Keller @ Large: Money Can’t Buy Success

BOSTON (CBS) – Watching the Yankees’ season melt down this weekend at Fenway Park, I was reminded of a point we wind up making often here – money isn’t everything.

Thanks to their phenomenal history of success and lucrative broadcast deals, the Yankees are always one of if not the wealthiest team in baseball. This year they have a payroll of just under $226 million, second only to the Dodgers.

But even in this mercenary business, it seems money can’t buy success.

The Chicago Cubs, who have won 17 more games than the Yankees, spend $44 million less. And the Cleveland Indians, poised to easily win their division before they are eliminated by the Sox, spend a whopping $113 million less.

And it’s not just in the standings where the Yankees are affluent losers.

Having gone to and enjoyed the experience at the old Yankee Stadium, I was curious to see the new one during a meaningful game late last season. I was shocked to see the place barely two-thirds full with a mostly listless crowd.

The only word to describe new Yankee Stadium is “gross,” an overpriced, ugly mausoleum that unsurprisingly has seen attendance drop by nearly a million fans since it opened in 2009, despite having a competitive team.

Money doesn’t always lead to wise decisions. It can’t buy love, even from rabid fans willing to overpay for a fun night out.

And in fact, a decision-making process corrupted by money can actually kill – or at least temper – the love affair between fans and their team.

In a culture where money is almost unequivocally worshipped, the Yankees are a reminder that it’s a false idol, and sometimes, even the hallmark of a loser.

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One Comment

  1. The Owl says:

    Most of these new stadiums, like Yankee Stadium, and the ones in the cities where professional sports have taken root are eye-sore mausoleums benefiting only the few and the wealthy, (The only saving grace for Gillette Stadium is that it is out there in the middle of nowhere. And, just think about the millions of dollars that Robert Kraft takes in because he owns most of the square footage the parking lots and buildings surrounding the stadium.)

    Baseball as a game has been losing attendance for decades, it’s decline drive by the television monopolies which, ironically pay a large portion of the bills for the teams. It’s no surprise to me that there are empty seats.

    There’s just too much baseball…and other sports, too…n TV to warrant the time, hassle, and expense to go out to the ballpark any more.

    When baseball was the only sport it was a heady time at the “park”….

    Not an longer, that’s for sure.

  2. mstarvin says:

    It does appear that money can make sure that you are not covered negatively in the news though. Last week Jon wondered why we don’t trust the media and today after yet another terror attack under Obama’s and Hillary’s flaccid leadership his lead story is baseball……yup no bias or protectionism there…

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