Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dreaming the Dream: What must happen for Yankees to reach magical $189 million payroll

Close your eyes and imagine the ultimate Yankee fan fantasy: A payroll of $189 million! Well, now open them:


OK, I know what you’re thinking:

"Duque, why do you tease us so? Yankeekind shall never experience the glory of One-Eight-Nine. Don’t hurt us with your words. We are mere humans, and the perfect One-Eight-Nine is beyond our capability." 

Well, Yankiverse, I say: BEEEEEE-LEAVE!

With some luck from the juju gods, $189 million in 2014 is not only possible — but feasible. We just need a few breaks — literally, maybe — to bring the Yankee ship into the port of One-Eight-Nine! Four lucky things must happen:

1. Career-ending injuries to Jeet, Mariano and Andy.
Don’t take this the wrong way. Nobody wants our heroes dead or in agony — just plaster casts. We have no choice. If even one survives 2013 with ligaments intact, our fiscal dreams go poof. The Steinbrothers would have to re-sign him, wasting valuable Yankee money. If they all decide to play in 2014, we’re out $50 million! Best case scenario: They excel through August, then feel something go riiiiiip. We need retirements — permanent retirements (Talking to you, Andy!) — with no chance of rehab. Look: We all want the best for these Yankee icons. But they shouldn't stand in the way of our golden One-Eight-Nine. 

2. A wretched, horrible contract year for Robbie Cano. 

Keep your fingers crossed. It needs to start in April and linger into September. Maybe he pulls a hammy, then busts a thumb.  We need piss-poor stats — Lenn Sakata numbers —the kind that will shrink his free agency price tag the way going juiceless did Jason Giambi. I say, bench Robbie against righties. Put him behind the plate. Bat him ninth. If his game collapses, we can re-sign him for a pittance. Lenn Sakata cash. Hey, that's Yankee money being saved!
3. Solid, but emotionally unsatisfying, years from Grandy, Hughes, Kuroda, Joba, Logan and Youk. 

We want these beloved Yankee lugnuts to do well... but not that well. It's not as if we'll keep them. Come 2014, they’ll be spread across the West Coast or drinking laced-milk with Melky in Toronto. In the meantime, let's watch them jack up their future asking prices - which we won't  pay. After they refuse our option offer, we can not only cut payroll but bank the high draft picks. (Which we don’t have to sign.) If they go elsewhere, ka-chinnnnnnng! That's more Yankee money... for you and me!

4. Fourth place finish. 

This is critical. We cannot risk making the playoffs. Winning the World Series would be catastrophic. It would force the Steins to keep players, even pay them more because of popularity resulting from the championship. Frankly, it would kill our chances for One-Eight-Nine. We need Yankee fans to hate the 2013 team, pushing high-salary players out the door. (Except Arod: We must cheer Arod, who will be a Yankee for the next five years.) We need cheap Yankees. Russ Canzler! He could be the next Danny Cater! Matt Diaz? The new Andy Kosco. They'll stay cheap. And with every hit, that's the sound of dollars being saved!

Hey, if we could come in dead last, who knows? We could be thinking One-Seven-Nine! And drafting first! Dream the dream, Yankiverse! We're no longer limited by our checkbook.


Bye Bye Balboni said...

I think Girardi should change his uniform number to 18 (1+8+9) for the next two seasons, at least.

I'm starting to think Cash and the Steinbros have a brilliant plan. They don't want to sign anyone to a long-term deal, right? And their starting catcher is currently a life-size cardboard cutout of Elston Howard, right? OK, dream with me here:

Jorge Posada will come out of retirement for one year and be behind the plate for a season-long "Core Four Farewell Tour." And to entice fans to the Stadium on days when Andy and Mo aren't pitching, the legendary quartet will come out before each home game and do a 30-minute variety show, complete with comedy routines, a bit of song and dance, and some Gashouse Gang-type antics to delight youngsters and grownups alike.

The 2013 Yankees - YES WE CANZLER!

el duque said...



I think you just summed up the Yankee winter.

John M said...

Brilliant. A rallying cry for the entire season is born.

I'm Bill White said...

I think what we will see eventually is the money spent on each position will be tied to some combination of concessions and ticket revenues. (TV revenue off limits, that's for the Steinbrenners). So RF could be funded by last year's Italian sausage sandwich take plus the revenues from sections 103-109. Free agents would kill to be the Italian sausage guy. Others would rue being the burrito queso or Dippin Dots guy.

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Alphonso said...

Your wish for Cano had a jump start in the playoffs, where he went 1-33 .