With the ALCS and NLCS fully underway, many are considering the postseason to be completely wide open. The Brewers and Rangers are trying to score the first World Series win for their respective franchises, while the Tigers and Cardinals are trying to return to the World Series for the first time since they were both there in 2006. But with the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies all gone, this year’s postseason still has fans scratching their heads.
It’s fitting that the movie “Moneyball” hit theatres right before the postseason. The film shows how an Oakland team used an unorthodox drafting strategy to get wins for a small market team.
New York, Boston and Philadelphia are the opposite of small market. They have the highest salaries in baseball — all over $150 million. On the contrary, the Tigers and Cardinals are just over $100 million, and the Rangers and Brewers fall just under that.
This just goes to show that money alone does not win championships.
The Red Sox have always been good at developing young players. Kevin Youklis and Dustin Pedroia are prime examples of that. However, when the signing of Carl Crawford turned out to be a huge bust, it made the team look bad. A miserable September collapse looked even worse.
“Greatest pitching rotation ever” is a term that was seriously used to describe the four top pitchers on the Phillies. Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee were all acquired with expectations of sending them to a World Series, but they couldn’t even get an NLDS win in a five game series against a Cardinals team without one of their best players, Matt Holliday.
Finally, the team that has always been built around money, the New York Yankees, struggled in the playoffs. Their pitching staff was average and they didn’t try to get another arm before the trade deadline. Usually, a lineup like the one New York has would be able to bail them out — not after the way A-Rod, Teixeira and the others were hitting. They were not the clutch hitters they needed to be.
All three of these amazing ball clubs couldn’t get it done when it mattered the most. Maybe after this year’s postseason, they may start changing the way they build their team.