IT'S PLAN 189. Plans 1 through 188 didn't work, but plan 189 will. Wait a second: If Plan 188 was "spend our vast resource of cash wisely on players who will help us get to the postseason" then it was working. In fact, it's worked pretty well for the past 19 years or so for the Evil Empire. Sure, the Empire did squander its resources from time to time on Kei Igawa and building shield generators on forest moons teaming with vicious, murderous, cannibalistic teddy bears. But how were they to know? Well, it didn't really matter back then because our vast wealth allowed them to make those mistakes and still field a competitive team. Apparently it matters now. Why?
I shouldn't have to remind everyone how the Yankees built their money bin in the first place, but I will. You see, money was wisely spent on players who were built around good farm players. Those teams would then win. Oh boy, would they win. What followed was more and more people coming to the games to watch their team win. More people coming to the game meant more money being spent on Yankee type merchandise and seat tickets, which meant more money to wisely spend on players who were built around good farm players who would then achieve victory and gather more fans; you get the idea. I'll continue to refer to this as Plan 188.
A lot of teams resented the Yankees for Plan 188 because of the constant success. Plan 188 gave the Yankees a decent advantage over other teams. Not only were they allowed to keep their home grown stars, but could snatch up other stars and still have money to use for paper airplanes. It in no way guaranteed success, but it still gave them the ability to put a competitive team on the field every year. Well, it's 2013 and two things have changed since Plan 188 was implemented: extensions and the Steinbrenners.
Extensions are as popular as Game of Thrones right now, albeit with less death and dragons. Teams are doing everything they can to keep their star players by not letting them hit free agency and surrounding said star players with components to help them compete. It's similar to Plan 188, except the Yankees usually waited until the player hit free agency and then signed them back for a lot of money. Not exactly the best strategy, but screw it. This station was the ultimate power in the baseball universe and they used it. Unfortunately for the Evil Empire, the Rebel Alliance was stronger than they knew. Or at least smart enough to find the proverbial hole in their design.
For the record, I actually think it's good for baseball that this is happening. I have long believed in the idea that teams need one star player that fans will buy jerseys of and go to the stadium to watch, regardless of how the team is doing in the standings. It's good for baseball. Is it good for the Yankees? Well, therein lies the other thing that has changed since Plan 188 was created: the Steinbrenners. What the rest of the teams did with elongating their players' stay with them wouldn't drastically effect the Yankees if the Steinbrenners weren't bent on implementing Plan 189.
I'm in no way saying that the Yankees should spend, spend, spend like I do on Gundam Models; but at the very least they could've kept Nick Swisher for what the Indians paid for him. They could have spent the posting fee money on Yu Darvish. I'm not mentioning these two due to hindsight; I'm bringing them up because the decision not to acquire their services seems to be based on Plan 189. I should also say that Plan 189 could conceivably work, because $189 million dollars to spend on a team is still not chump change. The ultimate problem is that it doesn't work right now.
You see, Plan 188 is still going on and Plan 189 conflicts with Plan 188. The two cannot coexist currently. There's too much money still being spent on players acquired during Plan 188. There's also the Cano conundrum as well. Cano most certainly fits in with the Plan 188 model. He's about to go to the Showcase Showdown for huge cash and prices, but only if the price is right. With Plan 188 this wouldn't be that huge of a problem. But, as William mention Wednesday in his article, it conflicts heavily with Plan 189. Everything about Plan 189 conflicts with what the Yankees have done the past few years.
If Plan 189 was being considered for a while, then the Yankees have made some very questionable moves to try and get it under way. For one, why trade Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson to get Curtis Granderson? The move makes sense under Plan 188, but it makes little sense under Plan 189. Austin Jackson was seen as being Granderson-ish. Grandy was clearly going to cost money to keep after his pinstriped tenure due to age and proven-ness. Austin Jackson would have been much more cost-effective and last longer than really good strawberry bubblegum. This is one of the main reasons why Plan 188 conflicts with Plan 189. Plan 189 forces the Yankees to take greater risks. Risks like Austin Jackson. Risks like two years of Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells.
A year ago, commenters and posters would talk about trading the farm for a player like Giancarlo Stanton. He would net a huge haul for the Marlins, and the Yankees have just the position players they need: everywhere. Plan 188 would have made the trade possible this year, and man would Stanton help the Yankees right now. With Plan 189, the Yankees absolutely cannot afford to make this trade. The farm is going to be essential with Plan 189. However, with the Yankees still following the Plan 188 model, they might very well do this during the course of the year.
It cannot be both ways. The two plans do not mix at all. The future Robinson Cano contract is more of Plan 188 and there's no reason not to keep Cano if they were continuing with that plan. It makes no sense to keep Cano under Plan 189. If Steinbrenner squared really intend to go along with Plan 189, then the logical course of action would be to trade Cano and get all we can for him. He's going to be another player in a long line of expensive Plan 188 players the Yankees break the bank on. Let me reiterate, he's going to be another player in a long line of expensive Plan 188 players because the Yankees are going to sign him. There's never been any doubt in my mind that they weren't. Not only is he the best second baseman in the league, but he is going to be the new face of the Yankees once Derek Jeter retires. He will be back in pinstripes. If Plan 189 holds true, he really should not be.
I am still not convinced they are going to go through with Plan 189. I just don't believe that they are stupid enough to think that they are going to get Yankee fans to keep paying for really expensive seats and season ticket plans by fielding a subpar team because they didn't want to spend on a fully competitive product. It goes against everything they've done for the past two decades. Even though I'd love a chance to go to more games with the fairweathers jumping ship, I'll take Plan 188 over Plan 189 any day. Plan 189 could be the worst movie of all time for Yankee fans. Even worse than Manos: The Hands of Fate.
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