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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

The Play's the Thing
2008-12-24 06:01
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Level-playing field? Equality of opportunity? To quote from the jaunty 7-Up ads of my youth, baseball never had it, never will. The Yankees' CC Sabathia-A.J. Burnett-Mark Texeira super-splurge shouldn't bother anyone. That's what they do, and you could almost say that's what they're for. Like Jessica Rabbit, they're drawn that way. Would you have Othello without Iago?

Did the Yankees buy a 2009 title? More than a century of baseball history, exclamation-pointed by last season's shining Rays, says not. In a single given year, some teams have no chance of winning. But over a period of years, every team has some chance and no one to blame but themselves if they can't ever reach the postseason. And the postseason, always and forever, will belong to Fickle and Fate.

Further and more specific to the coming season, is the Yankees' financial dominance any more of an advantage than what members of the National League West have going for them - namely, the mediocrity of their peers? I'll not shake my fists at the heavens when I see San Diego, Arizona and Colorado in retrograde and the Giants still trying just to regain their status as a planet.

The Dodgers have their own garden to cultivate, and many (or Manny) options in the shed. Be the best you can be, physically, intellectually and emotionally, and let everything else fall as it will. That's the only game in town.

Comments (109)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-12-24 06:29:21
1.   Ken Noe
The Yankees just bought the pennant like the Tigers did last year.

As for Manny, it should be obvious that the Dodgers will add the extra year in the end, as Ned did for Furcal and Blake. So are the Mets or Nats willing to go to four?

2008-12-24 06:39:20
2.   old dodger fan
Isn't one goal of a game to start with all players being equal? As discussed in the last thread everyone starts playing Monopoly with the same amount of money and at the same starting point. Baseball teams all play 162 games with half at home and half on the road.

Sometimes there are inequalities such as the unbalanced schedule, teams that have to travel more than others, and divisions that are weaker or stronger than others.

If the built in inequalities are small the cream should rise to the top. The teams that spend their money wisely, make good trades, draft well and develop the young talent they have should be successful more often than not.

If teams start with significantly less money than other teams they can still win from time to time but it's very hard to sustain a winner as the good young players you develop reach free agency.

Every solution I have heard has it's shortcomings but I think a game is less fun if the same teams start with an advantage year after year.

2008-12-24 06:44:59
3.   East Coast Dodger
Comparing the Yankees to Jessica Rabbit. That is just fantastic writing, Jon. You just made my day! Yet another reason I come here nearly every day. Have a Happy Holiday Everyone!
2008-12-24 07:52:42
4.   MC Safety
The last couple of lines are spot on.

That doesn't mean I don't hate the Yankees, though.

2008-12-24 07:58:43
5.   Big Game
Personally I think salary caps reward poorly-run teams and punish well-run teams. If a team is in a big market and makes money, why should they be hamstrung? There are ways to be successful at small market baseball, look at the Rays and Twins. If you invest in developing talent rather than buying it on the open market, you can be successful.

Personally, I like having the Yankees playing the role of the boogeyman. You cant have good without evil. Sometimes its nice to root against something.

2008-12-24 08:10:54
6.   Sam DC
Buck Martinez today on XM roundup show said that it was not some systemic unfairness that kept the Dodgers from bidding for players alongside with the Yankees, it was their bad judgment in spending their money on Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones.

Now, my guess is that Buck wasn't on record too strongly opposing those deals at the time (though I don't remember one way or the other), and I don't know I totally agree (I am in the "wondering if the McCourts are sort of illiquid:" camp) but it was kind of refreshing nonetheless.

2008-12-24 08:12:50
7.   Sam DC
Detailed run down of 2009 draft order with comp picks/supplementals.

http://tinyurl.com/a8ecg4

2008-12-24 08:20:12
8.   Daniel Zappala
What would the reaction have been here if it was the Dodgers that had signed those three? (If it makes it easier to imagine this, pretend a different owner had bought the team). If the Dodgers were the big market behemoth, would we be complaining?
2008-12-24 08:23:31
9.   Big Game
6 Add Jason Schmidt's deal to that as well.

