Winning at a Cost

Brian McGloneContributor IDecember 24, 2008

Although the signing of Mark Teixeira by the Yankees was only announced about 36 hours ago, there has since been enough complaining to last a lifetime. So who didn't know that the Steinbrenners like to win?

We all knew what the anti-Yankee public opinion was going to be. It's the same "Yankees only win because they spend so much money/ Steinbrenner is ruining baseball argument." But it comes as a surprise to me that so many Yankee fans don't approve of the acquisition.

New York City is where everyone goes to be the best at what they do. Best theatre? Broadway. Best stock brokers? Wall Street. So whats wrong with the Yankees being the best? Even LeBron James understands that to make the most out of his career he needs to be in NY. Which is why he'll be reviving the Knicks in 2010. Would you rather be the king of Cleveland? Probably not.

Who else deserved Mark Teixeira? The Kansas City Royals maybe, and they're three million fans? The Yankees have the most fans in America for a reason. The Yankee management does what it has to every off season to please they're $20+ million fans. These small market teams make their statements about the Yankees monopolizing free-agency and talk about how they can't compete.

Some of these teams however, choose to be "small market." The Marlins, for example. Miami is one of the most popular cities in the US. Yet their lack of spending (and fans because of it) makes them a small market team and gives them the right to criticize the Yankees spending.

As for Teixeira decision. For weeks the Angles, Red Sox, and Nationals have been the front runners in the Teixeira sweepstakes. This is not just an average free-agent we're talking about here. Not only is he the number one player on the free-agent market this off-season, but more importantly, he is a Scott Boras client.

If we have learned anything from Boras' previous negotiations is that they get paid. Paid well. The Angels and Red Sox really must have though that "backing out" of negotiations would bring down his price. Apparently not. The best offer was getting the best player. Simple as that. Is it not worth another $1.25 mil/year for either of these teams to put out the best possible team come opening day?

Now, as statements are starting to arise concerning a salary cap, I am more happy with the Yankees acquisitions than I had ever been before. Sure the economy is affecting other teams and baseball in general but I don't see how that makes it wrong for the Yankees to put the best possible team on the field.

In the new stadium, with the new superstars, they are going to sell tickets. They are selling tickets not only for themselves but they will continue to be the most attractive opposition on the road. Between the Yankees filling more seats on the road than any other team and the luxury taxes being spread to smaller market teams, there could not possibly be reason enough for public statements from league GM's criticizing the Yankees use of money.

As for the Yankee fans out there who are buying into this "unfair" spending argument that fans of failing teams continue to thrust upon us. You have to understand that the Yankees appreciate not only their fans, but the winning tradition more than any other team out there. Now the question you need to ask yourself is, would you rather have that money going into the owners pocket than into the roster?   

Clearly the economy is playing a big part in the hesitation of spending for other teams. But should the Yankees be sympathetic and not improve their team because it isn't fair? That seems like a somewhat childish argument.

Do you think Donald Trump wouldn't buy himself a new Mercedes because his neighbor is struggling financially? Think about it.