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December 15, 2008



I probably won't make any friends by saying this, but I've often thought there's something wrong with professional sports and team fanatics.

Don't take that the wrong way. I understand that, regardless of the field and regardless of one's interests, it's always fascinating and usually entertaining to watch a master at work. I also understand supporting your friends and neighbors when they're on a team, for obvious reasons.

But (to pick on the example you brought up) the Yankees are...a brand name, and little more. Their mastery changes from year to year, because the team changes. And the players are infrequently locals, because they hire the best they can afford.

What did the top-paid players do to earn their money? They convinced somebody with the money that they were worth it. The management now needs to convince you, so that you'll pony up the cash for tickets, so that we can start the cycle again next year.

Of course, that cycle is going to start draining money out, I'll bet. When there are fewer people who can afford tickets and merchandise around (or more people start looking at local teams--maybe support your local high school sports before big business?), the prices will have to drop if the business is going to survive, and that's going to impact/normalize player salaries.

Unless they get a bailout, too. I mean, between the geniuses in Congress, the Treasury, and the Fed, something like eight trillion dollars of taxpayer money has been promised. What's another few billions so that the Yankees don't actually need anybody watching...?

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