New York sports teams have always had the tendency to spend first and ask questions later. We are all for the winning now, and let those other cities worry about the rebuilding. Now other than the Giants, and arguably the Yankees and last year the Devils, that win at all cost mentality hasn’t really played out, and the latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek seems to justify that.
Reporter Ira Boudway came up with a win efficiency index for every one of the professional sports teams in the four major sports. The ranking determines how well the 122 franchises in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB spend their money, compiled by using regular and post-season records and publicly available payroll data to calculate how much teams spent per win over the last five seasons (for baseball he also included the first half of the current season).
For this year’s ranking, bonuses were added for the victories that matter most: wins above .500, playoff wins, and championships. The scale also counts regular season wins once, with a half-win bonus for every win over .500. Playoff wins count for 10 percent of a season; championships for half a season. In their Super Bowl-winning season in 2011, for instance, Giants got credit for nine regular-season wins, plus a .5-game bonus for their ninth win—the one that put them above .500. Their four playoff wins earned them 6.4 more wins and the Super Bowl victory eight more for a total of 23.9 “weighted” wins.
So who were the winners amongst the teams? Well if you are a Giant fan, you probably are not surprised that the organization that brought the city another Super Bowl, one that has long been about a system started by the Mara Family, run by people like George Young, Ernie Accorsi and now Jerry Reese, was a top 15 finisher (at number 11) for money spent and wins produced. The rest of the top ten included number one, the Tampa Rays, the number two Detroit Red Wings, the number three Pittsburgh Penguins, number four Texas Rangers and number five L.A. Lakers, whish really does prove it’s not just the glitz and glamor if you have a good system in a big market.
The Mets and the Islanders, meanwhile, got less for their payroll dollars than any other teams in their sport while the Devils ended up at 42, the Jets 53 and the Rangers 59. The Yankees came in at No. 99, while the NBA’s Nets and Knicks were No. 115 and No. 116, respectively. The Mets, meanwhile, were No. 120, not really a good sign that even with the limited restraints the Wilpons have placed, things have gotten any better yet. Now hopefully the recent run combined with the stewardship of Sandy Alderson has things going in the right direction in Flushing, but overall, if you are a fan in the area of the local teams, maybe we should think less about the stars and more about the W’s and hope our ownership groups take heed and do the same.