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June 29, 2015

Parity Definitely A Good Thing

by Larry Leek
MLB Logo

MLB Logo

One thing that has ALWAYS proved to be a healthy asset to any sport is for that sport to promote equality for all teams involved when it comes to competing against each other, regardless of each teams market size. Team parity or revenue sharing among all teams has shown once again that it works and also that there is NO better way for a sport to increase it’s overall profits.

The NFL proved long ago that parity among the teams works and even though it calls for revenue sharing among all teams, where the higher market teams that earn far greater profits than the smaller ones share their revenue with the others in the end, the healthy competition it generates on the fields thru out the league winds up bringing in greater profits for even the larger market teams than they would have been able to earn with out it.

When baseball opted for Revenue sharing a few years ago it couldn’t have came at a better time. Baseball had really fallen in popularity largely in part because the larger market teams like the New York Yankees could sign all of the best players to HUGE contracts ultimately choking out the smaller ones leaving them no chance to compete not only for world Series titles but so much as a division title or wildcard.

Teams that once had produced great teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles to name a few went into a LONG period of subpar seasons which lasted for over 20 yrs. with out so much of a wildcard appearance. For these and many other teams just trying not to finish last place in their respective division was pretty much the only reality they could look forward to.

Now after more than six years of revenue sharing among all teams, the successful results it has achieved by evening up the playing field is obvious. Today you have Kansas City and Baltimore both leading their divisions and even though the Pirates are nine games out of first, trailing the St. Louis Cardinals who currently have by far the best record in baseball, they actually have a better record than the division leading Washington Nationals by a 1/2 game and they are only 1/2 behind the other division leading team in the NL, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who even though they play in a large market, also suffered a long period of obscurity due to low attendance.

This Is Whats On My Sports Mind on this subject.

Today when I look at the MLB standings vs several years ago I feel much better about the overall health of the sport considering that back a few years ago MLB was talking about eliminating a few of the smaller market teams and in fact one team, The Montreal Expos did suffer that fate before MLB finally woke up & realized that they were cutting their own throat.

Even though team parity is still in it’s infancy in baseball compared to it’s counterpart the NFL, Baseball is well on it’s way to increasing the overall profits the sport generates.

If you look at the current standings five of the six divisions in MLB have either three or four of the five teams per division that are still very much in the division/wildcard race.and ten of those teams are teams that suffered year in year out before revenue sharing began.

Other teams like the AL West leading Houston Astros who have rarely ever had any success thru out their history are showing the benefits today that revenue sharing offers.

My sports Mind has to ask, What took SO long?

It has worked so well for so long in the NFL (By FAR America’s most popular sport) that ALL of the years baseball went without revenue sharing only made things much worse when comparing the two by increasing the popularity gap between the two sports by more than 10 fold and it’s got so bad that even now during baseball season, while football is in hibernation, even the smallest tidbits of news that leak out of the NFL garners ALL of the media attention choking out baseball and it’s a gap that has gotten SO wide over the years that today MLB can only hope to overtake the NBA  again as the second most popular sport.and that’s NOT going to be easy.

So Whats On Your Sports Mind on this subject?

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