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November 6, 2009

Prospectus Today

Looking Both Forwards and Back

by Joe Sheehan

I wanted to get yesterday's piece up before flying to Phoenix, which is where I am today, taking in some Arizona Fall League action and participating in Baseball HQ's First Pitch Arizona. Here are some of the notes I didn't quite get to about Game Six, as well as some other follow-ups:

  • There seem to be a lot of people angry, or at least bitter, that the Yankees won, this feeling being tied to the team's high payroll and large investment in personnel last offseason. My reaction is the same as it's been: what else would you have them do with the money? The Yankees generate enormous revenues not just for themselves, but for the other 29 teams and for MLB as an entity. They take that money and try to make their product better. Short of the silliness of "well, they could lower ticket prices," which would just mean transferring money from their pockets not to fans, but to sellers in the secondary market, what, exactly, should they do with all the money they have other than make the team as good as they can?

    That's an argument we've had, and I don't mind having it. What bugged me about the tone of the reaction I'm seeing is the anger towards Yankee fans, as if they should somehow not be happy that their favorite team won, or that they're in some way lesser people for rooting for the Yankees. Baseball isn't a morality play, it's a business. That applies a million-fold to being a baseball fan. I don't know how other people came to their loyalties, but when it comes to baseball, mine were set as a child, and came through my family, and I'm willing to bet that's the case for most people. You root for the local team or you root for the team your folks root for, or maybe you root for some other team, but you probably forged that bond before you lost your virginity. To criticize people for choices madeno, for something that wasn't even a choice, just something that happened before they even knew it is insane.

    I've made this point before, but since I've made my fandom part of my work over the years, I should make it again. There are Yankee fans who remember a time before 1996. There are Yankee fans who, like myself, lived through a lot of crappy baseball in the 1980s, a lot of dumb free-agent signings, through a Mets era in New York for the most part, through the Oscar Azocar Yankees and Stump Merrill and "I just won you the pennant." Being a Yankee fan has never been what being a Pirates fan is, but even as I write that sentence, I think about being 22 years old and having seen a hell of a lot more Pirates postseason games than Yankee ones.

    So, stop criticizing people's fandom. You want to criticize the economic system of baseball, fine, but stop acting as if being a fan of a certain team says something about a person. It probably just means that their dad watched the game every night, or their grandpa took them to watch that team in their first game, or their aunt gave them a jersey when they were six years old and they slept in it every night, dreaming of wearing it on a green field in front of a big crowd on a sunny day.

  • If there's one question about the 2010 Phillies that I think could blow up their season, it's the Jimmy Rollins issue. Charlie Manuel pretty much stayed with Rollins all year-and all postseason-as his leadoff man. Rollins' inability to reach base often enough hurt this team's offense, even as they led the league in runs scored. The lack of a leadoff man on base in front of the great slugging middle of the order was a problem in the playoffs, as it seemed like Rollins' getting on triggered rallies, but not nearly enough of them.

    Manuel can't go another season with a poor leadoff man. Rollins has always been miscast in the role, but so long as he had an above-average OBP, you could live with it because Rollins would get himself into scoring position frequently and he ran the bases well. At .296, no amount of speed and power can save you. If Rollins doesn't bounce back in '10, he'll have to be dropped to sixth or seventh, and I'm not sure what happens if Rollins gets demoted, whether that becomes a thing. It's the biggest challenge facing the Phillies in 2010.

  • Ryan Howard got to Andy Pettitte in Game Six, but overall his poor World Series is directly connected to his seeing so few right-handed pitchers. I'm not sure I'm willing to stand by the "platoon player" label I placed on him-he improved his defense and baserunning enough that he's not a complete cipher outside the batter's box-but he was exposed in this Series, and you can bet the NL was watching.

    I will say this: Howard made the effort to become a better baseball player last offseason, losing weight that showed up in his lateral range and his baserunning and basestealing. If I'm going to bet on a player improving his game, eliminating a flaw, it's going to be when that player has already shown a willingness to work and improve. Maybe Howard doesn't get any better against lefties, and is forever a player who can be taken out of a big spot by a tap on the left arm. But I think the changes he made to his game between 2008 and 2009 provide at least some hope that he can learn to handle southpaws in a way that makes him even more dangerous.

  • When Charlie Manuel looks back at this series, I think he'll regret not leaning on J.A. Happ a bit more. Happ should have been shadowing Pedro Martinez from the start of Game Six, and should have been available to pitch to Hideki Matsui in the third inning, when Matsui hit a big two-out single that gave the Yankees their third and fourth runs. Happ also could have been used in the fifth, rather than Chad Durbin; a stretch of three right-handed batters in four spots, created when Jerry Hairston Jr. came in for Johnny Damon, seemed to be the main factor there. Durbin was ineffective, and the game all but over by the time Happ was finally called upon.

  • Give some credit to Shane Victorino, whose muff of Derek Jeter's line drive in the third set up that two-run inning for the Yankees. His ninth-inning, ten-pitch battle with Mariano Rivera was basically meaningless to the outcome of the game, but it was impressive to watch.

  • I was asked about how I felt about Matsui for MVP. I was OK with it-he had a key homer in Game Two and singlehandedly won Game Four. The Yankees didn't have an obvious candidate; the guys with the best stats didn't have significant game impact, and the guys with the most game impact-mostly Alex Rodriguez-had just OK stats. The two best players in the series were Chase Utley and Cliff Lee, but the series needed to go seven games for one of them to win. Matsui is effectively the compromise choice, and not a bad one at that.

  • It will get lost, but the relentless bunting with no one out and a big lead has got to stop. Jerry Hairston Jr. in the fifth, then Brett Gardner in the seventh, were called upon to sacrifice in situations where there was no good reason to be giving up an out. You win by getting guys on base, hitting for power and not making outs; sacrifice bunting in all but specific situations is counter to all three of those things.

  • Of the core five Yankees who came up through the system and formed the backbone of the dynasty, Andy Pettitte is the one I have the least attachment to. But the moment of his walking off the mound, and the "An-dy Pett-itte" chants that greeted him throughout the game and in the aftermath, were great moments.

With the end of the postseason comes the end of another run of postseason columns. I write more in October, really the better part of a book, than I do in any other month. It comes with the job, but truth be told, I just love it, love being able to write about baseball games. The games remain for me the best part of baseball, the things that keep me coming back year after year, and getting to write about games is why October is my favorite month. Some days in May or August, it's hard to know what to talk about; I never have that problem in the postseason.

