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Baseball needs a salary cap
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besson3c
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Dec 13, 2008, 02:29 AM
 
In the last 3 days the Yankees have committed to over $250 million in new salaries to C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. How are small market teams supposed to compete with the seemingly limitless financial resources of teams like the Yankees? The combined salaries of Sabathia and A-Rod are greater than the entire Tampa Bay team!

Yes it is noteworthy that Tampa Bay made it to the World Series last year with their low payroll, but their success is definitely the exception to the advantages having money will offer you. If Tampa Bay collapses in the following years, it will take them a while to rebuild from within. The Yankees can literally reinvent themselves each year by just tossing whatever money they want at the type A free agents during the off season. This seems like a rather unfair advantage if we care about giving every team a reasonable chance at success.

What professional sports other than baseball do not have a salary cap, and do you agree with me?
     
brassplayersrock²
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Dec 13, 2008, 02:36 AM
 
what baseball needs are cheerleaders.
     
gocubsgo
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Dec 13, 2008, 02:47 AM
 
     
gocubsgo
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Dec 13, 2008, 02:54 AM
 
gocubsgo thought that besson3c was a Blue Jays fan.
     
Jawbone54
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Dec 13, 2008, 03:08 AM
 
Hasn't it been 8 years since the Yankees won? Look at the last 8 World Series champs...

2001 - Diamondbacks
2002 - Angels
2003 - Marlins
2004 - Red Sox
2005 - White Sox
2006 - Cardinals
2007 - Red Sox
2008 - Phillies

And the Yankees didn't even make the playoffs last year. I don't get the beef, really. The D-Backs, Angels, Marlins, White Sox, and Phillies didn't have bank-busting payrolls, did they?

Would you prefer it to the NFL, where the teams have been strapped down to be so even that a team can be incredible and win the Super Bowl one year and then fall to pieces the next year before returning the following year to make another run at it? It's TOO unpredictable. I honestly don't know how the Pats were so successful for so many years...
( Last edited by Jawbone54; Dec 13, 2008 at 03:31 AM. )
     
brassplayersrock²
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Dec 13, 2008, 03:29 AM
 
what baseball needs are cheerleaders.
what american baseball needs are cheerleaders.
     
gocubsgo
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Dec 13, 2008, 03:37 AM
 

gocubsgo presents the Marlins Mermaids.
     
brassplayersrock²
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Dec 13, 2008, 03:40 AM
 
hooters rejects? i kid i kid
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 13, 2008, 03:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by gocubsgo View Post
gocubsgo thought that besson3c was a Blue Jays fan.
gocubsgo was right!
     
brassplayersrock²
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Dec 13, 2008, 03:42 AM
 
yeesh, infraction happy mod.

fine, i'll be on topic:

     
gocubsgo
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Dec 13, 2008, 03:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
gocubsgo was right!
gocubsgo wants to know why besson3c wants a salary cap when the Blue Jays have more money than any other team in Major League Baseball.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 13, 2008, 03:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Hasn't it been 8 years since the Yankees won? Look at the last 8 World Series champs...

2001 - Diamondbacks
2002 - Angels
2003 - Marlins
2004 - Red Sox
2005 - White Sox
2006 - Cardinals
2007 - Red Sox
2008 - Phillies

And the Yankees didn't even make the playoffs last year. I don't get the beef, really. The D-Backs, Angels, Marlins, White Sox, and Phillies didn't have bank-busting payrolls, did they?

Would you prefer it to the NFL, where the teams have been strapped down to be so even that a team can be incredible and win the Super Bowl one year and then fall to pieces the next year before returning the following year to make another run at it? It's TOO unpredictable. I honestly don't know how the Pats were so successful for so many years...
The Angels, White Sox, and Phillies are big market teams. So are Atlanta, the Mets, Red Sox, and many others that contend regularly.

The teams that do well are well balanced teams with some luck and health. Money alone doesn't buy you that, but when you are deficient money makes it much easier to fill in the missing pieces.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 13, 2008, 03:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by gocubsgo View Post
gocubsgo wants to know why besson3c wants a salary cap when the Blue Jays have more money than any other team in Major League Baseball.
Huh? Why are you pulling my leg? What did besson3c do to you?
     
gocubsgo
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Dec 13, 2008, 04:00 AM
 
Because the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team in Canada, if you are Canadian, and you like baseball, you are a Blue Jays fan. The Blue Jays get national television contracts as a result, which gives them more money than any baseball team in the United States could ever dream of seeing.

