Monday, November 15, 2004

Answering Comments 2 - How the Junkees Ruin Baseball

I wrote that on April 1st, 20 teams have no shot of winning the Series because of the economics of baseball. With the Junkees buying up a team of all-stars every year, they do not allow lesser teams to compete with them. As a result, two-thirds of the teams are out of it before the season even starts. Some commentor asked me to name the teams. Fine.

A's; Blue Jays; Brewers; Devil Rays; Diamond Backs; Dodgers; Expos; Giants; Indians; Marlins; Orioles; Padres; Pirates; Rangers; Reds; Rockies; Royals; Tigers; Twins; White Sox.

And I'm being generous by not including some of the teams that may belong there, like the Mariners or Astros.

Let's think about this - these teams have no shot. The A's have a limited budget, so even if they make the playoffs, they're not getting through the first round with the middle relief pitching of the mighty Jim Mecir. Same with the Twins. They had the best pitcher in the AL last year, and couldn't close the door because the middle relievers couldn't hold down a 5-2 lead. And every year, these two teams lose players either to free agency or due to budgetary constraints. Think of all the guys who've come and gone in the Oakland organization: Johnny Damon, Keith Foulke, Jason Isringhausen, Jason Giambi (okay, they caught a break there), and of course, Miguel Tejada. Minny lost Pierzynski, Milton, and now they'll probably lose Brad Radke.

Sure, once every ten years a team like the '03 Marlins will win. Otherwise, it's a team with a hefty payroll. So there you go. Steinbrenner ruined baseball.

Did he break the rules? No. Did he help baseball? Hell no!


Anonymous said...

Your list of 20 teams is as retarded as you are.

First of all, you were asked to name the teams that CONSISTENTLY have no chance come April 1.

Sorry buddy, if you make to the playoffs in any sport recently, including baseball, you had/have a chance to win it all. So, off the top, that would eliminate:

Twins – If Peter Gammons can swallow his words on national TV regarding the Twins having no chance (no = 0%), you can. They won back to back divisional titles, they had a chance to win a Series – and still do.

Giants - Do you actually follow baseball? These guys were in the WS not two years ago. But after winning the NL pennant in 03 they have NO chance in 04? Put down the crack pipe.

A’s - How many 100 win seasons have they put together over the past few years? Two, back to back. If you can win over 100 games in either league you have a shot at a championship. Why didn’t you include the M’s? Where is the threshold over 100 wins where a team has a shot and another doesn’t? A’s win 103 games but they have NO chance while M’s win a record 116 and you’re being generous for not adding them to this list? Get real.

D-backs – Again, do you follow baseball? This organization won the WS in 2001 by bringing in big money free agents like Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. But, in your mind, this team cannot ever hope to economically compete with the Yankees – even though they beat them in seven games. Amazing.

Marlins – Um, this team has won more WS titles than any other team not called the Yankees since 1996. In fact they, in and of themselves, debunk your “once every ten years a team like the '03 Marlins will win”.

Padres – They won an NL pennant in 1998. Remember? It was the year after the Marlins won the NL pennant and WS. By your standards, I’m shocked you didn’t throw in the Mets, who won in 2000. But you wouldn’t be THAT stupid. Would you?

The fact that you actually included the above teams in a list of teams with NO CHANCE to win a title shows that you have no grasp of even recent history in baseball. Teams like the ’03 Marlins don’t happen more than once in ten years. In fact, in the nineties, the Marlins, the Reds and the Twins won once and the Blue Jays won twice.

You need to go back to math class.

Furthermore, if you are a big market franchise residing in either NY, LA, or Chicago, you have the financial resources to compete with the Yankees. I don’t care what sorry excuse that an owner like Fred Wilpon wants to shell out to suckers like you. So that would kill:

LA Dodgers: You mean to tell me Steinbrenner has more resources that Rupert Murdoch when FOX was the owner of the Dodgers? If ever an owner CHOSE not to spend money, this was it. But their choice not to spend is Steinbrenner’s fault? Riiiight.

White Sox: These guys are a lot like the Mets. Big market, high revenue stream, low baseball IQ.

