Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Flat Splits

Forbes Magazine has a mildly interesting article about the history and current problems of MLB.

The modern player doesn't play for his team as much as he plays for the union, a further source of fan disconnect.

And to think, it all could have been avoided if the owners had just given the players their fair cut of the profits in the first place. With the power roles now reversed, it's the owners who would now gladly go for a straight 50-50 revenue split.


The solution is to centralize the operation, and share all sources of revenue equally among all the clubs. Socialist? Sure. But baseball already operates outside of the free market. Its monopoly position is protected by a Congress that mostly shields it from the Sherman Antitrust Act. We are really talking about one business with 30 locations, not 30 different businesses. Team owners aren't competitors as much as they are partners who need each other; keeping the business thriving means keeping all of its parts healthy. Ask the wealthy players and owners of the National League Football League, whose economic structure includes a salary cap and heavy revenue sharing, if they feel like socialists.

I've suggested for a number of years that each team should keep 60% of their revenue and put the other 40 into a pool divvied up by the other 29 teams. After all, how many people are going to tune in to Yankee radio and TV broadcasts if the Royals don't show up to play. Aren't they worth 40% of the revenue the Yanks generate?

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