There seems to be a large divide between baseball writers and baseball fans:
"Baseball’s transition from the super-team era reached a crescendo in 2014, when the World Series was masterfully hijacked by the wild-card Giants and Royals. And, no, we couldn’t muster a single argument against a postseason that bypassed big-money teams like the Dodgers and Yankees or ones that were top-heavy in pitching like the Tigers."
For accuracy's sake, the Giants had the second-highest payroll in the NL.
The Royals had a relatively low payroll, but the real small-payroll World Series amongst playoff teams would have been Oakland vs. Pittsburgh.
Also, I don't know why a pitching-heavy team like the Tigers would have been less enjoyable than the Royals.
Also, the biggest argument against the 2014 postseason is a simple one: Ratings.
"Welcome to a leaner, more intelligent game, a better-run industry and on-field athleticism that’s at an all-time high."
I guess Klapisch doesn't like HRs.
"It’s a good time to be a baseball fan — and that actually includes the Yankees and Mets. The Bombers are taking a huge risk with a shifting business plan, finally emphasizing youth over their 30-somethings. Whether it works remains to be seen, but it’s a revolution that was long overdue in the Bronx."
I agree that the Yankee strategy is outdated. Cashman got tricked by steroid users who were productive for a long time. So the long-term free agent contracts have come back to haunt him, even if the players didn't necessarily use steroids. Steroids warped the market.
I suppose I agree that it's a good time to be a baseball fan ... I know I'm not going anywhere.
I just don't buy into the notion that the Royals are the Beacon of Small Market Hope.
"The Mets are moving in the right direction, too, although we’ll issue the usual disclaimer up high: they need more money. Too bad there isn’t enough in the Wilpons’ coffers to afford Troy Tulowitzki, at which point you could say the Mets are ready to capture greater New York. If only."
Which contradicts everything you just said about old players and payrolls.
Small payrolls and athleticism are great for other teams. For my team, I'll take highly-paid sluggers ... as long as they're actually earning their money.