The Diamondbacks, Rockies and Indians are three of the cheapest teams ever to reach the playoffs -- and now they're all in the final four. It would be remarkable if one team constructed of homegrown players, and held together by crucial rookies, made it this far. But, except for the $143 million, buy-a-title Red Sox -- who now look so much like the Empire they claim to hate that they should consider switching to pinstripes -- this October is going to be a tale about how less can be more.I can only surmise from this gratuitous and smug shot from Thomas Boswell that things aren't going all that well on the homefront for the versatile scribe. Bos' wife and in-laws are famously die-hard Red Sox fans, and he's built a well-deserved reputation for displaying a deep understanding of baseball's nuances. In short, he's a guy that knows better than to believe that any team can buy a World Series title. Which leaves us wondering about what his wife did to tick him off so much that he took a shot at her in the morning paper.
We kid, we kid. The Sox are fair game for this particular line of argument, spending more than double this season than any of the other remaining clubs. And while I've declaimed loudly in this space that baseball's finances are fucked up like a football bat, I can't in good conscience argue that the Sox don't have a real monetary advantage over the Indians. Doesn't guarantee a damn thing, though - ask the 2007 Yankees, and keep asking them until you get back to 2000.
The interesting corollary here, though, is the realization for me that the Sox are playing the postseason Goliath role for the first time in my memory, and maybe ever. Actually, no maybe about it. I need to sit down and think about this.