We are all baseball fans, therefore we disagree on many issues. Some of these are small, nuanced issues, while others are larger more fundamental ones. Most of us agree that the Yankees did a good job this off-season to add good complementary players to a core that won them their 27th World Championship, but there are certain fans, represented by a tiny sample on this site, who believe that the Yankees got worse this off-season. They have their reasons, though as you can imagine I don’t find these reasons very valid in a baseball sense. Just how far will these fans go to show their disapproval?
One of them, at least, cancelled his season ticket plan. Ross at Stadium Insider has the story, which centers on the former season ticket holder’s letter announcing his intent to cancel. You can read the entire letter there. I will warn you, though, that much head shaking will occur. I’ll just pick out some highlights.
The list of transgressions includes bringing in players who have already proven they are capable of succeeding in ny ( nick Johnson and Javier vasquez), destroying the farm system that was finally being built back up to aquire older players who have had mediocre careers (granderson)…
After the … comes a bit about signing Winn and not Damon, which I won’t even touch. As to the other parts, well, I think this fan has a misunderstanding of certain players’ values. That isn’t even to mention his poorly worded opening sentence — why would you cancel your ticket plan over players who have proven they can succeed in New York? But, since he clearly meant cannot, I think he needs a reality check of sorts.
Nick Johnson played parts of three seasons in New York and hit .256/.376/.424, good for an OPS+ of 113. As we learned when discussing wOBA, OPS+ undervalues OBP a bit, so Johnson actually performed a bit better than his OPS+ mark indicates from 2001 to 2003. Even so, those numbers are solid, and indicate nothing about an inability to play in New York. Javier Vazquez pitched very well in the first half of 2004, but pitched through discomfort in the second half and his numbers suffered. Unsurprisingly, his fastball was about a mile per hour off his normal mark. So no, I don’t think he has shown an inability to pitch in NY, but rather think that physical issues held him back in New York.
Even in 2008, when I knew the team was rebuilding, I bought a plan because I knew they were making a sacrifice to improve their chances the following year.
Rebuilding, maybe, in the sense that they didn’t trade for Johan Santana, but other than that the statement is patently ridiculous. Does a rebuilding team re-sign three of its own free agents, adding $60 million to the payroll during a “rebuilding” year — including two players in their mid- to late-thirties? Does a rebuilding team set an all-time payroll record?
I’ll stop here, because trying to talk sense into someone like this is pointless. Every team has a high percentage of fans like this, who think that their non-expert opinion is all that counts. I just hate getting lumped in with that type.