SkyKing162's Baseblog

A fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, and large sample sizes.


The local sports talk guys were discussing market size on my drive home today. I've always been amazed at how willy-nilly the terms "large market" and "small market" get thrown around. They're always used as antonyms, but the meanings change more often than an Oakland closer. Sometimes it's "successful" versus "unsuccessful". Sometimes it's "high-payroll" versus "low payroll". Sometimes it's "holy" versus "evil". And sometimes it's "open-pocket owner" versus "spend-thrift owner". But rarely do people use the terms to describe what they should - the fact that some teams have a large population of local people to support their teams and some have a small population off which to feed. As Derek Zumsteg points out in this fine article, there are other factors (like general interest in baseball and per capita income) that affect how much money can be gleaned from a metropolitan area, but in general, it's the population that matters. (Another great series of articles to check out are Doug Pappas' Behind the Numbers pieces. Here's a link to the seventh article, which has links to the six previous articles. There's supposed to be an eighth, but I can't seem to find it on Google.)

Following is a table from the Zumsteg article (which you really should read), resorted in decreasing order by adjusted population. (Adjusted population divides the LA, NY, and SF markets in half for each team.)

TeamMSA sizeAdj MSARevenues
New York Yankees2019664910098325215000000
New York Mets2019664910098325169000000
Los Angeles Dodgers160365878018294143000000
Anaheim Angels160365878018294103000000
Baltimore Orioles73590447359044133000000
Philadelphia Phillies5999034599903494000000
Boston Red Sox56672255667225152000000
Detroit Tigers54693125469312114000000
Texas Rangers49095234909523134000000
Toronto Blue Jays4881400488140091000000
Houston Astros44937414493741125000000
Chicago Cubs88859194442960131000000
Chicago White Sox88859194442960101000000
Atlanta Braves38570973857097160000000
Florida Marlins3711102371110281000000
Seattle Mariners34657603465760166000000
San Francisco Giants68736453436823142000000
Oakland Athletics6873645343682390000000
Montreal Expos3326510332651063000000
Arizona Diamondbacks30136963013696127000000
Cleveland Indians29106162910616150000000
Minnesota Twins2872109287210975000000
San Diego Padres2820844282084492000000
St. Louis Cardinals25690292569029123000000
Colorado Rockies24179082417908129000000
Pittsburgh Pirates23313362331336108000000
Tampa Bay Devil Rays2278169227816992000000
Cincinnati Reds1960995196099587000000
Kansas City Royals1755899175589985000000
Milwaukee Brewers16481991648199108000000

This analysis has been presented many many times by many many people. But it's even a good kick in my pants each time I see it. The order of this list is not what most people would guess off the tops of their heads. We should not be penalizing teams for spending lots of money. Revenue sharing should be based on market size. If you're in a big market and spending lots of money, good for you. Just share some of it. If you're in a small market and spending next to nothing, you shouldn't be rewarded for having a crappy team. It's the small-to-mid markets who are spending money and succeeding on the field that should get the most money from revenue sharing. MLB should reward the teams that are doing everything they can to win, and not the owners that spend nothing and just pocket the revenue sharing money coming their way.

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