You Compete Me

Spring is in the air and the sun is shining, but things aren’t all sunshine and roses for Major League Baseball right now. There’s a problem, a huge problem, that some people are reluctant to address. If left unchecked, this problem could cripple or even destroy the game itself.

No, I’m not talking about steroids, or mound visits taking too long, or trying to shave off four minutes from a three hour baseball game.

I’m talking about the complete and utter lack of competitive balance in baseball.

“Competitive balance” is a controversial little buzz word. You ask any fan of a big market team, or anyone in the MLB front office who cares about money and ratings, they’ll tell you things are just fine. “Baseball is healthier than it’s ever been!” They’ll point to the twelve different World Series winners since 2000. They’ll point to the different teams in the playoffs every single season. They’ll point to the Yankees only winning one championship in this century as proof that of course, baseball is great. Parity has never been higher.

It’s a big load of garbage.

Let me explain something to those who may not know, “competitive balance” is not how many different teams win championships. It’s not how many different teams sneak into a fluke season and grab a wild card spot every now and again. Competitive balance, true, everlasting balance, is every single team in the sport, having an equal opportunity to acquire talented personal. Baseball is BY FAR the worst of the four major sports in this aspect.

Just look at the current landscape of the past offseason. The MLBPA was so outraged at the lack of movement in the free agent market that they considered filing an injunction against the owners of MLB teams. Great players, good talented stars, were left on the market until the first weeks of spring training. Many good players are still without jobs at the time of this post.

“We’re saving money for next years elite free agent class”! Nonsense. Teams are giving up. Throwing in the towel and tanking for high draft picks because it’s the only realistic shot to compete in the future. The Yankees went out this offseason and acquired Giancarlo Stanton, the reigning NL MVP, for absolute peanuts. Why? Did they have a hole in right field? Absolutely not. They have Aaron Judge, who hit 52 home runs last year and had one of the greatest rookie seasons in major league history. The Yankees saw an opportunity to take advantage of the broken system in baseball we have today. The rich, milking the poor and stacking up loaded rosters.

Let me ask you an honest question, when Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado, and this historic amazing free agent class of 2019 hits the market, is your team in the running for these players? How many of the 30 MLB teams, have a REALISTIC shot to sign Bryce Harper? Four? Maybe five? That’s competitive balance?

Make no mistake,this isn’t sour grapes from the poor Rays fan. This is an honest look in the mirror at the problems facing Major League Baseball. Are the poor teams blameless? No.  It’s disgusting what the Rays and Marlins have done this offseason, tanking the payroll and siphoning off the luxury tax from rich teams to line their cheap owners pockets. Baseball needs serious changes, a salary cap, a salary floor, the ability to trade draft picks and not just prospects, a real system of accountability for these owners who don’t care about the product and only care about profits. Because if these changes don’t happen soon, only four or five teams are going to have a realistic shot at playing meaningful games in September and October.

And only four or five fan bases are going to care about the meaningful games in September and October.

15 Responses to “You Compete Me”

  1. Foulline Dave Says:

    Here’s a crazy idea to help make baseball more competitive..how about the teams that’s receive luxury tax money from the teams that invest in their rosters, take that money and use it improve their teams?

  2. Dan The #1 Rays Fan Says:

    Still doesn’t work. No amount of luxury tax money is getting the Rays close to the $400 million for Bryce Harper.

  3. Foul line Dave Says:

    You don’t need to sign a 400 million dollar player to be competitive. How about a couple of 10 million dollar players? Develop young talent. It’s worked for teams in the past. Even if only temporarily.

  4. WillisBeTheYear Says:

    Bruce Harper isn’t worth that amount of money. That’s the problem. I hope he doesn’t fall to the 9th pick because there is no way I will pick him! Atleast I don’t want to! Maybe if he gets a haircut, I will consider picking him. If I was on his team, I would try to punch him in the face just like Dave’s boy, Papelbon.

  5. Allan Says:

    The only way to create a real competitive balance in MLB is to create a salary cap. That is the only way to even the odds so small market teams can actually compete with these large markets. The fact that a player could possibly get $400 million is crazy. Only a handful of clubs can compete with that.

  6. Allan Says:

    If you’re going to tank the season away because you know in your mind as a franchise that you can’t compete with the rest of the league, the least you can do is lower your ticket prices. That way people will at least come to your games for some sort of entertainment without feeling like that were just robbed out of their money. That will at least give fans some sort of an incentive to come. Honestly what casual fan wants to go to a sporting event with a roster full of unknowns and spend money?

  7. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    You’re absolutely right Allan. If I wasn’t such a huge baseball fan, I’d almost feel zero motivation to watch the Rays play this year. In fact, I can’t even think of one player on the team I’d even consider buying their jersey. This is the least excited I’ve been about the Rays in nearly a decade.

    Willis, thanks for commenting! I can promise you Harper won’t fall to 9th overall, so you won’t have to worry about it. I have insider info as to where Harper is going in the draft.

  8. Foul line Dave Says:

    Insider info on Harper?? Ginger didn’t tell me that she was talking Baseball with you!

  9. Dan the #1 Rays Fan Says:

    If you’re trying to imply she’s going to take him, you’re both making quite a big assumption that’s he’s still gonna be in play at fourth overall…..

  10. Foul line Dave Says:

    You’re certainly not going to take him. And, I have a bead on the redrays pick

  11. Allan Says:

    I have insider info that he might not make it past #1…..

  12. Dan The #1 Rays Fan Says:

    If Allan takes Trout, I may take Harper.

  13. Foul line Dave Says:

    You literally just wrote you were taking altuve. My mind is blown.

  14. Detroit vs Everybody Says:

    I fully agree that the league needs a salary cap. I can’t continue to sit here and watch teams “give up” while others are getting away with having a 5 billion dollar payroll. I just don’t see how the league is okay this. As you pointed out above.. how in the Sam hell were the Yankees even allowed to get Giancarlo. it’s absurd

  15. Dan The #1 Rays Fan Says:

    Tyler

    Thanks for commenting! I hope you enjoyed the post. I agree with your sentiments about a salary cap. But even more important, a salary floor. You can’t ask the rich teams to cap their spending and not force the greedy owners to increase their own spending. Follow the NFL model, it does it the very best.

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