October 26, 2009

Marie's thoughts on the World Series




So we all know it's the Yankees playing the Phillies, and while I enjoy watching the Phillies play I hope the Yankees destroy them. I wouldn't consider myself a Phillies fan by any means, but as a result of Sooz covering them I have paid attention more over the years to the team.

I am not going to come out and say the Yankees are going to win. Do I want them to? Duh, of course. But you have to look at it logically and see that the Phillies have a good starting rotation (if Hamels is on), and they have more than 3 guys who can start a game whereas the Yankees have 3 solid starters (2 if AJ sucks), and then you are left pondering what the hell is going to happen. Both teams have a strong bullpen, Yankees have the better closer and no one on Earth can argue that.

Hitting between these two teams is insane. I can not even imagine the number of homeruns that will fly in this World Series.

I really think this series has the potential to go all 7 games, and I do believe all the games will be close and exciting to watch. Any Phillies or Yankees fan that thinks their team is going to steamroll the other is not very bright. I am looking forward to going to the game Wednesday, it will be my first World Series game. Poor Sooz will be in the press box silently cheering for the Yankees and I will be in the stands hoping her head doesn't explode, and that she doesn't rip the desk out of the wall. I am trying to get her to get me in as her assistant but I don't think it will work out.

What does everyone think of this match up? And if you are going to point out payroll, I am deleting your comment. Teams can pay whatever money they want for players but it means absolutely nothing if the player does not perform.

17 comments:

  1. Dave's thoughts on the World Series: couldn't care less. What the Yankees did this year has really turned me off to baseball to the point where I haven't watched a single post-season game, and for the first time that I can remember, I won't be watching any of the World Series. On top of that, MLB was dumb enough to push the start of the World Series to 10/28, ensuring that most of it will be in November. Most sports fans, including me, are totally focused on football at this point.

    I know that's not what you want to hear. I'm happy for you and Sooz that your favorite team is in the Series, just not happy for the particular team that you support, and what it means for baseball.

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  2. Here is where I get cranky. Fans of small market teams complain about the Yankees. There is revenue sharing. If your team chooses not to spend their money, not the Yankees fault.

    However, getting C.C., AJ, and Teix was a bit excessive but no one can tell me that if their team had the chance to sign these three guys that you would have stopped cheering for your team because of it, or be sitting here now complaining about it.

    So, now Dave you are telling me that because of the Yankees you didn't watch a single game, even the ones they were not playing in?

    I understand there are fans who aren't interested in the playoffs if their team doesn't make it, but to blame the Yankees for a lack of interest is just silly.

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  3. I'm both a Yankee and Pirate fan and I don't blame the Yankees one bit for spending the money they have this year. What makes me mad is when small market clubs, like the Pirates, give away the talent they have (Jason Bay, Aramis Ramirez, Xavier Nady, Nate McLouth) for no-name unproven prospects. The Pirates get a good share of revenue sharing from the Yankees and the Pirates choose to spend it on "player development" in the minors.

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  4. Hey Marie - I didn't mention payroll because, did I? That was against the rules for this post :)

    To reply to what you said ...

    There is revenue sharing. If your team chooses not to spend their money, not the Yankees fault.

    Well, the problem is that there's not nearly enough revenue sharing. I can't speak for all small/medium market teams, but my favorite team (Tampa Bay) is actually losing money this year even with revenue sharing, and their payroll is about 1/3 of the Yankees.

    I'd love to see more revenue sharing and a salary cap to improve baseball's competitive balance. Wouldn't you?

    However, getting C.C., AJ, and Teix was a bit excessive but no one can tell me that if their team had the chance to sign these three guys that you would have stopped cheering for your team because of it, or be sitting here now complaining about it.

    Actually, if my team did something like that, I really would lose interest. That's exactly what happened to me in the mid-1990s when I was a Yankees fan.

    So, now Dave you are telling me that because of the Yankees you didn't watch a single game, even the ones they were not playing in?

    Well, the Yankees were the biggest factor, but I hate the Red Sox too. I'm tired of seeing the same group of teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers) in the playoffs almost every year. If the Twins or Rockies had gotten out of the first round, I would've been more interested. Or maybe if the Yankees had lost in the first round.

    I understand there are fans who aren't interested in the playoffs if their team doesn't make it, but to blame the Yankees for a lack of interest is just silly.

    I just don't like what they represent. It's not just the payroll. It's the $1 billion new stadium. It's the ridiculous number of home runs that fly out of the stadium. It's the Steinbrenners. It's A-Rod. And that they have an extreme financial advantage over everyone else. And I'm silly.

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  5. Woops ... my first sentence should have been "Hey Marie - I didn't mention payroll, did I?"

