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Does MLB have more parity? (Interesting read)

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  • Does MLB have more parity? (Interesting read)

    Sharing the wealth
    By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
    October 21, 2005

    Dan Wetzel
    Yahoo! Sports Exclusive
    No salary cap means no competitive balance, right?

    Isn't the problem with baseball that the same couple of teams, including the New York Yankees ($208 million payroll), keep on winning while others, such as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays ($29 million), can only keep dreaming?

    But here we are with the 2005 World Series set to begin Saturday and we are assured that a new champion will be crowned for the fifth consecutive year. Either the Houston Astros or Chicago White Sox will follow the lead of the Boston Red Sox, Florida Marlins, (then) Anaheim Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Moreover, Chicago and Houston represent two new clubs in the World Series, just as there were two new ones last year with Boston and St. Louis.

    An amazing 10 different teams have filled the 12 possible spots in the World Series since 2000, and 14 different clubs have taken 24 possible slots in the League Championship Series.

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    That is called spreading the success around.

    Let's compare that to the other two major team sports in the United States (sorry NHL, but you have to earn your way back as one of the "Big Four"), both of which have tighter salary structures and better revenue sharing than Major League Baseball's meager luxury tax model.

    The NFL is the most balanced league with its restrictive cap that makes keeping teams together for multiple seasons nearly impossible. Virtually all television revenue is split up equally, regardless if your market is New York (No. 1) or Green Bay (No. 69). The league prides itself on its "Any Given Sunday" motto.

    When training camps break each August, just about all 32 NFL teams believe they have a realistic chance at making the playoffs. And because in-season moves are so rare, good teams can't make late-season trades to bolster rosters at the expense of bad teams.

    Yet in the last six years, the NFL has produced just four different champions (New England, Tampa Bay, Baltimore and St. Louis) and nine Super Bowl teams. Just like baseball, 14 different teams have filled the 24 possible spots in the conference championship games.

    The NBA has a more flexible salary cap than the NFL – you can exceed it to re-sign free agents – but there is no question that smaller markets such as San Antonio or Sacramento can field great teams.

    But the NBA has produced just three different champions the last six years (L.A. Lakers, Detroit and San Antonio) and a mere six teams have even reached the NBA Finals. Fifteen different teams have reached the conference finals out of a possible 24.

    Making the MLB numbers even more impressive is the fact that baseball invites just eight of its 30 teams (26.6 percent) to the postseason. The NFL lets in 12 of 32 (37.5 percent) and the NBA goes with 16 of 30 (53.3 percent), increasing the likelihood of upset-driven diversity in the late rounds.

    How baseball got so competitive despite a non-competitive salary structure is a testament to the game.

    Houston ($76.8 million total payroll) and Chicago ($75.1 million) rank a reasonable 12th and 13th, respectively, league-wide in total salary. But this is a sport where big money free agents such as the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, the top-paid player in the game at $26 million this year, can annually gag under the stress of postseason play.

    This is a sport where even the best player, San Francisco's Barry Bonds, only gets up every few innings. Meanwhile, a basketball player can have an effect at both ends of the court on every single play and a football player can impact at least half of the action.

    This is a sport where young arms and timely hits and momentum and emotion and strategy and heart can play a huge role.

    It is where the White Sox can lose $8 million slugger Frank Thomas to injury and ride such a good starting rotation that they hardly needed a bullpen to get to the Series. It's where the Astros can lose their best hitter to high-priced free agency (Carlos Beltran) and have a team, which critics called either too old or too young, somehow turn out just right.

    It's where one team (Chicago) looks to end an 88-year futility streak, while the other (Houston) wants to lay a 43-year wait to rest – something no one thought either was capable of during spring training.

    That's baseball.

    The constant complaint is that the system isn't fair, that the playing field isn't level, that it isn't more like the NFL or NBA.

    But another Fall Classic begins Saturday, once again with two new teams, two new cities, two new storylines and two rosters full of brand new stars.

    Let Paul Tagliabue and David Stern be jealous for a change.

    Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Dan's new book, "Runnin' Rebel: Shark Tales of 'Extra Benefits,' Frank Sinatra and Winning It All" with coach Jerry Tarkanian, is due out in late October.

    Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    Royals.

    Pirates.

    Devil Rays.



    It would be interesting to see a strict salary cap in this league.

    Hell, I would settle for a loose cap.

    In the meantime, baseball is fucked up.


    Not the game itself, mind you, but the competitive fairness.

    The Yankees would be like the Jets or the Giants.

    And they know it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Skep,

      Could it be that the owners of those teams you mentioned just want to pad their bank accounts?

      While I think an upper payroll limit should be set, on the other hand, so should a minimun payoll should be set.
      Make America Great For Once.

      Comment


      • #4
        QUOTE
        While I think an upper payroll limit should be set, on the other hand, so should a minimun payoll should be set.[/b][/quote]

        Absolutely.

        Great point.

        I've heard that argument many times before, and it's valid.

        Comment


        • #5
          Is Dan Wetzel related to Scott Wetzel?

          I don't say that based on the article...just curious...
          " Look, forget the myths the media's created about the White House--the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."

          Comment


          • #6
            QUOTE(The Skeptic @ Oct 21 2005, 09:53 PM) Quoted post

            QUOTE
            While I think an upper payroll limit should be set, on the other hand, so should a minimun payoll should be set.[/b][/quote]

            Absolutely.

            Great point.

            I've heard that argument many times before, and it's valid.
            [/b][/quote]

            I think a salary floor is a must....
            " Look, forget the myths the media's created about the White House--the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."

            Comment


            • #7
              Thats a good column, but still, baseball had much more parity in the 80's, before payrolls became more of a factor. Over 10 years in the 80's, the best combined winning percentage of any team (the Yankees) was still below .540 (or = to an 87-win season), and the Yankees didnt even win a world series in the 80's, and only reached the Series once (the strike-shortened '81 season).

              There might be more parity in baseball compared to some other sports, but compared to the 1980's, there is no way there is more parity.
              “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

              Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

              Comment


              • #8
                QUOTE(The Skeptic @ Oct 21 2005, 10:39 PM) Quoted post

                Royals.

                Pirates.

                Devil Rays.
                [/b][/quote]

                Those teams would suck even if every team had the exact same payroll.

                Those teams have front office and scouting issues...a hard cap/floor wouldn't do anything for them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  QUOTE(210 @ Oct 22 2005, 06:53 PM) Quoted post

                  QUOTE(The Skeptic @ Oct 21 2005, 10:39 PM) Quoted post

                  Royals.

                  Pirates.

                  Devil Rays.
                  [/b][/quote]

                  Those teams would suck even if every team had the exact same payroll.

                  Those teams have front office and scouting issues...a hard cap/floor wouldn't do anything for them.
                  [/b][/quote]


                  I agree with that 210...not all issues would/could be addressed with payscale parity...


                  I'm not even sure you can compare 80's payrolls versus today...
                  " Look, forget the myths the media's created about the White House--the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."

                  Comment

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