Without the readers at Baseball Prospectus, though, I wouldn't have nearly as many people to talk to, or nearly so much fun doing it. Thank you. Thank for reading and subscribing and asking chat questions and writing comments and sending e-mails and calling into radio shows and watching ESPNews or Outside the Lines. Thanks for demanding a better brand of baseball content. Thanks for everything, for 14 years.

With t hat, I'm off to Phoenix Municipal Stadium. I'll be there today and in Peoria tonight, hopefully seeing guys who we'll be writing about for years to come.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Joe's other articles. You can contact Joe by clicking here

Related Content:  The Who,  J.A. Happ,  Yankees Fans

74 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

drballgame42

"I was asked about how I felt about Matsui for MVP. I was OK with it—he had a key homer in Game Two and singlehandedly won Game Four."

Surely that was supposed to be game 6?

Nov 06, 2009 10:25 AM
rating: -1
 
SoxOsPhils

Overall good and insightful coverage from BP over the past season. I am looking forward to more analysis and fun from the sport and this site in 2010.

Nov 06, 2009 11:13 AM
rating: 1
 
JParks

The Rollins thing is big, but I think he'll bounce back to the mean of his 06/07/08 seasons, say 275/340/450. Still not great for a leadoff hitter but acceptable as Joe says with his speed and isolated power.

I think the bigger question is where does Cole Hamels go in '09? There was a BP piece on him during the series that suggested basically he was a similar pitcher in '08 and '09, just unluckier on balls in play and a higher HR/FB ratio.

Joe, what is your gut on what Hamels does in '10?

Nov 06, 2009 11:17 AM
rating: 0
 
JParks

Of course I meant Hamels in '10.

Nov 06, 2009 11:18 AM
rating: 0
 
BartPachino

The vast majority ARE "criticizing the economic system of baseball," as you put it.

It's hard to fault the Yankees for taking advantage of it.

And of course, you can't fault individual players or even the Union for allowing the players for taking the most money they can get.

However it's EASY to fault --

-- ARod's sanctimonious attitude after misleading the public for years about his 'roid use.

-- Texeira's "I am so glad I joined the best team money could buy" line (I am paraphrasing) -- especially if you are an Oriole fan.

-- A system that is functionally the equivalent of letting me, as Little League coach, get the first five picks in the league before anyone else gets a pick in round one.

-- Selig for associating "higher attendance league wide" with the notion that the game is growing -- which it's not.

-- Selig for being an anachronism about replay and the payrolls.

Nov 06, 2009 11:38 AM
rating: 1
 
jlefty

-- ARod's sanctimonious attitude after misleading the public for years about his 'roid use.

What's been so bad about Arod's attitude? Say what you want about him, after the admission, he pretty much shut up about himself and always talked about the team.

-- Texeira's "I am so glad I joined the best team money could buy" line (I am paraphrasing) -- especially if you are an Oriole fan.

Why wouldn't he be happy with his choice? He's making a ton of money, is embraced by the fans under a huge spotlight, and he just won a world championship. This is a ridiculous statement.

-- A system that is functionally the equivalent of letting me, as Little League coach, get the first five picks in the league before anyone else gets a pick in round one

No. It's not. Not at all.

I disregard comments at MLB.com because I expect them to be ill-conceived. But when I read them here, I can only shake my head and realize, we've still a longggggggg way to go.

Nov 06, 2009 12:55 PM
rating: -1
 
ScottyB

Re: -- ARod's sanctimonious attitude after misleading the public for years about his 'roid use.

Arod's attitude??? What about Pettite, Giambi, Bonds, Manny, LoDuca, Lawton, Vina, etc etc etc etc.

I'm sick of Arod being singled out for criticism.

Nov 06, 2009 13:34 PM
rating: 5
 
awayish

What sanctimonious attitude? How about your judgmental attitude on a complicated moral issue? You expect everyone who made the decision to use steroids to go to hell or something?

Nov 06, 2009 14:41 PM
rating: 1
 
baserip4
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Every morning when you wake up you have a choice between good and evil. Yankees fans choose evil.

Nov 06, 2009 11:48 AM
rating: -14
 
HoldSteady
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

That is so wrong. Just shut up.

Nov 06, 2009 12:15 PM
rating: -8
 
Ryan V.

I hate the Yankees, but, unless one of their fans is in my face crowing about how they won the Series while my team sat at home watching, I don't have any specific problems with the fandom (I mean, every team has obnoxious fans... even my Red Sox).

My only issue with the Yankees win on Wednesday was that it meant no baseball on Thursday. And a long winter until pitchers and catchers report...

Nov 06, 2009 12:12 PM
rating: 9
 
TGisriel

While I am more than willing to point out that Yankees fans are spoiled (by the Yankees' recent success) I have no problem with Yankee fans, other than their blindness to their advantages.

I have significant issues with an economic system that allows one (or a few)teams to have large and systematic competitive advantages. It is to the Yankees' credit that they effectively exploit their advantages, but the constant assumption of superiority because of those advantages is annoying. I'm reminded of Governor Richards' line about George Bush: "He was born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple."

Nov 06, 2009 12:36 PM
rating: 10
 
John Carter

"Baseball isn’t a morality play, it’s a business."

There's no denying it is a business, but it is many different things to many different people. From some of the other comments, so far, the team you choose to root for - especially in a two team city - is to some degree a morality test. Their thinking is that baseball is a game, no participants should have an unfair advantage, rooting for a team that does is immoral.

Though I live in Toronto, I have no problem with the Yankees having an unfair advantage. They should. Presumably, they have the largest market. More people will be pleased if they win. Though I hate to say this due to some of George's crass antics, kudos to the Steinbrenners for building up that fan base as well as they have.

Though I'm actually a Detroit rooter, I believe the Toronto Maple Leafs (along with the Montreal Canadians) deserve even greater unfair advantages in hockey. The salary cap is more difficult to get around than the payroll penalties the Yankees cough up, however, Toronto has a horrible record of turning their market advantage into any advantage on the ice.

Besides, where do you draw the line about what is fair? Unless you are playing a brainless game that is based 100% on luck, some participants are going to be better than others. Who is to say what ways of being better are fair and which others are not - as long as no rules are violated? I guess it comes down to morals, but I certainly don't see the immorality of the Yankees outspending other teams for the best veterans. If it seems they are going too far, then let MLB tweak their payroll penalty to make it a little bit tougher for them.

Frankly, to whine about it now is bad sportsmanship. Congratulations, Yankees fans. It was well deserved.

