Defending the ‘Evil Empire’

As we all know, the New York Yankees won the 2009 World Series. I’m not a Yankees fan at all, but I’ve got to say congratulations to them and their fans. They were the best team all year; they deserved it. Of course a lot of people are hostile toward this attitude. People aren’t just mad that the Yankees won, they’re mad at how they won. Everybody goes on and on about how the Yankees "bought" the Series and they’re ruining baseball. Listen, I’m a Dodgers fan, but even I have to say that this viewpoint is a ridiculous one.

Sure, the Yankees bought the World Series. This is a dumb criticism because since the advent of free agency in baseball, every team has tried to buy the World Series by throwing the bank at free agents. They do it because in sports, your job as a team is to win, and the team should do whatever is necessary to make that possible. The Yankees are just doing what almost every other baseball team strives to do, they’ve just had more success than others. A majority of those opposed to this are Red Sox fans, who refer to the Yankees as an "evil empire." They forget that the Red Sox have also splurged hundreds of millions on free agents. They’re just as much of a juggernaut as the Yankees are now. You can argue about how small market teams don’t make as much as the big markets in New York, Boston and Chicago, but it’s always been that way not just in baseball.

Of course, the free agency process is a two-way street. Babe Ruth once said that you could spend all the money in the world on baseball players, but if they don’t play as a team, then they aren’t worth a dime. The Yankees have had the largest payroll in baseball of the decade, but they’ve only won two titles. This is because they spent money on players who underachieved (Jason Giambi, Randy Johnson) or just flat-out sucked (Carl Pavano, Jared Wright). The players the Yankees signed this year played well, and so did the rest of the team, and that’s why they won the World Series.

It’s not rocket science. Look at the pathetic excuse for a team that is the New York Mets. All of their expensive players suck, so the team doesn’t win (well, that’s also because they’re the Mets). The Tampa Bay Rays have a miniscule payroll, but they made it to the Series last year because they had great players. This proves that the key to victory is having talented players on your team (clearly). If you have the revenue to get the best, then do it. The Yankees are just taking advantage of the system in place.

Personally, I would love it if the Dodgers blew millions on players. It’s better than doing nothing. That’s why the news that Mark Cuban is interested in buying them makes me excited. He’s a billionaire, and he’s insane. Just like George Steinbrenner! Don’t use inflated payrolls as an excuse to ignore the fact that your team sucks.