Arguing With Idiots X: Idiocy Has Taken Over

Welcome to the return of Arguing With Idiots.  For past editions, click here.

I have heard nothing but verbal diarrhea over the last few days.  The Knicks and Nets each land one of the biggest names in the league, yet no one seems to be happy.  Instead of being happy about landing Carmelo, Knick fans have been irritated at losing players such as Timofey Mozgov.  Instead of being thrilled about landing Deron Williams, I have yet to hear one Net fan say anything positive about the trade.  Well, I haven’t talked to many Net fans since they barely exist, but that’s beyond the point.

Let’s start with Melo.

The Knicks easily could have gotten Melo in the offseason.  WHY GIVE UP YOUR WHOLE TEAM FOR AN EXTRA TWO MONTHS OF MELO!!!!!!!!!111

Calm down, no need to yell.  Melo would have likely went to the Nets if he didn’t get traded to the Knicks. He would have risked losing a lot of money by not signing an extension before the new CBA.  Also, there is no guarantee the Knicks would have been able to sign him in July.  A franchise tag in the new CBA could have stopped it.  Even if the Knicks would have signed him in the offseason, Melo would have likely demanded a sign-and-trade, making the Knicks give up a draft pick or two anyway.

BUT THEY LOST MOZGOV!!!

You wouldn’t have known who Mozgov was if D’Antoni didn’t put him in the rotation in the last few weeks.  The Knicks have actually played better without him.  There won’t be a problem replacing his 4 PPG and 2 RPG.

Gallo and Chandler are huge losses.

That they are.  But sometimes you have to give something up to get something.  In this case, the reward was too big to turn down.

Gallinari plays the same position as Melo, so he would have just been a 6th man.  Chandler was a valuable piece, but he was an RFA at the end of the season.  Holding on to him could have complicated the Knicks’ cap situation in the upcoming years.

Billups is a downgrade from Raymond Felton.

Maybe, but Felton was never the long-term plan at the point.  Billups is a a solid veteran who can shoot the ball and mentor other players.  He may be able to turn Toney Douglas into a great point guard.  I still think Chauncey is the best player in the trade behind Carmelo.

Onto Deron.

Deron Williams isn’t as good as Chris Paul.

Arguable, but who cares?  Deron is still an elite point guard who is definitely top-five in the league.  Williams, being a superstar, can also attract big names like Dwight Howard to New Jersey/Brooklyn in future seasons.

Why would you give up Favors?

Favors could have taken years to figure out.  Developing him into the next star PF would have taken a lot of time with no guarentee for success.  The Nets can find a franchise power forward soon, I am confident of it.

Two first rounders is too much.

It could be, but would either of those picks turn out to be as good as Deron?  The Nets clearly got the best player in this deal.  This is a superstar’s league.  If you don’t have at least one, you aren’t going anywhere.  The Nets needed one, and they got one.

There’s no guarantee he will re-sign in 2012 when his deal is up.

He is eligible to re-sign in July of this year, and I think he will.  It would be smart of him to get a contract extension before the new CBA.  What other places will have the cap flexibility and marketing opportunities that the Brooklyn Nets will have in 2012?  He could go to the Knicks, but I think they will set their sights on CP3.

In the end, both the Melo and Williams deals were great for the Knicks and Nets.  The Melo deal finally brought true Knicks basketball back to New York City.  The Deron deal helped the Nets acquire the star they’ve been longing for since their glory days.

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Arguing With Idiots Volume IX: Jason Cole

I’ve been following sports long enough to realize that the media is extremely corrupt and biased.  I know that there are some really bad writers out there, but this article is an absolute disgrace to football.  It’s time to show why Dolphins fans shouldn’t be allowed to touch a pen or paper.

First, let’s look at Jason Cole’s profile on Yahoo:

Jason Cole is an award-winning writer who covered the Miami Dolphins for 15 years at The Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. A member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he also has experience covering the NBA. Jason graduated from Stanford with a degree in communication.

Not exactly the guy you want to be writing a Jets article.  Nonetheless, Yahoo Sports decided to let him write a Darrelle Revis article.  That would be like ESPN letting me write a piece on Tom Brady.  The result was possibly the worst article I’ve ever read.  Enjoy.

At one point during the latest episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” Jets coach Rex Ryan explained to veteran wide receiver Laveranues Coles(notes) why the team had to cut him. It was over salary reasons, but Ryan said the team hoped to bring back Coles in the second week of the season when his contract won’t be fully guaranteed.

Ultimately, Ryan told Coles that the team had to make the move “in case [cornerback Darrelle Revis(notes)] shows up without a new contract.”

Yes, a proposed $160 million contract would cause financial stress on a team who has given out multiple lucrative extensions to star players this year.  I don’t see the problem here.  I’m sorry our front office isn’t as brilliant as Miami’s, which traded Wes Welker for a fifth round draft pick.

Here’s a little piece of information for Ryan and the rest of the New York Jets: If Revis doesn’t get a new contract soon, New York doesn’t have to worry about the star cornerback showing up. Ever.

Here’s a little piece of information for you and the rest of the Miami Dolphins.  If Revis doesn’t accept our offer, he doesn’t play for three seasons.  Do you realize that it’s not a contract year for Revis?

As the clock ticks to the beginning of the NFL season, the relationship between the Jets and Revis is ticking toward an end. A divorce, really. That might sound like hysteria to some but it’s reality.

Again, Revis has three years left on his contract.  The Jets aren’t trading him either.  I also love how Cole now begins to just speculate what is going on.  Notice throughout the whole article he pretends that he has the inside scoop on the negotiations.

You can hear the agitation in Ryan’s voice when he talks about the overall state of his team. During one moment in “Hard Knocks,” Ryan chewed the Jets out for not playing with urgency, a bad sign for any team, particularly for one that hasn’t won a championship in more than four decades.

Jets fans can pump their chest about allowing only one touchdown in the first three games of preseason, but that means nothing. If the Jets are really going to run Ryan’s high-risk, blitz-heavy defense, they have to have Revis. As gifted as cornerback Antonio Cromartie(notes) is, he’s not tough enough to emulate Revis.

Cromartie is still better than any cornerback the Dolphins have, and the only corner better than Kyle Wilson for Miami is Vontae Davis.  If Cromartie can just be what Revis was in 2008, the Jets will still have a very successful defense.

If the Jets can’t bridge the gap between what they are offering Revis and what he believes they promised him at the end of last season, he’s not showing up, period.

Jason, it’s nice to know that you know exactly what will happen if the Jets can’t bridge the gap.  You should work for ESPN’s Rumor Central.

The problem is that love in the NFL is expressed in dollars and the Jets didn’t think this one through. In fact, when the idea of a long-term contract for Revis (10 years) was broached with this reporter months ago, I took all of about 30 seconds to figure out that the approximate number Revis would be looking for was roughly $160 million.

The Jets didn’t think this through?  What if there is a salary cap next season?  If the Jets keep giving out huge contracts, they will be in cap hell if there is a new cap next season.  Even if there is no cap, Revis isn’t worth $160 million with $65-$75 millin guaranteed.

And I’m not exactly a contract negotiator.

Yeah, we sort of figured that out by now.

More important, Revis has principles, too. If you were Revis and had a pretty good idea that your value isn’t going down anytime soon (there’s plenty of proof of that around the NFL) and you no longer had faith in the Jets, would you ever play for them again? Is that the kind of professional, working marriage you’d want to get into?

He signed a contract.  When he held out for his first deal, the Jets took a huge chance by giving him his contract.  The contract has turned into one that benefits the team, but that’s no reason to hold out again and destroy what could be a Super Bowl season for the Jets.  You really can’t defend Revis hear, especially when the Jets are offering $140 million.