In 2008 the Yankees spent nearly 10 times in payroll as the Florida Marlins and won 5 more games.

2008-12-24 08:25:17
10.   Bleacher Seats
Speaking of unbalanced schedules. The Dodgers always play the Angels 6 games every year while the othe NL West teams play them 3. That alone gives the Ds a tougher schedule than the other west teams.

This year the Dodgers also play the White Sox 3 games while the other NL West teams play 3 games against teams like the Astros and Pirates. At least the DBacks play KC 3 games, the Pads play the Cubs an extra 3 and Seattle an extra 3. The Gigantes play the the Breweres 3 and Oakland and extra 3.

2008-12-24 08:26:22
11.   JoeyP
8- Maybe Canuck would complain bc he doesnt wants an entire home grown 25-man roster, but I doubt anyone else would.

Signing Tex/CC/Burnett would have taken the Dodgers from an 80 win team to a 95 win team IMO considering the crappiness of the division.

As it is now, maybe re-signing Manny can get the team to 85 wins & that'll be good enough to make the playoffs. If Manny doesnt sign, this offseason was a failure.

2008-12-24 08:26:44
12.   D4P
To be accurate, there is a positive correlation between payroll and wins, but the magnitude of the correlation is less than 1.0
2008-12-24 08:38:23
13.   Big Game
12 In your opinion, is that enough of a correlation to warrant some sort of salary control?
2008-12-24 08:46:13
14.   Eric Stephen
7
I like that the blog went so deep into the draft.

I'm pretty sure the sandwich picks start with Type A losses, then to Type B losses. Teams that lose multiple Type A's must wait for the 2nd pick until after all other teams draft for their first Type A losses.

In the 2008 draft, the Brewers lost 2 Type A's (Cordero & Linebrink), and their compensation for the lower-ranked Linebrink had to wait for the other 3 teams also drafted for their lost Type A's.

2008-12-24 08:52:41
15.   Tripon
Kinda amazing that the Braves are 7th in draft order. Wonder if they can find a kid of Kershaw or LaPorta ability.
2008-12-24 08:54:42
16.   Tripon
http://beta.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3791485&name=olney_buster

Doug Melvin goes off on the draft compensation. D'Backs fans will not be happy with this part.

>> "The Draft Elias rankings and compensation needs to be changed. I do not want to sound like I'm whining, but teams who have to build with draft picks get frustrated. I had interest in Juan Cruz, and because I thought we had extra first-round picks for CC and for Ben Sheets, I had considered a Type A signing. Now I have to reconsider."

2008-12-24 08:56:05
17.   MC Safety
Something just seems so wrong when one team has all four of the highest paid players in the game.

If that's not an advantage, I don't know what an advantage is.

2008-12-24 08:58:28
18.   Tripon
17 Jeter is in his last years of his contract, and isn't a top ten shortstop anymore. The one consequence in all this is that Jeter might not retire as a Yankee.
2008-12-24 09:02:27
19.   tjdub
I think people, media, etc. are caught up more in the amount of money than the actual quality of the players when they are decrying the Yankees off-season. Is CC better than Clemens when he went there? Is Tex better than Giambi at the time of his signing (offensively anyway)? Burnett is not that special. I alluded to this yesterday, but while i have to agree that the Yankees are much better than they were a couple weeks ago, they are not significantly better than they have been for the last decade. Let them spend the money. It's good for everyone else, particularly with one less Manny suitor out there. My biggest problem with it is the fact that they used public funding for a portion of the new stadium. That is the biggest travesty here.
2008-12-24 09:02:44
20.   68elcamino427
Did the Yankees buy a 2009 title?

Do the Yankees need to win a WS in order for the new Hank to validate himself?

If this is true there may be no limit to his spending until he attains his goal.
If spending alone can make it happen.

