Some of the Parts

In what sounded like a typically hyperbolic comment during the nationally televised Yanks-Sox series this past weekend, the Yankees infield was dubbed one of the greatest in history.

It’s hard to compile cumulative stats across multiple positions and then rank those stats historically – which is another way of saying I just don’t know how to do it – but looking at the individual marks being set by the Yankees infielders, maybe it’s not such a crazy notion after all.   Consider the stats after the (Derek Jeter) jump(throw):


In the history of the game only seven shortstops have accumulated at least 200 hits, 100 runs, and 30 stolen bases in a season.  Only Derek Jeter has done it more than once and with the 2009 season he has now done it three times.  Only four shortstops have ever done all this and also hit for at least .300 – A-Rod did it once in 1998, Hanley Ramirez did it in 2007, Honus Wagner did it in 1908, and Derek Jeter has done it three times (’96, ’08, and ’09).

Since integration in 1947, only four second basemen have totaled more than 200 hits, 100 runs, a BA of at least .320, and fewer than 70 SO in a single season: Pedroia in ’08, Loretta in ’04, Jackie Robinson in ’49, and – if he can keep his BA (.322) above .320 and doesn’t strike out more than 7 times in the next week – Robinson Cano.

Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter are the only 2B-SS combo to ever each reach the 200-hit mark in the same season.

Only two first basemen since integration (Mattingly in '85 and Vaughn in '96) have compiled at least 595 AB, 120 RBIs, 100 runs, and a 145+ OPS in one season.  Teixeira's '09 numbers: 120 RBIs, 101 runs, 146 OPS+, 38 HR, and a .294 BA.

In the history of the game, only four third basemen have reached at least 120 hits, 90 RBIs, and 25 HRs in fewer than 125 games.  They are Bob Horner in ’79, Ryan Braun in '07, Brett in ’83 (pine tar!!!), and Aramis Ramirez in ’05.  If his .403 OBP does not drop by more than 3 points, A-Rod will be the only 3B in history to compile the above counting stats in so few games while also maintaining an OBP above .400.  If he gets 6 more RBIs in his next 5 games (certainly not a given), he will have accumulated more RBIs (99) in less than 125 G than any 3B in history with the exception of Brett’s stellar 1980 season when Brett tallied 118 RBIs in 117 games(!).  As of today, A-Rod is at 120 G with 123H, 93 RBIs, 28 HRs, 142 OPS+, .285 BA, .403 OBP, SLG .524, 76 runs). 

Combine these offensive accomplishments with what is not stellar but is certainly an across-the-board above-average defensive performance by this infield in '09 (thanks in no small part to Jeter's defensive resurgence).  A-Rod ranks 7th among AL third basemen in UZR (-7.7) and 5th in fielding percentage(.966) ; Teixeira ranks 6th among AL 1B in UZR (0.6) and 1st in FP (.966); Cano ranks 7th among AL 2B in UZR (-6.0) and 7th in FP (.984); and Jeter ranks 4th among AL SSs in UZR (7.2) and 2nd in FP (.985) — only Cesar Izturis has fewer errors at SS than Jeter's 8.

Best ever?  I have no clue.  But it doesn't seem as laughable to me today as it did when I first heard it.

 

104 comments… add one

  • Regardless of where the Yankees IF stands in history, it has certainly been the driving force behind the best offense in the game and has helped the pitchers with some very good defense. What they have done this year is remarkable…thanks for the post IH!

    sam-YF September 29, 2009, 10:37 am
  • i don’t know about the best infield in history, but you can put up a real good argument that they might be, collectively that is, among the best, or maybe even the best in baseball right now…the outfield, not so much ;) cano was the wild-card for me…so far the right cano showed up to play this year…

    dc September 29, 2009, 11:12 am
  • This all arises from a New York Daily News article.
    Interesting though it is, I am not a big fan of this type of statistical cherry picking. It seems like one could find any random series of stats, choose a round number that would be impressive by itself and combine enough of them to leave one’s favorite player standing alone on a list. Pack enough stats on there and you can leave off far better players who had five fewer RBI than the cutoff or an OPS+ 10 points below and so on.
    Similarly, the reliance on counting stats is bound to discount the dead-ball and “Year of the Pitcher” era infields. We also have a problem with shortstop, in that until Ripken came along, shortstops were expected to be terrific fielders and not so great hitters. These things considered, here are some other infields I came up with by Googling “greatest infields of all time.”
    Here’s a full Top 10 list, the top few of which are pretty dang impressive:
    1. mid-1970s Cincy Reds: Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Dave Concepcion, Pete Rose, with Johnny Bench at catcher, to boot.
    2. late 1960s Orioles: Boog Powell, Davey Johnson, Mark Belanger, Brooks Robinson
    3. mid-1900s Cubs: Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker, Harry Steinfeldt
    4. late 1990s/early 2000s Indians: Jim Thome, Roberto Alomar, Omar Vizquel, Travis Fryman
    The list also includes the Phillies teams with Rose and Mike Schmidt and the 1950s Dodgers with Hodges, Reese and Jackie Robinson, never mind Roy Campanella.
    I also found in my Google searching an ESPN article asking whether the 2004 Rangers infield was the best infield ever, with Teixeira, Soriano, Blalock and Young. That same year, the Cardinals had Pujols, Renteria and Rolen.
    Meanwhile, Rays Index argues the Yankees don’t even have the best infield in the division this year, noting that Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Jason Bartlett and Carlos Pena have a higher collective WAR than the Yanks’ infield.
    This link adds the famous 1911 Philly A’s infield (Stuffy McInnis, Frank Baker, etc.) and argues the 1927 Giants infield was the best ever, even better than the Big Red Machine, with Bill Terry, Rogers Hornsby, Fred Lindstrom and Travis Jackson, Hall of Famers all.

    Paul SF September 29, 2009, 11:15 am
  • They’re definitely a great infield, for sure. I think decisions like this are better served after October, though.
    They are however, without question, the highest paid infield of all time, and it’s not even close.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 11:37 am
  • I can honestly say I never even heard of the Daily News article you reference Paul, let alone read it.
    As for cherry-picking stats, absolutely guilty as charged. Though rather unashamedly as I think it’s a fairly standard and enjoyable method of fostering blog-debates. And certainly at least as good as listing the results of a google search without reference to any stats.

    IronHorse September 29, 2009, 11:45 am
  • Ok. I took the collective infield (1B, 2B, SS, 3B) offensive stats for the 1975 Reds and compared them to the collective infield stats for the ’09 Yankees (so far).
    Hits:
    Reds- 656
    Yankees- 707
    Runs:
    Reds- 355
    Yankees- 367
    RBI:
    Reds- 326
    Yankees- 362
    BA:
    Reds- .300
    Yankees- .309
    OBP:
    Reds- .387
    Yankees- .386
    SLG:
    Reds- .440
    Yankees- .520
    OPS:
    Reds- .827
    Yankees- .905
    OPS+
    Reds- 128
    Yankees- 136
    It’s tough to say those stats are cherry-picked. But the Yankees beat the Big Red Machine in all but one category, and they only trail in OBP by .001.
    Best ever? Who knows. But it’s certainly not absurd to put the ’09 Yankees in the conversation.

    Rex Manning Day September 29, 2009, 11:49 am
  • RMD: you’d really need to measure those statistics against the league averages, see how they deviate from the rest of the teams, and see if the differential is as great.
    And even then I wouldn’t care. I hate cross-era comparisons in general. The game 35 years ago was different (and the same, of course) in a number of ways. This is a hell of an infield, why the need to make some sort of proclamation about their greatness at the expense of other great players?

