Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Beginning Of The End Of Revenue Sharing Starts Now

Let's face it, and I am speaking generally within the entire United States, Major League Baseball is not on the same level as the NFL. Even though the MLB has not seen a work stoppage since the 1994 strike that cancelled the World Series they are still not on the same level of the NFL and arguably the NBA as well. Many reasons include having so many teams, so many games, and teams like the Houston Astros who have a lower payroll then 30 some players alone including the Yankees Alex Rodriguez.

As the MLB has expanded all the way to 30 teams with four expansion teams in the last 20 or so seasons we have seen smaller and smaller markets trying to get their foothold in the baseball fandom, and many without success. The issue here is, and I am not here to say that the MLB or any of the teams are hurting for money because nobody is, when the smaller market teams are playing on ESPN, MLB Network, or even in the playoffs you just don't see the ratings that you do when you see the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Detroit Tigers, etc are on television and playing in October. I believe the root of the problem, and something we may see heading down the drain in our lifetime, is the revenue sharing.

The Yankees are trying to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold to prevent other teams sucking off of them and it has hurt not only their finances but the MLB's finances as well. The plan started in 2013 and we saw ticket sales for Yankees Stadium drop and the YES Network ratings, the television program that keeps the Yankees brand afloat if you believe the "operating in the red annually" reports, dropped over 30% in one season. If the Yankees lose Robinson Cano and/or do not compete again in 2014 what do you think happens to the YES Network, revenue sharing, advertising, and ratings and attendance across baseball? It may be marginal but I think this year is the beginning of where we see the trend of all of that dropping.

Think of it this way as a Yankees fan do you care what the Cleveland Indians or Tampa Bay Rays did in the playoffs this year? Probably not unless they were playing the Red Sox which goes back to my big markets matter point. If your a Tigers fan you do not care what the Royals do if they made the playoffs and you didnt. If you are a Rangers fan you don't care what the Seattle Mariners are doing and so on and so on. The idea of revenue sharing, keeping down the bigger markets, creating parity, etc was a great idea that surprisingly I can get behind but that is done with a salary cap, not this revenue sharing. It's not done by choking the international free agent supply that has made this game great and it's not done by limiting teams in the draft. If you want to be like the NFL then add a cap and add a salary floor and kill the revenue sharing because next season, especially if the Yankees get below the $189 million cap, you will see the beginning of a downward trend for Major League Baseball.

The Yankees earned their money, not the Houston Astros so they can gouge their fans and make the highest profit percentage in all of baseball with 197 losses a season. The Yankees fans work their asses off to buy the Yankees tickets, merchandise, YES network subscriptions, etc why should we contribute to making sure the Rays have enough money to take garbage men off the street and turn them into 15 game winners? It's bull and it needs to stop and I think after we have a few successive seasons like we did this year someone a lot smarter at math than I am is going to take notice and kill the revenue sharing in the next collective bargaining agreement in 2016. Remember where you heard it first...

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)