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Old 10-29-2004, 02:55 PM   #1
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Someone in the media finally gets it - Red Sox become who they hate

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Welcome to the Dark Side
Red Sox use familiar formula to reach baseball's mountaintop

A bloated payroll. Mercenaries up and down the roster. A large Northeast city celebrating a World Series title. The media, with its East Coast bias, shoving it down your throats.

The Yankees?

Guess again. It's Red Sox, circa 2004. Or, as I like to call them, "Yankees Jr."

Once this occult fascination with ghosts and curses dies down, many average baseball fans will wake up and realize who they've been rooting for this whole time. Talk about beer goggles. This morning after won't be pretty.

The past couple of years many of us have portrayed the Red Sox in the same vein as the Cubs, lovable losers whose fans remain loyal throughout every heartbreaking moment. Cinderellas. The $185 million Yankees? They are the bullies, and we band together like lemmings to see them get their noses bloodied. But if the Red Sox are the underdogs, what does that make the Twins? Does that mean the Royals are downright Liliputian?

The Red Sox have the largest payroll -- $120 million -- of any team ever to win a World Series. If you ever have accused a team of buying a championship, then that same charge has to apply to these Red Sox as well.
With that much to spend, the surprise should be if they don't win a championship or at least come close every year.

Of the four Yankees teams to win under Joe Torre, the highest payroll was
$112 million in 2000. In 2001, Arizona shelled out $85 million for its title; the Angels spent $62 million for their 2002 crown; and the upstart Marlins' payroll was $54 million in 2003.

Torre's champions, while highly compensated, also had more than a few homegrown players on them. Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams and Andy Pettitte were drafted and developed by Evil Empire, Inc.

How many among the Red Sox regulars can be considered "homegrown?" Trot Nixon and, if you want to count him, rookie Kevin Youkilis (two at-bats this postseason).

It was the Red Sox who brought the Star Wars analogy into play with this rivalry when they labeled the Yankees the "Evil Empire." That would make the Red Sox the Rebellion -- Johnny Damon as Chewbacca? Darth Vader as Pedro's daddy? -- which just blew up the Death Star to free the galaxy of tyranny.
But in the final analysis, that analogy doesn't quite work. It's more like one Death Star blowing up another.

Financially, Boston and New York have distanced themselves so greatly from the rest of major league baseball that they can afford to use the other 28 teams as their own farm systems.

Nothing better illustrates this point than the tug of war these franchises waged over the services of Alex Rodriguez and his insane contract last offseason. Who else but the Yankees and Red Sox were equipped to take on that kind of price tag? That was just a preview of things to come. Every year will be an exercise in mixing and matching parts from downtrodden teams (i.e. Curt Schilling from Arizona) in hopes of fabricating a champion.

Congratulations, Red Sox. You have figured out how to beat the Yankees. You have become them.

-Jacob Luft is a Baseball Producer for SI.com.
couldnt have said it better myself
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:03 PM   #2
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Selective misuse of statistics and facts...

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The Red Sox have the largest payroll -- $120 million -- of any team ever to win a World Series.
Without adjusting for annual inflation of player salaries, this statistic is meaningless.

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How many among the Red Sox regulars can be considered "homegrown?" Trot Nixon and, if you want to count him, rookie Kevin Youkilis (two at-bats this postseason).
Derek Lowe, Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek played the vast majority of their careers in the Red Sox organization. Ironically, Lowe and Varitek may be with other teams next year because they may have priced themselves out of the Sox' bidding range.

Pedro Martinez also spent most of his career with the Sox. The Sox got him from the Expos for Carl Pavano, one of their minor leaguers who himself may become a premier pitcher. Pedro too may be gone next year if the price is wrong.

David Ortiz was cut by the Minnesota Twins. Sure, he was cut as a cost-cutting measure, but the Sox have to be given credit for recognizing his talent when other teams didn't.

Mark Bellhorn is probably not the kind of "mercenary" Jacob Luft has in mind, given that he makes less than $500,000 a year. Ditto for Bronson Arroyo ($330,000).

Bill Mueller and Kevin Millar are a bit more expensive -- $2.1 mil and $3.3 mil respectively -- but pretty close to the average player salary. Basically, they're the perfect Moneyball players.

The most glaring "mercernaries" on the Sox are pitchers Curt Schilling (acquired for a couple minor-league scrubs) and Keith Foulke, and outfielders Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez. A significant fraction of top pitchers on top teams are mercenaries, because there are so few premier pitchers to go around. I'd venture a guess that within the last 15 years, only the 1995 Braves, 2002 Angels and 2003 Marlins managed to win without leaning heavily on high-priced free agent pitchers. Plenty of top pitchers on the other playoff teams this year were free agent pickups, too -- Jason Isringhausen, Roger Clemens, Bartolo Colon, Mike Mussina and others.

And how many teams can say they *traded away* a homegrown superstar in order to make their team better?

