Major League Baseball is ready to start its 2012 season this week and fans of teams like the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and even the hometown Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, are excited about the chances of their favorite teams winning the World Series. The same cannot be said for fans of the league’s cellar teams, though.
Fans of teams like the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals have resigned themselves to the fact that their team simply doesn’t have a chance at capturing a championship. For the Royals it has been 26 consecutive seasons without even a playoffs appearance and no one is holding their breath that the streak will be broken.
It’s a simple fact that the gap in money between the MLB’s richest teams like the Yankees and the poorest teams like the Royals is huge. In 2011, the Yankees had over $201.6 million on their payroll while the Royals spent just $36.1 million.
The result is a foregone conclusion that the Yankees will be championship contenders who’s only competition through the regular season will be its division-rival Red Sox that spent over $161.4 million in 2011. Alternatively, the Royals will be a nonfactor as they are annually.
While the MLB has a luxury tax that takes from the top teams, the $13.9 million penalty paid by the Yankees did nothing to stop them from dominating the league’s payroll rankings.
Meanwhile the National Football League’s salary cap and draft system has created a level of parity that has made the NFL America’s most exciting professional sports league. Fans of any team from the Patriots to the Lions can have hope that their team will find themselves in the Super Bowl while also having fear that everything will fall apart at any given time.
A strict salary cap like the NFL applied to the MLB would likely mean bad news for perennial powers like the Yankees whom have won 27 World Series championships, but is that really such a bad thing? When do the Royals fans get to have some fun?