Monday, May 19, 2008

Gutter: Cheapskate teams hit struggles

It’s been five days since the last Cheapskate update, and all four of Major League Baseball’s lowest-salaried teams have not been faring well. Tampa Bay, who had won six in a row heading into last Wednesday (the day of the most recent Cheapskate update), lost to the Yankees that day, and though they rebounded with a win over the Bronx Bombers and then took the first game of a series in St. Louis, the Rays then dropped the final two games against the Cardinals and have fallen to second place in the AL East.

Florida has continued to struggle, despite sitting on top of the NL East and the Cheapskate. The Marlins avoided a four-game sweep by the Reds only with help from God, as the final game of the series was rained out on Thursday. The Marlins then hosted pitiful Kansas City for a weekend series, but that didn’t go well either, as the Royals took two of three. Florida is still one game ahead of New York and Philadelphia in the NL East and over $200,000 ahead of (behind?) anyone else in the Cheapskate.

Oakland’s struggles continued over the final half of last week, and the once-hot A’s have now lost five of their last six and seven of their last 10 after getting swept in Cleveland and dropping two of three in Atlanta over the weekend.

As for our hometown Buccos, they still haven’t been able to cross that .500 threshold. Winning just one game in Chicago over the weekend was exactly one more win than I thought they were capable of in the Windy City, but they’ll need to make a statement in the upcoming six-game homestand (vs. Milwaukee and the Cubs). Seems to me that this is the exact kind of homestand that usually dashes all hopes of a successful Pirates’ season: late May, against back-to-back divisional opponents, sitting just under .500. Usually that scenario leads to a 1-5 performance that kills any optimism that might have been lurking about.

This week we’ll get a Cheapskate divisional tussle when the Athletics host the Rays. After that series, Oakland gets the Red Sox at home, while Tampa Bay comes back home to host Baltimore. For the Marlins, this week has two NL West teams coming to town, starting with the hot Diamondbacks to start the week and the terrible Giants to end it.

Just to refresh, the Cheapskate rewards the team that is able to spend the least amount of money per win. Here are the numbers we’re working with.

Total salaries (according to this list published by the Associated Press):

Pittsburgh $49,365,283
Oakland $47,967,126
Tampa Bay $43,820,598
Florida $21,836,500

Cost per game:

Pittsburgh $304,723.97
Oakland $296,093.37
Tamp Bay $270,497.52
Florida $134,793.21

We’re rewarding value-based mediocrity and the teams that get the most out of spending the least.

Now on to the standings:

Record: 24-19
Standing: 1st in NL East
Games back: 0
Money spent per win: $241,504.50

Record: 25-19
Standing: 2nd in AL East
Games back: 1
Money spent per win: $476,075.64

Record: 24-21
Standing: 2nd in AL West
Games back: 1.5
Money spent per win: $555,175.07

Record: 21-23
Standing: T-4th in NL Central
Games back: 6
Money spent per win: $638,469.27

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bet there have been a lot of chagnes since May 19th, if only I could read about them.