Its that time of year when baseball fans begin their annual rantings about whether the Yankees ought to be spending through the roof, snapping up every free agent in sight, or whether teams with smaller payrolls deserve a shot at the top dollar free agents. I'll try to keep away from that subject. I'm quite certain none of the Steinbrenner clan gives a damn what I think. I'm also objective enough to know that all teams are NOT created equal. Right or wrong, that's just how it is. So when a certain Yankee buff is myopic enough to state that every other team should go get their own YES network and buy all the free agents they want. That's not only ludicrous, but downright impossible.
There are so many ways to measure success in baseball these days. Is it the won/loss record? Attendance? How about those small market teams stuffing their pockets with luxury tax dollars intended for re-investment? While there is no hard and fast "right answer", one thing is readily apparent. And that is teams such as the Yankees are, and have been driving up the overall salary structure. Not that its right or wrong, only an idiot or a "fanatic" would see it any other way.
So, Yankee fan, what are you getting for your buck? Every year, its this free agent or that. Never a dull moment in the Hot Stove League. You guys are the talk of the town, dominating every manner of media. Perhaps that's the measure of success--dominating the tabloids. But for an additional $30 million in luxury tax, and the A's and the Royals thank you for your support, are you really that much closer to WINNING? Every Yankee blog I encounter is flush with prediction of an impending World Series title. As if it were that easy. If such were the case, we'd be just now sweeping ticker tape off the streets of Manhattan.
No dear Yankee fan, you just can't buy your way to victory. Until your minor league system is re-stocked, and genuine prospects start coming up, the best you can hope for is...well mediocrity. There might be the occasional playoff appearance with an early exit, bringing on the cry for additional free agents that will REALLY put us over the top! Your success in the late nineties was brought on, not by any free agent buying binges, but rather by that home grown talent you've gotten away from. Jeter, Posada, Rivera Soriano, and Williams had more to with that successful era. Kind of reminds you of a certain team from the Tampa area, doesn't it?
Lok on the bright side, though. You guys can still dominate the media market like no other. Sometimes you have to take success where you can find it...
The Luxury Of Mediocrity
Posted on: December 23, 2008 1:26 pm