Can’t Buy Me Love ……… And Money Can’t Buy You Happiness Either …. Especially In The World of Baseball
Well with the divisional rounds of the AL and NL divisional series now behind us the championship series are now set . In the AL the Texas Rangers will host the Detroit Tigers for the first two games in the best of seven games series format to decide the AL pennant and the representative for the World Series from that league. In the NL we have the Milwaukee Brewers hosting the St Louis Cardinals with the privilege of the pennant winner from that league taking on winners of the Rangers vs Tigers series.
Slide show for your perusal .
Now while we were all enthralled by the final day finales within the league with both the St Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays garnering the wildcard berths for the postseason . It has to be said that in spite of the drama and excitement created by the improbable feats by both the Cardinals and Rays what has now happened in divisional series raises the bar to a new level. The Philadelphia Phillies , New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox has me wondering whether or not those who aspire to suggest that there is parity within the league , do they really believe that ?
The New York Yankees long considered the big money market team whose aspirations to spend big and win big has been the credo that they have simply lived by. The team with a $203 million payroll simply eschew largess and the type of opulence we are liable to see amongst the high rolling executives on Wall Street. In the ALDS the Yankees were up against a determined Detroit Tigers’ — team with their ace in the hole with the starting pitcher Justin Verlander . In a series deciding game five hosted by the AL East champions at Yankees Stadium . The game in front of a soldout crowd was raucous and electric in terms of the excitement created .
In spite of the the team’s offense and the tremendous seasons had by Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira during the postseason the bats of the Yankees were bewilderingly silent . Alex Rodriguez the alleged big money player brought in by the organization presumably to be the face of the team once Derek Jeter steps down has been a clear sign of why Rodriguez is not the force that many presumably believe him to be. He may well rank up there amongst the all-time leaders in terms home run hitters . During the series against the Detroit Tigers the player’s demeanor and offense like the rest of the members of this Yankees’ roster was nowhere to be seen. I will continue to maintain that Alex Rodriguez does not know what it is to play on a team much less be a teammate who can lead by example !. He has yet to prove that and never will and that is even with the fact that he has a World Series ring to his credit.
New York Yankees’ team president Randy Levine and GM Brian Cashman are already circling the wagons and looking to create the facade that their failings were due to the fact that the Tigers were simply the better team . And in that respect they are right but who could have envisaged that during the postseason this New York Yankees’ team would put up such an anemic effort ? And beyond the ineptitude shown by the Yankees’ offense one has to admit that coming into this postseason you also knew this pitching roster of the Yankees simply would not be up to the task . The only saving grace for the New York Yankees may well be the fact that beyond CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova this pitching rotation may well need to be gutted and revamped altogether .
Money may well be of no object to the New York Yankees , given the fact that they have unending resource by way of the YES Network and the thought that they can use the team owned broadcast outlet to simply use as a tax write for any losses accumulated by the baseball operations. But herein lies the caveat to this whole charade , it is that the New York Yankees are not necessarily prudent spenders when it comes acquiring talent by way of the free agency market or via trades . Consider players such as Carl Pavano , Randy Johnson and Hideki Irabu who have simply come and gone producing little if anything that one might consider tangible for the organization. But somehow & Brian Cashman and the entire front office seem to feel that this credo is still the template for success. That scenario usually works when the talent performs at an optimum level but would anyone seriously consider the season produced by AJ Burnett is worth $16,500,000 ?
The Philadelphia Phillies prior to the start of the season were seen as the prohibitive favorites to win the NL pennant and World Series . A pitching roster that has a quintet of All Stars and wealth of experience with a Cy Young award winner amongst those five. Roy Halladay , Cliff Lee , Cole Hamels , Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt . As imposing as that pitching roster may well appear to be who could have envisaged that it would be the offense of the Phillies that would lay a goose egg in their divisional series against the St Louis Cardinals ? Another big money market team whose expenditure on team salaries for 2011 exceeded $167 million .
In what would turn out to be a game five series decider played at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia the Phillies hosted the NL Central wildcard winners. Taking the mound for the Cardinals was their ace Chris Carpenter . And the ace did not fail to deliver , pitching a three hit shutout for a complete game and perhaps one of the greatest pitching performances in St Louis Cardinals’ postseason history .
Philadelphia Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr along with manager Charlie Manuel , the entire coaching staff and the front office will have to reassess the roster to view what changes will have to made . if the Phillies are to have any semblance of success in the upcoming season. For a team that was said to be experienced with such seasoned veterans as Chase Utley , Raul Ibanez , Shane Victorino to add alongside the highly productive Ryan Howard and you now have to ask where was the leadership on this team in their time of need ? This was a team built for the long haul with a view to making a run for the World Series and it was clear that no expense would be spared .
For a team with a payroll of $167 million it is hard to understand how the Philadelphia Phillies could have failed so miserably . Built to win but barely lasting the course because of sheer ineptitude and a complete lack of brevitas shown by these high priced players.
In the space of ten days from the end of the regular season schedule to the divisional series we have seen a fallout of seismic proportions that I feel may well force the general managers around the baseball landscape to believe that spending ostentatiously simply brings about success . And even though the effects of ” Sabermetrics” during the nineties created the euphoria and was used effectively by Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics under the tutelage of Paul DePodesta . That was then , this now and in the present the reality is that the big money teams still hold sway . However , we can either choose to believe that within the game of baseball there is now parity within the sport or the fact that it is actually about the survival of the fittest. At the end of the day I believe it simply comes down to the will to win and not much more beyond that !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
In light of the events of the waning days of the regular season and the divisional rounds of the playoffs what to your mind has been the main premise behind the downfall of these big money market teams ? Of the four remaining teams within the LCS which do you feel has the best chance of winning the World Series ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit and anything else you feel pertinent with regard to the subject matter.
Alan aka tophatal …………
Picture and slide show details .
(1) Texas Rangers’ Neftali Feliz reacts after striking out Detroit Tigers’ Ryan Raburn for the final out of Game 1 at baseball’s American League championship series Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. Texas won, 3-2 . Texas catcher Mike Napoli and home plate umpire Tim Welke are at rear. AP Photo/Eric Gay …
(2) The Texas Rangers celebrate their 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in Game One of the American League Championship Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 8, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ….
(3) New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, left, and Derek Jeter leave the field after the top of the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of baseball’s American League division series Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …..
(4) The Detroit Tigers run out from the dugout onto the field to celebrate with their teammates after they won 3-2 against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images …….
(5) Rafael Soriano of the New York Yankees is presented his jersey and cap from (L-R) manager Joe Girardi, president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and COO Lonn Trost during a press conference on January 19, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees signed Soriano to a three year contract. Getty Images / Jim McIsaac ……
(6) Manager Charlie Manuel looks on as general manager Ruben Amaro Jr of the Philadelphia Phillies holds the ALCS trophy as they celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-4 to advance to the World Series in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(7) St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Daniel Descalso, left, starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, second baseman Nick Punto, catcher Yadier Molina, and first baseman Albert Pujols, react after their 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in baseball’s Game 5 of the National League division series Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …
(8) Ryan Howard (6) of the Philadelphia Phillies stumbles as he runs out of the box on his ground out for the final out of the game as they lost 1-0 against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Divisional Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images …..
NB: * Denotes teams knocked out in the divisional rounds of the playoffs