K-Rod confronts Bruney

Leave a comment

In case you missed it yesterday, here’s what Brian Bruney had to say about Francisco Rodriguez after Friday’s game:

“Unbelievable, I’ve never seen
anything like that. I have, but in high school. Couldn’t have happened
to a better guy on the mound, either. He’s got a tired act.”

He continued:

“He gets what he deserves, man. I just don’t like watching the guy pitch. I think it’s embarassing.”

The quotes were worthy of some chuckles initially, especially
considering the fact that Bruney can’t stay on the field, but the two
pitchers almost came to blows before Sunday’s game. Peter Abraham of
the Journal News relays the story:

Francisco Rodriguez tried to confront
Brian Bruney during batting practice today and was held back by Jose
Veras. The incident attracted enough attention that several Yankees,
including C.C. Sabathia, came over to keep the peace. Bruney was in
left field as the Yankees were finishing up their BP. The Mets were
coming into the field at the same time and Rodriguez went over to
Bruney and appeared to be yelling at him.

There were rumors of a video that showed Rodriguez pushing Bruney, but
that appears to be false. K-Rod tried to get to him, but was held back
by Mike Pelfrey.

When Abraham asked Bruney what happened, the pitcher said:

“We talked about our dinner plans. That was it.”

Who said the Subway Series had lost it’s luster?

The Yankees attendance and revenue is down, but it makes sense

Getty Images
1 Comment

There’s a long article in the New York Times today noting that the Yankees attendance is down and that, based on financial figures released as part of their stadium bond disclosures, ticket and suite revenues through last season have fallen by $166 million since the end of 2009.

There is a lot of talk in the article about the exciting young team the Yankees have put together and how much they’ve won so far in the early going. And there is a lot of talk about marketing and demographics — Hal Steinbrenner talks about baseball’s “millennial problem” — but the story of the Yankees’ box office issues, such as they are, is pretty straightforward.

All teams suffer attendance and revenue decline when they play poorly. While the Yankees have not been bad for a long, long time, that’s a somewhat relative thing. They Yankees have sold themselves and sold their fans on the idea that nothing short of a championship is acceptable, so missing the playoffs for three of the past four years is bad for them. Fans don’t want to go see a bad team, be it Yankees fans, Rays fans, Royals fans or whoever.

Despite the recent lack of success, the Yankees have still, perversely, continued to price their tickets, concessions, parking and everything else as though they’re the only game in town. When demand falls and prices remain super high, fewer people are buying your product. Even if you’re the New York Yankees.

The Yankees are good this year. What’s more, they’re good in that exciting way that only young promising players bursting out onto the scene can deliver. It’s a wonderful thing for marketing and stuff, but even under the best of circumstances, ticket sales tend to lag on field success, often by as much as a year. Go back and look at World Series winning teams — especially the surprise winners — and you’ll see that it’s the year after on-field success when the real attendance bumps happen. I expect, if the Yankees continue to play well, their gate will get really nice by the end of the summer, but I suspect we’ll also see a more dramatic bump next year.

Taken all together, this is a dog-bites-man story. The Yankees are not some transcendent institution, immune from market forces. They’re just one of 30 Major League Baseball teams competing against other entertainments for a finite amount of the public’s money and attention. Nothin’ to see here.

David Price had a rocky rehab start last night

Getty Images
3 Comments

Red Sox starter David Price has been rehabbing a left elbow injury since early March. Last night he made his latest rehab outing for Triple-A Pawtucket. It didn’t go well.

Price allowed six runs — three earned — on seven hits in three and two-thirds innings, requiring 89 pitches to do it. His velocity was good, but otherwise it was a night to forget. This was supposed to be Price’s last rehab start before returning to the Sox’ big league rotation, but one wonders if he’s ready for it.

Price didn’t talk to the media after the game, but Pawtucket’s manager said he was “upbeat” and “felt good.” For his part, John Farrell, upon hearing about the outing, said this:

“There’s no announcement at this point. We’ve got to sit with him and talk about what’s best for him, best for us as we move forward.”

The Sox could really use Price back in the rotation given their injury problems, but rushing him back if he’s not ready is certainly not ideal.

Stay tuned.