Friday, January 28, 2011

Randy Levine De-Friends Chuck Greenberg

If I could compare the Yankees off-season acquisitions to wine, I'd say the vintage is on par with the week old boxed variety. With also-rans like Bartolo Colon and Andruw Jones creeping into the vinegar stage of their respective careers, it is a wonder that the front office didn't go after Fernando Valenzuela and Kirk Gibson.

Yet several months after the Yankees lost out to a refined Cliff Lee Bordeaux, apparently both the Yankees and the Texas Ranger have yet to rinse the taste of bitter grapes out of their mouths. However, instead of directing their angst against Cliff Lee or the Philadelphia Phillies, Yankees president Randy Levine has gotten involved in a media war with Texas Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg. 

Greenberg has publicly stated that he was glad Lee ended up in the NL and not with the Yankees. This comes on the heels of Greenberg's previous comments regarding Cliff Lee not wanting to come to New York because of the fans reaction towards Lee's wife. Rather than letting this go and dismissing Greenberg's words as the lament of an owner who lost the Cliff Lee Sweepstakes, Levine fired back. The Yankees' president called the Rangers' owner's statements "delusional" and that he'll "be impressed when he demonstrates he can keep the Rangers off welfare."


As much as Levine needs to retract the claws and focus on the Yankees upcoming season and their lack of starting left handed pitching, his statements while vitriolic have some validity. The cold hard financial facts are that the Rangers have received revenue sharing for three years running, have taken financing from baseball, and taken advance money from the TV networks.

Also Chuck you might want to remember that you just now completed the purchase of the Rangers with Nolan Ryan and it wouldn't have happened at all if MLB had not stepped in. Although the Rangers made the World Series last year, why don't you try putting a consistently winning team on the baseball field before you start pointing the finger at other ball clubs. Until that time I think Levine has the one up on success here.

Additionally, Chuck Greenberg might want to avoid ridiculous statements like this:
 "We pried the door open a little bit to give ourselves another opportunity. And ultimately the Phillies were able to take advantage of the opportunity we created. While we would have preferred that he'd chosen to go with us, we're real pleased that he's going to the other league."
Ok so what he's saying is that he's glad that the Phillies were able to sweep in and take Lee at the last minute? You created the opportunity for the Phillies so basically they had to make little to no effort? I'm sure the fans of your ball club are thrilled that you seemed more concerned about keeping Lee from the Yankees than actually signing him.

It is this kind of thinking that underscores why the Yankees are the Yankees and the Rangers are the Rangers. You can't be an elite team if you're more concerned with keeping players away from good teams than you are about signing those players to your team. You also can't make money either. The Red Sox made a great acquisition in the off-season picking up Crawford, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have intervened to make sure Crawford went to the Colorado Rockies instead of the Yankees if they couldn't attain him. That's because the Red Sox,like the Yankees, care about improving their respective teams rather than getting in a media pissing contest. (For the record Levine never should have gotten drawn into this mess. I thought he was smarter than that.)

My advice to Chuck is to focus on the 2011 season and how the Rangers are going to move on and be a successful team without Lee. Chuck you also might want to make some money while your at it so your fans can stop paying for hot dogs from Aldi's.

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