2008-12-24 09:03:27
21.   Landonkk
8 I know that I sure would be. My best friend and co-worker is a lifelong Yankee fan and he is sick right now. Mainly because he now has to spend this entire season trying to justify the Yankees success to all the people calling him out for rooting for a team that buys its division (and championship... God forbid). I can vouch for the guy - he was a Yankee fan back when they stunk. He sure liked winning better when it was with guys like Scott Brocious. He told me that if they sign Manny he is taking a year off from rooting for the boys in pinstripes.
2008-12-24 09:04:44
22.   Eric Stephen
16
So in a way the Yankees' signing of Teixeira helped the Brewers. The first round picks are almost the same (Yankees--now Angels--are 26, Brewers 27). But no team should ever give up a 1st round draft pick for Juan Cruz.
2008-12-24 09:05:19
23.   regfairfield
The Yankees took a team that couldn't win in 2008, and lowered their payroll.

Hank Stienbrenner obviously doesn't care about winning.

2008-12-24 09:09:15
24.   Gen3Blue
I have mixed feelings about the situation. I agree with a lot of the comments about the Yankees filling some sort of need, but I do worry when the inequity becomes very large.
(inequity is not the right word but it is better than iniquity. Maybe I just mean difference). However I don't like salary caps, or think that revenue sharing does the right thing.
If anything, I guess the FA compensation thing is the right direction, as it helps those with less money take a different path to possible success, and should at least do a little to discourage plans to win solely by outspending. It obviously isn't perfect. I'm kind of surprised to here myself say that perhaps the compensation rules should even be strengthened.
2008-12-24 09:09:57
25.   Tripon
Also, the Yankees signed Kevin Cash to a $700,000/one year contract. Seems like its stick it to the Red Sox week at Yankeeville.
2008-12-24 09:10:03
26.   Indiana Jon
18 Things I Know

1) The sun rises in the East.
2) The Earth revolves around the sun.
3) Every year I will pay taxes.
4) Someday we will all die.
5) Bob Knight is the greatest basketball coach in history.
6) Derek Jeter will retire a Yankee.

2008-12-24 09:11:06
27.   Eric Stephen
This is going to sound weird, but in a way I feel for Yankee fans. With all the signings, their expectation level is through the roof. Many fans will go into the season thinking World Series title or bust, and that's no way for a fan to live (sort of like "dying ain't much of a living"). Being the favorite can be tough for a fan.

The Lakers are usually in the same boat as the Yankees in terms of expectations. As a fan, you have to enjoy the successes rather than breathe a sigh of relief when they happen. I like that the Celtics have started out gangbusters this season (27-2). The Lakers are 23-5 and have managed to be an underdog.

Side note: Is .877 the best combined winning percentage for a Lakers/Celtics matchup in history? If not, it has to be close.

2008-12-24 09:13:27
29.   MC Safety
18 I'm aware of all that.

But what does that have to do with the Yankees having little to no competition in purchasing four of the highest paid players in the game?

2008-12-24 09:13:30
30.   silverwidow
Lowe is a Met (or will be very soon).

So much for a draft bonanza.

2008-12-24 09:13:36
31.   Tripon
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2008/12/derek_lowe_clos.html

Derek Lowe close to signing with the Mets.

2008-12-24 09:14:58
32.   Eric Stephen
28
Its like people forgot last year's Lakers was .500 for the first two months of the 2007-2008 season

The Lakers had the best record in the conference when Bynum got hurt, before the Gasol trade.

2008-12-24 09:16:36
33.   natepurcell
30

Second/supplemental round bonanza!

2008-12-24 09:16:48
34.   silverwidow
7 The supplemental round order isn't accurate. The WORST team that loses a Type A will get #34, and so on. So the Angels, with their MLB best record in 2008, won't get nearly as good a supp pick for losing Teixeira.
2008-12-24 09:18:45
35.   MC Safety
28 32 Lol. Someone wasn't watching last year.
2008-12-24 09:19:38
36.   Eric Stephen
32
I only remember that because when Bynum got hurt the Lakers were 26-11 and held the #1 seed at the moment. I took a screen capture of the standings on January 17 so I could remember a point in the season when they had such a good record!
2008-12-24 09:20:21
37.   JoeyP
Its too bad the Lakers only get to play the Celtics/Cavs 4 times a year.
2008-12-24 09:20:34
38.   Tripon
32 Hey, it wasn't until the 3rd week of Dec. that the Lakers started gelling. Before that, the Lakers were wondering if Bryant was going into full rant mode after every loss.
2008-12-24 09:21:05
39.   Tripon
Or I'm just remembering wrong. ;(
2008-12-24 09:21:30
40.   drewjensen
So Mets 2nd rounder, eh? I was sort of hoping the Sox would step up and sign him so we could their first. The difference between the two picks is likely to be about 50 places. Earlier, I had thought that one of the sure things of this off-season would be not signing Lowe and getting the first rounder for him, so color me a little disappointed.
2008-12-24 09:22:03
41.   Eric Stephen
38
They were 9-8 on December 2, then won 17 of their next 20.

