Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Cubans are coming, the Cubans are coming: Did the Yankees screw themselves by going over-allotment in this year's Latino signings?

Imagine another Cuban missile crisis,
except with players instead of missiles.
Well, at least we can't hang this one on the merry elf, Brian Cashman...

Nobody yesterday expected to see Uncle Sam and Fidel co-lighting a Cuban fatty, ending 50 years of playground taunts from dueling cabana boys. Of course, the voices of truth at Fox News are already screaming TREASON, but there's beachfront property to develop and dinero to be made, and like it or not, Mr. Rubio, the times, they a-gonna be a'changin.'

And that could mean a raft of Cuban baseball stars (yep, bad pun) floating to America in 2015... while the Empire is required to sit on its $1.85 billion wallet.

This summer, the Yankees overspent their MLB-allowed budget on international youth - the 16-year-olds addicted to HGH and Clearasil. The rules are complicated - like all tax crap - but the Yankees next year will be limited in their offers for international contracts. It's be written that they won't be able to go over $300,000 on a player. Thus, they'll comb the Cuban beaches with metal detectors, looking for pesos in the rough. Maybe Randy Levine can find a loophole - (it's come to that.) - but if Cuba opens the floodgates, the studs will head to LA and Texas.

So here is the question: Did the Yankees just fall onto the wrong side of a massive talent shift?

Obviously, it's too early to say. And if so - again - we cannot blame Cashman or Hal or even Levine (whom I personally enjoy blaming for everything, including Ebola.) In fact, we won't be alone. The Redsocks and Rays also went crazy in spending. It's really too early to fear the worst.

Then again, we're Yankee fans. We ALWAYS fear the worst.

(Quick test as proof: How many of you think Masahiro Tanaka will get through July with that partially torn elbow? Show of hands: Hmm. Two out 500! I thought so...)

This wouldn't be the first time the Yankees were caught trousers-down in a world, cultural upheaval. One reason why the team stank in the late 1960s was its refusal to embrace the emerging Latino market. The Tony Olivas and Mike Cuellars boosted Minnesota and Baltimore, while we waited for Roger Repoz and Steve Whitaker. (If either of you happen to be reading this: I'm still waiting! And merry Xmas!)

I don't know what the Yankees can do, except follow the wisdom of Warren: Send lawyers, guns and money. The times, they are a-gonna be a-changin.' Viva Hydra!

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