Wednesday, December 24, 2008

0 comments Danny Knobler Tells Me How I Should Feel, Cursing Ensues

I am very tired of talking about this subject but I am going to do it anyway. Let's talk Mark Teixeira and the New York Yankees, but mostly let's talk about Danny Knobler pissing me off by assuming he knows everyone's feelings about the Yankees and the Tex signing.

Not hate.

Let's not hear any more talk about how the Yankees are affected by the bad economy, too.

I don't know of anyone in the past three weeks that has mentioned the Yankees are going to be affected by the bad economy. No one. After they signed A.J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia to $250 in deals, I think anyone who ever thought they would be affected negatively re-thought that line of thinking.

The Yankees have $88 million coming off the books, are opening a new stadium, and are tired of being shown up by the Red Sox as the best team in the AL East. It all spelled out to a massive Yankees spending spree and that is what we have gotten. Despite what Buster Olney tries to convince everyone, these are the exact same ol' Yankees we have all come to love. They don't draft young players and let them develop in their system, they go out and spend massive amounts of money signing free agents and trying to make trades.

I have had some people question me on this issue with mentioning Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Cano, and Chamberlain as key contributors to the team, which is true. The problem is three of those players Rivera, Jeter, and Posada came through the system nearly 15 years ago. Cano and Chamberlain are possible great players but haven't proven themselves to be leaders in the same vein as the other three quite yet, so I am not counting them.

Don't let anyone fool us all, when the Yankees spend $450 million this year and $350 million last year signing free agents, they are the same old Yankees. They may focus on the farm system more but none of the key contributors to this team have come through the system in the past 3 years. Now that I have gotten that out of the way...

You don't have to like them. You do have to admire them.

I don't hate the Yankees and I definitely don't like them at all. I sure as hell am not going to admire them. I can admire the business set up they have which allows them to pay the free agent contracts to players because of a loyal fan base and their own television station that allows them unbelievable amounts of income. I do not admire the way they run their team though. Don't fucking tell me I have to admire the Yankees. They choose the best pitcher and the best hitter on the free agent market every year and make an offer to them, blowing everyone else out of the water if need be. Even the Red Sox. That is what has scared me about this offseason is they are blowing large market teams out of the water when it comes to free agency.

There is nothing to admire in this way to run a ball club. I don't like the Red Sox but I admire the way they run their team so much more, and that is actually what makes me dislike them more because they don't run out and buy all of their players. They have developed players through the farm system that are currently contributing to the team at a high level.

There is no damn reason to get your pulse racing and get excited about how great the Yankees are because I am not even sure they scout players. They just pick out the best players and try to sign them. That's it. Sure it works out for them sometimes, other times it does not. It's not like they are finding diamonds in the rough or players that only would fit in their lineup and signing them to medium free agent deals. They don't have to because they have a lot of money, hence I don't admire them for this. Their margin for error is so much larger than other teams, so they don't have to worry about signing the wrong players. Sure it may screw up the team for a bit and leave them short at a certain position but they can rebound because they run a great business. I admire the business not the team.

The Yankees set out to get both CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, and they made sure to offer enough money to get it done.

If only all the other teams had thought of doing this. What were they thinking? I know what they were thinking, they were thinking "we don't have $88 million to spend on free agents." You hear certain columnists saying, "but the payroll is not increasing so this is different," which is bad reasoning. Why did they have all that money available? Because they had previously signed free agents with huge expiring contracts, that's why. The only reason the payroll is not increasing is because there are not enough free agents out there in spots the Yankees need that would even add up to $88 million dollars, otherwise spending would increase.

Other teams tried to offer a lot of money to Sabathia, Burnett, and Tex, but the Yankees won because they are able to pay 110% of a player's worth and no other team can do that. Even the Red Sox.

I am not advocating a salary cap but baseball is in real trouble certain teams are going to price other teams out of the market in regard to free agents. What makes football so engaging for fans is every year certain teams could make the playoffs (except the Lions, who have and always will suck) and the reason for this is there a certain amount of parity when it comes to signing free agents and every team under the salary cap has a reasonable chance of acquiring talent. Again, I don't want a salary cap, but I believe there is a real danger baseball has certain teams pricing other teams out of the market for players.

