Lets try and analyze the Yankee$ $ucce$$ logically from the MLB's Last Chance at a True Spoiler" target="_blank">viewpoint of the Minnesota Twins and the truly uphill battle they face each year. They began the 2009 season with a $65 million dollar payroll good for 24th in the league.
Let's consider how the Yankee$ may have fared had they been forced to deal with the same circumstances based on their 2009 $alarie$.
*=home-grown Yankee$ (Yankee "fans" are so quick to point this out as they ignore the Teixeira, Rodriguez, Sabathia, and Burnett annual signings.)
CURRENT ROSTER EQUAL ROSTER
1B Mark "traitor" Teixeira $20,625,000 Nick Swisher $5,4000,000
*2B Robinson Cano $6,000,000 *Robinson Cano $6,000,000
*SS Derek "overrated" Jeter $21,600,000 Derek Jeter $21,600,000
3B Alex Roidriguez $33,000,000 (1/2 the Twins roster) AAA call-up $400K
LF Johnny Damon $13,000,000 *Brett Gardner $414,000
*CF Melky Cabrera $1,400,000 *Melky Cabrera $1,400,000
RF Eric Hinske $1,500,000 Eric Hinske $1,500,000
*C Jorge Posada $13,100,000 Jose Molina $2,215,000
DH Hideki Matsui $13,000,000 * Francisco Cervelli $400K
TOTAL ~$122M on hitting alone about $40M
CC Fat-assbia $15,285,714 AAA Call-up $400K
AJ Burnett $16,500,000 AAA Call-up $400K
*Andy Pettite $5,500,000 *Andy Pettite $5,500,000
**** *Joba Chamberlain $432,575 Joba Chamberlain $432,575
Chad Gaudin NA NA $400K
TOTAL STARTING PITCHING: `$38M (-Gaudin) $7.5M
Damaso Marte $3,750,000 Damaso Marte $3,750,000
*Phil Coke $403,300 Phil Coke $403,300
*Phil Hughes $407,650 Phil Hughes $407,650
*Alfredo Acavedes $406,750 Alfredo Acavedes $406,750
*David Robertson $406,825 David Robertson $406,825
*Mariano Rivera $15,000,000 Mariano Rivera $15,000,000
TOTAL Bullpen: $20.5M $20.5M (basically kept it as-is)
Jerry Hariston Jr. $2,000,000 Jerry Hariston Jr. $2,000,000
AAA roster filler $400K AAA roster filler $400K
AAA roster filler $400K AAA roster filler $400K
AAA roster filler $400K AAA roster filler $400K
TOTAL TEAM PAYROLL $183.5M about $71.5M
Now Yankee$ and Yankee fans, you tell me, do you even sniff the playoffs with this "embarrassment" of a roster? You might be surprised:
- I gave you Jeter with his over-hyped 1996-like greatness, because we gotta let you keep some stars and its not like he'd ever go anywhere or Yankee-life could exist beyond Him.
- closer Mariano Rivera (because I figure if the Twins can have their $11.5M All-Star why can't you?
- You're bullpen is exactly the same. I took that right off of their ESPN webpage so I'll give you that although I see it as your one major weakness but I am sure you big-mouths willl tell me how wrong I am and how "Coke is a stud" and "Robertson is the man" We get it, they are home-grown. Congratulations on that. Good developing I'll give you that.
- I gave you Pettite and with it, comes his experience, dominance, control
- I recognized Cano, Gardner, Swisher for the role players they are and granted them their rightful starting positions. (I could see Swisher playing a Scott Broscius type role if you make it further)
- Of the "fairer" roster I gave you—based on players already on your team or from your organization, 19/25 would be home grown when you consider the seven necessary AAA-AA call-ups, you know, like every other team has to do and can't just rely on sweet talk, reputation, and a fat pocketbook?
By now you arrogant, self-centered bandwagoners are probably laughing so hard you can hardly see the zeroes in your 401K's through your gucci sunglasses or spilling some cawfee on your prada. If you think this isn't fair, try being a fan of a small market team such as the Twins, A's, Pirates, or Royals.
In the case of the Pirates, consider that for 17 consecutive seasons (that's 1992 for those of you not quick on the draw) they haven't even had a .500 record, thus haven't made the playoffs. There are 17 year old Pittsburgers who have never seen their baseball team so much as in the playoffs, something that you consider your birthright.
At least they have their Penguins and Steelers, right?
Well, at least you have your sorry-ass Knicks and Ranjerks that will bow out in the 1st round like they do every year.
Consider the fact that you had the ability to sign the top hitter on the free agent market in Traitor Tex, Mark Teixeira and the top two pitchers in AJ "not big game" Burnett and CC "career postseason 6.54 ERA" Sabathia in one off-season.
