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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yankees hit with $28M luxury tax

The New York Yankees were hit with a $28 million luxury tax bill, pushing their total past the $250 million mark since the penalty began in 2003.

According to Major League Baseball calculations sent to teams Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers were the only other team that exceeded the tax threshold this year and must pay $11.4 million. Boston finished just under for the second straight year, coming in $225,666 shy of the $178 million mark.

Figures include average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters, earned bonuses and escalators, adjustments for cash in trades and $10.8 million per team in benefits.

Because the Yankees have been over the tax threshold at least four consecutive times, they pay at a 50 percent rate on the overage, and their $28,113,945 bill was second only to their $34.1 million payment following the 2005 season. The Yankees are responsible for $252.7 million of the $285.1 million in tax paid by all clubs over the past 11 years.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said he hopes to get under the threshold next year, when it rises to $189 million. That would reset the team’s tax rate to 17.5 percent for 2015 and get the Yankees some revenue-sharing refunds.

But following agreements Tuesday on a $2 million, one-year deal with second baseman Brian Roberts and a $7 million, two-year contract with left-hander Matt Thornton, the Yankees are at $177.7 million for 15 players next year, when benefits are likely to total between $11 million and $12 million. Their only hope to get below the threshold appears to be if an arbitrator upholds most of Alex Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension, relieving the team of a large percentage of the third baseman’s $25 million salary.

Thanks to Chi-Chi Barnald.

Repoz Posted: December 18, 2013 at 06:23 AM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, yankees

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: December 18, 2013 at 08:46 AM (#4620053)
Earlier reports had the Yankees' ticket revenue declining more than $50 million last year. That would indicate that staying below the luxury tax threshold may not save the Yankees money.
   2. JRVJ Posted: December 18, 2013 at 08:53 AM (#4620054)
1, agreed, though I would nuance it a little. If the Yankees are going to make a concerted effort to be under the luxury tax threshold, go for broke and do it (i.e., go all-in) one year. Don't do it halfway, as they seem to have done.
   3. John Northey Posted: December 18, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4620056)
Baseball-Reference lists estimated payrolls without adding in benefits. So if you add $11 mil to each club's payroll listed what do we see?
Taxed $189+: Dodgers
Super close: Yankees ($175 payroll, $11+ tax = $186 mil)
Near $170+: Red Sox ($165 + $11 = $176 so still room but not a lot)
High $150+: Tigers, Phillies, Giants, Angels ($155-$168)
...
Crazy low ($50 or less): Miami & Houston

All teams not listed could add A-Rod and have space left over before the tax. Heck, they could sign any 2 free agents left and have room I suspect.

It seems $150 is now like $100 used to be - the level for teams with serious financial clout who want to win now. Of course, the Yankees won 85, Phillies 73, Giants 76 and Angels 78 so I guess that money doesn't go as far as it once did.
   4. zonk Posted: December 18, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4620062)
Wow.

You could buy a whole centaur with that and still have enough left over to buy an Ichiro to ride it!
   5. BDC Posted: December 18, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4620065)
I agree with JRJV. NYY seemed to have a strategy to pare costs, but then got frustrated when they didn't cruise into October as usual, and started spending wildly. Kind of like going on a diet but then eating two tubs of ice cream after you only lose a pound the first day.
   6. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4620074)
Earlier reports had the Yankees' ticket revenue declining more than $50 million last year. That would indicate that staying below the luxury tax threshold may not save the Yankees money.


It's hard to have a business model that relies on trying to win every year. It's even harder when Dr. Bud's favored prescription is always the application of more leeches.
   7. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4620084)
Man. YR is a one-trick centaur with the griping about the luxury tax.

I understand the frustration, but geesh. The system isn't stopping the Yanks from buying the players they want. They are just making worse decisions than they did in the 2000's and their farm system isn't providing as many high impact players as it did then. It isn't the tax that's holding them back. It's trading for and signing crappy players.
   8. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4620087)
Man. YR is a one-trick centaur with the griping about the luxury tax.


