As the Baltimore Orioles prepare for Opening Day they aren’t expected to be in the creme de la creme of the league per se. Where do I think they’ll finish up? Tough to say. But I disagree with one national publication who projected them to finish last in the AL East. Teams such as Tampa and Toronto have been gutted – so I just don’t see that happening.
However that aside, MLB should really think twice about the fact that they don’t have a salary cap. The Orioles have spent money on the team this year. Granted much of that spending came late, but the fact is that they’ve given fans a reason to come to the ballpark each day. Do fans in Tampa have that same incentive? Or Miami?
If MLB continues to allow uncapped spending, the rich will continue to get richer. Believe me, in general I’m in favor of earning an honest living. However what I also believe is that the game itself cannot thrive across the country if only fans in certain cities are seeing winning teams. And I’m not talking just now – but in the future as well.
What incentive does a fan in Kansas City have to come to games over the years? Or Pittsburgh, Tampa, San Diego – or even Baltimore? And at the end of the day, is MLB really served by having only fans in NY, Boston, Chicago, and LA being interested in the sport? I would submit not.
So a salary cap, as well as a salary basement (forcing teams to be above a certain pay grade) would ensure some sort of parity in the league. It keeps people interested in smaller markets.