Money Doesn’t Always Mean Success…Just Ask The Yankees

This past World Series brought up a particular thought in my mind. I believe its time to implement a salary cap in Major League Baseball. The luxury tax is not doing any justice in creating a certain level of parity within the league. The other major North American professional leagues NHL, NBA, and NFL (2010 season without cap) have all adopted the salary cap and things have certainly changed. A new focus of the game has developed instead of the previous, splash the cash and have a winning team. Player development, coaching, drafting, and scouting have all gathered increased emphasis in order to put together a competitive but cost-effective team. A salary cap is beneficial for all aspects of the game and further involves every team of the league, and not only the usual play off teams or those that have the support of free spending owners regardless of the teams finishing record (New York Mets, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs). With a salary cap the leagues parity and competitiveness is greatly affected along with the dedication, performance, and motivation of the players.

One fact which should explain the reasoning for a salary cap is, money no longer guarantees a winning team. The San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers were this years respective world series champion and runner-up. San Francisco, the series winner had a team payroll of $96,277,833 while Texas was far off with $64,810,570 for a combined $161,088,403. Baseball’s highest payroll belongs to the New York Yankees with $213,359,389 an incredible $52,270,986 more than this years two most successful teams. The difference between the combined payroll’s and New York’s is more than Florida, Pittsburgh, and San Diego’s also the Yankees have a 85.2 million starting infield which is more than 15 MLB payrolls. New York was eliminated in the American League Championship Series by Texas, proving that free spending teams are no longer guaranteed a banner year. Philadelphia and New York are the only two teams with the five highest payrolls to make the playoff’s. Detroit, Chicago, and Boston are the other three teams which did not advance to the post season. The San Diego Padres finished the year 90-72 good enough for fifth in the National League despite having the lowest payroll with $37,799,300.

With teams having to comply to a salary cap, general managers and front office staff will have to look else where for the next “star” or “face of the franchise” this is where player development and scouting comes in. Extra attention and funds would have to be allotted towards minor league affiliates and the development of college players. Younger players will receive more attention from professional and minor league teams in attempt to develop an all-star without having to rely on millions of dollars to do so. Improved scouting, drafting, minor league affiliates and player development would help the league become more competitive, and entertaining. With controlled spending and the “splash the cash” mentality dropped, more teams will be able to bid for the league’s top free agents.

With a salary cap, the teams which emphasize player development and scouting will succeed. While those that relied on their owners wallet to sport a winning team will experience a drop in the standings. In a salary cap era todays proven players are starting to share the spotlight with “the stars of tomorrow”.

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