by user DNL

more "on the DL" opinions

I just sent this to the SABR Business of Baseball email list. I'd like the input of the ArmchairGMs out there as well.

In his Insider column, "updated" today (which means I haven't the slightest when it was first published), Jayson Stark notes that a few teams are spending less money then they're apparently getting via revenue sharing. Beyond Stark's highly questionable math—he includes national contract money as shared revenue—he adds this "solution" to the problem:


The easy solution: A minimum payroll. There's a concept you don't need an MBA from Harvard to understand. Pick a number between $50 million and $60 million. Sold.

Now here's the problem: The union isn't buying. And won't ever be.

It's a philosophical thing. This union is opposed to a salary cap, as you might have heard somewhere. So if it doesn't believe in maximum payrolls, how can it believe in minimum payrolls? That's the argument.

You've got to hand it to these people. They think you have to be consistent in life, even if it means teams are using their revenue-sharing monopoly money to pump up the value of their franchises instead of using it to pay the members of your own union.


Is he correct in re the reason the union is opposed to minimum payroll? It doesn't seem to follow that being against a salary cap should require being against a salary floor. After all, those who favor the minimum wage (in the grander scheme of things) are not logically required to believe that there should also be a maximum wage. And clearly, the owners who would most want a salary cap would be against a salary floor, so, again, no logical disconnect there.

But that aside, if I were Donald Fehr, I'd be against a salary floor, too.

A salary floor guarantees that money will be spent on players. It does not guarantee that said money will be spent wisely. The result will be more bloated salaries. The more bloat, the less parity. And this leads to more "easy solutions," of which the vast, vast majority hurt the union.

Am I way off-base here, or is Stark being too much the simpleton?


Fri 04/28/06, 12:04 pm EST

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