World Serious: Following Facebook Thread

Some of the best sports fans I know are my colleagues and former colleagues in IBM communications. Heck, we should do live chat or perhaps sports talk radio.

Anyway, figured  you might  be interested in this thread about the 2009 World Series, Yankee resources, salary caps, and much, much more. Enjoy.

INITIAL COMMENT: Evil reigns in baseball. Money apparently buys another title. When the hell is MLB going to wake up and institute a cap? Every other major sport does it… but baseball is content to let the Yankee$ buy their way into the post-season year after year.

SPORTSLIFER: Killjoy. Don’t rain on the Yankees parade.

COMMENT: This post-season deserves a ‘roid era asterisk.

COMMENT: Well, except last year. And money hasn’t bought them a title for 9 years. I hate ’em, but I’m just sayin’. More ominous is the fact that since 1960 they have only won WS titles when there was a Democrat in the White House.

COMMENT: I love em. Go Yanks!!!

COMMENT: u guys need to get over it. Like the Bo Sox don’t spend $$$? U build a baseball team up the middle. That’s what the Yankees have done. Posada, Andy P, Jeter, Cano, Melky, Joba, and Mo are all home grown, plus others. The bitterness u taste makes our 27th even sweeter.

COMMENT :Joba? Really? You want to tell me that you won because of Joba and Melky? You haven’t come up with a decent homegrown player since the mid-90s — Posada, Jeter and Riviera all came up in what, 95/96? You won because you spent $423.5M on Sabathia, Burnett, Texiera; because you pay A-Rod $33M a year; because your payroll is $201M — $80M more than … the Red Sox, btw (14 of MLB’s 30 teams have a payroll less than $80M, btw); the second highest payroll was the Mets at $149M (another NY team, shocker!).

Delude yourself all you want, Marie Antoinette. You BOUGHT this win.

As for the Sox, it’s my opinion that they spend too much money as well. MLB needs to do what every other major sport has done: institute a salary cap and floor. Make every team play from a level playing field — everyone’s payroll is within a range from $60M to $100M. When the Yankee$ win a title by having to build from within and playing within the same confines as everyone else, I’ll credit them. Except of course that it would never happen, because the Yankee system is mediocre at best and they wouldn’t know how to win without buying everyone else’s good players.

COMMENT: All I know is that the Yankees have won for the 27 time and that makes me very happy. All the other teams are welcome to pay their players as much as they want. If their owners can’t come up with the money, that is not my problem.

COMMENT: I am not a big fan of the Yankees, but let’s be fair here. So, they buy their way to a championship. I only wish my Chicago Cubs could have a fraction of the smarts the Steinbrenner family has employed (along with the money) to build a powerhouse. I look at the Yankees as wise investors over the years. 27 championships. The Cubs? Wasted investments. Sorry, I once hated the Yankees, but no more. Why trash excellence? Cheers, my friend. : )

COMMENT: How come people want their sports to be socialist? lol

As a Yankee Fan, last night was perfect and good for baseball! As for one decent home grown player since the mid-90’s….name a better second baseman for the 2009 season than Mr. Cano (320/25HRs/85rbi’s). Enjoy the off season!

COMMENT: You want a better 2B? Two words for ya: Chase Utley. Two more words: ’nuff said.

COMMENT: Tell us how you really feel… Remember there are sensitive sports fans on Facebook. You may offend…

COMMENT:  “Excellence?” Yawn. Same trap the arrogant NY fans fall into. The Marie Antoinette “not my problem if other teams don’t have money” answer is EXACTLY why the ENTIRE COUNTRY hates the Yankees. Just say what you really mean: we’re big, we’re rich, and who cares if the rest of the country doesn’t have our money? We’ll just enjoy being … conspicuously rich.’

