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The Sports Latitudes: Philosophy Edition

swimming-with-horsesWho’s excited by the fact that Tiger Woods is coming back? No? Me neither.

You’ve got to wonder what hardcore golf fans must think when virtually every piece of above-the-fold news their sport makes involves the movements and machinations of one player. It’s an almost completely irrelevant sport, outside of the fact that a lot of business gets done while playing it.

I’m a big fan of both tennis and auto racing, though, so maybe I shouldn’t say a damn thing.

Moving on…

I’m intrigued by this article from the Meadville Tribune, about Cleveland sports figure Sam Rutigliano. In it, he talks about how consistency and continuity are the keys to success in the NFL. I read it and my first thought was that the Ravens are building just the kind of organization he’s talking about, and he’s right. I’m thinking that it will be the Steelers and Ravens at the top of the AFC North for a long time to come. Maybe whether or not Ray Lewis re-signs.

Jumping off the NFL and its annual free agent carousel, did you see that Pink Sox owner John Henry is calling for a salary cap, going so far as to call it “inevitable”?

Of course we know he’s just about the least credible source you could find on this issue, but it’s still interesting that he’s putting it out there. I’m curious as to where you all stand: good idea or bad?

This has nothing to do with Big Issues, but I thought it worth noting that the Blue Jays have outrighted Brian Burres. That’s how you spell AAAA.

7 comments to The Sports Latitudes: Philosophy Edition

  • Greg

    A salary cap will ultimately not matter, and as explained before… money has little to no correlation to winning. What does matter is being able to draft well, scout well and manage a roster. I feel that the salary cap has done very little to keep the usual suspects out of the playoffs of football, hockey and basketball. That said who honestly had the Phillies, Rays, Dodgers, White Sox and Brewers in the playoffs in 2008? Who picked the Yankees to be completely out of it at the end? Not me.

  • Andrew

    Greg, that’s a small sample size. I have little doubt that eventually the Yankees WILL buy themselves a World Series on the back of free agent players…hey, it worked with Reggie Jackson, it’ll work again.

    That said, I’m against a salary cap. We’re talking about billionaires who want to restrict the salaries of millionaires. I’ll side with the players, thank you very much. And if a team is run with strong judgment (the way, say, the Phillies have been under the brilliant Pat Gillick) they can compete without an astronomical payroll.

  • Greg

    @Andrew – Your first comment:
    Six homegrown players on the 2000 Yankees– Williams, Jeter, Posada, Pettite, Hernandez, Rivera.

    Top 3 batters on that team: Williams, Posada, Jeter.
    Top 4 pitchers on that team: Rivera, Clemens, Hernandez, Pettite.

    That championship team was carried on the backs of Yankees young talent, not free agents. Since the Yankees have shifted towards the free agent method of “buying talent”, they have been unable to advance in the postseason.

    My early Yankees prediction:
    The addition of Mark Teixeira will not be enough to offset the loss of the Yankees top two offensive players: Giambi and Abreu.

    The OF/DH combo of Damon, Nady, Swisher, Matsui, Cabrera and Gardner looks very average compared to other AL East teams: Bay, Ortiz, Ellsbury, Drew– Rios, Snider, Lind, Wells– Burrell, Crawford, Upton, Gabes 1&2.

    Jeter and Cano are liabilities, and ARod had a rather disappointing season if you really break down his stats. Don’t know what to expect from Posada except that I don’t think he’ll make it all the way through the season healthy, meaning either more Molina or Cash, or we’ll perhaps see their new rookie.

    Fielding, the Yankees aren’t known for it. Tex will help at first base, but the Yankees will continue to allow quite a few runs because of poor fielding.

    Pitching-wise, the Yankees have a strong top four but a history of injury and no depth for rotation relief. Sabathia finished with the Brewers overworked, Burnett is always a health risk. Chamberlain and Wang will be solid. Pettite was a liability in 2008. Should the rotation not make it through the year unscathed, they will have to rely on Hughes or Kennedy, and I simply don’t think the Yankees can contend with only a strong top 3.

    Overall, the Yankees are a solid team, but not without their issues. Defense, age, and propensity for injury to star players keep this team expensive with nothing to show for it. I predict they go 86-76, but still finish out of the race because the Rays have better pitching and actually replaced Jackson with Price and Boston has added a couple high profile free agents like Penny and Smoltz.

  • dan the man

    @Greg – Hard to argue with you regarding the Yanks. If they win a championship this year, it kind of really will be the first time in awhile they’ve bought a ring. That said, what they HAVE bought themselves is a chance to contend every single season because they’re only a few million away from filling any hole. Think the Yankees would have settled for 6 shortstops last year? I doubt it. So, yes.. the money they’ve spent has bought them the chance to play meaningful games year in and year out (mostly), but it hasn’t really bought them any rings.

    Regarding John Henry, it’s pretty interesting that he’d say this, seeing as though the Red Sox are the other team that can buy anyone at will. What it does, though, is turn a few heads. If the Sox are willing to go to a salary cap, it gives the pro-salary-cap people something to hang their hat on, because then it’s really baseball vs. the Yankees.

  • Andrew

    @Greg – Okay, I agree that the last Yankee dynasty was won on homegrown talent. I’m just saying that just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t. I do know that if they win this year – a very real possibility – it will be on the backs of free agents like Sabathia, Burnett, Teixeira, Damon, and A-Rod (I know not technically a free agent, but they only have him because only they could afford him).

    And yes, if you can buy a chance to contend, that’s about as good as you can get. The playoffs are a crapshoot. They have to be if the Cardinals won and the Phillies won and the Rockies got to the World Series.

  • sci

    Great win for Maryland. That was an amazing game, and it may just have saved Gary Williams’ job. Vasquez was incredible.

  • Andrew

    I know we don’t talk much Terps here, but all the same:

    My drunk self cannot believe that the Terrapins beat the Tar Heels. Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow,