Monday, September 21, 2009

Astros "dumb"

Well, it's not said exactly like that, but Richard Justice drills it pretty close.

What the Twins do is so simple it's amazing others don't follow their lead. They hire smart people and give them the resources to do their jobs. They promote from within. No player, no manager, no coach, no executive is larger than the organization.

McLane's concerns are coming at a time when parity is taking a beating. Money is again dictating the standings.

Five of the top seven payrolls—Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, Phillies—seem to be headed for the playoffs. The Tigers lead the Twins by three with 13 to play, so don't change that channel.

When you throw the Dodgers into the mix, six of the projected playoff teams are in the top nine in terms of payroll. The only exceptions are the Cardinals (17th) and Rockies (18th). These are opening day payrolls. The Cardinals probably will finish the season ranked above 17th after the mid-season additions of Matt Holliday, Mark De Rosa and Julio Lugo.

On the other hand, two of the three biggest spenders—Mets and Cubs—won't be in the playoffs. Neither will the Astros (eighth), Mariners (10th), Braves (11th), White Sox (12th) and Giants (13th).

Of the nine teams that began the season with $100-million payrolls, the Mets, Cubs and Astros are the only clubs not going to the playoffs—unless the Tigers continue their fade.

The Mets, Cubs and Astros might argue that money guarantees you nothing, especially if you spend money foolishly. It's one thing to throw millions at Miguel Cabrera or C.C. Sabathia, another to throw it at Kaz Matsui and Milton Bradley.

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