Orioles: While DC/Baltimore is not the big three, it is number four. As such, until the Expos moved to DC, they occupied the largest single team market in MLB. Angelos built a team of rather expensive free agents in the late nineties which went to the AL championship in back to back seasons. They actually had the highest payroll one year – and it was a year they had one of the worst records in the league.

Of the remaining teams, there are a couple of teams where circumstances beyond the game and it’s players would preclude a serious run at a championship.

Rangers: If you’ve ever spent any time in Texas, you know that the only game in town is football. And, if it’s Dallas, the only team is the Cowboys. After August 15th baseball is a near impossible sell. Even as such, their only serious recent impediment was that they signed A-Rod to a ridiculous contract purely to attract people to the ballpark. Why they let Boras talk them into that contract, we’ll never know. But one thing’s for sure, uninformed morons like you will blame that deal on Steinbrenner.

Rockies – The pinball machine that is Coors Field will NEVER attract any quality starters. Any potential Hall of Famer will surely steer clear of this place. Not even Yankee resources would make a winner out of this team.

So that leaves us with the Brewers, Rays, Expos (Nationals), Indians, Pirates, Reds, Royals, and Tigers as long shots. The Indians have, in fact, won an AL pennant within the past 10 years, but I’ll be generous. These 8 teams are a far cry from the 20 you contend have no chance. (No = 0%) As suspected, you made an over-the-top statement you couldn’t back up. What else is new?

Out of the players you mentioned that bolted form the A’s and Twins: Johnny Damon, Keith Foulke, Jason Isringhausen, Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, AJ Pierzynski, and Eric Milton, the Yankees only signed one, Giambi, and the Red Sox signed the most – Damon and Foulke. But your brain figures that it’s Steinbrenner that’s the source of the A’s and Twins’ demise. Typical. I bet you’re one of those people who thinks Sadaam Hussein was behind 9/11.

The issue is not high payroll or low payroll. Talent costs money everywhere. Baseball is no exception. The issue is how many teams can afford to spend that don’t spend and how many could never afford the price tag of a championship in the first place. If you have a problem with payrolls, then don’t follow professional sports.

BTW, you should quit before you’re embarrassed any more. I’m not the only one that’s lit you up on this blog - even in the past week It’s one thing to spew mindless stupidity. That’s expected from someone like you. But, it’s flat out humiliating when you can’t even back it up. You show the entire baseball world just how intelligent Yankee-haters like you really are.

PS: What happened on YES last night? You were probably the only dork watching it.

The Yankee Despiser said...

All right, listen up, wise guy. I gave you 20 teams that have no shot in '04. Sure, every team has a good year once in a while. So what? How do the Reds winning the WS in 1990 help them in 2004?

"The Padres made it in 1998, so they belong off the list." Come on. Get real.

In the early '90s, the payrolls were still relatively even. Granted, some of the teams started to pull away, but it's nowhere near what it is now. And I'm discussing the now, so stop living in the past.

The problem with the payroll disparity is not just a Yankee problem. The Yankees have been the worst offenders, but even if the Red Sox are guilty, two wrongs don't make a right. Come on - a guy who murders 12 people is worse than a guy who murders one. Bad example, but you get the point. So don't tell me that because Boston spends a ton, there's nothing wrong with the Junkees doing so.

Now let's examine the teams you like to mention that have beaten the Junkees. Now I grant them '96 because they weren't crazy over the top. Now the other teams: First, the Marlins in '97 won it all because the owner brought in a ton of high-priced free agents. And what happened after they won? He discovered that he had been losing money, so he sold off all his stars and the team lost 108 games in '98. The '98 Padres weren't beating the Yankees with the Chris Gomezes of the world at shortstop and at the other positions. When you don't have unlimited funds, you have to scrimp somewhere.

The Braves in '99 and the Mets in '00 had no shot, but again, the Junkees weren't crazy over the top, so I can't go too nuts.

In '01, the D'Backs beat 'em because they, like the Yankees, brought in high-priced free agents. They couldn't keep them, so they had to shed salary and that's why they lost 111 games in '04.

