More on What the Lakers and Celtics Tell Us about Labor Relations in Professional Sports

Posted on June 3, 2010 by


Here are a few more details on my latest column at the Huffington Post.

  • The quote from the National League was taken from Dean A. Sullivan (Ed.) 1995. Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825–1908. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.  This was also quoted in Woodrow E. Eckard. 2001. “The Origin of the Reserve Clause: Owner Collusion Versus ‘Public Interest.’” Journal of Sports Economics, 2, no. 2 (May), 113–130.
  • The “Short Supply of Tall People” was detailed in an article I wrote with Stacey Brook, Aju Fenn, Bernd Frick, and Roberto Vicente-Mayoral.  This was published back in 2005 and the story was detailed in The Wages of Wins.  It was also mentioned in this forum HERE and HERE.  The first of those links includes an excerpt from The Wages of Wins.
  • On the rating of ESPN Classic, here is what we said in a footnote from The Wages of Wins: In 2005, ESPN was in 80 million homes in the United States, while ESPN Classic was only in 25 million houses. Even though ESPN Classic is the only channel devoted to re-runs in sports, its popularity is relatively low. Apparently people would rather watch a live game between two lesser contestants on ESPN than watch a classic game without uncertainty of outcome on ESPN Classic. We would like to thank Darren Rovell at for information on the market penetration of the various ESPN channels.
  • The Wages of Wins also details evidence that competitive balance and consumer demand are not strongly linked.

Speaking of the Huffington Post… Dan Ariely offered a column a few days ago.  The Irrational Side of Corporate Bonuses begins with a discussion of Ariely’s latest book – The Upside of Irrationality – and specifically details how money isn’t quite the motivator people suspect.  Ariely’s discussion, though, moves on to the subject of clutch shooting in the NBA.  One should note, his column is brief and so I believe some details of his story are omitted.  Nevertheless, given the discussion we have had about clutch shooting in this forum lately (check out the comments) — and the further discussion we will offer in the future — Ariely’s brief story is worth reading.

– DJ

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