Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Not that I have a problem with the Yankee's recent signings, but after they made their bombastic acquisitions, the same inevitable questions popped up again, as they always do. Should there be a salary cap? Are the "big market" teams killing the game? How can you justify spending over $400 mil on only three players? How will the little guys ever compete?
I don't think there should be a cap and I also think the Yankees should do whatever they want...but, before we let the floodgates down, there's something we need to look into...
One argument Yankee fans and the media use to justify the team's wheeling and dealing is that it's actually good for the game, spending tons of money and building such great teams, because when they hit the road they draw huge crowds that benefit those other teams. The 'ol 'rising tide lifts all boats' line.
So, let me get this straight - fans think that that the A's, Indians, Twins and Royals are OK with having payrolls a third to a quarter of that of the Yankees, simply because for three games a year they'll draw an extra 5,000 to 10,000 fans? What? Assuming the average seat costs $35 (which I just made up) that's approximately $800K in additional ticket revenue the team would bring in over a three game series, compared to a normal one where they don't play the Yankees. That's not even enough to pay the salary of one mediocre player for one season. How exactly does this help them? Nice try.
Oh, and if this argument even holds water to begin with, shouldn't the Yankees draw the highest number of fans in road games by a landslide? You'd think so, right? Well, turns out last season they didn't. They were actually #5. Here's the list (courtesy of ESPN - link)
Rank - Team - Avg. Road Attendance
1 - Red Sox - 38,367
2 - Cubs - 36,328
3 - Mets - 35,944
4 - Padres - 35,798
5 - Yankees - 35,192
Do what you'd like with your money, Bombers, but don't make up imaginary reasons to justify it. Just do it, and have the stones not to apologize that 100 years ago you lucked into playing in a location that affords you the ability to generate the most money.