Doug Pappas, who covers baseball economics with clarity and depth, is also a Mets fan. He sees dark days ahead for the Yanks:
The new issue of Sports Weekly ranks the Mets' farm system as the majors' second best -- that may be a stretch, but the trend is certainly positive.
The same can't be said for their crosstown rivals, who have gutted their farm system (ranked 30th by Sports Weekly) for short-term fixes. It's no coincidence that the foundation of the recent Yankee dynasty was laid while George Steinbrenner was under suspension: had he been running the early-90s Yankees the way he ran the mid-80s club, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter would have been traded for middle relievers or 35-year-old DHes while still in AA. Who can forget Willie McGee for Bob Sykes, Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps, Fred McGriff and cash for Dale Murray, or Doug Drabek for Rick Rhoden?
Now Steinbrenner's growing impatient again. The Yankees have two 40-year-old starting pitchers, no help coming anytime soon from the farm system, and Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter and Mike Mussina due huge raises. By 2005 they'll be a third-place club.
Aw man, say it ain't so. But if history is an indicator, this is a very likely scenerio. Especially with Boston and Toronto already building for the future.