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Money Doesn't Count for Much in Baseball

BOSTON -- If you just go by the money, the World Series, which starts tonight, would hardly seem like a fair fight.

After all, the surprising Colorado Rockies have a total payroll of just $54 million.

For the heavily favored Boston Red Sox, the figure is $143 million -- or nearly three times as much.

Maybe the Rockies should be allowed to draw on the bench of, say, the $89 million Phillies as well, just to even things up?

But here's the great thing about baseball, at least recently. Funny things seem to happen when people get to the playoffs. Money doesn't count for as much as you think.

Call it Steinbrenner's Law. Since 2001, Yankees boss George Steinbrenner has spent a staggering $1.2 billion on his team's payroll in a desperate, and so far unsuccessful, bid to win yet another championship.

Here at, we're always looking at returns on investment. So we've run the numbers for all postseason series -- including division, league and championship -- since 2001, and compared them to team salary data.

The bottom line? There is little correlation, if any, between payroll and playoff success. The team with the higher payroll beat the team with the lower payroll in 113 games.

But the team with the lower payroll won ... 112.
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