“Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.”
– Benjamin Franklin
I’m sick and tired of all this arguing, so I’m going to set everyone straight, right here,
right now. Ever since last off-season when the Yankees committed $423.5MM to
three players, Red Sox Nation has continuously complained about the Yankees
“buying a World Series”, followed by Yankee Nation complaining about those
accusations. Before you know it, the steroid issue comes up, you start hearing about
the ‘good ol’ days’ before any of us were born, the owners and GM’s get shot at while
we all know they’re doing a great job, blood gets spilled, tears fall, Babe Ruth turns in
his grave, a baby heard crying in the distance. It’s messy, to say the least – and it
makes us all look like idiots. If we’re complaining about each other spending or not
spending, what does the rest of the fan base for the 28 other teams think of our poor
behavior? It can’t be good.
To all you Yankee fans, stop complaining about the unfortunate Red Sox souls. We
don’t know how it feels to be part of a dynasty … we’re bitter. Please, try to ignore
us. But don’t think you guys are getting off scott free. Stop complaining about
Lackey and Halladay “selling out”, among others. Sabathia didn’t sell out? How
about Texeira? Does A-Rod need $275MM to survive? You’re only complaining
about Lackey and Halladay because you didn’t get the chance to sign them. Your
team is the only team in the majors over the last year that were over the $170MM
luxury cap barrier. The closest team to that mark were the Mets at $139MM. Also,
look at the highest-garnished contracts in the history of the game. The top 5 are all
Yankees (even though A-Rod’s 2001-10 contract wasn’t signed with Cashman, he
fronted the majority of the bill). If the Yankee players aren’t selling out, then no one
is. Not that I’m complaining. If you’ve got the money to spend, you might as well
spend it. As for the players, if you can squeeze a large contract out of ownership,
then kudos to you.
Now, to Red Sox Nation: We’ve never had the right to complain about Yankee
spending habits. Looking back at the highest garnished contracts in MLB history, #6
happens to belong to Manny Ramirez, which the Sox paid a substantial portion of.
As for our payroll, it has been consistently over $100MM/year since 2004. The
World Series championship team in 2007 was paid a total of $143MM. That’s hardly
a bargain price. You may complain about John Henry and Theo Epstein being frugal
with the money they spend and the agents they sign, but since John Henry and Theo
Epstein came to town in 2002, they’ve been on a shopping spree that’s never really
You don’t believe me? Take a look at the Yankee signings from 2008 until now:
- Alex Rodriguez – $275MM / 10 Years
- Jorge Posada – $52.4MM / 4 Years
- Mariano Rivera – $45MM / 3 Years
- Robinson Cano – $30MM / 4 Years
Total money dedicated in 2008: $402.4MM.
- Mark Teixeira – $180MM / 8 Years
- C.C. Sabathia – $161MM / 7 Years
- A.J. Burnett – $82.5MM / 5 Years
- Damaso Marte – $12MM / 3 Years
Total money dedicated in 2009: $435.5MM. Why did we only start
seriously complaining about the money this year? Maybe it’s because they won the
‘Series. Maybe it’s because they outbid us for Teixeira. Maybe it’s just sour grapes.
- Curtis Granderson – $30.25MM – 3 Years (remainder of contract)
- Nick Johnson – $12MM – 1 Year
- Andy Pettitte – $11.75MM – 1 Year
Total money dedicated so far in 2010: $54MM.
Total dedicated over the last three years – $891.9MM.
Now, for the Red Sox spending over the last couple years:
- J.D. Drew – $70MM / 5 Years
- Daisuke Matsuzaka – $52MM / 6 Years
- David Ortiz – $52MM / 4 Years
- Matsuzaka Blind Bid – $51.1MM
- Josh Beckett – $30MM / 3 Years
Total money dedicated in 2007: $255.1MM.
- Kevin Youkilis – $41.125MM / 4 Years
- Dustin Pedroia – $40.5MM / 6 Years
- Mike Lowell – $37.5MM / 3 Years
- Jon Lester – $30MM / 5 Years
- Jason Varitek – $8MM / 2 Years
- Jonathan Papelbon – $6.25MM / 1 Year
Total money dedicated in 2008 & 2009: $181.025MM.
- John Lackey – $82.5MM – 5 Years
- Mike Cameron – $15.5MM – 2 Years
- Marco Scutaro – $12.5MM – 2 Years
- Victor Martinez – $7.7MM – 1 Year
Total money dedicated so far in 2010: $118.2MM.
Total dedicated over the last four years – $554.325MM.
Okay, sure. The Red Sox have spent significantly less over the last 4 years than the
Yankees have spent over the last 3, but those numbers are all relative. Upon
examination of those numbers, you see that most of the Yankee contracts are
long-term whereas a majority of the Red Sox contracts are of a shorter length. As a
good example of that, the Red Sox have about $20MM locked up in 2013, while the
Yankees have around $95MM locked up in 2013. In the near future, the Yankees
have players locked up for the long-haul, while Epstein will have to deal with players
leaving in the next couple years. The most obvious at the moment is the potential
losses of Varitek, Ortiz, Beckett, Martinez and Lowell. The Yankees on the other
hand only need worry about big names Jeter and Rivera. The Red Sox are going to
be the second team this year, along with the Yankees, that will either exceed or
seriously flirt with the luxury tax barrier of $170MM. What are we complaining about?
Everything in baseball is relative, folks. Now, don’t get me wrong … Last year’s
Yankees were a team that my 2 year-old niece could have managed to a World
Series trophy (not that I’m demeaning Girardi as a manager. He did a great job).
You can’t just buy a World Series, or else more managers would be doing it.
You still have to survive the 162-day injury-plagued season to be able to contend.
The money doesn’t hurt, though.
Red Sox Nation, just be lucky you’re fans of a team that has money, and isn’t afraid
to spent it when the chips are on the table.