Bad ideas and ludicrous statements (aka: Why people hate NYY fans)

RAB’s Joe Pawlikowski wrote the article I had been wanting to write but never got around to completing.  Well, he wrote it better than I probably would have, but nonetheless, he’s spot on:

If Mauer does hit the free agent market, though, I don’t expect the Yankees to outbid the Red Sox for him. They’ll make a play, of course, but I don’t expect them to use their resources that way. Yes, Mauer is one of the most valuable players in the game, but the Yankees have spent the past three or so years filing their farm system with catchers. After all that, why go and use an enormous portion of your resources to sign one in free agency?

As it stands, the Yankees have $144 million locked into the 2011 payroll before they work out contracts for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. They’ll also have arbitration cases for Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. In other words, they could be near $185 million for just 13 players — and that doesn’t include Javy Vazquez or Andy Pettitte. At that point they’d probably need at least one starting pitcher. Other needs could crop up during the season, including left field.

Yet at catcher the Yankees would have Jorge Posada under contract for one more season. They’d also have Jesus Montero with a year of AAA under his belt, and Austin Romine with a season of AA — and possibly with some AAA experience. Below them they feature a number of low-level catchers, too, including J.R. Murphy and Gary Sanchez. Signing Mauer to a six- or seven-year deal would render these developing players essentially useless to the organization. Wouldn’t that render a waste the past few years of focus on catcher?

What more is there to say?  The Yanks DO have a budget, albeit worlds higher than every other team, but there is a ceiling.  Allocating a significant percentage of their available resources to sign someone when they have been focused on developing high level talent themselves is a foolish decision.  Joe did a great job of capturing this logic and I offer him my thanks for doing so.

The NY Daily News’ Bill Maddon threw more gas on this fire yesterday:

Unlike most other teams, however, the Yankees have both the financial resources to afford the MVP catcher as well as the surplus of talent it would take to acquire him should the contract talks reach an impasse and the Twins elect to put him on the trade market. Indeed, if there is one area where the Yankees are rich in prospects it is catching where Jesus Montero and Austin Romine are rated by most scouts as can’t-miss major leaguers. The question is, which of them – if either – will be the one to succeed Jorge Posada.

A bunch of scouts were discussing just that Tuesday night before the Yankees’ game with the Houston Astros at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Their consensus was that the 20-year-old Montero’s bat alone will likely get him to the big leagues by next season, but in the long run the 21-year-old Romine has the complete package – bat, arm, mechanics, makeup – to be a top quality all-around catcher – for someone.

But in my opinion,” said one scout, “the next catcher for the Yankees will be Joe Mauer. Imagine if the Twins don’t sign him and he goes out there on the market next winter with both the Yankees and Red Sox in need of a catcher? That will be the wildest bidding war in baseball history, and don’t think his agent doesn’t know it. And if they (Twins) decide to trade him, the Yankees have the better pieces to get him.

“Said one scout”.  Not to be mean or bitter, but there’s a reason why he’s a scout and not a GM.  The Yanks DO NOT need a catcher.  They have Posada, for better or worse, for two more years and as we already mentioned, a solid pipeline of catching talent on the come, lead by Montero. Not to mention, there’s that little issue of money.  It’s always about the money.

Now, back to NYBD’s Mike Silva and the line that had my skin crawling:

Mauer deserves the big stage of New York.

Holy crap.  That’s the last thing this guy deserves.  He deserves to remain in his backyard, with family and friends and being the face of a very good, talented and competitive Twins franchise for the next decade a half. Why does Silva think that Mauer deserves New York?  Because it’s bigger, more crowded, can afford to pay him more?  It’s a dangerous word, deserve.

