Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shut Up Haters

I hate the Yankees. But not for all the reasons you may think. I hate the Yankees because they are the Red Sox rival and rivalries are fun. I am entirely sick of corn-fed Midwesterners, fans sad sack baseball teams with skinflint owners, moaning and crying that the Yankees win because they spend the most money. This of course is a fallacy. Their wealth and spending certainly keeps them and the Red Sox in contention every year. But let's look at the real reason some teams have money and some don't.

Sox and Yankees fans just care more. Rabid fans spend more money. That money translates to resources and eventually rings. This type of disparity is true in ALL sports except the NFL. Example: University of Texas has fans who are crazed for college football. They want to win. They spend mountains money on merch and devoutly attend games. College football is king in Texas, but not so in Connecticut, where we are. UConn couldn't even fill a 40,000 seat stadium the first game after poor Jasper Howard died! A player died and people don't even come to show support.

Admittedly, it's a bit of a chicken and egg thing. Were the Yankees not so successful for about 90 years would the fan base be so passionate? Hard to say. But let's look at two examples that contradict that theory. The Red Sox, of course, went 86 years with no titles and only three World Series appearances. Yet the Red Sox fans continued to come back year after year and sell out games, buy caps and shirts, and watch faithfully every night on TV (ad revenue).

Conversely, the Tampa Bay Rays, perennial AL East whipping boys, finally broke through and made it all the way to the World Series, and they were having trouble selling out ALCS games! Believe me. When contracts for B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria come up, you can bet your Yankees World Series hat that the Tampa front office will tighten their purse strings. The Rays will be back in the basement before long. Someone needs to hold these owners accountable for running teams into the ground while turning a profit, but thats a different story.

Except for the NFL, all sports are largely regional. On the East Coast it's baseball. On the West Coast it's the NBA. The South and Midwest drool over college football and NASCAR. It's about culture and tradition that's all. You care more and you get what you want for a sports product.

3 comments:

Dennis said...

I believe there should be a 3rd team in the New York area, whether it be in CT, NJ, or Brooklyn.

The Yankees are exploiting the fact that they have a larger market and matching fan base, but that certainly doesn't make it a level playing field. And that is fine on the surface level, but it is not healthy for the long-term future of the league.

Joey said...

Whoever tries to do that should just set a pile of money on fire because that team would never survive. Think Nationals

Dan said...

One of the problems is that the small market owners don't spend their revenue sharing on salaries. MLB should hold that money in a escrow account and when the Reds for instance need it for salaries, MLB disburses the money. That way greedy owners, who just want a team as an investment and don't care if they win, can't just pocket the money.