    SF September 29, 2009, 12:02 pm
  • wow.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 12:03 pm
  • Just a quick comparison with numbers compared against league average for that season (admittedly simplistic):
    1975 Reds
    OPS: .520
    League Avg: .429
    Differential: 18.6% above LA
    SLG: .440
    League Avg: .369
    Differential: 19.2% above LA
    OPS+: 108
    League Avg: 93
    Differential: 16.1% above LA
    2009 Yankees
    OPS: .843
    League Avg: .764
    Differential: 10.3% above LA
    SLG: .480
    League Avg: .429
    Differential: 10.7% above LA
    OPS+: 120
    League Avg: 99
    Differential: 21.2% above LA

    SF September 29, 2009, 12:14 pm
  • As this discussion continues, recall that the original post is quite modest and even genuinely self-deprecating when it comes to where the ’09 Yankees rank. Nothing is asserted other than that ranking the ’09 Yanks among the best is not “laughable”.
    Between that and arguing that there is no place for or merit in such historical rankings and comparisons I would hope there would be room for interesting discussion.

    IronHorse September 29, 2009, 12:17 pm
  • Of course, IH, hence why I went into the stats. I like comparing the eras, but I don’t like making judgments about who was better based on those comparisons. I like the juxtaposition of data a lot, though, and like you say it is great material for discussion.

    SF September 29, 2009, 12:19 pm
  • IH is right. You’ll also note that I concluded my post by saying “Best ever? Who knows. But it’s certainly not absurd to put the ’09 Yankees in the conversation.”
    Nobody in this thread has claimed that the ’09 Yankees are the best infield ever. We’re just pointing out that it’s not crazy to put them in the discussion.

    Rex Manning Day September 29, 2009, 12:23 pm
  • As this discussion continues please remember that the original post was very limited and even self-deprecating when it came to asserting any rank to the ’09 Yankees, going only so far on a limb as to say ranking them “among the best” may not be “laughable”.
    I would hope that between such a limited and frankly humble statement on the one hand, and the assertion that any historical ranking/comparison is impossible on the other, that there might be room for interesting debate.

    IronHorse September 29, 2009, 12:36 pm
  • RMD:
    As you can see, posting the 2009 numbers next to the 1975 numbers is insufficient. When you look at the differentials from league average, both teams come off extremely well, but the head-to-head comparison in the absence of how they stacked up within their own league at the time becomes moot, underdescribed by a great degree.

    SF September 29, 2009, 12:40 pm
  • Lord – I’m really sorry for the multi-post. B-berry issues. If someone has capacoty to dump 2 of the 3 please feel free. Sorry.

    IronHorse September 29, 2009, 12:45 pm
  • Ok, let’s use some stats actually designed for cross-era comparison.
    Found a database of historical Win Shares.
    1975 Reds:
    Perez, B, 18.7
    Morgan, 2B, 44
    Concepcion, SS, 19.4
    Rose, 3B, 30.5
    TOTAL: 112.6
    1927 Giants:
    Terry, 1B, 26.9
    Hornsby, 2B, 39.8
    Lindstrom, SS, 20.4
    Jackson, 3B, 23.8
    TOTAL: 110.9
    2009 Yankees:
    Well, I can’t access THT right now, but if someone else can, please add these.
    WARP3 (since ’54 only)
    1975 Reds:
    Morgan, 13
    Concepcion, 7.6
    Rose, 6.7
    Perez, 3.7
    TOTAL: 31.0
    2000 Indians:
    Alomar, 10.2
    Vizquel, 7.9
    Thome, 5.9
    Fryman, 0.1
    TOTAL: 24.1
    2004 Rangers:
    Texeira, 5.0
    Blalock, 4.6
    Young, 4.3
    Soriano, 4.3
    TOTAL: 18.2
    2009 Rays:
    Longoria, 10.0
    Zobrist, 7.5
    Bartlett, 5.2
    Pena, 4.1
    TOTAL: 26.8
    2009 Yankees:
    Teixeira, 8.0
    Jeter, 7.8
    Rodriguez, 7.1
    Cano, 7.1
    TOTAL: 30.0
    I enjoy cross-era comparisons like these because it’s fun to look at bygone teams and eras and compare them all. WARP and Win Shares and WAR all at least attempt to measure defense, but we really run into problems with historic defensive numbers, which are key to two of the four positions in question. OPS+ is helpful, but flawed in that it’s offense-only and shares the fatal flaw of its base stat in undervaluing on-base percentage.
    As we saw, WAR says the Rays’ infielders are better this year, while WARP says it’s the Yanks.’ Is it really possible that we have two potentially all-time great infields in the same division in the same year? More likely, I think modern stats are not yet able to properly assess the value of certain positions whose respective roles have changed drastically over time.
    I don’t think there’s any doubt the Yankees are in the discussion, but I remain doubtful, given the changes in the game over the decades, that shortstops from the past are being given their due.

    Paul SF September 29, 2009, 12:46 pm
  • interesting comparisons to league average in the different era’s – show’s how much the game has changed since 1975 (and I can’t believe how long ago 1975 was/is – not until I saw “35 years ago” did it really hit!)

    dw (sf) September 29, 2009, 12:59 pm
  • P.S FWIW, I’d take the current Ray’s infield over the Yankees infield right now, I think offensively they’re a wash (with Zorbrist at 2nd) and defensively they’re better IMO.

    dw (sf) September 29, 2009, 1:01 pm
  • “They are however, without question, the highest paid infield of all time, and it’s not even close.”
    It’s always about the money with you. Not sure how it’s relevant to the conversation but you always get it in there, don’t you?

    krueg reincarnate September 29, 2009, 1:28 pm
  • I never claimed it was totally sufficient. I swear, I was just posting interesting numbers.
    In the interests of wasting more time and avoiding work, I’ve switched over to some of BP’s “Adjusted For All Time” stats. So it won’t be perfect, but it’s at least a bit better than out-of-context raw numbers.
    Also, I added in the ’76 Reds, just for fun.
    EqA:
    ’75 Reds- .303
    ’76 Reds- .308
    ’09 Yanks- .318
    EqR:
    ’75 Reds- 404
    ’76 Reds- 431
    ’09 Yanks- 453
    BRAR:
    ’75 Reds- 204
    ’76 Reds- 224
    ’09 Yanks- 251
    FRAR:
    ’75 Reds- 157
    ’76 Reds- 164
    ’09 Yanks- 93
    WARP3:
    ’75 Reds- 31
    ’76 Reds- 34
    ’09 Yanks- 30
    The Reds kind of wipe the floor with the Yanks when it comes to fielding, at least by these stats, but offensively they’re pretty close. Which ultimately balances out to three teams which are pretty close in WARP.
    On a final note, Joe Morgan’s stats from those two years are insane. Alone he accounts for 24 WARP wins between 75-76!

    Rex Manning Day September 29, 2009, 1:33 pm
  • It’s always about the money with you. Not sure how it’s relevant to the conversation but you always get it in there, don’t you?
    That wasn’t what I was suggesting. I was pointing out that it’s much easier for any team, in this era, to put together the best of anything. Much more so than it was in different eras.
    I think it’s much more impressive to lay claim to the best of anything when you had something to do with actually developing it. The Yankees, of course, have Jeter, Cano, and Jorge, but the real talent in the infield (at the corners), are a product of this era more than a product of the Yankees.
    But I have agreed, I think they belong right in the heart of the conversation, but ignoring the differences is ignoring a major flaw in the argument.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 1:37 pm
  • Do you get the relevance now? Or, is free agency and money still not part of the discussion?

    Brad September 29, 2009, 1:40 pm
  • “P.S FWIW, I’d take the current Ray’s infield over the Yankees infield right now, I think offensively they’re a wash (with Zorbrist at 2nd) and defensively they’re better IMO.”
    Carlos Pena vs Tex
    Ben Zobrist vs Robbie Cano
    Evan Longoria vs A-Rod
    Jason Bartlett vs Jeter
    I am a big fan of Zobrist, but even with is stick in that IF the Yankees are still clearly better. You poll 10 people I can’t imagine more than 30% say they would choose the Rays IF over the Yankees.