“Deserves”.  This one word gets Yankee fans in so much trouble.  It implies a God-given right.  We tend to think that we, the Yankees, deserve the best players because we’re New York, because we have the most money to spend, because we’ve won 27 World Series titles, etc… We don’t deserve anything more than what we go out and earn.  Wins, respect, whatever.  Joe Mauer doesn’t “deserve” New York anymore than New York “deserves” Joe Mauer.  This is exactly the sort of sentiment that gives Yankee fans the reputation they have (well, along with the cast of Jersey Shore and guys like this, to the right).

You know who deserves Joe Mauer?  The fine people of Minnesota.



UPDATE 3/19/10, 11:45am

Mike has a rebuttal.

Will I apologize for saying Mauer, or any other great player, deserves New York? Never. Why should great players be denied this environment? Why shouldn’t they be rewarded for their talents with sports immortality?

OK then. These types of guys don’t need NY to validate their skills.

About @Jason_IIATMS

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

26 thoughts on “Bad ideas and ludicrous statements (aka: Why people hate NYY fans)

  1. Great post Jason.  You give Yankee fans a good name — unfortunately the majority of your brethren do not.  Keep putting the gasbags in their place.

  2. I find Silva and Madden to basically be nothing but trolls (I wonder how many scouts told Madden the Yankees don't need Mauer). Not paying attention to them has made baseball an even more enjoyable experience.

  3. Good Job Jason!   I agree with Briens assesment of Siva and Madden,Lupica, King, etc etc.  Joe Maur will NOT be playing for the Yankees. Guys like Silva and Madden don't understand what the Yankees are trying to accomplish as an organization.  The Yankees spent alot of money last year to lay a cornerstone that would allow the Team to rebuild their line-up from that point forward by a better developed farm system .   Montero/Romine to replace Posada,  Slade Heathcott to eventually replace Swisher.    Jeters replacement will probably come from this years draft.   The Yankees don't want to spend money on Big time Free Agents for a long time.

  4. Prediction: If Joe Mauer becomes a free agent, both the Red Sox and Yankees will bid the sky for him, and the guestimates at what package he's going to get from them will go up and up and up, until it comes out that they were both only bidding for him to raise the price for the other team. At that point, the price will drop dramatically, and another team wanting to make a big splash (Mets?) will shell out for him.

  5. Outstanding post! 

    The Yanks have a number of key slots manned by solid but aging players: not just Posada at catcher, but Pettite at SP, Rivera as closer, and the left side of the infield.   Assuming that Granderson is a keeper, the corner outfield spots are still question marks in my book.  I agree, the farm system looks strong at catcher and pitcher.  In contrast, I don't see where our next shortstop and corner outfielder are coming from. 

    I don't see the point of breaking the back to fill a position that already looks solid to me.

  6. Cracking up from the d-bag in the picture.  It is d-bag fans like that (which are far more prevalent than Yankee fans would like to admit) that make me (i) hate the Yankees and (ii) pray to god that my young children hate them too.

  7. You do hammer Silva (rightfully so) for the "deserves to be in NYC" comment, but you didn't mention that he did make a good point in that a deal for Mauer would tie up 15-20% of the Twins' salary in one player in a long-term deal. Definitely not their style. Certainly they'll be having more money coming in with their new stadium, but is that enough to justify such a huge expense? The prospects may or may not be too much, but there is a real possibility that the Twins deal Mauer to either the Sox or Yanks… (although I personally hope its a Santana redux and the other NYC team snags him!)

  8. As a life-long Twins fan with a nearly life-long hatred for the Yankees (I did have a Mickey Mantle poster when I was about 6) and their fans, I appreciate Jason speaking up and making me realize maybe you guys aren't so bad after all.

  9. @Jason

    Thank you, brother, for giving Yankee fans a fine example to follow.  The presumption of some people truly is obnoxious.  But you make me want to not root against the Empire quite so hard.



    The Twins' payroll has actually risen significantly in the last few years, and will be around $100 million as they enter their new ballpark.  If this represents a new, sustainable level in their payroll, paying Joe Mauer up to 25% of that is not unreasonable.  It's risky, but Mauer may be the right player to take that risk on.

