Monday, August 1, 2011

How the Rays Stadium Saga is Like the National Debt Debate

We already know the Trop is like Pensacola Beach after an oil spill and the Rays are like "Big Oil," but the stalemate in the Stadium Saga has remarkable comparisons to the national debt showdown.

While the Rays have indicated they aren't generating enough revenue to remain competitive in the long-term, the same question many in Washington are asking should be asked here: does MLB really just have a spending problem?

Last year I suggested the Rays' inability to "keep up with the Joneses" was because MLB allowed major-market teams to jack up the going rate for star players:
You have teams like the Rays - very well-run and successful in player-development - that still can't compete in the standings every year because they can't compete on the free agent market.
This is a serious flaw in the game right now.

Whether the problem lies in revenue sharing or the league's inability to reign in the spending of major-market teams, the result is the same - teams like the Rays have no choice but to settle for long-term mediocrity...or plead for public dollars.

That's not the fault of the Rays' front office or its Tampa Bay fan base.

That's the fault of the Yankees, the Red Sox, Major League Baseball, and the mighty MLB Players' Association; all the parties that let the businesses' overhead (player salaries) grow faster than many cities can bear.
Unfortunately, the Stadium Saga is unlike the nation's debt debate in one way - there seems to be no foregone conclusion at the end of this predictable discussion.

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