FanDuel - WFBC

November 05, 2009

Yankees Win World Series: The New York Yankees have won their 27th World Series, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 in game 6 behind Hideki Matsui's world-record-tying 6 RBI. Matsui, whose seven-year, $73 million contract has run out, won the MVP after hitting 8-for-13 in the series with 3 home runs and 8 RBI. "We needed this World Series win," writes Joanna Malloy of the New York Daily News. "Those without health insurance, who pay medical bills out of their dwindling savings. Those who trusted the pumped-up muscle of Wall Street, only to see it go as flaccid and tremulous as an unreliable old wrestler with bad habits." Team owner George Steinbrenner was not on hand, watching it from his home in Tampa.

posted by rcade to baseball at 06:50 AM - 102 comments

"People ask me what I do in the winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." -- Rogers Hornsby

posted by rcade at 07:03 AM on November 05

The Malloy comments attempting to link the Yankees to larger issues are clueless and insulting.

A more accurate link would have been between the Yankees' payroll and the bailout money issued to the financial services sector.

The Yankees spend large and roll on, in step with continuing excesses and outrages at firms that accepted government funding.

There is nothing rewarding or redeeming in any of it.

The everyday people she's referring to that have to find a way to struggle on despite all odds? That's not the Yankees, for god's sake.

If anything, it's the Royals or the Pirates.

In an economic situation like the current one, anyone who draws comparisons between any aspect of MLB and the difficulties of average Americans is giving themselves a cranial colonic.

posted by beaverboard at 08:32 AM on November 05

I didn't realize before reading Malloy's column that New York feels exceptionally burdened by the recession. I thought Florida and California had it worse because our real estate markets are so thoroughly in the toilet.

But if you're rolling with the big dogs in New York, as I'm guessing Malloy is, the loss of so many Wall Street jobs would loom large in your world.

As for the Series, I hate it when the Yankees spend their money well. This could be the start of another multi-title run for them. The wonderful argument we were having about whether Cliff Lee should have started game 7 is officially shot to hell.

posted by rcade at 08:57 AM on November 05

Nice to see that after 9 long years, George was finally able to buy that next world series title.

Best thing that the Yankees do for city of NY is the massive amount of tax that their players probably have to pay on those exorbitant incomes.

posted by graymatters at 10:00 AM on November 05

The everyday people she's referring to that have to find a way to struggle on despite all odds? That's not the Yankees, for god's sake.

I'd bet that there are just as many poor and unemployed Yankee FANS as there are fans of any other team. And for these fans, the win was a brief bit of good news.

posted by cjets at 10:04 AM on November 05

Maybe if Steinbrenner had not screwed the city out of several hundred million dollars with the property assessments of the land he built the stadium on, they would not be so bad off.

posted by Debo270 at 10:10 AM on November 05

Nice to see that after 9 long years, George was finally able to buy that next world series title.

I'm no fan of the Yanks but what is so wrong with a team that spends big in order to win big? You have to respect the fact that at least they're willing to pay (and sometimes over pay) to be the last team standing and winning it all.

Spending tons of money doesn't always mean that they'll be the World Series champs as we all can attest to but I'm just glad that it wasn't the Phillies that won it again.

posted by BornIcon at 10:13 AM on November 05

Wow, look at all the Hate Trolls coming out again. good to see you again boys. I'll look forward another rewarding winter of the same ole same ole.

"Yankees buying another one one blah blah blah..."

The Royals can spend the money they just DONT.

Anyway, Congrats to the Phils. You guys are are a great team and a class act who played a great series. I hope to see you again this time next year:)

How bout some troll food for the winter? Cashman signs Utley to a huge contract in the offseason? Heh Heh Heh.

posted by firecop at 10:13 AM on November 05

Well, it was legitimately depressing to see empty seats behind home plate for the entire game.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:13 AM on November 05

Hate to see Cashman get slapped for tampering, given Utley's signed through 2014. Congrats to the Yanks, who were a juggernaut from May onwards. I just wish things had gone better for Pedro last night, but it wasn't meant to be; too cold, too old.

posted by yerfatma at 10:27 AM on November 05

The Royals can spend the money they just DONT.

What planet are you living on? The Kansas City Royals are not spending $130 million less than the Yankees on their players out of choice.

The Yankees are a terrific team and a worthy champion. But fans of the team should admit that maybe, quite possibly, the massive financial advantage of the team plays a role in that.

posted by rcade at 10:57 AM on November 05

I understand why small market teams can't spend that kind of money. I don't understand why the Mets, Dodgers, Cubs and teams in other big markets can't spend money. Are the Yankees super profitable because they are always in contention or are they always in contention because they are super profitable?

posted by bperk at 11:02 AM on November 05

Well, Joanna Malloy's article is obviously something of a homer piece and probably not intended for the eyes of the non-Yankees faithful. But all-in-all I found the Yankees players to be pretty classy in victory. My heart was with the Phillies this year, but a Yankees World Series win seems as steady as time.

Speaking of trolls, dude, seriously.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:04 AM on November 05

The Kansas City Royals are not spending $130 million less than the Yankees on their players out of choice.

The Pirates are!!!!!!

posted by Debo270 at 11:05 AM on November 05

This is a pretty likable Yankees team, so no complaints there. I also think that after nine years, it was time that the rest of the league's fans had a more contemporary reason to hate their success.

posted by rcade at 11:08 AM on November 05

I don't understand why the Mets, Dodgers, Cubs and teams in other big markets can't spend money.

The Mets claim that they lost a bundle to Madoff. Frank McCourt leveraged everything he owned to buy the Dodgers (and now with the divorce the Dodgers are really f**ked). The Cubs? I don't know. Didn't they just get sold by the Tribune?

posted by cjets at 11:17 AM on November 05

But fans of the team should admit that maybe, quite possibly, the massive financial advantage of the team plays a role in that.

I think many Yankee fans will admit that. What they won't admit is the Yankees are doing something wrong. The Yankees make a massive amount of money and reinvest it in the team. Would you prefer that the Steinbrenners hoard it instead?

I'd agree that there is a financial imbalance in MLB. But it's a systemic problem that needs to be addressed by MLB, not by the Yankees.

One of the reasons that the NFL is so popular is the salary cap and revenue sharing. Any team, regardless of market size, has a legitimate opportunity to win the super bowl.

posted by cjets at 11:29 AM on November 05

Would you prefer that the Steinbrenners hoard it instead?

I think I would prefer real revenue sharing. But I will grant that the oppressive might of the Yankees is good television, and I'm not sure that a league where everyone is equal would be as entertaining.

posted by rcade at 11:42 AM on November 05

I just wish things had gone better for Pedro last night, but it wasn't meant to be; too cold, too old.

How cold was it last night? I saw the game, but there was no sound, and I never got the impression it was cold out.

posted by tron7 at 11:45 AM on November 05

One of the reasons that the NFL is so popular is the salary cap and revenue sharing. Any team, regardless of market size, has a legitimate opportunity to win the super bowl.

The NFL would like you to believe that, but it's not true. The salary cap holds down player salaries. The bulk of team revenue comes from national TV contracts which they all split equally. Additionally, they NFL splits gate receipts pretty evenly. So that all means teams are closer to even footing, but try telling Bills fans they have just as much chance as the Giants.

posted by yerfatma at 11:46 AM on November 05

I'd bet that there are just as many poor and unemployed Yankee FANS as there are fans of any other team. And for these fans, the win was a brief bit of good news.

I took one of my unemployed friends to the game last night. It's more than a brief bit of good news for him. Now we have some fodder when we invade Philly in January for the MLS draft.

How cold was it last night? I saw the game, but there was no sound, and I never got the impression it was cold out.

Low to mid 40s I think. But at times it felt colder than that.

posted by goddam at 11:53 AM on November 05

What planet are you living on? The Kansas City Royals are not spending $130 million less than the Yankees on their players out of choice.

The Yankees are a terrific team and a worthy champion. But fans of the team should admit that maybe, quite possibly, the massive financial advantage of the team plays a role in that.

130 Million in today's day and age is nothing when compared to the money the owners of proffessional sports teams can make. The Steinbrenners have been spending for decades and they can because their franchise is healthy. It's healthy because people WANT to buy Yankees merchandise and watch Yankee games. The Yankees measure themselves by the number of Championships they win while "some" other clubs are happy to settle for Division titles and/or playoff appearances and an occasional Championship. Based on Market Size alone the SF Giants COULD spend dollar for dollar with the Yankees right now and DONT.

I for one would rather be the fan of a team willing to spend money on talent than lamenting my tightwad owners lack of concern for their fans season after season.

posted by firecop at 11:53 AM on November 05

I think I would prefer real revenue sharing.

