Black Friday is one of the stupidest concepts ever, and I cringe every year watching videos and stories of all the people who wake up at the ass crack of dawn to go to the mall or worse, camped out the night before outside of Best Buy or something just to get a good deal on an off-brand TV. I have much bigger and better plans today, embarking on my yearly Thanksgiving vacation trip into the city with my 2 best friends. Unfortunately, due to the NHL lockout we won't get to go to our usual Ranger game, but we audibled nicely and scooped up some tickets to the Nets-Clips game at the Barclays Center tonight. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin is a nice substitute for Ranger hockey. We're also upping the ante this year by bringing our dads with us, so it will be fun to see how long they can hang drinking with us all day. No matter what happens, it's going to be infinitely more fun than going Black Friday shopping, and if you're out there doing that I feel very sorry for you. Now onto the links!
- On Monday, EJ Fagan of TYA graphically illustrated how the Yankees' competitive payroll advantage has dwindled over the past 10+ years. As previously discussed, this issue becomes magnified this offseason with ownership's new penny-pinching ways.
- Andrew Mearns of Pinstriped Bible continued his series of all-time best underrated seasons in Yankee history with his selections for the outfield and pitchers.
- On Tuesday, Alex Belth of Bronx Banter posed an interesting question about the Yankees' "Evil Empire" status now that they've paired up with News Corp.
- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog compared the YES-News Corp. deal to the recent similar move made by Toronto and what those moves could mean for each team.
- Bronx Goblin listed the top 10 ways to know you're a crummy Yankee fan. Proud to say that none of those 10 things apply to me.
- George S of Gutty Gritty Yankees used the early 2013 Marcel projections to show that letting Nick Swisher walk is still a huge mistake.
- Rob Abbruzese of Bronx Baseball Daily offered up his personal take on the Yankees-News Corp.-payroll ceiling situation.
- On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB discussed the idea of trading Curtis Granderson in the face of this year's early free agent trends. It's certainly an idea worth considering.
- Brian Heyman of LoHud got some thoughts from Cash on the Blue Jays' string of big moves this offseason.
- Brien Jackson of IIATMS pointed out the importance of the Hiroki Kuroda re-signing in terms of solidifying next season's rotation.
- On Thursday, Chris Carelli of Yanks Go Yard questioned whether making an all-out effort to get below the luxury tax threshold in 2014 is even necessary.
For this week's jam I'm keeping with the theme of our trip today and giving a shout out to Brooklyn with some old school Jay-Z. I haven't been able to get his people to call my people back about meeting up at the game tonight, but I'm sure he got my calls.
Enjoy your weekends and all the leftover turkey, everybody.