Sat 20 Dec 2008
It’s snowy here in NYC and that’s a nice thing especially around this wonderful time of year right before Christmas and Chanukah or whatever you celebrate. If Kwanza, Happy Happy!
But here I am with this one thought floating around my brain. It centers on New York baseball and its fans. Let’s face it! There’s no more spoiled fanbase than our city’s two teams which the majority support.
What other city’s baseball fans demand and expect to land the biggest free agent superstars every Winter? Not even the Red Sox who have won two more World Series than both the Yankees and Mets combined the past eight years get every star by overpaying like our teams do.
Sure. Francisco Rodriguez fell into Omar Minaya’s lap and the three years at the price of 36 million ain’t bad for the former Halo who established a new regular single season record with 62 saves. But that also had to do with the market and other options like Brian Fuentes who remains unsigned along with seasoned vet and all-time save leader Trevor Hoffman. Heck. The Astros still could put up Jose Valverde one year after acquiring him. How did that Brad Lidge deal workout again?
Getting back to the point, K-Rod is an elite closer in the upper echelon with Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelpon, Lidge and the much overlooked Joe Nathan. By acquiring him on their terms, the Mets addressed their biggest flaw which prevented them from October play a second straight season.
But by also going out and dealing for former Mariners closer J.J. Putz to hand the ball off to Rodriguez, Minaya instantly bolstered his pen with arguably the best 1-2 punch in the Senior Circuit. How it works out remains to be seen.
Thing is what other team’s fans would have expected this? No other city is like New York when it comes to its baseball teams. We always believe we’re getting the big star. Whether it’s a top flight ace like Johan Santana last year or the best free agent starter in C.C. Sabathia this month landing in the Bronx for a ridiculous seven years worth 161 million matching the old street they played at, baseball fans here hold their teams to a different level.
We want them to buy the best players and improve our teams even if it doesn’t always guarantee a world championship. I bet Met fans at this point would settle for just a division crown guaranteeing October after how the last two years have gone. And Pinstripe supporters are just hoping Ca$h Cow and A.J. Burnett (5 yrs, 82.5 million) are enough to get them back to the postseason when they’re competing with the Rays and Sahhhxxx.
In other words, there are no guarantees despite what our teams have done thus far. Sadly, it’s not over with the Yanks still chasing Manny Ramirez and possibly Mark Teixeira although I believe it was just to jack up the price which seems to have worked with the Red Sox bidding adieu to landing the switch hitting first base slugger who also can flash the leather.
The Yankee brass won’t be satisfied until they’ve acquired every All-Star as if that change in philo$ophy has paid dividends since they threw the gauntlet at Jason Giambi when George Steinbrenner got his own network. Alex Rodriguez still resides at third and the team has won exactly one playoff series in the four years the future home run King’s been here. You can bring in whoever you so desire but it doesn’t exactly mean anything.
It still doesn’t account for team chemistry. You don’t need to spend a fortune to win. But you can’t exactly field a team like the Omaha Royals do or Pirates. Toss in the Padres since they’re trying to sell off former NL Cy winner Jake Peavy because the owner is going through a messy divorce. This is the sad state of baseball.
Where not every fanbase has as much to get excited for when it comes to pitchers and catchers. If you live here, all you hear are baseball fans calling up WFAN in NY as if we’re already in April. It grows about as tiresome as all the NFL talk. Granted. At least it’s more warranted with a lot riding on the line for the Jets and Giants this weekend.
Sometimes, I still ponder what exactly basketball or hockey did so wrong. The Knicks get air time only cause they’re watchable again due to Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo unselfish brand of basketball. At least for now until something else develops with the Stephon Marbury fiasco.
Compared to baseball and football, the hoops discussion is still limited because the hardcore fan knows that this Knick team might not even be good enough to make the playoffs as an eighth seed. It’s really all about 2010 with a free agent class of LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and future Knick Amare Stoudemire.
As for the Nets who are a better act and are broadcast on FAN with Devin Harris torching Jason Kidd for 43 and 13 assists last night, nobody really cares. They rarely get mentioned except for loyal Net fan midday co-host Evan Roberts. Pretty sad for a station which airs their games.
As for hockey, what is it? Mike Francesa blatantly ignores it as if it were the plague. Chris Carlin’s Morning Warmup show is all hot air over the baseball and football teams. Anything but hockey seems to be the breakfast recipe.
It gets a little acknowledgment from Boomer and Carton along with Ranger fan Joe Benigno and Roberts due to interest in the Rangers. Esiason also is a huge Blueshirt supporter sometimes showing up at games. Steve Somers is probably the best hockey guy due to his passion for the Rangers and funny Islanders (Icelanders) skits. He was upset about Mats Sundin choosing the Canucks due to Glen Sather’s inability to make necessary cap space because of scrubs like Dmitri Kalinin (2.1 M) wasting away on the roster.
Mark Melusis to be fair also talks puck and tries to cover all sides including the Devils, who are broadcast on the station but may as well be playing their games in Siberia.
How is it that this station can air the NJ basketball and hockey team but rarely ever give them any love? Hypocrite$.
And what does it got to do with? Beloved baseball and football. The only sports which MATTER to them because of one word. One which I now deem evil. Rating$.
That’s all they care about. I got a question for the baseball fans out there. Is it really so hard to go a day without obsessing over which big star we’re going to wind up with next?
Wake me up when it’s May.