Friday, January 02, 2009

Picking on the old guy who recently had a stroke

Peter Gammons is getting old. His column used to be one that I'd read every time it was updated. Now it includes passages like this:

For all the talk of a salary cap, only twice in the past 30 years has a team won the World Series with a $100M-plus payroll -- the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox. In those 30 years, 20 different teams have won World Series, and it likely would be 21 without the 1994 strike that cost the sport's best team that year -- the Montreal Expos -- a chance to win it all.

Oooo, let's break that down. Only twice in the past 30 years has a team won the World Series with a $100M-plus payroll. Okay yes that's true. But it wasn't until 2001 that a team even had a $100M-plus payroll. Prior to 2001, the record was $92 million, and that team was the 2000 Yankees, WHO WON THE FRIGGIN' WORLD SERIES. Oh and prior to that, the record was $88 million, again by the Yankees, who again WON THE FRIGGIN' WORLD SERIES. See where I'm going here? Peter would have been just as well off saying something like "for all the talk of a salary cap, only twice in baseball history has a team won the World Series with a $100M-plus payroll". It would have been just as accurate, and just as misleading.

2nd part - he said that in those 30 years, 20 different teams have won the World Series, and it likely [key word] would be 21 without the 1994 strike that cost the sport's best team that year -- the Montreal Expos -- a chance to win it all. Oh man. He couldn't leave well enough alone. Ya' know, 20 out of 30 is actually a good enough argument for the anti-salary cap crowd. On its own, it makes a strong case that any team can win it all regardless of payroll. But where he loses me is when he tries to add that 21st team. It's true that the Expos had the best record when the season ended on August 11th, but it's quite the leap to say that they would have likely won the World Series based on that. Let's see, how many teams that had the best overall record on August 11th would go on to win the World Series that year? 2008 Phillies? No. 2007 Red Sox? Maybe. 2006 Cardinals? Hell no. I'm not going back any further, but again, you see my point. Having the best record on August 11th doesn't mean shit.

It pains me to say it, but I think it's time for Peter to hang it up. There's no way Pre-Stroke-Peter would have left a passage like that in his column.

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2 comments:

  1. Greg Says:

    How is there not already a band named "Pre-stroke Peter"?

  2. Brian Says:

    I've been wanting to make a "did you hear Peter had a stroke" joke for a while now, but it's always been too soon.