Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A New Reason to Hate the Yankees

I am not one for hating on the Yankees. Yes, the New York Yankees make more money than any other team in baseball, and of course they, correspondingly, spend more money on players than any other team. For reasons that I understand but do not agree with, this makes some people irate and many others quietly perturbed. Don't hate the Yankees because they operate within the system at their maximum potential to win baseball games. Further, I concede that the system may be flawed but do not agree with implementing a salary cap. I have not heard a cogent suggestion for how to fix the issue that I can get on board with.

So I am conceptually fine with the inherent advantages the Yankees have in the economics of baseball. But what if the Yankees get an additional competitive advantage from the vast (and evil, by the way) media outlets in the immediate vicinity of New Yankee Stadium? Having just traded for Curtis Granderson, a very good, if somewhat over-rated, center fielder formerly of the Detroit Tigers, it appears the GM of the Yanks shipped off some prospects to fill a hole with a player they can certainly afford. Here's the rub - they got the player they wanted and only gave up an over-rated prospect (to be fair, he could be pretty good eventually) and a marginal major league starter and a couple relievers (neither very good - these grow on trees in major league baseball). What if the mega-media outlets, who talk about the Yankees' prospects all the time, have contributed to that team's prospects being over-rated on a consistent basis? This would lead not to better home-grown players on the field, but to better players available by trade. Consequently, not only would the Yankees be able to buy the best players, but because their prospects are hyped way more than any other teams' maybe they also have the advantage when it comes to trading for the best players too.

Gosh. Maybe this is a bit out there, and certainly not something I would normally advocate. And I definitely do not qualify as an expert on any teams' prospects. But after watching the rumors float in the world of the LA Dodgers that such and such teams want the Dodgers' top four prospects plus some major league talent for certain players in trade, it does make me wonder if other teams believe the hype given to the Yankee youngsters by the Yankees media conglomerate a bit too much when I see trades like the Granderson deal.

Maybe something I'll look into. Any ideas how to prove this from the Bowling faithful? Just what we need - another reason for everyone to hate the Yankees.


  1. I think there's no doubt that the New York hype machine has an effect; it has helped shape the public perception of Derek Jeter as a dead-lock Hall of Famer; on the same roster in, say, Kansas City, I think he'd be a very gifted hitter but only the second- or third-best shortstop on his team.

    But I don't know how much media affects scouting and farm systems. (I'm not disagreeing, I'm saying I really don't know.) I think it's likely that an organization's marketing promotion of its prospects comes into play to some degree, but I would think that most of what a team learns about players offered in trades comes from their own scouts, their own farm-system managers and players, and the wealth of silly statistics baseball has to offer for every conceivable situation.

    But if teams that trade for Yankee prospects HAVE been suckered in by hype, is that anybody's fault but their own? Possibly, yes, but I'm not sure.

  2. Good point, Some Guy - even if that IS happening then really that's just shame on the other teams. Maybe it's just sour grapes when the Yankees make a good move while the rumors suggest my team would have to give up better and/or more players for the same move. Oh well. Is there something else you suggest I hate the Yankees for?

    One thing I think you're under-estimating is the profound effect the media has on baseball prospects and the perception thereof. They are huge business, and the entire system of evaluation was tailor-made for the internet.

  3. your talking about baseball right? is it that sport in which you watch the grass grow and make up numbers to measure how much it grew over time?