07.26.12

Reinsdorf’s Contraction Hopes : As Plausible As Pierzynski Winning A Nobel Peace Prize

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 12:24 pm by

What, not probable enough for you?  How about Michael Jordan and Jerry Krause getting hitched?  White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf took questions at a luncheon raising funds for Israel’s World Baseball Classic hopes (ESPN Chicago reports former Cub Adam Greenberg — beaned in his only MLB plate appearance — has heroically volunteered), and when asked about baseball perhaps expanding internationally, replied thusly ;

“I don’t see any baseball expansion right now,” he said. “If it were up to me, I would contract two teams. But I certainly don’t think expansion on the horizon.”

When fans yelled, “What two teams?” Reinsdorf clammed up.

“I have a habit of getting myself into trouble,” he said. “I just did yesterday. So I’m not going to (get in trouble).”

Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra, mindful this isn’t the first time Reinsdorf has campaigned for eliminating other teams (if not competition in his own division), sneers that such fantasies are as likely as “a game going off tonight with a starting outfield consisting of the Easter Bunny, Roy Hobbs and a golem-player comprised of Raul Mondesi’s body and Ted Williams’ unfrozen, reattached head.”  And I thought the Jordan/Krause wedding idea was kind of scary!

Owners of any teams that were contracted would have to be bought out.  In a world where franchise values are at, a minimum, $500 million, contracting two teams — which you would have to do to keep a sane schedule — would cost in the billions, simply to make the contracted owners give up their property.  That’s before you figure in all of the contracts that would have to be bought out and torn up between the team and its business partners, sponsors and media affiliates and the subsequent litigation.

Then you get the political problems: you think local politicians, governors and members of Congress are gonna sit by while the local nine are contracted? There will be hearings and ugliness for months if not years if someone seriously attempted to contract a team. Yeah, baseball LOVES that, so they’d totally make that happen.

Oh, and the labor issues too. The union would consider it to be an assault on membership, because some 50 major league jobs would go bye-bye and the salaries for the remaining players would go down as more guys compete for fewer roster spots.

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