But whatever you think about the relative merits of Ramirez and Teixeira, the Teixeira signing has to be seen in context of the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry.

Sure, in a way, but I get so tired of hearing ESPN say, "now that Teixeira has signed, what does this mean for the Red Sox?" The world is bigger than those two teams but somehow at Bristol, Connecticut they can't seem to realize that. I realize the Yankees took Tex from the Red Sox and that is a big win for them but my world is certainly bigger than two teams and their rivalry.

I don't want a salary cap in baseball, I think that is a bad idea, because if the Yankees want to spend $300 million on a player, then let them do it. Does it annoy me they can outbid anyone they want at any point? Sure it does, but mostly it annoys me when they outbid my favorite team for a player's services and then complimentary columns are written like they fucking painted a priceless painting or did something other than offer more money than another team. Even though a salary cap would seem fairer, I don't think baseball is a good sport for this because the team with the highest payroll does not always win and that has been proven. I will say that professional football is an interesting as it is because teams can not go out and just spend as much money as they want on a player. There are ramifications for doing this and this is part of what has made football so popular. I admire teams in football because they do have certain parameters they have to work around and still put a winning team on the field every year.

Regardless of a team winning the World Series with such a high payroll every year and whether that happens or not, I think it is scary that other teams serve as farm teams for the New York Yankees. I am not worried about the Yankees signing players away from the Twins, Marlins, and Royals, we have all come to expect that. What concerns me, and the context I see this in, is so far this offseason the Yankees have greatly outbid the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Anaheim Angels for three player's services. Those are not mid-market or small market teams. Those are the teams that are in large markets, have large fan bases, and should be in the running for these players based on this fact. That scares me a little.

No, money doesn't guarantee championships. The Yankees spent more money than anyone else last year, and they didn't win. They spent the most money the year before that, and they didn't win.

So the past three years the Yankees have spent the most money in the offseason and I am supposed to admire them for this? Can't you see this makes zero sense?

Was that the deciding factor? No, but it is a factor. Put it together with huge amounts of cash (always the biggest factor), and you have the Yankees acquiring basically whoever they want.

Again, it is only one offseason, and really the Yankees have to sign free agents because they have no players in their farm system that can help right now and they don't have the players in the system to trade for players, but this scares me a little bit. What happens when Hanley Ramirez becomes a free agent? Is he Jeter's replacement? What about Tim Lincecum, is he next to be in pin stripes in a few years?

When the Yankees get around to announcing the Teixeira signing, they'll no doubt remind us how much money they had coming off the books at the end of the 2008 season. Jason Giambi ($23.4 million) is gone, and so is Bobby Abreu ($16 million). Carl Pavano's four-year, $40 million contract finally expired.

Two overpaid players coming off the books that were signed by the Yankees and one overpaid player they traded for.

What they should never do is suggest that the economy affects them the same way that it does almost everyone else.

Seriously, no one is suggesting this at all. No one. Only you, and only you could be bringing this up and actually being serious about it.

The goal is to win, remember? A whole bunch of teams spend as much money as they can trying to achieve that goal.

What a misleading statement from this asshole! Other teams spend "as much money as they can," sure they do but the Yankees can spend more and therein lies the problem. I don't want a salary cap by any measure of the imagination but the perception and reality is that Milwaukee made the best offer they could to Sabathia and could not get him. They missed by 2 years and $61 million dollars. They can't offer more money in trying to achieve their goal of winning, that is their economic reality. No team in it's right mind is going to not spend as much money as it can to win ball games, but the ceiling for some clubs is higher than others. MLB teams can't become feeder teams to the New York Yankees. This may not happen but when they snap up every top free agent it certainly seems that way.

You don't have to like them. But you sure should admire them.

Admire them for what? Being able to spend more money than everyone else? That makes no sense. I admire teams that don't have the luxury to grab any player they want off the free agent market. You would not admire the United States if it used the fact it has one of the world's largest militaries to invade other countries and spread "freedom" to other lands, the U.S. does have the resources to do this so we should admire them right? Maybe an extreme example...I would admire the Yankees a lot more if they would show a little restraint in their pursuit of winning.

I said Mark Teixeira would be going to the Red Sox, I was wrong.