Nov 06, 2009 13:03 PM
rating: 3
 
PapaGiorgio

My problem with Yankee fans is three fold:

-they are spoiled and most of them don't realize it. Most baseball fans are so thrilled to see their team in contention in September. Yankee fans are upset with anything else but a world series title. They don't seem to appreciate the little moments the way us lesser fans do.

-They seem to think their team is "America's team." They are the most recognizable baseball team around the globe, no doubt, but they do not speak for all of us. They win by overspending first, luck second and baseball acumen third. Teams like the Twins, A's & Rays more represent America's hard working spirit. Yankees represent our overindulgence. They are baseball's WalMart or Costco.

-They have a sense of entitlement. Because they are so spoiled and they seem to think they are America's team, they somehow think baseball is better off because they exist and because they are playing in the post season. As a fan that happened to grow up in NY, like Joe mentioned, and just happened to root for the home team, you aren't any more entitled to watching playoff appearances than a kid growing up in Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle, etc. Yes, your team has history, but so do all the other original MLB teams. My Giants have more hall of famers and more overall wins, but I don't feel any sort of entitlement. I get a little annoyed that your rivalry with the Red Sox is mentioned as being rich and storied while the far more even and venomous rivalry in the Golden State is never even spoken of, but at least I acknowledge that the other rivalries exist.

I don't blame the Yankees for exploiting every aspect of the economic system that has allowed them to have this aspect. I don't blame their fans for rooting for the home town team. I'm sure many of their fans don't exemplify the points I show above, but there is a great majority that do. That's why I'm annoyed by Yankee fans.

Oh, and Red Sox fans are just about as bad, if not worse. I had a Red Sox fan actually tell me "I thought everybody likes the Red Sox" when I said I was rooting against them.

Nov 06, 2009 13:03 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

Leaving aside the gross generalizations of your post - I know plenty of Yankee fans who appreciated every single step of the way to the postseason, every goofy moment in every August dog day, every ounce of progress from every prospect, just as they always have - there are a lot of headscratchers, but the one that really baffles me is "Yankees represent our overindulgence. They are baseball's WalMart or Costco."

Seems to me that the WalMarts and Costcos are for selling things at rock-bottom prices or at bulk discounts, not for overindulgence. On the contrary, the Yankees sell their product at a premium, with the highest ticket price in the majors, and they obviously pay top dollar to their players, too. So I'm completely baffled as to what you mean.

Nov 06, 2009 13:50 PM
 
PapaGiorgio

OK, maybe WalMart & Costco were bad examples. I didn't mean they exemplified their rock bottom prices, but the fact that American's are obsessed with the "more is better" idea. The Yankees need MORE multimillion dollar All-Star players. They need a BIGGER stadium. They need a 28th world championship. They need 10lbs of nutmeg.

So many cities are yearning for just ONE world title. Yankee fans thinking their city deserves it's 28th title before San Francisco gets it first is a sense of entitlement. I know you're always going to root for your team, but when is enough titles enough? Do Yankee fans need one per decade? The announcers during game 7 kept talking about the 9 year interim between titles like it was a millennium. What about the amount of time the Cubs, Giants, Indians, Padres, Mariners, Rangers, etc have waited? Nine years isn't even worth mentioning.

Yankee fans whining about that 9 year time period is like Bill Gates whining about having to pay too much in taxes.

But you are right, there are lots of generalizations there and it's a shame that I'm most influenced by the loudest Yankee fans and not the ones you speak of, Jay.

Nov 06, 2009 14:38 PM
rating: 5
 
marooner

1) There's a problem with your expectations. As a fan of the Giants, you should expect your team to win every year; if they don't you should hold your team to account. Yankee fans are lucky enough to have ownership that holds itself to that high standard. You can be upset when your team doesn't win it all, but still "appreciate the little moments."

2) To the extent anyone thinks of the Yankees as "America's Team" (a title applied more often to the Dallas Cowboys than anyone else) it's only because they are the most popular team around the country.

3) Baseball is better off because the Yankees exist and are playing in the postseason. Baseball is also better off because the Red Sox exist, the Dodgers exist, the Cubs exist... You don't think that baseball is better off because the Giants exist? I do. If you don't think that baseball is better off because your team exists, whatever your team is, that's really sad to me.

Nov 06, 2009 13:59 PM
rating: -2
 
PapaGiorgio

I don't expect my Giants to win every year and no fan of any team should. They should WANT their team to win every year, but baseball is a zero sum sport, so for every fan to expect their team to win every year is unreasonable.

Usually teams go through cyclical periods. Their up-and coming talent combines with veterans signed at just the right time and they put together a magical run. Then the once-good contracts become stale and the talent dries up from no more top of the draft picks. Only the truly excellent front offices can avoid this (admittedly, I have VERY low expectations from the SF front office).

I don't think it's good for baseball to see the Yankees in the playoffs every year. I think it's good for baseball to see divisions like the NL West & AL Central where no one team dominates year in and year out. Baseball isn't going to gain any popularity in Baltimore or Toronto any time soon.

Nov 06, 2009 14:31 PM
rating: 4
 
marooner

We're getting a little semantic here, I grant you. But one can expect something, demand something from themselves and those they associate with, knowing that it isn't going to happen. To move between sports, Tiger Woods doesn't just want to win every major; he expects to win every major. He isn't going to, but he demands it of himself. Anything short is a disappointment. In basketball, I imagine that Laker fans don't just want the Lakers to win every year, they expect it, and consider it a disappointment when they do not. These expectations are obviously unrealistic; no team not named the Harlem Globetrotters is going to win every time they suit up. But they are only "unreasonable" if they have some cost that exceeds their benefit. Whether the balance works is a matter of personal preference I guess, but it works for me.

As for your last point, you're entitled to your opinion. But I would say that golf is way more interesting when Tiger is playing and winning, the NBA is more exciting when the Lakers and the Celtics are good, and the NFL was setting records when the Patriots went (almost) undefeated.

Nov 06, 2009 20:10 PM
rating: -1
 
Richard Bergstrom

As of March 30th 2009, the Glovetrotters have lost 345 times, not once.

http://www.jimsullivanink.com/content/view/1465/45/

*throws a tip in the semantics jar*

Nov 06, 2009 20:47 PM
rating: 0
 
KevinS
(961)

The NBA is more exciting when the Lakers and Celtics are good?

Only if they earned their "goodness" on a level playing field.


Nov 06, 2009 20:54 PM
rating: 1
 
copperfield

It seems like the Yankees and by proxy their fans are symbolic stand-ins for the anger of the moment. That's certainly unfair and it must be frustrating but I do think that the escalation is telling. Joe is certainly right that it's not telling in any substantial way about baseball, and while there is no moral component to who wins and loses, I think it's dismissive to say it's not a morality play. This is America, everything is a morality play. I wonder if Yankee fans feel that the attitude is worse now than during the late 90's? It seems to me that it is for reasons that have very little to do with baseball operations and more to do with the Yankees as a symbol of wealth.

