Friday, March 16, 2007

Baseball’s Great Populist

In the Bronx, a borough with so much blight, there has always been one great light: the New York Yankees. As long as George Steinbrenner has his way, it will remain.

Steinbrenner understands it’s the power of the people – 4,248,067 fans came to Yankee Stadium in 2006 – that allows the Yankees to compete under Major League Baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement. This unjust system taxes the poor people of New York for the benefit of some of the world’s wealthiest men.

This Billionaire Boys’ Club makes sure our money flows into the pockets of people like Kansas City Royals owner David Glass, a former CEO of Wal-Mart.

Baseball is a capitalist venture in the rest of the country, but in the Bronx it is a gift to the people. There are millions of reasons to be a Yankee fan, but the most practical is that many of us couldn’t afford to be a fan anywhere else.

The price of my season tickets has not gone up in years. I’m in the Tier, but right behind home plate. People in my section call it the best poor-person’s seat in baseball. The only reason we can afford 81 games is because Steinbrenner refuses to pass on the cost of baseball’s Support-A-Billionaire program.

When we get our post-season tickets, which are controlled and priced by Major League Baseball, we get an honest look at Steinbrenner’s dedication to common Yankee fans.

George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees are everything that’s right about baseball. David Glass and the Kansas City Royals are everything that’s wrong.

How some people have been convinced of the opposite is one of society’s great magic tricks. The Billionaire Boys’ Club can really shovel it. Actually, they even make poor people do their shoveling.

But Baseball’s Great Populist protects us in the Bronx.

No comments: