Have you heard this one?
A man and his wife are walking down a busy city street when they see a giant billboard that reads: 16 Billion and counting….
“National Deficit?” asks the wife.
Her husband replied, “No dummy it is the New York Yankees payroll.”
Ok maybe not that specific joke, but certainly its theme.
My guess is you have heard something like it as the Yankees have been criticized for their free spending ways for years.
This is not limited to just the haters, as a bulk of the Yankees own fan base incessantly whines about player’s paychecks like it is their money.
Personally, I have never had an issue with the Yankees spending.
I appreciated the industrious and self-less effort made by the late George Steinbrenner by making money no object.
Some refer to this as buying Championships, which when you think about is totally ludicrous.
Chemistry and comradery breed championships, and last time I checked those were not for sale.
And if the Yankees use money to buy Championships, how do you explain them staying relevant so far this season?
The Red Sox and Orioles are relatively healthy, while the Yankees have endured five new injuries in the last two weeks.
As of today, the Yankees active roster payroll is about $117 million, which is smack dab in the middle compared to other ball clubs.
C.C. Sabathia SP $23,000,000.00
Robinson Cano 2B $15,000,000.00
Hiroki Kuroda SP $15,000,000.00
Andy Pettitte SP $12,000,000.00
Vernon Wells CF,LF $11,500,000.00
Mariano Rivera RP $10,000,000.00
Phil Hughes SP $7,150,000.00
Austin Romine C $482,000.00
Ben Francisco DH $1,000,000.00
Ichiro Suzuki RF $6,500,000.00
Boone Logan RP $3,150,000.00
Brett Gardner CF,LF $2,850,000.00
Travis Hafner DH,1B $2,000,000.00
Brennan Boesch RF $1,500,000.00
Lyle Overbay 1B $1,250,000.00
Shawn Kelley RP $935,000.00
Chris Stewart C $515,100.00
David Phelps SP/RP $512,425.00
Adam Warren SP/RP $490,525.00
Jayson Nix 3B/SS $900,000.00
Chris Nelson 3B,2B $491,000.00
Vidal Nuno RP n/a
Preston Claiborne RP n/a
The Yankees disabled list is another story, as that payroll exceeds that of the active roster.
NAME POSITION INJURY STATUS SALARY
Cesarua Cabral RP Left elbow pain on 60-day DL(3/26) $490,000.00
Francisco Cervelli C Fractured right hand on 60-day DL(4/27) $515,359.00
Joba Chamberlain RP Strained right oblique on 15-day DL(4/28) $1,875,000.00
Curtis Granderson CF Fractured right forearm on 15-day DL(3/22) $15,000,000.00
Derek Jeter SS Recovery from left ankle surgery on 60-day DL(3/22) $17,000,000.00
Ivan Nova SP Right triceps inflammation on 15-day DL(4/27) $575,000.00
Eduard Nunez SS Sore left ribcage DTD $533,300.00
Michael Pineda SP Recovery from right shoulder surgery on 60-day DL(3/16) $528,475.00
David Robertson RP Sore left hamstring day-to-day(5/3) $3,100,000.00
Alex Rodriguez 3B Left hip surgery - out 4-6 months on 60-day DL(2/13) $29,000,000.00
Mark Teixeira 1B Strained right wrist - out 8-10 weeks on 15-day DL(3/22) $23,125,000.00
Kevin Youkilis 1B/3B Lumbar spine strain on 15-day DL(4/28) $12,000,000.00
What does this do to all the naysayer’s theories?
It proves that spending money is not evil, and while it might not guarantee a World Series ring it definitely can foster winning. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Fact is the Yankees would be better with their more expensive players on the field, not off of it in terms of scoring runs alone.
Especially after watching the Yankees lose, 2-0 to the Rockies last night, I realized the importance of spending money.
Not being able to score three runs to get Hiroki Kuroda the win cannot happen.
These makeshift Yankees have to capitalize off good starts not waste them like they did with Kuroda’s last night. I mean they couldn’t even score a run.
Point is the Yankees have stayed substantial, fielding a respectable payroll team thus far, and I commend them for doing it.
But reality is we need the big buck guys back to sustain it.
Bottom line is I do not think this makeshift; cheaper version of the Bronx Bombers can stay relevant for another six weeks.
I was in the beginning of the season, but the ball is bound to drop if the DL keeps growing at this pace.