• The State Of The New York Yankees Franchise

    Posted by on January 24th, 2011 · Comments (17)

    Would you say that the Yankees, today, are in the best state in the history of their franchise?

    I’m not sure that’s true. Perhaps it’s true in terms of cash flow. But, are they better than they were…say…from 1949 through 1964? What do you think?

    Comments on The State Of The New York Yankees Franchise

    1. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 11:52 am

      Last season, I was able to watch Yankees games in Peru. The Yomiuri Giants are called “The Yankees” of Japan. When you’re used as a standard of excellence, I’d say you’re doing pretty good. :D

      Given the franchise worth, I’d say they’re in their best state ever.

    2. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 11:56 am

      Raf wrote:

      Given the franchise worth, I’d say they’re in their best state ever.

      I’d have to agree.

      Plus, it’s absurd to compare the current team to teams from ’49-’64. It was a different age then. Fewer teams, no free agency, less competition. When labor costs are fixed and there is no union, it’s hard to compare it to today’s game.

    3. Ryan81
      January 24th, 2011 | 12:01 pm

      Business wise, they’re in the best shape of their history.

      Baseball wise, something tells me they’re close to the late 70s, early 80s Yankees: on the precipice of an implosion due to a.) a divided front office (the new melodrama between the Steinbrenners, Cashman, and Levine) b.) too many aging stars (Jeter, Mo, Posada, A-Rod) and c.) less than stellar upcoming free agent crops and the fact that the Yankees’ money doesn’t mean as much as it used to (see: Lee, Cliff).

    4. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 12:04 pm

      Ryan81 wrote:

      the fact that the Yankees’ money doesn’t mean as much as it used to (see: Lee, Cliff).

      One example doesn’t prove an entire case. Cliff Lee is not the first free agent to pass on becoming a Yankee and he won’t be the last. As much as it would’ve bene great for the franchise to get him, it really won’t be the end of the world as we know it and there are no larger, more ominous implications to derive from Cliff Lee’s decision.

    5. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 12:14 pm

      Ryan81 wrote:

      Baseball wise, something tells me they’re close to the late 70s, early 80s Yankees: on the precipice of an implosion due to a.) a divided front office (the new melodrama between the Steinbrenners, Cashman, and Levine) b.) too many aging stars (Jeter, Mo, Posada, A-Rod) and c.) less than stellar upcoming free agent crops and the fact that the Yankees’ money doesn’t mean as much as it used to (see: Lee, Cliff).

      OTOH, it is easier to make the playoffs, and there shouldn’t be any collusion.

    6. Jim TreshFan
      January 24th, 2011 | 12:19 pm

      Business-wise the Yankees are the gold standard.

      Other-wise I would pick the period from 1936-1943 as the most dominant in their history. It took a world war to stop the juggernaut.

    7. Ryan81
      January 24th, 2011 | 1:05 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I think you can certainly imply after this offseason that the Yankees are no longer going to be able to dramatically outspend opponents, and thus have lost a little of that edge. If I recall, the Red Sox had a higher payroll than us last month before the Soriano deal. The Phillies also now have deep enough pockets to spend on the Yankees level. Point is, the financial edge that the Yankees singlehandedly held over baseball is not single handed anymore.

    8. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:03 pm

      @ Ryan81:
      If we assume that the Yankees have set a soft cap at $200-220M then, yes, the Yankees can’t dramatically outspend teams on the basis of that self-imposed spending cap.

      However, since we don’t know (1) what the new CBA and labor structure will look like and (2) if greater spending by other teams will encourage the Yankees to loosen the reins a bit more to, say, $250M, then I’d be hard-pressed to agree with your point that Cliff Lee picking the Phillies was a watershed moment in Yankee history.

    9. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:48 pm

      Funny thing is, the Yankees were such major players in driving up player salaries and now it has come back to bite them. Now those salaries are so ridiculously outrageous that the numbers don’t mean as much. The perceived difference between a $150M contract and a $170M contract is not that great. Its like, when is enough enough? So players aren’t just going to go with the highest bidder, they are taking everything into consideration.