A common complaint crusaders against injustice have heard from time immemorial.

I understand the frustration, but geesh. The system isn't stopping the Yanks from buying the players they want.


An extra $30 million a year might not sound like much to you, but we're already halfway to paying for the difference between Robinson Cano's 10 year contract with Seattle and the Yankee's failed offer in ONE YEAR.

It isn't the tax that's holding them back. It's trading for and signing crappy players.


Since the luxury tax was designed to hold the Yankees back, I assume you agree that it can be dispensed with then?
   9. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4620091)
An extra $30 million a year might not sound like much to you, but we're already halfway to paying for the difference between Robinson Cano's 10 year contract with Seattle and the Yankee's failed offer in ONE YEAR.


How much shared revenues do they hide in YES? $300M a year? And you are griping that the revenue thieves have to pay $30m back?
   10. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4620094)
Man. YR is a one-trick centaur with the griping about the luxury tax.


I admit it, I come to these threads to enjoy the schadenfreude. And YRs tears are whipped cream and a lovely cherry on the Centaur Sundae.
   11. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4620097)
How much shared revenues do they hide in YES? $300M a year?


How much revenue is every team hiding through various machinations? It sounds like you're a steadfast proponent of all teams opening their books to independent verification, an idea I'm sure would be widely popular amongst ownership groups who aren't the Yankees. Perhaps we should propose these measures to such champions of fairness as Bud Selig and his non-Yankee-owning cronies?

And you are griping that the revenue thieves have to pay $30m back?


The revenue thieves are the ones stealing revenue. The Yankees are the ones generating revenue. The fact hat you can't tell the difference speaks poorly of your interest in the topic.
   12. Shibal Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4620099)
Maybe the Yankees can start their own league so they won't have to share any revenue with those pesky small timers.

Or they can move to Wichita.
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4620101)
Maybe the Yankees can start their own league so they won't have to share any revenue with those pesky small timers.


Gee, where have we heard such discourse in defense of injustice before? "Maybe the darkies can go back to Africa if they don't like the white man's law." "Maybe the liberals can go to Russia if they don't support war." "Maybe the Muslims can go back to Saudi Arabia if they don't want to be profiled." Love it or leave it, the favored defense of the institutionalized bully.
   14. Chip Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4620102)
As if the Yankees want is to open their books (including their YES books) and give taxpayers a look at how wildly profitable they've been while sucking at the public teat.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4620105)
Gee, where have we heard such discourse in defense of injustice before? "Maybe the darkies can go back to Africa if they don't like the white man's law." "Maybe the liberals can go to Russia if they don't support war." "Maybe the Muslims can go back to Saudi Arabia if they don't want to be profiled." Love it or leave it, the favored defense of the institutionalized bully.


It gets better.
   16. cmd600 Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4620107)
Gee, where have we heard such discourse in defense of injustice before? "Maybe the darkies can go back to Africa if they don't like the white man's law." "Maybe the liberals can go to Russia if they don't support war." "Maybe the Muslims can go back to Saudi Arabia if they don't want to be profiled." Love it or leave it, the favored defense of the institutionalized bully.


A strange response to a honest suggestion. If the Yankees can't make as much money with MLB as they could on their own, or in Wichita, why wouldn't they change things up? We're just offering suggestions to help the young masters Steinbrenners a way to get through each night without worrying how they'll find their next meal.
   17. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4620108)
As if the Yankees want is to open their books (including their YES books) and give taxpayers a look at how wildly profitable they've been while sucking at the public teat.


Well then I think the league should demand all the teams open their books just the stick it to the Yankees, since the other frachises - especially the poormouth impoverished franchises whose owners are fond of the barrel-and-suspenders whenever a microphone is near - have nothing to fear from such disclosure.

