Yankees Hot Stove: Championships are not cheap - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees Hot Stove: Championships are not cheap - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees Hot Stove: Championships are not cheap - Lady Loves Pinstripes

Yankees Hot Stove: Championships are not cheap

The New York Yankees enter this off-season with so many questions that when I started mulling over the issues as a whole it actually is pretty discouraging.

(Old) Yankee Stadium

(Old) Yankee Stadium (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

So to say that GM Brian Cashman has his work cut out for him might be the understatement of the century.

Cashman has been the Yankees GM for 15-seasons, making the postseason 14 times but this off-season is the one that will stamp his genuine merit because for the first time he is working under a budget. And the timing could not be worse.

This new frugal mentality has been well vocalized by Hal Steinbrenner with the end resulting in the team’s payroll standing at $189 million by 2014.

A while Cashman’s job description remains the same; to put together a postseason contending team but without your biggest resource, money.

Looking at the bigger picture there are so many holes to fill before the 2013 season this could not come at a worse time for the Yankees.

To give a quick summary the Yankees still have to pay for – 2 starting pitchers; 1 starting catcher; outfielder who rakes; closer; primer back-up closer; a legit SS and 3B backup; getting younger with a now depleted farm system…and that is just off the top of my head.

Now whether Hal, who does have the Boss’ blood in his veins, sticks with this plan is something only time will tell but so far he seems pretty hell-bent on making sure this happens.

One would guess that Hal, a numbers guy, realizes that by not investing the money needed to field a World Series caliber team could actually hurt the Yankees income more in the long run.

And here my five reasons why:

1) As I can guarantee that game attendance will drop significantly unless ticket prices drop drastically. Just like my dad always says, Who wants to spend that kind of money to go watch a so-so team play?”

2) The “Yankees keep losing” storyline will get old faster than you think so lucky there is still A-rod to keep the team relevant in the media but just not for baseball.

3) Yankee fans are a critical, dramatic bunch, to put it politely. And the Yankees losing games is a lot different from the Yankees becoming losers as a team. And the fact that free agent players were available during the off-season but passed on will make this situation escalate to ugly real fast.

4) Players are not going to take less money just to don the pinstripes, as the Yankees have overpaid for everything for way too long to expect anyone to understand now. So there is no way that the Yankee brass can be so delusional that anything will come cheap, or even slightly discounted and produce the same results.

5) TV viewership and Yankees merchandise sales will inevitably drop with a half-ass team on the field, maybe not by much but less is less.

Bottom-line is that the Yankees do not have the resources, or the time to rebuild a team to win now.  It would be logical to do what they do best, and that is retool by spending money season by season because that has proven to be a winning formula.

As the great financier Warren Buffet once said:

‘The first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule.’


  1. Cuzz says:

    I feel so bad for Cashman and the Yankees. They will only have a certain amount to spend now because of the luxury tax issue. Here is an idea, why don't you try putting a team together of actual ball players instead of glorified superstars. Maybe then fans wouldn't have to pay $45.00 to park, $10.00 for a beer & $4.00 for popcorn. They wonder why the stadium was basically empty in the 7th inning for their home games. You have corporate people who were just given tix as a gift rather than the true fans that made the old stadium great. The fact that the Yankees have made the playoffs 14 out of 15 years is ridiculously impressive but the end result is winning championships. Their failures in the last 10 years proves the plan to just spend more than everyone else doesn't work. Take the Giants model and the Cardinals model and develop young pitching.

    • richard says:

      2009 was not a failure. Bring a water and some nuts from home. There I saved you $14.

    • lolo says:

      We have been in the top 2 in attendance for over a dozen years. The stadium is packed in the 7th inning of most games. Most of us take the train or subway for a few bucks. You have a funny way to describe failure. We are good enough to win 90+ games per year, make it into the playoffs and then fall short. A few younger guys will take us over the top? Who are they? How would you do that?

      Yes, we have some bloated contracts, but we are stuck with them. Get over it. I believe in Cash.

      • LLP says:

        Lolo – I hear what you are saying as I go to about 30 games a season and live in Manhattan but the attendance was down this season and will be if the product is not a winning one. The team has a lot of holes to fill and don't want to pay to do it properly….pretty pathetic.