The Guggenheim Group is Going to Get Their Greinke Greenbacks...from YOU.

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

So there you sit, lamenting the loss of Zack Greinke and his #2/#3 level of rotation talent, but slightly satisfied knowing that the price for retaining him could have hamstrung the franchise. Those financial resources, the theory goes, could be better spent making improvements elsewhere. But, hey, since you are not a Dodgers fan, at least all that contract bloat is not coming out of your wallet, right?

Wrong.

Listen up, mateys! You have a small window of opportunity left to reconstruct the connection between your life and the Internet, and all the access to the entertainment and information content, before the pennies needed to be accumulated to pay for LAD payroll extravagance starts coming out of your wallet, anyway.

Already, roughly 50% of your cable bill is used to fund sports broadcasting whether you watch any or not. Just because you like baseball doesn't mean you are not also paying for live basketball. And this does not include premium fees for sports pay-per-view options. It is expected that pay-per-view will be our future, so you may personally see a day when 75% of the cable bill that comes to your door is sports packaging.

Right now, the LA Dodgers are trying to fund their payroll by jerking FOX Sports around for their mega-deal. FOX was playing the "close by November 30 or we walk" card, and guesses are that the deal on the table is $6 - $7 billion over the next 20 - 25 years. Apparently, Guggenheim called that bluff, did NOT sign what was on the table, and are now trying to pump up Time-Warner Cable into a serious challenger to FOX. The Dodgers are expected to submit a final proposal to FOX by this Friday with a due date of January to accept/reject. Or, what they would like to also consider is the creation The DodgerVision Channel or some such.

So here is the thing:

  • If the Dodgers sign with FOX then FOX turns around and passes that along to DirectTV, Time-Warner, Comcast, Cox, et al, and that gets passed along to YOU.
  • If the Dodgers sign with Time-Warner Cable, they become parts of SportsNet and that cost will be passed along to their subscribers. Since they have about 14.6 million basic subscribers, the odds are fairly decent that this includes YOU. If not now, then some day. And this goes double for those of you who get their media content directly from streaming sources, but use TWC-Roadrunner as your Internet piepline.
  • If the Dodgers create their own DodgerVision whatever, then they will sell that channel to all the carriers, and those carriers will pass along those fees to YOU.

Therefore, your mission, should you choose to not pay Magic Johnson for his indulgences and ripping away your recent rental, is to find a way onto the Internet and media sources that includes all of your fancies, but avoids any payment path back to the LAD.

The bigger point here, though, is not to isolate on the Dodgers. They merely serve as the low-hanging fruit of a tree that is rapidly growing and about to sprout sports-channel revenue blossoms all over its branches. This rapid escalation of team payrolls, one that makes you shake your head EVERY offseason just like it has the past couple of weeks) is being funded directly by the accelerating increase in MLB revenue, which is going through the roof. It's expected to grow from $7.5 billion in 2012 to $9 billion by 2014, thanks in no small part to the Dodgers pending deal. Which is being used to pay for Zack Greinke.

And all that revenue increase comes from....YOU. You want to avoid funding the Dodgers and paying Zack to NOT pitch for your team? Find a way to get off the MLB revenue grid. Soon.

Otherwise, settle in and find a way to be comfortable with the fact that teams are going to be getting richer and richer, and players are going to be getting richer and richer, and all this comes because you and me and everybody else around here loves baseball that much. We put all that money into the system, the owners and the players are merely there to pick it all up.

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