Saturday, July 17, 2004

The American Way

I have listened to the arguements against the Yankees spending ways with a mixture of amusement and bemusement. On the one hand I find it quite funny that so many disparate individuals would react so vehemently to the payroll, the high priced talent and their acquisitive manner. From our direct competitors, the Red Sox and Oakland, I understand their anger at not being able to outspend the Yankees and their need to be creative in resource management, but from from people in Chicago or Tampa or Los Angeles? I don't get it.
Let's be clear, outspending your competitor and buying talent is the American way. Ever heard of Manhattan? Purchased for about $18 of trinkets. The Louisiana purchase? Seward's Foley? Any of those ring a bell? They are examples of the underlying American (well except for the first) ability to purchase what it wants or needs. We call this capitalism. So why blame the Yankees for doing the same thing? If Merrill Lynch wants to bolster a flagging equity division they put out feelers to the top ranked prinicpals or Directors from other companies and hire the best one they can away from their competition. Where is the competitive balance in that?
Where the hew and cry for reforming the system? Yeah right.
Maybe if the welfare checks that the"poor" owners in Minnesota or Pittsburgh or Kansas City get were spent on talent evaluation and development and they copied the Indians pattern (during the run of the mid 90's) of signing their young stars to 3,4 and 5 year contracts they could compete with the (cue John Williams) Evil Empire's spending ways. And, just by the by, Minnesota isn't doing that poorly right now.
I'm a NewYorker, I expect cost over runs and expensive capital programs, I say George better keep on opening the wallet whenever Cashman tells him to and he should otherwise age quietly. And to all those fans of other teams that can't afford to "compete", stop complaining about our payroll, go more often to support your team, maybe organize a bake sale and spend more when you go to the ball park. Worse come to worse, we'll just have to kick in more money to your teams welfare check and the owner of your second or third division team can pocket it instead of spending it on talent.
Just be happy that George hasn't read the biography of John D. Rockerfeller.

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