by Jan Stransky and Tyler Wasserman | Field of Ignorance
Perhaps the era of big-money teams dominating the free agency market is about to come to a close, at least to a certain extent. The managing general partner of the New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner, announced last week that the franchise plans to cut its payroll all the way down to $189 million by the start of the 2014 season. This means the Yankees, who in 2011 had a payroll of $202 million, will have to reduce their total payroll by $13 million in just two seasons. Since the introduction of the luxury tax in 2003, the Yankees have paid $206 million of the $227 million collected by the league, slightly over 90%. The team is looking to eliminate their luxury tax expense all together by 2014.
“For forty-one million, you built a playoff team. You lost Damon, Giambi, Isringhausen, Pena and you won more games without them than you did with them. You won the exact same number of games that the Yankees won, but the Yankees spent one point four million per win and you paid two hundred and sixty thousand. I know you’ve taken it in the teeth out there, but the first guy through the wall. It always gets bloody, always.
It’s the threat of not just the way of doing business, but in their minds it’s threatening the game. But really what it’s threatening is their livelihoods, it’s threatening their jobs, it’s threatening the way that they do things. And every time that happens, whether it’s the government or a way of doing business or whatever it is, the people are holding the reins, have their hands on the switch. They go bat shit crazy. I mean, anybody who’s not building a team right and rebuilding it using your model, they’re dinosaurs. They’ll be sitting on their ass on the sofa in October, watching the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.”
- Arliss Howard as John Henry, Moneyball
“The problem we’re trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams, then there’s fifty feet of crap, and then there’s us. It’s an unfair game. And now we’re being gutted, organ donors for the rich. Boston has taken our kidneys, Yankees takin’ our heart and you guys are sittin’ around talkin’ the same old good body nonsense, like we’re selling deeds. Like we’re looking for Fabio. We got to think differently.”
- Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, Moneyball
“There’s not an organization in baseball who would not have taken the chance on this young guy. It didn’t pan out. It happens every year. Some do, some don’t. Two scouts can go into the mind of a young man and determine whether he’s really confident about what he can do. So he gets to sign him based on his ability, but then he’s gotta be successful to be confident. And once he becomes confident that’s when you got something. You make a decision on what you see and things don’t pan out, you move on. That’s baseball. Many are called, few are chosen.”
- Unknown Announcer in Moneyball
“Unfortunately he can’t do Stanford and professional baseball. He would have to pick one or the other. If he wants to be the center fielder for the New York Mets, he wants to be the baseball player, he really needs to accept this as life’s first occupation, a first career. We’re all told at some point in time that we can no longer play the children’s game, we just don’t… don’t know when that’s gonna be. Some of us are told at eighteen, some of us are told at forty, but we’re all told. But this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, we want you badly and we think that this amount of money expresses that desire.”
- Scout in Moneyball
“Seriously guys, I think we have to remember this is the man. He answers to no one except ownership and God. And he doesn’t have to answer to us. We make suggestions, he makes decisions.”
- Bob Bishop as himself, Moneyball
Here’s how the 2011 Rule 5 Draft went down:
Stats for 2011 season; former teams in parentheses
1. Houston Astros draft RHP Rhiner Cruz (NYM)
At Double-A Binghamton: 3-2, 7 SV, 36 G, 59.1 IP, 7.74 K/9, 5.92 BB/9, 4.40 ERA, 4.58 FIP
“Cruz has a big fastball, throws regularly in the mid-90s, but his control and his offspeed stuff are both well below average right now. I don’t think he has a great chance to stick.” – Ben Badler,
2. Minnesota Twins draft RHP Terry Doyle (CWS)
At Double-A Birmingham: 7-5, 15 GS, 100.0 IP, 6.57 K/9, 1.98 BB/9, 3.24 ERA, 3.56 FIP
“Doyle is a righthander with guile who lacks a plus pitch but knows how to set up hitters. He helped his chances of being picked with an excellent Arizona Fall League performance. He certainly understands the geometry of pitching, consistently getting outs with his command and a cut fastball. Doyle’s 88-92 fastball did pick up as the season progressed and he touched 93-94 mph in Arizona. Doyle confuses hitters who don’t know him, as he often pitches backward, using breaking pitches to set up his fastball. He throws four pitches for strikes, including a biting slider and a high-70s change up.” – J.J. Cooper,
Photo courtesy of MLB.com
An article by the Field of Ignorance staff for the day Albert Pujols signs. Coming (maybe?) soon.