Monday, August 31, 2009

The Readers Strike Back:

Rod writes (via Facebook): Well done...but I would argue that if every owner was more like King George the competitive balance would be restored...George is the only owner willing to take a loss on the budget sheet in exchange for a win in October...George isn't close to being the wealthiest owner...he just cares more about his franchise than he does about his profit margin...

from Poz himself...

Steinbrenner punished himself too. He poured his baseball profits back into the ballclub, sometimes foolishly, sometimes recklessly, but always with the unmistakable intent of winning championships and glorifying the New York Yankees (and if he got a little credit along the way, well, why not?).

Finally, a reader striking back other than TW! What Rod says is almost completely true, save for the fact that we'll never really know if George would've been willing to lose money on the Yankees in a given season if it meant winning a championship. That's because Yankee profits became so enormous after the cable rights deal with MSG in 1988 that Steinbrenner could've routinely plugged another $50 million or so into the payroll any given season and still not taken a loss.

It's easy to forget this, but the Yankees didn't really start outspending everybody until after the strike. It's no coincidence that the team started winning again once the MSG checks began being cashed. Suddenly the Yankees had the money for the biggest free agents, the most expensive international prospects and a minor-league system that spared no expense. Conventional wisdom likes to attibute the onset of the current success cycle to the genius of Gene Michael, with an assist to Steinbrenner bucks, but in reality the "business acumen" of Charles Dolan had as much to do with it as anything.

The payroll disaprity didn't actually manifest itself until George got another taste of the World Series in 1996 - and then tasted the bitterness of defeat in 1997. At that point, the Yankees had the twin financial advantages of the MSG deal and an illegally negotiated apparel deal with Adidas. From that point forward, no one in baseball was going to financially compete with the Bronx Bombers.

1 comment:

TW said...

I don't think I strike as much as I offer informed opinions.

The Yankees also stuck a deal with Coca Cola along the same lines as the addidas deal, and if you had read the you would have known about this three weeks ago.