It makes being awful for 4-5 years almost worth it.
The worst thing is being mediocre, that's for sure. Simmons discusses this with the NBA all the time. it's so true.
Art Modell had a good line, "were (however many owners) Republicans and we vote socialism," in terms of the TV contract. This stuff goes in cycles with the Draft, salary caps (even in baseball you got the luxury tax as a deterrent as well as an International cap), and every team gets an equal share of the national TV money as well as a share of gate reciepts. The obvious disaparity is the local TV deals, before YES, the Yankees radio deal was double the Brewers radio deal. But yeah the draft somewhat levels the playing field. Teams like the A's/Rays can compete with the Yankees through good draftin and other not-so-obvious methods. If it were a completely free market -- no draft, no salary caps, etc -- it be very much tougher for the bottom of the barrell to compete. I saw this analogy, it be like if the top engineers had to go to the worst companies.