Posted January. 12, 2009 07:16,
Boston Red Sox co-owner Larry Lucchino was reportedly pissed off in December 2002 after hearing that pitcher Jose Contreras signed with the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox offered better conditions than the Yankees, but Contreras opted wear the Yankees` pinstripes, prompting Lucchino to blast the Yankees as the "evil empire."
Ahead of the 2009 season, New York has spent 423.5 million dollars to sign free agents Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett to multi-year contracts.
The Yankees payroll has topped Major League Baseball for 10 straight years, yet the team`s performance has declined.
The club is the only team to shell out more than 200 million dollars on players per year. Though the Yankees won the World Series from 1998 to 2000, they suffered a humiliating failure by failing to advance to the postseason last year for the first time in 14 years.
The Yankees are also under criticism of buying players with money amid the global economic crisis than in other years. The team`s payroll, however, will probably remain the same as last season`s since several players who earned more than 10 million dollars last season have been let go, including Jason Giambi (23.42 million dollars), Bobby Abreu and Mike Mussina.
This year will also see the opening of the new Yankees Stadium that cost 1.3 billion dollars.
Yet many experts say the 1927 Yankees were the best team in Major League Baseball history. That year, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hit a combined 107 homers. No other team hit more homers than Ruth alone that year.
The team also won the American League with a record of 110-44 losses for a winning percentage of 71.4, and swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series. At the time, New York had five players who batted more than .300 and four who scored more than 100 runs among those playing in more than 130 games.
Also in 1927, the Yankees also had six pitchers with 10 wins or more, led by Waite Hoyt with a record of 22-7 and an earned run average of 2.63.
This year, four Yankees will earn more than 20 million dollars each: Alex Rodriguez, Sabathia, Teixeira and Derek Jeter. Burnett, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Johnny Damon and Matsui Hideki also earn more than 10 million dollars each.
Though the club has spent millions to sign the top players, this is no guarantee that the players will not leave the team after earning their money. Patricio Contreras, famous for his rabid fans, performed poorly even at Yankee Stadium in his 18 months with the team, regaining his form after going to the Chicago White Sox.