What is wrong with sports today? The answer is money. Baseball is no exception. The average salary a baseball player makes in the big leagues is $4.17 million in 2021. Why is this a bad thing? Why is it good? Here are some pros and cons to the issue of money in baseball.
What is too Much Money?
As an owner of sports team, it is their job to get the players they need for their team to be successful. In order for this to happen, team scouts are utilized to check out any future prospects that could help make the team great or better. One of the problems has to do with how much a player gets in their contract. Everyone knows that sports players get paid a great amount of money to entertain those throughout the world. Isn’t this part of the problem? Does a player really need to be paid $10 million a year in order to play the sport they claim to love?
The New York Yankees have had their share of spending a substantial amount of money to get the players they want. They have spent millions of dollars for their players. As an owner, this makes sense because he/she would want the best offer available for the player. As a player, this is great too because now the player has options. He can choose what he wants to do and where to play if multiple offers are made to him. As a fan, the fans see the prices of everything go up. The ticket costs increase as well as stadium merchandise, alcohol, food and other beverages like soda.
Cost of Attending a Game
The average cost of attending a game in 2021 is $34.21. This doesn’t include travel, food, drinks, parking or merchandise. It also depends on where you are looking to watch a game. For example, going to a Yankee game in the Bronx would cost, on average, $340. This is one of the highest costs to attend a game where attending an Arizona Diamondbacks game would cost approximately $145.
In order to get people to become fans of a sport, wouldn’t it be a better idea to lower the cost of attendance than to raise the cost of a player’s salary? Use some of that money for promoting the game of baseball to the younger generation who may find the game to be boring. It seems getting kids into baseball would be they would either grow up with it and be brainwashed by their parents (this sounds familiar) or to have an event where the kids could make Tik Tok videos.
Love of the Game or Love of Money?
This brings out the question of whether players are really playing for the love of the game or the love of money. If players really play for the love of the game, why do they have agents? Are millions of dollars really that important if a player loves the sport so much? Does Mike Trout need to make $37.12 million this year alone because of his skill? Granted, talented players deserve respect for what they do, but a player should be thankful for their gift of playing sports. After all, it is the fans who are paying their salary. If not for the fans, nobody would be showing up to games. If no one is at the games, then the stadium loses money. No money coming in means less money is going out, costing all involved to lose money.
What can be done to fix This Problem?
The answer to this question is simple. Stop negotiating contracts to the max where a player gets a huge salary. It would bring the ticket prices up even more, along with the cost of everything else. If this doesn’t work, the fans can easily just not go. As previously stated, no fans means no money coming in and people lose money. This is not good for the vendors, but it also causes big losses to the teams and the sport. Those that are big fans of baseball don’t want to lose the sport. It just shouldn’t be about the money, which everything seems to be about nowadays.
If the Yankees and the rest of baseball can negotiate to where everyone is happy, this would mean even more money going into their pockets. Putting a stop to this will stop some players from thinking that they can do what they want, get what they want, whenever they want. The ironic part of this is with the money they make, they literally can. Even if there were no big deals being made, they still can. The average person makes approximately $41,950. Try telling a baseball player this is what he will get yearly. The thing is, nobody expects it to change. It would be nice if it did. Even if it was $150,000 a year, this is much better than the millions some players get. The players can still make a decent living with that.
Would Players Take Less Money?
It is probably not likely that players take less money, but maybe longer contracts can help solve this. If a player gets offered a significantly less amount, but the length is longer (10 years+), this may be an incentive for the player.
Another option would be a salary cap, previously mentioned. In order for this to happen, the MLBPA would have to agree with it. MLBPA will not agree with it because they fear more money will be going to owners, not players. A salary cap was tried multiple times, but had no success.
Salary caps can either help or hurt a team. It can hurt the Yankees because they spend so much on players. Having a cap, will limit the amount they spend on a particular player. For teams that don’t have a lot of money, this will help. They are now able to compete for the player because they will have that money to use. The chances of the Yankees getting the player they want just dropped because now there is more competition from other teams. This doesn’t seem practical from the MLBPA because it seems less money is being spent for players, where the rest of the money will be going to owners.
Results of Pros and Cons
The chances are, MLBPA will not do a salary cap. It doesn’t seem practical to them for their fear previously mentioned. The teams may lose the risk of getting worse players. Since they may not get the player they want, they may not be as good as a team as they wanted. Would a team want great players or good ones? Everyone knows the answer to that question.
Here is the bottom line. Salaries will keep going up and more money will be going into an organizations pockets. This means that more money will be forced on fans that want to see their players play. Either negotiate contracts at a reasonable amount, or fans stop going to games. MLBPA will most likely not agree to a salary cap, although it can be beneficial to some teams and players, although they don’t feel that way.
Unfortunately, money is always in the center of everything. Wouldn’t it be great if things can go back to how things were? The times when playing baseball were some of the best childhood experiences, where the summer sun hit your face the bat is swinging (and sometimes missing the ball), playing with a huge smile. Where is that joy? If players showed this joy of playing the game they grew up with and focused on that, things may be different. Sadly, they are not and if fans really love the game of baseball, they will watch it anyway they can.
Featured Image Courtesy of thebannercsi.com
“From Our Haus to Yours“