The Giants made it in '02, but when their closer, Robb Nen, went down in '04, they couldn't afford to replace him, so their bullpen was in shambles all year. That probably cost them a chance of making the playoffs.

The A's and Twins won a ton of regular season games beating up on the stinky teams in the AL, but they don't have the resources to compete with New York come playoff time. Again, they have to scrimp somewhere, usually at middle relief, but often elsewhere as well.

And asking the owner to shell out more is dumb. Steinbrenner uses money that he makes from the Yankees and puts it into the team. The revenue is just not there in the other places (even Boston is maxed out at the $120 million range) and it's unfair to ask the owners to take money from their own pockets to spend. Besides, even if the Reds owner puts in an extra $20 million, he's still way, way behind the Junkees.

In football, the Giants make a ton more than the Packers just from TV ratings, but can't outspend Green Bay. The Junkees have more revenue (the TV deal, 56,000 seats versus Boston's 35,000, etc.), and it gives them an unfair advantage.

Finally, you can call me names like retard and whatever else because you know your arguments are weak, so you have to strengthen them with ad hominems. And you can live in fantasyland and say that the A's have as good a chance as New York at winning the Series every year, but the smart fans know the deal, and the truth will prevail.

Anonymous said...

Don’t cry about being called names when your entire site is predicated on name-calling. Don’t dish it out disrespect if you can’t take it in kind. You want to call the Yankees and their players names because you despise them. Well, the feeling is mutual. So, deal with it, hypocrite.

Secondly, your entire view of salary is based on a false notion:

“it's unfair to ask the owners to take money from their own pockets to spend”

What planet are you on? Money from their own pockets? You have got to be kidding. First of all, any business owner has to raise capital to compete with his competitors. That’s just capitalism. Where he gets it from (bank, relatives, mattress, trust fund) is his problem. Secondly, baseball owners in general (aside from the 8 teams I mentioned before) would be dipping into their PROFITS not their child’s college education fund. Wake up. Do you think Fred Wilpon is going to take the bus to work because he’s going to shell out 18 mil for Sosa? Steinbrenner, when he purchased the Yankees for a couple of hundred thousand dollars, sold all of his interests in all of his other businesses and put everything he had into the Yanks because he lives and breathes baseball. Steinbrenner is not the richest man in baseball by a long shot. In fact, he’s not even in the top half. But he has turned that 2-3 hundred thousand dollars into a 800 million dollar empire.

If you contend it’s not fair to ask others to spend more, I contend it’s even more unfair to ask someone to do less than their best to win. Your NFL examples are way off the mark. TV money, as well as almost every revenue stream in football is pooled and divvied up. Baseball is totally different in that each team is responsible for everything from top to bottom. Comparing Yankee Stadium to Fenway is equally ridiculous. No one but the residents of Boston are standing in the way of developing a new stadium. What? Are they supposed to chop off the upper deck of Yankee Stadium because Boston fans want to keep coming to Fenway until the place falls down? If Boston wants a bigger stadium, they can do what they need to do to get one. In fact, most Boston fans I know would rather see hell freeze over than tear down Fenway. Bad example.

“Even if the Red Sox are guilty. . .”
Fact: they are. They are the only other team over the luxury tax threshold. They bought a championship. In fact, it was mentioned earlier that they had far fewer players that were homegrown than the Yankees did on their championship teams. Pull your head out of your ass. You can’t knock the Yankees and go easy on the Sox without being a hypocrite.

The Giants
“The Giants made it in ‘02” just proves my point. They made it farther than the Yankees did. Period. No team wins every year, Yanks included.

The D-backs
They had injuries to key players is why they lost 111 games this year. It wasn’t because Schilling and others bolted. Besides, did the Yankees sign Schilling? (see “even if the Red Sox are guilty”)

Now is different than then
You say that you want to focus on the immediate present (a present where the Yankees did not win a series) even though the only reason I went back through the 90’s was because you said a team like the ’03 Marlins comes along once every 10 years. I simply illustrated that to be yet another extreme statement you cannot back up. In fact, it was such a worthless statement, you don’t even remember making it.

