Thursday, October 22, 2009

We All Can Be Idiots Sometimes

even Matt Taibbi. (Yes, more off topic baseball stuff.)
Taibbi suffers from rabid anti-Yankeedom, a tragic condition which impairs one's capacity for logic and leads to otherwise intelligent people making absurd claims like the Yankees would suck this year or that Brian Cashman is somehow a worse GM than someone like Dayton Moore. It also leads to a position of cognitive dissonance where instead of the franchise spending revenues on payroll anti-Yankee fans argue the Steinbrenner family should be further enriched, and further idiocy where this fact is repeatedly denied without any reasonable cause. The Yankees have, by a substantial margin, the highest revenues in the game, so by all rights they should have the highest payroll. Yes, there is an inherent imbalance between the ability of the Yankees and, say, the Royals to compete, but that doesn't make it the Yankees' fault the Royals have sucked for almost two decades, that's due to simple bad management.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not bothered by most anti-Yankee crap, though it does irk me a bit when otherwise intelligent liberals vent their inner jock bigot and call me sometimes quite horrible things for daring to root for a team they don't like. I was picked on a lot as a kid for being smart, but I was always big enough to fight back so I still have an urge to do so. But Taibbi's style of idiocy just makes me laugh. As Reverend Said said in Oz, "God does not need you to protect him from morons".
I don't understand the Taibbi fandom, tbh, even separate from one bad piece from 6 months ago. He picks targets we on the left don't like, sure, but he himself isn't that impressive, especially when he decides to pretend he's the heir of HST. I see Taibbi as just as much of a careerist as Ezra Klein, just on a slightly different path.

(Just for the record, and as an olive branch to those who, not being fans of the team, focus more on the legitimate problems in the structure of MLB, I will say the team should not have received public subsidies for their new stadium, if they even truly needed a new stadium. And neither should any other team. I might also be the only Yankee fan who's both in favor of the luxury tax and the Yankees perpetually paying it.)


Ken Houghton said...

I thought the Yankees pay the luxury tax (1) as a badge of honor and (2) because it's chump change compared to the alternative of sharing their broadcast rights revenue with the rest of the league the way well-run sports do.

NutellaonToast said...

Very well written brad, but allow me to retort.

Fuck the Yankees.

Sorry. It had to happen.

Some Guy said...

Couldn't agree more! Taibbi adds "color" through his writing style--which i don't particularly like--but he's weak on analysis.

As to baseball... It's annoying to read complaints about the Yankees' payroll when unsuccessful low revenue teams 1) pocket revenue sharing money & 2) spend what money they do spend on Juan Cruz and Kyle Farnsworth and other such players.

The Yankees' core is a combination of big ticket free agent signings and good scouting. The free agents they target are often the right ones. (Disregarding Carl Pavano.) Right now, they don't have an albatross contract like Zito's or Soriano's or Garry Matthews Jr's or Vernon Wells'. (I suppose Alex Rodriguez might wind up that way in a few years, though.)

Those big ticket guys have to be supplemented by cheap younger players because an all FA team would cost well over $350MM. The Yankees have a solid collection of cheap, younger players playing a role on the team: Cano, Melky, Hughes, Joba.

Add to that expensive homegrown guys in Mo, Jetes and Posada and it's easy to see how the payroll's so big. If homegrown guys are worth keeping around, then payroll's gonna be big just due to how baseball's salary scale works.

Good teams aren't good because they're expensive, they're expensive because they're good. After a guy plays for a team for 5-6 years, you only have three options to get value from him: trade him, resign him or let him walk. The Yankees chose to keep Mo, Jetes and Jorge who collectively account for 24% of their 2009 payroll ($48MM).

Also, the Rangers are still subsidizing Alex Rodriguez' contract. By any measure, acquiring him was a shrewd move. So was trading for Swisher.

There's no denying that the Yankees have an advantage due to their revenue. But leveraging those advantages has taken skill on Cashman's part. Particularly, they've struck with relatively low risk moves (Swisher, Hinske, Pettite, Gaudin) and good scouting (Austin Jackson, Aceves, Joba, Hughes) which has served to magnify the effects of their revenue advantage.

In conculsion, apologizing for the long comment, I love baseball. I dislike Matt Taibbi's writing. I hate the Yankees. I respect the job Cashman's done.

Downpuppy said...

Spanking the Donkey was awesome, nobody else is hitting Goldman where it needs to be hit, & in conclusion:

Yankees Suck.

Mr. Wonderful said...

rabid anti-YankeeITIS.

Not anti-Yankeedom.

Because those nits aren't going to pick themselves.

spencer said...

Nutella, I find your argument compelling.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Go Phillies.

Fuck the Hankees.

Dr Zen said...

you are purely jealous. all baseball teams suck because baseball is just more boring rounders, and that's a girls' game.