Nov 06, 2009 13:08 PM
rating: 1
 
copperfield

I meant to add that the way the national media covered the luxury seats at the new stadium the impression was given that Yankee fans all have $2500 to blow on a seat and all work for a global financial institution.

Nov 06, 2009 13:17 PM
rating: 1
 
Matt

I have no problems with the Yankees or their fans. Most teams do not need to overcome the Yankees to make the playoffs. The Yankees don't win the World Series every year, so you can't claim that they buy World Championships. Unless you are a fan of the Orioles, Blue Jays, or Rays, your team losing is not a function of the Yankees winning.

And besides, do you think the game would be so entertaining if there was complete parity? I think it would be rather bland. You need the villain to root against. When you beat the Yankees, you feel a sense of pride you don't feel when you beat other teams. When the Red Sox came back from 3-0 against the Yankees, it really was that special because they did it against the Yankees, and I'm no Sox fan.

I say just accept it as part of the baseball narrative and move on.

Nov 06, 2009 13:12 PM
rating: 2
 
Bob

I agree. I've come just about full-circle on the Yankees. I used to hate them with an unhealthy passion. It was mostly triggered by Roger Clemens throwing a broken bat at Mike Piazza, but I hated the players, the front office, the fans, the broadcasters. Now I think I only hate the broadcasters, and really only the one male radio broadcaster (his name escapes me) and the non-player tv broadcaster (can't remember his name either).

But in any case, I think we have to remember that baseball is entertainment. And good entertainment--at least that which has storylines, plots, characters, drama, tragedy, and resolution--isn't usually about "fairness" or parity. Good entertainment often, in fact, has a villain. And I think it's fun to have one team that plays the role of the villain by dominating the sport. Because of the Yankees' dominance, it makes it that much sweeter for Phillies fans, Rays fans, Tigers fans, Red Sox fans, Cardinals' fans etc. when their team overcomes the Yankees. I'll never forget watching Kenny Rogers pour champagne on a police officer's head at Comerica Park while celebrating the Tigers' defeat of the Yankees in the 2006 ALCS. That celebration was as sweet as it was in large part because of who they beat.

We all know the Yankees are going to be contenders every year. The Red Sox, Angels, Phillies, Cardinals, and Dodgers probably will as well. But we don't know who the other postseason teams will be, nor do we ever know for sure that the Yankees will win it all.

I say: the Yankees, in all their "evilness," are good for baseball.

Nov 06, 2009 13:40 PM
rating: 0
 
JoshuaL

The radio broadcaster you are probably thinking of is John Sterling. Funny thing, though, as a Yankee fan Sterling is unlistenable for me as well. I used to enjoy him, but his canned calls and failure to call the game accurately led me to grow out of his act. He's good for some, but not for me anymore. I can see why he would turn people off from the Yankees.

Anyway, for every obnoxious Yankee fan there are those who, like me, simply grew up rooting for the Yankees and (after living through the extremely lean years) appreciate the opportunity to win a championship. You can stay humble and still be a Yankee fan if you keep your perspective.

Nov 06, 2009 17:11 PM
rating: 0
 
jlefty

I've always felt that Sterling belonged on TV, and Kay on the radio. Because Sterling isn't too bad if you're actually watching the game yourself and can plainly see that the "deep fly to left" is landing 50 feet short/foul. Kay, on the other hand is good at describing the game, but less enjoyable to listen to otherwise.

Nov 06, 2009 19:06 PM
rating: 0
 
greenengineer

John Sterling is unbelievably boring and unlistenable. Every game is Yankee party line, without anything approaching humor or levity.

Nov 07, 2009 08:13 AM
rating: 3
 
danbrod11

Yankees win totals during a lot of crappy baseball in the 80's: 103, 59 (strike year, lost in WS), 79, 91, 87, 97, 90, 89, 85, 74.

The team had down years from 89-92. Back in contention in 93, 1st place when the season was canceled in 94, playoffs 95.

So that is why a lot of baseball fans feel Yankee fans have a sense of entitlement. Taking out the stike year the Yanks averaged 88 wins a season and that is described as "a lot of crappy baseball" by someone who is one of the more intelligent voices writing about baseball. Now imagine dealing with more visceral fans who don't know a damn thing about VORP and don't care but know that Jetes always comes through and the Yanks have the mystique and aura and can't believe it has been 8 long, long years since the last World Series title (and think of what Hank said...it's been a long time for us) and tell me that you can't understand why people get annoyed by Yankee fans.

As for Joe saying baseball isn't a morality play, that's true, but it cuts both ways. Most Yankee fans ignore the fact that they were born with a silver bat in their mouth and claim their team wins due to heart or mystique or intelligence or Jetes or whatever. They should enjoy the privilege, but at the same time realize that their team has enormous advantages over the rest of the teams, and that is why they win so often and no other reason.

Nov 06, 2009 14:00 PM
rating: 11
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

I think one of the reasons that the period between championships felt so long to Yankees fans was because of the excruciating near misses in 2001 (blowing a lead in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the World Series) and 2004 (blowing the 3-0 lead in the ALCS); to a lesser extent you can put an otherwise winnable 2003 World Series undone by Jeff Weaver's "relief" work and David Wells' abortive start in there as well. I don't care who you root for, but rationally speaking, there isn't a fan of any team who wouldn't want those unpleasant memories to be washed away by a championship.

I won't argue that the sense of entitlement isn't there for some, but for most Yankees fans, it was the desire to wash away the embarrassment and sting of those losses which made the period between championships seem so long.

Nov 06, 2009 20:48 PM
 
danbrod11

Jay, I don't buy it. I think your examples are an indication of entitlement. In 2001 the Yankees went as far as a team could go without winning, this after championships in 96, 98, 99 and 2000. Was it a tough loss? I guess, but I can't imagine it is anything close to what Cleveland Indians fans felt in 1997.

Were some of those other losses tough? Again, I guess. But after those seasons ended Yankee fans knew that the team would be back in contention again the next season, primarily due to their financial advantage over other teams.

There is nothing wrong with being a Yankee fan, but rooting for the Yankees is a different experience than rooting for any other team in baseball. It is understandable for other fans to be bitter, when a very intelligent baseball fan, considers 8 years (coming off of winning the WS in 4 of 5 years) that included 7 playoff appearances, and 2 World Series appearances, feeling like a long time between championships.

