Branding the World of Sports

When are things going to turn around for Yankees?

Posted by ZA on May 15, 2009

It’s been a tough start for the new era of the New York Yankees.  Before training camp even started they had to deal with the Alex Rodriguez steroids controversy.  Since then they’ve struggled on the field, handing out home runs like the dentist hands out free toothpaste samples.  They’ve been blasted by fans and media for their overpriced premium tickets.  And they’ve discovered potential flaws in the design of their stadium that are the cause of all of the home runs.  If they could take a mulligan on 2009, I think George Steinbrenner definitely would.

Today’s latest Yankee bashing comes from the Wall Street Journal.  The WSJ chronicles some of the problems that are plaguing new Yankee Stadium and what the team can do to overcome them.  There are some good quotes in the article from John McHale Jr. who was an executive with the Detroit Tigers when they opened Comerica Park in 2000.  McHale Jr says a team must, “…sit and watch and determine whether something unusual is built in.”  Doing that with the Tigers convinced them to shorten their outfield fences, which made the park more friendly to home run hitters.  That move is part of what helped the Tigers win a World Series in 2006.

Will the Yankees brass have the balls to make changes to their $1.5B baseball palace? It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong, hopefully the Steinbrenners won’t be afraid to make changes.  They already lowered prices on their premium seats, which is a good start.  But there are other changes they probably need to make to get the Yankees back at the top of the heap.

For the record, my prediction is that the Yankees will make the playoffs this season.  I even think they have a good shot at making a run to the World Series if their pitching comes together.  Of course I’m the same guy that picked a Yankees versus Chicago Cubs World Series in 2008, so maybe my biases are overshadowing my good judgement.

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