Bronx, New York is a place full of surprises. Hey you never know what you may encounter in a place dubbed Da Bronx! You may get a rude answer if you asked for the right time or you may get a helping hand if you fall down. The Bronx is a place full of diversity, but the one common denominator is that in the Bronx around Hot Stove time all the attention is focused on the men who own/manage the pinstripes.
We New Yorkers get early Christmas presents and we can thank Steinbrenner Claus. He doesn't live in the South Pole, he lives in Tampa and sometimes makes an appearance in New York. This year Steinbrenner Claus brought three invaluable presents to the Yankee faithful. No need for stocking stuffers...well if your stocking is red, white and made in Boston, than your stocking was stuffed with panic and worry!
Mark Teixeria, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett will call New York their homes for many years to come! They will here more cheers than boos.
When C.C. takes the mound at the home opener in the new Yankee Stadium, he will hear a crowd so loud he would think he was Obama accepting the office of the president of the United States.
It does not stop there. When Big Tex walks to the plate as the number three hitter in this feared Yankee lineup, he will hear the same exact loud cheers that C.C. heard a half inning ago!
A.J. will have to wait for the next day, but he will be more prepared than C.C. and Tex for the ovation from the Bronx Bombers faithful. There will be no excuses after that first day. As far as Yankee fans go...once you signed your name on that "fat" contract you will do the right thing by the Yankee faithful every time you take the mound or step to the plate!!
The critics, mostly angry owners, feel the Yankees hierarchy have ruined the financial scope of baseball. The Brewers owner, the Marlins G.M., major league baseball and the dreaded Red Sox have taken their jabs at the Yankees spending. Not one peep has come out of the Yankee hierarchy mouths. You see they take their time before commenting on others comments. They choose their words.
Actually they do what my mother always says, "Think before you talk!" I have gone through various message boards and comment sections of newspapers and voiced my support of the signings by the Yankees. Here is my chance to voice my opinions to "legit" sports fans.
Yes the Yankees outbid themselves for the services of C.C. Sabathia, but that is the Yankee way. That is how they signed Jim "Catfish" Hunter, Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield. Blow the other teams offer out of the water and sign your man.
Funny, isn't that the way these baseball owners, who complain about the Yankee way, bought their teams? I mean what did the Brewers owner think when he bought the Brewers for $220 million, "I got me a team that will win the World Series for years to come"! Relax there Gordon Gecko! The first step is you buy the team, the second step is that you build the team to win.
Look at Dave Samson, Marlins G.M., complaining that the Yankees are bad for baseball. Well Mr. Samson aren't you the guy who sold most of your team after you won the 2001 World Series?
What gets me is the fact that the Yankees never complain when they had to hand out $143 million in revenue sharing cash to the bum teams that have low payrolls. My mantra in baseball is...what is Bud Selig doing about that system of checks and balances for teams that receive the revenue sharing money? I mean there is a system of checks and balances for those teams who go over the salary threshold, but not for those who ge the money.
It was once written that Carl Pohlad, Twins owner, gave out his revenue sharing money as Christmas bonuses. Pohlad is a Forbes lister, the Steinbrenners are not. For all the angry baseball owners who want change to the current agreement with the players union, you will not get the change you want. The only change that will make these unhappy owners happy is a salary cap and baseball will NEVER have a salary cap. Let me repeat....NEVER!! The baseball players union is the strongest in sports. They will not budge and they will never give in to a salary cap.
Enough of this salary cap talk. Now on to how these Yankee signings are going to help out the 2009 New York Yankees.
First, C.C. brings the Yankees a legit ace. Big lefty, doesn't get hurt, pitches 200 plus innings and is a gamer! He will anchor this rotation for many years, but the question will arise in two years...will C.C. pull an ARod and pull out of his deal after three years? If he does, well he won't get the kind of cash from other teams that he has from the Yankees.
You can forget about C.C. doing that because he will have fun pitching in New York. ARod may even pull him aside and tell C.C. that he shouldn't do that...hey look at what it did for ARod, it gave him the worst press of his life!
Second, A.J. will anchor the second spot in the Yankee rotation. How fortunate is it for the Yankees to have two number one starters. Sure A.J. has not pitched more than 200 innings twice. He has a hot wife and when she sees all the endorsement deals she will get, she will not regret leaving Canada for the bright lights of New York. Let us just hope she does not turn out to be another Anna Benson!
Finally, Big Tex is the signing I have wanted from day one. He will protect ARod and make this Yankee lineup more potent than ever. I say more potent than the lineups of the late 90's. He reminds me of Paul O'Neill, I know..stop comparing these new Yankees to Yankees of the past! He is a gamer and will solidify the Yankee lineup for many years. He makes the Yankee lineup deadly, almost as deadly as the Manny/Ortiz combo that terrorized pitchers in the American League and in the World Series. Only Big Tex has more class and passion for the game in his left pinkie than Manny has in his body!
There will be HUGE microscopes on these three when the season starts (is that an oxymoron)!! The New York media, especially Mr. Lupica of the Daily News, will watch every pitch and every swing as if they were checking election boxes in Haiti! These three will not resemble past signings like Andy Hawkins, Dave LaPoint, Steve Kemp, Dave Collins, Danny Tartabull, Jason Giambi, Eddie "Seat Cushion" Whitson and more.
These signings were properly calculated. Brian Cashman is no bum, sure he signed Kei Igawa and Carl Pavano, but every G.M. has made their fair share of mistakes. Cash was smart in signing these three. He has put his name atop the list of G.M's of the year for 2009.
I know one thing..these three signings will be talked about for many years to come and they won't have any negatives attached to them. They will succeed and hopefully bring back the World Series trophy where it belongs...to the best fans in the world...New York Yankees fans!!