Druschel: There’s no such thing as a small-market team

From Henry Druschel at Beyond the Box Score on December 14, 2016:

This article might qualify as a hot take. The premise is right there in the title – that “small-market teams” are not real things, but teams that have self-defined themselves as poor and struggling in a way that benefits them over other owners and the players – but it is, at the very least, moderately counterintuitive.

You probably have a sense for what the phrase used in the title is supposed to mean; a “small-market team” is one that plays in a smaller market (duh) and thus is financially disadvantaged when compared to their colleagues and competition. Various attempts have been made at calculating market size; the following ranking comes from the expiring CBA, which used a non-public formula to calculate “market rank” for revenue sharing purposes.


Per Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald, the order of teams is changing slightly in the new CBA; it’s not clear what “market rank” was based on previously, but in the new CBA, it’s a product of the population, income, and number of cable TV subscribers in each team’s market, as compared to the league average.

You can quibble about the definition, but those variables are probably a fine way of measuring how many potential baseball fans exist in a given geographic area, and how much money they collectively have to spend. The problem comes in that second bit; how do you define what the geographic boundaries of a team’s market is?

Read the full article here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2016/12/13/13904532/small-market-teams-mlb-athletics-economics-the-long-cons-of-lew-wolff-and-many-many-others

Originally published: December 14, 2016. Last Updated: December 14, 2016.