Are you for it or against it? I'll go on the record as being for it. If the majority of ownerships agree, it will be easy to make this institutional policy.
   18. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4620109)
A strange response to a honest suggestion.


No, an honest response to a strange suggestion.

If the Yankees can't make as much money with MLB as they could on their own, or in Wichita, why wouldn't they change things up?


Are you saying if they don't love it, they should leave it?

   19. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4620113)
Equating Hal and Hank's position in the baseball cartel to the struggle for civil rights et al is disgustingly insulting to lots of different people.

Pretending that the Steinbrenners are freedom fighters, waging for the causes of justice and against the monopoly of the baseball cartel is one of the most naive things I have ever seen suggested on this site.

Serves me right for reading threads before I logged in.
   20. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4620115)
Those poor Yanks just can't catch a break.

A much better analogy would be to some BS Ayn Rand character complaining about society stealing his genius and hard work.
   21. cmd600 Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4620116)
Are you saying if they don't love it, they should leave it?


How are you interpreting the responses this way? Obviously not. The only thing the Yankees should leave is not being as profitable as absolutely possible. It would be a damn shame if they did anything that wasn't in the best interest of putting a few extra bucks in the pockets of those two poor young Steinbrenner boys.
   22. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4620117)
TR, you do realize that the Yankees (as a business) are not in competition with the Royals, A's and so on, and that Bud is in largely in their (and others) employ, right?

If one just read your posts one would think the Yankees are being preyed upon by the unfair business practices of this rival organization - called MLB - and without that organization the Yanks would be doing much better.

Bud drinks their milkshake.
   23. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4620122)
TR, you do realize that the Yankees (as a business) are not in competition with the Royals, A's and so on, and that Bud is in largely in their (and others) employ, right?

This is why the Rand comparison is apt. The Yankees wouldn't be worth a billion dollars and generating hundreds of millions of revenue without MLB. Success doesn't happen in a vacuum.
   24. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4620123)
Baseball-Reference lists estimated payrolls without adding in benefits.
Those numbers don't just exclude bonuses, they only reflect players under contract (not pre-arb). Finally, they aren't up to date with FA signings (most conspicuously missing: Carlos Beltran, $15M).

Cot's has NYY at just under $178M for 15 signed players. MLBTraderumors.com (which has been very accurate in the past) thinks the 5 arb-eligibles will get ~$16M. So,...

$178M Under contract
16M Arb contracts
11M Benefits
2M 5 pre-arb players

That's $207M if they quit today and none of the players under contract get hurt/demoted/released (meaning they'd have to either call up or sign someone else) during the season.
   25. Ron J2 Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4620126)
#1 That's one of the things I found in a study of team revenue more than a decade ago. The only time the bottom line actually improved from slashing payroll was when the teams went all the way (like the Marlins).

You nearly always take a revenue hit when cutting payroll. To a casual fan, payroll seems to be a shorthand for team quality (or something very close)
   26. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4620127)
Does anyone recall what YR's stance was when the Yankees were getting an unnecessary billion dollar stadium built for them on the taxpayer dime?
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4620129)
Equating Hal and Hank's position in the baseball cartel to the struggle for civil rights et al is disgustingly insulting to lots of different people.


There's no shortage of whiners quick to feign outrage at the drop of a pin. I remember such outrage when someone had the temerity to call Guantanamo Bay a "gulag" - how dare anyone make such a comparison, why it's like exhuming the graves of millions and urinating on the ashes! Manufactured baseless hysteria designed to detract from the issue.

Pretending that the Steinbrenners are freedom fighters, waging for the causes of justice and against the monopoly of the baseball cartel is one of the most naive things I have ever seen suggested on this site.


Young Masters Steinbrenner are only the most obvious examples of those pulling the wagon being whipped by those who ride. The Yankee Tax only exists to serve the paired desires of artificially depressing wages while funneling money into a slush fund (from which the league can presumably do things like bribe witnesses against Yankee players). To pretend it's serving any less self-enriching on behalf of Bud Selig and his cronies - now THAT would be the most naive thing ever suggested on this site.

