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Rich Is Better December 13, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Baseball.
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mcduckNow that the Yankees have signed CC Sabathia for a 7 year/$161 Million deal and AJ Burnett for a 5 year/$82.5 million deal, will they finally win the World Series?

You got me! A big payroll has never been a guarantee for winning it all, though it usually helps a team be in the running. In the end, it’s up to those multi-million dollar players to deliver the goods, and sometimes (Hey there, A-Rod!) they don’t in the clutch. Tampa Bay made the series with a collection of under-25 year old payroll bargains who pitched and hit the crap of everyone else and played well as a team. While the Yankee team of my youth were mostly a collection of free agents & trades, the killer late 90s Yankees contained a critical mass of home-grown talent. I’d like to see that continue with the up and coming players they’ve been touting, many of whom are pitchers like Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves and so forth who might now become trade-bait with the signings of Sabathia and Burnett. Then again, if Pettite does not return and with Mussina retired, a rotation of Sabathia-Burnett-Wang-Hughes/Kennedy/Aceves (whichever ones make it) with Chamberlain and Rivera anchoring the bullpen looks pretty good.

They’re losing some hitting with Giambi leaving & Abreau possibly leaving. Perhaps they will continue to raid the Milwaukee Brewers for talent and trade for Mike Cameron (and perhaps sign pitcher Ben Sheets just to really piss them off). Perhaps Robinson Cano will have a better season at the plate next year, but they will need some more bats to back up the Damon-Jeter-Rodriguez-Matsui combo.

Will Hal Steinbrenner continue to make these good deals while keeping Cashman and his mouth shut all at the same time, unlike his idiot brother Hank? If Hal is now “Michael,” does that mean Hank is Sonny or Fredo? Maybe they should sign Luca Brazzi.

Speaking of Luca Brazzi, should they sign Manny Ramirez and put up with all of his bullshit as long as he drives in runs? The Dodgers certainly aren’t ponying up money for anything since McCourt still considers buying that team an elaborate real-estate deal, maybe it’s time to take advantage. I actually feel bad for Dodger fans – the TRUE fans, not the usual Los Angeles fair-weather “the team is winning so NOW we put the flags on our cars” fans that fill this city. The TRUE fans deserve better ownership, and perhaps the baseball Gods would reward them with such if they didn’t leave games in the 7th inning to beat the traffic.

And what if hanging out with Madonna droops A-Rod’s rod for good? Can you really blame A-Rod for leaving his wife for Madonna? After all, she’s got the body of a man half her age.

But I digress.

As long as Sabathia and Burnett don’t pull a Carl Pavano or become possessed by the spirit of Ed Whitson, I’d think the Yankees ought to win the AL East next year. Beyond that is anyone’s guess, though having 2 reliable starters and a slid bullpen is enough to win a short post-season series, as the Diamondbacks proved to the Yankees’ dismay back in 2001. Spending all that money might drive bleacher seat prices in the spankin’ new Yankee stadium north of twenty bucks from the current fourteen, but what the hell do I care? I get to watch games for FREE on TV a continent away! So far, the off season has been looking very good.

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