Does baseball need a salary cap?

Yanks continue to steal players from Boston
Will Pettitte be the odd man out?

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.

Yanks continue to steal players from Boston
Will Pettitte be the odd man out?
  • vj

    yeah first. I think they do if baseball as a whole would like to become what the NFL is.

    • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

      NFL is what it is because it is easy to follow, on mostly Sundays where the beer swilling masses are parked on the couch. Also it is THE game to gamble on. While many people gamble on baseball, it is not RUN by gambling like the NFL is.

      Also I believe the other reason NFL is so popular is NFL films and the effect it had / has on the sport. Baseball has lost out big time for not being in that business. I have been lucky enough to tour and spend time at the NFL films headquarters on business, and let me tell you those folks know how to operate a business. They make money off the core TV and film side but really it is just one big high quality commercial for the NFL and the teams and players.

  • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

    Good post.

    “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?”

    I was at one of those games (well two innings at least until it got rained out), and that is a beauty of a ball park. They are a true small market but they also have one of the best places on earth to see a ball game, a growing community of tech jobs and nobody goes to the games. If they were good, or even decent people would go see them to some degree.

    One thing nobody wants to talk about is that New York is a baseball town, and will remain that way. It is not JUST about sheer numbers. The Yanks have to compete with the Mets, Jets, Giants, Nets, The minor league basketball team the Knicks, Hockey, Broadway and the best places to eat in the entire world. Outside of Hockey and ONE football team there is NADA to do in Pittsburg.

    The Yankees have always historically outspent teams (with the exception of only a few brief periods of time), and with this ownership they always will.

    Get over it cry baby loser types.

    I am not a fan of the Tex signing or a lot of the high dollar signings, but I do appreciate an ownership who cares enough to reinvest his money EVERY year.

    Next time the Brewers owner opens his yap, tell him to send the Yanks back their luxury tax money, his share of the licensing money from MLB because half of that is the Yanks, and his national TV deal check, etc.

    • leo

      PNC Park is a really wonderful place, and I think the team is headed in the right direction so hopefully they’ll benefit soon. This offseason they are working on locking up their young good players instead of shuttling them off for peanuts like they would during the Littlefield era.

      Pedro Alvarez is very polished and should be able to help them soon, it’ll be interesting to see how that goes if Andy LaRoche pieces everything together himself.

  • spiritofcapnjacksparrow

    Baseball does not need a salary cap period but for the sake of argument if it got one then I would be for a cap ceiling & floor. For example 150 million is the ceiling but on the other hand a team can’t spend less then 125 million. Let us see how many whiners would be for those type of cap rules?

  • Reggie C.

    I guess Asstanasio just figures to pocket his portion of the luxury tax check that George Steinbrenner signs over.

    • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

      They made their run for the quarter century last year, what you expect him to try to win this year too?

  • leo

    I know it sounds like typical Yankees fan talk but the organizations who do the worst are really badly run. The Pirates, Royals, etc all have or had horrible management for years and year. The Marlins have the worst and cheapest owner in baseball but they have a really good front office somehow, won the WS in 2003 and have been clawing their way back to being competitive after blowing everything up.

    If you spend a lot of money it only works if you do it right–look at the Astros the last few years. Either BP or THT wrote an article about how it’s good to spend a lot of money as long as you’re spending it on the CCs and Teixs of the world instead of the Raul Ibanezes. Or you build like the 2008 Tigers and focus only on one aspect and come up with a very flawed team.

    • Reggie C.

      The Hardball Times comes up with some terrific stuff.

  • LiveFromNY

    They thought that revenue sharing and luxury tax would fix things.

    Salary caps are not going to make things even either. I don’t know how the world of baseball can ever be “even” when teams are not even in terms of market or fanbase or people buying their “stuff.”

    The other teams don’t mind the luxury tax the Yankees pay or the revenue sharing they get from the Yankees. They thought that the Yankees would balk at the luxury tax and reign in their spending. The Yankees just see it as a business expense.

