Friday, December 12, 2008

Cultivating An Image

Why are Yankee fans so upset with the idea that they "buy" championships? I understand the media (some of it, the honest portion anyway) has a running commentary on how the Yankees often overspend for their talent while their less scrupulous counterparts write purple-prosed odes to Jeter's intangibles as the real reasons the Yankees win.

Now that the team has donated nearly one quarter of a billion (with a "b") dollars towards two players who are only going to play at most for 40% of the season a year after nickel-and-diming Wang last offseason, well, can words really do justice?

And let's look at their investments:

C.C. Sabathia:

8 seasons, 117-73, 3.66 ERA (121 ERA+), a Cy Young and a 2.66 K/BB ratio. And he's only 28.

Of course, he's also nearly 300 pounds, has a thrown over 500+ innings the last two years, and in the postseason has a 1-3 record, a 7.92 ERA, a 2.200 WHIP, and his K/BB ratio is 1.09. If they're expecting the ace that shoved the Brewers into the playoffs and then gave up five runs in less than four innings once they got there, well, let's just say the AL East is not the NL Central.

Plus, he's got the option of bailing on the contract in three years if he's healthy and overperforming. If he's neither, then he gets to collect those checks for four more years.

Good luck with that one.

A.J. Burnett:

The good: He led the AL in K's last year pitching in a very tough division.

The bad: Two letters: D.L.

If he's healthy, with the run support he's going to get, a 20 win season is not only possible but likely. If he isn't, at $82.5 million over five years, he might be the sequel to Carl Pavano.

All in all, it's been a big week for the New York teams, as the Mets signed K-Rod to a surprisingly reasonable 3 year/$37 million deal. Considering the ink dedicated to the nonsense "saves" record he broke, I thought he would be the one to get the absurd contract, but I think he'll fit in well with the Mets because of the change of location and leagues. And getting Putz as a setup show that Minaya clearly knows the problem is trying to fix it.

Joe Gordon played for the Yankees during the 40s. He was probably the best 2B in the American League at the time. He died before I was born. He's just now been given his much deserved plaque in Cooperstown.

Why the time-lapse? Karma?

Maybe, aside from the obvious taint of playing in pinstripes, Gordon won the 1942 AL MVP award over Ted Williams, who not only won the triple crown but also led the league in runs, slugging, OBA, and walks. Gorden led the league in grounding into double plays and strikeouts! Good for a pitcher maybe but not for someone playing at the top of the diamond. Had he refused the award the way Hugo Wieslander did the 1912 decathalon gold maybe - who am I kidding? He was a Yankee. He probably thought he deserved it.

Speaking of MVPs and second baseman...Dustin Pedroia gives the Sox their first since Mo Vaughn, which is to the award what Marisa Tomei is the Oscars, only the baseball urban myth is true. Granted, there should have been at least two (by my math) since, but who is counting?