His uncle, Sean Gilbert, once sat out an entire year with Washington when he wanted between $4 million and $5 million a year and the Redskins were offering $3.2 million.

After a year away, Gilbert got $7 million a year from Carolina.

Well guess what, genius.  Revis will have to sit out three years.  It’s not that complicated of a scenario to understand.  The Jets have all the leverage here.  After three years without football, no one will pay Revis $160 million.

Revis won’t want to miss three years of his prime either.  He would be 29 when he becomes a free agent in 2013.  He won’t get even close to the $140 million he is being offered now.

But more important than any of that is a simple fact: Either the Jets get this done or they never have Revis again.

And Revis doesn’t see a football field for three years.  How was this article allowed to be written?  Is this not the most biased piece of rubbish ever produced?

Arguing With Idiots Volume VIII: Rex Ryan

Throughout the amazing Hard Knocks series on HBO, Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan has taken tons of criticism.  Many players, coaches, and media members have taken time to make a comment about Ryan or the show.  Let’s talk about why Sexy Rexy is completely just for doing the things he does.

He uses too much profanity, especially for television.

HBO isn’t cable.  The show warns against profanity at the beginning of each episode.  It’s like ordering the Playboy channel and complaining that what is being shown is inappropriate.

Still, he should be looked at as a role model and shouldn’t curse.

All football coaches curse, except a select few.  If Rex was a role model to someone, that person would probably be looking to be a head coach.  That person has to learn how to fire up his team, and Rex surely does that very well.

How can you have respect as a player for an immature man like this?

I don’t know, why don’t you ask them.  Every player interviewed on Hard Knocks or elsewhere has given an amazing amount of praise to Rex.  Maybe Nick Mangold summed it up the best.

“We respect him because he is one of us.”  – Nick Mangold

The day after the first Hard Knocks, players were calling their agents asking to play for the Jets.  Has that ever happened in history?  Do you still think players don’t respect Ryan?  Are you crazy?

He should have listened to Tony Dungy, a proven winner.

Proven winner?  Dungy was an NFL coach for 28 years and won one Super Bowl.  He was a great coach, but let’s not pretend like he is one of the greatest of all time.

Let’s not beat around the bush.  Tony is an Evangelic Christian and is extremely biased when it comes to judging profanity and such.  He unfairly judged Rex.

Rex should have kept his mouth shut when it came to Darrelle Revis.

Every head coach tries to promote their players.  Everything Rex ever said about Revis was indeed true.  You can’t fault him for that.

But you can’t call a guy the best defensive player in football, promise him a contract, and then not pay him.

The Jets did indeed promise Revis a new contract.  The Jets did indeed offer Revis a new contract.  If $120 million isn’t enough, that’s on Revis.

Hopefully people stop judging Rex as a person, and judge him as a head coach.  If I were an NFL player, I’d definitely want to play for him.  The Jets are extremely fortunate to have Ryan aboard.

Arguing With Idiots Volume VII: Speed Kills

Welcome to a special edition of Arguing With Idiots. Usually on this segment, I answer a series of fallacies that are commonly spread throughout the sports world. However, today I am just going to a rant about a topic that his been in the news of late.

After allegedly breaking more ribs, Jacoby Ellsbury is now out for the season. It is amazing how this once top Fantasy Baseball pick has turned into an injury prone rag doll. But was Ellsbury really worth all the hype?

About a year and a half ago, Ellsbury was considered by most to be one of the best center fielders in baseball. He could run, play great defense, and set the table for the laser show that is the Red Sox offense. After a steal of home against Andy Pettitte, ESPN started to show the steal on every ESPN Baseball broadcast, regardless if the Sox were playing or not. Now, the ESPN proclaimed “America’s Team” is left with a gaping hole in the outfield.

What happened to this prodigious outfielder? Is it possible to break that many ribs in a non-contact sport? Could Ellsbury have been overhyped all along?

