The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Fair-weather fans

Dear everyone:

Can we all agree to stop pretending that the Yankees have some kind of monopoly on irritating fair-weather fans who buy their official team gear ten minutes before the parade? There’s no question that the streets of NYC are absolutely crawling with them…I’m not disputing that. What gets me though is the sheer volume of whining and bitching and moaning from fans of other teams sadly bemoaning either a) the amount of money the Yankees spent to win the championship and b) the existence of said fair-weather fans.

Before I go any further, let me make it abundantly clear that I am no Yankee fan – nominally, I root for the SF Giants but the reality of my current situation is that baseball is somewhere between water polo and curling among my list of favorite sports. I care infinitely more about soccer, hockey, MMA, etc. I speak from a position of more or less complete neutrality.

That said, as a thought exercise, pretend you’re walking down the streets of Kansas City right now. Take a note of the relative percentage of people wearing Kansas City Chiefs gear. If you prefer, replace that with the Royals – they both suck and they both aren’t expected to win a championship any time this millenium. Anyway, call that percentage (x). Now, say the hand of god comes down and their next season plays out like a sports movie. Despite the wacky personalities and underdog status, they go on to win the big game…the Royals or Chiefs are now the champions. Now, do that same thought exercise – walk down the streets of KC, note the percentage of Royals/Chiefs gear, and call that percentage (y).


And, for the record, spending money doesn’t necessary correlate to winning. It’s a necessary part of winning, but you still have to do it right. If you’re a Mets fan and you bitch about the Yankees’ spending, you’re a moron. The Mets’ payroll could still fund the administration of Guam for 6 months, but the Yankees have historically been pretty good at identifying value for money. Yes, they spend big, but they spend big ON THE RIGHT GUYS. While my idiots are paying a king’s ransom to Barry Zito every season, while they pay big money to stiffs like Randy Winn and has-beens like Edgar Renteria, the Yankees have gotten the right pieces in place to consistently contend for a title every season.

That said, I don’t want to be too nice to Yankee fans. So, I will say that the people bitching that it took them 9 years to win can go fuck themselves, too. Seriously, if you look closely enough at King Tut’s tomb, there are hieroglyphs that translate to “The Yankees made the playoffs once again”. All you can ask of a regular season is to make it to the big dance at the end, and no one has done that with more consistency than the Bombers. The idea that losing in a short-series tournament means that their salaries aren’t justified is just the stupidest goddamned thing ever. The year they didn’t make the playoffs, you can somewhat argue that since they didn’t do their job well enough over 162 games. Over 5 games or over 7 though, it’s a fucking crapshoot and wacky things happen. While it’s not as loopy as a single-elimination tournament like March Madness or the FA Cup (whose final last season was contested between Portsmouth FC – fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the Premier League table this term – and Cardiff City, who are from the second division), you’re still 1 or 2 bad games away from going home. That can happen to anyone, and it often does.

Long story short – OHMYGOD, SHUT UP ALL OF YOU.

November 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Dude, what’s with all the math and variables. It’s been a long time. The thing that pisses me off about Yankee fans is that they feel they should be handed a world series trophy for the sole reason that they fielded a team. Sounds like Man U and Chelsea fans.

    The Yankees do sign bad players, hence their playoff impotence for the past 9 years. Pavano, Randy Johnson, people bitch about the Melki Cabrera guy, Giambi did not pan out either. At the end of the day, any signing in any sport is a crap shoot.

    BTW, Yankee fans forgot that during most of the 80s and early 90s their teams were complete and utter garbage and never made the playoffs and had a run of 17 or 18 years without a world series. They can all just suck it!

    Comment by Andy | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. No, spending money doesn’t necessarily correlate to winning, but the Yankees’ payroll is in a whole other stratosphere compared to other “big market” teams and gives them quite an advantage. The Yankees could give out a Barry Zito-type contract and get away with it. Remember Kei Igawa? Probably not, but the Yankees spent $46 million to acquire him and were able to just disappear him and keep on making the playoffs every year. What other franchise could get away with that? I don’t know what the solution is, but let’s not pretend the Yankees are just another big market team. They spent at least $40 million more than the second biggest spender each of the last five years and a full 33 percent more than anyone else this year. This is not a matter of degrees. The Yankees are playing a different game than everyone else.

