This cannot be the time for fans of baseball to think that the game is back to where it ought to be. With the New York Yankees simply announcing that they’re able to go out and spend in excess of $420m on three players. The world is of the belief that all is right within the game. Nothing now could be further from the truth.
A J Burnett and newly acquired teammate C C Sabathia smile for the cameras after their acquisition by the Yankees was announced to the press by Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Matthew C Cushman ………………………
Whilst no one can complain of this latest development it has to be said that the teams within the AL East may well be looking at this with some trepidation. Well perhaps not the Boston Red Sox. But most certainly the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles have to be thinking to themselves what is it that they have to do in order to become competitive with the likes of high flying and big spending Yankees. Neither of the teams in question possesses the sort of financial acumen that the likes of the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox have within their means.
At some time in the foreseeable future the commissioner’s office will have to contemplate whether or not it is feasible to consider a salary cap within the game. Albeit that this will present a dilemma for a number of teams. Especially those with the financial wherewithal of the Red Sox and Yankees. Big market teams being what they are can afford to spend lavishly on players whom they feel with be of benefit to their teams. Unfortunately this is not the case for the majority of the teams within major league baseball. And it is something that Bud Selig and the team owners certainly have to face, despite their passionate belief that the game is in a healthy state.
With revenues in excess of $6.5bn a year it can be said that the game still isn’t where it ought to be when it comes to complete transparency and accountability by the league and the franchises themselves. And although it is a private entity the hierarchy of the game itself relies heavily on the goodwill of the public and the communities within which it has a presence. But if this policy is to be accepted by all of the teams within the major leagues. Then it has to be done in such a way whereby it is equitable for all. It’s something that not even the owners can agree to let alone the commissioner’s office. For much of his tenure Allan ‘Bud’ Selig has been nothing more than a mouth piece for the owners and when needed most to be assertive. He was almost as docile as a church mouse. So why would we expect him now to be assertive ? He had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty first century when addressing the steroid issue as he himself appeared to be oblivious as to what was happening around him. It was patently obvious what was happening but he and his minions chose to ignore it .
Angels’ first baseman Mark Teixeira fields a ball during the ALDS game between the Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox. Teixeira was acquired by the New York Yankees and signed to an eight years $180m contract. With the acquisition the team now possesesses four of the 5 highest salaried players in Major League Basbeball. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mark Tannenbaum …………….
He may well feel that when a team like the New York Yankees can go out openly and spend a quarter of a billion dollars much like a family spends on an entertaining evening out. We may well think of it as an evening’s entertainment for the family. But for the Yankees it’s merely nothing more than a day at the office. With the sort of financial acumen that’s within the realms of the Yankees and Red Sox is now placing an even greater obstacle on the majority of the teams within the game. They in no way can match these teams for their financial muscle or success. Between the two they’ve won six of the last eleven World Series . And as much as many will say that there’s a balance within the game more so than any of the other major team sports. One would also say that when it comes to the financial viability of their teams. Those within the game of baseball are in even more of precarious position than that of their counterparts in basketball, football and perhaps hockey. The latter we know are still trying to create a sound business structure under which they can operate with some semblance of normalcy and success. There’s something that baseball can learn from the pratfalls made by the
With these uncertain economic times it’ll now be very interesting to see how many of the teams operate. A number of the game’s major corporate sponsors are already cutting back on their expenditure and exposure within the game. And it’s going to become all too apparent as to how it’ll end up affecting many of the teams within the game. And with that’ll come the uncertainty of the fans themselves and how they choose to spend their discretionary dollars. If it comes to choosing to feeding their families and going to a game ?. Then the family will win hands down each and every time. Again that is something that the league will most definitely have to think about for the foreseeable future.
The signing of CC Sabathia , AJ Burnett may well have made everyone sit up and take note as to how serious the New York Yankees are about reacquiring their position at the top of the food chain. But it also sets about a dangerous precedence about the haves and have-nots within the game. Their signing of Mark Texieira sets about an even bigger indication as to the direction that some are able to afford themselves whilst others are not. They say “‘all is fair in love and war ………” But it’d appear that when it comes to the game of professional baseball all semblance of common sense on the part of the owners as well as the league and players themselves are falling on deaf ears. What they perceive as sound economic sense and a guarantee as to the aspirations of success is merely nothing more than a bold face charade to lure the fans through the turnstiles. In order that their coffers are filled and at the same time the cycle of greed and avarice on both sides continues amongst the players and league alike. Whilst the fans and consumers alike are thrown up a diluted and often mediocre product on the field of play.