Joe Pos: Forbes and Yankees
So as impossible as it seems, according to the Forbes numbers, the Royals and Yankees in 2009 spent almost exactly the same percentage of available money on winning baseball games. Sure, there could be some accounting tricks involved — I’m not clever enough to pick these out — but even so I think this would absolutely shock most people. It shocked the heck out of me.
The truth seems to be that the Yankees are NOT spending some out of control amount of money on payroll. Quite literally the opposite is true. The Yankees payroll is almost exactly in line with their revenue.
Well, hey, you can decide for yourself just how much of the Yankees revenue is due to their location plus their television market and how much of it is due to their good business sense, but either way, when you actually look at the numbers you realize how ridiculous it is for Yankees fans to say that Kansas City and Pittsburgh and Oakland should just “try harder.” There is no trying hard enough to make up anything close to the gap. Yes, a few teams have the resources to at least battle the Yankees advantage — though the Mets’ horror show is living proof that you can screw up with a lot of money.
It’s not impossible for small market teams to compete with the Yankees and Dodgers, there are examples. But when a small market front office says their goal is to play competitive every year, think about what that means, and what it is they’re up against. It’s a rare event for small market teams to compete for the playoffs 5 years in a row.