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A-Rod & The Evil Empire february 17 2004, 02:22 am
submitted by: normal mc

That retching, heaving sound you may have heard through-out the lower 48 this past Sunday afternoon was not that fantastic NASCAR pile-up, it was yours truly, vomiting at the prospect of Alex Rodriguez joining the New York Yankees. There are way too many hipster parallels to draw here. I wanna say something hip likeÖ like itís akin to Superman joining the Legion of Doom, but thatís too easy and admittedly not that funny.

This is the worst thing to happen to baseball since the í94 strike. Or itís incredibly entertaining theatre delivered daily for the next 9 months. Pick Ďem!

Trades like this make it so much easier for knowledgeable, fair-minded fans such as myself to hate the Yankees, as if any of us needed another reason. That old standby Ďthe rich get richerí routine has never rang more true. Look, I know itís only sports and itís not life and death. But this once proud pastime has devolved into more of a business over the last decade or so; true parity is a thing of the past and working models of fair play (NBA, NFL) have been ignored.

My team is rich, they just arenít too bright. Same with the Red Sox. The Yankees are the richest, also the smartest. They can afford big mistakes, unlike my team. See, the Yankees are the great eraserÖ they will clean up your mess. Make a bad deal with a free agent? Itís crippling your teams chance to compete? Trade Ďem to the Yankees! Thatíll help competition! One major point that bugs me is that the Rangers are paying off some of A-Rodís contract for the Yankees. So Texas is actually paying the Yankees to take the best player in the game off their hands? Because of this, the Yankees actually wind up paying Jeter more per year than A-Rod over the next five! A far inferior player to Rodriguez (face it) is making more than him, how long before he asks for a raise?

Yankee fans, before you bitch and bring up that Alfonso Soriano will be missed and heís almost as good as A-RodÖ shut up. Heís not. Even if he was, it doesnít matter.

Bud Selig has screwed us again. How could anyone let this happen on their watch? The only team with the resources to ignore a luxury tax of course will go above and beyond a tax-cap, that doesnít make it right. Itís fair market, of course Ė the Yankees do play by the rules. Itís time to change the rules. I wonít waste space trying to explain my theory for a working salary cap (it involves a drastic restructuring of the amateur draft, revenue sharing and various other blah blah blah), but if MLB continues to let the Yankees work within a framework that no one else can afford to, well, baseball will die.

Itís like Luke turning to the Dark SideÖ okay, thatís not exactly accurate either. If A-Rod was one of the good guys, he wouldíve stayed in Seattle a few years ago for less money, to play with a team that had a shot to win. Instead, taking a page from Steve Miller (as do most athletes these days, itís amazing) he took the money and ran. All the way to Texas, who mortgaged their future and their ability to surround him with talent by drastically overpaying for his services. Of course, Kevin Brown set the standard with his joke of a contract with Los Angeles, but A-Rodís deal was the kicker. This of course led to other albatross contracts (Manny Ramirez, Mike Hampton) which effectively Ďfucked the deckí, in blackjack terms. The reason why we see so many players accepting minimum one-year deals or spring invites as non-roster invitees Ė there is no more money to go around.

If A-Rod was one of the good guys, he wouldnít have lobbied all winter for a trade Ė he would have taken like a man the fact that he Ė and his disgusting contract - ruined a Texas franchise for a decade (when all is said and done). He would have stuck it out, deferred some money, and taken a pay cut.

(Oh wait! The Players Assoc. and the last CBA says he canít re-work his dealÖ unless heís being traded to the Yankees or another high-profile team. If A-Rod was interested in the Twins heíd never be able to renegotiate.)

No, friends, A-Rod is a selfish, backstabbing ass of the highest talent. Flipside: he is the best player in the game right now. Four years ago when he wanted the Mets more than they wanted him, he almost seemed like a nice guy. But when the Mets balked at his price tag, he couldíve taken less to make it work. He didnít. Since then heís been a dick. Sour grapes from the Mets fan? Sure. But itís true. Donít tell me that winning is your goal when you signed with the Texas fuckiní Rangers, okay?

Well, heís gonna win now. The Yankees will win in the least memorable or relevant way possibleÖ because they outspent everyone else. In 1996, when the Yankees started this latest run of winning, I could almost enjoy them. They had a team that was more than the sum of itís parts; a team with good guys, character. Jimmy Key, Boggs, OíNeill, Bernie, David Cone. A good percentage was home-grown, too. Now theyíve become a team with no identity, a clusterfuck of bad contracts, huge egos and questionable drive. Thatís no longer fun, and if you are a Yankee fan you ought to be embarrassed. It started with Clemens a few years back, and then Giambi sold out. I refuse to believe this has anything to do with a desire to win on the playersí parts.

At the first sign of trouble with this Yankee group, Herr Steinbrenner won't know who to fire first. Joe Torre won't be back after this year, so if the Yanks stumble out of the gate, expect the axe to fall. What happens if A-Rod and the criminally over-rated Jeter don't gel? What if their isn't enough spotlight for that gunshot victim in right field? What if... what if they don't win it all? Imagine the carnage in the Bronx then... maybe this will be fun after all. Don't bank on it, the Yanks will cruise to the Series and annihilate all in their path.

This off-season pissing contest between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox was fun, up until yesterday. Iíll see your Schilling and raise you a Sheffield. Going into Spring Training the balance of power at least in the AL East (the only division that seems to matter anymore) seemed to have leveled out. Donít get me wrong, thatís a good thing Ė anytime teams improve to the point that (at least on paper) they can compete with the Yankees, thatís good. The Angels had a great off-season too, and they spent much coin (kwan). The Mets spent wisely, which is quite the mature development. But the small market losers will continue to hope for lightning in a bottle, waiting to capitalize on career years from homegrown talent on their way out of town (see Royals, Marlins).

The Yankees are no longer Ďthe Yankeesí. Any mystique or aura is gone. They are now the Microsoft of baseball. They are US Steel. I guess what Iím trying to say here is fuck the Yankees. Wouldíve been a short article if I opened with that, though.

comments...   add a comment...

one4k4 1071 posts
comment no. 1

Baseball, more importantly the decisions made, is why I no longer watch and follow baseball. But you, sir, are why I still read articles on the subject. Perfect.

dj tanner
dj tanner 4789 posts
comment no. 2

Donít tell me that winning is your goal when you signed with the Texas fuckiní Rangers, okay?

Amen, brother. If my math is correct, the starting lineup of the 2004 Yankees is about $72M. Isn't that about $23M more than the Marlins paid their entire twenty five-man roster last season?

jay rock
jay rock 1362 posts
comment no. 3

It's god awful. I heard somewhere (probably the mothership ESPN) that the Yankees will be paying roughly $85,000 an inning this year for their team. Cragy!

dj tanner
dj tanner 4789 posts
comment no. 4

Holy shit!! $85k/inning sounds pretty fucked up... You've made me curious!

According to various news articles from 2/15 - 2/17/2004:
Low estimate of Yankees 2004 Payroll: $160M
High estimate of Yankees 2004 Payroll: $200M

$160,000,000 / 162 games = $987,654 (low)
$200,000,000 / 163 games = $1,234,567 (high)

Without taking into account games that run over nine innings:
$987,654 / 9 innings = $109,739 (low)
$1,234,567 / 9 innings = $137,174 (high)

Wow, I'm now even more nauseous than when I began!

dj tanner
dj tanner 4789 posts
comment no. 5

Sorry... I meant 162 not 163 in that last one. My bad.

noodles 148 posts
comment no. 6

ahh capitalism...

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