Let's Not Put A Cap On It

1430 words - 6 pages

One of the most debatable topics in Major League Baseball (MLB) is whether a salary cap should be implemented for each team in the league. A salary cap is an agreement between teams that places a limit on the amount of money that can be spent on player salaries (Britana). Of the three American major professional sports, football, baseball, and basketball, Major League Baseball is the only one that does not have a salary cap. There is more competitiveness with baseball than any other sport. As Demause states, “Depending on whom you ask, a salary cap would save the game, destroy the players’ union, provide hope for small-market fans, pervert the free market, or create a tangle or red tape that would turn every trade deadline into a battle of wits among dueling ‘capologists’” (227). There are many ways to win in baseball other than with excessively paid players. A baseball salary cap would not work because baseball is a game where the most intelligent and savvy people win, not necessarily the most wealthy.
Many argue that MLB should adopt a salary cap to level the playing field between the larger and smaller market teams. Proponents of the cap say that having a cap would allow less-wealthy teams to sign and retain high caliber players. They tout how the Yankees or Red Sox always are the ones who are able to trade for and sign the most talented players in the league because of the infinite amount of money they have. However, these same proponents never mention the mechanisms MLB has in place that ensure the fairness of the game, such as league-wide revenue sharing policy and placing a luxury tax on the high spending teams. In fact, fourteen different teams in the previous twenty years have won the World Series. If this is compared to the National Football League (NFL), the league with the most stringent salary cap, only twelve teams have won super bowl titles in this time span. Even more shocking, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has only had eight different World Champions over the last twenty years (MacLean 4). If one looks at the salary caps in place in the NFL and NBA, there are many ways to get around them and spend more than the capped amount. A proposed salary cap would not make all the teams equal, but would cause a lot of turmoil that would interfere with an already efficient system.
The business structure of the MLB differs greatly from other capped sports. In the National Football League there are thirty-two teams, whom are considered one company. This enables the league to have control over salaries and television rights of the teams. In fact, “players are almost always completely at the mercy of the league” (MacLean 2). Major League Baseball is set up where each team has the chance to make and spend money as they desire. The thirty MLB teams are concerned about themselves, rather than the league as a whole. Baseball by far has a more competitive business model, which comes with more risk, but allows...

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