Yesterday, the bold reality of our insignificance emerged in two news releases. We learned that:
Despite marketing one of the more tedious products in history, despite playing lackluster games and finishing barely a toothache over .500...
1. The value of the New York Yankees' brand name rose by about $100 million last year, according to Forbes. The team has the most profitable brand name in all of sports, more so even than the European soccer powers, generally viewed as the world's most valuable franchises.This is why the teenager who shot Khadafy, or the tyke who tugged at the Pope, wore NY caps. The Yankees are synonymous with power, prestige and money.
2. The YES Network announced that ratings for Yankee games rose by 15 percent over 2013. They rose in every demographic. The Yankee Pre-Game Show was up 25 percent. The Yankee Post-Game Show rose by 23 percent. The only slacker was Yankee Batting Practice, only up 6 percent. Of course, the Yankees had no bats.
So, there you have it, Yankee fans. Say whatever you want about Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman. It doesn't matter. Nobody cares. You might as be speaking in tongues. If the team stinks for 10 years, all they need to do is honor another old star - you know, put Yogi on a medical flatbed - and everybody will watch. They can inhabit the reality where Carlos Beltran warrants a three-year-deal at age 37. It doesn't matter. They cannot lose money.
The Yankees have reached the pinnacle of capitalism: They are untouchable. They are one of the fixtures in American society that cannot be held accountable for dastardly deeds or plain old incompetence.
3. Yankee Ownership
4. Other Sports Team Owners
5. Assorted Billionaires from Vices (Trump, Adelson, etc.)
6. Kardashian Family
7. Fox News Commentators
8. Congressmen in Safe Districts
9. Corporate CEOs
10. Jennifer Lawrence (Note: She really hasn't done anything, but let's face it: She could get away with it.)
There was a third news story yesterday, still making the rounds. The Yankees won't bite on the international man of mystery, Cuban OF Yasmani Tomas, because he'll cost too much money. On the heels of the two other stories, it's just too perfect - too clean, too symmetrical - not to mention.
Of course, nobody knows if Tomas is worth the money. But some teams will bid hard on him, because their scouts think he is. The Yankees will sit this one out. Not only will they sit this out, but they are announcing - in their sly, de facto way - that they will sit it out. Thus, their fellow Yacht Club commodores can rest assured they won't face a bidding war with a team worth more money than the country of Sierra Leone. (Where the lack of money invested into hospitals and education may just prove to be our future downfall.)
This is what nice billionaires do, when they were properly raised as nice billionaires.
We can sit here and argue about which kind of oil we'd like to see them boiled in - peanut? olive? Mazola? - but we're the ones - the diehard fans - who sit in the kettle. They will never hear us. They will never feel us. They will never worry for one moment about Yankee fans straying from the lodestone. They own the lodestone. And its value never goes down.
Have a nice day.