The fact that so many posters on this site continue to completely conflate the Yankee Tax with any other method of revenue stealing only highlights how successful Budshovik propaganda have been in painting all purloined revenues as equal.
   28. Ron J2 Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4620130)
#3 Never did go as far as you might think. I've been checking the correlation between opening day payroll and winning percentage for quite some time.

For example, from 1995-2000 it was 37%. One of the truly interesting things about that study is that it was clear that payroll was backward looking. That is to say players got paid more for what they'd done in the past than what they were likely to to. For that same time frame the correlation between opening day payroll and the previous year's winning percentage was 47%.

All that to say that teams have rarely made effective use of their financial muscle. Or perhaps better stated, it's very common that teams don't make effective use of their financial resources.
   29. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4620133)
Does anyone recall what YR's stance was when the Yankees were getting an unnecessary billion dollar stadium built for them on the taxpayer dime?


The Yankee Redneck, a man of constant principle, steadfastly opposes all public funding of professional sports facilities. He would go further, and suggest that any team receiving taxpayer subsidies for their ballpark be beholden to provide additional value to their taxpayer base in the form of specific regional investment*, subsidized living wages for all stadium employees including seasonal vendors and maintenance staff, and opening up their ledgers annually to local government.

He is, however, quick to point out that the taxpayers are only funded a fraction of the cost of the new Yankee Stadium, and that the team itself has paid more money into construction than any other baseball team in history has contributed to their own stadium.

[My preferred approach to regional investment in the case of the Yankees would be the construction of, for example, 25 properly-maintained baseball fields within a 10 mile radius of NYS and the establishment of complimentary youth leagues, promoting baseball in the region and strengthening the ties between the team and the taxpayer base. Indoor facilities for winter play would be desirable too.]
   30. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4620134)
Tell it to the Cubs who are still being held up from investinng 550M of their own money into their own stadium.
   31. cmd600 Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4620135)
Young Masters Steinbrenner are only the most obvious examples of those pulling the wagon being whipped by those who ride.


And yet, they are, by far, making the most money when the wagon sells its goods. They should do most of the pulling.
   32. Chris Fluit Posted: December 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4620138)
I'm confused. Are the Yankees reconstruction-era blacks, war protestors or Guantanamo prisoners? It's so hard to keep track.
   33. madvillain Posted: December 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4620149)
Some good fishing going on in this thread, good bait, good bites.
   34. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4620150)
He is, however, quick to point out that the taxpayers are only funded a fraction of the cost of the new Yankee Stadium
That fraction being 1/5 of the most expensive stadium ever built. As a dollar amount, for instance, that's twice the public money the Tigers got for Comerica. AT&T and Turner used no public funds and the only public funds Busch III used were a loan.

that the team itself has paid more money into construction than any other baseball team in history has contributed to their own stadium.
Only because they built a palace on obscenely expensive land. The Mets were able to build a stadium on the other side of town for half as much.
   35. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4620162)
I'm confused. Are the Yankees reconstruction-era blacks, war protestors or Guantanamo prisoners? It's so hard to keep track.


Soviet era shopkeepers, kept from their rightful earnings by the head of the politbureau. Seriously, keep up.
   36. tfbg9 Posted: December 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4620175)
If Bud can "bribe witnesses" successfully enough in the Arod case, he very well might be costing his "slush fund" tens of millions of dollars in "Yankee Tax".

Am I the only Primate that sees a giant honking incongruity with the above alleged witness tampering and the notion of a Bud hell bent on bleeding Hank and Hal dry at any opportunity?

   37. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 18, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4620194)
I'm confused. Are the Yankees reconstruction-era blacks, war protestors or Guantanamo prisoners? It's so hard to keep track.


