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I get the feeling sometimes that Randy Levine and I are somewhat alike.  Occasionally my friends and family joke about how I don’t have that “filter” that most people have that makes them hold back on telling other people how it really is.  ‘Cause I really do have no problem saying whatever comes to mind as long as it’s not really hurtful.

Anyways, I was very happy to read about Randy Levine telling Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio to stop whining about how the Yankees spend money.  Well done, Mr Levine, well done.

Apparently Attanasio and the Brewers are having a difficult time signing prized first baseman Prince Fielder to a contract extension and he’s blaming it on the big money that teams like the Yankees pay to their stars.  Attanasio was quoted by USA Today as saying, “We’re struggling to sign [Fielder] and the Yankees infield is making more than our team.”

The Yankees infield will make around $85 Million this season and the entire team payroll should be around $206 Million with Alex Rodriguez making $33 Million.  In comparison, Milwaukee’s total team payroll is around $80 Million and the Pittsburgh Pirates have dropped their payroll this season to around $35 Million – just a tad more than A-Rod himself will make.

When questioned about it by ESPNNewYork.com, Levine said:

“I’m sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers.  We play by all the rules and there doesn’t seem to be any complaints when teams such as the Brewers receive hundreds of millions of dollars that they get from us in revenue sharing the last few years. Take some of that money that you get from us and use that to sign your players.  The question that should be asked is: Where has the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue sharing gone?”

Well said, Mr Levine.  Baseball, and every other sport for that matter, is a business and a business must spend money to make money.  A sales company needs to make sure its product fills a want or need (so people buy it) and is priced correctly enough to gain market share while making a profit.  A baseball team needs to field a great team so people want to buy tickets and gear and price everything correctly so market share and a profit can be gained.  Attanasio should know this; he’s an investment banker.

I don’t even want to hear the BS that small market teams can’t spend that much money because they don’t make that much money.  Enough of that silly argument.  In business, you need to spend money to make money.  There are small market teams in every other sport that transcend their market and have a national appeal because they field a good product almost every season.  Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers in the NFL and the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA.

So, Mr Attanasio…where is that revenue sharing money going?  To pay for your yacht?

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Now doesn’t that title look a little funny to you? It could be in reference to a hot August afternoon in the new Stadium. It could refer to a frying pan in the concession area of the Stadium. It could also refer to new outfielder Eric Fryer, obtained by the Yankees yesterday in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for I-allowed-4-consecutive-home-runs-Chase-Wright.

Fryer, 23, batted .335 (129-for-385) with 26 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs and 63 RBI in 104 games with Single-A West Virginia in 2008, seeing time at left field, catcher, first base and designated hitter. He led the South Atlantic League in batting average and on-base percentage (.407) and ranked third in slugging percentage (.506). Fryer was originally selected by the Brewers in the 10th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Ohio State University. He will be assigned to Single-A Tampa.

Info from LoHud Blog.

Yesterday Buster Olney wrote in his blog the winners and losers of the Mark Teixeira signing.

Winners: Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals (because they wouldn’t have to devote 20-25% of their payroll to one player), and baseball fans.

Losers: Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, labor peace, Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek, and Andy Pettitte, the New York Mets, the Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Yankees.

Sure, there are some contradictions here (like the Orioles and Yankees) but once you read Olney’s blog, you’ll understand why.

For the second times in as many months, the Yankees are holding discussions with the Brewers to trade for center fielder Mike Cameron.  We originally posted a report that the Yanks and Brewers began initial discussions on Nov. 7th.  At that time, a trade did not look likely because the Brewers wanted Ian Kennedy, but the Yanks weren’t willing to give him up.

Now, it appears that the trade would be Melky Cabrera for Mike Cameron and cash – or at least that’s what the Bronx Bombers want.  At this point, that’s where the talks are held up.  Cameron is set to make $10 Million next year – a sum the Yankees Brass is not too keen on.  Cabrera and Bret Gardener, who would compete for the position, make under $1 Million.  Combined.  So the Yanks want the Brewers to pitch in part of that difference.

As I reported on Nov 7, I don’t think this trade will go through, nor do I think it should.  I realize that Cameron historically is a good option as a lead-off man in the lineup, but the man only managed to hit .243 last season.  Now I will give him credit for smacking 25 home runs and 70 RBIs in only 120 games, but still – Cabrera had an off year and still had a better average then Cameron.  Cameron is getting older, and thus, slower.  He provides a veteran presence in the outfield, but in a position where your nearest teammate is a good 40-50 yards away, I think speed and defensive prowess are more important.

Another reason why this deal won’t go through: The Brewers have to hate the Yankees right now.  Picture this.  You’re 18 years old and you met a hot chick (or guy) at the bar, mack-ed it well and were able score a couple of dates.  Then you introduce her to your 22 year-old brother, who makes 6 figures and looks good doing it and she falls for him instead.  Because not only does he look better then you, he can also buy her nicer things.

If you didn’t get the analogy, that is what the Yankees just did to the Brewers.  Brewers had a nice half-a-season with CC Sabathia, and the Yankees, who look better and have more spending money, just outbid them by $61 Million and made Sabathia theirs.   Now, if you were that little brother, would you make a trade like this to your older brother?  No way, you’d tell him where he can stick it.

I vote that the Yankees keep the competition between Cabrera and Gardner going for one more season.  Austin Jackson will be ready to play CF in 2010.   Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui are entering the last year of their respective contracts and its likely that the Yankees will not plan to keep all four outfielders.  So we keep either Damon or Matsui, and either Gardner or Cabrera.  And let the men earn it on the field.

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