May 23, 2013
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Monday, December 29, 2008
A Red Sox fan urges folks to hold their fire when going after the Yankees' offseason largess:
As a Bosox fan, the most important thing each summer aside from Boston winning is New York tanking, and it’s my hope that despite the influx of new talent, the aging Jeter, Posada, Damon and Rivera (the best closer in MLB history will, one of these years, falter) won’t be able to keep pace and once again the NYC media will dump on the Yanks. Such a summer occurrence is far better than even a bumper crop of silver queen corn and sweet & sour plums. Nevertheless, even though I was disappointed the Sox owners—obviously one of baseball’s wealthiest franchises, with the fourth largest payroll in ‘08—couldn’t complete a deal for Teixeira, I don’t fault the Yanks for attempting to field the best team possible.
The author, Splice Today's Russ Smith, is a friend of ShysterBall, and I hold him in highest regard. And indeed, on this point, I agree with Russ. That said, a Sox fan defending the spending of the Yankees is sort of like one CEO defending the reasonableness of another's benefits package. Yes, it may mean something, but it is a sentiment that doesn't exactly resonate with the masses because it's been a long time since the Yankees and the Red Sox were different beasts in any real way.
As an economic and competitive issue, I really don't care how much the Yankees spend. Many people view this as a political or even a moral issue, however, and while I don't agree with them, I understand why they feel the way they do and why they won't be deterred from booing.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, anyway. It's a pretty good list, although many Cubs' fans may disagree that "Heartbreak at Wrigley" was one of the "best" stories of 2008.
Off the top of my head, here are a couple of additional things I'd include if I were the sort to make end-of-year lists:
The advent of instant replay: It's possible that its adoption was inevitable, but the fact that it was implemented in the middle of the season was quite a thing, no?
Cliff Lee's monster season: The guy was hurt and demoted in 2007 and had to fight for a spot in the rotation last spring. While many have tried to deflate his accomplishments a bit by noting that he didn't exactly face the toughest competition this season, there wasn't anything he could have done about that, and the fact is that he was unquestionably dominant all season long.
Maddux hangs 'em up: Maybe it's retrospective in that he didn't announce it until the season was over, but Greg Maddux's swan song is kind of a big deal.
Mussina too: Ditto. I draw the line before Salomon Torres and Todd Jones, however.
Big, early contracts: They've been happening for a few years now, but Evan Longoria signing a contract a mere six games into his Major League career set the new standard for pre-arbitration long term deals. In this environment Ryan Braun's deal, which came less than a year after his debut, seemed almost like an insult by comparison.
Lidge-riffic: Maybe this is a subset of the Phillies winning the World Series, but I found Brad Lidge's 48 saves in 48 chances (including the postseason) to be far more impressive than K-Rod's 62 saves.
The Dodgers leaving Vero Beach: Maybe it's not that important in the grand scheme of things, and maybe the traditional arrangments between teams and spring training towns truly ended a long time ago, but the end of Dodgertown will probably be viewed as a signpost of sorts when there are only like 5 consolidated spring training facilities one day. The Dodgers-Red Sox exhibition game that drew 115,000 fans to the L.A. Colliseum was less important, but it was pretty neat too.
Retreat to Milwaukee: Hurricane Ike sending the Cubs and Astros to Milwaukee wasn't worth all of the Astros' whining, but it was pretty remarkable all the same.
I'm sure there is some stuff I'm forgetting.
The Yankees aren't the only team in the AL East making high-profile deals: Mark Hendrickson just signed with Baltimore. Hendrickson is like 6'9", and it doesn't get any higher profile than that this side of Chris Young.
Some stuff to think about while coming to grips with the fact that Killer Kowalski died this year and no one bothered to tell you:
The New York Times takes a look at the way those of us whose cable company isn't carrying the MLB Network will be watching its content next season.