Yankees end relationship with StubHub

MLB officially re-upped their agreement with StubHub yesterday, and to exactly no one’s surprise the Yankees joined the Angels and the Cubs in opting out of the agreement. Instead, they’ll be using Ticketmaster as their official re-seller in a move that the team called “fan friendly,” which caused George Orwell to rise out of his grave in admiration.

Let’s be clear: there’s nothing fan friendly about this decision, and there’s not supposed to be. The Yankees have had StubHub in their sights for some time now, specifically because of the brand’s association with cheap tickets. The Yankees blamed this for their sparse and stoic crowds, but that’s ridiculous. As a basic matter of fact, lower ticket prices means higher demand for tickets, so if StubHub were really having that big of an impact it should be creating higher numbers at the turnstile, not lower. The “problem,” such as it were, is that the common fans awareness of StubHub as a destination for below face value tickets for non-premium games meant fewer people going to the Yankees and paying face value for those tickets, and apparently was leading some season ticket holders to wonder if they were being played for fools.

Making this decision even more appalling is the fact that StubHub made some major concessions to MLB in order to renew the deal, setting a minimum ticket price of $6 and increasing the blackout period to buying tickets to six hours before the start of a game.

So here’s the basics in terms of what this means: the upshot is that the Yankees will get a bigger cut of each ticket sold through Ticketmaster than they did through StubHub, and that fans looking for last minute tickets to a game will be forced to purchase them for face value from the team, instead of getting the actual market price through StubHub. The downside is that it’s going to get much more expensive, perhaps prohibitively so, for the prototypical average fan to get tickets to Yankee Stadium.

But at least all of that additional ticket revenue will get re-invested in the team. Continue reading Yankees end relationship with StubHub

Podcasting with IIATMS Part Two

Last night, Stacey and I got together with Brien of IIATMS to do a little more podcasting. We discussed the Hot Stove season as it pertains to the Yankees and the rest of the league. It was (another) fun time and we hope you enjoy it. Listen here and have a great afternoon!

Could This Be The End Of Rodriguez At Third Base?

Another year deeper into Alex Rodriguez‘ 10 year contract, and we’re already on his second hip surgery. The 37 year old third baseman is in a perpetual decline, and health isn’t helping much. While he’s dealt with some fluke injuries over the last two years, Rodriguez is barely starting half the games at third base. In 2013, he’ll be lucky to start on the field for a couple of months, as the team only plans for him to return in June or July. When Rodriguez returns to baseball next season, he could very well have already turned 38 already, and Continue reading Could This Be The End Of Rodriguez At Third Base?

Yankees set to re-sign Ichiro

With their pitching targets in hand and Kevin Youkilis on hold, the Yankees have turned their attention to addressing their hole in right-field, and that means getting serious with Ichiro Suzuki. The Yankees have been pursuing Ichiro fiercely for the past few days, and now pretty much all the usual sources are reporting that a deal between the two sides is imminent. No word on the contours being discussed, but it’s safe to assume the 39 year old Ichiro will only be in line for a one year deal, with a pretty steep decline in his salary to boot.

After kicking this around last night, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. My first inclination is to be okay with it, but I do worry that I’m letting Ichiro’s surprisingly strong finish to last season cloud my estimation of what we can reasonably expect him to do in 2013. Is .322/.340/.454 over a full season a reasonable expectation for a 39 year old who hit .272/.310/.335 back in 2011? Maybe not, but it is hard to get over how good Ichiro looked down the stretch last year, and given that the opportunity cost is so low on this move, I can’t really get exercised about it in either case. If nothing else he’ll provide plus outfield defense that should be a big help to the Yankees’ pitchers, especially Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova, and his base running and contact skills will diversify the offense a bit. The biggest variable here probably isn’t even Ichiro, honestly, but how well Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Derek Jeter perform as the core of the offense. If those guys are up to par, Ichiro should be fine as a role player.

So yeah, I think I can live with Ichiro for one more year. Continue reading Yankees set to re-sign Ichiro

On the Money

TYA’s Matt Imbrogno joined Stacey and I again tonight, and once again the three of us had entirely too much fun discussing the hot stove and…other things in baseball. But mostly we talked about the big offseason developments that have broken in the last few days, what the Yankees are up to, what we think about the impending return of Ichiro, and we may or may not have gotten an offer from the Dodgers midway through the hour. Enjoy!

Listen to internet radio with IIATMS Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Continue reading On the Money

What about Austin Romine?

Perhaps the most shocking development so far this offseason was the failure to retain the services of Russell Martin. Martin hasn’t exactly put our warm memories of Jorge Posada‘s bat to sleep, but he gave the Yankees two respectable seasons behind the dish. That’s why it was surprising when the Pirates out bid the Yankees for his services. Seldom do the Bombers let their man walk. Martin wasn’t going to be a Yankee for a decade, but it was worth it to keep him around for another year. There’s no use crying over spilled milk. Martin is gone. Fortunately the Continue reading What about Austin Romine?

Cracking The Hot Stove Code

Last week, we had four days of Winter Meetings to look forward to, and all we got were four days of rumors. (1,2,3,4) The Yankees haven’t needed this much TLC since 2008, and now they get to do it with a budget in mind. On top of that, the free agent market isn’t exactly booming with potential. Brian Cashman may have missed a number of outfield  and infield free agents last week, but none of them were “must-haves”. He has to please the fans with a winning team, he has to please ownership by staying within a budget, and he Continue reading Cracking The Hot Stove Code

Rays, Royals, complete Shields-Myers swap

The Rays have been shopping James Shields around the league for weeks to multiple suitors, but it would appear now that they have settled on a partnership with Kansas City. The Rays will be shipping out not only Shields, but also Wade Davis, and in exchange they’ll be getting outfielder Wil Myers, RHP Jake Odrozzi, LHP Mike Montgomery, and 3B Patrick Leonard.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Rays, Royals, complete Shields-Myers swap

Rosenthal: Yankees making a push for Ichiro

So Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Yankees are “all over” Ichiro Suzuki.

 “They are all over him,” one source says. “That (a deal with Ichiro) will happen.”

That quote made me laugh just because of the imagery.

Ichiro came over to the Yankees in July after a trade with Seattle. He batted .261 with a .642 OPS in his 95 games with the Mariners. Then turned things around once he got to New York and batted .322 with a .794 OPS in 67 games with the Yankees.
Continue reading Rosenthal: Yankees making a push for Ichiro