At a time when ... (fill in a snippet from today's wealth of dour news) ... the New York Yankeeshave gone on a $423 million spending spree for two arms and a first baseman.
You can approach the latest monumental goings-on in the Bronx that way, if you like. Just don't look to us to be so crabbed. Instead, we say:
At a time when so much round us is going to hell in a handbasket, one of the great engines of the New York spirit is hitting on all cylinders. Money be damned, let's be winners.
And let's enjoy the ride - to the World Series, which is ours but for the formality of the season, or to making mincemeat of the fabled Brain Trust for taking one of the most stunningly spectacular baseball pratfalls in history.
And let's savor the fact that, with Jeter and A-Rod, the heirs to the Steinbrenner bravado, Hal and Hank, have assembled a roster worthy of the grand new stadium that's set to open in April.
For you can't put a price tag on hope, or on sports glory.
Like the glories of 1923 or 1927, 1943 or 1952, 1977 or 1996, 1998 or 1999, 2000 or, yes, 2009.
You don't win 39 pennants and 26 world championships by thinking small. It took guys with guts and owners with checkbooks to get Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield, and oh, yeah, Babe Ruth. He was bought - yes, bought - for $125,000 and a $350,000 loan against the mortgage on Fenway Park.
That's the Yankee way, the New York way.
And, lest we forget, there's a healthy competitor in orange and blue across town in Queens. And another first-class cathedral to the sport rising there.
Drink it in. When so few have money to invest or spend, we still have our guys in pinstripes. The best team money can buy. And a beautiful place to watch them play on Opening Day, and 80 days and nights thereafter.
And then, for sure, through a handful of games on the path to greatness.
Priceless.That attitude of "let's enjoy the ride - to the World Series, which is ours but for the formality of the season," is what drives me nuts. Like all the Yankees have to do is show up and they'll be in this year's World Series. Oh, give me a break. This reminds me so much of when the MFY got Slappy in 2004, about how they had swindled the Red Sox and were a sure bet to go 162-0. (I'm only sorry I never saved those newspapers.) Excuse me, how many titles has Slappy led New York to? None. How many postseason series have they won with Rodriguez? Exactly one. (2004 ALDS win over the Twins.) It's why people hate the Yankees, as they have to remind everyone of their resume (which also includes one monumental choke job in 2004; funny how they left that out).
They don't have a lineup of "superheroes" and it sure doesn't scare me. They've lost two of their betters hitters (Giambalco and Abreu) and replaced it with one (Teixeira), and are also banking on a pitcher with a history of arm problems (Burnett). I concede them nothing, and the Red Sox, who have plenty of money to spend with the players who've come off their payroll, have barely started retooling for 2009.
The Yankees have a very mixed history when it comes to plunking down big money for free agents, and it's NOT how they won four out of five titles in the late 1990s. It reminds me more of the early 1980s. It's a desperate attempt by the Steinbrenner Boys to act like Pop and make a big splash as they enter a new stadium.
BTW, who is this "fabled Brain Trust taking one of the most stunningly spectacular baseball pratfalls in history" they are talking about? If it's the Red Sox not getting Teixeira, they have no idea what they are talking about, as he wanted no part of playing in Boston. He and Scott Boras were just getting the Yankees to up their final salary numbers. Count me in the group that isn't devastated about not getting him.
Hey guys, ever hear the saying, "Some of the best deals are the ones you don't make?"
Watching the Yankees fall on their faces again in 2009 will be "priceless" and seeing them spend like crazy lunatics on shore leave in December and come up empty again will make it all the more sweeter.