Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/23/12
New-york-yankees-honor

Without chief owner George Steinbrenner at the head of the Yankees organization since he passed away on July 13, 2010, the team has looked somewhat lost.  Not having seen a World Series appearance since before his passing, the Yankees do not resemble the team that fans remember from the turn of the century. Currently, the Yankees are attempting to get below the $189 million payroll “luxury tax” in order to lessen the economic burden.  The team last saw its big free agent splash in the offseason prior to the 2009 season, in which it shelled out loads of money to starting pitcher CC Sabathia (7 years, $161 million), starting pitcher AJ Burnett (5 year $82.5 million) and first baseman Mark Teixeira (8 years $180 million). Having major success the following year, the Yankees won their 27th World Series title, crowning their new ballpark.  But since the fall of 2009, what else have the Yankees accomplished?  They let their World Series MVP Hideki Matsui walk; they traded their top prospect Austin Jackson to the Tigers, and have watched their ‘Core Four’ crumble away.  Derek Jeter is recovering from a broken ankle, while Andy Pettitte cycles in and out of retirement only to hurt his own ankle, all happening while the best closer in baseball history, Mariano Rivera, tears his ACL, and former catcher Jorge Posada has been formally kicked from the lineup. So what does this leave us with?  The Steinbrenner family has been looking for cheap veteran replacements like Eric Chavez, postseason hero Raul Ibanez, and Ichiro.  It seems as if the Steinbrenner family is letting the Yankees go… But what if they are…? Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque It was recently announced that Rupert Murdoch, head of NewsCorp – who owns the Fox Broadcasting networks – is set up to purchase one of the biggest assets of the Yankees organization, the YES network.  According to a New York Times report, Murdoch will buy 49 percent of the highly successful television network.  The problem here is that the Steinbrenners and the organization do not own the other 51 percent, essentially giving them control over the business.  40 percent of the network purchase will come from Goldman Sachs and other small minority owners, according to ESPN, which means the Steinbrenners will surely have to give up some of their percent share of the network, most likely nine. In this situation, why aren’t Hal and Hank trying to retain control?  Is Murdoch trying to take control of the most successful franchise in sports history?  Are Hank and Hal Steinbrenner letting him?  Sports fans had already seen Murdoch attempt to control the Los Angeles Dodgers, only to watch it fail.  Can Yankee fans expect the same result out of this purchase?  They better hope not. Of course, the purchase of the YES network means nothing as far as baseball is concerned.  But without “the Boss” running the organization, what can Yankee fans really expect anymore?  “Luxury tax” wasn’t even in the Boss’ vocabulary.  He wouldn’t ever think about giving Yankee assets away, and he certainly wouldn’t be okay with a loss in the ALCS.  He would be out there trying to bring the top tier talent into the Bronx in quest of number 28.  Sometimes it is great to support a Yankees team, sometimes it isn’t, but all in all, it surely isn’t as good as supporting George Steinbrenner’s Yankees, a team that was willing to do anything to win, no amount of money getting in the way.  Just look at Sabathia, or Teixeira or any other of the large contracts handed out over the last decades – it’s just not the same anymore.  Watching a family that has taken a lowlife Yankee organization to bring them to sports immortality sure is a daunting task, but we may not be able to see the same family do it again. -Weingold

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