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MLB needs a salary cap


brianod

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Or we could just remove that team. Probably smarter. Then close the border to the north completely. With like a trade embargo.

Or better yet. Just annex Toronto. We have the military strength to enforce that like the Russians did Crimea.

Why stop at Toronto. All of Ontario. And make Mike Holmes Territorial Governor.

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If we don't act preemptively you know what's going to happen. Think of your children pledging allegiance to the maple leaf. Mayonnaise on everything. Winter 11 months of the year. Anne Murray - all day, every day. And you know... The Canadians. They walk among us. William Shatner. Michael J. Fox. Monty Hall. Mike Meyers. Alex Trebek. All of them Canadians. All of them here.

You and Michael have really nailed this issue to its roots. I'm glad someone on this board can see clearly and distill complicated issues down to their core essence.

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Being an owner has always been a sweet gig.

You think any team has ever sold for less then it's purchase price?

Probably. But not for long while. I don't know what Harry Von Der Horst paid the American Association to get the first Orioles in to the majors in '82, but he might not have gotten that out when the NL told him they were contracting his team in '99. And some teams in the Depression/WWI/WWII timeframes probably weren't appreciating off the charts.

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But the salary cap does solve things as it levels the playing field between the country's biggest and smallest media markets. The Patriots aren't winning because they are making use of a financial advantage -- they win because they are the better run organization.

Can't say the same for MLB where a so-so run organization (Yanks) can beat a well run organization (Rays) simply by outspending them. This same dynamic exists in International Soccer where a few rich Middle Eastern oil sheiks build super teams that sit at the top of the standings each year while the other teams serve simply as cannon fodder.

But the salary cap does solve things as it levels the playing field between the country's biggest and smallest media markets. The Patriots aren't winning because they are making use of a financial advantage -- they win because they are the better run organization.

Can't say the same for MLB where a so-so run organization (Yanks) can beat a well run organization (Rays) simply by outspending them. This same dynamic exists in International Soccer where a few rich Middle Eastern oil sheiks build super teams that sit at the top of the standings each year while the other teams serve simply as cannon fodder.

Salary cap solves nothing. A so-so ran team obviously has to compensate it's poor management style by spending money. Hence why the Yankees always overpay and why the Rays can spend less. Reality is Rays can actually afford a $100m payroll, hell all MLB teams can. MLB tv money and local tv money for the Rays is close to $75m, that's before a ticket, a shirt, a food item is sold. For other teams its $54m for National TV deals, and your local deal.. for the Orioles, that's roughly $90m and the O's pay roll is $114m right now. If you can't reach $100m payroll with 75% of it covered already, then it's you that has the problem and not the rest of MLB. So maybe the Rays aren't that well ran either. They play in a stadium that's 2/3rd empty every season and tend not to sign long term deals early in a players career.

International Soccer (is actually national teams).. but again this is where you are wrong as well. Yes, there are teams that are owned by guys who made their money in oil, but there are also teams who aren't. Man United is owned by the Glazer family, Arsenal F.C. is majority owned by Stan Kroenke, Liverpool is owned by John W. Henry (Fenway Sports Group), Aston Villa is owned by Randy Lerner, Sunderland is owned by Ellis Short, and Fulham is owned by Shahid Khan.

Btw, thats 3 of the big 5 teams in England. In those leagues in Europe, where you finish each year matters the most as that's the big TV money. Difference between Finish 1st and 20th is about $100m a year.

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So lets say the Rays theoretically could spend $100M (even though they seem to be suggesting its closer to $75M). The Yankees are still going to be spending $215M.

Are you saying there is no competitive imbalance here? A competitive imbalance that say.. a $135M salary cap wouldn't significantly reduce?

Try trimming $80M worth of players off the Yankees current roster they'd be a bum team... one representative of their failure to draft and develop players.

So maybe the Rays aren't that well ran either.

Cmon. The Rays were one of the best run organizations for like a 5 year stretch. They had arguably the best GM, coach, scouting, and development system.

Had this been any other league with a salary cap they'd have been pushing dynasty status rather than having to watch two teams continually buying the divison out from under them.

(and yes I know soccer teams aren't all owned by oil barrens but they are owned by rich moneybags who buy their way to the top. You look at the EPL standings... the highest spending teams continually chill at the top while the lower spenders serve as cannon fodder at the bottom. This is not parity. This exists all throughout foreign soccer; the Spanish League La Liga being an even more extreme case of spending imbalance and title buying. The "Spend it if you got it" philosophy is just bad bad bad for competitive balance.)

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Probably. But not for long while. I don't know what Harry Von Der Horst paid the American Association to get the first Orioles in to the majors in '82, but he might not have gotten that out when the NL told him they were contracting his team in '99. And some teams in the Depression/WWI/WWII timeframes probably weren't appreciating off the charts.

I'd say having your team contracted doesn't count as selling it.

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So lets say the Rays theoretically could spend $100M (even though they seem to be suggesting its closer to $75M). The Yankees are still going to be spending $215M.

Are you saying there is no competitive imbalance here? A competitive imbalance that say.. a $135M salary cap wouldn't significantly reduce?

