Friday, May 31, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, May 31, 2024 -- "Superleague"


This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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If MLB tries to nationalize local TV rights, then we could see the league’s revenue drivers pushed to deal with the issue no one likes to talk about: The top third of the league carries the bottom third. If you go back to the Yankees and Dodgers and Cubs not just for cash but for their rights, they may just decide to take their (dead) ball and go home. Bill James once wrote, talking about local-TV revenue disparity, that the Yankees need someone to play. He’s right, but they don’t need 29 someones.

There is going to come a point when some owners say “enough.” The upcoming CBA negotiation was going to be complicated enough with some teams’ local TV revenue falling to zero or close to it. If the owners in that position choose this moment to take more from Hal Steinbrenner and Mark Walter and Tom Ricketts, that’s a declaration of war.