Wednesday, August 16, 2006

In Defense of the Evil Empire

Let me preface this by saying that yes, I too detest the Yankees. However, I see something strangely and uniquely American about them. First off: Baseball is truly an American sport. Unlike basketball which was invented on American soil but by one of those contemptable Canadians, "America's Pastime" holds a special place at our cultural table. And what does this country of ours claim to hold so dear? Sure some of this might be debatable, but unquestionably capitalism and the free-market are concepts and realities firmly rooted in Americana. Baseball's financial structure reflects this. Instead of some Soviet-style hard salary cap like the NFL, baseball allows the market to dictate what teams will be financially able to field competitive squads. The Yankees by virtue of being financially viable thus produce good teams year after year, and squads like Kansas City do not.

17 comments:

The Stevo in H-Town said...

"...Baseball is truly an American sport..."

sport n 1: a source of diversion: PASTIME 2: physical activity engaged in for pleasure...
Merriam-Webster Dictionary...

Ya might wanna refer to it az what it iz: Business.

Sandlot's a "Sport"...Fuckin' izza "Sport"
...Pro Baseball and Pro Fuckin' are "businesses"

GM-Carson said...

I've been a reader of Smokin' Steve's for quite some time, and I'm going to link you guys on my blog. I'd appreciate the favor if you don't mind.

jugdish said...

Baseball needs a salary cap. The Marlins payroll is what, 15 million total? There are 5 or 6 guys who make more than that on the Yanks and they payroll is over 200 million. Just like the steroid issue, MLB has waited too long to address the salary cap issue.

mound of venus said...

dont you think there is something refreshing to knowing-more or less-which teams are going to be good year in and year out? the nfl is so gimmicky. you never know who is going to be good and bad. therefore, if your team happens to be winning in any particular year it almost feels cheapened by the whimsical nature of it all; which is tied directly to their financial structure. give me the sox v. yanks any year as opposed to the ravens v. giants superbowl. or whomever played this past year.

jugdish said...

That kind of takes the SPORT out of it if you have the same high spending teams in it year after year. The Sox Astros World Series last year didn't have great ratings, and even though it was a sweep, there was some great baseball played. Each game was close and could have gone either way. The people who didn't watch that World Series because it wasn't a Sox-Yanks type of matchup really missed some great baseball. I mean really, why would you want to watch A-Rod hit .167 in a playoff series when you can watch a guy like Joe Crede make some great plays at the hot corner and make some clutch hits in the series?

jugdish said...

Different NFL teams winning each year is not gimmicky, its parity. Brian Cashman is playing fantasy baseball up in New York and his draft is an auction type...but he has twice as much to spend as everyone else. Where is the sport in that?

mound of venus said...

it is all of question of preference i guess. but to me rivalry makes sport. parity is, and will always be, a gimmick. to make an analogy it is like income redistribution. someone far removed from accountability decides what is best for everyone instead of allowing the market to dictate. look at where russia was back in the day--see abysmal--and some place like hong kong--see thriving--to see the difference between parity and market.

Martin VanNostrand said...

I'm all for the new stadium for the single reason that I hope it brings a "curse" on the club for leaving the House that Ruth built. Then maybe my great grandkinds can dump on Yanks fans in 2088 because they have not won a world series in 88 years while the Sox have won 30 since 2004. We'll see.

Anyone think Papelbon sets the rookie saves record? I think he is 5 away from sharing the mark.

whocares said...

I agree with Bound for Penis. Parity is overrated. Where is the fun in wathcing a different team win the Super Bowl every year (Exception to the recent Pats)?

Give me the Niners of the 80's. I'll take that any day over the whoever the hell won last year.

And how the hell am I supposed to jump on a bandwagon when they dont even slow down long enough for me to grab hold of Rothlisberger's jersey?

The Rev said...

Damn, I'm actually going to agree with Jugdish.

I like parity. I like having to guess who will win each year.

But at the same time, I don't think dynasties are a bad thing. I llke having the Yankees around because it's fun to hate them. Like Star Wars needed Darth Vader and Hulk Hogan needed Roddy Piper, baseball needs the Yankees.

It is interesting that we always hold up the NFL as an example of parity, and yet the same team just won 3 out of the last 5 Super Bowls, and might be considered a contender this year.

In a way, the NFL has the best of both worlds right now. No one really knows who will win this year, but if the Patriots do they will talk about the dynasty.

The Rev said...

And... if Papelbon doesn't set the rookie rtecord, it will be a collapse of epic proportions.

Isiah Thomas said...

First the Sawx are done, stick a fork in them, Papelbon will get 5 more saves however.

Second - MLB isn't America's pastime anymore, football is king. And what makes football great? Parity. Everyteam starts the year with hope and a shot or at least the promise of "maybe if we do well this year we can make the leap next year". Baseball - no such luck. There are only 6-8 teams with a shot at the playoffs everyyear.

How can players make more than an entire teams payroll? How is that competitive balance? How can rich teams subsidize smaller teams. This came out a few months ago. The Yanks and Sox both LOST money last year, while the smaller market teams MADE money. And how did they make money? By having a small payroll and by receiving handouts from the larger teams!

Until MLB gets a salary cap they will never sniff the success the NFL does.

temwr said...

I think everyone is overestimating the parity in the NFL.

Take the AFC, who are the good teams?

Colts, Pats, Steelers, couple others.

Who were the good teams last year?

Colts, Pats, Steelers, couple others.

The top of the league has more turnover than MLB does, but the parity is not some thing where the top 6 teams from last year have a chance the bottom 6 next year. That will never happen. In the NFL teams rise to the top and fade away a lot faster than they do in baseball, but the pace is not warp 9.

Heck, there can be a decent argument made that there is parity in MLB.

Last 10 World Series Winners:
White Sox
Red Sox
Marlins
Angels
Diamondbacks
Yankees
Yankees
Yankees
Marlins
Yankees

Well only 1 repeat winner. The Yankees have 4 of the last 10 and 0 of the last 5. I'd say 5 different World Champs in the Last 5 years demonstrates some parity. Although the Yankees did play in 6 of the last 10. But the point is, let's not discount the parity in MLB just because the Pirates and Royals always suck.

Last 10 SB winners:
Steelers
Pats
Pats
Bucs
Pats
Ravens
Rams
Broncos
Broncos
Packers

NFL has 2 repeat winners and the Pats have 3 of the last 10 SBs and 3 of the last 5. With the Broncos taking 2 of the previous 5.


So while I agree that the spread from top to bottom is greater in MLB than in the NFL, I do not agree that parity doesn't exist in both. (NOTE: given only the last 10 years, which is all I count because of recent strides by both leagues to help parity)

Both have their teams that spend some time on the top and both have some teams that come out of nowhere to win it all.

OK, now I must end this and go to a meeting.

temwr said...

That one line should read "have a chance to be the bottom 6"

jugdish said...

I agree that baseball has parity in it, but why not have a salary cap? I'd like to see what the Yankees could do, and the Red Sox for that matter, with a $100 million dollar payroll. They might just have to...*gulp* develop some players! Look at the Twins...now I'm not sure what their payroll is, but they have done an excellent job at developing their own players. If the Yankees with this year...I will think two things. The first is DAMMIT!, and the second is SO WHAT??!! Heck, with a $200+ million dollar payroll they should win it every year.

Jay Scott said...

develope players? are you kidding me? I'm George Steinbrenner, bitch!

Steve said...
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