37
The Lakers will play at least 8 games against Celts/Cavs this season. ;)

2008-12-24 09:23:19
42.   drewjensen
Also, looking at that National Farm Authority link it seems that the Angels farm director is going to be very busy this year. It looks like they're going to have 6 of the first 50 picks. That's got to help.
2008-12-24 09:24:04
43.   JoeyP
Baseball should be the easiest game to win if you have the most money to spin.

If you pay above slot for draft choices (Red Sox did this with Lars Anderson), & have money to burn (Yanks)-- its easy to stay at the top.

Unfortunately, the Dodgers wont pay above slot & tend to not chase the superstar free agent talent.

2008-12-24 09:24:18
44.   MC Safety
It's going to be a banner year for NY haters, imo.
2008-12-24 09:24:18
45.   Eric Stephen
42
Unless they sign Fuentes and lose pick #33. But yeah, they will have a ton of early picks.
2008-12-24 09:34:49
46.   PadreJeremy
Unless you are in the NL East, I would rather have the Yankees and Red Sox stack their lineup as much as possible with whatever trades or free agents they can get. If Texieria Burnett and Sabathia each sign for different teams, odds are your team, whoever it is, if they did not get one of those players, probably have less of a chance of making the playoffs. The Yankees and Red Sox just cancel each other out. The rest of us need to make moves without worrying about what they are doing. Glad im not a Rays Orioles or Blue Jays fan.
2008-12-24 09:34:55
47.   drewjensen
On Sickels site (http://www.minorleagueball.com/) he has the giants farm system with 2 grade A prospects and one B+. I'm sort of use their having a vastly inferior farm system so this makes me a little uncomfortable.
2008-12-24 09:35:27
48.   PadreJeremy
Sorry I meant AL East
2008-12-24 09:38:56
49.   ChicagoDodger
I don't see the Yankees spending as being a problem.

In terms of the National League, the Yankees have taken 3 potential National League players to the American league in CC, AJ, and Tex. So, if anything, that helps the competitive balance in the National League as no team got significantly better with those moves.

Boston won the WS in 2007, and Tampa made the WS in 2008. So, to be competitive in their own division, the Yankees went out and made necessary moves to get better, and to be able to compete. And, it's not as if the Yankees will now be 1-9 to win the AL East. In terms of the rest of the American League, those teams only play the Yankees a certain number of times, so it shouldn't be that much of a factor against them until playoff time, and the Yankees can potentially help their ticket sales.

As for a salary cap? It isn't even worth discussing since it would probably take baseball shutting down for 2 or 3 years before the players would even consider caving on that. At that point, will fans even care? Will there even be fans?

Like I said at the beginning, I don't see the Yankees spending as being a problem. Sure its news, and ESPN along with the other outlets sure love that. But, in the end, I think its much ado about nothing.

At the very least, let's let it play out some, before drawing concrete conclusions about the effect of their moves.

2008-12-24 09:39:49
50.   East Coast Dodger
43 I don't agree. To some extent, you can buy the "best" players and pay above slot for prospects. But prospects pan out at a much worse rate than in football or hoops. The fact that a single baseball player has much less effect on a game than a single basketball player means, in my opinion, that it is harder to buy a winning team. Football too, although you have to be careful which positions to spend on (heavy on QB, light on punter, for example).
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-12-24 09:43:09
51.   Howard Fox
my only concern with this whole Yankee spending spree, is that in these economic times, they are spending this amount of money on salaries while taking taxpayer dollars (in an almost equal amount) to build their new stadium
2008-12-24 09:45:17
52.   silverwidow
47 It was one straight A (Bumgarner), A- (Posey), and B+ (Alderson).

