Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Yankees were never in on Trevor Bauer; is that a blessing or an indictment?

Yesterday, the best team in baseball got better...

Remember when they used to say that about the Yanks? We'd win a World Series and then brazenly add Jason Giambi, or Mike Mussina, or Hideki Irabu, or fucking A-Rod... whomever we damn well wanted. Our owner placed a premium on winning. We were the most revered sports franchise in America, perhaps the world, and the plan was simple: Win every game, every series, every year. "Mystique and aura," they called it. "Pride and the power." There was even a curse involved, and we weren't the butt end of a punch line. 

Well, as Covid has shown the modern world, hegemonies aren't always what they're cracked up to be. 

Today, the Yankee owner's mission is to a) Avoid luxury taxes, b) Reach the post-season and maybe get lucky, and c) Avoid luxury taxes. 

Thanks to the wild card, we've been successful (just not lucky.) 

Still, now and then, something reminds us of how it was... 

Consider the Dodgers, formerly one of our great rivals. Yesterday, the world champs - with MLB's highest payroll - plunked down another $103 million for Trevor Bauer - at $40 million this season. The deal lets Bauer opt-out, in case he ever senses himself underappreciated. And he might.

There are good reasons why Bauer did not belong on the Yankees. For starters, he seems to be a pompous asshole, a poodle studying to be Curt Schilling, without the big game track record. The Yanks and Mets may have dodged bullets by avoiding him. Bauer could have become a divisive figure in NYC, which neither team needs at $40 million per season.

Still... 

Yesterday, the best team in baseball got better...

Remember?

Insert sigh here.

Hal Steinbrenner is 51. He'll probably run the Yankees for another 20 years. It's possible that, as he nears retirement, he will come to realize that money is piss, the sparrow is immortal, and you never get a do-over when it comes to a family legacy. At some point, it will dawn on him: He had the greatest role in all of sports, and all he did was wheedle money via a self-imposed, self-loathing austerity. 

And I wonder if he'll notice that lead.

Yesterday, the best team in baseball got better...

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to watch this dynamic from afar. This guy is loudmouth, which is his right, but I don't know if he is a big market player. Cinci and Cleveland don't bring much stress to a player. His behavior may wear thin pretty fast.
It will also be interesting to see how Dodger fans react to being champs, will they expect it every year and start to get more expectant of the players.
Also, this average salary is will be a turd in the punchbowl for the MBL/MLBPA negotiations cuz the players will want to blow up the salary cap."There's Money in Them Thar Hills."

Lastly, just observing from afar, the guy must be quite the a-hole/dweeb if Cole can't stand him.
The Archangel.

ranger_lp said...

The worst part was that Trevor trolled the Mets with putting up merchandising on his website with LGM discounts and then removing it...making money on Bauer/Mets trinkets. Just horrible.

Michael Kay mentioned on his show that it's too much money for someone who had a great 60 game season and pitching against the AL and NL central division that don't invoke fear to anyone.

Not only the Yanks are the better for this...but the Mets as well. In a rare gesture of unity, both NY franchises hope he has a f'n bad season.

HoraceClarke66 said...

This is why hereditary monarchies largely suck.

Right now, NYC sports teams are owned by family dynasties as they never quite have been before. The Yankees, the Dolans at Madison Square Garden, the Maras with the Giants. The Wilpons were busy driving the Mets into the ground before the other pretenders to the throne rebelled, and forced a sale.

The more people you have who never earned or built anything in their lives, the less likely they are to produce anything great.

HoraceClarke66 said...

As to what the future will bring, who can say? I'm surprised that professional sports did not implode years ago.

But the more we go on like this, with everyone playing the dullest possible versions of their sports, with everything being geared to suit TV, and basic rules being changed for no good reason, and prices going through the roof, the more likely it is, I think, that big league sports will hit some severe potholes.

New generations already weaned on games they play on their computers are not going to keep forking over great piles of cash for this crap.

DickAllen1964 said...


Bauer doesn’t need to be a savior in a loaded pitching staff. Loudmouth though he may be, if he only rises to mediocrity as a fourth or even fifth starter or even worse, as a bullpen lug nut, the Dodgers are a roaring success. Inscribe the “piece of metal” with their name on it for 2021.

But we should not, not cannot ignore all the spectacular signings Harold and the Brain have made this year:

Nestor Cortez, Andrew Velasquez, Socrates Breto, Greg Allen, Jhoulis Chacin, Tyler Lyons, Stephen Ridings, Hans Monterey, and the magnificent Player to be Named Later! Not to mention the revered household name of Asher Wojciechowski!

WE ARE STACKED!!

