Last week at work, I was having a good conversation about the Jays, Travis Snider and Randy Ruiz. It was a nice change to have a conversation about baseball in Toronto without dwelling on the negatives. Unfortunately, one of my colleagues (who tends to fit the stereotype of a Jays Talk caller) overheard and barged in on the conversation.
He started telling us about Griffin’s latest mail bag. So some negativity had entered the conversation. Unwelcome, but at least our Jays Talk Co-worker (JTC) was showing that he knows Griffin is a dumbass. Maybe he was learning. Never mind the fact he was telling us the Griff was pushing a Halladay-for-Chone-Figgins trade — which Griff didn’t actually do and Figgins is a free agent after this season anyway, we were going to give JTC a chance.
Then he started bitching about baseball in general and how much the Jays suck and how they’ll never make the playoffs and how evil the system is and how the Yankees and Red Sox are guaranteed to make the playoffs every year and how Kansas City has a “literally 0% chance of ever making the playoffs again” and he’ll never give MLB any of his money again (apparently he thinks they don’t get a cut of video game sales) until and unless a salary cap is brought in.
I didn’t even bother talking to him about the salary cap, because he’s a bit slow and is unwilling to budge on any of his other points. Also, he’s a pretty big EPL fan and thinks there are no similarities at all in the payroll structure of MLB and the EPL.
This guy pissed me off quite a bit, but he also made me think about how to introduce a little more parity to the league. A salary cap would be nice, but it will never happen — the Yankees and the union won’t allow it.
The solution, to me anyway, is a simple one. I know I’m not the first to bring it up — hell, Bud Selig’s even talked about it — make the draft worldwide and put hard caps on bonuses, maybe even salaries, for rookies.
JTC, when the Rays were mentioned as an example of just how wrong he is, said something to the effect of “yeah, but they sucked for a long time and they won’t make the playoffs again.” He’s right about the first point and may be right about the second, but at the very least, Tampa Bay is in the thick of a playoff hunt right now and, while PLAYOFFS!!1 would be nice, I think any Toronto fan would be happy with meaningful games this late in the season.
And so what if they had to suck for a while to get where they are? If JTCs everywhere are so concerned about the Jays sucking and never improving, shouldn’t they embrace a reformed draft — one in which a team is truly free to select the best player available and not have to worry about being able to sign him? Once a player’s in a team’s system, he’s under control for six years of major league service, so with a reformed draft in place, teams that suffer prolonged shittiness are basically guaranteed to later enjoy prolonged greatness (unless their scouts suck, but that’s another story).