Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Yankees may lose opportunity for $45 million taxpayer boondoggle in Ocala, Florida

When Yankee fans ponder $45 million, they generally have the same response: Chickenfeed... pocket lint... bottle deposits... fifth starters... backup OF... Come back when you're ready to talk about MONEY, rather than bathwater. Forty five million doesn't shovel Carl Pavano's driveway.

So the Retrieval Empire couldn't have expected the people of Ocala, Florida, would miss $45 million added to their tax-loads. The Yankees planned to shift their Class A team (which hasn't developed a player since Brett Gardner) from cosmopolitan Tampa to the rural Ocala, thanks to the bedrock workers of Conservative America, who seldom resist the chance to subsidize a billionaire. (See SCRANTON, See KOCH BROS, See WALL STREET, See HUMAN HISTORY, see LIZARD PEOPLE OVERLORDS)

Evidently, the deal has gone kaput. (At least for now. If there's one thing we've learned about taxpayer-financed stadium boondoggles, they are never truly dead.) The political Pooh Bahs of Ocala did not imagine that folks would oppose the construction of a new concrete dog dish, simply because they'd pay higher taxes. 

The Yankees aren't the first sports team to hold small markets for ransom. (See COLUMBUS, See BUFFALO, See ROCHESTER, See MAP OF AMERICA). But let's salute the Floridians of Ocala for saying no - at least for now. Forty five million dollars is scrap metal money to the YES/Murdoch/Steinbrenner/Lizard People Overlords machine that owns the Yankees. If they want to build a ballfield in Ocala, they should do it. Nobody would stop them.

Yes, this view is simplistic: Suited pimps with MBAs and college interns in stilettos can gin up bar charts to show the "economic ripple effect" of stadiums. They do it in Syracuse every 10 years. It's the biggest shell game in America - the Carrier Dome Shell - which recently started a new round of cup-rattling for taxpayer money. In hard times - has anybody noticed the jobless rates lately? - it's sickening to imagine a city that would prop up sports teams - pro or college - that are literally choking on their own vomited wads of cash.

Here's a prediction for those in Ocala who might yield to the bar charts: In 10 years, the Yankees will be looking for a new town, a new tax base, and the people of Ocala would be bending over to find somebody - anybody - to play in that beautiful, empty field. Shoeless Joe had it right: If you build it, they will come. Trouble is, he meant  in the pornographic sense. Forty five million dollars? Wake me when you're ready to talk MONEY.

1 comment:

KD said...

Hooray for the taxpayers! I'll never forget when my Baltimore Colts snuck out of town under cover of darkness. pretty much lost all interest in the NFL after that.