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market watch followup

hum-dinger of a discussion here yesterday about the cardinal franchise, owners, and fans. suffice to say that stl's love affair with its team isn't quite over yet. and indeed, nobody ever said that it was, or wished for such. leitch's point (with which i heartily agree) is that in a small market, rabid fan devotion is an owner's most valuable asset -- infinitely more so than a new stadium or broadcasting deal -- and should never be taken for granted. not even in st. louis.

if you haven't had enough of the subject (and i suspect you all have) there's plenty of related reading elsewhere in cardblogland. cardnilly thinks dewitt & co could profit from a few pr lessons; diaspora wonders why they haven't taken said lessons from dewitt's buddy w; fungoes has had it up to here with all this insolent and ungracious balderdash about the cardinal management's fallability; and play a hard 9 is all in favor of embracing change.

the only change that would make hard 9 unhappy is a take-money-and-run sale of the franchise -- and that may not be as likely as suggested by the source i alluded to yesterday. for one thing, as bellyscratcher noted in the yesterday's thread, the owners face sanctions if they sell within the next few years -- one of the strings attached to the public investment in the new place.

i also heard back from phillip miller -- author of the market power blog and an assistant economics professor at minnesota state -- about the possibility of a forthcoming change in stl ownership. he takes a differrent view from my source; quoting from miller's e-mail:

A team that plays well relative to other teams (i.e. has a higher winning percentage) is going to have a higher franchise value (potential selling price). If the Cardinals' ownership is penny pinching on payroll as a part of a ploy to jack up its selling price, it could have the opposite effect if the Cards do not play as well as they have in years past.

Rather, my guess is that this penny pinching may be due to something about the business of baseball that Cards' ownership has to deal with. For example, the Cards may have spent "too much" in the past, meaning that their revenues didn't increase as much as they hoped when they made the playoffs. Or it may be a response to the Cards' profitability under the current revenue sharing system.

he adds that he's not too familiar with the cardinals' situation and is merely speaking hypothetically. i find his reasoning less compelling than belly's, to be honest; the owners would never sell precipitously if it were going to cost them money.

back this afternoon to launch a community projection of encarnacion.