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?