The Cubs’ abject ineptitude should not be used to justify a flawed system exploited by a Tsar Nicholas-level out of touch team and fan base. Baseball is BROKEN when they Yankee$ can keep buying their way to the post-season. The final four teams in the playoffs this year were #1, #6, #7 and #9 in payroll… proving that success in baseball is achieved at the bank and not on the field. (And yes, the Red Sox were #4; I’ll say again that I think it’s wrong

It’s time for a salary cap and floor — make every team operate within the same parameters, spend basically the same amount of money (within maybe a $25M range), and make FA acquisitions much more strategic and not just a shopping spree at Versace. If the Yankee$ truly are “excellent,” then this system shouldn’t hurt them… if they’re so good at developing their own players, and they really pick FAs better than other teams, then they should still excel within a leveled playing field, no? And if the Cubs are that inept, wouldn’t that just bear out in the new system?

COMMENT: All things being equal, I believe the Yankees would field a superior team. The Cubs? My favorite team would probably keep choking. As for the arrogance part, I want to defend New Yorkers and the Yankees here and this is important because it comes from someone who is a Second City native. I think you confuse arrogance with confidence, confidence … that the Yankees will excel every year. It’s the same confidence Tiger Woods displays each and every tournament he is in. He has been branded as arrogant because he plays each tournament to win. I, too, used to think it was all about the money but the fact is money does not buy the performance on the field or the culture of winning that is evident in the Yankees’ lockerroom. As a parting comment, I heard one commentator remark this morning about the Steinbrenner family. It’s worth noting. Did they break any laws? Did they do anything illegal to build this powerhouse? If so, then they should be taken to task. The answer is they accomplished what many Americans dream about: they attained their goal to be the best. Cheers!!!

COMMENT: Beautifully stated. I wasn’t always a Yankee fan. I’m late to the party….but their class, professionalism and culture of excellence finally won me over. Money doesn’t buy class….and they have more class than money. Money also doesn’t buy team work – in fact, it usually buys the opposite. The Yankees are a first class organization.

COMMENT; Well spoken. Bottom line, the Yanks won because they were the best team not because they had the highest payroll. Unlike some other teams, they reinvest the money they do make into building a winning team. What’s wrong with that?

COMMENT: the last 29 years there have been 28 World Series played. 25 different teams have played in the World Series since 1980 with 19 different winners. That’s 83% of MLB teams making it to the Series and 63% winning one.

The NHL? 13 different winners of the Stanley Cup since 1980. NBA? 14 different Super Bowl champs since 1980 — against 19 for MLB.

If you think MLB has a problem consider the NBA where 50% of NBA teams have never won a title and the 2008 NBA ‘final four’ accounted for 61% of the titles in NBA history (that number went higher last season, of course)….

If you want to adjust to a more compressed timeline, fine. Since the NFL salary cap was instituted in 1994 11 different franchises have won the Super Bowl. In that same era (with one less World Series played) 11 different franchises have won the World Series. In that same era, only 8 franchises hoisted the Stanley Cup.

Salary caps merely keep salaries lower and don’t improve necessarily competitive balance. Salary caps are socialist just like strikeouts (thanks, Crash). How are the Yankees any different than the Lakers or your cherished Red Wings? A lot different, I suppose — they have to win over a more competitive league landscape than dominant peer franchises in other major sports

Does $ keep the Yankees more consistently competitive, of course. But that’s a different argument entirely.

COMMENT: wow, I’m impressed. How do you know all of these stats?! With the way you’re furiously typing them out I’m curious to see what cramps first, your fingers or your brain. Go Indians!

COMMENT: The Red Wings have to operate under a salary cap like the rest of the NHL. How are the Lakers different than the Yankees? Well, the Yankees don’t have a rapist in their lineup, for one. 😉 But the argument goes beyond just “who won.” What percentage of the franchises in the NFL have made the playoffs since 1994? By my count, EVERY SINGLE ONE (excepting the Texans, who only came into the league a few years back). How about the NHL? Every team’s made the playoffs in the 00s — even with as bad as Phoenix and Toronto have become, it wasn’t that long ago that they hit the playoffs. Granted, more of the NHL gets to the playoffs than in MLB, but my point remains.

MLB *does* have a competitive balance problem. From 2000-2009, there were 80 playoff spots available in MLB — 40 in each league. 34 of them — 42% — were claimed by just five teams out of the 30 (16%). In the AL, 21 of the 40 were claimed by just three teams (NY, Bos, Anaheim… not coincidentally, the teams that routinely spend the most). 5 of the 14 franchises have grabbed 31 of the 40 playoff slots. 75% of the playoff berths going to 36% of the teams? more than half the AL getting to the playoffs either once or not at all in a decade? That would be the definition of competitive imbalance, especially when compared to the NFL.

