Sports with Shep: Money Talks

Henry Shepard, Reporter

Some general managers never learn.

Money cannot buy you championships. Maybe a lot of regular season wins can, but not when it gets down to crunch time.

Every year, you see teams shell out millions of dollars looking for that magical formula of players, just to see those millions come up short.

In every sport without a salary cap, there are teams that spend unbelievable amounts of money, while others spend much less. The sport that exemplifies this disparity is baseball, especially the New York Yankees.

Easily the biggest name in the sport and maybe the world, the Yankees never fail to amaze me with their ability to spend money.

In 2010, their payroll was over 200 million dollars, with the average player making over eight million dollars a year. Year in and year out, they lead these categories throughout the MLB easily. It seems like every summer they shell out ridiculous amounts of money for starting pitchers.

In 2008, they spent more than 400 million dollars for the services of 1st baseman Mark Teixeira, and starting pitchers C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. This offseason, they’ll try to lure Cliff Lee away from Texas with a contract no one can match.

Even with all this spending, they still don’t win the World Series every year. True, they are the most winning franchise in the history of the MLB, but it is shocking they don’t win every year. In the ALCS this year, they lost to the Texas Rangers, whose team payroll is only 27 percent of the Yankees.

And people wonder why others love to see the Yankees lose.

What if Goliath beat David? That’s no fun. Watching the Yankees struggle is the only thing that is tolerable about baseball. Especially with the Orioles as the hometown team.

But this trend can be seen throughout the sporting world. For all those soccer fans out there, look at Manchester City. Ever since they were bought by Middle Eastern Oil Moguls, they spend millions during the transfer window, just to see their hopes of winning the league crown crushed by perennial powerhouses Chelsea and their cross town rivals, Manchester United.

After this summer, the NBA also has a team that shelled out the cash in order to make an all star team. The Miami Heat acquired LeBron James and Chris Bosh from Cleveland and Toronto, respectively. They also resigned Dwayne Wade, forming a trio of all stars designed to dethrone the LA Lakers.

If other sports have any bearing on basketball though, the Heat could struggle. In a team sport, chemistry is just as important as the quality of players. Three super stars who want the ball mean that something has to change in their heads, or the team will flop.  I hope they flop, just to prove that money isn’t everything in the world of sports

Henry Shepard can be reached for comment at [email protected].