    John - YF September 29, 2009, 1:43 pm
  • I guess I don’t see the point? Deciding who is better seems to have little to nothing to do with money. Did you break down the salaries of the other infields in question and how they compared to the rest of MLB in their time? Otherwise it sounds like more B-rad financial sour grapes per usual…
    I just don’t see how their pay is relevant.

    krueg reincarnate September 29, 2009, 1:44 pm
  • financial sour grapes? Where did I mention that at all? I just think in this era, it’s much easier to acquire the best third basemen in baseball when a team has the ability to offer him 300 large, then lay claim to building the best infield in baseball history. You don’t get that?
    You don’t see the cheapness in that at all? That Reds team may not be better than this NY team at all, but the fact that they were all part of that organization is way more impressive in my opinion. Of course, you feel differently, and that’s fine.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 1:51 pm
  • Deciding who is better seems to have little to nothing to do with money.
    This statment is exactly right. Money and free agency have nothing to do with who is a better player, but if you’re talking about orgainizations putting together a group of guys that should be included in the “best of” anything, money and free agency change things. It’s much easier nowadays to leverage that kind of thing.
    I think any one of us looked at the Yankees in Feb and realized that this infield was going to be absurdly good, mostly due to free agency and the money the organization committed to the team, and I’m not belittling that.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 1:57 pm
  • I’d simply like to point out that, this year at least, “the real talent in the infield” is not confined to the corners for the Yankees.
    WARP3:
    Tex- 8
    Jeter- 7.8
    Cano- 7.1
    A-Rod- 7.1
    Actually, in terms of these all-time adjusted stats, the Yankees are almost surprisingly well-balanced. They all have an EqA above .300, EqR above 90, BRAR above 50–heck, even their FRAR is consistently unspectacular, falling between 16-30.
    By contrast, the Reds’ WARP3 for ’75 varies between 3.7 for Perez and 13(!) for Morgan. EqA varies from .257 to .360, EqR from 65 to 137, BRAR from 16 to 92, and FRAR from 15 to 69.
    In some ways, it’s reminiscent of ’98. Not stats or results-wise, obviously, but I remember people at the time arguing that the ’98 Yanks couldn’t be considered “the best of all time” because they didn’t have any stand-out stars like the Reds or other teams did. I’m not sure you could say that the NY infield doesn’t have any stars, but statistically they’re all performing at very high levels. Nobody’s having a Morgan-esque season, but then, nobody’s dragging the rest down, either.

    Rex Manning Day September 29, 2009, 2:02 pm
  • Good point, Rex.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 2:12 pm
  • If anyone was giving credit to the Yankee organization for building the infield, your point would be quite relevant. As no one has given any credit to Brian Cashman, the Yankee FO, etc, but instead the discussion has centered solely on how this collection of infielders compares in terms of performance on the field to other collections across history, I don’t get the relevance at all. I don’t mean to be rude, but I think kr is right.
    Also, do the Yankees not get to take pride in the accomplishments of Babe Ruth simply because he didn’t come up through their system?

    IronHorse September 29, 2009, 2:18 pm
  • in response to John-YF who said”I am a big fan of Zobrist, but even with is stick in that IF the Yankees are still clearly better. You poll 10 people I can’t imagine more than 30% say they would choose the Rays IF over the Yankees. ”
    Of course they would, more people follow the Yankees. That said, looking at this year, the Rays IF beats the Yanks IF (1b 2b ss 3b) in terms of WAR 22.6 vs 20.8.

    dw (sf) September 29, 2009, 2:26 pm
  • Again, I have said numerous times that the Yankee infield clearly ranks as one of the best ever, but I hold firm to my belief that this infield is a product of this era in baseball when its possible to put together a collaboration of players with supreme talent on a year to year basis.
    I wasn’t in any way discouraging the way the Yankees put it together (kudos to them), but at other points in history, these great infields were all part of an orgainizaiton from day one (or close to it), and I happen to think that that is what makes it so impressive.
    Imagine being the scout that signed that Reds team? That’s clearly a wonderful thing to have done.
    This Yankee infield is awesome, but it just doesn’t register the same “holy shit” reaction I get when I look at that Reds team simply because of how much money and free agency has changed baseball.
    I liken it to the Cowboys. Before a salary cap, do you think it would have been possible to keep all that talent on one field? I say no, because players will chase the money over the uniform nearly every time, so we may never see a team as good as that one from top to bottom, and if we do, it’s much more impressive to me because of the cap.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 2:28 pm
  • If all we’re looking at is a collection of 5 players, who happen to wear the same uniform, and we’re ignoring all the different scenarios that brought them together, or ignoring the idea that money has nothing to do with the fact that they were ever brought together in the first place, then I will agree with you guys:
    These 5 guys are 5 of the best to ever play together for one regular season. I don’t even think that’s a question – they’re certainly on the list and close to the top if not on it.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 2:31 pm
  • Brad’s larger point, which is something I hadn’t considered, is that it is easier to buy collections of players today because of free agency.
    I’m not sure I agree, mostly because there is a long history of this happening in baseball — the AL was founded by rich men stealing star players from the NL (Cy Young, John McGraw), the Yankees took advantage of the cash-strapped Red Sox 20 years later (Babe Ruth, Carl Mays), and the Sox did the same to the A’s 15 years after that (Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove), and tried to again another 30 to 40 years down the road (Rollie Fingers, Joe Rudi).
    For that matter, in the early days of baseball, many of what we would consider the “home-grown” players were acquired via purchase from good teams who played for inferior, aka “minor,” leagues. For example, the Red Sox assembled one of the best pitching staffs of all time by purchasing Joe Wood from Kansas City and Ernie Shore and Babe Ruth from Baltimore.

    Paul SF September 29, 2009, 2:38 pm
  • Talking about money and modern baseball is just one of those swamps that discussions invariably get bogged down in. Nobody denies that money and free agency have changed the way teams are built, but at the same time, the very fact that everybody recognizes this makes it all the more frustrating when people point it out.
    Also, as a Yankee fan, I’ll admit that the fact that money is raised almost every time the Yankees are discussed gets kind of frustrating. It’s certainly a valid consideration in some discussions, but it’s become such a stereotypical criticism of the Yankees that regardless of situational merit, I just kind of sigh when it’s mentioned (which is always).
    PS. Lest we forget, Joe Morgan was the product of a trade, having spent the first 9 years of his career in Houston. Also, A-Rod has now been a Yankee for longer than Morgan had been a Red in 1975. :P

    Rex Manning Day September 29, 2009, 2:48 pm
  • Can someone post on the Sox pitching thread that Pedro, Curt, and others were all there because of the money?

    Lar September 29, 2009, 2:55 pm
  • Sort of strange to mention the two pitchers who were brought to Boston via trade, though, isn’t it, Lar?
    (Though Pedro was indeed extended for major bucks once he was here, and the Sox negotiated Schilling’s contract with him before he’d approve the trade. Still.)

    Paul SF September 29, 2009, 3:00 pm
  • Go Twins. What a game.

    IronHorse September 29, 2009, 3:03 pm
  • Can someone post on the Sox pitching thread that Pedro, Curt, and others were all there because of the money?
    Absolutely. No bones about it.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 3:04 pm
  • “Also, as a Yankee fan, I’ll admit that the fact that money is raised almost every time the Yankees are discussed gets kind of frustrating. It’s certainly a valid consideration in some discussions, but it’s become such a stereotypical criticism of the Yankees that regardless of situational merit, I just kind of sigh when it’s mentioned (which is always).”
    Well said RMD and B-rad is always the guy to bring it up. No where in this thread was money discussed, nor was it relevant. Yet, B-rad brought it up. Like he always does. It’s like a backhanded slight to not give the Yankees any credit.
    This thread was not about the “yankees” B-rad as much as it was about the individual players in the infield and how they relate to others. It has nothing to do with money, the franchises involved or anything else. It simply is about the collection of infielders. Why is bringing up their paychecks relevant? It isn’t.

    krueg reincarnate September 29, 2009, 3:52 pm
  • Why do you need to hyphen my name, Kreug? Is this a joke I’m not getting?

