Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Fall Of The Rebellion....Darth Marc Takes Over The Hoth Jacuzzi

I am so going to enjoy this....

Despite Metstra's rantings, I will not do the following during my dominion over Metsland...

Bring up the 2000 World Series. Why shoot a dead horse? Besides, why bring it up, when you'll do it for me?

The Scott Kazmir trade. Personally, I love the deal. He's beaten the Red Sox five times in the two years. But he can't beat the Yankees. Loving it.

World Series titles before I was born. No need to. The six that we have in my lifetime will do just fine, thank you very much.

But before I start for my first rant of the day, my Karen had a couple of questions and requests for you....
Please tell them to find a natural rival in their own
division because if one more Mets fan gets all "I
think Mets/Yankees is just as good as Yankees/Red Sox"
I will shoot myself.

And ask how Anthony Young is doing, and if Who Let the
Dogs Out is going to make a big comeback this year.
Can anyone help her out with this? Have to agree with her on the natural rival thing. I don't hate interleague play like she does, but as much as I enjoy the Subway Series every year, it doesn't come close to the intensity of Yankees-Red Sox for the Yankees fan. Nothing does.

Since the Mets fan refuses to reserve the sort of venom and bile for the Phillies or Braves that they have for the Yankees, we have to be constantly subjected to the Mets and their fans using the Yankees as a measuring stick of sorts. That's why as enjoyable and exciting as the games and series are, the Subway series will always be viewed by the Yankees and their fans as more of a chore than a rivalry. We'll always have more to lose than the Mets will in these games. Regardless, of the records of the two teams.

Yankees-Red Sox is a blood war. Mets-Yankees is an intense sibling rivalry. Nothing more.

I actually have a you Yankee haters have a script that you read from now? I'm used to tourists and their silly gal pals with the pink David Wright jersey, telling me that they hate the Yankees because, "They buy all their players and they've ruined baseball." I'm used to hearing this sort of drivel from that sort of idiot. The folks who go to a game once every five years and don't know who's playing left for their own team.

But now I'm hearing it from allegedly informed, knowledgeable fans now. What's the matter? Chris Russo's Crack Committee of Yankee Haters are molding the message now for you all?

Case in point, my friend affectionately known as "Gagne" (a spitting image for Eric) is a huge White Sox fan and avowed enemy of the Empire. He starts spewing that garbage at me during the All-Star game last night. I don't know if it was the alcohol or the fact that his team's reign as division champs is going to end to the Tigers.

I asked him if he really believed that or was he just yanking my chain. He starts railing on the $200 million payroll and all the other garbage you hear from the Crack Committee.

For the record, are most Yankees fans are pleased with the team having a $200 million payroll? No. Most of us are mortified by it.

But the fact that our payroll is ridiculous, isn't ruining baseball. On the contrary, name me a time in the history of the game when the game has been in better shape. Baseball is thriving, in spite of the uneven financial playing field. Face it folks, the playing field has always been skewered. Free agency or no, there have always been haves and have-nots. Demonizing big-market clubs and Scott Boras isn't going to change that.

As usual, Yankee haters are looking at treating the symptoms instead of the disease. Rarely have the Yankees been the ones to set the prices during the free agency blitz of winter.

That's right. I said it. Yes, the Yankees have the ability to pay players whatever the market is set in a particular year. But rarely they the ones who set it.

Did the Yankees offer A-Rod $252 million or Kevin Brown $105 million? Yeah they signed Jeter for $19 million a year, Giambi for $19 million a year and Moose for $14 million a year. But the market had already been set by Boras, Hicks and Fox.

It was like when the Mets signed Kris Benson, a .500 pitcher, for three years $22 million two years ago. They inadvertantly set the market for mid-level/back of the rotation starters. The agents of pitchers like Jon Lieber, Matt Clement and Carl Pavano told respective bidders, "out guy is better than Benson. This is what we want." Teams had little wiggle room to negotiate a lower bid as a result.

What the Yankees' money enables them to do is 1)re-sign their own players instead of trading them before they become too expensive 2)absorb large contracts in trades for big ticket players and 3)absorb the hit on a high-priced bomb.

But does any of that constitute the ruination of the baseball universe? Please.

The Yankees have had no less than seven home grown players that have contributed greatly to their recent and past success since 1996. How many home grown players did the Red Sox have in 2004 and now? What about the White Sox? Where is all of this outrage over the fact that the Red Sox had one home grown player on the team that won the World Series in 2004?

Let me ask you this, would the KC Royals be competitive if there was a salary cap? Or would their owners still line their pockets with revenue sharing money....refusing to reinvest their profits back into their team? I doubt that they would spend the money necessary to be competitve. The Yankees are a $200 million crutch on which the have nots lean upon. Why get better, when you can blame the Yankees for sucking?

I would actually argue that the Yankees Leviathan financial status has increased the quality of play and competition in the game. Teams realize that they have to scout smarter, draft smarter, make smart trades and waiver moves and on occassion spend some cheddar for the big ticket free agent who can take you to the next level. Knowing that they have to compete against a foe with such resources....a team that can afford to make a couple of big mistakes and still forces the Omar Minayas, Theo Epsteins, Billy Beanes and Kenny Williams of the world to be at the top of their games. When you have smart competitive front-offices in baseball, you have smart, competitive teams. Look at the American League. It's not some accident that the AL has become the dominant league over the last decade. And I think it has a lot to do with teams seeing what's happening in the Bronx and raising their games to compete.

Every successful game needs a foil. A villain. The NFL has the Cowboys. College Football has Notre Dame. College Basketball has Duke. MLB has the Yankees. There's nothing wrong with that. But don't confuse being the bad guys with being bad for the game. If the Yankees are so bad for the game, then how come they're consistently one of the top road draws in baseball?

If a full-house is a bad thing, then call me Satan.

Does the game need some sort of salary cap? Yes. But how many of you actually believe that the same teams that are competitive now wouldn't continue to win consistently? This idea that the Yankees would become the '62 Mets overnight is lunacy.

The Yankees are best thing to have ever happened to the game of baseball. If you want to hate them fine. But know why you're hating them before you bite the bats that feed you.

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