Thursday, August 29, 2002

Seeing how I have a lot of traffic on my blog today and a baseball strike will likely occur tomorrow, I'm reposting my organizational solution to baseball. The original post appears below.

I read Bob Costas's FAIR BALL: A FAN'S CASE FOR BASEBALL a few weeks ago. It's a good book, but I don't agree with Costas's ultimate recommendations for the organization of Major League Baseball. I've never heard anyone make this argument, but I believe the American and National Leagues should dump the franchise model and incorporate into separate public corporations with each team and its farm system being an operating division. If the leagues are two separate public corporations competing against each other, antitrust issues are no longer a concern. Incorporating will compensate the large-market teams for lost revenue from proposed revenue-sharing by giving these teams more shares in the new corporate entity. Plus, fans and multi-millionaire players can buy stock and have a vested interest in baseball's success.

I think dumping the franchise model might be good for all sports. Even though revenue sharing and parity are much more pronounced in football and basketball, they too could benefit from the public corporation model. Privately-owned teams like the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Clippers are historically mismanaged. I don't care how much revenue sharing or parity there is; the Cardinals and Clippers will never win a championship with their current ownership. This is ultimately bad for their sports and their leagues. If any of my readers have seen something written on the model I suggest or want to suggest different organizational models, send me an e-mail.

I'll have some solutions for college and professional football this Labor Day weekend.