Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spending a lot of money on payroll does not guarantee success, at least in the short run. It's kind of a baseball truism, but looking at this morning's standings gives a pretty dramatic read of things.

I know it's not even Memorial Day yet and things could change quite a bit before the end of the year, but as I was reading the Sunday Globe sports page I noticed this. Here are the records, place in the standings and total payroll of the top 3 and bottom 3 teams in total salaries (according to the USA Today database).

Top 3 payroll teams:
New York Yankees, last place in AL East, 20-23, $209,081,577
New York Mets, 3rd place in NL East, 21-19, $137,793,376
Detroit Tigers, last place in AL Central, 17-26, $137,685,196

The total record for all 3 teams is 58-68, a .460 winning percentage.

Bottom 3 payroll teams:
Florida Marlins, 1st place in NL East, 24-18, $21,811,500
Tampa Bay Rays, tied for 1st place in AL East, 25-18, $43,820,597
Oakland A's, 2nd place in AL West, 24-20, $47,967,126

The total record for these 3 teams is 73-56, a .566 winning percentage.

Now I don't expect these results to hold up over 162 games, but the discrepancy is pretty interesting, isn't it?


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