Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yanks made the Rays possible?

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.

1 comment:

dinologic (Dean D) said...

Yeah, I think having high draft picks for a decade had more to do with their success than the money they've gotten via MLB's welfare program.

To go against your blog credo, it ISN'T always about the money. This gets me riled up more than anything. Yankee-haters will discount their accomplishments pointing to the fact that they have the highest payroll. "They buy championships," they'll cry. But when the Yankees don't win, they'll laugh and once again point to the payroll saying "Ha ha, your $200 million payroll couldn't save you this year."

So which is it? You can't have it both ways! If it were simple enough to guarantee a ring by signing (and sometimes overpaying for) free agents, the Yankees would win EVERY year. And the Mets would win the AL East every year. And every other team with a high payroll would always be successful. But it takes way more than that. Does the money help? Sure. There are some teams that can reliably book tee times for October on April 1st, but then there are others (Twins come to mind) that are perennial contenders who don't have a ton of cash to spend. Money is no substitute for wise management practices.