So I actually disagree with GR's statement that "Second place is no better than last place if you don't make the playoffs." I mean, it's absolutely right in terms of results, but what pisses me off about the 3rd place finish is that all the dumb "analysts" who predicted Toronto would come in 2nd were right. And for all the wrong reasons - no one said anything about a lot of injuries, a crapass bullpen, and a questionable starting rotation. No, the difference, they said, was Glaus and Overbay and Ryan and Burnett. Which is silly. But their prediction - of a Yanks-Jays-Sox finish - was correct. Pisses me off.
Anyway, looking at parity for the season...here are the final standings, listed in terms of salaries:
AL East: 1st, t-3rd, 2nd, t-3rd, 5th
AL Cent: 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 4th, 5th
AL West: 4th, 1st, 3rd, 2nd
NL East: 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 5th, 4th
NL Cent: 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 1st
NL West: 1st/3rd, 2nd, 5th, 4th
Wow, I'm surprised, and impressed - not much (though certainly some) correlation between payroll and success. This might actually be a real sign of parity. Or maybe it's a fluke - last season it was "highest payroll wins the division". We'll see.