No, it doesn’t.
But that doesn’t stop Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio from thinking so:
“At the rate the Yankees are going, I’m not sure anyone can compete with them,” Attanasio said in an e-mail. “Frankly, the sport might need a salary cap.”
. . .
“They are on a completely different economic playing field,” Attanasio said in a telephone interview. “I paid $220 million for my team; now they get three players for $420 million.”
. . .
“At some point it gets to be absurd when a team has a $200 million payroll,” he said, adding that the Brewers won’t raise their $81 million payroll because of the recession.
That’s coming from a guy who has roughly one-sixth of his payroll committed to Jeff Suppan.
What does a salary cap accomplish? It keeps the Yankees from gobbling up the best players (what would have been said if the Red Sox signed him?), and presumably levels the playing field. In reality though, all it does is transfer the money from the pockets of millionaire players to those of the billionaire owners. And I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the owners aren’t going to use that money to build parks or fix potholes or restore your 401k.
Let’s be real here: baseball needs the Yankees to be good. Baseball needs that villain, that big terrible team that fills the seats on the road because everyone loves to hate them. The Pirates sold out a total of four home games all of last season. One was Opening Day. Care to guess who was in town for the other three?
Sure the economy is rough right now, but these signings don’t effect us as fans. Ticket prices are what they are because of demand, not because of the team payroll. For every person with a ticket in hand for a game at the New Stadium next year, there are three behind them waiting for tickets of their own. So the Yankees are trying to field a great team for all those dedicated fans who pay good money, what’s so bad about that?
Revenue sharing has already brought parity to the game, and it’s not that hard to see. There have been eight World Series this century featuring thirteen different teams. That’s nearly half the league. Eighteen different teams have won their division in that span, and 23 different clubs have played a postseason game. The ones that haven’t: the Blue Jays, Nats, Orioles, Pirates, Rangers, Reds, and Royals.
Baseball doesn’t need a salary cap. It just needs to get rid of incompetent front offices.