I am still relatively new at posting and commenting here but the payroll numbers made me think about comparing Marlins and Cardinals payroll v. ours and wins and playoffs, etc.
From 2000-2008 Marlins paid a total of 312 m. avg. 34.6m/year. a low of 14.9/m in 2006 and a high of 60.4m in 2005.
They avg. 80.4 wins during the same time with a low of 71 and high of 91 (year they won WS).
For every million Marlins paid in Payroll they had 2.32 wins with one world series win and no other playoff appearances and 1 second place in division, 4-3rd, 3-4th, 1-5th.
Cardinals on the other hand have paid 759.6m avg. 84.4m a low of 63.9(2000) and high of 99.6(2008).
They avged. 91.3 wins (Marlins high) with a low of 78 and a high of 105 (year we got umm beat by ourselves in the WS giving the Red Sox the Championship.)
For every million dollars in payroll Cardinals had 1.08 wins with 6 playoff appearances and two WS appearances and a Championship. We had 6-1st, 2-3rd, 1-4th (4th place had 3 worse seasons in wins including our WS Championship).
Marlins only had more wins in a season than Cardinals once (the year Marlins won the WS. ) Cardinals only dropped below Marlins avg. in wins once in 2007.
Basically, The Marlins have only been competitive so far one year in this decade while being a budget team, that year they were only competitive in the wild card as the Braves had 101 wins against their 91 wins. Then of course the surprise in the playoffs. Whereas the Cardinals have been competitive 6 of those years and were a better team then their 4th place finish (worst placing) in the decade last year.
I guess I have to be thankful for two things in looking at this, that one we do have ownership willing to pay 400+million dollars more than the Marlins to be competitive every year..not that money buys happiness in baseball, and two that we aren't the Cubs, who has increased their payroll a lot lately up to 118mil and other than 2000-2003 have kept pace with our spending and higher the last three years.
Also, though a problem with taking the marlins approach is that in order to get fans excited about players you have to keep players on the team for some time...they haven't had a good history of that.