Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Friday, July 09, 2004

BASEBALL NATION: Top Ten Reasons I Hate The Yankees, #5-#1

Well, we go on in discussing my top 10 reasons for hating the Yankees....

5) BRIAN CASHMAN, GM- The infamous WFAN caller Jerome from Manhattan once called this guy a "buffoon." Probably the wisest thing the guy ever said. And I don't care how many rings Cashman has. In my book, he deserves no credit for the Yanks' success. I'd rather look at the unlimited payroll this guy has (he certainly is a "cash man"), which would be the true reason for his team's success. Give Schuerholz or Sabean this kind of money to build a team, and I wonder if that team would ever lose a game.
Name me one good trade the guy has made. Javier Vazquez? A glorified salary dump. So was Kevin Brown. The Knoblauch trade was a bust. Justice was good for half a year, then stunk in '01. Cashman's true weak spot is pitching. Neagle, Weaver, Yarnall, Witasick, Benitez, Orosco, Wohlers, Karsay, Contreras, Hitchcock, Gabe White--- all busts. The Yankees' pen (aside from Rivera) has been shaky till this year, when Cashman outspent the other teams to give Flash Gordon closer money. How many setup men make that much?
And Cashman has let some darn good prospects get away. What do Mike Lowell, Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman, Ted Lilly, and Jake Westbrook have in common? They're all ex-Yankee farmhands.
The guy who deserves credit for the Yanks' run? Gene Michael. By holding on to prospects like Rivera and Pettitte and adding important players like Paul O'Neill and David Cone, Stick ought to go down with John Schuerholz and John Hart as the best GM's of the '90's.

4) MICHAEL KAY (YES announcer, 1050 talk-show host)- Wow, does it take a lot to be such a homer as to make Mike Franseca look like a Red Sox fan. And it takes even more to make John Sterling look classy and unbiased. But Michael Kay is that good (if you consider that a good thing, that is). And on top of that, he's about as annoying and whiney as it gets. That shrill "seeya!" manages to top Gary Cohen's cringe-causing "it's outta here!" in pure annoyance. And in case that's not enough to satisfy you, the guy is full of himself and arrogant. How much would you have to pay the guy to say something pareve about the Yankees, let alone a criticism? Then there was the time he dissed Yankee fans for booing Mariano Rivera when he was struggling. C'mon, just shut up! The guy thinks he's Jerry Seinfeld the way he tries yukking it up with his buddies on ESPN Radio. And despite two solid compadres on YES in Jim Kaat and Bobby Murcer, Kay still manages to make Yankee games unwatchable.

3) $$$ Shall we call them the Yankees, or perhaps the Marlins-Indians-Devil Rays-Brewers-Pirates, considering the Yanks' payroll is higher than all of those teams combined? And granted, most of those teams are playing competitive ball this year, but could you imagine how much better it would be if they were actually able to compete with the Yanks? The Indians would have a bullpen, TB would have better pitching, etc. So even though baseball's competitive balance situation is the best this year since the '80's, there's still a ways to go. The Yankees are still bad for baseball, and their ridiculous baseball is still ruining the competition of the game-- just look at the Expos. Their whole fiasco would never had happened if there were a salary cap and no Yankees free-spending. The team would've attracted fans to Olympic Stadium (when they were good, they drew! Montreal fans can be interested), they would've had buyers, and Termell Sledge would be in AA where he belongs.
I don't blame King George-- he's just playing by the rules. And I don't blame Selig-- it'll be almost impossible to run a salary cap by the greedy Players' Association. But the spending ticks me off. Simply put, that spending ruins the game of baseball. So when they get Carlos Beltran next winter, I'll ask the Yankee fans just how exactly this is good for baseball, that the rich get richer.

2) DEREK JETER, Shortstop- This guy redefines the word overrated. And overpaid, too, while we're at it. Compare his 2003 numbers to less-heralded Cardinals' SS Edgar Renteria:

JETER: .324, 10 HR, 52 RBI, 11 SB, $15.6 Million salary
RENTERIA: .330, 13 HR, 100 RBI, 34 SB, gold glove, $6.5 Million salary

If you were starting a baseball team (and money counted), whom would you choose?

And can you tell me why Jeter makes so much more than Renteria?

My friend Tzali once showed me an article, "What's so great about Derek Jeter?" I'll admit the guy's above-average, but he's no superstar. The Yankees fans always point to the intangibles- he plays hard, he's a good leader, he's respected in the clubhouse. Hey, so's the Dodgers' Jose Lima. And he's not quite getting $15 million for the "intangibles." Is he paid to attract dumb teenage girls to the Stadium? Is it a PR move? Hey, why don't the Yanks' sign Ryan Seacrest? And for being "captain" of the Yankees, it all adds up to a #2 finish in my top 10 for DJ.

1) THE FANS- In light of everything I've written and then some, the Yankee fans take the cake in making me hate the team. They're arrogant and obnoxious. Funny thing is, a Yankee fan today has almost nothing to look forward to. The regular season is dumb; after April, they always beat the Red Sox. And the rest of the games are silly. So wait till October. Who are they playing, the Twins? Who have one-quarter of the Yanks' payroll? Whatta joke. So maybe the ALCS is exciting. But then comes the World Series. The Yankee fan is facing his dilemma. If the Yanks lose, the season is a total bust. A disaster. (How many teams consider the year a bust if their team loses the series? It's crazy.) But if they win, it proves the point that money wins World Championships. And we don't want everyone to think that! One of my friends, a Yankee fan, used the Marlins' victory last year as prrof that money doesn't win championships. And if the Yanks would've won, what would you say, wiseguy? That the Yankees are good for baseball? So wait, you were rooting for the Marlins? Okay, I'm confused.
And based upon what I said before that the Yankees ruin baseball, I believe that any Yankee fan is not a real baseball fan and not rooting for the game's best interests.


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