August 17, 2014

What the Indians Can Learn from the World Series

This has been, for me, one of the more exciting playoffs in memory.  The games have been tight.  There’s been a nice mix of offense and pitching.  Managerial decisions have played a huge role.  In other words, I’m enjoying these games about as much as I’m able, considering the Indians aren’t participating.

And while I wouldn’t put too much stock in the crapshoot that is the MLB playoffs, I find it interesting that the two teams that have made the World Series happen to be teams that don’t spend gobs and gobs of money—at least not relatively speaking.

The St. Louis Cardinals opening day payroll this year was about $110 million, up from $94 million in 2010 and $88 million in 2009.  The Rangers were at $92 million on opening day 2011, up considerably from 2010 and 2009 where their figures were at $64 million and $68 million respectively.

In other words, these two teams have averaged about $86 million in payroll over the last three years. [Read more...]

Baseball Looks to Expand Wildcard

Lost in the shuffle of the NBA cancelling its first two weeks was Bud Selig talking to reporters before game 2 of the NLCS.  One of the big revelations is that while it might not happen for 2012, we could see the doubling of Wildcard teams coming to MLB soon thereafter.  Selig spoke about the addition of the Wildcard and where it could go in the future.

You remember I got killed. I was getting killed for a lot of things. It was brutal. He’s ruining the sport, what’s he doing, and so on and so forth. And we kept expanding and expanding and expanding, and somebody had to make an adjustment. You couldn’t have 30 teams and just keep it at six…  …I’ve said to everybody I think 10 out of 30 is fair. I think it will produce the number. I will tell you on my 14-man committee — Tony La Russa is here today, so he could speak to it — the vote is 14 to nothing, it’s been all the way along. We spent hours talking about it.

On first thought, it sounds like a great idea.  If we’ve learned anything from the business of baseball is that money can’t buy championships.  Money does frequently buy playoff appearances.  There are examples of poorly spent money like the Mets, but they are the exception not the rule.  With expanded Wildcard standings, baseball will open itself up to yet another team from each league.  Once the playoffs start, anything can happen.  Doesn’t that give a team like the Indians a better chance to sneak into the playoffs and make a run?  Shouldn’t we be in favor of this?  [Read more...]