Let the celebration begin. All is right in the baseball world again. The Yankees are World Champions. What fun. So many great heroes. Such great games.
Personally, any worries Laura and I might have had about a marital jinx have been wiped away. We can celebrate together the great Yankees’ victory and look forward to many more.
Sorry all you Yankees haters, there will be more too. I awake on Wednesday to Mike and Mike on ESPN going on and on about how unfair baseball is because of a lack of revenue sharing and how the NFL has it right. Funny that just weeks before, the two M’s were all befuddled over the disparity in the NFL over the haves and have-nots. You have the Rams, the Lions, the Browns, the Buccaneers and more that all stink. No amount of revenue sharing can make up for the fact that those teams are badly managed and coached.
The Yankees are already lining the pockets of selfish owners like Dan Glass of the Kansas City Royals through luxury taxes. The Royals had no difficulty competing against the Yankees back when Ewing Kauffman was willing to spend money. And, don’t try and tell me that the Royals don’t make money or that Glass of Wal-Mart billions can’t afford to shell out money like the Yankees. Maybe not quite as much but surely many times more than they do now. The problem is that the Royals have no organization in place to use that money well and identify good players anymore.
The fans of the Twins moan and groan, but they are opening a new ballpark next spring. They’ll have to shell out some serious cash to keep their great catcher Joe Mauer. Can they afford not to keep a home-town, home-grown player with his skills? It is assured that the Yankees will be ready to offer whatever for Mauer to allow an aging Jorge Posada to move to DH. Same goes for Carl Crawford with Tampa. He’d sure look good roaming centerfield in the Bronx. The Yankees have no choice, because if they don’t the Red Sox or Mets will. Remember the Mets have spent millions and got nothing for it.
Let’s also remember that schools like Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas are using money generated by their great basketball programs to build fabulous facilities to attract recruits. The purpose is clear. Win more championships and generate more revenue. Do fans of Vanderbilt, Boston College or Iowa State, for example, really believe that they can compete on a regular basis with these basketball powers or ever hope to win National Championships? No, these powerful schools aren’t buying championships, but the money sure does help build the reputation needed to attract wide-eyed young basketball wonders. What helps even more are far-sighted athletic directors like KU’s Lew Perkins or great coaches like Bill Self and Roy Williams. The same can be said of the New York Yankees, their management and their vision.
I will grant you that the TV revenue the Yankees produce helps dramatically, but that points out a major shortcoming of baseball as a whole. The NFL thrives because of shared television revenue. The fact that baseball has spread itself so thin on national telecasts can’t help any team. It doesn’t help that baseball is badly run from the commissioner on down. As happy as I am right now over the Yankees victory, I already will miss watching such thrilling games as we saw this post season. However, I will not miss for a second the broadcast teams that various national outlets foist on helpless fans. Listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver is brutal. I love their look after games as they sit in their lounge chairs recapping the game as though they were about to fall asleep. I swear that is exactly how they broadcast games. Buck lives on his great broadcasting father’s name. McCarver’s one claim to fame is catching Bob Gibson. They bring no new insights and certainly no drama in their words. They act totally bored. Buck is always mentioning the time coming up on the “East Coast” as if none of us have watches. What that says to me is that he’d rather be in his hotel room fussing with his hair than broadcasting the compelling action we just saw. TBS’ Skip Carey and Ron Darling? Please!
The fact there were more off days in the playoffs than there are in a 162 game regular season points up the pure stupidity of the baseball and its television partners. Let’s try to make the games long and tedious. Great way to draw viewers. Can we squeeze in a few more commercials between innings? We came home from running last night just as the game began. I was able to begin cooking dinner between innings. I showered between innings. Never missed a pitch. Help us.
So, all Yankees fans are loving today. All Yankees haters are crying and screaming. Just remember this. Suddenly after some success, a “Red Sox Nation” was formed as if it had existed forever. There is one particular young Sox fan in the KU media group that loved to come to me whenever his Sox were doing well and the Yankees weren’t. After the Sox took the first eight games this season against the Yankees, he was always popping off. Funny how I don’t see him in his little Sox cap anymore, and he has nothing to say. There is a line in A League of Their Own for him and that little cap.
In World War II when the Japanese on some isolated island in the vast Pacific tried to upset the American troops, they yelled “F–K Babe Ruth!” There might be some little Red Sox Nation now. Sorry baseball, it will always be A YANKEES’ WORLD.