For some reason, Brewers GM Doug Melvin is "baffled" by the Yanks over-the-top bid for Sabathia. Why he's so surprised, I have no idea. It's not like this was a government classified covert operation. "Operation Doughboy"? "Operation FatCat"? "Operation Dollar Dump"?
"It sounds like they're overbidding," Melvin said. "If the speculation is true that we've offered CC $100 million, why would you offer $140 million? Why wouldn't you offer $110 million?"Gee, ya think?!?!? Let's count the reasons, Dougie:
- Because they CAN!
- Because they have to compensate for not being located in the West
- Because they have to compensate for not being in the NL
- Because they have $88 million coming off the books
- Because they have a brand new stadium that will print oodles of cash
- Because, if you haven't noticed, the team is owned by the biggest group of at-all-costs, ego-maniacal, middle-finger-waving owners in the game
Friends, I'm once again in the midst of this conundrum: My childhood team has a chance to land the biggest fish (um, mammal) in all the land. Yet, I also know Sabathia would become a mercenary instead of freedom fighter. Am I OK with this? I'd rather have a guy want to come to the team at "fair market value"* rather than a jacked up overbid, just like you would. It'd be more than noble for CC to say "I'll take less to go to LA (or MLW) and the Union will have to deal with it" but I'm not sure if he will. I know my wife would like to see him go with his heart, not his pocketbook being led by the Union. Is it embarrassing, as a fan, to have your team flaunt their wealth as overtly and conspicuously as they are looking to do? Uhhh yeah.
* I cringed, too, when the Yanks had to overpay to keep Posada and Mo; that was entirely unnecessary.
And remember, if there's a cap, the has to be a floor, too. Ask the Marlins, Rays, Padres, etc. to get their salary totals up to $60 million and watch their ownership squirm like mad and cry poverty. Watch the Union fight against a cap since that would theoretically cap spending (read: earning power for the players).
Go ahead and hate the Yanks. I'm OK with it. I would, too, if I weren't a fan since birth and currently live a long stone's throw from their new cathedral to excess. But I will still root for the laundry. And hope that Hank, the Augustus Gloop of the Owners, can keep his yap shut and not get sucked into the chocolate filtering system.
UPDATE (11/15/08, 12:07PM): Just ran across this at Shysterball, who, as usual, captures it quite well:
CC is a great pickup for whoever gets him, but this sounds like a an overbid. It's their money, though, so I don't care. Personally, I can't wait for the series of indignant columnists complaining about how the Yankees are evil and all of that while simultaneously failing to mention that New York hasn't won anything since they really started going apesh*t on the free agent market six or seven years ago.