The Kansas City Royals or Long-term Strategic Thinking in a Buyer’s Market

So you're saying there's a chance.

So you’re saying there’s a chance.

The Kansas City Royals perfectly illustrate the difficulties of winning in the steroid era with a small-market team. Consider that between 1975 and 1990, the Royals had 12 winning seasons in which they won two AL pennants and one world series. In the fifteen-year period from 1997 to 2012, the team managed only one winning season, in 2003, finishing 83-79. The reason, to a large degree, can be traced to an economic disparity in baseball that began, coincidentally, about 15 years ago.

In 1985, the year the Royals won the world series, their payroll was a little over $11 million, just slightly above the league average. Only 8 teams will have a lower payroll than the Royals in 2013, including the Houston Astros, who will spend less on their entire opening-day team than the Yankees will spend on what remains of Alex Rodriguez. In the American League, the Yankees will spend almost $150 million more than the Royals this year. To steal/mangle a line from King Theoden in The Two Towers, “So much money. What can men do against such reckless spending?”
Continue reading