It bugs people when the rich guy pleads poverty. They see it all the time. The governor grubs for money. The corporation cheats on taxes. The billionaires complain about their employees’ wages.
I mention this because you’ve spent the last three months poor-mouthing on behalf of Hal and Hank Steinbrenner, and their plan to shrink the Yankee payroll to $189 million. Simultaneously, they can’t seem to understand why Yankee fans – such as me – have become so spiteful.I think you are in a tough position, dealing with the family. Whatever happens, they’ll blame you. That’s the underside of being a general manager. But frankly, I think you’ve been doing them dirt by constantly mentioning the $189 million payroll figure – a backhanded way of saying they are poor-mouthing - and not addressing the real Yankee issue: We have hit the downside of a talent curve, and our next wave of young players is not ready.
Sir, consider the reality:Mariano, Jeter, Andy, Ichiro, Kuroda, Arod – even Youkilis… they’re writing the last stanzas this season. If they don’t lose to Toronto, they’ll surely lose to arthritis. Nobody lasts forever, and they’re all past the sales date. Their replacements – maybe, anyway – such as Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez and Slade Heathcott, are still two years away from making an impact.
Any other team would call this a “rebuilding year,” and the fans would understand. Because the Yankees own the first and richest sports network, and occupy the nation’s largest media market, they apparently cannot use such words. So you blame a number and – in essence – poor-mouth on behalf of the ownership.I think you are selling the fan base short. And I think you will only find an angrier and more strident wave of critics.
This isn’t about $189 million. It’s about the organization’s failure to develop talent in recent years.There is talent in the system. Hopefully, it’s on the way. We face a rebuilding year – like everybody does, now and then. Just say it, dammit. Stop pleading poverty. We’ll all be better off.
In the name of Mariano,El Duque