One of my favorite sites is The Hardball Times. I can lose myself in the amount of baseball information getting thrown at me on a daily basis. The guys over there have such good information that you can’t help but get smarter just by reading. Last month, I ran across a post entitled Net Win Shares Value 2006. This looked at what kind of win shares you’re getting from guys based on what type of money you’re paying them.

Bob Costas had a book that talked about competitive balance in which he said:

The fact is, the single biggest indicator of a team’s opportunity for success from one year to the next is whether the team has a payroll among the top few teams in the league. Period.

On a side note, the book really is a good read, despite the flaw in his logic on this topic. The problem with Costas’ logic, according to THB, is that “He forgot about a couple of little things called minimum salary and salary arbitration. Just remember this factoid: 37% of all 2006 Win Shares were contributed by players making the minimum last year (or close to the minimum). Ryan Howard made $355,000 last year. Joe Mauer made $400,000. Hanley Ramirez made $327,500. That’s great production from guys who weren’t paid a lot of money. If your team is able to gather a lot of these players (as were the Twins and the Marlins), then you’re going to have a great year without spending a lot of money.”

What are your thoughts on what wins championships? Is it who spends the most money? Tomorrow, we’ll look at how the players we had fared based on the money we were paying them. It should be fun. In the meantime, let’s talk about what the recipe for bringing a championship to town is.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail