There’s no mystery as to who Peter Gammons is…he’s a tride and true Sox fan. That was clear on Saturday when he went into freak-out mode as the Yankees looked like the favorite in the Johan Santana sweepstakes. He exploded and wrote the typical rich get richer story forgetting that the Red Sox are an Evil Empire just like New York. Sure both clubs have developed some young talent but they win because they plunder the loser owners around MLB.

Read these clips from a Saturday ESPN.com story and let’s see if we see a similiar story written when Boston finalizes it’s Santana deal.

It doesn’t matter how much luxury tax the Yankees pay or how much Steinbrenner money goes to Kansas City, Minnesota or Tampa Bay. Hank Steinbrenner is going to use his AmEx to win. He gets a year’s grace from some of the taxation because of the new stadium that opens in 2009, but if you’re out there in a small market, how scary is this winter, with the realization that the Yankees and Mets are both about to open new revenue-cow ballparks?

Odd, no mention of Boston’s payroll and penchant for adding big dollar players.  

Once the Red Sox tell the Twins they’re not getting Jacoby Ellsbury or Clay Buchholz, and if the Yankees’ deal for Santana is completed, think about what Steinbrenner & Co. will have done since being exiled from the playoffs by the Indians:

• Given the highest-paid player in the history of the sport a pay raise which amounts to 10 years and between $305 million and $314 million. That, incidentally, is the first $20 million contract signed since winter 2000, when A-Rod, Manny Ramirez, Mike Hampton et al struck it rich and almost forced a strike in 2002.

That’s the same Alex Rodriguez that the Red Sox dealt for in principle before the Players Union stepped in to nix the deal back in December of 2003.

• Made Santana the first $20 million pitcher and the second player to get a $20 million-plus average annual value (AAV) deal since 2000. When the Yankees “compromise” to something from $23 million to $25 million for six or seven years, they will have given the union another level with which to work their way back to getting the players nearly two-thirds of the growing revenues.

The Red Sox will sign Santana to the identical deal. I would expect Gammons to make no mention of outrage at that point.

• Made Mariano Rivera the highest-paid reliever ever, in terms of AAV.

• Made Jorge Posada the highest-paid catcher in history, in terms of AAV.

The Yankees chose to reward two of their anchor homegrown players with big deals instead of bullying and outspending the rest of MLB  as the Red Sox have done over the years in adding David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, Jason Varitek, Daisuke Matzusaka, Curt Schilling, Julio Lugo, Coco Crisp and J.D. Drew.

Even hardcore Red Sox fan Bill Simmons from ESPN.com has come to grips with the Evil Empire II

Back in the day, I liked being the underdog to the Yanks — they were the ones that broke the bank, we were the ones that played by the rules, and even though we were spending crazy amounts of money, it never really felt that way. Then the Manny contract changed that perception, followed by Schilling (everyone forgets this now, but Boston was one of only two teams that could afford him) and all the ridiculous contracts that followed over the next 3-4 years. Now we’re conditionally spending $51.1 million just to bid on a Japanese player. We’re no different than the Yankees anymore. We’ve become what we always despised and resented. It’s a little disconcerting. 

No one is saying the Yankees aren’t bullies as well. But when are the Red Sox fans and media going to cut the crap with the underdog/poor Red Sox story?

Explore posts in the same categories: Baseball, Media musings

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