Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies are 84th most efficient team in America


Bloomberg Business Week magazine recently came up with a ranking of the “Smartest Spenders in Sports.” They ranked the teams in all four major American sports leagues to find out which franchises were most efficient with their money. They took the teams’ payrolls from the past five years and compared it to the number of wins during that span, with extra weight given to playoff victories and championships.

Out of 122 teams, the Philadelphia Phillies ranked 84th.

Click here to see the rankings.

I’m somewhat surprised that the Phillies ranked that low. Yes, they have spent a lot of money over the past five seasons, with their payroll consistently ranked among the top ten in baseball. But excluding last season, there has also been a lot of success over that span, including three division titles and a National League pennant.

If Business Week repeats these rankings in the near future, I would expect the Phillies’ ranking to drop. They continue to have a high payroll (and a few more years of that Ryan Howard contract), but they haven’t been winning quite as much as they were.

It was no surprise that the top ranked baseball team was the St. Louis Cardinals, as they are generally regarded as one of the best-run franchises in sports. The worst baseball team was the Chicago Cubs who do not have quite as good a reputation.

This was fun to look at, but I find it to be a bit meaningless. Efficiency might be nice for the team’s accountants, but as a fan, why should I care? World Series parades are just as fun whether you’ve got the highest or lowest payroll in the league. As long as the team is winning, it doesn’t really matter how efficient or smart they are in doing it.

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