Friday, March 1, 2013

Dear Mr. Steinbrenner, Excuse me, sir, but, umm, I'm a little confused about your plans...

It's probably just me. I'm sure your surrogates in the Yankiverse can easily explain this. But I'm a bit dense here.

Yesterday, we read that you've made Robbie Cano a "significant offer" (- ha, I almost typed "significant other," wouldn't that be funny?) - which he and the dreaded Diabolicus - aka, the arch-fiend super-beast Scott Boras - are now stewing. This is good. I think I speak for the Yankiverse in saying we'll be better off in 2014 if Corban Joseph is not turning our double plays. So I say, deal on, sir!

But here's where I'm a bit bumpy. For the last five months, all we've heard is how the Yankees wanted to cut payroll to $189 million by next year. It's critical, it's vital, it's crucial that you achieve this great Yankee milestone because - well - you'll get out of paying taxes. Can there be anything more American that that? It's fine print in the deal Bud Selig orchestrated, which turns MLB into the NFL, putting the storied KC Royals on equal ground as the Yankees.

For the last five months, it looked as though Robbie Cano would have to go. It's hard to imagine a $200 million contract given to him, while we're draining the swamp of mega-deals from the old days.  We watched Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano, and the Vienna Boys Choir walk out the door - and Josh Hamilton, Zach Greinke et al - sign elsewhere without so much as an "insignificant offer" made. We watched the payroll shrink, but at least there was a reason:

If we hit $189 million next year, we don't get clipped by Hugo Chavez/Bud Selig luxury taxes. And eventually, that means Bryce Harper.

So now... WTF? Are we still reaching for that $189 M shining star? If so, and Robbie signs - will we play next season without outfielders? If he doesn't sign, should we start using the phrase "rebuilding year" in talking points? That's OK. The KC Royals - our future equals - do it all the time. We'll have to learn to do it.  And Corban Joseph - who knows? He could be a .280 hitter!

Or... over the weekend did we just quietly give up that wondrous goal of $189 M? If so, was it worth it to sit around the last five months while the team disintegrated to - as Bill Madden puts it - Old Timers' day every day? If we're a nickel over $189 million - we might as well be a dime, right? There go the taxes!

I know it's not easy running a baseball team. And believe me, we're pulling for you. But it strikes me that you might have inherited one major genetic trait from your dad: You make a big point about holding the fiscal line, because a guy makes too much money - and then, when things fall apart, you end up paying twice as much to replace him. Martin, Swisher, Soriano, Cano, $189? What's the plan here? Are we in or are we out? I'm confused.

Love, love, love...

el Duque


Tracy Stallard's Dreams of 60 said...

It's so hard to watch your favorite team forever trying to figure out what to offer a guy who's been as good as Cano has been, and have the only thing go through your mind be, "If he gets the big bucks, will he jog out grounders even slower than he does now?"

The guy has so much talent (and a captain who's set him a fine example for his entire Major League career) that I shouldn't have to even consider that question. But that question is all I think of...wondering how negotiations might interfere with Cano's "leadership" never enter my mind. Oh, wait...

Let him go. He's great; I get it. But I'd rather lose with someone at 2B who tried like hell than have this guy lollygag his way through things and fail in the clutch for a bunch more years. I understand the raw talent, but I don't understand the appeal...and it's not even that, to be fair to RC. I just have a huge problem with batters who don't run out ground balls. Call me spoiled by Jeter, if you must.

Saint Lou of Tampa said...

Gotta agree with ya. I hate the Red Sox and BOO Pedroia every chance I get. However, when is the last time Dustin Pedroia dogged it, or flashed that silly Cano smirk after making a play? Honestly, I'd rather have a Pedroia type at 2B. A guy like Lou Piniella playing the infield.