Hey big spenders - baseball's playoffs are no longer your exclusive playground.
Pittsburgh, 26th among the 30 teams with a US$73.6 million payroll, rolled past Cincinnati on Tuesday night and into a National League Division Series matchup against St. Louis.
Oakland, 27th on the spending list at $71.1 million, according to Major League Baseball's latest figures, won the American League West and faces Detroit.
And Tampa Bay, 28th at $65.6 million, played the wild-card game last night against Cleveland, 21st at $88.6 million.
"We've created things that have really helped our sport. They've really helped us in a myriad of ways," commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday. "The economics - they were archaic."
Sure, some of the big spenders found their way into October. The Los Angeles Dodgers raised their spending to $236.8 million during the season and are about $100,000 behind the Yankees. (Final figures may change depending on award bonuses and revisions).
Boston is third at $174.1 million, Detroit fifth at $153.4 million, St. Louis 11th at $119.3 million and Cincinnati 13th at $113.3 million.
But half the playoff teams are from the bottom 50 per cent in spending, with the A's, Rays, Pirates and Indians joined by Atlanta (16th at $95.3 million).
"I think that the playing field is not level, never will be," controlling owner Bob Nutting said. "Is it easier to build a great club with $200 million than with $75-$80 million? Absolutely. But I believe, have always believed and will continue to believe, that we can be competitive at that level."