I love baseball more than most things. If you read my post the other day, you know I’m livid right now that these bitter pre-teens can’t reach a damn compromise to save the fading face of the sport. So you can imagine how angry I was to hear St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt went on the radio to try and play victim by claiming the sport of baseball “isn’t very profitable.”
Damn, Bill. You looking for stage time at the Laugh Factory? Because that bit is hilarious. Someone call Fallon or Kimmel. Give this guy a late night set.
SOURCE – DeWitt says he believes there will be a 2020 season and that the game will be fine in the long haul. Baseball has “always survived and come back stronger,” he says.
Let me stop you right there. If you’re implying coming back from 1994, the sport came back stronger because your beloved Mark McGwire clogged his arteries with enough anabolic steroids to kill a rhinoceros. A juiced home run race isn’t possible this time around. So maybe speak with a little more self-awareness when saying your sport will survive this.
But that doesn’t mean it’ll come about through a mutually satisfactory bargaining process. Indeed, DeWitt seemed less than optimistic that the sides will end up agreeing to terms.
“At some point we do have the right to implement a season and pay full salaries and the only way it makes sense is with a shorter season,” he said. “And that’s I think the way it’ll turn out.”
DeWitt insists that the owners want to make the season as long as possible. At the same time, he rejected the idea of pushing play outside the normal bounds of late October/early November. He cited concerns of a second COVID-19 wave and called it “a little bit of a ridiculous proposal” to imagine “Christmas shopping while you’re watching the World Series on television.”
Please don’t for a second think that the owners’ (or Bill DeWitt’s) biggest concern for playing past October/early November is the rise of COVID-19 or *gasp* playing baseball while Christmas shopping. The owners don’t want to play past October or early November because without fans, that would mean more money out of their deep pockets. And let’s face it, those literal show-pony Christmas gifts for their grandchildren aren’t going to pay for themselves.
DeWitt’s most notable comments came when he attempted an explanation of the owners’ overarching position that players should share in the downside of a limited 2020 campaign. The host posed the question why players should subsidize losses even when their salaries have declined on average while the game raked in record revenues over the past two seasons.
DeWitt rejected the idea that declining salaries were tied to more profits: “don’t think for a minute that the reduced payroll added money in the pockets of the owners because it didn’t.” Citing the growth of non-player personnel — from 240 to 400 in the past six years, he says — DeWitt claims “It’s a bit of a zero-sum game” because “a lot more is put into training, conditioning, promotional work, front office, analytics.”
But DeWitt insists, against all reason, that “The industry isn’t very profitable, to be quite honest.”
Damn, who wants to set up a GoFundMe for these guys? I had no idea owning a Major League Baseball team would be such a money suck. I really appreciate him being “quite honest” with us, or else I never would’ve known.
But wait… Didn’t Bill Dewitt purchase the Cardinals for $150 million? Their current value is roughly $2.2 billion.
Oh, well this actually makes sense.
He’s only made 15-times his original investment. Which for a billionaire “isn’t very profitable.” I just would like to imagine how much income he would consider profitable.
Now I may have taken economics classes over the summer at a local community college, but I’m not dumb enough to think a value is the net income for a team. However, I’ve also worked in sports long enough to know that no MLB team is pinching pennies. Even Brad Pitt’s Oakland A’s. And especially the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals probably have the 5th or 6th highest grossing fan base in baseball. And they’re only in the 23rd biggest market. Meaning they make bank. So Bill DeWitt claiming his livelihood isn’t very profitable is akin to the richest guy on the block turning off his lights on Halloween so he doesn’t have to spend money on candy for trick or treaters.
My guy is making it sound like MLB is some sort of multi-level marketing pyramid scheme that he got sucked into, when in reality, the value of the sport – and thus his team – increases every single year.
But no, please, Bill. Tell us more about how you’re strapped for cash because the industry you work in doesn’t make much money. There’s a reason billionaires are billionaires. Because they cut ties with industries, businesses, and investments that don’t make money. So if baseball really wasn’t profitable, ol’ Billy D. would sell the team.
I mean this in the most sincere and kindest way I can say it: go suck a brick, MLB owners. Find a mason, ask to borrow one of his clay bricks, and suck it. You guys are literal scum for trying to pinch pennies shortly after global pandemic that has left America’s workforce with a what? 14% or higher unemployment rate? READ THE DAMN ROOM!
Anyone who still thinks the players are to blame need to wake up and see who is at least trying to play this season and who is just trying to keep their money.
I’ll be honest, I would’ve sworn Bill DeWitt (left) was a pleated-khakis guy. That right there might be the upset of the century.
Hopefully one day baseball becomes profitable to Bill’s standards. I’m just glad he doesn’t work in an even less-profitable industry. Like blogging.