Okay, so the Sox spent $127 million this year, second to the Yankees' $184 million. But Anaheim was at $100 million, and the Mets, Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs and Braves were all above $90 million. Nothing to sneeze at. Sure it sucks to be the Royals or the Devil Rays, but the Sox have to be given a lot of credit for spending wisely and getting the most out of their team.

Lots of people use statistics the way a drunk uses a lamppost -- for support, not for illumination.
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Old 10-30-2004, 02:14 AM   #3
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sour grapes.

The Sox still spent $65million less than steinbrenner, yet the hack you quoted here fails to do the math- A team that spent 1/3 less than the Yanks turned around a 3-0 deficit and knocked them out of the playoffs

And let us not shed any tears for the Cardinals here... They weren't exactly in the poorhouse, spending $83M this year (9th highest in 2004), and will likely spend a great deal more for 2006 when they open their new downtown ballpark.

They stand to join the league's high cabal soon, so don't knock it till ya try it, my friend...

If anything this should help the other owners wise up and change how revenue is shared. Funny thing, they probably were too busy counting their own money to watch the WS...
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Old 10-30-2004, 12:00 PM   #4
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funny thing, red sox fans talking about sour grapes when they are the king of sour grapes with their obsession with the yankees.

the yankees spend about 50% more than the red sox, while the red sox spend about 50% more than the cardinals. when the yankees do it they are the "evil empire" and all thats wrong with baseball, but when the red sox do it they can easily justify it.
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Old 10-30-2004, 12:15 PM   #5
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bitch, bitch, bitch.
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Old 10-30-2004, 07:56 PM   #6
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Originally posted by MrBrau1
bitch, bitch, bitch.
I agree. Come on, guys, it's been 86 years. It's the craziest thing around here, nowadays; you walk down the street and people SMILE at you. This is Boston. That doesn't happen. Cars actually stop for pedestrians at street-crossings! (Well... some of them... Wouldn't want to get carried away.) Save the bitterness for just a little while longer. Let us bask in the glory that is winning, just for a little while, okay?
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Old 10-30-2004, 09:28 PM   #7
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this story was probably written by a yankee fan
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Old 10-31-2004, 01:22 AM   #8
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i'll buy this when the sox win 20 more championships. winning 1 world series doesn't quite sell me on them becoming just like the yankees. several years down the line, maybe, i don't know. i do know that care about this as much as i care about who schilling's voting for (and i really don't give a shit about that).

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this story was probably written by a yankee fan
or a disgruntled cards fan
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:09 PM   #9
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stop your whining, chiz.
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:21 PM   #10
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im not whining, the red sox used their resources to put the best team on the field, so good for them

but im just pointing out that any red sox fan that complains about the "evil" yankees are huge hypocrites
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:25 PM   #11
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Originally posted by Chizip
im not whining, the red sox used their resources to put the best team on the field, so good for them

but im just pointing out that any red sox fan that complains about the "evil" yankees are huge hypocrites
Actually, in retrospect, some of the Yankees' big signings were complete busts -- Jason Giambi, Javier Vazquez, Kevin Brown, Jose Contreras.

There is no disputing the fact that George Steinbrenner is evil, though.
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Old 10-31-2004, 01:27 PM   #12
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why is he evil?
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Old 10-31-2004, 02:58 PM   #13
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chizip... once again... you are my hero.
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Old 10-31-2004, 02:59 PM   #14
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Steinbrenner
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Old 10-31-2004, 03:00 PM   #15
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Originally posted by Chizip
why is he evil?
because the nation says so... and the nation is never wrong

[/sarcasm]

it's fine and dandy for somebody to hate the yankees. but god forbid somebody hate the red sox, too. they must be a yankee fan.

or they can just see through the hypocrisy of the red sox management/fans complaining about the yankees payroll when they themselves have the second highest payroll in baseball.

thus, i hate both teams.

but that said... again... the teams spending the most money is only part of what's wrong with baseball's economic structure. the current CBA was supposedly put in place to even out the playing field. only one owner voted against it... george steinbrenner. everyone claimed it was just steinbrenner being greedy, because it's cool to hate steinbrenner and blame him for everything. but king george was merely being a realist. he voted against the CBA because he claimed that it would
a) not make him or anyone else for that matter stop paying high prices for free agents, which it did not... and most importantly
b) it would not force the small market teams to spend the revnue sharing that they get from the luxary tax.

carl pholad owns the minnesota twins... one of the "small market" teams that can't compete. pohlad is a multi-billionaire. his fortune dwarfs steinbrenner's. the money that the twins got from the luxary tax that was applied to both the yankees and red sox payrolls went directly into pohlad's pocket, making a multi-billionaire, who has more money than steinbrenner, henry & luchino combined, even richer. THAT, my friends, is the real problem with baseball's salary structure.

i hate the red sox and yankees not because of how much money they spend... i hate them because frankly i can't stand the fan bases of either team. but let's get something straight and clear here... the most evil man in baseball is not named steinbrenner, cashman, luchino, henry or epstein. the most evil man in baseball, and the biggest obsticle in ever getting a true fair system installed, goes by the name of Selig.
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