Unfortunately, our list (whenever it comes out), won't contain any A listers at all. Although I expect at least a couple B pluses.

2008-12-24 09:48:46
53.   Branch Rickey
The goal of equality in sports is just a theoretical goal. It never can be achieved and so it only exists as an ideal. It's also a goal for players to have some rights and that alone skews the playing field. In a theoretical world where all teams were literally created equal and played under equal conditions, the only thing that would decide each match would be random chance. I wouldn't buy a ticket to the random chance games. And I hope for and strive for equality in life but fact is, I wouldn't want to live the random chance life either.
2008-12-24 09:49:45
54.   Jacob Burch
51 And using a lot of tax-paid stadium expenses to write off revenue sharing and luxury taxable assets.
2008-12-24 09:56:13
56.   bigcpa
I've been trying to make the argument to my Yankee-fan friends that signing the 2 best FA pitchers and the best FA hitter is just bad form. Nevermind whether they are operating within the CBA rules and it's a free market system etc. Just picture Teix and CC dumping champagne on each other on the WS podium talking about how hard they worked all season. I have to think a lot of Yankee fans will feel a bit hollow about that.

And I will say I had the same icky feeling when the Dodgers signed Brown with the private jet and the hotel suites on the road. I felt like winning it all with Brown and Sheffield and without Piazza would be somewhat unsatisfying. Of course they made it real easy for me to avoid that dilemma by never even making the playoffs.

2008-12-24 09:59:11
57.   Sam DC
Easy does it there with the Rule 2s and Rule 3s.

On Christmas Eve no less!

2008-12-24 09:59:21
58.   Branch Rickey
56 I totally agree. When some say McCourt should be spending more, I wonder "how much more"? Because I certainly don't want the Dodgers to be the highest paid team in baseball (or even close) for the very reason you wrote. It makes victory hollow and losing an embarrassment.
2008-12-24 10:01:03
59.   JoeyP
Its suprising that the Giants kept Bumgarner in the Sally league all season. At that rate of development, he's ETA probably wont be till 2011.

Rather impressive list of pitchers the Giants apparently hit on in the 06/07 drafts - Linecum/Bumgarner/Alderson.

2008-12-24 10:01:25
60.   68elcamino427
53
I wouldn't buy a ticket to the random chance games.

Me neither. I buy my tickets to see the freaks. Like Kobe or Manny???

2008-12-24 10:02:16
61.   silverwidow
59 Since it was his age 18 season, that shouldn't be too surprising. I'm sure he'll hit Double-A at some point in 2009.
2008-12-24 10:04:04
62.   JoeyP
I have to think a lot of Yankee fans will feel a bit hollow about that.

Maybe if the Yankees were just renting a team - like the 97 Marlins. But CC/Tex/Burnett were all signed to long term deals, and some of their other players have been there a long time - Rivera/Jeter/Cano/Posada. I doubt it'd feel that hollow, unless you only find sports enjoyable if you win unexpectedly.

2008-12-24 10:07:36
64.   I Love LA
63 - yup that was me bro
2008-12-24 10:07:36
65.   Branch Rickey
unless you only find sports enjoyable if you win unexpectedly
Actually, I think that's a pretty fair statement. I think most Red Sox fans enjoyed the first WS win far more than the second. If your teams is expected to win and does so, I think that is far less enjoyable than when they pull off an upset.
2008-12-24 10:07:52
66.   DaDoughboy
62.
It's hard to feel hollow about anything when you have no soul in the first place.
2008-12-24 10:08:19
67.   ChicagoDodger
56 I felt like winning it all with Brown and Sheffield and without Piazza would be somewhat unsatisfying.

I believe that in the end, not winning is just as unsatisfying, if not more so, then winning because of buying it.

But I believe the most unsatisfying is the buying it and not winning. Something the Dodgers have been very good at over the last 2 decades, and something the Yankees have fell victim to over the last 8 years as well.

