I am from Connecticut. I am a DIEHARD Red Sox fan. And I know one thing about the New York Yankees—there is no other team more deserving of a championship in 2009.
I can already read what the comments on this message board will say: "They just bought their title"..."Girardi's terrible, anyone could manage that roster"..."ARod and Pettite took steroids." Those are excuses for yourself and for your own team.
ARod and Pettite did just fine without performance enhancing drugs this October, so let's get that out of the way right off the bat. Quit whining, your favorite players did it too—Viva Papi!
I'm going to start simply refuting the oldest argument amongst Yankee haters—that New York simply opened their wallets and purchased yet another ring. Now, if that were the case, wouldn't the Yanks have a streak of 11 titles in a row, and 12 of 13 dating back to 1996? That's not how it works, and that's why you play the game.
Let's look at the top payrolls in baseball this season.
- New York Yankees, $201.5M
- New York Mets, $135.8M
- Chicago Cubs, $135M
- Boston Red Sox, $122M
- Detroit Tigers, $115M
- Anaheim Angels, $113.7M
- Philadelphia Phillies, $113M
- Houston Astros, $105M
- Los Angeles Dodgers, $100.5M
Now, obviously the Yankees are on top, but what about two and three? The Mets and Cubs have drastically higher payrolls than any other team in baseball, and they both missed the playoffs entirely. Heck, the Mets had one of the worst seasons possible, finishing only above the impotence of the Washington Nationals. New York the highest payroll in the National League, and second only to their crosstown rivals.
Check out the bottom of the league, and you'll find the Twins, the Rays, the A's, and the Marlins, all who were competitive and one of which made it to October. Sure, the Pirates, Nationals, and Padres are near the bottom, but the fact that contenders are there simply makes the point that payroll doesn't equate to championships.
The reason why the New York Yankees can afford such a payroll is simple: the fans are willing to carry the burden. Do you know what it costs to get a seat on the lower level at Yankee Stadium?
Go to Pittsburgh and ask somebody there to pay that. They'll gladly do it for their Steelers, and some might even do it for hockey. But not for the Pirates! And that's simply because the product reflects that Pittsburgh isn't a baseball town.
New York is.
Just as Los Angeles is a basketball town. Gainesville is a college football town. Chapel Hill is a college basketball town. Detroit is a hockey town. And of course, Pittsburgh is a football town.
The fan bases in those cities breathe for their sport, they live and die by those teams, and this year, they all brought home championships. Sorry Syracuse, you're not winning a BCS title any more than Atlanta is getting a Stanley Cup.
Yankee fans love their baseball. They're the most storied franchise in the sport, with a rich history and winning traditions. So the fans suck it up, sit in the rain, and drink a 12oz bottle of beer from an aluminum bottle that costs the same as twelve of them from the store.
It's simply the northeast mentality, shared by the Red Sox, Mets, and Cubs—the rest of the top four on the list of '09 MLB payrolls. The fans there get a salary indicative of what they as consumers are willing to pay for, and more importantly, where their hearts are.
The Yankees and their fans are always about winning, period. And the fact that they even can afford such a high payroll speaks to that. The Yankees have more streams of revenue than the entire American League West combined! Between radio contracts, owning their own rights and television network, and advertising in the biggest market and greatest city in the entire world, the Yankees can afford to provide such a product.
The fact you hate on it denotes jealousy, but you can't be blamed. Your team doesn't have 27 championships...neither does mine. Unless you're a Yankee fan, you can't claim such dominance on your sport.
But one thing's for sure, the Yankees sure do...and they deserved every bit of this championship.
And for winning it, they'll get even more money, allowing them to spend even more in 2010, and you'll complain then. But I'll be saying it then, just as I am now...
You cannot buy a championship. Just ask the New York Mets, the Washington Redskins, and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
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