Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Zen Dayley: The evilest empire to infinity plus one; and the Jays are screwed nine ways to Sabathia

Bah, humbug: Put two and two together, as in Mark Teixeira's signing giving the Yankees the four biggest contracts in baseball, and you realize the Blue Jays.

Granted, ESPN.com's Keith Law worked for the Jays, but the speculation is snowballing.
The Blue Jays are in an unenviable position now, staring up at three clearly superior teams despite having a roster that would contend in just about every other division. It may now make sense to explore trading core players like Vernon Wells and even Roy Halladay, although the latter's no-trade clause may limit the return.
This does not give anyone in the GTA licence to whine (and since Toronto can be depressingly cold and corporate, that means the Yankees are your kind of team, Charlie). Very few people could have realistically expected the Yankees to avoid delivering a huge eff-you to people who are struggling financially, so it's amusing that even Cubs, Red Sox, Mets and Dodgers fans are joining in the chorus demanding a salary cap ("any sport with a system that allows one team to sign three players for more than $400 million in a two-week span needs fixing," Stan McNeal, The Sporting News). The Yankees apparently now have nine players making at least $14 million US next season, which is more than any team's payroll for its entire 25-player roster.

Meantime, on the same day, the Jays have been very proactive about their plans to do nothing. To be completely honest, it's all water off a duck's back, or further cause to contemplate joining the other members of the alt.nerd.obsessive admirers of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Why is that? Baseball geeks tend to be desensitized to the inequities in teams' payroll. Screaming for salary caps is kind of a ketchup answer — it's really more for people who, in Kinger's words, would prefer the leagues "increase the amount of money that goes to greedy owners instead of greedy players." On that pretentious poet level, salary caps are better left to the sports where your team needs to have a chance to win something in order for it to be interesting. Revenue sharing, that's the cheese.

Baseball is an unfair game. It's the only team sport where the team on defence has the ball. You can break your bat and get a hit the first time up, then hit the ball on the screws the next time up and see it become an inning-ending double play.

It's never been a fair game, except for in the 1980s and early '90s, which is coincidentally when the Jays were a premier team. The deck has been stacked since long before the Yankees purchased Babe Ruth from the Red Sox in 1920,

Point being, what are you going to do as a Jays fan? You're right to be pissed off. Until such time as Bud Selig really starts to hear it from the big-market teams who have money but not the Yankees' eff-you money, it's unlikely to change. What else do you follow? No disrespect, but there's not a hell of a lot else that fills in the summer evenings and weekend afternoons quite so well. Anyway, just to piggyback on a Drunk Jays Fans post from earlier today, you can't let the Yankees spending like drunken sailors take away from booing the hell out of them on some Saturday afternoon later this summer at Rogers Centre.

The real burn is that the Yankees spent all this money on another corner infielder who has not got it done in the playoffs.
First baseman Mark Teixeira got his first taste of the postseason this year and he obviously didn't like it -- because he signed a deal with the annual alsorans, the New York Yankees. And to be honest, paying $170 million for a guy who couldn't manage an extra base hit in the postseason seems like a lot of money. Unless, of course, you are the Yankees who don't figure to be in the postseason mix for an awfully long time. — The Hater Nation
Anyway, It Is About The Money, Stupid should take a huge victory lap for having called this weeks ago. Scott Boras, at least from this vantage point, played the Yankees like a fiddle.

Meantime, the baseball writers in Boston should probably start hammering out their sign-Manny-Ramírez columns tout suite, just to cause trouble. No one in Toronto need bother writing one. The handwriting is on the wall — it's J.P. Ricciardi's first draft of the revisionist history he'll write in 2010 or '11, after he's no longer GM.

This, that and the other
  • The Mets would like to hold Johan Santana out of the 2009 World Baseball Classic, which could mean another big name who would not appear during the first-round games in Toronto.
  • There was a lot more to Dock Ellis than the time he threw a no-hitter while on a LSD trip.
  • ShysterBall simply took apart Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman for not letting go of his Adam Dunn rage.
    "Brennaman is way past the point of telling tough truths about players, and now he's simply bitter. Day in and day out, he sounds like a man who truly hates his job, and truly hates the Reds. He hates that after having been able to watch the Big Red Machine in the 70s and some pretty darn respectable Reds' teams in the 80s and into the mid 90s, he's had to watch a mostly bad team play for the past decade. What's worse, he's not professional enough to put that disappointment aside and simply do his job like Skip Caray and Herb Score any number of other announcers of bad teams have done over the years."
    (Ottawa broadcasters would do well to apply that to Ray Emery.)
  • Carl Kiiffner has a post up about the Ottawa Rapids — work is underway for the Can-Am League team's second season. There was a semi-big move. The American Defenders of New Hampshire (né Nashua Pride) have acquired right-hander Luis Valdez, who was a big part (2.49 ERA, .240 opponents' batting average) of the Québec Capitales having the best record in the league last season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Much as I agree the Yankees are (or long ago have) ruined the competitive balance of baseball. (Though you're right, nothing better than even bad baseball - sometimes that's more entertaining.) The Jays never bought any championships? I'm not sure they didn't perfect the concept. But this really is getting out of hand, what chance does a Kansas City, Baltimore (once proud franchises) have anymore? It's time for some sort of divisional structure which is split based on dollars, for lack of a better term. The real commissioner's never allowed it to get this out of whack....