Various Sundries

* A few different reactions to the A-Rod deal. The first one is unprintable on a family blog. The second is more along the lines of this article by CNN's Sports-Biz guy Chris Isidore, that although the Yanks have compiled perhaps the greatest lineup ever, the deal is an indication that everyone else will now pay less money for top stars:

So it's safe to assume that the best player in baseball is worth about $9 million less a year in today's market than he was three years ago. When the best players cost less, it means more teams can afford them.

Another reaction is that the A-rod deal will spur the owners to line up behind John Henry and call for a salary cap. Over the players' dead bodies, which, given the allegedly rampant use of steroids, is a loaded metaphor these days. Perhaps as the players' testicles start shrinking from all that juice, their collective bargaining stance will weaken.

Yankees' fans shouldn't necessarily be embarrassed -- although if that's how they feel I certainly won't argue -- but in a way I feel sorry for them. Steinbrenner has completely removed the pleasure of rooting not only for one's team but for the young guys in the farm system of one's team. Now that the mid-90s homegrown class -- Jeter, Bernie Williams, Posada, Rivera -- is growing up (and old), Steinbrenner doesn't have the patience to rebuild the system. We've seen this before when Steinbrenner went nuts in the late 70/early 80s and drove the team into a relative doldrums for half a decade (from 1988 - 1993, the team's win totals were 85, 74, 67, 71, 76, 88). (Side note--to be honest, before I looked up those numbers, I thought the bad spell lasted from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, but in fact the Yanks did quite well from '83 through '87.)

* At least Greg Maddux didn't sign with the Yankees.

* I'm probably late to the party, but I just found this analysis of Brian Sabean's "Make Mine Mediocrity!" campaign of 2004. Funny, the piece discusses Sabes' baseball equivalent of dumpster diving, and I have finally read it after it's gone from premium to free. It's kinda like rain on your wedding day.


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