Friday, June 8, 2018

Inter-city rivalries are not fair to big market teams

In case you missed it, this week's MLB draft awarded the ten small market/small budget teams first-round sandwich picks, a form of corporate welfare that basically rewards cheap billionaire bastards for being cheap billionaire bastards.  Eventually, these top picks will add up, building powerhouses in places like Arizona and Tampa, where baseball is and always will be synonymous with spring training.

When all sports teams are made equal - and thus, the Yankees do not exist - then New York City is crushed by the sheer volume of its cultural diversions. Look at the Knicks. Look at the Rangers, Jets, Giants, Nets, you name it; here is America's most metropolitan, sports-obsessed city, and aside from the Yankees, it has no dominant pro or college team in any game, whatsoever. Good grief, Syracuse promotes itself as "New York's college football team." Syracuse. If not for the Yankees, the New York tabloids wouldn't need back pages.

How can - say - the Knicks compete with the San Antonio Spurs, if they can't spend more on players? In New York, a million dollars buys a condo; in San Antonio, you get a mansion the size of a football field. The Spurs can drive to games in about 20 minutes. The Knicks must battle traffic jams, subway breakdowns, crackheads, conga lines of hookers and media hordes, before and after every game. And let's add one more ungodly stress: The inter-city tribal blood match.

Over the years, the ridiculously meaningless Giants-Jets preseason game often has sidelined key players for the entire NFL season, because coaches feel compelled to win. I still remember Giants coach Jim Fassell having Jason Seahorn - an ascending defensive star - return the opening kickoff against the Jets. He tore out his knee and was never the same. Ever since, I've dreaded that game. 

And now comes our "Subway Series," a phrase that once means the World Series. Now, it's just the annual StubHub-boosting cockfight, with both teams' pitching staffs loaded into cannons and fired at each other. The Yankees already have a death rivalry with Boston and face felony-grade hatred from the Rays, Orioles, Jays and even Philadelphia (which, to be fair, despises everybody.) This weekend, while the Yanks and Mets are tearing off each other's testicles, the other big "rivalries" include the death match between the Padres and Marlins - two teams competing to be the saddest on the planet. Oh, and here's another: The Brewers play the Phillies! Wow. That should move ESPN's needle.

Wait... one more: Boston plays Chicago - the Redsocks/Whitesocks hell-fest! Get it? The two teams warring to be Top Socks in the Socks World!

I'm not saying the Yankees and Mets should scrap their rivalry. It's nice to see the crowds. But let's be honest here: It's not fair scheduling to force them to play each other every year, while other teams get patsies. MLB continues to reward small market owners - billionaires, folks, with a "b" - to be cheap and greedy. Spend the least, and you get an extra first round draft pick. Crap the bed, and you can be the Astros. In no other American industry is tanking the product such a surefire way to eventual success. Tonight, when our players are crashing into walls or charging the mound, let's keep close tabs on that Padres-Marlins score. 

If I were commissioner, I'd force ESPN to televise it. Maybe Derek Jeter should be Trump's next pardon?


TheWinWarblist said...

So endeth the JuJu.

John M said...

Is it inter-city or intra-city? Like intramural softball? Or intravenous hangover remedies?

Regardless, we get screwed. It's amazing that the Yankees are as successful as they have been in the Selig and post-Selig era. The chips are stacked heavily against them to remove any advantage they might have.

Do the Dodgers suffer in the same way? Boston? Anyone?

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I'll give him the 'inter' city. Bronx and Queens.

As for "traditional rivalries". How about a balanced schedule on Sunday nights? EVERY team has to play once before another gets a second time. Or even better, how about starting them at 5 p.m.? With the guaranteed 4+ hour game, this is way too late to finish.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

As for "traditional rivalries". How about a balanced schedule on Sunday nights? EVERY team has to play once before another gets a second time. Or even better, how about starting them at 5 p.m.?

I'm on board with both of these ideas, particularly the first. The same rules should apply to the NFL.

Anonymous said...










Anonymous said...

I remember the Jason Seahorn injury. Totally changed the Giants season.

As to the main subject, I agree about it's basic unfairness, and yes the inequality of the number of Sunday night games is total crap.

But playing the Mets every year does have some advantages.

1) The away games at Citi Field allow the Yankee players to stay in their homes as opposed to hotels. (Unlike the Sox/Sox games for example.)

2) They get to play the Mets. Who more often than not are Metlike.

3) They get to play THE METS. You know... the METS as in

Meet the Mets.
Beat the Mets.
Step Right Up Defeat the Mets.
Bring the kiddies.
Bring the wife.
They will have the laugh of their lives.
Because the Mets are always missing he ball,
knocking themselves,
into the wall.
East side. West Side.
They're the biggest jokes in town.
So come and play the NY Mets.
They're NY's Clowns.

Of course because I wrote this the Law of Hubris dictates that we lose but... The Mets. C'mon. Just saying.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

SHHHH! Don't say it!!

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to imply I wrote that song. That's straight out of my childhood.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Smart piece, Duque.

I think the games with the Mets are inevitable, as long as you have the basic abomination of inter-league play, and the Sunday night games (within reason) come with the territory of being the Yankees.

But as you point out, MLB uses New Yorkers to subsidize a system that exploits fans everywhere.

If there is a spending ceiling, there should also be a floor, to reduce tanking. And if we're all equal now, then prices in New York and other "big" markets should match the national average.

We probably are living at the start of The Last Dynasty, the last time the Yankees have a chance to dominate. All the more reason why it should be done right.

Rufus said...

Nice ditty Doug K.!

Anonymous said...

it's just a rewrite of their theme song we used to sing it as kids. I couldn't even tell you when or how I learned it. It's like Bungalow Bar tastes like tar the more you eat it the sicker you are. I don't know where they come from. Doug k

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Aaah, youth! Or as German Munster used to say, yutes!

What's the word? Thunderbird!

What's the price? Fifty twice!

How do you drink it? In a cup!

What's it do? Get's you f______________'ed up11

Alphonso said...

" Say Hey. Say Who. Say whatta ya got for dinner, Willie?"

Idle times make idle minds.

el duque said...

Hey Mabel, Black Label.

God I'm old.

Anonymous said...

Brush-a, brush-a, brush-a - - new Ipana toothpaste. Hay-lo, Everybody, Hay-lo!! Bryl-Creem, a little dab'l do 'ya - - Bryl-Creem, ya' look so debonair. Bryl-Creem, the gals'l all pursue 'ya; they love to run their fingers through yer' hair!! NOW who's old, duque??

I resent the fact that we - - out here in the hinterlands of Michigan - - have no conga-lines of media hordes (never mind, the conga-lines of hookers: all we have to do is go to Detroit, fer' those). LB (No J)