He’s Just Not That Into You- Baseball Edition

Baseball is my favorite sport with my second favorite sport being whatever Vera Farmiga is starring in . . . actually, she’s my favorite but for this post.

My beloved sport has gotten knocked around for most of this decade and rightly so. But when compared to the other boys, it’s a so what proposition. The scourge of PED’s? I say the NFL makes those escapades look like child’s play. The lack of a salary cap in baseball? What, so that we can watch our teams trade contracts rather than players-as in the NBA? Too many games?Work on your deficient attention span and petition MLB to do away with the wild card round, because aside from that there are not enough games for my blood.

I’ll preface by saying I’m a Yankees fan. Bronx born, not a post 1996 byproduct. Neither do I subscribe to the idea that we are owed October. And perhaps most importantly, I am very much against my team throwing money at every sexy single who comes down the free agent path.

That’s why I shed  no tears when  Cliff Lee jilted us for the Phillies. We’re already fielding a team that appears well off financially into the next millennium thanks to elongated contracts.

I would have been alright with a “fill in the blank” check made out to Lee for three years worth of work. And I’m sure the Yanks could have alleviated his concerns over the brief terms by say, moving Arkansas into Connecticut for him. And installing a spit shield around the entire stadium.

So we got stood up. So what? There’s precedence for this kind of unsociable behavior on the part of big time free agent pitchers and the Bronx. Greg Maddux did the exact thing to us in 1992, signing with the Atlanta Braves instead.

The irony is that Maddux helped to round out what was then considered a pretty impressive rotation in its own right with Smoltz, Glavine and a kid named Steve Avery who was every bit as good as Cole Hamels. They would end up winning a World Series thanks to the signing. One world series.

The Yanks managed to get past the Maddux slight just fine, winning four out of five World Series they played in from ’96 to ’01- and coming within a blown save by Mariano Rivera of winning four straight and five out of six. They defeated Maddux and the Braves for two of those titles.

The sports argument is that the Yankees would have been ‘buying the title’ if they would have landed Lee. Which is why sports arguments are best served with lots of alcohol, since most of them make about as much sense as Sudoku.

The Phillies did not buy a title, they simply made a business decision to re-invest the money they had saved by not re-signing Werth. In business, that’s what you do. You put your money back into the product. You can’t buy championships but you can take steps to field a contending team by opening your wallet when a primo ballerina like Lee happens along.

The Phillies window is closing and this is a bold move, and I believe a very solid one. I hope it results in a title because I believe the (baseball) fans of Philadelphia are as knowledgable and deserving as any fans in the game. They suffered longer and harder than anyone outside of Cubs fans- and without the mythology of bullshit curses to toast to.

They bought another chance at another title and that’s not against the law. I had them penciled in for the title last year after the Halladay signing, so there are never sure things . . . only chances taken. You can certainly win December with such a purchase, but it’s about what happens in October and November.

Ask the Mets about that.


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