100 Million Dollar Men
After the 2000 season not only did Met fans have to endure losing to smug Yankee fans in the Subway series, but it was the last year Major League Baseball had seen a year in which no team had a payroll over $100 million. That year the Yankees had only three players making $10 million or over. Their highest paid player was Bernie Williams and he was not even making $13 million. The Yankees will never sniff $100 million dollars again and have already broke the $200 million barrier this year. Since 2001, the $100 million barrier has been broken fifteen times. Four of those times fifteen times the barrier was broken by the Yankees. In those four times, the Yankees broke the $100 million barrier by a total of $175.16 million. All of the other teams that broke the $100 million barrier went over it by a combined $96.31 million in an eleven combined seasons.
Out of the fifteen combined times that a team broke that barrier, only one team has won the World Series with a payroll past $100 million and that was the Boston Red Sox in 2004. Seven teams managed to miss the playoffs all together and only two made it to the World Series. 2005 will be only the second season Wilpon and the Mets have pushed past the $100 million barrier.
In a not so far away time I call the 90's, things were different. In the 90's the Toronto Blue Jays topped the majors in payroll twice while the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals both led the league in payroll one time each. The last year anyone not named the Yankees topped the majors in payroll was in 1998 when the Baltimore Orioles held the top spot and that is the last time any team not nomed the Yankees will of held the top spot in my lifetime. All in all, the Yankees have lead the league in payroll nine times in the last eleven years. The 90's also passed without the team that lead the league in payroll being more than $9 million more than the second place team at any point. In 2005 it is quite possible the Yankees payroll will be $80 million more than the second place team.
In 2005 the Mets are looking like they will have the third highest non-Yankee payroll in the history or organized sports. They also stand to be one of the three teams in MLB that are going to be beyond the $100 million dollar threshold. Whether or not Omar or the Wilpons are going to make their expectations known, they fully well anticipate that this team is going to makes some noise in the playoff push and they are going to look to hedge as best as they can even if that means spending more money. Omar has gone to far to turn back now and has already put too much on the line, but it remains to be seen if they Mets will be yet another $100 million team that misses the playoffs or if they will be the next team that bought their way into the playoffs. I'll be cutting the heads off of chickens daily in hopes it is the latter.
The A's sent out a feeler regarding Byrnes several weeks ago, but the Mets' sudden shift comes as they're mulling deals for Cliff Floyd and Mike Cameron. Oakland GM Billy Beane may be willing to take on Cameron, considering he tried to sign him as a free agent after the 2003 season.
Scouts still aren't sure how Petit has dominated lower-level hitters as much as he has. His fastball has good velocity (89-93 mph) and movement but is a 55-60 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale. His slider and changeup are solid-average and could become plus pitches. While Hernandez projects as a No. 1 starter, Petit realistically has a ceiling of a No. 3.
This year will be a big test for Petit, who figures to open in Double-A after making two starts there at the end of 2004. If he enjoys similar success in Double-A, it'll be that much easier to believe he's for real and probably will serve as a springboard for his major league debut by the end of the year.
Is the NFL really serious about fining Moss?