Agreed.

The bulk of team revenue comes from national TV contracts which they all split equally. Additionally, they NFL splits gate receipts pretty evenly. So that all means teams are closer to even footing, but try telling Bills fans they have just as much chance as the Giants.

You seem to be making my argument for me regarding the revenue sharing. And why don't the Bills have as much chance as the Giants? I think team management is much more important than a big market-small market difference.

I think a more fitting comparison is the world champion Steelers and the perennial also-ran Pirates.

posted by cjets at 12:04 PM on November 05

Congrats to the Yankees and their fans. It's amazing to me a team could win the pennant in nearly 40% of years possible in the modern era, and win over a quarter of all world series played. Assembled with truckloads of money or not, they still had to play the game.

Makes me wonder how they won all of those championships before TV, free agency and revenue sharing played such a big role.

posted by smithnyiu at 12:31 PM on November 05

Makes me wonder how they won all of those championships before TV, free agency and revenue sharing played such a big role.

Between 1903 and 1968, the postseason consisted of a single round (the World Series), so the Yankees 'only' had to win the Pennant (win their division), and then best their opponent in a best of 7 (or 9!) series.

posted by mikemacman at 01:01 PM on November 05

You seem to be making my argument for me regarding the revenue sharing.

Don't misunderstand, I agree with your larger point, I just would say it's the revenue sharing and not the salary cap that makes the league even. (Even without a cap, Daniel Snyder would make a mess in DC). As for your Steelers/ Bucs comparison, I think we can put that down as coincidence, unless your theory also encompasses why the Royals and Chiefs are equally inept.

posted by yerfatma at 01:01 PM on November 05

I just would say it's the revenue sharing and not the salary cap that makes the league even

I'd suggest that the revenue sharing and the salary cap go hand in hand. And without a salary cap, you could have the big market teams dominate the league (with the exception of Dan Snyder, of course).

I'd further suggest that the successful teams are the ones with great team management. The Rooneys, for example. Or the Patriots since Kraft purchased them. OTOH, the Redskins are supposedly the highest valued team in the NFL, yet what does that get them?.

unless your theory also encompasses why the Royals and Chiefs are equally inept.

In the fifteen years since the salary cap was instituted, The Chiefs have had a winning record 8 of those years and have made the playoffs 5 of those years (and made it as recently as 2006). The reason the Chiefs stink now has a lot more to do with team management than the fact that it is a small market city. I'd bet that the Chiefs make the playoffs again in the next 5-7 years. That would be extremely unlikely for the Royals. So I'd suggest the coincidence is the Royals and Chiefs both playing poorly, not the disparity between the Steelers and the Bucs.

posted by cjets at 01:41 PM on November 05

Would anybody really dislike it if their team spent this kind of money??? I don't think so. I am not a Yankees fan, but all this payroll griping smells of envy to me.

I am a Royals fan, our owner could spend that kind of money, he doesn't, & i wish he would. I would like to buy championships & not lose 100 games every year.

Winning is fun. The Yankees played within league rules (financially speaking), & won. Why they should have to shoulder an additional level of moral obligation that no one would hate if it was their team spending like that is silly to me.

posted by brainofdtrain at 02:18 PM on November 05

One of the reasons that the NFL is so popular is the salary cap and revenue sharing. Any team, regardless of market size, has a legitimate opportunity to win the super bowl.

Popular does not equal better. The NFL is a mediocre shell of its former self because of the parity and the salary cap. It's barely watchable now, if you appreciate quality in your sports.

And if you lose a key starter, your season is finished because you can't afford to pay good bench players.

The Malloy comments attempting to link the Yankees to larger issues are clueless and insulting.

I know. Could that be a more "sour grapes" post? They play by the rules. They don't pocket their profits. Don't whine to me about your team. If the Rays can make it to the World Series, so can your team.

The Yankees are the best team in baseball. They beat "the holders" (as they say in soccer), the defending champs.

They play outstanding defense. A-Rod is a wonderful third baseman, Cano is spectacular and Texiera is state-of-the-art.

And now you've got an Alex Rodriguez in a very good place mentally going into next spring. The possibilities for this man in 2010 and beyond are frightening. He will no doubt become the greatest baseball player ever.

And he's a Yankee.

27

posted by JButton at 02:27 PM on November 05

Well, New York has their 27th World Series championship, among a bunch of other sporting titles. And it is arguably the most dynamic, exciting and vibrant cities in the world.

But it doesn't have this. (At least I don't think it does.)

Mariners in 2010. (Even I have to laugh at that.)

posted by THX-1138 at 02:49 PM on November 05

I'm no fan of the Yanks but what is so wrong with a team that spends big in order to win big?

Not a thing. My comment about taking 9 years to buy a world series was merely that - a comment. If they got the money, there is no reason that they should not spend it to buy up the best players they can.

However, I think a lot of people would agree with me (at least those that are not Yankee fans, and I am not a Yankee fan but not a Yankee hater either) that there is a certain amount of satisfaction when the highest paid team and players do not win, regardless of the sport.

Most Yankee fans seem to think that if you are not a Yankee fan then you must be a Yankee hater. There are those of us who view the Yankees as just what they are: just another team in the league that our favorite team must compete against.

posted by graymatters at 02:54 PM on November 05

The NFL is a mediocre shell of its former self because of the parity and the salary cap.

Actually, the NFL is one of the most popular sports out there and if you believe it to be "a mediocre shell of its former self because of the parity and the salary cap", IMO you're sadly mistaken.

The only gripe that I have with the NFL is that they're becoming too soft with throwing a flag if a QB is hit after throwing the ball. it's just becoming too much like two hand touch football.

posted by BornIcon at 03:35 PM on November 05

How long has Don Mattingly been away from the Yankees? Just wondering how long it took his curse to dissipate...

posted by MeatSaber at 03:40 PM on November 05

The Yankees are spending a lot of salary money, yes, but they do spend their money wisely considering the goal is to win championships and they've won 27 of them.

How much have the Cubs spent since 1908? How much did the Red Sox spend from 1918 to 2004?

posted by mr_crash_davis at 03:40 PM on November 05

From a Red Sox fan, genuine congratulations to the Yankees who absolutely earned the win this year - and also props to the Phillies who proved once again that they are the best team in the NL.

Special congrats to the much maligned A-Rod who finally gets a World Series Ring. Dude is a basket case, but damn can he play ball.

That said, just wait 'til next year!

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:42 PM on November 05

THX-1138: But it doesn't have this. (At least I don't think it does.)

Well, New York doesn't have anything like that, but London has this.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:44 PM on November 05

by gray matter:

Nice to see that after 9 long years, George was finally able to buy that next world series title.

Best thing that the Yankees do for city of NY is the massive amount of tax that their players probably have to pay on those exorbitant incomes.

"Most Yankee fans seem to think that if you are not a Yankee fan then you must be a Yankee hater."

Sorry gray but your first statement sounds EXACTLY like a Yankee Hater with your sour grapes. Be a hater, that's fine, were used to it but at least own it.

Meanwhile I'm going to do my part to ensure the appropriate funding funding to "buy" next years Championship. I think a Division, League Champ and World Champ hat are in order.

posted by firecop at 03:53 PM on November 05

How much have the Cubs spent since 1908? How much did the Red Sox spend from 1918 to 2004? posted by mr_crash_davis

You're mixing two different eras that have nothing in common since free agency came into play. Up until the 2000s the yankees were not that different in payroll, much more inline with the the league curve. In 1999 they were only a little over 10 million above the next highest paying ball club.

Since 2001? The yankees have spent 500 million more than the red sox, and have won half as many championships (2001-2009 yankees: 1,578,299,197; 2001-2009 red sox: 1,087,054,090) as the red sox.

Since 2001, the yankees have outspent the marlins by 1.2 billion dollars and won the same number of championships as the marlins did during that time.(2001-2009 yankees: 1,578,299,197; 2001-2009 marlins: 332,995,293.

Actually, the NFL is one of the most popular sports out there

Popularity does not necessarily correlate with quality. Kenny G is one of the top selling 'jazz' musicians alive and he pretty much sucks.

Wow, look at all the Hate Trolls coming out again. good to see you again boys. I'll look forward another rewarding winter of the same ole same ole.

Firecop, trolling is a bannable offense on sportsfilter. I'm not sure you understand what trolling is, and I don't see any, though you're coming pretty close. So feel free to call people haterz (I'm a big fan of MTV too) but lay off on calling people trolls.

posted by justgary at 04:13 PM on November 05

Sorry gray but your first statement sounds EXACTLY like a Yankee Hater with your sour grapes. Be a hater, that's fine, were used to it but at least own it.

