Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Whining taken to a new level

For some reason, I thought this sorta whining coming from the Boston media was done, that somehow we were beyond this (note the subtitle: "Yanks buy first place and perhaps a title"). Guess not.

There was nothing particularly savvy or skillful about it, of course. They were dealing with Scott Boras, so they knew that honor and integrity would play no part in the process.

Just money. Lots and lots of money.

In other words, it was a New York Yankees kind of deal right from the start, a chance for them to buy the biggest house on the block and act like they built it with their bare hands.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t even have to travel to Mark Teixiera’s home to grovel. All he had to do was sit back, checkbook in hand, and let Boras do his thing. In the end, the slimy superagent did not let him down.
Awwwwww. That's so sad. Boo hoo. Boston was $10m "short" in their efforts to buy first place, Mr. Callahan. Don't act so one-sided, looking down on the Yanks for doing exactly what you were prepared to do.
Even though they already had a pretty good first baseman and third baseman, the Sox didn’t try to hide their affection for the best free agent on the market. They pounced on Teixeira like Brian Williams on Barack Obama. They made a bold offer of about $170 million over eight years.
Cashman did as he was told. He topped the Sox by a sizable margin. Final number: $180 million over eight years with a full no-trade clause.
And don't dare call that difference "sizable", because it represented just 6% of their total offer and that's not material by any stretch when you're whalehunting. That's close enough for the Sox ownership to call Boras and say, "call" and get Teix if he wanted to come to Boston for the same money as NY.

The Yanks do what they always do; use their financial might. And with some $80m+ coming off their payroll last year, all they did is backfill (with the best players available).

Mr. Callahan, you can hate on Boras all you wish. Makes no difference to me. He was only doing his job. And doing it damn well. If you think Boras would somehow treat the Sox differently than any other team, you're a fool. He's an agent with a singular mission: securing the largest deal for his clients. To think that he'd play favorites with Boston merely because they had worked well together in the past is either naive or dumb.

Also, don't try to portray Boston as some small market club, innocently being clubbed by the big, bad Yanks. As you noted, Mr. Callahan:
It is easy to say the Red Sox should have known better, but after lavishing outrageous contracts on other Boras clients, including J.D. Drew and Daisuke Matsuzaka, maybe the Sox thought Boras would give them a fair shake. They thought wrong, and they got burned.
Pot, kettle? Not quite, I know. But close.

Just quit the whining. The Sox are an incredibly run organization with great talent up and down, and plenty more on the come. Whining is not something the organization does; they react and fix things as well as any other club. Why aren't you, Mr. Callahan, lauding your team for being only a game out of first despite a sinkhole at DH and slow starts by Beckett and Lester (though obviously both have come on like gangbusters lately, especially Lester), rather than whining about the Yanks' spending. It's not a new story.

UPDATE (6/9/09, 11:15am): Deadspin's take on the transfer fees being paid in soccer and how it might related to MLB:
Perhaps someone with a more secure grasp of international sports could explain why U.S. sports don't try this transfer fee stuff. When teams like Milwaukee and Oakland and Minnesota watch their best players waltz away for big bucks contracts (or maybe get pennies on the dollar in a trade), would it help if Boston and New York had to dump big piles of cash on their old desks to take the talent? Or would it just give the small teams even more incentive to hoard money and stay terrible? The agents would certainly love to get in on that action.
Fun idea.


Carl the Big Fool said...

"Or would it just give the small teams even more incentive to hoard money and stay terrible?"

Yes, that one. Jeez, look at the Pirates, trading away good players who aren't even that close to free agency. If they could sell them off for cash, that's exactly what they'd do.

Jake said...

Always funny to watch Boston fans whine about the Yankees while sporting the fourth-largest payroll in baseball. I also find it astounding that fans think it is evil for Steinbrenner to spend his money on improving his team, rather than just sitting on it like a lot of other owners do. What would you rather they do? Try to not win?

Mark said...

Love me the Sox; am horridly embarrassed by the insular, inbred local sports mediots. When and if the Globe goes belly-up, its sports section will not be missed.

Okay -- I'd miss Ryan. But other than him...

BMB said...

I believe transfer fees would have significant legal problems before they would be accepted by U.S. sports. For instance, the antitrust issues the NFL dealt with regarding the Rozelle rule (players had to be sent to a FA's former team as compensation).

A transfer free would clearly suppress FA salaries, so at the very least the union would have a cow over it.