  10. As a fan of the game, I hope the Twins will be able to hold onto Mauer, but…

    "We don’t deserve anything more than what we go out and earn."

    True enough.  How would a baseball team do this earning?  By winning at baseball?  By generating revenue?  Maybe the Yankees have been able to the do the first, partially because of historical accident that allows them to do the second.

    If this is the case, perhaps we might establish different parameters within which a team would earn.  I find Sky Andrecheck's Franchise Strengh Index interesting (…).  Using this, we might suggest that the fans earn their team by supporting their team?

    Using this, it looks like the Yankees along with the Cubs, the Mets, and the Dodgers have earned the ability to field strong teams.

    If this isn't a useful way to look at it, what would be?

  11. Thanks to all for the comments.  And I want to reiterate: this was an impersonal review of a baseball posting, not an attack of Mike Silva, who I like and appreciate. 

    @Dermot: Yes, I know Mike is a Mets fan, and I should have clarified that, but he's a NY-centric guy.  A difference?  Maybe a little. 

    Thanks again, guys.


  12. I've always found Mike Silva to write more with the tone of a New York fanboy blogger than a journalist, and this article strikes me as typical of his work.  Gag.

  13. If Mauer hits the market, the Yankees would be unwise not to make a real attempt to sign him. They don't need a catcher, and maybe the don't NEED Joe Mauer. But if you can afford to sign one of the best players in a generation at a premium defensive position, you probably should. Most indications are that Montero will outgrow catcher, and the rest of the candidates are too young for an organization like the Yankees to plan around. Most catching prospects don't pan out, which is precisely what makes Mauer so valuable.

    On another note, Montero and Hughes OR Chamberlain would probably be enough to get Mauer, since it's a great package and most teams won't want to give up more to get a guy that they'll have to pay a ton of money to or see walk away.

    PS: I hate the Yankees and hope none of this happens.

  14. Great Post Jason, your spot on with your assessment with what drives a Minnesota-native like me crazy about Yankee fans (and Red Sox fans may actually be worse). The Presumption.

    Mike's Rebuttal really nailed the presumption. Somehow Mauer only reaches sports immortality if he moves to Yankee Stadium. I'd invite Mike to come to Twins game in Minnesota. Mauer didn't earn the nickname "Baby Jesus" for nothing around here. He walks on water as far as most Minnesotans are concerned.

  15. I agree with Steve. I don't think the Yankees should (or will) trade anything of great value for Mauer, because catcher's not a position of great need (Posada for 2 more years, Montero, Romine et al). However, if he hits free agency I think the Yankees go after him very, very hard because he is a hugely regarded 'known quantity'. It's a similar situation to the draft – you take the best available talent before you draft for 'need'. You can always trade valuable assets later. It would be a fantastic position to be in to have 'too many catchers'. Cashman was willing to trade Austin Jackson for Granderson, so you know he's willing to look at the farm system this way. If he gets Mauer, he'll either find a way to get Posada and Montero into the lineup, or he'll trade them for positions of 'need' (shortstop, left field, pitching).

  16. I appreciate Mike Silva's honesty.  Now lets follow his idea to his logical extension.  The games finest players deserve pinstripes so that they may be properly appreciated ( or perhaps more reviled, but I digress).  If that is really the fairest arrangement, lets institute an annual Yankee Draft in which the Yankees select the finest 25 players in the game to take into the upcoming season.  With that done, let a few other teams take the rest of the best (Red Sox, Mets, and maybe a couple of others)  and then allow the rest of the major *sic* league teams to fight over the scraps.  Make sense to you, Mike?  Under this system, Yankee fans and  top players get everything they deserve, and the rest of us baseball fans get what we deserve: the joy of watching you be happy.  Everybody wins!

