"Buying" a Championship

Since the New York Yankees won their 27th World Series a few weeks ago, there have been numerous talks about the Yankees "buying" a championship. With a $208 million payroll and a third baseman that makes more money than every Florida Marlins players combined, it may give fans a reason to think that the Yankees "purchased" a championship or to campaign for a salary cap. However, there is no rule against spending money. There's no salary cap at the moment.

There is no rule against how the Yankees run their team. Baseball is a business. The Marlins are business too. They just run their business differently: grow players in their farm system, win a World Series, let those players go, repeat step one.

The Yankees are -- well -- the Yankees. The have a great history. They built a successful team, and earned a lot of money. Players came up through their farm system, and they spent money on players. Then, they won championships. Then, they won a few more. Now, they have a reputation of a winning team. Players want to play for a winning team. The Yankees spend the money to get good players who want to play for them, and want to get paid big bucks. Then, they win some championships. It's a whole repetitive process.

Any MLB team could be the Yankees. As of now, the Yankees have run their business better than the other 29 teams in the league. At the same time, every team has an equal chance at a title. It's what's on paper that makes a team a favorite. Spending that extra cash for a top player in the league will help a team become that favorite. However, being a favorite doesn't do you any good. The "overpaid" players still have to perform on the field.

Some teams do spend money, but are unable to put together a franchise like the Yankees. Look at the Detroit Tigers. Look at the Chicago Cubs. They each had a pay roll in MLB's top five. Also, it is not like the Yankees buy every player out there. They had 12 home grown players on their roster this year.

This topic brings up the debate about a salary cap, which I'm indifferent about. It wouldn't bother me if MLB adopted one, but right now I think it's fine without one. If a person is a millionaire, they can spend all their money if they want. If MLB has a rich team, let them spend all their money too.

In conclusion, you can't walk into a store with a wad of cash in your back pocket and come out with a World Series trophy in your hand. You gotta play the game. But spending some money to get talented players certainly isn't hurting your cause.

Call of the Day: Howard hits a shot to Ashburn Alley in 2007.
"Well hit to deep left center field. Outta here! Tremendous home run,
Ryan Howard and the Phillies jump to a two-nothing lead here in the first
inning. Number 36 for the big man."


Jay Ballz said...

I support a move toward a salary cap, and salary minimums in MLB.

The argument is tough to make, based on the full parity in the sport this decade, but I have long felt this is necessary.

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