Wed - Is baseball more competitive than we think?
Baseball has been perceived as the poster child for what happens when a sport does not implement a hard-salary caps and a good revenue sharing plan. Competitive balance supposedly does not exist. Basically the season starts every April, and you can all but guarantee that come October you'll be seeing the Yankees play in primetime, watching afternoon playoff baseball at historic Fenway Park, talking about how the Braves blew another postseason serious...and on the other side of the token the Royals, Pirates, Tigers, Devil Rays, Brewers, maybe the Marlins (depending on the year of course) and a handful of others will be in full tee-time mode preparing for the draft.
Some of this is clearly true, the trends are there. While they have made some strides in the revenue-sharing area and salary-cap area, it's been sort of half-hearted due to the power of the union. There always seems to be a caveat...big market and small market teams share revenue, but nothing forces the small market teams to actually use it to get better...there is a tax imposed when teams eclipse the "salary-cap", but the problem is solved simply by throwing more money at it and paying the tax. Clearly there are tons of ideas to solve this, some of which I agree with and some of which I don't.
How many times can we hear about how the NFL is the best example of the good things that come from parity. But did anyone notice how many different teams have been in each league's respective Final Four in the past 5 or 6 years. Somehow, the non-disparate, no salary-cap, too many teams have no shot league has produced more different teams in the LCS than football has in their Conference Championship games, and any other sport in their final two playoff rounds for that matter (according to Elias).
So for every Royals there has been a White Sox team that nobody saw coming, and an Angels or Marlins making a nice run. While baseball clearly has a long way to go, the other sports aren't necessarily doing that much better, if at all. Chew on that the next time the Yanks sweep the Royals.