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Joe Getting Praise

Payroll not so much.

' Joe Girardi is the Manager of the Year as far as I'm concerned in the National League,'' Tim McCarver said. ``They've done a terrific job. After two months, I didn't think they were going anywhere. To win and develop at the same time is a thing that all organizations seek.''

His broadcast partner, Joe Buck, joined in the praise, but also voiced concerns about teams having payrolls as low as Florida's $15 million, which is by far the lowest in baseball. He said the next labor agreement should have a minimum payroll requirement of ''about double what the Marlins are paying.'' (That's unlikely to happen without a salary cap.)

Said Buck: ``If you're going to get the kind of money these teams get out of revenue sharing and then consistently strip it down and have what they have there -- you've got to make these teams at least live up to some standard of a payroll to . . . at least appear competitive. The Marlins are the perfect example of that.

``That being said, they've done a great job and seem to be in great position to make their third run at this thing with a new group.''

So let's see.  The team is ahead of four MLB clubs, going by win percentage.

Cubs - $94,424,499
Nationals - $63,143,000
Royals - $47,294,000
Pirates - $46,717,750

So, if the team added approximately $80,000,000 to the payroll, we could be just as competitive as the Cubs.

I do understand that there is a correlation between payroll and competitiveness, but it is not an absolute.  There is also a positive correlation between player development and winning.  It is conceivable that young player development is the better option of the two.  This naturally assumes a team is dedicated to it.

The Marlins are the modern kings of the fire sale.  But they are also very good at acquiring young talent and developing the same.  I know some owners keep the payroll as low as possible with hopes of cashing in on media contracts and revenue sharing, such as it is, but the Marlins haven't historically proven to be one of those teams.

Yes, I was sad about last year's selloff but Beinfest did a fabulous job in acquiring young talent.  The young guys have the potential to not only win, consistently in the future, but to also regain the fans. I believe they are well on their way. I think, and don't hold me to this, the Marlins are 5th in television households in the NL - at least that is what I remembered Tommy saying.

Payroll does matter, but it is not the only way to build a winning team.  Besides, checkout the team's stadium revenue as it compares to the other clubs in Major League Baseball.  Singling out the Marlins is an injustice.