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The Rich Got Richer


I don’t know if you noticed, but the Yankees just picked up two borderline Hall-of-Famers.  It doesn’t even make news anymore because the Yankees seem to do this every year.  They have the best record in baseball, and they add Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns.

Meet Your New YankeesIt’s the same old story: the rich get richer.  The funny thing is the Yankees didn’t even need these guys.  Presumably, they picked them up so other teams wouldn’t get them.  It’s an embarrassment of riches; though the embarrassment is on baseball, the system and Bud Selig, not the Yankees. The Yankees draw more fans, make more money than any other MLB franchise, so why wouldn’t they spend the money, especially when their profits just go to revenue sharing for small market teams?  The Yankees will have paid out more than 200 million since its inception in 2003, a full 92 percent of sharing revenues.

Side Note: It would sure be nice if the number two fan draw in the league (The LA Dodgers) would spend some money...

It’s embarrassing because teams like the Pirates and the Royals and are essentially minor league teams.  It’s embarrassing because Selig is a such a buffoon, and rarely do words come out of his mouth that don’t confirm that fact.  Look at Roger Goddell.  He looks like a senator.  David Stern of the NBA could be captain of any industry.  Then look at the slothful, bumbling Bud.  You wouldn’t want him running your local Albertson’s much less America’s Pastime… the way it’s going, it may be America’s pass-tense.

I don’t care what arguments you put forth, when the Yankess payroll exceeds $200 million, it is bad for baseball.  Their $220 million payroll exceeds the payroll of the Pirates, Padres, Athletics and Rangers… combined.  It’s bad because fans in Cleveland know their season is over in May, and now they don’t even have basketball to look forward to thanks to the King’s exodus.  It’s bad because dollars equal wins, and that turns baseball into sport the verb (to mock, scoff, or tease), instead of sport the noun (an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature).

The NFL has parity, and there is a salary cap.  That’s no coincidence.  Sure, there are teams that manage drafts and player personnel better (The Patriots) than others (The Raiders).  But every year, every team has a shot; the  New Orleans Saints were a .500 team the year before they won the Super Bowl.   The old saying “any given Sunday” is true in a league where there are only haves.  The NFL, with all it’s problems, is still the most popular and profitable league in sports, and it’s not even close.  The $20 billion NFL television contract is roughly seven times as much as MLB’s.

And how about salary… This tells it all.  Why would the scrooge-esqe Selig care what he’s doing to the sport.  Just look what he’s putting in his coffers.

So are the Yankees bad for baseball?  Sure.  But baseball is worse for baseball.

By the way A-Rod… we’re still waiting on number 600.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenelyn Russo permalink
    08/03/2010 10:03 am

    And where will Cliff Lee be going in the offseason? Yep.


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