Blog Entry

Baseball is un-American

Posted on: January 24, 2008 11:37 am
Ive been debating the concept of revenue sharing on a thread and wanted more feedback.

Gamer1028 opened the thread by pointing out that the Yanks were forced to give back 100M of their 415M in revenue as part of MLB's revenue sharing requirement.

I'll give you 4 posts which highlight the discussion:

Without the rest of the league, the Yankees don't make $415 million in revenue.  Why shouldnt they give back?  The league is 30 teams in business together.   Its not like its Wal Mart giving Target $100 million.   You already know this, but thats the way it is. I do think the luxury tax is a joke, though, and my team is a recipient of it.

Joe Khyser:
Why shouldnt they give it back?
The same reason they shouldnt give it to you.
This is America.  Land of capitalism.
Go sign up for a bread line in Russia if you want to be a socialist.
The Yankees already assist loser teams by boosting the local attendance in every park they visit.  A large part of the reason they come is to see the lineup of stars which the Yankees pay a fortune for.  So the Yankee payroll is a form of revenue sharing.
Apparently that is insufficient.

This isnt capitalism, its sports.  Teams arent trying to knock the other teams out of business.  The need each other to compete. 
Maybe the Yankees and Red Sox should go form a two team league, if thats the way they want to do business.

Joe Khyser:
Your point extends to the luxury tax.

I agree with having the luxury tax.  Teams should not be allowed to outspend their opponents ad infinitum because it possibly upsets the competitive balance and thereby damages the league as a whole. 

(I say possibly upsets the balance because recent history has proven that the biggest payroll does not necessarily translate into success on the field.  The Cards, Tigers, Indians, As, Rockies, Twins, Marlins, DBacks all achieved high success levels during the last decade without outspending their oppenents.  Nevrtheless, the consistent success of Boston and New York point to the fact that a limitless payroll can keep you competitive during the leanest of years, and obviously creates an advantage to some degree.)

I'd go one step further than the current system and say that it should be a hard cap which teams should not be entitled to exceed.  In that way you force teams to rely on intelligent management rather than a fat wallet to compensate for managerial deficiency.  If you blow your cap space on a superstar, you should be forced to live with that decision for better or worse.  I dont foresee this happening because Selig does not have the cahonies to stand up to Fehr who would oppose this reform with every fiber of his being.

As for revenue sharing, however, that is a whole other animal altogether.  Revenue sharing is based on how much profit your team earned.  The Yankees have an edge in earning revenue because they're the most popular team on the globe.  George made a brilliant investment and it's paying off handsomely.  He also reinvests in his team and works to build the value of his franchise.  In contrast, many owners do not put effort into developing a good team and horde their money rather than invest it.

But it's not just about the franchise name, the Cubs and Dodgers have large natural fan bases yet their revenue is a small fraction of the Yankee revenue because they have not spent the money or displayed sufficient mangerial ability to translate into consistent success on the field.  I have no sympathy for their owners.  Revenue sharing with franchises that fail to expend sufficient effort or money is forced charity.  In my mind, that's socialist thinking.

Similarly, teams that struggle financially in communties that cannot compete financially or do not have the interest in supporting their team should make changes to survive in the market.  The Indians sold out their stadium for eight years running.  If you own a baseball team, you do not need to play in one of the largets markets in the world to make money.  Despite strikes and performance enhancing drugs (or because of PEDs) baseball continues to thrive.

You may not make as much money as the Yankees or Red Sox, but you'll be doing a lot better than most corporations and/or people living in your state.  Baseball may not be subject to America's anti-trust laws, but that doesn't mean that the owners should be forced to abide by a system that is wholly un-American.

That's it.  Feel free to weigh in.
Category: General

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2008 4:28 pm

Baseball is un-American

Love it.

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