CC in NY & ST Top 10 (12th Ed.)

Hello again everybody...

I'm writing from the Sports Take home offices today. Thank heavens for union mandated vacation time! I did have to stop by the shop for a brief period this morning for an all-staff meeting to meet the new Grand Pooh-Bah. It was an interesting meeting to say the least.

Put it this way, you know how I've said all along that there's no doubt Gopher football coach Tim Brewster can get inspire people to run through brick walls, yet I'm not sure if he can coach them up to do it properly? I'm kind of at the same point with the new boss. He says all the right things. And unlike Brewster, he actually has a track record of getting things done. That being said, this is a new ballgame, so we'll see how he follows through on what was an impressive pep talk.

Whatever happens, there will still be plenty of sports to discuss. Today I've got to talk about one of the crown jewels of the hot stove league: CC Sabathia. The hefty lefty signed an equally hefty contract with the New York Yankees. I'll share my thoughts. Then it's time for the final regular season version of the Sports Take Top 10 College Football Poll. Florida and Oklahoma ended up 1/2 in the BCS. Did the Sports Take pollsters agree? We'll find out. So let's get to it!

"The man who says he is willing to meet you halfway is usually a poor judge of distance."
- Laurence J. Peter (1919-1988), PhD, educator and hierarchiologist

Think I'm feeling somewhat cautious of promises hinted at today? Yeah, just a bit.

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First up today, I've got to talk about the new contract agreed to by CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees.

7 years, $160 million.

Ponder that for a second. That's almost $23 million per year. The richest contract ever awarded to a pitcher.

And because it's the Yankees, there have been the usual outcries of the doom of baseball as we know it. How on earth are mid-to-small market teams supposed to compete when they can't possibly pay free agents the kind of money that the Yankees are tossing around?!

There's one small flaw with that complaint. Mid-to-small markets are competing. They have been competing, and they will continue to compete.

Look, all the Yankees money allows them to do is buy their way out of their mistakes. It doesn't guarantee them a championship. It doesn't even guarantee them a playoff spot as we learned just this past season.

And it's my opinion that this signing of Sabathia will turn out to be one of those mistakes.

Why do I say that? First let's look at history.

The Yankees could have had Johan Santana last year for a mere $120 million. All they had to do was sacrifice Phil Hughes who was an unmitigated disaster for the Yankees last year, and Melky Cabrerra who's on the way to becoming the Milwaukee Brewers latest acquisition.

But they decided that was too steep a price to pay, so they passed. Now, they've found themselves in a position where they're forced to spend $160 million on a pitcher who most would agree isn't as good as Santana is to begin with.

Second, look at CC himself.

In the last 2 years he's pitched almost 500 innings. That's an enormous total. It's also likely to have an effect on the condition of his arm. I don't blame the Brewers one bit for the way they used Sabathia last season. If I were them, and knew that they were basically renting CC for half a season, I'd have pitched the bejeezus out of him too. But if I was the Yankees, I'd be awfully concerned about all the tread that was worn off his tire over the last couple of years.

Then there's the fact that CC didn't want to come to New York in the first place. He made it quite clear at the beginning of the free agency period that he wanted to play on the west coast. That's where his wife's from. That's where his family is building a house. That's where he wanted to go.

Unfortunately, when the bidding began, the interest from out west was tepid to say the least. He practically begged Dodgers management to make him a competitive offer, but to no avail.

In the end, New York won him over by offering him two things: $40 million more than anybody else even hinted at, and an opt-out clause after 3 years. So if he decides that he can't handle playing in the Big Apple, he can walk after 3 years and $70 million or so.

Anyone want to wager on the likelihood of a "year 4" for CC in New York? I didn't think so.

Don't get me wrong, I wish CC and his family the best of luck in New York. I just don't think it's going to work. So I all the folks kicking and screaming about how bad the Yankees are for baseball should take a breath, calm down and see if this thing actually has a prayer of working. Because I don't think it does.

Next up it's time for the 12th and final regular season edition of the Sports Take Top 10 College Football Poll. 10 loyal Sports Take readers have come together to bring you the finest in college football rankings. As always, comments on each club are from a random sampling of pollsters.

Without further ado... the poll...

Rank - Team (First Place Votes) - Points - Last Week's Ranking

#1) Oklahoma (6) - 94 - 2
It's not their fault that the system is broken. 5 straight games of 60+ points? Yup, they're my #1 team.

#2) Florida (2) - 90 - 4
They sold me on that game. I hate to admit it - as I despise their smug coach - but they look really complete as a team.

#3) Texas (2) - 86 - 3
They beat the #1 team and lost on the final play in a hostile environment to a top 10 team for their only loss, so that's good enough for me.

#4) Alabama - 64 - 1
Too bad they won't play Texas in January. That would make a nice semi-final wouldn't it?

#5) USC - 57 - 5
Might be the non-Title Game team that nobody wants to play.

#6) Texas Tech - 43 - 7
"Hey we tied for the Big 12 South too!"

#7) Utah - 42 - 6
Pretender or Contender? We'll know for sure in a couple of weeks.

#8) Penn State - 35 - 8
When was the last time these guys played... 2007?! Sure feels like it.

#9) Boise State - 27 - 9
I know Utah got the nod for the BCS, but I still like Boise better!

#10) Ohio State - 10 - 10
I fear another embarrassment in a BCS bowl game... when will people learn?

Others Receiving Votes: Cincinnati 1, TCU 1

So the Sports Take pollsters think the BCS should have their #1 and #2 reversed. And several of them think that they've got the wrong team in there completely. Ah, the wonder of the BCS!

See anything in the poll you think is dead wrong? Add a comment and let us know!

That's it for this week. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I'll be back on Monday with another episode of the Sports Take Mailbag. Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. Everyone likes to say Texas beat Oklahoma on a neutral field, but why Oklahoma signed on to play their biggest game every year at the TEXAS state fairgrounds and have it called a neutral site is beyond me...just a thought. All of which is moot if any(big 6) team decides to complete a season without a loss...
    Jeff in DM

  2. Go Sooners. I hope they crush the Gators, and show that the computers are right (again) and that pollsters are too much of a "what have you done lately" type of system.