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Are salary caps good Or even possible in baseball?

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Originally pointed out by LegFuJohnson in a previous post:

 

 

But its so simple to say there should be a cap in baseball, unless you think about what that would actually mean, and then it becomes extremely difficult. Basketball & Football have different caps, and neither would work in baseball. So, if someone has a grand plan, great, I'd love to hear it, but besides the obvious fact that the players won't go for it, I don't know how it works.
I am by far no expert on the subject of salary caps... In my simple mind, if everyone is playing with the same number of chips, it should take money out of the equation... I am aware that it is not that simple but would like to hear other thoughts/ideas on what might work. Why would the football equation not work? One thing I do believe is that the players need baseball just as much as baseball needs the players... And, again, in my simple mind, I feel there has to be suffering (ie players AND owners losing money) before WE the fans will get baseball back.

 

I am looking for real, intelligent ideas/debate here.. Enlighten me.

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That's the golden question huh?? I LOVE, let me repeat, LOVE salary caps. The Seahawks and Sonics wouldn't be any good without them, as no players would come here if someone could offer them more money, so that reason is enough for me.

The bigger issue here is that the players union wouldn't even consider it. To get a salary cap, the league would have to lock out the players, and a negotiation of this magnitude would most likely take years to agree upon. Personally I think that the players would try to start their own league at different venues first before they would come back to MLB, but thats another discussion altogether. So no, no cap until things get even worse and worse and worse and worse and.....

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To even have this discussion, you need to forget about the fact that the players union will NEVER go for it. And, people don't seem to want to remember that in baseball, anyone can win a playoff series. If the Yankees load up, all that means is that while Boston & Baltimore & Toronto (and Tampa, I suppose) have their playoff chances hurt, because they play the Yanks 19 times... then everyone else in the AL who might be competing with an AL East team for a wild card has their playoff chances increased. So they hurt 4 teams, while helping out 9 others, it would seem more people would be happy about that.

 

But getting back to the salary cap... the players contracts are guaranteed. The lack of a guarantee is what allows footballs cap to work, can't do that in baseball.

And here is the other thing. Trades are great in baseball... trades, rumors, the whole "hot stove league", that all goes away with a cap, doesn't it?

 

I don't know the origins of all the Marlins players, but look. Dontrelle Willis, Rookie of the Year. They traded Alfonseca & Clement to the Cubs the previous year for minor leaguers no one knows, everyone said it was a bad trade for baseball, even though the trade helped both teams get to the playoffs... They got Braden Looper in the Edgar Renteria deal. They got Jeff Conine for a prospect from the O's, Urbina from the Rangers. None of these trades, did the "salaries" match up.

 

How would any trades get done, if there is a cap? Basketball is different, you only have 12 guys, only 3 or 4 actually matter. Baseball, you trade veterans for prospects so they can help you in the future... these can't exist under a cap, can they?

 

So, I guess, to say "Are caps good or not?" it really depends on the sport, and how teams are built. Baseball is doing fine without one. Baseball just played the greatest post-season in the history of sports.

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If there was a salary cap, I think they would have to get rid of profit sharing. If they want to make the level of competition even on the field, then the small market teams should not get help from teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Cubs...etc.

 

...and if that happened, I could still see teams like the Yankees, Braves, and Red Sox dominating the league since they could just throw more money into scouting and development than other teams anyway. Sure, big time free agent signings would not happen as often, but there is a reason why the Yankees are able to make such big trades all the time. That's because they have an awesome farm system that keeps pumping out great players.

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I think it’s unrealistic to expect major market baseball teams not to spend a ton of money on big name players. There’s a big difference between the media of a small market team compared to the fishbowl created for every major market team. GM’s decisions are not subject to the same scrutiny than those in small market, hence the difference in markets. Once a major market team makes a move, it triggers a chain reaction amongst the other major market teams, it’s called COMPETITION, which is what sports is all about, teams competing against each other to be the best. Competition is stimulating and exciting, not just in sports, but in everything we do. The more competitive a challenge is, the more rewarding victory is in the end. Baseball is a year round sport, where the offseason is not the end of competition, only the beginning for the next season. I know what some of you are thinking "instituting a cap will make the league more competative." In my opinion, I don't think baseball needs to be more competative. Any team in the league is capable of beating the Yankees and when your team does, you'll see how sweet it is, ask a Marlin or Angels fan.

 

In my opinion adding a cap to baseball is as good as adding water to beer.

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For most of the reasons mentioned above a cap in baseball probably will not happen. It does not help that the commissioner is an owner. It looks to me like the owners and players are happy with the current situation because they are all making tons of dough. We, the fans are unhappy because because only 8-10 teams have a realistic shot at the W.S. So as long as their is hugh cash in what has become a terrible product nothing will change.

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If that means you are suggesting that you are doubly wrong, fine. But don't be so hard on yourself, there are a lot of people that choose to ignore facts, and make simliar comments about how few teams can win.

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I think salaries in the major sports need a major over haul.

 

There should be set (reasonable) ranges for rookies coming out of college based on where they are drafted. They should have to earn a big pay day instead of simply being paid large sums of money for their potential.

 

There should be a set maximum salary cap and a set minimum salary cap that a team can / must spend.

 

It will never happen.

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I would like to chime in on this subject. I am unfortunately a Brewer fan and am a fan of some type of salary cap. What that cap would be I have no idea, but I have some opinions of my own that could relate to a cap. The Brewers have made some horrible decisions with their limited payroll, Jeffrey Hammonds @ 8M a year(stupid). Anyway, here are a couple of my thoughts:

 

1. If there is a cap, there would need to be a maximum and a minimum cap. I say minimum for the Brewers since they are reducing their payroll after "WE" built them a new stadium. I could go on and on about this topic. Posted 1-minute after Grits and they crossed.

2. END Guaranteed contracts.

3. MLB also would need to win a "suit" over the players union.

 

Just a couple thoughts. I am a huge baseball fan and realize that a cap won't help stupid organizations like the Brewers succeed. They are getting better, but...

 

Smaller market teams need to spend their money very wisely, look at the Oakland A's and Minnesota Twins.

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LegFuJohnson:

If that means you are suggesting that you are doubly wrong, fine.  But don't be so hard on yourself, there are a lot of people that choose to ignore facts, and make simliar comments about how few teams can win.

The point you are ignoring is that neither the players or the owners want to change anything. Your point about the Angels and Marlins is only partly valid. They both play in decent size markets unlike the Brewers,Expos,Devil Rays,Royals etc.. who are just a minor league system for the rest of the league.

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The Marlins, all of a sudden, are in a decent sized market? Since when? (Since they won? And your point makes no sense?) They were targets of contraction not too long ago. If the Marlins are in a decent market, then at least two dozen teams are in a decent market, again, making that 8-10 team point worthless. You really named the Marlins as one of your ten teams to win last year? I doubt it.

 

Now, I realize that nothing is going to change, I made that clear earlier in the thread, this is a hypothetical discussion about a possible salary cap in baseball. But to say only a few teams have a chance to win is just foolish based on what's happened.

 

The Royals were 7 games ahead at the All-Star break, and were in the race until September. They didn't hang on, (caught by another big market team, the Twins) but to say they had no chance just makes no sense at all.

 

If you are a fan of the Brewers (or the Devil Rays), my apologies, tell them to take a look at what the Twins & A's have been doing.

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According to this data Miami is the 48th largest US city. Behind Oakland & Minneapolis, ahead of St Louis, Pittsburgh, & Cincinnati.

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Man I hate you idiots taking extreme cases and using them as a means to back up your thoughts. The Marlins were a very extreme case, some may say the biggest underdog in the history of baseball to win the world series. The question is.....how many times in the past 35 or so years have the Pirates, Tigers, Royals, Brewers, Padres etc. been competitive?? Maybe in a season or two, but definitely not very often. A cap is a necessity, I was REALLY surprised that A-Rod's contract didn't do more to invoke a cap, the way Garnett's did in basketball. When you get to the guts of the topic, no matter how naive you may be, a salary cap is NEEDED in baseball. Flat out. You can make ways to argue this, but the bottom line is that the Yanks are hurting the competition in the game and everybody knows it. Do we want to go through another work stoppage to get this done?? I think we should do it now rather than later.

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Since you started with the name calling. The Marlins were not the biggest upset in the World Series, not even really close.

Weren't you the one, in another post, complaining about the M's management, how they never go for it, so now you complain about someone who does?

 

If you don't want to talk about the 2003 Marlins, how about the 2002 Angels? Or the D'Backs, or anyone else that's won in the last 10 years... A-Rod signs the huge deal (with the Rangers, not the Yankees), and the M's proceed to win more games the following year. The A's lose Giambi, and they continue to win. How many times have the O's, or Mets or Dodgers been competitive? And they spend plenty.

 

Perhaps, if the M's beat out the Red Sox for a wild card, you can thank the Yankees for helping you get into the playoffs. That is, if you can get by the free spending Angels, and huge market A's.

