Sunday, May 17, 2015

"The Yankees may be baseball’s marquee franchise, with their record 27 World Series championships, a rich history and a fan base that has tentacles reaching every pocket of the country. But this season, the Yankees have been baseball’s least popular attraction. Entering Saturday, the Yankees were last in road attendance, averaging 22,820 fans."

Last night, 31,871 Kansas Citians turned out to watch two divisional leaders go at it. The seats at Kaufman Stadium were 84 percent full.

Not bad. I guess. Let's face it: The Yankees don't have a farewell tour going this year, and there are only so many times you can watch an oldies act before the songs grow tiresome and the wigs fall off. Folks aren't turning out in droves to see the mighty Bronx Bombers any more because - hey - the mighty Bronx Bombers haven't put out a decent album in 15 years.

Billy Witz, the NY Times writer with the NY Post byline name, has written some wonderful pieces this year on the Yankees. This one adds to his collection: The Yankees are no longer the top draw in baseball. But who would have thought they are dead last.

Congratulations here should go out to MLB and its former commissioner Bud "the Statue" Selig. Sir, you finally did it. You created a pro league without a dominant team. You killed the Yankees.

Of course, this took generational change. The new Yankee owner no longer puts winning above all else. Don't get me wrong: Hal Steinbrenner wants to win. But it's more important to toe the line financially and respect his colleagues, the other great men who own teams. Nobody wins when an owner goes rogue and spends too much money on his team. It's better to wait your turn.

Of course, in a few years, the Yankees will rise again. They simply must finish last a few times and use their high draft picks wisely. It's the tried and true way to achieve success in professional sports. Everybody wins, especially the owners, who are rewarded for cutting salaries and doing poorly. Who ever knew that billionaires could so love excessive luxury taxes?

Only one problem... when the Yankees come to town, it's not quite the same. I guess the Stephen Drew farewell tour doesn't quite reel them in. Oh well, maybe next visit, the team can bring some retired uniforms and install a plaque in CF to - say - Freddie Patek. Hey, it works in New York.


John M said...

Or, as the great Rizzuto always (but always) said, "little Freddie Patek."

Anonymous said...

Home teams charge too much a premium to see the Yankees. That may be turning fans off.