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SBD/May 25, 2012/Franchises
George Steinbrenner's Estate Planning Restrictions Make Sale Of Yankees Challenging
Published May 25, 2012
EVERYTHING HAS A PRICE: USA TODAY's Paul White notes the rumors of a sale "raise the question: What is baseball's most storied franchise worth?" SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said, "All the Yankees assets together (including the YES Network), you'd be starting mid-$3 billion, approaching $4 billion." An MLB official said that if Hal Steinbrenner "were offered $4 billion, he'd have to take it, though the price could vary based on economic conditions." But White notes any idea of a Yankees sale "might be very abstract" (USA TODAY, 5/25). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard asked, “If the Dodgers are worth $2 billion -- mismanaged, thrown around in divorce court – what are the Yankees worth?" ("Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 5/24). YAHOO SPORTS' Tim Brown wrote owning an MLB team is "less about getting rich than it is staying rich." At the end, "you double your money, at worst." Brown: "These things do run their course, however. ... Maybe they'll sell one day. Maybe they won't. But, it made me think of two things: Everything has its price. And I miss George. And Hank" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/24). In Detroit, Tony Paul writes, "The Steinbrenner clan might not be emotionally equipped to cope with 'rebuilding,' as much as the Yankees actually rebuild (reload probably is a more proper term). So unloading while the market appears white hot, well, it makes sense" (DETROIT NEWS, 5/25).
TROST'S REACTION NOT SURPRISING: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes it was "not surprising" when Yankees COO Lonn Trost "reacted loudly to the Daily News' story." Trost was "pursuing the 'nuclear' option" during a Thursday appearance on WFAN-AM's "Boomer & Carton Show." He said, "With respect to Major League Baseball, we (the Yankees) will ask the commissioner (Bud Selig) to undertake an investigation and take appropriate action." Raissman notes if MLB "took Trost’s complaint seriously, it would likely conduct an investigation." But pro leagues "usually don’t do internal investigations based on the journalistic issue Trost is dealing with, especially when the sources of the 'rumors' were not confined to MLB." Most likely MLB "had its final say on this matter Thursday when it issued a one-sentence statement saying it has 'received no indications' from Yankees 'representatives' or 'anyone else that the club is for sale.'" The statement made "no mention of an investigation." Raissman: "Not to worry, Trost sounded good on the radio. He made his point" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/25).