Descriptive Statistics

Topics: Major League Baseball, Baseball, American League Pages: 17 (3831 words) Published: October 18, 2008
Descriptive Statistics

One of the most beloved sports in America is Major League
Baseball. This professional sport spends billions of dollars each year enhancing the chances to reach the ultimate goal in winning the World Series. Major League Baseball is one of the few remaining sports that have an uneven balance in the franchise wage capacity to acquire top talented players. The areas of concentration in this research paper will be player salaries, winning percentage, player performance, and salary caps.

The disparity in payroll numbers among the lowest and highest-market capitalizations brings about the question; Can a small-market team be viable and compete against the marquee players? The data examined here may or may not illustrate a relationship between payroll dollars and wins. The question arises if Major League Baseball (MLB) owners can guarantee wins by spending more money. A lack of a clear relationship between wins and salary indicates that wins are simply the result of having exceptional athletic performance by a given player in a particular year.

There have been several research studies over the question if baseball salaries and wins are connected in some way. The Honest hypocrite for example, stated “A players pay is by no means an indicator of his performance.” There have been teams that have ranked fairly high in the standings but are consistently one of the lower spending teams. Teams that focus on ways to save money use young inexpensive players to keep the franchise expenses down. The objective is to use these players with little experience at a fairly low market rate. Salaries will never be an exchange for wins.

According to the article, baseball can’t buy me wins by Mark Hyman several successful teams have been some of the most lavish spenders but have never qualified for post season playoffs. MLB players have proven that some of the most successful teams on the baseball field are not the richest payers. Money doesn’t always make the difference; franchises depend on management to find talent and even luck. The following table shows the ranking of some of the highest paid teams and their rankings. According to the October 5th 2005 news analysis, the rankings and the salaries of national league players can be surprising.

Salary Standings


New York Mets $101 4th

Philadelphia Phillies $96 2nd

Atlanta Braves $86 1st--playoff bound

Florida Marin $60 3rd

Washington $46 5th and last

When calculating the measures of central tendency and dispersion – out of the five team salary data, the median salary is $86K and the mean is $78K. The standard deviation ranges from $46K to $101K. Taking into consideration that the highest salary standing team was the New York Mets who finished in 4th place that year and the lowest salary was the Washington Nationals who finished 5th which was last place in the MLB Division Standings.

The disparity in payroll numbers among the lowest and highest-market capitalizations brings about the question; Can a small-market team be viable and compete against the marquee players? In calculating the salary of all 30 MLB teams analysis indicated the mean and median were very close. The average mean is $83K and the median is $85. The findings would place the average Major League Baseball salary at $84.5K and the winning team would be anyone’s guess.

An example of a high priced season came from the Giants whose payroll consisted over $90 million dollars (the seventh highest paying team). $22 Million went to a player who was out half the season with a bad knee. Researchers have used several graphs and figures to create the research of how salaries do not always guarantee wins.

Do salaries have a direct impact on the number of wins in a season? When looking at the statistics for the 2005 baseball season, the number one team in salaries wages was the New York Yankees...

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Bloom, Barry (2002) The Official Site of the Major League Baseball:
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Payrolls Retrieved
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deMause, Neil (2006) Does Baseball need a salary cap? ESPN Page 2
December 21, 2007 from HYPERLINK
Fry, Ben (2005) Salary vs. Performance for American baseball teams over
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Nightinale, B. (2007, December). Baseball have-nots make use of payroll
Today, Page 01c. Retrieved December 21, 2007 from EbscoHost Academic
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Powers, S. (2006, October). Sacks of cash. Business 2.0, (7)9. Retrieved
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Sherson, Brian (2005) WebQuery: Baseball Salaries and Winning retrieved
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