Saturday, December 13, 2008

Just Say No to Corporate Welfare

This is my 684th post of 2008, which is a new record for my site for one year. (I know, I've only been doing this site for just less than three years, but a record is still a record.) I guess I never have any shortage of things to write about.

And now we see that the New York Yankees are at it again. They reached an agreement with free agent pitcher A. J. Burnett on a five-year, $82.5 million deal yesterday. For those of you scoring at home, they have now ponied up nearly a quarter-billion dollars to two free agent starting pitchers this week. (I thought they were committed to developing pitchers from their system? So much for sticking with a plan.)

Listen, the Yankees have the money to do it, and they will be ripped in some circles for doing it. But as we know, their recent record in flinging money at mercenary ballplayers hasn't translated into any championships. And I'm very glad the Red Sox weren't serious about Burnett. While he won 18 games last year with a 4.07 ERA for Toronto, he's not at all durable, having gone on the DL 10 times in his ten-year career (as opposed to C.C. Sabathia, who has never been on the DL).

Or as my friend Eddie emailed me yesterday, "The Yankees have just signed Ed Whitson again." Or my friend Adam wrote me, "Here's the new Carl Pavano."

Whether Burnett turns out to be an able replacement for Mike Mussina or Andy Pettitte, or a bust like Whitson or Pavano, the Yankees are taking a serious risk with this guy.

And now I read today that the MFY are haggling over money with the Milwaukee Brewers over the Mike Cameron-for-Melky Cabrera deal, which has been held up. New York wants the Brewers to either take free agent bust Kei Igawa off their hands (and take his contract) or eat most of Cameron's $10 million contract for 2009.

Talk about nerve. They are spending like drunken sailors on shore leave and expect Milwaukee to give them some salary relief for Cameron. (Why do you think the Brewers are trading him?) If I'm with the Brewers I'd be more than a little offended at that.

But I'm even more offended by the Yankees asking New York City taxpayers to foot the bill for an additional $259 million in tax-exempt bonds and $111 million in taxable bonds for their new stadium. If they've got the cash to throw at Sabathia and Burnett (and I can't tell you how many times I've heard in recent days that the Yankees are "printing money" these days), THEY can pay for the rest of the new "palace" they are about to open in the Bronx next year.

If they want to spend their own money on such extravagance, fine. As long as it doesn't come out of my pocket. But you know there's some kind of sweetheart deal out there for them. I really wish Michael Bloomberg would tell them to take a walk, but I wouldn't bet on it. (The Mets also asked for a $89 million handout as well for Citi Field. Like the Yankees, they have the cash, they can pay for it.)

You'll see Carl Pavano (and probably Ed Whitson) in a Yankee uniform next year before the city stands up to the Steinbrenners and refuses them the corporate welfare they seek. Bet on it.


Steel36 said...

WE all knew that The Yanks would outspend a small African nation to get players.

CC is a horse. I'd say 4/5 good years out of that deal.

Burnett? Who knows? I remember Ed Whitson as a decent player who should never have played in NYC. But The Yanks are desperate, so AJ here they come.

The Sox as is the "Cold War" mentality with the Bronx, will try to sign Teixeria. Tit for tat.

Hank has no decency-that much we know.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Red Sox have been in love with Teixiera for a long time, and will try to sign him no matter what the Evil Empire does. Theo has a plan and sticks with it.

Peter N said...

The Angels made a formal offer to Teixeira...8 (!) years at $20 million per. The Sox will have to beat that, and they will.
Q, here's to the next 600 plus posts. You've been busy. I've been blogging three years and a month and I think I've only missed three days when the phone lines (& DSL) pooped out. Congrats to you. Now let's land Teixeira.

Steel36 said...

Okay just saw a "SportsCenter" Bumper at he end of the show.

If The Yanks do not get Tex, one word-MANNY!

The Yanks are like the kid having too much candy. When is the sugar crash?

The Omnipotent Q said...

If the Sox get Teixiera, the Angels will probably go after Ramirez hard, and the Dodgers will have to up their offer to re-sign him. The Yankees are a longshot at best, as Cashman isn't a big fan of his.

Michael Leggett said...

The Mets Might not have the Dough due to Madoff The Embezzler

Peter N said...

Q, this Monday morning, it has been said that Hankie wants to see Mannie (he doesn't deserve the 'Y" in his name, not anymore) in pinstipes. That means there's almost no way they will spend the mega dinero for'll be between Boston and the artful Dodgers.