MLB Owners Are Using the Pandemic to Push For a Salary Cap

Ryan Phillips
Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick Introduces new GM Mike Hazen
Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick Introduces new GM Mike Hazen / Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks/Getty Images
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Major League Baseball owners have dropped hints that they want to impose a salary cap several times in the last few weeks. On Thursday, Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick went on the radio and pushed for revenue sharing and a salary cap. Just to be clear, the players won't let that happen any time soon.

Kendrick went on the Doug & Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and claimed the reason for the labor strife in baseball was the lack of a salary cap. Side note: I really hope Doug isn't doing a show with an actual wolf, because that seems dangerous. Even if it would be cool.

Here's what Kendrick had to say:

""Why is it that we are the only sport that doesn't have revenue sharing? All of the other major sports have revenue sharing. What would be happening right now -- think about it -- if this situation would have evolved and we had been in a revenue-sharing model? We would be acting as partners to get back together and get back on the field. The very lack of a revenue-sharing model puts us in an adversarial position when we really ought to be partners and advancing the game and building the revenues because all would win in those circumstances.""

This, of course, comes after owners initially offered the players a 50-50 revenue split as part of the first plan to restart the season a few weeks ago. It's not the last time we're going to hear owners pitch this kind of plan.

The MLB Players Association is one of the strongest unions in the world. There is absolutely zero chance of it approving a salary cap or revenue sharing. While Kendrick claims the reason for unrest between the owners and players is the lack of revenue sharing, that's actually a moronic statement. The NFL, NBA, and NHL all have forms of revenue sharing and salary caps and each league has had a work stoppage in the last decade. Baseball hasn't had one since 1994-95.

Here's where Kendrick's argument falls flat:

""Our system is built around players not having any high-water mark in what they can earn. What that generates is a very few players making even more money, frankly at expense of their brothers. Why they don’t see that as reality and why they are adamant about not building a system, you know, with proper controls on downside and upside and overall caps -- there’s a lot of money to be shared.""

Reminder, this argument is being delivered by a billionaire in the United States of America, a country that has seen wages remain largely stagnant for the last 40 years while the wealth gap has grown precipitously. Kendrick is not the best person to be advocating for caps on earnings in anything.

Do I think a salary cap would be back for Major League Baseball? I don't know, but the hypocrisy here is pretty stunning.

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