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On Friday, Bud Selig will host a question-and-answer session for White Sox fans. One can expect simple questions to be asked, such as what he thinks of the White Sox and what he enjoys about White Sox baseball.
Baseball conventions generally aren't the type of place where people will see Occupy Wall Street-style mic checks.
However, White Sox fans might ask Selig a tough question concerning the idea of a hard salary cap. The idea of revenue sharing was one of the prominent issues during the 2002 collective bargaining negotiations. Smaller market teams were interested in split-pool revenue, which would have brought them more TV revenue.
A new revenue sharing formula brought new revenue to smaller market teams. Also, it brought down the payroll ratio between the seven largest spending teams and seven lowest spending teams from 3.5 to one in 2000 to 2.9 to one in 2008, according to CBS News.
A hard salary cap would do even more for middle market teams, like the White Sox, and small market teams.
This year, White Sox fans might want to bring up the question to Selig. While the White Sox had the fifth highest payroll last year at $127 million, the White Sox are now looking to trim it to between $90 and $95 million, which would put them between 15th and 18th in payroll. They'd likely be spending $110 million less than the New York Yankees.
Jerry Reinsdorf and the White Sox were all in last year, as the White Sox slogan said.
Now, since reality has kicked in for Reinsdorf and the team that big spending isn't feasible for either his pocketbook or the White Sox market, the White Sox are cutting back.
This could put them at a competitive disadvantage, since it impacted their chase for Mark Buehrle and has forced them to trade away a couple of key players, such as Carlos Quentin and Sergio Santos.
Teams like the White Sox shouldn't have to close their playoff window by spending less money. Player development and coaching should have a bigger role in a team's chance at being successful than a team's payroll. In the NFL, the playing field is more level and the playoffs see more turnover from year to year due to the hard salary cap.
Also, spending wouldn't be as likely to cause boom and bust periods for teams like the White Sox.
Whether someone asks Bud Selig that question will be interesting to see.