2008-12-24 10:08:25
68.   DaDoughboy
66.
Sorry Yankee fans, didn't mean that. I'm just bitter I have to work today.
2008-12-24 10:11:08
69.   Bob Timmermann
Santa is not coming to comment 28, 55, or 63.
2008-12-24 10:11:49
70.   Jim Hitchcock
65 And that, of course, is what made '88 so great (even though I, as an utter optimistic, announced to friends at the start of spring training, and again after the Dodgers won the Grapefruit League, that we were going all the way :)).
2008-12-24 10:16:15
71.   Dodger Dawg
The Dodgers need to sign Manny, there's nobody else who you can count on for HRs and RBIs. Pierre or Jones are 2 disasters and are not difference makers. Laryy Bowa said that the Dodgers need to resign Manny or somebody like him to take the pressure off of the younger players, and I agree with him. I also think that Manny was happier in LA than he was in Boston, for whatever reason, and I don't think he'd be a problem if he is resigned. He's still a great hitter and I would offer him a 3 year deal, I still think he's like Bonds without the juice and he will produce until he's 40. As far as his play in the field goes if it becomes a liability and he's still hitting you can always trade him to an AL club (Yankees)
2008-12-24 10:21:32
72.   I Love LA
71 - resigning Manny is all I ask for this Xmas, of course I doubt he will sign anywhere until at least next week or after the New Year reigns in.
2008-12-24 10:24:57
73.   El Lay Dave
0 Ah, 7-UP commercials.

http://tinyurl.com/9jyhpp

"These are kola nuts.... These, on the other hand, are UNkola nuts...."

Marvelous. Absolutely marvelous.

The one Jon references:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHMKyWgkChk

2008-12-24 10:25:55
74.   I Love LA
Wait, will we even budge from our 2 yr/$45 offer? If Boras comes back to the Dodgers is that the take it or leave it offer? I must imagine someone will beat that offer. If teams went 3/4 yes for furcal, someone will offer 3/4 for Manny.
2008-12-24 10:27:43
75.   MC Safety
51 54 SFW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2oFESUMWhU

2008-12-24 10:29:04
76.   silverwidow
Manny is in Brazil and will immediately go to a press conference when he returns. Or so I'm told. :)
2008-12-24 10:30:40
77.   El Lay Dave
71 As far as his play in the field goes if it becomes a liability and he's still hitting you can always trade him to an AL club

How many prospects would Ned have to send along in exchange for the contract dollars to get shipped along with Manny? If Manny will make, say $25M that year, he will still be owed something like $8-9M at the 7/31 deadline!

2008-12-24 10:32:17
78.   El Lay Dave
The first link in 73 is supposed to be:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JinBKqSCSac

2008-12-24 10:38:32
79.   Eric Stephen
After the next hour or so, I probably won't post here for a few days so I just wanted to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Stay safe.
2008-12-24 10:38:40
80.   D4P
Wait, will we even budge from our 2 yr/$45 offer?

I wouldn't, unless reducing the dollar value counts as "budging".

2008-12-24 10:39:15
81.   68elcamino427
Is the natural goal of a "Championship Season" to win the "Championship"?

It's always more fun when you win.

Let's win first - then quibble over the style points :)

2008-12-24 11:03:46
82.   bhsportsguy
79 Have a nice holiday Eric.
2008-12-24 11:09:53
83.   Eric Stephen
82
Thanks. You too! How late were you up baking?
2008-12-24 11:14:11
84.   Eric Stephen
Per Rob Neyer's blog, here's a cool story by Doug Glanville regarding his time in the winter leagues in Puerto Rico.

http://tinyurl.com/7xonqg

Maybe DeJesus and Paul can gain from similar experiences!

2008-12-24 11:30:11
85.   D4P
Earlier this week, Jackson said the Lakers were considering acquiring a player with quickness and speed to help spell Fisher in Farmar's absence.

No surprise there. They needed help even before Farmar got hurt. As a I opined the other day, Odom and Walton seem the most likely trading chips.