Past, present, or future – it doesn’t matter. You and I both know, people like you have been saying the same thing about payroll and the Yankees since they started winning. In fact, this garbage only surfaces when they ARE winning. You didn’t hear this payroll garbage in the 80’s, even though Steinbrenner was signing the likes of Henderson and Winfield to mega contracts. It’s an empty argument that goes nowhere because it’s sculpted to suit the times and will result in no changes to the structure of baseball. All it does is make it easier for you, a Mets fan, to accept losing.

George is Baseball’s Best Friend
Do you think owners actually care about how much Steinbrenner spends? Of course not, because he’s their scapegoat. They can pocket, not only their profits, but their luxury tax subsidies and their revenue sharing cash (which they do) while, at the same time, blame Steinbrenner for their failures on the field. But make no mistake, George is every owner’s best friend because he makes them all a boat-load of cash. (Just ask the owners of the Red Sox who were former partners in the Yankees) That’s why every owner wants to host the Yanks in inter-league play. The biggest payday for any team in the league is the series they host the Yankees. Owners fight with each other, not over George’s spending, but over the schedule. Owners do not care about wins and losses, they care about profits and losses. The best way for any business to post big profits is to keep their expenses down. But George is a fan’s owner. He spends money to make money. He takes the risk that Wilpon is too much of a coward (and baseball illiterate) to take and he makes the wealth because of it. And you, my friend, are nothing but a playa-hater. It is no coincidence that your sight is green, the color of envy.

The A’s and Twins
Crappy teams? The AL West has been the strongest division until the Yanks/Sox arms race. Every team has had to play the same teams and, despite the unbalanced schedule, the AL East with the likes of the Devil Rays, Blue Jays and Orioles is not a difficult division to do well in. In fact, there are more quality teams in the West and Central than in the East. Three out of four teams competed for the playoffs in the West this year as compared to 2 out of 5 in the east.

Learn the definition of English words
No shot or no chance means 0% chance. Clearly, you like to throw around extreme statements to get attention. I’m just the first person that’s going to hold you to your words. I remember vividly that there was no one in New York or Atlanta who felt the Mets did not have a chance in ’00 or the Braves in ’99. You are only saying that crap in hindsight. Once again, you pick teams, that in fact did have a shot by virtue of their performance. Any informed baseball fan, Yankee-hater or not, would concede that. Did the Red Sox have a shot in ’04? Did the Angels have a shot? How about the D-backs? By the standards you apply to the Braves and Mets, you would answer no. But yet they won, which is proof, in and of itself, that they had a greater than 0% chance to win. This is the heart of your illogical argument. They Yankees have only won 4 championships in the past 20 years. You only like recent history? OK, they have won no championships in the past three years. Therefore, others had a chance to win. You can’t have it both ways. I won’t let you.

Your partner seems to have a much better grasp of baseball and his research than you do. Hang it up and write about how Mets are going to win the NL East next year, then we’ll see how high your baseball IQ really is.

Every time you knock Steinbrenner for spending, I’ll knock Wilpon for not spending or spending un-wisely. The two teams have similar revenue streams and comparable fan bases. In fact, NYC is a National League town. People in their twenties, who have recently moved here, hop on the bandwagon and root for the Yanks. But anyone that grew up here will agree that there are more Mets fans in NY. The Mets are a classic example of a team that can afford to spend but chooses not to. Until you can defend Wilpon, you can’t offer any serious criticism of Steinbrenner.

PS: What’s on YES tonight? I know you’re gonna TiVO the hell out of it.

The Yankee Despiser said...

First of all, I don't TiVo YES. Second, I know the Mets are buffoons, but that has nothing to do with hating the Yankees. You still never argued on the fact that the low- to mid- market teams have an enormous disadvantage.

Next - the revenues are not the same in Chicago and Los Angeles. And to suggest that the Red Sox need to build a bigger stadium is asinine.

Everyone acknowledges that the Junkees have an unfair advantage.

