The New York Yankees are in Cleveland to face the Indians. Last night’s contest was a good illustration of why I — and countless other baseball fans — hate the Yankees with every fiber of our beings.
The mighty Yankees, who have won more World Series titles than any other franchise, have the best record in the American League. Last night they put C.C. Sabathia, one of the best pitchers in the majors, on the mound, and their lineup features all-stars and future Hall of Famers, like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson. The valiant Tribe, which has surprisingly scratched its way to a small lead in the AL Central on the strength of fine pitching and some timely hitting, started pitcher Carlos Carrasco and their standard lineup of largely unheralded players. Sabathia, the rumpled giant with his trademark cockeyed cap, pitched seven hitless innings while the Yankee bats got to Carrasco, and the Yankees won, 9-2.
Of course, Sabathia used to be an Indian, where he was one of my favorite players. He developed into a great pitcher in Cleveland, but the Tribe couldn’t afford to keep him — just like they couldn’t afford to keep Cliff Lee, and Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome, and many other excellent players who came up in the Cleveland farm system. Major League Baseball will never have true competitive balance while small-market teams like the Indians must sign untested players to long-term contracts and hope they develop into quality major leaguers, only to see them leave for more money when those contracts are up — whereas ultra-wealthy franchises like the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Phillies, flush with TV and merchandising money, can afford to sign every proven, high-priced free agent to add even more punch to their lineups.