And besson3c is not a Cubs fan, so gocubsgo hates besson3c.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 13, 2008, 04:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by gocubsgo View Post
Because the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team in Canada, if you are Canadian, and you like baseball, you are a Blue Jays fan. The Blue Jays get national television contracts as a result, which gives them more money than any baseball team in the United States could ever dream of seeing.

And besson3c is not a Cubs fan, so gocubsgo hates besson3c.
If the Blue Jays franchise does make this money it is not put into the team's payroll... Our annual team salary budget is around $80-90 million/year, whereas the Yankees are over $200 million/year.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 13, 2008, 04:14 AM
 
Besson3c likes the Cubs. The Cubs are one of besson3c's favorite NL teams.
     
Maflynn
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Dec 13, 2008, 08:34 AM
 
I agree with Besson, the amounts of $$ being thrown around is ridiculous. I think football has implemented a salary cap that is largely successful because they saw the mistakes the NBA made with theirs

The money hasn't stopped flowing, the Red Sox may potentially be offering Teixeira one of the largest contracts and there's a few more premiere players available. Manny is one of them but I think he's getting nervous because except for the dodgers nobody is really making any offers. They saw the antics he pulled in Boston and while his hitting skills are the best, his antics off the field proved to be a distraction.

Because of the economy, though I think we'll see a slowing of this, but the yankees and mets are exceedingly anxious to win a world series at any cost and it is showing. Baseball teams (even the yankees) are going to find it more and more difficult to sell out their stadiums. The cost of going to a came is exceedingly high and given the state of the economy families don't want to plunk down 300+ bucks to go a baseball game.
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TailsToo
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Dec 21, 2008, 12:10 AM
 
It's rather fun to watch the Yanks lose year after year while blowing tons of money.

I don't know how anyone could be a fan of that team. If they should win, it's not because they are a good organization - they just pay stupid money to grab all of the top talent in the league. How does that make it fun to watch? And if they lose, you know the overpriced slugs don't care - they are going home to roll around in a big pile of cash.

I thought they said that they were going to try and actually BUILD a good team going forward? Did they decide after one year that that is enough of that?
     
turtle777
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Dec 21, 2008, 12:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
In the last 3 days the Yankees have committed to over $250 million in new salaries to C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.
I wouldn't be worried about it, the high salaries for professional sports is the next bubble to burst.

People are going to be like "WTF, I won't pay my hard earned money for that kind of crap."

Just wait and see how the current crisis unfolds next year.

-t
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 21, 2008, 01:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post
It's rather fun to watch the Yanks lose year after year while blowing tons of money.

I don't know how anyone could be a fan of that team. If they should win, it's not because they are a good organization - they just pay stupid money to grab all of the top talent in the league. How does that make it fun to watch? And if they lose, you know the overpriced slugs don't care - they are going home to roll around in a big pile of cash.

I thought they said that they were going to try and actually BUILD a good team going forward? Did they decide after one year that that is enough of that?
The other thing about this is that it seems like a pretty unsustainable strategy. The more they do this, the poorer the draft picks they get. This strategy only works so long as the money remains a constant, and their high priced athletes remain healthy. What are the Yankees to do if C.C. Sabathia has to take a season off to recover from Tommy John surgery? This is the ideal time for somebody from their farm system to pick up the slack, but if nobody is really up to the job the whole team just collapses... Unless trades can be made, which only works up to a point.
     
Kerrigan
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Dec 21, 2008, 01:48 AM
 
The textbook answer to this suggestion:

Salary caps are one of the least effective means of promoting competitive balance in a sport, and are only kept in place by franchise owners who benefit from paying less for players than they are actually worth. The NBA and NFL all manage to pay players (especially star players) considerably less than what they are worth to their teams, but franchise owners perpetuate the myth that salary caps are a good way to equally distribute talent.

The most effective method of promoting competitive balance is a league-wide system of promotion and delegation, such that you see in Premier League soccer. This is frequently mooted as a possible way to shake up baseball, but I don't know if it will ever happen.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 21, 2008, 03:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post
The textbook answer to this suggestion:

Salary caps are one of the least effective means of promoting competitive balance in a sport, and are only kept in place by franchise owners who benefit from paying less for players than they are actually worth. The NBA and NFL all manage to pay players (especially star players) considerably less than what they are worth to their teams, but franchise owners perpetuate the myth that salary caps are a good way to equally distribute talent.
I understand this argument, but this basically says that whomever can pay the most demonstrates their need and sense of value for their athletes, which creates an arms race in seeing who can pay their players the most. This helps picks winners and losers based on the financial power of a franchise, and potentially creates monopolies and empires that are very difficult to compete with.

Much of sport deals with chance, perseverance, and opportunity. It is a celebration of the idea that anybody can succeed if they try. What if the payroll of the Yankees was $500 million, and they could pay each of their players many times more than their competitors? This would basically be about a sort of aristocracy in sport - about whether you are fortunate enough to be associated with the wealth that buys championships, and if you're not... tough.

It can be argued that we're not at this point yet, but if your argument is basically that we shouldn't draw a line, then are you willing to maintain that argument even if the Yankees or some team like them had a payroll like what I'm describing? If so, how about $1 billion? $2 billion?
     
Maflynn
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Dec 21, 2008, 08:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
People are going to be like "WTF, I won't pay my hard earned money for that kind of crap."
-t
Why?

They haven't yet and this isn't the first year owners had paid players huge $$$
~Mike
     
Eug
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Dec 21, 2008, 10:06 AM
 
I think all professional sports need real team salary caps, and individual salary caps.

No single player deserves $23 million per year in 2009, or in 2015 for that matter.
     
jokell82
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Dec 21, 2008, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I think all professional sports need real team salary caps, and individual salary caps.

No single player deserves $23 million per year in 2009, or in 2015 for that matter.
I disagree. If you think about how huge of a market professional sports is, bringing in billions of dollars every year, why shouldn't the people who create this market make the money?

Player salaries should only go down if the revenues of professional sports go down.

All glory to the hypnotoad.
     
Eug
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Dec 21, 2008, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
I disagree. If you think about how huge of a market professional sports is, bringing in billions of dollars every year, why shouldn't the people who create this market make the money?

Player salaries should only go down if the revenues of professional sports go down.
Player salaries should go down, and bring down ticket prices with them. I rarely go to games these days because the ticket prices are horrendously high. Part of that is greed by the team owners, but much of that is due to the super high player salaries.
     
turtle777
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Dec 21, 2008, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
Why?

They haven't yet and this isn't the first year owners had paid players huge $$$
Are you kidding me ?

People have overpaid for houses, then the bubble burst.
Just because people have been doing things for years doesn't mean it made any sense or was a "wise" investment.

What makes you think those high salaries would climb forever and ever, and not take a hit while the US is in the worst recession since the Great Depression ?

-t
     
turtle777
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Dec 21, 2008, 12:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Player salaries should go down, and bring down ticket prices with them. I rarely go to games these days because the ticket prices are horrendously high. Part of that is greed by the team owners, but much of that is due to the super high player salaries.
I completely agree. Some of those ticket prices are just nuts.

-t
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 21, 2008, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
I disagree. If you think about how huge of a market professional sports is, bringing in billions of dollars every year, why shouldn't the people who create this market make the money?

Player salaries should only go down if the revenues of professional sports go down.
What do you think about the idea of a sort of windfall profits sort of thing, where profits over a certain point are distributed back to lower income teams so that they can pay their players more?

I'm cool with paying players rather than business owners too, the main problem is the huge gap between the Yankees and less wealthy teams. I mean, I may have already said this, but don't you think it's kind of weird that the combined salaries of A-rod and Sabathia are more than the entire Tampa Bay team?

You can point out rightfully that Tampa Bay made the World Series this year, but again this was a sort of a "stars are all aligned" kind of thing - a rare opportunity for a team like them. They can't make up for deficiencies in their team through free agency very much.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 21, 2008, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Are you kidding me ?

People have overpaid for houses, then the bubble burst.
Just because people have been doing things for years doesn't mean it made any sense or was a "wise" investment.

What makes you think those high salaries would climb forever and ever, and not take a hit while the US is in the worst recession since the Great Depression ?

-t

Why is it healthy to allow such horrendous and violent swings to occur that are both fairly predictable and avoidable? These violent downswings are hard on businesses and people alike. These downswings would not just lower salaries, but would decrease sponsorship, decrease investment in the game, etc.
     
Maflynn
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Dec 21, 2008, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Are you kidding me ?

People have overpaid for houses, then the bubble burst.
Just because people have been doing things for years doesn't mean it made any sense or was a "wise" investment.

What makes you think those high salaries would climb forever and ever, and not take a hit while the US is in the worst recession since the Great Depression ?

