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.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: