Posts Tagged ‘New York Yankees’

On a night when Brett Favre’s record for consecutive regular-season starts finally came to an end, Major League Baseball and pitcher Cliff Lee stole the spotlight.

As one of the hottest free agents on the market this offseason, much of the speculation about Lee’s new home pointed toward the New York Yankees. After all, the Yankees have seemingly had their way in free agency with the ability to throw money at any superstar they thought might help them add to their trophy case. And as expected, after making his way west as far as Seattle and then to Texas, Lee once again decided to head east agreeing to a contract worth over $100 million.

But Lee won’t be making his home in New York. This time, the Yankees lost out in the bidding war over one of MLB’s top hurlers. The kicker is that the Steinbrenners actually got undercut on the deal. Lee left an estimated $30 million on the table so he could return to Philadelphia to team up with Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels in what will arguably be pro baseball’s best starting rotation for the 2011 season.
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Spring training flew by and it’s hard to believe we are already one week into the 2009 Major League Baseball season. Before another moment passes, here are this season’s picks by division.

American League
national-league

Tiger WoodsThere is no question that this year’s Masters has gained more attention and the ratings to this point are most likely higher than they otherwise would be without Tiger Woods.

Woods’ record speaks for itself and is enough to anoint him one of the greatest golfers of all time. But in the frenzy of trying to capture every single moment he is on a course, are we possibly missing out on other great stories?

Going into Saturday’s competition, Woods is seven strokes out of the lead and has never won a major when trailing by more than six shots after 36 holes. The real story should be Kenny Perry, who is currently tied for the lead and is making a bid to be the oldest golfer to ever win a Masters. He would actually be the oldest golfer in the history of the sport to win a major championship. Then there is Anthony Kim who set a tournament record with 11 birdies.

Kenny PerrySure, these stories are being covered, but they are ultimately outshined by every move Tiger Woods makes. If Woods does, in fact, make a comeback, it will certainly be history-making in that he has never recovered from this big a deficit. But let’s assume he doesn’t. Are we missing out on telling the stories of other golfers, seemingly coming out of nowhere?

In the midst of other records being broken, the primary focus remains on Woods and the desire to see him and Phil Mickelson – who barely made the cut – play head-to-head in the final round for the championship.

When do the other guys get a shot at the spotlight? And what ever happened to the idea of being rewarded for success as opposed to being noticed for failure?

This isn’t exclusive to golf. We see it every day in the two major sports, baseball and football. Last baseball season, the Tampa Bay Rays came out of nowhere to win the American League pennant. Really, they didn’t come out of nowhere. Their journey just wasn’t as well documented. Instead of tagging along for the ride of the amazing underdog story, the national media were fixated on trying to figure out why the Yankees weren’t winning.

In football, the story was largely centered last season on how the Patriots weren’t running away with the AFC East and whether or not Tony Romo would be able to finally win a playoff game. In the meantime, the Arizona Cardinals quietly advanced through the playoffs and were literally one play away from being Super Bowl champions.

Whether you like them or not, Tiger Woods, the Yankees, the Cowboys and the Patriots have all earned the respect of a nation of sports fans. Their stories are certainly intriguing and adequate coverage is deserved. But dig deeper. Under the mud-covered tarp or less than attractive logo is often a story worth telling. And if history stays the course, the stories of the giants will be only once sacrificed in favor of an unknown briefly sharing the spotlight. Tomorrow you can go back to reading about how millions of dollars were spent on failure.