-t
Housing prices and other elements of the economy have nothing to do with professional sports. Ever since free agency was allowed in baseball, players have garnered huge salaries, it did not matter then if the housing market was increasing or decreasing, whether the economy was booming or we were in a recession. So while the economy ebbed and flowed players salaries went, so you cannot compare the two. As long as sponsors are willing to fork over billions, cities build parks for them, and people willing to see them, you'll not see a change.
~Mike
     
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Dec 21, 2008, 03:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
Housing prices and other elements of the economy have nothing to do with professional sports. Ever since free agency was allowed in baseball, players have garnered huge salaries, it did not matter then if the housing market was increasing or decreasing, whether the economy was booming or we were in a recession. So while the economy ebbed and flowed players salaries went, so you cannot compare the two. As long as sponsors are willing to fork over billions, cities build parks for them, and people willing to see them, you'll not see a change.
There has been a lot of talk of eventually moving the Bills from Buffalo to Toronto. They're already having games in Toronto.

Why? Of course the size of the population is an issue, but it's also because of the general economy of the region. Western New York had been a lot worse off economically than the Greater Toronto Area in the past few years.
     
jokell82
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Dec 21, 2008, 04:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Player salaries should go down, and bring down ticket prices with them. I rarely go to games these days because the ticket prices are horrendously high. Part of that is greed by the team owners, but much of that is due to the super high player salaries.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I completely agree. Some of those ticket prices are just nuts.

-t
I went to see the Pacers/Lakers game a couple of weeks ago for $10. Not sure how that is "nuts". And that wasn't a deal, either. Just normal ticket price. And last time I went to a Nationals game (granted it's been two years) there were $5 tickets available at the box office. Just exactly how low should the tickets be?

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What do you think about the idea of a sort of windfall profits sort of thing, where profits over a certain point are distributed back to lower income teams so that they can pay their players more?

I'm cool with paying players rather than business owners too, the main problem is the huge gap between the Yankees and less wealthy teams. I mean, I may have already said this, but don't you think it's kind of weird that the combined salaries of A-rod and Sabathia are more than the entire Tampa Bay team?

You can point out rightfully that Tampa Bay made the World Series this year, but again this was a sort of a "stars are all aligned" kind of thing - a rare opportunity for a team like them. They can't make up for deficiencies in their team through free agency very much.
I do think it's weird, but I also think it's telling that the Yankees didn't even make the playoffs. I really don't see a problem here that requires a solution right now...

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besson3c  (op)
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Dec 21, 2008, 04:43 PM
 
I think I've made the case about how it is a problem, both now and in the future if left as is. Reread my first post to this thread, and let me know what you think about the points I've raised there...
( Last edited by besson3c; Dec 21, 2008 at 08:14 PM. )
     
turtle777
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Dec 21, 2008, 05:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
Housing prices and other elements of the economy have nothing to do with professional sports. ... As long as sponsors are willing to fork over billions, cities build parks for them, and people willing to see them, you'll not see a change.
Well, guess what ? Recession means people will spend less money.
This means companies have less to spend on sponsorships.
It also means people can not afford hundreds of $$$ for tickets like in the NFL.

-t
     
turtle777
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Dec 21, 2008, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
I really don't see a problem here that requires a solution right now...
Personally, I'm not advocating a "solution". I'm against salary caps, the markets should be free to regulate this.

All I'm saying is that the economic crisis will hit pro sports hard.

-t
     
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Dec 21, 2008, 05:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Personally, I'm not advocating a "solution". I'm against salary caps, the markets should be free to regulate this.

All I'm saying is that the economic crisis will hit pro sports hard.

-t
I agree. When it costs more to buy a hotdog and a drink at a MLB ballpark than it does for a nice dinner out at a fancy restaurant (for TWO), then those parks are going to be VERY quiet. For at least the next season people are going to be saying "why should I put up with all that hassle and spend all that money when I can sit at home and watch the game on TV? (I know, local blackouts and everything when the game isn't close to a sellout, but there are things like special cable/satellite deals for local games...).

There will be huge losses in revenue by every team throughout the leagues. That will make it not economically feasible to pay tens of millions of dollars a year for individual players next year. I think that situation will hang around for at least a couple of years, too.

A pay cap isn't needed now because of the economy. But maybe fans can let the owners know that we think it's ridiculous to pay that freakin' much for a single player when there are other MUCH BETTER ways for the owners to spend that money.

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Dec 21, 2008, 06:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Personally, I'm not advocating a "solution". I'm against salary caps, the markets should be free to regulate this.

All I'm saying is that the economic crisis will hit pro sports hard.

-t
No argument here.

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Dec 21, 2008, 06:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Well, guess what ? Recession means people will spend less money.
This means companies have less to spend on sponsorships.
It also means people can not afford hundreds of $$$ for tickets like in the NFL.

