It’s the end of May and the Red Sox and in first place and the Yankees are in last! But that’s not the story. A total of 13.5 games separate the two teams. That means that in order for the Yankees to get out of the gutter and into first place, a combination of 2 things needs to happen… the Red Sox losing 14 games AND the Yankees winning 14 games. With about 30% of the season complete, the season is far from over but getting very comfortable if you root for Boston.
While both teams have battled injuries (the Yankees almost brutally compared to the Sox), you’d think with such a high payroll of $200+ million, the Yankees would be a bit deeper than they are. And even with the Yankees banking everything on Roger Clemens coming in to save them, that won’t even come close to what they need. I know pitching is everything, and the Red Sox throwing Schilling, Beckett and Dice K 1-2-3 have a huge advantage.
You can’t help but wonder how the showcase, all-star lineup the Yankees field every night just can’t score enough runs. With all the $10+ million talents, how is nobody carrying this team? Check out a sampling of ESPN’s salary chart for the Yankees and Red Sox:
Salary Charts available at ESPN.com
Only when you see the difference in the ‘spreading of wealth’ between the two teams do you begin to realize just how ridiculous the Yankees lineup is. Seven players in the Yankees’ batting order are making $12+ million. Note that Carl Pavano is still on the DL, but otherwise with a losing 21-28 record, Brian Cashman has not spent this money very well.
The spending numbers for the Red Sox show a brilliant fund allotment by Theo Epstein. And if you are playing the DL card for the Yankees season, be sure to omit Matt Clement (just under $10 mil) off the Red Sox payroll. Seriously, compare the performances of Mike Lowell (38 RBIs) and Josh Becket (7-0) to any 2 players on the Yankees top 11 paid players. For the money, with or without the exception of A-Rod (who as really cooled off since a crazy April) who would you rather have so far this year?
The Red Sox are being outpaced 11-5 by the Yankees in terms of $10 mil talent. But with a Major League Best 35-15, 20 games over .500 record, they have spent their payroll much better and it shows. Their lineup and rotations are performing better and their depth has offset any injuries in this not-so-short season. At this point, I’m glad I’ve got the week of October 22 off this year.