TIM If i was a NYY fan, i would love and defend the system too, just like NYY do. Yes, the Tigers and Brewers are poorly run. But tell me you believe that all 30 teams can sport a 120 mil payroll?
Actually, for the most part, yes, every owner could. The only ones that can't are the ones owned by corporations that expect baseball to improve the bottom line.
These guys are all fabulously wealthy. Steinbrenner, when he first took over the Yankees, a team at probably the lowest point in its history since before Bae Ruth, knew the potential of the NY market. He lost money for years, but he didn't care. He knew if he kept investing, he's get his money's worth. And eventually, he ended up not caring at all about expense. He just wants to win now.
Of course, with YES, etc. he has plenty of money, so he doesn't have to care. People thought he was crazy to start YES. He takes a huge risk, it pays off, and then people say it's unfair he makes so much money.
Yes, the Yankees can afford more than anybody else, but it's not just because they're lucky. It's because George has made the absolute most out of his market. Plenty of other teams don't come close to doing that in their markets. Sure, the max may be less than NY, but if St. Louis can be a big/mid market team, why can't the others?
If an owner isn't willing to have at least a $60-70 million payroll, why is he a baseball owner? Get out of the sport, and sell to someone who wants to win.