For years, we Yankee fans were subjected to the ridiculous taunts of, "You bought yourselves a championship". The irony, of course, was that the true Yankee championship teams from 1996-2000 were actually a solid mix of home-grown stars (Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada) and savvy trades (Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez, Scott Brosius, Chuck Knoblauch). The teams from that era didn't have many big-ticket free agents -- guys like Cone, Wells or even Jimmy Key were mid-tier guys, and none of them was around very long.
It was only with the signing of Jason Giambi after the 2001 season -- the official "Beginning of the End" -- that the Yanks started looking to "buy" their way to World Series wins. Of course, we all know how that has played out over the last eight years. Millions after millions, lavished on such "stars" as A-Rod, Carl Pavano, Kei Igawa, Johnny Damon, Mike Mussina, Gary Sheffield... well, you get the picture.
After this "big money" philosophy crashed and burned the Yankees made a push -- albeit, Yankee-style -- of semi-fiscal responsibility, emphasizing youth, their farm system and weaning themselves off multi-million, multi-year deals. That is, until this month. Until they overpaid for Sabathia for too many years. And then made a mockery of it all by signing Burnett days later. Or at least what I thought was a mockery, until today.
With the signing of
But it's not all bad, I'm reading. Jane Heller wrote an excellent piece about this Yankee fan guilt.
The fact that the Yankees do have money and aren’t afraid to lavish it on the people they care about isn’t so wrong, is it? It’s not as if they’ve roped us all into some giant Ponzi scheme and bled our retirement plans dry.
True, but for right now, I am embarrassed. I just hope I'll come around to her side by the time the Lear jets start lining up outside Legends Field for Spring Training.