And while St. Louis sports a $117 million payroll this year, you can't call the Cards a large-market team. In fact, St. Louis is only the 21st-largest media market in the country. For comparison's sake: New York is No. 1; Boston is No. 7; Tampa Bay is No. 14.
The St. Louis Cardinals, meanwhile, are the definition of mid-market. At $805 million, they are the 15th-most-valuable franchise out of 30. They have the league’s second-best attendance, but sit near the bottom in revenue from TV rights.It's clear revenues help a team buy depth and afford mistakes. Oakland and Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh made phenomenal runs this year...but petered out when it mattered most. St. Louis gets exceptional revenues from its die-hard fan base filling the stadium.
But money doesn't always buy happiness. The Yankees stunk despite spending more than the Athletics, Rays, and Pirates combined. Somewhere, George Steinbrenner is cursing...