Monday, May 15, 2006

Memo to Yankee Fans: Deal with it

by Doug Silversten

When Cubs' superstar first baseman Derrek Lee went down last month after breaking two bones in his wrist, it was certainly a tough break for a franchise known for tough breaks. However, tough breaks happen, and they are making due with a hodge-podge solution. Todd Walker has seen the majority of starts at first base, and such superstars as Jerry Hairston Jr., John Mabry and Neifi Perez have received addtional at-bats. The Cubs, and their fans, dealt with it.

When the A's ace Rich Harden went on the DL on April 28th with a torn muscle in his back, the A's once promising season abruptly took a turn for the worse. A's General Manager Billy Beane did all he could, and looked for a solution within. His answer? Brad Halsey. Yes, THE Brad Halsey. The A's sucked it up and are hoping for some quality starts from a mediocre replacement for their staff ace. The A's, and their fans, dealt with it.

In the past two weeks, the Yankees certainly have had their share of tough breaks. First Gary Sheffield went on the D.L. with a sprained wrist. Then, on this past Thursday, Hideki Matsui fractured his left wrist and may miss the entire season. For Yankee fans, certainly a devastating blow. By bringing up Melky Cabrera, the Yankees dealt with it. On the other hand, Yankee fans...went nuts.

Trade for Bobby Abreu! Go get Ken Griffey Jr! Resurrect Mickey Mantle!


Injuries happen. Deal with it. Every team has injuries, but only Yankee fans seem to think it is their right to replace injured stars with other superstars.

Injuries hurt because you are supposed to be forced to replace the injured with someone inferior. Yankee fans don't get this concept. I mean, Bobby Abreu? No offense to Hideki Matsui, who is a fine ballplayer, but Bobby Abreu is better in just about every facet of the game than Matsui. When Randy Johnson finally gets put on the D.L. due to a phantom injury called "general suckiness," Yankee fans are going to demand a trade for Johan Santana.

It doesn't work that way. It shouldn't work that way. Yankee fans need to learn that taking on other team's high salaried stars isn't always the answer. Your payroll is already embarassingly high. If you can't win by spending $200 million, or about $80 million more than your nearest competitor, than shame on you. I don't care how many injuries you sustain.

Deal with it.

Doug Silversten's column "The Big Picture" appears alternate Mondays.


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"I've had a pretty good success facing Stan (Musial) by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third base."
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