Are the Yankees ruining the game?
Posted by vtadave (3105 days ago)
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Here we go again.
After a few years of financial restraint (not signing Carlos Beltran despite an obvious hole in CF and last offseason, not dealing Phil Hughes and others for Johan Santana), the Yankees have returned to their old ways.
That is, a Steinbrenner (this time Hank) has given the GM a checkbook and told him to use it - liberally.
C.C. Sabathia - $161 million
A.J. Burnett - $82.5 million
Mark Teixeira - $180 million
Tally - $423.5 million and counting.
And they're probably not done.
New York doesn't seem inclined to guarantee Philip Hughes a rotation spot, thus the interest in Derek Lowe, Jake Peavy, Ben Sheets, and any pitcher that will be willing to work for no less than $10 million a season. The bullpen still isn't a finish product, and there continue to be rumblings that the Teixeira signing doesn't necessarily mean Manny Ramirez won't end up in pinstripes.
My thoughts on this are mixed. I give the Yankees credit for developing their 2B, SS, closer, 2 or 3 SPs, their catcher, and their probably DH, Hideki Matsui (ok, they didn't exactly "develop" Matsui). Then, recognizing obvious holes on their roster, they went out and filled them via free agency. Standard practice for a lot of teams right?
Well, sort of.
While mid-market to larger-market teams like the World Champion Phillies plug holes with the likes of Raul Ibanez and Chan Ho Park, the Yankees go and grab the cream of the crop. The Astros sign Mike Hampton and Aaron Boone and hope they can play prominent roles. The Blue Jays, in a December concession speech, announce they won't be spending any significant money in free agency.
I love this game, but the Teixeira signing just gives me a bit of a deflated feeling. Now I'd be overjoyed if I were a Yankees fan and certainly don't blame that organization for doing whatever they can to improve the club, but I don't see how this is good for the game. Are the Yankees "ruining the game"? Not at all. Baseball will continue to hold my attention, but doesn't the fact that the game's four highest-paid players being on one club have to be addressed?
Hopefully those in charge are smarter than me and can come up with a solution.
I won't be holding my breath though.
***Blog was Edited on 12/24/2008 3:25 PM PT***
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herbilk commented 3104 days ago
I think part of it is that the Yankees have done all of their spending in one offseason, which makes the problem look larger than it really may be. I wonder how things would stack up if we looked at the total amount spent in free agency over the last three years, not just this offseason. I'd bet that the Yankees wouldn't be all that far in front of other big market teams.
JesseLSiegel commented 3104 days ago
If I'm not mistaken, the Yankees payroll will still be lower than last season. And what about the problem that owners do not have to spend their luxury tax earnings on their team, but can simply pocket it?
Erickson commented 3104 days ago
I'm with Jesse on this one. The Yankees have one burden - to do what's best for the Yankees and their fans. I don't think it's their concern on what's "best for the game." That's a pretty nebulous quality anyhow. After all, the Yankees pour all sorts of money into revenue sharing, they drive up attendance wherever they travel, and they drive up merchandise sales (which are divvied up among the teams).
And let's talk about the Astros. They went all-in last year, trading away whatever shambles of a farm system they had for an aging Miguel Tejada. They gave Kaz Matsui a multi-year deal. They made an awful trade with the Phillies. The year before that, they were big players on the FA market, giving up their first couple of draft picks in trade compensation, then refused to go over slot for their third and fourth round picks. They essentially used every trick in the Bad Management Playbook. Why *shouldn't* they be punished this offseason?
ggovro commented 3103 days ago
All that money, and the Red Sox are still a better team overall. Sabathia and Rex will probably contribute, but AJ can not stay healthy. The Yankees, despite these additions, will remain a highly dysfunctional team because of all of the egos on that team. The Red Sox, on the other hand, made fewer moves, and appear to be a very cohesive unit, and should win the division in 2009.
ET Russell commented 3103 days ago
The complaint the Yankees are screwing up the game because they have the biggest payroll and simply 'buy' their championships is an old one, going back to 1920 - the year they got the Babe. They have always spent the most money, free agency or not. In addition, it's not the Yankees fault if the other owners would rather pocket their luxury tax than improve their franchise.
Rugby12901 commented 3103 days ago
Hank doesn't have as much say as Hal. Hal is the one who runs the show.
jhermann commented 3101 days ago
Let me start by saying I disdain the Yankees. This is a result of Steinbrenner and my long term loyalty to the Mets. But, I do not think the Yankees have ruined the game of baseball. Instead, the extant rules that permitted the Yankees to purchase these studs via absurdly high salaries is the underlying culprit. So, I do not like the salaries, but the real cause is something more systemic than the Yankees. But, I like to use the team as a scapegoat for anything else.
skywalker33 commented 3101 days ago
You're an idiot.
Your jealousy couldn't be more obvious!
vtadave (Blog Author) commented 3101 days ago
skywalker - to whom are you directing your petty name-calling to?
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