Saturday, November 26, 2016
Posted by el duque at 8:10 AM
For starters, let's never forget that this is a skirmish between millionaires and billionaires. The owners are capital b Billionaires who - in labor matters - pretend to be lowly millionaires, in hopes that we will feel sorry for them. Hal Steinbrenner will never take a 95-mph fastball in the ribs or tear a knee sliding into third. The closest he'll come is stubbing his toe on an Italian marble coffee table in the luxury box, or - if you're into psychological suffering - having to sit next to Rudy Giuliani for an entire game. That's truly a hell, but it merely requires heavy drinking.
Beyond our knee-jerk, Maoist hatred for the golden dumpster class, backing the players' union should be Hal's position anyway. It's far more favorable to the Yankees. For example:
1. We want no international draft. The owners demand it, so they can spend less on foreign talent. Why should the Yankees give up their big market advantage in signing Latino players? Hey, we came in second in the battle for Yoan Moncada!
2. We want no loss of draft picks for free agents who receive qualifying offers. It sucks for the particular player - remember how Stephen Drew nearly missed an entire season? - who cannot get his free-market value in negotiations. And it means the Yankees cannot sign those players without giving up our future.
3. We want them to bump the luxury tax threshold beyond $189 million. Small market owners should not be allowed to skimp on payroll and have the Yankees foot the bill through heavy luxury taxes.
The owners want the Yankees to be the San Diego Padres. Well, folks, they're not. They are the New York Fucking Yankees, the premier pro sports franchise in America for nearly a century. You cannot scream about the beauty of unregulated, free market capitalism when the tax man is at your door - and then turn around and run your business like a socialist state, when it comes to regulating what teams can and cannot do. If unlimited contributions are good for political elections, how about unlimited payrolls for a frickin' pennant race?
One other thing about big and small markets: It costs more to do business in New York. It's harder to stay focused in New York. If you make all teams equal, you're rewarding the small cities and screwing the larger ones, because they face all the distractions.
Hal Steinbrenner ought to be on the players' side of these negotiations. If he's not fighting for them - and for Yankee fans - he's in the wrong business.