lgj, thanks for all the info. Now, based on YOUR analysis, the years we should have won more were '93, '96 and '97. Is that really what you were suggesting? In those three years, 40 teams with lower payrolls finished with better records and 0 teams with higher payrolls finished with worse records. Fair enough.
Over the past 5 years (1998-2002), when payroll inequities and competitive balance has been at its worst, only 14 teams with lower payrolls have won more, while 46 teams with higher payrolls have won less. So based on how you chose to look at it, recent history suggests that the Reds are doing quite well given their low payroll. That's what I suspected. Hey lgj, Bowden appreciates your support!!
Point is, if you want to start comparing wins and payrolls, we may look bad compared to Oakland, but we look pretty good relative to quite a few other organizations. Your theory works a lot better if you're talking about the Pirates, Brewers, Tigers, Orioles, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Rockies, Rangers - shall I keep going?