Thursday, October 25, 2007

Filling Space

The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla looks for reasons behind last night's shellacking, and decides that payroll is a factor:

The very rich are different from you, me and a gritty little baseball team from the Colorado Rockies . . . Game 1 of the World Series, however, was as lopsided as the difference in team payrolls. Boston $143 million, Colorado $54 million . . .

. . . Red Sox ace Josh Beckett is paid $6.6 million because he owns the experience of winning big games on baseball's biggest stage. And Beckett appeared worth every penny as he shut down the Rockies, striking out nine in seven nearly flawless innings of work . . . Rockies hurler Jeff Francis, whose $750,000 salary is the front end of a contract extension that insults his considerable talent, looked like an accidental tourist lost in Fenway Park, needing 103 excruciating pitches to stumble through four innings that left him dazed by six Red Sox crossing the plate.

Look, I realize that there are people out there who are going to jump to payroll disparity as an explanation for everything, but pointing to Beckett over Francis as an example of this is silly. At $6.6 million, Beckett is perhaps baseball's biggest bargain this year.

Kiszla's larger point -- that the Red Sox' experience is a factor -- is a valid one which he develops more or less nicely. Which makes me think that the stuff about payroll is a lazy add-on, done in the interest of reaching a minimum word requirement for the print edition.

This is just another example of why blogging > print when it comes to sports analysis. There are only so many things to say about a 13-1 Game 1 massacre. Say it in the space required and move on.

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