    Other teams don’t seem to care that when the Yankees come to town their stadiums sell out in a way they don’t when the Yankees are not there.

    They fail to see the demand for Yankee tickets home and away and they fail to see that the Yankees probably have more non-local fans than any other team in the history of baseball (maybe sports).

    The Yankees play in the most competitive and lucrative market in the world. They put on a show both at home and on the road. The demand for their merchandise far surpasses everyone else and the world of baseball profits from that demand.

    When the rest of the baseball world doesn’t get a red cent from the Yankees or profit from them in some way, please let me know what they think. Until then, STFU.

  • Arin

    I think there is beauty in not having a salary cap. Relatively speaking, this game’s gone relatively unchanged since its inception. It has survived all these years without a salary cap, so why ask for one now? Especially at a time when baseball is doing so well: attendance has been rising steadily and breaking records, there’s plenty of parity, teams are building new ballparks, etc. For these reasons, I feel that a salary cap would have detrimental effects.

  • spiritofcapnjacksparrow

    What about the MLB Draft if a CAP is enforced will the team with the worst record get the 1st pick even though their P/R is the same as the NYY?

  • JohnnyC

    Since the Yankees’ 2009 payroll will most likely be at least 10% lower than it was in 2008, it’s rather odd that the fervent call for a salary cap to rein in the team’s profligate, baseball parity-destroying spending comes THIS off-season rather than last year. It tells me we’re a stone-cold lock to win it all…for the 27th time. And they can’t stop the hate. Losers and whiners.

    • steve (different one)

      people were OK with the Yankees’ insane payroll when they were spending it FOOLISHLY. they were perfectly happy watching the Yankees sign a 39 year old Randy Johnson while cashing the revenue sharing checks.

      now that they have invested in 2 studs who are YOUNG and in their prime, people are upset.

      that’s basically it. the Yankee have spent a fortune this offseason, but these are some of the WISEST purchases of the last decade, and they don’t even come with the downside of taking any of their stud prospects to get them.

      that’s what has people worried.

      Cashman and Hal are in control, not George.

      i’d be worried too.

  • JohnnyC

    After the Celtics get crushed by the Lakers (or Cavs) in this Spring’s NBA playoffs, it’s gonna be another generation (or two or three) before ESPN can list Boston as a candidate for Title Town USA.

  • jeremy

    The problem with MLB’s revenue sharing model is that only one team (The Yankees) spends enough to pay into it. In order for their to be any type of balance in baseball they need to restructure the revenue sharing deal so that money is more evenly distributed, and a provision that money from revenue sharing be reinvested 100% into the baseball team. But that won’t happen. For one its not really fair to a tea like the Yankees, whose earnings are derived entirely from entities which they own. In the NFL, the majority of the revenues are generated by a gigantic national TV contract from which each team pulls an equal share. MLB’s national TV deal is hardly adequate, and teams like the Yankees or Red Sox should not be penalized for lucrative local deals which are related directly to their success and the population.
    A salary cap would not reign in the Yankees spending or compel the Marlins to go over 30 million dollars in payroll. It would, as has been said, just transfer power unfairly to ownership. The facts are, there were many lean years for the Yankees, in the 80’s and early 90’s when they drew flies at the stadium, when revenues were teetering on non-existence, when George was not even in the league, but the majority of the money the Yankees did have was invested in making the team better. They are now reaping the benefits from that commitment. How MLB can instill that virtue in other teams I don’t know, but if you intend to give them a fair share of the pie, so to speak, than they should be required to be loyal to their fans.

  • TomG

    The whole of baseball is hating the Yankees; GM’s and owners are crying for more revenue sharing and a salary cap, fans are talking about buying championships. Maybe this represents the economy returning to normalcy, I don’t know, but the world just seems to make a whole lot more sense this Christmas Eve.

  • Frank

    “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.”

    Mike, you are the fucking man. No one could say it any better. In the interest of “fairness” and “objectivity” ESPN and other news outlets should have you on to discuss these issues. Drop a big ‘ole dose of REALITY on these people.

