From Rays’ Rags to Dodgers’ Riches
OCTOBER 14, 2014
By TYLER KEPNER The New York Times
In nine years as the Rays’ general manager, Friedman, who will be introduced in Los Angeles on Wednesday, had to stick to a process. He never had a payroll above $77 million, so he never had much chance to make an expensive mistake.
1. average talent in the minor league farm system
2. few foreign players of any impact
3. constant patching with older and older free agents, paying more for less talent.
The Yankees are in a downward spiral. Blunt force spending cannot save them as it once could. The dynamics have changed. One of the advantages that the Yankees had was a huge 15 year TV deal from around 1988 with MSG Network. Then the launching of the YES Network, the Yankees own regional sports network. YES included the NBA New Jersey Nets.
The Yankees divested the NBA Nets and sold YES.
There are stories of a "merger" of the Dodgers and the NBA Nets. The Yankees were a decade ahead on this but went in the other direction.
Many other teams now have their own regional sports network generating big bucks. The Yankees no longer have such a big advantage in money. Other teams have gotten smarter, too. If anything, the Yankees have gotten dumber. Yankee money can no longer make up for Yankee blunders. Other teams are signing their young stars before they become free agents, so those players are no longer available to the Yankees. The result is that the talent pool between seasons continues to dwindle and teams, especially the Yankees, are forced to spend ever increasing sums for ever decreasing and older talent, players in their 30s, not in their mid 20s.
The Steinbrenner Kids exhibit an astonishing lack of imagination. They're dumb and lazy, a deadly combination. Instead of cleaning house and bringing in an established but young and talented executive like Andrew Friedman of Tampa, the Steinbrenner Kids stick with Brian Cashman under whom the Yankees have failed to qualify for the tournament in 2013 and 2014 even with the extra wild card spot making that relatively easy for a big spending team.
And what do the Steinbrenner Kids offer Yankee fans? Plaques, retired numbers, multiple variations on old timers day and obscene marketing of the demise of captain Derek Jeter, who will probably be brought back next season for every conceivable excuse to draw fans who are bored with a Yankee team lacking both stars and wins.