Red Sox Paid the Price and Enjoy the World Championship Spoils

The Boston Red Sox got what they paid for – a world championship, their fourth in 15 years.

 In a World Series that matched the team with baseball’s biggest payroll – the Red Sox – against the team with the biggest NL payroll and third biggest in MLB – the Dodgers – the Red Sox needed only five games to wrap up their fourth world championship since 2004, which also happened to be their fourth world championship since 1918.

And payroll aside, the success is a tribute to the Red Sox. Having the game’s biggest payroll provides a pretty good opportunity of advancing to the post-season, but doesn’t guarantee anything once the post-season begins.

The Red Sox became only fourth team since baseball expanded to 30 teams in 1998 to win a World Series and also have the game’s highest payroll that season – the second team since 2002. The Yankees have carried the game’s biggest payroll and won the World Series in 1999, 2000 and 2009.

In the 21 years since teams were granted to Tampa Bay and Arizona, the team with the highest payroll has advanced to the World Series only seven times total, the 2017 Dodgers, and Yankees of 2003 and 2000 having lost in the World Series the season in which they were No. 1 on the salary charts.

The Red Sox World Championship ends a three-year stretch in which the World Series was won by Houston with the 18th highest payroll in 2017, the Cubs with the 14th highest in 2016, and the Royals with the 16th highest in 2015.

In 2015, in fact, for the only time in the 30-team era both World Series participants finished in the second half of the salary standings – the Royals at No. 16 and Mets at No. 21.

The 1995 Royals, 2017 Astros, and 2003 Marlins, which ranked 25th in salary, are the only teams in the bottom half of payrolls to win World Series.

The Payroll Rankings of World Series Opposition

Since 1998

Year Champion Payroll Loser Payroll No. 1 Eliminated
2018 Red Sox No. 1 Dodgers No. 3
2017 Astros No. 18 Dodgers No. 1
2016 Cubs No. 14 Indians No. 24 Dodgers NLCS
2015 Royals No. 16 Mets No. 21 Dodgers NLDS
2014 Giants No. 7 Royals No. 19 Dodgers NLDS
2013 Red Sox No. 4 Cardinals No. 10 Yankees Reg Season
2012 Giants No. 8 Tigers No. 5 Yankees ALCS
2011 Cardinals No. 11 Rangers No. 13 Yankees ALDS
2010 Giants No. 10 Rangers No. 27 Yankees ALCS
2009 Yankees No. 1 Phillies No. 7
2008 Phillies No. 12 Rays No. 29 Yankees Reg Season
2007 Red Sox No. 2 Rockies No. 25 Yankees ALDS
2006 Cardinals No. 11 Tigers No. 14 Yankees ALDS
2005 White Sox No. 13 Astros No. 12 Yankees ALDs
2004 Red Sox No. 2 Cardinals No. 11 Yankees ALCs
2003 Marlins No. 25 Yankees No. 1
2002 Angels No. 15 Giants No. 10 Yankees ALDS
2001 D-backs No. 8 Yankees No. 1
2000 Yankees No. 1 Mets No. 6
1999 Yankees No. 1 Braves No. 3
1998 Yankees No. 2 Padres No. 9 Orioles Reg Season

The fact they lost to the team with baseball’s highest payroll is little solace to a Dodgers team that had the highest NL payroll, and third overall. What the Dodgers have to deal with is that they have made 12 trips to the post-season without winning a world championship since their last World Series celebration in 1988.

That equals the second longest active streak behind 14 post-season appearances without a world championship for the Braves, which dates back to their 1995 World Series celebration.

What the question comes down to is whether the frustration is deeper from having advanced to the post-season, and coming up short, or not even getting to the post-season. The Indians, for Instance, have not won a world championship since 1948, but are tied with the Dodgers with 12 post-season appearances since that last celebration.

And then there are the products of expansion that have never won a world championship, including the Rangers, who date back to 1961 when they began play as the Washington Senators II; the Padres, Brewers and Washington Nationals, born out of expansion in 1968; the Mariners, an expansion addition in 1977; the Rockies, who began play in 1993, and the Rays, who joined the AL in 1998.

Current Streaks Post-Season Appearances

Without a World Championship

and World Championships Since 1989

Team Apps Title Team Titles Since 1989
Braves 14 1995 Yankees 5-2009, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1006
Dodgers 12 1988 Red Sox 4-2018, 2013, 2007, 2004
Indians 12 1948 Giants 3-2014, 2012, 2010
A's 11 1989 Blue Jays 2-1992, 1993
Rangers 8 None Cardinals 2-2011, 2006,
Twins 7 1991 Marlins 2-1997-2003
Pirates 6 1979 A's 1-1989
Mets 6 1986 Angels 1-2002
Yankees 6 2006 Astros 1-2017
Tigers 6 1984 Braves 1-1995
Angels 6 2002 Cubs 1-2016
Rockies 5 None D-backs 1-2001
Padres 5 None Phillies 1-2008
Brewers 5 None Reds 1-1990
Nationals 5 None Royals 1-2015
Orioles 5 1983 Twins 1-1991
D-backs 4 2001 White Sox 1-2005
Reds 4 1990 No World Series 1994 (Strike)
Cardinals 4 2011
Mariners 4 None
Rays 4 None
Phillies 3 2008
Royals 3 2015
Cubs 2 2016
Blue Jays 2 1993
Giants 1 2014
Astros 1 2017
Red Sox 0 2018
Tracy RingolsbyComment