Touch 'Em All: Opening Day, by the numbers

Posted: April 06, 2012

As of Thursday, the Kansas City Royals had the youngest opening-day roster in Major League Baseball, with an average age of 27 years and 155 days, according to Stats L.L.C. The Houston Astros were the youngest in the National League, at 27 years and 301 days. Those baby 'Stros were closely followed by the Atlanta Braves: 28 years and 99 days.

The oldest MLB roster? That would be those New York Yankees (31 and 222 days) - and that's not even counting Andy Pettitte, who will be 40 in June. The Bronx Bombers already feature methuselahs the likes of Raul Ibanez (also 40 in June) and Mariano Rivera (42 last November). And Derek Jeter is fast approaching 38, while Alex Rodriguez will be 37, both also in June. Not quite yet the over-the-hill gang, we suspect.

Which brings us to the oldest NL roster - yep, it's the Phillies, who average 30 years and 361 days (not counting Charlie Manuel). Could be a silver-streaked World Series.

More digits

The Yankees open with the highest payroll ($200 million), ahead of the Phillies at $174 million.

No surprise that the Yanks also have the highest-paid player (A-Rod, for the 12th straight year, at $30 million).

The Oakland Athletics will get another chance to play some moneyball, with the majors' lowest payroll: $53 million. The Pittsburgh Pirates raised their payroll to $63 million after their MLB-record 19th straight losing season (coming soon to PNC Park: 20 Years of Losing!). There is some good news for the Bucs: They're getting $11.5 million of that back from the Yankees as part of the A.J. Burnett trade.

We know, it's opening day, and time to be optimistic.

Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth is. "The payroll thing is kind of an excuse, honestly," he said. "You don't play dollar against dollar. You have to go out on the field and do it."

If only.

Get used to it, Larry

Chipper Jones was booed throughout the introductions before the New York Mets-Braves game by a sellout Citi Field crowd of 42,080 (the largest in the park's history), even as announcer Howie Rose was saying that the Atlanta great was starting his final major-league season. Given the way the slugger has tormented most NL teams, this could be a regular thing. (The Braves don't get to the world-class boobirds in Philadelphia until July 6 - the decibels then may set a record.)

Contact Michael Harrington at

This article contains information from the Associated Press.


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