Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Charlie Finley Plan

On my 5 hour drive to Los Angeles yesterday afternoon I had more than enough time to figure out how to accommodate the owners and the PA so summer league can get underway tomorrow.

I had ESPN 710 dialed in allowing Max Kellerman to be in on the war room, as well. As the two of us discussed what to do regarding revenue sharing among small and big market teams, he brought up Charlie Finley - owner of the Oakland A's during their heyday of the 1970s - and his ideas regarding collective bargaining agreements in major league baseball.

I'm going to paraphrase and put in layman's terms CF's plan mostly because I'm not smart enough to understand all the minute details. Also, it won't take as long to type.

So, essentially, here's what he said:

Let every player be a free agent every year. This way every player gets a decent and fair contract based on their fair market value and production from the year before.

Now, I understand this is no way a perfect (or maybe even viable?) idea but it's worth considering. This eliminates ridiculous long-term contact busts (see Brian Cardinal), helps solve the problem of revenue sharing because owners will theoretically save money, increases competition among players, and overall yields a fun (albeit different) league.

I want to know what you guys think. Does this make any sense at all? Is this ridiculous or are we possibly on to something here? Comment away and let's get this thread/brainstorming going.


  1. The owners are edging towards something like this in the new CBA, trying to reduce the length of guaranteed contracts.

    Ignoring the fact that the Player's Association would NEVER go for it (no job security), I don't know if it would actually work in practice. Would player's have tacit, side agreements with players to resign them year after year? They have wives and kids and families that want to know where they are living more than a year out.

    I also wonder, from a fan's perspective, how it would change things. We're already in an era where we sometimes root more for individual players than a team, because there is so much player turnover and we because we play fantasy basketball. If every single year the "Golden State Warriors" are an entirely different entity than the "Golden State Warriors" were last year, why not just root for only the players I like?

  2. I agree the PA would do their best to never allow this from happening - but are there aspects of we can retain? I'm just trying to figure out what to do if some of these big market owners refuse rev sharing plans.

    I understand your concern regarding the team aspect, and if something like this should ever pan out the entire fan dynamic would change drastically. However, I still believe you would root just as hard for your hometown team if your organization was "in it to win it" and making advantageous moves.

  3. alright here's me again going head first into a fire fight with no weapons... which is to say i havent read any of the comments and will be using fairly minimal punctuation, wtf, Brian Cardinal is your example of a bust? the janitor with his sweet stroke and good locker room presence? not joe johnson, rashard, any knick under isiah, or the corpse of john salmons? or that of richard jefferson? oh yea, six years, $34 million... i will be back with commentary post (pun!) weekend.

  4. I'm most surprised you agree with Kellerman on something. Anyway, this plan would have some pretty far-reaching reprecussions:
    1. Merchandising: no one is going to buy jerseys if players are constantly moving around (I know personally how much you would hate this).
    2. Front office structure: this would eliminate trades. There would be no more strategy involved other than being a good salary cap fantasy league owner. No one could ever move up in the draft. How would we even classify what a "good GM" is anymore?
    3. The NBA is a star-driven league, and that is to some extent defined by what team they are on (see the whole "good v. evil" matchup we had in the finals this year). In a time of continually-rising international popularity, I think this would be a huge blow to the NBA's brand.
    4. In that same vein, fans would constantly have to figure out who was on their team, one of the biggest criticisms of the NCAA right now.
    5. 932,867 other reasons, but this is getting wordy.
    6. All that said, I'm so intrigued by the idea of this, especially all of the pickup basketball undertones. Let's do it for a year or 2.