Thanks for confirming my point.

posted by graymatters at 04:16 PM on November 05

How long has Don Mattingly been away from the Yankees? Just wondering how long it took his curse to dissipate...

posted by MeatSaber at 03:40 PM on November 05

Just so you know, Donny Baseballs last season was 1995. The Yankees have 5 world series rings since then. What exactly is your point?

posted by pullmyfinger at 04:35 PM on November 05

I haven't had a chance to sit down and gather my thoughts, but as usual, Joe Posnanski nails it for me:

You have one team (and only one team) playing the video game on cheat-mode.

This is much starker than people think, by the way. I quickly went back and looked at the numbers before writing my column for SI.com, and I'm going to reprint them here because even as someone who has also grown sick of hearing about the Yankees payroll, I found them to be stunning:

In 2002, the Yankees spent $17 million more in payroll than any other team. In 2003, the Yankees spent $35 million more in payroll than any other team.

In 2004, the Yankees spent $57 million more in payroll than any other team. I mean, it's ridiculous from the start but this is pure absurdity. Basically, this is like the Yankees saying: "OK, let's spend exactly as much as the second-highest payroll in baseball. OK, we're spending exactly as much. And now let's add the Oakland A's. No, I mean let's add their whole team, the whole payroll, add it on top and let's play some ball!"

In 2005, the Yankees spent $85 million more than any other team. Not a misprint. Eight five. In 2006, the Yankees spent $74 million more than any other team. In 2007, the Yankees spent $40 million more than any other team cutbacks, you know. In 2008, the Yankees spent $72 million more than any other team. In 2009, the Yankees spent $52 million more than any other team.

---

There's something else that people say: They talk about how money doesn't guarantee wins. And they point out that other teams (the Mets, the Cubs, the Astros, etc.) spend a lot of money and don't win. I think this actually makes for an interesting argument if you want to talk about the inequities of baseball big markets, small markets, all that.

But the Yankees are a whole different argument. They are their own argument. The Yankees are not a big market team. They DWARF big market teams. They are quantitatively different from every other team in baseball and every other team in American sports. They don't just spend more money than every other team. They spend A LOT more money than every other team. The Boston Red Sox spend $50 million more than the Kansas City Royals? Who cares? The Yankees spend $80 million more than the Boston Red Sox.

---

This is the way baseball is structured, and we have reached a point where people simply don't want to hear any griping about it. Don't like it? Don't watch. Some people have stopped watching, I suppose. But many of us keep on because we love baseball and there's enough randomness in the game itself and enough volatility in the playoffs to distract us from the lunacy of having the game so ridiculously tilted toward one team.

The trouble is that, inevitably, that one team will make good choices. They will put together a team of All-Stars. They will sign a dominant left-handed starter and slugging switch-hitting Gold Glove first baseman and a right-handed starter who throws curveballs that bend like wiffle balls. That team will be a remarkable collection of stars, and they will play often beautiful baseball, and they will win more games than any other team during the season. That team will roll through the playoffs without facing an elimination game or anything resembling real drama though there will be constant efforts to make it SEEM like there's drama.

And then: That team that spent $50 million more than any other team, that team with three sure Hall of Famers and as many as four others, that team that bought Milwaukee's best pitcher and Anaheim's best hitter and Toronto's No. 2 starter and Boston's favorite Idiot and the most expensive player in the history of baseball and so on, that team will win the World Series, and spray champagne on each other, and they will tell you that they won because they came together as a group and kept pulling themselves off the ground and didn't listen to the doubters.

The rest of the article is dead on also, but I suppose I've copied and pasted enough.

Just so you know, Donny Baseballs last season was 1995. The Yankees have 5 world series rings since then. What exactly is your point? posted by pullmyfinger

You might want to google 'curse of don mattingly' and then comment when you're not in the dark.

posted by justgary at 04:41 PM on November 05

"Those without health insurance, who pay medical bills out of their dwindling savings. Those who trusted the pumped-up muscle of Wall Street, only to see it go as flaccid and tremulous as an unreliable old wrestler with bad habits."

Erm... What?

Baseball. Love the sport. Hate MLB. Well not so much "hate MLB" as "hate TV coverage with endless ads and asinine commentary rendering it unwatchable."

If I could get a channel where I could watch baseball without commentary and without commercials, I would gladly pay for that.

If MLB TV ever offered a "Shut the idiot commentators up" feature they'd have me hooked for life.

posted by Drood at 05:09 PM on November 05

Great read, justgary. Thanks.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:11 PM on November 05

My TivoHD screws up sometimes and plays live football and baseball games with the field audio but none of the booth audio. It's incredible. You get a lot less information, but it feels like you're at the event.

posted by rcade at 05:11 PM on November 05

Wow really? I'm going to get banned for my considerably mild post?

Then DO IT.

I've been reading and posting in this forum for more than two years and I have read some seriously graphic and hateful stuff that didnt result in a ban (see the pre ban Bishop era). To be specific I didnt call any one person a Troll. I made mention that I thought they would come out as expected and they did and will. I liked this forum because people could speak their mind, if those days are gone then ban me since I wont be back anyway. LAME...

posted by firecop at 05:18 PM on November 05

I think justgary was saying that there are no trolls in this thread because they were all banned, so please don't call people trolls. It's not a word to take lightly, is all.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:41 PM on November 05

I made mention that I thought they would come out as expected and they did and will. I liked this forum because people could speak their mind, if those days are gone then ban me since I wont be back anyway. LAME...

I'm curious what you believe a troll to be? Discussing the yankees winning the world series and not team salaries is impossible. That's not trolling. Disagreeing with you is not trolling. I'm not trying to shut you up, I wasn't threatening to ban you. I'm simply asking you not to accuse others of trolling. If you have any questions just email me.

posted by justgary at 06:00 PM on November 05

You have one team (and only one team) playing the video game on cheat-mode.

As I said earlier, I think baseball should have more revenue sharing as well as a salary cap.

But that being said, how are the Yankees cheating? Because they spend way more money than other teams? Where in the MLB by-laws is that illegal?

As I also said earlier, this is a systemic problem. I think that you have a point. I just think the problem lies with the MLB, not with the Yankees.

And until MLB changes its rules to allow for a more even playing field, why shouldn't they do everything they can to win the World Series every year?

In 2004, the Yankees spent $57 million more in payroll than any other team. I mean, it's ridiculous from the start but this is pure absurdity. Basically, this is like the Yankees saying: "OK, let's spend exactly as much as the second-highest payroll in baseball. OK, we're spending exactly as much. And now let's add the Oakland A's. No, I mean let's add their whole team, the whole payroll, add it on top and let's play some ball!"

In 2005, the Yankees spent $85 million more than any other team. Not a misprint. Eight five. In 2006, the Yankees spent $74 million more than any other team. In 2007, the Yankees spent $40 million more than any other team cutbacks, you know. In 2008, the Yankees spent $72 million more than any other team. In 2009, the Yankees spent $52 million more than any other team.

And yet, with all that spending, the Yankees couldn't get out of the ALDS in 2005-2007 and didn't even make the playoffs in 2008, so all that money doesn't always buy championships.

posted by cjets at 06:07 PM on November 05

This thread existed for almost two hours before someone had to make a comment that offered not the least congratulations to the winners, not the least acknowledgment of their excellent performance, but that sought to diminish it. One might be tempted to think that the "almost two hours" part reflects well on SportsFilter, but it doesn't look quite so good when you realize that the thread was created at 6:50 AM EST, and that the comment I'm talking about was the first comment not made by the FPPoster.

You know what? I'm tired of trying to make allowances for the bitterness of fans of every team that doesn't start with a Y. I'm tired of your lying to yourselves about why the Yankees win and why their fans like them. I'm tired of you telling me why I cheer for the team that I've cheered for since I was a small child. I hope the Yankees win another 27 championships -- within the next 30 years, how about that? -- and stuff it down your throats.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:12 PM on November 05

I appreciate the fact that the Yankees have their fans, LBB, but I don't think it's fair to call people liars for acknowledging the elephant in the room. It's hard to separate the excellence of the team from the unprecedented monetary disparity between the team's payroll and everyone else's.

I think it cheapens the accomplishments of a team to have such a giant financial advantage over everyone else. So good on them in winning another Series -- the nine-year drought shows how hard that is -- but bad on the league for not balancing things out better.

posted by rcade at 06:20 PM on November 05

Congrats to the Yanks! They took it to the Phils.

