$$$$ = Wins - WRONG
$$$$ = Wins - WRONG
The five teams with the highest payrolls in baseball are struggling. Proving that money alone doesn't make for winning. If these "elite" teams are not in last place in their divisions as I write this story, they have been in recent weeks. Check out the standings of Yankees - Red Sox - Phillies - Angels - Tigers, and see where they are. They're all hovering around .500 baseball with the Red Sox at .489, the Tigers .467. If the season ended today - your MLB division winners in the AL would be the Orioles, Indians, Rangers and in the NL, Braves, Cardinals, and Dodgers.
To make it worse, three of the top five - the Phillies, Red Sox and Angels are in and out of last place in their divisions. To say these "aristocrats" are struggling is an understatement.
Here's the teams with the highest five payrolls on opening day.
Yankees - $200,203.004
Phillies - $173,953,939
Red Sox - $173,186,619
Angels - $154,940,524
Tigers - $132,276,000
Its even more glaring because beginning this year, a second Wild Card team is being added in each league, making entrance to the post season easier. Last week after the Owners meetings MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was asked by reporters his thoughts on why the top payroll teams are off to such slow starts. "It's fascinating," he said. "I've thought a lot about it. I go over the standings every day. There's no question this is happening, but each team is different. It's very surprising, but I'm not sure there is an answer." Other baseball experts, asked the same question were much more specific. One baseball insider said, " the answer's simple. Young teams like the Orioles, Nationals, and Indians are maturing and playing with youthful energy and motivation. The Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies - while perennial contenders, winners, have older players - players who haven't performed - a lack of production from their veterans, veteran players now on the downside of their careers, plus injuries in the mix have GM's and mangers scrambling for answers, and "replacements."
Of interest is the fact that the Orioles payroll ranks 20th, the Indians 24th, and the Rays 25th among the 30 MLB teams.
We know the seasons still young. More than four months remain to play baseball. If teams with "superstars" don't rebound - end up in post season play that will be the story of the 2012 baseball season. On the other hand, seeing the Orioles, who haven't had a winning season since 1997, atop the rugged American league East, and the Nationals playing so well has added a measure of interest and excitement to this seasons play. Meanwhile the Tigers, opening day favorites to win it all this season by virtue of the presence of MVP-Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, and the free-agent signing of slugger Prince Fielder, haven't clicked. As of today they're in 3rd place, 5 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central Division, playing below .500 baseball (.467)
We're only 40 plus games into the season but this much we know. Baseball's "big spenders" aren't getting their money's worth. Proving once again that money doesn't buy, Happiness - Health - Love, or "BASEBALL GAMES."Larry Upton
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