Wow! Now that's what I call "filling in the gaps". Must be nice to have that ability. If only the other teams did too, and if only you had to appreciate the joy that actually came with winning and not just a bunch of hired-gun primadonna's that come together as mercinaries and call themselves the "New York Yankees" every season.
When you won your division title, it was because you were supposed to, not because you earned it.
How can you, as a fan, take any pride in something that we all knew was coming for months? How can you take any pride in AJ Burnett winning a big game for you when he's only been there since April 1st?
He's not a real Yankee. He's a hired hand. But of course, its okay because he's our hired hand and its the "Yankee-way".
When the Twins clinched their division in an epic 12th inning hit, it wasn't Cinderalla Roidriguez trotting around the bases in typical "me-first" fashion pumping his fist, it was scrappy Alexi Casilla driving in much maligned Carlos Gomez.
Okay, for all you big city folk, Carlos Gomez was once a New York Met prospect. (That's the team that plays across the city from you, that's where his name might be ringing a bell in your over-sized heads)
Alexi Casilla, is a part-time second baseman by the way, you know, that position that King Jeter plays next too?
Had the Twins (or any other team for that matter) had the ability to sign just one of the above three that you were able to seduce with your big city promises and luster, we'd be talking about them in a much more favorable light. After all, we'd have all this free time to fill with the division having been locked up a good month or so ago.
1996 team one of inspiration, intrigue
Now for those of you who think this is just another complaing piece about "payrolls" and a "salary cap" you are wrong. Yes, I hate the MFY's (us Orioles fans have that adoring name for you) but the 1996 team I had no such qualms with.
Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Brian Boehringer, Ramiro Mendoza, Jim Leyritz, Jorge Posada, John Wetteland, and Bernie Williams were a few of your more accomplished home grown stars that you are so fond of.
The "missing pieces" you were able to add, rather screwdly I might add, Paul O'Neil, Tino Martinez, Luis Sojo, Jeff Nelson, Wade Boggs, and David Weathers weren't the top stellar players at their position that Burnett, Sabathia, and Teixeira were.
They were good, emerging players that truly made their names wearing Yankee pinstripes. The Yankees were just fortunate enough, and rich and crafty enough to get them but no one was calling foul the day any of them came over for they weren't premier and they didn't all come over at once.
All became leaders in their own right, mostly for their postseason heroics, but with the exception of Boggs and later, Cecil Fielder, none was a proven All-Star or real impact performer, at least not the same way they were once they got to the Bronx.
The 1996 team also basically came out of nowhere and I appreciated that much. Yes, I know they were the 1995 Wild Card team, but really, who are we kidding, did anyone actually think they'd do anything? No, and they didn't disappoint those expectations or lack thereof.
Those Yankee teams were simply just glad to be there, filled with a child-like excitement that these Yankee$ and this generation of "fans" never had to experience having been granted elite status for the past decade-and-a-half.
That Yankee team (which I cheered for by the way) had players like game 4 hero Jim Leyritz, an original Yankee, who truly experienced the highs and lows having debuted with the team in 1990. These teams know nothing of the earlier times, the black center field seats that no one could fill, the third-place aspirations, nor the days when the only reason to come to The Stadium was to see Don Mattingly try and win a batting crown.
He was the team pre-1995.
Most of all, observers like myself didn't figure on the Yankee$ having any sort of staying power which looked to be prophetic when in 1997 the team didn't even make it to the ALCS, much less the World Series.
Because of this, and because of the fact that the Yankees faced a title drought dating back to 1978 and hadn't even made the postseason since 1981, cheering for them became fun. You felt good for them. They finally did it, and for the most part, they did it the right way, with their own players who worked their way up and overcame the odds.
Something these Yankee$ and their "fans" don't know much of anything, if at all, about.
Yes, that 1996 team may have led the league in payroll, at gasp, $58,162,252 but the disparity wasn't as great with the next team, the Orioles, at about ten million less (about 16% less payroll) followed by seven teams (1/4 of the then-28 team league) but you sure wouldn't have known it.
One of the teams was the Cincinatti Reds who clocked in third at a shade under $47 million. My, how times have changed at least for nearly every other team, that is. You wouldn't know anything about that.
So if tonight your collection of mercs happen to win game two in their $1.2 billion dollar palace, consider what have they really done? How surprised by this are you actually?
Where is the fun in that?
Think back to 1996 for reference in order to truly appreciate and understand a winner as I have and may any ALCS pennant and subsequent hardware you may achieve consist of the same phony exterior that constitutes most fair-weather New York Yankee fans such as the majority of you.
May it constucted in the same plastic that you shield your cold demeanors when you head out to the subway before and after each succe$$ive game with your pushy, typical "My Way or the Highway" rude attitudes necessary to live in unforgiving New York where this, understandably comes as a necessity.
Appropriate that a team full of fake players would be supported by a bunch of fake fans.