Baseball teams in the Major League don't tank like those in the NBA but they definitely tank, i.e., they give up on the season. In the NBA teams give up on an entire season, sometimes multiple consecutive seasons. The only baseball team doing that would be the Atlanta Braves.
No, in baseball teams pull a:
Bait-and-switch: a form of fraud used in retail sales, but also employed in other contexts...
the advertised goods either are not available or are not as good as was expected ...
In the United States, courts have held that the purveyor using a bait-and-switch operation may be subject to a lawsuit by customers for false advertising
Before the season teams promote specific players and the team as a whole to both fans and to advertisers. Then around the 100 game mark some teams bail out and trade players, some of whom they specifically had featured in their pre-season promotions. Teams hope to get younger, less expensive players in return, some from draft picks, many, if not most of whom, will be of little or no use in the current season.
How is that not bait-and-switch?
Now some advertisers may be OK with this and may have multi-year contracts that cover such contingencies, which would result in lower TV ratings in general. But fans buy even season tickets on a season by season basis. How are those fans not being victimized?
You may say that fans know that all this is possible, even for a team like the Yankees:
Cashman wants to tank and sell off his mistakes. Thursday, July 14, 2016
I've thought for some time that this issue would not reach a head until a season in which the Yankees tanked. Well, unless the Yankees get hot in the next two weeks, they may be selling, dumping, tanking.
Where is the fairness in the Red Sox playing the Yankees mostly in the second half of the season if the Yankees tank and deplete their roster? Another team in their division such as Baltimore may have already played most of their games against the Yankees. While the Yankees have played only .500 ball, what if they play closer to .400 the rest of the way?
There's an obvious and simple solution: no trades during the season. None. Until that is done, baseball will continue to lack integrity much worse than that from players using performance enhancing drugs (PED).