Sorry for this rant but this caught my eye in my hometown paper and it really pissed me off. In case you were wondering what passes for baseball journalism in the Dallas Fort Worth, behold Pete Alfanoâ€™s whiney pointless drivel. With all apologies to Fire Joe Morgan (who does this much better and funnier), I couldnâ€™t, in good conscience let this pass with out itâ€™s due mockeryâ€¦
Itâ€™s stale, itâ€™s out of date, its hackneyed, itâ€™s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I give you Pete Alfano. Donâ€™t let his good looks deceive you folks; he is a testament to inept, over simplistic analysis in baseball â€œjournalismâ€.
Monday Morning Quarterback
Mets-Yankees fiscal fight may affect everyone
There is an adage that the acorn (or apple, if you prefer) doesnâ€™t fall far from the tree and it seems especially apropos as the mouthpiece (and loudmouth) of the Yankees.
Anyone who thought that the tyrannical reign of George I was going to be followed by the more benevolent rule of his sons Hank and Hal have already seen that the heirs to the Yankeesâ€™ throne rekindle memories of George Steinbrenner, the Early Years instead.
Keep in mind this is in the NEWSPAPER.
While Hal stays mostly in the background minding the store, Hank fires salvos that must make dad proud. This weekend he dismissed the notion that the Red Sox were becoming baseballâ€™s version of Americaâ€™s Team saying, â€œGo anywhere in America and you wonâ€™t see Red Sox hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. Weâ€™re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.â€
Anyone keeping score knows that the Red Sox have won two World Series since the last time the Yankees won, so Hankâ€™s rant is just a lot of sour grapes. But you canâ€™t dismiss him either because we know what the Yankees have done in the past to stay on top of the baseball universe. They may have shown some uncharacteristic fiscal restraint during the recent off-season, but owners from Baltimore to Seattle should take note.
Why? Glad you asked.
I was thinking, â€œWhy am I still reading this?â€
In case you havenâ€™t noticed the Yankees and the Mets are moving into new stadiums in 2009. This is a lot different than when teams such as the Rangers, Orioles, Indians, Pirates, White Sox and Tigers moved into new homes (no, weâ€™re not going to say cribs).
How is it different, much less â€œa lot differentâ€ than the Mets and Yankees new cribs? Yeah I said it, just to piss you off.
While they play in different leagues, the Yankees and Mets compete against one another, not just for back pages of the New York City tabloids, but for casual fans and marketing revenue. Ticket prices in the new stadiums will be higher and there are luxury boxes and suites to fill. While there are more than enough people and corporate dollars to go around the New York Metropolitan area, neither the Yankees nor the Mets can afford to move into posh, new digs with anything less than a contending team.
Actually they can, however the mission of any baseball franchise is to field a contending team. Itâ€™s not a conspiracy.
Are you starting to get the picture? Already flush with local TV income, chances are the Steinbrenners and the Mets father-son duo of Fred and Jeff Wilpon will spare little expense ensuring their teams have everything they need to win. And while they will not be able to sign every free agent they target, they could easily turn the marketplace on its head and force other teams to pay more than what is considered the going rate, not only for free agents, but for their own players under contract.
Get out your violins for the small market teams. Iâ€™ve read these pity party articles before, but itâ€™s always New York and Boston. Not sure why the Mets are part of this trite rant unlessâ€¦
If the Mets were not moving into Citi Field next spring, would they have been as relentless in their pursuit of Johan Santana, acquiring him from the Twinsâ€¦
If you call being on the backburner for three months while the Yankees and Boston back off initial offers until the Twins asking price falls to your original offer that doesnâ€™t include your top pitching prospect and top position prospect being relentless.
â€¦and then signing him to a long term contract as if playing with Monopoly money?
I also remember a 72 hour deadline that needed an extension due to a difference of 5 million dollarsâ€¦for the best pitcher in baseball. Maybe Pete plays monopoly differently than I do.
Perhaps, but the urgency was much greater with a $644 million ballpark on the way. Getting Santana is as much about having a drawing card on the staff in the new stadium as it is about having someone anchoring the rotation.
Did Omar tell you this? What is a drawing card? Who wouldnâ€™t want Santana in their rotation?
The Rangers, in contrast, signed Nolan Ryan to a four-year deal, which would be great if this were 25 years ago. But Santana was obviously too pricey.
If the Rangers only had a new stadium, then and only then they could have traded for Johan AND sign him to an extension.
Donâ€™t get the Monday Morning Quarterback wrong; Ryan might bring stability and more importantly, credibility to the Rangersâ€™ front office, but will he and general manager Jon Daniels be able to persuade Tom Hicks to acquire free agents if the going rate escalates like gasoline prices?
Yes, but only if the Rangers build a new stadium. I do like the gasoline reference, see, itâ€™s topical. I hate rising gas prices too, itâ€™s obviously the Mets and Yankeesâ€™ fault!
Or is Hicks still haunted by how he out-Steinbrennered when he signed Alex Rodriguez and Chan Ho Park?
Every damn season I have to hear about A-Rod and Chan Ho. They overpaid. It happens. Move on. Bring it up again and Iâ€™ll kill a kitten.
Maybe weâ€™re being premature. Maybe the new stadiums in New York will contribute to major league baseballâ€™s prosperity and some owners will light their cigars with money from the luxury taxes the Yankees and Mets pay.
Do the Mets pay a luxury tax? The Yankees, Red Sox and Angels are over. Even with Santana the Mets are under the $155 million threshold. I wonder how the Red Sox and Angels can afford that without a new stadium for next year. Obviously facts are irrelevant at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
But hearing Hal Steinbrenner sound so much like his dad is eerily reminiscent of That Seventies Show in baseball when George was flush with cash and did more for the playersâ€™ association pay scale than executive director Marvin Miller could have ever hoped.
Pete Alfano 817-390-7985
Whatever. I really donâ€™t understand the point of that article. Something about the Mets and Yankees, Johan Santana, new stadiums and how itâ€™s unfair to the Rangers and not signing free agents, I think. Feel free to call Pete and ask.
This article is:
A. Why I hate living here
B. Why Baseball is the fourth most popular sport behind the Cowboys, Mavericks and Stars
C. Why the Newspaper media is dying
D. Cause for justifiable homicide
E. Proof that there is no God
F. All of the above.
This post was written by Dan in Texas on March 4, 2008