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Should MLB Have A Salary Cap? – “Hard Cheddar” With Steve Cheeseman Takes Another Crack At It

The MLB can talk about parity all they want in the new era of modern baseball, but ever since the mid 90's the Yankees have 5 WS, Red Sox 3 WS, Giants 2 WS, Cardinals Marlins 2 WS, White Sox 1 WS, Braves 1 WS, D-Backs 1 WS, Angels 1 WS, Philies - WS.  That is 10 teams in the last 20 years of action.  Out of those teams, only the 2002 Angels, 2003 Marlins and 2010 version of the Giants had Payrolls that weren't considered tops in the MLB.

The MLB can talk about parity all they want in the new era of modern baseball, but ever since the mid 90’s the Yankees have 5 WS, Red Sox 3 WS, Giants 2 WS, Cardinals, Marlins 2 WS, White Sox 1 WS, Braves 1 WS, D-Backs 1 WS, Angels 1 WS, Philies – WS. That is 10 teams in the last 20 years of action. Out of those teams, only the 2002 Angels, 2003 Marlins, 2006 version of the Cardinals and  2010 version of the Giants had Payrolls that weren’t considered tops in the MLB.  Baseball can talk about parity all they want, but with the Dodgers new rogue spending, the rich and poor difference is about to escalate.

By ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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“Hard Cheddar” – with Steve Cheeseman

Should MLB Have a Salary Cap?

During this years “fall classic”, a thought occurred to me.  Other than the Pittsburgh Pirates, it seems like that for the most part, the same teams compete for the title of world champions each year.  

What MLB introduced a salary cap?  Would more teams gain the ability to compete on an even playing ground?  Within all 30 teams of the NL and AL, payrolls for these clubs are drastically different.  

Boston Red Sox World Champs in 2013 (3rd WS Title in 10 Years)

The Yankees have won 27 World Titles and been in 40 Fall Classic's since 1921, with the highest payroll in most years.. so yes spending more $$ is an advantage

The Yankees have won 27 World Titles and been in 40 Fall Classic’s since 1921, with the highest payroll in most years.. so yes spending more $$ is an advantage.  The Yankees have also been to 7 of the last 17 World Series played.  The Red Sox have cleaned up 3 World Series in the last 10 years with a top 5 Salary team.  The Phils, White Sox, Giants (2012) and Cardinals (2011) all had Team Payrolls over $100 MIL – and in the top 10 of the league.

The top 5 payrolls in MLB for the 2013 season were:

  1. New York Yankees $228,995,945
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers $216,302,909
  3. Philadelphia $159,578,214
  4. Boston $158,967,286
  5. Detroit $149,046,844

The bottom 5 payrolls in MLB for the 2013 season were:

  1. Oakland $68,577,000
  2. Pittsburgh $66,289,524
  3. Tampa Bay $57,030,272
  4. Miami $39,621,900
  5. Houston $24,328,538

These numbers are drastically different.  To make things even more interesting, Yankee’s 3B and designated headache Alex Rodriguez made $30 million for the 2013 season.  

Seeing as he only played 44 games this season, that’s $681,818.2 per game.  It’s sad to think that “A-Rod” made close to $6 million more than the Houston Astros.

Right now within MLB, instead of a salary cap, there is a luxury tax in place.  

This means which teams whose total payroll exceeds a certain figure (determined annually) are taxed on the excess amount in order to discourage large market teams from having a substantially higher payroll than the rest of the league.

The tax is paid to the league, which then puts the money into its industry-growth fund (Trying to understand this, makes me want to vomit).  

The point is, as long as ownership doesn’t mind paying taxes, they can continue to pay obscene amounts of money to whomever they wish.  

The New York Yankees paid $19.312 Million in taxes in 2012.  That’s $5 million short of the payroll of the Houston Astros.

Baseball is the only major sport in North America without a salary cap system in place.  The NHL, NFL, CFL, and MLS, all have salary caps.

 As a result, not all of the time, but most of the time, there are more than a handful of teams competing each season.  Baseball needs to get on the band wagon.  

