Unfortunately, both Manny Ramirez and Newsday seem to be misreading the current economic climate.
At a time when both should be accepting the fate of their lower earning power, they instead have unrealistic expectations of their current realtime value within their markets.
Manny Ramirez rejected the Dodgers’ third, and most likely last offer to the star slugger. Ramirez expects the Dodgers to continue to bid against themselves when by all rights they shouldn’t have to. The players love to play their free market violins when it suits them, but as soon as the free market turns the other way, as most free markets ultimately do, they run for cover or sit in a corner and pout.
Newsday’s recent announcement may be even more bizarre and certainly more puzzling than the tactics of Ramirez and his agent Scott Boras.
According to it’s parent company Cablevision, Newsday will effectively begin charging customers to read the online content on their website.
Here is their official statement as delivered by Cablevision Chief Operating Officer Tom Rutledge:
“Our goal was and is to use our electronic network assets and subscriber relationships to transform the way news is distributed. We plan to end the distribution of free Web content and make our news gathering capabilities a service for our customers.”
This may end up being one of the most doomed to fail strategies in corporate history, ranking right up there with Coca Cola’s decision to change their original formula and introduce New Coke in 1985. After barely three months, Coca Cola was forced to reintroduce the original formula as they teetered on the brink of collapse and lost valuable market share to arch rival Pepsi Cola, some of which it never gained back.
With all the free content available on the web, Newsday is gambling that their brand of news and sports coverage will be so unique that customers will gladly pay a premium for it.
Are they kidding me?
Let me borrow a script from MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann if I may.
Manny Ramirez and Tom Rutledge are today’s Worst Persons In The World…