In response to softlaw2's comment:
It seems to me one of your favorite organizations is Atlanta...you keep mentioning them as being well-run.
But they haven't won a playoff series since 2001.
Compare the two payrolls and compare how many times the way smaller payroll has won the division and been in the playoffs. They are well run.
The Marlins still have staff that is quite good, but the owner and the market is a joke. They have 2 world series because they are, in fact, better than the Rays at finding top talent and developing it. The Rays and all those embarrassing teams and the draft compensation is going to dry up because of the new CBA. They have been a AAAA offensive team, and are even worse, this year. There was a poster on here claiming they wouldn't lose a beat when Jennings replaced Crawbust, but they've lost more than a beat.
Texas obviously knew to avoid Hamilton, like the plague. The Tigers are the class of the AL, but the Rangers are still a superior organization to the Red Sox. If Duquette had been InEpstein in place, instead, during those Duquette years, the Red Sox would be like they are, now.
The Red Sox have good ownership and a lot of national fan support in the media markets so that they can have the giant budgets despite the small ballpark.
The owner should have cleaned the management house, by now.
Saving for when you are booted and deleted.
The Rays won 84 games with Crawford in 2009 and 96 in 2010. That's an average of 90 per season. The Rays won 91 and 90 since then. What "beat" have they lost?
The Marlins are the laughing stock of MLB, and have been way behind the Rays. You just compared the Braves to the Sox by looking at payroll and division wins. Why not use your same criteria for a Marlins Rays comparison?
The Marlins have never won the division and have had a higher payroll than the Rays for almost every season in existence. The Rays have won 90 or more games in 4 of the last 5 seasons in one of the toughest divisions in MLB. The marlins have won 90+ games 2 times in 20 years. Yes, they have 2 rings, but have not won more than 87 games since 2003. Brilliant ownership and a true model of small market baseball. You are living in the past. The Rays perfected the comp pick era, and you give them no credit. The just acquired a top prospect for an aging Shileds, and Cobb has filled in his slot nicely.
Yes, the Rays offense has gotten worse over the last 2 years, but so has all of MLB. They key is in the run differential: