For the last three years I walked into the office and had one colleague constantly whine about the New York Yankees. How the team should fire Joe Torre, why it will not beat the Boston Red Sox or why Joe Girardi is not the best person to manage the team.
Well, Mr. O’Boyle, I dedicate this piece to you and I think I speak for the millions of Phillies fans and Yankees’ haters along the way when I do not express feelings for your sorrows.
Since the National League Championship Series ended last week, many Philadelphia players announced how fitting it would be to play the Yankees in the World Series. Several media members even mentioned the scary word “dynasty” and that in order to become one they would have to face the team with 26 championships and one of the most popular dynasties in all of sports.
Let me take that one more step.
The Phillies and their fans should want to face the Yankees for the right to call themselves World Champions to show the big-spending team the correct way to build a dynasty and how to win.
For years, the New York Yankees have attempted winning in the worst possible way. And that’s an example of all that is wrong with American sports. Instead of winning with homegrown talent as the core of the team, the Steinbrenners go out and spend billions of dollars to buy a winning team.
The latest case of this was just this last offseason when the $teinbrenners decided to win at all costs and spent $423.5 million.
That’s nearly half a BILLION dollars.
But that’s easily surpassed when you take Alex Rodriguez’ contract extension from 2007 into consideration.
The Yankees can learn a lesson from the Phillies about how to produce talent in the minor leagues.
While the core of New York’s team came from a spending spree, Philadelphia’s main players have all been brought up through the farm system.
Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Madson and Cole Hamels all played for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, the former Triple-A affiliate for the Phils. That’s seven impact players that came up through the system and have contributed on a daily basis.
Sure, Raul Ibanez, Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth came from out of the organization, but that’s because they weren’t wanted by other teams and they were had for a fraction of the cost the Yanks spent on CC Sabathia.
New York’s only impact players that have grown up in its organization are Derek Jeter and the aging Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.
Hey, New York brass, when you’re sitting in a suite at Citizens Bank Park, maybe you should wander over to the Phillies’ owner’s box and get some advice on how to build a strong minor league system and compete.
In 2008, after the Phillies won their first title in 28 years, skipper Charlie Manuel stated: “This is for Philadelphia.”
While it may not have been declared as of yet for 2009, the slogan will turn out to be “This one’s for (legendary broadcaster) Harry (Kalas)”
Philadelphia thrives in the underdog role and will again.
Phillies win series, 4-1.