    Brad September 29, 2009, 4:29 pm
  • Why is bringing up their paychecks relevant? It isn’t.
    Okay, that’s your opinion, and I’m sure if I was in your shoes, I’d do everything in my power to avoid talking about the money too. I would never want to try to justify anything Yankee related because it aways comes back to the money, as Rex suggests. Strange how the rest of baseball does that.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 4:31 pm
  • I think we should table the arguments over money and go back to what really matters here–marveling at Joe Morgan’s insane 1975 season.

    Rex Manning Day September 29, 2009, 4:34 pm
  • It’s like a backhanded slight to not give the Yankees any credit.
    That’s not true, and is a dick thing to say. I didn’t bring it up as a slight to the Yankees, but rather as a slight to the system. I already admitted that standing alone, they’re 5 great players who happen to be on the same team this year. Probably one of the best teams, for a year, to ever play a season.

    Brad September 29, 2009, 4:35 pm
  • That season was disgusting, and I agree. I’m leaving this alone. Kreug believes that the money means nothing, and I believe it means everything. I bring it up, he shoots it down. It’s been going on forever.
    I’m sorry it got off topic, or on topic. :p

    Brad September 29, 2009, 4:42 pm
  • “Strange how the rest of baseball does that”
    Actually, by your own metric of what makes this relevant you have proven that it isn’t. The rest of baseball doesn’t do that, as evidenced by the fact that in this thread full of SFs and YFs alike, only you have done that. And I’m sorry but you do not represnt “the rest of baseball”. Indeed, if you want probably the clearest refutation of your line of thinking in this regard, consider Paul-SF’s comment above regarding different eras and money’s influence.

    IronHorse September 29, 2009, 5:28 pm
  • Furthermore, most of “the rest of baseball” would likely lump the sox and the yankees in more or less the same category as far as money goes. I have friends who are A’s fans who regard both teams as financial giants that they cant compete with in any way on financial terms. If the yankees are the 800 lb gorilla then the sox are the 600 lb gorilla.

    sam-YF September 29, 2009, 5:45 pm
  • B-rad means nothing…just a nickname type deal as in be rad?
    “That season was disgusting, and I agree. I’m leaving this alone. Kreug believes that the money means nothing, and I believe it means everything. I bring it up, he shoots it down. It’s been going on forever.
    I’m sorry it got off topic, or on topic. :p”
    Dude, I never said that the Yankees payroll doesn’t mean anything I just don’t think it means everything. You bring up the money constantly. We go back and forth on this because you bring it up, constantly. (of course you have been absent lately) This conversation had nothing to do with money, yet you brought it up. Then, once you are confronted, it’s my fault or you mix words. I’m sorry bro, but you seem to be one of those people that complain about the money the Yankees spend and it gets old. Especially when your team is not far behind when it comes to the very thing you love to bring up/complain about…

    krueg reincarnate September 29, 2009, 6:33 pm
  • i’m sick of the same old excuses…boston is no more little market than the yanks are big market…f-the money…half the yanks infield is home-grown…the other half is free agent…you guys cheaped out by a couple of mil over arod and tex, or you could have had them…oh yeah, i’m sure someone will remind me that jeter is still here because of the “big money”…don’t be so sure he wouldn’t have been here anyway for a few mil less…did the sox make a pitch for him…ha…
    “…Interesting though it is, I am not a big fan of this type of statistical cherry picking….” uh, yea you are paul…please, give me a break…you’re a statistical genius, but you’re the king of the cherry pickers….
    “…They are however, without question, the highest paid infield of all time, and it’s not even close…”
    that’s bitter brad…
    “…Okay, that’s your opinion, and I’m sure if I was in your shoes, I’d do everything in my power to avoid talking about the money too. I would never want to try to justify anything Yankee related because it aways comes back to the money, as Rex suggests. …”
    you want to make it sound like the sox don’t operate with the “yankee model”…they never spent over $100m for 1 pitcher?…half of that just to talk to him?…$20m for a clown left-fielder who left them at the altar, possibly sabotaging at least one season?…$14m per year for an average right-fielder who had one key at bat in the post season?…shortstop fiasco after fiasco for multi-millions?…ok
    seriously, sox fans that bitch about money sound like fools…04 and 07 were about money….period….you wouldn’t have had manny without money, you wouldn’t have had beckett if you hadn’t have sucked lowell’s money, drew, shilling, foulke, lugo [oops], et al….very few of your guys have been home grown…if you’re tampa bay, you can bitch, otherwise, stop…ok some of them were disguised as “trades”, aka money dumps, but the same effect…my apologies to those sox fans who don’t fit this profile…geez…straighten up your brethren…

    dc September 29, 2009, 9:19 pm
  • Go Twins!!! A single would tie the game here in the 8th off Verlander, who they’ve touched for 4 runs already.

    IronHorse September 29, 2009, 9:33 pm
  • This is so wrong. Everyone knows that The Best Infield In History was Don Mattingly, Willie Randolph, Bobby Meacham and Mike Paglaiarulo.
    Duh.

    attackgerbil September 29, 2009, 9:44 pm
  • They were so good I don’t even need to spell Pag’s name right.

    attackgerbil September 29, 2009, 9:51 pm
  • What the fuck is FRAR?

    SF September 29, 2009, 9:53 pm
  • FRAR: what gives guys like Miguel Cairo a lease on their career.
    or..
    Frightened Rodents Analyze Reductively
    Forgetful Republicans Ass-kiss Reagan
    Fly Right Amelia, Really
    Fantasy Ruins America’s Relegated past-time
    Fornication Runs Amok, Report (at 11)
    Fucking Rock And Roll!

    attackgerbil September 29, 2009, 10:16 pm
  • Wow, dc.
    Where in this thread did I EVER say that Boston isn’t exactly the same beast? I agree completely that they are, in fact, the same model of operation. Never once did I suggest that they aren’t. But, on the same note, nobody on here started talking about Boston having one of the “best of anything” this year, because if they had, I would have pointed out the same flawed analysis.
    I’m sorry you guys are so sensitive towards the money aspect of this, and I’ll try to not bring it up anymore as to not get everyone riled up, but lets be serious, there is no sense in pretending that my original stance on this isn’t true. Money buys the talent, which makes it possible to put players like this together. Be it in Boston or New York, or anywhere else. Powerhouses begets powerhouses nowadays. In two years, when New York offers the same 200m to Mauer, then we can have this discussion all over again, I guess.
    Here:
    Yes, you’re right. The Yankee infield this year is the best of all time. It’s a collection of supremely talented players who will go down as being one of the best infields of all time.

    Brad September 30, 2009, 8:39 am
  • “In two years, when New York offers the same 200m to Mauer, then we can have this discussion all over again, I guess.”
    I’m sure you will bring it up at least another 100 times before then, all the time ignoring the fact that your team offered the same players crazy money but they turned your team down. Not at all sour grapes though, right? Please.

    krueg reincarnate September 30, 2009, 9:07 am
  • Rex Manning Day September 30, 2009, 9:38 am
  • Again, I didn’t say that, Rex. You’re assuming I ignore anything. I argued that the Red Sox get Tex all winter, just as I’ll argue they go after Mauer. It only makes sense that a player takes more money with opt-out clauses all over the contract for them, man – it’s not sour grapes, at all. My frustration was clearly pointed at the Red Sox after that negotiation.
    I’ve never ignored the fact that the Red Sox are different in any way. Ever.
    If this thread was called “Red Sox pitcing, best of all time” (aside from being rediculous), I would have had the same exact problem with it.

