2009 Payroll Purgatory: From Bad To Worse

Jay BermanCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2009

Funny thing about big league payrolls. They tend to be higher in bigger cities...and those cities tend to have teams higher up in the standings. As of right now...this couldn't be more true. 

Of the eight highest 2009 Major League payrolls, seven of them, if the season ended right now...would be in the play-offs. So much for Bud Selig's "parity" and equality for smaller market teams. Realistically, Bud's far fetched, borderline "communistic" view of the way baseball is currently constituted, is incredibly wrong.

Sure the Yankees and their ridiculous payroll haven't won since 2000. But that certainly doesn't mean the system is correct and thus healthy. In fact, the Yankees NOT winning if anything HURTS baseball. Not easy to say considering my allegiance lies in Queens.

I've always argued that for baseball to be "fixed" and ultimately cured of all monetary ills, the Yankees need to win every season. I liken it to fans of a struggling team NOT showing up to the games to get their point across.  Strong actions are usually followed by change.  This would show the rest of baseball that the Yankees have an unfair advantage, which they do. They just haven't been able to figure out how to use their advantage wisely. 

Now to the part about standings and payrolls and all that jazz! According to Cots Baseball Contracts, (http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/) the Yankees payroll this season is north of 206 million. No surprise they are in first place in the AL East. Number two on the list is the Mets at 139 million. They are the only team in the top eight with zero chance of making the post-season this year.

The Cubs are next at just under 138 million. They currently sit atop the NL Central. The Tigers and their 129 million dollar payroll stand in the fourth position on the list and have the lead in the AL Central. Number five is the Phillies. Absolute locks to win the NL East behind their 127 million dollar payroll. 

The Red Sox spent 122 million on players this season. They are the American League Wild Card leaders at the moment. And finally both Los Angeles teams lead their respective divisions, the Angels spending 116 million and the Dodgers cashing in at 109 million. 

There is one team that would qualify for the post season that is NOT in the top eight in payroll. It would be either the Giants or the Rockies. The two NL West rivals are tied for the NL Wild Card lead. San Francisco has a payroll right in the middle of the pack at 88 million. (14th out of 30) And the Rockies are 21st with 74 million spent on players.

There ARE examples of medium market teams winning World Series. The Marlins did so in 2003 and the Cardinals in 2006. But these are the exception rather than the rule. And they have done nothing but hurt baseball's chances of getting healthy because Selig uses them as examples of how RIGHT baseball is. But don't let Bud fool you. He KNOWS things aren't correct, but he just chooses to tell you about the things he thinks are good. Quite ironic considering his job is to perform everyday duties for the betterment of the game. HA!!! What a joke. 

This season might be the worst AND best in the history of baseball. Worst because only the rich can win and the best because only the rich can win. I hate the Yanks, but I love baseball. So I guess I have to root for them. I think it's the only way baseball can ultimately be fixed.  Or for Bud Selig to get a pink slip. I think we know which will happen first!