Nov 07, 2009 03:43 AM
rating: 12
 
Tank
(989)

A hardcore Yankee fan myself, I often get into it with other Yankee fans who would pretend that the economic advantage is secondary to their winning ways. Front and center: they make a ton of money, they spend it on players who help them win. Credit the Steinbrenner clan for plumbing the depths of their vast market and pulling out every dollar they can, and I am grateful as a fan that they reinvest it in their product. But I understand the frustration that that many Yankee fans are completely deluded about this simple fact. Why be embarrassed? They're rich, and they dump money into the product so they can compete every year.

That said, when rival fans of either deep-pocketed or poorly managed franchises make this complaint - often from a high horse - I have little time for their pettiness and/or hypocrisy. They're the guy in the Mercedes tsking the ostentatious Bentley driver, and they sound just as ridiculous.

I know that the Yankees - along with Boston, the Mets, the Phils, LA and perhaps a few others - have more than their fair share of boorish fans, but a**holes grow everywhere, and root for everyone. The "Yankee fans are the worst" call-out is so much sour grapes, and those who participate ironically fail to realize that they're engaging in exactly the same behavior they endeavor to criticize. I find it particularly funny when Red Sox fans curse out Yankee fans en masse for being crass and obnoxious. Really? I mean...really? Have you no mirror, sir?

I've had some of the best baseball conversations with fans of other teams, who tend to know more about other players, can feed my head, and can check whatever outrageous theory I have about the Yanks at any given time...sure we're all subjective, but so long as we're fans of the game first, our team allegiances just become sources of passion in our discussion.

Nov 06, 2009 14:00 PM
rating: 9
 
Randy Brown
(189)

Thank you, Tank, for a well-reasoned post. I couldn't agree more.

I used to grouse about Yankees fans myself until I got to be good friends with one, and I got to appreciate how much the guy just liked baseball. It was like in American History X when Edward Norton's character made friends with a black guy and the scales fell from his eyes about appreciating an individual instead of vilifying and entire class of people.

No doubt there are Yankees fans who are insufferable jerks, but there are also great Yankees fans too. And guess what? The same statement applies to each and every one of the 29 other teams. I'd guess that even for the two Marlins fans, one is a nice guy and the other is a chump.

One of my favorite things about this website is that most of the writing and readers' posts are well-reasoned and respectful (not all, but really, an astoundingly high percentage for an internet-based medium). Calling an entire group of people a bunch of jerks is easy; getting to know and evaluate individuals within that group is harder. Don't take the easy way. Congrats, Yankees fans.

Nov 07, 2009 05:08 AM
rating: 3
 
John Collins
(110)

Thanks, Joe, for the volumes of writing this post-season. Your columns are the ones I most look forward to.

Nov 06, 2009 14:24 PM
rating: 2
 
akachazz

"With the end of the postseason comes the end of another run of postseason columns. I write more in October, really the better part of a book, than I do in any other month. It comes with the job, but truth be told, I just love it, love being able to write about baseball games."

I love reading it. Thanks for all the great work this October.

Re: the Yankees $. I don't blame the fans. I don't blame the front office. But it's bad for baseball to have just one all-star team. Something really ought to be done.

Nov 06, 2009 14:34 PM
rating: 4
 
David Coonce

The Yankees won as many world series this decade as the Phillies, White Sox, Cards, DBacks and Marlins.

Should the Yankees refuse to spend the money they make? That's the real absurdity.

And I'm no Yankees fan. I just think this website should be about critical thinking about sports, and that critical thinking should also apply to sports economics.

Nov 06, 2009 19:59 PM
rating: 0
 
thenamestsam

Joe, Great article, perfectly articulated how I feel being criticized as a Yankee fan.

Nov 06, 2009 14:43 PM
rating: -3
 
Lou Doench

"So, stop criticizing people’s fandom."
I absolutely agree. To the Yankees fans out there, we don't hate you. We just hate the Yankees.
On the flip side, please extend us the same courtesy. I had no more choice about Reds fandom than Joe had about Yankee Fever. Whats more, there's not really much I can do about the fact that the Reds are run poorly. So stop giving us that know-it-all "If every team had an owner who wanted to win as much as Steinbrenner" lecture. I can't make Dan Castellini raise the payroll. And when Jay Bruce is patrolling RF for the Yankee's in 3 years because we "can't afford" his arbitration numbers or some nonsense like that, I'm gonna be righteously pissed off. And you... Yankee Fan... would be too.

Nov 06, 2009 16:00 PM
rating: 9
 
tooci4

One Yankees fan near me during Game 1 said of CC's strong showing, "He's pitched well...but that's what we pay him for."

That struck me as on odd way to think about baseball fandom.

Nov 06, 2009 17:02 PM
rating: 3
 
Richard Bergstrom

Given the vitrol sent to the Yankees and their fans the last week, I'd hate to see what happens when the Cubs win.

"About time!"

"Better late than never!"

"Did it just get cold down below, or are you happy to see Hell?"

"Wait till next century!"

Nov 06, 2009 19:30 PM
rating: 0
 
Randy Brown
(189)

When the Cubs win? C'mon Richard, now you're just talking crazy.

(I kid! I kid!)

Nov 07, 2009 05:14 AM
rating: 2
 
Richard Bergstrom

"Silence! I keel you!" - Achmed/Jeff Dunham

Nov 07, 2009 09:02 AM
rating: -2
 
sliver

What I'd have the Yankees do with the money is what every team in the NFL does with theirs, with a similar method of essentially equal distribution of the common income.
Granted, it took me marrying a Manhattan native, born and bred Yankee fan to really absorb the essence of Joe's fair point about honoring other fans fandom as is, no better or worse and independent of their teams place on the MLB financial hierarchy. After all, I grew up a Royals fan with strong memories of '76-'78. And yes, I'm one of the majority of Royals fans whose favorite single moment in team history isn't Darryl Motley catching the last out of Game Seven in 1985, but George Brett's monster home run off Goose Gossage in the 1980 ALCS. And of course, even if the Royals were operating in MLB with something like the Chiefs share of the NFL pie, they could very well be every bit as futile, given the team's last twenty-odd years of bad management. Brian Cashman is going to outperform Dayton Moore in a fair fight. But it's not a fair fight, is it? The money doesn't guarantee success, but it at least buys the security of knowing that your team won't always suck, with no real hope of ever really contending unless you get a lot of breaks and manage to somehow keep your good players together at the same time before they head off for the money. I was thrilled, honestly, to see Johnny Damon have such a good postseason, and I'll always feel glad for his success, despite knowing that the Royals could never have kept him (and Dye and Beltran). Did the Yankees ever need to worry about keeping "the backbone of the dynasty" together? It's just a inherent, core inequity that one learns to live with, but never fully accept. And that's just part of it...sigh.

