Friday, November 12, 2004

Teasing, Winning, and Dynasties

Many commenters have pointed out that, in fact, many small-market teams can win it all. After all, the Royals had a great run in '03. And the Marlins won it all in spite of their small payroll. So these teams have no right to cry poverty. They have as much of a chance to win as the Yankees do!

First off, when teams like the Royals get hot, it's just a tease. Plain and simple. It's nice for a while, but it doesn't last. Realistically, these teams have no chance to grind it out through the summer and stay on top. The Royals had a few good months that year, but once reality set in they were awful. And being unable to afford players to improve the team, they were simply horrible in '04.

And even this year when the Reds were hot for the first few months, you knew they would implode once the pitching cooled off and Griffey got hurt. And after that happened, they stunk. The same goes for the Brewers and Indians. Hot for a while, but it's all a tease.

And Texas was a nice story this year, but they had a very slim chance of making it. And they wouldn't have lasted a day in the playoffs with that patchwork pitching staff. You're not winning it all with John Wasdin on your team.

When you've been turned off by a team with losing seasons for a decade, can you really get excited when the team gets hot? Especially when you know it's just not gonna last?

And even when a mid-market team like the Marlins win, they can't build a dynasty. After winning the championship, the Marlins had to cut payroll and shed I-Rod, Urbina, and Derrek Lee. And aside from Benitez, they couldn't sign any big names on the market (and I'm being very generous to Benitez by calling him a "big name"). And those losses hurt the Marlins in '04. And with Pavano and Benitez on the brink of leaving, it may get even harder for the Fish to return to October baseball. And with Billy Beane's A's missing the playoffs this year and Tim Hudson a free agent next winter, it looks like Moneyball magic may have run its course.

Only a few teams like the Yankees and Red Sox can afford to build a contender every winter without sacrificing a thing. A team like the Astros has to lose a Billy Wagner in order to sign more free agents. But the Yankees won't be stopped this winter, even with Giambi, Brown, and Bernie making more than the whole Devil Rays team.


Anonymous said...

This seems more thoughtful than the garbage your partner spews. He mentioned something about 20 teams that perennially have no chance and was challenged on that. I would also like him to name the 20 teams who, going into spring training, consistently have NO chance to win.

In response to your points:

Over the past twenty years in Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees have won a whopping 4 championships. You would think from listening to some people that they win every year, but that’s just false. I would be very interested to hear your opinions on the state of baseball in the years that they don’t win (like 1979-1995, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004). Don’t even think about saying baseball was in the toilet in 1996 but was booming in 1997 then hit the skids again in 1998. You can’t have it both ways. In fact, show me some attendance stats to consistently indicate that fewer people went to games around the league when the Yankees won championships. One instance does not equal consistent.

They do dominate the American League East. However when you devote as many words criticizing the Atlanta Braves for an even greater stronghold on the NL East, I’ll address that level of dominance. Keep in mind that the Braves were the first team to own their own national TV station (Ted Turner owned both entities) and reap the financial benefits of such.

I have read certain comments which said something along the lines of the Red Sox being a poor man’s Yankees. I agree, to a point. As a Sox fan, would you give back your championship for the sake of “parity”? Please. You would never consider it, even though you bought a WS ring, just like you accuse the Yankees of doing. In fact, it was pointed out that the Yanks had more home grown talent on their championship squads than the Sox do now.

“When you've been turned off by a team with losing seasons for a decade, can you really get excited when the team gets hot? Especially when you know it's just not gonna last?”

YES The New York Yankees didn’t win squat for 15 years and finished last in ’89 and we got really exited in ’95 (losing effort) and ’96.

When you bring up the “tease” factor, you do so as if it’s something that is specific to baseball. Somehow, for you, teams flirt with contention only in baseball and not in other sports like basketball and football. As a New Yorker, I’ll say talk to me about the Jets and the Knicks. The same thing applies, and those sports have salary caps. Similarly, this notion of ‘you know they’re going to ultimately fail’ is just plain ridiculous. I’ll bet you were saying that about the Marlins and Angels. Both of those teams were pretty mediocre until September and October. In fact, given the recent run of the Red Sox, you are a total hypocrite. Down 0-3, tell me with a straight face that you knew what the outcome was going to be. Come on.

I agree with other posts which criticize you for not offering hard evidence. While you have explained the Royals in more detail, you nor your dim witted partner have offered hard stats in terms of attendance, TV ratings, box office revenue, etc. to prove that the Yankees’ spending is ruining baseball. (which I think is an awfully big statement that will require big numbers to back up) That’s the point others are making on this site. The notion that the Yankees are ruining baseball is a subjective opinion that is not based in anything beyond the fact that they beat up on your favorite team and make life miserable for you as a Red Sox fan or your partner as a Mets fan.

The people who are ruining baseball are the many owners out there like Fred Wilpon who are in it purely for the money. It’s a very sad state we live in when people start crying that ‘you are trying too hard’, ‘you care too much about winning’, ‘you are too competitive’, ‘you spend too much’. That’s like saying to the leader of a marathon that he should slow down to allow others to catch up and beat him, purely for the entertainment of those rooting against him. I will guarantee that will NEVER happen in any sport.

While I will concede that while there are several teams that cannot compete with the Yankees, that number is no where near the 20 teams your idiot partner wants to contend. In fact, more teams have the wherewithal to win than teams that don’t. Most importantly, the Red Sox and the Mets are two teams which have achieved a false martyr status. Both teams have always had the finances to compete, they just needed the brains. Epstein worked out for the Sox. Who will emerge for the Mets?

My question for you is what is your solution? A salary cap is not an option because baseball is financially structured differently than the other sports. Demanding that others intentionally don’t do everything in their power to win is just retarded.

Anonymous said...

Hey Manny, I didn’t say that the small market teams have as much chance to win as the Yankees.

They have a chance to win as opposed to no chance to win. America is not the land of equal opportunity and it never has been. Do you have the same chance to be president as George W. Bush? Of course not. Even if we lived in a communist state, you wouldn’t have the same chance at success as someone born to prominent party members. Hell, everyone’s vote in this country isn’t even equal and you’re whining about creating an equal playing field in baseball.

Not in your lifetime.