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Why Stars Deserve New York

By Mike Silva ~ March 19th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva.

I was criticized widely for my “thinking out loud” piece regarding Joe Mauer and the Yankees.

Jason from It’s About the Money said this:

Now, back to NYBD’s Mike Silva and the line that had my skin crawling:

Mauer deserves the big stage of New York.

Holy crap.  That’s the last thing this guy deserves.  He deserves to remain in his backyard, with family and friends and being the face of a very good, talented and competitive Twins franchise for the next decade a half. Why does Silva think that Mauer deserves New York?  Because it’s bigger, more crowded, can afford to pay him more?  It’s a dangerous word, deserve.

Craig Calcaterra called my evaluation “farkakte” over at NBC. Both Jason and Craig have great points and, those that read the site, know I am far from a ring touting Yankees fan like some others.

Today, however, Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post speaks with Mark Teixeira how had this to say about New York:

“Look,” Mark Teixeira says. “It’s really kind of simple. If you don’t want to play in front of 50,000 people every single game, if you don’t want the energy of the best city in the world behind you every day, good or bad, and if you don’t want to be in a position where you can win a championship … well, then you probably shouldn’t play in New York.”

That is exactly my point. Why wouldn’t the best player in the American League, maybe all of baseball depending on how you look at it, not deserve that environment? This isn’t a knock on Minnesota, or any of the other MLB cities, but every player that has won here, and then done it somewhere else, says the same thing. Mike Piazza became a legend because of his post 9-11 home run. Reggie Jackson was great in Oakland, but everyone thinks of 3 homers with the Yankees in the World Series. Which perfect game is more talked about: Tom Browning’s or David Cone? Jim Abbott’s career is summed up because of a September day in 1993.

Is this arrogant? Perhaps, but even Dan Klores  ESPN film “Winning Time” proves this point. Look at the difference between winning in New York and Indiana. The birthplace of basketball takes a backseat to the bright lights of the big city.

Will I apologize for saying Mauer, or any other great player, deserves New York? Never. Why should great players be denied this environment? Why shouldn’t they be rewarded for their talents with sports immortality?

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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8 Responses to Why Stars Deserve New York

  1. Jason @ IIATMS

    Nicely done, Mike. I better understand your point now, I guess.

    But baseball today is different that it was back in the ’80′s. Media is ubiquitous. You can watch any game at almost any time from anywhere.

    My problem is with the word “deserves”. Mauer might gain some measure of incremental fame if he was doing what he was doing in NY. Pujols too. But, maybe they are just happy to be playing at home, with less media crush and pressure, than they would be in NY.

    These types of guys don’t need NY to validate their skills.

    I read that Vaccaro article today, too, and I thought of this discussion. What we do know is Teix’ agent is Boras. We also know Mauer’s agent is Ron Shapiro and he has a history of keeping the HOF talents in their hometown uniforms.

    Maybe Mauer’s motivation is to bring a title to his home state, his hometown club. We just don’t know.

    Regardless of the answer, it’s a good debate and I’m glad we’re having it.

  2. lar

    “Mike Piazza became a legend because of his post 9-11 home run. Reggie Jackson was great in Oakland, but everyone thinks of 3 homers with the Yankees in the World Series. Which perfect game is more talked about: Tom Browning’s or David Cone? Jim Abbott’s career is summed up because of a September day in 1993.”

    Mike Piazza became a legend because he’s the best hitting catcher ever, and we became aware of that long before New York. I’m not even sure I know which home run you’re talking about… Reggie is remembered for three home runs in one World Series game – he’d be remembered for the same thing if he did it as an A… I think of David Cone’s perfect game about as often as I think of Tom Browning’s – pretty much only when I’m compiling a list of pitchers who have thrown a perfect game… Jim Abbott to me is remembered for his years as a star with the Angels and for his ROY-caliber first season. The fact that he threw a no-hitter as a Yankee is the icing on the cake that I occassionally remember.