+1 on Kenny G

posted by lab at 06:20 PM on November 05

But that being said, how are the Yankees cheating?

I don't think anyone is saying they are cheating as in breaking the rules, but they're saying that the present situation is unfair. Do you believe it is fair for one team in a professional sport to spend $80 to $130 million more than each of the other teams in the league?

posted by rcade at 06:23 PM on November 05

You know what?

chicken butt

LBB, the Yankees won. You should still have a 6 beer buzz working.

I'm tired of trying to make allowances for the bitterness of fans of every team that doesn't start with a Y.

Go Youngstown Phantoms! We're #1!

posted by smithnyiu at 06:38 PM on November 05

I don't think anyone is saying they are cheating as in breaking the rules, but they're saying that the present situation is unfair.

Here's the quote I pulled from the Posnanski article: You have one team (and only one team) playing the video game on cheat-mode.

It sure sounds like he's calling them cheaters. And I agree that the situation is unfair. But the emphasis should be on MLB for allowing this, not the Yankees.

posted by cjets at 06:42 PM on November 05

It sure sounds like he's calling them cheaters.

Maybe, maybe not. Cheat mode isn't really cheating in videogames -- it's exploiting a special advantage.

posted by rcade at 06:46 PM on November 05

This thread existed for almost two hours before someone had to make a comment that offered not the least congratulations to the winners, not the least acknowledgment of their excellent performance, but that sought to diminish it.

I looked at the 2004 Red Sox championship thread, you know, the one where I finally knew I wouldn't die without seeing them win it all, and I saw no congrats signed by lil brown bat. You did however, write a couple of comments hoping the sox fans wouldn't riot.

So your words ring a little hollow.

(you did offer congrats in 2007.)

posted by justgary at 06:49 PM on November 05

Maybe, maybe not. Cheat mode isn't really cheating in videogames -- it's exploiting a special advantage.

OK. I think Posnanski wants to have his cake and eat it too. But I see your point. Let me take it a step further.

I think that the Yankes should be commended for making a commitment to winning the world series every year. Isn't that what every fan wants? To sign every great free agent? Wouldn't they be betraying their fans if they didn't "exploit their special advantage?"

Would you rather they were buying up adjoining Malibu mansions (the McCourts) or paying for divorce attorneys (The McCourts again) or investing with Bernie Madoff (The Mets) or investing their money in their team?

Don't get me wrong. Baseball needs more revenue sharing and a salary cap. But until that time, I don't think the Yankees can be faulted for spending like champions.

posted by cjets at 07:55 PM on November 05

The Yankees signed the top 3 free agents over the off season to hopefully christen the new stadium with a championship (and get it done before big George bites the dust). They did it completely within the rules of MLB, and in that way, mission accomplished.

But the phillies also have themselves to blame. Werth being picked off first. Not covering 3rd and allowing Damon to steal two bases. Victorino misjudging a flyball last night. Mistake after mistake. Not even including Pedro being allowed to face Matsui with an 85 mph fastball.

But they weren't going to win with 3 runs anyway. I thought it was a pretty pathetic performance by the Phillies outside of Lee and Utley. They deserved to lose.

Assembled with truckloads of money or not, they still had to play the game.
posted by smithnyiu

I'm not even sure what this means. It reads like a players favorite cliche. "We're gonna play one game at a time". Well, duh, You kind of have to. And of course they still have to play the game. They'd still have to play the game if the Yankees spent 500 million, or played St. Marys School of the Blind. The fact that they have to still play the game doesn't nullify the financial advantage.

My favorite paragraph from the Posnanski piece:

So you have this sport that tends to equalize teams. That helps blur the dominance of the Yankees. If the New England Patriots were allowed to spend $50 million more on players than any other team, they would go 15-1 or 16-0 every single year. And people would not stand for it. But in baseball, a great and dominant team might only win 95 out of 160, and it doesn't seem so bad.

And I think that's one reason it's easier to ignore the payroll discrepancy. But playing the yankees and considering them 'just another team in the league that our favorite team must compete against' is ignoring the elephant in the room. Your team isn't playing just another team, and it's ignoring the obvious to think otherwise (not caring is another thing altogether).

It's not up to the Yankees to trim payroll. It's not up to Yankee fans to care how large the payroll gets. It's up to the league to make sure the game is competitive. But as long as MLB makes money, and with the Yankees being loved and hated by nearly everyone they're the golden goose, that's not going to happen. Until (most) fans realize that they're supporting a team that has little to no chance of winning (look at the teams that made the playoffs. High majority large payroll teams) and stop going to the ballpark, nothing will change.

Believing that most cities could spend the amount the Yankees do is flat out delusional. And I can see why most teams don't try. It's not as simple as increasing payroll, because there's no guarantee that the Yankees won't spend more. Does anyone really believe the Yankee ceiling is 200 million? The Yankees will get who they want, regardless. Most teams can't compete, and I see no incentive without a salary cap.

I know Yankee fans get tired of the payroll debate, but I think it's a legitmate issue. I know we've lost good sportsfilter members that get tired of it. On the other side you can go to a Yankee forum and you will see almost no mention of payroll, like the advantage doesn't exist; everyone's on a level playing field.

The reason I linked the Posnanski is not only because I think he has strong points, but if anyone has read his blog they'll know he hasn't shown any hatred towards the Yankees. He's a Royals fan.

Labeling everyone 'haters' because they'd like a more competitive league is nonsense. And it seems to me, that if someone is a baseball fan first, before a Red Sox, Yankee, Royal, Twin fan, they'd be interested in a league filled with teams that, in a realistic sense, have a chance on opening day.

The Yankees won't win 27 championships out of the next 30, of course. And that's good for the Yankees, because the irony is that the Yankees need to lose to give any meaning to their championships. It's the only way to point at the payroll discrepancy and say 'see, you can't buy a championship'. It's aura and history and chemistry. They have baseball to thank for that.

posted by justgary at 08:06 PM on November 05

I think Posnanski wants to have his cake and eat it too.

I don't see that at all. I don't see anywhere in the article where he's calling the Yankees cheaters or placing blame on New York. He didn't even tackle how to solve it.

He's simply giving the current state of competitiveness in baseball.

posted by justgary at 08:10 PM on November 05

Assembled with truckloads of money or not, they still had to play the game. posted by smithnyiu

I'm not even sure what this means.

It was meant to be a compliment. I don't give many of them, but I was truly impressed by the way the 09 Yankees lived up to the level of expectation that was put on them in April. They have been for decades the best team money can buy. That is a tremendous amount of pressure, and it's hard to perform as a team under pressure like that. But they found a way to do it this year, and have fun doing it. Paying ARod (et al) what they did didn't make him hit better, it just put a great hitter in place. And until this year, he wasn't the best hitter in baseball when it mattered.

posted by smithnyiu at 08:39 PM on November 05

It's hard to separate the excellence of the team from the unprecedented monetary disparity between the team's payroll and everyone else's.

Yes. It's hard to separate the excellence of the team from the fact that they are close to the only team going about it an honest way.

The Yankees do spend more money than other teams in MLB, but the differences would be less drastic if the payrolls of many teams had been rising up to the waves of new cash that have entered baseball in recent years. Going by the NFL formula, very generous considering the MLBPA is far more powerful an entity than any other union in sports, the payroll floor for 2009 would almost certainly be in the $100 million range. 58% of league revenue, as the players in NFL get, would be, in baseball, an average team payroll of a hair under $120 million. It's pretty clear that while the Yankees are outspending everyone comfortably, the rest of baseball has just as much to do with the payroll disparity as the Yankees do.

The Yankees paid the "small-market clubs" $26.9 million this year. Find out where that money went, then explain how MORE revenue sharing is any kind of solution.

posted by EnglishSpin at 08:49 PM on November 05

They have been for decades the best team money can buy.

I guess I understand you (honestly, not trying to be thick). I'm not sure how much of a compliment playing up to their abilities is. They didn't choke, I agree. I mean, if you have to choose between a team with average talent and team with great talent, go with the great talent. It's easier to overcome pressure than a lack of talent.

They have been for decades the best team money can buy.

Not decades. This is relatively new (2000 on). And they've spend the most money, they haven't had the best team. There's a difference. This year they did, and yes, they played like it.

and have fun doing it

Winning is fun, yes. I promise the Red Sox had much more fun on the field this year than the Royals.

Paying ARod (et al) what they did didn't make him hit better, it just put a great hitter in place. And until this year, he wasn't the best hitter in baseball when it mattered.

Again, I'm not sure what to think of this. They put all these great hitters in place, but paying them all that money didn't make them hit? Great players hit great no matter what you pay them. But you've got to pay them to get them.

