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Fixing Baseball without a salary cap

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Fixing Baseball without a salary cap

Postby Mookie4ever » Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:36 pm

Maybe this should be moved to the general section but I want to stop the bitching and get a debate going over how to fix baseball. This will be too long for most people to read but I hope that the regulars give me their opinions.

With the recent Arod for Soriano trade, it is anticipated that the Yankee's payroll will exceed $195M and that THEIR LUXURY TAX WILL BE GREATER THAN THE BREWERS' ENTIRE PAYROLL. Most seem to think that something should be done, but what:


1) Hard or Soft Salary Cap

I am not in favour of this option. Baseball is already enough of a monopoly as it is. I will not get into the reasoning behind anti-trust laws, but suffice it to say that it is not good to allow one group to corner a market and not let anyone else in to play.

At least hockey, football and basketball have had to fight off competing leagues - baseball never.

To assume that a salary cap will lead to lower ticke prices is naive. It will lead to more parity (good) but it will forever close the door to a competing league, it will allow the owners to artificially determine the value of the players and it will allow the owners to dictate the future of the game, a task for which they are singularly unqualified.


2) Open Market - Teired Major Leagues

This is my suggestion. Forget any concept of fiscal restraint. Get rid of the luxury tax and let the free market decide what a player is worth - this is what capitalism is built upon. If an owner wants to spend himself into bankruptcy or buy a championship, so be it.

In order to get rid of the unbalanced games that this will lead to, we institute a teired system. The top 12-15 teams will play each other, with the two bottom teams being relegated to a lower division at the end of the season.

In a lower division, the remaining 15 teams will play each other for their own championship, with the top two teams being promoted to play with the big boys the following season.

This is how it is done in European soccer, with great success. There is pride in just making it to the premier division and there is also pride in winning the lower division. We get a number of playoff races and we also avoid having the big boys beat the crap out of the poor boys during the regular season.

3) No Protected Markets

Going hand-in-hand with the teired system is the concept of unprotecting markets. In this system, there is no limit on the number of teams that you can have. If you can remain financially viable, field a team, pay your bills and draw fans, then you are invited to the party and the division that you play in is dictated by the number of games that you win.

This means that if NYC can support 6 teams then it gets 6. The TV revenue is spread around and, in theory, brings the Yankees back to the pack. This also allows New Yorkers to actually go to a professional baseball game (they must have the highest ratio of citizens to tickets in the league). Seriously, if Chicago can support two professional teams why can't there be two in NYC (wait a sec...).



I know that this is very far-fetched and will never be voluntarily accepted by the owners but if they cannot strong-arm the players union into accepting a salary cap then the whole system is bound to crash - what should be instituted after the crash?
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Postby Mighty Monks » Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:41 pm

If the goal of mlb is to have competetive balance, there needs to be some sort of cap or some penalty that is really a penalty, not just money to slap the hand of someone. I have not heard any other solution that will work. There is way too much money diversity in this country compared to the europe league to be able to do anything like that
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Postby kentx12 » Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:10 pm

The only way to restore competative balance in baseball is a cap. A max and a minimum. If the bottom spending teams wouldn't want to do that then they should be sold or moved.
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Re: Fixing Baseball without a salary cap

Postby KPucks » Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:06 pm

Mookie4ever wrote:
At least hockey, football and basketball have had to fight off competing leagues - baseball never.




Umm, what competing leagues threaten the NBA and NFL? I guess European hockey leagues threaten the NHL, but even that is a longshot. The NFL and NBA have no type of challenge of a competing league and get along fine with a salary cap.
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Postby BGbootha » Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:12 pm

i don't really see the argument. Yeah the Yankees can pretty much buy their way into the playoffs. But it not a guarenteed victory come October. We live in the USA, the home of true capitalism. Let'em go. This is supposed to be America's game, let them play like it should be. May the best man win. You wan't to spend the money, go ahead. Its the american way.
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Postby justinA » Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:19 pm

BGbootha wrote:i don't really see the argument. Yeah the Yankees can pretty much buy their way into the playoffs. But it not a guarenteed victory come October. We live in the USA, the home of true capitalism. Let'em go. This is supposed to be America's game, let them play like it should be. May the best man win. You wan't to spend the money, go ahead. Its the american way.

exactly, every owner has enough money to become a contender but arent willing. Thats the problem. There has got to be some kind of governing force that has the power to rid bad owners from the league and competitive and willing owners into the mix. Thats honestly all we need because there isnt a "bad market" in any MLB city. The Marlins dont draw anything during the season but then bring like 50K in the World Series. Blame it on poor ownership and not the MLB, the MLBPA, or any other organization.
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Postby swingaway » Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:00 pm

1. problem in baseball = cheap as owners.

soultion get rid of cheap as owner and replace them with richer owner. Basically most but not all the competive teams have an rich owner or smart gm and scouts. Baseball at this point is ruled by the the owner that is willing to spend the most WISELY NOT JUST ON ONE PLAYER but on all areas of the team and management.
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Postby justinA » Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:03 pm

swingaway wrote:1. problem in baseball = cheap as owners.

soultion get rid of cheap as owner and replace them with richer owner. Basically most but not all the competive teams have an rich owner or smart gm and scouts. Baseball at this point is ruled by the the owner that is willing to spend the most WISELY NOT JUST ON ONE PLAYER but on all areas of the team and management.

yup, just look at my O's. Alotta money going to the wrong players *equals* 4th place 6 years in a row. Sure u need money, but u need it in the right places, and Belle, Erickson, and the loss of Moose will kill any team.
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Postby wrveres » Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:04 pm

mookie, I nead to leave here in a bit but I have a few thoughts on this, I will get at it a bit later tonight ... but nice thread
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Re: Fixing Baseball without a salary cap

Postby Mookie4ever » Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:59 pm

KPucks wrote:
Mookie4ever wrote:
At least hockey, football and basketball have had to fight off competing leagues - baseball never.




Umm, what competing leagues threaten the NBA and NFL? I guess European hockey leagues threaten the NHL, but even that is a longshot. The NFL and NBA have no type of challenge of a competing league and get along fine with a salary cap.


NHL has faced competition from the WHL (a new WHL is starting next year), the NFL has faced competition in the USFL and recently that Vince McMahon league and I think that there was a competing basketball league at one point but I can't remember what it was called.

That wasn't the point of the post though. That MLB is a huge bloated leviathan of a monopoly is just one of my points.

a basic question for you:

why a salary cap?

What other industry imposes a MAXIMUM that its employees can make? Is there a cap on what corporate CEOs can make? Top analysts in the securities markets can make over $5M/year and field offers from competing firms that bid on their services. To impose a maximum on employee salaries to defeat this bidding war for services is...how was it put? "unamerican"? Is this a free market capitalist system or some hybrid designed for the amusement of people that want professional baseball in Kansas City?
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