Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Move debating

I've been really enjoying the player debates that have occurred over in the shoutbox.  Some of the ideas have been tossed out there tongue in cheek, others have been suggested seriously, some make a lot of sense, more are ludicrous.  And that is an important part of being a baseball fan.

I am sorry to remind you all, but in the meantime there are playoffs going on.  I probably won't watch another game, although I've decided to put my so-called support behind the Tampa Bay Rays.

In really sad news, the Tribune is reporting that the Cubs sale has slowed down.  Future Cubs Owner Mark Cuban says that the current financial crisis is affecting the sale of the team.

In other words, the Cubs may no longer be a billion dollar team, and they just might not get sold before the start of the '09 season.  However, there have also been reports that the team may raise payroll again, this time to 140 million.  Now, here's a question that nobody has asked - as far as I know - if the economy is suddenly crap, does that mean that free agents who once would have gone for, say, 20 million a year will now have to settle for less?

I'd have to guess the answer is negatory, but some teams that may have been looking to expand payroll may now be looking to roll back a bit.  If the Cubs are indeed able to find room to pay another 15 million, then that may mean that their brand is even more powerful than we'd originally thought.

Anyway, this is turning out to be a typical October - there is a lot of uncertainty with what happens next, beyond the promise that something will happen.  So, we welcome your ideas.  What else should the Cubs be doing?  Who goes, who stays, and why can't they even give away?

financial problems

Even with the economy way down right now, isn't baseball still setting record profits? As long as that continues (which it might not next season) I don't see free agent signings going down in price.

I don't think the economy

I don't think the economy really took its nosedive until after the baseball season was pretty well over. The owners will say that they can't know the effect until next season, when tickets go back on sale.

From what I was reading...

...the issue is Zell's tax burden, not the team's value. Zell has to pay fewer taxes if the team's purchase is financed using credit instead of cash-to-hand. But with the credit market squeeze, that credit may not be available.

Credit is tight

The other thing that is happening is credit providers are taking a hard look at cash flows, wondering if the people taking out the loans can possibly repay them.

Baseball teams have a debt to equity cap, but their stadiums do not. A lot of the purchase price was likely to be financed with debt, but the debt holders look at the cash flows of a baseball team and don't see the multiples they want to see to loan money at the mo.

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