    I’ll tell you one thing. Yankee-hating has now reached a level I never thought was possible. This team is under IMMENSE pressure to win it all. Forget the playoffs… forget the ALCS… this team needs to WIN IT ALL! No matter how successful the season is, if they don’t win the World Series, it’s open season. It’s going to be rough.

    But, then again, I guess we’re used to it.

  • Jamal G.

    I think MLB needs a salary floor more than it does a ceiling. I’m sorry, but when the 2006 Florida Marlins fields an Opening Day roster that is under $15M, there is an issue. When the Minnesota Twins have only fielded a team with a payroll of over $60M twice in the last nine years, and Chris Pohlad, one of the wealthiest owners in MLB, is their financier, there’s a problem.

    I really think a salary floor should be set based on the percentage of revenue earned (this should include the figures earned from revenue sharing) from anything with that team’s logo on it. So, whether it be a TV network or a Pirates owned batting cage, if it is under the owner of the MLB franchise and sells goods and/or services, it should be under the umbrella of “revenue”.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is just an idea of mine that is supported by absolutely zero economical or financial knowledge. I just think if something is to be done, a floor should be prioritized over a ceiling.

    • leo

      I don’t know if this would make teams better, Loria would just pay shittier players more. I think the Twins are a bad example for last year–their payroll was low given all the very young players (like their entire rotation) on the team.

    • Joey H

      Hence why I had more people over my house on thanksgiving than they had people in their park for a home game. If they don’t want to invest in their teams, then I say, fuck them. Kick them out of the league. They don’t belong, Sell off your players and close your franchise. Look at the Rays, they made it to the world series on a small budget but you can bet your bottom dollar that if in 10 years from now, they want the same team on the field, their payroll will also be through the roof. The Marlins have this philosophy of having a good team, winning a championship and then letting the team go down the sewer for a few years. Its disgusting, Try to give half a shit about your product or else it is totally embarrassing. I remember watching Met games where there was literally no people in the stands.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      and Chris (sic) Pohlad, one of the wealthiest owners in MLB, is their financier, there’s a problem.

      There is a misconception amongst fans that owners routinely go in to their own pockets to fund baseball operations. This is just not the case. While the Steinbrenners reinvest a great deal of money back in to the Yankees, I have never once heard or read that they dipped in to their personal stash to fund baseball operations.

      You could legitimately make the gripe that since Carl Pohlad seems to be a savy businessman, he should be able to run his baseball team more efficiently, but to expect him or any other owner to contribute personal funds to their baseball team is, IMO, unrealistic.

  • Ryan S.

    This is what pisses me off about the complaining coming from other baseball team’s FOs:

    Everybody LET US take all 3 of the big FA signings. We weren’t going to arbitrarily spend whatever it took for us to get Burnett and Tex (given, yes, for CC we were going to do whatever it took). But look at each case:

    Sabathia – The dude preferred to play on the west coast. He straight up told the Dodgers that he’d sign with them. Not a single team in California even bothered to make him a god damn offer, and all 3 of them are medium or big market teams. Sabathia even could’ve been on an annual contender with the Dodgers or Angels, one of the factors most important to him.

    Burnett – Nobody seemed to have a lot of confidence in giving this guy 5 years, so there wasn’t much of a bidding war. We DID have a ceiling for an offer on this guy, and we were probably right up there on the deal we gave him. Atlanta could’ve paid him an extra $2M a year and probably landed him. All in all though, seems like baseball at large let us take this guy without putting up a fight.

    Teixeira – Buster Olney has said the Yanks were actually a little surprised they ended up with the highest bid. We played it close to the vest and right as the bubble was about to pop, we made a fair bid that was as much as we could reasonably cough up at 8/180. It just so happened to be higher than Boston’s, who screwed themselves offer for no reason. Tex could’ve been modeling off one of Boston’s new uniforms by yesterday if Boston had manned up and made the same offer we did 10 days ago – it would’ve been only $12M over 8 years higher than what they had already offered. Not our fault we still had the opportunity to make a bid.