  17. What some people seem to not understand, is that the Twins have two pretty darn good catching prospects themselves…Morales and Ramos, so if the Twins had to trade Mauer, it wouldn't invloved getting a catcher…so now what?

  18. I am a lifelone Yankee fan.  I concur with a lot being said.  I think what really hurts us is when you go into chat rooms and the questions that do get posted are from guys like Vito from New York suggesting that the Twins would love a package of Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner, Mark Melancon, and Nick Swisher.  I remember the day that question was asked in a Keith Law chat and I threw up in my mouth.  Why would anyone accept that package for just about any major league player?  These are things that give us Yankee fans bad names.  A lot of our bretheren love to overrate our own prospects, guys they probably have never seen or heard of until they read an ESPN article, and love to undercut trade proposals just thinking teams will give away talent to us.  As a very rational fan, I know that not to be true, I and many others I know, just never get our forum or our chance to post or say these things.  The stuff that people find entertaining is not, "hey, I am a Yankee fan and I think this is a bad idea."  People love to read idiots like Vito who throw out outrageously egregious proposals that make us all look like bufoons.  On behalf of all Yankee fans, I apologize for the collection of fools that make all of you hate us even more.  Just keep in mind, everytime you read a Vito post or question, some of us are true and passionate and endured the "Melido and Pascual Perez" eras and also got to grow up watching Don Mattingly, one of baseballs best people, never win a ring. 

  19. Eddie,

    I agree with you that Yankees fans (and fans of any team, really) tend to imagine their crap to be gold, and worth other teams' cornerstone players.

    But I can think of lots of players who I'd trade for the package above (all significantly less valuable than Joe Mauer, of course!). Don't sleep on Melancon, who will be pitching in high leveraged roles by the end of 2010; nor undervalue Swisher, who put up an .869 OPS last season–higher than more ballyhooed players such as Justin Morneau, Victor Martinez, Ichiro, etc.

    Gardner happened to be one of the best defenders in baseball last season in the time he played (we've documented it here on numerous occasions) and also happened to get on base at a decent clip.

    Ironically, the only player who really doesn't appear to be worth much of  anything from that grouping is Melky, who was traded to the Braves for Javier Vazquez!

  20. Correct me if I am wrong, but isnt Posada a 10-5 player giving him a no-trade clause?  He would have to approve a trade and I dont believe he would do that.

  21. There lies the problem.  My proposal for a superstar was such a joke that I was not expecting anyone to possibly defend it.  So a "possibly" useful bullpen guy, and we have NO  IDEA if he will be and he will NOT be in high leverage situations anytime soon, a guy who has bounced around a few organizations and was very unclutch (I am a Yankee season ticket holder, believe me I saw enough of Swisher), a very good defensive guy who can't get on base or hit worth a lick, and Melky who is average at best for possibly one of the best Catchers in MLB history entering his prime?  Good lord man!!  No wonder people hate us!

  22. Gardner had an OBP of .345.  Exactly league average in one of the best hitters ballpark.  He had an OPS+ of 93 which is below average for a major league player.  At least it was better than his 127 plate appearances in '08 when he had an OBP of .283!  Hello Bengie Molina! 

    Swisher of course was not bad at all.  He had a career year with an OPS+ of 129, a number of which he has never hit, and in the year prior in Chicago, he had an OPS+ of 92.  His contract, however, would make him undesirable in any deal.

    My point was, we normally go into chat rooms and watch our own fans offer the absurd.  My "generic proposal" would only net a guy who maybe had a good year or two and was under a horrible fiscal contract of which a desperate team was trying to get out of.  Not a star player.

  23. I think every great baseball player in the big leagues should play in NY for the Yankees and experience that wonderful Yankee big stage feeling. Like, why don’t the Yankees just sign every great All-Star ballplayer in the big leagues and win the World Series every year in 4 game sweeps. Wouldn’t that be so much fun? Now you know why the Yankees are despised, deplored and hated by baseball fans all across America.