August 06, 2002

Yankee dominance is not what's hurting baseball. : In fact, having the Yankees on top has traditionally been good for baseball. Allen Barra explains why the Bronx Bombers, ballooning payroll and all, aren't to blame for baseball's woes after all.

posted by ajax to baseball at 09:33 PM - 8 comments

Somewhat self-serving, considering that this is coming from NY. That said, no one's ever given a good reason why it's impossible to count on consistently good seasons from the Phils, Angels, Rangers, Cubs or Sox, if market size is such a good predictor of success in Major League Baseball.

posted by jackhererra at 06:40 AM on August 07, 2002

My theory is that player salaries finally reached a point that the Yankees had a significant advantage over everyone else, including other big-market teams. If one team can pick one or two big-name free agents every year with little competition from other teams, it adds up. The Rangers blew the bank on Alex Rodriguez. They weren't in the running for any other big-name players after that, while the Yankees are always in the running for new marquee players.

posted by rcade at 07:32 AM on August 07, 2002

The Rangers blew the bank on Alex Rodriguez. They weren't in the running for any other big-name players after that, while the Yankees are always in the running for new marquee players. The Rangers way overpaid -- no other team would have even come close to offering that kind of contract. And the article's analysis of the Yankee's acquiring new players rang true for me -- the only big name they've picked up is Giambi, aside from a few late-season deals for aging sluggers. What's set them apart has been their own talent system (responsible for Jeter, Rivera, Soriano, Pettitte, B. Williams, etc.) and their picking up guys no one thought would matter that much -- Ventura, Brosius, O'Neill, etc.

posted by ajax at 09:08 AM on August 07, 2002

*cough*Mussina*cough*Clemens*cough*Duque*cough* *cough*Hitchcock*cough*Karsay*cough*Wells*cough* That's right! Their pitching staff is full of home grown superstars like Randy Keisler and Christian Parker! How could I have forgotten? No wonder they're so dominant. I'll never complain about their freespending pursuit of free agents again, since clearly they didn't buy their great staff at all.

posted by tieguy at 09:45 AM on August 07, 2002

Good point, tieguy -- I forgot about the pitching. True enough.

posted by ajax at 11:36 AM on August 07, 2002

I probably shouldn't have been quite so blatantly sarcastic there. It is quite possible to have a huge payroll and screw things up. That said, it's impossible to have a small payroll and win the Series. That's why the Yanks are bad for the sport. [If the Twins win the series I'll eat my Miami Hurricanes boxers.] [BTW, I don't think I've ever seen a more blatant confusion of correlation and causation than in this article when he claims a dominant Yankees are good for the sport. What utter crap. Attendance figures still haven't reached the levels they hit in 1994, which is roughly when the last period of Yankee mediocrity ended.]

posted by tieguy at 12:43 PM on August 07, 2002

I'm not surprised the Yankees signed a marketing deal with Manchester United. The two organisations are so similar it's a wonder they haven't tried to play a match using some bizarre baseball/football hybrid rules...

posted by salmacis at 04:47 AM on August 08, 2002

Jayson Stark had an interesting point in his recent column: He said, basically, that if baseball swas still operating under the two-division format, with only division winners advancing, the Yankees would not be nearly as dominant, as they would've missed the playoffs in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 2000, and subsequently two of those four World Series titles-- two in a row and three appearances in four years isn't bad, but winning four in five years and making the Series five of six is dominating. Stark points out correctly that they've only dominated in October, and not in the regular season.

posted by nath at 03:22 PM on August 08, 2002

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