The Yankees are actually a pretty bad team

I am going to say something highly controversial but think about it for a second before you react. The New York Yankees are one of the worst teams in baseball.

I know, I know, I sound like a bitter fan of an American League East rival. And I am. But if you think about the ridiculous amount of money the Yankees spend (more than $207 million in 2006) and compare it to their success in the playoffs in recent years, you realize they really are not that good.

The last time the Yankees won a World Series (2000) their payroll was $92 million; a big wad of cash but somewhat reasonable. Fast-forward six years and they have proven they can spend the money to buy up all the sought-after talent but they have yet to prove they can put all the expensive pieces together.

2006 final standings, winning percentage, final payroll and payroll differential to next (higher) placed team

NYY    .599    $207.5   (—)
TOR    .537    $72.4   (-135.1)
BOS    .531    $137.5  (+65.1)
BAL    .432    $76.1    (-61.4)
TB     .377    $36.4    (-39.7)
League Average Payroll = $105.98

MIN    .593    $64.8    (—)
DET    .586    $89.8    (+25.0)
CHW    .556    $96.9    (+7.1)
CLE    .481    $52.4    (-44.5)
KC    .383    $51.5    (-0.9)
League Average Payroll = $71.08

OAK    .574    $71.0    (—)
LAA    .549    $104.0   (+33)
TEX    .494    $82.7   (-21.3)
SEA     .481    $95.3    (+12.6)
League Average Payroll = $88.25

By the above numbers it is clear that it doesn’t matter how much money you spend (unless you are the Yankees and you blow EVERYONE out of the water), you still have to play the games. In only the AL East did the team with the highest salary finish first. In the AL West, the team with the lowest salary in the division won the title.

However, is it fair that teams in the AL East are looking at having to spend almost $20 million more than any team in any other league just to feel competitive? Not to mention the unbalanced schedule mean teams in the AL East are far less likely to win the AL Wild Card, which is based on winning percentage. The Blue Jays, for example, face the two highest salaried teams (and the best talent in the league by assumption) more than any other team in the American League.

Why is this travesty allowed to continue? Well the player’s union does not care because they care about one thing: They care about making the most money as possible for their clients (and themselves).

And Major League Baseball does not care because, well, it is also good for business and New York fans donated a lot of their hard-earned money to tickets, memorabilia, hats and also turn in to watch Yankee TV. It should also be noted that the headquarters of Major League Baseball is in New York, which no doubt means a large portion of the executives are fans of the Yankees or Mets. They would then possess a similar mindset to other New Yorkers: “You don’t like the way we throw money around? To *** bad. We’re from New York.”

If baseball really wants to make things fair, they should rearrange the divisions each year based on how much money the teams spent the previous year. Based on this, the divisions in 2007 would look like this:

Upper Class
New York
Boston
Los Angeles
Chicago
Seattle

Middle Class
Detroit
Texas
Baltimore
Toronto
Oakland

Lower Class
Minnesota
Cleveland
Kansas City
Tampa Bay

It looks a lot better to me. Sure, purists would not like it but how do they feel about a first place team in the AL East having a salary of more than $135 million compared to the second place team? I sure don’t like it and frankly it is ruining a great sport for everyone who doesn’t live in New York.

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3 comments

  1. phurrballe@aol.com

    I actually like your idea…and I am NY Met fan. While the Mets are outspent every year by our cross town rivals, we also can throw the cash around as does Boston and the others in the “Upper Class” league. But remember Florida Marlins – lowest payroll and were just shy of making the playoffs! I think it comes down to team chemistry, not money spent. But I do not like the way the Yankees can just about buy anything they want. That is why it is that much sweeter when they are eliminated quickly in the post season. But again, I like your idea. 🙂

  2. kayleexxx@aol.com

    but i like the blue jays in this division because the red sox dont really have to compete with them but,you do have a good idea there:)

  3. rahobby@verizon.net

    why not a salary cap as the other three major team sports (nfl, nba and nhl) have? this is really the only way to attain parity and ensure fairness for all teams

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