Thursday, October 27, 2005

Baseball's wins-for-the-dollar champs and chumps.

The White Sox have swept the Series, congratulations, good for them, but as my team was eliminated back around last July we move on to other things.

There's always much talk about victory in baseball being bought, as teams have very unequal budgets and payrolls (unlike, say, NFL football, which has revenue sharing and teams with roughly equal payrolls in markets big and small).

Thus, to see who's done best on an equalized basis, it can be fun to look at which teams won the most (and fewest) games per dollar of payroll. Here are the numbers for this past season.

To be more accurate, the figures just below show marginal wins per marginal milllion dollars of payroll. That is, every team must have a payroll of at least about $10 million (due to labor agreement rules -- and that is in fact about the lowest payroll level of the very lowest-paying teams of the last decade) while the minimum amount of wins such a team will have is about 40 (see the famous 1962 Mets, or the 2003 Tigers who strove to match them but faltered with some late wins to end with 43 victories, still a 20-year low for the major leagues.)

So what we have here is how many wins over 40 each team achieved this past season on average for every additional million dollars of payroll over $10 million.

The teams with the most and least wins per additional million dollars during the 2005 season...

And, yes, before anyone goes all sabremetric on me I know these numbers aren't perfect, they don't account for unbalanced schedules and so on. But they are good enough for now to show the big picture -- and to give Yankee haters some satisfaction.

Here's the list for all 30 teams (with payroll data and final standings)