How do you decipher between a team being greedy or a team being gutty? Do you have to be a world champion franchise to be greedy? Do you have to be a franchise that has been through hard times to be gritty? Who placed these titles on those teams? I surely would like to know.

It is a crime to the baseball world when the Yankees spend and they’re viewed as bad for baseball. Why is this? Is it because of the 27 world championships? The tradition? The success? The proud organization that every organization in sports envisions being one day?

We all know of the blockbuster deals of CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett. The Yankees outbid everybody. Nobody discusses the flexibility of the Yankees that offseason though and the salaries coming off the books that allowed them to make those signings: a new deal for Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi’s contract was up, Bobby Abreu’s, Carl “Idle” Pavano, etc. Plenty of money for the Yankees to spend. The trade for Nick Swisher was rarely talked about. Why wasn’t this a gritty move by Brian Cashman? He sent Wilson Betemit and a prospect for an everyday outfielder who was a vital part of a world championship team.


The Signing of Mark Teixeira

The world came crashing down the day Tex signed with the Yankees. It was reported earlier in the day that he would make an announcement, which was reportedly just between the Washington Nationals and the Boston Red Sox, of where he would be playing that season. As the day progressed, and the time came near for Tex’s announcement, the Yankees quietly swooped in and signed Teixeira to an eight-year, $180 million contract. It was a huge deal for the Yankees but apparently bad for baseball. The Yankees were ruining the game.

Let’s look at the signing of Carl Crawford with the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox signed Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million deal. Reportedly, it was $40 million more than what the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim offered, who had Crawford at the top of their list this offseason. Word around the baseball industry was that this was a gritty move by Theo Epstein and the Red Sox organization. The way he took Crawford out from underneath Arte Moreno and the Angels.

What is the difference between the Yankees’ signing of Teixeira and the Red Sox’ signing of Crawford (minus the price tags, which are out of the question because of the type of player Tex was then vs. Crawford now)? Why is Theo’s move gritty and Cashman’s move greedy?


The Trade of Adrian Gonzalez

The Red Sox have eyed Gonzalez ever since they missed out on Teixeira in 2008. Jed Hoyer, the GM of the San Diego Padres, worked with Theo Epstein in Boston as an assistant GM and are said to be very close. The Padres shipped the face of their franchise in Gonzalez to the Red Sox for pitching prospect Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and the cousin of Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran, Reymond Fuentes.

Many believe the Padres did not get enough in return to justify trading one of the best first baseman in baseball. Was this greedy on the part of Theo Epstein once again? Not according to the baseball world. Once again this was a gritty and savvy move by Epstein.


The Signing of Cliff Lee

The move shocked the baseball world. He took less years and less money to rejoin the team he “fell in love with” after spending 2.5 MONTHS as a Phillie, but ultimately losing in the World Series to the Yankees. He joined the forces of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, which will probably go down as the greatest rotations on paper in baseball history.

After losing Jayson Werth to the Washington Nationals, Ruben Amaro, GM of the Phillies, needed to add a right-handed bat in the outfield to complement the left-handed heavy hitters in the middle of their lineup. Instead of addressing their need, he went with a luxury. The Phillies did not need Lee but agreed to a deal with him anyway. Was this a greedy move by Amaro and the Phillies? Not what I have heard. It is a gritty move to sweep in and steal him from the Yankees and Texas Rangers who were extremely interested in his services.


Red Sox fans view themselves as “Red Sox Nation.” To the baseball world they are viewed as the “Nation of Gloom.” Any move they make is a gutty and savvy one. The Red Sox can do no wrong in improving their team. How could they? They were without a World Series title for 86 years. They have gone through more heartbreak than a girl in a drama/love film.

What about the Phillies? Not greedy on their part? Already having one of the best rotations in baseball and just adding another ace is savvy? Oh right, that is okay because they finished third or worse eight times within the last 16 years.

The baseball world needs to get off the idea that the Yankees are ruining baseball. Take a step back and look around. Teams have the capability to spend the dollars they are bringing in. The Nationals dished out a huge contract to Jayson Werth. Does it really take a few leaks of records of income for commissioner Bud Selig to demand teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Florida Marlins to spend their money and not slip it into their back pockets?

Just because the tradition of the Yankees franchise is so rich, doesn’t mean every move they make to improve their team is a greedy one. The mission of their organization is to invest their money on a championship-caliber team. Don’t avoid shining a spotlight on every other team’s moves that help them win because they have had struggles in their organization’s history.

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