Nov 06, 2009 22:26 PM
rating: 3
 
beegee73

I had lunch with a very old friend who was never a sports fan growing up but has gotten into sports through the NFL. He's in the field of operations research, so he's fairly versed in statistical analysis, just not so much related to sports.

In discussing the the recent World Series outcome (in which he'd become interested mostly because I'm a rabid Phillies fan and also because here in Philly, it's been sort of unavoidable), I made a somewhat neutral remark about payrolls ("not bad considering they spent $80 million more than we did) and he said, quite in earnest, "Wait, there's no limit on what baseball teams can spend?" and I said, "Well, no. There's a luxury tax, but the Yankees can afford that."

His response was, basically: "Well, that's no fun."

I don't know if there's a takeaway lesson in that or not — I just don't know how sophisticated the average newfan is — but the idea (if not the absolute reality) of parity — regardless of how clumsily it's enacted — seems fairly ingrained in every other sport. I wonder to what degree a fighting chance is a prerequisite for newfandom of the "local sporting franchise."

Nov 06, 2009 22:49 PM
rating: 1
 
kconnoley

Joe,
For me part of the great fun of following baseball is being able to put the needle to my Yankee fan friends who have no connection whatsoever to New York. But now that you've expressed for me the pain I am causing by calling these people front-running bandwagon jumpers, maybe I should reconsider my behavior.

I guess some of us just didn't realize how sensitive the poor, suffering Yankee fans are?

Nov 07, 2009 03:46 AM
rating: 2
 
amazin_mess

I honestly can't say I dislike a single Yankees fan that I know - and I know many. I don't like the lack of a cap, but I can't fault a person for liking the team. Hell, even my five-year-old son does.

Nov 07, 2009 05:34 AM
rating: -1
 
amazin_mess

Although I will add....Yankees fans - please stop complaining about the LONGGGGGGGG 9-year drought.

Give the rest of us - Mets, Cubs and Indians fans a goddamn break.

Please.

Nov 07, 2009 05:38 AM
rating: 5
 
Joe D.

The Mets, Cubs, and Indians have all been in the playoffs fairly recently. Should we get on them for "complaining" considering there are many teams who have been non-competitive longer?

Everything is relative, I suppose. However there is considerable hypocrisy in banging on Yankee fans for feeling 9 years is a long time while not acknowledging one's own good fortune.

Who has a right to complain then? I suppose only Pirates fans...but wait! 1979 isn't all that long ago compared to long-suffering Cubs fans...but wait! The Cubs have been to *eight* World Series! Seattle Mariners fans would love some of that action. Oh, woe to the long-suffering Mariners fans. But wait!
Expos fans would certainly trade places with those Seattleites in a heartbeat: the Mariners this decade had one of the winningest baseball teams in history, and made a couple of postseason appearances. The poor, poor Expos only postseason appearance came in 1981 (Goodbye Blue Monday). Their next excellent shot was cut short by a player's strike in 1994. Later flirtations with contention were partially sabotaged when MLB wouldn't call up their minor leaguers because it was too costly. Then their team was ripped from them.

Given the fate of the Expos, perhaps no fans of any of the current teams have a right to bitch about anything?
An Expos fan would read about any drought and think the "complaining" fan should stick it. At least they have a damn team to root for.

It's obviously not this black-and-white. Everything is shades of gray. The problem, adk, is you like the black and white version, and conveniently place the dividing line precisely where it is most comfortable for you and you alone.

Nov 07, 2009 18:31 PM
rating: 4
 
Joe D.

Belated correction of my own little rant:

"The Cubs have been to *TEN* World Series!"

They've lost eight.

Nov 08, 2009 22:02 PM
rating: 0
 
jballen4eva

Hey, on behalf of fans of the Philadelphia Phillies - the losingest team in the history of the game - I apologize for people snarking on Yankee fandom. It's gotta be tough. Not that I would know, as Philly Phans have never been blasted for being happy about their team's extremely occasional success. Not once. Ever.

Seriously, good for the Yankees. If they can continue to combine smart management with big money, they'll be really good for a while.

Excellent point about Rollins - Tony Womack with pop is not someone you want batting leadoff. I just hope he's not as big a fancy lad as Abreu was about moving around in the order.

Nov 07, 2009 08:17 AM
rating: 0
 
tweicheld

As a Phillies fan, I can't complain about 2009 even it the team came up short in the WS. Most other fans feel the same way I do - the better team won. And I'm not hearing any whining about it either, though I can't speak for all fans. You're right, the Yankees are willing to spend and commit to winning it all each and every year. The rest of us might not like it, but that's the way it is. I think it makes a championship sweeter when any other team wins it all because it's a deviation from the expected outcome.

I agree with your points about how the Phils played in the WS - Rollins and Victorino didn't get on enough, and that's been an ongoing problem with Rollins. Also, the Yankees were successful where other teams have not been - getting the Phillies lefties out.

Finally, is it just me, or do the Yankees have a pretty crappy group of outfielders (notwithstanding what Damon just did to us in the Series)? Given how they spend, I'd think they'd go out and improve themselves there in the offseason.

Nov 07, 2009 08:27 AM
rating: 0
 
Craigoleague

The best analogy I can make which expresses my feeling towards the Yankees is that it is exactly like going to a Casino and watching the house win. Where's the excitement in that (Unless you own the casino). You can cheer but the house is supposed to win. It doesn't happen all the time and it is really exciting when you see somebody really win big but in the end you know the house is going to be better than everyone who tries to take them down - the odds are just stacked up that way. So, I like having the Yankees around because you need somebody there all the time that you are not supposed to beat to make your victory even more satisfying, but it's never a lot of fun when you crap out.

Nov 07, 2009 08:46 AM
rating: 6
 
yankee

The Baseball owners are unwilling to impose a hard salary cap on their teams. The Luxury tax is insufficient to make baseball more competitive. That being said, this is hardly the fault of the Yankees. I lived through the Horace Clarke years just as Joe lived through the 1980s. Incidentally, Mr. Steinbrenner made a number of lousy moves (sigining Steve Kemp, Ed Whitson, sending Doug Drabek to the Pirates for a washed-up Rick Rhoden,etc) that moved the Yankees from contenders to pretenders. When Roy Halliday was put on the open market my feelings were-enough already ! A cap similar to the one imposed by the NFL might nhelp, but it won't happen.

Nov 07, 2009 10:29 AM
rating: -1
 
Dr. Dave

Salary caps are bad for everyone except owners.

There's nothing wrong with the Yankees' situation that two more franchises in the NY metro area wouldn't fix.

Nov 07, 2009 11:33 AM
rating: 1
 
KevinS
(961)

Salary caps are bad for everyone but the owners?

And you know this because......

It sure has helped small market franchises in the NFL compete. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Tampa have all won SB's in the last 10 years. Teams in GB, Min, Tenn and other small markets are competitive.

Why are some fans more concerned about preventing an owner from pocketing another dime than making a level playing field for all the franchises?

Jealousy, class warfare is not healthy. It doesn't make sense not to try things because some guy (billionaire owner) who is comfortable financially MIGHT pocket another dollar. Big deal.

Under NO circumstances in today's pro sports will the players get "screwed" financially. Besides, just factor in the CBA that players must get a fixed percentage of the revenue.

Nov 07, 2009 14:41 PM
rating: -1
 
marooner

It isn't the salary cap that allows small market NFL teams to compete, it's revenue sharing. Salary caps aren't necessary for parity if everyone is splitting similar revenues.

Nov 07, 2009 16:07 PM
rating: 2
 
KevinS
(961)

As far as two more teams in NY- in theory you are correct.

In reality- it wouldn't work.

Adding two more teams to NY simply will never happen.

Next idea?

BP is militantly pro-MLBA. Salary cap is "bad" for everyone is just a union talking point that is repeated ad nauseum. The idea is always dismissed. But, the devil would be in the details.

The priority in fixing the MLB economic structure shouldn't be the players or the owners. In the end, either group will come out fine regardless of whether either side (or both) has to sacrifice something for the good of the game.

It should be about the FANS. The mlb economic structure now is hurting the integrity of the game and fairness. The fans in all cities want their team to have a fair shot at winning, like the NFL. Most in small markets don't feel like they have a shot. That is why baseball is losing popularity in many areas.

In the end- what is good for the fans is good for the game.

If the whole thing (MLB) blew off the face of the earth- who would start from scratch and do it the same way? No one.



Nov 07, 2009 14:53 PM
rating: 1
 
R.A.Wagman

I don't think that a cap is the answer to forcing accountability on poor decision making by MLB GMs. I think a more appropriate structure would be to cap the amount of payroll a team can banish to the minors, or otherwise release. If you made a bad signing that ties up payroll, you must keep the player on your roster, barring injury that is independently verified. Why should the Yankees be able to simply eat up a Carl Pavano salary mistake? The Dodgers with Andruw Jones?
If salaries above a minimal threshold (say $2M) were guaranteed a roster spot, the MLBPA couldn't get too pent up, teams could still spend as much as they wanted, but they would be accountable for their poor judgment and good management would still be rewarded.

Nov 07, 2009 10:49 AM
rating: 0
 
flyingdutchman

Here is a great excerpt, from the NY Times:

"Christopher Gregorio, 23, a student who lives in Pennsylvania, made the trip in the spirit of his grandmother Connie, a big Yankees fan who died during the All-Star break.

'She would have loved to have been here,' Gregorio said. 'She waited nine years for this. But since she passed, every time they were down we’d ask her for one more run. And she did it.'

Wow.

Nov 07, 2009 10:57 AM
rating: -1
 
jballen4eva

Who knows if the Yankees would have any of their last four championships if Steinbrenner hadn't been exiled from baseball in the early 90's? Maybe Jeter, Posada, etc. would have gone the way of Fred McGriff and Al Leiter - Yankee prospects who became stars elsewhere. You can't fault the Yankees for keeping the players they drafted and developed.

Nov 07, 2009 10:59 AM
rating: -2
 
flyingdutchman
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Another, same article:

"Ray Gambino, 27, who works at a car dealership in New Jersey and was wearing a shirt with Derek Jeter’s name on it, decided a few weeks ago to take this week off because, he said, he 'knew they were going to win.'

'I could feel it,' he said."

The guy's name is actually Gambino.

So anyone want to guess what "it" is? That wouldn't be entitlement, would it? I am a Tigers fan, and you know what I felt in 2006? Well, it wasn't "it". I felt fear, because I knew I could go the rest of my life without seeing another Championship. I knew that a couple of errant throws to first or a return to earth by the elderly Kenny Rogers could ruin my chances for the foreseeable future.

But that's fine. I understand that Yankees fans can't just stop rooting for their team. Go ahead and do it, but shut up. SHUT. UP. You are not sharing the fan experience with the rest of us. You are the best, so go ahead and enjoy it quietly, with taste. It's part of the deal.



Nov 07, 2009 11:04 AM
rating: -4
 
Joe D.

Re: I understand that Yankees fans can't just stop rooting for their team. Go ahead and do it, but shut up. SHUT. UP. You are not sharing the fan experience with the rest of us. You are the best, so go ahead and enjoy it quietly, with taste. It's part of the deal.

Sorry. I am a Yankee fan, and I would like to take this time to apologize to flyingdutchman. You see, it was I who strapped him down in a chair...Propped his eyes open Clockwork Orange style...Forced him to read Yankee fans celebrating their team's victory...Forced him to watch and listen as Yankee fans cheered their team on.

If part of your fan experience is doing your best to make fans of other teams feel guilty for being happy, then I do not wish to share in said fan experience.

If Detroit had won the World Series this season, and flyingdutchman had expressed his joy, I suppose I could have pointed out that the Tigers had the highest opening day payroll in their division by nearly $20 million. I could have said, "Hey nice job beating up on the defenseless Twins, who you outspent by almost $50 million." Imagine what the Twins could buy for $50 million, indeed! Flyingdutchman, I could have said, enjoy your championship, but "SHUT UP." Considering the enormous advantage you have over the Twins, the Royals, the Indians, please "SHUT. UP."

All these things I could have said, though I wouldn't have. Certainly not. You'd have every right to enjoy your championship as you see fit. Sad to hear you aren't able to extend the same courtesy to fans of other teams.

Enjoy your most interesting "fan experience".

Nov 07, 2009 18:45 PM
rating: 1
 
mccray

Tell it to the newspapers, not to the fan who responds to a reporter.

Nov 07, 2009 21:48 PM
rating: 0
 
mccray

What does your comment even mean, "The guy's name is actually Gambino?" Is that bad? Should no one have that name?

If you're so prejudiced by someone's name, do you think the rest of us will respect your comments? Do you look at a players stats and skills and discount them because of his name?

Take your prejudice elsewhere please.

