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Brewers Owner Suggests Salary Cap After Yanks' Spending Spree
Published December 29, 2008
|Attanasio Feels MLB May Need To Implement
Salary Cap After Yankees' Spending Spree
IN THEIR DEFENSE: Yankees President Randy Levine said, “The philosophy of George Steinbrenner, which has been continued by Hal and Hank, is that the Yankees are a sacred trust to their fans and they believe in continually reinvesting in the team rather than reinvesting in themselves. We follow all the rules of baseball, we pay millions of dollars to other teams and we are essential to the revenues generated by [MLB] and its networks and other entities.” Levine added, “We are usually in the top of road attendance and we get some of the highest television ratings, both when we play national games and when we visit other teams.” More Levine: “We are sensitive to the economic times and our fans. We believe it is good for the franchise and good for the fans to put the best product possible on the field, and that is what we strive to do.” Levine also “singled out the criticism that he said some [of] ESPN’s commentators had directed at Yankee spending and said he wondered why they were not criticizing their own network for reinvesting in its product by outbidding Fox by millions of dollars to acquire" the rights to the BCS (N.Y. TIMES, 12/25). NBC's Jimmy Roberts said the Yankees are "just doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is taking advantage of the system" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 12/28).
Yankees Believe Increased Revenue From New
Ballpark Will Help Offset Offseason Acquisitions
PAY TO PLAY? In N.Y., Schmidt & Schreiber in a front-page piece wrote the signing of Teixeira “underlines the Yankees’ economic might as they move into a new stadium” and “makes clear their willingness to remain aggressive spenders in the midst of a recession.” The team’s offseason signings also mean "that the Yankees, whose 2008 payroll of $209[M] dwarfed the competition, will now have a 2009 payroll that will probably be close to that amount and at least $50[M] more than the next team on the list” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/24). Also in N.Y., Harvey Araton wrote while they “certainly deserve praise for addressing their personnel needs, delivering the goods, it is difficult to comment on the Yankees with the baseball blinders on, without acknowledging that in the world of economic pain that has set upon the country, their audacity and gluttony tend to make the stomach feel queasy.” While the Yankees continue to “spend like an OPEC nation when oil was trading at $140 a barrel, they continue to hit the city for sweetheart treatment, most recently for another $259[M] in tax-exempt bonds on top of the $940[M] they were already given” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/24). ESPN.com’s Peter Gammons wrote the Yankees are “back to being a smartly run business.” The Yankees “are not only rich and abetted by the mayor of their city, but also the Steinbrenners have turned the operation over to a very smart man in [GM Brian] Cashman, who, with Hal Steinbrenner’s empowerment, seems to be able to run the business without being affected by the irrationality of Hank Steinbrenner” and Levine (ESPN.com, 12/24).
Nationals Unable To Beat
Yankees In Pursuit Of Teixeira
HOUSE WARMING: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reported the Yankees unveiled a plan for “cheap or free tickets” to exhibitions games against the Cubs on April 3 and 4 that will open the new Yankee Stadium. Full season-ticket holders will be charged nothing to “occupy their designated seats during the exhibitions," while the team will charge $0.25 for bleacher seats and $1.10 for grandstand seats, a “rollback to what similar tickets cost” when the original Yankee Stadium opened in 1923. Sandomir wrote the “good-will gesture is nice enough, but a better one would have been to charge nothing at all (a nod to the huge savings the Yankees are receiving from city-issued tax-exempt bonds) and ask fans, as they enter and meander the broad concourses, to donate to food banks or other charities so financially strained in this dreadful economy.” Yankees COO Lonn Trost said that the team “contemplated free tickets for everybody, but felt the logistics of giveaways might have gotten out of control.” Trost: “We’re just beginning to learn the building” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/24).