Yes, as 7000 other people have already pointed out, the money the Yankees spent this off season could have bailed out the auto industry. But to borrow the old line Babe Ruth had when he was asked about being paid more than the president; the auto industry didn’t hit 33 homeruns and drive in 121 runs last season.
But this isn’t about the absurd amount of money the Yankees have spent; it’s about the arrogance the Red Sox displayed as the team refused to spend an extra $12 million on what instantly would have become its best hitter. Make no mistake about it. Money was not the issue here. The Red Sox might not have New York money, but they aren’t some WNBA franchise either. At some point, management decided that Mark Teixeira and Scott Boras were bluffing about having better offers on the table, so it decided to sit back and put the pressure on the player and his agent.
And well, you know the rest of the story.
The guys in New York aren’t the ones Red Sox fans should be complaining about on WEEI radio today. The Yankees are a team that attempts to put the best product on the field no matter what. The Red Sox meanwhile, starting at the very top, decided that revenge was more important than even winning. The team figured it could get Boras back for the Manny debacle this summer and that Teixeira would ultimately come running back for that $168 million contract.
But in trying to show Boras up, they lost sight of the fact that Teixeira might be more about the bottom line than anyone in sports, even Alex Rodriguez. This is a guy who, with the help of Boras, turned down millions in high school because he wanted more money, managed to manipulate what team drafted him out of Georgia Tech and then passed up a $140 million contract from the Rangers in 2007. If the Red Sox actually had the high offer, I’m pretty sure he would already be telling the Boston media how he spent his childhood imitating Mo Vaughn’s batting stance.
Instead, the only things different about the 2009 Red Sox will be the silly new uniforms and their place in the standings. And spare me the nonsense about the Sox having heart and chemistry. They’re not a high school football team. You can have your camaraderie. I’ll take talent any day of the week.
Bill Simmons from ESPN pointed out recently that everyone has fallen so far in love with Theo Epstein that he never gets called out when he makes mistake. But he gets no pass from me. The egos in the front office shouldn’t be bigger than the ones in the clubhouse.
That’s just bad for business.
More on Teixeira to the Yankees:
Reaction to the Teixeira signing – Bugs & Cranks
Mark Teixeira snubs Sox, chooses Yankees – Sox and Pinstripes
The Best Team Money Can Buy – Yanks Fan, Sox Fan
3rd Night of Hanukkah or Christmas Comes Early – My Pinstripes