 

And getting back to the issue, Mr. Genius. How do you want the cap to work? Baseball just finished the greatest post season in the history of sports. 4 different champs in the last 4 years? What salary cap sport can say that?

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No there was NOT a cap before Garnett, look it up. I'm simply saying that I feel sorry for the minor league teams--Brewers, Tigers, Pirates etc.

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http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm

 

11. What is the team salary cap? Has there always been one? Who sets it? Does it change from season to season?

It may surprise you to learn that the NBA first had a salary cap in 1946-47, its first season. The cap that season was $55,000, with most players earning between $4,000 and $5,000 (star player Joe Fulks earned $8,000, and Tom King earned a league-highest $16,500 for his combined duties as player, publicity director and business manager for the Detroit Falcons).

 

The "modern" NBA salary cap began in 1984-85, at $3.6 million. It made steady but gradual increases of around $1-2 million each season until 1994-95, when it was at $15.964 million. Armed with a big TV contract from NBC, the salary cap jumped to $23.0 million in 95-96, and increased to $26.9 million in 97-98, the last season of the previous CBA (a 747% increase in 13 years). The ABC/ESPN TV contract which took effect with the 02-03 season provides $4.6 billion over six seasons, but less in 02-03 than NBC paid in 01-02. As a result, the salary cap went down for the first time ever in 02-03.

 

I don't think Garnett has been in the league that long.

 

And why can the Detroit Red Wings, under the same owner (I think) as the Tigers, have one of the highest payrolls in the NHL? Does the size of the Detroit market change with the season?

 

Basketball has a cap. And when was the last time the Hawks were competitive? The Clippers? The Wizards? The Grizzlies? The Warriors?

 

A cap isn't going to help an organization that is simply run poorly... like the Clippers, like the Brewers.

 

All I've been saying is that its very easy to say there should be a cap in baseball, but no current setup would work, and I can't think of a way to do it. If someone can come up with one, I'd love to hear it.

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I apologize, I may have misled you by using the wrong wording. I wasn't talking about the team cap, but the individual cap. i.e. max contracts.

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So what are you saying? You want a maximum on an individual? Then blame the Rangers & Red Sox for there 20m average contracts they dished out, why the bitterness toward the Yankees?

 

And you didn't mention anything about the uncompetitiveness of the basketball teams, protected by the salary cap, which you claim baseball needs. Sorry to point out so many mistakes in the same post, I'll try to keep it to one at a time from now on.

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all 4 of those basketball teams are young teams showing great improvement. THey will have a difficult time getting over the hump, but it won't be because one team keeps buying their good talent. Furthermore, all of those teams have had decent teams in say the last 15 years. Can you say the same about the baseball teams??

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AM I correct in assuming that you think that the Yankees are good for baseball and we should all be thankful?? If not, what do you propose we do about it???

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I'm not suggesting that the Yankees are necessarily good for the game, but they certainyl aren't bad. You could argue that when the largest market has a good team, its good for the sport, and this latest A-Rod trade had people talking about baseball in the middle of February, but that's not what I'm going to say. But to suggest that they are ruining anything is just silly.

To quote "but the bottom line is that the Yanks are hurting the competition in the game and everybody knows it". I need that explained.

Hate to repeat myself, but I've seen 4 different champions in the past 4 years, I've seen only 4 NBA champions in the past 12? 13? years. The game is as competitive as its ever been. The Yankees have won the World Series less often since free agency began than before free agency. The Tigers were "chasing" history, trying to not lose 120 games last year... yet that .250 winning percentage is threatened by NBA teams every year. This might be the first year in memory that no one reaches it, although Orlando and Chicago are giving it their best shot.

I don't have a workable solution for any type of cap, and I haven't heard anyone else come up with one either. If they could come up with some sort of salary range that everyone needs to be in on opening day, then relax it during the season, to allow trades to happen, that would be interesting (again, the players wouldn't go for it). But the overall point is that its simply not that bad the way it is now. And the fact that this A-Rod trade has brought out a lot of the talk is even more humorous, since they had to trade an All-Star 2B to get him. They certainly gave up a lot more to get Rodriguez than any team gave up to get Schilling, or Tejeda or Vladimir.

 

And, going back to your other question... the Padres were in the World Series in 1998. The Brewers won 92 games in 1992, The Tigers (and their magical market that shrinks in the summer)won the series in '84, then won 85 games as recently as 1995, the Pirates made a few playoff appearances in the 90's. So have they had decent teams in the past 15 years? Yes they have. Certainly more competitive than the Warriors or Clippers have been.

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