In actuality, Ellsbury is nothing more than an overhyped version of Brett Gardner. Let’s look at his major stats in his first two full-time seasons:

2008: .280/.336/.394 (50/66 SBs)
2009: .301/.355/.415 (70/82 SBs)

Now let’s look at Brett Gardner so far in his first full season:

2009: .287/.383/.387 (26/31 SBs) – Through August 18

Notes:

– Brett absolutely owns Jacoby on OBP, something lead-off machine Ellsbury should have in his pocket. I mean, Gardner has a .050 higher OBP in his first full season compared to him. He even has a .030 advantage if you compare it to Ellbury’s second full season. That is a significant number when you are talking about table setters that are expected to manufacture runs.

– Ellsbury has a 85% career SB%. Gardner’s is 84%. Big deal.

– Gardner’s batting average in his first full season is higher than Ellsbury’s was in his first full season.

Could Ellsbury really be a product of the hype machine known as Red Sox Nation? No! That can’t be possible!

What about defense?  Ellsbury surely owns him there. Right?

2008: 14.5
2009: -10.0
2010: 5.5 (Extremely small sample size.)

Gardner?

2008: 67.4 (Yes, I know. Small sample size.)
2009: 20.5
2010: 32.8

It’s not even close. You don’t even need to see the stat sheets. Brett Gardner is easily the more complete player of the two.

Despite the facts I just presented, media outlets such as ESPN will never try to put “America’s Team” down. So let me ask you the following question Red Sox fans. Does the truth hurt?

Arguing With Idiots Volume VI: Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony has recently been the subject of a number of rumors surrounding where he will play this year and next year. While the Knicks have been labeled as the clear favorite, many skeptics can’t help but to bash the Knicks and list reasons why Carmelo shouldn’t or wouldn’t come to New York. It’s time to disprove any theories surrounding Carmelo joining the Knicks.

The Knicks don’t have the trade pieces to acquire Carmelo.

They don’t have the best pieces, but they still have pieces. Gallinari and Chandler are two great young talents. Eddy Curry has value too because he is an expiring contract. While I don’t want the Knicks trading Randolph, he is another extremely valuable piece.

The bottom line is that Carmelo has all the leverage. If he says he won’t re-sign with anyone but the Knicks, no one will give up anything major for a one-year rental. That would leave the Knicks with the only offer on the table.

Carmelo has no leverage in this situation. He doesn’t have a no trade clause.

He doesn’t have to have one. If he says he will not re-sign for a particular team, they will not give up major pieces for him. It is up for Denver to make the trade, but there will not be any offers on the table if other teams know that Carmelo is intent on signing with the Knicks next off-season.

Why not go to Orlando, Chicago, or even Houston. All three of those teams give you a better chance to win than the Knicks.

I’m not going to argue that Orlando and Chicago would give him a better chance to win, but there is no way the Rockets would be better than the Knicks next year, especially since this is probably Yao Ming’s last season.

The real question is whether or not the Knicks (with Melo) would be better than the current Bulls and Magic.

Knicks
Felton
Chandler
Melo
Amar’e
Turiaf/Mozgov

Bulls
Rose
Brewer
Deng
Boozer
Noah

Magic
Williams
Carter
Barnes
Lewis
Howard

The Knicks are just as good, if not better than the Bulls in that scenario. While they aren’t currently as good as the Magic, adding a star point guard like Tony Parker or Chris Paul could change that. I truly believe that Chris Paul will go wherever Carmelo goes. If not, Tony Parker is a more than fine option next season.

The Knicks are rumored to have to give up Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry, and a future first round pick. Isn’t that a bit too much to give up for one player?

No way. Carmelo is a franchise player that could attract other big names to the Big Apple. The trade isn’t even that bad.

You are losing Gallinari, who is the biggest piece in the deal. He will obviously be replaced by Melo himself, so you are gaining a whole lot at SF. At SG, Azubuike could easily replace Chandler as the starter.

Obviously, Eddy Curry isn’t a loss at all. At this point, he’s not even really part of the team. The draft pick isn’t worth crying over either, because the Knicks’ next first-round pick is in 2014. At that time, they should be good and the pick will almost definitely be a non-lottery pick.

