Cents and Sensibility

The media has labeled the victorious bid for the privileges to communicate with Daisuke Matsuzaka excessive, damning it as further proof of baseball’s eternally widening gap between the rich and poor. Furthermore, sportswriters everywhere are questioning the relinquishment of so much cash for a man who has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues. With all the mileage already on his arm, many wonder whether Matsuzaka could flame out just as easily as he could flourish.

Wait a second….

What?

The Red Sox placed the winning bid?

Well than, I apologize. That above paragraph is in fact a fabrication.

You won’t be hearing any of those things.

Ah… nobody does hypocrisy better than the American sports media.

See, a winning 30 million bid by the Yankees in theory would have been madness, while a winning 51 million bid by the Red Sox in reality is just good business.

Thanks for clarifying that guys.

Nice…

/

So, the Red Sox have their ace. I for one applaud them. It takes a ton of stones to embrace insanity at the risk of being labeled asinine. I believe wholeheartedly that Matsuzaka should, at the least, win 15 games next season. Combine his stuff, work ethic, and talent, and there’s something really special lurking beneath the mystery.

/

Here’s where Brian Cashman earns his keep. He needn’t react to the Red Sox’s outlandish maneuver. The Yankees were suitors for Matsuzaka, but their acquisition of pitching prospect Humberto Sanchez and young reliever Chris Britton gives them plenty of options and opportunities. They could flip Sanchez and another prospect for an established starter. They could trade one of their relievers to fill a need, Britton acting as an insurance policy.

What they can’t do is panic.

They shouldn’t spend just because they can, they should spend if it makes sense. And it’s been nothing but nonsense, pure and simple nonsense, which has kept them from winning a World Series the past six years.

Raul Mondesi? Jaret Wright? Kevin Brown?

They are each a distinct link in a chain of total, unadulterated nonsense.

Cents without sensibility equals nothing. With Brian Cashman in charge, the all contaminating chaos has been replaced with serenity. The Yankees have turned over a new leaf.

In 2002, they panicked after Enrique Wilson made an error in right field against the Mets in a random afternoon game, trading for malcontent supreme Raul Mondesi, instead of waiting for Montreal’s Cliff Floyd to become available, a far better fit with the team.

Instead, they were left saddled with the shell of a paper superstar.

Raul’s most memorable moment as a Yankee occurred in October, but it was far removed from the realms of glory.

In Game 3 of the American League Division series against Anaheim, he dropped a routine fly ball late in an eventual Yankee defeat. Mondesi would stay on for another half year, eventually sulking his way off the Yankees. He was George Steinbrenner’s idea of a replacement for Paul O’Neill. What a disgrace.

Flash forward to 2006. In desperate need of an everyday outfielder after injuries besieged the unit early in the campaign, Brian Cashman plays the waiting game. Bobby Abreu is available. The Phillies want the untouchable one, prospect Phil Hughes. The Yankees are the only team who can absorb Abreu’s huge contract.

So Cashman remains resolved, patient.

And future Hall of Fame General Manager Pat Gillick blinks first, dealing Abreu and his fat contract to the Yankees for high ceiling, but low A prospects.

This instance is a perfect example of the Yankees employing their economic advantages to perfection. It isn’t simply about inhaling contracts, as Ken Rosenthal incorrectly implied in a column shortly after the Abreu trade. Vision and intelligence will always have more value than dollars and cents.

/

The Yankees need pitching. They lost out on Daisuke.

They still have options.

Stay smart Cash.

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