Despite modest payrolls, Oakland and Tampa each have a shot at the 2012 postseason, a circumstance Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi sought to contrast with the (annual) struggles of Kansas City and Cleveland. Indians closer Chris Perez, having previously criticized his own fans and recently tangling with a heckler in Oakland, demonstrated to Morosi the words, “no comment”, have no place in his vocabulary
One big difficulty for Indians general manager Chris Antonetti: His payroll this year is roughly $50 million lower than that of the division rival Tigers.
“Different owners,” Perez said frankly, in reference to Detroit’s Mike Ilitch and Cleveland’s Lawrence J. Dolan. “It comes down to that. They (the Tigers) are spending money. He (Ilitch) wants to win. Even when the economy was down (in Detroit), he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do.”
“You can’t miss,” Perez said. “You have to be right. That’s why I say it’s not just ownership. They don’t make the trades. It’s the GMs. It goes hand in hand. The GMs can only spend the money the owners give them, but they pick who they spend it on or who they don’t. They pick. The owners don’t pick.
“Josh Willingham would look great in this lineup. They didn’t want to (pony) up for that last year. … That’s the decision they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in.”