Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Gold Glove for Coco!
It's plays like the one he made tonight that are the reason we continue to watch the game, even 'though the Red Sox are doing... whatever it is that they're doing right now. Thanks for making things at least marginally interesting, Coco. And hey, Josh Beckett didn't let his gently sliced fingertip keep him from pitching a quality game. That was nice to see. Of course he was paired with Dougie again, which indicates that maybe someone up there is paying attention finally?
The problem was, and is, offense.
Which is to be expected. Check this out.
The lineup we had on Opening Day had a payroll of $60,306,830.
The lineup we're fielding right now has a payroll of $23,33,000.
That's a difference of $36,975,830. Nearly 37 million dollars in difference.
The Red Sox are a $120 million team. Figure their starting lineup to be about half of that, as it was on opening day, and we've gone from having the players you would expect to find on the team with the second-highest payroll in baseball to fielding the financial equivalent of the ROYALS. I'm not even kidding. The Royals team payroll is about $47 million. $23 million, what our starting lineup tonight is collectively making, is about half of that.
The guys we have on the field have been whittled down by 37 million dollars'-worth of baseball player meat. The difference between what our lineup made when healthy and what our current lineup makes is, in and of itself, still higher than the overall payrolls of two teams: the Devils Rays ($35 mil overall) and the Marlins (an unreal $15 mil overall... Manny Ramirez by himself is making more this year than the entire Marlins roster. Boggles the mind).
Now I know that salary is not an indication of how good or bad a player is. Some guys are making way too much and skewing it; some guys are making the league minimum* just because of their age, not their ability. Heck, the Marlins, with that puny payroll, are playing some darn good ball right now.
But the fact of the matter is that the Red Sox are not hitting like a $120 million ballclub right now, and it's at least in part because they are no longer fielding the equivalent of a lineup that is on a $120 million team. Just something to think about.
And, incidentally, another reason why all this mess isn't Tito's fault. You show me the manager who has the ability to prevent about 43 million dollars'-worth of injuries to his players and I'll show you someone who's really lucky, or has magical powers.
*I got all the salaries off of ESPN.com and the team payrolls from the Hardball Times. For a few of the Sox ESPN had N/A as their listed salary; I'm assuming that means they're making the league minimum? Two of them (Carlos Pena and Dustin Pedroia) were in the lineup tonight, so obviously my numbers will be off a little if that assumption was incorrect.
Labels: baseball, Coco Crisp, injury, MLB, numbercrunch, Red Sox