The New York Yankees - owned and operated by billionaire siblings - don't want the bootless and unhorsed to ruin the game experience for their super-rich pals.
That's the quote from Lonn Trost - one of the suited Yankee senior vice-somethingorothers, who clog the team's upper masthead the way a disposable diaper does a toilet. He was speaking this week after the Yankees announced a novel new way to screw fans: They will no longer accept print-at-home tickets, which often come from StubHub - at times costing less than the market price. The team says it's fighting ticket fraud, but not everybody believes it.
Insert sigh here.
Listen: I don't want to write about "print-at-home" tickets. WTF? I want to write about rookies and veterans and who'll play 3B if Headley breaks a boner? Besides... the "controversy" here is overblown: StubHub will soon use smart phone tickets, ending the need for print-at-home. And frankly, I grew up in a world when scalpers were arrested, and I still view StubHub as lawyer-hacked, legalized scalping. What bugs me, though, is that apparently the Yankees aren't regulating "the secondary market;" they just want to do the scalping themselves. Hence the anger across the Yankiverse.
Yesterday, I kicked around on a few fan message boards, trying to understand how Trost could spout such Jay Gouldian crapola. (I have no doubt he thinks it, but how stupid would anybody be to SAY it?) Apparently, some high-cost season tickets include access to food buffets, and when the rich put them up on StubHub, the buyers eat all the chicken-fried lobster. God bless those people. That's what I would do. But the Rockefellers hate it. And Trost identifies more with them than regular fans.
All of this poses a new reason to root for a day of reckoning - one that will never come. The Steinbrenners don't just own a team. They own a chunk of New York City. They own a slice of the American culture. They own The Babe, The Mick, Mariano, Jeter - the memory of Yogi, like the way Koch brothers own Kansas. All they need do is field a team that chases the Wild Card - that's a few games over .500 - and they can literally print money.
Also, they will always have me. I can't help it. I've been a Yankee fan all my life. As the days grow shorter, I'm too old to change. I'll die a Yankee fan, no matter who owns the team.
But this week, I learned something important.
They don't want me in Yankee Stadium. I might use the wrong fork. I might make a rich person uncomfortable. I don't make the cut.
Thank God for the Yankee Radio Network, driven by Cheap. Of course, one of these days, Trost will figure out how to squeeze it to death - maybe they'll have Ivanka Trump do a fashion report during pitching changes. But for all their woes, at least John and Suzyn still want us.
The owners wish all us angry fans just went away.