Archive for August 4th, 2012

Funnyball?

August 4th, 2012 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Funnyball? | Filed in General

Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane will always be associated with the concept of assembling a team based on statistic driven analysis. Being able to find average players that will, in the aggregate, come close to the overall production of a “star-powered” team. The philosophy has been dubbed Moneyball. Ruben Amaro, on the other hand, has gone in the opposite direction. Since becoming GM of our Fightin’ Phils, Amaro has acquired top-tier names at positions of need. He has spent more money than just about any other GM in the history of the franchise.

But is the philosophy that of the man or the organization? By that I mean, has Ruben Amaro been instructed by ownership to inflate the value of the franchise by any means necessary? The team’s value, as of March 2012, was listed as $723 M, up from $608 M in 2011. Now that number may take hit as the Phillies are all but assured to miss the playoffs for the first time in five years, but does anyone have any doubt that since the Phillies have basically sold off as many expendable pieces as possible to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold, that they won’t be just as active in the offseason to solve their problems via their checkbook?

Simply put, I don’t think Ruben Amaro is trying to “buy” a championship for the city of Philadelphia. I think he’s being told to pump up the value of the franchise before the current TV deal with Comcast SportsNet expires in 2015. The value of the franchise could reach close to $1 B with an impending new TV deal that could be valued at close to another billion. Hopefully, the Phillies will win another championship or two by the time the franchise is sold by the aging ownership group, because who knows what the philosophy of the new ownership group will be.