2008-12-24 11:38:04
86.   Tom Meagher
The Yankees are pursuing the same strategy that led to their 3rd place finish in 2009, right? No offense to Teixeira, but he's not the sort of transcendent player who has a great chance of being a championship-level contributor at age 34, 35, 36. Perhaps the Yankees' most significant problem this decade has been that they've needed to give playing time to players who are merely average or below because their slice of the payroll has been decidedly beyond average. While it does reasonably appear that the Yankees will be competitive for the next eight years, they will over and over again face the same problem of not really being able to replace the players who are keeping them from being as good as they want to be. And when your main source of talent is the free agent market (basically an over-30 market with the occasional Beltran, Sabbathia or Mauer) if you've got an unmovable object at 1B, your options are limited. This argument won't persuade the people who think that Jeter is a legit all-star still, but for those of us who think that Jetes is a below average regular I think the downside of NYY's strategy is pretty clear.

Of course, LA has tended toward the opposite problem in the Colletti era by pursuing second-tier free agents and giving them short-term, high dollar contracts; a problem causing the team to be trotting out mediocre veterans and declining with them. When the Jones/Pierre and Garciaparra types display the very same flaws that, well, anybody should have seen coming, they've had to replace them without adding payroll to a bloated budget (and without being able to trade those contracts), leading to trading years of cheap talent for months of payroll-neutral talent. I don't know about yall, but 84 wins or whatever plus one good playoff series did not make me even remotely feel that it was all "worth it," especially feeling the sting of Werth, Aybar, and Navarro in the World Series.

The Red Sox and Rays have competed with New York by sticking to systemic player evaluations, with the Red Sox having the benefit of deep pockets to go the extra mile. The Dodgers are in a revenue stream that implies they should be competing with the Yankees, but they've just been competing with the Padres and Diamondbacks instead, and they seem to me to want to keep it that way.

2008-12-24 11:42:23
87.   Andrew Shimmin
I can't figure out what those logos are; anyone know? I assume they're Mexican law enforcement logos, but I can't help thinking about how awesome it would be if there were corporate sponsorship of gun runner arrests. If I were sponsoring it, I'd threaten to hold off paying until they got a shot where everybody was smiling.

http://tinyurl.com/78fx4u

2008-12-24 11:48:05
88.   regfairfield
Teixiera is, at worst, the third best first baseman in baseball right now. How many years will he be the best possible option for the Yankees at first? Sure, those last couple years might not work out two well, but the first five or so sure will be nice.

In the end, what a player makes means absolutely nothing. You don't get more credit for winning with a cheap first baseman instead of Teixiera. All that matters is that if he's more productive than any available option the Yankees have, and that's going to be true for a while.

2008-12-24 11:54:33
89.   delias man
I know one is the Jalisco state police. Can not tell what the shield is.
2008-12-24 12:02:14
90.   DaDoughboy
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I've always been a fan of the Al Davis mantra 'just win, baby'. I don't care if we have a zillion dollar payroll or a Twins-size payroll. Expected wins or unexpected wins, are still wins. In the case of the Tigers last year they boosted their payroll by tens of millions of dollars, and that didn't do a whole lot of good. I also don't think the losses this year as a Tiger fan feel any less or more worse than the losses 2 years ago.
2008-12-24 12:07:45
91.   Ken Noe
80 As I said in 1 , Ned's already caved twice this winter on the extra year, he'll give Manny year three to finally sew up the deal.
2008-12-24 12:10:11
92.   JoeyP
While it does reasonably appear that the Yankees will be competitive for the next eight years, they will over and over again face the same problem of not really being able to replace the players who are keeping them from being as good as they want to be.

But if the market values those long-termed players (CC, Sabathia, A-Rod, Jeter) at 8yr contracts -- arent the Yankees better off signing them than not signing them at all?

Sure, it'd be great if any team could get "Insert Superstar" for 2-3 yrs at a time instead of 8-10, but thats not the market. You either sign those superstars, or you dont. Sure a team would be better with those players than without.

If you're arguing that the Yankees have less chance to maneuver since the contracts are so long --I'd argue that the positive still far outweighs the negative.

The goal in baseball is to make the best team possible for 2009, 2010. How the Yankees will move the Tex contract in 2014 isnt a priority, nor should it be.

