Off balance

NBA and NFL owners say parity requires a salary cap. MLB proves them wrong.

Originally Published: September 4, 2012
By Howard Bryant | ESPN The Magazine

FORTY YEARS AGO, even as the reserve system was clinging to legitimacy, most of the baseball greats couldn't envision a future in which they weren't bound to their teams for life. Future Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Henry Aaron and Carl Yastrzemski, among others, failed to shoot down the owners' refrain that baseball would die with free agency.

Nearly half a century of history has discredited that position. In the free agent era, which began in 1976, players and owners ...

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