The Yankees Are The Best Example That Free Markets Work
I am a huge Yankees fan.
I grew up in Brooklyn. Although I have one memory of watching the Dodgers play at Ebbets Field, by the time I was old enough to develop a loyalty to a team the Yanks were the only one left in New York. I can still give you the names, numbers, and positions of every player on the 1961 Yankees. I still grieve over Bill Mazeroski's homerun in the seventh game of the 1960 series against the Pirates. Thurman Munson and Bucky Dent will forever be heroes.
But in addition to being a Yankees fan because of baseball, I'm also someone who follows and has great appreciation for markets. That why I'm continuously amused by the venom that spews forth from nonYankee on Wall Street this time of year and who refuse to acknowledge what should be obvious: the Yankees may be the best example of free markets and corporate America in the history of the world.
Yes, the Yankees operate in a large market. But thee team has also developed it expertly. The Mets, after all, are in the same market and simply are not as profitable. The Yankees draw more fans to their ballpark, have a far better media strategy, and promote the team like it is a rock star so sell more hats and other stuff. The Yankees also draw more fans to their opponents' ball parks than every other team. (Anyone who has been to Camden Yards in Baltimore knows that the stadium often seems to be filled with New Yorkers whenever the Yanks play the Orioles.)
And, of course, the Dodgers and Giants abandoned that market for what they thought were greener pastures.
So what do Wall Street types have to complain about? The Yankees succeed. They have a culture that promotes success and doesn't tolerate failure. The Yankees are almost always number one or two in their American League East market. They get rid of underperforming staff when necessary and don't hesitate to bring in new players when the organization needs some shaking up.
The Yankees pay the fines the government, that is, Major League Baseball, imposes for spending above the cap.
And, of course, the Yankees do something that Wall Street should appreciate: they wear pinstripes and stylishly classic and understated uniforms.
Is it really unfair to the other teams that the Yankees are so successful?
The other team owners knew what they were getting into when they bought their teams in Milwaukee, Kansas City and other smaller markets. They knew what the competition was doing; not only have the Yankees have been around for a long time but their transactions are very open to the public. They knew what they would have to do to compete. They just haven't done it.