This offseason, the Yankees purchased the two best pitchers on the market (C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett), then went out and bought Mark Texiera, the in-his-prime, top-of-the-league first baseman superdooper stud. In other words, how can anyone with a human head actually attend, say, a Yankees-Royals or Yankees-Orioles or Yankees-Rays or Yankees-A’s or Yankees-Mariners or Yankees-Rangers or Yankees-Twins or Yankees-Anybody Except The Red Sox or Mets game and truly, strongly, lovingly, audibly root for the Yankees to win?Notice that he waits until now to say this. Not when they were 15-17 on May 12th. Not last year, when they had a higher payroll and missed the playoffs or in any of the previous three before that when they were bounced in the first round. But now, after some great offseason acquisitions, no one can be a fan? All of a sudden they are unlikable because they are playing up to their potential?
If the Yanks won 100 games every season and 8 out of the last 12 World Series, he might have a point. But the thing that's great and maddening about baseball at the same time is that you can stack the deck in your favor as much as you want but you won't necessarily come out on top.
Pearlman an "unabashed" fan of the Mets of all teams should know this. (Not a dig about journalistic integrity by any stretch, so I don't care if he claims not to be one anymore like every sports writer does.) The Mets had an Opening Day payroll of close to $150,000,000 and they'd have to get scorching hot to even sniff .500. This isn't basketball where, if one team got LeBron, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade next offseason they'd be a virtual lock for an NBA title.
I never thought I'd read Jeff Pearlman and Lou Merloni write about the same topic and agree with the latter, but here is a rare voice of reason from fackin' WEEI (h/t BBTF):
Isn’t it good to have the Yankees in the mix again? Did you have fun last year when you were more concerned with the Rays than the Yanks? I didn’t. I want to hate [the Yankees]. I want to fear them. It’s just more fun that way. You had to know that this year was going to be different for the boys from New York. [...] This year, yeah they spent some serious dollars, but they were spent wisely… for once.
That's coming from a guy who grew up in Framingham, Mass., went to Providence College and was drafted in to the Sox organization. You've gotta love Merloni's competitve spirit because the summer is a lot more interesting when both teams are in the race.
You're not going to stop the Yankees by whining about how much they spend in the offseaon. And I'm not going to stop Jeff Pearlman from whining about the Yankees by writing about it here. As you were.