The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports Columns

October 22, 2012

Thoma column: Money is the object in baseball postseason


It is true that a smaller percentage of teams in baseball make the postseason than in the other three major North American team sports. It is also true that the margin of difference between good teams and lesser teams is smaller in baseball than in the others, making it more plausible that the seventh-best record can take out the best record in a short series.

That heightens the uncertainty, and uncertainty is good at the box office and in the ratings.

It doesn’t do much for the quality of October play.

A-Rod made simple

The New York Yankees took a giant pratfall against the Tigers last week, and Alex Rodriguez barely played in the process.

Now pretty much everybody with an Internet connection and an interest in baseball is speculating about how quickly he’ll be out of the Bronx.

My view: He ain’t a-going nowhere.

Rodriguez still has $114 million guaranteed over the next four seasons, and that excludes up to $30 million in bonuses as he starts reaching certain home run milestones — and he’s only 13 dingers away from the first of those thresholds.

The Steinbrenner brothers are known to be eager to get the payroll under the new punitive luxury tax threshold, but they’ll have to eat too much of their fading star’s contract to get any real benefit out of trading him.

He’s staying for at least another two years.


Edward Thoma (344-6377; maintains his Baseball Outsider blog at Follow him on Twitter @bboutsider.

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