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Parity in Baseball

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by gwayneco, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. gwayneco

    gwayneco Contributing Member

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    Some of you mock MLB for it's supposed lack of competitive balance, but the facts show that there is a lot of balance.

    ***​

    Sharing the wealth

    By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
    October 21, 2005

    No salary cap means no competitive balance, right?

    Isn't the problem with baseball that the same couple of teams, including the New York Yankees ($208 million payroll), keep on winning while others, such as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays ($29 million), can only keep dreaming?

    But here we are with the 2005 World Series set to begin Saturday and we are assured that a new champion will be crowned for the fifth consecutive year. Either the Houston Astros or Chicago White Sox will follow the lead of the Boston Red Sox, Florida Marlins, (then) Anaheim Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Moreover, Chicago and Houston represent two new clubs in the World Series, just as there were two new ones last year with Boston and St. Louis.

    An amazing 10 different teams have filled the 12 possible spots in the World Series since 2000, and 14 different clubs have taken 24 possible slots in the League Championship Series.

    That is called spreading the success around.

    Let's compare that to the other two major team sports in the United States (sorry NHL, but you have to earn your way back as one of the "Big Four"), both of which have tighter salary structures and better revenue sharing than Major League Baseball's meager luxury tax model.

    The NFL is the most balanced league with its restrictive cap that makes keeping teams together for multiple seasons nearly impossible. Virtually all television revenue is split up equally, regardless if your market is New York (No. 1) or Green Bay (No. 69). The league prides itself on its "Any Given Sunday" motto.

    When training camps break each August, just about all 32 NFL teams believe they have a realistic chance at making the playoffs. And because in-season moves are so rare, good teams can't make late-season trades to bolster rosters at the expense of bad teams.

    Yet in the last six years, the NFL has produced just four different champions (New England, Tampa Bay, Baltimore and St. Louis) and nine Super Bowl teams. Just like baseball, 14 different teams have filled the 24 possible spots in the conference championship games.

    The NBA has a more flexible salary cap than the NFL – you can exceed it to re-sign free agents – but there is no question that smaller markets such as San Antonio or Sacramento can field great teams.

    But the NBA has produced just three different champions the last six years (L.A. Lakers, Detroit and San Antonio) and a mere six teams have even reached the NBA Finals. Fifteen different teams have reached the conference finals out of a possible 24.

    Making the MLB numbers even more impressive is the fact that baseball invites just eight of its 30 teams (26.6 percent) to the postseason. The NFL lets in 12 of 32 (37.5 percent) and the NBA goes with 16 of 30 (53.3 percent), increasing the likelihood of upset-driven diversity in the late rounds.

    How baseball got so competitive despite a non-competitive salary structure is a testament to the game.

    Houston ($76.8 million total payroll) and Chicago ($75.1 million) rank a reasonable 12th and 13th, respectively, league-wide in total salary. But this is a sport where big money free agents such as the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, the top-paid player in the game at $26 million this year, can annually gag under the stress of postseason play.

    This is a sport where even the best player, San Francisco's Barry Bonds, only gets up every few innings. Meanwhile, a basketball player can have an effect at both ends of the court on every single play and a football player can impact at least half of the action.

    This is a sport where young arms and timely hits and momentum and emotion and strategy and heart can play a huge role.

    It is where the White Sox can lose $8 million slugger Frank Thomas to injury and ride such a good starting rotation that they hardly needed a bullpen to get to the Series. It's where the Astros can lose their best hitter to high-priced free agency (Carlos Beltran) and have a team, which critics called either too old or too young, somehow turn out just right.

    It's where one team (Chicago) looks to end an 88-year futility streak, while the other (Houston) wants to lay a 43-year wait to rest – something no one thought either was capable of during spring training.

    That's baseball.

    The constant complaint is that the system isn't fair, that the playing field isn't level, that it isn't more like the NFL or NBA.

    But another Fall Classic begins Saturday, once again with two new teams, two new cities, two new storylines and two rosters full of brand new stars.

    Let Paul Tagliabue and David Stern be jealous for a change.


    Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Dan's new book, "Runnin' Rebel: Shark Tales of 'Extra Benefits,' Frank Sinatra and Winning It All" with coach Jerry Tarkanian, is due out in late October
     
  2. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    Interesting article, but stupid.

    The Astros have not won a World Series. Its been 88 years for the Sox. This speaks to advantage teams like the Yankees have. The Astros and Sox aren't exactly bottom dwellers in dollars.

    I can't see a day where the Devil Rays are champs. The Dbacks have won, but they went into debt for the championship. The Houston Texans are probably messed up for at least 3 or 4 more years, but in 15 years....they could be great. In 15 years, the Yankees will most likely be a 90+ team and that's just assuming a worst case.

    Basketball is a sport that derives its parity through the draft. One great draft and/or tank can get a team back on it feet. When a team is good it usually lasts a few years because one player cam make a big difference, but each team gets basically the same chance (relative to baseball) to get that player and to hold onto a player.
     
