Red Sox owner John Henry apparently wants a salary cap:
“I think we all agree that competitive balance is an issue and if there was a way to put together an enlightened form of a salary cap, I think everybody among the ownership parties would support it. I think it’s quite possible to put together a partnership between the players and owners going forward,” Henry added. “I think it’s something that should be at least explored.”
Henry’s call came exactly five years after he first proposed a salary cap in the wake of the Yankees’ trade for Alex Rodriguez after the Red Sox failed in their attempt to obtain him from the Texas Rangers.
At that time, Henry advocated a cap “to deal with a team that has gone so insanely far beyond the resources of all the other teams.”
It’s convenient for Henry to call for a salary cap every time his team loses out on a player they want. First it was A-Rod, and now it’s Teixiera. I’m sure the Pittsburgh Pirates are real bummed out you could only offer Tex $175 million, John. They’re crushed.
The fact is though, that the Red Sox have by far the most resources of everyone except the Yankees. Henry clings to his delusions that it’s the Yankees and then everyone else, but that simply isn’t true. The Red Sox payroll is double (and in some cases, triple) that of many teams.
Henry later goes on to say you can’t “buy” the AL pennant, which of course undermines his point. “We all agree that competitive balance is an issue”? Really? Because I don’t. MLB has much more balanced competition than the other major sports.
Henry acts like a salary cap will simply make only the Yankees spend less and a cap created only to do that – to make the Yankees and Red Sox’s payrolls equal – is unfair. A salary cap like other sports have would make all teams close to equal. That’s also not fair (get to that in a second), but at least it isn’t singling out one team.
If you have a cap, you have to have a floor, and doing that would absolutely crush the majority of mid market teams. Those teams compete by having a salary structure that is cyclical. That is, they’ll spend only when they think they have the talent to make a run. If they have to spend no matter what, that will lead to years of aggressive mediocrity for most clubs. Oh, but apparently that will be “balanced.”
What’s fair is to let teams spend the money they make. Baseball is entertainment. If the Yankees make the most money, it’s because they have the most fans who want them to do well. Don’t those fans deserve to see their money reinvested into the product?