By Adam Mallet
Baseball is the only sport in the United States that doesn’t have a salary cap. It has been debated for years if Baseball should have one but spending a lot of money doesn’t guarantee a championship, so don’t blame the bigger markets if your favorite Baseball team sucks.
I might be a fan of a big market team but From 2001- 2010 only three World Series winners had the first or second highest payroll in Baseball. So to all you smaller market fans who like to piss and moan about how your team doesn’t have enough money should take that into consideration. Instead, try blaming your teams organization for not developing a good minor league system or failing to attract a fan base. If your team has sucked for a long period of time, you really should be mad at the organization. Remember, typically crappy teams get the best draft picks. So what’s taking so long!? Seattle, Pittsburgh, Houston, Colorado, Kansas City, Cleveland. I’m looking in your direction. Why haven’t your good draft picks over the years been molded into solid major league ready players? Are you trading them away for bags of balls and shiny new bats?
A couple teams have done things correctly. In 2008 The Washington Nationals were a horrible team and understandably so. It was there first year in Washington. Now the Nationals are an elite team with tons of young talent. How did they do it? They used there draft picks wisely due to great scouting. When you have talent it attracts more fans and equals more team revenue, as long as you are winning. Once you gain that revenue and your team becomes more valuable you can then go out and spend if you need to. As a result the Nationals have gone from being ranked 24th in home attendance in 2009, with a team salary around $54-million to 14th in 2012, with a team salary around $114-million.
That formula isn’t true for all teams though. The Tampa Bay Rays have been contenders for years now and they ranked last in 2012 for AVG home attendance at 19,255. They also have always had one of the lowest team payrolls, yet they still manage to win due to having a great farm system and organization that excels in player development.
In other sports you can have an entire team built around a single player. For example, in Basketball the forward. In Football the quarterback. In Baseball you can’t. It is very much a team game. You can pay a superstar $20 million a year. It doesn’t change the fact that he is only going to bat four or five times a game. If its a pitcher, once every four or five days. Sure, it helps but not significantly enough to buy a championship.If owners want to spend all kinds of crazy money let them. It doesn’t mean much. Ultimately, it comes down to how well an organization is run with it’s player development and scouting. Baseball does not need a salary cap.