A Shift in Power: Major League Baseball’s Biggest Payrolls

For the first time in a very very long time a West Coast team has snatched the top spot for the Major Leagues’ biggest spenders.   The Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to surpass the long time spending champion New York Yankees in 2013.  Some estimates predict the Dodgers will spend close to 215 million dollars this year in payroll expenses.  The Yankees come in a close second at 210 million dollars; however, the significance of this shift in power is monumental for the game of baseball.

Teams out East have always spent more then teams from the West. For years, Major League Baseball has refused imposed a salary cap, allowing teams like the Yankees and Red Sox to outspend their West Coast counterparts by a ridiculous margin.   This however, is no longer the case (hooooray)..  The spending gap in baseball is a well-documented phenomenon, and there is no surprise in that regard. What is surprising is the top three teams in terms of spending in the last 30 years have been from the East Coast.

Team Payroll Averge Median
New York Yankees $ 197,962,289 $ 6,186,321 $ 1,937,500
Philadelphia Phillies $ 174,538,938 $ 5,817,964 $ 1,875,000
Boston Red Sox $ 173,186,617 $ 5,093,724 $ 1,556,250

Source: http://www.stevetheump.com/Payrolls.htm

In my opinion this has caused big problems for the MLB.  Teams with dinky payrolls simply cannot compete with these spending giants in a 162 game season because baseball is a game of endurance and attrition.  This wealth gap has caused teams with smaller payrolls to fall by the wayside.  City’s that host these teams have simply lost interest in the sport, and overall, this will hurt the Major League in the long run.

The bottom line is that imposing a salary cap is a no brainer.  Look at what it has done for the NFL—the parity has done wonders for the game.  What the MLB doesn’t realize is that a level playing ground will ultimately result in a more vested interest from cities that, as of now, could probably care less about their professional baseball teams.

Sometimes in life you have to take what you can get; and if the MLB doesn’t want to impose a salary cap, ill settle for a West Coast team being the league biggest spender.  Hopefully, this shift in power will result in more exposure for West Coast teams and get fans back in the game.

What do you think?? Are you glad the West now outspends the East? Or do you think Major League Baseball should impose a salary cap?  Feel free to let the comments fly.

AL West – Are the Angels the best team in the AL?

Looking at a rundown of the AL West rosters and you are instantly drawn to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the same ones that swooped up Josh Hamilton for a cool $125 million this winter after already doling out a $240 million dollar contract with arguably the games best hitter – Albert Pujols – last December. So pencil those two in for at least 60 home runs this year.

Owner Arte Moreno understands that you have to invest in the teams infrastructure in order to sustain success. An organization has to develop AND spend in order to annually contend – especially considering the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude that dominates the game. This winter’s fire sale of the Marlins showed just how devastating bad management can be to a fan base. Patience is no longer an option. So after finishing second to the A’s in a brutal stretch at the end of the season, the Angels went out and had a giant winter that included the acquisition of Tommy Hanson – a personal sleeper pick for me – who is coming off am injury-plagued 2012 that saw him regress. He has the potential to be an above-average major league starter and joins a rotation that already boasts Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. Expect big things to come on both sides of the ball

This team has pitching, hitting, speed and power – all for like the next eternity in terms of baseball contracts – so please take a seat and enjoy the show. We’re going to be here for a while. I think Mr. Moreno sent a message that he wants to win; that he is dedicated to Southern California and bringing a championship to Anaheim or LA or whatever it is, and that we can do battle with the AL East boys any day.

But all the credit can’t go to the money spent on free agency and the person who signs off on the paycheck. We’re going to spread the love to the scouting department as well. Fans were witness to one of the best rookie seasons in all of Major League history when Mike Trout showed us what all of the scouts have been talking about – a true five-tool player – who is expected to continue on his development as a Major League Star. Another one?  How about Mark Trumbo. People forget about the 32 home-runs that he hit last year.

Read it out loud:

Albert Pujols

Josh Hamilton

Mike Trout

CJ Wilson

Jered Weaver

Mark Trumbo

Tommy Hanson

Ride ‘em into November.

Vegas has them as a seven-to-one odds to win the World Series – second only to the Nationals who have a legitimate shot to win it all as well.

What’s your bet?

TV and Sports: The Untold Truth

When it comes to TV air time, there is no doubt that the East coast is king.  It seems as though every nationally televised game is either a team from New York or a team from Pennsylvania.  But why is this?  Why does it have to be so lop-sided? Furthermore, what effects does this have on teams from the West coast, especially those at the collegiate level?

I mentioned in a previous post that the main reason West cost teams live in the shadow of East coast teams in terms of TV exposure is the numbers.  Just like many things in life, it boils down to money and media outlets like ESPN, CBS, and FOX are all business.  The truth remains that the West is outnumber in population and it makes better business sense to cater to the East coast’s larger population.