Carmelo would not be much of an upgrade over Gallinari.

Really? Let’s look at some of each player’s advanced statistics from last year.

P40
Anthony: 29.5
Gallinari: 17.8

R40
Anthony: 6.9
Gallinari: 5.8

A40
Anthony: 3.4
Gallinari: 2.0

WARP
Anthony: 9.5
Gallinari: 3.2

So Carmelo destroys Danilo in points scored, rebounds, and assists. He also will win you over six more games than Gallinari would. That is more than a significant upgrade.

It is unknown whether or not Carmelo would fit into Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

Mike D’Antoni’s high paced offense will definitely suit Carmelo very well. The offense is built around superstarts like Amar’e and Melo. A scoring machine like Carmelo is exactly what the Knicks need.

With all of this said, there is no reason for Carmelo not to bring his talents to Broadway.

Arguing With Idiots Volume V: Dustin Pedroia vs Robinson Cano

Earlier this year, ESPN conducted one of their Sportsnation polls. The poll’s topic stated: “Who would you rather have start for your team at second base.” I thought the answer was simple, but apparently 71% of Sportsnation would rather have Pedroia. As a matter of fact, Cano barely won in his own state.

Friends, this is another prime example of how the biased ESPN media can corrupt the average sports fan’s mind. If I was a casual fan, I would probably think Pedroia was better too. After all, you never hear about Cano’s MVP caliber season this year. On the other hand, Pedroia’s 2008 MVP is talked about during every Sunday Night Baseball broadcast.

Every bit of information I am about to show you is a fact. If you don’t believe me, look it up. It’s time to uncover the truth. All of the stats I am using are up to and including July 25, 2010. Let us begin.

Robinson Cano’s bat is incredibly over hyped.

If Cano is over hyped, I don’t know what to call Pedroia. Let’s look at each player’s stats this season. As always, I am using the ‘BA/OPS/OPS+’ format.

Cano: .332/.947/156
Pedroia: .292/.871/127

Maybe some one else is the one who is incredibly over hyped? Cano also has more hits, doubles, triples, home runs, and RBIs than Pedroia for this season.

Cano has the advantage of playing at Yankee Stadium and its short porch.

Pedroia not only has the advantage of playing in Fenway Park as a righty, but his swing perfectly compliments the park. Cano uses all fields, Pedroia doesn’t. That is why Cano’s road splits are far better than Pedroia’s.

Pedroia’s batting average is actually 40 points less at away ball parks. Cano’s average is actually 5 points higher while away. Pretty much all of Pedroia’s fly ball outs to left field are turned into singles or doubles in Fenway Park. He’s a dead pull hitter. There is nothing wrong with that, but let’s not turn him into Ted Williams. I think that is a great style of hitting, but he shouldn’t be given credit for what he isn’t.

I really hate to keep bringing in park factors to the argument, but it’s an instant winner in arguments. Yankee Stadium was actually a pitcher’s park last year, ranking 20th overall. Fenway Park was ranked 8th. If you look at Cano’s hitting style, Yankee Stadium doesn’t really help him at all.

Cano has been getting lucky this season.

His BABIP is only 4 points higher than his batting average.  He hasn’t been getting lucky at all.

Pedroia is a much better defender than Cano.

If you go by this season, it is dead eve.. Both players have identical UZRs at 5.8. Let’s look at 2007-2009, when Pedroia first started to get full playing time.

2007
Cano: 7.5
Pedroia: 3.5

2008
Cano: -11.2
Pedroia: 9.9

2009
Cano: -2.8
Pedroia: 8.5

While Cano was better in 2007, Pedroia has been far better in the last two years. However, Cano’s defense has been improving to the naked eye and on the stat sheets. I’d probably still give the slight edge to Pedroia, but it is nowhere near as obvious as some people make it out to be. As you read, this year it is dead even.

