In 1988 a Honda Accord cost approximately $13,000, while in 2013 the average cost has doubled to over $26,000. A water softener from a professional dealer cost over $1,200 in 1988. Today the cost is about the same, maybe less. The average cost of a new home was $138,000 in 1988, while it is $257,000 today, and the median household income of 1988 was $27,00 while it is 51,000 now. In 1988 the Dodgers payroll was 5th highest in baseball (Kirk Gibson was not the highest paid Dodger and was 17th in all of baseball). The Dodgers payroll in 1988 was $15, 462,000. Today it is $216,000,000.
Cars doubled, houses doubled, income ALMOST doubled while baseball salaries increased in LA by almost 15 times! The combined salaries of all MLB players in 1988 was $321,000,000. The Dodgers payroll in now almost 2/3 of that. Major league baseball 2013 combined salaries are now $3,185,000,000 – that’s a 1o fold increase. The Dodgers payroll in 1500% higher than in 1988 while MLB is 1000% higher.
It’s also happening in other sports, but MLB is at the forefront in making baseball game the game for the rich. As I said yesterday, if I were President of the LA Dodgers with all of the resources Stan Kasten has, I may have done the same things he has done. Let me change that, I would have looked the Red Sox in the eye and insisted they pay half of Carl Crawford’s and Josh Beckett’s salaries and said that was a deal-breaker. The Red Sox would have done the deal anyway because NO ONE ELSE in baseball would have taken that deal. That’s bad negotiation, period! Maybe the Dodgers would have to throw in Joc Pederson to compromise but I believe it would have gotten done. But I digress…
The point is that there is a huge disparity in MLB salaries. When the bottom eight teams (Houston, Miami, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Oakland, San Diego, Colorado, Minnesota) have a combined payroll of barely more than the top two, you know the competitive balance is skewed. That, along with baseballs archaic ideas about replay (or lack thereof), slowness of the game and failure to embrace technology is going to be the death of the grand old game. My youngest son’s generation simply hates baseball… almost to a fault. They are enamored with football and baseball which are fast-moving games in leagues where there is parity because there are salary caps.
I am looking forward to the playoffs, but it’s bittersweet because I see baseball headed down a dead-end road.
- It was a nice win last night. Anyone still worried about Clayton? He’s Cy Young – hands down!
- Brooklyn asked a good question yesterday after Yasiel Puig hit another monster shot HR. He asked this “Puig’s 18th HR reminds me that you made a remark a while back in which you indicated that you didn’t think he was going to hit for big power. I don’t remember exactly what you said, but if my memory is correct, I wonder if you still feel the same way. At the pace he’s hit HR this year, it would be about 30 in 162 games.” Here’s my feeling on this: For the most part Puig doesn’t have a big uppercut swing like Adam Dunn or even his fellow countryman Cespades in Oakland. He will likely hit 30+ HR (maybe that makes him a HR hitter), but for the most part, he hits a lot of line drives and even ground balls which is why I think he will win multiple batting titles. As he ages, maybe he will hit more HR – I see him as a Miguel Cabrera with speed and an arm! He’s got so much talent!
- Belisario has to be tired – shouldn’t Donnie be resting him? Vin mentioned it too.
- Brian Wilson has been extremely effective – he tops out at 93 but the dude knows how to pitch.
- Chase Headly is back to being the player he was pre-2012.