Open Thread: Virtual Yankees Game

Amato lives and dies with the Yankees. What's your home team? How do your chances look this year? Or do you just hate baseball?

John Amato:

Prediction: The Yanks will not make the playoffs this year. I can't stand the Steinbrenner Sons and how they run the team. Look at how much money MLB is raking in these days. Why isn't there a minimum amount a team has to spend on their payroll, so that ownership doesn't pocket all the money and screws the community in the process?

After all, a few of the key numbers, as they relate to annual earnings for each and every ballclub, are nothing short of staggering. According to Forbes:

-- Franchise values increased by an average of 23% from last year, the largest increase since Forbes began doing these valuations in 1998'.
-- MLB’s new TV deal with Fox, TBS, and ESPN, which begins in 2014, is worth $12.4 billion — which translates to earnings of $52 million a season for each team in baseball through 2021.
-- MLB’s digital arm, which includes MLB.TV and MLB.com, generated an estimated $650 million in revenue last year, spread equally among 30 ballclubs. Forbes says the At Bat app for mobile devices is top-grossing sports app of all time.
-- Forbes calls baseball’s investment portfolio a “hidden gem.” Essentially it explains that MLB took some of the profits from the sale of the Expos/Nationals and invested them in hedge funds that produced double-digit returns, providing each team with another $40-45 million in investments.When you process those types of numbers, and then throw in the fact that both local teams profit further from their own TV networks — the Yankees, in particular, print money with the YES Network — it’s harder to justify their budgetary concerns, especially considering the high ticket prices they charge.

It's a travesty that Houston spends less on their entire payroll than is the cost of one year of A-Rod.

At the other end, Houston was last at $27.3 million, down from about $61 million opening day last year and less than the major league-leading $29 million for the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez. Houston's payroll is the lowest since the 2008 Florida Marlins were at $22 million.

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By the way, the NBA and NHL playoffs are about to begin soon. Go Knicks.

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