BY MIKE ECKERT
TRAVERSE CITY -- The New York Yankees may have surprised some with their recent off-season spending spree, but not Doug Mirabelli.
"It doesn't surprise me, it's the Yankees," Mirabelli said at his baseball clinic Saturday at the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA. "Has that ever been different for them to do?"
Mirabelli spent seven of his 12-year Major League career catching for the Boston Red Sox and got a first-hand encounter of one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports.
"There's such a fear factor between the Yankees and Red Sox of what the other guy is going to do," Mirabelli said. "I think the Yankees have really fallen into a trap of worrying about what the other people are doing, as compared to what's most important to their team sometimes. I think the Red Sox over the course of the last eight years or so have really proven they can pass up on guys. It seems like their plan for the future is a little more in depth than the Yankees."
Before opening a new ballpark in the spring, the Yankees have clearly been the biggest spender in the free-agent market. This offseason, New York snagged first baseman Mark Teixeira away from Boston, who was reported to have made an offer to 28-year-old.
Teixeira's eight-year deal match the length of the contract the Yankees also gave to pitcher CC Sabathia this winter. New York also signed pitcher A.J. Burnett to a five-year deal
"I thought we were over with the eight-year contracts, I didn't think we would see those any more," Mirabelli said. "Obviously, the Yankees are sometimes the exception to the rule."
After winning his second World Series in 2007 with Boston in a four-year window, Mirabelli retired from baseball last spring. Mirabelli and his family now live in Traverse City, where he is looking to hold youth baseball clinics on a regular basis.
But, he still pays attention to the Major League happenings of the Red Sox and Yankees.
"I like to take a look at it and it's interesting to me," Mirabelli said. "I had a good time when I was doing it, but I can separate myself from it now."