Giants' Dollar Signs On The Mound
By Stan "The Fan" Charles
Think what you want, but even when things go great for a sports team, it's never all by design. Take the San Francisco Giants, certainly a team that things are going pretty great for right now. After a 2-0 win against the Detroit Tigers Oct. 27, they took a 3-0 lead for the World Series championship. Should the Giants prevail, and it's almost impossible to imagine they won't, they'll have won two of the last three World Series.
So how exactly is this great Giants' run not by design? Well, as San Francisco has allowed just three runs during the first 27 innings of the World Series, it would seem the Giants' baseball folks knew exactly what they were doing when they put this pitching staff together.
But the Giants' pitching excellence shouldn't shock the world, because about $71 million of their total $117 million payroll was directed to the mound. But the starters during the first three games of this World Series account for just $22.56 million (Barry Zito at $19 million, Ryan Vogelsong at $3 million and Madison Bumgarner at just $560,000).
And, let's be honest, despite Zito's last two strong performances, his awful seven-year, $126 million contract, which still has him slated to make $20 million in 2013, is not one the Giants should feel particularly great about.
So, where is all that money going? Matt Cain, during the first year of another enormous long-term deal, is earning $16.1 million this year, and Tim Lincecum is making $18.2 million this season and has become a glorified long setup man. Closer Sergio Romo, who has saved two games thus far during the Series, is merely an inexpensive replacement for Brian Wilson, whose 2012 salary of $8.5 million isn't reflected in that $71 million figure.
Of the 10 2012 postseason teams, only the Yankees ($75 million of their nearly $196 million payroll) spent more on their pitching than the Giants. The Tigers spent the third most by allocating $54 million of their $119 million payroll to pitching, while the Rangers were fourth ($49 million of their $120 million payroll).
Rounding out the playoff teams' pitching dollars were the Cardinals ($34.7 million of their $110 million payroll), the Nationals ($33.9 million of their $80 million payroll), the Reds ($30.3 million of their $76 million payroll), the Orioles ($22.5 million of their $80 million payroll), the Braves ($18.3 million of their $82 million payroll) and the Athletics ($14 million of their $49 million payroll).
So, considering the above, the Orioles may want to evaluate just what percentage of their overall payroll they want to devote to the hill.
Posted Oct. 28, 2012