Saturday, November 15, 2008

Because they can!

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
How could you NOT expect the Yanks to overbid to win his affections? Could it simply be only about the money, stupid? Why yes, it can!

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.

Between now and Opening Day, there's going to be reams written about how bad the Yanks are for the game. The chest thumping will be magnificent. There will will be screaming from the mountaintops. There will be banners flown begging for a salary cap. The crying over the "Yanks are buying titles" without much mention that they haven't won bupkis since 2000. Nearly a decade, kids! And the Yanks will write a massive revenue sharing check that will feed many teams.

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).

Folks, it ain't happening. Get over it.

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.

Now, all they have to do is hope the big man accepts their offer so they can continue their pillaging. Up next: Teix, Burnett, Lowe, Sheets!

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.


tHeMARksMiTh said...

I don't like the Yankees, but that really goes back more to '96 and '99. As for their spending, you really can't expect them to say, "It's not fair that we have all this money, so we'll make it easier on everyone else." If I was the GM, I sure as hell wouldn't. Still, even as much as we say it isn't fair, players coming to the Yankees will push for the extra money just because they know they can afford it. The players still have to perform, and knowing you'll make $140M no matter what, you feel pretty good about things.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow Yankee fan, I am REALLY tired of having to justify an overbid on a guy like Sabathia. Guys like Melvin and like my buddy Chris are constantly complaining that the Yankees have an unfair advantage over other teams because of their vast wealth. Well, let me pose this:

If all things were equal, why WOULD any free agent want to play for the Yankees? The press is out for blood every day, and there's more OF THEM than anywhere else on the continent. The fans are demanding. The ownership group has ridiculous standards that can't possibly be met day after day. New York is a city that has weakened mere mortals like Eddie Lee Whitson and Rick Rhoden into mere shells of their selves. Playing baseball in the Bronx is more than a game; it's an every day JOB. There are aspects of this life that make it ten times as stressful as it should be. To quote Tom Selleck in Mr. Baseball "Baseball is a game. Games should be fun."

The single greatest advantage that the Yankees have is money. Lots of it. They have it, everybody else wants it. They created REVENUE SHARING to take away the vast advantage that the Yankees have over the rest of the league and they STILL went to the playoffs thirteen years in a row.

In the end, I am sure Cashman and crew sat down and said to themselves "How can we make playing for the Yankees more attractive than playing for the Dodgers? The answer? I must go back to the movie "Spaceballs" when Bill Pullman said to John Candy "We're not doing this for the money......we're doing it for a SH!TLOAD of money!"

If we didn't start our lives right here....would we be Yankee fans? Likely no. Are we rooting for GM or GE because we are rooting for the Yankees....yeah, maybe to some degree. We are rooting for the teams in our own back yard just like DeGrote rooting for the Twins who COULD have the same advantage if Pohlad WANTED to make that investment...or Wayne Huizenga in Florida who could have that advantage if HE wanted to make that investment. We're talking about MULTI-Billionaires here.

In the end, bidding 140mil NOW, may actually be a savings. If a bidding war ensued, and the Yankees tried to bid 110, they wait for the Brewers to bid 115, then 117. THEN the Dodgers, fresh off of saving 60 mil over three years not having given that dough to Manny bid 137 in an "All out" bid for the lefty free agent.

Then the Yankees have to go to 160MIL in order to be FAR AND ABOVE the advantage of playing in your home state. the end, Dougie Melvin, Don't go cryin about an overbid. In the same position, you'd do the same thing. Do what you can do to accuentate what you have in Milwaukee. A really good, really young, really talented team. Play on his heartstrings. Share with him what kind of hero he'd be winning there. Let him know that he had a successful team behind him that truly wants him back and will do whatever they have the ability to do to get him.

.....and don't cry when he's penning the deal in NY.

Jay said...

First of all, whatever you think about the Yankees, 140 million is not an overbid. In what universe was Sabathia going to take 100 million for 5 years? Santana just signed a six year extension for 137 million last year. Sabathia wasn't going to take less than those terms coming off an year where he pitched the Brewers into the playoffs with a 11-2 record and 1.65 ERA.

Get serious people

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Amen, Jay!