Scott Boras Must See Empty New Yankee Stadium Seats in His Nightmares

April 30, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

“Oh [expletive].”

That’s what I’d be thinking if I were a sports agent right now—more specifically, an agent representing one of Major League Baseball’s forthcoming crop of free agents.

The problem might be just the same in the other major American sports, but it’s baseball season, so I’m talking small ball.

There was a little sub-story that flew under most radars in the last couple days, or at least it did out on the Coast: The New York Yankees have decided to reduce prices for some of the most premium seats in New Yankee Stadium.

I’m being very generous with my poetic license when I say “decided” and “reduce.”

If you happened to catch any of the inaugural games on the national broadcasts, you were probably as stunned as I to see all those empty seats close to the field.

Like most citizens of the world, I’m painfully aware of the financial ruin being spread far and wide, so I expected some vacant spots.

But, good Lord!

The area directly behind home plate looked like a Tampa Bay Devil Rays game.

Not a Tampa Bay Rays game—I’m talking those mercifully bygone days when the D-Rays swam the waters of the Trop while the rest of the American League used them as bait. 

Those crowds barely broke quadruple digits. If the rest of the new Junior Circuit park in NYC looked like the front rows around the infield, that’s about where attendance at the Pinstripes’ modern cathedral would’ve fallen.

As far as reducing prices, the Yankee powers-that-be really had no choice in the matter. According to the linked article, the “reduction” was to the tune of 50 percent in some cases.

A less charitable soul would say that’s more slashing than trimming.

This is very bad news for any agent who happens to have unreasonable clients expecting an overflowing pot of gold at the end of the 2009 rainbow.

Poster child, thy name is Manny Ramirez.

See, this is New York City. The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. Along with Los Angeles, there is no city that draws the opulent for opulence’s sake with more allure.

No doubt, there are the extravagantly rich in every city across the country. Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, Seattle, Dallas—they all have their monuments to both private and public financial prosperity.

But if cities were celebrities, Gotham and La La Land would be the only A-listers from the USA.

That’s not necessarily a compliment.

And what better tribute to bling could there be than sitting front and center at the newest, biggest ticket in town?

This is the New Yankee Stadium, and by all accounts, the mission to improve with minimal loss on the original model was accomplished (in the non-aircraft carrier sense).

Even better, you’d get your fabulous mug on television any time you attended. Yet, there the lavishly cushioned seats sat—ugly and empty.

Furthermore, if you broaden the scope of your horizon, the news doesn’t get any better. Despite some false hints at an economic recovery, there are probably many more economic gut-punches in the mail.

I’m no economist, and describing my grasp on the situation as tenuous might possibly be an exaggeration. But it doesn’t take much to understand that the bankruptcy of Chrysler is not a sign of a vital and healthy economy.

Hey, when one of the bedrock United States automakers is mentioned in the same breath as Studebaker and 1933, I’m considering the start of a bottled water stockpile. I may also be stuffing my mattresses with what little cash I have (perhaps I should use a throw pillow).

A steep decline in earnings reported by Starbucks puts no rosier a spin on the situation. Nor does this macroscopic look at the U.S. economy as an overall entity.

But try explaining that to some of these pro ballplayers who are accustomed to having their cake and eating it too. Again, it’s not all of them, but there’s a significant number who are grown men in the physical sense only.

That number grows exponentially when you’re counting fragile egos—psyches that often equate personal value with the string of zeroes on the paycheck.

In these monetary climates, a good portion of those strings will be a lot shorter.

Anything can happen between late April/early May in the panic period of free agency.  But it would have to be something drastic to turn back the economic tide that’s been accumulating for longer than possibly anyone realizes.

The screen shots from New York and the daily business headlines don’t promise a U-turn any time soon.

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