I'm not so biased that I can't see that many of the things the Yanks are doing aren't good for the name of "competitive balance", but there's nothing against the rules of spending. And, as of now, they will be bringing their payroll down in 2009, even if they go and add Teixeira after Sabathia and Burnett. Sure, it looks ugly when they do it because it's so over the top. Did the Yanks really need to tack on the extra year for both Burnett and Sabathia? Well, yes. The cost of not getting these guys was greater than the risk of getting them. Sure there is risk in both pitchers' arms and bodies. But if the Yanks have to eat the last few years of either/both contract, that's a pittance in their overall operating budget. If you dropped a $20 bill and lost it, you'd be angry at yourself but you wouldn't have to change your lifestyle. If the Yanks have to eat the last two years of each contract, so be it.
Except MLB, across the board, is better off when the Yanks are doing well. The team drives attendance everywhere they go. They pay a ton of money to other teams via revenue sharing and luxury tax payments. HUGE amounts of money. It's one thing to spend like a madman, it's entirely something else when you are paying an extra 40% on those binges to give to their competition. Hating the Yanks is good for business.
And not for nothing, MLB has to be the only business where outsiders (you, me, the fans) are pro-Management instead of pro-Labor. Just saying... Would you want GM to push the hourly rates for their workers down so their management could make more money? No, you want labor to get what they can for putting the product on the road (or field, as the case should be).
Now, the Padres have summarily sandbagged their fans' hope for the 2009 season and at least the next few years. They will not have a Rays-like resurgence, which was the result of many, many years of sub-basement performance which resulted in a bevy of top-of-the-draft players finally maturing at once. The Padres, if not sold to an owner who is committed to spending, will be terrible for the foreseeable future. I wish this wasn't so, but it it is. They weaken the competition for the NL West teams, giving an unfair advantage to the Dodgers and D'backs, who already get to feast on the Giants and Rockies. Post that against the backdrop of the NL East featuring the Braves, Mets and Champion Phillies.
The Padres do not drive attendance. They will absorb revenue sharing/luxury tax receipts with nothing to show for in terms of on-field talent. They are shafting their fans who will pay full price for a AAAA team. And that's a vicious circle they've created. Fewer fans will come, lowering their revenue base, which will, in turn, lower they spending further.
The Yanks will have over 4 million fans come to their new Cathedral, which they helped pay for, like it or not. Seating prices will be crazy, as will concessions. Parking was already silly (but at least there will be a MetroNorth stop for Westchester residents like me). But at least we know we have ownership who is committed to putting their money where their gaping mouths are. It comes off as obnoxious and offensive because it is. But don't forget that their payroll will be lower than last year despite moving into TNYS. And by lower, I mean that it will still be the highest in the game.
What's worse? The ownership who overspends or the ownership that underspends? Worse to thumb your nose at the issues affecting everyone else or to thumb your nose at your singular fan base?