December 30, 2007

Top of the List

The last question in the Post-Gazettes Q&A on December 27th got me digging through the census numbers from 2006 comparing the estimated population to the MLB team salaries.  I found some interesting things.  If you hate numbers, you may hate this series, but please read through the posts and take a better look into your own opinions.

 

First, lets look at the top lists.  Finally we Pirate fans can find some other fans to commiserate with.

 

The Top 5 populations of MLB cities from the 2006 census:

City Population
New York 18,818,536
Los Angeles 12,950,129
Chicago 9,505,748
Dallas 6,003,967
Philadelphia 5,826,742

One would expect these 5 cities to have the top 5 payrolls.  But wait, there needs to be some tweaking to these numbers since the top 3 cities all have multiple teams in their area.

 

Here is the Adjusted Top 5 populations of MLB cities ( I divided the population by the number of teams) :

City Adjusted
New York 9,409,268
Los Angeles 6,475,065
Dallas 6,003,967
Philadelphia 5,826,742
Houston 5,539,949

Chicago actually fell to number 9 after the adjustment.  One might expect that a combination of the two would cover the top 5 team salaries in the league, or at least a majority of the top 10.

 

Here are the Top 10 Team Salaries from 2007:

Team Payroll (2007)
NY Yankees 195,229,045.00
Boston 143,123,714.00
NY Mets 116,115,819.00
Chi. White Sox 109,290,167.00
LA Angels 109,251,333.00
LA Dodgers 108,704,524.00
Seattle 106,516,833.00
Chi. Cubs 99,936,999.00
Detroit 95,180,369.00
Baltimore 95,107,808.00

In italic are the teams in the cities listed in the two previous lists.  New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are the cities whose teams salary actually reflect their population.  Boston (the 12th largest market based on population), Seattle (16th)  and Detroit (11th) appear in the top salary list.

The large market teams missing from the top team salaries are Dallas (21st largest payroll in 2007) , Philadelphia (14th) and Houston (15th).  Fans of these teams should be as irate as any Pirate fan.  The population base is there, these teams should reflect this in their team salaries.

It would be nice to have the ownership funding of Boston, Detroit and Seattle.  These owners put the funds into the teams to make them competitive, now it is up to the GM's to make things happen.

 

The Top 5 Teams Cost Per Person ( I divided the team salary by the population ):

Team Per Person
Milwaukee $41.06
Baltimore $35.78
Kansas City $34.24
Cincinnati $33.10
Seattle $32.64

The teams listed here are the ones that spend the most per person to put the best team possible on the field.  These are the teams that are hard to find someone who roots against them, outside of Cincy of course.  These owners obviously want to field winners no matter the cost to themselves.  Unfortunately for some of the teams, they have incompetent GM's that rival recent Pirates GM's.

 

The Adjusted Top 5 Cost Per Person (  I divided the population number by the number of teams before dividing into the team salary):

Team Adj. Per Person
San Francisco $43.29
Milwaukee $41.06
Oakland $38.25
Baltimore $35.78
Kansas City $34.24

San Francisco and Oakland now jump into the list, since they share population numbers according to the census.  San Francisco is inflated due to the salary of Bonds, but they would still rank high without his contract. 

 

Of the seven cities listed in the Cost Per Person lists, only Seattle and Baltimore have a higher population than Pittsburgh.  Ironically, Oakland and Milwaukee are two of the teams the Pirates strive to emulate.  One problem there is Oakland and Milwaukee obviously put much more financially into the team than our beloved Pirates who place 22nd in the Cost Per Fan category. 

If the Pirates truly strive to emulate teams like Milwaukee, Oakland, Colorado (13th overall, $22.59 per person), Cleveland (11th, $28.99) or Minnesota (14th, $22.50) , then the Pirates ownership must put some financial backing into their claims before crying poor.

 

The next installment will look at the Bottom Feeders followed by some Shocking Findings and a full conclusion into the Failure of Ownership to put a competitive team on the field for the fans.

 

 

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