Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Closed for the Holidays

Hello everyone. I'm here to announce that Fire Jay Mariotti is going on hiatus until December 26th. We're not planning on seeing any new bad examples of sports journalism until then. So, to all eleven of you reading, I apologize, you're not going to have any extra distraction to run off to on the computer while all your relatives are busy telling boring stories this holiday season. We're just not going to be there for yo--

Wait a second....


I can only assume this is your doing, Celizic.

Yankees have all the pieces of a new dynasty

They sure do! Brett Gardner is currently their starting center fielder! They've got possibly the two most well-constructed teams in the rest of the league (both now, and in the future) clogging up their division! They have the "best" defensive shortstop in the world!

Wait, wait.....these are bad things! What gives, Mike?

The Yankees just became the team to beat — and not just in the American League.

That's quite a claim. You're saying the Yankees are absolutely, without question the team to beat because they signed this guy. With all due respect to him, he's nowhere near as good as this guy (seriously, look at that WARP difference!). Yet you're acting like he is.

New York reportedly has landed first baseman Mark Teixeira, continuing one of the most profligate spending sprees in baseball history. If true, the team that has clearly not given up on the idea that champions are purchased, not born, has all the big pieces of a new dynasty in place.

Aging shortstop, aging catcher, aging closer, aging (albeit awesome) third baseman, aging....whatever you want to call Johnny Damon at this point. This is a fucking dynasty!

All the Boston Red Sox can do is watch and wonder what the Evil Empire will do next.

The Tampa Bay Rays apparently don't care about this at all.

And all indications are that there’s more to come. It could be Manny Ramirez, although he would strain even the Yankees' budget.

Probably not.

It could be another front-line pitcher.

There's only one left available, so you might as well be specific.

It could be center fielder Matt Kemp and more bullpen help in a trade with the Dodgers for second baseman Robinson Cano.

Hey, did you hear that everyone? Dave Littlefield somehow assumed control of the Los Angeles Dodgers!

The difference between this and previous spending sprees is that the Yankees so far have spent their money on players in their primes, and not on aging all-stars on the down slopes of their careers. They’ve also signed guys who should fit in well with their teammates.

There's something I feel like I should be saying about that last sentence, but I can't quite put my finger on it......

What’s most impressive with the normally impulsive Yankees is the methodical way that general manager Brian Cashman has gone about his off-season labors.

Step 1) Sign pitching.
Step 2) Sign hitting.

It wasn't all that complicated.

The Yankees’ first need was pitching, and that’s already been taken care of with the signings of CC Sabathia, the best free-agent pitcher on the market, and A.J. Burnett, arguably the second-best of the group. Those acquisitions alone propelled the Yankees into contender status in the AL East with Boston and the Rays.

Methodical. Not impulsive.

The next need was a big bat in the heart of the lineup to replace the power the team lost with the departures of Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi. Teixeira’s 162-game average over his six-year career is 121 RBI, 101 runs, 36 home runs and a .378 on-base percentage.

He’s a superior defensive first baseman and best of all, he’s a switch hitter.

Scott Boras: I think the Yankees need to sign Teixeira if they want to stay competitive.

Brian Cashman: Hmmm.....I dunno...what makes you think he'll help the squad for that astronomical sum you're asking?

Scott Boras: Well, he's a real run producer. He's driven in an average of 121 runs per season, and he's scored 101 himself!

Brian Cashman: Ehhh...tempting, tempting....what else ya got?

Scott Boras: Well...he's a real power threat. 36 homers per year, dontcha know!

Brian Cashman: Yes...you see I'm still not sure he's worth the 8 years, $180M....

Scott Boras: He's also a pretty good on-base guy. You can't sneeze at a .378 OBP!

Brian Cashman: But I can be completely and utterly bored with it!

Scott Boras: UGH! Well, he's great with the glove, too, if you think that matters....

Brian Cashman: Ehh....that's good, but he's just a first bas-

Scott Boras: He's a switch hitter.

Brian Cashman: Sold.

Best of all, he’s no aging superstar.

You JUST SAID something else was "best of all". You can't do that twice, man! That's pure butchery of the English language!

They’re not a perfect team, and they’re still probably not the equal of the team that won four out of five World Series from 1996-2000. They’re weak in left field, where age and bad arms have caught up with Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. New acquisition Nick Swisher has potential, but will be a downgrade if he is plugged in for Bobby Abreu in right.

Thanks for acknowledging this. You're a real sport, Mike.

Perhaps more importantly, we've just learned that yes, it is possible to will people out of existence through the power of ignorance.

Jorge Posada, a potent switch-hitter, will be back at catcher after losing most of 2008 with shoulder problems, but his skills as a catcher are beginning to erode. Center field is unsettled, with Swisher being a candidate to play there along with youngster Brett Gardner. Gardner is blessed with extraordinary speed, but he has yet to prove he can hit at the major league level. Melky Cabrera, once the center fielder of the future, fell so precipitously last year he was exiled to the Yankees’ Scranton farm club.

Hey, now careful, if you keep this shit up, your case for them being a dynasty may lose some momentum.....

Cano also took a huge step backwards last year, and needed a feverish run at the end of the season to get his average up to .271, more than 30 points below 2007. His RBIs were down to 72 from 97, and he had 15 fewer extra-base hits and scored 23 fewer runs than he had a year earlier.

Woahhhhhhh....you just listed legitimate problems at 5 of the 9 offensive positions! You know what word I'm thinking of when I hear stuff like that?


But the biggest parts of a contender are in place. The Yankees have a rotation that should stand up to Boston’s and Tampa’s. They have a lineup that will stand up to anyone.

"Stand up to" must now equal "dominate". Unless that's what dynasties do nowadays. They don't need to win, they just need to give the other guys a run for their money!

Now, starting at first base, they have the Teixeira, a great kid with a great bat and glove.

"The Teixeira". I smell a fucking SICK nickname for this guy catching on!

They’re back on top — on paper, at least.

Wrong. You, yourself have given at least 4 reasons why in this very article.

And all Boston and the rest of the league can do is sit back and wonder what they’ll do next. Because the Yankees aren’t done yet.

They...they might be done.

Dynasty, thy name is Teixeira.


Chris W said...

It's hard to build a dynasty when you sign two injury risk pictures to incredibly long contracts and sign a 29 year old through age 37 (whereupon he'll still be making 24 million...probably more if the contract's backloaded).

How did that work out last time the Yankees tried to build (reload?) a dynasty in that fashion? Kevin Brown, what say you?

Jack M said...

The only thing that could've made that skit better is if it'd ended with the following:

[door flies open]


The Tex: Ya betta ask someboddddaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!

Andrew said...

It's weird how he failed to mention that their bullpen is absolute garbage before getting to Rivera, and that 3 of the 5 projected starters (Chamberlain, Burnett, and Pettitte/Hughes) are max effort pitchers for whom 6 innings is often a stretch. No big deal though, bullpens have nothing to do with winning - ask the Sox, Rays, Phillies, and Cardinals... Dynasty!!!!!

Tonus said...

I think that Hatguy's on to something, there has been a sea change in how the Yankees do business in the off-season...

Old Yankees? IMPULSIVE. They'd offer the highest contracts to free agents that they wanted to sign.

New Yankees? METHODICAL. They offer the highest contracts to free agents that they want to sign.

It's crazy!

Anonymous said...

Jesus. What a gloating prick. Super journalism goodwork sir.