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Rush comments on MLB and the Marlins


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Zoglin: Now, I know when you were out of radio for a while, you worked for the Kansas City Royals.


Rush: I did.


Zoglin: Are they still your team, or no?


Rush: Yes. They are still my team.


Zoglin: And -- kind of a sad job, isn't it, following that team?


Rush: Well, you know, what happened with that, they are my team, but I don't pay much attention to baseball anymore. It was my job for five years, and during home stands there's two business days, you've got the normal business day and then the game day during home stands, and sometimes a ten, 12 game home stand, you can -- or game home stand, you can get in 18 hour days. And I tell you what, in my third year out of the five, maybe the fourth year, I was hoping we didn't make the playoffs so the season would end and life would resume as normal.


Zoglin: Yeah.


Rush: I just lost the ingredients necessary to be a fan. Once you've gotten that close to it, the mystique vanishes. So that's why I've not really wanted to get close to a football team. Football is my passion now, sports-wise.


Zoglin: Back to baseball, how about standing up for small-market teams? Have you ever taken -- have you talked about that?


Rush: No, not much. I don't do a whole lot of sports on my program, but I think there's a -- baseball's problem is not small-market teams, it's expansion. They've watered down the talent pool. There really aren't that many people at any one time in this country capable and qualified to play top-flight Major League Baseball or football. The more you expand, the more you water down the talent pool, the fewer stars and quality players you have per team, and I think this is one of the problems, with not just baseball, but a lot of sports leagues are happening.


Zoglin: Now, I'll just wrap up here, but you had a little quick fling with sportscasting last --


Rush: By the way, I do want to tell you that there is an element of socialism I do support.


Zoglin: Yeah?


Rush: Yeah, NFL. You sounded really excited with that. When I said that I supported socialism, you came alive.


Zoglin: Well, I was waiting still for the answer to what's a position that wouldn't fit the stereotype. That's a position.


Rush: There you go, I support the NFL and its socialist sharing of revenues.


Zoglin: How about in baseball, would you support it in baseball?


Rush: Well, it's happening, and it's not making much of a difference. They've got this high tax on the Yankees and so forth.


Zoglin: They say it's happening.


Rush: The Yankees are the, you know, the old Soviet Union evil empire everybody loves to hate. But you know in baseball, you still have -- who is it that you still have -- Florida Marlins, for crying out loud, won the World Series last year.


Zoglin: Yeah.


Rush: So these theories can be debunked. I mean it's not the case that a low payroll, small market team can't win. The odds are against them, but they still can.

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Wow, Rush is outdated here.


In case it hasnt been stressed, the talent pool is no longer diluted from expansion. Scouts are traveling to far regions of the world to get talented players and also, players are playing longer than ever before. And not just playing, but playing well. Not to mention, after every expansion era in time the talent catches up. Otherwise there would still be only enough talent for like 10 teams or something.


So, no, the talent pool is not the problem. The problem is fiscal irresponsibility. If teams were run like a business, or like the businesses the owners that own them run, then things would be a lot better. The Marlins, for example, are maximizing their talent level vs. payroll. They have a system of value in place which puts emphasis on maximizing a player's ability to play the game. Not all teams do this. They spend money thinking winning will follow. They also dont consider what the market itself yields - is it a buyer or seller's market? Will there be a lot of pitching talent available of hitting talent? And they dont think about the players they have in terms of currency - like our FO has with their stock of pitchers. We keep pitching talent around because that is the one resource that is the hardest to get enough of.


So, I dont support a socialist template for baseball, or any sport for that matter. In fact, it doesnt make organizations be run any better and removes the incentive for innovation. That is probably the most American thing of all - our ability to innovate.

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I don't believe expansion was the problem, but when you look at the D-Rays a couple of years back you wonder about dilution of talent.

Not really. The D'Backs used the same formula we used - dominant pitching beats good hitting anyday.


They just had Unit and Schilling win each of their wins, basically.

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