As far as ARod, his playoff OPS is .977. Jeter's is .863. ARod has performed better in the post season. Only using a small sample size (very recently) backs up the whole ARod isn't clutch idea.

posted by justgary at 09:04 PM on November 05

They put all these great hitters in place, but paying them all that money didn't make them hit? Great players hit great no matter what you pay them. But you've got to pay them to get them.

justgary, I think we're both saying the same thing. But can you honestly say last year's team was worse on paper than the Rays? When you pay a great player more, you can probably make a case that there are some that thrive in that attention and expectation, and some turn into Kenny Fucking Powers.

posted by smithnyiu at 09:18 PM on November 05

The Yankees paid the "small-market clubs" $26.9 million this year. Find out where that money went, then explain how MORE revenue sharing is any kind of solution.

Establish a salary cap with a reasonable floor as well as a maximum and that should solve that problem.

posted by cjets at 10:08 PM on November 05

But they found a way to do it this year, and have fun doing it.

See Point V of the Official DrJohnEvans SpoFi Platform.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:09 PM on November 05

Establish a salary cap with a reasonable floor as well as a maximum and that should solve that problem.

I don't see how a salary floor will accomplish anything beyond ensuring that the pay scale for talent gets completely thrown out the window.

See Point V of the Official DrJohnEvans SpoFi Platform.

This assumes a cause/effect without examining the possibility of it working in reverse, but yours is clearly a popular point here and an easy one to derail onto. Even given that you're right, a casual examination of the history of the Yankees should illustrate that "have fun doing it" is a meaningful distinction from other of their championship teams.

posted by EnglishSpin at 11:22 PM on November 05

At my son's football game tonight, some guy shows up wearing a Jeter jersey...he got booed. Seems as though there's a pretty widespread dislike of the Yankees down here, or maybe they just hate Jeter.

Personally, I don't think the Yankees cheated, I just feel that the payroll disparity cheapens the win. It's like having the 16 year old playing in the Little League game...yea, you won, but you should have won, big deal. I don't ever recall any other team winning a championship in any sport, and not really being given their due respect for doing so. Everyone I've talked to (have not talked to single person from NY) is pretty much going "whatever, of course they won, look at the payroll"

Kudo's to Steinbrenner for paying the bucks to get it done.

posted by dviking at 11:43 PM on November 05

yours is clearly a popular point here

But not other places where smart people actually think about things?

a casual examination of the history of the Yankees should illustrate that "have fun doing it" is a meaningful distinction from other of their championship teams

So the run in the late 90s was all business? Paul O'Neill and Scott Brosius lobbied to change the team unis to bespoke Saville Row pinstripe suits? Also, throwing the word "casual" in there is a less-than-subtle "Fuck you" that would have been best left thought but unsaid.

posted by yerfatma at 07:36 AM on November 06

Establish a salary cap with a reasonable floor as well as a maximum and that should solve that problem.

A salary floor is just going to lead to silliness where the Royals/Marlins/Pirates sign some aging/useless veteran outfielder for WAY over market value, just because they HAVE to.

"Mr Griffey, I know you want to retire, but we're $8 million short of the floor. Can you do us a favour and play for us this year for that amount?"

Personally, I don't think the Yankees cheated, I just feel that the payroll disparity cheapens the win.

I used to let that eat me up as well (being a Jays fan), but the difference this year compared to the previous 8 seasons is that they spent their money wisely this time.

I didn't really care when they were blowing cash on bad investment (Wright, Pavano, Igawa). But they've spent it on GREAT players this time (CC, Tex).

Of course, the single biggest advantage the Yankees have had since 1995 is that their "core four" (Posada, Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte (although he left and came back)) have performed amazingly well for 15 seasons. It's really hard to find any teams since free agency that can claim to have had that sort of reliability in that many players for that long.

posted by grum@work at 08:13 AM on November 06

The Yankees won't win 27 championships out of the next 30, of course.

You're just being a hater.

the single biggest advantage the Yankees have had since 1995 is that their "core four" (Posada, Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte (although he left and came back)) have performed amazingly well for 15 seasons. It's really hard to find any teams since free agency that can claim to have had that sort of reliability in that many players for that long.

Amen. I think the biggest advantage to the Yankees unlimited money trough (as well as the best use of that money) has been keeping that core group together as not only great players, but as leadership for the team. (Yeh, I know Pettitte went home to Houston for a few years, but there were other reasons for that.) In the age of free agency, has there been any other team able to keep a core like that together? A lot (probably most, maybe all) players go solely after the money when picking a team to play for. The Yankees can outbid any team for any player they choose, but they also have the resources to keep any player they choose as well. Keeping these players has been their best investment. But the fact of their age and that they won't be around for the next 30 years (at least as players) will be one of the reasons the Yankees won't win those 27 championships.

posted by graymatters at 09:27 AM on November 06

Cheat mode isn't really cheating in videogames -- it's exploiting a special advantage.

I have to disagree with this statement. It's called cheat mode for a reason, because you're cheating. It's not called Special Advantage mode, it's called cheat mode.

Playing in cheat mode doesn't give the player all of the achievements for beating a game that they would have earned if they just played by the rules.

The Yankees aren't cheating or in cheat mode, they are playing within the rule of the MLB. IMO, there's no reason as to why this would cheapen their World Series victory and this is coming from someone who despises the Yanks but respects the fact that they put money earned right back into the organization instead of hoarding it all.

posted by BornIcon at 10:10 AM on November 06

Of course, the single biggest advantage the Yankees have had since 1995 is that their "core four" (Posada, Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte (although he left and came back)) have performed amazingly well for 15 seasons. It's really hard to find any teams since free agency that can claim to have had that sort of reliability in that many players for that long

That's exactly the point...Small market teams can't afford to. Look at my Twins...they had a nice run..late 80's to early 90's...but can't afford to hang to players the way the Yankees can. This next year the Twins get a financial boost due to a new stadium, but who knows if they'll be able to compete with big market teams when Joe Mauer's contract comes up next year? Small market teams get very short windows of opportunity, big market teams get a shot at it almost every year.

Playing in cheat mode doesn't give the player all of the achievements for beating a game that they would have earned if they just played by the rules.

That also was my point. I don't think the Yankees are getting the full credit that most championship teams get. Look at the number of people on this site that believe they cheated. You play in cheat mode on video games and no one cares. I see a lot of people that don't care that the Yankees won. I usually watch the last game, just to see the celebrations, and have watched many parades for teams I don't cheer for. I couldn't find the excitement to even finish watching the final game this year, and at work, not a single person is talking about the Yankees. By far the fastest "move on" after the series that I can remember.

posted by dviking at 10:19 AM on November 06

As far as ARod, his playoff OPS is .977. Jeter's is .863. ARod has performed better in the post season. Only using a small sample size (very recently) backs up the whole ARod isn't clutch idea.

posted by justgary at 09:04 PM on November 05

Is there some point in using a POWER stat to compare a cleanup hitter to a leadoff hitter? ARod is better at driving in runs. Jeter is better at scoring runs. Is that not how it is supposed to be?

posted by pullmyfinger at 10:23 AM on November 06

Is there some point in using a POWER stat to compare a cleanup hitter to a leadoff hitter?

OPS isn't a power stat. It's a combination of on base percentage and slugging, so it measures both positive offensive contributions (and gives them equal weight, whereas some statheads like to give OBP more weight).

A salary floor is just going to lead to silliness where the Royals/Marlins/Pirates sign some aging/useless veteran outfielder for WAY over market value, just because they HAVE to.

That's fine, because at that point the marginal cost to them to sign a over-the-hill veteran or to take the time and spend wisely is close to 0, so they'd most likely improve. I don't see this as a valid argument against a salary floor. Why not have one?

posted by yerfatma at 10:52 AM on November 06

Here's what the Yankees can't buy.

posted by BornIcon at 01:03 PM on November 06

justgary, I think we're both saying the same thing. But can you honestly say last year's team was worse on paper than the Rays?

No. I agree with you. I just put the fact that the Yankees have failed in the past with high payrolls more to money spent badly and baseball being an unpredictable game than failing to strive under pressure. Not that the pressure isn't entered into the whole thing.

I don't buy the chemistry angle, I don't buy the 'their having more fun' this year bit. But does having Texiera make ARod better? Perhaps take some pressure off? Perhaps. But that still is a function of payroll.

See Point V of the Official DrJohnEvans SpoFi Platform.

Funny. I just saw that on your profile yesterday. I would add my signature.

The Yankees can outbid any team for any player they choose, but they also have the resources to keep any player they choose as well.

