Allen Barra is back with a characteristically charged article on the way the New York press covers the Yankees. This one appears in The Village Voice, so Barra doesn’t hold back even a little bit. He is right on the money when he criticizes Mike Lupica’s typically shrill sensibilities (which in this case involved the Aaron Boone trade):
The Yankees, he wrote, “were simply out to win at any cost. It is the real business of the Yankees, and it sucks the joy out of the season.” Out of whose season, exactly? And why, we’re entitled to ask, shouldn’t Steinbrenner and Cashman be out to “win at any cost”? If the fans are willing to pay the price for the tickets and beer, what exactly is Steinbrenner supposed to do with that money? Pocket it as pure profit, as so many of those teams getting that fat luxury tax from the Yankees do? Or try to improve his team the best way he and his front office see fit?
If teams such as the Cincinnati Reds leave players like Aaron Boone and Gabe White (the real steal in the deal) out on the doorstep, is it less of a case of the Yankees “sucking the joy” out of the game or of the Reds spitting it out?
I’d pay to see a steel cage match between Barra and Lupica any day—or even a head-to-head trash-talking contest, like the one Norman Mailer had with Gore Vidal on the old Dick Cavett show.