A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Stop This Baseball Rouse
By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: April 17, 2006
In 1996 Bud Selig sent out a trial balloon; just trying to find out which of the troubled cities would fight for their teams and which cities would say to H*** with baseball, there are more important things for cities to deal with. Well, he found out very quickly which cities would fight for their beloved baseball teams. Ten years later he is finding out how important drugs and sports are now. The owners have refused to address the key issues, Revenue, Players salaries, and Drug testing. Its costing the game dearly.
Right after the 1996 winter meetings, the Yankees, Braves, and St. Louis Cardinals went into a bidding war for Oakland’s only real Superstar Jason Giambi. Many Americans thought baseball was having money problems? This is exactly what is so wrong with the game today. MLB cannot tell the truth or does not want to tell the truth. Mr. Barry Bonds is just acting the way Major League Baseball taught him. Hedge your bet and wait for the fallout then deny everything.
In the 1930’s, 1940’s, and late 1950’s the St. Louis Browns became the defacto farm team of the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Giants. Whenever the Browns hired a good player he would play for St. Louis, maybe a year or two, then he would be traded for cash to the Yankees, Dodgers, or Giants. Finally the bankrupt St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore, Maryland. It is happening all over again. The Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Devil Rays of the American League. The Montreal Explos (Washington Nationals), Florida Marlins, and Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League are serving as farm systems for the major league teams today. This is wrong and needs to be corrected.
The Florida Marlins could be described as the new modern day sport disgrace, winning the World Series in 1996 as a Wild Card. Then a year the owner trades the championship team away for younger, cheaper players. The Marlins’ owner even increased the prices of tickets the next year, knowing that Florida Marlins fans would buy them, not informing these loyal fans that the team that won the series would not be the one they would be seeing on the baseball diamond in 1997.
Baseball better get its act together, or more fans will walk away from the game. Clean up the game and move into the modern era like the other professional sports.
1) In the past seven years, only six clubs have made the playoffs every year. The teams that spend BIG money: the Yankees, Braves, Angles, Cardinals, Mets, and Red Sox. MLB caught a break the last few years with wild cards winning the championship.
2) Owners have held cities hostages: If you don’t build me (owner) a new stadium, I will take my team (toy) and move it to another city. San Francisco almost lost the Giants twice. The Oakland A’s are not going to be in Oakland, if they don’t get a baseball only ballpark. San Jose, Las Vegas, and Sacramento have been cities cited for both the Giants and the Oakland A’s.
3) If owners have the money to buy a team, they should have the money to build a stadium! Cities should not be responsible for owners’ financial well being. This should be MLB law.
Baseball is a business, if you lose money, get out, and sell your team like any other business owner would. If the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and the Minnesota Twins were in America’s Fortune 500 they would have folded their tent years ago.
4) Baseball needs revenue sharing or a salary cap as other professional sports. It is not fair for the New York Yankees to get five TV networks while the Oakland A’s have to struggle to get just two. The New York Yankees receive four television endorsements while the Oakland A’s struggle to achieve one. This money begins to add up. The New York Yankees can afford to hire reliever Andy Pettitte while the Oakland A’s can’t even make him an offer. If baseball continues to operate in this current fashion, it will certainly lose half of the American League teams because they are not in the big city markets.
If MLB hires African American, Latino American, and Asian American executives and or owners the game would create interest by minorities. Those teams currently in trouble could be financially solvent with minority involvement.
The National Football League has a salary cap and there’s not a dominant team. Anybody can win the Super Bowl in any year. That is fun and exciting. The way sports were intended, any team could get to the “pot of gold” at the end of the year.
That makes every NFL fan hopeful that his team can make the playoffs and Super Bowl. This does not happen in baseball.
When spring training begins, the Minnesota Twins and Florida Marlins know that they will never win the American League Championship or National League Championship, let alone the World Series. This is not fair for the fans of Minnesota and Florida and not fair for the players of both teams.
5) Major League Baseball needs a one-mind attitude, like the NBA, NFL, and NHL. At present, they are 32 different corporations with 32 different agendas never agreeing on anything until this years drug investigation. America has thirty-two different owners not willing to share. These 32 owners are willing to let weak teams go down in flames instead of helping them survive.
The question remands, will baseball do the right thing this spring? There is an old school saying, MONEY TALKS AND NOBODY WALKS !!!!
Major League Baseball get your act together.