Monday, April 18, 2005

21st Century Curse of Steinbrenner

Oh boy, how I love watching the Yankees lose. It brings me such joy. Call me a hater or whatever you want because it’s true. I love seeing the look on A-Rod’s face when he fly’s out with men in scoring position. I love the befuddled glare on Jeter as he watches the opposing team shake hands after they beat the Yankees. But most of all, I love hearing how angry their pompous owner is.

It seems like they really haven’t won much in the last six months. After their monumental collapse last year in the ALCS against the Red Sox you would’ve thought that they were going to come into the 2005 season like a team ready to exact revenge and win another 100-plus games right? Well they did start out good, beating the Sox in the first two games of the season, but since then they’ve shown the world absolutely nothing. 2-8 since those two early victories. I love smiling when I read that. How is this possible? A team payroll of over $204 million, 7 of the highest 25 paid players in baseball and they are struggling?

After being swept by the Baltimore Orioles yesterday Steinbrenner issued a statement – doesn’t he always?
"Enough is enough. I am bitterly disappointed as I'm sure all Yankee fans are by the lack of performance by our team. It is unbelievable to me that the highest-paid team in baseball would start the season in such a deep funk. They are not playing like true Yankees. They have the talent to win and they are not winning. I expect Joe Torre, his complete coaching staff and the team to turn this around."

Do you think Georgie is getting annoyed that the Mets might become a more popular team in the New York area over the next several years? The emergence of Pedro Martinez and with young, talented players like 27-year old Carlos Beltran, 21-year old Jose Reyes, 22-year old David Wright and 23-year old Victor Diaz the Mets look like the team on the rise as the Evil Empire looks more and more like a team on the decline. They’re an older team now (average age is almost 35 years old) who trades away their young talent for veteran superstars and they don’t appear to have anything left in a once flourishing minor league system.

Look at the 7 guys in the top 25 of their ridiculous payroll - except for A-Rod and Jeter they're all old or now have big-time baggage (Giambi).

#1 Alex Rodriguez $25,705,118 Age 29 (turns 30 later this season)
#4 Derek Jeter $19,600,000 Age 30 (turns 31 later this season)
#5 Mike Mussina $19,000,000 Age 36
#11 Kevin Brown $15,714,286 Age 40
#12 Randy Johnson $15,419,815 Age 41 (turns 42 later this season)
#16 Jason Giambi $13,428,571 Age 34
#25 Bernie Williams $12,357,143 Age 36 (turns 37 later this season)

Will we someday write and talk about the “Curse of Mike Mussina” or the “Curse of Jason Giambi”? Since Mussina joined the three-time defending World Champion Yankees for the 2001 season they’ve been to two World Series and lost both and two other playoffs and lost. Giambi joined for the 2002 season has been to one World Series and was also a part of the 2002 & 2004 playoff losses with Mussina. I'd rather call it the "21st Century Curse of Steinbrenner."

It’s comical to think that maybe George Steinbrenner sold his soul to the Devil to bring those four titles back to the Bronx and now they’re a team cursed. I’m sure I’ll have the awful feeling of watching them win another World Series before the end of my days…but wouldn’t it be wonderful to never see them win it again? The only thing I can say is, they better start winning soon, or old Georgie might trade and fire them all.


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