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How to Fix the Inequities in American Baseball
  [vote for,

have it. I have a way to fix baseball. In less than 700 words.

In case you haven't noticed, by May 1 every year, there are maybe 8 teams that have a chance of winning the World Series. By June, there's 6; by July, 4; by August, 2. The problem is simple: some teams, very few teams, are a lot better than other teams, because some teams (very few teams) have most of the good players. They get most of the good players because they can afford to pay for them.

Now, while this rich/richer stuff is going on, the rich teams are paying some small penalty to the poor/poorer teams for the privilege: not enough to matter, just enough to ensure that there aren't only 2 teams with a chance to win by July 1. Owners, it turns out, don't want to part with profit$ any more than player$ want to. Everybody wants to get rich: consequently, few do.

I know I'm not breaking any new ground here with the snapshot. But I do have the solution. I really have the solution.

Accept the following as premises:

Owners want the new system to ensure they make as much money as they did in the old system; Players want the new system to ensure there are as many salary dollars available as there were in the old system; Everybody with me so far? Any significant disputes? Thought not. Ok. Here's the deal. Pretend the owners and players already agreed to it for BB Year 2002. This is what they agreed to:

PART I Total salary dollars for Baseball Year 2001 will be compiled; These total dollars will be divided by the number of teams; Each team will be required to spend that much, but no more, on salaries for 2002 (maybe with some uniform, across-the-team raise of 5%/yr); Those teams that spent MORE than that averaged amount in 2001 will be required to put those extra dollars into a player-salary pool; Those teams that spent LESS than that averaged amount in 2001 can utilize the player-salary pool amounts to meet the average-salary requirement; PART II "Profit" will be defined as total revenue, by team, minus player salaries only; Profit for each team during Baseball Year 2001 will be computed; Any team that showed profit will be guaranteed the same profit for Baseball Year 2002. That, my friends, is IT. You can tinker some if you like, especially as it concerns existing mega-player salaries over their contract periods, but keep the essentials: ANY TEAM THAT MADE MONEY WILL BE GUARANTEED TO MAKE THE SAME MONEY; EVERY TEAM WILL PAY THE SAME PLAYER SALARIES. The incentive to make MORE money, by team, is there, because THAT becomes the standard for the NEXT year. Local t.v. contracts matter, because that profit remains local. Any team that makes more gets to keep more.

George Steinbrenner, the businessman, shouldn't care at the end of the fiscal year where he spent salaries, so long as he is making the same (or more) profit. He should care even LESS because the GAME will be competitive again, thereby increasing, overall, baseball revenue. Teams that lose money will have no incentive to lose more money; because the GAME will be competitive again, it should be easier for them TO make money.

Mega-salary players, of which there are actually very few, will be specially handled. The system will not be perfect for several years, but in several years it WILL be. As a union, players cannot complain because their overall membership will be getting the same dollars (more, since, as I believe I have already already pointed out, the GAME will be competitive again, thereby increasing, overall, baseball revenue.)

Its past time to fix our national pastime. Just DO it.

outbroker, Mar 04 2002

The Simple Solution to Economic Disparities in Baseball http://www.baseball..._2002-03-05_0.shtml
An article proposing matching funds for resigning local players. [bookworm, Mar 07 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Condensed Baseball Games http://seattlepi.nw...33_realball07.shtml
Another pop fly from your pals at Real Networks. [bristolz, Mar 07 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]



Hold on, are salary caps not baked by the NBA? I might be wrong, I don't really pay attention to US sport.

("World" series...snigger....)
mcscotland, Mar 04 2002

       So... everyone gets paid the same amount? ("Join the Overpaid Sports Professionals Union! We have national pay bargaining agreements!") I can see some players being less that happy with that (and how does that "make the game more competitive"?).
And... all teams make at least as much profit as last year? If there's not as much money as last year to share out where does it come from?
hippo, Mar 04 2002

       Jerry Seinfeld's solution was much more concise: "Everyone pitches!"
lumpy, Mar 04 2002

       <george carlin's rules> if the pitcher hits the batter with the ball, the batter's out! you get two good pitchers in there, the game can be over in half and hour! </george carlin's rules>
mihali, Mar 04 2002

       You've solved it for me. This put me to sleep just as effectively as baseball does.
bristolz, Mar 04 2002

       <sober Homer> You know, I never realised how boring this game is. </sober Homer>
CoolerKing, Mar 04 2002

       What happens if a team owner wants to sell?
thumbwax, Mar 04 2002

       I think the problem with Baseball,and amrican sports in general is that america covers a wide geographical area. To compensate for this, you arrange your teams according to location (as if aeroplanes and trains don't exist), as opposed to by skill level. What you really should do, is throw in all the AAA and AA league teams in a Division 1 and a Division 2, and merge the AL and NL as Premier Division, there, now teams with skillfull plaers can rise to the top and win the "World" Series. Go Cats!
[ sctld ], Mar 06 2002

       The Communization of baseball.
phoenix, Mar 06 2002

       I haven't noticed this. By May 1, about 24 teams have a shot; by October, 8 do. The playoff series are so short that no team has a decisive advantage.   

       Teams are a lot better than other teams because they have better players, but the way the system works players will be good for a while before they get huge contracts. (cf. Jason Giambi in Oakland.)   

       Basically, the problem isn't that teams can't compete; it's that their owners choose to field a cheap team and pocket the revenue-sharing money. (cf. Bud Selig's Brewers, the most profitable team in baseball last year.)
bookworm, Mar 06 2002

       Real Networks this morning announced a new service called Condensed Games wherein an average baseball game will be condensed to 20 minutes. Probably about the length of time that a baseball game should be.
bristolz, Mar 07 2002

       Has some flaws but has some merit. Halfbaked but heading in the right direction. I'm for it.
JRspewing, Aug 10 2004

       TL; DR
daseva, Jan 19 2012


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