    NY hitman brings up a good point about the Pirates. Increased revenue sharing and a salary cap would give teams like the Pirates a better chance to win only if they don't shoot themselves in the foot by making dumb decisions.

    But imagine what teams like Tampa Bay, Oakland, Minnesota, Cleveland, Florida, Milwaukee, and Colorado (all of whom have smart front offices) could do with a more level playing field.

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  6. I wonder if anyone would talk about salaries if Marie didn't bring it up in her post. Personally, I was going to mention how much I am looking forward to Pedro winning another ring, especially when he gets the win in the clincher.

    As for salaries, you can't have a cap without a floor. If teams earn money, they shouldn't put in the poctet of another owner. Until then, the Yankees (and, yes, the Red Sox) have a huge advantage. The fans should just admit it and move on. Beause of money, the Sox could just DL an underperforming $10 mil plus pitcher, ship off an $8 mil shortstop that did't work, and any number of things. So, yes, the Sox still had to make smart choices. They could just afford mistakes that other tems can't.

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  7. As long as the Dodgers don't get into the Series, I don't really have a problem. Since I'm a Giants fan, I just can't bring myself to root for LA.

    I tend to root for the "underdog," but after the first round there weren't any real "have nots" left.

    Since I root for the National League unless the Dodgers are involved, I'll be rooting for the Phillies.

    The teams with deep pockets usually have been beating up on the competition since the beginning of organized baseball. Shifts have occurred from time to time (i.e. development of the farm system, breaking of the color barrier), but the balance of power usually shifts a few years later.

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  8. Dave, the Phillies play in a launching pad and there are plenty of "hitters" parks in MLB. They didn't intend to build a launching pad when they built the new stadium and are fairly convinced that once they finally put the poor old Stadium out of its current misery that the wind off the water and all other junk will make it play like the old one. This remains to be seen.

    The Dodgers, Rockies, and Twins all made the playoffs this year and none of them have what you are turned off by. In fact they all had an equal chance to win and couldn't pull it together.

    Hitman brings up a good point, is it the Yankees fault that the smaller market teams trade away good players because they don't want to pay them? Not for nothing, the Rays have a great young team, with players that have been there for a few years, not the Yankees fault or a salary cap situation that left them in the dust. Rays made the series last year, they didn't lose because of the salary cap. It looked like a level playing field then, but not now?

    Bottom line is if the players don't perform better than the other team they don't win. Money isn't out there playing, humans are.

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  9. Section 36 has it right. Totally agree about a salary floor. And I think he's talking about Dice-K and Julio Lugo -- teams like the Sox don't have to suffer when their big money players underperform. Teams like the Rays do. When they signed Pat Burrell and he decided to get fat and just show up to collect a paycheck, they had to trade one of their top starting pitchers (Kazmir) to make up for it.

    To Marie:

    The Dodgers, Rockies, and Twins all made the playoffs this year and none of them have what you are turned off by.

    The Dodgers are a big market, big spending team that makes the playoffs almost every year.

    is it the Yankees fault that the smaller market teams trade away good players because they don't want to pay them?

    It's not that they don't want to pay them - it's that they can't. The Rays, for example, don't make enough money to afford a payroll of more than $60 - $70 million. I wish they had more revenue and could spend much more than that, but that's the reality. The owners of every team are wealthy, but I don't think it's realistic for fans to expect them to lose money every year. George Steinbrenner certainly isn't losing any money.

    not the Yankees fault or a salary cap situation that left them in the dust.

    If the Yankees didn't spend over $400 million on three of the best players in the game, they would've been a lot closer to the Rays in the standings. If the Rays could have afforded to not trade Kazmir, or if they could've added an impact player at the trade deadline, that would've made a difference too.

    Rays made the series last year, they didn't lose because of the salary cap. It looked like a level playing field then, but not now?

    Not at all. The 2008 Rays had the lowest payroll in the American League. It was a miracle combination of good trades, good drafting and development, and a lot of luck that led to them making the postseason. With the Yankees and Red Sox in the same division, it may not happen ever again.

    The thing that bugs me the most is that because of their high revenue, the Yankees are basically entitled to make the postseason every year. When they missed the playoffs in 2008, they spent over $400 million on the best pitcher in baseball from 2008, arguably the best hitter, and another top of the rotation pitcher. No other team, not even Boston, can do anything like that. After the spending spree, there was no question that they'd return to the playoffs. I can understand why Yankees fans would be happy about that. But really, is it fair? And wouldn't you still be a Yankees fan if changes were made to the CBA so that they didn't have such a huge financial advantage over everybody else? Wouldn't it be more fun, and more satisfying, if they didn't win every single year, and if they had to build a winner over time?

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  10. If the Yankees had no money and sucked, I would still be a Yankees fan. I was a Yankees fan from the earliest memories of sports I have and money isn't going to change that. I don't turn on a team because they have money and spend it, or if they didn't have any to spend.

