wallet cashIn case you missed it, yes, the BN Podcast did return with a new episode yesterday. On with your non-Hall of Fame Bullets …

  • For as long as professional sports have been a big business, there has been a relationship between overall sport revenues and the percentage of those revenues that is making its way into the pockets of the players who are the living embodiment of that sport. Maury Brown has written extensively on MLB’s revenue growth over the past 20 years, and did so again in a great piece for Forbes. Revenues in 2013 surpassed $8 billion, which represents another year of significant growth, even accounting for inflation. Player salaries, however, were just shy of $3.8 billion – something near 47% of the revenue figure, depending on just how much over $8 billion the revenue is.
  • The rule of thumb in pro sports these days is that players should be getting about 50% of the revenue, and that’s just about how it is in the NBA, NFL, and NHL. To achieve that kind of balance, payrolls would have to come up by $200 to $300 million across baseball (depending on the final revenue figure), which could be as much as an additional $10 million per team per year on payroll. Baseball salaries continue to explode, but, clearly, it’s for good reason. As long as MLB is raking in the revenue, a fair system will see the players raking, too.
  • I know where your minds are immediately going: have the Cubs been spending 50% of their revenue on payroll? Well, that depends on what you believe about the Forbes report (estimated $274 million in revenues in 2012) or the Bloomberg report (estimated $320 million in revenues in 2013). In either case, if you credit those estimates, the Cubs’ payroll has fallen far shy of a 50/50 split – the Cubs’ final reported payroll for 2013 was $101 million, and final reported payroll for 2012 was $108 million. That said, with debt service payments that could range from $20 million to $40 million, and reported limitations on the amount the Cubs can spend on payroll relative to revenue, the Cubs’ ability to allocate 50% of revenues – however much those revenues actually are – to payroll is probably restricted right now. Right or wrong.
  • Incredibly, home run distance has varied very little over the past eight years.
  • The Pirates are ditching the Jolly Roger logo this year in favor of the “P” as their primary logo. Arrrrrrrrrrre they serious?
  • For you crossover fans who haven’t checked out his work yet, Jay will be reviewing Bears players/positional groups this offseason, and he started with the kicking specialists.
  • (And in case you’re wondering: yes, I know that John Sickels has come out with his top Cubs prospect list. That will be getting its own post shortly – and I didn’t want to bury it yesterday afternoon with the Hall of Fame announcement.)
  • EQ76

    “Arrrrrrrrrrre they serious?” – you betcher booty they arrrrrrreee!

    • hansman

      Ye skallywag! Swab the decks fer doin that thar.

      (things that will make grown-ass men talk like an idiot: 1. Cats 2. Babies 3. Pirates (let that sink in for a minute))

      • mjhurdle

        I would say that, if a cat makes someone talk like an idiot, that someone is not a grown ass man.
        That is almost as childish as hating Almond Joys.

        • hansman

          If hating Almond Joys is childish…I never wanna grow up.

          Courtesy of XKCD.com:


          • mjhurdle

            I like cats, but never have i felt the need to change the way i talk around any of them.
            Besides, cats get way too much undeserved attention.
            If any animal deserves our respect and affection, it is the glorious Llama.
            Several advantages over cats
            1. The name is way more fun to say….repeatedly…over and over…so much fun.
            2. you can ride them
            3. their whole body is covered in soft fluffiness, not just the belly.
            4. you can ride them
            5. they can haul groceries for you if you are desperate
            6. they starred in the movie ‘Emperor’s New Groove’
            7. you can ride them

            • cavemancubbie

              Hey MJ. I seem to have heard Llama’s make good watch dogs! You can even ride them. Great post!

            • CubFan Paul

              “but never have i felt the need to change the way i talk around any of them”

              what about dogs?

            • hansman

              I agree that llamas are superior to cats; however, I have yet to see a llama in pajamas (now that is fun to say).

              • mjhurdle

                ask…and you shall receive…


                • mjhurdle

                  bah, the image is too tall.

                  • hansman

                    I don’t see the image.

            • Scotti

              Like you can’t ride cats…

            • mjhurdle


        • D-Rock

          I will never stop hating Almond Joys. Worst candy bar in history. I tend to agree about the cat statement though. Babies for sure make me talk like an idiot, and pirates too, I suppose.

    • http://www.chicagocubsbleachertickets.com Cub Fan Dan

      They should change it to a Pirate with a steering wheel in his pants: “Yarrr! Its driving me nuts!”

    • DarthHater

      Y’er all a buncha’ freshwater swabs!

  • Jim

    …maybe Brett should turn the comments back off…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nar, nar, nar.

  • Greg

    It seems like baseball’s 47% player salary figure is a bit understated by not factoring in the signing bonuses of international and drafted players in the minor leagues.

    • Oregon Cubs Fan

      This is a good point. If I’m not mistaken, the payroll figures don’t take into account all the money in salaries teams are paying out in their farm system. If that’s accounted for, that may bring the total at or above the 50% threshold. Other leagues do not have the extensive minor leagues that are supported by the major league team. The NHL has farm teams, but if I’m not mistaken, they only have one team each.

      • CubFan Paul

        “the Cubs’ final reported payroll for 2013 was $101 million, and final reported payroll for 2012 was $108 million”

        What you are talking about, is included.

        • Oregon Cubs Fan

          That $101 million and $108 million is not limited to just the major league payroll? Are you sure on that?

          • Scotti

            Those figures do NOT include minor league figures (salaries, draft or bonus) UNLESS the player is on a MLB deal (which, after the Soler year, is no longer allowed).

            • CubFan Paul

              Correct. I misread his post.

    • 1060Ivy

      If you are going to include minor league salaries, don’t forget about minor league revenues.

      Wouldn’t expect either minor league revenue are salaries to significantly affect the totals.

      • Oregon Cubs Fan

        I agree. But minor league teams are independently owned, so I don’t know how much revenue the major league team gets from them. I’m sure it is some, but not a great deal. In fact, my guess would be that they are not receiving enough to recover the salaries of the bonus babies. I’ve been to many games at Peoria. At $5/ticket with only about 1000 fans present (I’ve been to many, many with less people) that is not going to bring anywhere near the revenue to pay $1,000,000+ salary for Javier Baez, let alone the remainder of the team. There is advertising revenue – but it can’t be that much.
        Does anyone know how the deals work with minor league affiliates. Does the major league team agree to flip the bill for all the salaries of the players while the affiliate pays salaries of stadium employees with a revenue sharing agreement? If this is the case, if you were to add up all the revenue received from the minor league affiliates and subtracted the salaries of the players/coaches, my guess is that it would be a negative cash flow for the major league franchise.
        Don’t have figures though so this is all guess work.

        • JacqueJones

          Minor leaguers, even the elite ones make close to nothing, and their salaries are paid by the team. Signing bonuses are the only really big expenditures at the minor league level. The minor league affiliate pays the big team money to keep the affiliation.

        • hansman

          “pay $1,000,000+ salary for Javier Baez”

          If you are a tenured AAA player, you *MIGHT* get $50K a year of which you pay a chunk of that back to the team in clubhouse dues.

  • fortyonenorth

    I don’t really care about the percentage of revenues spent on player salaries. Pay what you want–just field a winning team, for Gods sake. I don’t dictate to Apple how much they pay their employees, but I expect an awesome iPhone.

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