Friday, January 2, 2009

Frank Deford: Old

Frank actually lives around the block from me on the Upper West Side. I know this because I see him walking a small, fluffy, white dog from time to time. He's surprisingly tall, in a rickety, stilt-ish sort of way and moves slowly and creakily over the sidewalks. That's how I know he's old.

For anyone else who would like evidence, I present this article he wrote for

So, yes, thank the Lord for the Yankees. With their seats selling for as much as $2,500 a game while they ask a struggling New York City for an additional $259 million in tax-free bonds to help finance their new stadium and while they sign free agents for well over $400 million — far more than the other 29 major league teams have spent cumulatively — the Yankees present themselves as the very model of arrogance and let-'em-eat-cakeness. Henceforth, I will be calling the Yankees the Antoinettes. You may wish to, as well.
Yes, friends, you may wish to refer to a modern sports team by the name of an 18th century Queen of France, but the person you are talking to will think you are insane. Here's the funny part: Her full name was Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen (thanks Wikipedia). Marie Antoinette was a Habsburg and since she was a female, her offspring wouldn't have been referred to as "Antoinettes" either. Unless there is an even more obscure family/person he is referring to, I'm pretty sure he just made this up.

If you want to make a hokey analogy comparing a European dynasty to the Yankees, how about the Medicis? The Medicis were probably the richest family in Europe during the 15th century, and used wealth attained by the Medici Bank to commission works of art by the greatest artists of that era including Michaelango, Donatello, Rafael and Leonardo. Actually, I just listed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but they really did commission Michaelangelo.

I get the point of comparing the Yankees to a European dynasty. The money, the excess, the history... sure. But all the teams and their owners are ridiculously rich too and some are ever richer than the Steinbrenners. The Yankees exploit their advantages of history/tradition and market size and and use them to be consistently competitive on the field. What would happen if the Yankees had a payroll that blended in with the top 5 or 10 teams, something like $110-115 million? They would probably attract fewer fans. I highly doubt that these fans would want to root for a different team, they most likely just wouldn't be baseball fans.

Will said it with more vulgarity and anger than I possibly could, but the Yankees aren't ruining baseball. They generate money for others directly (revenue sharing, road attendance) and indirectly (luxury tax and TV Ratings). They might not be good for your team, but they are good for baseball.


  1. Mick Collins would be very, very proud of you if he saw this post.

  2. "MMMmmyeessss Joe"

    (faggily guestures with his hand while wearing ridiculous pants)