Major League Baseball’s State Of The Union – Payroll Matters Part 1: Oakland Loses Again In Playoffs
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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As I started a minor fight on Twitter last night (with a supposedly respected writer), it reminded me of how much I hate that social media outlet, yet how it is a necessary evil.
While there were some words caught up in a misunderstanding, it left me thinking about the state of Major League Baseball.
I love this game..I have centered my life around being fan, writer, website owner, by having a job that affords me that highest capacity to receive my fix.
I have gone on crazy ballpark chasing tours, that have also helped feed my addiction.
Yet watching the Oakland A’s lose last night, and then having someone mention a joke aimed at Billy Beane (not sure how much of a joke it was – another stupid flaw of Twitter’s 140 Characters), I began thinking of everything I don’t like about the MLB.
I also was trying to relate this to my girlfriend, who is not a huge avid MLB supporter, but has come with me on various MLB Road Trips, and will have a discussion with me at times.
Yesterday, as I was starting this war on Twitter, she asked “why do people take shots at Billy Beane?”
I simply replied “anyone does is crazy, the man has made the best of what he has had for years.”
I have studied the Oakland Athletics more than any other team over the last 2 years, and I always come back to having nothing but the utmost respect.
The A’s should not be winning divisions, sustaining any real success, and have no business being anywhere near the top echelon of teams with their $65 – $70 MIL Payroll.
As I tell this tom my girlfriend, she relates something back to me that I haven’t stopped thinking about: “How does baseball have teams with such high payrolls – play against teams with low payrolls? I mean shouldn’t there be more of a balance?”
I agree…and yes as a Yankees fan…I have said for years that the salary disparity in the MLB is stunting its growth as an entity.
The worst thing that happened to baseball – was having the Florida Marlins win the 2003 World Series on a limited budget.
Then you had the Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics be 2 of the better teams in the American League for a long stretch afterwards.
The MLB just buried its head in the sand as they have and have – nots have separated the amount of money they are spending.
The solution has been to add more playoff spots. The thought process behind this, is simply that a team can get hot if they make the playoffs, even if they are not among the top teams all year.
Everyone remembers the 2007 Colorado Rockies.
Meanwhile, all other 3 Major Sports (NFL, NHL and NBA have adopted Salary Cap Models, and in most cases, have floor spending minimums, to make sure that some teams do not tank it.)
With that, they also have draft lotteries in place of being automatically eligible for picking 1st.
Here is where the fans have lost some interest. Sure you always have the hardcore fan, like myself, that will bleed MLB 24/7/365, but it is the casual fans that you are losing.
20 out of the 30 fanbases are not going to have sustainable teams that can compete for long. Sure you can have your small windows and pockets of 3 – 6 years, where you are sniffing at the prize….But where will they be if the team struggles for the kind of time frame?
2000 – 2013 Oakland Athletics:
The Athletics have established a winning tradition in the Bay Area, since 2000, they have taken in 6 AL West Division Titles – and made 7 overall playoff appearances..
They can at least thank their lucky stars that the Houston Astros have moved into their Division now, as it will set them up for at least a few more years of good records.
I am not saying Oakland is good just because of that, they actually have more wins (190) than any other team in the MLB, since the start of the 2012 season – among their 2 straight AL West Division Titles.
While ‘MoneyBall’ has brought them to the dance, the team only has 1 Division Series win out of those 6 Post Season Series.
Quite often they have lost to superior talented teams, which should ease their pain, however it doesn’t mean the fanbase should not be peeved.
In the last 2 seasons, Justin Verlander has put the smack down on their season. The Tigers, of course, are one of the highest revenue generators in the game, and they own about a $155 MIL Team Payroll – double of what Oakland does.
The A’s fan packed the place for Game #5 of the ALDS – with over 46,000 fans, however try to ask fans to come to that dump of a stadium during the regular year – and you will average less than half of that .
In 2013, they drew 1.8 Million fans – which was good for only 9th out of 15 AL teams, and still under 20K fans per game.
The stadium is a massive issue that is effecting the year to year salary of the team.
Oakland is not like the Minnesota Twins or Tampa Bay Rays situations of bucking the trend of lower payroll teams enjoying some long sustainable successes for a stretch.
Those teams were abysmal in the standings for years – and used their high Draft status to assemble their teams. (We will be going through these specific teams and time frames in Part 2 of this topic tomorrow.)
Billy Beane used his MoneyBall philosophies in the early 2000′s – and has reinvented it to where he still makes great trades, never deals for pitching, makes great assessments on other organizations failed to prospects – and is the king at not making many mistakes on Free Agency.
That will keep the man respected, but may not ever aid him in winning the last game of the year, like he wants to.
I am upset for the Oakland fans, because they deserve better than the “MLB” sitting on its duff – by not addressing the salaries situation.
Using a stat, from a friend Josh Robbins, the only team to win the World Series since the 1994 lockout, in he bottom half of the league for team salary – was the 2003 Florida Marlins.
Sooner or later, how many of these devote fans will just give up to the system?
Join us for Part 2 tomorrow, where we go through the all of the teams that have been an exception to the rule, of David vs Goliath matchups, in terms of Post Season playoffs.
We take a further look at the teams of the Twins, Marlins, Rays, Giants, Cardinals, Rangers, and Athletics, in terms of successes since the 2000 year, and how the Dodgers are going to change the landscape of the National League.
I also dissect the unbalanced schedule, and quickly review some of the MLB’s possible solutions to this problem – while going back through the last 15 years of World Series Winner Payrolls.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners. ***
***Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Analysr/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames:
To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ball.games Book” and how to purchase it, click here .
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Posted on October 12, 2013, in MLB Payroll and Contracts, MLB Teams State Of the Unions, Playoffs and tagged 2003 world series, 2013 ALCS, 2013 ALDS, @MLBreports on twitter, American League Attendance 2013, billy beane, Chuck Booth. fastest 30 ballgames, colorado rockies, detroit tigers, Josh Robbins, justin verlander, la dodgers, Major League Baseball 2016 CBA, miami marlins, minnesota twins, MLB Salary Structures, moneyball, nba, nfl, nhl, o.co coliseum, oakland, oakland athletics, tampa bay rays. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.