‘From the Pressbox’
By Ernie Palladino
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The Daily News ran a story Thursday raising the possibility that the Steinbrenner family could entertain offers for their pinstriped hobby horse, known to us peons as the New York Yankees.
Given the Dodgers’ recent sale for a cool $2.175 billion, the Yanks could fetch around $3 billion, the story indicated. And along with said narrative came a sidebar naming eight potential buyers, including a syndicate headed by former manager Joe Torre, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Cablevision owner and former Yankees suitor Charles Dolan, and David Einhorn, the hedge fund manager who nearly bought a minority share in the Mets last year.
Club president Randy Levine, COO Lonn Trost, and Steinbrenner scion Hal all blasted the report as fiction. Fairy tale or not, we all know it only takes a little twist of circumstances to turn even the unlikeliest scenarios into reality. So, for purposes of moving the story forward, let’s see if we can suggest a few more suitors willing to make the Steinbrenner family even richer than they ever imagined.
The Facebook founder’s got a little jingle in his pocket from the 30 million shares he unloaded Tuesday after his baby went public last week. He doesn’t come off like a big sports fan, but he and his IPO underwriter Morgan Stanley have a talent for making money, at least until the Securites and Exchange Commission gets done with its investigations into irregularities in the IPO. He can overvalue the team at $4 billion, send it public, and still make a nice killing for selected stockholders and himself. Being a billionaire is cool. Being a billionaire and owner of the Yanks? Like!
These various, formerly effective print news-gathering operations are still making enough profit that, banded together, they could own something real like the Yanks. Their first order of business: double already oppressive ticket and concession prices and cut active roster size to 11 to increase revenues. Position players can go every day, with one lefty and one righty forming a two-man pitching rotation. One ambidextrous reliever, just in case. Corporate buzz-phrases “Pitch smarter” and “Do more with less” will make their way into the sports lexicon.
This self-made man generally sits next to Cuban on the reality business show Shark Tank. How cool would it be to watch those two interact, Cuban pumping his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks, while John, who founded the FUBU clothes line, counters with his Yankees ownership. Clash of the egos. Besides, John could help design a new hip-hop kind of home uni to replace those stodgy old pinstripes and interlocking NY.
Actually, her “Jersey Shore” buds could chip in with the small fortune they made spreading their brand of obnoxiousness to a national TV audience and buy the team as a baby present. The boy will need something to play with — or play for — as he progresses through the tough life of Snooki-fueled entitlement and self-importance that surely awaits him.
Hey, give the guy a break. George Steinbrenner drew a felony conviction for obstruction of justice in the investigation of his illegal contributions to Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign. The way people are treating this all-time great fireballer these days, you’d think he lied to Congress about using steroids or something.
The comedian complains in that commercial about baseball players scratching themselves on those big, ballpark video boards. Buy the team and institute your own no-scratching policy, just like old George did when he banned facial hair. Even got Johnny Damon to shave his legendary beard. Surely, Black can get everyone to stop scratching their hind quarters, or any other quarters within easy reach.
Do you have a “suitor” to add to the mix? Take your best shot in the comments below…