    10. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:13 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Funny thing is, the Yankees were such major players in driving up player salaries and now it has come back to bite them.

      But were they really? It seems that they’ve usually signed players to their market value. I don’t think Sabathia gets the contract he got without Johan Santana. Bernie doesn’t get the contract he signed without Griffey. I’m sure there are other examples that I can’t think of right now.

    11. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:16 pm

      @ Raf:
      You’re absolutely correct. It was always pointed out in the 90′s that if Boss would’ve just signed his players before free agency, he’d have saved himself a lot of money. Instead, he was somewhat sensitive to the perception that the Yankees would set the market so he always let someone else set the market and then he’d match the market for his own guys. Jeter (A-Rod/Manny) and Williams (Griffey) are two perfect examples of how the Yankees ended up spending more on their own players but didn’t sign them to record-setting deals.

    12. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:43 pm

      The other teams have caught up with the Yanks because all the Steinbrenners absolutely hate paying luxury tax to their competitors so their competitors can beat them.

      Although clown shoes like Lupica continue to mock the Yankees for their budget, the fact is, the Yanks’ payroll has not increased significantly in at least 6 years. That of other teams’ has, as revenues continue to rise, and as years go by, more and more teams are spending a larger and large fraction of what the Yanks spend.

      ================================================
      I agree with 1936-1943 as their peak era baseball-wise.

      I was pretty content with the state of the team…until Hal and Levine stepped on Cashman to acquire Soriano. Regardless of the relative merits of the move, it’s very, very bad for the organization, long-term, for people who are not the GM to be vetoing what he thinks is best. As I’ve said before, if you’ve lost confidence in the GM, then FIRE him, and hire someone you do have trust in. But don’t start the road back to divided team management; that way lies chaos and compromise solutions and contradictory moves.

      Business-wise, of course, they’re a non-stop printing press at the National Mint (or Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or whatever it is). The press might slow down a lot, however, with a multi-year period on non-contention. We shall see, if that happens.

    13. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:55 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      As I’ve said before, if you’ve lost confidence in the GM, then FIRE him, and hire someone you do have trust in.

      Agreed. Although the problem is that if the bozos above Cashman are stupid enough to sign Soriano, why would/should we trust them to make a good hire in place of Cashman? Most good GM’s wouldn’t have signed Soriano so they’d obviously be looking to hire someone would would’ve agreed with the move.

    14. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 11:29 pm

      Raf wrote:

      But were they really? It seems that they’ve usually signed players to their market value. I don’t think Sabathia gets the contract he got without Johan Santana. Bernie doesn’t get the contract he signed without Griffey. I’m sure there are other examples that I can’t think of right now.

      I’m sure there are many more examples from other teams – how about the Kevin Brown signing, Manny’s contract with the Red Sox, and the original A-Rod signing, just to name a few? I didn’t say the Yankees were the only reason, just that they were a major player.

    15. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 11:34 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ Raf:
      You’re absolutely correct. It was always pointed out in the 90′s that if Boss would’ve just signed his players before free agency, he’d have saved himself a lot of money. Instead, he was somewhat sensitive to the perception that the Yankees would set the market so he always let someone else set the market and then he’d match the market for his own guys. Jeter (A-Rod/Manny) and Williams (Griffey) are two perfect examples of how the Yankees ended up spending more on their own players but didn’t sign them to record-setting deals.

      Well, I do love Jeter and Bernie but, at the time, they were not really in the same offensive category as A-Rod, Manny, and Griffey. And I always felt the Yankees should have done a better job at signing their own players before they hit the free agent market. Cashman did a good job of that with Cano.

    16. Evan3457
      January 25th, 2011 | 11:22 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Cashman did a good job of that with Cano.

      …and Wang, though you could call that “lucky” (Unlucky? It may have cost them the post-season in 2008, and they lost a good young pitcher…forever).

    17. Raf
      January 25th, 2011 | 12:04 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      It seemed that Cashman was insistent on not signing Wang to a long term deal.

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