Let's Contract Two Teams

A simple plan

By Tangotiger

How can the Montreal Expos actually compete with the Yankees? That's the main question. The typical evidence is that Montreal's entire revenue stream is smaller than an average team's payroll. Yet, there are the Expos, competiting. Maybe Montreal is an aberration. What about the Tigers? Detroit is such a small-market that the large-market Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. And of course, the small-market Cleveland Indians of the 70s have become the large market Cleveland Indians, and soon to become the medium market Indians. Are there that many people moving in and out of Cleveland? Over the last 30 years, I'd guess that half the teams were "viable" contraction targets.

Anyway, the real situation is that there is a disparity in revenue between the Yankees and Mets, against the Expos and Twins. So, if the Yankees and Mets trading and buying and cornering the market on all the good players is such a problem, then why not contract them? That's right, contract the Yankees and Mets! Who needs 'em?

Doesn't every non-New Yorker hate the Yankees? Even some New Yorkers hate the Mets. So, get rid of them. What would happen? Well, all their revenue streams would disappear, and maybe some revenue to other teams. But gone is also all their expenses, and all the trickle effect their salary signings have had. Do teams complain more about how much the Yankee/Mets payroll structure is setup, or do they cheer more about how much revenue these teams bring to them? I'm not sure if George Steinbrenner can hear the question, as he has hundreds of millions of dollars from his Cable deal blocking his ears.

Don't teams love the Expos? Teams never complain about their payroll structure, and maybe slightly complain about the slight drop in their own revenue streams. Why get rid of the little brother who helps you out, so that you can keep that big bad brother that always pushes you around?

But, won't that leave a huge hole in the lucrative New York market? Why, yes it would. A huge gaping hole. A hole so big that MLB can finally own that market, instead of the Yankees and Mets. So large, that they can move a team they already own, the Expos, and buy out the Marlins, Twins, and Devil Rays, and move them ALL to New York. And since MLB will own these 4 teams, they can decide that all that great Cable and TV money they'll get from four teams might be redistributed to the other 24 teams.

Why stop there? Contract the Dodgers, the Cubs, and the Braves. Move other teams in there, and own their Cable and TV money, and give that to the other teams as well. Soon, you can contract out all the democratic businessmen who never want to share any of their revenue streams unless there is some ancillary effect to their bottom line, and replace them with socialistic businessmen who believe in the greater good. Something like Robin Hood. Or the NFL.

Donald Fehr has reminded us that since a large portion of the revenue comes from local gates, then the common business practice is to try to maximize that revenue locally. Good. Let's leave all that alone. Teams keep 100% of their local revenue, and share equally all the Cable and TV money.

Is all this ridiculous? On some level, of course it is. At the same level that contracting the Expos and Twins is, actually. But if the problem is caused by the free spenders, then get rid of the free spenders.

I am aware that this solution is impossible, because the Yankees and Mets et al have a market capitalization that is far higher than an MLB buyout could afford. Their market capitalization is disgustingly high only because they own the market they are in, and they own the Cable and TV deals as well. MLB needs to take back that ownership, rather than restrict salaries of players.