Anyone who has been involved in an organized sport, whether it is backyard football or a high school sports team, knows that these sports all have organizations that are responsible for setting rules, determining conditions of play, and penalizing individuals who infringe the rules. Some of the organizations like the National Football league and the MLB are familiar to most people, the rules they follow are not generally understood by anyone who is not closely associated with the sport. Most fans and sport critics assume that what is happening inside these organizations are of little concern to them. However, this is not the case. In the MLB, the New York Yankees spend an excessive amount of money every year to obtain big name players. A luxury tax was put into effect for teams that go over the spending limit. However, the Yankees are the only team that pays the tax because they are the only team that exceeds the spending limit. The players, coaches, fans, and I have argued that a salary cap would be the best possible way to allow teams in the Major Leagues an equal opportunity getting to the World Series.
For the last 30 years, the New York Yankees have been a dominant force in Major League Baseball. Other teams do not make as much money as the New York Yankees therefore they have less capital to spend on big name players. In 1994, the Major Leagues put the luxury tax into place. The idea was to tax a club's payroll if the total payroll exceeded a certain limit. However, the Yankees seem to exceed this limit every year. The Yankees are a notable team not only for their impressive history on the field, but also for their financial situation. The Yankees owner spends more on player salaries than any other franchise in baseball. "As of 2004, the team payroll is more than $182 million, which is $51 million more than the second-highest team, the Boston Red Sox, and more than the six lowest-payroll teams combined" (Wikipedia Encyclopedia"). The millions of people who are associated with baseball in this country, many of whom had only a vague idea of what was happening, are now asking themselves whether or not the game is being played fairly. Even though teams like the New York Yankees are able to assemble top-notch teams by ignoring the spending limit, a salary cap is necessary to maintain the equal competitive nature of major league baseball.
One only needs to read some of the memos and news releases to see that the issuing of the salary cap was the primary focus of this debate. Bud Selig's 2001 editorial in the Baseball Almanac makes it clear that the Major League Baseball Associations primary responsibility is to oversee the entire operation and maintain the integrity of the game, such as the way the game is played and the way teams are organized. He asserts that "the salary cap would be a good way to make teams in MLB considered equal with the issue of money" (44). Selig sees the Major Leagues as a "battle between the rich and poor teams." His focus is that the New York Yankees spend more than $50 million dollars on big name players that other teams are not capable of doing, one can conclude that without substantial changes, the New York Yankees will continue to exceed the spending limit and will gradually build a stronger more dominant team. What readers might take from Selig's editorial is that a salary cap would benefit the smaller less fortunate teams.
According to the article, www.bossports.net, wrote on December 1, 2000, Bob George explains why he believes there should be a salary cap in baseball. He compares the "MLB to the earlier NBA years in the 1950's and 1960's." These were the decades in which the Boston Celtics won 11 titles in 13 years. He states, "The team was hated all over the world and was all due in part to the lack of a salary cap." He made it clear that, "in the MLB today, we are once again in the midst of the greatest dynasty in the history of the sport." Three times in franchise history,...
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