Nov 07, 2009 21:54 PM
rating: 0
 
flyingdutchman
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Yeah, that came off badly, and I didn't mean to offend. I guess the implication was that the Yankees had sort of "bought" the Series, and Gambino is of course the infamous New York crime family. You know, he just knew they would win. Think of the old Italian mother in the film My Blue Heaven. "The Turtles - they're gonna win, hmm?", as she hands the umpire a bribe.

Bad joke. I still think Phil Cuzzi blew that call on the Mauer fair ball on purpose though. Not because he was paid, but because he's a Yankees fan.

But still, any mention of 9 years being a long time to wait absolutely, unequivocally reeks of an obnoxious sense of entitlement. But that's not what you said mccray, so my apologies.

Nov 08, 2009 18:10 PM
rating: -4
 
Jeff Evans

My opinion on why there are so many Yankee haters out there (besides the payroll): They're always on the national TV games (Red Sox are equally guilty) seemingly exclusive to everyone else. If Boston vs. New York played 162 times a year, the national TV game would always stay the same. A lot of people throughout the rest of the nation get sick and tired of it, I've heard the bitching about it, even though they understand the significance of this rivalry.

Nov 07, 2009 13:36 PM
rating: 1
 
Jeff Evans

Something I forgot to attach to my above statement- It's the same reason that so many people hate the Dallas Cowboys. They're sick and tired of them taking up their time slot all the time year after year. America's Team? Really?

Nov 07, 2009 13:47 PM
rating: 0
 
calliewalk

The Yankee's have been a terrible operation for years, sinking money into player's who are not worth the money or
risk, their farm system is barren and really has not produced a player of note in quite a while, but yet they
can still contend because of deep pockets, sink enough money into as many players as possible some will pan out.
What the Yankee's have is the ability to keep spending so
sooner or later they will hit. Does anyone really believe
A.J. Burnet will be a decent player for a couple of years,
come on.... Those kind of decison's by any other team
will mean the are sunk.

Nov 08, 2009 00:28 AM
rating: -3
 
marooner

Of the 26 players on the Yankees World Series Roster (they had to swap Ramiro Pena for Cabrera during the series,), 9 made their ML debut with the Yankees in the last five years. And that doesn't include Francisco Cervelli, who was on the roster for the two prior rounds, or Chien-Mien Wang, who won 19 games twice, or Nick Swisher/Eric Hinske/Damaso Marte who were all acquired, at least in part, with players from the Yankees's system in the last two years. That seems like a pretty productive system to me.

Nov 08, 2009 07:43 AM
rating: 0
 
T. Kiefer

Rooting for the Yankees is sort of like rooting for Goldman Sachs: It's great if you've got stock in the firm, or even better if you're employed there, but for everyone else it seems .

Heck, as a Tigers fan, I don't care about making it to the World Series --I'd be perfectly happy with a *division* championship, which we haven't had for 22 years. And people complain about 9 years between World Series championships as interminably long...

Nov 08, 2009 08:55 AM
rating: 0
 
David Coonce

The kansas City Royals paid 20 million dollars this year to three useless players (Guillen, Farnsworth, Jacobs.)
The Padres paid 15 million dollars this season to three useless players (Young, Giles, Floyd).

As a Padre fan, it pains me to say this, but small-market teams and their fans have to stop blaming the Yankees and instead look at their own teams front-office ineptitude. There's no smart person in baseball who thought signing Guillen to a 3 yr./36 million dollar contract was a good idea. There's no smart baseball analyst who would have argued that signing Cliff Floyd was a good idea. Nobody in baseball would have given Farnsworth as much money as the Royals gave him.

Yes, the Yankees have tons of money. Get over it. Too many small-market teams make crippling mistakes that even the casual obsever recognizes as crippling mistakes - we should call them out on it as much as we criticize the Yankees for spending their money wisely.

Think of it this way - for the money the Royals are paying farnsworth, Guillen and jacobs, they could have signed CC Sabathia. Let that sink in, and then imagine a rotation that starts with Greinke and Sabathia.

But, you know, Kyle Farnsworth has his uses, too.

Nov 08, 2009 14:13 PM
rating: 2
 
David Coonce

and, not to make too much of a point about it here, but exclude Mariano, and the Royals actually spent more money on their bullpen than the Yankees - 10.1 million to 6.2 million. Small-market teams have their disadvantages, yes, but they exacerbate them when they do thins like give 6 million dollars to replacement level pitchers like Kyle Farnsworth and John Bale (?).

Nov 08, 2009 14:24 PM
rating: 0
 
KevinS
(961)

Exclude Mariano? Ok. And exlude about 16.5 million people and NY and KC have the same market size.

The small markets are damned if they do, damned if they don't.

People whine when the KC's of the league don't spend money. Then when they do- it is critized. Maybe some of this "stupid" spending is out of frustration to show their fans/media that they are trying. In KC's reality- they have to fish in the ponds where a Guillen type is the "big fish".

LOL, KC should have just signed Sabathia. Do you really think he, or any top FA, takes KC (or Mil, Pit, Bal, TB, etc) seriously?

CC signed for 7/161. An avg of 23 million per year. If you owned a business that had sales of around 100 million, would you risk a guaranteed contract of 200 mill (probably the value KC would have to submit to get a serious look) for ONE employee?

Nov 08, 2009 16:00 PM
rating: 0
 
David Coonce

Yes. That one employee provides far more wins than Guillen, Farnsworth, Jacobs and John Bale combined. And costs the same.

Sabathia was going to sign for whichever team gave him the biggest contract. Period. Do you really think he had some loyalty to the Yankees? His loyalty was to the dollar signs. And David Glass is worth as much as George Steinbrenner.

the Royals can't plead poverty forever, especially when they trade for dead-weight, expensive ciphers like Jacobs and Betancourt while signing replacement-level losers like Guillen and Farnsworth. And giving a completely hopeless wreck like John Bale 1.2 million dollars this year. (yes, the "small-market" low-income Royals gave 1.2 million dollars to John bale this season. I can not, in any way shape or form, understand why. I suppose it was his career 4.66 ERA and the fact he's 35 years old.)

The Yankees shouldn't apologize for the fact that NYC is, you know, a really big city. They shouldn't apologize for having an incredible revenue stream and an owner willing to spend it. If you want to criticize the system, that's fine. But what's the solution? A salary cap won't work - it's failed miserably in the NFL and NBA and the union will never agree to it.

I suppose we could return to the days of no free-agency and the reserve clause, but, guess what? The Yankees won even more back then.

Nov 08, 2009 16:24 PM
rating: -2
 
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