Orioles and Pirates are the actual best teams outperforming baseball’s highest spenders this season
Once not so long ago when it was pretty easy for baseball fans to handicap the pennant races and predict which division winners and wild card teams would make it into the postseason.
All you had to do was go through the money.
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were almost computerized. The highly affordable Tampa Bay Rays were the most glaring exception, But the playoffs were largely populated with the teams carrying the largest payrolls. It was not a odd equation, Nevertheless, In the only major American business sports league without a salary cap.
The notion that you can buy you anything love, Pleasure, A World Series trophy is as america as apple pie, But something is occurring in 2013 that defies all economic and competitive logic. The season has reached its mathematical halfway point and most of baseball’s most expense teams would want to have their money back.
Go searching. This past weekend break, The Yankees left town in fourth place after the Orioles swept these questions three game series at Camden Yards. They’re spending $228 million on player salaries this year and $93 million is going to five guys who’ve been injuried for all or a large part of the first half.
If you want a bit of mindset, Contemplate that banged up stars Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Heed Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Kevin Youkilis combine to earn more than your complete 2013 Orioles payroll($92 milion).
In the mean time, The team utilizing the best record in baseball is the Pittsburgh Pirates, Who have the fourth lowest payroll amongst gamers at about $67 million, And if the season were to end today six of the 10 playoff teams could possibly have payrolls at least $10 million below the league average.
Does this mean that baseball possibly be into a new era of economic austerity?
Don’t hold your breath away. The richest teams will try to buy their way to the top of the standings, And the sport is in the middle of another big growth spurt in local and national revenue. But the current disconnect between payroll size and on field success is a significant development that could change the way even the top revenue teams do business at some point.
The world was watching when Yankees gm Brian Cashman publicly lost his patience with Rodriguez last week and made it pretty clear that the Yankees believe his giant contract was a huge mistake. It also hasn’t gone unnoticed that attempts by the two Los Angeles area teams to spend their way to the promised land have left both teams with losing records and disappointing numbers from their costliest players.
The only big spending teams on top of the standings going into Thursday’s games were the Texas Rangers and the Red Sox, Both of which have shed some big contracts within the last year and feature a growing presence of younger, Organic players.
It’s probably just a coincidence that the Los Angeles Angels have lured away big money free agents Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton over the last two years and the Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals have remained among the winningest teams in their individual leagues, But the decline of the Angels has to make that a cautionary tale for other companies hoping to buy a title.
The prosperity of teams like the Orioles, Sun light, Pirates and Cleveland Indians may just represent the emergence of a new generation of young talent that may ultimately price itself out of the small and medium sized markets. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper most probably tomorrow’s $40 million per year players. Fo the time being, It would appear that baseball is settling into a new economic equilibrium.
Give Billy Beane because"Moneyball" Oakland A’s credit for proving it was possible to compete on a very tiny budget. Credit the Rays for taking one of baseball’s smallest payrolls all the way around the globe Series. And gives Andy MacPhail, Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter some props for pulling the Orioles out of a decade of despair without going broke.
There is always a big market/small market dichotomy in baseball, But it seems that even the big market teams are learning from the mistakes of the recent past and trying to strike a more balanced approach toward achieving consistent success.
Certainly, A lot of that success continues to go to the highest bidder, But the sport is reaching for a new level of economic sanity and if you ask fans in places like Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland it couldn’t attended at a better time.