Small Market Crybabies: Cincy Reds Edition

Onan CocaContributor INovember 9, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 9:  Aaron Harang #39 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park  on August 9, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News has watched more baseball in his lifetime than I probably ever will, what with his career revolving around baseball and mine...not so much.  However, his recent blog post to the Dayton Daily's online sheet proves just how little he actually understands the modern game.  He whines...I mean...writes, that small market teams cannot compete in the MLB with what he calls "the Big Bucks League".  Mr. McCoy believes that the Cincinnati Reds cannot compete because of ther miniscule ($73.5 Million) payroll.  

Some of the teams that the Reds cannot HOPE to compete with in this Big Bucks League? Oh, there are the usual contenders; the Yankees, Mets (yes, the 7th worst record in baseball, Mets), Red Sox, et al.  There are some surprising teams on his Big Bucks list too; like the Astros and Mariners
What McCoy does not point out is that for the last decade or so the Reds have been run like the Titanic. 

They have consistently made bad baseball decisions and built teams that would make the Bad News Bears seem like a model franchise.  In his article he points out some glaring issues with his team's construction... Why, oh, why are the Reds paying CoCo Cordero so much money to close for a non-contender?  Generally, closers are needed for teams who will win more than lose.  Why have the Reds not yet traded Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo both of whom make way too much money for their production.  Harang has value as the potential is there for him to return to top flite form (maybe), but the only way to mine that value it to trade him. 

Near the trade deadline the Reds made a move to bring in Scott Rolen...WHY? Yes, they rid themselves of the black hole that was Edwin Encarnacion but in his place they put the expensive, declining, and oft-injured Scott Rolen?  All together theses 4 players make $46 Million...more than half of the Reds there a more blatant mismanagement of payroll in the major leagues (well, maybe in Houston or Seattle or Chicago)?

What about some of the other team not in McCoy's "Big Bucks League"?  Let's mention a few notables here; the Rays, Marlins, A's, Twins,  Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Braves, and Rockies

The Rays went to a World Series with a $46 million payroll. 

The Marlins have competed over the last few years with a payroll that is less than they get from revenue sharing at around $35 million. 

The A's consistently (2009 discounted) compete in the AL West with a payroll never above $79 million. 

The Twins should remain unspoken because any doubt that the Twin franchise is one of the elite in the American League is ridiculous, even with the Twins consistenly "tiny" payroll. 

The Cardinals are consistent NL Central powers under $100 million, in fact McCoy overestimates their 2009 payroll in his article according to USA Today the Cardinals 2009 payroll was about $77 million (a mere $1.5 million more than Cincy). 

Somehow with this "meager" payroll St. Louis defeated the "mighty" Chicago Cubs whose payroll was almost $135 million. 

The Diamondbacks have a considerably more talented roster, with a deeper farm system at about the same payroll as the Reds.  Also, the D-backs are consistently expected to compete in the NL West. 

The Rockies payroll is comparable to Cincinnati's, yet the Rockie's talent is superior and the Rox have consistently been more productive on the field than the Reds.  Why is that Mr. McCoy? 

The Braves barely fit in McCoy's "Not-so Big Bucks League" but has their been a more consistent picture of competetion over the last 20 years? 

I assume that the gist of Mr. McCoy's short, whiny, rant is that the MLB needs to install a salary cap. (Why, why, why do the journalists...the so-called voices of the proletariat...always carry the water for the rich , fat-cat owners?) This is the wrong way to attack "the problem".  A cursory look at the NFL, NBA, and NHL show that the salary cap has not fixed the issue of league parity (the only thing it has done is make the owners even richer).   What issue most greatly affects "parity" in all pro sports leagues?  The Front Office.  Better management means better on field productivity.  (More proof here that owners LOVE salary caps )

So Mr. McCoy please henceforth investigate, report, then form an opinion.  When you form an opinion then fit facts to your story the message often becomes your most recent article.  Not to mention it's just not good journalism.