Comments on: Defining Large, Mid, and Small Markets Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:43:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: pirates21 Sat, 25 Aug 2012 01:58:00 +0000 this should take the population of the territory into consideration. for example st louis’s territory encompasses 5 states.

By: Kevin_Creagh Fri, 24 Aug 2012 11:37:00 +0000 As I mentioned above, metro population was only the starting point. I went on to payroll and cost per win to further refine it. While I agree with you that teams draw from more than just their metropolitan area, how many games do you think someone living 150 miles away will see a year? Not many.
Teams draw the bulk of their repeat customers from the immediate metro area.

By: Kevin_Creagh Fri, 24 Aug 2012 11:35:00 +0000 At the end of the Metro Population paragraph, I mention that most of the markets (using the Red Sox, specifically) don’t match the eye test. That’s why I went to Payroll and then Cost Per Win.

By: Gettotheairmen Fri, 24 Aug 2012 04:27:00 +0000 Also, not to beat a dead horse but the population of the six states that make up New England was 14.4 M in 2008 just behind the NY market …would better explain the Red Sox payroll

By: Bryan Graham Fri, 24 Aug 2012 04:10:00 +0000 Hey, what do you call Curwensville, PA? LOL
I think the Pirates best place to spend money would be to bribe the league to only play a 110 game season.

By: Gettotheairmen Fri, 24 Aug 2012 02:37:00 +0000 Kevin, great article and attempt to delineate between small/mid/large market teams. However, I’ve got to agree with Tim Bucey. The population data as a baseline seems flawed. A team’s reach/financial viability/ ability to spend would seem to be more tied to their television contracts and viewing area. For example, I live in DC and go to North Carolina for vacation every year. The “local” baseball broadcast there is the Nats, in so much as the carry MASN as the sports cable network. The Metro area population is just one part of their reach. Not to mention, as Tim pointed out, places like Richmond, Roanoake, Norfolk being well within reasonable driving distance to travel to a game and then head home.

It’s more complex than what you’ve laid out IMO but a good start.

By: Tim Bucey Fri, 24 Aug 2012 00:12:00 +0000 What this metro figure doesn’t take into account is cities within say 150 miles of the the major league city from which these teams draw. Cities like Altoona, Wheeling, Steubenville (all relatively small) are the largest in the Pirates market. Youngstown is shared with Cleveland. Now look at Cincinnati: Louisville, Lexington, Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis. They are all large cities in Reds territory. Plus there are many smaller cities like Springfield, O., Middletown, Hamilton. In other words, Cincinnati has a much larger drawing area than Pittsburgh.

By: szielinski Thu, 23 Aug 2012 17:57:00 +0000 “The Pirates are clearly a small market franchise by any metric. Three weeks
ago, Tim took a look at the Pirates’
potential 2013 payroll which came to an estimate of $63.9M. Using
the $921,000/win for small markets as an upper threshold, the Pirates would
need to theoretically support a $75.5M payroll in order to have a better than
average chance to sustain a winning record. It will be imperative for the
Pirates to find values for their investments in order to compete with less than
that $75.5M payroll on a consistent basis.”

Talent wins games, not dollars spent. Years ago, during my IrateFans days, I
dumped payroll and win/loss data into a spread sheet and found that winning was
weakly (.30 to .40) and positively correlated to winning baseball games. With
respect to the Pirates, this means that the team must spend its money wisely.
It also means that the organization must commit itself to acquiring young and
inexpensive talent in the draft, the international market, trades and waiver
wire claims. The correlation result also implies that spending money at the
major league level does not cause the organization to win at a given rate. Ask
Mets fans about that. It only suggests that winning teams will need to spend
some money to pay for and retain their better players.

The Pirates are doing what they need to do to win at the major league level.
The organization is strongly committed to finding players in the draft, the
international market, trades and waiver wire claims. It has also shown its
willingness to retain players it believes to be worth retaining, albeit at
salaries it can afford.

The upshot: The Pirates will need to spend as much money as the organization
can afford to field a team which bests the McClatchy Line. If Cole and Taillon
make it to the majors next year and pitch to their talent level, the Pirates
will win a lot of games while spending far less than $75M on the ML team.