    See Joe Posnanski’s post on the subject for a longer, better screed on the topic:

    Comment by joe | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. On point A, you are 100% correct, but on point B, you are dead wrong. The Yankees payroll advantage isn’t that they can buy the best players, though that is an advantage, but that the Yankees can keep the best players. They can do this because they can limit hard decisions, and when they do have to make hard decisions them they can make them on their terms and their own time. This is a luxury that only the Yankees truly have, though the Red Sox, Mets and maybe the Dodgers and Phillies (at the moment) have to smaller degrees, but I’m going to pick on the Yankees because their payroll is roughly equal to the Red Sox plus The Cardinals.

    The Yankees never have to make the decision of A-Rod or Jeter, CC or Riviera. They just grab them all and sort out the rest later or just let it work itself out. Tell me the last time the Yankees had to decide if they need to trade a star player that was still performing for the unknown production of prospects? Yet this is a decision the Brewers have to make with Prince Fielder, the Twins had to make with Santana, and on and on….

    For example, this off-seasons big question for the Yankees looks like it would be if they should keep Damon or Matsui. They only are going to make this decision because Damon is 36 and Matsui is 35. If Damon and Matsui were 26 and 27 do you think the Yankees would even contemplate getting rid of one or just sign both and eventually get rid of the one that wasn’t performing or until they found a replacement at a better value? Sure, they may make the wrong call and it might hurt them for a year or two, but small market teams have to make those decisions with players that are in their prime, and making two or three of the wrong calls can kill a franchise for a decade. Add in that every other team has to make that kind of decision at a much greater frequency then the Yankees do and you can see how the Yankees can manage to keep putting together outstand rosters year after year.

    For the sake of argument, let’s say A-Rod is 24 years old. What are that odds that he’s a Yankee vs. how long Evan Longoria is Ray as long as they both stay healthy and productive?

    Simply put, it is a lot simpler to sustain success if you limit the amount of difficult decisions you have to make. The Yankees can do that because they have the money to buy time and the money to shake off bad decisions. The Yankees will never be the Pirates because their front office will never have to make the difficult decisions at the same frequency that the Pirates do. The only way the Yankees can screw up is if they panic. Granted, they have done a few times, but really, if the Yankees collect players, watch how they play, how they work in the clubhouse, and make decisions, when they are comfortable making them or enough time goes by to make the answer obvious, The Yankees will never be far from another championship. If properly exploited, is their a greater advantage then being able to buy time in all of sports or in life in general?

    Comment by Brian (snooge) | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. Nice Joe, I got my Red Sox plus The Cardinals line from the comments of that article.

    Comment by Brian (snooge) | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  5. you’re right, we just should praise our Yankee overlords and keep quiet about it….that sounds about as realistic as Mideast peace before Christmas….

    Comment by TJ | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  6. As a lifelong Yankee hater, I agree (bitterly) that they do not have a lock on fair-weather fans who join at the first sight of a winner. Nor am I 100% against that, particularly in the city where they won; if you’re a city person, and your city team wins, by all means enjoy it, even if you’re nowhere to be found next year when they’re limping around. I am pretty much OK with that.


    Traditional power teams who get outsized publicity even when they’re NOT good (greatest example of all time, of course, being Notre Dame football, with the Yankees and Cowboys not far behind) tend to both attract the MOST hangers-on and the WORST hangers-on. The types who can’t name the second baseman or manager, but mock every other fan of every other team because their team sucks.

    Lastly, and I’ve always thought this, money doesn’t buy championships, but it allows teams to make mistakes. If the Twins sign Mauer to a giant contract and he gets hurt right away or his production collapses, they’re fucked; there’s not going to be a free agent replacement nor could their lineup sustain that sort of hit. If the Yankees lost Teixeira for the season next year, they have several options on the table (not least of which is having 5 starting outfielders and Swisher or Damon each having first-base experience.)

    Has anyone ever done a study of which team in all sports — U.S. and beyond — has the greatest financial advantage? I’m guessing it’s the Yankees because they really have no equal. Real Madrid and Chelsea can spend more, but they have Barca and Man U willing to spend almost penny for penny… and no salary cap in baseball to rein anybody in.

    Comment by TK | November 7, 2009 | Reply

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