Long Overdue Rant…

Attention New York and Boston baseball fans…this may come as a rather large shock so please sit down.

Are you sitting? Okay…here goes.

Baseball does, in fact, exist outside of New York and Boston.

I’ll give that just a minute or two to sink in. Feel free to continue reading whenever you feel physically and emotionally able. However, I am going to warn all of you Yankees and Red Sox fans out there that this entire blog will actually be bashing BOTH of your respective fan-bases. So don’t go thinking you can skim the article–as fans from the upper east coast are wont to do–and then promptly go on a comment adding tirade about why your team is superior to the opposition.

Instead, I’d prefer it if when this little ride is over, ya’ll just sat back and took a few minutes to think about how ridiculously short-sighted and egomaniacal you really are.

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Chapter One – All About the Benjamins

First and foremost, I realize that the Yankees and Red Sox both just made the playoffs…again. I also realize that the Red Sox just won the World Series…again. However, let’s also take a moment to note that the Yankees and Red Sox led all of baseball in terms of payroll…again. (with the New York Mets coasting in third-place)

The Yankees and Red Sox combined payroll in 2007 was roughly $338 million. All four of the National League playoff teams combined paid out roughly $296 million worth of salary in 2007. Not a one of those teams had made the playoffs since the Cubs NLCS run in 2003.

So brag all you want about your successes, but until you can win with small payrolls like the Athletics, Twins, Rockies, Padres, Indians and Diamondbacks have done in recent years—keep your mouth shut. The Pirates and Royals could win the World Series with a $150 million payroll too…or at least make the playoffs and choke in the first round.

Chapter Two – Pie in the Sky Expectations

I have three names for you. Bill Pulsipher. Jason Isringhausen. Paul Wilson. In the mid-1990s, the trio were all widely hyped as the next generation of New York Mets’ superstars. The group received considerable press attention and the nickname “Generation K.” These three were viewed as the future of the franchise and injuries derailed all of their career significantly. Pulsipher finished his career with thirteen wins and a 5.15 earned run average. Wilson had a better career finishing up with 40 wins and 4.86 ERA, despite being touted as a future Hall-of-Famer straight out of school. Only Isringhausen managed to patch together a solid career as a closer after multiple injuries derailed his highly-touted starting career.

Anyone get where I’m taking this?

Let me drop some more names for you in the upper east coast…Jacoby Ellsbury, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Clay Buchholz and Ian Kennedy. All are highly-touted prospects and apparently every one of you thinks that all of the pitchers are going to turn into Bob Gibson and Ellsbury is going to be better than Ken Griffey Jr. That’s pretty much the only reason why I can assume none of you wants to trade any of those players for Johan Santana.

Ever since December, all I’ve read about is how neither Red Sox nor Yankees fans want to give up any of their prized prospects. Yankees fans seem to think they’re doing the Twins some sort of favor by even offering to “take Santana off the Twins’ hands.” I’ve read trade proposals from Yankee fans that include overpriced and under-talented players at the end of their careers and contracts such as Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina and Johnny Damon. Call me crazy, but why would the Twins trade the best pitcher in baseball for a bunch of overpaid, worn-out has-beens who won’t be under contract for more than a year?

In fact, far too many Yankees fans have made the argument that they should wait until Santana hits free agency and just buy him. Well, long story short Santana will not hit free-agency. He’ll be traded and locked up to an extension and you’ll never get your hands on him unless you make a trade.

Red Sox fans are too unwilling to throw in Buchholz or Ellsbury and act like giving up Jon Lester in addition to Coco Crisp and two prospects is some kind of sin. Let’s be honest Red Sox fans, look at the horrible trades the team has made in the last two years. In acquiring Eric Gagne last year and reacquiring Doug Mirabelli the year before the Sox gave up plenty of promising young talent and received very little in return. No one complained about the talent given up in those deals and all you received in return was a back-up catcher who’s lucky to hit above the Mendoza line and a closer who buckled under the pressure of a big market.

Until any of those five players lives up to the hype, consider yourselves idiots for passing on the greatest pitcher in baseball because you’ve bought into your own hype.

Chapter 3 – Uneducated Homers Shouldn’t Talk Baseball

This is a simple request I’m making to each and everyone of the Yankees and Red Sox
fans out there who thinks it’s necessary to leave a comment on every thread of every baseball story posted on every website on the internet.

It’s as simple as this, not every article is about the Red Sox or Yankees…don’t try to make the comment thread about the Yankees or Red Sox.

If you know nothing about another team, for the love of the Baseball Gods, please keep your mouth shut. Everyone outside of the upper east coast assumes you’re all only paying attention to yourselves anyway, no need to prove us right.

And please, please, pretty please…don’t try to argue for the value of your hometown team when it’s completely ludicrous. You just look like an idiot.

Example 1: Recently someone wrote a blog ranting about Bernie Williams and how he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Let me repeat that in case anyone didn’t catch it correctly. Someone was trying to defend an argument that Bernie Williams was a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

I’m not even going to go into explaining why that is absolute baseball blasphemy, because if I have to, you’re either not a baseball fan or you’re in the group of people who agrees, in which case, color yourself dead to me.

Example 2: There was an article on FoxSports.com about the top four teams that have a chance to surprise this year. The article had nothing to do with the Red Sox or the Yankees. In the article Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins was referenced as being the best all-around catcher in baseball. On the comment thread someone immediately posted a reply that basically took a big ole dump all over the article simply because of the Mauer comment.

His argument? Jason Varitek is the best overall catcher in baseball. To further establish his “argument” he put up the head-to-head career statistics of Jason Varitek and Jorge Posada, completely taking Mauer (or Russell Martin or Victor Martinez or Brian McCann) out of the argument altogether and making it a Yankees vs. Red Sox piece.

Again, if there is any need for me to explain the absolute lack of mental capacity it takes to try and label Jason Varitek as the best all-around catcher in the game you are either not a baseball fan or you are part of the problem.

———————————-

That my east coast loving friends shall be the end of my tirade if for no better reason than I’m already a little nauseous knowing that I just wrote yet another piece that focuses on the Red Sox and Yankees…like roughly 80% of the baseball stories that are turned out by the media in a year.

Just do me a favor fans in New York and Boston, pull your heads out of the sand and read about other teams every once in awhile, get your shit together and then you can start talking baseball all you want.

But as long as you’re going to sit back with your uneducated, simple-minded arguments of “my team is better than yours…” just keep it to yourselves or your friends down at the pub and spare the rest of us—who know what we’re talking about—the time and suffering.

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About Jeremiah Graves

I am a professional library dude, a cheeseburger enthusiast, a wannabe writer, a slow-pitch softball center fielder, an avid hunter (of churros), a cat-person, and -- hopefully -- one of your two or three favorite Iowans.
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