    I remember YEARS AND YEARS they won NOTHING as a kid. I also remember the same as an adult, so as far as gratifying- this season is, whether you think it's fair or not.

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  11. I am just as excited as Marie, but of course I will be cheering for the Phils.

    As far as all the $$ talk, the three other major sports all have some form of a salary cap, but I would still rather watch a baseball game, a playoff series and a pennant drive in MLB than any of the equivalents in the other sports.

    The Stanley Cup is close but you can't beat the drama of October baseball.

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  12. Marie -- I'm happy for you. You and Sooz are great fans, and I hope that you have a blast at the World Series games! I just wanted to share my point of view as a fan of another team. I'll be quiet now and enjoy watching football :)

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  13. deal, I agree with you. I watch the playoffs whether the Yankees are playing or not. I really don't have any passion for the other sports. I like watching football, but it is just something to kill time until pitchers and catchers report.

    I think this will be an interesting series, perhaps we make a card wager on the outcome....

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  14. I hope this isn't taken the wrong way because I love your blog, but I agree with Dave that a salary cap is necessary in baseball.

    "Revenue sharing" is nice but there's no way the Kansas City Royals could've spent close to half a billion dollars on top free agents this off-season.

    I'm sure there are owners who have money and don't spend it, but I also think there are teams that just don't have the money to compete with big market clubs like the Red Sox and Yankees, even with revenue sharing.

    This is not anti-Yankee argument. The Red Sox, the team I grew up cheering for every summer of my childhood, have soured me on baseball almost as much as the Yankees have. Dave is dead on when he says the extra money allows a team to make mistakes. JD Drew's contract, for example, would sink some clubs, and I don't think there were many teams who could pony up and pay out 50 million for the rights just to negotiate a contract with Matsuzaka a couple of years ago.

    I admire how much you love Yankees baseball (and it's awesome that you both get to attend a World Series game!), and I know you can't just stop liking your team because they have a lot of money to spend. In all fairness though, you can't deny that they have and will always have a competitive advantage year in and year out until something changes. Pretty big contributions this post-season from 2 of the 3 huge off-season signings, as well as a player who made more than some teams (right?) at one point.

    Ultimately I don't blame the Red Sox, Yankees or any other team. They would be doing a dis-service to their fans if they didn't spend the money. I blame Major League Baseball, for allowing the such a competitive advantage to exist without doing much about it. I know baseball has always been and always will be a business, but in this fan's eyes the game has lost a lot of the magic and allure that it had when I was a child...

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  15. As Yankee fans, I don't think you can have it both ways. If you are reaping the rewards of having a team that can spend obscene amounts of money in a single off-season to completely re-tool, you also have to understand and accept the criticism that comes your way.

    As an Angel fan, I'm lucky to have an owner that's willing to spend and is in close proximity to a large market, but even so, we are routinely outbid by the big boys out east. It's frustrating to know that John Lackey started and won game 7 of the World Series for the Angels as a rookie, but this off-season he will likely be gone because we won't be able to afford what he is offered by a team like the Yankees. Even a contract like AJ Burnett's effects all of the other teams who now see the market for their star pitchers go up exponentially.

    All that being said, good luck and enjoy the World Series. As fans, all we can do is root for our team and hope that they do well. We have no say in the payroll or transactions. I was an Angel fan when they spent very little and were routinely at the bottom, i was there when they spent disastrously on Mo Vaughn, I was there for the World Series, and I'll be there next year when the lose some more valuable pieces.

    Go Halos!

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  16. Marie card bet sounds good - how bout a couple dozen Yanks vs Phils cards plus a couple of hobby packs of some product.

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  17. Wow, I feel like I just had this same discussion with myself the other day. In fact, I did. I wish I'd have seen this post before I wrote mine so I could have linked it in. Anyway . . .

    I'm in agreement with the floor 'n cappers. That's where it's at.

    The "revenue sharing" that currently happens is a drop in the bucket. It's really nothing.

    If baseball wants to get serious about a level playing field it all starts with a cap and a floor. Heck, for all I care, cap it at 200 million and let the other teams catch up over time with inflation. Whatever you want, just cap it. And floor it. Every team needs to spend a certain amount for sure. Money shared between teams should be spent on the end product, the entertainment.

    I honestly can't fathom why 2/3rd of the owners go on with this sham every year. Sure, all teams make good money, and maybe that's what it's all about, but everyone should have a shot to manage the same resources to have a shot at winning.

    These aren't just single corporations with a product competing against each other, every team in the league needs every other team to play baseball games. If the bottom 20 teams in the league left to start their own league, what would the big markets do then? It takes two to tango and 30 teams to make this league great.

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