This is from Joe Posnanski, the best in the business. Good read.
This is from Joe Posnanski, the best in the business. Good read.
Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David
*As you might imagine, I have received about two billion jillion shmillion emails the last few days about the Yankees payroll screed I wrote a few days ago ó even though I specifically suggested that Yankees fans skip it. I have not wanted to respond because I think that sort of defeats the purpose. The idea was just to spark a conversation about the Yankees, and it has done that much more than I ever expected.
Also I donít quite know how to respond because 90 percent of the angry emails Iíve seen demand I defend something I never said and donít believe. Still, Iíll try my best to respond to a few or the more popular complaints:
1. I do not in the slightest blame the Yankees for spending tens of millions more than anyone else. I applaud them for it. They have more money, the system allows it, they are trying very hard to win and thatís the goal. I think the system is badly flawed and leans heavily toward the Yankees. I tried to make that clear. But the Yankees are doing what I would want my team to do in that situation Ö and what I think I would do in that situation.
2. I do not in the slightest way blame Yankees fans for enjoying the teamís success. Enjoying is what fans are supposed to do. Thereís no reason to feel guilty, and no reason to enjoy it any less. But, letís not pretend that allís fair in the world, and other owners could do what the Yankees do if they just had a little more gumption. And I should say I heard from many Yankees fans who, while enjoying the success, do concede that, yeah, fair or not, itís nice to have a team in the biggest city with the greatest tradition, the fattest TV contract and a $1.5 billion baseball palace, a team that makes $100 million more in revenue than any other team and gets to spend that money to win baseball games.
3. I did not write that there should be a salary cap.
4. I am not a Communist. I was not at that meeting.
5. I do not like small-market owners that pocket revenue sharing money. At all. I also know that the difference between a team like the Pirates or Reds or Royals or Rays, whose annual revenue is about $150 million, and the New York Yankees, whose annual revenue is closer to $400 million, isnít going to be made up by a Pittsburgh GM spending every bit of their revenue sharing money and a lot of the ownerís money.
6. I do not think that money guarantees success. I really donít. I think winning baseball games takes much more than just money. I also think spending $50 million more on payroll than the second team is a pretty decent start.
7. I do not feel any bitterness at all toward the Yankees. I think theyíre a classy team that played great baseball and deserved to win the World Series because theyíre the best team.
8. I donít believe Iíve written four times a day about the Yankees payroll.
9. I did not say itís impossible for other teams to compete with the Yankees because of money. I suppose that Iíll end on this one because quite a few people seemed to take that as my point. And I kind of thought the whole article was built around why it IS possible to compete with the Yankees payroll. I think it is possible because baseball is a game that, for various reasons (and I thought Brilliant Reader Jason brought up a great point about the number of plays in a game) gives inferior teams a better chance of winning than in other sports. It is because the baseball playoffs, being short series, create a free-for-all that makes it possible (and even likely) that inferior teams will win. I really thought all that was in there.
And so on. Iím sure there are many valid destructions of the blog post that I havenít answered Ö
^^ Good stuff. Gotta love Joe.
I enjoyed Rick Morrisey's column on the Yankees.
Sports When It Comes to Yankees and New York, There's a Lot to Hate
by Rick Morrissey
November 8, 2009
Now that the Yankees are back on top, I can settle into a more natural state of dark hatred and enthusiastic loathing for them. All is right with the world.
As the years rolled on after their last World Series championship in 2000 and the Bronx Bombers wallowed (for them), that hatred had turned to ... what? Not pity exactly, but something like bemused dismissal. The Yankees were the filthy rich people who made impulse buys on hot-off-the-runway styles and ended up looking silly. There was no sport in it.
But now? After their six-game defeat of the Phillies? I can hate at will and with renewed vigor. Batter up!
I can hate Derek Jeter for playing to the cameras on the top step of the dugout as he cheered on his teammates.
I can hate the national media's turbo-fawning over the Yankees, especially the media outlets on the East Coast and extra especially ESPN, which has an acute sense of who butters its bread.
I can hate Rudy Giuliani for his prominent seat at Yankee Stadium and his even more prominent PD-NY-FD baseball cap. Yes, Rudy, we remember you used to be the mayor.
I can hate the way the franchise spent gobs more money than anybody else to build a team of stars and then talked about "team chemistry."
I could go on.
So I will.
I can hate the song "New York, New York," which is played after every Yankees' game. Start spreadin' the news: It's the anthem of a completely self-absorbed city.
I can hate that the Alex Rodriguez story line turned into how liberating it had been for him to come clean on his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Explain to me why we're convinced he's clean now?
I can hate how Andy Pettitte basically has been given a free pass for his PED usage.
I can hate how New York bought into Nick Swisher's phoniness.
That's a lot of hate, I know. But what can I say? The Yankees bring out the best in me.
This hatred is a good thing, a healthy thing. So thank you, Yankees. You're the bonfire on which some of us can throw our frustrations, whether it be the economy, job problems, marriage woes or those stickers on pears that seem to have no purpose other than to make people crazy.
You're here for us. You're the mental health counselors who are standing by.
We need villains. We need big, bad nasties to hate. We don't really want to get to know them. We would prefer not to find out they might even be human. We just want to hiss when they slither into our living rooms.
This is exactly what's wrong with the NFL. Revenue sharing and a salary cap ensures parity, which ensures there won't be an evil empire to detest. What team can you hate in pro football other than the regional rivals that crop up across the league? Besides Bill Belichick's hoodie and the fact that Tom Brady has everything, there's not a whole lot to hate about the Patriots.
We're left to be disgusted with Terrell Owens. There's not a whole lot of lasting fun in that.
On Friday, New York put on a ticker-tape parade for the conquering ballplayers that ambled through the Canyon of Heroes. Aptness required that the confetti be from shredded C-notes, but, alas, no. Even the conspicuously consuming Yankees have their limits. They might build a $1.5 billion stadium in a bad economy, but they're not that crazy.
Some of us laughed at Yankees fans' outrage during the barren years between World Series championships. I read a story Friday that described the "nine long years" fans had waited for title No. 27. Nine years? Dude, that's 10 minutes in Cub years.
Yankees fans don't think God is a Yankees fan. They think the Almighty is powerless in the face of the Steinbrenner family's greatness.
You know what George Steinbrenner is? He's the parent who does his kid's science project for him. There is nothing special about the Yankees other than the fact they have owners who will spend in wretched excess to buy a winner. That's not an art. That's a payoff.
There's no doubt baseball is better when the Yankees are winning. They are polarizing. They restart the discussion about the economic inequities in the sport. Everybody needs a bad guy in a cape and dastardly mustache to root against.
I will say this: It's hard to hate nice-guy Yankees manager Joe Girardi. And it's hard to hate Kate Hudson, A-Rod's girlfriend, no matter how excessively the cameras showed her.
Other than that, I'm whole again.
"I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton
I agree that the gap between the Yankees and the other teams is astronomical and debilitating to the game. But it's interesting that we weren't really talking about this in recent years when the Yankees weren't making it to the World Series. It was all about how the Phillies are building something, what's with Tampa Bay, the Cardinals usually find a way, wouldn't you like to be the Red Sox, and the doofus Yankees can't get to the World Series in spite of all the money they spend. Odd fact: Five teams have been to the World Series twice since the Yankees made it before.
But the Yankees bought this title just as surely as if Bob Castellini had lost his mind, gone all in, and boosted the Reds' payroll to $200 million for one glorious year.