Sunday, February 10, 2019

Throughout the Yankiverse, only the sportswriters believe the owner is not cheap

Over the last three weeks, an angry, scarlet pimple of indignation has blossomed on the forehead of the Yankiverse, and no SWAT team of Clearasil can quiet it.

In a rare moment of worry, the franchise is addressing the burgeoning fury of its fan base. 

This week, Harold Z. Steinbrenner - known in these parts as "Food Stamps" - wheedled and whined about how expensive it is to own the Yankees, and whinnied about public criticism for not trying to sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. It's tough, being an old money multi-billionaire. Nobody understands you. They think dollars grow on trees. It's not fair. Take a letter, Maria: IT'S. JUST. NOT. FAIR.

Across the Yankiverse, fans have demanded that the Yankees spend their mountain of money on payroll... or explain to us where all the rising revenues go. We remember the last three years of poor-mouthing, as the brass bellowed about the need to escape luxury taxes. Their arguments for austerity always included a winking reference to the free agent class of 2019 - the generational talents of Machado and/or Harper. The message was simple: We'll save money now and spend it when the big boys come available. And nobody was talking about DJ LeMahieu. 

Over the last three weeks, as the word "collusion" has echoed across the Internet, a notion that the Yankees have been a) deceptive, b) disingenuous and c) cheap - (an argument nurtured by godforsaken sites like this) - has gained traction almost everywhere.

There is, however, one safe house where the Yankees always find a sympathetic ear: Your friendly neighborhood media Gammonites. 

This week, the tabloids did their best to debunk the idea of Prince Hal being a flea market psycho. In a gushingly friendly interview with the Post, Food Stamps noted that the Yankees are on target to spend $220 million this year on payroll. He did not mention that such a number will remain $20 million below what Boston spent last year. Another tab story conveniently laid the blame for Yankee austerity on Jacoby Ellsbury, as if the Redsocks haven't carried burned huge contracts of their own. It's always open season on player contracts. Show me one long term player contract that always looks fruitful to its owner, or to fans who are struggling to pay their rent. It's the biggest gimme in all of sports.

Yesterday, some team source revealed a Yankee offer to Machado of about $22 million over seven or eight years, though it's not clear whether the proposal was made before or after the Yankees signed LeMahieu, which was basically the end game for Machado's New York chances.

Nor does it explain Harper, who is clearly a Yankee fan fave. For starters, this ridiculous notion that the Yankee outfield is "overcrowded" requires us to believe that Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton can each last a season without injuries. Secondarily, the team is woefully overbalanced to the right side. Harper would solve that glaring weakness. Yet the Yankees don't seem to be opening the door... even a crack.

So Hal can say whatever he wants. Boston seeks to repeat as world champs, while the Yankees have reassembled last year's wild card winner. Call it "cheap." Call it "insane." Call it whatever you wish. One of these days, maybe the media will get the message.


13bit said...

Hal does not care.

What would be a good term to describe privilege based on wealth?

"privilege" maybe? "arrogance"? "contempt"? "asshole-itude?" "royal disdain?" "monied-class contempt?"

See, this may come down to what has traditionally been a verboten topic in our egalitarian America - the notion of class. In many other countries, it's accepted that there are different classes and they are almost like different species. Here, continue to cling to the idea that we are all equal in some ways, that class mobility exists, that - if you just work hard enough, you can raise yourself up and join the crowd at the country club, etc - but it's a lie. I won't get too political here, as this has been going on for decades. I have no problem with capitalism, either, by the way. I'm not some Wobbly Marxist fanatic, but I will say this: the rich ARE different from most poor schmucks like you and I. Hal is aggrieved that we are criticizing him for being cheap.

"Those people don't get it" must be running through his head. We have a fundamental schism here - He cannot understand us and we clearly cannot understand him. It's like a bad marriage. Each side is righteously upset and feels misunderstood. We can't quit, though (just can't quit you, Hal) and so we must endure whatever Daddy Warbucks decides to do, accept every whim, swallow every turd. He, on the other hand, wonders why the serfs don't thank him for his benevolence. Of course, the problem is that it's a business to him. He, who was raised on solid gold toilet bowl seats and never had a job at the local supermarket, believes he is already making huge sacrifices for us. We, who watched his father commit irrational acts - some good, some bad - and was driven by a pathological desire to win, believe he owes us the same passion that old King George clearly had for the team.

