Why the New York Yankees' Crazy Payroll Should be a Topic of Discussion

It seems that everyone is asking me what I have against the New York Yankees. “Why are you bashing them?” “Are you a Yankee hater?” The answer is that I don’t have anything against the Yankees and I’m simply talking about the topic of the day and pointing out the facts. If the New York Mets were relevant in any way shape of form to the MLB playoff landscape I’d be talking about them, but they aren’t, they suck!

Look, if any team was about to become only the third team to blow a 10-game division lead since the six-division format started in 1994 I’d be talking about them today. When the Mets collapsed a few years ago, I bashed them too. The fact is that the Yankees had a 10-game lead on July 18th and the lead is now gone.

While a collapse by any team would be a big topic, the reason the collapse of the Yankees is even a bigger topic is their payroll relative to their direct competitors. I know, I know, payroll is an old drawn out topic that isn’t going to change so why keep talking about it? Why, because the Yankees payroll of $197,962,289 is more than the combined payroll of the Baltimore Orioles ($81,428,999) and the Tampa Bay Rays ($64,173,500). In fact, if you add the Orioles and Rays payroll together and then add the Oakland Athletics payroll ($55,372,500) too, it’s only $3 million more than the Yankees payroll!

Think about that, it’s quite possible that if the Yankees don’t catch a tail wind to close out the season, the Orioles, Rays and A’s who’s three-team combined payroll just about equals the Yankees’ might all finish ahead of the banking bombers. And while I agree that the Yankees having the highest payroll doesn’t guarantee them a championship on an annual basis, history has shown that it pretty much has guaranteed them a playoff spot. If the Yankees miss the playoffs it will be only the second time (2008) since 1993 (’94 season was canceled due to strike). Take into account that an extra Wild Card spot has been added this season and this would be a major story.

There is much speculation as to whether manager Joe Girardi would keep his job if the Yankees miss the playoffs this season. To me blaming Girardi is silly. Brian Cashman has put together the oldest group of position players in the history of this storied franchise and for the most part, with the exception of Derek Jeter, they have dropped like flies missing time to injuries or have played like the old men that they are. Girardi is simply playing with the hand that he’s been dealt. Consider the fact that Russell Martin hitting .203 and Curtis Granderson hitting .233 are currently the best options to bat 5th and 6th and protect A-Rod in the lineup… Still think Girardi is to blame?

Random Musings

Can someone tell me why the Washington Nationals would let Stephen Strasburg basically pitch the entire season and then have him miss the last month and playoffs when they could have just let him start the season later and then have him available for the last month and playoffs? Am I missing something?

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