Super teams must go

Weston Hopkins, Staff Writer

Money should not be the reason that any sports team is successful. There should not be a barrier to entry for a team to be good, aside from good draft classes, competent management and development of players over-time. 

Sadly, this is not the case in most sports leagues, as purchasing power has become the name of the game. Highly successful franchises are continuing their success through spending large amounts of money on individual players. For example, I’m a huge Red Sox fan, but when they won their most recent championship in 2018, their payroll was a whopping $233,200,429 according to Baseball Prospectus. 

Compare that to the White Sox salary for the same year, which was $71,217,000. The White Sox couldn’t compete when it comes to signing star players, because they don’t have the same resources that the Red Sox have. This problem will only get worse as certain cities have higher-value markets in comparison to others. 

Major League Baseball isn’t the only league enabling this kind of behavior, it’s also prevalent in the National Basketball Association. Most recently, the Golden State Warriors achieved what many teams have tried but never succeeded in, building a dynasty. They drafted the right players, their star players signed for less money to free up room in the salary budget, and the team was playing amazing. 

They even won a championship in 2015, so why did they need to sign a superstar like Kevin Durant after that season? Why did the Warriors need four hall-of-fame caliber players starting all at the same time? These types of moves hinder the league. It’s much more exciting to watch two evenly-matched teams play each other, than it is watching one team constantly dominate because they have one of the best starting lineups in NBA history. 

This has become a common tactic in the NBA in the last 20 years, use a bunch of money to sign all-star players to your team in hopes of winning a championship. The 2007-2008 Celtics did it when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. The Heat signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the 2010-2011 season. These moves worked, and netted both teams a championship or two. Which sets a bad precedent, that if you spend more money than other teams, your team will be better.

The integrity of the game is at stake when the leagues continually allow these teams to make these moves. There are teams that make all the right moves, play the patient game and set up their team for a bright future. Only to lose to a team that can’t be stopped because of how much firepower they have bought. 

I’m doubtful that this trend will end, or that either of these leagues will do anything to stop the “rich from getting richer.” Sports and politics are similar in this regard, money shouldn’t have a substantial effect on the outcome of the race for first. There should be a fixed amount of money that teams can spend for players, an amount that isn’t subject to the multiple loopholes that currently exist.