Monday, October 03, 2016

Who Ya Rootin' For?

I have for the past two years had a team to root for in the MLB playoffs. And this year, I’m happy that my Royals were at least in the mix for a while. But alas, their season is over.

So now, with the Royals and the Cardinals both sitting out the post-season, I’m back to my traditional method of choosing a team to root for - team salaries. When I’m not rooting for a particular team, I have looked at the roster salaries of the playoff teams, and rooted for the one spending the least. (Source:

Realizing, of course, that “least” is a relative term. The lowest playoff team salary is (only) $98 million, enough money to feed, clothe, house, and educate … well I don’t know how many but a whole lot of people, and for quite a while.

So with that said, here’s the list:

American League:
Cleveland - $98 million
Toronto - $140.6 million
Baltimore - $147.9 million
Texas - $161.2 million
Boston - $199.9 million

National League:
New York - $130.6 million
Washington - $146.7 million
Chicago - $167.4 million
San Francisco - $171.5 million
Los Angeles - $253.6 million

So basically, I’ll be rooting for Cleveland to beat New York in the World Series this year.

The American League total is $747.6 million. The National League total is $869.8 million. The total payrolls of all ten playoff teams is a staggering 1 billion 617 million 400 thousand dollars. That’s just the PLAYOFF teams, remember.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are spending more on their payroll than Cleveland and New York combined. The Dodgers spent more this year on just position players (meaning: excluding pitchers) than 26 other teams spent on their entire payrolls.

The New York Yankees spent $227.9 million dollars this year (second highest in all baseball), for the privilege of missing the playoffs. The Detroit Tigers spent $199.5 million to do the same.

So it goes.

As usual, whenever I do this little exercise, I end up feeling very conflicted. I love baseball. It is America’s pastime. It is the balance of team and individual, of mental and physical, grace and strength. I love it.

But holy moly, do we ever spend a lot of money on it!

Anyway, go Indians!

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