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November 05, 2009



I think the essential point of the payroll issue is INTENT. The Red Sox or Phillies or Cubs or whatever intend to build a championship team. They look for the right pieces that fit within their budget always with an eye to how those players will fit in with the other players to form a cohesive team. They look to bring up new players to fill gaps and to learn from veterans. They BUILD a team.

The Yankees have no interest in building a team. Their quickly abandoned experiment with young pitching demonstrates that truth. They fully INTEND to buy championships. They don't give a damn about chemistry or teamwork or anything but winning. How many players, or managers or coaches have been thrown under the bus by Yankees management rather than being given time to develop their potential and coalesce into a winning team?



"The Yankees have no interest in building a team."

homegrown yankees: jeter, mariano, jorge, andy pettitte, melky, gardner, cano, hughes, joba, david robertson (am i missing someone?)

homegrown sox: pedroia, youkilis, lowrie, lester, clay, papelbon, bard, manny delcarmen, ellsbury (am i missing someone?)

both teams have developed players from within their systems. but maybe you mean something else by team building? honestly, i'm trying to figure out what a built team is.

"How many players, or managers or coaches have been thrown under the bus by Yankees management rather than being given time to develop their potential and coalesce into a winning team?"

hmm, how many yankee managers have there been over the last 14 years? How many red sox managers have there been over that same period? i'd guess the comparison holds with coaches as well. how many yankee players have left the team on poor terms with management and the press? how many red sox players have? i'd imagine again it's a comparable number with torre and manny being the most salient examples on both sides.

i'm a yanks fan who, as beth describes it, was born into it. you don't have to believe me but i rooted for some crappy teams back in the '80s and early '90s. i get the anger about the payroll. it's a big advantage. the story behind the creation of the new stadium is awful. the yanks fans i am friends with are tried and true fans and new yorkers who realize management is filled with people like randy levine, who are trying to shake every last nickle and dime out of our wallets. i must admit i don't study the work of lucchino and henry enough to assert whether they do the same thing, although it seems telling to me that the most expensive average priced tickets in baseball are the ones you pick up at fenway.

still, we are left with the players. what is undeniable about this yankee team, at least for yankee fans, is that it was very likeable and, as it turns out, great on the field. it's not like i'd expect or want non yankee fans (especially red sox fans!) to think this was a feel-good story. But, for us, it was. very obviously so. virtually every part of their on-field performance was brilliant and exciting. they were a great team, but great for several reasons, including their ability to win in exciting ways. it was unbelievable to watch. and all the crap surrounding it- the problematic stadium construction, john sterling's awful announcing, etc.,- couldn't touch it.

(i am lazy. sorry about the lack of capitals:))

beth, meant to compliment you on the pedro post. great writing!


ha, and, of course, i think i'm writing to a sox fan and it's a phils fan. regardless, the response still holds true (except for ticket prices:)).


@Nick Thanks for a long and thoughtful set of comments!

One thing -- how could the average ticket price at Fenway be higher than a stadium where there are face-value tickets worth more than $1000? The highest face-value price at Fenway is still in the hundreds, not thousands. Bleacher seats face-value is $35 or $40. That it's such a small park means seats are in higher demand, which jacks up the street price because of resellers etc. That's also the source of some debate / distaste around here, but it's a different set of problems.

It's true the Sox are not poor. Lucchino and Henry are not doing this for charitable purposes (Henry also made his money in hedge funds, which are not getting great publicity of late.)

But Henry especially seems to have a sense that the ownership are stewards rather than dictators in certain areas, most notably Fenway Park. They've committed themselves to restoring it and have tried to have it preserved as a historical landmark. I know I don't necessarily feel as though they are "trying to shake every last nickle and dime out of our wallets". If they were, I think the Sox would be playing in an all-new bright plastic coliseum with 60,000 seats over on the waterfront by now. There are some things Sox fans have objected to, but they're normally about cross-marketing campaigns and sometimes ticket prices, nothing so drastic as the new Stadium.

As I discussed in the post, the Sox are a rich team. But the Yankees are super-rich. Fenway Park is pricey. The new Stadium is outlandish. I think the matter of degree remains significant.

But in the end I think we're in agreement that if they're your team, of course you're happy. The athletes are not fundamentally different because of their uniforms. And I think most Sox fans have respect for the homegrown Yankees players you mention, especially Mo Rivera.

No need to apologize for lack of capitals! And glad you liked the Pedro post. Thanks!

tom yf

Great post and discussion.


Thanks Tom! What's your take on this stuff?

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