Monday, February 24, 2014

Yankees-Red Sox feud: Randy Levine issues lame rejoinder to Larry Lucchino

So there was a bit of a kerfuffle this weekend, after Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino dissed the New York Yankees' freee-spending approach to building a team. Unfortunately for Yankee fans, team president Randy Levine was the humorless prig issuing a response. If you are going to get into a war of the words with the guy who coined the Evil Empire remark, you had better have something resembling a quick wit, not a knucklehead still muttering about ghosts a decade after 2004.

Here's what happened. Lucchino said the following about the Yankees (emphasis added):
"We're very different animals. I'm proud of that difference. I always cringe when people lump us together. Other baseball teams sometime do that. They are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankee style of high-priced, long-term free agents. I can't say I wish them well. But I think we've taken a different approach.
"If you compare what we did last year in the offseason to what they've done this year, there's quite a contrast there. I'll quickly say we do keep open the prospect of signing a long-term deal with a free agent, paying a sizable amount of money to attract a star in his prime. We haven't ruled that out. There's just a rebuttable presumption against doing that. But you can rebut it. The circumstances can allow for you to go ahead and do it. The Yankees do it more often it seems to me as a matter of course."
  Lucchino got a little rambly towards the end of that, and he kind of ignores the big money the Sox spent on Carl Crawford et al, but he is stating some true facts -- the Yankees are totally dependent upon spending for free agents to restock their team. When you spend $500+ million on your free agents, you can't really complain about others noticing that, can you?

Well, if you are Randy Levine, you can! Instead, Levine gave the following cringeworthy response:
“I feel bad for Larry; he constantly sees ghosts and is spooked by the Yankees. But I can understand why, because under his and Bobby Valentine’s plan two years ago, the Red Sox were in last place. Ben Cherington and the Red Sox did a great job last year winning the World Series, but I’m confident Cash and Joe and our players will compete with a great Red Sox team to win a world championship this year.”
Here are my thoughts on this:

1. Everybody in Yankeeland needs to stop with talk of "ghosts" forever. This should have stopped forever in 2004, when the Red Sox beat the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS on Mickey Mantle's birthday, after the Yanks decided that they would bring out Bucky Dent to throw out the first pitch and somehow spook Boston. How'd that work for the Yankees again?

2. Love how Lucchino is responsible for Bobby V, but Cherington is responsible for Boston winning the World Series last year. Sounds like the way Brian Cashman brags about his "five" rings, like he did in the Roger Clemens trial, but every bad decision made in Yankeeland is blamed on Tampa.

3. Unlike the Red Sox, the Yankees do not have a viable farm system, and do have to spend a gazillion dollars on free agents. in order to be competitive. And even with that, they still didn't re-sign Robinson Cano, and still don't have a viable infield this year. To complain about Lucchino pointing out the Yankees' spending is like Miley Cyrus complaining about people noticing that she sticks out her tongue all the time.

4. The Red Sox have won three rings in the past decade to the Yankees' one, and they are the defending World Champions. As insufferable as Lucchino is, he has unfortunately earned the right to trash-talk. If Levine couldn't come up with something funny or clever, he should have kept his mouth shut.

5. Yeah, hiring Bobby Valentine was a disastrous move. But Boston realized quickly that he was a disaster, and got rid of him after one year. Then they won the World Series the following year. If Valentine had been signed by the Yankees, they would keep him forever, just because Hal Steinbrenner doesn't want to look like his father and ever fire anybody. You know, kind of like how Randy Levine still gets to keep his job as team president, long after he has done anything worthwhile!

What do you think? Tell us about it!

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