Try trimming $80M worth of players off the Yankees current roster they'd be a bum team... one representative of their failure to draft and develop players.

It's not a theoretically. It's 100% fact. Pirates and Rays 2007/2008 budgets were leaked in 2010. Rays in 2008 had revenue of $160m (post season year for them). Of that revenue only $56m went to salaries.. while $61m went to scouts, marketing and "FO" (general and admin) costs. So the Rays spent more money on other things then player salaries. On top of that each year those teams made a profit (Rays made a bigger profit not going to the playoffs). Their player salary costs are subsidized by TV/Radio money and revenue sharing by 100%. That's true to this very day.

http://deadspin.com/5615096/mlb-confidential-the-financial-documents-baseball-doesnt-want-you-to-see-part-1

Think of it this way.. right now MLB central office is paying out roughly $1.5b in TV money to teams ($50m per team) per year, then throw in local tv rights and for the Rays you are talking about $70m in TV money of salaries already covered. Then throw in the $40m plus in revenue sharing they get because of those HUGE local TV deals.. and you are taking about the Rays before even a game is played in front of fans collecting $110m plus in revenue.. and you think they can't afford a $100m payroll? Whats gonna be excuse next year (2016) when they are gonna be splitting the revenue sharing money with just 15 teams which will bump that number up EVEN more.

Facts are (and the Orioles are guilty of this too) that small and mid market teams make money and can increase their payroll if they wanted to but they put their money in other things like scouting which helps the Rays in the long run over paying $20m a year for some guy. But at no point is their a competitive imbalace here. Rays choose to do something different then the Yankees. They bring in 100% of the money they need to field a team and not have to earn a single dime of it.

$135m salary cap? Rays will bring in $135m easily next year when they get a new TV deal. Rays will end up getting about $20 to 30m more in local tv money then they did 2014 when speaking conservatively. Could be as much as $50m more (a total of $70m in local tv money). One thing Ray fans do is watch games. So that $51m from National tv money, plus a $55m local tv deal, plus revenue sharing.. you are talking $140m range for Rays revenue before the season starts.

Cmon. The Rays were one of the best run organizations for like a 5 year stretch. They had arguably the best GM, coach, scouting, and development system.

Had this been any other league with a salary cap they'd have been pushing dynasty status rather than having to watch two teams continually buying the divison out from under them.

Dynasty? Seriously? Yes, they WERE one of the best run orgs. 2008-2013, no doubt they were good. But guess what.. their payroll never exceeded $72m and actually played better with lower salary teams. They won the AL penant with a team salary of $56m (a year in which they spend more on scouting marketing and "FO" stuff).

Rays were good during this period because they sucked for years before that and had a farm system full of players and traded well. Their highest pay player in 2008 was Carlos Pena. Their starting pitching was James Shield, Edwin Jackson and Matt Garza were cost controlled pre arb players.

This period alone proves money isn't everything. All it takes is drafting well, trading well and get guys ready for run (5 years in Rays case) where costs are controlled and going for it. That's Rays baseball and it works for them, but they AREN'T poor, they just spend money dramatically different. They really can't disappoint fans as they barely have fans shows up. It's not like they are the Orioles, Yankees or Redsox which have fans who get pissed over rebuilding.

(and yes I know soccer teams aren't all owned by oil barrens but they are owned by rich moneybags who buy their way to the top. You look at the EPL standings... the highest spending teams continually chill at the top while the lower spenders serve as cannon fodder at the bottom. This is not parity. This exists all throughout foreign soccer; the Spanish League La Liga being an even more extreme case of spending imbalance and title buying. The "Spend it if you got it" philosophy is just bad bad bad for competitive balance.)

Yes, because winning means money, money means more spending to get better. Any of those teams miss being in the top 5.. they feel it. Ask Liverpool. Liverpool was in debt and need to be sold because they missed Champions League for 2010/2011. Which is how Fenway Sports Group became owner.

Bundesliga in Germany is pretty much a league of "competivitive balance" mentality. Almost every year it's Bayern Munich who wins it and it's a real fight for 2nd-5th. Having competivitive balance doesn't mean you'll get different winners.

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There is nothing inherently contradictory if requesting an owner do everything he can do to win while at the same time demanding an even playing field. If fact, I would argue that it is a consistent argument. I want this team to win under the current rules and I think the current rules an inherently unfair. I think they should be changed. Fans in GreenBay have an even chance to win given the NFL setup. Why is it so hard for some to say that they fans in Baltimore deserve an even chance? I poor my money into this franchise every year and I think as a fan, I deserve an even playing field. I'm sure there are fans everywhere that feel that way. Do I expect it to happen in the short term? No. But for the health of the sport, it should happen in the long term.

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I'm definitely against a salary cap. Baseball seems to have by far the most parity of any sport right now. The Yankees and Red Sox aren't dominating. It's not 2007 anymore. Plus, as others have mentioned, a salary cap has no effect on how much teams can spend on scouting, coaching, player development, etc.

