From "New ideology will be on display this week" at FOXSports.com:
The four teams that have turned the baseball standings upside down economically this season showcase themselves and their new school ideology this week.
Never mind those payroll-busting New York Yankees who took a financial-blistering from senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner last week, and focus instead on those penny-pinching darlings in first or second place in four of the game's six divisions: The NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks, who travel to the NL East-leading Florida Marlins for a three-game series starting Tuesday; and the AL East-challenging Tampa Bay Rays, who are at the AL West-challenging Oakland A's for a three-game set opening Monday.
Suddenly, it's not about how much money an attractive off-season veteran player commands or a team spends, but how a developing young player performs and a team schemes. The buzzword in baseball: Young players are an organization's most valuable asset.
Through the first quarter of the season, youth-dominated teams in the bottom 10 rung of the payroll ladder are outperforming the money-hoarding, veteran-laden 10 teams in the top layer.
Through Sunday's games, the bottom 10 — from the Marlins at $21 million to the Texas Rangers at $67 million — are a combined 17 games over .500. The top 10 — from the Yankees at $209 million to the Atlanta Braves at $102 million — are nine games over.
That's an eight-game gap (just a few days ago it was 18, but the wealthy teams have rallied). Even more startling, it's a $79 million gap between the average top 10 payrolls of $131 million and average bottom 10 payrolls of $52 million.