Wednesday, December 17, 2014
NO PENNANTS, NO PEACE: If Hal Steinbrenner is more interested in being pennywise than winning the World Series, it's time for a fan revolution
Posted by el duque at 6:12 AM
As we end another cruel year, it's time to ponder a deeper question than where Brett Gardner should bat in 2015. (BTW, third.)
Should we, as die-hard Yankee rooters, give a crap that the ownership is becoming fiscally prudent?
Before unfurling my tirade, a few understandings...
I am writing as a consummate Yankee fan asshole. Yes, I'm aware that we spend more than almost any other team in baseball. What bugs me is the word "almost." Last year, the Dodgers outspent us. The frickin' LA Dodgers. Why? Because their owner wanted to win more than our owner did.
The margin by which we outspend almost all other teams is shrinking - while the value of the Yankee franchise continues to skyrocket. Old George Steinbrenner was worth millions. Each of his dirt bag sons is worth billions. George didn't trifle over money. So why are they? It's pointless. To Hal Steinbrenner money cannot matter. It might as well be infinite. Good grief, we rail about A-Rod being overpaid to be a DH, but the Steinbrenner boys get overpaid to crap their beds.
Secondarily, I am writing as a pathetic Yankee drone, incapable of switching allegiance. Most likely, you are, too: A Yankee sex slave, a prisoner, an addict, a Dick Nixon in Hell. When our team wins, we ejaculate confetti. When it fails - as it has since 2009 - I want someone boiled in Gray Goose. There is no in-between.
Nevertheless... Didn't we all privately puke when Robbie Cano jogged off to Windows Town for another meaningless zero on a piece of paper? That God he's gone. If playing for the New York frickin' Yankees means nothing, screw the bastard. Nor do I see why anyone should go $200 million into the tank for 7-Inning Max Scherzer - and yet - that one philosophical question remains unanswered:
Should we give a gaddamm whether the team is saving money?
This winter, the Yankees have balked on big name free agents. But... they are spending more in other areas. For example, we now field two teams in the Gulf Coast League. That means more chances to develop talent. Next year, they will add a Single A team in the Appalachian League. Again... more chances to raise puppies. They will have more affiliates than anybody else in baseball. This... is... smart.
Also, they lavished a shitload of cash this summer on young Latino prospects. Trouble is, they are too young - age 16. Aside from the ethical questions of buying a 16-year-old (who has been groomed by some predator scout since 12), I'm not sure it's wise. For every Miguel Cabrera (signed at 16) there are several Jackson Melians, Wily Mo Penas and Ricardo Aramboleses - who disappear somewhere between Trenton and Gomorrah.
But why have we been such wimps on the international market? We sat out the bidding for Puig, Abreu, Castillo, Tomas - Masahiro Tanaka is an exception. We always seek the Dollar Store alternatives, the scrap heap bargains. It's as if we want 25 Yangervis Solartes instead of one Derek Jeter.
And why didn't we fight the MLB rules that clearly were written to destroy the Yankees? Bud Selig always envied the NFL for one reason: It has no Yankees. By laying down against Selig's revenue-sharing rules, Hal Steinbrenner has been like the guy in a bar fight yelling "Lemmie at him! LEMMIE AT HIM," as he backs out the door. Then again... regardless of how the Yankees do, Hal just gets richer and richer.
Now, we face a looming Yankee apocalypse. We've won nothing in this decade. Our farm system is still shaky at the top. We enter 2015 chasing a Wild Card. Unless something changes, the greatest professional sports legacy in U.S. history is transitioning into the Buffalo Bills.
Funny how billionaires want free and unlimited spending for elections - but when it comes to running the game of baseball, they institute tax-regulated payroll limits.
I say it's time for Hal Steinbrenner to make a stand.
Yoan Moncata is a 19-year-old Cuban SS with great potential. From all indications, he could be a star. Soon, he'll go out for bids. Moncata won't come cheap. Whoever gets him will probably overpay. So... will the Steinbrenners shell out? Or will they lie to us and claim they can't afford it?
They can afford it.
If they poor-mouth on Moncata, we must not accept their lies.
If Hal Steinbrenner - with nearly infinite wealth - simply cares about the bottom line, which is a parlor game to him, it's time for Yankee fans to start crapping on that bottom line.
You get the tar, I'll get the feathers. This blog is a mere mosquito bite on the butt of the Yankiverse. But gaddammot, the revolution has to start somewhere! Play ball. Hail Hydra. Bring it on...