    But I’m not from New York, so maybe my mind isn’t appropriately warped…

    Joe Mauer deserves whatever he desires. If that’s the lights of the big city, then fine. But if it’s to be the hometown hero of a midwestern franchise, that’s just as good. Don’t assume that he wants the New York life…

  3. DonCoburleone

    Perfectly said Lar. I live in Cali and I didn’t even know Jim Abbott threw a no-hitter for the Yankees until just now. I know him for his time with the Angels. Same goes for Mike Piazza – his “post 9-11 home run”? No clue what you are talking about. Piazza is more known for being taken in the last round of the draft as a favor to Tommy Lasorda than some “post 9-11 home run” that some crazy New Yorkers think was his defining career moment.

    Oh, and Teixeira can talk all he wants about his life-long love for the Yankees but does he ever mention the fact that the Yankees were offering $20 Million more than any other team??? I can GUARANTEE that if Baltimore had offered $200 Mil instead of $160 like they did he’d have been an Oriole talking about how great it is to play for his “hometown”. And in the future please do us all a favor and spare us any quotes from Scott Boras’ Android – Version 2.0 – Mark Teixeira…

  4. jpdtrmpt72

    yeah, i guess its true. I guess he could use the immortality that only new york can provide. i suppose more people would remember a guy like Mike Schmidt if he had played in new york instead of philly. i guess that cal ripken would still be talked about if he wore the pinstripes (that ticks me off by the way, other clubs have pinstripes too) of course people would probably remember a guy who has faded into obscurity like Bob Gibson, or ozzie smith, or even this guy i’m not so sure you’ve heard of from saint louis named albert, had they not played for a second rate francise like the cards. joe morgan might have been able to get a career after baseball in broadcasting or somthing similar with his personality had he not played for the reds. that guy barry bonds could have used the fame of NY. he would have been considered the best player of the 90s and early 00s with that behind him. hank arron too. i just looked it up, but it turns out he has more home runs than babe ruth.a guy like gguys like ernie banks and steve carlton have been completely forgotten, right? i mean, they sure could have used new york. that guy stan musial is long forgotten too. not even the people of the team he played for(the cardinals, in case you didn’t know) remember him.
    of course, just the inverse is true as well. who can forget players like bob green on the 1990 yankees, with his immortal new york batting line of .213/.259/.325/.584. to bad nobody remembers him.

    i think that you can get my point by now. great plaers will be remembered, no matter where they played.

  5. Mikey

    What a New York SHlTHEAD!

  6. Chris Silva

    Mauer is an interesting case because I feel he’s built for the Twins franchise. It makes a ton of sense for him to stay there and leave his legacy with his hometown. Being a native of the city you plan in is kind of a rare thing and most players don’t get that chance in the prime of their careers. He’d probably be a star no matter where he plays but I think Mauer will make it work with Minnesota as the money difference is substanial but not enough to be a deal breaker. A difference of $40-50M is huge to all of us but not as big when your still getting $160M. I don’t think this contract situation will go past the All Star Break but you never know. If he does go on the trade market its going to be quite the roller coaster ride.

  7. Louie

    I think every great baseball player in the big leagues should play in NY for the Yankees and experience that wonderful Yankee big stage feeling. Like, why don’t the Yankees just sign every great All-Star ballplayer in the big leagues and win the World Series every year in 4 game sweeps. Wouldn’t that be so much fun? Now you know why the Yankees are despised, deplored and hated by baseball fans all across America.

  8. Stu Baron

    A bit of history needs to be remembered here…

    Star players don’t “deserve” New York or any specific city…what they deserve is the right to choose where they play based on money, media, lifestyle, and any other factors they deem important…it’s free agency, which they earned in 1975, when the reserve clause was struck down by arbitrator Peter Seitz in the Dave McNally-Andy Messersmith decision… before that, even guys like Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, and Ted Williams had no say in where they worked…

    Any other statement of what they “deserve” is superfluous…

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