for Major League Baseball, that is.
Given all the negative aspects steroids bring to baseball, there is one thing they are doing that MLB has to like. That is, hiding what is truly the biggest problem in baseball, competitive balance.
A pole on espn.com today:
Which is the bigger problem for baseball?
Competitive balance 24.4%
The difference between the top-salaried team and the 2nd lowest salaried team (I'm not counting Florida, because they have their own issues) is now $163 million. Only two teams in the bottown HALF of payroll are in first place (Arizona, Texas.) In the NL and AL East, standings are the exact order of payroll. I've already blogged on playoff teams and WS Champions and the relation to money.
Labor disputes and fan support are past, present and future issues because they concern money and competitive balance. But the steroid issue has trumped all of it. At least until the next lock-out or strike...