    Brad September 30, 2009, 9:58 am
  • I have friends who are A’s fans who regard both teams as financial giants that they cant compete with in any way on financial terms.
    Then your Oakland friends are wrong, unless thay also consider the Mets, Cubs, Tigers, Angels, Phillies, Astros, Dodgers, Mariners, Braves, White Sox, Cardinals, Giants, Indians, Blue Jays, Brewers and Rockies to be similarly sized gorillas.
    Because all those teams are closer in salary to the Red Sox this year than the Sox are to the Yankees.
    Also, the Red Sox have the fourth-highest payroll in baseball, yet somehow no one talks about the Mets and Cubs as financial giants who bully their way around the market.
    I’m not taking Brad’s side in this, as my previous post makes clear, but to say the Sox and Yankees are anywhere near the same league in their spending habits is simply revisionism of the facts.

    Paul SF September 30, 2009, 10:21 am
  • but to say the Sox and Yankees are anywhere near the same league in their spending habits is simply revisionism of the facts.
    I am not interested in whining about the poor Sox and their huge disadvantage, but I also never understood the math-defiant fans who fail to acknowledge that the difference between $200M and $120M is significant. How well money is deployed is up to a front office and then players need to perform, but facts are facts: embrace them.
    Yankees fans are insanely lucky. Sox fans are extremely lucky. Pirates fans are not so lucky!

    SF September 30, 2009, 10:30 am
  • The only reason the Sox are in fourth is because their billionaire owner was petualant and failed to pony up $20 million/year for Teixeira.
    No matter the payroll discrepancy, the Sox can afford any player the Yankees can.

    joltin joe September 30, 2009, 10:35 am
  • “If this thread was called “Red Sox pitcing, best of all time” (aside from being rediculous), I would have had the same exact problem with it.”
    Your “hater” colored glassed have clouded your reading ability? IH doesn’t say they’re the best ever, actually he thinks it’s silly at first but the numbers are comparable. Not at all what you are saying but OK…and again, nothing to do with anyone’s paychecks.
    “I am not interested in whining about the poor Sox and their huge disadvantage, but I also never understood the math-defiant fans who fail to acknowledge that the difference between $200M and $120M is significant. ”
    Um…JJ said it best to retort this fallacy:
    “The only reason the Sox are in fourth is because their billionaire owner was petualant and failed to pony up $20 million/year for Teixeira.
    No matter the payroll discrepancy, the Sox can afford any player the Yankees can.”
    Well said JJ and exactly the point when this BS is brought up.

    krueg reincarnate September 30, 2009, 10:51 am
  • “The Sox can afford any player the Yankees can”.
    I don’t know if this is true, but it does raise the important counterpoint to much of the handwringing about the Yankees’ spending habits. To the degree that the Yankees benefit from revenues and/or a starting pool of resources that other teams do not, the system is unfair. And this is certainly the case for some if not all teams and their owners. To the extent that the Yankees’ ownership puts a higher percentage of baseball (and other owner-generated) revenues into the team than do others, then it is one reflection of a more committed ownership.
    I would like to see a clear-headed and balanced appraisal of the resources available to every team’s ownership (i.e. Including what the team earns as well as all other income streams for the ownership) together with the amount they spend (in real dollars and in percentage of total income/revenues). If someone is aware of a good and relatively recent treatment of this issue from that broader perspective, please forward it on. Then we can have a real conversation about who is on the bad end of a clearly unjust system, who is crying wolf while they retain fat reserves or profits, and who is in a bit of both.

    IronHorse September 30, 2009, 10:54 am
  • I would love to see that as well, IH.
    And no, Krueg, my hater glasses don’t glance over anything. I made the mistake of saying “best of”, when it should have been “one of the best of”, but Paul is right, 120 is not over or near 200 in any math class in Mississippi.
    Blame that on whatever you want, but they’re two completely different planets. Plus, if they had gotten Tex, that only makes it 137 a year, still down on the list.
    Man, I would have loved to get Tex.

    Brad September 30, 2009, 11:00 am
  • “The Sox can afford any player the Yankees can”.
    Any player, perhaps, but every player?
    Is your position that the Sox could have afforded to pay for Teixeira, Sabathia and Burnett this offseason, as the Yankees did?
    Of course, the main refutation to your argument that the Sox can afford “any player” the Yankees can is the fact that the Red Sox determined, ultimately, that they in fact could not afford to pay Teixeira the amount the Yankees were willing to pay him.
    And we’ll not get into the question about whether the Sox even had a realistic chance to sign Teixiera, which you are assuming but which Teixeira’s own statements refute.
    Again, not complaining, but it’s the way it is. The Yankees are spending $75 million more this year than the Red Sox. That’s not 1 and 1a, that’s 1 and 3, with the rest of baseball starting at 3a and below. I’m not sure why this is in dispute. The numbers are right there, and they’ve been this way for multiple seasons, AND we’re not even getting into the luxury tax.
    Look at this another way.
    Average Yankee salary, 2009: $7.75 million
    Average Red Sox salary, 2009: $4.09 million.
    The Sox are fifth in baseball by this metric, paying their openign day roster on average 53 percent of what the Yankees paid theirs. Again, these are the facts. I’m not saying the Sox are frugal, or that the Yankees should not be allowed to do this, or in any way bemoaning the situation. But this whole pretending that the Sox and Yanks are somehow on the same level strikes me as either completely ignorant or completely disingenuous.

    Paul SF September 30, 2009, 11:16 am
  • “I’m not sure why this is in dispute.”
    It isn’t. We have the highest payroll. But to act as if the Sox are at any disadvantage because of it is ludicrious. See IH’s post.
    “But this whole pretending that the Sox and Yanks are somehow on the same level strikes me as either completely ignorant or completely disingenuous.”
    See IH’s post. The Sox have the money, management/ownership has decided not to spend it. That’s not the same as not having it. Not even close. The Sox are not the Nationals or Padres. Give me a break.

    krueg reincarnate September 30, 2009, 12:07 pm
  • Every year, Forbes calculates the value of every baseball team (annual revenue in parentheses):
    1. Yankees- $1.5 billion ($375m)
    2. Mets- %912 million ($261m)
    3. Red Sox- $833 million ($269m)
    4. Dodgers- $722 million ($241m)
    5. Cubs- $700 million ($239m)

    30. Marlins- $277 million ($139)
    Here’s each team’s player expenses as a percentage of the team’s overall value:
    Yankees- 16.8%
    Mets- 17.2%
    Red Sox- 19.8%
    Dodgers- 19.1%
    Cubs- 20%
    Marlins- 16.2%
    And here are player expenses as a percentage of annual revenue:
    Yankees- 77.4%
    Mets- 60.1%
    Red Sox- 61%
    Dodgers- 57.3%
    Cubs- 58.6%
    Marlins- 32.4%
    So, there you go. The Yankees make a LOT more money than everybody else, and are worth a LOT more too. As a proportion of overall value, they actually spend slightly less on players than the other big spenders in the league, but this probably isn’t a great metric since team value includes debt ratios and whatnot.
    As a proportion of annual revenue, the Yankees spend considerably more than anybody else in the top five. In fact, because they’re spending so much, the Yankees are actually operating at a $47.3m loss, and have been since ’04 (the Sox are operating at a $25.7m profit, though last year they took a $19m loss).
    I don’t really know the point of all this, though. Teams in big markets make more money, and can therefore spend more money. And yes, the Yankees do invest more of their revenue in players than other teams, by quite a bit. But I would have thought everybody on this site would have come to grip with these facts a long time ago. It seems silly to dredge it all up like this.
    Just as an aside, if Boston spent the same proportion of its revenue on players as the Yankees do, their payroll (which for Forbes includes bonuses and whatnot) would be $208m.
    And if NY spent the same proportion as the Marlins, their payroll would only be $105.8m. Which would almost pay for this year’s infield (1B-3B+Posada and CC)!