I like to think of them as William Zantzinger.
   38. flournoy Posted: December 18, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4620213)
"Young Masters Steinbrenner" is one of my all time least favorite turns of phrase. The two sons are a combined 100 years old. There is nothing young about them.
   39. cmd600 Posted: December 18, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4620216)
"Young Masters Steinbrenner" is one of my all time least favorite turns of phrase. The two sons are a combined 100 years old. There is nothing young about them.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xECUrlnXCqk
   40. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4620261)
I'm confused. Are the Yankees reconstruction-era blacks, war protestors or Guantanamo prisoners? It's so hard to keep track.

I'm getting more of a Nelson Mandela fighting the aliens in Independence Day while holding a filibuster opposing a capital gains tax raise kind of vibe.
   41. zonk Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4620297)
In fairness, 12 Years a Steinbrenner is a wonderful film....it made Richard Cohen realize that revenue sharing wasn't always a good thing.
   42. zonk Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4620318)
EDIT: wrong thread
   43. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 18, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4620351)
EDIT: wrong thread


No thread celebrating Yankee misfortune is wrong, of if it is wrong then I don't ever want to be right.
   44. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4620383)
Man. YR is a one-trick centaur with the griping about the luxury tax.


He absolutely is. And he's obsessed with shoehorning his complaints into threads where it doesn't fit.

However, this seems like an entirely appropriate thread for it.
   45. villageidiom Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4620384)
They are just making worse decisions than they did in the 2000's and their farm system isn't providing as many high impact players as it did then.
The situation they are in right now is significantly driven by the decisions they made in the 2000s. It's not that their decisions now are worse - hell, they might even be better - but that many of their decisions in the 2000s increased their risk in the 2010s, and some of those risks have since blown up.

They didn't decide in the 2010s to sign A-Rod, CC, and Teixeira, for example. Prospects that would be in the high minors ready to make a high impact on the MLB roster wouldn't necessarily have been drafted in the 2010s.
   46. ??'s Biggest Fan! Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4620404)
And YRs tears are whipped cream and a lovely cherry on the Centaur Sundae.

Meh. YR's posts are so single-minded, I wonder if it's even for real. I'm actually looking forward to his posts to see how much farther he can push it. Go YR!
   47. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 18, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4620426)
YR,

I can sort of see your point on this matter, however the Yankees don't operate in a vacuum. They do require viable competition in order to continue their financial success and that competition can't just be drawn from the other large market teams like Boston, Detroit, Angels or even the Cubs or Dodgers. NY over the past several decades has managed to leverage their financial advantage into a very successful franchise, however when considering the reality of competition, it is important to remember that teams like KC and Tampa are vital to the structure and future growth of MLB and a slight redistribution of funds may be required. Sure, it's socialistic and not very "American", however that balance is of the upmost importance to the health of MLB in general.
As a Red Sox fan, I actually like it when NY is just going stupid and spending heaps of money, it makes them much easier to dislike then when they are attempting to compete on an equal footing with the other top tier teams...quite frankly, it's rather boring this way.
   48. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 18, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4620449)
The situation they are in right now is significantly driven by the decisions they made in the 2000s. It's not that their decisions now are worse - hell, they might even be better - but that many of their decisions in the 2000s increased their risk in the 2010s, and some of those risks have since blown up.
I don't get this, unless you're saying they put financial resources into FAs instead of the minors/international signings.

The best player today they've drafted since 2000 is Brett Gardner; the 2nd best is Austin Jackson, who they traded (along with Ian Kennedy) for Curtis Granderson.