Ok, so Cano is having a decent year. Look at last year.

We will.

Hits
Cano- 204
Pedroia- 185

Doubles
Cano- 48
Pedroia- 48

Triples
Cano- 2
Pedroia- 1

Home Runs
Cano- 25
Pedroia- 15

RBIs
Cano- 85
Pedroia- 72

Batting Average
Cano- .320
Pedroia- .296

On-Base Percentage
Cano- .352
Pedroia- .371

Slugging Percentage
Cano- .520
Pedroia- .447

On-Base Percentage + Slugging (OPS)
Cano- .871
Pedroia- .819

OPS+
Cano- 129
Pedroia- 110

Total Bases
Cano- 331
Pedroia- 280

Stolen Bases
Cano- 5
Pedroia- 20

Caught Stealing
Cano- 7
Pedroia- 8

Despite the massive ESPN/Baseball Tonight hype for Pedroia, Cano had a much better year last year. The only advantage Pedroia has is stolen bases and pure on-base percentage. The OBP advantage Pedroia has is negligible because of Cano’s higher OPS.

2008?

This happened to be the worst year of Cano’s career, and Pedroia’s best. Here are the stats.

Pedroia: .326/.869/122
Cano: .271/.715/86

As you see, Pedroia was better in 2008. No one is denying that. Whatever mental or physical problem Cano had in 2008 has passed him. However, Pedroia’s stats in his MVP 2008 season are actually far worse than Cano’s this year. I’m sure you wouldn’t have known that unless you were to have read this article.

2007?

Pedroia: .317/.823/112
Cano: .306/.841/119

Again, a better season by Cano. Cano has been better than Pedroia in three out of four seasons since Pedroia became the full time starting second baseman in 2007. Who know what the hell went on in 2008, but that was the only season in which Pedroia was better than Cano.

Pedroia is so valuable to the clubhouse.

You can’t measure intangibles. If you make an assumption about Pedroia, you have to assume the same for Cano.

Pedroia does all the “little things.”

See above.

Pedroia isn’t afraid to get his jersey dirty.

See above.

Pedroia plays the game the right way.

See above.

Cano isn’t as gritty as Pedroia.

See above.

Pedroia is a World Champion.

So is Cano.

Cano has always had better protection in the lineup.

Not true. For most of his career, Pedroia has hit in front of Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and Victor Martinez. Cano has batted in front of Jorge Posada, Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher, Andy Phillips, Jose Molina, Wilson Betemit, and other scrubs at the bottom of the lineup. Take your pick.

Pedroia is all about winning and his motto is, “It’s all about championships.”

You can call him a winner, but that doesn’t mean that he is a better player. I’m pretty sure every Yankee is concerned with winning a championship as well.

Pedroia is more classy than Cano. He doesn’t have an ego and he has respect for the game.

You can’t honestly tell me that Pedroia doesn’t have at least a bit of an ego. Wasn’t Pedroia the one to call out Derek Jeter back in December?  Dustin said, “Tell Derek [Jeter] to enjoy the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards while he can.”

He may or may not have been joking with that statement, but having class doesn’t make you a better player. Once again, I don’t know how you can make an assumption that anyone has more class or a smaller ego. I’ve never heard Cano say anything bad about anyone.

Pedroia will lead the Boston Red Sox to another World Championship and go down as one of the greatest second basemen in the history of baseball.

We’ll talk again in October about championships. Thanks for reading.

Arguing With Idiots Volume IV: What Lost Decade?

Many Yankee haters will often point the the 1980s as a lost decade in the Yankees’ history. Just because they didn’t win a World Series doesn’t mean that it was a bad decade at all. As a matter of fact, almost every team would give everything to have a decade like the 1980s Yankees did. Time to uncover the truth, piece by piece.

The Yankees simply couldn’t produce as many wins as the Tigers, Athletics, Cardinals, Royals, and other dominant teams during the 80s.

Wrong. The Yankees had the most combined wins of any team in the 80s.

