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Twins Spending with Yanks?

By Mike Silva ~ February 8th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva.

Great piece by Joshua Fisher of the Hardball Times. The Twins have been one of this off-season’s “winners”, putting together a club that is the hands on favorite to win the AL Central.

Overlooked through all this is Minnesota is projected to have a $96 million dollar payroll come opening day. This is $31 million more than last year and a far cry from their $15.7 million dollar payroll in 2000. Fisher points out that over a ten year period Minnesota has increased their payroll by $90 million, while the Yankees have done so by $103 million over the same period of time. Minnesota has won five divisions since 2000. More importantly, they are moving into a new ballpark, Target Field, and appear to be financially healthy as ever. Remember the days when Carl Pohlad was going to sell the Twins to the league with the intent of contraction? Or how close he was to selling them to a North Carolina businessman who wanted to move the team.

This is a testament to good management by Terry Ryan and Bill Smith over the last decade. They have been able to compete through good player development and having an outstanding manager in Ron Gardenhire. They only mistake you can point to is the trade of Johan Santana, which to be fair, the team was painted into a corner.

Now comes the hard part: keeping hometown star Joe Mauer. The current payroll does not include a possible Mauer extension, which should raise it somewhere in the vicinity of $20 million dollars. With the new ballpark and added revenues that come from it, will the Twins be able to pay someone who will take up almost 25% of their total payroll? It appears they are willing to do so, as rumors of a 10 year contract between Mauer and the team circulated last week.

This is a great example of how a team puts together a plan, sticks to it, invests in player development and realizes success. It’s an indictment on some of the poor management we have seen locally from the Mets, and also the fallacies of revenue sharing. As late as 2005, Minnesota received $22 million dollars from the revenue sharing pool. That year their payroll was over $50 million, was it necessary to subsidize about 40% of it? I really don’t correlate the Twins success having anything to do with revenue sharing, but more because of solid business principals. That is a question for Bud Selig and the owners to answer, specifically the habitual payers, like the Yankees to discuss for the next CBA. The success of the Twins shows that Tampa, Florida, and others have no excuse to not do the same.

I can see the Minnesota market taking a positive baseball turn just like San Francisco did when they opened up Pac Bell. Even when the Giants were successful they had trouble drawing at a high level in gloomy Candlestick. After the new ballpark they were in the top 10 in attendance yearly. The Twins will undoubtedly see great attendance this year regardless if the club lives up to expectations. Hopefully the team will build on this solid foundation so they don’t have to return to the MLB welfare line.

Are the Yankees ruining the game? Depends on whose perspective, but the Twins spending isn’t that far behind. Low and behold you invest in your product and you see a return. How ironic is that?

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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3 Responses to Twins Spending with Yanks?

  1. Dave Wakeman

    Well, I think you can actually include Tampa in those teams that have begun using a solid business model. You can’t really argue with the Marlins success either as they are habitually in the running for the playoffs and have won two World Series titles in less time that it has been since the Mets won one.

    I do think that revenue sharing should be addressed in the way that a team like Pittsburgh is using it. They have a brand new park, possibly the finest in the game, and they get tons of revenue money and lose 100 games a year.

    I think that revenue sharing has probably helped a team like the Brewers, but I’m sure that having competent management is also a factor in their success.

    Largely, I think we are seeing a trend towards the teams that are allowed to allow their baseball people to do their jobs, put together solid organizations, and operate in a manner where they are focused on achieving long term success being the path that leads teams back from irrelevancy.

    In the Mets’ case, it is really possible that the Wilpons have again used their place as owners to jump in and take the reigns of the baseball decisions for the team, focusing more on what is going to appease the fans or win the backpages than what is going to put the Mets on a trajectory towards long term competitive viability. Until the baseball world can successfully say that the Wilpons allow their baseball people the autonomy to do their jobs, it is unlikely that there will be any significant strides made by the team.

  2. Bill@TDS

    Completely false to say “the Twins’ spending isn’t that far behind” the Yanks’. The Twins’ current projected payroll is $96 million; the Yankees’ is $196 million. Even if Mauer’s contract adds to the payroll (and most rumors have it being a straight extention for 2011 and beyond, with no increase for 2010), the Yankees will be spending nearly twice as much on payroll as the Twins.

    What these facts should really do is put into perspective how incredibly vast and insurmountable the Yankees’ natural advantage over the rest of the league is.

  3. nyyankeefanforever

    Can anybody explain to me how Pohlad expects the new Target Field – an open air-venue in a town where it’s still snowing in May and starts up again in September — will be a fan attraction and boost to revenue over the warm cozy old dome? Can anybody explain how the Twins will have a better record when they lose that crazy ball-camouflaging roof which was the greatest home field advantage in sports? Can anybody imagine how shortened Mauer’s career will be squatting in freezing, damp temperatures nearly half the season every year, not to mention the negative impact it will have on his everyday hitting and fielding stats? Anybody want to bet his alleged hometown loyalty and close community ties will evaporate once his agent explains to his wife they can afford to move every member of their extended family, every relative and every friend they ever knew to warm and sunny Tampa where the Yankees train and have enough left over to buy a space heaters for every man woman and child they leave behind in the Twin Cities and pay for all of them to fly to NY to watch him in the World Series in 2011 as he helps the Yankees win their 3rd consecutive ring if he just sits tight, stays healthy for the next nine months and then waits for a call from Cashman? LMAO!

    For some pre-training camp chucks and giggles, check out the musical comedy vid “Joe’s Job – The Ballad of Terry Francona” at


    It’s a must-see for Yankee fans and BoSuxers alike. Go Yankees! 28 in 2010!!

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