Monday, January 12, 2009

Hot Stove Keeps Me Warm

January in Boston. The New Year has barely opened its weary winter eyes, but already the season feels cold, bleak, seemingly endless -- much like it feels for the Pirates by June every year since 1993.

Luckily for me and a handful of other honorable Boston residents, the early winter months in Beantown have been warmed by a distant glow. From over 200 miles away, the New York Yankees warmed my spirits in December and the first week of January. Like a homeless multi-billionaire, the Yanks stood around a giant barrel, rubbed their hands together, and burned huge, heaping mounds of cash.

Massive amounts were dumped into the barrel to feed the flames (over $1.3 billion spent on the new Yankee Stadium). Holes were burnt through their pockets as they emptied their wallets ($161 million over seven years on CC Sabathia.) Checkbooks burst into flames ($82.5 million over five years on AJ Burnett). Opponents, too, were burned as they tried but failed to sign the last truly coveted free agent available ($160 million over eight years on Mark Teixeira). Even leftover coals were fanned and glowed red as winter hit ($5 million over one year on Chien-Ming Wang).

As the icy winds in Boston kept roaring, my face stayed rosy red thanks to approximately $420 million in cash which the Yankees burned through in under two months (not counting the Stadium costs). For displaced and distraught fans such as myself here in Boston, the early winter months were bearable -- pleasant, even -- because of these redoubled efforts to bolster their roster through trades and free agent signings. And with pitchers and catchers reporting in just two months, I can only hope that with the spring blossoms more than just the flowers in Boston. Flowers which lose their beauty because of their proximity to Fenway and, for the same reason, lose their hard 'R' sounds.

At any rate, without the sizzle from the Yanks' signings for the next two months, winter in Boston is about to get wicked hahd.

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