Tigers' plight proves it's not how much money you spend, it's how you spend it
However, although dollars dominate so many baseball conversations these days -- and understandably so -- money isn't everything.
If the season were to end today, 13 of this year's 16 biggest spenders -- the Red Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Mets, Angels, White Sox, Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals, Astros, Mariners, Brewers, and Rockies -- would all miss the playoffs.
With the exception of the ridiculously rich New York Yankees, it's not how much you spend, but rather how you spend it.
And that, after all, is the way it should be.
The Texas Rangers have won 75 games. They're in first place in the American League West and a cinch to reach the postseason. Their payroll is $64.811 million.
The Tampa Bay Rays have won 82 games. They are one game behind the Yankees in the AL East and likely to be the wild card, at worst. Their payroll is $72.847 million.
The Minnesota Twins have won 77 games. They're in first place in the AL Central by four games. Their payroll is $97.659 million.
The surprising San Diego Padres have won 76 games. They're in first place in the National League West. Their payroll is $37.799 million.
The Cincinnati Reds have won 78 games. They're in first place in the NL Central and headed for the postseason. Their payroll is $76.152 million.
The Atlanta Braves have won 78 games. They're in first place in the NL East. Their payroll is $83.890 million.
The disappointing Tigers have won 65 games. They're in third place in the AL Central. Their payroll is $133.995 million.
Feel free to draw your own conclusions.