Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An Embarassment of Riches Is Sometimes Just Embarassing

It's hard being a Yankees fan sometimes.  Yeah, yeah, my wallet is too small for my $50's and my diamond shoes are too tight.  I get it.  Fans of other teams would love to have these "problems".  But seriously -- you can only hear "Ah, you bought the pennant" so many times, especially when it's true.

The latest news is another mega-millions signing: Japanese superstar Masahiro Tanaka has taken the money thrown at him by the Yankees.  And while it sounds good -- I think Tanaka will be a lot closer to Yu Darvish than Kei Igawa -- it's no slam dunk.  And for $155 million, you should be paying for slam dunk.

Isolated, the Tanaka deal is fine.  The McCann signing, while for too much money and too many years, filled a void.  It was S.O.P. Yankees: have a problem, throw some money at it.  Yes, McCann will be a very expensive and under-producing DH by the time his deal is up, but I can live with it for now.  But after McCann, the Yankees off-season took a bizarre turn.

The mystifying move to bring in Jacoby Ellsbury haunts me still and casts a pall over the 2014 Yankees.  "Overpaid" doesn't even begin to describe the ridiculous contract handed out to a player with one good season who can barely keep himself on the field.  Add to the fact that the Yankees already had a crowded outfield and it makes even less sense.  And of course, the equal and opposite reaction that sent Robinson Cano to Seattle made the deal even that much more maddening.

Signing the aging Carlos Beltran was a desperate grab to patch the gaping hole in the lineup left by Cano.  Another "too long for too much" contract for a player on the decline, sheer payroll overkill for sheepish fans of the Pinstripes. 

And now Tanaka.  The 2014 Yankees will bear little resemblance to the team that represented New York in 2013.  Based on their 2013 record, that's not a bad thing.  How the Yankees got there, though, well, that's another story.

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