Monday, October 02, 2006

Oh, hey look! The season's over! And the Sox finished third! Awesome.

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 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.


  1. A buddy of mine out here was going that route as well about third place or second not really mattering. It was more in the context of how (from his point of view) Toronto really has no right to feel great since “the only reason they came in second was that tSox imploded.” But so what. It was definitely a goal of the Jays to make the playoffs – they came up short on that front, but they did pass one of the two beasts in the division (so far).

    If the Sox had not imploded and won the division, you know the Yankee fans would be bitching about Sheffield and Matsui and who knows what else. And as sox fans, we would not give a shit. Hey, if you have to get a girl drunk to have sex with her, you still got to have sex with her, if you know what I mean.

    One thing for certain, I give the team and their manager a lot of credit – they had a lot of turmoil (Hillenbrand, Lily), Halladay went down for the last few weeks, yet they did not quit. And while, I can’t stand the whole “Trade Manny” crap since the Sox could never get equal value (or anything close), he pretty much quit on the Sox. Would his bat have meant an extra win or two down the stretch? Probably.

    Regarding parity, I think it is a direct result of the revenue sharing and competitive payroll tax (i.e., luxury tax) actually working. Teams have more money to keep their own young players (Santana signed a decent deal two years back, same with Torii), The A’s locked up Zito and as a result only paid him about $7.5MM this year, SD locked up Peavy for four years with an option, MIL did the same with Ben Sheets, Cleveland underachieved this year, but set themselves up for the future with Sizmore, Sabathia and others. Even STL reaped the benefit of Billy Beane locking up Mulder for $7MM.

    Which of course means it will be that much harder for teams like the Sox and the Yanks to make deals for good young players.

  2. I didn't mean to be blaming the Sox's injuries. The team had a number of inherent weaknesses. But none of them were the ones the "Toronto will finish ahead of the Sox" people listed. That's what pisses me off. The Blue Jays beat the Sox, and deserved it (12-7 against the Sox...I'm surprised it's not more lopsided actually); I'd feel pretty great if I were a Jays fan. I'm just annoyed at the writers for being right.