sport, but who would want to be Greg Biekert of the Raiders right about now. Has a salary cap really helped bad teams become competitive in the NBA? No. In fact, for a team like the Warriors, it has been an albatross, interfering with making changes on a team too often saddled with bad contracts. The baseball owners speak about competitive balance, but they are really more interested in cutting salaries to increase their own bottom line.

Steve B.

2 marty { 08.29.02 at 2:09 pm }

Steve, Thanks for your feed back. The only reason the NFL can make the salary cap parity argument is because the schedule is rigged, allowing the teams with the worst records to play against each other. If baseball created a schedule where the Royals played the majority of their games against the Devil Rays, Tigers, and Orioles, then those teams would look much better and have winning records. The NBA is another example of how bad management can ruin any team. Give Billy Beane 30 million and he’ll build a decent team, give Pittsburgh that money and they will be in last place. I’d like to see at least a minimum amount allocated for salaries, tied into an increase in gross revenue over the next few years.


3 Anonymous { 08.29.02 at 2:41 pm }

Good article Marty. Although the media and some reports appear to be optimistic regarding getting a deal done, the way the season has gone, I would’nt count on a deal getting done by tonight.

And if a deal doesn’t get done, we might be dealing with a long period with no MLB baseball because we might a see a major re-structuring of business aspect of the game as we know it.

Interestingly, in 1985, when the players went on strike for a day or two, guess what team was in town (oakland)–The Minnesota Twins.

Back then the likes of Viola, Hrbek, Puckett and Brunansky, today the likes of Hunter, Koskie and Jones.


4 marty { 08.29.02 at 3:03 pm }

Dale, Those are my thoughts on the owners. I certaiainly hope that moderate leadership emerges over the next twelve hours. I’m supposed to interview Torii Hunter for, the players web site tomorrow evening. I have a number of audio interviews on their first page. We’ll see what happens.


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