August 21, 2009

The Almighty Dollar

You have lost your God damn mind if you think I want to talk about the spanking the Blue Jays received at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. Toronto's one naughty baseball team, and Boston let them have it. It might have been the most difficult series to watch all season. When Roy Halladay looks as mortal as the rest of his teammates, you know it's bad. The Tao of Stieb is right; something's changed with Doc. It doesn't feel the same.

Suddenly the locals are nine games below .500. What hurts more is their 31-29 record in the friendly confines of dome. My heart weeps.

There's nothing left to do but look forward and, after the draft snafu, the thought of another season with an $80 million payroll in the AL East makes me sick to my stomach. The uncertainty surrounding the 2010 budget eats at my soul.

Here's a list of the 10 clubs who spend the most ducats in Major League Baseball, along with their record and where they stand on this glorious Friday morning, the 21st day of August:

  1. New York Yankees $201,449,189 76-45 (.628) 1st place AL East
  2. New York Mets $147,417,987 56-65 (.463) 4th place NL East
  3. Chicago Cubs $134,809,000 61-58 (.513) 2nd place NL Central
  4. Boston Red Sox* $121,745,999 69-51 (.575) 2nd place AL East
  5. Detroit Tigers $115,085,145 64-56 (.533) 1st place AL Central
  6. LA Angels $113,709,000 73-46 (.613) 1st place AL West
  7. Philadelphia Phillies $113,309,000 69-49 (.585) 1st place NL East
  8. Houston Astros $102,996,414 59-62 (.488) 3rd place NL Central
  9. LA Dodgers $100,008,592 72-50 (.590) 1st place NL West
  10. Seattle Mariners $98,904,166 62-59 (.512) 3rd place AL West

The Red Sox receive an asterisk because they employ a bunch of steroid using douchebags. And because if the playoffs (!!1) began today, they'd go to the dance as the Wild Card.

What does that list tell you? The New York Yankees are the best team in baseball. When you spend everyone into the mother fucking ground, and play home games in an amusement park, you should be. Their counterparts, the Metropolitans? Pray for them. They've been ravaged by injury. The Cubs are a mess. The BoSox should be able to hold off the $68,178,798 Texas Rangers for the Wild Card. (Although I certainly wouldn't mind if they don't.) The Tigers look like a playoff team; $115 million should be able to get it done in the AL Central. If you're a baseball fan in the greater Los Angeles area, life is grand. The Phillies are set to defend their title, while Houston and Seattle are spending too much money to be playing near .500 baseball.

The bottom line: five of baseball's six division leaders reside in the top 10 in payroll. The St. Louis Cardinals are the only exception, leading the NL Central by a whopping seven games with a payroll of $88,528,409. (The Cubs really are cursed.) Give the Red Sox the Wild Card, and six out of eight playoff teams are MLB's biggest spenders. The Colorado Rockies, playing .562 baseball, are your other exception, leading the NL Wild Card standings by two games while spending $74,800,000.

$80 million won't cut it. No way; not in the AL East. Until the Tampa Bay Rays can do it consistently, they're nothing but a one-hit wonder. While I'd love for the Jays to spend $120 million, as much as the Red Sox, I know it won't happen. So I'm willing to settle, and slot eighth on that list; $110 million. For the love of God, Rogers, make it happen.

(Payroll numbers courtesy of Report on Business Magazine)


William said...

I'm surprised there isn't a loony hanging on the line.

Seriously, the Mets and Astros prove that money can't always get it done. The Indians and the Twins (except for this year of course) can be competitive for much less money because they are smarter. The Red Sox (except for this year of course) have bettered the Yankees in recent years despite spending less money.

kushnir said...

I always knew you could cover the marlins payroll with Arods contract... but shit, you can buy 2 whole Dodgers teams and still have money left over with the yankees payroll. baseball is starting to disgust me, im becoming less of a fan every day

Mattt said...

I thought I could count on your ever present optimism to cheer me up today. I guess everyone is entitled to an off day...

eyebleaf said...

@ William: The Jays pay out in beautiful greenbacks.

@ Kushnir: People will say that it doesn't matter how much the Yankees spend; they haven't won since the year 2000. So...

@ Mattt: Don't get me confused, brother. The payroll will be between $110-$120 million next year, and we're playoffs (!!!1) bound. Once you make that list, you've got it made. (Unless you're the Cubs, Mets, Astros and Mariners.) And we're making that list next season.

The Lone Oriole said...

Take a look at the list of free agents out there. Unless you want Rogers to spend that extra $30 million on hit men to snuff Teixiera, Pedroia, Longoria and leave ticking pipe bombs in the bullpen, I don't see how the Jays get from suck to Playoffs!1 this year. Actually, adding Wells to that list might be necessary as well.

Sad days in the Dome.

Ian H. said...

I don't think we should count on Rogers to bump the payroll close to $100 million. I don't want to get my hopes up that the Blue Jays will sign some big name free agents because last off-season their biggest aquisition was the signing of Kevin Millar. Given, it was a different economic time earlier this year, but I don't want to have my hopes dashed of signing Figgins, Thome, Crawford, Bay or any other free agents.

It takes a good mix of big level talent and a great farm system to consistenly compete in the MLB, and while the Blue Jays do have the latter, they don't have a stacked lineup like the Yankees or Red Sox that can really put fear into opposing teams.

infieldfly said...

Cripes! You beat me to the punch. I've got payroll numbers plugged into a spreadsheet and every stuff. Nice one.

Mattt said...

@Eybeleaf: I also believe that payroll will be significantly boosted for next season. You are right on with what you were saying over @Tao regarding this season being what they said it would be. So I'll hold the faith that next year will be as they say it will also...

"Dave Schultz" said...

thank you for putting Lil Wayne in my head to distract me from the misery that is being a Jays fan. :)

Moneypuck said...

Bud Selig: There is parity in our league.

kushnir said...

@eyebeleaf: ya they havent won a championship, but 93/2006? I'm curious, how many times did the yankees make it to the playoffs since the jays won the world series? my guess is 14/16

thats how you pay to make it to the show.