    Rex Manning Day September 30, 2009, 12:14 pm
  • Well there you go…RMD comes through with the knowledge. Nice.

    krueg reincarnate September 30, 2009, 12:20 pm
  • But to act as if the Sox are at any disadvantage because of it is ludicrious. See IH’s post.
    But OF COURSE they are at a disadvantage because of it. To deny such is completely loony. How can it NOT be an advantage?
    Contra this, lamenting the disadvantage as some sort of horrible injustice is similarly silly. It exists, and it probably will for the indefinite future. We all need to acknowledge it and accept it.
    RMD: does Yankee “revenue” include YES? Does Sox “revenue” include NESN?

    SF September 30, 2009, 12:20 pm
  • “But OF COURSE they are at a disadvantage because of it. To deny such is completely loony. How can it NOT be an advantage?”
    Because the Sox CHOOSE not to spend the money…not that they don’t have it. Is there not a big difference there?

    krueg reincarnate September 30, 2009, 12:21 pm
  • not that they don’t have it
    We just won’t ever know this, the teams’ finances are opaque. But this is true: the Yankees are worth more, have more assets, have deeper pull and revenue. They are more powerful company, a more popular franchise, and logic dictates that if they are run competently they have greater resources. Logic does not dictate that the Sox have equivalent resources.

    SF September 30, 2009, 12:29 pm
  • Bottom line, crying about $$$ as a SF is pathetic. Yes, the Yankees have more money but the Sox are not the Brewers. That’s all I’m trying to say.

    krueg reincarnate September 30, 2009, 12:33 pm
  • Im hesitant to get involved in this discussion for the umpteenth time but it should also be noted that the MLB payroll alone is not the correct output to be looking at for comparison of teams on-field expenditures. The sox (and yankees) use their financial muscle in creative ways that arent picked up on the total yearly payroll. DiceK’s posting fee is the prime example of this. If you pro-rate what the sox payed in a posting fee across his contract thats another $8.5 mil annually. Costs such as draft signing bonuses and high profile international prospects free agents also arent included in this annual calcualtion. The sox are agressive in their expenditures in these areas and have much more to spend than the other teams. Comparing them to the Blue Jays, the Brewers, and the Indians as Paul did above is disingenuous. In the system that baseball has set up, the Sox are clearly in the top of the pack as far as financial might. The Yankees are in their own league but hearing sox fans complain about it is kinda laughable since much of the rest of baseball can level the same complaints towards the Red Sox.

    sam-YF September 30, 2009, 12:36 pm
  • SF- I had assumed so originally, but maybe not. YES isn’t mentioned in the Yankees write-up, and I think it’s technically a separate entity in which Stein is a majority owner.
    Back when it looked like YES was getting sold, its 2006 revenue was estimated at $340m, though nobody knows for sure because it’s privately held. It’s also unclear how much of that revenue is diverted to the ballclub.
    Forbes’ Boston write-up mentions NESN as being owned by the Red Sox owners, but doesn’t specifically say if its included in the calculations.
    So, in summary: I don’t know. I don’t think YES is included for NY, and can’t really tell about NESN.

    Rex Manning Day September 30, 2009, 12:43 pm
  • Sam- The Forbes calculations at least take into account all the bonuses and fees, and are therefore higher than the standard payroll numbers normally cited.

    Rex Manning Day September 30, 2009, 12:45 pm
  • Rex- I know they do but these arent the numbers being tossed around by others above. When you look at the forbes numbers the sox rank number 2 in player expenditures and are $25 mil ahead of any team not from the City of New York. So no, they dont resemble the Brewers or the Blue Jays financially in any way shape or form.

    sam-YF September 30, 2009, 1:00 pm
  • Upon further review, it appears that cable rights are included in the Forbes calculations. So YES’ total revenue isn’t included because it’s technically independent of the Yankees, but the fees it pays to the Yankees to broadcast games is included.
    I’m still not sure about NESN, because it looks like its ownership is more closely tied to the team itself.
    Whew.
    Also, because I like fiddling with these numbers, I came up with a little hypothetical.
    Imagine the teams are all individuals. If the Yankees-guy (Lou) was making $100,000 per year, the Red Sox-guy (Ted) would be making $71,700. The Marlins-guy (Ernest), meanwhile, would be pulling in $37,000.
    In this imaginary world, Lou would be spending $63,000 on whatever is standing in for player expenses in this metaphor. Ted would be spending $44,000, while Ernest would be spending $12,000.
    So, yeah. I’m not really sure why I got into this discussion, because I think it’s silly, but oh well. Hey, did you know that Joe Morgan stole 60 bases in 1976 while slugging .576? Crazy.

    Rex Manning Day September 30, 2009, 1:44 pm
  • “Imagine the teams are all individuals. If the Yankees-guy (Lou) was making $100,000 per year, the Red Sox-guy (Ted) would be making $71,700. The Marlins-guy (Ernest), meanwhile, would be pulling in $37,000.”
    Let me add a third guy, his name is Dick and he makes $25,000, plus what he gets in revenue sharing. He then takes the $25,000 he made, plus the revenue sharing and in turn spends $5,000 and watches his team finish in last again this year. But why does he care he still nets over $25,000 in profit.
    The money argument is so tiresome. The Yankees spend the most because they make the most. You want to make more, spend more and then people will come to the games, buy your merchandise etc…The Braves are in the middle of a Wild Card race and they are pulling in an embarrassingly low amount of fans each night. So either petition Bud Selig or deal with there being no salary cap. And for the 1,000,000 time there are two things teams like the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox should never complain about: 1, how much the other guy is spending and 2, injuries depleting your team. When you spend $158 million plus, you should have padded for injuries.
    Next can we discuss how Derek Jeter has no range???

    John - YF September 30, 2009, 1:58 pm
  • The money argument is so tiresome. The Yankees spend the most because they make the most.
    I agree with this John. What annoys me (and it isn’t a major annoyance, to be clear) is that there is a contingent of fans who think that this isn’t some sort of advantage. OF COURSE it is an advantage.
    The caveat is when this term “advantage” is modified by the word “unfair”. It is at that point that the argument from SFs turns sour for me. The advantage is systemic. It was an advantage that the Steinbrenners assumed risk to acquire. And it is an advantage that MLB, the PA, and Steibrenner’s fellow owners have all, in some way, been complicit in creating. I don’t find it unfair. But denying that this advantage exists, as some of your fellow YFs seem to want to do, isn’t reality.

    SF September 30, 2009, 2:05 pm
  • much of the rest of baseball can level the same complaints towards the Red Sox.
    Again, much of the rest of baseball is closer to the Red Sox in payroll than the Red Sox are to the Yankees. That’s not disingenuous. That’s a fact. Now there may be differences in the effects between $135m-$210m and $135m-$65m, but that’s not the point. In pure dollars, much of the rest of baseball would need to spend less money to catch the Red Sox than the Sox would need to catch the Yanks.
    Now, the Red Sox do, as you point out, use their financial might in ways that don’t show up in the payroll. They invest heavily in foreign markets, the draft, etc. But that’s something the Yankees also do and is so cost-effective that every team in baseball can and should be doing the same thing. There is nothing keeping the dregs of the league, even if their payroll is in the bottom third of baseball, from spending exactly what the Sox spend on the draft and in foreign markets. That they choose not to is not the Sox’ — or the Yanks’ — problem.
    Fans of a lot of other teams like to group the Sox and Yankees so they can feel better about their own corrupt ownership that won’t loosen the pursestrings or their own inept management that can’t win despite having the money to do so. Some Red Sox fans like to complain about the Yankees while ignoring the Sox’ own financial superiority because it makes them feel better about finishing in second place so often.
    And some Yankee fans, inexplicably, like to pretend that their team is not outstripping the rest of baseball in expenditures to an enromous degree. Regardless of the reasons — more revenue, bigger market, more committed ownership — it’s true.
    And, Sam, the Forbes numbers RMD linked to show the Sox at the same roughly $70m behind the Yanks in overall “player expenditures” while leading the Mets by just a couple million dollars. I’m just unclear as to what numbers you’re citing.

