World Series: Fall classic for the rich?
Then again, the Yankees’ last championship in 2000, dubbed “the subway series by New Yorkers, was derided almost everywhere else as a contest between “payroll #1 (the Yankees) and payroll #2” (the Mets). Where did that leave smaller markets?
Fans in Milwaukee, Kansas City, Oakland, Pittsburgh didn’t share the Big Apple’s excitement and the much-hyped series turned out to be the lowest-rated World Series in history, according to Fox Sports.
that consistently sign high-priced free agents from the so-called “flyover states.”
Last winter, the Yankees secured former Milwaukee Brewer pitcher C.C. Sabathia with a $161 million contract (over seven years). Then, former Toronto Blue Jay fire-baller A.J. Burnett was happy to take $82.5 million (over five years) from the Yankees.
Finally, first-baseman Mark Teixeira got $180 million (over eight years) to relocate his family to Manhattan after stints with the Angels, Braves and Rangers.
On the other side of the country, Joe Torre’s Dodgers spent $45 million (over two years) to retain left-fielder Manny Ramirez.
Aside from the St. Louis Cardinals, all the other division leaders (Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Phillies and Dodgers) have payrolls exceeding $100 million. However, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told the Los Angeles Times that he doesn’t see any disparity in baseball.
“I take great exception to that,” Selig said. “I think this year is an aberration. In the last five years, I think we’ve had as much competitive balance as we’ve ever had. Am I concerned that we’re back to where we were in the ’90s? We’re a long way from that.
“I don’t think this year has discouraged me one bit. I know I’m right, to be frank with you.”
Lew Wolff, the owner of the Oakland Athletics, said: “This is not a blip. I hope it’s an aberration, but I’m not sure it is. If it’s not, we’ll have to tweak the labor agreement.”