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Credit Claims For Boston Sports And Recreation Professionals: Attorney Support For Financial Stability – SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Fearing that Major League Baseball team owners are gearing up for a push toward a salary cap, the head of the players’ union unequivocally stated his team’s position on the cap the day after spring training games began.
“We’re never going to agree to a cap,” said Tony Clark, executive director of the M.L.B. players union, he said in a meeting with reporters at the union’s new satellite office in the Greater Phoenix area on Saturday.
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He later added: “A salary cap is the ultimate limitation on a player’s value and a player’s salary. We believe in a market system. The market system has served our players, our teams and our game very well.”
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The latest labor agreement, which ended a contentious 99-day lockout between M.L.B. and his players, will be a year old in a few weeks. It won’t end for another four years, so a new round of haggling and bickering over the sport’s structure and economics should still be a ways off.
But in recent weeks, Commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners or chief executives of some teams have expressed their concerns about the economic system they agreed upon. And the alliance itself formed a new economic reform committee to examine important issues.
“We have a problem of difference in the game on the revenue side and consequently on the ability to spend on players,” Manfred said this month. Peter Seidler, owner of the small-market San Diego Padres, praised his huge payroll, but wondered if it was sustainable.
“There are real fundamental issues facing revenue disparities in the game that are so different from capped leagues and leagues like football, where you have real shared national revenue,” said Bob Nutting, principal owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. , told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Nutting’s club receives help from other teams as part of MLB’s revenue sharing system, yet it has the third-lowest payroll in MLB, at $91 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. He added, “That’s a longer discussion, but I think it’s one worth having.”
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Tony Clark steered the players’ union through the lockout, making some compromises along the way. He says a salary cap is not something the union will consider.Credit… Ash Ponders for The New York Times
“I think the vast majority of players, agents and clubs don’t like the economic system of baseball,” John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, a big revenue team, told the Boston Sports Journal. His team’s payroll for the 2023 season is estimated at $211 million, 12th-most in M.L.B. He later added: “The system needs to be changed. Competitive balance remains a huge issue for clubs.”
Tension between management and labor is inherent in baseball. Most teams’ finances are not public, and M.L.B. is the only major North American men’s professional sports league without a hard salary cap. In the N.F.L. and the NBA, revenue is shared between team owners and players at a fixed rate.
And while there are concerns in the sport about the crumbling model of regional sports networks, which provide significant money to teams, M.L.B. is a profitable business. During the 2022 World Series, Manfred said MLB’s gross revenue in the 2022 season is going to be “just shy” of $11 billion — the amount reached in 2019, the last full season before the pandemic.
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During the collective bargaining agreement negotiations before last season, players conceded on some issues to get more money for their younger counterparts and to raise the thresholds for the so-called luxury tax, where teams that going over certain amounts are penalized.
As a result, teams have spent $4.2 billion this winter in free agent deals and contract extensions, according to Spotrac. Chief among them: big-market teams like the Yankees ($574 million), the Mets ($498 million) and the Padres ($838 million).
“It begs the question of why they made that decision and why others don’t,” Clark said of the Padres compared to other small-market teams. “It’s very clear, from the public comments that the San Diego owner made, that they want to compete, they can compete, excited about the team they built there in San Diego. It should be celebrated, not questioned.”
Clark said teams have the flexibility to spend what they want and sometimes go through cycles of winning and spending. But he said it was “in everyone’s interest to invest in the product” because when it’s better, it attracts more fans and therefore more local revenue.
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“We have a game disparity problem on the revenue side and consequently on the ability to spend on players,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier this month. Credit… Jonathan Dyer / USA Today Sports, via Reuters
Based on the sport’s labor history, Clark said he believed the M.L.B.’s new economic committee — which felt similar to the Blue Ribbon panels of the 1990s and 2000s — was part of the desire from the new about a salary cap, which he also had. noted, it was not a new idea.
“What is interesting are the comments that come a year into a new agreement,” he said. “What’s interesting is that the comments find their way into the headlines against the backdrop of a very exciting off-season where teams are competing and participating in the free agent market. has created a level of excitement that I would think is positive.”
In past labor negotiations, Clark said, the union proposed changes to the revenue-sharing system that it believed would have incentivized teams to spend and compete, but M.L.B. oppose any changes. He also said players were open to a salary floor, which would require teams to spend a minimum, but the league proposed one that came with a corresponding luxury tax system that was much stricter than currently, which the union opposes it.
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Although the luxury tax system has been treated as a soft cap by some teams, several teams have ignored those limits at times. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the oft-overlooked Yankees were among the six teams in 2022 to exceed the $230 million tax threshold. The list also included the Philadelphia Phillies, the Red Sox, the Padres and the Mets.
They’ve all either won titles in the last five years or are in contention for them, and remain among the favorites for the World Series – minus the Red Sox – in 2023. The 2022 World Series champion Houston Astros had the eighth largest payroll in MLB. Money doesn’t always equate to titles, but it has certainly helped teams improve their postseason chances.
Clark cautioned against making definitive statements about the current labor agreement just a year in. It takes time, he said, for all its provisions to come into force and then be studied.
James Wagner has covered baseball – the Mets for two and a half years, the Yankees for two years and now in a national role – for The Times since 2016. He previously worked at The Washington Post for six years, including four covering the Nationals. More about James Wagner
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A version of this article appears in print on , Section D, Page 2 of the New York edition with the headline: As Labor Deal Closes One Year, Battle Lines Crop for Next One. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | SubscribeWith an MS degree in Human Resource Management in hand, Evan Pierce feels that his career path is open to a range of possibilities. (Photo: Courtesy of Evan Pierce)
As proven by USC Bovard College graduate Evan Pierce, studying human resource management can lead to incredible career highlights, exciting opportunities and rewarding experiences.
Pierce, who is vice president of people and culture for the Boston Celtics (one of the most respected basketball teams in the country), recently completed the Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) program, and is already making an impact on his career.
However, Pierce’s professional path did not begin in California or Massachusetts. Instead, he attended Augustana University, a small liberal arts school in South Dakota, where he received his business degree. He jumped into a career with Ravens Industries, a company that has the distinction of manufacturing a large percentage of all the balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
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“I could really see the impact that HR could have on the business, and I was able to sit with the C-suite. It was such a cool experience to be my first position out of college, and it opened a lot of doors,” he explained about Ravens Industries.
From there, Pierce continued to climb the ladder in the HR world, working for companies in the technology space such as Hewlett Packard and even Apple. He loved being part of the tech industry and never thought about leaving – until what he described as a “unicorn opportunity” came along: running the People and Culture division for the Boston Celtics, a job that would combine his passion. about human resources and his love for sport.
But at the same time as this major career move, Pierce was already in the middle of another key professional step. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pierce was inspired to move forward
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