New York Yankees president Randy Levine thinks that Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio should stop complaining about the Brewers' money troubles. Listed below are the points and counterpoints about whether Mr. Levine has a valid point:
Point: Yes, Randy Levine is right. The Yankees aren't breaking any rules.
Counterpoint: No, the rules are a joke. The players' union has taken over and made a farce of the game.
P: Teams that don't have the money just have to spend more wisely.
CP: That sounds easy enough. However, the Yankees will spend over $120 million more than the Brewers in salaries in 2010. That gives them a gigantic competitive advantage.
P: Perhaps the Brewers should spend all the revenue sharing money to improve the team.
CP: What are you suggesting?
P: They receive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue sharing.
CP: There was over $400 million paid out in revenue sharing and luxury tax last year but that money is spread out over a lot teams.
P: Some bring in a lot of dough. For example, the Pirates made $40 million from that. Where does it all go? What do they spend it on?
CP: Of course, I don't have access to their accounting records but my guess is that it goes to player salaries and bonuses for draft picks, among other things. In the end, there isn't much impact on signing players. That money is reinvested on the team and they still fall short.
P: Sharing revenue lowers the incentives for each team to increase revenue at its own cost. The owners have transferred a billion dollars to a handful of uncompetitive teams over the years. I have a feeling it goes straight to the owners' pocket.
CP: I doubt that. The salaries and bonuses it pays for both have been driven up by teams like the Yankees.
P: The Yankees don't have any problem with revenue sharing. Through revenue sharing, the Yankees are helping build up the overall product of baseball.
CP: Oh yeah, they are a real philanthropist bunch right there.
P: In some ways, yes. Baseball is not perfect and the Yankees benefit from the lack of a salary cap.
CP: They exploit the salary cap.
P: The Yankees provide great entertainment to baseball fans everywhere.
CP: So revenue sharing is simply the price the Yankees pay to maintain a giant competitive advantage?
P: Maybe that is true. Furthermore, by accepting handouts, the small-market teams forfeit their right to complain about the situation they are in.
CP: These complaints won't stop until the game is fixed. Even Yankees' fans don't think the system is fair.
P: The fact is that the small-market teams accept fat checks from other teams. They should focus on using that to help their teams and be grateful.
CP: The Yankees play in a market that is 10 times the size of the Brewers.
P: Cry me a river. The Yankees have a huge advantage in resources. Isn't that good for baseball since it makes it so much fun when the Yankees lose? Sports benefit when a big team is there for the little guys to beat. This makes the game so exciting when it happens. Think about the year the Marlins beat the Yankees in the World Series.
CP: Yeah, that was a great series. The Marlins had to get rid of many of their good players after that, though.
P: Another team will always emerge to fill in that gap.
CP: Why can't the Yankees just try to compete on a level playing field? The other New York teams do.
P: Yeah, not in your lifetime.
CP: Maybe not but it cannot be all that gratifying beating up on the little guys year after year. They would do a great service to the game if they pushed for a salary cap-and-floor system.
P: Even if they did, the players' union would stop it.
CP: It would solve all the problems.
P: I don't think so. A salary floor would cause many teams to suddenly have to overpay for veterans to reach it. A salary floor can raise the price of mediocre players.
CP: Yeah, but a salary cap would level the playing field.
P: A cap would lower the salaries for the big league ball players. What about the minor leagues, though? How would minor league salaries and expenses be included in the salary cap?
CP: I'm sure that could be worked out.
P: Don't bet on that. Anyway, the beauty of baseball is that a team that wins 81 games in a bad division has as much chance of winning the World Series as the big spenders.
CP: I knew that was coming but the Yankees are in the playoffs year after year. Their chances are far greater than most of the other teams. Mark Attanasio was simply stating how he wished he had it as easy as the Yankees. Is that so wrong?
P: Yeah, I think he should work harder.
CP: It looks like he will have to.
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