Many people would consider the Yankees $423.5 million in free agent spending an overreaction to missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993, but in reality, its business as usual. However, this is really the first time the Yankees have been able to splurge in a good free agent market. The signings of Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright in 2005 were not quite on par with this years free agent market, nor was the acquisition of Randy Johnson that year any better. Pavano was considered a great free agent signing, but Wright was seen as a 5th starter, and many people had their doubts about Randy Johnson. This year, we've signed the cream of the crop. CC Sabathia the former Cy Young winner is in his prime, and even the oft injured Burnett pitched exceptionally well in the AL east last season, and might even be healthy. Though many are afraid that Burnett is the second coming of Carl Pavano, I think Burnett will prove more durable. Only time will tell. Then there's the Mark Teixeira signing. The switch hitting, gold gloving, 30 homerun powering first baseman. The last time we added a bat like his during free agency was probably Gary Sheffield, and we know what his bat did to our lineup. Basically, if the free agent splurge tactic is going to work, these next few seasons should tell.
In other news, we were on Pete Abe's blog the other day. The post was largely polarizing with people either hating it or loving it with few in between. One of my favorite examples of this polarization comes from these back-to-back comments:
"Very creative. Great job."
One person said we wasted 5 minutes of their life. The reading level of the viewers seemed to get better as the day progressed as later on someone said we wasted 3 minutes of theirs. I think a lot of people were expecting something about Xavier Nady's impending free agency or Mark Teixeira's gold glove defense, but our fear was that if we did something like that, though we may get a lot of people agreeing with it, our blog would just fade into the rest of the blogosphere and not separate us from the hundreds of other Yankees blogs. We do plenty of analysis here. Last year in January we did a player-by-player breakdown of everyone on the roster, and did a game summary after every game last season. However, we like to write our stories, and we prefer to take a humorous approach, which a lot of people seem to enjoy. We have largely gotten positive feed back, even though we understand that our writing is not for everyone. Despite the largely polarized reviews our story got, we had over 3000 page views that day.
By and large, we think it accomplished our goal. It gave a larger community of Yankee fans a sample of what we do, and hopefully has gained us some more viewers to the blog. We hope that some of these new viewers will comment here as well as one of the things we enjoy most is the baseball talk that goes on in the comments section here. Beyond that, 2009 should be a great year. Baseball will be getting started in just a few months, and until then, you can count on Respect Jeter's Gangster to fill the boredom in between.