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BTB on disabled list dollars, and ugly Rangers records

Over at Beyond the Box Score, they have a post up that looks at the teams that have been the best, and the worst, in terms of dollars lost to d.l. time on a year-to-year basis since 2002. 

It is an interesting list, and I wasn't surprised to see that the 2002 Rangers were 12th in dollars on the disabled list during this time period, with a little over $27 million in salaries to guys who were sidelined.  This was, after all, a team that had several high-priced guys who spring to mind immediately who missed time (the Ho, Juan Gonzalez, Pudge Rodriguez), and it was a major disappointment.

However...what I didn't expect was to see the 2004 Rangers on the list.  They lost a shade over $26 million to time on the disabled list, which ranks them 16th overall since 2002...but worse yet, because team payroll was only $55 million, their percentage of payroll lost to disabled list time was a whopping 47.3%.  It was the second-worst percentage of any team during the 2002-09 period, edged out only by the 2003 Indians, and only four other teams besides the '04 Rangers and '03 Indians were above 40%.

But my immediate reaction was...that can't be right, can it?  That was the year the Rangers won a bunch of games for the first (and last) time in a while, and while I know there were some injuries, it wasn't that bad, was it?

Well, I'd obviously forgotten how much dead salary was on the books that year.  I looked at the transactions for the Rangers in 2004, and the problems jumped out at me.

Take Rusty Greer, for example.  He was on the 60 day d.l. all season.  And he was paid $7.4 million.

And Jeff Zimmerman.  He was also on the 60 day d.l. all season.  He was paid $4.467 million.

There was Chan Ho Park, who missed about half the season to the d.l.  He was paid $14 million -- half of that is $7 million.

So right there, you have almost $19 million devoted to three players for their time on the disabled list, on a team with a $55 million payroll.

Then there were other guys I had forgotten about...Jay Powell, for example.  He missed most of the year, and made $3.5 million.

Jeff Nelson missed about half the season.  He was at $1.8 million.

Herb Perry missed a good chunk of the season, and was making $1.7 million.

Brian Jordan missed about two months, at $1.25 million for the year.

Good grief.  What a waste of money.