I have not changed my argument at all. This all started when you stated that you don't buy the small market/payroll excuse (apparently forgetting that the Yankees have dominated baseball for the past 5 years). I questioned the narrow view you took when you said we could do a lot better despite our payroll, and 2002 was proof in that 4 out of 7 teams with lower payrolls had better records (albeit Montreal and Fla were 2 of those teams, and all 7 of those teams were w/in $10m of our payroll). I simply asked you to broaden your view a little. You did that.
From your research, it's clear that 1993, 1996 and 1997 are the years that support your 'terrible Reds' theory the best, all BEFORE the HUGE payroll inequities that exist today. Would you agree with that????? Remember, '97 was one of the first times a team was known to 'buy' a WS - the Marlins. If 93-97 was the time period you were referring to, then fine, I can accept that.
IMO, the more applicable time period to consider when talking big payroll vs small payroll would be the time period since that '97 Marlins WS. When I asked a few weeks ago, "Which teams with LESS have done BETTER?" I was referring to payrolls since '97 - that's when competitive balance and huge payroll discrepancies became such a problem. During the time frame I considered (98-02), I hardly consider Atlanta and Cleveland as having operated with less....their payrolls have nearly doubled ours. Cleveland has a lot more hardware? I must have missed their WS championships? And so, to answer my question, since the Marlins bought their WS, "Which teams with LESS have done BETTER?" you've answered emphatically Oakland and ............................Oakland and....................Oakland.
Look, could we be better despite our low payroll? Sure we could. But is it difficult to sustain success every single year with a small payroll? You bet it is. Oakland is the only one to refute that, because they developed some very good young starting pitching. Hopefully, we're doing the same, but unfortunately it's a year or two away.
lgj, agree with me on a couple of things. To argue that market size is a non-factor is ludicrous. I think you agree. And to say that so many others have overcome small payrolls better than the Reds is difficult to support at best.
Hey, stop by sometime this year, and we can argue over a beer.