Monday, April 20, 2009

When Will the Empire Strike Back?

Aside from the sexist remarks in his hit job on Yankees' GM Brian Cashman and his team, Matt Taibbi proves that he's nothing more than another member of the Greek chorus of Yankee haters in the media. Anyone who welcomes the collapse of a team with "God, is it going to be fun to see" is far from an objective observer and just one more in a long line of haters. Next.

For the record, I'm not a Cashman defender, but if there's one thing that people outside of NY fail to realize—and those of us living here sometimes seem to conveniently forget—is that Yankee fans and ownership are the most impatient of all, and not going to wait 5-10 years while a team grows into a championship. That may fly in Tampa or Kansas City but not in NYC. When it comes to winning a World Series, the Steinbrenner family subscribes to the Malcolm X approach: by any means necessary. And that means spending the big bucks. Does it always work? Obviously not. But, for better or for worse, that's how it is here.

In his quest to underline Yankee mgmt greed, Taibbi failed to mention how the team actually lowered its payroll in '09. But he's too busy vilifying to paint a complete picture. Yes, let's pounce on the evil Yankees who took CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Texeira away from the teams they really wanted to play for by luring them with cash. Please, spare me. (Like Tex, who still idolizes Donnie Baseball, was going anywhere else.) With whomever these guys signed with they were going to be set for life anyway, so vilifying the Yankees for offering more—and more importantly, with those players freely and knowingly accepting the loot—is both disingenuous and lame on Taibbi's part.

Could Cashman have done a better job during his tenure? Absolutely.
I think even his greatest apologist would agree with that. But as long as George Steinbrenner is alive, the Yankees will be chasing after the big free agents in pursuit of the ultimate prize. It's always been that way, no matter who's been the GM. (Btw, the vast majority of my baseball buddies who are non-Yankee fans all say they wish their teams had ownership that fiercely invested in trying to win a championship, instead of coasting. So, there you go.)

Man, I've never been into Star Wars, but right about now I feel like listening to "The Imperial March (March of the Evil Empire)"...