Salary vs. Performance

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

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 total salary for the year, 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 irrelevant.

This project was originally thrown together in a couple hours as a fun hack, but after making the rounds on the internet for a few years and being misinterpreted as an attempt at something more sophisticated than a hack, I decided to at least rewrite it using JavaScript/HTML5/Canvas and improve a little of how it works.

After the rewrite, I presented the updates (and a little more of the history) as part of my talk at the Eyeo Festival in 2012.

Previous seasons: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. The original versions were built with Processing and Java.

Additional details and earlier updates are posted here.

A description of how the original version of this project works, along with all its source code and the methods used to grab the data, can be found in Visualizing Data, a 2007 book I wrote for O'Reilly. (Read more about the book here.)

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

© 2005-2013 Ben Fry