The Globe's Amalie Benjamin has a good piece on a press conference given by Red Sox management. The Front Office had many interesting things to say. For example, John Henry spoke on the economic downturn, which has already cost several team sponsorships:
"I'm not overly optimistic," Henry said about the economy in general. "You just can't ignore the realities of what is going on worldwide. This isn't just a US problem, this is a worldwide problem. The effect that it's going to have on major league sports in the United States has not yet been seen; 2010 is probably going to look a lot different than 2008."
And then there's Larry Lucchino, discussing the prospect of a salary cap, which he and other owners apparently favor:
"I think there are 29 teams that exist within a certain band, then there has been in the last several years one outlier that has been much higher," Lucchino said. "So the outliers both at the top and the bottom will be most severely affected by a payroll zone, which I think is a better term than a salary cap, a payroll zone where all teams would have to be somewhere within a payroll zone."
Lucchino said it is "as inevitable as tomorrow that there will be some kind of system like that in baseball. Just not as imminent as tomorrow."
I think the idea is interesting. The current payroll system in MLB does little to discourage excess on either end of the spectrum. On the one hand, you have the Yankees, whose massive luxury taxes hardly kept them from committing over $400 million to three people this offseason. On the other, you have the Marlins, whose payroll is barely larger than the amount they receive from the league in luxury tax windfall. Basically, the Marlins' owner, Loria, pockets most of the revenues he gets from the team / MLB, while leaving his team the poorest in baseball.
What do you guys think?
Would you support a payroll zone (in other words, salary cap) in MLB?
Yes. More equitable spending will lead to more evenly matched teams, and thus better baseball. (66 votes)
No. Leave the free market alone, before I get all Milton Friedman on you! (28 votes)
No. This could conceivably hurt the Sox, by depriving them of their spending advantage over teams like Tampa / Toronto. (6 votes)
Not sure. (12 votes)
I say we nationalize MLB, make all the players underpaid civil servants, and squeeze the owners out. Then we can lower ticket prices! (19 votes)
131 total votes