Cano Leaving is a Disaster for the Yankees
Which is it? Do the Yankees have more money than everyone else to waste on toys that will break after a finite amount of use but will be great while they’re functioning or are they trying to build a different kind of team than the one they’ve been trotting out for the past 13 years? You can’t have it both ways. To promote the Yankees financial might and say that they shouldn’t worry about the $189 million goal/mandate, the luxury tax and how much money they spend and then say that they shouldn’t have spent the money to keep the best second baseman in baseball is the purest form of idiocy.
Is the money Cano got from the Mariners crazy? Yes. Is it going to be a nightmare in its last three years? Most likely. Will Cano help the Mariners win a championship? Who knows? None of that matters. The bottom line is that the Yankees drew a line in the sand on their own player who wanted to stay while overpaying for a Red Sox player in Ellsbury. There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place. Perhaps the Yankees had a kit that TV commercials are constantly reminding us we have to have in case of a hurricane, tornado or terrorist attack. It’s actually more of a panic button than a plan. And a contingency plan is not a plan.
The Yankees claiming that they had no choice but to let Cano leave implies that there is a sense of fiscal sanity. To say there was ever any kind of budget in place is the biggest insult of all to the collective intelligence of those who know better. It’s all part of a myth of dominance that is based on a narrative and has nothing to do with reality.
It’s frequently mentioned that during this current run with the Derek Jeter-led group, they’ve made the playoffs every year but two since 1995. For some reason, this is seen as a badge of honor when they’ve won five World Series during that time. Perhaps if they’d spread out the World Series wins rather than having won four of the five between 1996 and 2000, it would be perceived differently. Instead, they won the four titles very early in Joe Torre’s managerial reign and, from then on, anything less than a World Series win was seen as a failure even though they went to the playoffs every subsequent year. Because of that desperation to maintain, they abandoned what it was that built those early teams in the first place. As a result, they morphed from a cohesive group into a band of mercenaries and superstars.
Know this: Under the new template from the year 2001 to 2013 they’ve won one championship. One.
During that time, the Red Sox have won three, the Cardinals and Giants have won two and the Yankees have the same number of titles as the Diamondbacks, Angels, Marlins, White Sox and Phillies. These are facts. They’ve spent over $2.2 billion on players in that time. Is that bang for your buck when the stated goal is a championship, period? I’m not talking about new ballparks, amenities, cachet, merchandise and worldwide recognition. The Yankees were not built to be a profitable enterprise in and of itself. Everything is contingent on championships. The idea is to be a champion. They’re not champions.
Placed into context, the “annual playoff appearance” statement referring to 1995 to 2013 with only two years left out in the cold takes on a similar “so what?” tone as when George Steinbrenner said the Yankees had the best record in baseball in the 1980s. It’s factual and it’s meaningless when placed into the Yankees’ mantra that every season that doesn’t end in with a parade in the Canyon of Heroes is a dismal failure.