I'm unbelievably disgusted by this off-season's insane and quite frankly reckless spending by teams led by the Yankee$. It has tempered my enthusiasm for the upcoming year. I only hope it leads owners with some backbone to stand up and say that's enough. I know it's years away, but the next CBA may include one. If I was running the sport and could impliment my cap it would look like this...
First of all, I'd have a ceiling and a floor. There would be no wiggle room or allowances. Let's start with the ceiling shall we...
The cap would be 150 million. Once implimented there would be a hard fast date (April 1) and all teams must be at or below that number. If not, they would be fined the amount they are over the cap and they couldn't sign any free-agents or make any trades that would't bring them under . The only moves they could make would be to bring up pre-existing minor league players. They couldn't circumvent the system by making a trade, then putting them in the minors for a short period. No deals unless you are under the cap with that deal. None. It's the minors only. If a team wasn't under by the season's end, they'd lose 2 draft picks and the same rules would apply about trades and free-agents until they hit that number or less. I'd put all the fine money in an escrow account and use it for: former MLB players medical bills, urban youth baseball programs, umpire training and buying tickets so families and underprivileged kids could go to the games free or at a reduced rate.
The floor would be 50 million. Teams under that number would be fined the amount they are under the cap. They couldn't make any trades that reduce salary, only add to it. If they were still under that number by season's end, they'd lose one draft pick and I'd put their team on a contraction list. This would increase their spending since they'd be paying a certain sum anyway. They'd also hate to lose a draft pick. Contraction would be a threat no one wants.
You know the union wouldn't go for this. So I'd make some concessions. I'd increase revenue sharing to make up the difference. I'd have the owners involved in a revenue sharing plan which would bridge the gap. After the Yankee$ spree, even some big markets may see the need for this. If the players still balk, I'd lock them out. Let's see if those big money guys will have the stomach to wait out a whole year. Lets see if those who got the short-end because of the few that make the real money will stick by their overpaid brethren. All they have to do is see how the NFL and NBA players are doing with a cap. They seem fairly content and are getting excellent deals. The cap doesn't hurt the players, it actually helps the majority. The great players will get their money, but a handful of teams can't horde them, making competition fairer.
Once this is resolved, I'd then expunge all of Bonds HR records and re-install Maris and Aaron as the HR kings. I' d move the Brewers back to the AL Central and KC to the West evening out the leagues and giving the AL West 5 teams. I'd bring the DH to the NL. I'd eliminate that inane rule about the winner of the All-star game and award home-field in the WS to the team with the best record. If they have the same record, I'd go to head-to-head, then inter-league record to break it. I'd also institute mandatory Sunday afternoon games for the LCS and WS. Saturday night's games would start @ 7:35 EST and all playoff games had to start at or before 6:05 EST during the week. This gives the youth a true opportunity to see the sport at it's height without sacrificing sleep for school. I'd also ban Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, Bonds, Palmeiro and others who took PED's from HOF ballots. Any writer who writes in one of them in protest would be denied MLB credentials indefinitely.
Baseball is a unique sport and should keep some of those things that make it special. However, the insane payrolls have to go. A cap is the only way to stop the owners from themselves. This year should be the impetus for sparking that discussion internally and finally realizing it's the only solution to equity and financial stability. My cap is just one suggestion. Sure there are flaws, but at least it's an idea. It's time for the owners to step up. You know their commissioner won't and can't. MLB is rudderless. I hope people in the front offices and owners boxes are as mad as me. I love a big market team and am disgusted. How do the fans from those small market teams feel? I'm betting disgust is a mild word to describe it.