The Yankees also have an advantage in that for most players, they really only need to match another teams offer. I would think it's like being a designer and working for Apple. That has a lot of cache. To be a Yankee, for a lot of players, is another feather in their cap. We're talking about huge egos. I have little doubt that Texiera and Damon came to the Yankees partly because of who they were. I have little doubt that Clemens came to the Yankees thinking "I've the greatest pitcher ever, I want to be associated with the greatest sports franchise ever". That it didn't work out is a fact that I treasure.

And no, this isn't an advantage that I'm complaining about. They've earned it because of their history. But added to the payroll advantage it's huge. I don't think Texiera would have gone to anyone else for 10 million more. If it was close, he was going to be a Yankee.

I hate that the discussion has focused on the Yankees cheating. It's a red herring. Of course they didn't cheat. I don't know what the answer is. Salary floor? Salary cap? I don't see how anyone can be a Yankee fan or hater and not believe there's a problem with competition. And saying "they played within the rules and good for them for putting money back into the team" is completely missing the problem.

By far the fastest "move on" after the series that I can remember.

It's funny around here. Normally you see Braves and Red Sox caps. I assumed it was because people in New York were less inclined to move down south. But for the last couple of days I've seen more Yankee caps than I have in the last year. They're all so new and shiny.

Here's what the Yankees can't buy.

Joba then went straight to his favorite strip club. The one hater aspect I will admit to is that I'm very happy the Yankees won the WS in spite of Joba. I mean, I hate picking on the mentally challenged, but I'll make an exception for Joba.

posted by justgary at 03:06 PM on November 06

I hate that the discussion has focused on the Yankees cheating.

Not to get all semantical, but cheating does not always mean playing outside the rules. It can also mean avoiding an obstacle or result with skill, luck or something else. In video games, cheating is using codes to change the rules of the game to give the player an advantage. It's not breaking the rules; it's changing the rules. Where is Captain Kirk when you need him? The Yankees use their financial ability in the same way. They don't break the rules, but their finances allow them to make their own rules.

posted by graymatters at 03:20 PM on November 06

OPS isn't a power stat. It's a combination of on base percentage and slugging

In the context of the postings, it is a power stat. Justgary stated that ARod was performing better because he had a higher OPS than Jeter. The slugging factor in OPS is important for a cleanup hitter. It is far less important for a leadoff hitter.

For example, Rod Carew had a rather unimpressive OPS of 822. That's not a bad number, but it hardly qualifys as a great OPS. His 328 BA and 393 OBP are most impressive. His job was not to be a cleanup hitter, but rather to be on base for cleanup hitters.

Example 2. Reggie Jackson's 846 OPS is also rather unimpressive. However, the fact that it's that high with a 262 BA and 356 OBP is very impressive. That 846 OPS drove in a lot of Jeter and Carew type hitters.

The reason that Jackson, with his low BA, and Carew, with his high BA have similar OPS is POWER.

posted by pullmyfinger at 03:31 PM on November 06

posted by yerfatma at 03:55 PM on November 06

rcade:

I appreciate the fact that the Yankees have their fans, LBB, but I don't think it's fair to call people liars for acknowledging the elephant in the room.

Please recall for me where I used the word liar. If you can't do that, please explain to me what the hell you're talking about, and how the hell it has anything to do with what I said. Start with a reference to where anyone else used the word liar, other than you, in this entire thread.

It's hard to separate the excellence of the team from the unprecedented monetary disparity between the team's payroll and everyone else's.

No, it's not hard. Just because it's beyond you doesn't mean that it's hard.

I'd love it if every thread announcing a championship was met with this kind of response. I'd really love it. It would put SportsFilter in the toilet in a month, and serve you right for being an apologist for this kind of thing.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:00 PM on November 06

Who is MATH, and what is he doing wrong? I hope it isn't sexual. Oh well - they probably have pills for that.

posted by pullmyfinger at 04:05 PM on November 06

In the context of the postings, it is a power stat. Justgary stated that ARod was performing better because he had a higher OPS than Jeter. The slugging factor in OPS is important for a cleanup hitter. It is far less important for a leadoff hitter.

Playoff OBP for Jeter = .383. Playoff OBP for ARod = .409

Breaking it down, only in the divisional series does Jeter have a better OBP (.417 / .364). In the league championship series it's not even close with ARod leading .462 to .347 (ARod has higher WS OBP but isn't a good comparison since Jeter's sample size is so much bigger).

If it's the job of a lead off hitter is too get on base, ARod would be a better leadoff hitter. No matter what math you want to use, Arod's a better hitter.

posted by justgary at 04:25 PM on November 06

No, it's not hard. Just because it's beyond you doesn't mean that it's hard.

Oh come on. You've got a world-class pair of blinders. It's a chicken and egg thing: are the Yankees good because they're amazingly talented or are they amazingly talented because the Yankees can afford to pay the best wage? When the As or the Twins win, the reason's clear. When the Red Sox or Yankees do, it can either be inherent genius or it can be a bigger wallet. Same thing with kids at Harvard. Some are there because they're wicked smaht, some are there because they're wicked rich. Maybe the rich kids are smart as well, but you can't ever know they'd have made it without the dollars.

posted by yerfatma at 04:57 PM on November 06

yours is clearly a popular point here But not other places where smart people actually think about things?

a casual examination of the history of the Yankees should illustrate that "have fun doing it" is a meaningful distinction from other of their championship teams So the run in the late 90s was all business? Paul O'Neill and Scott Brosius lobbied to change the team unis to bespoke Saville Row pinstripe suits? Also, throwing the word "casual" in there is a less-than-subtle "Fuck you" that would have been best left thought but unsaid.

posted by yerfatma at 07:36 AM on November 06

Addessing your second comment first, by "casual" I meant that you didn't have to have clubhouse access or be an avid reader of team exposes to know that the Yankees championship teams of the '70s didn't get along, didn't have good chemistry in the clubhouse. I know of Yankee fans that broke off from that team even though they were winning because they couldn't stand the zoo atmosphere. So I would think it's not out of line for a fan to recognize how much this team seems to get along, because there is an implied contrast to other championship teams. Whatever other subtext you've put into that statement wasn't intended.

On the first point, I don't know why I would raise other places of discussion in this forum, but this is the second thread on this site in which there appeared to me to be a majority dismissal of club chemistry as being worthy of discussion. So I guess I wouldn't be able to find a place where smart people think about it because it would have already been dismissed out of hand. I just gave an example of a winning club in the same franchise that didn't have good chemistry. The original comment that was responded to wasn't indicating anything more than that, despite the burden of the highest payroll and the constant weight of the heaviest of expectations and the egos that would presumably come with a club of superstars, the team seemed to have fun. This is an organization that has a reputation for being corporate and unfun and has been criticized roundly for it, so shouting down this observation as not worthy of discussion seems to me to be out of bounds.

posted by EnglishSpin at 05:39 PM on November 06

Please recall for me where I used the word liar.

Here ya go: "I'm tired of your lying to yourselves about why the Yankees win and why their fans like them."

I'd love it if every thread announcing a championship was met with this kind of response. I'd really love it. It would put SportsFilter in the toilet in a month, and serve you right for being an apologist for this kind of thing.

Sheesh. If you want to defend the Yankees on the merits, I'm eager to have that discussion. But if you're just going to slam people for not being unqualified enough in their praise, what's the point? You don't seem to be making any effort at all to see how this looks to fans of the other 29 teams.

Getting back to the facts, an argument has been made that the Yankees win because their owner spends more to win, and if other teams weren't run by cheapskates the payroll disparity wouldn't be so huge.

To see whether that might be true, I put together an Excel spreadsheet with the net worth of each team according to Forbes (in millions), the team payrolls (in millions), and the percentage of net worth devoted to payrolls, by team.

Here they are, ranked from the biggest spender on down:

TeamNet Worth (Millions)Payroll (Million)Pct. Spent
Detroit Tigers$371$11531.00%
Seattle Mariners$426$9823.00%
Houston Astros$445$10222.92%
Philadelphia Phillies$496$11322.78%
Milwaukee Brewers$347$7922.77%
Toronto Blue Jays$353$8022.66%
Kansas City Royals$314$7022.29%
Los Angeles Angels$509$11322.20%
Atlanta Braves$446$9621.52%
Chicago White Sox$450$9621.33%
Cincinnati Reds$342$7020.47%
Cleveland Indians$399$8120.30%
Colorado Rockies$373$7520.11%
Tampa Bay Rays$320$6319.69%
Oakland Athletics$319$6219.44%
Chicago Cubs$700$13519.29%
Arizona Diamondbacks$390$7318.72%
Minnesota Twins$356$6518.26%
St. Louis Cardinals$486$8818.11%
San Francisco Giants$471$8217.41%
Texas Rangers$405$6816.79%
Baltimore Orioles$400$6716.75%
Pittsburgh Pirates$288$4816.67%
New York Mets$912$13514.80%
Boston Red Sox$833$12214.65%
Washington Nationals$406$5914.53%
Los Angeles Dodgers$722$10013.85%
New York Yankees$1,500$20113.40%
Florida Marlins$277$3613.00%
San Diego Padres$401$4210.47%
The league definitely has a wide range of generous and miserly owners, but the Yankees give their players a smaller slice of the pie than most teams, if Forbes is correct.

