Being Great Americans, most of us like to argue about sports with our friends. Usually, sports stories have two sides to them. Usually, they are formed something like this:
Point: Notre Dame sucks! They haven't won anything in a million years!
Counter-point: Notre Dame rules! They've got a lot of national titles they won in football games!
Point: Statistics are stupid; the best way to know sports is to watch the players play the sports game!
Counter-point: Statistics are really useful; they let you measure how a player performs when you can't watch all the games even with the TiVo.
Something like that. Frequently, arguments are resolved through one side's careful use of logic and sports arguments frequently end in amiable agreement about the most sensible point of view. And this blog is designed to facilitate that process.
POINT: The Yankees are ruining baseball.
[Note: this article, though written by Phil Sheridan from the Philly Inquirer, is also published on BostonHerald.com. The best part about Yankee news? Insecure Boston fans show their true bitchy natures]
The New York Yankees represent the very worst of America.
Surely, I am no Yankees fan, but I think O.J. Simpson's lawyers represent the very worst of America.
Overstatement? Consider the times. Cornerstone industries are faltering,
I blame the Yankees.
taxpayers are being asked to bail out mismanaged financial institutions and their overpaid CEOs,
I blame the Yankees.
and decent, hard-working men and women are being laid off or worrying that they could be next.
Fuck you, Yankees! Stop firing all those overpaid auto-workers whose own inflexible labor contracts have hurt them; stop firing all the excess middle management that isn't needed; stop firing all the hedge fund managers whose wealth-juggling games have finally hit the wall! Damn it, Cashman! Stop being such an asshole and actively hurting decent, hard-working men and women by trying to make your baseball team better!
Now consider the eight-year, $180 million contract the Yankees reportedly handed first baseman Mark Teixeira Tuesday. Stack it on top of the $161 million deal signed by pitcher CC Sabathia and the (relatively) modest $82.5 million promised to A.J. Burnett and you have the most egregious display of financial irresponsibility in the history of sports.
No, no, no. If you can PAY for it, and you MAKE billions of dollars, re-investing in your product is not a stupid or irresponsible at all. These decisions are much more egregious.
The Yanks’ insane overspending would be bad for baseball in the best of times. These are not the best of times.
As I've written before, the last few years have actually been some of the best times in baseball history, whether you consider attendance, profits, competitiveness for all teams not based in Pittsburgh. Mr. Sheridan, you can't just spout this with no basis and expect teh_blogorz not to call you on it!
If Major League Baseball had a commissioner — that is, an independent and strong-willed leader unafraid to do the right thing — the Teixeira and Sabathia deals would be nullified based on the commissioner’s sweeping "best interest of the game" powers.
What an awful idea. Is Mr. Sheridan really suggesting that anytime someone gets signed to a big contract, the commissioner should step in? Is Bud Selig's job to be a one-man salary cap, based on nullifying contracts approximately whenever he feels like it?
Up in Boston, where the Red Sox made a serious run at signing Teixeira, this deal is being rationally and calmly analyzed by baseball fans as if actual, flaming chunks of blue sky were crashing through the roofs of their homes.
Ah! I thought he was being serious! This was a joke! Whew. I thought for a minute there he was going to argue that Red Sox fans calmly and rationally analyzed something.
As one commenter on boston.com reasoned, "Dear God, please kill me now . . . " Another reflected, "OMG — I want to jump off a bridge . . . ! Yankees are instantly the favorites in the AL East for 2009 . . . ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Using comments from boston.com in your article: instant comedy.
Using comments from boston.com in your article: you're a doing a shit job of being a real journalist, and your whole argument is stupid.
The Yankees are the gift that keeps on giving. We've just been guaranteed a great season no matter how it plays out.
No, real baseball fans have been guaranteed a season full of Yankee highlights every goddamn night - and Yankee subplots and sidebars all season long. Even Yankees fans aren't "guaranteed" a great season; the only people who are truly guaranteed a great season now are lazy, shitty sportswriters who will have tons of material.
Besides, if the Yankees win, how will their fans feel?
Pretty fucking good.
Will this be the kind of championship they're proud of?
Will it reflect the greatness of the Yankees, or the fact that the Yankees did it with a sledgehammer?
Sledgehammers are not allowed on the baseball field, Richard.
In some ways, the Yankees can't win no matter how much they win.
Isn't that a beautiful thing? And if they don't win, there'll be a firestorm to end all firestorms.
I, too, look forward to that. Residents of mountainous resort communities will be happy to know that all fire-storms will be ended if this takes place.
Regarding comments by the Brewers' owner:
This guy doesn't get it. If he owns the Brewers long enough, he'll understand that when the Yankees are really good, every other team benefits.
An implausible argument to say the least. But let's see how little Richard handles it:
What have the Yankees won anyway? How good are they? Have you checked out their outfield? Want to compare rotations? Which rotation do you like most? Which group has done more in October? Have they forgotten what a choking dog Alex Rodriguez is in the playoffs?
So wait.. you're saying that baseball is better off since the Yankees have become really good... but then you argue that they're NOT really good?
Also: A-Rod sucks, but not as bad as Richard Justice.
THE SENSIBLE CONCLUSION:
Actually, all this signing crap doesn't really affect the baseball world much at all. The Yankees are going to be better this season, but competitive balance will still prove that baseball's system isn't broken and doesn't need fixing. Sensible viewpoints (like this one which correctly pinpoints small-market teams as whiny and profit-hungry) must prevail, no matter the economic climate of the country. For pete's sake, even Dayn Perry realizes that this isn't that big a deal, and that salary caps " do nothing to promote competitive balance, and all they do is guarantee owner profits".