BritSox wrote:A Red Sox fan realises that the Indians have been to the postseason the exact same number of times the Sox have in the Wild Card era. You have the same number of pennants, and more division titles. You can moan about the money Detroit has spent, but it's not like Detroit is a perennial powerhouse, now is it? In fact, until 2006 that Franchise was a byword for suck.
Exactly. Since the Wild Card began, the Indians have been managed soooo much better than the Red Sox. It's only now, 13 years in, that the Red Sox are even starting to develop prospects (and getting celebrated for it, which is silly). And yet the Sox have the same number of postseason appearances as the Indians (and two more World Series). That's proof right there that the game is messed up.
And by cherry-picking the Wild Card era, you're throwing off the numbers a little bit. When Albert Belle got $8 million per year before the 1997 season, it was the highest salary in baseball. Five years later, Manny Ramirez got $20 million from the Red Sox, and that's when the Indians were officially priced out. If you go by a slightly less arbitrary date, say since 2000 (when the salary boom was really happening), the Red Sox have had many more postseason appearances than the Tribe.
As for Detroit, well, you'll notice that they stopped being a "byword for suck" when they stopped pretending to be a small market and started throwing cash around like crazy.
Cleveland has a much better situation than many other smaller market teams. There is no New York or LA team in their division, and the Chicago team is very much the poor relation of the two. No division has smaller combined revenues than the AL Central, I believe. Washington is firmly in the bottom quartile in terms of payroll, but drew more in their inaugural season than the Tigers have, ever. Heck, one could argue that the Indians' situation is far better than that of the BlueJays or Orioles, who have far higher payrolls. The Indians, at least, have comparably small markets like Minny and KC in their division. Note also that they've been able to extend Pronk and V-Mart beyond their usual years of team control.
I know! Isn't that crazy? The Indians have an amazingly lucky situation, which is the only reason they have been able to compete as much as they have. Thing is, I'm not just saying "poor Indians," I'm saying "poor everybody that isn't rich." You said it yourself -- imagine being Toronto! They spend a bunch of money and develop some prospects and they still have no hope of ever winning that division unless both New York and Boston act like morons at the same time.
And if Chicago and Detroit ever get their acts together at the same time and start spending their money wisely, the Indians will be mostly screwed too.
What I'm saying is, hey, the Indians are one of the best-run teams in baseball, they're in an extremely lucky situation (though Dick Jacobs was the one that volunteered to move the Tribe out of the AL East when realignment happened, so they deserve some credit there), and they still lose all their best players and have small competitive windows.
If you look at the NL West, the Dodgers and Giants both far outstrip the Padres, Rox and D-Backs in revenues, but if you look at playoff appearances and pennants over the last decade... That looks a lot like parity to me.
Well yeah, that's the NL West. The Dodgers and Giants are epically incompetent franchises. Talk about getting nothing for your money. If they ever had decent management (or if Depodesta was left in charge for a few years), well, tough luck Padres.