Which brings us to the much ballyhooed Alex Rodriguez-vs.-Houston Astros salary comparison. In 2013, A-Rod is earning more than the Astros' entire 25-man roster - $29 million to $22 million; in A-Rod's defense, he has a lot of auxiliary expenses.
This raises the question: Who is getting more bang for their buck, the Yankees with A-Rod or the Astros' penny pinchers?
To answer this, in cooperation with the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog and the American Enterprise Institute - me and Nate Silver were holed up in his Manhattan crib for nearly two days, crunching the numbers - I have calculated each team's "adjusted victories per player dollar," or AVPPD.
(Of course, A-Rod may not play this year, but our statistical model does not account for this.)
Through a complicated formula that I cannot possibly explain within the context of this column, we are projecting the Yankees for 89 victories this season and the Astros for 57. This translates to A-Rod having a 3.1 AVPPD, while the entire Astros roster will produce a 2.6 AVPPD.
Conclusion: Remarkably, this makes A-Rod a relative bargain. As expected, the Astros lose again.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Would you give an athlete the finger? (Kevin Morgan; Indianapolis)
A. When I was 16, I gave the finger to a fellow motorist, who then followed me to where I was going, got out of his car with a baseball bat and screamed through the driver-side window, "Don't ever flip the bird to someone unless you're prepared to face the consequences, dude." Other than the occasional typo, that would be the last time I misused my middle digit.
Q. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder says his team will "never" change its nickname. Isn't "never" a long time? (John Wagner; Rockville, Md.)
A. Actually, sources tell me Snyder is considering changing the team's nickname to "Redskinettes" to reflect his diminutive stature.
Q. First, Angel Hernandez and his umpiring crew blow a home run call on replay. Then Fieldin Culbreth, and his whole crew, forget a basic rule. When is MLB going to get rid of the replacement umps? (Stephen Pappas; White Plains, N.Y.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
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