If anything, I think the opposite is true - they haven't been able to draft/develop a Jeter/Williams/Pettitte/Posada, so they've had to make up for it in the FA market and are now stuck with an infield that includes 34 year old former good player Mark Tiexiera, 38 year old former good player ARod, and 40 year old former good player Derek Jeter with 40 year old former good player Ichiro! hanging around the outfield along with the recently acquired Carlos Beltran. Heck, in '16 they're going to owe $82M to 4 guys (ARod, Beltran, Tiex, CC) age 40, 39, 36, and 35.
   49. The District Attorney Posted: December 18, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4620485)
I just don't get what the Yankees are doing. Why did they make an attempt to get under the tax amount and then give up? Did they not realize when they started trying to get under $189M that, given that A-Rod/CC/Tex/Jeter were going to cost them about $90M and not necessarily provide a ton of production, spending "only" about $100M on the other 21 guys was probably not going to result in a powerhouse squad? They should have been thrilled beyond belief that they won 85 games last year with a team that was constructed paying as much attention to salary cap management as to talent. The plan was working!
   50. Willie Mayspedes Posted: December 18, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4620486)
YNR Is Surrounded by Yankees (the bad kind)
   51. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4620597)
Meh. YR's posts are so single-minded, I wonder if it's even for real. I'm actually looking forward to his posts to see how much farther he can push it. Go YR!
It's performance art.
   52. Lassus Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4620600)
Gee, where have we heard such discourse in defense of injustice before? "Maybe the darkies can go back to Africa if they don't like the white man's law." "Maybe the liberals can go to Russia if they don't support war." "Maybe the Muslims can go back to Saudi Arabia if they don't want to be profiled." Love it or leave it, the favored defense of the institutionalized bully.

Stop.


[My preferred approach to regional investment in the case of the Yankees would be the construction of, for example, 25 properly-maintained baseball fields within a 10 mile radius of NYS and the establishment of complimentary youth leagues, promoting baseball in the region and strengthening the ties between the team and the taxpayer base. Indoor facilities for winter play would be desirable too.]

The Yankee Stadium jumbotron playing a clip of the Young Masters Steinbrenner masturbating to Albert Speer talking about architecture during a Jeter AB is far more likely than the Yankees ever doing any of this.
   53. JLAC is engulfed in a harmless burst of flame Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4620608)
I'm confused. Are the Yankees reconstruction-era blacks, war protestors or Guantanamo prisoners? It's so hard to keep track.


They're a tortured metaphor in a thinning market.
   54. JLAC is engulfed in a harmless burst of flame Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4620609)

It's performance art.


It's a dancing bear without the sense of wonderment.
   55. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 19, 2013 at 12:38 AM (#4620646)
That $28 million for the luxury tax could have been used to cover the salaries of the big acquisitions last year - Vernon Wells and Ichiro!

This team deserves all it gets. I am excited to watch Jeter and Roberts try to turn just one double play. Over/Under on broken limbs: 1.5....
   56. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 19, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4620929)
It's performance art.


This. Like me, YR is a Memphis wrestling fan and we both know an Andy Kaufman routine when we see one. He's being a posting board heel and a rather good one. The people making the analogy to a Randroid hero (actually, villain) are just missing the joke. I mean, this site really did have a poster who would make arguments equivalent to "Wait, you idiots, it's the Sheriff of Nottingham who's the real victim in the Robin Hood story!" (just not about the Yankees) but he was always being boring, deadly serious when doing so and everyone knows who that miserable POS Patrick Bateman-wannabe pompous stuck-up snotnose glibertarian giant twerp scumbag fuqqface d1ckhead 4ssh0le was. YR is something else: real entertainment.
   57. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4621562)
I can sort of see your point on this matter, however the Yankees don't operate in a vacuum.


No economic entity operates in a vacuum. Consider the case of Royal's owner David Glass, former CEO of Wal-Mart whose ruthless efficiency of scale upended the economic structure of many a small town in America, eliminating jobs and forcing his own employees into lives of government-subsidized penury. Surely we can agree that David Glass's Wal-Mart doesn't operate in a vacuum, so it can't help but to make one pause and wonder if anyone has asked Mr. Glass how he feels about massive redistribution of wealth as a means of achieving more equitable outcomes. I would guess that his answer would largely hinge on whether the redistributed money went to the right sort of people, say a fine upstanding American hero of capitalism such as David Glass, and not the wrong sort of people, like third-world baseball players whose windfalls must be capped or Wal-Mart shelf-monkeys for whom even minimum wage is overly generous.

