Friday, July 15, 2016

"Mets games have never drawn more viewers than Yankees games at the midway point of the season." (Until now)

When the 10-game season restarts tonight, the luckiest fans on the face of the earth - those 900,000 out-of-state Comcast subscribers who cannot watch Yankee games - will be spared the malaise. Today, Richard Sandomir of the Times puts some numbers on the Yankee downfall.

Through the All-Star break, Mets broadcasts on SNY are averaging 278,078 viewers, up 39 percent from last season at the same time, and almost 27 percent more than the 219,205 watching Yankee games on the YES Network.

The Mets above the Yankees? WTF? Aren't they supposed to be a disappointment? The Mets above the Yankees? How does this happen? HOW?

Well, the Yankees have built a Perfect Storm of mismanagement.

Bloat. The billionaire heir, Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner, won't add meaningful free agents until the old ones are used up and discarded. Contracts run the franchise. It's why we went nearly the entire 2015 season with Stephen Drew playing 2B, and why management throws up its hands at the DH slot, which now has three hamstring-challenged candidates - A-Rod, Beltran and Tex, (oh my.) The worst of the contracts end in 2019. Until then, well, fans, who are the Mets playing tonight?

Rot. On any given night, we field the oldest team in baseball. If this were 2011, we'd be the All-Star team. Now, we're a geriatric unit. After four years of missing the playoffs - (I don't see the one-game wild card as an actual post-season) - we're still getting older. Moreover, if we go on a brief winning streak over the next few games, we might actually trade prospects for yet more retreads, in a ridiculous attempt to chase another expanded wild card mirage. It's hard not to contend for that final berth, so we can always delay the apocalypse.

Hubris. Somewhere in Hal's inherited head breeds the misguided notion that the Yankees never need to rebuild, or look to the future, or go all in on a Cuban - (How could he let Boston outbid us for Yoan Moncada, HOW?) and everything will always fall into place. After all, they're the Yankees. He grew up drinking the Kool-Aid. He lives the mythology. That's why the YES network demands a higher broadcast rights fee than for any other team, and that's why the brass was so gobsmacked when Comcast called its bluff. Most of New Jersey has missed this Yankee collapse. Lucky for them.

So Yankee attendance is down, back page attention is fleeting, and hope is almost nonexistent. We are seeing Yankee fans actually root for this team to lose, in the hope that fundamental changes will be made. Is this a microcosm of the general election? Are we the Trump voters, the Brexit supporters, of the Yankiverse?

When I watch or listen, I still root for the Yankees. I want them to win. But I can't take it anymore. Whenever Pineda walks a leadoff batter, or we leave the bases full, I want us to be humiliated. I want Hal to suffer. Sadly, I don't think he does. I think he's somewhere, de-balling a race horse or sailing on his yacht, carefree and banking more money, the metric by which he measures his success.

Well, it's not working. For anybody. And the Perfect Storm is far from over. It's just beginning. Tonight, some harsh winds are gonna blow. That darkness to the west, it's coming our way. It's going to be fierce...


Alphonso said...

We can only hope you are right.

The danger is in, " almost there." We go 5-5, 6-4 or 4-6.

Only 2-8 or worse, will do.

Count me amongst those fans hoping for losing. Hoping for humiliation.

Hey, I just invented a new word for describing Yankee failures on the field: " Halmiliation."

From now on, the Yankees get, "Halmiliated," or endure "Halmiliation."

Wait. What?

John M said...

I like it. Halmiliation. Describes our position perfectly.

I still get a small thrill when the Yanks pull one out in the bottom of the 9th, but it's tempered by everything Duque and Alphonso say.

It sucks to not enjoy when your team wins. Truly and horribly sucks.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

This to 'win or not to win' year has put me in such an existential bind, it's almost comical, LOL!

Anonymous said...

Any serious Yankee fan now has to shift the juju in favor of the Yanks going 0-10 until the trading deadline. Nothing short of that collapse will jolt the dormant brain cells of the Yankee "brain trust" into dynamiting this rotting heap of a team.

Anonymous said...


Michael Forrest said...

Does hal even like baseball?