I had to go down this road, beacuse it can't be talked about enough. For years now Yankee's fan biggest defense to the bloated over the top payroll has been. "Well the Red Sox are second and they spend a lot too!" Great stuff Yankees fan, problem is your still
preventing facts from getting in the way of your arguments.
The Yankees payroll for 2006 will be $199,000,000 (approx) while the Red Sox will be number 2 at $120,000,000. The Yankees have created a gap of $79,000,000 between themselves and their nearest competitor in salary. This gap is the same as the gap between The Red Sox and the Colorago Rockies (28th in payroll) at $41,000,000.
Also, the Red Sox are by no means on an island with their $120,000,000 payroll. The Dodgers, Mets, Cubs and Angels and the "small ball" White Sox all come in within 20% of the $120,000,000. History has shown that through trades and aquisitions throughout the year, 20% is a reasonable variance for a club in a one year span.
Within twenty percent of the Yankees,. Noone, $143,000,000 is the cutoff for the twenty percent rule. No team is within $20,00,000 of that figure.
The Red Sox and playing the role of a big market team and trying to compete. The Yankees truly are trying to buy their rings, and are failing miserably. Until they get within that 20% they will always just be buying their rings.
Think of this. How would the Red Sox do if their club played the Rockies, Pirates and Royals all year (all are the payroll gap equivalant of Red Sox and Yankees.) But the Yankees never do that well, not even close. But why?
They have spent very, very poorly on individual players. Of the top 15 players paid for the 2006 season, 5 of them are Yankees, only 1 of them are Red Sox.
Looking further, there are 30 MLB teams and if everything were equal (which it is not) each team should "theoretically" have one player in the top thirty. No other team has more than 2. The Yankees have 7. The Red Sox have only Ramirez and Schilling in the top 30. The Yankees have Rodriguez, Jeter, Giambi, Johnson, Mussina, Damon and Matusi.
The Yankees further have the top 3 salaries in all of baseball for 2006:
Lets spend a minute on Jeter, who typifies the Yankee methodology of grossly overpaying for an above average player. I pick him because, if anyone is worth $25,000,000 (and no one is) ARod has the numbers to back it up. Giambi has been hurt, otherwise he too could have been a perrenial MVP, (albeit an overpaid one at that)
Jeter is making more than the following players (who are all superior to him offensively) and I think we have spent enough time explaining that he is at best a "C" defense player to eliminate that from the equation:
Bonds, Ramirez, Helton, Thome, Pujols, Del Gado, Beltran, Ortiz, Guerrero, Ichiro, Konerko, Tejada.
That is 12 players who are better than Jeter, none of whom crack the $20,000,000 a year mark, but for some inexplicable reason Jeter does. Is it cluth? See Ortiz. Is it defense? See Ichiro and Guerrero. Is it power? See almost any of the above. Best at his posistion? See Tejada.
We are so quick to slap an asterick on Barry Bonds on all his records past and present. The Yankees, however, are committing a crime against baseball by playing the game like this. They are all a bunch of frauds and don't deserve to win. All their championships, with a payroll that high should be slapped with a similar asterick. Sure they are playing within the rules, but that doesn't make it right.
I respect the Yankees from the late 90s. They won with a high payroll, but did it within a margin. They had a philospohy of signing middle of the road free agents who were good players all around. They had a deep and strong bullpen adn would make the games much shorter and would have starters who could consistenly go 7 innings and were durable and consistnet.
This is the formula that the Red Sox and trying to develop in their organization, and are doing it pretty well. Just look at the upcoming prospects and you will see what I mean.
Above, is not just sour grapes. Hey we beat them. It is instead a plea, a plea for Yankees fans to wake up. A plea for them never to say "Its only April" a plea never to make BS arguments about payroll being "what it is" a plea for them to recognize that their bleoved son is one of the most overpaid players in all of baseball. It is a plea for some sanity and some peace.