Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Cars

Rany Jazayerli, he of baseball authorship, pens about the demise of the Yankees. First, I think it unseemly to dance on another's grave, especially so when they have previously danced upon your'n so regularly. Second, baseball, being a game of mean reversion, sometimes exorcises strange demons and no birthright or copyright guarantees the Red Sox either a division or world title in 2014.

In the world of baseball economics, the fantasy "wins/dollar", the Red Sox pummeled the Bombers, but both New York and Boston have a long way to go to catch Houston. Houston may have had only 51 wins, but spent 29.3 million dollars, .574 million dollars per win.

The WC Red Sox 177.2 million dollars for their 108 (including post-season) wins, 1.646 million per win. But the Yankees, they of the 237 million dollar payroll, spent 2.79 million dollars per win, almost five times as much as Houston. Texans celebrate your frugality amid plenty.

The beauty of being a big-market team is either in savoring the success of excess or the misery of bad judgment. Spending megabucks allows GMs to make a flurry of bad decisions without consequence. "Eat all you want, we'll make more." Matt Thornton at seven million for two years, no big deal. Ellsbury at 22 million a year? A bargain at twice the price. Plus you get the drama of A-Rod in "New York Legal", Mark Teixeira on "Comeback Mountain", and Derek Jeter, the Captain, working "True Grit" as he clings to shortstop like a six-year old with his favorite teddy bear. Win or lose, it won't be boring.

The Red Sox won't be boring either. New faces at catcher, shortstop, and center field will test the 'strength up the middle' adage, although front office insecurity could still return Stephen Drew or even put Matt Kemp in play. David Ortiz is angling for another extension (wouldn't the Qualifying Offer be tantamount to the same?) and the Contract Year guys should provide plenty of drama, too.

The Duck Boats are put away...and they'll be packing up the truck any day now.

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