So when the Yankees clinched #27 on Wednesday, I was overwhelmed with joy and glee and the bliss that comes with suffering with your team through bad years (the 80s-early 90s and mid 2000s), only to start being bombarded with messages about how the steroid infused Yankees have bought yet another world championship.
At first I was a bit taken aback. Even when the Giants (who I hate with the fervor and passion of, oh, a KKK member towards black people) won, I sent out congratulatory messages. Last year, I congratulated Philly fans. It just struck me as odd, that at the most beloved of all my teams, is the one hated most.
Just a few observations though…
I find it interesting that not one of the people who commented to me were saying the same about the Florida Marlins-who in 1997 and 2003, assembled a highly paid team of mercenaries to win the World Series, only to immediately dismantle the team after the fact.
Nope-evidently, every other person in the majors didn’t really agree to the contract they signed and is being forced to play for free.
Not one mention of how the Yankees high payroll is directly proportionate to the amount of revenue they take in as the most popular franchise in the largest market in the majors. Or the check that they must cut to the rest of the league every season in the form of a luxury tax in order to ensure there is enough money for smaller market teams to compete.
Not one mention of the 2007 Red Sox who had the 2nd highest payroll in the league when they won it all (and a very juiced Manny Ramirez).
Nope, high pay and steroids seem to be the domain of the Yankees only.
Thing is, so many owners are pocketing this money rather than using it to invest in players and management teams that can get the most out of these franchises.
Don’t get me wrong, they are relentless and hilarious. “If there was a salary cap…” there would be no baseball. The players union put the kibash on that, and the owners have made it so that the only minimums are on what individual players can make.
In other words-they can spend as little as possible to field a team, then pocket the profits from the gates when the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies and Dodgers come to town, and pocket the luxury tax dividend that the higher payroll teams pay, and use it for personal profit if they so choose.
Ask Bud Selig what the Brewers management group did with their share. Instead of trying to keep Sabathia, they bought a plane. For personal use. Hmmm.
While I’m on the topic of said luxury tax-it’s not just the Yankees that pay it-Detroit had to pony up last year as well. They didn’t even make the playoffs. I don’t hear anyone saying a word about that.
I think my friend Dominic put it best–it’s amazing how this team is vilified for doing the very things that built the country we live in. Capitalism and consumerism are the American way. Interesting how it can only be good for some and turned against others if they win more than the rest.
If your owner isn’t interested in investing in their business and improving the team for your town, don’t take it out one that does. It’s puerile, and it kind of makes you look bad.
Players don’t sign with the Yankees because they couldn’t get a deal elsewhere. As my friend Joslin said better than I could-most of these big name dudes don’t get traded here, they want to come.
As for the steroid issue, there is no doubt it is a black eye on the sport. While they will never admit to it, the league dropped the ball big time and looked the other way for many many years while players got extra saucy.
Nevermind that the allegations and admissions of steroid use were all during a time when the league didn’t test for them, sanction players for using them, and pretty much looked the other way while up to 60% of major league players went on the sauce. Nope-had to just be the Yankees.
Whatever, it’s fine. I’m sure there will be some other random arguments as to why they win too much and other teams win too little. At the end of the day, it’s just easier to blame the Yankees.
Whew! I really needed to get that off my chest. It gets tiring to hear the same baseless arguments over and over again, and it has been a really long time since I’ve been able to celebrate at the end of the baseball season.
Oh well, they say haters are just really confused admirers. I’ll be sure to concern myself with the misery of others and their another time. Right now? I have a parade to get ready for.
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