By now we all know about the Yankees’ plan to get their payroll under the $189 million threshold by 2014 to avoid an increased luxury tax rate. Many fans are angry, and I can see why, but it’s really not that big of a deal. I’ll tell you why.
Would you “sacrifice” two* seasons to potential mediocrity in an effort to secure the future of the team? Because that’s what the Yanks are doing. They want to get under $189 million in 2014 and then spend like the proverbial drunken sailor. If you’re that much of a spoiled fan where you can’t stand the fact that your team is trying to be financially responsible, I don’t know what to tell you.
*I put sacrifice in quotes because they really aren’t sacrificing much. Their rotation is more or less the same as last year (the one that helped them to an AL-best 95 wins), and two seasons received an asterisk because the only thing I’m worried about is 2014. It should be a good year for them in 2013, they can still add one-year deals, but 2014 has me worried. That rotation will probably be trash and who knows about the lineup, but, hey, if it only takes one year of miserly free-agent spending and a bush-league squad to get everything in order, I’m down. If that’s such an unfathomable concept – GASP not making the playoffs for one year OMG!!! — try rooting for a team like the Royals. You’ll see how good you have it as a Yankee fan.
The Bombers have made the playoffs every season except one (a year in which they had 89 wins) since 1995 (which really should extend to 1994), they have been in three of the last four ALCS including one WS title while averaging an MLB-best 97.5 wins over that span and they have five seasons of 100+ wins over the last 15 years. I know 29 other teams’ fans (OK, 28 given the Dodgers’ situation) that would cut off a finger to be in the “predicament” that Yankee fans are in right now.
Also, and this may just be me, it’s more fun when the Yanks aren’t expected to win. It’s one of the reasons why 1996 was so great. Heading into seasons where they spend on free agents is cool and all, but if they don’t win — even if they lead the league in wins and make the ALCS — everyone says it was a failure. Nobody can appreciate the ride, they just dwell on the end result. I love a good underdog season, and I can’t remember the last time the Yanks played that role. In a weird kind of way I’m looking forward to 2014.
Yankee fans who are complaining about the current state of the club should really be forced to go relive the late 80s/early 90s teams. It’s going to be tough watching the team in 2014, but not because they may underperform.
/gets off soapbox