Are there aberrations like the Rays every now and then? Sure. But by and large, it’s a lock: you can buy the playoffs at the bank in MLB. You may not always buy a title — but you most certainly buy sustained success. MLB needs a cap & floor. Period.

COMMENT: Let’s not call the DOJ quite yet here – but it is tough to see three enormously coveted free agents come in at once – at recession-scoffing price tags (AND a new stadium) – and then, poof, it’s a championship year. But who cares about that, really, except people who already hate on the Yankees?

I’ve been to see a couple of Yankees home games – … and my experience has never included much in the way of a ‘culture of professionalism and excellence.’ That’s kind of funny, actually. I mean, what about the way they sent Torre packing? Anyway, some of my best friends (and some of the best baseball fans i know) are Yanks fans, but en masse, holy cow this fan base can be tough to take. My fellow Mets fans aren’t a whole lot better, but Yankees fans really do, as a whole, carry a rougher tone. So maybe it’s hard to stomach that it is THEY who get to enjoy such a constant flow of the highest valued players in the game.

It’s been a while since a NY ring though – and even with top talent, the Yankees have found ways to F it up in recent years. So you can’t JUST buy it. This year they stayed pretty healthy and managed a rolling-boulder of a hot streak through most of the season. They won it, so let em have it. Congrats to the fans – even the 85% or so that I personally cannot remotely stand.

SPORTSLIFER COMMENT:  Maybe it’s me, but one thing I’ve never quite been able to understand is the anitpathy Met fans feel towards the Yankees. Heck, if a New York team was played my division rival, I’d root for New York every time….like in 1986, when this Yankee fan was pulling for the Mets to beat the Red Sox. In fact, I’d root for the Mets against anbody but the Yankees. Whatever happened to I Love New York?

Great thread BTW, I’m tempted to run these comments as a SportsLifer blog.

COMMENT: I’m not sure I understand it either. I know that I don’t want them to win. Maybe it is nature, or maybe it is nurture. Unsure. I will say that I spent a fair amount of time leading up to the series debating with friends and generally thinking about for which team I’d have to reluctantly root. Hmm – do i go with Darth Vader, or do I go … with Lex Luther? What surprised me is that it took about five seconds of watching Game One before I knew 100% that I was rooting for a Yankees loss. It definitely has something to do with the fans and the player acquisitions though. Not the payroll, per se, but more so the fact that they wind up getting the guys they want so often. The re-signing of A-Rod – after so many Yankees fans had decided they were done with him for good – was a good example of that. But I watched the whole series and spent a lot of time admiring individual Yankees players. And I think the team itself is fine. So, yeah, maybe it’s a fan thing. Or maybe I was just raised this way. In any case, I think I’d enjoy baseball less if I didn’t have the Yankees to bother me.

COMMENT: “class and professionalism?” Here’s my NY Yankee class and professionalism story – 2004 ALCS. Game 1. There’s a police officer standing in front of the railing in front of the section, watching the crowd and doing his job. The game hasn’t started yet. Remember, this is just three years after the WTC. Guy behind us, after drunkenly yelling “down in front” at the cop for five minutes, says in a stage whisper so loud that everyone in the section can hear it: “If you ask me, not enough cops died on 9/11.”

The ONLY two people in the section who turned to glare at the guy for this comment were Sox fans. All the Yankee fans laughed at it and went along with it. That’s Yankee fan class, Leigh Ann….

As for Yankee class in general… ever try to take your kid to a Yankee game? You can’t. The language and conduct by fans at Yankee games generally embarrasses truck drivers and sailors.

COMMENT: Everybody has many of ‘those fans’ stories. I could say the same for fans of every single team in every single sport. I try not to judge an entire group of people based on the tasteless actions of a few. What I saw from the players and managers of both the Yankees and the Phillies throughout the playoffs and World Series, I would say that both … are top notch organizations. I don’t know who pays how much for what, and I don’t care. I just care about a good game with good sportsmanship and teamwork…and that was on full display throughout.

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