A few weeks ago, after the Tigers took down the Yankees, I wrote about the fortunes of the best endowed MLB teams during the 2006. We now know that the Cardinals (#11 in the spending ranks) beat the Tigers (#14). So the Cards' owners and fans certainly got more than what they paid for. Based on regular season results, where St. Louis barely broke even in the Win-Loss columns, you would have had to argue that they got a little less than they were paying for. But, of course, it's all about winner-take-all, so a World Championship is pretty good ROI.
Detroit had excellent ROI, as well. For the regular season, in which they had a very strong Win-Loss record, Detroit posted an excellent return. Beating the Yankees and getting to the World Series was gravy.
The bottom line is that none of the big money teams were left standing - they were all left sitting in their dens watching someone else play on the 90 inch HD-TV flat screens they can all well afford.
No, it's not a pure Cinderello story - that would have been if the Marlins and Devil Rays had squared off - but it is nice to see relative little guys make it. (Of course, as a Red Sox fan (#2 in payroll), I can also argue that everyone other than the Yankees is a little guy: the gap between the Red Sox and Yankees payrolls is not much larger than the payroll of St. Louis or Detroit.)
Anyway, I look forward to seeing how the checkbooks come out this off-season as the big spenders continue to believe they're guaranteed (or entitled) to get what they pay for.