NY over the past several decades has managed to leverage their financial advantage into a very successful franchise, however when considering the reality of competition, it is important to remember that teams like KC and Tampa are vital to the structure and future growth of MLB and a slight redistribution of funds may be required


And I won't argue this very reasonable point, but of course the pink-tinged devil is in the details. Consider, for example, that the Yankees are the most popular team in all of baseball based in large part on their historic success and association with the most legendary icons of the game. According to the owners of the Colorado Rockies,
having the Yankees (and another somewhat popular team) in town for a mere 5 games is worth a whopping $3.5 million over the standard take for 5 games, and you can see that there's already enormous amounts of revenue distribution baked into the crust of MLB - think of how woebegone Tampa Bay is buoyed by simply existing in the same division as these two teams. Simply having the Yankees on your schedule is a windfall, while the Yankees have no such benefit when the Royals visit (and indeed, may have to contend with the exact opposite effect).

And this brings us to the focal point of the fraudulent manner in which baseball's revenue-stealing scheme is designed - for all the high-minded talk of "large markets" and "small markets" it isn't market size but market success that draws Count Budula's vampiristic gaze. Did you know according to Bud's Beancounters the Yankees play in a larger market than the Mets, or that the Cubs play in a larger market than the White Sox? Teams are punished for popularity, while the league presents a perverse disincentive for unpopular teams to innovate and improve their lot by guaranteeing them free unearned money in perpetuity so long as they wallow. Has anyone ever asked the ownership of these poormouth "small market teams" what they are doing to innovate and improve their markets and generate new revenues? But why should they bother with innovation when the only innovation they've ever truly wanted was free no-risk money?

And on top of these endless windfalls (has anyone ever asked a franchise owner if they feel endless windfalls of unearned money presents any sort of moral hazard, or perhaps just a moral hazard for poor schlubs who have never been CEO at WalMart?) the league continues to heap additional benefits such as free draft picks on those selected few Friends of Bud, as if tens of millions of dollars in unearned revenues weren't enough to stock their larders. Simply put these revised economic schemes have made owning a "small market" franchise the easiest money possible, as Jeffrey Loria has demonstrated by alienating his fanbase with impunity without a shred of risk on his part.

Sure, it's socialistic and not very "American", however that balance is of the upmost importance to the health of MLB in general.


I'd like to see a formal statement from the plutocratic beneficiaries of Bud's forced largess acknowledging as much - that income redistribution, even at extremely large levels, is absolutely essential for even the most brilliant and successful minds and organizations if they hope to compete against structural inequalities. This "free money for me, bootstraps for thee" attitude from the David Glass's of the world is more than offensive, it is repugnant and needs to be exposed. If a billionaire can't compete with all of his collected business acumen and genius, then he shouldn't be depriving his less well-connected peons of a slice of the redistribution pie. Bud isn't arguing for working people because they can't grease Bud's palm or give him multi-million dollar under-the-table loans. There are more important things in the world than trying to screw the Yankees and enrich Bud's cronies, but some people are loathe to admit that.

(And of course we're again conflating the Yankee Tax, which does nothing to penalize the Yankees for paying market price for talent, with the dozens of other Revenue Stealing scheme which fatten selected owner coffers)
   58. BDC Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4621577)
YR, methinks you would prefer a dispensation like that in English football, (or perhaps US college football), where the rich dominate the competition and get richer and more dominant. That isn't likely to happen in any of the North American pro leagues (though baseball is marginally closer than the others), but it's a reasonable attitude. Am I characterizing your position correctly?

Part of such a position (just to think aloud) is that if you run a really poor operation you get relegated and better operators come to the fore. So Houston and Miami would long since be in AAA and replaced by hungrier and better competitors, not just raking in the "welfare" while paying little attention to on-field success. That part of the argument has some appeal, for sure.

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