Most of us are distressed as the end nears for the 2006 REDS. Up to that point we all had hopes of something not seen in these parts since 1995... the postseason. The opinions & reasons for "failure" after 5 months of hope (and ten years of no-playoff misery) have been stated by many here. It has been debated, argued and even caused a thread or two to get closed. The "many" here are some of the most loyal fans that the Cincinnati REDS have... no debating or arguing that. We have seen debates over Narron, Krisvky, "the trade" and its impact, lack of a complete starting staff, etc.

The good old salary thing. I hope you loyal REDS diehards don't mind this frustrated fan bringing this one back in the fold. It has been discussed here in the past. As we saw our beloved REDS fade in September... I think it is a good time to bring it back to the forefront. A team that does not have the money to get a Maddux/Abreau, did not have the money to put a legit #1 guy on the mound, did not have the money to put a flamethrowing closer on the mound, does not have the money to pay a manager $3-$5 million/yr... at the start or before the July 31 deadline.

Is it fair for the bottom spending team to have 1/13 the payroll of the top spender in the game we follow? Do any other top-level professional sports have this kind of imbalance from top-to-bottom? Sure... some lower-paid teams make it. And lots of higher-paid teams don't. I stated in another thread that it is easy to have injuries or foolish spending and not make it. It is tougher to have low-spending and make it. And do not let percentages fool you (a team increases payroll by 50%, $40 mill to $60 mill ; another "only" increases 20%, $100 mill to $120 mill... the lower pct. increase is still more likely to have better players).

SALARY FIGURES (in millions) From USA Today

1995 (last playoff appearance)
#1 - TOR, $49.8
#3 - ATL, $45.2
#6 - REDS, $37.2

2000
#1 - NYY, $92.9
#2 - LA, $90.3
#11 - Cards, $63.1
#12 - Cubs, $62.1
#18 - HOU, $52.1
#22 - REDS, $44.2

2001
#1 - NYY, $112.3
#3 - LA, $109.1
#9 - Cards, $78.3
#15 - Cubs, $64.5
#17 - HOU, $60.4
#18 - PITT, $57.8
#21 - REDS, $48.8

2002
#1 - NYY, $125.9
#4 - ARZ, $102.8
#12 - Cubs, $75.7
#13 - Cards, $74.7
#14 - HOU, $63.4
#21 - MILW, $50.3
#23 - REDS, $45.0

2003
#1 - NYY, $152.7
#2 - Mets, $117.2
#8 - Cards, $83.8
#11 - Cubs, $79.9
#14 - HOU, $71.0
#17 - REDS, $59.4

2004
#1 - NYY, $184.2
#4 - Mets, $96.7
#7 - Cubs, $90.6
#9 - Cards, $83.2
#12 - HOU, $75.4
#24 - REDS, $46.6

2005
#1 - NYY, $208.3
#3 - Mets, $101.3
#6 - Cards, $92.1
#9 - Cubs, $87.0
#12 - HOU, $76.8
#18 - REDS, $61.9

2006
#1 - NYY, $194.7
#5 - Mets, $101.0
#7 - Cubs, $94.4
#8 - HOU, $92.6
#11 - Cards, $88.9
#22 - REDS, $60.9