Good Lord, it never ends with this guy. Warning, don't click this LINK unless you are prepared to become infuriated!
$95 million doesn’t go as far as it did
My main problem with this article is not the fact that he is yet again bashing the Braves and Frank Wren, it's that you can't figure out exactly what he is bashing them for. First he makes it appear that not signing Johnny Damon was the big issue, but he blows that argument in his second sentence.
Johnny Damon has signed with Detroit. This should surprise no one, least of all us Atlantans.
Well, if it is no surprise then why start your article with it?
Then he tries to make the point that if you spend more money you have a better shot at post-season play, at least that's what I think he's trying to say
Every year Braves chairman Terry McGuirk issues his boilerplate assertion that Liberty Media will spend as much money as is necessary to compete, but with each passing year it becomes clear the money just isn’t there, at least not to buy ballplayers.
Then he turns right around and disproves his own point.
No, you can’t buy just yourselves a World Series title. If you could, the Yankees would have won every year for a decade, as opposed to once since 2000.
Ok, I"m getting confused so let's try and summarize his ideals. The Braves are not going to make the playoffs this year because they failed to spend more money, but spending more money didn't really help teams like the Yankees or Mets win more in the last decade, but you really like the Marlins even though they're payroll is only $45 million. Huh? I don't even want to try to sort through this non-sense, so let's move on.
But there hasn’t been a real small-market champion since Florida in 2003, and the expanse between the haves and the have-nots continues to grow.
I don't have much of an argument on that statement itself, except to ask what it has to do with the Braves?
Next he tries to insinuate there is some sort of skill involved with operating on a budget, but yet again he kills his own point in the very next sentence.
And here’s the worst part: The Braves have demonstrated no Billy Beane-like facility for winning big on a budget. (Truth to tell, Billy Beane hasn’t lately, either.)
This new foot-in-mouth journalism must really be taking off. I wonder if the AJC marketing team came up with this strategy as a means to sell more papers?
Ok, i'm getting off base here so let's get back to his point. First he indicated the Braves aren't going to win because there hasn't been a small-market winner since the Marlins in 2003 (even though the Marlins are his favorite to win this year). Now's he saying the Braves, or rather Frank Wren, doesn't have the skill to operate on a budget like Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics, another small-market team (Actually I believe Oakland is on the bubble as far as their designation goes, they're either a high end small-market club or a low end mid-market.). As a seasoned journalist (I can't really believe I just called him that) I would expect Mark Bradley to know the difference between small, mid and large market teams. Apparently that's asking too much though, so let's try to help him out. Here are the last 4 payrolls for each team:
First - Florida:
- 2009: $ 36,834,000
- 2008: $ 21,811,500
- 2007: $ 30,507,000
- 2006: $ 14,998,500
Next - Oakland:
- 2009: $ 62,310,000
- 2008: $ 47,967,126
- 2007: $ 79,366,940
- 2006: $ 62,242,079
Last - Atlanta:
- 2009: $ 96,726,166
- 2008: $102,365,683
- 2007: $ 87,290,833
- 2006: $ 90,156,876
That took all of 20 seconds to look up on Cot's and bingo, see the HUGE difference? Actually I knew the Braves were not a similar market defined team as either the Athletics or Marlins before I looked it up and would expect a Braves beat writer to know this as well. Makes you wonder who his target audience really is? Anyway, the point is the comparisons are just flat wrong and it's the "meat" of his argument. I expect better!
It takes a certain touch to win games while pinching pennies, and it’s not yet clear Wren possesses it.
First, as I have proved above - and something he has repeatedly failed to do, we are not "pinching-pennies". Second, his entire argument that FW can't operate on a budget is based on this snippet of evidence, apparently:
In Wren’s one season as general manager of the Orioles, he signed Albert Belle to the biggest contract — $65 million over five seasons, and this, remember, was 1999 — in franchise history.
How in the hell does that prove Wren cannot operate on a budget? Further, what does it have to do with his article at all?
This is just plain bad, and not just bad, i'm talking all-time, Bisher-esque bad! Hey Mark, the Braves are going to win the 2010 World Series because Peter Forsberg was one helluva Hockey player!