ST. PETERSBURG — Let’s call it “FunnyBall.” Or, better yet, “Hardly Any Money at All Ball.”
Bloomberg Businessweek, on pages 100-101 of its Oct. 24-Oct. 30 “Sports Issue,” calculates the Tampa Bay Rays as No. 3 on its list of “The Smartest Spenders in Sports.” (The list is also available online.)
Ira Boudway, with the help of Benjamin Lindbergh, Kenton Powell and David Yanofsky, set up the list of professional hockey, baseball, basketball and football teams, from No. 1 to No. 122, based on information they’d gathered and a formula they developed.
The Bloombergers explained their methodology this way:
“By culling player payroll data from reported sources and pairing them with wins and losses over the last five completed seasons, we calculated an average cost per win in each league. Based on that number, we measured (by standard deviation) how far each team varied above or below the league norm. The result is a cross-sport rating of how every U.S. franchise compares to its peers in squeezing wins from money.”
They call their rating “The Efficiency Index.”
According to the list, the No. 1 “Smart Spender” was the Nashville Predators. Why? Because, within the completed five-season period that was evaluated, the Predators had four post-season appearances, 44.6 average wins per season, an average cost of $.97M per win and a calculated Efficiency Index of -1.67.
Trouble is, how many people know what sport the Predators play? Turns out, it’s hockey.
Closer to home, at No. 2, are the Florida Marlins. Though the Fish have no post-season appearances recently, the team did win the World Series in 1997 and again in 2003. Here are the Bloomberg Businessweek stats:
- Average wins per season: 78.8
- Average cost per win: $.52M
- Efficiency Index: -1.61
Bloomberg noted that the Marlins’ average payroll of $41 million was lowest in the league.
At No. 3, the Tampa Bay Rays had three post-season appearances in the five years that were analyzed. Bloomberg stats:
- Average wins per season: 86.8
- Average cost per win: $.56M
- Efficiency Index: -1.47
By comparison, the New York Yankees are listed one tick from the bottom, at No. 121, with four post-season appearances and a championship in 2009. Stats:
- Average wins per season: 95.6
- Average cost per win: $2.11M
- Efficiency Index: 2.91
Bloomberg points out that, at $203 million, the Yankees had “the highest average payroll in all of the U.S. sports.”
Of the 122 professional teams listed, the Detroit Lions were in last place, based on the Bloomberg formula:
- Average wins per season: 3.6
- Average cost per win: $29.24M
- Efficiency Index: 3.22
Other Florida teams on the Bloomberg list:
Orlando Magic, No. 17, with four post-season appearances.
- Average wins per season: 52.4
- Average cost per win: $1.39M
- Efficiency Index: -0.91
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, No. 49, with one post-season appearance.
- Average wins per season: 7
- Average cost per win: $12.76M
- Efficiency Index: -0.42
Jacksonville Jaguars, No. 54, one post-season appearance.
- Average wins per season: 7.8
- Average cost per win: $13.08M
- Efficiency Index: -0.35
Miami Heat, No. 67, four post-season appearances.
- Average wins per season: 41.4
- Average cost per win: $1.69M
- Efficiency Index: -0.13
Florida Panthers, No. 70, no post-season appearances.
- Average wins per season: 35.2
- Average cost per win: $1.17M
- Efficiency Index: -0.10
Tampa Bay Lightning, No. 94, two post-season appearances.
- Average wins per season: 35.8
- Average cost per win: $1.25M
- Efficiency Index: 0.53
Miami Dolphins, No. 97, one post-season appearance.
- Average wins per season: 6.4
- Average cost per win: $17.35M
- Efficiency Index: 0.59
Bloomberg highlights the fact that the average cost per win in the NFL was $14.7M. The number for the NBA was $1.7M. For the NHL, the figure was $1.2M and Major League Baseball came in at $1.1M average cost per win.