Monday, March 10, 2008

The Keith Van Horn Story (Pt. II)

I didn't want to keep you in suspense, so here is my solution:


Actually, just a minture before I get into it. I don't want to come across as a bitter sports fan. I don't care that a guy is making a hundred billion dollars, and I don't ever say things like "$500,000! He's lucky to be getting that much!" I don't necessarily think athletes are being paid too much, I just get pissed when one athlete is getting paid too much within the confines of the salary cap (or some arbitrary number the Phillies front office comes up with).

Like with Pat Burrell. We obviously overpaid him if he is making like 15% of the Phillies salary and that prevents us from signing a top-flight free agent. So he is getting paid too much and Hamels apparently is not getting paid enough. Take a look at the New York Jets - their veterans are complaining that the team went out and improved their roster through free agency because the new guys are getting paid too much. Something is obviously wrong here.

So here is my solution:

One year contracts.

Every single sport, every single team, every single player.

One year contracts all around.

It is so simple it just might work.

Players are rewarded for having a great seaon. Owners don't get stuck with a sulking superstar for the 5 years after he has blown out both his knees. Fans don't have to worry about players only trying hard in contract years.

There will still be a salary cap, so teams won't be able to buy a championship.

The key here is making the markets totally efficient. Whatever you pay for a player, that is what he is worth.

And if you think it is going to change everything, yeah it probably will.

But maybe not as much as you think.

In the NBA, you will still have teams like the Hawks signing small forwards left and right. Maybe they are the 12 best small forwards in the NBA, but they won't win a championship.

In terms of baseball, look at the Yankees. They don't win the World Series every year in a league without a salary cap, when they can spend as much as they want.

In the NFL, you don't think the Patriots will still be good? Football players will choose whichever organization is able to consistently field good teams, teams that focus on issues like chemistry and leadership as well as just overall talent. (Don't see: Redskins, Washington)

With a salary cap, good leadership and organization will still trump accumulation of talent. A salary cap will ensure that Kobe, Lebron, and KG don't all sign on the same team unless some of them take a pay cut a la the Lakers with Gary Payton and Karl Malone (who did not win a championship). And there would certainly be another team who signed Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Tracy McGrady to compete with so the competition will still be there.

Maybe you can even sign One player to a multi-year contract and make him the face of your franchise, but it couldn't be for anything over 4 years.

And all that money that is being spent on guys like Matt Geiger, Keith Van Horn and Aaron McKie?

Put it into some kind of retirement fund for players who suffer from concussions and what not.

Done and done.

Imagine the possibilities.

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