The Florida Marlins continued their dominance of bargain-bin baseball, taking two out of three against the Washington Nationals over the weekend and maintaining their first-place standings in the National League East in the process.
More importantly, the Marlins held onto their decided advantage in the running for the first-ever Tired Huddled Masses Award, also known as the Cheapskate.
Obligatory review: the Cheapskate will recognize the Major League Baseball franchise that does the most with the least in the 2008 season. To wit, the four MLB teams with the lowest annual salaries (in descending order: Pittsburgh, Oakland, Tampa Bay, and Florida) will each have their salary divided by 162 to create a price-per-game; that figure is then multiplied by the number of games played to date to create a total spent to date; that figure is then divided by the number of wins to date to identify money spent per win.
Here are the numbers.
Total salaries (according to this list published by the Associated Press):
Tampa Bay $43,820,598
Cost per game:
Tamp Bay $270,497.52
At the end of the season, the team that has spent the fewest amount per win will be presented with the Tired Huddled Masses Award, aka the Cheapskate.
Through three previous updates, the Florida Marlins, with their paltry $21,836,500 annual salary, have held the top spot in the Cheapskate standings. What’s most impressive about the Marlins is that they have turned their Dollar General ballclub into one of the top teams in the league, holders of the third-best record in Major League Baseball and the top team in the NL East.
Oakland continues to be the No. 2 team in the Cheapskate, and after losing three in a row last week, the Athletics bounced back to take three-straight over the weekend, putting them in a tie for first place in the AL West.
Tampa Bay continues to hold the distinction of being better than the Pirates, as the Rays have lost five of the last seven. They now have a day off before starting 15-straight games against AL East opponents, including six-each against Boston and Toronto; in summation, the Rays aren’t likely to improve their standings in the division or the Cheapskate anytime soon.
But the Rays can probably feel pretty confident that they’ll stay ahead of the Pirates, who have now lost five in a row, including a weekend sweep in Chicago. Up next for Pittsburgh is a pair of two-game series against Cheapskate kings Florida and division foe St. Louis, so the losing streak could very likely keep growing. And if that happens, the Pirates could get back to their “million dollar per win” status from the first Cheapskate standings.
The Pirates even suck at being cheap.
Standing: 1st in NL East
Games back: 0
Money spent per win: $220,570.71
Standing: T-1st in AL West
Games back: 0
Money spent per win: $493,488.95
Standing: 5th in AL East
Games back: 4.5
Money spent per win: $642,431.61
Standing: 5th in NL Central
Games back: 5
Money spent per win: $783,575.92