Yankees back winning — good for baseball?

November 6, 2009

sabathiaHomegrown talent and store-bought superstars — the Yankees formula for success for their 27th World Series championship claimed Wednesday with a Game Six victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that returned the team to the winners’ circle for the first time in what seemed to Yankee Nation like an endless nine years of waiting.

A bottomless checking account for free agents is not the only thing making the Yankees great.

Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada, four pillars of the Yankee teams that won four Fall Classic titles in five years starting in 1996, all came up through the farm system and were still thriving on the October/November stage in 2009.

Young fireballers Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes were developed by the Yanks, as was second baseman Robinson Cano.

There is no question, however, that the New York high-rollers have a big advantage in their gambles to hit the jackpot with the right free-agent signings, and the Yankees have been vilified in some quarters for outspending the competition to win their titles.

Their 2009 payroll of $200-plus million was about $100 million more than the Phils. More than $420 million in off-season free agent signings netted the Bronx Bombers CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira.

Baseball’s highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez, mans the middle of the batting order, and Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui single-handedly overpowered the Phillies in the Series clincher with a record tying six RBIs.

Meanwhile, TV ratings for this World Series were the highest in recent years.

So the Yankees back to winning — good or bad for baseball?

PHOTO: New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia holds the MLB World Series championship trophy while being sprayed with champagne in the locker room after the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the 2009 Major League Baseball World Series in New York November 4, 2009. The victory was the 27th World Series win in Yankees history. REUTERS/Mike Segar


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Posted by Mark Teixeira (Video) | Full of Sports « John's Blog | Report as abusive

Yes, yes, a thousan times yes. What a team! Just hope it can be kept together for next year!

Posted by Yessir | Report as abusive

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[…] Grant wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptBaseball’s highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez, mans the middle of the batting order, and Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui single-handedly overpowered the Phillies in the Series clincher with a record tying six RBIs. … […]

Posted by Left field » Blog Archive » Yankees back winning — good for … | All Topics Blog | Report as abusive

Yes they have some homegrown talent, but they only way they still have these players (like jeter) is because they have the money to resign them. Small market teams cannot retain their best players because teams like the Yankees outbid them every year.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

You’re in denial if you think the Yankees did not buy this world series championship! They will sign Matt Holiday and Lackey in the offseason and win again next year. This is a broken system and it is bad for baseball!!

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Very interesting points made by Michael and Mark.
Yankees definitely have big advantage, but them’s the rules. They play by them. They TRY to field the best team they can, as opposed to some niggardly owners who pocket their revenue sharing money rather than plow it back into their team.
Baseball is a difficult game to judge — the Yanks spent a fortune and spent nearly a decade before winning the crown again.
I think other big league teams and their fans relish the chance to take down the Yankees.

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

I’m a Kansas City Royals fan. Or at least I used to be. Professional baseball is pointless to me since every year I know coming out of spring training that the Royals are going to end up somewhere near the bottom of the American League Central.

Major League Baseball is a microcosm of America. The wealthy (Yankees) continue to get wealthier and the poor (Royals) continue to get poorer. The gap widens annually. It has nothing to do with one club working harder than the other. It has to do with rules in place that allow for one team to enjoy advantages that others don’t have. It’s why I don’t give a damn about professional baseball anymore, and neither do my children.

We watch football and basketball games where salary caps attempt to equalize the spending ability of each team. Then, if our teams don’t do well, we look to team management and the players as the reason. In baseball, the Yankees buy up all the good players that they want and everyone else gets scraps.

If Bud Selig doesn’t open his eyes soon he’s going to end up being the reason baseball dies. The Yankees winning the World Series clearly shows what is wrong with MLB and, to an extent, what is wrong with America.

Posted by Mike H | Report as abusive

I’m old enough to remember the great Yankee-Royals rivalry of the late ’70s when George Brett, Hal McRae, Willie Wilson and Freddie Patek roamed the major league landscape.
There most certainly IS an imbalance, but doesn’t mean industrious small market clubs can’t rise up. The Twins do a great job year in, year out.
Why even the Royals have cause for optimism. I think Billy Butler is going to be a special hitter. Callaspo can hit. Soria is top notch out of the pen. They need Alex Gordon to fulfill his promise. If the young starters as a group can step up, KC can play with the big boys.
Of course, they are disadvantaged but the gap between players is more narrow in baseball than most any other sport and youthful spirit can be contagious.

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

Baseball is now a 6 BILLION dollar industry. It is not dying anytime soon. As for the payroll inequality, while the fans of other teams liken the Yanks to pure evil, the owners of their own teams have dollar signs in their eyes as the Yanks, Red Sox, and perhaps 2-4 other teams can essentially guarantee a sellout at the stadium for any given 3 game series.

When Cinn-Pitt late in the season cannot even get 10k people to the stadium you cannot blame the Yanks. You must blame the product on the field. Having more money means the Yanks can take more chances (and make more mistakes). The A’s and Twins are two great examples of putting out a solid product through minimizing risk, focusing on fundamentals and, yes, knowing when to sell high on assets. Once free agency hit baseball and players were not bound to a location the larger markets automatically had an appear, just as Texas and Florida do for tax purposes.

It is a convenient excuse for everyone to point the finger at, but it is not the cause of poor products by other teams. And it also allows people to make money off “Evil Empire” t-shirts.

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

This is further reason to correct the draft. The slotting system doesn’t work. Allow teams to trade draft pics and give precious resources to franchises who claim that money is the only reason they can’t compete.

http://blogs.reuters.com/sport/2009/06/1 1/market-correction-needed-for-rookie-ml b-contracts/

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive