Friday, January 2, 2009

Shocker: Red Sox fan defends the Yankees' spending

Writer Russ Smith of is a lifelong Red Sox fan, who says that his "Yankee-hating bona fides are second to no one."

Which is why it was shocking to read Smith defending the Yankees' $423.5 million spending spree. Smith writes:

The recent commotion from baseball media commentators—in print, on the tube, online and at parties—after the Yankees signed free agent Mark Teixeira for $180 million has been the most knee-jerk, naive and plain dumb hyperbole that’s occurred in the past year. The Yankees are ruining Major League Baseball! The Steinbrenners Hal and Hank (and GM Brian Cashman) don’t play fair! Locking up three players—aside from Teixeira, they nabbed C.C. Cheeseburger and A.J. Burnett—for a total of $423.5 million is unseemly during a crippling recession and the world’s most famous sports franchise is once again spitting at people with prudence and manners!

What a load of hooey.

He's not kidding about the hyperbole. Smith found an outrageous quote from would-be Red Sox Nation President Peter Gammons:

Gammons rebutted the whining about Boras with this zinger: “Boras doesn’t want to be the good guy, and doesn’t care who gets burned as long as his clients get the best deal; didn’t [legendary lawyer] Edward Bennett Williams do the best he could for Joe McCarthy and Sirhan Sirhan?”

Sounds like Peter is taking that whole Teixeira thing a little too hard. Sheesh.

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Reminder: I will be squawking on Sound-Off With Sinkoff this Friday at 4:10 p.m. The show airs on Albany's ESPN 104.5 The Team. Click here to listen live to the show online.

What do you think about the state of the Yankees? Leave us a comment!


Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Lisa, rebuilding takes very long, pitching is only a part of it. If any starters gets injured (other than pitchers), the Yankees don't have reliable options in the minors.
If you want to blame Cashman for something, it's not trading the pitching prospects for positions players.
But the whole point of having depth it's going to take a few years. I'm not even sure if Cashman's three year deal is enough to harvest a minor league equivalent to the Red Sox.
As I have told you before, 15 years of neglect cannot be overturned in less than the three years he has had control nor in the six if you take into account his current contract.

Anonymous said...

As a Yankee fan, I don't expect non-Yankee fans to not hate us. It's not hating us that bothers me, it's -- as Russ Smith put it -- knee-jerk reactions to eveything the Yankees do and the insane wealth of ignorance that accompanies peoples' reactions to every Yankee decision.

What would allow me to respect fans of other teams is if they would only display some semblemce of knowledge and understanding in the world of business and competition rather than to so blithely drool contemptuous words like "Yankees suck!" and "Yankees are ruining baseball because of all the money spend!!".
That's a bunch of nonsense. Really.

Being cemented in proud NYC culture and lore for over a century, combined with many championships and many World Series appearances (39 in total) is one major reason why the Yankees are so wealthy and why so many free agents want to play for them. They did not find this money in a suitcase while strolling down Park Avenue one sunny day.

With all of the Yankees successes and because they exist in the largest sports market in the United States -- New York City, the stream of revenue pours in. The Yankees sell out over four million seats per year every year and have for the past several years. They make a ton of revenue from the YES Network. They sell unbelievable amounts of apparel and paraphernalia worldwide. They have several high-profile corporate sponsors. Their legacy and history attract fans from everywhere as well as create explosive levels of anger and envy from Yankee-haters. Either way, when the Yankees are in town, expect a sellout. That equals more revenue.

George Steinbrenner bought the NY Yankees for just a little over $10 Million back in 1973. Now, the team has a net worth of over $1.3 Billion. If the Yankees were not as successful in the past, they would never have been able to generate this level of income.

But it is business to want to curtail tax liability so why not lock up some revenue in tax-free bonds? It's a prudent business meneuver that every smart business practices. The Mets and other teams do this and citizens of other cities pay taxes on the new ballparks their teams build. I'm not saying it's right, but it is what it is. The Yankees will make enough to pay the bondholders back over time and still maintain profits. The amount of money and revenue are all relative to the success of the team and the location of the sports market and media hub, and NYC is the largest in this country and the Yankees are the most successful baseball team in history.

With that said, for all the accusations of the Yankee owners being greedy and selfish, they sure do spend the Gross Domestic Product of a small country trying to field the best and most competetive team for their fans. I'm not saying they are to be canonized as most altruistic members of humanity -- the Steinbrenners are never to be held up for sainthood, believe me, but they do care enough about the Yankee tradition and their fans to reinvest in their team and try to produce a winning product understanding that there are no guarantees.

The $200 Million payroll may seem obscene to most people, but it's really not all that much money for the Yankees -- again the are worth over $1.3 Billion and that number is expected to increase. And don't forget they pay a fortune in revenue sharing to all the smaller market teams.

And fans are going to continue buying out tickets and merchandise even in this bad economy. As I've said in the past, baseball like all sports is a form of entertainment and source of civic pride, and people find ways to escape from everyday stress and worries.

In conclusion, hate the Yankees all you want, I don't care, but please be educated about what it is you hate instead of jumping on the same bandwagon everyone else jumps on saying the same ignorant things everyone else says.

Anonymous said...

Its so ridiculous. They love to point out that with all the spending the Yankees haven't won. Which always makes me calmly ask: "So why are you so pissed?"


Anonymous said...

Just so no one thinks I made up the numbers in my post above, here's the Forbes article to back up what I said:

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