Rays Have Influenced BucsJuly 8th, 2009
A lot has been made of the Bucs spending the least amount of money, on average, the last five years on players’ salaries, which was exposed by NFL.com scribe Jason La Confora.
Many point a finger at the Glazer Boys using the revenue from the Bucs to pay off their mounting debt on their English kickball team, which is what Joe believes.
But Andrew Brandt of the NationalFootballPost.com claims the Bucs’ recent penny-pinching ways can be attributed to a successful sports franchise playing in a overgrown tomb in St. Petersburg.
Clearly the Rays don’t have near the budget of the Yankees, Red Sox or even mid-level successful teams like the Cardinals. They have to be smart with what little income you get from sparse crowds, when there are (seemingly) tens of thousands of crybabies in south Tampa who whine about an inability to drive 20 minutes across a bridge.
So the Rays coming so close to winning a World Series on a limited budget, yet having a team full of solid talent, may be the new business model of the Bucs, so writes Brandt, given the fact there may not be an NFL salary cap (or floor) in the near future.
As mentioned above, the four-year spread between the highest-spending team, the Cowboys, and the lowest-spending team, the Bucs, is less than $30M a year. In contrast, the New York Yankees are spending more than $200M on their 25 players this season, while the Florida Marlins – playing in the same professional sports league – are spending $36M. That’s a spread of $164M between the highest- and lowest-spending teams in baseball! And, as we all know, money hasn’t bought much for the free-spending Yankees in recent years (although that fact doesn’t seem to stop them).
The baseball situation above is what can happen without a salary cap. While there are year-to-year differences in spending between NFL teams, there is a self-regulating effect of the NFL salary cap that will not allow teams to have top-of-league spending every year (the Redskins have been big spenders in 2005, 2007 and 2009 but have had normal spending in the other years).
Bud Selig – a member of the board of directors of the Packers — would shake his head when he listened to my cap and cash presentations, knowing that there was no regulatory mechanism like a cap in baseball. Baseball teams have their own “caps” – budgets – but the inequality in spending was and is a problem in baseball. Selig loved the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays were in the World Series last year with a $44M payroll, proving the theme again that sound management rather than money buys championships.
If the Bucs can come close to the (recent) success of the Rays, the fans will be giddy and Mark Dominik will be the darling of the NFL, football’s version of Andrew Friedman, the Rays director of baseball operations.
The sad difference will be Dominik will be god in this area. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and Friedman, despite doing all the right things and possibly being the baseball standard for intelligence, have been thanked by area “fans” by being spit in the face.
First, the Rays’ brass have to deal with whiners claiming they can’t drive across a friggin’ bridge. Then, the asinine morons in St. Petersburg — and you know who you are — killed what would likely have been the nation’s ultimate gem of a baseball stadium.
If the Rays move out of the area because you a-holes — and you know who you are — killed the Rays waterfront stadium, Joe hopes your souls rot in eternal hell. Blood will be on your hands.
And yes, Joe’s a taxpaying homeowner in St. Petersburg who — gasp! — lives 20 minutes from the stadium.