Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Should Yankee fans be excited over the team's new frugality?

Across the Yankiverse this week, reaction to the Nationals' signing of Max Scherzer has generally reminded me of - well - Kansas City fans. Many bloggers and die hards are openly expressing relief that the Yankees didn't sign the best pitcher on the 2015 market - and the one guy who would have made a difference next year - because he would have cost too much.

I too wasn't sure what to make of signing Scherzer. But the 2015 Yankees, as currently defined, look stunningly mediocre, and the best stud starter available would have vaulted us to the top of the heap.

But for now, let's not think about the team. Let's give the front office credit for doing something that, in American business, is absolutely brilliant.

Somehow, the richest team in U.S. pro sports, with the biggest market in U.S. pro sports, with the wealthiest broadcast revenue engine in U.S. pro sports - a franchise that it's been estimated could finance a $400 million payroll and still make gobs of money - managed to get its own fan base to buy into the notion that - thank God! - the Steinbrenners are saving money.

I recognize that teams can spend money smartly - and stupidly. Many fans believe it would be stupid to give Max Scherzer seven years at age 30. I accept that. The Nationals - and the teams they narrowly outbid - don't agree.

But since when are Yankee fans supposed to fret over team finances?

Capitalism doesn't always give us much. In fact, it screws most of us. But at least in the fantasy world of baseball, the Yankees always allowed us to be millionaires - the richest fan on the block. Hideki Irabu wanted to play in America? Of course, the Yankees would get him! El Duque was coming from Cuba? Of course, the Yankees would get him! Jason Giambi? We didn't need a DH, but we got him anyway. Yes, we were hated. Who cared? We offered the greatest stage, the greatest fan base, the greatest legacy... and of course, unlimited money. The Yankees are not supposed to care about money. And neither are their fans.

Now, we're supposed to be relieved that we avoided a big name free agent?

It's one thing for the Yankee front office to think like Kansas City. Should Yankee fans think like Royals fans?

I understand that Robbie Cano last year left home because Seattle gave him a ridiculous deal. But he left home! There was a time when a star like Robbie would be a Yankee for life. Obviously, that changed.

There is only one person currently destined to be a Yankee for life.

Hal Steinbrenner.

And yes, I want us to be smart, but I'll be damned if I'm going to cheer a billionaire because he saved a few thin dimes.

If the Yankees do not sign Yoan Moncata... you heard it here first... 



KD said...

We’ve been season ticket holders for well over ten years (the Friday package). Opening Day fell on a Friday one year. I thought “Oh Boy! I get to go to opening day using our season tickets!” Then I looked at our tickets...

The Yankees would not give us opening day. They swapped it out for a lame weekday game. Opening day was far too precious to be given to the likes of us, the Friday Season Ticket holders. Oh, well. what can you do?

Something odd happened this year.

The Yankees contacted us with wonderful news. We can buy opening day tickets for the regular price of our seats! A deal available to only us lucky season ticket holders, even the holders of the lowly Friday Package.

I see two possibilities. 1) we are being rewarded for all those years of support, or 2) they fear a half empty stadium for opening day.

IIHIIFII..c cognoscenti please tell me: which is it? I'm so confused...

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Dear Confused:

Since you used the word cognoscenti correctly in a sentence, I'll apply my advanced sports and business analytical skills to this matter.

(a hum and whirring noise is heard)

(whirring continues)

(then a small bell ... ding!)

The answer has to be #2, "they fear a half empty stadium for opening day."

Always happy to help...

el duque said...


"Cognoscenti" is the magic word that we have been waiting to see on this web site since its creation.

You should receive a gift basket.

And the answer is No. 2.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Immediately after I transmitted the results of my analysis, another possibility occurred to me:

1) Since Opening Day is on a Monday this year, perhaps what they are really trying to do is to get you to dig into your pocket and purchase an extra game!

2) The fact that you can purchase tickets for the regular price of your seats means that you're paying the same as everyone else!

3) If even 10% of the season ticket holders take advantage of this "offer", some of those empty seats will be filled ....... and extra revenue will be earned!

4) Those fans who don't have have access to the LBJ Sports and Business Analysis-tron will feel like they are being rewarded for all those years of support!

Everybody wins!




John M said...

Next thing you know, hot dogs will be half price.