And what would you say had the Junkees won it all these past four years? "The other teams still could have won." Nonsense. Yeah, the Devil Rays could have won, too.

That's the Junkee fan double standard right there. Even if they win 10 in a row, it's still perfectly fair.

But suppose you're right - that only ten teams have no chance of winning - is that still fair?

I propose a salary cap and revenue sharing structure similar to what the NFL has. That's why the NFL is far and away more popular than MLB - because all 32 teams know that they have a chance, so long as they play their cards right.

BTW - Arizona traded Shilling away because they needed the money, not because they thought that Casey Fossum was the next Randy Johnson. And the Junkees could have had him, but they thought that Vazquez would be better, so the genius of George is why the Red Sox got Shilling.

And if there were a salary cap, sure it would affect Boston, but I don't care. Then, if the Yankees won the Series, I'd tip my cap to them.

Anonymous said...

A salary cap will never happen in baseball, ever. The players’ union will never agree to a cap. For owners to even bring it up in collective bargaining will guarantee a work stoppage that would kill the game.

Moreover, there is no way to enforce it. Unlike football and basketball, baseball teams operate minor league franchises on the same balance sheet. You will have all types of creative financing to get around it. If you think the Bulls and Lakers pulled a fast one to load up their teams, wait until you see baseball owners cook the books.

Furthermore, as explained above, owners, for the most part, don’t care about winning or parity or any of the issues that get your panties in a twist. They care about revenue streams. The luxury tax and revenue sharing schemes currently in place give them with money for failure. Why would they give it back for the sake of parity? The KC Royals’ attendance won’t go up any further than an organization like the Arizona Cardinals. There are plenty of teams in the NFL and NBA who, in your terms, have no chance. When was the last time the Cardinals, Seahawks or Browns were in the Super Bowl? Like never. When was the last time the Knicks won a championship? Have the Atlanta Hawks even been to the NBA championship?


“the revenues are not the same in LA and Chicago”
How do you know? That’s the real issue which makes you look like the ignoramus that you are. You have no idea how much money teams make because they refuse to open their books. When the owners proposed more aggressive revenue sharing, George challenged them to open the books and prove that they are hurting financially. They all refused. They don’t want you to know how much money they are making because you would no longer fall for the poverty BS.

BTW, the Yanks DIDN’T win over the last three years. They haven’t won “ten in a row” since the Yogi Berra days, back when, according to you, things weren’t as unfair as they are today. That’s the reality. There is only one reality so deal with it.

If you don’t TiVO YES you are actually sitting there all day, binging on the Yanks. You are actually planning your life around Steinbrenner. LOL. You are even dumber than what I originally imagined. Planning your TV viewing and your writing around the very thing you despise the most. Pathetic. Very sick too, but mostly pathetic.

PS, if you are this obsessed with hating the Yanks, you would never tip your cap to them – as if they need your approval anyway.

The Yankee Despiser said...

First of all, you don't know that the revenue IS the same. And even if it is in Chicago and LA, which I highly, highly doubt, that still doesn't account for the other teams in the smaller markets.

Second, the Browns failure to win a Super Bowl is a result of bad management, not the system. That's the big difference. The Patriots win because they have good management, not because they can outspend the next team by $60 million. The A's, Twins, and Giants have shown that they have excellent management, but because they can't afford the players they want, they skimp, and they lose. You don't think if the Twins had $100 million more to spend, they'd be better than the Junkees?

Next: If not for 9/11, there would have been a strike, according to Peter Gammons. The outcome probably would have been a salary cap, but who knows. The new CBA is up in '06, and we'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, you haven't given a decent argument that the Yankees don't have a huge advantage. Silence is golden.

Anonymous said...

The question isn’t whether or not the Yanks have an advantage over the likes of Cincinnati or KC. They obviously do. It’s the nature of capitalism. It’s the same reason that someone in NYC will get paid multiple times more money for the same job as someone in Atlanta. It’s the same reason why a New Yorker’s rent is multiple times higher than someone living in Ohio.

The question is whether or not that advantage ruins baseball, as you contend. Based upon revenue flowing into MLB, obviously not.