2008-12-24 12:13:37
93.   imperabo
I did a study for a stats class last year on the correlation between payroll and wins. The conclusion was that a $165 million payroll in 2007 only bought you a 50/50 chance of making the playoffs. The correlation just isn't very strong.
2008-12-24 12:14:03
94.   Ken Noe
87 "Hey Laura, are you the one who lost the refreshing Coors Light?"
2008-12-24 12:16:15
95.   kinbote
The Giants should make a play for Manny. I can think of no reason why they wouldn't.
2008-12-24 12:19:50
96.   JoeyP
Going from 8/30 to 1/2 seems strong to me.
2008-12-24 12:23:45
97.   D4P
91
You're probably right, though it doesn't really make sense. If you make an offer to a player, who then goes out and doesn't find a better offer than the one you made, there's no apparent reason why you should improve upon your original offer.

I mean, aren't those pretty much the exact conditions under which you shouldn't have to improve your offer?

2008-12-24 12:26:24
98.   imperabo
96 Not if you have to outspend every other team by a wide margin to do it. Then even if you make the playoffs the odds are stacked against you. It's hardly buying a championship.
2008-12-24 12:30:10
99.   silverwidow
88 Teixiera is, at worst, the third best first baseman in baseball right now.

Number one is obvious; is number two Lance Berkman?

2008-12-24 12:31:55
100.   regfairfield
Yep.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-12-24 12:42:34
101.   Kevin Lewis
Seriously, how fun would it be to develop a guy like Pujols in your farm?
2008-12-24 12:51:33
102.   silverwidow
Pujols' lowest OPS against a pitcher (min. 20 plate appearances) is none other than...

Jason Schmidt (.436)

2008-12-24 12:53:29
103.   Kevin Lewis
102

Looks like Pujols should have noting to worry about...:(

2008-12-24 12:53:56
104.   Kevin Lewis
nothing...not "noting"
2008-12-24 13:09:21
105.   scareduck
101 - depends. One of the big complaints in the Redbird system was that they skipped Pujols past AA Arkansas in 2000.

http://minors.baseball-reference.com/players.cgi?pid=11691

2008-12-24 13:13:29
106.   trainwreck
27
Like being a USC football fan.
2008-12-24 13:15:42
107.   Jim Hitchcock
Man, 4 to 6 inches of snow tonight in Carson City, 3 to 5 tomorrow. Won't be going to Reno for Christmas. Looks like it's just gonna be me and Seamus the Wonder Parrot.

Everybody, have fun and be safe.

2008-12-24 13:28:45
108.   68elcamino427
Given the present state of affairs, what would the fan reaction be like for Mr. McCourt if the Dodgers do not sign Manny?
2008-12-24 13:33:27
109.   trainwreck
108
I would be unhappy. Bringing back Furcal and Blake means we should be going for it. We need another big bat.
2008-12-24 13:39:03
110.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-12-24 14:14:18
111.   blued22
Merry Christmas to all.

First poster, long time lurker. I read and don't post because of the hyperbole rule.

Hyperbolic description is recreation for me--I'm left handed and a dominant right brain thinker; Nonetheless I read DT every day and find the majority of y'all great reads.

I've got a notion that I'd like to share and perhaps gain some support for:

How about taking a full page ad(say the back page of the sports section) in that Spanish language paper reporting Manny going to the Yanks, directed as a personal fan appeal to Manny, perhaps written by Jon and including a translation into espanol.

The gist of it could be the simple fact that Manny has become the face of the team and LA is truly where a star of his magnitude belongs.

Ideas and arguments of persuasion could be generated on this board and supplied to Jon by all of the posters who take an interest.

I haven't a clue what it would cost, but I'm in for a proportionate share, if the cost can be divided by enough of us to make it reasonable.

Might be fun; might make news in LA and might make Manny smile:

Who knows, might even penetrate the thick skulls of the McCourts and throw some light on just what it may cost the Dodgers in attendance if they don't sign ManRam.

Certainly it would communicate just how serious some very knowledgeable baseball fans are about that truly insprationally gregarious man.

Blued22

2008-12-25 00:30:39
112.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Actually, Jones and Pierre ARE difference makers.... just not in a good way for the team they're playing on.

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