Thank Goodness! The Yankees may finally be profitable!


The bones of this story from the New York Post are all well and good: the Yankees are refinancing $1 billion in debt they still owe on Yankee Stadium, taking advantage of lower interest rates and, in all likelihood, saving them perhaps $10 million a year. That’s good for any business, obviously.

The framing of it all is pretty hilarious, though:

Yankees team owner Hal Steinbrenner is making a new pitch to return the team to profitability . . . Shaving perhaps as much as $10 million annually from the stadium loans could make the team profitable, said a source familiar with the team’s finances.

Baseball finances are notoriously opaque. Most teams are 100% privately owned and many of them, the Yankees included, are still family owned. While they’re big businesses on a big stage with TV and famous employees and all of that, the model is still roughly that of a car dealership. You don’t know what Biff Hopkins of Biff Hopkins Chevrolet makes or what his company’s balance sheet looks like exactly, but you know his spoiled punk kid has a brand new Corvette, Biff owns a lake house and they’re the richest dadgum family in this here county.

The same with the Yankees. It’s laughable in the extreme to suggest that the Yankees are losing money or just about breaking even. They may say that themselves when it suits them to portray themselves in that fashion, but it takes a lot of magical thinking to accept it at face value. This is illustrated six paragraphs later by this passage, which negates the entire framework of the piece:

The Yanks are roughly breaking even now. That’s just the team and doesn’t include other businesses, such as the YES Network or Legends Hospitality.

You know, the other businesses owned by the same people, making money directly off of the allegedly breaking-even baseball team but categorized in certain ways for certain purposes.

Among the purposes, as the article makes clear, is to structure stadium financing in super convoluted way so as to allow the city to issue bonds for what is, essentially, a money-printing operation for one of sports’ richest franchises.

Oh, I’m sorry. For that plucky little small business in the Bronx, just trying to make ends meet so it can stay family-owned for another 43 years.

Anthony Volpe, 21, wins Yankees’ starting shortstop job

Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sp

TAMPA, Fla. — Anthony Volpe grew up watching Derek Jeter star at shortstop for the New York Yankees.

Now, the 21-year-old is getting the chance to be the Yankees’ Opening Day shortstop against the San Francisco Giants.

The team announced after a 6-2 win over Toronto in spring training that Volpe had won the spot. New York manager Aaron Boone called the kid into his office to deliver the news.

“My heart was beating pretty hard,” said Volpe, rated one of baseball’s best prospects. “Incredible. I’m just so excited. It’s hard for me to even put into words.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, hitting coach Dillon Lawson and bench coach Carlos Mendoza were also present.

Volpe was able to share the news with his parents and other family members near the Yankees’ dugout and said it is something he will never forget.

“It was pretty emotional,” Volpe said. “It was just an unbelievable moment to share with them.”

Volpe, who grew up a Yankees fan, lived in Manhattan as a child before moving to New Jersey. Jeter was his favorite player.

“It’s very surreal,” Volpe said. “I’ve only ever been to games at Yankee Stadium and for the most part only watched him play there.”

Volpe is hitting .314 with three homers, five RBIs and a .417 on-base percentage in 17 Grapefruit League games. He has just 22 games of experience at Triple-A.

Spring training started with Volpe, Oswald Peraza and holdover Isiah Kiner-Falefa competing for the everyday shortstop job. Kiner-Falefa was shifted into a utility role midway through camp, and Peraza was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“While certainly the performance was there, he killed it between the lines,” Boone said of Volpe. “All the other things that we’ve been hearing about showed up. There’s an energy he plays the game with, and an instinct that he has that is evident. He really checked every box that we could have had for him. Absolutely kicked the door in and earned his opportunity.”

Volpe arrived in Florida in December to work out at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

“He’s earned the right to take that spot, and we’re excited for him and excited for us,” Cashman said. “He just dominated all sides of the ball during February and March, and that bodes well obviously for him as we move forward.”

Volpe was selected out of high school with the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft from Delbarton School in New Jersey. He passed up a college commitment to Vanderbilt to sign with the Yankees.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get into the organization,” Volpe said. “This day, this feeling, this moment was kind of what I’ve worked my whole life for when I made that big decision.”

“Right now it’s crazy,” he added. “I don’t even know what lies ahead but Thursday I just want to go out and play, and have fun.”