Two days of action did little to affect the standings in the running for the first-ever Tired Huddled Masses Award, also known as the Cheapskate, presented annually to the Major League Baseball team that spends nothing and wins the most by doing so. In effect, we are recognizing the MLB franchise that does the most with the least.
According to this list published by the Associated Press, the four MLB teams with the lowest salaries in 2008 are:
Tampa Bay $43,820,598
Through a tedious-but-not-complicated formula (which is explained in previous posts), the Cheapskate standings are determined by the amount each team spends per win; the team with the lowest cost-per-win at the end of the season will be named winner of the Cheapskate.
Based on the prevailing theory that money buys success in Major League Baseball, you could extrapolate that these four teams should be among the worst in the league. But that’s not exactly the case, as Florida and Oakland sit on top of their respective divisions.
Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, on the other hand, suck terribly. They’re not even getting their money’s worth, as the crap the Pirates put on the field on a nightly basis is not worth $49 million.
Still, the Pirates do have some moments of success, such as last night when they halted their six-game losing streak with a win over the Cheapskate-leading Marlins. But that win did little to draw the mighty Buccos out of the basement, as Pittsburgh is still spending over $760,000 per win through 20 games in the 2008 season.
And the win also did nothing to draw the Pirates out of the NL East cellar, either, where they now lie comfortably. Rest easy, old man; you’ve had a long journey to the bottom over the past 20 games.
Elsewhere in the Cheapskate running, Tampa Bay took a game from Toronto last night to improve their cost-per-win, while Oakland lost to Minnesota to add a few dollars to their average.
Standing: 1st in NL East
Games back: 0
Money spent per win: $224,655.35
Standing: T-1st in AL West
Games back: 0
Money spent per win: $518,163.40
Standing: 5th in AL East
Games back: 5
Money spent per win: $601,105.73
Standing: 6th in NL Central
Games back: 6
Money spent per win: $761,809.93