  3. Phreak3

    Phreak3 Contributing Member

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    The problem is that the teams with the lowest payrolls can't keep their good players. Look at Oakland. They lost:

    Jason Giambi
    Miguel Tejada
    Tim Hudson
    Mark Mulder

    All casualties of the payroll.
     
  4. HayesStreet

    HayesStreet Member

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    Or, if you look at the last ten years:

    Yankees - biggest payroll and forty percent of the titles.
    +
    Boston - second biggest payroll

    50% of the titles

    + Diamondbacks having a HUGE payroll when they won.

    60% of the titles.
     
  5. micah1j

    micah1j Member

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    Scroll down and maybe you'll notice the difference. Which one is not like the others?

    Code:
    2005
    Team	                Total payroll
    New York Yankees 	$ 208,306,817                                         
    Boston Red Sox 	        $ 123,505,125                                         
    New York Mets 	        $ 101,305,821                                         
    Los Angeles Angels 	$ 97,725,322                                         
    Philadelphia Phillies   $ 95,522,000                                         
    St. Louis Cardinals     $ 92,106,833                                         
    San Francisco Giants 	$ 90,199,500                                         
    Seattle Mariners 	$ 87,754,334                                         
    Chicago Cubs 	        $ 87,032,933                                         
    Atlanta Braves 	        $ 86,457,302                                         
    Los Angeles Dodgers 	$ 83,039,000                                         
    Houston Astros    	$ 76,779,000                                         
    Chicago White Sox 	$ 75,178,000                                         
    Baltimore Orioles 	$ 73,914,333                                         
    Detroit Tigers  	$ 69,092,000                                         
    San Diego Padres 	$ 63,290,833                                         
    Arizona Diamondbacks 	$ 62,329,166                                         
    Cincinnati Reds 	$ 61,892,583                                         
    Florida Marlins 	$ 60,408,834                                         
    Minnesota Twins 	$ 56,186,000                                         
    Texas Rangers   	$ 55,849,000                                         
    Oakland Athletics 	$ 55,425,762                                         
    Washington Nationals 	$ 48,581,500                                         
    Colorado Rockies 	$ 48,155,000                                         
    Toronto Blue Jays 	$ 45,719,500                                         
    Cleveland Indians 	$ 41,502,500                                         
    Milwaukee Brewers 	$ 39,934,833                                         
    Pittsburgh Pirates 	$ 38,133,000                                         
    Kansas City Royals 	$ 36,881,000                                         
    Tampa Bay Devil Rays 	$ 29,679,067       
    
    2004
    Team            	Total Payroll
    Washington Redskins 	$ 117,962,286                                         
    Philadelphia Eagles 	$ 104,977,331                                         
    Houston Texans   	$ 97,473,626                                         
    Detroit Lions   	$ 94,578,628                                         
    Seattle Seahawks 	$ 94,006,282                                         
    Miami Dolphins  	$ 93,937,308                                         
    New York Jets   	$ 93,866,236                                         
    Minnesota Vikings 	$ 92,407,989                                         
    Indianapolis Colts 	$ 92,209,207                                         
    Chicago Bears   	$ 87,826,859                                         
    Carolina Panthers 	$ 87,807,573                                         
    Cleveland Browns 	$ 87,728,284                                         
    Baltimore Ravens 	$ 86,478,031                                         
    Kansas City Chiefs 	$ 84,617,626                                         
    Atlanta Falcons 	$ 82,711,268                                         
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 	$ 81,989,547                                         
    New York Giants 	$ 81,657,826                                         
    Green Bay Packers 	$ 80,383,682                                         
    Buffalo Bills   	$ 80,170,229                                         
    Tennessee Titans 	$ 79,003,839                                         
    Arizona Cardinals 	$ 78,961,345                                         
    Pittsburgh Steelers 	$ 77,955,021                                         
    Oakland Raiders 	$ 77,369,122                                         
    New England Patriots 	$ 76,999,180                                         
    St. Louis Rams  	$ 76,389,455                                         
    San Diego Chargers 	$ 76,253,021                                         
    New Orleans Saints 	$ 73,324,022                                         
    Denver Broncos  	$ 72,564,908                                         
    Jacksonville Jaguars 	$ 72,113,009                                         
    Cincinnati Bengals 	$ 68,811,884                                         
    Dallas Cowboys  	$ 65,409,479                                         
    San Francisco 49ers 	$ 63,033,817      
    
     2004-05
    Team            	Total Payroll
    New York Knicks 	$ 94,067,539  
    Dallas Mavericks 	$ 87,400,088  
    Portland Trail Blazers 	$ 80,200,284  
    Minnesota Timberwolves 	$ 70,123,371  
    Orlando Magic   	$ 68,110,249  
    Indiana Pacers   	$ 66,325,659  
    Los Angeles Lakers 	$ 65,138,976  
    Philadelphia 76ers 	$ 63,757,835  
    Sacramento Kings 	$ 60,633,211  
    Miami Heat      	$ 59,495,338  
    Memphis Grizzlies 	$ 59,075,657  
    Toronto Raptors 	$ 58,460,390  
    Houston Rockets 	$ 57,787,423  
    New Orleans Hornets 	$ 56,482,817  
    Seattle SuperSonics 	$ 54,184,357  
    Boston Celtics   	$ 53,443,677  
    Golden State Warriors 	$ 50,863,793  
    Detroit Pistons 	$ 49,329,935  
    Washington Wizards 	$ 48,797,362  
    Cleveland Cavaliers 	$ 48,174,834  
    San Antonio Spurs 	$ 47,404,123  
    Milwaukee Bucks 	$ 46,379,974  
    Los Angeles Clippers 	$ 45,803,819  
    Denver Nuggets   	$ 45,716,482  
    Utah Jazz       	$ 43,515,760  
    Chicago Bulls   	$ 41,942,236  
    New Jersey Nets 	$ 41,176,253  
    Atlanta Hawks   	$ 40,658,440  
    Phoenix Suns    	$ 35,259,424  
    Charlotte Bobcats 	$ 23,097,398                                                                   
    
     
  6. gwayneco

    gwayneco Contributing Member

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    Yeah, don't let the facts get in the way of anything. By the way, the Yankees have won exactly 4 World Series titles since 1980. Four championships in the last 25 years of the free agent era - yep, there's a real dynasty.
     
    #6 gwayneco, Oct 21, 2005
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2005
  7. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    GOD DAMN, its embarassing how high the houston texans's payroll is...

    Just makes this awful situation feel worse...
     
  8. gwayneco

    gwayneco Contributing Member

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    It looks to me like the big spenders in the NFL and NBA aren't getting as much bang for the buck as the big spenders in MLB.
     
  9. PhiSlammaJamma

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    Our Dynasty begins to today. The force has shifted to the light side.
     
  10. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    Gwayneco,

    http://www.economicsbulletin.uiuc.edu/2003/volume1/EB-03A10003A.pdf

    I'm not saying the Yankees win every year, but teams with big payrolls do significantly better than those without. Teams with a small payroll have little to no chance to win in baseball.

    The Yankees and Braves have made final 8 the last 11 years. Can you show me another league that has had two teams make final 8 in last 11 years?
     
  11. R0ckets03

    R0ckets03 Contributing Member

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    Personally, I blame the lack of parity in baseball on Islamic fundamentalists from Pakistan.
     
  12. Gutter Snipe

    Gutter Snipe Contributing Member

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    I had this discussion with someone at work this week. The problem I have with this person's logic is defining parity by who is in the top four of each sport.

    Parity should mean most teams have an equal chance to make the playoffs over time - since that's what fans are hoping for at the beginning of the season. Parity in baseball is a joke by this measure. Good luck if you are in a division with the Yankees or Braves. It's also a joke because the Yankees consider a season a failure when they don't win the championship. The only reason that different teams are winning the world series is because over a 7 game series, luck plays a huge part.

    It's much more probable for a team to go from the cellar to the playoffs in the NBA or the NFL.
     
  13. Major

    Major Member

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    That's because the Yankees are idiots with their money. You don't believe there is an advantage to being able to spend 6 to 8 times as much as one of your division opponents?

    If the Rockets had a salary cap of $8MM compared to everyone else, you don't think they'd be at a disadvantage?

    Money doesn't necessarily overcome stupidity, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier. The Yankees can make more "mistakes" than anyone else and thus have a much bigger buffer zone to screw up. The fact that they screw up a lot doesn't change the fact that they have that advantage.
     
  14. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    I'm with Major. Baseball is my favorite sport by far. And I'll defend it left and right. But it needs more significant revenue sharing and a salary cap of sorts so fans in cities like Pittsburgh can start each season with SOME hope that they have a shot at postseason play.
     
  15. The Real Shady

    The Real Shady Contributing Member

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    The Atlants Braves have won their divison 12 straight times also.
     
  16. micah1j

    micah1j Member

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    I think MLB could use a salary cap floor at about 40-50M and a cap around 90M.

    Gutter Snipe - you should counter that top 4 team argument with comparing it to the bottom 4 teams.
     
  17. gwayneco

    gwayneco Contributing Member

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    There's no point in discussing this because you guys are blinded by a bias that no facts can counter.
     
  18. gwayneco

    gwayneco Contributing Member

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    So what does the NFL and NBA need to do so the Cardinals and Clippers can be a title contender?
     
  19. gwayneco

    gwayneco Contributing Member

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    The Yanks have an advantage, but they haven't won thew Series since 2000. How many Super Bowls have New England won during that time? How about the Spurs in the NBA?
     
    #19 gwayneco, Oct 22, 2005
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2005
  20. gwayneco

    gwayneco Contributing Member

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    This could easily be remedied by expanding the playoffs to 10 or 12 teams. The problem is that it's too easy to make the playoffs in the NFL and NBA.


    Now, about parity in the NBA:
    Since 1980, 7 teams have won an NBA championship; 2 teams have combined for 14 titals. Of 52 finals participants, 4 teams have combined for 29 spots; only 4 teams made a single appearance. Every champion in the past 21 seasons is among 5 teams. The Lakers played for the championship 4 of the past 6 years. from http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/business/discussion/yahoo_sports_sharing_the_wealth/
     

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