Well, sorta. I can't say I totally disagree with the premise but it sure was eye opening to read it. I don't usually agree with Wallace Matthews --I know many of you can't stand him-- but there's a kernel of truth below the bluster here:
The Rays and their majority owner, Stuart Sternberg -- and émigré of Goldman Sachs, another Yankees farm club -- have mastered the new order of baseball evolution, which is as follows: Pocket wads of Yankee cash. Draft wisely. Wait for young talent to blossom. Kick Yankee butt.
Then, release formerly young talent into the free-agent market, where the Yankees can scoop it up at prices the Rays would not consider paying even if they could.
Boy, Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton, Scott Kazmir and David Price are going to make terrific Yankees some day. Of course, it will be long after their best days are behind them.
Yeah, that all might be possible, maybe even destined. But c'mon, even I, as a Yankee fan, have to sit back and marvel as the Rays have skipped the painful "mediocre" phase of an organization's development and jumped from doormat to Alpha Dog. And Matthews hangs it squarely on Hank (though clearly Hank can't be totally blamed for this; it pre-dates his emergence).
For that, they can thank Dr. FrankenSteinbrenner, who thought his money was building himself a local whipping boy. Turns out, those boys are whipping him, but good.
And lastly, unrelated, I could care less if the W.S. match-up isn't quite "made-for-TV" like LA/BOS would have been. Why do I really care if the networks make less money? Who cares? It should be a great matchup, Philly vs. TB/BOS. I'll be excited to watch and I don't care if the networks can't fleece the advertisers quite as much.