“I had a great time in New York,” … “It was probably the best baseball experience of my life, but this is the business and it was time to move on.”
I learned of Martin’s (aka Russell the Muscle) departure late last night via FOX SPORTS Ken Rosenthal who tweeted:
This news has left Yankee fans everywhere, myself included, wondering what the heck the organization’s true priorities are?
Everyone knows that inborn owner Hal Steinbrenner wants to get the payroll to $189 million by 2014 to avoid the MLB’s luxury tax but I figured that the $3.4 billion deal the YES Network just signed with News Corp last week at least made the Yankees safe from something like this happening. Not to mention it is Christmas season too.
Actually, Hal reiterated his father’s promise after the mega-deal, “The Steinbrenner family expects to have a continuing, long-term ownership stake in the YES Network and we will continue our yearly commitment of fielding a championship caliber team for decades to come.”
Well, FYI to Hal…allowing Russell Martin to go to Pittsburgh makes you a liar and a Scrooge.
So pardon me for being under the impression that the Yankees still wanted to win championships.
As anyone with a half-a-brain can tell you that a position battle between Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart in Spring Training for the Yankees starting backstop does not spell CHAMPIONSHIP.
Now, if you are wondering why the Yankees priorities have vanished after the news of losing such a vital position player like Martin, you might want to stop reading now because the answer is going to make you throw-up. Literally.
It came down to money.
What is even worse is that ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted that the Yankees didn’t even make Martin an offer.
The Yankees never made an offer to Russell Martin; they haven't made any offers to position players so far this offseason.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 30, 2012
All I can say is that if the Yankees brass is presuming that fans are going to take this news lightly, they are in for a serious wake-up call.
Maybe MLB should drug test Hal because he has to be smoking something to allow this to happen. Well whatever it is he can smoke it in $100 bills from all the News Corp money he just put in his pocket instead of on the baseball field.
Unless the Yankees plan on slashing the ticket prices in half, that beautiful stadium in the Bronx will be emptier than the Mets home in Queens.
Sorry, but that is just the way it is in professional sports, and this unwritten rule especially applies when that team is the New York Yankees.
Bottom-line is, field a championship caliber team, and the seats will be filled with fans, even in the Legends section.
As the late great Yankee owner Mr. George Steinbrenner once said, “When you’re entrusted with a tradition, you’ve got to protect it.”
And the reality is the inherited Yankees ownership isn’t doing that.