Schadenfreude

For those of you not up on your German, schadenfreude is the taking of pleasure in the misfortunes of some one else.  In this case, the misfortunes are happening to the New York Yankees, and I’m not exactly sad about it at all.

J. A. Happ broke Curtis Granderson‘s arm with a wild inside pitch in a Spring Training game today, and Granderson will miss ten weeks while his arm heals.  I’m certainly not saying I’m happy about Granderson getting hurt.  I don’t wish that any player get hurt. Also, Granderson’s a great player, and I always want great players to stay healthy and play.

It’s just that I find it hard not to take a certain pleasure when bad things happen to the Yankees as a franchise.  They spend so much money to buy up the best players, and the team and its fans are disappointed any year they don’t win the World Series, even if they go deep into the post-season.  As a fan of a team that had a long, long stretch of futility before the last three seasons, it’s hard not to enjoy seeing the Yankees fall flat on their collective faces once in a while.  See how the rest of us live, you New York blowhards!

Everything seems to be going wrong for the Yankees right now.  They have gotten old and so overpaid that the team can’t (or won’t — see below) simply spend to bring in a whole new line-up of new stars, as they did under the Boss.

Derek Jeter is old and coming off a broken ankle.  Alex Rodriguez will miss at least half the year after hip surgery and is embroiled in another steroid scandal.  Mark Teixeira isn’t the player he once was, and at age 33 isn’t likely to be that player again.  C. C. Sabathia in 2012 showed signs of the injury problems many analysts, including his one, have been been expecting for a pitcher his size now in his 30’s.

In a rare confluence of events, not only the Yankees, but also the Red Sox, look like they won’t make the play-offs in 2013.  The Sox lost 93 games last year, and they don’t at all look a team that will suddenly turn around and win 90+ games in 2013.

Meanwhile, the underdogs may finally be ready to have their days.  The Blue Jays made several big moves this off-season at what appears now to have been a particularly opportune time for them to do so.  Maybe they’ll make the post-season for the first time since they won the World Series in 1993.

The 2012 Orioles made the post-season for the first time since 1997, and they have a relatively young team that will presumably get better.

The Rays are one of MLB’s smallest market teams, but they make the most out of what they have to work with and can be expected to contend again in 2013.

The last time neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox made the post-season (excluding the strike-shortened 1994 season in which the Yankees finished with the best record in the American League) was 1993.  It’s long past time that someone else get the opportunity to fight it out in the play-offs.

That being said, the underdogs better make hay while the sun shines.  If the Yankees and Red Sox finish no higher than third in the Eastern Division, expect them to start shelling out again next off-season.  Their potential revenue streams (and in the case of the Yankees the fact that so many of their fans are front-runners) are such that it’s worth it for them to spend big on free agents if that’s what it takes to reach those play-off revenues.

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Explore posts in the same categories: American League, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays

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