I'm not a fan of the New York Yankees. They are a testament to excess. At the end of every season, every failed season of late by their standards, they try to figure out how to improve.
Should we build a great farm system? Nah, that's too hard and it takes too long.
Should we stop collecting All-Stars and find players who know how to run the bases and play their positions, guys who don't go high in the Fantasy draft but understand how to win? Nah, those guys all play for Minnesota.
Well, what should we do? Hey, I know. Let's go out and offer outrageous sums of money to free agents. But didn't we do that last season and the season before and the 14 seasons before that? So?
So before the season, the Yankees signed free-agent slugger Mark Teixeira and free-agent pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.
And this time it worked. They were the best team in baseball. And even though the talented Los Angeles Angels are a trendy pick to upset them, I don't see anybody beating New York.
Most seasons, the Yankees are easy to dislike. Unless you're a fan, contempt comes naturally. But even though they destroyed my Minnesota Twins last week, I kind of like them.
Along with being a high-priced slugger, Teixeira is a superb fielder and a clutch hitter. The Yankees haven't had many of the latter. CC was mediocre most of the season. But as the season wore on, he began to wear out hitters. The Yankees didn't overwork him the last month and he looks fresh.
My favorite New York pitcher is Andy Pettitte. I like the old guys (he's 37) who get by on guts and guile.
In his spare time, Pettitte helped expand the language. In an affidavit, Pettitte wrote that Roger Clemens told him that he used human growth hormone. Clemens informed a house panel that Pettitte misheard him.
That's a cool word, misheard. I tried it. "But honey, you misheard me when I said I was coming straight home after the game."
It didn't work any better for me than it did for Roger.
When New York fans claim they have a nice rotation, you did not mishear them. Sabathia, Burnett and Pettitte fit beautifully.
The Yankees finally are more than a testament to wanton spending. They play smart and they play clutch (even Alex Rodriguez) and they play really well. The Angeles are very good, and the winner of the Philadelphia-Los Angeles Dodgers also will be.
But for the first time in nine seasons, the Yankees will win it all.