I miss firejoemorgan.com. I think they could maybe be harsh at times, but they were seldom wrong, and that site is still the first thing I think of when I come across a really awful piece of sports writing; its recent silence has left a void. Yesterday I came across an ESPN the Magazine (quit looking at me like that — I get it free!) “Page 2” piece that really demands the FJM treatment.
I’m certainly no Ken Tremendous, but I’ll give it my best shot. And so without further ado I give you Mike and Mike – whose show I’ve never actually heard, and now I know why – on the Yankees’ offseason. It doesn’t seem to be available online, so I’ll just have to type out the highlights for you. Here we go:
The Big Question
THE YANKS NEEDED PITCHING, A FIRST BASEMAN, AND SOME PATIENCE. THE MIKES SAY TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T GOOD.
Wait up. “Needed”? Did they sign Sabathia while I wasn’t looking?
GREENY:… after the success of the Rays and other small-market teams, is New York being smart by throwing money around instead of developing its farm system?
But… they haven’t spent any money yet!
Granted, they’ve offered Sabathia a pretty huge contract (though I don’t see how that prevents them from simultaneously developing their farm system). Moving on, then, I love the idea that since the Rays were successful last year, the best strategy for the New York Yankees would be to have a small budget – as if the Rays won because of that and not in spite of it.
Tampa doesn’t have a choice here; they’re not passing on Mark Texiera just because they prefer the young players in their system. If a one-legged man wins a race using a prosthesis, it’s inspirational, but that doesn’t mean you should train for your next 5K by cutting off one of your legs.
GOLIC: Unfortunately, what you don’t find with the Yankees is patience. They feel like they have to win right now.
Probably a fair criticism.
Last year, the team tried to go with young arms, but some of them got hurt, and it didn’t work. So while that may be the right thing to do, don’t expect them to do it… What I wanted to see is just how aggressive they’d get in bidding for the top players.
There’s that past tense again. Are they writing from the future? Tell me, Mikes, how was the Inauguration? Did Springsteen play?
GREENY: This strategy
The one they haven’t actually implemented yet?
is indicative of the biggest problem the Yankees have: they lack a vision. Take the Steelers.
They play football.
… They have a blueprint for success and stick to it. The same goes for the Jazz.
There’s really not a baseball team you’d like to bring up here? Red Sox, maybe? A’s? No?
They’ve had the same coach for 20 years and the second-best record in the NBA in that time.
Is he seriously suggesting that the Yankees should try to be more like the Utah Jazz? Nothing against the Jazz, who are a model of competence and class when compared to the Knicks (though to be fair, so was Lehman Brothers), but would anyone actually like to swap the Yanks’ last 20 years for the Jazz’s? Would New York be better off right now if they’d made it to the World Series only twice and lost both times?
If the Yankees really decided to build from within, it would be shortsighted to leave those plans behind just because of one bad year and some injury problems.
That’s true – it would be. Hey, has anyone told Brian Cashman about this?
GOLIC: You know if they’ll be able to help themselves.
I don’t know if he maybe meant “You don’t know if they’ll be able to help themselves,” or perhaps “You know they won’t be able to help themselves,” but I also don’t care. This whole piece is like a PSA for what happens when magazines lay off too many members of the editorial staff in one go.