He does not understand that passion. We don't want to believe he is not a fan. Impasse. Doom. Vortex of shit. Hell on earth. Cashman, the court moron, does what he can, but he is not clever enough to win with a mere 220 million a year. Other GMs might be, but not Cash. Cash did not build the last great dynasty, but he has sure as shit been riding on its fumes for a decade now. There is no meritocracy within the Yankee hierarchy. Bad moves are rewarded with another contract. The awful pitching and hitting coaches continue to get paid. Randy Levine continues to make boardroom level moves that have no benefit to the team, but only to the hedgefunders living in the gilt box seats. We be fucked, folks.

13bit said...

I will go even further. Not only is there no meritocracy, but Cash has built a fiefdom - with Hal's consent - based on loyalty and toadyism. This may be good for keeping his job, but not for creating a winning team. When nobody is allowed to contradict you, you may never learn anything.

When the coaches are forced to follow your orders, you are squashing baseball instincts. Don't throw the stat bullshit at me. It's not all stats. I'm not anti-stat, but they are not everything.

When everybody is concerned solely with not rocking the boat, the boat goes nowhere. It's like some shitty, second-tier royal court from the nineteenth century, filled with intrigue, back-stabbing, and mediocrity.

TheWinWarblist said...

Okay, "Food Stamps Hal" needs to be the new subtitle.


Ken of Brooklyn said...

Dear 13Bit,
Brava! Brava! Brava!>>> MIC DROP fucking Brava!
You have succinctly described the morass that is our current state of Yankeedom,,,,,,,
URRRRGGGG, once again!

TheWinWarblist said...

Bitty, your commentary is spot on as usual. It entices and arouses the thoughts and senses.


Alphonso said...

And when you salivate over signing a guy for $20million per year, who will strike out 250 times, hit into 80 double plays, but hit 40 home runs, it is a clear sign that you have no idea what you are doing.

When you cannot recognize that such a signing, for a player another team is desperate to dump, will impede your ability to sign talent which almost can justify the cost, that is a sign of incompetence.

It isn't brain surgery.

Just look one year ahead on the calendar and read the list of who will then be a free agent.

Cheap and dumb.

The New York Yankee ownership team.

Carl Weitz said...

13 Bit....Hal Z is exactly like many very rich people, especially Wall Street wealthy. They whine when called out on their parsimony and avarice. They complain that if not for their grace upon the working and poor classes, commerce, ingenuity and the world, itself, would cease. They rarely understand anything outside of their very small world and elite circle of friends. "What.....I should pay the same tax rate on my income as labor pays on their income? Rubbish-be lucky I don't game the system more and pay even less".

Wah wah wah, fuckers!

Carl Weitz said...

By the way, do you know how Cashman got his position? George knew Cashman's father who was a race track manager in FL. I'm sure he let GS know which of the races on any given day were fixed. As a payback, George hired his son in a position that older and more qualified people usually hold. Again, that "Good Old Boy" network of advancement.

13bit said...

I love you all.

And Carl, I did not know that about El-Cashola. As usual, it goes back to a twisted root.


To quote Winny and others: "FUCKERS FUCKERS FUCKERS"

Anonymous said...


Well done. The issues you describe so well are coming to the fore in a lot of areas. The situation with the Yankees is an easy one to describe. Here's another one. Tax refunds down 8% to pay for the 1%'s tax cut.

If they don't watch it, our attention will go from Tulo to Gleybar to Voit over to Robespierre to Danton to Desmoulins.

Doug K.

13bit said...

I'm with you all the way, Doug, all the way.

Anonymous said...






13bit said...

Amen, ALL-CAPS. Should we send them a telegram?

The arrogance pisses me off.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Great stuff, 13bit, Duque, and Doug K.! Couldn't have said it better myself.

I find the thing that's always difficult to comprehend about the ultra-rich, is how much they love MONEY.

Not just the idea of what they can do with money, which we all love, But money. Money, money, money.

Above all, they just like keeping it. And so they do.