So they've gone and done it. While Yanks fans are licking their chops and feeling like kids on Christmas morning, the rest of the baseball world is gathering up torches and pitch forks and organizing a march for Steinbrenner's head.
And truthfully, I don't understand what everyone is so up-in-arms about.
Even as a Boston fan, I think this is a good thing.
Now, I am no stranger to making bold predictions or going against the conventional wisdom of some of the big-wigs here at Bleacher Report, but how is this signing not one of the best things to happen to baseball in recent memory?
The Yankees are now officially, without argument, the most reviled franchise in baseball history.
That alone makes me excited for what 2009 will bring.
I can't wait to see Kevin Youkilis go up against Joba Chamberlain. You can practically cut the tension with a knife and it hasn't even happened yet!
And I wholeheartedly, maybe naively, expect the Red Sox to win three quarters of these head-to-head matchups.
While I can't predict what will be the state of the Yankees clubhouse, I can say there is more to winning than simply playing together. Things like cohesion, caring, tenure, and goals.
The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry will be reborn.
I predict that Cubs and White Sox fans will hold hands and cheer in the streets if either one steals a game from George Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman's magnificent beast.
I recall being irritated when the Rays snagged their fair share of games from the Yankees this year, knowing they were making up ground on my favorite team.
Now I could give two poops. I just want to see someone, anyone, beat the Yankees. The Orioles now have something to play for.
Every single non-Yankee fan wants the Yankees to fail horribly. And anything short of a World Series ring will be a victory.
It's the Coalition versus the Axis of Evil. Sports' ultimate David versus Goliath.
This signing will undoubtedly end up being a good thing for baseball. Hatred for the Yankees will bring people together just like Sammy and Mac did in '98. Or the Yanks' flagrant lack of respect for money will lead to a salary cap. Win, win.
I will still enjoy baseball in 2009 unlike a lot of people I have encountered on this site.
I leave you with a quote that reassures me when baseball gets dark, when our pastime looks like it's turning to shit.
If this quote has stopped resonating with you, then maybe your time is up. If it hasn't, look at this signing as a spark for our forgotten game, instead of the apocalypse.
"Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it.
"They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack.
"And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters.
"The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again.
"But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come."
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