Immediately after the New York Yankees won the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, some of the comments about it that I have seen is that a salary cap should be imposed in MLB and other sports so that they don’t turn business-only which would lead to the end of these sports. Imagine that – with the current system, we will see the same favorites for the particular championships and the same losers every season. What a mockery to most of the fans at the expense of the few!
Frankly, as a Mets fan, I was not happy to see the Yankees win the World Series, and I understand the frustration to a certain extent. After all, money gives you wings (Red Bull too, but not as often as money does) and more money gives you better wings. However, the idea of equal chances to all teams remains nothing more than a… utopia.
The Yankees can undoubtedly afford to buy – and pay the salaries of – more baseball players than most of the MLB teams, and therefore will get the best players on the market. Wasn’t this the same organization that didn’t make it to the postseason a year ago though? Wasn’t this the same organization (with completely different players for the most part, of course) that hasn’t won World Series in eight years? It appears that it takes the richest club in a championship just one title in order for some fans to request salary caps. Last year, probably the same fans were laughing at the Yankees because of their inability to win a postseason bid with all the money and stars that they had available.
Salary cap is not going to solve the problem
In fact, it will create a problem. Players and coaches will be less ambitious in their work which will bring the sport into a stagnation. In other words, ten years from now its dynamics will not have changed, tactics will most likely stay the same, as a result of which, according to the economic law of diminishing utility, you will see older fans getting sick of seeing the same old production from their favorite club but with different team-mates, thus creating a recipee for disaster.
From sociology, we know that most young fans get excited about a sport because it is a family trait to watch it and root for a certain club and because their peers do it, and the latter is requisite of conversations. Comparatively few are the people who are interested in following a sports championship just for themselves, no matter how sad this sounds.
Besides, from the perspective of the same economic law, if one and the same teams win the title (regardless of the kind of sport), fewer people will follow it. We watch something that we find interesting. If we watch a season the champion of which is known very much ahead of time, we usually lose interest in watching it.
Why no salary cap is good for the sport
Coaches and players will be more ambitious in their work. They have families to feed, and like us they want to sign contracts for higher salaries. From macroeconomic perspective, with the more money that they receive from their clubs, they are going to spend more money for each additional dollar that they receive in their new contract. Part of this spending might go to your pocket, no matter whether you are a businessman or an business agent.
Poor clubs will benefit from the transfers that they make with clubs like the Yankees. In this situation, their priority should be to develop players who are good enough to replace the ones already transferred. It sounds easier than it is to be done but life is not easy anyway. Thus these poor clubs can have the potential to be equally competitive stronger clubs. Of course, the strongest oppositions will look unattainable to beat because they will have developed the players that they bought earlier but something that looks unattainable doesn’t mean that it is impossible to attain.
The same poor clubs will potentially be stimulated to rewrite the economic and marketing books by creating new strategies of being competitive. Not everything in this world is unearthed – for a long time people haven’t been aware of what rights and liberties are because the Church had too much of an impact on their lives and personalities.
Also, as a Mets fan, I would be a lot more delighted to see the Mets win the World Series in these circumstances than see them win them because richer clubs couldn’t stimulate their teams to perform better. With a salary cap, there is a possibility of 30 Yankees imitations – some of them good enough, others as weak as before because of poor judgments – competing for the title.