I have been a Yankee fan since about 1980, at 9 years old and that point where most passionate baseball fans begin their lifetime love affair with the game. I can tell you how gut-wrenching it felt to watch Willie Randolph take a called strike three from Royals closer Dan Quisenberry to close out the 1980 ALCS (I still say it was low and outside!) or how I went to my room and cried after watching Bob Watson fly out to the Dodger’s Ken Landreux to record the final out in a losing world series effort the following year.
I’ve always been a Yankees fan and I can honestly say that the “open the check book” option for the Yankees is annoying and a pain to defend. Haters will always hate the Yankees. I generally accept it. The following is something that you might find interesting. People tend to attack the Yankees a lot for financial reasons, but sometimes it is important to sit back and research how these financial “means” came about. Check out the below progression. You might have a new found respect for George Steinbrenner business savy.
1972: CBS presently own the Yankees and is about to declare Chapter 14 bankruptcy (the Yankees were that bad off) until Shipping Mogul George Steinbrenner buys the team for $10 million dollars.
1977: Team worth becomes $20 million after the WS win.
1982: Team worth becomes $40 million after WS appearance
1987: Team worth becomes $80 million after Mattingly and Winfield lure the NY press in to Yankee Stadium.
1992: Team worth becomes $160 million after Steinbrenner comes to terms with MSG network to show Yankee games abandoing WPIX 11 in NY. WPIX relegated to afternoon games including Saturday and Sundays.
1997: Team worth becomes 320 million after 1996 World Series
2001: Team, worth becomes 640 million coming off the profits of the YES Network created in 2000 (YES= Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. NJ Nets and NJ Devils games shown solely on this network at that time. $$$$$)
2006: Team worth becomes 1.2 billion after several playoff appearance and TV Network deal with NJ Comcast cable to share the rights to the YES network.
2009: Forbes magazine values the Yankees organization at 1.5 billion dollars effective March 2009.
Now it seems to me, in this day and age where people decry anything and everything that restricts free enterprise that people should applaud this organization for what it truly is. The embodiment of our nation’s greatest attributes.