Recent Signings Show Yankees Are Bad For Baseball, Divisions Need to be Balanced

Bleacher Report Senior Writer IDecember 13, 2008

In a span of a week, the Yankees have signed the top pitchers in the market, C.C. Sabathia (17-10, 2.70 ERA in 2008) and A.J. Burnett (18-10, 4.07 ERA in 2008). It seems to be the way the Yankees function. Spend the big bucks and make it impossible for the weaker guy to win.

In recent years, the Yankees have been disappointing. Last year was a good example of that. The Yankees finish third in the AL East, much due to the emergence of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Bronx Bombers finished 89-73.

They suffered from injuries and unreliable pitching. Their only consistent pitcher was Mike Mussina, who went 20-9 with a 3.37 earned run average. While he did put up those amazing numbers, they knew Mussina wasn't the future, at 39.

Mussina proved that statement correct when he retired shortly after the off season began. In the past, the Yankees have had a reputation for getting good via fat check. Since 2001, the Yankees have signed countless amounts of players, including Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Randy Johnson, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, and now Nick Swisher, A.J. Burnett, AND C.C. Sabathia.

The Yankee way is truly bad for baseball. They don't get good via developing talent or drafting well, they get good via the big bucks and dishing out the fattest check. As a moronic receiver once said, 'it's just not fair.'

Being an avid Baltimore Orioles fan, it pains me to keep track of baseball during the off season. While Yankees fans might say "Boo hoo, get over it." or ''Yeah, but the Bombers have brought plenty up through the system."

My response?

I'd get over it if the Yankees got good via bringing the majority up, like the Rays did. When you look around the diamond on the Yankees (Posada, Giambi, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Damon, Cabrera, Nady and Matsui), there are four that the Yankees brought up through the system. The Yankees make it damn near impossible for small market teams like Baltimore and Toronto to even have any success unless they spend $1B, money Baltimore and Toronto doesn't have—and won't ever have, for that matter.

Teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Dodgers are making baseball's off season a four team struggle, not a 32-team struggle. So if you want me to get over the fact that the Yankees are taking the fun out of baseball while squeezing the life out of it, fine. And don't think I'm making excuses for my Orioles' struggles.

I'm not. I'm just saying, whenever the O's do build a worthy team, it'll be damn near impossible for them to do anything with the spenders they have in the division.

So that renders their arguments invalid.

While I like baseball more then any sport, baseball makes me sick in this regard. They need a salary cap, or else teams like the Yankees go crazy with power and sign everybody they can. While I know not all teams can make the same amount of money, there has to be some type of balance.

And if not, you can't put the Yankees (26 World Series titles), Red Sox (Two World Series Titles last four seasons), Rays (2008 AL Pennant, 97-65 record), Blue Jays (86 wins, solid rotation), and Orioles (10 consecutive losing seasons) in the same division.

According to AccuScore predictions, the Yankees are now World Series favorites because of the signings of Sabathia and Burnett. That's why the Yankees are good. They don't have a phenomenal farm system, they play in New York. They have the ability to offer the big bucks. That is NOT fair.

While the Blue Jays and Orioles are potentially good teams, it doesn't even matter. They can't reach for $161M or $82.5M in their pockets. Whenever the Orioles or Blue Jays should become a contender to be reckoned with, the Yankees will respond by signing a big star, something Baltimore and Toronto can not do.

The Yankees have a ridiculous salary cap at $207.1M. The Orioles salary cap is $66.8M. So how can the O's ever be good for a long period of time if the Yankees have that kind of money? The Yankees highest payed is Alex Rodriguez, who makes $28M per year. Derek Jeter also makes $21.6M. The backup catcher for the Yankees, Jose Molina, makes $1.3M. The O's highest payed is Aubrey Huff, at $8M.

Where's the balance?

I am not in any way saying the O's failures in recent years are excusable. But how are they supposed to compete with $207M when they only make $67M? While what Tampa Bay did is amazing, if they hadn't done that, they'd be in the same situation as Baltimore. They make $43.4M, less then A-Rod and Jeter make combined. But it seems hard to believe they will always be better then the Yankees when they make about 1/5 of what the Bombers do.

It seems baseball is now a game of money, not talent. The spenders are usually the ones who succeed (i.e. Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, White Sox).

It's just not fair.