SBD/August 26, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Money For Nothing? Big Payroll MLB Teams Coming Up Short In Wins Column

Of MLB's top five payrolls, only the Dodgers are positioned to make the playoffs
For the last decade in MLB, the "relationship between payroll and wins is almost nonexistent," according to Brian MacPherson of the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. Teams that once could "acquire the game’s best players through the depth of their pocketbooks now find themselves with diminishing opportunities to spend their money in ways that will help them win games." Based on Opening Day payrolls and win totals in the last 10 years, the "correlation between a team’s payroll and its win total has plummeted." What was a "strong relationship in the mid-2000s has fallen precipitously, particularly in the last three seasons." Of the teams with the five highest payrolls, only the Dodgers would "make the playoffs if the season ended today." Five of the eight teams "now in position to make the playoffs" have payrolls ranked 15th or lower: the Orioles (15th), Brewers (16th), Mariners (18th), Royals (19th) and A's (25th). Young players now are the game’s "premium currency -- and money means little when it comes to obtaining young players" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 8/26).

THE GOOD OLD DAYS? In Philadelphia, Sam Donnellon notes MLB attendance is "down by nearly 400,000 from a year ago," and 16 of 30 teams "have experienced attendance declines." Donnellon: "I wonder whether a secret ballot of Phillies fans wouldn't produce a landslide preference for the 2007 summer, or the summer of '93, when a six-run lead wasn't enough, and a six-run deficit didn't automatically start all car engines." Donnellon: "It's not just chicks who love the long ball. We all do. Big kids, little kids, mommies and daddies all go to games hoping to see balls bouncing off and over the wall, a slugfest preferably, but a home-team blowout would be fine, too." There is "no doubt, the game is cleaner today than it was a decade ago." But it just "doesn't seem as exciting." At least for the "casual fans who move the attendance meters of major league parks" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/26).
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