    If the other teams we were competing against were trying harder, we could’ve ended up with only 1, or maybe even none, of these free agents. Other teams didn’t fear The Beast enough and now we have struck, and its the other teams’ fault (especially Boston’s) as much as anyone else. Just because we have all the money in the world doesn’t mean we were going to spend an outrageous amount on each player, it means we could spend market value in order to reinvest the expiring contract moneys back into the team. The myopic view some people have on this situation is ridiculous.

  • Whitey14

    Mike, I wonder if you could take a peek at the NBA system and provide a synopsis for us. I believe the books are opened for review at the end of each season and there is something like a 53%-47% split between the players and the owners. 53% being spread across the league for the salary cap and the rest going to the owners. I’ve often wondered if this would work in MLB. I do agree with Jamal that there needs to be a salary floor and with Jeremy who said that Revenue Sharing money should be 100% reinvested into the teams receiving it.

    Even as a Sox fan, the Teixiera signing doesn’t leave me bitter. I wanted him, and it would have been nice to have him, but clearly he was not a necessity for Boston, more an extravagance. They decided how important he was to them and bid accordingly. The Yankees decided he was more important to them and they paid what he was asking. They didn’t do anything except use a broken system to their advantage and they can’t be faulted for that. It does go a long way toward proving though, that they’re nowhere near as confident in their minor league system as they were at this time last year. The glory (for them and the other “haves” for that matter) of free agency is that they don’t have to be.

    • Tired of this BS

      Who are the other “Haves” you speak of? You’re a Red Sox fan correct? Do you realize that outside of the Yankees, the Red Sox have historically had the highest salaries in baseball? They play in a huge market, with loyal fans paying through the nose to get into that ballpark, buy tons of their merchandise and own their own cable network. Calling the system broken as a Red Sox fan is a tacit confession that your own team is “using a broken system to their advantage”, except of course, not as adeptly as your hated rivals.

      If you wanna move the franchise to Montreal and then complain about people taking advantage of a broken system, be my guest. Until then, the little red engine that could should be grateful that they are in fact one of the “Haves” and not be railing against the one and only team that “Has” more.

      • Whitey14

        “You’re a Red Sox fan correct?”

        I did state that unequivically, yes.

        And I don’t deny that Boston uses the system to their advantage as well “(for them and the other “haves” for that matter)” which would also include the Angels, Cubs, Dodgers and Mets.

        However, you may be too deep into the eggnog if you believe “Calling the system broken as a Red Sox fan is a tacit confession that your own team is “using a broken system to their advantage”, except of course, not as adeptly as your hated rivals.” Just because you’ve dumped nearly a half billion dollars this offseason doesn’t mean you’ve gauranteed a World Series Title in 09. You may be the favorites, but then again Detriot was the favorite last year. Sabathia’s track record doesn’t suggest he’ll do much in the playoffs (yes, I know it’s a short track record, but it’s all you have to go on so it is what it is) and Burnett’s track record shouldn’t have anybody confident he’ll be healthy each year of his deal. Teixiera is a given stud, no doubt, and he’ll replace Abreu’s numbers and then some, but your offense still needs work. There are no guarantees that Posada and Matsui will return to form and Cano would need to regain his form as well. There are too many ifs right now for the rest of the league to be frozen in fear. The Yankees brass is to be respected for doing their best each season to put a winner on the field, but winning with a roster made up of mostly homegrown players would be more impressive for any team than winning with a bunch of bought players.

        I’m not opposed to (or “railing against”) any team using the system to it’s advantage, but that doesn’t mean the system isn’t broken. When any teams have the chance to win each year just because of the market they play in and not because of their actual ability to build a team, it really doesn’t say much except that they’re willing to spend money.

    • Ryan S.