    Paul SF September 30, 2009, 2:17 pm
  • Understood SF, but it’s an advantage that just about any team, if run properly could obtain if they really wanted to. I am middle class because I went to school to be a teacher. I knew that when I signed up for college. I knew that at most I might top off at 3 figures by the time I was 50 if not later in life. I certainly cannot sit her and be pissed off at my friends because they have bigger houses than me and nicer cars, that was my choice. Now to some degree that’s slightly flawed because NY is the largest market in the sport, but overall the theory works. You need to invest time, money and efforts to make your product work. Problem is there are teams out there that HONESTLY don’t care if they win or lose because under the current system they will make money regardless. I am happy with my education degree, I am happy with the monetary reward that comes along with it. Do I want a Mercedes? Sure, but I knew 15 years ago when I chose my career path I’d never have one. It’s choppy, but you get the point.

    John - YF September 30, 2009, 2:24 pm
  • “Again, much of the rest of baseball is closer to the Red Sox in payroll than the Red Sox are to the Yankees. That’s not disingenuous.”
    In theory sure, that’s 100% correct, but do you think Pirate fans feel that way? The six teams that spent over $100M this season are all in a neighborhood of their own. Granted some have houses with gold faucets and wine cellars, while other use chrome and home bars, but the neighborhood and the home are all relatively the same. Imagine trying to look the guy who lives in the trailer outback “Don’t hate house B, they are much closer to being like you and their living accommodations are more like your trailer than house A.”
    We are blessed that our owners spend the money they make. Why do we need to take it one step further and separate the RICH from the REALLY REALLY RICH.

    John - YF September 30, 2009, 2:36 pm
  • I’m making the distinction because of this comment Sam made:
    Furthermore, most of “the rest of baseball” would likely lump the sox and the yankees in more or less the same category as far as money goes.
    I think he’s right that maybe those fans would. But my argument is and has been that those fans would be wrong.
    Then there’s Krueg’s argument that “to act as if the Sox are at any disadvantage because of [the payroll disparity] is ludicrious.”
    To extend that to your analogy, John, you may live in the same neighborhood as the McMansion down the road, but if you both collect antique cars, and you both have your eye on the same one, you’re going to be at a disadvantage every single time. Which simply means you have to be smarter in leveraging your still-impressive resources to focus on, I don’t know, building your own cars or getting fixer-uppers you can afford to take a loss on. The analogy breaks down a bit. But you get the point.
    Krueg would say, based on his comments upthread, “You live in the same neighborhood as me, so you clearly have money, so if you can’t outspend me for the three latest antique cars that came up on the auction block, that’s your own fault.”
    That’s obviously ridiculous. The Red Sox are indeed fortunate to live in a great neighborhood, but let’s not pretend that puts them next door to the Yankees.

    Paul SF September 30, 2009, 2:44 pm
  • ” there may be differences in the effects between $135m-$210m and $135m-$65m, but that’s not the point.”
    I disagree. This is precisely the point, the “have nots” can barely field competitive teams at $65 mil and that difference means more at the lower levels than it does at the higher numbers. Im not arguing that the yankees dont have a financial advantage over the sox and its a big one but I dont seem to see how you cant see that the sox also have a big advantage over the rest of baseball too.
    The numbers I cite Paul said that the after the yankees the sox are number 2 in player expenditures and other than the mets its a full $25 mil more than any other team in baseball. This is almost the full payroll of some of the teams at the bottom. You seem to want to keep directing the comparison back to the yankees but my point is that the Sox enjoy quite an advantage over most of the teams in baseball and certainly over the 3 other teams in the division.

    sam-YF September 30, 2009, 2:53 pm
  • Agreed Paul, well said…Ok, fine they are in the complex, but not next door. I can live with that.

    John - YF September 30, 2009, 2:54 pm
  • “There is nothing keeping the dregs of the league, even if their payroll is in the bottom third of baseball, from spending exactly what the Sox spend on the draft and in foreign markets. ”
    I also totally disagree with this statement. Their lack of resources are precisely what prevents other teams from spending the amounts the sox and yankees do in these two markets.

    sam-YF September 30, 2009, 2:54 pm
  • but it’s an advantage that just about any team, if run properly could obtain if they really wanted to.
    I fundamentally disagree with this statement. The Red Sox have advantages over many small market teams for reasons of popularity, market, history, media conglomeration, etc. The Yankees have similar, wider advantages. Just “trying harder” isn’t the answer to the Royals or the Pirates’ ills, which is what this statement implies. Could the Pirates spend more than they do? Maybe – I am not privy to their finances. But I highly doubt that just running the team better is going to give them the ability to contend, consistently, that teams with resources like the Yankees, Cubs, Sox, Mets have already.
    (I am guessing we disagree on how heavily inheritances should be taxed, John!)

    SF September 30, 2009, 3:06 pm
  • “There is nothing keeping the dregs of the league, even if their payroll is in the bottom third of baseball, from spending exactly what the Sox spend on the draft and in foreign markets. ”
    I also totally disagree with this statement. Their lack of resources are precisely what prevents other teams from spending the amounts the sox and yankees do in these two markets.

    THIS is a really interesting debate. My reflex is to think that Sam is completely right on this, that Paul’s assertion is flawed for the simple reasons that resources are limited. But what if these teams did a very deep cost-benefit analysis of investing in farm and foreign systems? Say a team has a payroll of $60M annually, and say that team decides that the nominal return on, say, $5M in payroll was insignificant, and instead deployed that to scouting, player development, and foreign outreach. And say that extra $5M per annum, over the course of five years, brought an additional 2 or 3 ML-caliber players into their system over those five years. What would the arbitration savings be? What would avoiding the free agent market be worth, for those positions? And what if the players were above-average, would the return become exponential?
    Paul’s assertion, on the surface, seems wrong. But I am not sure that teams think that far ahead, and thinking further ahead might actually determine that Paul’s assertion could, in fact, be right on.

