The week ahead, like it or not:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
Something to consider as you ponder the price of a new pinstripe suit at the Men’s Warehouse: According to a survey conducted by SportingIntelligence. com, no other American-based sports franchise pays their players better than the Dodgers and Yankees do right now. The Dodgers’ average of $7.468 million per roster spot is only $300,000 more than the Yankees’ average, and each ranks in the top five on the planet for “best-paying teams.” (That’s their term; we tend to think of it as “most drunken sailors.”) The Dodgers are No. 2 behind the English Premier League’s Manchester City ($8.059 million), while the Yankees are No. 5 overall, not far behind La Liga’s Real Madrid ($7.25 million) and Barcelona ($7.21 million).
This is a list that covers 278 teams in 14 major pro leagues, spanning 10 countries and comprising 8,093 athletes making a combined $15.75 billion in salary. The Yankees still sport the highest team payroll in all of sports at $228.8 million, diving that up by having to pay Alex Rodriguez ($29 million), Mark Teixeira ($23.125 million), CC Sabathia ($23 million), Vernon Wells ($21 million), Derek Jeter ($16.7 million), Robinson Cano ($15 million), Curtis Granderson ($15 million) and showing restraint by holding the retiring Mariano Rivera to just $10 mil. The Dodgers’ $216.6 million payroll is top heavy with Zack Greinke ($21 million), Adrian Gonzalez ($21 million), Matt Kemp ($20.25 million), Carl Crawford ($20 million), Josh Beckett ($17 million) and Hanley Ramirez ($15.5 million). Wait’ll Clayton Kershaw joins in. So, are any of these guys actually healthy enough to play in this two-game series in the Bronx? That Yankee lineup we saw in Anaheim last weekend wasn’t exactly Murderer’s Row – at least some have avoided the DL unlike ARod, Jeter, Granderson and Kevin Youkilis.
Former Yankee legend Don Mattingly will be the lightning rod of attention here as the still-employed and unsuspended Dodgers manager is back at the new Yankee Stadium for the first time. After 17 years of interleague play, this is the first regular-season meeting between the two in New York (the previous six were at Dodger Stadium, in 2004 and 2010). To keep things interesting, the Dodgers throw Rookie of the Year candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-2, 2.85 ERA, making a meager $3.3 million) on Tuesday. The Yankees trot out Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 2.78 ERA, $15 million in salary) at his former Dodger teammates on Wednesday. Then we await the Yankees’ arrival at Dodger Stadium for two more on July 30-31 to even things out.
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