Jays Have the Bling?

If you read Richard Griffin's article today, you'll notice quite a few pithy barbs thrown in. A few short, curt sentences that seem to indicate that Griffin thinks 1) Jays management are, on the whole, retarded, and 2) They are on even ground financially with their competition.

"It was not planned."
"No excuses."
"The heat is clearly on Ricciardi."

If you read the article carte blanche, it seems quite convincing. You'd think, 'Wow! 100 million dollar payroll? Griffin is right, these Jays should be kicking ass and anything less than kicking ass makes no sense. They've gone from 50 million to 100 million? That's a tonne of new money!! Kick some ass Jays!!' But Griffin leaves out some pretty key information.

The article seems to suggest that payroll disparity is now non-existant -- thereby no longer a mitigating factor in Toronto's quest for the postseason. It puts the Toronto franchise in a bubble, ignoring everything that is going on around the league, it's as if only Toronto's payroll has risen in the past five years. It makes one reading think that Toronto's ponied up the cash to even themselves out on stagnating franchises around them. While it is true they've opened the books exponentially higher since 2003, in pure dollars, they've pretty much held ground with the rest of division -- keeping the hole intact that has existed since 2003.

Here's what the article has not provided.

Jays Payroll:
2003: 51,000,000
2008: ~100,000,000

Red Sox Payroll
2003: 99,000,000
2008: ~145,000,000

Yankees Payroll
2003: 152,000,000
2008: ~205,000,000

So Yes. The Jays payroll has exponentially risen higher than the Yanks and Sox. However, 5 years later, they still remain, in hard cash, the same amount of money below the Yanks and Sox. 50 million less dollars than Boston, 100 million dollars less than the Yankees. Yeah.

No Excuses.

This is not to say that expectations shouldn't be warranted toward the franchise, but payroll parity shouldn't be used as arsenal against the incompetenc of the regime. Want to criticize Ricciardi? There are plenty of places to start, from putting too much emphasis on "character" guys early on in his tenure, abandoning international scouting, and poor instincts in evaluating pitching talent -- (though this can certainly be debated.), but to suggest having a payroll 100 million dollars less than a division rival as being merely inconsequential is... well.. odd.

1 comment:

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