It makes for a healthier league, allowing multiple markets to compete.  In the past 30 years, 19 different teams have won the World Series.

In comparison, only 14 different teams won the NFL Super Bowl, 13 won the NHL Stanley Cup and 8 won the NBA championship in that same time frame.  It might not seem like a lot, but in reality it really is.

Some small market clubs have been able to find ways to compete with bigger market clubs.  For example, Billy Beane’s Oakland Athletics, with the “moneyball” approach.

Some people have requested the chance to entertain the thought of a cap, however primarily the player’s union, and the New York Yankee’s have threatened legal action against this, which is amazing considering the Yankee’s have the most overpriced athlete in sports history on their payroll.  Gee, who could that be?

A salary cap could prevent players from making $25-30 million a year, when they simply do not deserve it.  I know it’s a business, but it’s also a game.

 I love baseball, and always will but it’s hard to see someone getting paid $30 million to play 44 games, when there are doctors, nurses, and paramedics trying to save lives, police men and women protecting the streets, and our armed forces protecting our countries, for a small fraction of that.  

Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is.  Do I think it’s the player’s fault that this is the case?  No, I do not. Would you turn down money?  

No you would not, so don’t even argue it.  However it has gotten completely out of control.  To stop it, at least right now, just won’t happen.  

So if you haven’t been use to the same teams in the fall classic each year.  You may want to start, because it isn’t changing anytime soon.  

There is way too much money to be made in the bigger markets, with everyone involved wanting to get a piece of the pie.  The power and the greed is much too strong than simple common sense.

There are many examples of this exact scenario – that have been written about here at the MLB Reports.

Parity was at its very best in the 1980's - where the Dodgers were the only franchise to bring home 2 World Series wins in the decade.  The 90's featured the 3 peat by the Yankees, a Repeat by the Blue Jays, and the Atlanta Braves made the WS 5 times, and losing 4 of them.  The 70's had 4 teams who won 2 WS: NYY/CIN/PIT/OAK (won 3), that took up 9 of the 10 trophies, with the Orioles taking home the other Fall Classic.

Parity was at its very best for the MLB in the 1980’s – where the Dodgers were the only franchise to bring home 2 World Series wins in the decade. The 90’s featured the 3 peat by the Yankees, a Repeat by the Blue Jays, and the Atlanta Braves made the WS 5 times, and losing 4 of them. The 70’s had 4 teams who won 2 WS: NYY/CIN/PIT/OAK (won 3), that took up 9 of the 10 trophies, with the Orioles taking home the other Fall Classic. The Yankees, Dodgers and Cardinals all took home 2 World Series in the 1960’s.  The 1950’s featured 6 WS Titles from the Bronx Bombers and 2 from the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers.  The 1940’s featured 3 WS Trophy’s each for St. Louis and the New York Yankees.  NYY took 5 WS home in the 1930’s, with the Cards picking up 2 for the decade as well.  The Yankees and New York Giants each took home 2 Fall Classic’s in the 1920’s, and the Philadelphia A’s. won back to back titles in 1929 and 1930, they were just in different decades.  the Ottes in 1900, were owned by the Red Sox (4 titles and Philadephia A’s (3 titles).

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

Picture Captions courtesy of the MLB Reports.

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman for preparing today’s featured article.

Steve was born and raised in Marystown, Newfoundland  – and has been an avid sports enthusiast my entire life.  He loves hockey, baseball, and soccer, and continue to play in local leagues where I live.   

However baseball will always be Steve’s favorite sport .   He moved to Ontario, Canada in 2001, and currently lives in the nation’s capital of Ottawa with his wife and daughter.

Steve currently writes, blogs, and freelance sfor several sporting sites.  Contact him at any time (365southpaw@gmail.com).  You can also follow him on twitter   or google circles (+Steve Cheeseman).

Please e-mail me  at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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Posted on November 7, 2013, in MLB Payroll and Contracts, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Should MLB Have A Salary Cap? – “Hard Cheddar” With Steve Cheeseman Takes Another Crack At It.

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