Winning the Japanese League this year should be a breeze!

And as we go along on our winning ways with this powerhouse of a team, our collective chant will be:

ROI! ROI! ROI! HIT THAT BOTTOM LINE!

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

Bauer was too rich for Hal and Yankees. We already have one albatross contract on the books that is hurting Yankees ability to make substantial roster moves. Let him stay in NL and hopefully we will see him in October.

Anonymous said...

There things...

The Signing

Duque,


Yes. It was my first thought when I read about the signing as well. We used to do this. And, as you write, what's sad is WE STILL COULD because the money is there. Just not the desire.

The Man

All, Yes. I am glad they passed. There is nothing about Bauer that I've read that I like. Although to be fair, I'm good with him trying to get the most money he can. I think the merch thing sucks because he's taking money from fans and sticking it to them as opposed to ownership. People that fool and lie to the ignorant and then take their money are assholes.

The Contract

That is a stupid amount of money. BTW the third year he only gets 15M but he has an opt out so basically it's a two year approx. 85M contract.

Speaking of overpays...

In the Daily News Bill Madden wrote "Scott Boras, the defacto head of the players union, is said to be seeking a four- to five-year deal of $80-$100 million for 30-year-old Jackie Bradley Jr., a lifetime .239 hitter with almost as many career strikeouts (828) as combined hits and walks (996) … "

There is no way he gets it. But I'm starting to like
Brett Gardner 7 years 147M. Who's with me?

Doug K.




Alphonso said...

$45 million guaranteed in year I. To pitch every fifth day and maybe pitch well. Or not.

It doesn't matter.

I'm sorry, it is out of control.

Might as well set the major league minimum at $25 million per player per year, and the ceiling at $1 billion. Even Sanchez would get that. Why not?

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Not to let Hal off the hook, but . . .

I've been wondering if anyone (like a Sabermetric guy) has even quantified the # of starts that a given team gets out of the #1 position vs. the #5 position.

Simplified, it seems like you divide 162 by 5. 32 starts each?

I am not a stat guy. I just took a look at BaseballReference.com's numbers on Sabathia. Here are his annual starts with the NYYs, starting in '09: 34 34 33 28 32 8 29 30 (and lower numbers). Yes the 8 sure is a stick-out number, ain't it?

Even in 2008, the year he pitched his ass of for the Brewers, his GS total was . . . 35 (for MIL + CLE). That was the year he finished by starting every 3rd day (or thereabouts) for Town That Never Said No To A Bratwurst.

Now, I realize you don't have a CCS or a Gerrit on your team just for the 162-game season. You want "the big horse" for the playoff games. If the big added value is going to be delivered, you need it in October. These guys (in theory) can do!

So maybe $40M for Trevor Bummer makes sense.

However, the first goal is to get into the playoffs. You need the same contribution from your #5 pitcher (or the pitchers who, together, fill the #5 slot) as you do from the horse -- roughly 30-35 starts in the reg season.

[if the team goes 27-8 in the starts by the big guy, and 10-22 in starts by the #5 guy, you need of an awful lot of help from somewhere -- doncha?]

My take: Pitchers get injured a lot. You can't get A Higher Power to injure your #5 guy, and let the 1-2-3 guys cruise without a bruise. The Higher Power isn't listening (esp. NOT, it seems, to us!).

Maybe NOT paying $40M -- or even offering a solid annual $28M -- to The Bummer Who Now Pitches for Dem Bums . . . makes a lot of sense.......???

HoraceClarke66 said...

All well said, guys. It is out of hand. And the best way around it would be to concentrate on building teams from the bottom up, and signing up guys when they are young and cheap.

This would make the most sense economically, if Hal is so worried about spending.

So why don't they do this? Because it would mean hiring the really top front office and clubhouse talent, in finding, drafting, signing, and developing young players—and keeping them well.

And that would mean firing...you know who.

EDB said...

Great reply Horace Clarke. NY owners have driven NY teams into the ground. On the Bauer front, yes he can be a loud mouth. But with Hal at the helm, he will not go the extra yard once his self imposed ceiling his been reached. It's not all about winning with this guy. He will be glad to make the playoffs. That is enough. When The Yankees are bounced out once again, he will state his disappointment. If George were given a day to come back to earth, he would smack Hal around and Genius Cashman too.

JM said...

I have to point out that the LA Times is pondering the question of whether adding Bauer will be a detriment. Yes, that's right. Because Clayton and one or two others might leave when they become free agents in the near future, and the team will be stuck with Bauer and, I guess, not enough money to resign their other aces. Or something.

Everybody carps about their team, even when it does everything it can to win. That means we have a much bigger right to carp louder and more often.