Padres bloggin' since 2007

Required reading for Padres fans

April 20th, 2010 by Melvin

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.

Posted in Padres 101, sacrificial links | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Required reading for Padres fans”

  1. Larry Faria says:

    Addressing the last sentence first, the Mets didn’t exactly screw up last year, they actually had a worse injury year than the Padres. Other years, you can blame ownership for playing Baseball Expert. For long term success anywhere, you have to follow the Dodgers model under the O’Malleys: put solid baseball people in charge, give them a consistent budget, and let them do their jobs.

    What wasn’t mentioned about the Yankees-Royals is how their money was spent. There’s a reason why many baseball people call the Royals the worst-run franchise of all. I suspect if the two teams swapped front offices, the Yankees would be dragging after 5 years or so.

    That brings me to my final point: it’s not how much money you have but how you use it. The extra money just means you can afford to make more mistakes. The smallest franchises can’t afford to make any mistakes at all. The smaller franchises have to avoid the high risk/high reward moves, but CAN build consistent winners over an extended period with good drafting, good minor league development and good coaching. More money helps, but good baseball judgement and avoiding mistakes is a requirement that money can’t make up for.

    • Melvin says:

      The point of Poz’s article is to illustrate to fans who think that the relative difference in payroll size means the Royals are “trying” less than the Yankees. Maybe we’re just debating the definition of “trying” because yeah, it’s also poor decision making that have put the Royals where they are.

      I do agree with most of your points. It is how teams use their money, but I’m hard pressed to believe it’s possible for a small market team to be as accurate as would be necessary to contend with a decently run big market club on a regular basis.

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