-t
I know that and I also understand it will affect MLB (and every other sport) but I don't think you will see a bubble burst as you intimated. attendance was starting to track down last season and we'll continue to see that trend, but by the same token, we will continue to see money pouring into players pockets for some time. Just look at the $$ the yankees spent.
~Mike
     
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Dec 21, 2008, 08:35 PM
 
Trust me, paying hundreds of millions for players is a bubble. They should enjoy while it lasts.

-t
     
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Dec 21, 2008, 09:54 PM
 
I hope it's a bubble.
     
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Dec 22, 2008, 12:06 AM
 
go brewers?
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Dec 22, 2008, 01:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I understand this argument, but this basically says that whomever can pay the most demonstrates their need and sense of value for their athletes, which creates an arms race in seeing who can pay their players the most. This helps picks winners and losers based on the financial power of a franchise, and potentially creates monopolies and empires that are very difficult to compete with.

Much of sport deals with chance, perseverance, and opportunity. It is a celebration of the idea that anybody can succeed if they try. What if the payroll of the Yankees was $500 million, and they could pay each of their players many times more than their competitors? This would basically be about a sort of aristocracy in sport - about whether you are fortunate enough to be associated with the wealth that buys championships, and if you're not... tough.

It can be argued that we're not at this point yet, but if your argument is basically that we shouldn't draw a line, then are you willing to maintain that argument even if the Yankees or some team like them had a payroll like what I'm describing? If so, how about $1 billion? $2 billion?
I'm not trying to be crass or anything, but I did take a course as part of my economics minor last year, Macroeconomics in Sports, and one of the things I can recall is how effective different methods of promoting competitive balance are.

You alluded to something in your post, something called the Coase Theorem, which states that initial allocation of property rights (ie, rights to players) does not matter in the final distribution of that property so long as transaction costs are low. This theory has been shown to hold in the case of salary caps, revenue sharing, and reverse drafts (like the NFL has).

There are a good deal of studies that show that salary caps do not improve competitive balance, and in the NFL's case, may have made it slightly worse:

When the GINI index is used to measure competitive balance in the NFL, the data from 1973 through 2003 show neither an improvement in competitive balance over time nor a discernible change in competitive balance after the NFL instituted a salary cap before the start of the 1994 season. Why? Teams can undermine the effectiveness of salary caps by restructuring their players’ contracts (deferring payments, for example).
http://sandcat.middlebury.edu/econ/r...ncoec/0402.pdf (This study is consistent with the many studies I had to look at as a student that found that salary caps just don't work as they should)
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 22, 2008, 01:53 AM
 
restructuring contracts, deferring payments... hmmm.... I haven't thought about this, you clearly know more about this stuff that I do (I don't mean that sarcastically).

However, isn't this basically just a loophole? Could this problem not be solved by addressing this shortcoming rather than just throwing out the baby with the bathwater?
     
l008com
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Dec 22, 2008, 02:13 AM
 
Cheerleaders never hurt anyone. And if they did, it hurt so good. There used to be some very cute "ball attendants" at Fenway but they've all moved on. Say, which team is the only one thats on that 8 year list twice? :-)

**** the Yankees.
Thus concludes my contribution to this thread.
     
osiris
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Dec 22, 2008, 10:41 AM
 
A baseball cap? Sure.

I stopped going to games when tickets and concessions became too expensive to have a good time.

If a baseball salary cap could lower the costs then I'm all for it. Otherwise, I don't care anymore. my 2.
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
Timo
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Dec 22, 2008, 11:07 AM
 
Baseball's been ruined by money.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 22, 2008, 11:45 AM
 
I was reading something that was saying that if you look at C.C. Sabathia's new salary and figure that he pitches 100 pictures in a game for 20+ games a season, each single pitch he throws costs tens of thousands of dollars... It's amazing when you think about it this way. I wonder if it crosses the pitcher's mind? I mean, after about 5 or so pitches they have earned more than what many people do in a year.
     
ghporter
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Dec 22, 2008, 11:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Timo View Post
Baseball's been ruined by money.
Between way too freakin' much money paid to "hardly stellar role model" players and the transition in focus from the game to the stupid commercials that set the pace of play, pro baseball has certainly become something other than our former "national pastime." Minor league stuff is still lots of fun-you can afford to take the family to a game and still pay the mortgage, and you can actually watch the game instead of having lame commercials for lame beer in your face.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
hayesk
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Dec 22, 2008, 02:26 PM
 
Personally, I'd rather see fixed salary tiers with both personal and team performance bonuses. This way there's incentive for you to play well, and help your team play well.

Excess profits should be donated to little league and other charities.

Alas, I don't expect this to ever happen.
     
 
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