My last post discussed why I think Albert Pujols doesn’t deserve $30 million a year. In light of that, I felt inspired to write about why I feel baseball needs a salary cap. I think this is a relevant topic more so now than ever. Professional sport is, at the heart a business. With the current fiscal crises impacting many countries, and the threat of a lockout in the NFL, the idea of a single player earning a $300 million contract is, well, disturbing.
The first question that needs to be asked is whether Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Texeira, Cliff Lee, or Carl Crawford are worth the salaries they are being paid. A-Rod certainly is not worth what he is being paid. Texeira is possibly worth his compensation compared to other Major League first basemen (excluding Pujols.) Crawford is good and his $10 million salary seems reasonable considering what we are discussing. Lee brings fans to the stadium. What he can do to opposing lineups further justifies his salary. Pujols, brings fans to the field. His name is his brand. Darren Rovell of CNBC provides a good point about the dollar value discussed when talking about Pujols; see Is Pujols WORTH $300 Million? No; Does It Matter? No.
Baseball needs a cap in my opinion due to the slippery slop that has been player salaries. I was listening to ESPN Radio this past week and something struck me. Alex Rodriguez’s salary is 11 times more than what it would have been in the early 1990s. While that is A-Rod, the trickle down effect is tremendous.
Ultimately the fans pay the bills for the owners and players. Going to a Yankee game for example will cost hundreds of dollars for a family of four. In these economic times I feel the owners and players should really consider the financial reality of the people who support the game, the fans. A salary cap in baseball is practical, and cost efficient over the long run. Teams such as Tampa Bay would benefit as their star players may not leave for greener pastures. I understand there may be other factors that impact teams like Tampa Bay i.e. poor attendance. However, for my discussion here, I believe a salary cap may go a long way in gaining more fan interest over the long term. More fan interest equals more revenue which ultimately equals more profits.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!
All statistical and player references from espn.go.com