For years, baseball fans have heard about the dominance of certain teams. Year in and year out the playoff picture is never complete without including the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Phillies, Angels, Cubs, Braves, and Cardinals in the discussion.
What do all of these teams have in common?
These teams are large market teams. That means that they generate a TON of revenue from ticket sales and other sales. This benefits these teams in ways that the other 22 teams cannot.
For example, the Yankees could afford to sign C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixiera prior to Opening Day '09. That combination cost the Yankees money that most teams cannot afford to shell out.
Even the Cardinals can afford to pay Albert Pujols and pick up Matt Holliday's salary.
This is a major reason for the dominance of large market teams.
There is only one way to fix this problem.
It is called a salary cap.
Baseball is the only major sport in the USA that is not utilizing a salary cap. Football, basketball, and hockey all have one.
When you look at these sports, there is always a team that comes to mind that seems to be dominating, but it is never for more than about a decade.
In basketball, when one thinks about the best team in the game, the Lakers are always the team that comes to mind. However, such was not always the case.
In the '90s, the Bulls were obviously the best team. In the '80s, the Celtics were the best.
In football, either the Patriots or the Steelers are seen as the best team in the game right now. The Patriots have been to three Super Bowls since 2004 and have won two of them. The Steelers have been to and won two Super Bowls since 2006.
The NFL has done the best job utilizing a salary cap. It seems like there are always different teams in the playoff mix.
The NHL has not done as great of a job as the NFL, but they are doing better than baseball.
The Red Wings still seem to dominate their opponents, but it is not as bad as the Yankees dominating the rest of the MLB.
In baseball, the Yankees and Red Sox have always dominated their opponents and it does not look that is going to change anytime soon unless the MLB institutes a strict salary cap.
Until that happens, the Rockies, Rays, Astros, White Sox, Twins, Brewers and other smaller market teams who are in the hunt every now and then will continue to be looked at as inferior to their richer brethren in the Bronx and in Boston.
They will also not win the World Series because these larger market teams will always have teams packed with all-stars.
Look at 2007 and 2008.
2007. The Rockies swept their way to the World Series while playing some tough teams in the Phillies and D-Backs on their journey. They got to the World Series (granted they did have an eight day layoff in between the NLCS and the Fall Classic) and got romped by the Red Sox in four games.
The '07 Red Sox was a team that was packed with stars from Manny Ramirez to David Ortiz to Jonathan Papelbon. Any team that can afford to employ a group of stars like that needs a limit on their payroll or else no team will ever be able to dethrone them.
2008. The Phillies made it to the World Series by getting past two pretty good teams in the Brewers and Dodgers. In the Fall Classic, they dominated a much smaller market team in the Rays by beating them four games to one.
The '08 Phillies did not have the same kind of star power as the '07 Red Sox, but it was still a team full of expensive stars. With Brad Lidge, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell...shall I go on? How can a team not succeed with these players? But like the '07 Red Sox, a very large paycheck was needed to have a dominating team like that.
If baseball had a salary cap, neither the Rockies nor the Rays would have been blown out in their respective Fall Classics.
With a salary cap, the playing field would become much more balanced and baseball would become instantly more entertaining. The Royals would suddenly become a team that some teams would be afraid to face. The Nationals would suddenly become a force to be reckoned with.
Sure, I love dynasties as much as the next person, but at some point, they get old. The Yankees reached that point a long time ago. I am sick of the Yankees, the Red Sox and the teams in the east receiving all of the press. It is time to usher in a new era of baseball:
The era of the salary cap.
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