There was no problem with Cincinnati's location when they had one of the best baseball lineups of all time. Milwaukee had a killer lineup in the early 80s. Kansas City had George Brett and some great players for about 10 years. Baltimore was the Braves before there was the Braves with four 20-game winners on one staff. Toronto was a great success story early on. Pittsburgh produced Hall of Fame players for years. Now they're remote outposts in the wilderness, because two teams dominate the financial landscape (one, really) while five or six rotate into the second tier below them and the rest battle over hind ***.
I don't have a problem with the Yankee teams of the late 90s...most of those players were home grown and the free agents were guys like Paul O'Neill. But then they became something else. They became the trust fund kid, as Colin Cowherd calls them. They're driving around the BMW, then crashing it and getting a new Porsche, then getting a new Mercedes. They don't have to worry about missing out on Giambi, or Pavano, and on and on. Those deals would bury other teams. Here's what really gets under my skin, though. They have a top-three shortstop in Derek Jeter, and yet they sign ARod. They sign a free agent first basemen in Swisher, and yet they sign Teixeira. It's gotten out of hand when they're paying guys 20-25 mill a year just to keep them away from the Red Sox.
You just can't compare the Big Red Machines lineup to todays Yankees. Baseball players averaged less than a 100k a year, everywhere. In 1975 the average salary was 44k. Of course the Reds, Pirates and the like competed before free agaency and owners like Steinbrenner fugged up baseball. The Yankees have unlimited cash through there TV deals and other cash cows, NY is where the money is and players want to win.
A salary cap, give baseball back to the fans. A 50 million dollar cap should do for a 25 man roster. Baseball could even lower ticket and beer prices!
(OK so the poor players will only average 2 million per player, boo hoo.)