Showing sports on TV is a business, and one can’t really blame the big networks for showcasing to a bigger market. What usually goes unnoticed, however, is the effects it has on teams out here in the West.  I know from personal experience, that the teams you watch on TV when you’re a kid, the teams you’re inundated with on a constant basis, are usually the teams that you fall in love with.  This simple fact has tremendous consequences for West coast college teams trying to recruited players from the East.

Take the South Eastern Conference for example.  College football is by far the largest sport consumed by Americans via television, and the SEC dominates the airways. This has resulted in an unfair advantage as the SEC continues to attract the top prospects making it much more difficult for other conferences to recruit competitively.  Furthermore, this is not a two-way street. Top prospects from the East coast generally don’t make the trip across country to West coast teams, while many top prospects out West head East for the SEC in order to take advantage of the additional exposure.

To me, this is a tragedy and, unfortunately, it has gone unnoticed for far too long.  The big networks should work on providing equal opportunity for teams to showcase their abilities on a national stage and provide a more level playing playingfield.  Ultimately, this issue needs to be addresses. Otherwise, we risk compromising the integrity of the games we as a country love so dearly.  Feel free to leave your comments and let me know if have noticed a bias TV sports coverage as well. What do you think would be fair??

Let’s Talk Championships: EAST vs. WEST

To me, there are two fundamental factors that differentiates the good teams and the great teams. Sure, some teams win a few championships here and there, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there are great teams.  The best teams win multiple championships and leave behind legacies.  There are only a select few in each sport.

So the real questions here, is who has the best teams in all of professional sports? There is certainly no denying that the East coast has their fair-share of hall of fame players and legendary teams, but I’m here to argue that the West coast can stand toe to toe with the East in this regard.  The best way to determine who has the edge is to compare the best teams from the three primietime sports: baseball, football, and basketball.

In football, the Pittsburg Steelers hold the title for most super bowls, with 6.  Out West you have the 49ers with 5.  One could argue that these teams are comparable because each teams winning percentage in the big game is quite similar, with the 49ers at .833 with a record of 5-1, and the Steelers at .075 with a 6-2 record. In my opinion, this one’s a draw. What these teams did in the 70’s and 80’s has yet to be matched, and they stand alone in the category of best football teams.

Basketball has a similar story.  Lakers come in a close second to the Celtics with 16 and 17 championships respectively.  The kicker here, however, is that LA has been in the championship a total of ten more times then Boston!!  To me the winner is clear here.

Unfortunately, not much can be said in defense of baseball.  There isn’t a team close to the Yankees, who have a total of 27 World Series titles.  I do think it is worth mentioning here, that what the San Francisco Giants and Las Angeles Dodges lack in championships—when compared to the Yankees– they more than make up for in history and hall of famers.   What do you guys think? From the big three (NFL, MLB, and NBA), who has the best teams, the east coast or west coast??? Feel free to leave your comments below.

In Sports, the West Coast is the Best Coast

For all you sports fanatics out there that have spent the majority of your life west of the Rocky Mountains, there a good chance you’ve been just as frustrated as I have with the undeniable East Coast biased portrayed by popular Sports Networks such as ESPN.  If this is the case, then this blog is for you.  The ultimate goal of this blog is to provide its readers with an in-depth look at sport teams that reside on the west side of our wonderful country. Simply put, I want to show the West Coast some love!

Now, I’m not here to say that I’m an expert on every sport, but I do indeed have a sports background—as limited as it might be. I fell in love with sports the day my Dad signed me up for football and baseball at the early age of seven years old.  In high school I letter in both football and baseball for three years and was named 2nd Team All-League my junior and senior year in baseball. After high school, I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to play baseball at the College of San Mateo where I pitched for part of the 2007 season.  Throughout these experiences, I learned the intricacies of the games that I love, and therefore, feel as though I can speak about them intelligently.

After my sports career was over and my education became the highest priority, sports became my biggest hobby and fills much of my free time.  I’ve become an avid fan and watch my teams play whenever and wherever I can.  What I’ve noticed over the years in my conversations with other fans is that many people east of the Mississippi have no idea just how good the sports are out here in the West. Can’t say I blame them, either.  Why would they, considering the major networks don’t give West Coast teams nearly as much air time as they do for their East Coast counterparts. On ESPN it’s all about the Yankees and Red Socks, the NY Giants and the Cowboys, the Heat and the Celtics.  Where are is all the national coverage for the great West Coast teams like the SF Giants who have won 2 out 3 World Series Championships? And how is it possible that the NFC West was arguably the best division this year in football and no one other then the fans of those teams knows about it? I could go on all day with this kind of media bias!

The truth is it boils down to numbers.  The East Coast is a much bigger market and it makes better businesses sense to tailor networks to the more profitable market.  But is this fair? Does this have an impact on the future of west coast sports? In the coming weeks I will attempt to answer these questions in hopes of shedding a little light on the value of West Coast sports.   Be sure to look for updates and read my posts if you love the West Coast like I do.