Yankees vs. Major League Soccer
Posted by Joel on April 27, 2009
The New York Yankees. One of sports money franchises. Someone once told me the Steinbrenner family has one of those money bins like Scrooge McDuck, where the family swims in gold doubloons from the $20 cups of beer. They have built a billion dollar palace to play in, and my friend John has told me that the stadium is the nicest stadium he has ever been in, no matter the sport. He should know, because he has covered the past 3 Olympic games and has been to events I could ever dream of going. The stadium has been a virtual launching pad for home runs and the fans are certainly entertained by the barrage of offense. At least, the ones that can afford the expensive seats.
Don Garber, commissioner of Major League Soccer, took notice of the empty seats. He noted, in the context of a down economy, that the Yankees were having trouble filling those $2K per game seats. Of course, one would read that commissioner of MLS is willing to go down a path of futility when discussing someone’s lack of attendance. Even Donna Orender, president of the WNBA, dare not travel down this road.
Enter Randy Levine. Levine is the president of the New York Yankees. He also took notice of the coments that Garber said. Here is his response:
“Don Garber discussing Yankee attendance must be a joke,” Levine said Friday. “We draw more people in a year than his entire league does in a year. If he ever gets Major League Soccer into the same time zone as the Yankees, we might take him seriously.
“Hey Don, worry about Beckham, not the Yankees. Even he wants out of your league.”
Game. Set. Match. Levine. I am not a Yankees fan, but Levine just ripped this guy a new one. For starters, the Yankees do draw more people in a year than his entire league. They definitely have more revenue generated. I mean, I haven’t seen Kansas City Wiz caskets or Columbus Crew Tiffany style lamps. Also, Beckham is trying to take his MLS cash and play overseas. I still don’t even know how MLS is still even in existence.
Levine has been a controversial figure for the Yankees. He has been painted as the guy to blame for Joe Torre no longer being the manager of the team, he has been known as a tough negotiator within baseball, and has managed to amass great power throughout the organization. I think he was channeling his inner Steinbrenner. Of course, he should have tapped into his inner Theo Epstein and gotten the team some ground ball pitchers, or pitchers that can at least throw consistent strikes.