The Florida Marlins’ second World Series appearance will be far sweeter than its first, and it has nothing to do with winning or losing.
This time around, the Marlins face the big, bad New York Yankees, and the differences between the two teams are drastic, most notably in money. The Yankees are sporting a $152-million payroll, while the Fish are at a measly $49 million.
Big contracts and super-sized payrolls have become a popular trend in Major League Baseball, and owners are beginning to think that the only way they can win is to spend lots of money.
The Marlins are a good example of a franchise where money is not the only factor in the talent of a team. I am glad that a team does not have to sell its soul to the devil in order to be successful, and it makes me laugh when other teams try to do this when no one is buying. Sorry, New York Mets, the devil only buys one soul per city.
The Marlins weren’t always the lovable good guy playing baseball because he likes to. Florida used to be just as interested in money and power as the Yankees. In 1997, the Marlins won the World Series, and got there the way the Yankees usually do – with one of the highest payrolls in baseball that allowed them to corner the market in Major League talent. That year the Marlins were the seventh highest paid team in baseball, second in the National League. Sure, the win was nice, but with the money the team was spending on talent, it was not that big of a surprise that they had won.
Marlins’ fans may have been able to enjoy the victory if Florida executives committed to the lifestyle of a high payroll and the building of a dynasty. However, then-owner Wayne Huizenga dismantled the championship team citing a huge loss in revenue. Although every owner wants to win the World Series, fans felt that Huizenga planned to tear the team apart very early in season making the win a contrived sham that benefited individual players, not the team or its fans. Those individuals were scattered around the league, and the chances of next year’s Marlins players being scattered are slim, something else fans will enjoy.
I don’t like dynasties, and I don’t like the idea of buying a World Series victory. I do like the idea of putting a salary cap on Major League Baseball. While the cap is not in place, I don’t blame George Steinbrenner and the Yankees or Huizenga for buying championship teams, but it still does not make it right. I would love to see the Marlins take away the Series from the Yankees just to show that lots of cash cannot always guarantee a win.
If you are a Marlins fan, doesn’t it feel better to win as the underdogs instead of winning one season due to a high payroll, and then see it disappear the next year? It may be nice to win after committing to a high payroll, but it sure seems better to win after committing to hard work and good baseball.