x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

New York Yankees get out-Yankeed by LA Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers likely will unseat the Yanks from their gold-trimmed throne next season as the highest of high rollers.

Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Angels is the most richly compensated right-hander ever.
Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Angels is the most richly compensated right-hander ever.

Around the world, "Yankee imperialism" refers to the United State's efforts to influence the economies and cultures of other nations. In America's sports sphere, the term carries an entirely different meaning.

The New York Yankees have long been the big spenders in big-league baseball and, accordingly, the team to beat. Unencumbered by a payroll cap, they have aggregated all-star rosters by outbidding their comparatively penurious (or rational) rivals for available players.

Not that trophies are handed out for such things, but the end of an era is nigh.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, flush with cash from new ownership and a bountiful television deal, likely will unseat the Yanks from their gold-trimmed throne next season as the highest of high rollers.

In the land of California sunshine, it is raining dollars. Pitcher Zach Greinke (US$147 million (Dh539.9m, six years) just became the most richly compensated right-hander ever. He and pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin ($36m, six years) bumped the payroll above $200m.

None of which makes World Series championships a guarantee. The Yankees have only won once since 2000, which explains why they are trimming salaries by a projected $7m to avoid luxury tax.

In a baseball context, Yankee imperialism is not quite in rapid retreat, but the surest prediction in sport - that nobody would outspend New York - is a given no more. Hope those tightened belts around the Yankees' trousers are not too uncomfortable.

sports@thenational.ae