Before we ingest approximately 588,000 calories while watching the Detroit Lions do their inimitable Thanksgiving thing, it's time for another mailbag edition of Three Strikes.
Strike One -- Free The Marlins Dept.It's been a week since I wrote a Rumblings and Grumblings column demonstrating that a bunch of teams are spending less money on their payroll than they take in before they sell a single ticket. If you missed it, you'd better check it out now before we keep going. There's going to be a quiz next week. I then proposed in that column that teams like the Pirates and Marlins should pay some kind of reverse payroll tax if they consistently spend way less on big league payroll than they get in revenue sharing. And I'm still getting thoughtful e-mail on that concept, like this note from loyal reader Brian Mills: Jayson, Your article is interesting. One minor tweak and I think you'd have it. The penalty for being under should only apply to teams that fail to win a certain percentage of their games. I see no reason to penalize greatness both on the field and in the bank. So a team that can win with a $50,000,000 payroll should not have to pay a tax. They were simply better both on the field and in the front office. . . . Remember, the problem is one of competitiveness, not salaries. Many see salary as a solution to the problem. But the teams that do not suffer the problem should not pay a penalty. My take: You know, I had a high-ranking official of a small-market team make exactly the same case to me: "If we can field a winning team every year for, say, $50 or $60 million, where's the logic in requiring us to spend $80 million?"
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