Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Baseball vs. the Yankees: Somebody else agrees with me

Rupert Murdoch has sent an angel named Matthew Futterman to my bedside this morning with this inconvenient All-Star break truth story in the WSJ:

MLB is crushing New York and - particularly - its signature professional sports franchise.

About $400 million now moves from the rich teams to the poor ones each season, and Oakland, Tampa Bay, Arizona and Pittsburgh are fighting for first place in their divisions.

The ax falls particularly hard in New York, whose teams produce by far the most combined revenue of any market in baseball—nearly $800 million, or more than 10% of the entire sport. That forces this baseball capital to share more money than any other market with everyone else while getting little back in return.

I've railed about this many times. Let me try to digest the notes:

1) The MLB owners are billionaires, pretending to be millionaires, so we will feel sorry for them.

2) These owners are ardent free market capitalists on every level, except when it comes to capping payroll; then they are communists.

3) They aggressively seek loopholes and breaks on federal and state taxes. But they happily impose them on teams that pay players too much money.

4) MLB pretends to be a public entity - for example, as it acts in the public interest to curtail steroids. But it is a private company, with a private police force, and its only goal is to make more money.

5) MLB's imminent player suspensions and bans are designed to make the public think the sport is clean. They are internal moves within a corporation. This is no more a system of public justice than is the World Wrestling Federation, when Commissioner Vince McMahon  Jr. expels Junkyard Dog for eating Roddy Piper's ear.

It's all about the money.

I greatly fear this is the end of the Yankees, as we have known them for the last 30 years. The fix is in. We will no longer be baseball's feared/hated/revered team. We cannot sign international talent. We cannot sign big free agents. Already, empty seats at the stadium are signaling a draining of revenues, and there is no way out of this straightjacket. The Steinbrenners won't feel the pinch, because they'll pay lower luxury taxes.  The Yankees could be down for three to five years, reduced to chasing that empty second Wild Card birth - hoping for the ridiculous one-game playoff: The Selig Hunger Game.

Right now, it looks like the only way to restore a team is to go the Rays/Nationals/Pirates/Orioles route: Come in dead last long enough, and you'll eventually rise. 

My annual college reunion commences tomorrow. Thus will begin my annual five-day drunken blog. It won't be pretty.


JM said...

Note to KD...saying baseball is a fucked up sport because of its hypocritical, bullshit drug policies (that hold only players, and not owners or other management, accountable), is just a true statement. The NFL is its own ball of needle-addicted wax, with much higher social costs--like guys who kill people--but without the sanctimonious b.s.

I really don't care much about the NFL, as long as I don't encounter any of its players, especially when they're armed. Baseball, I care about. And it's a great game but a fucked up sport at this point in time due to the witch hunt.

Everything the WSJ and Duque say about the financial crap is true, too, but I can live with that. It just gets more galling in conjunction with the faux PED police climbing out of the clown car.

Alphonso said...

Glad you wrote this before the re-union begins.

1. You could say the same about NY State; we pay so much more to the federal government in the form of taxes, than we ever get back.

2.We are done for a lot longer than 5 years. I say 10, minimum.

If Cashman does what I think he is going to do at the trade deadline, it could be forever before we win again.

P.O.ed in section 203 said...

Let's face it, the rest of the country hates NY. If you're from the tri-state area, you're from NYC as far as they are concerned and they hate you. I've heard this many times in my travels. And look how Congress held up hurricane Sandy aid, like a big middle finger. So the Yankees aren't going to get any sympathy from the rest of the country-until those revenue sharing checks stop rolling in to other teams.
As for this season, I hope Cash doesn't make a stupid one off trade that limps the team in to the play offs only to be humiliated again like last season. It's time to start rebuilding from the bottom up and growing them on the farm-instead of using them for trade bait.
And MLB needs to stop thinking it's the NFL.

KD said...

It's bothered me for years everybody ragging on MLB about steroids and then seeing all those freaks playing for the NFL with nary a peep about potential steroid abuse. Sure, I bet they pass all their tests, just like A-Rod has passed all his tests. But passed tests just isn't good enough for these people when it comes to baseball. Why my favorite sport gets trashed is beyond me, especially when I see all these 400 lb muscled-out linemen lumbering around the gridiron. I guess you guys are saying that baseball deserves this double standard?

Anonymous said...

Witch won uv u is da profeshunal wrider? Playoff birth?

Anonymous said...

The injustice is that a crucial time in the history of the game, New York City WAS major league baseball. Three genuinely competitive teams, up to 1958. I'm not a New Yorker but I would ask MLB today: where would the game have been in the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s and especially the 1950s without the Giants, Dodgers and the YANKEES and their respective fan bases?

The Honorable Barak Obama, President of the United Snakes of America said...

Nice insight, Duque. Would it help if I nationalized Major League Baseball? Teddy Roosevelt would have known how to deal with robber barons like Selig and the Steinbrenners. I fixed the auto industry, so I can fix MLB. You heard it here first: the federal government will nationalize MLB and I will appoint Eliot Spitzer (accompanied by a beautiful escort) as Commissioner. And, Selig, what the hell is that hairy thing squirming on your head? A baby muskrat?

John C. Calhoun, Senator, South Carolina said...

Yassah, Alphonso. You pay de taxes and we collect de federal money here in the Deep South. In return, we fuck up every national election. Serves you right for sending armies here in the 1860s and them carpetbaggers in the 1870s. And, like sumbuddy said, the Atlanta Fuckin' Braves is America's #3 team, and rising. The Braves is #1 with the Taliban, too, and that's a tough audience. But at least them there towelheads are against the designated hitter. Y'all come down here for a mint julep, y'hear?