The idea of someone selling the New York Yankees is sort of unfathomable. Sure, the team is currently 23-21 but, even if it were 3-41 right now, it’s the Yankees. Like the Los Angeles Lakers, Pittsburgh Steelers and certain other franchises that carry the notable distinction of being all-time great, the Yankees (in theory) are way too good and way too valuable to ever be peddled to the highest bidder when the going gets tough.
Or so we thought. According to the New York Daily News, though, in light of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ recent $2 billion sale, the Steinbrenners may now be looking into how much selling baseball’s most prominent team could earn them. Per the report:
Rumors are flying in Major League Baseball and New York banking circles that the family that has owned Major League Baseball's premiere franchise since Cleveland shipbuilder George Steinbrenner purchased the club for $8.8 million in 1973 is exploring the possibility of selling the Yankees.
Multiple baseball and finance sources told the Daily News they are hearing that the team the Steinbrenner family has led to seven World Series titles could be put on the block in the wake of the record sale price of $2.175 billion the Los Angeles Dodgers went for in April.
"There has been chatter all around the banking and financial industries in the city for a couple of weeks now," one high-level baseball source told The News.
For what it’s worth, both the team’s president and acting general partner have essentially called these rumors nonsense.
"I can say to you there is absolutely, positively nothing to this. The Steinbrenners are not selling the team,” said Randy Levine.
Hal Steinbrenner was equally adamant that the idea of his family moving the Yankees was ridiculous.
"I just read the Daily News story. It is complete fiction. Me and my family have no intention to sell the Yankees and expect it to be in the family for years to come."
This is a weird rumor. First and foremost, the selling price of the Dodgers really shouldn’t have any impact on whether or not the Yankees would be up for sale. It’s comparing apples and oranges. Whereas New York sports’ crown jewel is already utilizing every potential moneymaking option they have at their disposal, L.A.’s favorite baseball team was not. That’s not to say that the Yankees wouldn’t be a good investment for someone, it’s just that the Dodgers sale has nothing to do with the opportunities that would available to someone who would buy the Yankees.
The Daily News also listed this reason for the Steinbrenners purportedly looking to sell their team:
"It would definitely be the right time for the family to sell," said another baseball source familiar with matters involving the league's owners. "The value of the team couldn't be higher, but at the same time, it's an older team in a division with younger teams getting better at the same time a lot of the Yankees' core veterans are starting to go into decline."
So a family that has developed new and better versions of the Yankees over decades would want to sell because a core group of guys is getting old? And what’s this nonsense about the value being at its peak right now? Are folks expecting New York to become less attractive a destination for future players? Will it become less of a media market in 10 years?
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
So yeah, -- not happening. This rumor fails on all counts.
(Kudos to New York Daily News)