As a Yankee fan, I feel like Dr. Leo Marvin from What About Bob? defending himself against the neighbors who wanted to buy the land he used for a New Hampshire vacation home: “I had every right to buy this house!”
I was hoping that they would change their logo from an interlocking NY to a giant middle finger directed at the rest of baseball.
The Yankees went off this offseason, signing pitchers C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and first basemen Mark Teixeira. Nobody was mad at them for the first two, but the Teixeira signing pissed all of baseball off something fierce.
The funny thing about this is that the Teixeira signing came last, but it made the most sense. The Yankees get a big bat and a solid defender at first base for the next 8 years. The best part is that despite slightly overshooting most of the other offers, they got him for close to market value. It’s a win-win.
If you’re having a hard time with this deal as a non-Yankee fan, here is my message to you: shut your face. I don’t want to hear about it. All you can say is that the Yankees took advantage of a flawed system. They did not cheat. They did not abuse the spirit of the game. They did whatever was in their power to make themselves the best team possible for 2009. That’s it. Maybe it doesn’t make them the favorite next year, but they have A-Rod and Teixeira at the corners for the next eight years. If your team had the power to do that, they would do it in a heartbeat. The Yankees owe nothing to baseball or any other team.
Also among the cavalcade of whiny bitches were (surprise!) the Boston Red Sox. Boston owner John Henry said that, “We sought to reduce the financial gap and succeeded to a degree. Now with a new stadium filled with revenue opportunities, they have leaped away from us again.”
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Mr. Henry that a tall glass of cranberry juice couldn’t cure.
Any complaint on the Red Sox part is null and void. They are playing on the same field as us, pure and simple. Just because they spend a slightly smaller amount on their team than we do is no excuse. Want more revenue? Knock down your shitty bandbox you call a stadium and build a new one. Other than ’04 and ’07, there is no tradition worth remembering in that piece of shit stadium, anyway. Blow it up and build one that houses more than 8,000 people, or whatever it holds.
Maybe I’m being too hard on them. After all, it’s not like they’ve had a profitable regional sports network much longer than the Yankees have had one.
The biggest villain in all of this, however, is not Red Sox ownership. The most despicable party is easily owners of small market teams. They have been pocketing revenue and not putting it back into their clubs for years. Don’t believe me? Compare the worth of George Steinbrenner to Twins owner Carl Pohlad. It’s a joke. Say what you want about the Yankees, but their putting the money back into their product. It’s not motivated by greed. Hell, the Yankees line the pockets of small market owners by paying the luxury tax. You think the guy who owns the Brewers isn’t pumped to get that money?
To people who complain about ticket prices being raised due to Yankees signing free agents: stay home and watch the games on TV. That’s what I do. I go to maybe one Yankee game every two years. It’s fun, but I doubt I’d enjoy it if I went to every game. I can make a shitty hot pretzel and drink stale beer at my own place. I’d much rather watch Teixeira on my shitty TV then watch Doug Mientkiewicz play live any day.
To anyone else left complaining: the Yankees are a first-class organization. They are the most successful sports franchise in American history. There’s no debating that. If you’re a Boston fan, or a Tampa fan, know that your success is fleeting. Even when the Yankees fade from glory, it’s just a matter of time before they dominate again. If that’s too sophisticated of an analysis for you, know that within a couple of years the Yankees will be back to inviting your team to go get their fucking shinebox.