Salary vs. Performance

What baseball teams are spending their money well,
and how does it change over the course of the season?

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This sketch looks at all 30 Major League Baseball Teams and ranks them on the left according to their day-to-day standings. The lines connect each team to their 2009 salary, listed on the right.

A steep blue line means that the team is doing well for its money, which reflects well on the team's General Manager. A steep red line implies that the team is throwing away money. The thickness of the line is proportional to the team's salary relative to the others.

Drag the date at the top to move through the season. The first few days of the season are omitted because the rankings to (at least) that point are statistically silly. You can also use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move forward or backward one day.

Salary lists are taken from the USA Today Salaries Database. Win/loss scores are calculated from MLB.com.

Previous seasons: 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Not detailed enough? Problems with the plot? Updates are posted here.

A description of how this project works, along with all its source code and the methods used to grab the data, can be found in Visualizing Data, a book I wrote for O'Reilly. (Read more about the book here.)

Built with Processing, an open-source programming environment for teaching computational design and sketching interactive media software.