      Yankees farm is still stacked, especially our pitching. We have Joba as our #5 starter this year, and Hughes is going to be in the rotation either in ’09 or ’10. We have a ton of bullpen arms that are farm raised and are quality pitchers (Boston probably doesn’t know too much about Melancon yet but you guys will). Our AA starting rotation is going to be just as intimidating as the Yankees one is (relatively speaking, of course). We’re somewhat thin at positions prospects but still have up and comers, and we will inevitably use some of our pitching talent as trade chips for bats. The plan was always to rely on a mix of both premiere FAs and homegrown talent, and it remains to be. We even still have draft picks in all but one of the rounds in the upcoming draft.

  • Joey H

    My view on this is simple. New York is the financial capital of the entire WORLD. Hence (unfortunately) why we here in New York were attacked on 9/11. Now, being the financial capital of the world, isn’t it fitting that we invest a lot of money, at least more than others n our product? And not even just New York, Look at the other big market cities such as, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles just to name a few, ALL spend money. So that is one point. My other is that we simply put asses in the seats. We are the winning-est franchise in all of professional sports. We have a high demand for our product. That is just the reputation we have. Just like Pepsi or Coke, they will go out and sell the most of their soda and the little generic brands unfortunately for them, will suffer. When you are popular you bring in the dough; bottom line. So if you have a problem with the Yankees spending, well then dig into your own pocket, get some good players and put some asses in some seats and the cycle will take care of itself.

  • Steve S

    The whole discussion is moot. Its never going to happen, the union would never allow it because all it would do is allow owners to diminish or reduce salaries. As for competitive balance, it doesnt seem to be affecting everyone. There are some teams out there that have been poorly run and everyone knows it. The “small market teams” that have stayed competitive have done so with wise baseball decisions. The ones who havent have made bad decisions. The Devil Rays were poorly run by their initial ownership and they made poor decisions, now they get new ownership and with the same type of budget they managed to keep the right talent and make good baseball decisions. Same thing goes for the Twins who managed to trade their best pitcher and play one more game then the team they traded him to.

    And owners like Attanasio are so disingenious. They talk a big game but the bottom line is they never had competitive balance at heart. These owners prioritize things this way when it comes to labor negotiations:

    1) Profit
    2) Curb player salaries.

    The decisions, specifically the luxury tax and revenue sharing were portrayed as some kind of competitive balance remedies. But they were never that, they were purely economic decisions, one targeted at redistributing the resources of the bigger market teams AND curbing the Yankees from spending and as a result raising player’s salaries.

    Now they want a salary cap? Come on!! Its ridiculous, maybe it has a little to do with competitive balance, but the bottom line is that they want to curb the Yankees from spending. The Yankees signing these guys has ripple effects, whether it be arbitration benchmarks or other free agent demands. Thats the owners primary concerns. Thats why he brings it up. Look at what Doug Melvin said, he was justified, he wanted to change the free agent compensation system. Thats a concern over competitive balance, not economics.

    • Steve S

      should read “free agent draft pick compensation system”

    • Ryan S.

      The compensation draft system being revised makes sense to me, that is fair. The whining about a salary cap is nonsense, and i agree, Attanasio has an ulterior motive. The baseball world is not flat, and the Yankee’s popularity is directly correlated to professional baseball’s popularity. As another poster noted, its healthy for the sport to have a team like us, a “villain”. We sell out stadiums and generate more revenue for the league than anybody else, by a very considerable margin. The Yankees have an international interest, we’re an iconic part of The United States … people are biting the hand that feeds for selfish motives – that’s all the negative outcry really is. At the end of the day though, nobody is going to give a damn about any of the complaining, and the Yankees are going to keep on winning baseball games for their fans.

  • Joey H

    And all these jack ass critics/writers who wonder if the Yankees “buy back a World Series.” It really just makes me sick. For a few years now I have been saying the Yankees have money poorly invested. On huge contracts of aging players. Now we invested in younger players and players that will bolster our rotation. Little do people realize that in all likely hood we will have spent less or about the same amount of money as last year where we didn’t even make the god damned playoffs and this yea we are staring a world series in the face. I just don’t get it.

    • Joey H

      And the other thing, is now they are the bad guys for getting Teixeira, but had we not got him the media would have KILLED the Yankees and Cashman for years!

      • steve (different one)


        like Cashman said, they were ripped for a year for not getting Johan, but when they got Sabathia, they were ripped.

        it’s ridiculous.

  • barry

    Salary cap would probably have to go through the player’s union anyway, that won’t happen. And if the league forces a salary cap then we’re probably looking at another strike.

  • SmittDogg

    If I’ve learned anything in this world, its that life isn’t always gonna be fair. Some are born into money, most have to work for it. Complaining might get you some sympathy, but rarely does it get you where you need to go. Rather than flapping their gums about the Yankees spending, teams should be employing a different strategy. Model yourself after Oakland. Minnesota. Tampa Bay. Florida is competitive for god sakes.

    Business success in any field was never handed to anyone, and the real world is not going to give you a handout because they are sympathetic. You have to work harder than the next guy and the owner of the Brewers is apparently unable to do that himself, so he’d rather reign in everyones efforts. That is a total shame.

  • LiveFromNY

    They said we bought it in the 90s but I can’t remember one big salaried player.

  • Frank

    The Yankee-hatred will be legendary this season. We as fans need to just let it happen. Let it go. There’s nothing we can do. ESPN has literally lost all self control and is now about as open in their Yankee-hating bias as FOX News is about it’s right wing propaganda. They don’t even try to hide it anymore.

    EVERYONE here knows that if the Red Sox had signed Teixeira, it would have been another great signing by baseball’s “model franchise” adding yet another gutty, gritty player to their team.

    • Ryan S.

      I’m looking forward to it actually. I think its hilarious … and there will still be voices of reason here and there.

  • Frank

    The readers here know that this isn’t Randy Johnson. It’s not Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano, Jason Giambi. With these signings, we’ve gotten younger, cheaper and much, much BETTER! Of course, we have to realize this won’t be the story the media will focus on.

    I applaud Cashman for sticking to his plan. Get the big pieces in place through free agency and build around it with your farm. A much maligned Jose Tabata is the only casualty I can think of so far. All the big guns, the fireballers, are still down on the farm working on their stuff.

    I fail to see how the Yankees have “given up on player development” as some in the media contend. They’re all still there, and the Yankees still have big plans for those prospects they deem as future stars (Joba, Hughes, Jackson, Brackman etc). The rest are trade bait, or will be used to round out the bullpen or the bench of a championship team.

    This is how the Yankees will dominate baseball. Using their considerable resources to sign the best players available. At THE SAME TIME, they abuse the draft by going over slot to sign prospects with considerable upside and supplement these young players into an already strong team.

    People fail to realize, that on opening day, 3 of our 5 starters will be home grown (the same/more than the Red Sox… depending). 4 of 9 in our lineup will be homegrown (same as the Red Sox). The majority of our bullpen will be homegrown.

    Can’t wait to see what happens in 2009!

    • Tony S

      Great points…

  • Tony S

    Mike A, you crystalized my thoughts into words. Merry Christmas to you & everyone else at river ave blues

    It is an absolute pleasure to reads the posts on a daily basis.

    keep it up.


  • JeffG

    I would say baseball needs a bitching and moaning cap…
    The Redsox pay Ortiz 12 million and Wakefield 4 perennially, if they are unwilling to do what it takes to land the types of players they want they better look into the mirror. Owners who have a good fan base and need to come up with a better model for doing business or suffer the consequences. Asking players to not get paid what they are worth is going to eventually backfire on Boston, if fact, I’d say the are feeling it a little bit right now.

  • Lanny

    Should the teams just take their profits and revenue and pocket it or actually put it back into their teams and players and scouting etc?

    The cap people would have a better argument if baseball didn’t have the parity it does.

  • mike G.

    ask Mark Attanasio if he is willing to turn down the 70 million dollar check he gets in January from revenue sharing.

