Sometimes friendly banter among Evening Sun reporters lends itself to a discussion we call “Point/Counterpoint.” In this forum, staff members battle wits and ideas on a variety of subjects, and today, Evening Sun Staff Writer, Michael McGuire, and Evening Sun Sports Editor, Patrick Newell, take sides on the issue of large-market baseball teams – specifically the New York Yankees – attempting to buy their way into a postseason spot each year with the acquisition of high-priced talent.
MM: We didn’t start the fire. The match was lit by Cardinals center fielder Curt Flood in 1969 and was thrown on a dried-up pile in 1976, when free agency was officially born. Since then the financial success of the New York Yankees in every facet of being a baseball franchise has allowed them to be buy premier talent when available. It’s not like they are taking these players by eminent domain; the teams want to deal them, the players want to go, or they are free agents who can’t wait to be “King of the Hill.” The Yankees have always been the Jones,’ and they have always allowed everyone else to try and keep up.
PN: The Yankees’ payroll gets higher and higher each year, yet their collection of all-stars hasn’t yielded a World Series title in several years. Wonder why small-market teams such as Minnesota and Oakland are successful? They build their teams within their own farm system, and then augment that talent with a free agent here and there. Also, look at last year’s World Series champions – the White Sox. Another team that is comprised mainly of players they developed. Ever heard the word chemistry? Faces come and go so quickly in New York, you wonder if they have time to read the tabloids criticizing them.