Thursday, November 05, 2009

As I said, I'm not a betting man. Good thing.

Yes, I totally blew my prediction on game 6. Pedro couldn't get Hideki Matsui out and Andy Pettitte pitched very well on short rest, enabling the Yankees to win the 2009 World Series. Matsui had one of those historic games people will be talking about 30 years from now, with 6 RBI on a home run, a double and a single.

So did the Yankees buy a World Series championship? Well, sure, to a certain extent. The Yankees spent essentially the same amount of money as they did last year, when they didn't make the playoffs. They just did a better job of spending the money on players who fit into what Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi wanted to do. There were no Jason Giambis or Kevin Browns on this team. A.J. Burnett, C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira were improvements to the team, and not distractions.

Again, I want to emphasize that money doesn't guarantee winning. If that were the case, the Mets and Cubs should have been in the playoffs this year. You have to know what you are doing with the money. But the fact that the Yankees can spend about 50% more on payroll than even the other "rich" teams gives them a huge advantage, to say nothing about how they compare to the Royals and Marlins and other small market teams.

Here's something else I was thinking about: how many different World Series champions have I seen? I have been following baseball since 1974, and have seen 35 World Series (with the 1994 cancellation). Here's where the champions have come from:

7 - Yankees (1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009)
3 - Reds (1975, 1976, 1990)
2 - A's (1974, 1989), Phillies (1980, 2008), Dodgers (1981, 1988), Cardinals (1982, 2006), Twins (1987, 1991), Blue Jays (1992, 1993), Marlins (1997, 2003), Red Sox (2004, 2007)
1 - Pirates (1979), Orioles (1983), Tigers (1984), Royals (1985), Mets (1986), Braves (1995), Diamondbacks (2001), Angels (2002), White Sox (2005)

So 19 out of 30 teams have won a World Series in the last 35 years. That seems like a pretty reasonable distribution.


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