Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Let me preface this piece by saying that not all of you will apply to today's topic. Some of you actually do have legitimate complaints about the current financial situations amongst Major League Baseball franchises (KC, Pittsburgh). But, you are in the minority. In fact, most of the blowhards who cry about this topic are gigantic hypocrites that can't see the forest from the trees. They see an easy target, throw barbs at them, and still fail to realize that they are criticizing themselves. My goal today is to open your eyes. To compare two popular sports and their fanbases and unravel their long-standing complaints. Trust me, you will see my point and you will agree with what I have to say. And when you finish and are ready to post in the comments, I don't want to read any flame mail (because you will be wrong), I just want a simple "that's a great point". So let's get started because I've been waiting to unleash this perspective for a long time now.
This week's Middle Finger goes straight to the hearts of those that support the idea of a salary cap in professional baseball.
I hear it all the time being the awesome Yankees fan that I am. "200 million. There needs to be a cap. I hate the Yankees because they have so much more money than my team. I like to touch little boys." It's a tired argument and a fruitless one at that. Now, let's just set aside the fact that all that money hasn't provided much postseason success recently (I know you want to hammer that point, but that's not what we're talking about today).
I'm going to be using this example since it is the one that hits closest to home for me. All of this griping almost always comes from Indians fans. That's fine. The Tribe believe in their system for running a franchise and the Yankees believe in their way. They have both experienced their share of successes and failures proving that neither system is perfect.
Now, to switch things up a bit, I'm a MAC football fan. I love it, decent football without the egos. But, I am a realist. The conference is usually not very deep in talent and always features a few of the worst teams in the nation. Back in my younger days, I used to complain constantly about the inequalities in college football. Why on Earth do DI schools need 85 freaking scholarships when only 35-40 players are even used on a Saturday? If you would just cut that number down to even 75, the trickle down effect to the smaller programs would better the college football product immensely and we could eventually have competitive games in September without all the 70-13 blowouts. But, I gave up on that. No one cares about the little guy. We have to make due with the players that are on the scrap heap and the strict budgets that we are granted. I came to accept that, I'm fine with it. I've moved on.
So with that being said, don't you find it a ton hypocritical that a fan of the Indians/Reds, who is also a die-hard OSU/Michigan fan, would have the gall to bitch and moan about the need for a salary cap? Are you freaking serious? "Oh, what the Yankees spend is a freaking outrage to the sport!!!" But isn't it the same thing in college football...yet you find no issue with that. I don't have any numbers in front of me, but I would guess that the Ohio State football program spends more on their team than 6-8 MAC schools combined. Why? Because they make a ton of money themselves and invest it into their product. I get that. But it's exactly what Big Stein has been doing for years! If you are a Buckeye or Wolverine fan, you have to admit that your team has every single advantage in the world going for it: top notch facilities, loaded boosters, unlimited recruiting budget, nationwide fanbase that will travel, fantastic coaches, the best players in the nation, etc. What a load of fucking shit that you can turn around and cry about a baseball team doing the exact same fucking thing for their franchise.
Get a damn clue. When you sling mud at a PROFESSIONAL team for spending whatever they think it takes to win a championship, yet turn a blind eye at your favorite team for signing a recruit that will surely end up in jail (Terrelle Pryor) for their chance at a ring, who the hell do you think you're fooling? You don't fool me, you're being ignorant. It's a classic case of wanting to have your cake and eat it, too. It doesn't work like that. You can't sit there pining over your 15 blue chip freshman coming in this Fall while simultaneously whine that Barry Zito just signed a 120 million deal.
Like I said, this doesn't apply to all of you. But everyone knows that one asshole who always harps on and on and on about how baseball needs a salary cap while he's looking up who has the edge to start at QB for USC this Fall. Is it the guy who was the best QB coming out of high school 3 years ago or the one that came out last year? If you think about it that way, college football's inequality is MUCH worse than baseball's. Hell, the Marlins have won two titles in the past 11 years. When was the last time that a non-BCS school won the National Championship? I'm waiting...
Here's the bottom line. Baseball is fine. College football is fine. Accept them both for what they are...which is a lot more similar than you thought 8-10 minutes ago. The have's will usually be at the top and the have-not's will usually be thinking about next year. It's those years where the have-not's finally pull it all together that make sports great. It's the Indians of last year, the Tigers the year before, the Boise State team, and my 2003 13-1 RedHawk football team (I will always contend that this team was the best non-BCS team ever); that is what us fans of the have-not's need to be patient for. And when it happens, you have to drink it all in and enjoy it. Remember what it felt like to knock out the Yankees last year, Indians fans? You liked it, believe me, you liked it alot. And that kind of stuff doesn't happen every year. Hell, it doesn't happen very often at all when David beats Goliath. Because we can't do it every year..."the man" won't allow it. The resources just aren't there. But we have to accept that. We have to move on. The rules aren't going to change just because you want them to.
So enough with your pissing and moaning about things that you have no control over. No one wants to hear about it. The finances of baseball aren't going to change based on the louder and drunker you get when speaking on the topic. So just shut the fuck up. In case you hadn't noticed, your Indians/Reds are playing pretty well right now. So give it a rest. If you want to keep griping about this non-topic, I can always shove this Middle Finger down your throat and rip out your fucking esophagus. It's over now, I've put you in your place. I hope to God that I never have to hear people whine about salaries ever again.
Thank you for your time. Please have your pets spayed or neutered.