Five years ago I didn’t know what a hashtag (#) was.
A year ago I never thought I’d use that little sucker before the phrase “letsgoyankees” but I did and I meant it.
And today I’m happy.
At this point, I'm rooting for anybody but the Dodgers in the Tanaka sweepstakes. Including the Yankees. #letsgoyankees
— Dave Burns (@Burnsy987) January 22, 2014
Make no mistake, I’d be happier had the Arizona Diamondbacks signed Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, though I’m not sure I would have wanted them to give him a seven-year deal worth $155 million and the opportunity to opt out after four years. That amount is triple the size of the largest free agent contract ever doled out by this organization, which is, remarkably, the initial Randy Johnson deal that brought him here from the Astros.
I would have been satisfied had Tanaka signed with the Cubs, Mariners, Angels, White Sox, Red Sox or yes, the New York Yankees. Anybody but the Dodgers.
Most will read that and assume I’m being super-homer; an angry reaction to a rivalry gone wrong, bananas in the dugout, parties in the pool and everything since.
Sorry to disappoint you but that’s not the case.
#letsgoyankees stems from a story I read a week ago about the Dodgers’ pursuit of Tanaka by Buster Olney of ESPN.
“The Yankees have the greater need, and maybe a little more pressure to sign Tanaka after learning they won’t have to pay A-Rod in 2014,” Olney writes. “The Dodgers are perceived by some rival officials to be more shameless in their bidding, untethered to market prices shaped by other teams, and more driven by what they want.”
It’s not enough to have Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu. Dan Haren is there. So are Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley, though they’re both coming off injuries. The Dodgers’ pursuit of Tanaka felt like an exercise in excess, driven by — as Olney puts it — what they want and not what they need.
It’s like putting a hotel on Boardwalk and Park Place when you already have houses on Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Pacific Avenues. The line between winning and showing off is getting a little blurry.