Congratulations to the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers, winners of major league baseball's divisional series. But here's a storyline worth noting: Money can't buy you love and money can't guarantee championships.
Consider Friday's demise of the Philadelphia Phillies and Thursday's loss by the dreaded New York Yankees (baseball's two biggest spenders). Consider the September implosion of the Boston Red Sox and the shortfalls of the six other teams with payrolls greater than $110 million. Bottom line: The nine teams that spent the most this year have all failed to be on top.
The four teams remaining are not at or near the bottom: They have payrolls of $85 million to $105 million, far above the amazing Tampa Bay Rays, who made the playoffs with a next-to-lowest $41 million payroll. (The Kansas City Royals are 30th and last in payouts, and their fine fans are long-suffering.) But the player with baseball's biggest contract, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees, struck out to end his team's season, and general managers with more disposable income than savvy saw their teams not even making it into the playoffs.