QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Given the success of small market teams, is baseball still an unfair game?


Strictly speaking, baseball will always be an unfair game. As the fine economics program here at Colgate has taught me, no two markets are the same. The only thing Tampa Bay may have going over a city like a New York or a Chicago would be that Tampa’s unquestionably pumping out far more early-bird specials per capita than just about anywhere. Big markets will always be able to generate more rev­enue, salary cap or not. Even if all of the teams’ payrolls were the same, the Sox would still sell out and there would still only be that one loser sitting in the left field bleachers at a Florida Marlins game. Though no one is going to feel sorry for small market teams, they do have to be smarter with their money and more creative with their trading. But, it can be done.

While the Brewers are thriving around a homegrown nucleus, teams like the Cubs and Mets are drowning from throw­ing huge contracts at players five years past their prime. Money makes it easier in the baseball world, but it also allows you to waste $16 million on John Lackey.