He had a 20 win year, just 2 years ago and was injured last year. It's worth a risk even if he can't win 20 again.
Also look for Jose Hernandez to put up big numbers in Colorado as the shortstop. They got him for under a mil.
And for my fantasy sleeper pick. I'd take Josh Phelps of Toronto. If they play him at catcher, he makes the All-Star Game this year. He has tons of power, his downside is that he might DH, but I pick him anyway.
It's not enough the Yankees had SEVEN starters who could be a top three starter on any other club, they had to go out and take the Cubs' #1 guy? (Even if injured)
This is getting to be pathetic. It's no wonder the league's in the shape it's in when crap like this can take place.
I'm proud of the fact that the Atlanta Braves (my team) have shown some restraint and cut budget, even if at the expense of a lifelonger like Tom Glavine. They still have a big payroll, but they're being unbelievably mature about how they balance what they've got.
Selig needs to step in and ask Steinbrenner just what he needs with another pitcher when he can't even balance the Major Leaguers he's got.
What the Yankees do is a farce. A complete and total farce.
Lieber's not even going to pitch this year. He received a 2 year, $3.5 million contract from a team that repeatedly said THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE TO CUT PAYROLL and he's not even going to pitch in the first year. Another poster child for fiscal sanity, the Rangers, had indicated they were trying to sign Lieber, but at nowhere near the Yankees' price. And, they're desperate for pitching. I'm still on pins and needles waiting to see where George is going to cut payroll because I haven't seen it yet. And, I'm not bitching because of their payroll (that's the way the cards were dealt), I'm bitching because of George's lip service to cutting salaries.
The Yanks actually decided not to cut payroll. Why the fuck do they need to cut payroll? George wants to win, and he has the money to do what the hell he wants to do. He could have signed Pudge to DH and back up Jorge (heck, or replace Jorge and have Jorge back Pudge up), he could have traded for Colon, Hampton, and Millwood and kept El Duque, Mendoza, and Stanton, and keep whoever wouldn't fit on the 25 man roster down in Columbus, making it up to their bent feelings with a million dollar bonus. Next year, when they don't have Clemens, Hitchcock (I keep forgetting they still have him), and possibly Pettitte, now they have Leiber for 2004. How can that not be a good signing. Did any of the other teams NOT have a chance to sign him? Why couldn't Boston make that deal? THEY couldn't use a 20-game winner in 2004?
I am not trying to say that the Yankees do what they do in the interest of "baseball". They do what they do because when/if the Yanks win the Series, it is more money for the Yanks. With merchandising and broadcasting money, they make tons. If George is willing to pay the HUGE tax, shouldn't he be able to spend what he wants? I mean, those are the rules, right? Is he cheating? No. Does he have an advantage over KC, Minnesota, and half of MLB? Hell yes he does, being in NY will give that advantage to you. So what can you do? Put a cap on the Yankees? That's what they did with the CBA they came up with last year, since it was aimed at the Yanks. "George," said baseball, "you are going to have to shell out a ton of money to other teams if you spend and spend and spend." George simply said, "Fuck it, OK. Take my money, I have more. I am getting who I want, who will possibly help me win it all, and who will help me put more money back into my pocket and back into the team." Matsui may just hit 20 HR and bat .260, but think of all of the shirts and stuff that George will sell in Japan. You can't say he doesn't re-invest his earnings into his product.
Would I feel the same if I was a Twins fan, a Brewers fan, a Royals fan, or an Expos fan? I am sure that I wouldn't. Can I share your Yankee venom being a Yankees fan. I am sure that I can't. Would a 2003 WS title taste/feel as good as 1996 did? Probably not, I mean I would be lying if I didn't sit there saying to myself "Wow, we got Mondesi....did our Ferrari really need those curb-feelers? I also have to think that my team does some smart things, like Leiber or Matsui.
Also, George did a lot of dumb nickel and dime stuff, but the dental benefits being cut never actually happened.
"You know Monsoon, I am impressed, and I don't impress easy" -Jesse "The Body" Ventura
What George is doing is totally legit and he has every right to do it. And when yet again no one gives two good craps about the World Series while the whole damn world watches the NFL's most irrelevant games, we can have this same discussion next year. The current structure of MLB has made "wait 'til next year" almost totally irrelevant to most of the teams in the league. And I don't blame the Yankees for this. I blame the rest of the league and the players union for not being willing to bite the bullet and do an NFL style salary cap.
Torchslasher foiled me this time, but I shall get him next time!*maniacal laughter*
Originally posted by jfkfc Would I feel the same if I was a Twins fan, a Brewers fan, a Royals fan, or an Expos fan? I am sure that I wouldn't.
As an Expos fan, I can tell you right now you wouldn't, given that we trade our 20 game winners away for a sack of peanuts, and then we trade the peanuts for future considerations (which usually turns out to be a hotdog bun). But if we were a large market team and never were a smallmarket team (hey, some teams evolve), then I guess I'd be wanting more great players by pillaging small market teams. Although I can't complain about this past trade, given we got a 20 game winner and cash to pay for him.
(edited by El Nastio on 29.1.03 2050)
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Originally posted by spf2119What George is doing is totally legit and he has every right to do it. And when yet again no one gives two good craps about the World Series while the whole damn world watches the NFL's most irrelevant games, we can have this same discussion next year. The current structure of MLB has made "wait 'til next year" almost totally irrelevant to most of the teams in the league. And I don't blame the Yankees for this. I blame the rest of the league and the players union for not being willing to bite the bullet and do an NFL style salary cap.
The Yankees attendance has been increasing. Their TV and radio money keeps climbing. Their merchandising money is rising as well. They have won 5 pennants in 7 years. I am not saying that the Yanks don't give a shit about the game (maybe they don't, I don't know), but they certainly have great pride in their franchise. If the players [union] is unwilling to put in a hard salary cap, a la the NFL, then MLB will continue its course. If George is making tons of cash, people are coming to The Stadium, people are buying their shit, people are watching the games on YES and FOX, people are listening to the games on WCBS-880, people are coming to the various stadiums when the Yanks are on the road, and area fans are showing their interest and support for the Yanks, what else is there for George to do? NOT spend money on his team and make them as good as he possibly can because the Larry Lucchinos of the game are running out of fucking tissues? Because Montreal only draws about 17 or 18 people per game? Because the Royals and Brewers suck, have sucked for years, and probably will continue to suck until who knows when?
With all of that in mind, put yourself in George's shoes. Why do anything else? George can't change the game, and probably doesn't want to change the game, so he will do what he has to do, while the Royals do what they have to do, while the Brewers do what they have to do, and so on. What else do you expect of him?
"You know Monsoon, I am impressed, and I don't impress easy" -Jesse "The Body" Ventura
I think people still watch the NFL's most irrelavant games because with few rare exceptions, they are still good football games. The teams are more balances, and you do have much more of a feeling that anyone can win at anytime. When someone beats the Yankees (with their giant team of stars), it is most often attributed to a fluke than the other team outplaying them. This is just another example of the need for a salary cap in MLB. I am a KC Royals fan, and I have absolutly NO HOPE of a World Series appearance (much less win) anytime in the near future. All because they are in a small TV market, and cannot match the revenues of the larger teams. It has kind of soured MLB for me. I would much rather watch the minors...
Also, I should add that the Yankees got Jose Acevedo from Detroit. Last year he was a top closer with 28 saves and an ERA of 2.65. They signed him to a minor league deal for under a mil.
The main point is that all the Yankees are doing is improving their team every day of the year. That is called doing their jobs. If the other teams are asleep at the wheel or are content with losing, that is not the fault of the Yankees.
The worst case is the LA Clippers. Here you have a team that will make record profits this year as a result of losing and stingyness. They refuse to resign their top players and are happy to replace them with younger guys in the draft. They will keep making money because of ticket sales and revenue sharing. They make more money by losing than by they could by winning.
spf2119 says: "The current structure of MLB has made "wait 'til next year" almost totally irrelevant to most of the teams in the league. And I don't blame the Yankees for this. I blame the rest of the league and the players union for not being willing to bite the bullet and do an NFL style salary cap."
Now who made the playoffs last year?
Anaheim Oakland Minnesota Yankees
Cardinals Diamondbacks Giants Braves
So that's 3 mid to small market teams in the AL and four mid-major markets in the NL...whats the problem?
I am a long time Mets fan and a passionate Yankee hater but I don't see the problem with what the yankees are doing. If George wants to pay 40 million in tax dollars thats fine by me. His bullpen is still going to suck this year! The only problem is that teams like the royals won't reinvest that money in the team!! How can the royals cut their payroll by 12 million when they're getting a handout from major league baseball? How can the Reds NOT increase budget when they're moving into a new ballpark, which they guaranteed would INCREASE their spending?
The following post expresses the opinions of a raving Jerichoholic. He is biased, opinionated and bitter. You have been warned.
The Yankees have, what, 15 pitchers now? I'd actually like to see what they do when the starters can't get used to coming out of the bullpen. They lost two of their best relievers (Mendoza and Stanton), and now they're trying to fix it with starters? That's just not going to happen. Of course, I think it would be really cool if the Yankees went with an 8-man rotation or something like that, and actually had relievers come out of the bullpen. But they won't, so I'll take David Wells in the really early pool for MLB holds leader.
The preceding post expressed the opinions of a raving Jerichoholic. He was biased, opinionated and bitter. You were warned.
Hungarian: Last year's AL simply proves that sometimes the least stupid teams will rise up. The AL Central is a wasteland of bad ownership, stupid moves and desolate franchises, and since SOMEONE has to go to the playoffs from that division, the Twins get to slip in. I mean seriously, the Indians seem to have imploded, the White Sox are a small-market team in a big city and a badly named ballpark, the Tigers are the Tigers, and I would not be surprised if the Royals never make the playoffs this millenium.
As for the West, again, someone has to make it. The Rangers gave a tutorial on how to waste money, and then you have three teams on even ground basically in Seattle, Anaheim and Oakland. If Texas didn't spend like morons, or Cleveland would get their act together, or Boston weren't Boston, things would return to order.
I avoid comment on the NL since I really don't watch that league a whole lot. But the Mets sure teach us a lesson in blowing cash too don't they?
In the end the problems still strike me as structural ones which over the long term will tend to produce one set of results with year-to-year aberrations like Anaheim.
I'm not sure I feel much refuted after reading that. From that article I see the Yankees are loaded for bear and for any contingency, while the A's need everything possible to go right in order to stand up at their level. I find laughable the notion of the AL Central producing the Wild Card team this year, as the White Sox are just not a very good team going into this season. So, let's say the Playoff teams end up being the Yanks, Twins, A's and Mariners/Angels/Red Sox. Which of those 4 teams are you betting on?
Looking a bit more in depth at his thoughts:
A's - They're going to grow old very quickly with Keith Foulke in their bullpen. Between not being as good as he was in 2001, and Jerry Manuel turning his psyche brittle, I wouldn't be surprised if by some point this year they're looking for a different closer. Still though, they have assembled a fine starting rotation which may get them far this year. Oh, and won't at least one of them look good in Yankee pinstripes as soon as the Boss can get them?
Twins - I'm sure someone will be a starting pitcher for them. I just wonder how much chewing gum and paper clips will be needed to hold their starters together. They win the Central by default only because...
White Sox - Mark Buerhle is pissed off because he's being lowballed, and is basically counting the days until he gets old enough to leave Chicago. Rumor has it Bartolo Colon weighs 600 lbs. And then the rotation goes down after that. Their 3 and 4 are woefully inconsistent and they have no 5. The bullpen should be decent. The offense has Konerko and Ordonez who are solid, but after that its all questions. Valentin will produce, but who else will. And oh yeah, they're hoping Frank Thomas is ready for a comeback year. God help them. They'll go hot and cold all year, sweeping a division leading team and then getting swept by Kansas City 2 weeks later.
Red Sox: I agree with Gammons, they look pretty good this year. I would guess them for the Wild Card this year...and for the amount of cash they spend, they SHOULD look good.
Mariners: Pitchers have a way of getting old really fast. Jaime Moyer is my pick for the pitcher who ages 10 years over a few months span this season. Not a bad team, but can anyone really see them advancing in the postseason if they make it?
The most interesting trend I saw in this article was the realization that in a few years all of these teams are going to be in trouble due to free agency. The White Sox will likely lose Colon this coming offseason and Buerhle a few after that. The A's can't possibly keep all three of their starters. In a few years most of these teams will be rebuilding, and a few teams will most likely have plucked the guys they want from those outfits. People talk about the Yankees starting pitching being old, but in a few years when it consists of Contreras, Weaver, Zito, Colon suddenly that doesn't look so bad.
To me that would be like watching a basketball game only where a player is making a shot. So much of baseball is in the details, the way each pitch attempts to set up the next pitch. The battling as a batter fights off pitch after pitch.