    His 2008 team payroll was 65 million. Give me five million dollars and I can find you 25 talented guys throughout new york that can beat the CRAP out of the brewers. on the field (he he he).

    what a cry baby.

  • j

    A salary cap wouldn’t fix anything because nothing needs to be fixed.

  • hal

    The system is clearly broken. The Yankees aren’t able to spend inordinate amounts of money because they are some great business but because they receive more welfare than other teams.

    Mark Attanasio doesn’t receive 70 million in revenue sharing. His 2008 payroll wasn’t 65 million.

    Really the whining and crying is from Yankees fans who have to have a giant advantage or they aren’t happy.

    In a way the Yankees don’t even seem like a team. Its more guys who don’t want to compete. They are iconic of petulance, waste and greed. I doubt they would have a chance without the massive welfare payments from the taxpayers – in fact I know they wouldn’t be.

    • Tony S

      let me pull out the violin

  • Joseph M

    There is a reality here and let’s talk about it. The baseball business and many of it’s practices are around a half century behind.the curve. Things change, market needs change. This isn’t 1950, can Pittsburgh support a major league baseball team, I’m not sure. I’m not picking on the steel city, but let’s look at the facts, in the 1970’s they won two World Series and four other division titles not a bad run over 10 years. Check out their attendance sometime for the same decade. Most years they finished in the bottom half of the league, in 1978 they finished 11th out of 12 teams.

    Take a look at the last big run the team had between 1989 and 1991, the actually showed a decrease in attendance over those three years. Take a look at the post season crowd totals it’s an eye opener. I don’t blame Pittsburgh, I blame this need to deny facts. In this century Pittsburgh is no longer a major league city and to be honest hasn’t been for some time for the purposes of baseball.

    There are many other examples of this, why should major market teams (translated fans) be expected to subsidize this. Why should major market fans be expected to sell out ballparks pay higher and higher cable bills and then watch this money be distributed evenly over all teams. This translates into a lower quality product for the folks paying the bills (namely the fans).

    To answer the question, there should be no salary cap unless we can get a guarentee that all revenue earned in that market is used not to subsidize other out of market teams but returned to fans in the form of lower charges for regional (YES) sports networks and lower ticket prices.

    Now that’s a salary cap I can live with!

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  • Bill

    The Yankees do reinvest in the on the field product and try to win and grow revenues every year. The Marlins and Pirates treat the team like they are slum lords. Instead of a salary cap the Fans need to contact the owner and demand they get better talent or retain the players they do develop

    Year Team Revenues Payroll
    (payroll and revenues are in the millions)

    2003 FLA 101 63
    2004 FLA 103 42
    2005 FLA 119 60
    2006 FLA 122 15
    2007 FLA 128 31
    2008 FLA 139 22

    Year Team Revenues Payroll
    (payroll and revenues are in the millions)
    2003 PIT 109 62
    2004 PIT 109 32
    2005 PIT 125 38
    2006 PIT 137 47
    2007 PIT 139 39
    2008 PIT 144 49

    Year Team Revenues Payroll
    (payroll and revenues are in the millions)

    2003 NYY 238 180
    2004 NYY 264 183
    2005 NYY 277 208
    2006 NYY 302 195
    2007 NYY 327 195
    2008 NYY 375 209

  • Jim

    Is the writer of this article aware that EVERY other pro sports league in this country has a salary cap??

  • wiggidy

    This is the dumbest article I have read. As the playoffs start today it’s amazing how they are being broadcast on TBS. This league is in the crapper and it’s from fans like you that support this craptastic league.

    Baseball needs to operate as one business, teams either share all revenues equally or have a salary cap (the best would be both). Then maybe, just maybe, we can see some actual primetime numbers or people across this great nation actually care about this sport again. The games are on TBS, it’s a joke.

    As it is right now, nobody cares. Nobody cares if the Yankees win and I promise you the Yankees haven’t earned a thing. Until there is a salary cap this league is like watching the WWF (or WWE).