Does Major League Baseball need a salary cap? On Wednesday, Red Sox' owner John Henry said that it should be looked at in order to keep the competitive balance in the sport.
The last time Henry brought this up was when the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez. And now he brings it up again after the Yankees sign C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira in the offseason. The Sox were on the losing end of the Teixeira sweepstakes.
So does baseball really need a salary cap or is John Henry just bitter at the Yankees?
Just looking at the past eight World Series winners and runner-ups will prove that the competitive balance is doing just fine in Major League Baseball.
In 2001, the Arizona Diamondbacks ranked eighth in payroll and beat the second-ranked Yankees.
In 2002, the Angels ranked 15th and beat the 10th-ranked Giants.
In 2003, the Marlins ranked 20th and beat the top-ranked Yankees.
The 2004 Red Sox ranked second and beat the 11th-ranked Cardinals.
The 2005 White Sox ranked 13th and they beat the 12th ranked Astros.
The 2006 Cardinals ranked 11th and the Tigers ranked 14th.
The Red Sox were again ranked second in 2007 and they beat the 25th-ranked Rockies.
Finally, the 2008 Phillies ranked 13th and they beat a Rays' team that was ranked 29th in the league.
The mid-market teams have improved over the past eight seasons. Even the Milwaukee Brewers made the playoffs in 2008 and they were ranked 15th in the league.
The average ranking for the winning team was 11th and the average ranking for the losing team was 13th.
The competitive balance is better now than it has been and seems to be getting better.
The Yankees spent over $400 million this past offseason for two reasons.
The first was desperation. They needed pitching in the worst way and made sure that no other team could come close to that. The second was that they do have the most money and do not seem to care about the luxury tax. They also have the luxury of opening a new stadium this year.
It seems to me John Henry is a little off his rocker whenever the Yankees are able to sign a player that he wants. The competitive balance is not the problem.
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