Sunday, October 2, 2011


"How can you not be romantic about baseball?"

This little writeup is dedicated to a friend who doesn't believe in Moneyball and, thus, only follows sports with salary limitations.

I finally saw Moneyball Saturday night and it was amazing. I had to restrain myself from cheering at times. If you haven't seen it yet, go. Peter Brand reminded me of myself, though I'm not quite overweight and don't have the fancy degree from Yale. So if any general managers out there are reading this and want an assistant, I'm available.

Expensive players are not always the best, so more money does not always buy more wins. The eight 2011 playoff contenders consist of two bloated market teams, four near-average payroll teams, and two true Moneyballers.

2011 Postseason Bracket

The Yankees and Phillies have the most expensive payrolls in the American League and National League, respectively, so many expected them to have the best records at the end of 2011. The Diamondbacks took the NL West even though they had the sixth poorest payroll. The Rays took the AL Wild Card and only the Kansas City Royals had a lower payroll than them.

If money paid for wins, like so many people believe, then this is how the 2011 postseason should look like:

2011 Postseason Money Bracket

The Red Sox were in the hunt for the AL Wild Card, but fell in dramatic fashion. The Angels and Giants fought for a playoff slot, though came up short. The White Sox, Cubs, and Mets didn't even break the .500 mark.

Payroll win efficiency. I will expand on this subject later.

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