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San Diego Chicken Little Harvey
2002-08-13 13:45
by Mike Carminati

San Diego Chicken Little

Harvey Araton opines in the New York Times that the George "The Boss" Steinbrenner is in trouble:

THE BOSS sounds scared, as well he should be. The sports and entertainment empire he has masterminded on the strength of four Yankee championships in the last six years is beginning to crack.

The basis for this argument is that if there is a strike, the Yankees will have to show reruns of old games on their YES network. Also, Steinbrenner no longer has the fast track to a new stadium with the mayorial change in New York and the YankeeNets NBA team's new arena in Newark is stuck in "a political quagmire." Oh, and the small-market teams are giving him a comeuppance and he is a crashing bore. Like that's news.

We should all have his problems: He owns the top sports franchise in the world. The team seems to have the infrastructure to compete for a championship for the foreseeable future. They play in one of the most storied stadiums in the game. They have the largest population base in the country to draw from.

All of these labor struggles are just a blip on the Yankees' radar screen. What about teams like the Twins who have just been subjected to contraction threats all through the offseason? They now are a virtual lock for the playoffs. Imagine the fallout in their fan base if there is a season-ending strike. Think of the Tampa Bays, Kansas Citys, and Floridas, who claim that they are treading water financially. What will happen to them if there is a strike? What about the young players who will lose needed salary? What about the players who will not have enough games to reach a goal in their careers? What about the vendors, ticket takers, bar and restaurant owners, souvenir shop owners, etc., who work in or around the stadiums? What about the fan who has been following a team his/her whole life who will not get to see them in playoffs this year? What about the Tijuana steroid dealers and their families? Whose heart could possibly bleed for the Boss?

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