World Series: Fall classic for the rich?
Then again, the Yankees’ last championship in 2000, dubbed â€śthe subway series by New Yorkers, was derided almost everywhere else as a contest between â€śpayroll #1 (the Yankees) and payroll #2â€ť (the Mets).Â Where did that leaveÂ smaller markets?
Fans in Milwaukee, Kansas City, Oakland, Pittsburgh didnâ€™t share the Big Appleâ€™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 â€śflyover states.â€ť
Last winter, the Yankees secured former Milwaukee Brewer pitcher C.C. Sabathia with a $161 million contract (overÂ seven years). Then, former Toronto Blue Jay fire-baller A.J. Burnett was happy to take $82.5 million (overÂ five years) from the Yankees.
Finally, first-baseman Mark Teixeira got $180 million (overÂ eight years) to relocate his family to Manhattan after stints with the Angels, Braves and Rangers.
On the other side of the country, Joe Torreâ€™s Dodgers spent $45 million (overÂ 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 doesnâ€™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.”