By the way, from Posnanski: __________________________________ "– Over the last 10 years, eight different teams have won the World Series. In all 15 teams made the World Series — that’s half the teams in baseball. – Over the last 20 years, fourteen different teams have won the World Series. In all 22 teams made the World Series. Now, we’re at more than two-thirds who have reached the Series. – Over the last 30 years, 20 different teams have won the World Series, and only three — the Chicago Cubs, the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers — have failed to reached the Series. That’s extraordinary, if you think about it — ninety percent of all teams have reached the World Series the last 30 years. And the three teams that didn’t reach had their good moments too. The Cubs have made the playoffs six times and, well, only their Cubbiness has kept them from reaching the Series. The Mariners won 116 games in 2001, the most for any team ever. Even the Texas Rangers have made the playoffs three times and while there’s some dark cloud simply hovering over that franchise, you never get the feeling that the Rangers are hopeless. By comparison, pro football teams that have not made the Super Bowl the last 30 years include: The New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings, That’s 10 — almost one-third of all the teams in Pro Football. I don’t mean to make this sound like a defense of baseball’s system. The system’s lousy. The Yankees over the last 14 years have spent a half million dollars in payroll more than the Boston Red Sox or any other team (they have spent 1.2 BILLION more than the Kansas City Royals), and it has paid off, they have made the playoffs 13 of those years, reached the World Series six times and won four. So, money (to some degree) can buy you love. But it is also amazing how baseball, the game itself, defies the takeover efforts of corporate raiders. The Yankees won their World Series when the team was, to a large degree, homegrown. They famously have not won a World Series since paying big bucks to sign Mike Mussina and then Jason Giambi and then taking on the A-Rod contract. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay last year reached the World Series with the second smallest payroll in baseball — no Rays player made more than $6 million last year. And here’s a beautiful bit of trivia for you, one you can definitely use at parties: According to the indespensible USA Today Salary Database, only one team in baseball history has won a World Series with a $100 million payroll. That team? Yep, the Boston Red Sox (twice — 2004 and 2007). I’m not saying that the Yankees will not win in 2009 — that’s an awfully good team now, absolutely the best that money can buy. But just remember that key fact — 20 teams have won World Series the last 30 years. And by comparison: Only 14 teams have won the Super Bowl over the last 30 years. Only 14 different men have won Wimbledon over the least 30 years. Only 13 teams have won the Stanley Cup over the last 30 years. Only NINE teams have won an NBA title over the last 30 years." ____________________________________ Actually, I think it was 4 teams not making the WS; he forgot Montreal/Washington. But the point remains valid. And there was this comment from a reader: _____________________________________ "Do you know what the Mariners, Orioles, Tigers, Mets, Cardinals, & Giants have in common? They all had payrolls over $90 million and didn’t make the playoffs in BOTH OF THE PAST 2 YEARS. And this year, the O’s, Tigers, Giants, and M’s were all last place teams…that’s 4 of 6 divisions. I could do a better job at GM than those guys. I seriously believe so." ___________________________________ The inclusion of SF is not exactly an error. They were 4th in 2008 but in last place in 2007. I have a listing of the top 10 and bottom 10 payrolls since 2004 along with the standings of each year but am not posting it as it is far too lengthy. In my view it does suggest that any effort to demonstrate a clear correlation between payroll and standings is futile, except perhaps at the extremes, and even there it is a tenuous and inconsistent relationship. Far more fruitful is to evaluate the caliber of the front offices. There is also this from Posnanski: __________________________________ "I also hear from some Yankees fans, who deny that the Yankees really have an unfair advantage — they point out that, hey, it’s not the Yankees fault that Steinbrenner(s) spends money. The Royals or Pirates or Reds could spend that money too if they weren’t so cheap. These people usually fail to point out that the Yankees (because of the size of New York, the enormity of the YES Network, corporate dollars and a new publicly funded stadium) pull in many, many, many times what the Royals, Pirates or Reds make." ____________________________________ I think the word "spend" is wrong. It should be "invest". And also, there is more than just salaries. Opening academies in Venezuela and Brazil, adding a GCL team, expanding the scouting in Asia and other investments are also part of investing in the team, perhaps a more efficient use of resources than merely signing free agents.