If every team's payroll was equal to 20% of its net worth, here's how the salaries would break down:

TeamNet Worth (Millions)Payroll (Millions)
New York Yankees$1,500$300
New York Mets$912$182
Boston Red Sox$833$167
Los Angeles Dodgers$722$144
Chicago Cubs$700$140
Los Angeles Angels$509$102
Philadelphia Phillies$496$99
St. Louis Cardinals$486$97
San Francisco Giants$471$94
Chicago White Sox$450$90
Atlanta Braves$446$89
Houston Astros$445$89
Seattle Mariners$426$85
Washington Nationals$406$81
Texas Rangers$405$81
San Diego Padres$401$80
Baltimore Orioles$400$80
Cleveland Indians$399$80
Arizona Diamondbacks$390$78
Colorado Rockies$373$75
Detroit Tigers$371$74
Minnesota Twins$356$71
Toronto Blue Jays$353$71
Milwaukee Brewers$347$69
Cincinnati Reds$342$68
Tampa Bay Rays$320$64
Oakland Athletics$319$64
Kansas City Royals$314$63
Pittsburgh Pirates$288$58
Florida Marlins$277$55

posted by rcade at 05:57 PM on November 06

so shouting down this observation as not worthy of discussion seems to me to be out of bounds.

I think the general sentiment here is that it's not worthy of discussion because it's a "Chicken or Egg" problem, regardless of single examples cited. You've provided one unhappy team that won*. Do you honestly think we can't find teams that are remembered as friendly that lost? Seems like that's the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers. And those lovable early Mets. The idea that a championship team was also a group of guys that liked each other is a pointless set of laurels bestowed by fans after the fact because it's pleasant to imagine a team that way. None of us are privy to the 2009 Yankees' locker room, so why argue about it?

* The 1986 Red Sox, while remembered as chokers, might be an even better example. They won 90+ games, got to the Series, all with a team where some of the players spent Spring Training breaking into teammates' motel rooms to take pictures of them cheating on their wives as blackmail ammunition.

posted by yerfatma at 08:04 PM on November 06

The idea that a championship team was also a group of guys that liked each other is a pointless set of laurels bestowed by fans after the fact because it's pleasant to imagine a team that way. None of us are privy to the 2009 Yankees' locker room, so why argue about it?

posted by yerfatma at 08:04 PM on November 06

The chemistry of the team has been a storyline all year. Girardi drops a day of training to take the club out to play pool. CC takes everybody out to dinner. Nick Swisher is apparently told to crank up the music in the clubhouse. AJ starts throwing pies at guys, and the New York media starts losing their minds over whether or not that fits the "Yankee Way."

As the Yankees were dropping the ALCS in 2004, everyone was commenting that they looked "tight." A-Rod looked "tight." They had relievers vomiting in the bullpen when they were leading the series 3-1. Now that the Yankees have won, the team's attitude is no longer subject to discussion? That they have been a visibly looser team this year than in recent years past is not a meaningful observation as it coincides with their success?

Sheesh. If you want to defend the Yankees on the merits, I'm eager to have that discussion. But if you're just going to slam people for not being unqualified enough in their praise, what's the point? You don't seem to be making any effort at all to see how this looks to fans of the other 29 teams.

posted by rcade at 05:57 PM on November 06

Why should it look different than any other team's championship to the other 29 teams that didn't win? Here's the thread from the Phillies championship last year.

Last year you opened the thread with how much more exciting the Series was than you thought it would be at the end. This year, you opened with the bleak wait for next year. Then in your next comment, your first editorial on this Series, you said you hate it when the Yankees spend their money well. I don't even know if this is qualified praise -- it seems to be lacking an essential element.

You can paint this any way you want. This thread isn't inviting to fans of the team that won the World Series in anything close to the way that it was for the Phillies. Like it or not, and it sure seems like the former, this is no place that any kind of NYY fan would want to go to discuss their team's victory.

posted by EnglishSpin at 08:46 PM on November 06

Here's the thread from the Phillies championship last year.

Here's the team payrolls for 2008. Certainly you can see why no one brought up payroll in that thread.

The chemistry of the team has been a storyline all year. Girardi drops a day of training to take the club out to play pool. CC takes everybody out to dinner. Nick Swisher is apparently told to crank up the music in the clubhouse. AJ starts throwing pies at guys, and the New York media starts losing their minds over whether or not that fits the "Yankee Way."

Honestly, if someone wants to have discussions on CC taking everyone out to dinner, and nick swisher playing music, and AJ throwing pies, this isn't the site for them. It never has been, and hopefully never will be. There are at least 10 yankee sites I know where you can romanticize the championship and talk about what a difference team chemistry made this year and completely ignore the payroll.

That an intelligent sports community should ignore what is measurable and real and instead discuss AJ throwing pies, well, again, seems comical.

posted by justgary at 09:29 PM on November 06

That an intelligent sports community should ignore what is measurable and real and instead discuss AJ throwing pies, well, again, seems comical.

Why can't the community discuss both? The Yankees have had this enormous financial advantage for several years. Why is this the first time they've won? Maybe good team chemistry did have something to do with it. And why should Yankee fans be banished to another site to discuss it?

The Payroll is certainly worthy of discussion but it shouldn't be the whole discussion.

posted by cjets at 10:04 PM on November 06

Last year you opened the thread with how much more exciting the Series was than you thought it would be at the end. This year, you opened with the bleak wait for next year. Then in your next comment, your first editorial on this Series, you said you hate it when the Yankees spend their money well. I don't even know if this is qualified praise -- it seems to be lacking an essential element.

If I had known you were going to climb so far up my ass I would've drunk some barium. Let me know if you find polyps.

First, my comment last year about the Phillies was because the game was resumed after being suspended for two days, and for that reason I expected the end to be anticlimactic. That's what I meant by it being more exciting than anticipated.

Second, there's nothing bleak about the Rogers Hornsby quote. It's a beautiful testament to the greatness of baseball.

Third, I've posted front-page links after every game in this World Series. In each one, I linked to the winning team's local media, linked to the MLB game story and dug up additional links to provide more context on the game. You, on the other hand, cared so much about how SportsFilter covers the series that you didn't post a single link or make a single comment about games until this discussion, when your main point seems to be that we're talking about the wrong things and making Yankees fans feel unwelcome.

Fourth, it's pretty amazing to be criticized for insufficient Yankees praise in a discussion where I said, "The Yankees are a terrific team and a worthy champion." What do I gotta do to make you people happy -- kiss Derek Jeter's intangibles?

Finally, you and any other Yankees fans feeling sorry for yourselves in triumph can buzz off. Yankees fans are as welcome on SportsFilter as any other fans when they talk about quantifiable subjects in an intelligent manner. But when they wallow in self-pity and expect the rest of the world to buy into their mythology like we're all a bunch of homers from the Bronx, they're going to catch some well-deserved hell.

If you don't like that, then all I can say is Yankee go home.

posted by rcade at 10:17 PM on November 06

Why can't the community discuss both?

They can. But if members would rather discuss the payroll advantage than the fact that CC takes players out to dinner, then you can either join in or ignore it.

The Yankees have had this enormous financial advantage for several years. Why is this the first time they've won?

It's been answered multiple times in this thread. Because they finally spent the money wisely. Signing an old Roger Clemens, bad. CC, good. Giambi as a first baseman, bad. Texiera, good. Why is the 2009 team better than 08? Because statistically they're better.

I don't think it's a mystery why the Yankees won. In fact, I'm not sure much in sports is clearer. If someone wants to believe it's because of Chemistry, have at it.

And why should Yankee fans be banished to another site to discuss it?

Don't read more into my comment than is there. I said that if Yankee fans want to ignore the payroll and talk about Chemistry, this site probable isn't for them. In other words, they probably aren't going to be happy.

posted by justgary at 10:27 PM on November 06

Maybe good team chemistry did have something to do with it. And why should Yankee fans be banished to another site to discuss it?

