Major League Baseball Salaries: How Much Is Too Much?

2060 words - 8 pages

Major League Baseball Salaries: How Much is Too Much?

Twenty-five million dollars made per year. Over one hundred fifty-four thousand dollars made per game. Over forty-seven thousand dollars earned per at bat. Sounds a little ridiculous, does it not? That is what current Texas Ranger shortstop Alex Rodriguez earns to play the game of baseball (azcentral.com). Baseball is a game that children have been playing in schoolyards and fields for the past one hundred years. It may not be a game anymore. On the Major League level it has become a business. This is where the problem starts.

Others associated with baseball do not see any problem. All businesses are entitled to the best employees they can afford. If the owner wishes to pay larger salaries, then he/she is at liberty to do this because he/she is in charge of the operations of the business. Baseball is no different. If New York Yankees’ owner, George Steinbrenner, chooses to spend $125 million on players’ salaries each year, who will stop him? If Minnesota Twins’ owner, Carl Pohlad, decides to only spend $25 million on players’ salaries, who tells him to spend more? The answer of course is nobody, because baseball is a business. Each franchise is run by an individual owner who makes the business decisions. Compared to long ago, baseball has transformed from being the sport people have a passion for to an egotistical business of super-agents and ten million dollar players (azcentral.com).

This essay will introduce the situation that Major League Baseball is in with regards to its players’ salaries. It will also describe how the salaries escalating at the rate they are is hurting the game overall by pushing the fans away from the game they used to love as well as by creating disparity between the teams’ talent level.

A common criticism as to why baseball is not as well liked as in the past is that ticket prices are too high. Logically speaking, it is almost impossible for a family of four to afford to attend a game. Four reasonably close seats cost about $25 per seat equaling $100 just for seats. Concessions that are overpriced at $4 a hot dog and $3 a soda plus one souvenir make a family trip to the ball park over $150 for the evening. Fans see it as unaffordable to attend multiple games per year, thus causing them to lose interest. Ticket prices are high because owners must be able to afford the mega-salaries of superstars.

Fans, on the contrary, are eager to assist in the funding for new stadiums, as seen in the article written by Holahan and Kroncke. In more than fifteen cities, a new stadium is either being built, renovated, or in the planning stages. The cost for these projects is estimated at more than $7 billion, with most of this money coming from public funds. The public is understanding of paying an additional .02%, for example, to the sales tax to pay for a revenue generating stadium...

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