Waiting for Thursday's trade deadline to pass has made me mull over a salary cap again. As I watch teams like Pittsburgh fork over talent for prospects and as salary dumps and watch Oakland trade 2/5's of it's starting staff to keep payroll down, I become more and more convinced it is the only solution. I know the MLBPA will fight it to the death and they will. However, in the end it will not stop the best players from earning big money. It will simply balance out the talent between the teams and not create a league were 6-8 teams can stock-pile talent. MLB could compromise by giving the players more revenue sharing and bolster their pensions.
The luxury tax is a joke. There must be a hard-fast cap. With the cap should come a floor. That way teams like Florida, Tampa, KC and Pittsburgh can't have 25 million dollar payrolls. I suggest starting @ 125 million at the top and 50 million @ the bottom. Then raise the floor and keep the ceiling. No team should be spending more than 125 million. No team should spend less than 50 million.
People will say, look at Florida and Tampa this year. They're at or close to the top of their divisions. That's true, but it took Tampa 10 years to be competitive. That's 10 years of the #1 or at least top 5 pick in the draft. Florida often was in the same boat. Sure Florida won in 2003, but outside of them who has won the WS? Let's take a look, shall we...
1998-2000- NY Yankees
That means in the last decade 90% of the champions have been from large market teams( St.Louis certainly isn't a small market). Some of those teams had sane payrolls, but they all(except Florida) could or were willing to spend money to get talent and weren't hamstrung by cheap ownership or poor attendance and TV revenues. Since the 2000, the payrolls have gone insane. The Yankees had a 92 million dollar payroll in 2000, now have one that exceeds 200 million! They just went out and added 10 million + to that! How many teams can afford to do that? 10 maybe? You are looking at the: Yankees, Mets, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox and Red Sox for sure. Then perhaps the Cardinals, Braves and Tigers. That's 11 out of 30. That's not a good % folks.
A major problem is the commissioner Bud Selig. He is simply horrendous. The guy has allowed a strike to wipe out a season + and also oversaw the greatest disgrace to the game since the 1919 Black Sox scandal. He's spent more trips to Congress then any ball park. The MLBPA has humiliated him over-and-over. He cannot get anything through without kissing their tuchus. So as long as he is there, this won't happen.
When will it happen? When the owners grow some and bring in a guy who can. I say the perfect guy is.... Rudy Guilaini. Who was a tougher prosecutor than him? Who has more respect as a leader? He could come in and get it done. He loves baseball(though he would be forbidden from wearing his Yankee cap) and knows how to get things done. All will benefit. Salary dumps will still occur, but far less frequently. Baseball would have 30 teams capable of adding, not 11 or 12. It would be better balanced and the playing field evened.
Well, that's it for now on talkin' baseball. I hope this blog gave you some insight and perhaps sparks some conversation. I'm more than happy to read your comments pro and con. After all this is talkin' baseball. Play ball!