You have to have playoff success to be considered a great team in a particular decade.

And that they did. It wasn’t the typical Yankees dominance, but they managed to go to one World Series and were eliminated once the ALCS. Thanks to the 1981 strike, the Yankees won the first ever ALDS in that year. They ended up winning that ALCS and lost in the World Series against Los Angeles. The year prior, they won their division and made it to the ALCS. Most teams would consider that a very successful decade.

Ok, it’s only two years. They didn’t even come close to winning the division any other year.

Wrong. The Yankees had a down year in 1982, but they finished in third the next two year with 91 wins in 1983 and 87 wins in 1984. In today’s game, that wins you your division easily.

The Bombers won 97 games in 1985 and were two games behind Toronto for the division crown. As you probably know, there were only two playoff teams from each league back then. In 1986, they once again won 90 games but they lost the division to Boston. If you remember, that 1986 Red Sox team was pretty good.

In 1987, the Yanks won 89 games and they won 85 in 1988. They didn’t come close to winning the division those years because of the seven teams in their division. The 80s was truly a golden age for the AL East. It was because you had so many great teams in one division that the wild card was created in 1995.

But the Yankees had no superstars during this era.

Ron Guidry? Dave Winfield? Ricky Henderson? Don Mattingly? They even had Reggie Jackson for 1980 and 1981. They had Goose Gossage for four years as well.

The main supporting cast consisted of Mike Pagliarulo, Steve Sax, Jesse Barfield, Dave Righetti, and the Neikros. That really isn’t too bad either. Again, this wasn’t a perennial 100 loss team.

The time period they played in is no excuse. If they were playing in today’s system, the Yankees would have made the playoffs from 1983 to 1988.

So are you saying that the Yankees only finished below .500 twice in the 80s?

Yes.

But they never won 100 games in any season during the 80s.

They won 103 games in 1980.

But the Yankees couldn’t stand up to the Amazin’ Mets in the 80s!

In my head, the Mets had a better decade because they won the World Series in 1986. However, it is important to look at the facts so you can decide for yourself. The Mets made the playoffs in 1986 and 1988. The Yankees also made it twice. The Yankees had more regular season wins than the Mets too.

The fact is that the Mets were awful until 1984 when Davey Johnson took over the team. They won 90 games every year from then until 1989 when they won 87 games. I hate the notion that the Mets were always better than the Yankees in the 80s. That is only true for about half the decade. If you’d ask a random sports fan who had more overall wins the 80s, they’d say the Mets. Now you know better.

Two ALCS appearances and a loss in the World Series is not a successful decade.

By Yankee standards, it isn’t. By 29 other teams’ standards, it is. In the 2000s, only the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Angels, Cardinals, Astros, Diamondbacks, and Phillies went to two ALCS and won at least one. That is 8 teams out of 30. Trust me, those teams were very happy to have the success they had during that time period.

Many of the teams I just mentioned won their playoff series as a wild card team. That didn’t exist in the 80s. Third place in the 80s was a good thing, third place in modern game is a mediocre season. Winning 97 games and finishing in second place is an amazing season for any team in today’s game. In the 80s, it didn’t even guarantee you a playoff spot.

The bottom line is that you can’t just look at the 80s Yankees and say, “they missed the playoffs from 1982 to 1989 so they had a bad decade.” That is simply not true. A playoff berth in the 80s is equivalent to a playoff berth plus an ALDS win today’s game. If you think of it that way, you will understand that only four teams in baseball made the playoffs. Two teams made the playoffs from each league then, four teams now. Learn and understand the difference.

If you offer any franchise in baseball a decade in which they won more games than any other team, they would easily take it. Despite this, baseball critics somehow point out this same decade as a major failure in the Yankees’ and George Steinbrenner’s history. It’s almost funny how Steinbrenner’s critics treat the 80s as a lost decade. Maybe they are even more perfectionists than The Boss was himself.

Learn the facts and decipher the truth.