Saturday, November 28, 2009

Letters to the Editor: World at War... Fighting Back in Buffalo!

Buffalo News (New York)
November 22, 2009 Sunday

I. Dear Editor,

Amidst the celebration surrounding the 2009 Yankees World Series win, the usual cries of buying the title persist.

Of the Yankees' $208 million payroll, $101.2 million goes to six players who each have more than five years service in a Yankee uniform. Thirteen players, or 52 percent, earned less than the ML average.

Nearly half of the Yankees payroll is taken up by longtime veteran players who have been re-signed beyond their initial contracts. The Yankees make sure to hold onto their leaders. The media concentrates only on the big free agent signings as if they only have a four- or five-man roster. They also lead everyone to believe that the Yankees are a team comprised of hired guns, when in reality, more than half of the roster has been homegrown talent, including shortstop Derek Jeter.

Past Yankee teams have had huge payrolls as well, but we all know how the big money thrown at Giambi, Pavano, Brown and Johnson, to name a few, bought them championships, right? Could anyone consider the possibility that the Yankees won this year because they finally got the formula right? Couldn't it be that the signing of guys with the right makeup, winning attitude and team mentality combined with the maturing of their own kids like Cabrera and Cano all came together to form a cohesive, winning unit? No, of course not. When other teams re-sign their big players, or add key contributors, they're geniuses. When the Yankees do it, they're cheaters. Get over it.

Robert B. Demming Jr.

II. Dear Editor,

Since the end of the 2009 World Series the Yankees have been accused of buying a championship ring. Just last week there was a letter in this section that stated the Yankees simply bought the best players at every position, spent a quarter of a billion dollars on three players and put to shame any prospects of a farm system. The reader also accused them of being the first team to successfully buy a championship. All of these statements are very popular to make, but they are not true.

Yes, the Yankees spent $423.5 million on three players last year, which is actually closer to a half a billion dollars than a quarter, but they also have acquired players through the draft and through trades. On the World Series roster they had 11 players that came up through their system as opposed to 10 for the Phillies. Also, if we are going to talk about buying a championship, let's not forget to mention the 1992-93 Blue Jays. They had a roster composed of future Hall of Famers and All-Stars, acquired from other teams through trades and free agency, that had the highest payroll in baseball. By not talking about them, people are admitting that payroll is only important when the Yankees win.

Daniel Russo

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