A Dynasty (apparently) continues…

The more stuff I read about how the Yanks are doomed without Santana, the more I think they are right to stay away. What I have learned so far: 1) The Red Sox have a dynasty and are far and away the best team in baseball (despite being nearly eliminated by Cleveland and not having to face a Yankee team who owned them in the regular season). 2) With Santana, the Red Sox will win the World Series in 2008 and the Yankees will struggle. 3) With Santana, the Red Sox will be a stronger team for years to come. 4) The 2007 Yankees were a terrible, awful, baseball team.

Don’t just take my word for it. Bob Klapisch confirms it:

It wasn’t money, it wasn’t Ian Kennedy, nor was it the haggling over a third prospect that kept the Yankees from acquiring Johan Santana. When GM general manager Brian Cashman called the Twins at 2 p.m. on Tuesday to withdraw from the Santana sweepstakes, it was because losing Phil Hughes had become too great of a trauma for the Yankees to absorb.

Smart move? That decision may pay a dividend in 2009 and beyond, but by allowing Santana to wriggle free, the Yankees have doomed themselves to second-tier status in the East. the AL East. The Red Sox remain the American League’s best team, and if they land Santana in the next day or two, will tighten their grip on a dynasty the Yankees have been fearing since 2004.

A dynasty? It seems that word is being thrown around rather recklessly these days. Here is what the Red Sox have accomplished in 4 years: 2 World Series, 1 AL East Championships, 2 Wild Cards, 1 missed playoffs, 1 first round exit. And an immense amount of player turnover. Hardly dynastic.

The Blue Jays won 2 World Series in 2 years. Were they a dynasty? The Twins of the late 80 won 2 in 5 years. Were they? I think you see where I am going with this.

Don’t think the Bombers are unaware of that risk. The brain trust was deeply split about the wisdom of passing on the game’s best pitcher. But in the end, the baseball operations faction – headed by Cashman himself – gained the upper hand after Andy Pettitte announced he was returning to the club. That dampened the Yankees’ desperation for Santana and convinced executives to grow their own crop, or at least make it sound that way. It’s always possible Hank Steinbrenner is bluffing.

But, as one high-ranking official put it, “We want to be great for a long time, not just for two years like we were in the Seventies and five years in the Nineties.”

Exactly. The Yankees want to be a dynasty (if they aren’t already- they’ve made the playoffs 13 straight years).

Granted, that’s the formula playoff-caliber teams are using these days: building around a core of young, inexpensive players. But none of these franchises [sic] are is rich like the Yankees, and certainly none ever had the option of acquiring Santana. One major league executive said he was “stunned” the Yankees let Santana get away, noting, “They had everything lined up: the prospects, the money, it was all there.”

So even though developing young talent has been the model for success, because the teams that have been using it don’t have the Yankees money it’s not a good system? Not sure I follow.

This wouldn’t have been the typical Yankee mistake of the past, acquiring a 30-something star guaranteed to clog the roster in later years. This wasn’t a deal for Kevin Brown. This wasn’t Jason Giambi. Santana, only 28, is in his prime, and would’ve provided the perfect buffer for Joba Chamberlain.

Giambi was 29 when he signed his contract. Santana will be 29 in the spring.

[…] For now, the Yankees are happily spinning the non-trade their way. Steinbrenner said by telephone, “I feel good about our kids. I think we can win with them.” Indeed, it would be an exciting recipe for Yankee fans — if only the Red Sox weren’t already the superior team. Add Santana to the rotation, and it puts unthinkable pressure on the young pitchers, especially after 2008 when Pettitte retires once and for all.

Well luckily the Red Sox might not already be the superior team. In 2007, the Red Sox had their “current team” for the entire season. The Yankees only had their young guy for the 2nd half. 2nd half records? Red Sox 43-32. Yankees 51-25. The Yankees won the season series 10-8, including 9 of the final 12 meetings. I realize the Red Sox won the World Series and the Yankees didn’t. But they didn’t meet in the postseason. And everyone knows the postseason is no sure thing. Nobody said the Cardinals should just stand pat after 2006.

“We accomplished everything we set out to do,” is what Steinbrenner said. He meant the re-signing of Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, and luring Pettitte out of a near-retirement. Trouble is, the Yankees are no better today than they were in Game 4 of the AL Division Series.

Which was one of the top 3 teams in baseball, along with the Red Sox and Indians.

They still don’t have an answer to Josh Beckett’s fastball.

Look at Beckett’s career numbers against the Yankees as a member of the Red Sox. Clearly, someone on the Yankees has had an answer. And since they insist on “standing pat,” they likely still do.

The Sox have the better, younger closer.

Remember when everyone said Lidge was better than Rivera? And Gagne before that?

They have better defense. They have more speed.

More speed? By what measure? Did Ortiz lose 70 lbs? The Yankees stole 27 more bases than the Red Sox last year.

[…]The only hope the Yankees have is a negotiating snag between Santana and Sox ownership.

If the Red Sox add the $20-$25 million of Santana they will have zero payroll flexibility. They have a lineup that pretty much consists of two players. They have a strong rotation and a good closer. But if one or more of those players get hurt or do not perform to expetations, what then? Saying the Yankees have no hope is premature.

[…]While the Yankees are dreaming of their future around a trio of terrific young pitchers, the Sox’ own dream – call it a fantasy – of suffocating the Bombers is on its way to becoming a long-term reality.

I really don’t get this. The whole premise of the article is that the Yankees won’t be able to win in 2008 if Santana goes to the Red Sox instead of the Yankees. That instead, the Yankees are focusing on the future. Yet if the Red Sox get Santana, they will also be stopping the Yankees “long-term?”

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