Nobody is banishing Yankees fans. Anyone could have posted a link about the time Joe Girardi took them cow tipping and bought them all TCBY afterwards and Joba Chamberlain laughed so hard that white chocolate mousse came out his nose, and if people think that's worth more than a $66 million payroll advantage they're free to make that case.

posted by rcade at 10:29 PM on November 06

Yep, that's what I said, justgary. I said throw out all analysis and meaningful commentary on baseball and only discuss pies. I'm all about the pie.

In the Philly thread last year, pretty much everyone made a comment about who they were happy or unhappy for. Where's the analysis in that? That sounds like an emotional response. Your comment about being happy for Jamie Moyer but not Bret Meyer [sic], is that because of some analytical study you've done of their career salaries to production, or are you responding to them emotionally in some way? Please tell me what's open here. Inter-player chemistry is ridiculous, but fan-player chemistry is meaningful discussion? And these are somehow completely independent of each other?

There are probably 10 sports (not Yankees-specific) sites that were able to discuss the outcome of the series without turning it into a forum on baseball economics. Here's one. What's funny about that is that BBTF is reputed to be a collection of stathead number crunchers, and yet there's more of the kind of emotional response and camaraderie there than you are apparently hoping for here when you describe intelligent sports communities. Yeesh.

Make whatever you want of the site. This thread has no game analysis, no series analysis, really nothing much except for protracted attempts to diminish the accomplishments of the victors. I'm just repeating here what lil_brown_bat pointed out. If that's cool with you, have at it. I'm not too personally psyched for reading about sports that has the human element tucked away behind facts and analysis, but that's just my opinion - I'm not asking you to change anything and I'm already aware of where the door is.

posted by EnglishSpin at 10:32 PM on November 06

Second, there's nothing bleak about the Rogers Hornsby quote. It's a beautiful testament to the greatness of baseball.

First comment in the 2007 Red Sox WS victory thread:

Time to start the countdown to pitchers and catchers.

posted by justgary at 10:32 PM on November 06

This thread has no game analysis, no series analysis, really nothing much except for protracted attempts to diminish the accomplishments of the victors. ... There are probably 10 sports (not Yankees-specific) sites that were able to discuss the outcome of the series without turning it into a forum on baseball economics.

That's a pretty amazing thing to say coming from someone who hasn't posted any game analysis yourself. There was plenty of specific game commentary in the links about the last five games. You ignored all of that, yet had the time to scour 10 other sites whose standards SportsFilter did not meet.

I love people who can go into a detailed analysis of why we suck but can't seem to find that Post link atop the page. SportsFilter is what people make of it. You're making it a place to sit on your hands and bitch about what other people are doing, which makes it less likely for them to go to the bother of contributing in the future. Thanks.

posted by rcade at 10:41 PM on November 06

You, on the other hand, cared so much about how SportsFilter covers the series that you didn't post a single link or make a single comment about games until this discussion, when your main point seems to be that we're talking about the wrong things and making Yankees fans feel unwelcome.

You're right. I don't care. I was only seconding an observation that had already been made and putting my own spin in defense of that position. The thread was steered in one direction, and there appears to have been no Yankee-fan contingent to have steered it another way. How surprising given the graciousness with which their victories are met by the non-fans here.

posted by EnglishSpin at 10:46 PM on November 06

You're right. I don't care.

Then buzz off. SportsFilter is for people who care about the discussions, not for people who just want to ensure that their "fan contingent" is properly represented.

posted by rcade at 10:54 PM on November 06

This thread has no game analysis, no series analysis, really nothing much except for protracted attempts to diminish the accomplishments of the victors.

What I said in this thread:

But the phillies also have themselves to blame. Werth being picked off first. Not covering 3rd and allowing Damon to steal two bases. Victorino misjudging a flyball last night. Mistake after mistake. Not even including Pedro being allowed to face Matsui with an 85 mph fastball.

But they weren't going to win with 3 runs anyway. I thought it was a pretty pathetic performance by the Phillies outside of Lee and Utley. They deserved to lose.

Did you want deeper series analysis? Is that why you ignored what I wrote? Sure, nothing I wrote wasn't apparent to most fans, but it was far more detailed than anything on the first page of the forum you linked.

But I don't think that much analysis is necessary. The yankees won because they had the better team. I don't think it was that close. So why are the Yankees so much better? Well, for one, they have the money to sign better players, to have a deeper team. I find that topic interesting. Not only in the aspect of the Yankee WS victory, but in baseball as a whole. Will other teams spend more? Will the Yankees spend less?

You pointed to the BBTD forum, and I've read one page. I have no idea what I've suppose to take from that. If you enjoy it, great. Different forums appeal to different people.

I'm not denying chemistry is involved. I find it ludicrous to believe it has more to do than the talent of the team. That's just my opinion. You can disagree. You can bring it up. I'm not sure where the discussion goes from there, however. And when I quoted what you wrote about the Yankee team your responded sarcastically. I'm guessing you have a point that I'm missing, but it appears you simply wish to argue and play the martyr.

posted by justgary at 10:55 PM on November 06

But I don't think that much analysis is necessary.

I thought this Series had a lot of great storylines that provoked discussion. If we had gotten a game 7, the decision to start Cole Hamels over Cliff Lee was huge. I was looking forward to Charlie Manuel caving in and proving why Lee wasn't meant to start on so little rest.

Another thing I've been meaning to bring up was Manuel's decision to let Pedro Martinez face Hideki Matsui in the third inning. At that point, Matsui had homered in the second inning and was 8-for-18 with four doubles, two homers and four RBIs against Martinez in postseason play. I think he had gotten a hit in every at-bat versus Martinez in this series.

I think this was a close series, but Manuel's managing blew the Phillies' chance and will hang around his neck like an albatross.

posted by rcade at 11:01 PM on November 06

If we had gotten a game 7, the decision to start Cole Hamels over Cliff Lee was huge.

We had an interesting discussion, but I don't think there was ever a thought to pitch Lee. Did I miss where Manuel even suggested it was possible? And as I said in the other thread, Lee gave up 5 in 7 on full rest. I'm not sure how you could even expect that level of performance on 2 days.

Another thing I've been meaning to bring up was Manuel's decision to let Pedro Martinez face Hideki Matsui in the third inning. At that point, Matsui had homered in the second inning and was 8-for-18 with four doubles, two homers and four RBIs against Martinez in postseason play. I think he had gotten a hit in every at-bat versus Martinez in this series.

But that was already a part of my award winning game analysis. I thought it was the worst move of the series. Pedro had nothing. Unforgivable to leave him in against Matsui.

I think this was a close series, but Manuel's managing blew the Phillies' chance and will hang around his neck like an albatross.

A play here, a play there, it could have gone the other way. But I don't think it was that close. I think the Yankees were clearly superior, and only held back by a lack of starting pitching depth; a problem they'll solve over the off season.

And I disagree about Manuel. He made mistakes, but when your closer is horrid and your cleanup hitter hits .174 there's only so much you can do. It's much easier to just pencil in Rivera to finish off every game.

posted by justgary at 11:18 PM on November 06

This column on ESPN pretty much sums up my feelings on Manuel.

And at some point, isn't it the players' responsibility to perform (and cover third on the Damon steal)? Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard (10 strikeouts!) and Raul Ibanez are all at, or below, the Mendoza Line. They need to get going because Chase Utley can't do it alone. And even Utley, as productive as he's been (another home run and an RBI double Sunday), will need to break out against a pitcher not named Sabathia. He is 4-for-6 with three homers and a double against CC but 0-for-9 against everyone else.

posted by justgary at 11:25 PM on November 06

There are probably 10 sports (not Yankees-specific) sites that were able to discuss the outcome of the series without turning it into a forum on baseball economics. Here's one. What's funny about that is that BBTF is reputed to be a collection of stathead number crunchers, and yet there's more of the kind of emotional response and camaraderie there than you are apparently hoping for here when you describe intelligent sports communities. Yeesh.

did you even look at that silly site? It's just a collection of one liners...no discussion or debate on a single item. If you want to say "congrat's Yankees!" and think that's somehow interesting, please go back to that site.


The Yankees have had this enormous financial advantage for several years. Why is this the first time they've won?

Beyond justgary's reply, I'd like to add that the Yankee's money keeps them as contenders every year. They don't have to keep going through the rebuilding years that small market teams do when they can't afford to resign their top players. Because Steinbrenner can't sign every top player, other teams do have a chance, and collectively the league has denied the Yankees from winning the WS the past few years. That doesn't really diminish the fact that the Yankees had a huge advantage each of those years.

posted by dviking at 12:14 AM on November 07

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