    SF September 30, 2009, 3:11 pm
  • “But I highly doubt that just running the team better is going to give them the ability to contend, consistently, that teams with resources like the Yankees, Cubs, Sox, Mets have already.”
    The Rockies are in contention yearly and they seem to spend significantly less money than the Yankees, Cubs, Sox, etc…The Twins contend every year, more or less. The Pirates are run poorly. Same can be said for the Royals. Sure spending more money would bring in a few more pieces, but they are rotten from the core up. There are teams that stink, but have good systems in place. Good baseball people in place, then there are the Pirates and Royals. The Royals took a step forward when they hired Trey, but he’s not a miracle worker. You can’t be bad at baseball operations and be cheap. One or the other and you can survive, both and you are the Pirates. Just look at the Mets and how they wasted 158 million dollars this season. So while you don’t need to spend to win, you don’t necessarily win because you spend.
    (This is something I did for fun prior to the season beginning. It’s just to prove that just because you spend, doesn’t mean you spent it wisely)
    The Yankees spent a ton of money this offseason on pitching, there’s no denying that. But when you look at the numbers, who is spending their money more wisely in 2009? and who is spending more in total? See below for all the details. (The information was compiled by me and is accurate and up to date as of 2/14/09)
    Mets Vs Yankees: 2009 Pitching Payroll
    Mets Starting Pitchers
    1. Johan Santana: $20,000,000 (3.18)
    2. Oliver Perez: $12,000,000 (4.09)
    3. John Maine: $2,600,000 (3.99)
    4. Mike Pelfrey: $1,250,000 (4.00)
    5. Freddy Garcia/Tim Redding/Livan Hernandez: $1,500,000 (Can earn up to $6,500,000 more in incentives in 2009)/$2,500,000/$1,000,000 (4.24/5.21/5.01)
    Total: $41,350,000 without FG’s Incentive/$47,850,000 with FG’s Incentives
    Yankees Starting Pitchers
    1. CC Sabathia: $14,000,000 (3.01)
    2. AJ Burnett: $16,500,000 (3.86)
    3. CM Wang: $5,000,000 (3.90)
    4. Andy Pettitte: $5,500,000 (Can earn up to $6,500,000 in performance based incentives in 2009) (3.98)
    5. Joba Chamberlain: $390,000 (3.10)
    Total: $41,390,000 without Pettitte’s incentives/$47,890,000 with Pettitte’s incentives
    Mets Bullpen
    1. Francisco Rodriguez: $8,500,000 (2.84)
    2. JJ Putz: $5,000,000 (3.58)
    3. Duaner Sanchez: $1,687,500 (4.03)
    4. Pedro Feliciano: $1,612,500 (3.88)
    5. Sean Green: $405,000 (4.29)
    6. Brian Stokes: $402,000 (Stokes is out of options, so he’s is most likely to fill final spot in bullpen) (5.11)
    7. The seventh spot would be a long man: either Garcia, Hernandez or Redding
    *Billy Wagner $10,500,000 (On DL to at least August, but still counts towards salary total)
    2009 Total: $28,107,000 (That’s not including the long man, since he was charged towards the starting rotation due to uncertainty of who it would be)
    Yankees Bullpen
    1. Mariano Rivera: $15,000,000 (2.71)
    2. Brian Bruney: $1,250,000 (3.89)
    3. Damaso Marte: $3,750,000 (3.72)
    4. Edwar Ramirez: $400,000 (3.57)
    5. Jose Veras: $400,000 (4.03)
    6. Jonathon Albadalejo: $400,000 (4.03)
    7. Alredo Aceves/Brett Tomko/Jason Johnson: $400,000 (4.09/NA/4.80)
    2009 Total: $21,600,000
    *Projected ERA’s are in parentheses
    Mets Pitching Payroll (without incentives): $69,457,000
    Yankees Pitching Payroll (without incentives): $62,990,000
    Mets Pitching Payroll (with incentives): $75,957,000
    Yankees Pitching Payroll (with incentives): $69,490,000

    John - YF September 30, 2009, 3:21 pm
  • SF’s scenario is exactly what I’m saying, and I think it’s basically been proven at this point. The poorer-performing teams also get to draft higher, so assuming some level of competence on that end, they should actually have a better shot at surer prospects than the Sox and Yanks do.
    Until the last year or two, there were very few teams willing to spend big money on the draft. Now we’re seeing teams with low payrolls — and presumably poor resources — opening up the wallets for high-end draft picks. There’s a reason for this, and it will continue to result in a leveling of the playing field as those teams then lock up most of those budding stars to long-term, lower-money extensions.
    The main difference the Sox and Yanks both have is that they can do this, and then afford to go out and fill in holes with free agents. I have never said the Sox didn’t have an advantage, Sam. They obviously do. I’m arguing that they and the Yankees should not be grouped together well ahead of the pack. The Yankees stand alone, while the Sox are in a group of four to five teams with plenty of money and a desire to spend it (just not as much as the Yanks). If small-market fans want to complain about the Yanks and Sox, fine. Just don’t leave out the Mets, Cubs and Tigers, too, just because their management isn’t as savvy as New York’s or Boston’s.

    Paul SF September 30, 2009, 3:27 pm
  • Krueg would say, based on his comments upthread, “You live in the same neighborhood as me, so you clearly have money, so if you can’t outspend me for the three latest antique cars that came up on the auction block, that’s your own fault.”
    That’s obviously ridiculous. The Red Sox are indeed fortunate to live in a great neighborhood, but let’s not pretend that puts them next door to the Yankees.
    Obviously ridiculous? Well OK then, I guess that settles it…the Sox are a poor little team that cannot possibly keep up financially with the big, bad Evil Empire. Got it.

    krueg reincarnate September 30, 2009, 3:31 pm
  • Got it.
    Clearly you don’t, and at this point I have no interest in helping you.

    Paul SF September 30, 2009, 3:35 pm
  • Come on Paul, don’t be sour bro…

    krueg reincarnate September 30, 2009, 3:45 pm
  • This thread has gotten exceedingly tiresome.

    Rex Manning Day September 30, 2009, 3:52 pm
  • don’t be sour bro…
    Let’s make a deal: I won’t be sour if you won’t deliberately distort my position. I think that’s fair.
    This thread has gotten exceedingly tiresome.
    I have never, regardless of the debate or the fan affiliation of the poster, understood comments like this. It’s not particularly helpful, to either your aims (of not having a tiresome discussion) or anyone else’s (of having an interesting discussion without being dumped on by those who find it tiresome).

    Paul SF September 30, 2009, 4:10 pm
  • Wow, I never thought I’d be happy that my son was in the longest 9 year old soccer tournament of all time. And I hate soccer. But at least I got to miss the Sox-Yanks series – AND this thread. The playoffs need to start soon so we all have something real to talk about.

    rootbeerfloat September 30, 2009, 4:21 pm
  • Quite so, RBF. Quite so.

    Rex Manning Day September 30, 2009, 4:29 pm
  • I hate talking about Yankees and Red Sox…
    :)

    John - YF September 30, 2009, 4:33 pm
  • John- – I’ll trade you. You take the next soccer tournament. I got you a seat next to the screeching moms.

    rootbeerfloat September 30, 2009, 4:52 pm
  • I get screeching Moms (and Dads) all spring and summer, I will pass thanks though. Although I have never been to a live soccer game, match, game, what’s it called? LOL.

    John - YF September 30, 2009, 5:01 pm
  • don’t be sour bro…
    Let’s make a deal: I won’t be sour if you won’t deliberately distort my position. I think that’s fair.
    I would argue you have done the same thing to me. Another agree to disagree is in order I believe?

    krueg reincarnate September 30, 2009, 5:29 pm
  • “I knew that I might top off at 3 figures by the time I was 50″.
    Clearly you guys all missed the core issue here. John-YF is only making somewhere between $100 and $999 a year! My lord – someone start a collection!!

    IronHorse September 30, 2009, 8:44 pm
  • “…But this whole pretending that the Sox and Yanks are somehow on the same level strikes me as either completely ignorant or completely disingenuous….”
    nice… paul can’t make his point so he hits us over the head with it…sf’s, these same old worn-out tiresome debates about money should be retired forever…generally, our 2 teams are among the financial elite who regularly compete for the top free agents…your guys came close with arod and tex for example, and swept away everyone with the dice-k bid…you also blew everyone away with the drew contract…or, correct me if i’m wrong, you were the only suitor for drew…sf is making the most sense from the sox perspective…we don’t really know what teams “make”, or how much they can reasonably commit to talent acquisition…it’s a safe bet that the yanks make more, and can spend more, than the sox, but this poor stepchild act some of you invoke when you finish second, whether it’s for the division, a free agent sweepstakes, or the collective talent assessment of our current infielders, is worn out…try whistling a different tune…suggested topics for the next thread: jeter’s range, cologne, girlfriends, or how easy it is to hit homeruns in the new ys, and your theory for how it’s possible…mine is a giant wind machine that is turned on only when the yanks are up to bat…damon has it on the high setting for his at bats…i love a good conspiracy…

    dc September 30, 2009, 10:55 pm
  • You know I say that all the time IH…I was speaking to a Senior player last year who wanted to go into Accounting (like my wife) and I said it’s a great field, yada yada yada, in no time you’ll be making 3 figures. He laughed and said coach, 3 figures? Six, Six, Six, damn it it’s a mental block! Thanks for making me laugh IH!

    John - YF October 1, 2009, 10:26 am
  • Final tally— Rays IF WAR-23.6, Yankees 21.5

    Ben October 7, 2009, 1:06 am

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