America’s pastime?

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For several years now, it has been evident that baseball is no longer America’s pastime. Over the years basketball and the NBA have masterfully solidified themselves as the new powerhouse of the sports world.

Over the past few years, baseball analysts and legends have been complaining about the direction that the game is going in. Most of these complaints deal with the fact that the pitching is getting better which in turn affects the entire style of the game. If the pitching is better the ball is less in play, thus batting averages go down as well as OBP, SP, and other statistics.

"I try to watch a baseball game, and I find it very difficult to be able to watch today,” said Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage.

However, for me, it is not the style of play that’s destroying the game. It is, in turn, the ability of the wealthy teams to go out and get almost any player of their choosing. Baseball does not have a salary cap like other sports such as basketball and football, instead, they implement a luxury tax. When teams exceed the salary limit at the beginning of the season teams are charged a fee because of exceeding the salary limit.

For this past season, the wealthiest franchises included the Yankees ($4 billion), Dodgers ($3 billion), Cubs ($2.9 billion), Giants ($2.85 billion) and Red Sox ($2.8 billion). 

I feel that the Red Sox and Yankees are the two main culprits in this; however, they also seem to take advantage of assets that teams brush off. For the Marlin’s they allowed a trade to send Stanton to the Big Apple that led to the Yankees being able to add another power hitter in their lineup to accompany Aaron Judge.

The reason the Yankees and Red Sox are so dominant in acquiring these assets is attributed to their 0% debt value and being that they are a high-value market it adds to their overall revenue.

The teams that are continually winning are acquiring high-value assets and inking their star players to lengthy and lucrative contracts. The Yankees and Red Sox are as dominant as the SEC is in college football, as they continuously attract the best players due to their market and winning history.

Two of the highest paid players of the 2018 season played in the World Series while four competed in the playoffs including; Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Giancarlo Stanton, and David Price.

Despite the Dodgers having the highest paid player in the MLB this season in Clayton Kershaw, the Red Sox are still clearly using their deep pockets to acquire desired talent. According to CBS sports the Red Sox had the highest payroll of last season of $233 million for the year, an amount which is $30 million more than the nearest team of the Giants at $203 million.

In the end, I applaud teams like the Dodgers working to be able to compete with the likes of the powerhouse teams of the American League such as the Yankees and Red Sox by improving their teams no matter what. This year the Dodgers shocked Hollywood and signed Baltimore star Manny Machado. A player that, without him who knows if they would have even made it to a second straight world series.

The past few years it feels as if the same four teams are competing in the division series each season.  When teams start to fight and level the playing field, then America's pastime will live back on the diamond. Until then, it will continue to live on the hardwood.