Sunday, December 27, 2015
Joel Sherman outlines the Yankees' "strange place... being called cheap while having a huge payroll," but gives the owner a pass when it comes to his own wealth
Posted by el duque at 6:58 AM
The media always sucks up to money. It's primal. It's instinctive. It's instantaneous. It is coded into the hack DNA... like bad teeth and Dr. Scholl's shoe inserts.
Today, we see this on display with the daily coverage of Donald Trump. Here's a candidate who calls reporters "scum" and who jokingly wonders if they should be killed. Any other profession would treat the guy like toxic waste. But the media cannot resist every Trumpian utterance. They blame Trump's ability to draw crowds, which is partly a result of media coverage. One candidate - Bernie Sanders - consistently draws larger crowds, yet he barely gets mentioned in the nightly news, compared to the other money candidate: Hillary. It's the classic media blind spot - money - and it brings me to this morning's column by my fave Gammonite, Joel Sherman.
That's not sarcasm. I see Sherman as NYC's best Yankee beat-writer. Last winter, he nearly stood alone in refusing to pile onto A-Rod, while the Yankee brain trust tried to run Alex out of town. Today, Sherman actually wonders if the Yankees wouldn't have been better off with Francisco Cervelli, John Ryan Murphy and Gary Sanchez catching - rather than signing Brian McCann to seven years. (That's blaspheme on YES.) Sherman also ponders how the Yankees have avoided a full collapse - like Boston or Phily - while "contending" - though, let's face it, they are chasing the newly created Wild Card slot, which allows every team over .500 to "contend." It's a decent column. Read it. Let me know what you think.
But once again, Sherman's hack DNA will not allow himself to question the basic premise of Hal Steinbrenner's super-wealth birth right. We cannot criticize the fact that Hal is a multi-billionaire owner of an American legacy, which - by virtue of its historical and cultural prominence - cannot lose money. Sherman accepts Hal's right to set an arbitrary "budget." He starts the column this way:
Let’s save for another day whether Hal Steinbrenner should have a budget for the Yankees and deal with reality — he does.
Here's the truth: Sherman will never get to that other day - the day when he questions how much much money the Steinbrenner family should be making off the Yankees, while they accept stadium tax breaks, bundled cable TV fees (which viewers cannot control), and the prestige of their inherited power - while they charge outlandish prices for seats, luxury suites and handfuls of old Yankee Stadium dirt. This will never happen. It's the fundamental hole in our media reality.
It's not Joel Sherman's fault. It's in his hack DNA. Nobody can ask what Hal Steinbrenner does with all the money he saves by not bidding on a free agent that would make the Yankees an honest contender in 2016. It's none of our business. Hal gets to run a sacred piece of Americana - the frickin' New York Yankees - and we're expected to be grateful while chasing a one-game wild card.
And that's why we call him "I'm Not Cheap."