Merry Christmas Yankees’ fans!
If you wanted a true 1st basemen, a power-hitter, a gold glover, and an all-star. Tuesday afternoon, you got just that- Mark Teixeira.
This signing is huge for a team looking to impress and generate buzz around their new ballpark. But even more than that- it’s hard to wrap your head around the type of money the Yankees have thrown around this offseason.
Lets look at these facts:
– The Yankees will now have the 1st , the 2nd, the 3rd and the fourth highest paid players in the league (A-Rod, Jeter, Teixeria, and Sabathia, in that order).
– The Yankees have now spent 424 million dollars this off-season on three players.
– The Yankees sign Teixeira a day after they pay 26 million dollars in luxury tax.
How can the Yankees afford to do this? Well, the new Yankee Stadium is expected to be around 1.3 billion dollars- but (as John McCain would say), was “loaded with goodies”, for the team (ie- taxs exemptions, non-taxable bonds, tax payers money going towards it, etc). The team has already sold many of their luxury boxes and season tickets. And with some seats costing up to 2,500 a game…for ONE SEAT- That’s where you get the money to have an offseason like this.
As a friend of mine who’s a Red Sox fan, said recently to me, after the Burnett signing…
“hows this for hyperbole-
that stadium will be the symbol of the fall of america”
– Mike Lawlor
Hopefully for Yankee fans (and all Americans) Mr. Lawlor is wrong.
But still, after all this throwing money around, the 2008 New York Yankees will still have a payroll that is less than the 2007 team.
Now that we’ve mentioned all the jawdropping numbers that are leaving the fans of baseball’s 29 other team in a state of Nauseum. We can talk about what this means for the 2008 Yankees. ——
What do the Yankees gain?
It gives the Yankees a legitimate middle of the lineup hitter. It improves the offense immensely, adds protection (physically and hopefully mentally) for Mr. Rodriguez, gives the team the sort of glove they haven’t seen at 1st base everyday since Tino Martinez, and hopefully relieves the rest of the lineup from the pressure to hit with runners in scoring postion, the achilles heel of last season’s team. Remember, it was the hitting that didn’t land them in the playoffs- not the starting pitching.
As I mentioned back on my 12/11 post, the Yankees were looking at a lineup that would have had Xavier Nady hitting 3rd, and made the maturation process of Robinson Cano a dire situation. Now Nady hits…well in all honesty, who cares where Nady hits in the lineup?- that’s my point. Teixeria gives you that kind of depth. The Yankees SHOULD now slide Teixeira to #4 in the lineup and bump A-Rod up to 3rd. Giving Alex protection and better pitches to hit (judging that when Alex hits 4th, everyone pitches around him and he still swings a majority of the pitches).
As for the Red Sox-who were also hot on the heels of Teixeira. Red Sox fans are more than welcome to sell me on the fact that they don’t care if the Yankees get Teixeira, or that his price tag was too high, but I won’t buy it for a second. The bottom line here is that Red Sox fans are beyond loyal. They sell out that ballpark every single night, even spending 40 bucks for the worst seats available in any major league stadium. They buy hats and clothing and as a Red Sox fan, you probably already know one or more people, who own the new road jersey. The more hardcore fans have dealt and tolerate the reconstruction of the area around Fenway, to the point where it looks like Disney World and the insurgences of the “pink hats”, as my friends call them- the fair weather fans. Red Sox fans have helped build their team to the sort of level that a few seasons back, only the Yankees were at, a global enterprise. And in the zero hour- when your owner is standing at a crossroad where he has the ability to sign a player who will, 1) give them a significantly better chance win the American League, 2) snatch that player away from the Yankees and 3) give you the upperhand in the offseason battle with those greedy bastards from down south- John Henry sits on his wallet and won’t shell out the 10-20 million dollars more over the course of next eight years.
Now if your the New York Yankees and thier fans, enjoy your day in the sun. I remember the phone calls, and the cheers the day the Yankees traded for Alex Rodriguez in 2004. It was a nice feeling beating out the Red Sox for the best player and baseball, and that feeling turned into a kick in the stomach ten months later, in October. Suddenly, it didn’t matter if you won the bidding war in January, you lost when it counted in October.
So enjoy your early Christmas present Yankee fans, cause today you won the battle, but the war will be won come September and October.