By Mike Steffanos
Does anyone else find it significant that NFL owners are bickering among themselves about revenue sharing? The NFL is supposed to represent the pinnacle of parity and equal opportunity. Due to a massive national television contract that is split equally among all, cities like Jacksonville, Nashville and Indianapolis are able to compete on an equal footing with large markets like New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Yet in this nirvana of supposed equality in sports -- which is supposedly a model for all other sports -- some teams are whining about certain revenues that are exempt from revenue sharing while others are questioning whether sharing all revenue removes the incentive to run your organization well.
In a Washington Post story from January, Patriots owner Robert Kraft voices the concern of an owner who has a well-run organization:
Whether you are a small market or a large market, you have to manage the business like any other industry, controlling costs, getting value for the money you spend and being sure you are giving your customers a quality product. If we don't maintain our entrepreneurial spirit, then our league will die.
We should have a revenue sharing system that preserves what we have always been doing, but I don't think there should be any free lunches.
The valid point here is that if you make everything equal, and remove all incentive to innovate and develop new revenue streams, why would any team extend itself to run its organization better than any other? I guess we haven't learned anything from the fall of the Soviet Union. In a desire to create a system (at least in theory) where everyone shared the wealth, there was little incentive for anyone to really extend themselves to create wealth.
Baseball will need to be careful of falling down this path in the idealistic pursuit of parity. Moreover, since there is no large national television contract in baseball, baseball needs to avoid making fans in one market pay a disproportionate share of the cost to subsidize baseball in another market.
For more thoughts on fairness issues, please see the Small Market/Large Market category.
Mets.com: Mets offense looks good in win over Cards
The Mets won their first exhibition game 12-7. The offense looked good, with Xavier Nady going 4 for 4 with a grand slam and 6 RBIs. Carlos Delgado also had 3 hits. Steve Trachsel had a less-than-effective start for the Mets, pitching 1 inning plus and giving up 4 runs.
For players such as Delgado and Carlos Beltran, this will be their last spring game with the Mets until their teams get eliminated from the WBC.
ESPN Deportes: Mets Invest in Latin America
Enrique Rojas reports on some of the programs the Mets are utilizing in Latin countries to develop their prospects as people, not just ballplayers.
Are you as tired of WFAN as I am?
I really wanted to listen to WFAN today to hear if anything was going on with the Mets, but had to turn it off when I got tired of Mike Francesa and Chris Russo's negativity towards the team. They were talking about Aaron Heilman like they had a clue about him, which was laughable. Russo is so anti- any New York team I often wonder what people see in him. He's like the New York sports fan's bratty little brother.
Even if it's not the on air "talent" turning me off to WFAN, it's the incessant silliness of Yankee fans and Mets fans sniping at each other. I feel like I'm back in junior high school. I'd love to hear some intelligent baseball talk. Maybe I need to check out satellite radio. Anyone have any recommendations?