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I'm definitely against a salary cap. Baseball seems to have by far the most parity of any sport right now. The Yankees and Red Sox aren't dominating. It's not 2007 anymore. Plus, as others have mentioned, a salary cap has no effect on how much teams can spend on scouting, coaching, player development, etc.

I can understand those that say a salary cap is unrealistic given the current situation, but for the life of me, I see no reason for an Oriole fan to desire to continue the current situation. If the Dodgers win while spending 250 million, how does that make their fans feel? Good, for sure. But, it's gotta nag at them and deflate the winning when they see they beat a team with half their payroll. How satisfying is that? How can any Orioles fan support a structure where the Yanks and RedSox and even Toronto can outspend them? Do you really want to continue to have the Orioles spend 125 and the Yanks and RedSox spend 180-200 million? How does that benefit us? How does that seem fair? Do you think if those teams can afford to outspend us by 60-80 million, they can't also afford to spend more on their minor leagues and player development? Do you think a competent GM for those franchises will blindly spend on the major and neglect the minors or do you think they also save some bucks and outspend us on their minor league systems and player development? Maybe I'm naive to think a salary cap has a chance but I would argue that those who expect/demand long term success from this organization under the current setup are much, much more naive then I am.

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Salary cap solves nothing.
I wouldn't say it solves nothing. It would contribute to leveling the playing field on the umm.... playing field. The big money teams would still have huge advantages, but they'd be lessened somewhat. It would be more of an indirect benefit to have more money than God and only being able to spend X on payroll. As opposed to the direct benefit of a $250M payroll.
International Soccer (is actually national teams).. but again this is where you are wrong as well. Yes, there are teams that are owned by guys who made their money in oil, but there are also teams who aren't. Man United is owned by the Glazer family, Arsenal F.C. is majority owned by Stan Kroenke, Liverpool is owned by John W. Henry (Fenway Sports Group), Aston Villa is owned by Randy Lerner, Sunderland is owned by Ellis Short, and Fulham is owned by Shahid Khan.

Btw, thats 3 of the big 5 teams in England. In those leagues in Europe, where you finish each year matters the most as that's the big TV money. Difference between Finish 1st and 20th is about $100m a year.

As much as I love international soccer, European soccer, etc, that might not be a great test case for the impact of unrestrained spending and free agency on a sport. You say that winning matters more than the TV money, but I don't think you've made a great case that spending isn't directly related to success. I think revenues up front drives the winning, which is a self-reinforcing cycle. Billionaire injects cash, which leads to winning, which leads to revenues, which leads to more winning. Without the initial injection of money its very difficult to move between tiers of competition in Europe.

The biggest, richest owner-team combinations win most often. Man City wasn't a power until they had hugely rich foreign ownership come in. Chelsea, similar. Tottenham is just up the road from Arsenal and Chelsea and has a big following, but their owner Daniel Levy seems to operate much more within a very defined budget and they finish out of the Champions League most every year. So sure, it's not necessarily the TV money that drives things, but when anyone with enough cash can come buy a team and then spend about as much as they want that certainly has a huge impact on the standings. One reason they put up with this in Europe is the fact that there are a lot of extra-league competitions like the FA Cup and the League Cup and the Europa League, so a team can have legitimate aspirations beyond the almost impossible task of trying to unseat the super teams at the top of the best leagues.

And you know what's strange, I'll listen to some English radio that's rebroadcast on the SiriusXM soccer channel. They'll sometimes complain about the revenue situation, or the ticket pricing or something along those lines, but it's not really in relation to competition. They're not usually arguing that it's not fair to Fulham or Crystal Palace that Chelsea can spend so much more. They're more upset that Crystal Palace charges 50 pounds for an away ticket when Liverpool comes to their stadium, and only 30 pounds for Burnley. Europeans actually seem more surprised that North American sports "rewards failure" with salary caps and drafts and the like. It is an interesting juxtaposition where NA leagues redistribute wealth and make sure the last place team gets the best draft picks, while Europe operates in a much more winner-take-all mode. The analogy only goes so far, but the Laissez Faire Americans are sports socialists, while the socialist Europeans are Laissez Faire sports fans.

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I Think getting steroids out of the game has gone a long way towards evening the playing field. During the steroid era, the Yankees could throw a lot of money at a 34 year old superstar, and that start would play pretty weel for the next 4 years. Now paying big money to early to mid 30's players is much more risky.

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We absolutely do NOT need a salary cap. I've never been a fan of punishing people/companies/teams for being well run. Either you adapt and overcome or you fail. Artificially leveling the playing field in real life or in sports is almost always wrong. It cheapens everything. The next time the Orioles win the World Series, I want it to be because they worked hard and were better than the competition, not because MLB tied the hands of better teams so that we'd have an easier time.

Outspending your competition for premium talent because your market size is 5x larger does not make you a well run organization.

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I Think getting steroids out of the game has gone a long way towards evening the playing field. During the steroid era, the Yankees could throw a lot of money at a 34 year old superstar, and that start would play pretty weel for the next 4 years. Now paying big money to early to mid 30's players is much more risky.

An expansion to New Jersey, Connecticut, and Brooklyn will help as well.

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