I was watching the Rockies the other day when they were losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks and I couldn’t help think that they really stink right now. That thought got me to think about what the Rockies need to improve their team. They need an ace pitcher and at least 2 more consistent bats in the line-up. When I say consistent bats I mean .300 or better throughout a season. Then I thought, what’s the use? Once a player develops into a great player the Rockies wont be able to keep them in Denver with teams like the Yankees and Red Sox paying over top dollar for players. MLB needs a salary Cap.
I’m not about to sit here and say that any team can buy championships every year, but the teams with money can prevent smaller market teams from becoming consistent contenders. I’m tired of watching teams like Tampa Bay develop players just to see them leave for greener pastures once their contract is up. How many small market teams have lost potential franchise-building players in free agency because they couldn’t compete with the big boys. Seattle lost A-Rod to the Rangers because Texas paid him more than the Mariners could. Texas lost A-Rod to the Yankees because they weren’t going to be able to afford him as well. The Rockies traded Matt Holliday because they weren’t going to be able to resign him once his contract was up. Tampa lost Carl Crawford to the Red Sox. The Marlins lost Josh Beckett, the Rangers lost Mark Teixeira, the Blue Jays lost Roy Halladay and many other great players have left their original teams due to lack of funds. This is a trend that needs to stop if competitive fairness is at all important to the league.
As a fan, I like to see teams develop into contenders and compete consistently on a fair playing field. The way baseball is set up now is a joke when it comes to being fair. It feels like the Yankees buy one out of every 3 superstars and the the Red Sox get most of the others. The Phillies have bought the best rotation in baseball and the Mets squander their very talented roster every year. The Royals, Rockies, Mariners, and several other teams are doomed to suck, more often than not, because of it. If teams aren’t given the opportunity to compete then why have them around at all. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I am tired of watching the same group of teams in the playoffs. I want to see new teams fight for a championship every year with the occasional-regular thrown in their for running their organization the right way.
That is why I love the NFL. The NFC East has 3 teams competing for the division every year. The NFC South has the last place team one year win the division the next. Their are only a few teams that are expected to be in the playoffs every year like the Patriots and Colts, but it isn’t because they buy their way in. These teams are successful because they know how to get the players they need with the money they have to spend, which is the same as everyone else. Arizona and Detroit were lousy for years due to bad management, not a competitive disadvantage. This is the model that baseball needs to adapt.
This new cap system would work on both ends of the spectrum. The Yankees wouldn’t be allowed to spend more money than the Marlins and teams like the Rockies would be forced to spend most of their salary cap every year. This would even-out the playing field and allow fan bases in smaller markets to grow. The way it is now is ridiculous. Small market teams are left with little hope that their team will every be more than a flash in the pan like the Rockies were when they went to the World Series a few years ago. Their was a buzz in Denver that things were turning around for the franchise and in just a few years we have a different manager, our ace then is a 3rd starter, our up and coming ace has been traded away (I think in a panic move and a way to avoid paying him down the road), and only 2 every-day players are still here and productive. Now the buzz has turned back into the same old feeling of maybe next year… but probably not.