At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Monday, August 28, 2006

Survivor, AL East: Outspend, Outlast, Outplay

The Boston Red Sox lost another winnable game last night in Seattle, and after nearly two months of such nonsense, it’s clear that the team just can’t continue to contend. The recent rash of injuries has been just too costly to overcome in terms of player performance and player replacement. But what’s particularly frustrating is that the Yankees were similarly decimated earlier in the year, but they headed north in the standings while we headed south, now apparently for the winter.

There’s no real secret to why this is so, and that secret really is nothing new: the Yankees can buy depth when they need it, and we can’t. So while they get Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to fill in for their injured players, we get Javy Lopez and Kyle Snyder to fill in for ours. Sure, a timely hit or three and we’d be a lot closer to first place than we now are to third. But those hits didn’t come, and even if they had, there are real questions about whether the pitching would have held the leads anyway.

The truth is that, financially speaking, the Yankees are in a class by themselves, and while knucklehead sportsradio callers believe Sox principal owner John Henry can and should spend like his famous counterpart in New York, he’s simply not going to. As a businessperson, I can respect his decision not to take on the enormous payrolls nor to accept the significant losses that the Yankees do. And as a sports fan, I can love it when the Yankees don’t win a World Series or even go far in the playoffs. But as a Sox fan, I can’t stand to watch our team plummet while their team progresses.

Can’t we just vote them off the island?

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