Money Doesn’t Guarantee Titles
By Fred Guzman
Money, the Beatles wisely advised so many years ago, canâ€™t buy you love.
And, as we have repeatedly found in the most free-market of our sports leagues, money canâ€™t buy baseball championships, either.
Go no farther than the New York Yankees.Â Â The sportâ€™s freest-spending franchise routinely carries a an annual payroll of $200 million, but itâ€™s been eight years since the Yankees last won a ring.
During that ensuing championship drought in the Bronx, such smaller-market teams as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals have won titles and the likes of Tampa Bay and Colorado has reached the Fall Classic.
A more recent example of how money alone doesnâ€™t guarantee titles is the Detroit Tigers.
Many in the media and fans instantly conceded Detroit the AL Central crown after acquiring both slugger Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Dontrelle Willis.Â Â Those signings pushed the Tigersâ€™ payroll to $137 million and slightly over the luxury-tax limit.
It took a while for Cabrera to get going.Â Â Â He finished with team highs of 37 homers and 127 RBI, but by the time he got hot the Tigers were dust.
The Tigers got of to a 2-10 start and staggered to a 74-84 mark and a last-place finish in the five-team division they were supposed to dominate.
Willis was a disaster.Â Â He appeared in just eight games, averaging three innings per start while compiling an 0-2 record with anastronomical 9.38 ERA.Â Â Willis earned a
demotion to the minors for a significant part of the season.
So donâ€™t concede the Yankees yet.Â Â Â All together now:Â Â Money canâ€™t buy you love â€¦ or guarantee a championship.